Lesson Learned

8.15.17

I learned a valuable lesson yesterday and one I don’t want to forget.  I got home from work and met Ryan in the driveway because he was headed back into work, we said a quick hello and goodbye and I headed into the house.  Little man was doing something which he loves to do and that is to hid and see if we can find him (he always hides in the same spot, so it is pretty easy, but we play along).  I “found” him and he talked a little bit and then asked if we could go outside to play.  If I am being 100% honest that is the last thing I wanted to do, not that I didn’t want to spend time with him but I felt like there were other things that I needed to take care of.  I had just walked in the door from a busy day and if I was going to go outside that meant I needed to change out of my work clothes and that meant dinner wasn’t going to get started like I had planned.  You see (for those of you that know me, you already know this) but I am a planner, organizer and I have things planned in my head so that I can get everything done.  But at this moment our little guy didn’t care if dinner was started, he didn’t care if I had been at work all day, he didn’t care if my “plan” was going to be messed up…he cared that I would go outside and play with him.

I did go outside and play, we played games he came up with, he made up rules I would have never imagined, he laughed, he screamed with excitement, he ran and played and was sweaty and dirty but he had the time of his life.  He finds joy in the simple things, his imagination goes wild with just one or two things to play with, it is so fun to see life through his perspective.

We did come back inside after awhile because dinner still needed cooked (even if it was later than what I had originally planned).  As I was cooking dinner he was completely content to play with his cars and trucks in the kitchen and he would stop and talk to me, etc.  Then he looked at me and said “will you play cars with me?”  Sure, why not…dinner will happen (maybe not until 8 p.m. at this rate) but today I would never get back, I would never again have these moments to be able to just play and laugh with him, so I got down on the floor and we had car races.  Then he got some of his other toys (the figure pictured above) and he was coming up with all sorts of things and as I was laying on the ground and looked at the figure he had set there I saw the dirt on the floor, I saw the dust on the bench and truthfully my first thought was I need to get up and clean this up.  But then I stopped…he didn’t care about the dirt on the floor or the dust on the bench he cared that I was spending time with him, that I was playing the racing games he came up with, with the rules only he could imagine.  I knew he was having fun but I didn’t grasp the full reality of how much fun he was having until this morning.  He said to me before we left the house “will you play cars with me again?”  You see the dirt is still on the floor, the dust is still on the bench, there are dishes in the sink, but in those moments last night he felt he was the most important.

Lesson learned…dust can wait, but little boys won’t stay little.  I think that this may be even more real for me because we don’t know when we might get a call that he is leaving us, or we might found out that he is staying indefinitely, we really don’t know.  So for now we will soak up these moments and continue to do all we can do to make him feel loved and treasured, to let him be a little boy for a little while longer and laugh and sing till his hearts content.

RLG

 

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Choices

8.09.17

Think how many choices you have already made today, think how many times you have weighed out the pros and cons related to the choice you were going to make, think how fast you made that choice.

Now think how “marred” your choices would be if in your (short) life all your normal had been turned upside, think how the choices of others had affected you so “negatively” and brought trauma and so much unknown into your life.  How different of choices would you make? or would you really care about the choices that you make?  or that the choices that you do make affect those that are caring for you in a negative, not so nice way?

There is so much unknown when we deal with a situation that is presented to us now as we care for our little man.  We try to think of why he made the “choice” he made when he makes a bad choice, we try to think of what his mind might be thinking when he made that decision, what he thinks the results of that choice might be, and does he realize his choices affect more than himself?

I told Ryan today that I feel we are learning more about parenting than we probably would have learned if we had been blessed with biological children, because we have had to approach parenting in a way that neither of us had experienced or the way we thought we would parent.  But thankfully we have each other to talk things through with and made decisions together when at all possible to see how we can make a positive impact and help our little guy work through different things he is dealing with that he may never tell us.

One day at a time! (or like this morning, oh second at a time)

RLG

Hodge-Podge…

8.7.17

There is so much to say, but it feels so hodge-podge just bear with me, this is definitely one those posts that makes sense to us but most likely will feel so “unconnected” to others.

Little man had some hard days at the beginning of the week but Thursday morning he woke up completely different than he had been, this was a HUGE answer to prayer.  You see he is 5 (almost 6) and he remembers EVERYTHING it seems from what he has experienced in the past.   So one small thing that seems insignificant to us can be HUGE for him.  One emblem on a car reminds him of people that he loves but that he doesn’t get to see hardly at all anymore.  One picture in a book can bring back a flood of memories, some good and some not so good.  One trip in the car can make him remember trips in the past.  One sighting of a dog that looks like his dog makes him reminisce about the dog that he loves but no longer sees.  But the opposite is true also, he knows that in our home he has his toys, his bedroom, his familiar things that he knows and things that are his and he loves to be at home in the familiar space.

