Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New Mornings

It's amazing what a new morning brings. Now, several in, I feel more confident, less frazzled, capable.

We dropped Ty and LJ off at preschool today for the first time and introduced Sweet Boy to help him get used to another change. He was petrified. He had a death grip on my leg most of the time. I feel so deeply for him. I keep thinking about what it would be like to pick up Ty or LJ and set them into an entirely new life. Even if it was a great life with a great family, everything would be terrifying.  New people, new rules, new expectations.

His "tell" is stuttering. When he's anxious, he has a difficult time talking. I'm thankful for this small sign because it helps me know what he needs. It happens in the conditions you'd imagine - meeting new people, bedtime, talking about his future, etc. But it also happens at very unexpected times. Yesterday, he was crying in bed. He kept yelling, "Mom!" I went running in and asked him if he could tell me what he was feeling. He was so worked up.

"I -- I -- I am sc-sc-sc-aaa-red!" He was wailing.

Ok, buddy, I'm right here. What can I do to help?

His big, sad eyes looked right into mine. "I--I--I w--aaa-n-n-n-t my- my- my..."

I was certain he was going to say mom.

It's been very strange having him call me mom. I introduced myself as Rebekah, but by day two he started using mom. When he says "mom", it's forced, unnatural. I think we both feel like fakes. He doesn't mean it and I dont feel it. But, given the circumstances, we roll with it. "Fake it 'til you make it", right?

He didnt want his mom.

He wanted his stuffed goldfish. It had fallen on the floor.

I breathed easier, grabbed the fish, and snuggled him until he fell asleep.

I don't know if it's the ages or the amont of new children we just brought home, but this transition feel so much less organic.

Little Sis has connected to me right away and given our time together wants me over Ben. She will stare into my eyes for long periods of time and hold my shirt, tightly. As small as she is, I know she feels the change.

Ty is going to be her best friend (he already claims the spot).

It's been really interesting watching all the kids interact. Not surprisingly, Ty has not been phased by the transition.  He is very independent and confident. When I'm busy with someone else, he's happy to be at the table building puzzles or Legos. He has a new love for little Legos and building per the directions. I'm amazed at how long he'll sit there and work.

Ty gushes over his little sister and is happy to feed, play with her, and fetch diapers.

LJ is not overly interested in Little Miss, but more than we expected. He and Sweet Boy have really hit it off and he is thriving as a big brother.  He takes a lot of pride in telling his new brother the rules and showing him how his toys work.

His insecurity is coming out in his need to be close. Over the last six months, LJ has grown so much and has done a great job of expressing his feelings - "Mama, I'm sad" or " Mama, I need a hug". I am so thankful for this. Like Sweet Boy, it makes it so much easier to hear them ask for what they need.

LJ has asked for a lot of hugs, this week.

This morning, he was up, uncharacteristically, early (6am) and because Little Miss had already been up for her feeding, the four of us snuggled in bed together. It was such a sweet time. LJ loves his daddy more than anything on the planet and it gave him uninterrupted time to lay next to Ben, giggling at the baby.

Overall we've been giving LOTS of grace to all of our kids, as we all work through this, together, and find our places. I wish we could all be settled and feel like family with a snap of the fingers, but I know there is also a sweetness in this time. God gives me new revelations into my kids' hearts, while stretching my own capabilities, yearnings, and dreams. Now that I've mostly had a good night sleep, I can say this is good. Really really good.

I had good alone time with, Sweet Boy, today, while the boys were at school. We were eating lunch and I said, "I like you. It's fun having you, here."

He responded with, "Because, I'm sick."

I couldn't tell if it was a question or a statement. "What do you mean, honey?"

"I live here with you guys, now, in this town, because I'm sick."

My heart dropped. I didn't know what the right thing to say was. "'re not here because you're sick. Mom C wanted you to have brothers your age to play with. Do you know how much she loves you?"

Blank stare.

"You're, here, buddy because we're hoping that you will get to be a part of our family forever. No more moving...would you like that?"

Blank stare.

"Do you know blessed you are to have so many mamas that care about you? How many mamas do you have (I was digging a little)?

He thought for a few seconds and held up three fingers. Can you tell me who they are?

He pointed at me for one, then said, "My mom (Foster Mom/Mom C)...and that fat lady that had [sister's name]."

I bit my lip.

