Little Man is starting preschool in a few weeks. I was filling out his paperwork tonight and of course had to write his full name several times. It looked so strange to me. He is our foster son, but we don’t think about him like that. He is “our” son in our hearts always and forever! He may have another family’s last name, but he has our hearts!
Sundays are really hard for me now. Families are supposed to go to church together! It feels so weird to sit alone in a pew that I usually can’t bring myself to do it! I end up staying with the kids in their classes or helping out in the nursery to keep from going to service alone.
I love going to church with my husband. I love sitting there holding his hand as we listen to the sermon. I love standing next to him as we sing and listening to his beautiful voice praise God. I love walking through the halls to pick up our children together with my arm wrapped in his. I love coming home and talking about what the preacher spoke about that day. I love listening to his opinions and take on things. I love everything about Sundays, except when he is gone.
When he is gone, we’re always late for church, because getting five children ready early on a Sunday morning is really hard. Someone always forgets to eat or to brush their teeth or wears the wrong shoes and I usually arrive at church with no makeup because there just wasn’t time. I love my church friends, but walking through the halls of our church, all I see are couples. Couples going to Sunday School together arm in arm, just like me and my sweetheart would be if he were here with me now. The bible lessons always seem to be about marriage or family or something else that reminds me that I am alone right now and it’s just depressing. I hate it!
Am I going to stop going this year while my soldier is deployed? Absolutely not! I will still be there every chance I get! Because even though it is sad and even though it reminds me that we are separated right now, it also reminds me that I am loved! Loved by my church family and loved by my God! Listening to our pastor pray for deployed soldiers every single week gives me peace. These men and women who fight for our freedom are not forgotten and my family is not forgotten. We are loved. So, even though it is hard we will still be there every Sunday morning. We’ll be there late, me without makeup, and probably with someone wearing the wrong colored shoes, but we’ll be there.
I am a foster mom.
I love children who do not share my blood or my last name.
I worry more than most and I do better internet research than the FBI.
I am not a doormat, you may not walk all over me.
I am a foster mom.
I survive sleepless nights with coffee the next day.
I hope and I pray for the best for “my” babies even when I fear the worst.
I have no parental rights to these children, yet I wipe every nose, dry every tear, and change every poopy diaper.
I am a foster mom.
I pray that God will give me the strength to keep going when I have no strength left within me.
My hopes and my dreams for these little ones do not matter to anyone else, but I still hope and I still dream.
I am a foster mom!
I really like Little Man and Baby Girl’s new social worker! She is awesome! She is very professional, extremely prepared, and has great communication skills. She keeps us up to date on what is going on with the case and she really is in this for the kids!
The last time we had a family visit at the DRH office, we had to wait a while and so the babies and I checked out the “visiting rooms” to try and find something to keep them busy while we waited. The room was nice enough and very clean, it had a private bathroom that was very clean as well, but the room was lacking “fun” age appropriate books and movies for the kids. Our new social worker told us she was sorry for the lack of things to do and that they used to have some nice movies, but that “things seem to just walk away.” I got the hint. They have a theft problem. How sad is that?!?
So, I got this crazy idea in my head! How about we put together a gift basket full of age appropriate books and movies for the DHR visiting room? I could just ask around to see if friends and family had books or movies that they would be willing to donate. The response was amazing! Immediately, we had gathered a DVD/VCR combo player, tons of DVDs and VHS movies, and lots and lots of really nice books!
My sister-in-law and I got busy with my label maker and labeled every single item. For the movies, we even labeled the movies and their cases. We’re hoping that these items will bring smiles and entertainment to children as they wait. Some will be waiting to see family members, others will be waiting to be taken to new foster homes, and still others will have to sit and wait while adults decide their future because they are still too young to have a say, but are old enough to know what is going on. My hope is that maybe for a few minutes, these books and movies will transport these children back to childhood, where they belong. Back to far away lands, fairytales and castles. Back to singing, dancing, and make-believe. Back to childhood.
314 days is way too long! I will NOT be making a paper chain countdown to represent that amount of time! That would be depressing! Instead, I have divided the time by weeks and we have about 44 of those left to last through! Here are some things I would like to do with my time!
