Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Monday. Not funny.

I spent the weekend at a Women's Retreat for our church. It was a blessing. Not restful, fun. Not draining, renewing. Lots of food and laughter and deep discussions. Sharing and testimonies and reaching out. Stepping outside my comfort zone, leading, following, talking, listening, ...singing...lots and lots of worship. It was a time of growing and strengthening friendships and starting new ones. A time of conviction to be a better mom and wife. A digging in to the Word of God and a burying myself to the world and reclaiming my life for Him. It was wonderful....

...and then I came home.

Don't get me wrong. I loved it when the kids all came running up to me and barely knocked me over to get a hug with mom. The dog was whimpering and jumping, Trevor was handsome and waiting, the house was clean, laundry caught up. It was good. I spent the afternoon snuggled on the couch with five faces nearby, some nearer than others. We got caught up on each other's weekend. I went to work when the kids went to bed and enjoyed the quiet with my husband that night. Slept peacefully and soundly....

...and then I woke up.

The day seemed to be off to a good start, just the regular chaos that a large family on a Monday brings with it. I was exhausted from late night laughter and sharing and soon discovered there was no caffeine left in the house anywhere. This after a weekend of pop and chocolate and with 7 children sitting around my table. I put out a 911 status on Facebook and to my complete surprise and delight my friend showed up at the door in response with two cherry coke zeros in her hand. Love that girl. Evidently this Monday was a test. I'v told you this before....God thinks He's funny. He like to joke with me. Test me. See how renewed and convicted and reclaimed I really am.

By 11:00 that day, our neighbors had heard some difficult news and I offered to bring dinner for them that evening. One of the children I watch had fallen from the playset and was not able to put any weight on her precious chubby two year old leg. My water got shut off because we (and by we, I mean my husband) had forgotten for several months to pay the bill and by the time we did it didn't post in time. They couldn't turn it back on til Tuesday. So here I am with a house full of children, one whom's leg might be broken and dinner to cook for the neighbors, three kids that need to poop with no running water in the house, and it's time to pick up my morning Kindergarteners. Nice. Hi Monday. Funny God.

My friend happened to drop by and was a witness to all this fun. I go to plan B for the neighbors dinner and throw all the stuff in the crockpot. My friend stays with the crew while I took the suspected broken leg to Kindergarten pick up with me. When I returned it was obvious that the little one needed to have her leg x-rayed so a call to her dad while fixing peanut butter sandwiches and we were back in business. I was asking my friend if this day was really happening and telling her how lucky my husband was that this all happened fresh off a retreat and my "I love Jesus" bank was filled to capacity. As I'm putting grapes on everyones plate grapes are rolling everywhere all over the floor....yep...hole in the bag. My friend is just laughing and I don't think can believe it herself. Meanwhile every child is singing a different song and I have gone to the sink to use it a half a dozen times to the drip drip drip of my turned off water! Funny stuff. Breathe. I love Jesus. I love my husband. I love my life. I love Mondays. Of course, we are almost out of milk and juice since I've been gone all weekend but I managed to get everyone something to drink.....combining the last two juices to make it a full glass.

I actually handle it pretty good. I'm laughing myself. I'm not yelling at my husband. I'm telling him quietly how thrilled I am with the predicament and his role in it. He too is very happy I am just returning from Retreat.

I spend naptime pulling weeds to work out my energy and forgetting I won't have water to wash my hands in or wipe the sweat off my face with. Lovely. When my husband comes home and asks what we are doing for dinner, I calmly reply that I do not know what he and the children are doing for dinner but that I am going thru Wendy's on my way to work. I tell him to use the baby wipes to wipe of all the important parts of the children and I had us lined up for showers at my friends house when I get home. I tell him it's fine. We are blessed. Some families never have running water and we can deal with this for 24 hours....or at least he can. uh hum.

Work is quiet and uneventful. I am cleaning a vet clinic after hours. I am a bit alarmed when I notice for the first time, a 'fecal centrifuge' machine in the lab that seems to be whirring poo at 100 miles a minute and I think.....surely not, God, that wouldn't be Godly, right?

I am able to laugh at it when I lay my head down to sleep and think to myself...tomorrow is a new day. I am so thankful for his Grace each new day....

and then Tuesday morning...

...when my 3 year old wakes, I realize she had been playing beauty shop with her 5 year old sister because half of her long twists all over her head are now only 3/4 of an inch long. The 3 year old whose hair I have been growing out for a year and a half now. The children I left in the care of my very capable ,even thought the water is turned off, husband. Breathe. I love Jesus. I love my children. Just back from Retreat. Funny stuff, God. Good one.

