Tuesday, 29 September 2009

What We Don't Know

Grace had a regular kidney transplant follow up visit at Children's Hospital today. She has been allowed to stretch the visits to every other week now that her new kidney is 2 months old in her body. The visits have been routine to the point of boring, but today I sensed something was up. Her doctor explained that her creatine number was climbing. That's scary and signals that the kidney isn't working correctly. The transplant team was concerned that we might be looking at early signs of rejection. It was hard to hear. Other causes of the higher creatine could be a blockage of some kind or too high levels of one of her medicines. She had an immediate ultrasound which showed no blockage. We were sent home with orders to lower the medicine amount and to repeat her labs in a week.

Wait and see.

Grace was worried and I was scared. Not another set back for her.

I called my friend Adela on the ride home and after listening to my recount of the bad visit she simply said, "Well, I guess God isn't finished with Grace yet."

She's right. We have no reason to doubt God who has brought her through cancer and tumors and kidney disease.

Wait and trust.

Monday, 28 September 2009

We Really Worked - We Promise

Our family is the first on the block every year to open our pool - April Fools Day for our annual "Fools in the Pool" swim. It's fun and everyone is so excited because summer is right around the corner.

Unfortunately we are also the very very last family in the universe to close our pool in the fall. Which isn't fun at ALL! We live in the beautiful Shenandoah Vall
ey which means beautiful and abundant trees, which means leaves and those leaves fall every where...including into our pool.

Last night at our family meetin
g my husband explained to the kids that starting today, there would be no television each day until the leaves were picked up around the pool. Seemed easy enough. School was over and everyone went out to do the leaf thing. Grace used the net and got all the leaves from the water while the others picked and swept off the cement around the pool.

Then the wind would blow and they were back to square one.

I watched this go on for almost two hours. I was actually mostly amused.

Then I took pity and came up with a solution. I had them get every single leaf up and quickly snapped some pictures. They then told their father that at that moment in time they had completed their task for the day.
It worked and he believed that they had worked hard even though the p
ool was again covered in leaves.

The kids are so ready to have the pool closed.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Count it all JOY

Some of the kids that come to our family are angry....really angry. Like screaming, kicking, hitting, cussing angry. Like grown ups have hurt them, let them down, sent them away angry. And the very last thing that they believe is that what you tell them is true- for their good or because you love them. All which makes parenting awfully difficult at times.
And I'm not real good at not getting my way....actually really terrible at it and these angry kids and I have come face to face with no winner.
Lately God has been whispering things into my heart. (Notice He whispers-never demands) He suggested that the goal isn't about making them obey and line up to my way. WHAT?? He couldn't possibly mean I should not have these kids UNDER MY CONTROL.
What about extending mercy?
Mercy that lets them fail and be encouraged.
Mercy that says although you screamed "No !" at me, you then did what I asked and that's a reason to be celebrated.
Mercy to count myself out of the picture and allow my every response to paint a picture of a Savior Father who loves them extravagently.
These angry kids are making over my heart and it looks much better on me.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Awakening Fest

For months we have been excited about taking our kids to a Christian music festival..."Awakening Fest" in Virginia. Most of the kids have never been to a concert and they have been so ready to hear some favorite bands- Jeremy Camp, Skillet, and tons of others. Our "middles" are 9, 11, and 12 and they were especially delighted to be included in the group going.
We drove to the park under grey clouds and I was praying that they would move out and it would that it would be a perfect night. The clouds not only didn't move out, they opened up and began a steady downpour that outlasted us and most of the others there.
We stayed while our outer layers got wet and persevered through the drenching of the next few layers of clothes. When our skin was wrinkled like a long bathtub soak and the sun began to set and bring in the cool weather we gave up.
We did get to hear 3 bands and the kids went down to the front a few times and jumped and screamed and probably did permanent damage to their ear drums. I sat with a friend who I never have enough chances to be with and we talked while the rain soaked us to the core.
No pictures - I wasn't about to pull my camera out in all that rain, and the kids all thanked me for a great time. Nice.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Make Up Your Mind...please

I love foster care and highly recommend it to any family that wants a "close to home" ministry, but there are parts that make me.....CRAZY!
The most important decisions that effect you and the kids in your care are made by social workers and sometimes by a judge. Like now. We have been through four months of hearings and now we wait and wait and wait for a judge to decide if three of our boys will be living with us or returning to their mom. We wait, we comfort, but this is hard on the boys. Does the judge realize that every night the boys pray that tomorrow the judge will call and say they can stay? And then what if he says they are to leave?

I'm learning to live in faith as I teach it to the kids. So hard.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

It's All Relative

James and I attended a fund raiser for our local crisis pregnancy center last week and there were replicas of 8 week old fetuses for each person to take home. Some were black and others white. Very cute.
I left them laying on the kitchen counter and Elijah, our 9 year old, picked them up and said, "Hey look, foster brothers".
Families are the people who love you!!