Happy Black Day! One year ago today, we became a family. One year ago, I became a mom and Jared became a dad. The last year has gone by quickly but at the same time, it feels like we have always been together. There have been great strides made this year and we have faced great challenges. One of our older kiddos struggling with bed wetting is now dry! “The littles” are becoming more self sufficient while the older kids are learning how to help make dinner (including reading directions) and have blossomed in school. We are still dealing with anxiety and parentification which rear their ugly head at times. They are typical kids, listening and following directions is a recurring focus in our house.
Anxiety. I have been convicted recently of its own hold in my life.
We were expecting to see the light at the end of the tunnel last week but instead heard the word that no one wanted to hear, “continuance”. To say the system has failed these kids is a bit harsh. Anyone who has spent any time in the foster care system understands that the parents are favored in almost every decision. No one wants to be the person who terminates a mother’s rights. I wouldn’t want that responsibility either. Children, resource parents, and caseworkers are essentially powerless. While we are continually assured that there is nothing to fear, there is security that comes with the name change our kids have been waiting a year for. The fear of all of the remote possibilities has given me such anxiety. My daughter, my “mini-me”, who also struggles with anxiety has suffered greatly. I have noticed anxiety in the other older kiddos too but she and I seem to feed off of each other’s anxieties. My anxiety is no longer my own, it is hers too and learning how to control it has been a priority in my quiet moments.
I have not even come close to mastering my anxiety, however, I would like to share with you what has helped. Making time (even if it means getting up earlier and staying up later) to quietly reflect, read my Bible, and pray has made a huge difference. I apparently need extra grace because I have to do this twice per day, not just once. I feel like those quiet moments are my reality check and are the moments I can actually let the little things go that I’ve spent all day holding on to. I call it coffee with Jesus and everyone knows that if mom doesn’t get coffee with Jesus, it’s going to be a long day!
I am not very good at praying. I get distracted easily or just plain tired and end up giving up 99% of the time. I’ve started keeping a prayer journal where I simply lay my thoughts and requests out for God. I will admit, most nights this is really hard for me and I’ve started requiring myself to fill the entire page before bed, otherwise each entry would only be one or two lines. However, nothing else has provided as much peace in my heart.
12 months have passed but this journey has lasted 33 months so far for these precious kiddos. Please continue to pray for our family, we trust that God has a perfect plan and perfect timing. Above all else, my biggest fear is that they will be separated from each other so I ask for your prayers even though this outcome is highly unlikely. Please also pray for the entire foster system. There are many orphaned kids just like ours in limbo and my heart breaks for them too.
Thank you for your support and encouragement. Keep it coming!
For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! Isaiah 64:4 NLT