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foster parenting

It’s Not Scary, It’s Pretty

children, Family, foster parenting By 08/01/2010 No Comments

I must confess, I was quite nervous about providing respite care this weekend. There is just no way to know what to expect out of foster children being placed in a temporary, new environment.

Big Brother and Little Sister hopped right out of the truck and uncertainly stood at my front door. Big Brother has autism; once the door was open, he let himself in and began to explore his new world for the next 24 hours. Little Sister wasn’t quite as brave, but she and Owen really hit it off and before too long, they were running around the house squealing with joy.

I was relieved.

I was told neither of them could swim without life jackets, so I decided to take them to the Y after lunch since they have several kiddie pool options. Little Sister and I went to Target in search of a little bathing suit on clearance; we found the perfect suit. Pink and red and white with little sparkley polka dots; she loved it.

The pool was a success but we had to leave after just over an hour because a storm was rolling in and it began to thunder. Dinner was corn dogs, tater tots, and applesauce; everyone ate well. My in-laws picked Owen up around 7:45pm and headed over to the church to get Joshua and Jesse before going home. Once Owen was gone, the kids sat beside me on the couch and we read four books. When we finished our stories, they brushed their teeth and got into their beds. As I tucked little sister into her bed, she looked up at me with a big smile on her face and said, “I’m not scared. This isn’t a scary room, it’s pretty.” My heart ached and my mind wandered as I remembered what their foster father told me of why they were removed from their biological mother’s care.

Neglect.

Severe neglect.

They were found living in squalor, left alone in a nasty rent-by-the week motel in the worst part of town. I can only imagine what they’ve seen, heard, smelled, and experienced.
By the grace of God, they are delightful, happy children.

By the end of the night, I was already Mommy.

~audrey

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Everybody’s Workin’ For The Weekend

Family, foster parenting By 05/14/2010 No Comments

This is it.

The final weekend before school is out for the summer. Jesse has his end of the year party on Monday with early release at lunch, and Tuesday he only has to go in for graduation rehearsal, early release at lunch, and graduation that evening. It’s all SO exciting!

I received some books in the mail yesterday that I had ordered on Amazon. The first is a Bible study that I intend to work through with the boys this summer. It is called, The Young Peacemaker, by Corlette Sande. The second book was Sequential Spelling, which I intend to use with both boys this year, next year, this summer…whatever; it’s all the same when you’re homeschooling. I mean, do you ever really stop schooling and learning??

I look forward to the mail, like a child waits anxiously for Christmas morning, although with Amazon, you never know exactly what day “Christmas” is going to fall on….there I go again, ending a sentence with a preposition.

I’m excited about this weekend because I’m attending a bridal shower for my best friend from high school. She’s getting married July 24th. Remember THIS post? Yep, I’m still scared and not much skinnier…or shall I just say less fat…skinny doesn’t apply to much of anything on my body, with the exception of my pinkie fingers. My mother is coming to town for the shower and I look forward to spending the day with her.

I hope your weekend is fantastic! We’re suppose to get lots of rain. Bring it Lord! My garden needs a free drink!

~audrey

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Should I Stay or Should I Go Now

children, foster parenting, Parenting By 05/11/2010 No Comments

I got a call from the children’s DFCS worker yesterday to inform me that things seem to be working out with their aunt afterall and it looks like the children could be moved next week.

This time does seem more promising, but I’m trying not to let us all start thinking towards “the kids will be gone by next weekend.” It is so devastating to Big Sister when she thinks she’s going ‘home’ one day, and the next she’s told nevermind, you’re staying put.

We sure will miss these children. It’s so strange to think that there could, and will likely be, new children in our home within a few weeks. My prayer is that God is moving these children out to make room for our girls!

We had visitation yesterday and things went very well. Mom even told me I did a great job on Sister’s hair. She didn’t even believe Sister when she first told her that I did it! LOL! Yes, this white girl has learned a thing or two over the last six or eight months.

Only time will tell whether they’re staying or going. I say I’m trusting the Lord, but to be perfectly honest, I’m quite nervous about what’s next…since it’s unknown territory. Will we get the girls? Will our next placement be as young as we like? Should I say NO to a placement if they try to give us children over the age of five for the safety of my own children? I’ll just have to keep leaning on the Lord and the wisdom He gives Josh and me in this roller coaster of a thing we call ‘our life‘.

