Friday, December 31, 2010

The new year

My cousin wrote last week about a fast she is going to do starting tomorrow. The 21 day Daniel Fast. It is a fast that Daniel did in the Old Testament for 3 weeks, or 21 days. When I first read about it I saw that he started this fast for 10 days but then ended up doing it for 3 weeks. So, that's what I might do. Start on 1/1/11 and end on 1/11/11.

Basically, the idea is to start the new year by cleansing and renewing. This particular fast is eating vegan and only having water to drink (or soy milk). It means giving up two of my favorite things... coffee and chocolate. I don't even drink regular coffee, but I'm definitely going to miss it. It keeps me warm. It is yummy. But I'll deal.

Anyway, this week has been one of reflection for me. I'm also looking forward. So, this fits right into where I'm at right now. How are you handling the new year?

Happy New Year... :)

Also, I'm reading two new books. One of which is called Adopting the Hurt Child. I'm not reading it because of Lil M or adoption, per se. I'm reading it to keep up on my training hours for fostering. It's good so far and I'll try to post a review when I'm done. What I said about parenting a hurt child differently than a protected child is what they write about. I recognize that the hurting children need a safe place and that normally people don't understand where they are coming from. They see the bad behavior but not the reason behind it. We must look at the hurt child and know that they are NOT coming from the same place we came from. They didn't have relationships like we had growing up. Even when we think our lives were dysfunctional, theirs are 100 TIMES worse. We can't even imagine what they've been through, and frankly, most of us don't want to either. And if we can't make ourselves go there or be conscious of those situations, then we'll always parent from where WE came from. But we must parent from where THEY came from. Meet them where they are. Just like Jesus meets us where we are in our brokenness. That's my $.02 for today. :)

Blessings and Peace.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Quiet after the rush

This week has been quiet after last week's rush to Christmas. This is affording me the opportunity to get caught up on my budget, bills, laundry, etc... I want to go through Lil M's and my clothes and her toys this week and make another trip to the local thrift store. I'd also like to maybe get some quilting done this week... for the first time in many months. Basically, I'd like to stay close to home and get the basics done and rest.

This is a good time to pause and reflect on the year behind us as well as the upcoming year. For me, it was a life-changing year. At the end of 2009 I took my foster placement of the then 17 YO "T". She is a good girl. She's had a tougher life than any child should have to have, and yet she's responsible, capable and respectful to those she cares about. Under the tough talk there is a sweet girl who just wants to be loved. She changed my parenting for the better. She challenged me. I was able to see God's grace in her by the mere fact that she was broken and yet there was always hope.

You can't put or demand the same expectations from a broken child that you can a protected child. Their motives may seem objectionable sometimes, but they are always operating out of a place of "hurt" not health. They didn't necessarily learn the same manners or rules other children do. They were taught to fend for themselves, no matter what, from a very early age. They are taught that you can trust no one. Everyone is out to hurt you or use you. No wonder they lash out. No wonder they don't trust us. No wonder they put walls up.

T left our home Dec 11. Lil M and I both miss her and I pray that she is doing well. I pray for her child, too. And I pray that I've touched her heart like she's touched mine. We had our ups and downs, but frankly we had many more ups than downs. I'm thankful for that, and am hoping that I helped her along her way... and that she remembers us.

As for the coming year, I do wonder what'll come on the fostering front. We'll see. In addition to that, I am working on my Masters program and am hoping to enjoy it.

Lil M will start kindergarten next August, which just amazes me. She is the light of my life. We're having fun right now and Christmas was nice. Not sure what we'll do yet on New Years. We might go see a movie or get one that we like at home. I doubt she'll make it until the ball drops, but this might be the first year to try. :)


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dad impressed me

This past week has been a bit difficult with T leaving and all. Lil M keeps asking why she left. Mommy did she leave because she was mad at you? Well, yes and no. Me telling her she couldn't go to her BF's house made her mad and she lashed out... and then I responded. What I said to her wasn't untrue, but it was a bit unkind. And it upset her. And I understand that and take full responsibility for it. But she had wanted to be gone the day she got to my house a year ago. I think she lasted this long because she is pregnant and didn't feel like she had a choice.