I send the 'hairdresser' upstairs before my Ally McBeal moment of me pulling an Edward Scissors hand on her comes to fruition. I'm thinking that isn't rational or loving and won't get my point across. I decide that I can't even take out the 'victim' or 'clients' twists to see the true damage because the last 24 hours have used up every ounce of patience and 'renewal' I had stored up! That is for another day.

As the day goes on and the water comes on, I am able to really laugh at the timing of these events. I am able to realize that all of these things are minor compared to other struggles people are having. I catch up on the pile of dirty dishes that has accumulated, flush all the toilets in the house again and again. Start the laundry that is sitting and waiting on me, all the baths to be taken and I boil things just because I can. Water anyone?

Thankful tomorrow is a new day!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Just checkin' in.

Got a call from my dear friend at Safe Families today. MOM had called her and she wanted to let me know. I cannot explain the feeling I get when I hear those words over the phone. The reason both saddens me and brings me peace at the same time. She called to see how the children were...if they were happy and healthy. I felt happy for them that she took an interest. She also called to tell her to tell us thank you. She expressed her gratitude that they were with a loving family and safe and secure. She has fallen on hard times again. She was feeling confident in her choice. This news makes me feel relief a bit....not that she continues to struggle but that the kids aren't with her while she does...Again. Relief that she knows her decision was truly in their best interest and that it was the only one to stop the cycle of generational dysfunction for them. It also brings me a great sadness that is hard to put in words. She was able to hold down a job for the past 9 months for the first time ever. The company closed so she lost her job. She was sick and in the hospital for a bit and her purse was stolen with her cell phone and all of her identification. She lost her apartment. Can't get a job because she has no ID...not even her birth certificate. She is on the streets again. Tonight, P and L would be with her. On the streets. Thank you, Jesus, that they are not. That they are both tucked tightly into their warm beds with their stuffed animals all around them and they are safe. Thank you, Jesus.

My friend at Safe Families helped her to order her Birth Certificate and passed on some ideas for a job. MOM wanted to make sure we were all still praying for her. She is still going to church. The thought that this young lady is out on the streets, that the woman that chose life for my children is sleeping where violence is common and she is alone makes me feel physically sick. The fact that her issues are deeper than I can even begin to fix or comprehend brings me frustration with my limitations. The idea that she gave them to us for a chance at life makes me thankful. The hope I have in the love of Jesus makes me weep. I pray for her nightly. I pray for her tonight face down on the ground. I have prayed for her since the beginning for a friend that she can trust that will take her under her wing and show her how to do life. I'm not sure she is capable of it. I don't know. I am so so sad for her. I feel helpless that I cannot do more. I feel angry at our broken world and that when a child grows up without a family, this is all too often the result and then it starts all over again. I am grateful that she believes in Jesus and will someday have healing in Heaven that she can't seem to find here on Earth.

I do not know why this is the story of two of my children. I do not know why their lives have began with such pain but I do know that they will have an opportunity to use it for His glory and I pray that it is just a small part of their testimony someday. I pray their story will bring others to see the gift of Jesus and how we are all adopted into His family, and how their adoption into ours is just the beginning.

Please pray for MOM.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

first day jitters....for mom!

I know, I know. I've been missing in action. Sorry. The past few weeks have been full tilt chaotic craziness around here. Two weeks my husband was gone. Two days after he came home, two of his aunts came to stay for a week and then there is the back to school meetings, sports starting, church responsibilities, starting a new little job and getting the little guy I watch through the school year back ....So, I'm behind. Not to mention the fact that our computer crashed and it is yet to be determined if she will ever work again. I'll get to all of this soon...but let me get to today! Today!!!

Today, my soon to be son, started pre-school. Today, my L walked out of our van with the biggest grin on his face and walked proudly and happily into his new pre-school. It made me a little teary, to be honest. Here was this little guy, that just over a year ago, had to go home with the director of Safe Families because his behavior was so aggressive that she was afraid to place him with anyone else. Here was this little guy that walked into our home with this ultra tough exterior and an overwhelmingly sad look in his eyes....a child whose spirit had obviously been broken...and he was walking out of our van with joy in his heart and confidence in his step. He wasn't fearful or anxious or acting tough. He was a pre-schooler! A ridiculously handsome pre-schooler. Love transforms all things.

I don't know if this is normal or because I know her or if every adoptive mom feels this but I again, thought of MOM...I couldn't believe she was missing this day. I couldn't imagine what she would feel if she could see him now. I wondered if he thought about her today and wished she could see his new backpack or his first day of school clothes. I felt so sad for her. I felt so thankful for him and that God placed him in our family. I felt blessed to witness this transformation that this precious resilient child has made....blessed to love him....blessed to be his momma. So so proud.