When the child you’re trying to help hurts someone you love…

It was hard to hear.  I sat putting Baby Girl’s shoes on as we got ready to go on a family walk.  She looked up at me and said, “T mad mom, mom… T mad!”  I didn’t quite know where this was coming from and so I asked her, “why baby?”  “He pinches me all the time mom, he pinches me.”  “What?” I asked her, now I was concerned!  “T pinches me all the time,” she said and she used her pointer and thumb to pinch herself on the arm, showing me what he did to her.  My heart sank.  My first reaction, I wanted to cry!  My baby had been hurt!  She is so little!  Only almost three years old and T will turn eight next week.  He towers over her.  Why would he be pinching her?  

I get it.  He’s hurting.  Hurt kids, hurt others.  But, why my baby?  Why my littlest one who cannot defend herself?  My heart was broken.  

We know we have to catch him in the act to be able to confront this behavior.  If we ask him about it without seeing him do it, he will just deny it.  We know from experience that the best way to deal with T and a negative behavior is to address it when we see it. 

Mostly, this just makes me sad.  I’m mad too, don’t get me wrong, but mostly sad.  T has been hurt and he is still hurting, so he hurts. It’s “normal” and I get it, but it still makes me very sad! 

Long Distance Daddy

Our Army Daddy leaves again in a week.  He isn’t going overseas this time, so that is a bonus, but he will still be far away.

He’s packed.  He’s doing all of those “around the house chores” that mostly daddies do.  He is painting, fixing, and doing the things that use big fun power tools!  He is so handy and for that I am very greatful!  

We will miss our full time daddy!  It has been so nice to have him home full time for three whole months!  Life is so much nicer when daddy is around, but he has a job and it takes him away.  I’m just greatful we have had this time together as a family to connect and bond.  He has played catch in the front yard, danced in the living room and watched basketball and soccer games.  It has been glorious!  

We’re back to long distance daddy in just one week.  It will be tough, but we’ll get through!  We’ve done it for two years come this May.  We’re not pros by any means, but it’s our “normal” now.  

Almost!!!

It is almost “official!”  Today was signing day!  The day where we signed the paperwork!  We now have physical custody of our Baby Girl and she is no longer considered a “foster child.”  Now, we just need a court date and a judge to make it all legal!  Soooo, soon she will be our’s!  We are all so very happy!   

Adoption Home Placement Agreement

We will sign the “adoption home placement agreement” and all of the “paperwork” for Baby Girl this Thursday!  I cannot wait!  I’m cleaning the house spotless and making something yummy for all of us to eat that morning!  It is going to be glorious and I’m going to photograph the whole thing!  I won’t have delivery room photos for Baby Girl’s baby book, so I want to get pictures of everything I can and make it as special as possible!  She is going to be our daughter!!!!  We are so happy!!! 

She hasn’t done anything they’ve asked, but blames it on them.

I would be her biggest cheer leader!  I would listen to her worries, talk things out with her, offer help and support, and be “on her side,” but she refuses.  She refuses to do anything positive or take any steps to reunify with her boys.  Foster care is so hard!  I want nothing more than for these boys to go home to their mama right now!  For her to be their hero!  For her to come through for them!  But… She isn’t.  She is going on vacation to a beach resort, buying all sorts of things for herself and criticizing the very people who are trying to help her!  I’m so mad some days, I could just scream!  So, I keep rocking the baby, feeding him, loving him and changing him.  I keep talking to T about telling the truth and helping him with his homework.  I keep tucking them in at night, praying with them/ for them and treating them as if they were my own.  But, the truth is they are not and they won’t be.  There are four of them scattered in three foster homes and they need to be reunited.  One way or another we need to get these brothers under the same roof again.  I will fight for that for them because no matter what they deserve to be together! 

We are in this together!

Our fostering agency is getting more calls than ever from the state to place children.  The rise in need for quality foster homes is rising faster than funding and available homes.  Children are being separated into state homes, group homes, or homes in counties hours away from where they came into care.  

At first, I got mad about the fact that our agency couldn’t do more.  I wondered how in the world this was happening and children were suffering because adults and groups of people who were supposed to be taking care of this problem seemingly to me, weren’t.  Then, one night we got a call.  There were four children, did we know anyone who could take all of them together?  Calls were made, foster parents from our agency were frantic to help, but in the end the siblings were separated.  It broke my heart!  I could NOT imagine a 4,5,7, and 8 year old being placed separately because of a shortage of funds and homes that could take all four of them together.  It broke me.  I wrote a long email to our agency begging for help to fix this problem!  And, guess what!  All of the anger and frustration I was feeling about “why nobody was doing anything about it,” turned into me asking, “can I help do something about this?”  After many emails and phone calls, I was given the go ahead to spread the word!  I’ve created a group of area foster parents, adoptive parents, churches and individuals who want to help!  I’ve written our family’s testimony about fostering and how God has used fostering to change our lives.  I’m traveling to area churches, sharing and asking for help!  I can hardly express the joy it brings me to be part of the solution.  Bringing more people into awareness about the crisis we are facing.  After all, aren’t we all in this together!?!