A friend emailed me this week and invited me to an online event on Friday night. I told her that I would love to be there, but Brian was going to be a men’s camping retreat with church so I was going to be on my own with the four kids. I said that I would be there, barring any unforeseen chaos.
I actually used the word “chaos” in my email to her. I learned a lesson this week.
Don’t use “chaos” in reference to something you are hoping doesn’t happen with three boys and a foster daughter. I also shouldn’t play the song “I Lived” by OneRepublic as it has the line “With every broken bone I swear I lived.” It’s only setting myself up for failure.
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I’m sorry for the absence of a post last week. My computer had other plans. I actually had everything written out and ready to go when my computer turned off. I turned it on again. It decided it didn’t like the position of the power cord and shut down again. And again.
And I gave up.
It seems like it has become trendy to complain about social services. You’ve probably seen the stories of parents ending up in the crosshairs of CPS because their 11 year old was playing outside by himself for an hour and a half while his parents were caught in traffic or heard of the case in Massachusetts where the state took custody of a teenager. Doctors at one hospital disagreed with the diagnosis of doctors at another hospital and alleged abuse…
I made the mistake of reading the comments on some of these articles and it was… ugly. Hideous. Wrong.
People were left and right on multiple threads bashing the work that child protective services does, saying they are just causing trauma by taking kids and they shouldn’t be allowed to do it anymore… and this is the tame version I am repeating here. People were asking why isn’t CPS commenting on cases and why aren’t they answerable for cases gone wrong and insisting that the whole system needs to be done away with.
I’m sure you’ve heard the sentiment. Maybe even felt it yourself.
There are two competing narratives going on right now regarding the work of CPS and foster care.
Last summer, of course at the very beginning, Luke had an accident and broke his foot. We went from, “I really hope that isn’t broken,” to “I think that might be broken,” and then finally, “I’ll be surprised if it isn’t broken” over the course of hours as it started to bruise and swell up. The x-rays the next morning were sickening. It is definitely bad when even I can tell that it’s broken since my expertise in radiology is limited to, “yep, that’s a foot”- it was really broken.
I adore my three-year old. Jackson is hilarious, loving, and preciously protective of his siblings. He is still three, though, and doesn’t like going to bed.
He really doesn’t like being put to bed for the eighth time (per evening, and all of these times in the course of writing this post) and spontaneously appears around the house several hours after bedtime has commenced. I’m considering making a suit of pajamas out of Velcro and constructing special Velcro sheets to match: he is officially a night person.
Last night I told Brian that I had seen a list of things parents never thought they would have to say… until they had a boy. The list was funny, but most were pretty mild. I mean, “Why is there pee on the floor?” is amongst our weekly refrains which usually ends in all three boys pointing immediately at another brother.
I had a completely unexpected and hilarious conversation with my seven-year old this week. For some reason, he was really interested in the photos that are on our refrigerator.
Luke was looking at them and asking questions about when they were taken and he came to the photo of Ethan and him holding Jackson about two weeks after I had him.
Luke looked at me in utter surprise:
When I was a kid, my siblings and I would sit in deep discussion about the things that we would save if our house were to ever be on fire. As we got older, the things we believed we couldn’t live without changed. My attachment to my stuffed animals faded and gave way to my guitar and later my kids claimed the coveted spot on my priority list.
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For the Love of God…
I started writing this series on influential books a few months ago because I believe whole heartedly that we need to understand why we believe what we believe. This is why these aren’t book reviews, but rather exhortations to think deeper, be challenged, inspired, convicted, and encouraged much along the lines of “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” in Proverbs 27:17.
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Last week was a really hard week as we’ve been recovering slowly from the accident last Saturday. It’s made me appreciate the gift of each day and want to make the most of all the time that we are given.
In light of all this, I wanted to share a quote by one of my heroes: