Saturday, December 1, 2012

my kitchen is clean.

My kitchen is clean.

It looks beautiful.

The countertops are free of sippy cups and plastic plates. 

I didn't get out of bed until 7:30 this morning. I woke up at 6, but I laid in bed- cuddled next to my sick child who had invited herself in sometime during the night- and read until 7:30.

No one has cried this morning.

No one has yelled.

No one has been put in Time Out.

There is coffee that's been brewed and Dan is making us waffles as I type these words.

There is nothing on my agenda today except to decorate for Christmas and have lunch and ashopping date with a friend.

Holy crap, y'all... this feels GOOD.

Yesterday, it didn't feel so good.  Yesterday, I had two little boys in my living room watching PBS Kids and waiting for the Social Worker to arrive to take them to their next home.  Two little boys who had pushed every button I had by sunrise.  Two boys who had wrecked my "normal" during the last 6 and a half weeks.  Two boys who made me angry... made me yell... showed me sides of my own heart that were nasty.  Two boys who wanted nothing more than to be loved and be shown that we would be the same today that we were yesterday.  Two boys who exasperated my daughter and my dogs.  Two boys who made me weep when I heard one say "I love Dan soooo much.  I just love him so, so much."  Two little boys who I had grown to love.

This foster care business?  It ain't for the faint at heart.

And that's just what I am- faint at heart.  Our six and a half weeks with the boys showed me humanity in a way I've never seen.  It humbled me when I saw what a "bad" person I am at my core.  It showed me how prideful and selfish and weak I am.  And, not to sound uber-holy, but it showed me that I CANNOT DO THIS without total dependence on God.

While the timing could not have been worse, it also could not have been better.  We began their stay here with E's birthday- and while the spotlight was taken off of her, it also was rightfully given to her as all the little people in our home got showered with gifts.  During their stay, I was also occupied with my responsibilities as a daughter- taking care of things for my Daddy's estate as well as finding a new role in loving my Mom.  My to-do list has never, never been as full as it has been in the last 6 weeks.  This year alone has been taxing in brand new ways... and these last 6 weeks just fit under the banner of "2012 Crazy".  I even had to upgrade to a larger day-planner to keep all of our appointments and responsibilities straight.  Yet having the boys to distract me from life as I now know it, and having life to balance out the boys?  Perfect timing.

Here is the kicker, though, of our quick stint in Foster Care... it's not about us.  Yes, my family changed.  Yes, my responsibilities changed.  Yes, we had to adapt.  Yes, we sacrificed.  Yes, we grieved.  But ultimately- and I'm not looking to be a martyr- it's about the kids.  Those two little boys who got in our van on a Tuesday night- shaking and sobbing.  Those little boys who were forced to learn to trust us... and who just wanted to go home. 

I posted yesterday on Facebook that I was thankful for our role in Foster Care... and I am.  I got slammed with people saying encouraging things like "we're so proud of you" and "you made a difference"... thank you.  While my post was not intended to seek encouragement- we appreciate it.  But when it boils down to it- and, again, I'm not trying to go uber-holy- it wasn't us who made the difference.  We are tired, sinful, weary, hurting people... we just provided a safe place for those boys to feel God's love.  There were days we couldn't do it, so we allowed others of you to love on them for us.  The love those boys received from our friends, their daycare/preschool, our church, our families... oh ya'll... they got loved.

And we will do it again.  Not because we "want" to, but because we know we are supposed to.

But it won't be right now.  We're going to take a little time to rest.  And heal.  And go see The Mouse.  And love each other big and un-interrupted.  And rest.  (Did I say that already?)  And breathe.

So for now, I'll look at my clean kitchen and enjoy it... because I know sometime soon the sippy cups will be back.  And I'll hug E extra tightly... because I know sometime soon my lap will have another little one in it.  And I'll not feel guilty about enjoying this moment... because I know it's a gift from the Lord.


Daniela said...

Enjoy your day! Loved your post/

The UnderToad said...

So this was, for me, a throw back to the hardest year of my life, which was working at Eckerd. 2 hours notice before having one or two new boys dumped into my "family" and routine, at the time. Except that mine were teenagers. Granted, they were teenagers who acted like 2 and 4 year olds, most of the time, but still, they were teenagers. I know exactly how you feel when you say you've had the "bad person" inside you pulled to the surface.

So I'm going to say this: your buttons? Your lack of patience? The yelling? The (dare I suggest) cursing... even if it was inside your head.... Yeah. No. You are wrong. It is not the bad person inside you. It is the exact opposite. And I think had you had more time with those boys, your results would have come much faster than for someone who is more patient, naturally forgiving, or whose buttons tend to be harder to push. It turns out, when it comes to raising kids (esp. the kind who have some damage to undo) lack of patience is the best thing you could probably have had.

I'm glad you survived those 6 weeks. Don't lower your expectations, even when you know that your time with a kid might be short. I imagine you did even more good than you think you did.

I do know exactly how you feel. It also means, Praise THE LORD, Elizabeth has a pretty fucking amazing mother, and she's probably not going end up in rehab as a teenager.

I love you.

Call Erik if you don't believe me.