Sunday, 30 November 2008

Mercy and Forgivness

James and I visted one of our daughters yesterday. Unfortunatly this daughter can't live at our house and it makes me very sad. She came to our family when she was only 7 and had already lived with 12 or so other families. She was so little and cute and very broken.
This daughter is now 16 and has been to three residential placements and just recently a therapeutic foster home. She was not successful with the last family and our visit yesterday was at a shelter where she waits. She waits without hope and assumes she'll fail wherever she's placed.
Somewhere is her biological mother and I'm sure she has no idea that the little girl that she neglected to care for has had a life of hurt and hurting others.
It's hard to pray past our daughter to the mother.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Made to Play

Having had mostly daughters in large groups and recently a run of toddlers, I have obseved something in our three new elementary age boys that I'm really liking.
As soon as they finish their breakfast, or upon their return from school, they are in the house only long enough to yell, "I'm going out to play."
And they go.
I like little boys.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Come On Winter

Last night, and today for less than five minutes each episode, we had snow.

Snow!!

It brings instant jubilation, hopes for no school, dreams of sledding.

Is there anything that falls from the sky that has more p
romise?

The five year old as he ran out in his pajamas...... "Mom, is it Christmas?"

Me...."Yea, and this is your big present. How do you like it?" (It was worth a shot)

Sunday, 16 November 2008

A Dad By Any Other Name

Most of the kids that come through our home have a mom before they get here - so figuring out what to call me can be a little awkward. Most have just joined the rest of the household and gone with the "mom" name. Some never have and never will and I'm just "Kate".
Now, the Dad thing is a bit different. Many kids have never met their biological Dad and some have and wish they hadn't. James has never gone by "Dad" but has always been "Poppa". Everyone calls him Poppa. Not a single kid has ever referred to him as anything else. It's like you wouldn't dare. Maybe something to do with James' former life as a Colonel in the military.
However, our new youngest kid thinks Jame's name is "Pops". When he says it - everyone stops.
This morning as he came racing through the kitchen he yells out, "Hey Pops." James patiently again explains that it's "Poppa" not "Pops".
Little guy slips into the bathroom and we hear him practicing as he sits and does his business.
"Poppa, not Pops." "Poppa not Pops."

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Well Here You Are

Our three new boys are settling in perfectly.

In a foster care home, perfect means there's been no blood and nobody has run away.

It's hard moving to a new home for reasons you don't really understand. Grown ups don't usually tell these kids things. Things like, what your life is about to become and for how long.
So the littlest guy jumped in my arms and said, "Hi Mom".....the oldest tried to become invisible and the middle boy adjusted in a middle kind of way.

It's actually been great. Beyond great.
The boys have run straight into every rule and way we do things and have tried very hard to make it work.
They now know that..
1. You should sit down while you eat your dinner.
2. You aren't allowed to give each other the finger when you're mad.
3. Urine must be flushed - every time.
4. When a parent calls your name they expect you to respond in some tangible way.
5. Touching the breast of every girl mannequin in Kohl's is unacceptable.
6. Mom will be home every day and even cook dinner.
7. Poppa won't hurt you.
8. You can't sleep with all your Halloween candy.
9. Having sisters is great and they can turn the Wii on.
10. This family loves Jesus.

I give this group an A+ for adjusting.




Friday, 7 November 2008

Goodnight Moon

Since our last group of little ones has left, it's been peacefull and quiet. No diapers, or crying or bedtime stories. We've all felt so relaxed.
But there were the empty bedrooms. We cleaned them out and then shut the doors. Whenever I walked down the hall I noticed them. Quiet and empty.
We have this big house for a reason and empty rooms have never felt right.
So yesterday, before we began school I asked the girls to pray with me that God would send just the right kids to us to fill the rooms. And I asked if He could do it that day. I think I annoy God sometimes like that.
The girls and I went bowling in the afternoon and James took the call. They needed to place 3 boys ages 5, 9 and 11....Were we interested?
I didn't need to ask many questions, I mean how could I doubt how that all came about.
So tonight I tucked three very adorable boys into bed. And not one of them wears diapers or cried. I'm a pushover for a bedtime story though.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Volunteered

The missonary house next door has been awesome. We've met people from around the world and been inspired and challenged.
And we've learned to serve.
Anna and Grace were encouraged to serve the Jessurun family by raking leaves. (made to)
Hey, it's better than
math.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Stepping Away

Life is a blast with tons of kids. Never can I complain of being bored.
But, to celebrate our 35 years together, James and I have left them all behind and are enjoying just each other.
Cape May, New Jersey is a perfect ocean town of beautiful Victorian homes.
And it's a quiet town. Just perfect for walking together or sitting by the ocean.
We can talk about everything o
r nothing.
One of the things that has made it possible for us to be able to withstand the pressure of foster care has been the strength of o
ur marriage. The times when I want to run away and join the gypsy circus - James steps in and lightens the load. No matter the difficulties, and some have been very very difficult, we're in it together.
So this time away is not just to celebrate our years together, but to take a breath before plunging back into the chaos.
And nobody has said "mom" in the last 48 hours.