Friday, March 30, 2012

My Refuge

Its been a hard, stretching-me week that is not yet close to being over.  But you know what?  I'm so very, very thankful.  Today especially for morning hugs.

But as for me, I will sing about your power.  
Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love.
For you have been my refuge,
    a place of safety when I am in distress.

Psalm 59:16

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday's Walk ~ Baby Avery

I considered doing a random post today instead, but I am feeling even too random and scattered to put that together.  Just a couple too many plates in the air right now.  Even though Aiden thinks I can juggle, I actually cannot.

Today's Walk goes back to a time when life was a little more simple than it has been the last couple weeks....when Miss Avery May was our one and only.

On her five month birthday I sat her up for pictures, expecting her to tumble over within seconds.  Imagine our surprise when she just stayed there.

No learning curve, she just went from not sitting to sitting.  She didn't start crawling until she was eight months, so we had three months of her happily sitting in one place, playing with whatever we had given her, for long periods of time.

It was only later I realized just how rare and wonderful a thing that was. :)

My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
Psalm 57:7

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Foster Care Progress

So.  Interesting times around here!  Let's see if I can do a brief re-cap to bring you up to speed.

The last week in February we got "the" call that we'd been approved to be a foster family.  The very next day, we got a phone call that they had a case they wanted us to consider.  As I was relaying the information to Shaun we got to joking around.

No, no, no.  We didn't actually want to do this, we just wanted the foster care certificate to proudly present at the pearly be able to say, see...we got licensed!  :)

The little picture in our head had us with a girl, but in fact we'd been matched with a nine year-old boy!

A couple weeks passed before we heard too much more...apparently the DCF social worker changed several times before getting the one he has now, due to job changes, etc and that was enough to bring things to a standstill.

Finally on Monday evening of last week we got a call, can you meet Z in the morning?  Yes.

Walking up to the facility where he's been since mid-January was very strange.  One of those how-did-we-get-here moments.  We were ushered into a conference room with his DCF social worker and a person shadowing her for the day, his social worker from our agency, his worker from the safe home and at one point his nurse....all sitting around a large table talking about his case.   Then someone went to get him and bring him into that scene.  Talk about intimidating!

We were impressed with him immediately.  He made eye contact and asked thoughtfully prepared questions.  He's a cut-to-the-chase communicator (much like Shaun and I), in a respectful way.  He just needs a straight story and then he processes it and moves on.  Very mature for his age in many ways.

We walked out of that brief meeting with a very good feeling about him.  I also had a can-we-really-do-this fear growing inside me.  We talked about it on the 45 minute ride home.  Our lives right now are simple, easy, stress-free and now, on purpose, we are going to disrupt that.  Things may never be the same.

What if.

What if God does not want things to be the same?

Shaun also reminds me...if not us, who?

Why has Z been waiting since January to be placed in a home?  Why is he considered "therapeutic"when he's not on any meds and hasn't been bounced around in foster care all his life?  We like to think that maybe its so he can be in our home and so we can foster him...for such a time as this.

 When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.
Luke 12:48

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fishers of Men

Aiden: Look Mom...its Jesus!

Several aisles later he said, Mom, look at that guy's hair! just as said man was passing by.  (He looked like he was wearing a black mop on his head).  Thankfully that man turned and smiled. 

Last week we stopped after school and chatted with Avery's teacher for a bit.  As we were leaving, Aiden said Bye Mrs. M...see you on Saturday!  The next day as we were leaving voice lessons Aiden said, Bye Miss Jen...see you Sunday!  Immediately Avery turned to me and said, Wow Mom...Aiden's going to have a busy weekend!

Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.
Mark 1:17

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Project 365, Week 12

I've got to say, this is one of the stranger weeks I can think of.  Much of it felt like an out-of-body experience, as if I was floating around watching someone impersonating me go about her business, but doing things I would never do or didn't think I could do.  Strange.

