Friday, April 6, 2012

Hard. Good. Truth.

I have been thinking about writing for a long time, but I have struggled to put my thoughts into words. Every once in a while (usually while driving or taking a shower) I will think of a really eloquent way to say a part of what's on my heart, but the busy-ness of life with three kids & 1 mom takes over and whatever that thought was escapes.

But, I am here now, so I am going to try to put some words down, to flex my writer's muscle once again. H, my 12 year old, is roller skating with a friend. Roller skating! I wasn't even sure kids did that any more. I am thankful for the family who invited her along. I had no idea a 12 year old would be so HARD. I mean, I was a terror at 12, but I thought I was the exception. Apparently not. H is not a terror, she's just hard. **EDIT I don't think she's particularly hard, I think any 12 year old, with hormones blossoming, and peer pressure, and moodiness, would be hard. I guess I just thought I'd be better at being her parent. The mom who took her roller skating texted me a bit ago with this: "She is a good kid. Very polite. You're doing a great job. Don't know if you hear it enough. Thank God for people like you." **I try to remember, often several times a day, that her being hard is not her fault. She has lived with me just under 4 months, and that is not nearly enough time to re-do the, shall we say, lackadaisical supervision she had with her biological family. I see so much of myself in H. When I was her age, I made up lies to my mom, just to see if I could get away with it. I think H makes up lies because they're less painful than the truth. I really don't even think I know all of her truth yet. Although I refer to her as my Big Girl, I think on the inside she is more like a scared six year old. She looks around at me, at the little ones in the house, and although she says she wants us to be her family, I think she really misses her mom & her siblings. Who wouldn't? Just today, when we were talking about school and consequences she said, "Why do you have to take things away from me? Haven't I lost everything already? I already don't get to see my mom and my sister." I tried not to react defensively, but instead to hear her pleading--why me? Heartbreaking. With her, and soon with the others, I know there are NO GOOD ANSWERS. I can tell her I am sad with her. I can console her & pray with her. But I can't tell her she hasn't had much taken away. How do I help her cope with being broken-hearted? I don't know.

With L, my Little Miss, days are getting better--mostly. With me, and with her baby brother, she is usually super-sweet. Don't get me wrong, she is still 3, but she's sweet. She is smart & funny. Just tonight, at dinner, she got to laughing so hard (at absolutely nothing) that she started spitting water & drenched the front of her shirt. But, with the Big Girl, my Little Miss is mean. She uses what we call mean words. They are not usually terrible or untrue things, but the tone of voice she uses is reserved exclusively for H. I used to ignore it & think, "Well, she's 12, she's not affected by a 3 year old's words." Wrong again, mama. When she told me that she thinks I love L and not her, it shattered my heart. I had to start paying attention! So now, at least 4 times a day, I sit with L and have her try again. How did you say that? Say that again. Ask for forgiveness. Hug. Move on. It is time-consuming, but worth it. Recently, at the park, L was playing & singing a song. I listened to it & cracked up. "What do you say? Sor-ry. When do you say it? Now." (Imagine it as a protester's chant. There. You've got it.) My words, her song. This is my life.

G, my Little Man, is awesome. He eats well. Sleeps like a dream--still. At nearly 4 months old, he's sleeping 11-12 hours a night & growing like a weed. When I see him trying so hard to roll over or hold his head up, and when he cracks up at his sisters' kisses & tickles (they say, "Mama/Amy, did you hear him giggle?") I cannot imagine a life without him. He is red-headed, still, with big blue eyes and a smile that almost never leaves his face. He especially loves H (most babies are just drawn to her), and his whole face smiles when he sees her. Someone commented the other day that he looks like a rooster w/his little red mohawk. I'm alright with that! He has lots of nicknames--GG, Bear, Brother Bear. With every one, I hear love.

Here is the dilemma most foster parents face, and I face it every day: They are not mine. I am not promised to be their mom. My job, my calling, is to be the best mom to them that I can for today, however many todays that may be. We are progressing toward adoption with L, and I am optimistic that will be completed. The other two loves are still question marks. What will happen? How long? Will they remember me? Will they remember how much God loves them? What's next? And more & more questions. More than I can bear some days. Then I remember that even in answered questions, there is heartache. The only reason they are with me is because they have experienced trauma. Piled on top of that trauma was losing the only families they've ever known. Even if none of them ever goes back with their biological families, there are still hurts to come. More hurts as they understand more about their history. Grief. Pain. Loss. Separation. Not knowing. Why?

Fortunately, God, my adopted daddy, bears me up. He promises he loves me, and them--more than I do or can even imagine. I am thankful for that. I pray I can somehow shine a little light into their lives--enough for them to see that God is SO good, even in their heartache & sadness. I pray-every day-that God would save them, save their birth families, heal their heartache, show them truth. I don't know how those prayers will be answered, but I trust in the God of truth to have it be for our good & His glory. That is a truth I am sure of & never question.