Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Wheels of Justice...

...don't always turn slowly.

Because sometimes they don't turn at all.  And is it VERY frustrating, to say the least. 

If I could tattoo a verse to the inside of my eyelids, so that my human brain would not so stubbornly forget that it is there, it would be II Corinthians 12:9, for a MILLION reasons (not the least of which is the context from which it comes, which is an entirely different blog post altogether!)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Today was not one of my finer days as a cog in this process.  Today was a day I allowed myself to become overwhelmed with frustration over a screaming toddler, a sassy teenager, and a system that at times does the exact opposite of what it claims to do.  Today was a day I was more thankful than usual for God's grace, because it was a day I needed it more than any other day.

Too bad I still forgot at times throughout the day to accept it.

At the end of this very long Jonah day, when I keep mentally coming back to chiding myself for not remembering the free gift of grace that was available to me all day long, the only positive thing I can take away with me is that it will still be there tomorrow.  I'm so thankful that God doesn't say, "Well, you screwed up.  And too bad that was your last chance.  Sucks to be you."

Even Paul had to continually ask God for forgiveness - I know because he was human too.  And how else would he have finally learned to boast in his weaknesses, plural?  That certainly isn't something that we as humans could possibly learn overnight; we HATE our weaknesses and instinctively want to hide them, not boast in them.

So I will ask God for His forgiveness for my failures today, and for forgetting I do not have to let frustration overwhelm me, and I will ask Him to help me remember His grace tomorrow. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Free Will

Why is it that when things are going really bad, and we are feeling at our worst, and life seems like it just can't get any worse, and we're miserable beyond belief to the point we just want to tear our clothes and put ashes on our heads... Why is that when so many of us say, "I really need to straighten my life out and get right with God."  We cry out for Him, beg Him to remove our affliction, promise we will turn 180 degrees and go where He's called us to go.

And then when the particular storm has ended, and the boat seems righted again, we are soooo quick to place the credit anywhere but on Him. "Good thing I learned those relaxation exercises or I'd never have gotten through that."  "Glad I worked so hard putting in overtime at work so I could get that extra money to solve that problem." "Thanks God, but I guess I've got this after all, so nevermind."  We might as well thumb our nose at Him and say, "HA! Joke's on you if you REALLY thought I was gonna do that!"

I know some people that have made me wonder why God doesn't keep them in distress, keep their lives in a constant state of turmoil (and I guess I don't know for sure that He doesn't, since turmoil in the heart cannot be seen with the eyes).

And then I realized that if He did that, it would be the equivalent of placing a spell on someone to make them love you - if you have to do that, it's not true love, so what's the point?  In other words, taking away our free will, which He does not do. And if that's the absolute only way a person is going to walk with God - if he's in turmoil - then what's the point?

When I was a kid, I used to lie in bed at night and beg God to take away my free will.  "Please God," I'd pray, "I know You give us a free will, but please take mine away so it's not such a battle to do what's right all the time."  I just wanted to be perfect, for Him. And every time I screwed up and did something wrong, I would lie there at night wondering why God let me do that.

It's still a dichotomy to me, this desire to do right battling the sin nature, while also knowing we will not be perfect this side of heaven. I'm thankful Paul wrote of it, if for no other reason than to know I am not the only one to be confused by it. "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." (Romans 7:19, KJV) or " For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing." (ESV)

But back to my original musing.  If God brings or allows turmoil in your life, and you realize you need to turn your life back over to Him, don't change your tune once the difficulties go away. If you're willing to follow Him when things are rough, why wouldn't you want to follow Him the rest of the time too?

Sunday, July 21, 2013


I think when you're a foster parent, you do a whole lot.  Some of it is just regular parenting "stuff":  you give baths, play on the floor, read stories, teach life skills and lessons, discipline.  Some of it exceeds the bounds of parenting birth children.  (Some of the "regular" parenting requirements also exceed the usual limits.)  The list is exhaustive, and varies greatly from one foster family to another.

But I think one thing all foster parents would agree on is that there is one thing we do more than anything else: waiting.

And that's what we're doing right now.  In so many ways.

For starters, we are waiting to see if a letter gets signed by a judge by Tuesday.  If it does, then the snag is resolved and our K4, who arrived again on Friday, is here to stay.  If it doesn't, she has to return to the previous foster parents on Tuesday and then come back on Tuesday.  This constant back and forth has been hard on her and made it very difficult to get her into a routine and help her start to understand the boundaries.  So we pray this letter makes it to a judge to be signed by Tuesday, so that this time, the progress she has made will not be undone.

Secondly, we are waiting for K2's new TPR paperwork to be filed.  It could have been filed in May based on the legal timeline, but the CW is not on the ball, and doesn't seem to care that this child has been in the system for over 2 years now.  I realize CWs are overloaded and extremely busy, but I would think that a child who has spent so much time in limbo and who KNOWS it, would be at the top of the priority list.  As of Thursday, the paperwork had not yet been sent to the DA's office, so now two additional months have passed in the life of this little girl who regularly asks me, "Are we gonna adopt me?

Thankfully, we know that everything is in God's hands.  It's hard to believe there's Someone who loves my babies more than I do, but there is, and I have to trust that He is going to take care of them, while praying that He sees fit to place them in the earthly care of the family that they truly belong to.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


We've hit a bit of a setback.  

I can't disclose the details, but keep us and the Ladybug in your thoughts and prayers.  The most important thing right now is her best interest.

Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Little Miss Thang

Well we have just concluded our final "visit" with the Little Miss.

Let's just say there's going to be a very definite transition period.

It's pretty obvious that she's spoiled.  She's used to being picked up and carried around.  She's used to her demands being met - immediately.  She's used to being parked in front of the TV.  She's used to getting what she wants when she wants it.  

She's used to falling asleep in front of the TV whenever she darn well pleases and then being put to bed.

If you know us even the slightest, you know that none of that flies here!

Right now, she is about the unhappiest child I have ever met, unless she is being directly entertained in the manner in which she has demanded to be entertained.  She walks around the house whining and crying and moaning.  Attempts to redirect her and engage her in playing with toys are currently unsuccessful, so I've taken to ignoring the mopey-ness for the most part.  When she does smile or laugh engage positively in something, I praise her and hug her and try to make sure attention is put on the positive behavior while being withheld from the negative behavior.  

I'm pretty sure that her general unhappiness is a combination of not getting what she wants all day long, and feeling uprooted and displaced right now without any way to express those feelings.  I can't even imagine what it's like as a toddler to suddenly start spending long periods of time (several days is an eternity when you're tiny!) in a home you've never seen before, with strangers you don't know, and routines you aren't used to.  And we have made some alterations for her, such as rocking her to sleep; while at the same time trying to teach some basic behavior modification, such as not allowing her to scream when she doesn't get her way.  (And boy does she scream.)

I have to say that although the process is frustrating (and the screaming is grating), I think that progress has been made even over the course of two visits.  When she is placed on time out for screaming and told that I will come get her when she is done screaming, she doesn't scream for quite as long as she did a week and a half ago.  (Screaming at nap time is another story, however.)

She does sleep through the night, which I have to say is no small mercy, since Liam is still struggling in that area many nights.

We have two nights, and then K4 (don't pretend you're surprised) will be home on Thursday, Lord-willing to stay <3>