We are also in full swing with The Passion of the King rehearsals.  Shaun spent most of his free mornings and evenings up at church, usually with a kid or three....we are quickly closing in on opening night!

March 18
The weather has just been very wonderful!  Aiden woke up at 1 PM after sleeping for 16 hours...once he'd had brunch, we walked to the river to give Trot his first swim of the season.  Its what a boy and a dog were meant to do.
 March 19
Shaun had been driving around town and noticed the town street sweepers were making the rounds, so Amanda and I got to work...sweeping the sidewalk, sweeping the driveway.  It was hot enough that we worked up a good sweat.

March 20
Shaun and I drove to Hartford to meet our first foster child.  It was very strange thing walking up to the door of this facility but the meeting went great!
While we were at the orphanage, the kids were home getting spoiled by Grammy.
I dropped Avery off at dance and then went on our merry way playing at the next-door field.  An hour later when she came out she said, Mom, today was Parents Day!  Not for the first time, I totally forgot about Avery's once-every-six-months Parent Observation day.  Instead, I spent the hour throwing the ball with the dumb dog and hiking with Amanda and Aiden.

Immediately my heart sank and I began kicking myself and apologizing to her....I felt so bad, especially since I was right there.  That night as we were praying she asked God to help me not feel bad that I missed her dance class.  So sweet.

Doing his exercises.
March 21
ER with my little guy.
March 22
The girls made decorations for their auntie's baby shower.
March 23
Love these two.  Make-up and hospital bands and all.
 When Shaun got home from work we walked/biked/strollered to the river.

March 24
We threw a "Meet Renna" sister was very surprised!  It was a lovely day and she got some great (girl!!) stuff.
While I was there Shaun was being super dad/super play-technical-crew guy/dance class taxi driver.  

We met up and the five of us went to pick up our soon-to-be foster son/brother.  We played at a nearby park and got to know each other a little better.
 Two other boys challenged Shaun and Z to a pick up game.  Oh, how I love that man!
Shaun asked the kids where they thought we should take Z for dinner.  CEC got suggested immediately and suddenly we had four kids in the back chanting CEC, we bonded over tokens and tickets.  :)
Lots more on everything that's developed soon now that it seems like it'll be a done deal....stay tuned!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Aiden Guy

Wednesday was a pretty quiet day...until it wasn't.  

Shaun had the morning off so he and Aiden worked on his car and did whatever men do when they are puttering outside.  Aiden had slept until 10 AM so I thought it was a little strange when he seemed really tired at lunch.  I put him down for his nap just before 1 PM and he said his belly hurt.

As Shaun was leaving for work I said, Aiden didn't seem quite right when I put him down...I'm a little worried how he's going to be when he wakes up.  If you know me at all you know the words "I'm worried" rarely cross my mind, nevermind come out of my mouth.  Looking back, I can see that it was the Holy Spirit getting me on alert.

I don't know about you, but when my kids are sleeping I don't sit by the monitor waiting to hear the slightest peep.  In our house sleep-time is go-time.  Go in the office and only half pay attention to the monitor.  Go outside and work on the yard.  Go to the third floor to do laundry.

As it happened though, Avery and I were in my bedroom cleaning.  I was passing down my jewelry box to her so we were sorting through the contents while the house was quiet, since Shaun and Amanda had already left for church.

Hour four into Aiden's nap I heard, out of the monitor in my room, what can most closely be described as Aiden jumping on the bed, laughing.  Except it wasn't a laugh.  It was a noise that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.  

I went straight to his room and, to my utter horror, discovered he was having a seizure.  I'm not going to go into great detail because its not something I want to remember.  I will just say its something no parent should ever have to see.

When I picked him up he was burning and unresponsive.  Baby in arms, I ran downstairs and told Avery to grab my phone and get in the car because we were going to the hospital.  Immediately, she started sobbing and otherwise freaking out.

It was not the first time I've been so very grateful to live one mile from the hospital.