"Well that sounds like a lot of love for one special boy! Do you know what Ty calls his Mama that carried him in her belly? His first mama. Because she loved him first. Did you know that you and your baby sister have the same first mama?"

"No. That lady had [sister's name] in her big belly. Not me."

I didn't know where to go from there, so was thankful for his subject change. I guess it shouldn't surprise me that these delicate situations aren't explained well...but how could he not understand that him and his sister have the same mom? What does he think his purpose of visiting her is? I know she's been inconsistent at best, but we will, in time, explain her place in his life.

Right now, the visits have been limited to once per week and, thankfully, I get a phone call first. Birth Mom has to show up an hour before I bring the kids to the agency. I am appreciate of this. Not just for driving time, but for Sweet Boy. She didn't show for this week's visit (that's three in a row). I didn't even have to tell him about it.

We have a pre-trial coming up, here, pretty soon. I'm looking forward to attending, as it should help me put all the pieces together. I am hopeful after our home visit, this week, that we'll be able to petition the courts to adopt this spring.

Until then, we'll just keep taking it one day at a time...


  1. I"m glad you had a better day! You knew Sweet Boy would be tough, but you have the added bonus of Ty and LJ to help him settle in. Remember how much help Ty was getting LJ settled? Now LJ is paying it forward. I'm glad you didn't have to make the trip to the agency for no reason. Love you!

  2. Not sure how you are finding the time to write but I sure am enjoying reading about everything going on...praying for you everyday!

    1. Julie, I'm spending s lot of time rocking baby girl. Her little body fights within her and she gets quite uncomfortable. I do a lot of writing onmu phone! I've also made it a priority. I always want to remember the sacrifice that came with the blessing...God is teaching me much. Im not sure how its possible, but I feel more relaxed, more at peace, and more sure than I did mothering two!

  3. Rebekah, I am praying for you tonight. I don't even know you but your story has been touching my heart for 4 years now. So I wanted you to know that I am praying fervently for you. Christ keep you sister.

  4. Praying for you and your family. I was reminded of the song Oceans by Hillsong when I read your post form the other morning. What a blessing to have friends that come without being asked. Blessings! Mimi

  5. I am so glad you got a good night's sleep. Your family is an inspiration. I hope to be able to foster adopt someday and I am learning so much from your openness. Still praying for you.

  6. Aww, a typical preschooler - thinking all bad things happen because of him (all good things, too, but sadly a child like Sweet Boy has a different idea of what is "good" and hasn't had too many good things happen for him). I try to train so many people down here in our child welfare system about this - kids understand things so differently and it is our job to figure out how THEY understand the situation and make sure they aren't internalizing the "yucky" feeling and assuming sad and scary things happen because they are bad. Anyway, I'm so glad things are going better for you and I know what a HUGE blessing you are to all of your babies!!

  7. Continuing to hold your family in prayer.

  8. I have been following your journey through your blog for many years & am so thankful for your transparency and ability to communicate so well. As a foster parent myself I read your posts and feel your heart. I am relieved that I am not the only one that has felt like you have expressed you've felt at times. We've only had two placements our first one a sibling group of 3 (ages 18 mth-8 years) They lived with us for two roller-coaster years. Currently back home with their birthmom. Thankfully we still see them every week & they stay with us every other weekend. I remember at the end of the 1st week they were with us God said you need to tell them that you love them. I thought I don't love them...they have turned my world upside down...I barely know them! I'm thankful for them but I don't feel the love. He said don't worry you will. February 9th 2013 they went back to live with their birthmom. God was right I don't believe my husband and I have ever felt a love so great or a loss so great. There are so many things that God showed us during that chapter of life. I am thankful that He trusts us enough to give us a chance to show these precious hearts His love. The end of February last year we were blessed to be place with a 3 day old baby boy. PC hearing coming up in 12 days, but who's counting. No matter what I know that as much as we are head over heels in LOVE with this little man God loves Him more! His plans for this little man are to prosper him and never to harm him, plans to give him hope and a future. Praying daily for you, Ben & your little loves. Thankful God shows you them through His eyes so you can extend a love they may have never know. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  9. I have been following your blog for a while now and just wanted to tell you that your honesty brings me to my knees. I have never read a blog that I could truly "feel", if that makes any sense! Sending so much love and light to you in your grace:)

  10. I pray your family of six soon feels like "home" and that Sweet Boy and Little Miss learn comfort and stability. What a wonderful home for them to be placed in!