on one month

four weeks ago today we became a family of 8.  four weeks.  it’s hard to believe.

i still feel like i am living the life of someone else.

i’m still very, very, very tired.  but, the exhaustion i felt in the very beginning is gone.

the falling limp on the floor at any sign of discipline has faded.  eye contact is improving.  a certain little girl still wants to act like a baby sometimes, but these days it’s more for play than love and affection.  and there’s no more baby head banging.  well, except for the attempt today when he was pulling a sharpie off of my desk and i told him no no.

the days are long.  balancing schooling our boys and caring for the three littles is challenging.  i still haven’t written about homeschooling and we’ve already decided to send everyone back to school in the fall.

16 month old kiddos don’t always nap when you want them to.  i knew this.  i’ve lived through it.  but living through it again is tiring.

trips to the store are getting eaiser.  yes, i’ve taken all of the kids by myself.  we did this the first week they were with us.  they were loud.  there was crying.  there was attempted choking-one of the littles with one of the other littles.  i was involved in no way except to stop it from happening. there were rude comments made to passers by.  there was disrespect given to the cashier.  once we were all reloaded into the van, i stood outside of it with tears in my eyes wondering what the heck i was doing.

you have to keep doing these things, these normal things, over and over again.  they have to become normal.  going to the store, the gas station, the bank, out to eat.  it’s all new.  it’s all strange.  it’s all hard work.  i want to quit every time but i know unless we keep going back, they’ll never learn.

this life, this foster care life, is not easy.  there is so much unknown.  we have no idea what the outcome will be, but we are called to be here anyway.  there are bio-family visits.  there are learned behaviors that are sometimes terrifying and sometimes inappropriate.  there are simple things, like eating at the table-not laying on it and putting your plate on top of your head, that need to be worked on.  there’s crying out for mommy, but a mommy who literally can’t help right now, so it’s useless but they don’t understand that.  and honestly, neither can we.  there is the day in and day out work of trying to create a life for children who’ve only known abuse and neglect, and it’s hard.

a mystery gift giver (this is a post in the making) has left two gifts at our home for me.  recently i was wearing this one
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and our little 16 month old muchkin kept grasping it.  he wasn’t trying to yank it from my neck, rather, he was holding on to it, as if he knew it meant something.  something big.

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and it does mean something big.  the Lord is allowing my heart to be broken every day for these little ones, for their circumstances, for their birth family.  this little hand was holding on to my heart.

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