~audrey

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Freaky Friday

children, Cloth Diapering, foster parenting, Humor, Parenting By 04/30/2010 No Comments

The two toddlers are screaming and bickering (I hated that word as a kid; my mom used it ALL the time…oh my word, I’m turning into my mother!! LOL).

Baby Bear spits up constantly.

I just switched back to cloth diapers so I could take “Diapers- $80” out of the monthly budget, just in time for Baby Bear to start teething, which just happens to make him POOP like crazy! **gross!**

I have a meeting in two hours and desperately need a shower, BUT I also have to run to the store because Baby Bear is officially out of formula.

This is not the Friday I was looking forward to.

I can’t help but remember that today marks “30 days” since we last heard anything about our girls and we were told we’d hear something one way or the other within 30 days. The chances of us hearing from DFCS on a Friday is slim to none…I’m banking on none.

Have you ever noticed that there are certain things that make you feel like your house is relatively clean? For me it is a clean/cleared off dining room table, empty kitchen sink (and preferably counters!), and a made bed. It’s definitely easier to clean when things are already “tidy”.

Oh geez, Owen is crying AGAIN so we better get out the door before the walls come crashing down…and it isn’t even 9am!

HAPPY FRIDAY!!

~audrey

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Amazed

children, foster parenting, Humor, Parenting By 04/29/2010 No Comments

Last year (or maybe it was the year before that) my kids learned a song at VBS about letting your actions match your passions.

…I’m going to have to make this quick, I hear kids screaming and fighting…

From time to time, when we’ve had a really rough day, or my children are having a rough day with the “extra kids” in the house, I find myself asking God, “Did you really lead me to do this? Was this the right thing for us?” But on all of the other days, the really great days, I absolutely love my life and feel as though I should pinch myself to make sure it’s all real. I love being home with my children (and other people’s children! :). I know some women would rather get on the “crazy bus to nowhere” (LOL!) than think about home schooling, foster parenting, or staying home with their children indefinitely, but I love it.

I think one way we can tell if we’re doing what we’re suppose to be doing is whether or not it really feels like work.

A few weeks ago, Jesse (my five year old) was talking about what he wants to be when he grows up. Then he asked me what I want to be when I grow up. I told him that I’m quite happy being a mommy and a foster parent. Jesse said, “Mommy, those aren’t JOBS!” I just laughed and laughed. He’s so right. I never thought that I’d want to add more children to my house while I already have six, but I do! Even Josh finds himself telling me that we can have more of our own in addition to adopting if that’s what I’d like to do. I mean, what other “job” has a bigger impact on eternity than raising children to love the Lord and share it with others?

I’m certainly in no hurry to get to a dozen, and in no way do I want to compete with the Duggars, I just really enjoy my children and I like having babies. πŸ™‚ (no, I am not pregnant)

To me, having the desire for more children WHILE taking care of my three and someone else’s three, is confirmation that I’m exactly where God wants me.

The hilarious thing about motherhood is, tomorrow I could be throwing in the towel and heading for the mental ward!

~audrey

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Missed Milestones

children, foster parenting, Parenting By 04/19/2010 1 Comment

As a mother, you look forward to the many milestones your babies achieve. Rolling over, sitting up, the first tooth, crawling, “ma-ma”, “da-da”, walking, etc.

As little Baby Bear reaches many of these milestones while in my home, it breaks my heart for their mother. Yes, she is reaping the consequences of some very poor decisions, but I do believe she loves her children and I wouldn’t wish these missed moments on anyone. It breaks my heart that Baby Bear calls me “Ma-ma”. About a month ago, when he was 7 months old, he started crawling and pulling up to standing, all in the same day. His first tooth is about to break through, and I’m pretty sure he will be walking before his first birthday. As I hold him close to feed him a bottle, his eyes smile as he gazes into mine and gently reaches up to pull my hair pat my face. I cannot imagine being separated from my children by force, but being separated from my baby (less than a year old) would seem to be more torture than one heart can take. They’re still getting to know you and take comfort in your every move, your every word, the twinkle in your eye, the way your voice gets soft and sweet as you tell them over and over, every day, how much you love them. I can’t even fathom what goes on in a baby’s mind when they’re separated from their mother at six months old. I just can’t imagine.

~audrey

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