I parked the car right in front and grabbed Aiden from the car floor.  By this time he had started to cry a bit, which was a wonderful sound!  

They took us right in after briefly looking him up (he's got a record with the ER after his chin stitches less than a year ago :).  They took his vitals and then brought us into a room where I sat on the bed and held him.  

When we arrived his temperature was 104 and his heart rate was in the 160s.  After some Motrin and monitoring, he was down to 100 with his heart rate in the the 90s.

Poor Shaun was 30 minutes away, neck deep in play rehearsal problems.  He'd gotten a 15 second phone call from me in the car and another call from a still-crying Avery a bit later.  When I could I called him to reassure him that his son was alive and on the mend and that he could stay where he was.

The hospital registration lady came in to process the paperwork.  I told her we were still paying off Aiden's birth and to just add it to our tab.  :)

I declined the chest x-rays (to check for pneumonia) and after a couple hours they released us with instructions to do a Tylenol/Motrin regiment every three hours throughout the night.  

Once home, I got Avery and Aiden some dinner and popsicles and we sat down to watch Aiden's requested Veggie Tales movie.

This night was one of the only times I regretted being such a heavy sleeper.  I wish I could have been half awake throughout the night as I lay next to him in his double bed, but I slept just about as soundly as ever, only waking every three hours to the sound of the alarm clock going off.

Throughout the ordeal I felt a peace that I'm so grateful for.  I've lived long enough to have a long enough history with God to know, deep within me, that He is faithful.  Yesterday, today and forever He is the same, and He is good.  So good.

It was also a good reminder that Aiden does not belong to us.  He's been loaned to us for a time but ultimately, He belongs to God.  Boy, do I love that little guy!

(You can see my bare feet here.  Avery only had socks on and so did Aiden.  They said they've seen less dressed people come through the ER.  :)

 The next day he was up fighting with his sister and "working" as if nothing had ever happened and really, I don't think he remembers much of it....mercifully.
While Daddy and the girls were at play practice on Sunday, Aiden, Trot and I walked to the river for some fun.  "Fishing", throwing sticks and rocks among the highlights.

I look up to the mountains—
    does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble;
    the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
    never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you!
    The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm
    and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
    both now and forever.

Psalm 121

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday's Walk ~ Princesses

The other day Amanda was watching a Princess Sing-a-Long video.  I went and sat with her for a few minutes as it was ending.

She turned to face me, took my hand and said, Mom...I want you to tell me...are Princesses real?  I took a deep breath to double-check with myself the answer I wanted to give and perhaps hold back the tears I could feel coming up in the corners of my eyes.  My answer of What do you think?  had not been sufficient and she continued to look deep into my eyes.

No Amanda, Princesses are not real.  (And I'm so sad to be departing this stage with you.  A time of believing that in all the world there is always a happy ending, that dreams do come true, that true love conquers all.)

Those things can still be found, but not in the Princesses you have so adored these five years.  There will be a happy ending when we get to heaven, where there will be no pain or more struggles.  Dreams do come true...God always keeps His promises.  And the True Love that Jesus wants to give you really does conquer all.

You will always be our little princess, Sweet Amanda.  Thank you for this enchanted time we've gotten to share with you.

All glorious is the princess within her chamber; 
   her gown is interwoven with gold.

Psalm 45:13

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Spring

Happy First Day of Spring!!  There are just no words for the weather we've been having!  We get out as much as we can...walking, playing, school...whatever excuse we can use.  This is what last week looked like around here with the incredible weather.

Open windows!

 Open sunroof (not while the car was in motion!).
 Hikes during Avery's dance class.


 School on the porch

 Walking errands after school.  While on Main St we stopped in at Uncle Nathan's office to get water and lollipops.  :)

 Look Mom...a clover!
 Swinging monkeys

 And mudpies.  Life just does not get sweeter.

Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.
I Peter 3:8