He has been with us for 20 days…that is all but we quickly established a routine and the week days are very similar each day and he thrives on that routine.  He knows that Monday-Friday he goes to “school” for a couple of hours and then Ryan picks him up.  He knows that on Sunday we go to church.  He knows that the bedtime routine includes a song, Bible story, prayer and lots of hugs and kisses.  We also want him to know that we love him and each day the decisions we make we are trying to do what is best for him.

Ryan and I were talking last night before falling asleep how much we have learned in the last 20 days about parenting and how much we have yet to learn but are thankful that we don’t need to know everything right now, but take things one moment at a time. People have said to us many times in the last 3 weeks they don’t know how we are doing it but to be honest we don’t know how to do it either, except by God’s grace and wisdom for each new moment.  We never in a million years thought that our first experience as parents would be with a 5 year old, but God knew.  God knew exactly what that would look like.  Right now we have an overwhelming need that we didn’t foresee two years ago, when we made a huge decision but God knew and God has it completely under control.  Do we know how He is going to take care of that need?  Absolutely not, but He didn’t bring us to this point in our lives to just let us “hang out to dry” so we will trust knowing that His plan is perfect.

Our dear church family is doing a “Welcome to Parenthood” celebration and we are beyond blessed that they are celebrating with us this new chapter in our lives just as if he were our biological child, even though he is our foster son.  We are thankful that the Lord lead us to our church only a year ago when we moved an hour away from our families and our familiar territory.  Once again God had the perfect plan.

You see what I mean…complete mis-match of things but things we don’t want to forget and we want to be able to look back and remember.

RLG

 

Peaches ‘n Cream

8.2.17

This week we have been reminded that things aren’t always “Peaches ‘n Cream”.  Sunday night on our way home from church I have no idea how it came up but one of us said something about wanting Peaches ‘n Cream.  When I hear the phrase “Peaches ‘n Cream” I think, “life is good, things are going well”, etc.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so blessed and my life is very good, but sometimes there are bumps in the road.

Sunday night several hours after going to bed I hear over the baby monitor little man calling for “Daddy”.  I wake up Ryan and he goes quickly upstairs…as I listen I figure out that he had gotten sick.  I quickly gathered up some things and went up stairs to help out as well.  We got all of that taken care of and go back to bed and pray that he is okay and that he can go back to sleep.

Tuesday morning I worked from home until Ryan got off work and it was a rough morning.  It is obvious our little guy is dealing with so much and trying to process all the change that has happened in his short life.  Ryan was able to get him to talk and he shared what he was thinking and it was a small glimpse into how his little mind is thinking about all of these strange people, places etc.  But it was also a sharp dose of reality for me that even though I have done everything to be his “mother” for the last two weeks he doesn’t connect the dots to see that.  He sees me more of a reason to be able to go back to his birth mom, he thinks that if he doesn’t obey me that means he can go back to mom.  I will admit it was very painful to think that even though I love him and take care of him like a mom loves and takes care of their child he isn’t willing to accept that. They told us in training that things like this could happen, they warned us, prepared us, etc but for it to happen in your own home with a child that you have given every ounce of your energy too the last two weeks was a huge growing experience for me.

I am sure we will have more tough moments, I am sure that we will continue to have fun and joyous times as well and I am so thankful that each day is a fresh start to love and be loved by others and love, to be loved and to be forgiven by God.

Life isn’t always “Peaches ‘n Cream”

RLG

Chicken “Noodle” Soup

8.1.17

Little man told us on Sunday that he liked Chicken Noodle Soup!  I tucked that away in the back of my mind to plan to have some when the weather cools down but little did I know that Chicken “Noodle” soup would be served only one day later.

I have a very dear friend at work that is super sweet and we help each other out and just are a support for each other.  She has been so excited for us on this journey of foster care.  I have also met her mother several times and she volunteered to help me with an event last fall, she like her daughter is just so kind and genuine.

Fast forward to yesterday, she (mom) knocked on my office door and I was excited to see her it had been several months.  She had purchased a couple of games for our little guy but she also had a large cooler in her hand…she had 4 quarts of soup and 2 quarts of spaghetti sauce.  She wanted to give us some quick easy meals for those crazy insane days so we had something easy to prepare.  She wanted to be a blessing to us.  She wanted to support us in a way she was able.

