I never intended to let so much time pass before checking in...and now it seems there is so much going on that I do not know how to catch up. Because the intent of this blog is chronicling for posterity as much as anything else, I fear I must resort to hastily recorded bullet points!
It is the second week of May and somehow my children are two weeks away from becoming teenagers and the completion of their first year of middle school. I haven't been able to really process this passage of time in a meaningful way, but I am definitely "in the thick of" watching their strengths and struggles reveal themselves and leaning hard into the Lord for wisdom on what coaching is necessary when--and how to continue to make home a safe place where they are free to truly relax and feel loved and built up to return to the arena of life.
I am pleased with where they are, who they are now and the tiny glimpses I get into the possibilities of where they are heading. But I am also grateful we have 6 more years together! As the clock's ticking gets louder I am increasingly aware we cannot teach them everything or launch them as perfect adults--we must narrow down our objectives to include lifelong skills like seeking truth, building strong community, and faith in their loving, Sovereign God. (Much easier to write in a sentence than to implement line upon line into human lives.)
Our family has changed a lot recently. I accidentally ran over our beloved pet cat in the driveway a couple of weeks ago. It was truly horrific. The accident, the dealing with the aftermath as I was home alone, the telling of my husband and children, and the grief. Through it all there were powerful lessons about telling the truth--even when it is hard, and the beautiful grace and comfort my children and husband offered to me despite their own sadness.
About a week and a half after the accident, my children gifted me with a kitten for Mother's Day. A couple of days after that we welcomed a new foster child into our family-- a delightful, fun and high energy 6 year old boy.
As I type this we are on our 5th day together. Much like a 2nd or 3rd time mother, it seems this transition has been smoother than the previous ones--largely because we have been here before and can recognize many parts of the situation as simply being phases--we know they can/will pass with time and investment. I have also learned to love hard and laugh often. It feels smoother to not be dramatically rising and falling with every extreme high and low.
This week we had our first court hearing. It was scheduled to begin at 9am, but we sat in the hallway waiting for almost 3 hours due to a delay. Directly across from me was a darker skinned woman with a familiar face. After about an hour we recognized each other as the biological Mom and the right-now Mom of the same precious little boy. Our affinity for one another was immediate and we spent the next hour and a half getting to know each other and discussing our shared young man. I don't know where this is all heading, but what a blessing to begin with a face to face, heart-to-heart. I was able to assure her that we are not trying to "take" her boy and we want nothing more than for them to become a healthy family again. This relationship is beginning as a partnership--not us versus her, but both of us for HIM. I pray it continues.
I also pray he learns to sleep. We are on a newborn schedule with multiple wake ups each night and days that begin before 5am.
Little man is calling so this is all for now...