1. Take the kids to the drive-in
2. Take the kids bowling
3. Visit a farm
4. Go to the beach
5. Eat healthier
6. Get pedicures with my daughters
7. Watch classic movies with my oldest
8. Watch my big kids play soccer
9. Watch my ballerina practice ballet
10. Write my soldier love letters
11. Send my soldier care packages
12. Swim in our pool
13. Make “Daddy Books” for each of my kiddos
14. Memorize scripture
15. Teach my daughter’s GA class
16. Pay off debt
17. Save money for a family vacation
18. Have a pool party
19. Make my soldier a monthly “memory book.”
20. Make a “Fun” Christmas card
21. Go on a “Girl’s night out!”
22. Read more books
23. Take kids on walks at the park
24. Sing loud in the car with my kiddos
25. Plant more flowers
26. Plant more blueberry bushes
27. Write letters to my grandpa/ call my grandpa
28. Do a Bible study
29. Finish decorating the living room
30. Talk to my soldier as much as possible
31. Take more pictures
32. Make “daddy blankets” for the babies
33. Lose ten pounds
34. Plan a special Christmas for the kids
35. Give more to others
36. Blog often
36. Write more of my prayers
37. Do more service work
38. Learn to make Kombucha tea
39. Exercise with friends
40. Help people
41. Snuggle my babies
42. Watch my oldest play basketball
43. Be kind to myself
44. Breath and relax often
314 days is too long! We will just take this deployment one day at a time!!!
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…”
The Army Wife’s Prayer
Give me the greatness of heart to see the difference between duty and his love for me.
Give me understanding that I may know, when duty calls him he must go.
Give me a task to do each day, to fill the time when he’s away.
And Lord, when he’s in a foreign land, keep him safe in your loving hand.
And Lord, when duty is in the field, please protect him and be his shield.
And Lord, when deployment is so long, please stay with me and keep me strong.
He’s leaving again… in only a few more days. This is torture! Tonight, I actually said the words, “tell me stuff,” to him. “What about?” he asked. “Anything… what you think about anything!” I replied. Then, I just sat there and watched him. I want to know every thought that is in his head right now! I want to remember all of this! I have to hold on to all of this!
Deployments are horribly difficult for military families. I am not special, I am not unique. These feeling has been felt by millions of women before me and they will be felt by millions after me. Anxiousness, fear, uneasiness about the unknown! I can do nothing to stop it, I have to let him go! All I can do is just pray!
Pray, pray, pray!
Today marks 8 months to the day that the babies came to live with us. I can hardly remember what life was like before that day! So much has changed and we are so happy! The circumstances in which “our babies” came into foster care breaks my heart, but I praise God every single day for allowing me to be their mommy (right now) and allowing our family to love them to the moon and back!
Looking back 8 months, I will use 16 words to describe that time… It is very hard to describe an entire month in two words, but I will try!
November- Getting acquainted
December- Sickness and stress
January- Uncertainty, but love
February- Fully attaching
March- Family and fun
April- Refreshing peacefulness
May- Accomplishments and joy
June- Wonder and excitement
Earlier today I wrote about the different ways in which my husband and I deal with impending separation. Due to his upcoming deployment, we will be physically separated for nearly 10-11 months. I deal with this by becoming emotional and clingy the days and weeks leading up to the separation and he gets busy “fixing things” and then emotionally checks out early.
So, this morning when we woke up and he asked what we had planned for the day and I said, “nothing,” he decided that today would be a good day to build “from scratch” a new platform for our king sized bed. “It will only take a few hours,” he said. I had no energy disagree with him. Did I want him to spend one of his last days with us in the hot sun sawing and hammering? Not necessarily, but I didn’t want to argue, so we started taking apart our room before we even ate breakfast.
Rewind a few months. It was back around April and it was nighttime. I was reading to the kids and everyone was sitting on my bed. The big kids were listening, but the babies were playing and right as I looked over at Baby Girl to check on her she reached for my jewelry box, grabbed it and dumped the entire thing and all of its contents onto the floor. Book over… We spent the next few minutes picking everything up, but one thing was missing! My engagement ring! I had put it in there before cleaning bathrooms earlier that day. So, I put everyone to bed and hubby and I searched! We took the sheets off the bed, no ring. We moved the nightstand, no ring. We vacuumed, no ring. My beautiful promise ring, turned engagement ring with it’s uniquely colored pearl that I have treasured for 14 years was gone.
Fast forward to this morning. My husband pulls the mattress off, then the box springs off of the rails. He moves everything to the corner of our room and as he is doing this, I see something shiny sparkling from beneath. Tucked into the very corner of the bed rails and formerly hidden by the box springs is my engagement ring! My engagement ring!!! My husband’s crazy idea to build me a new bed frame , just a few days before leaving for deployment gives me the greatest gift! My ring!!! I had been so sad that I wouldn’t have my beautiful ring to look at and twirl on my finger while missing my love these coming months! My ring, my ring, we found my ring! Now, on the nights alone, when I am feeling sad and lonely, I can look at my ring and remember the day he gave it to me, the day he put it on my finger. I will think of the man who picked it out and loves me more than anyone! I have my ring back! Thank you God for this gift!!!
I get incredibly clingy and emotional, he starts to push away. It is just how we deal. I want to make memories and take a million pictures of our time together. He wants to fix the walkway to the garbage cans in the back yard (because it is annoying) and build me a new bed. It is just how we deal. Each in our own way, we are trying to prepare our hearts and our minds for separation. It is not easy, it is not fun, it is part of Army life.