The thing I find a bit disconcerting is how people have reacted to her leaving. Not everyone, of course, but some people have made comments about how they didn't know how I had handled the situation up to this point ... that no sane person they know would have fostered. Ouch. They didn't say it that way... they said they didn't know anyone who would do what I've done... no sane ones anway. A biting remark, for sure. Though, I do know that's not how it was intended.

But then, there are those who have been more encouraging than I would have even thought. My Dad is one of those. He called me three times yesterday (I only talked to him once), to check up on me/us. That was unexpected and very appreciated. He didn't ask about the situation or about the specifics, he just asked if I was OK. I thought that was very kind of him. It does seem like he knows how to come out of the woodwork and support me when big things are going on, and I appreciate that.

I don't know what the future holds in the way of my fostering. I am licensed and plan to give it another shot. I don't know who or what age or when. But, I do believe that when the time is right, it'll happen.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

I ordered our Christmas cards tonight... for those of you who I want to send these... here's a sneak peek. :)

Retro Ornaments Brown Christmas
View the entire collection of cards.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Joy

I got Lil M a "meow pillow" today... so we took some fun pics... and got some Christmas pics at the same time. She is my joy.

Peace. And, Merry Christmas!!! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Can't make them stay

So, my foster daughter has decided to leave. She left Saturday. It is NOT the best thing for her or for the baby... but she is 18 and is allowed. I'm waiting to hear back from my agency about a meeting she agreed to have with them later this week. Then, I'll know if she's gone for good or will be coming back.

I can't say I'm not hugely surprised, even though she said she was going to stay with me until she graduated. But I am sad and dissappointed. I was hoping to be there for the birth of Gabe. I was hoping to help her get through HS and onto college. No idea what will happen with her schooling now. But it is out of my hands.

I think my family and friends will be saddened and surprised, too, if she doesn't come back. I think I'm not the only one who's learned a lot this year, and grown to care for T. I've grown to care for her a great deal and miss her already. And I worry. It's what us Moms do.

Please pray for Lil M's understanding and for T and her situation. And for the next young person that I might foster.


Saturday, December 11, 2010


Today was my last day of class for this semester. I did my presentation... not quite as well as I wanted to do it, but I got through it. Prof said I should be more confident when I speak about things I know. He's right. I was nervous for some reason... and I was talking about something I know well.

Tonight I'm trying to finish up my final exam. I have two questions completed of the 4... and the other two partly done. My goal is to get them done tonight if possible.

I was going to take a class over Christmas, but it looks like I might not do that now. I thought T would stay with me until at least May, but it seems she might not. She might leave before the baby is even born. It's not been a very good day. Hopefully, I'll have better news to share by the beginning of the week.

I'm not really motivated right now, but I must finish this exam.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Counting down

Well, it's about 5.5 weeks, actually, until T delivers. She is excited... I'm nervous. I'm wrapping up this semester at school and T will be out of school for Christmas here soon. She will get to do school from home during her maternity leave. I'm praying and hoping she can keep up with her work so she can graduate and keep her grades up.

Lil M and I had fun dancing last night, reading a book and me braiding her hair. I got her some stuff to start her big girl room... but am thinking I'd like to get her a new bed. So, I've got to make a decision about that... and the timing. She wants a guitar for Christmas, and I might go back to see if they still have any.

I think I need to either start quilting again, or pair down my fabric stash. The reason it comes to mind right now is because I'd like to have the living room a bit more nicely set up for Christmas, and it'd be kind of nice to get that moved out for now. At the same time, I'd like to make Mia another blanket and one for the baby, too. Of course, now I'm involved in school again...

I've been reading Lil M the story of Jesus' birth. She likes the fact that Mary had a baby in her belly... read me the story of Mary with the baby in her belly, Mommy... quite cute. :) Trying to help her learn why Christmas is so important to me vs. the whole Santa hype.