I rarely blog anymore. I rarely even update my facebook status unless it’s something funny my son, Sam has said, or a vague comment about the stress of having a large family. I don’t have time to blog and the things I think about sharing on facebook are either to personal/private to my heart, or confidential to my extra kiddos’ lives. So I share with my husband, my family, and my fellow soldiers in the foster trenches…some of it I bottle in to deal with later.
But Kirk and I rarely have time alone together to share our thoughts and feelings. When we do it’s a struggle to leave the stress of caring for our kids and family behind. I want to relax and enjoy my wonderful husband, but it seems to take work to put the stress to the side. Our marriage is stronger than it has ever been and I praise the Lord for His grace in that. It grows as we struggle together through this calling of caring for “hurt children” that the Lord has placed on our family. Graciously God finds little bits of time to give us rest.
Our two littlest kiddos have a visit with their dad on Wednesday mornings. We’ve been trying to use that time to have a date. This past Wednesday was the first time we didn’t have something else that had to happen or somewhere else one of us had to be (car issues, field trips with other kids, etc.). It was wonderful to have a whole hour to sit together and talk (go ahead and laugh that a “whole hour” seems like a lot these days). I told him that at any point I felt like all the emotions I’ve been bottling up were going to come out in waves of tears. I managed to hold them in at that moment, sitting in the window of Einstein Bagels…I’m not a huge fan of crying in public.
Instead we went home and greeted our cheerful littles and moved on with lunch and naps. Then the mad rush to clean the house before our foster licensing worker came to visit and ask how we’re doing with having five kids. Any major changes in your life? Sign this, date that. Have you done any more training hours?
Then we moved on to our next topic of conversation: Adoption Subsidy Paperwork!!!! That’s right, we’re getting to keep Little D. It’s been a bit of a crazy journey over the past 15 months with several unexpected turns of events. We’ve desperately wanted to keep him forever and things just kept coming up…and God kept showing up and saying, “Nope, he’s supposed to be a Ward forever.” (There’s always still a small chance that something else crazy could happen but my mustard seed sized faith is resting in God’s sovereignty over his life.) Strangely we found out that we’d get to keep him right in the midst of some of his worst behavioral regressions. It’s very sobering to accept the calling to have a kid when you are in the midst of dealing with their rages and aggression and anger. It’s so much easier to say “yes” to the little baby bundles that sleep all day and just want to be snuggled. But there is a confidence in the Lord that has caused us to never waver in our commitment to being D’s family forever, even though we know his struggles so intimately.
It looks like by the end of the year he’ll be ours forever. New birth certificate. We can post his handsome face all over the web if we want. A “new” start for his life (though it really started 15 months ago). And a new name. This is when the waves of tears started to flow. I couldn’t even tell our licensing worker the name we’ve chosen for him, it has such deep meaning to our journey and his journey. It’s makes it seem so real, to say his name out loud, like this is really going to happen. We get to keep the little boy full of energy and giggles and questions. This little boy full of anger and anxiety and a desperate need for attention. How do we name someone we already know? How do we honor his biological family? How do we honor his cultural heritage? How do we honor his future family and our Biblical heritage? Our other kids each have two names which honor our family and our Biblical heritage? But Kirk found a perfect name and I can’t wait to share it…sometime at the end of the year.
Psalm 9:7-12 But the LORD sits enthroned forever; he has established his throne for justice, and he judges the worlds with righteousness; he judges the peoples with uprightness. The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, and stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. Sing praises to the LORD, who sits enthroned in Zion! Tell among the peoples his deeds! For he who avenges blood is mindful of them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.