I share this because she had NO idea that little man had just told us the day before that he loved Chicken “Noodle” Soup and neither of us had any idea that when Ryan picked him up from school that he had a fever and just wanted to lay around.  But…God knew exactly what we could use, God used this sweet lady to be a blessing to us in a most unusual way…chicken noodle soup.  Little man loved the soup for dinner and we have several more quarts for future enjoyment.

This was a HUGE reminder to me, that I can be a blessing to so many people…so often I don’t think I have enough to give, so often I am embarrassed because what I can give might not be “good enough”, but I just need to be a blessing no matter what, I need to find ways (no matter how simple) to help others.  We never know what God is going to teach us through this journey and I need to be willing to learn and grown more than just in helping little man but also in every day life.

RLG

Borrowed Bike

7.28.17

*Note – Ryan and I decided to start this blog for us to be able to look back and see all that has transpired and how God has worked and to also hopefully one day show our child our part of their journey.  So this post especially is for us to remember one of those moments that gave us a little more understanding into the little man we have in our home now.

Wednesday night our neighbor asked if we wanted to borrow a bike for little man (it had training wheels on it and everything, just what he needed), we said YES! and were very thankful because we do have getting him a bike in the works but it just hasn’t happened yet (another wonderful story of God’s provision).  So we tucked it away in the garage because we knew showing him at 8:30 p.m. wouldn’t be very wise parenting ;).

Thursday I stopped after work and picked up a helmet and I was beyond excited to see him ride his “borrowed” bike that night.  I got home and put the helmet aside until it was time to reveal the new “toy”.  Little man was sitting on my lap and I said “hey buddy, someone gave us something special for you to use for a little bit, our neighbor gave us a bike for you to ride”.  His face dropped and he looked as if he was going to cry…Ryan and I looked at each other, we couldn’t understand because he had mentioned a bike several times and had even wanted to ride when Ryan had taken him to another neighbors house that has several little boys.  Ryan said “hey, what’s wrong, what are you thinking?” He said “I already have a bike, my bike is at my other mom’s (his former foster mom) house and it goes faster than this bike and it has red on it (red is his favorite color).”  My heart just broke and I couldn’t hold back the tears, this poor little guy, only 5 years old has experienced so much change, so much trauma, so much heartache…way more than any child should have to go through.  Ryan talked with him and showed him the positive of riding the “borrowed” bike and then told him where he could find his helmet.  When I was looking at helmets there were so many to choose from but my eye kept going to a red and black one, I am thankful that is what I bought because he was so excited that his helmet had red on it.

There was a very happy ending to the borrowed bike, he road for an hour and a half and laughed and had such a good time, at that point he didn’t care that it wasn’t the bike he had before, he was just thrilled to be outside riding bike.

They tell you in training that things like will probably happen to try to help you prepare for what could happen when a child deals with these types of changes, etc but to hear it in training and to experience it are two totally different things.  I was just so sad for him because even something as simple as a borrowed bike brought things back to his mind of what he had been used to.  I was sad for him that he has had to live in different homes and adjust and adapt to new people, new surroundings and new toys.  But the sadness quickly turned to joy when he was riding his bike and singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, at that point he didn’t have a care in the world.

RLG

Singing

7.24.2017

Remember in the Hot Potato post when I mentioned that after I got little man to give up the games in bed, he wanted to sing…well it just wasn’t as simple as singing one song.

I told him we could sing one song (he LOVES to sing) he reaches for my hands and holds them and picks Jesus Loves Me.  But wait…let me go back and explain a little.  On Thursday just him and I were in the car for a long period of time so I started singing “Sunday School” songs, he seemed to really like them and would start asking for them by name or give me a couple of words of the song and I would know which one he was wanting.  We sang and sang and sang, but his favorite by far was Jesus Loves Me.  So back to Thursday night…he reached for my hand and holds it and I told him he could pick which song, he picked “Jesus Loves Me”.  We sing it (he tried to sing as many words as he knew), we finished that song and he says “just one more?” well I totally gave in to that cute face and beautiful brown eyes and I said okay, he picked “ABC”.  After that one was finished I got up to leave and he wouldn’t let go of my hand and he says “can we sing Jesus Loves Me again?”, weak Momma caved, how could I resist?

This boy of ours has completely changed our home for the better!  He is growing us in ways we had no idea, but it is so good!  I am thankful to be his Momma if only for a short period of time or forever we will never forget the impact he has had on our lives so quickly!