Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sick & Broken

Around three in the morning, I heard Sweet Boy's voice next to my ear.

"Mom, I'm really scared. Can I lay next to Dad?"

We are strict "no kids in bed before morning" people, but this is the second time I let Sweet Boy climb in. He gets a free pass on a lot of things, right now.

Around four, I drug myself downstairs to pacify the baby.

I was in her room, when I heard Ben yell for help. Sweet Boy was sick.

He threw up all over himself and our bed.

It took us about an hour to strip and wash him and the bed. I've never had to do the kid-throw-up-thing and I had to concentrate hard on not gagging. Before heading to the couch for the last few minutes of sleep, I peaked in on Sweet Boy.

He lay shaking in his bed with huge eyes.

"How are you feeling, sweetheart?"

"I'm just tired."

My heart aches for him. He's not a good sleeper. We think it's because there are no distractions at night time - it's just him and his thoughts. And he can't rest. It takes him a long time to fall asleep and we go in just about every night to soothe him when he yells that he's scared. I felt so sorry for him, laying there. Sick in a strange home with a strange mom, in a bed that's not yours.

I do my best to snuggle and show him love, but he has me locked out. He's not interested in connecting beyond his general needs.

By morning time, he looked much better and was hungry for breakfast. I made him stick with two saltine crackers and a few sips of water. Just to be sure.

I went back and forth on what to do, but ended up sticking to the day's plans.

Doctor appointment for Little Miss and visit with mom at the agency.

Turns out, last week was not the first/last meeting. Given the information that came a few days after our encounter, I would say God was strategic in when he placed compassion in my heart for this woman.

The judge overruled our case worker's request to suspend visits because he did not find substantiating evidence that the visits have been/are harmful to the kids. I was annoyed, but I understood his point and took the information in stride.

Mom made a couple other moves, this week, that furthered my annoyance, but I was determined to keep an open heart toward her.

Back to this morning.

Because we followed the same routine, last week, doctor appointment - agency visit, there was no way Sweet Boy was going to gloss over the details of our day. When I explained to him that we needed to take little sister to the doctor's, he immediately asked if we were going to visit his mom.

"Yes, honey, we'll visit with your first mom, after sister gets her shots."

He cried and begged to stay home. "Please, please, please mom. Can we just stay home?"

It's so difficult to navigate our relationship. I love him so much and feel this tremendous desire to bond and connect, but he's not ready. And then. We have moments like this, where I could connect with him and show him that his emotions matter...and I can't.

We spent part of our long car ride talking about how important first moms are and the time we get with them. I tried to distract him by telling him about the things I had packed him to do. He settled in and didn't say much through the doctor's appointment.

We were a few minutes ahead of schedule, so we sat outside the agency, letting Little Miss take a cat nap. Then I got the call.

Mom was a no-show.

I looked back at Sweet Boy and bit back anger. I had just spent half a car ride defending her worth to her son and that's how she was repaying me?

"Okay, buddy, it looks like we can just go home, like you wanted to. I think we should get you back on the couch, watching cartoons, to make sure your body gets enough rest."

"But, what about my mom?"

"Buddy...she didn't come, today." My voice caught in my throat.

"She didn't come?" Long pause. "My mom didn't come?"

As realization set in, I searched his eyes and wanted to hunt her down. I wanted to drag her by the hair and force her to the agency, myself. How could she be so selfish.

He must have repeated, "My mom didn't come," a dozen times in the first several minutes back on the road. I was furious.

Her son deserves more. MY son deserves more.

We weren't far into the drive when Sweet Boy started throwing-up, EVERYwhere.

If I wasn't feeling sheer panic, I would  have started crying with him.

There was nothing to do, but console him and then drive home, soaked in vomit.

"Buddy, I am so sorry. I am going to get us home and I will take care of you...okay?"

"Mom...will you drive as fast as you can? I just want to go home."

I couldn't even enjoy the reference to home, I was so broken over my broken boy.

We spent the rest of the day on the couch.

Every time I looked over, I saw hollow eyes and my insides wept.

I know God will make this good; I know the rejoicing will come. But man...we are in the trenches, right now, and it is far from comfortable.

Please pray for us.


  1. Oh Rebekah...I am so sorry that things continue to be so difficult for you guys....This story made me cry. I will pray for all of you and continue to do so...Hang in there..You can do this...
    Amy W, Chicago

  2. Praying for you and the family and when I am not sure how/what to pray I trust Romans 8:26 and ask the Holy Spirit to interceed on your behave.

  3. My heart aches reading this post, tears streaming down my face. PRAYING, praying for you all!!!!! I hope sweet boy is feeling better and the rest of the family stays healthy! The stomach bug/ throwing up is no fun at all, been there several times. ((HUGS))

  4. I don't know what words to say to offer you comfort, other than you and your family are being prayed for. For peace, and love, and understanding, and health. My heart breaks for you and your kids, but like you said, God is making all things good!

  5. Poor, sweet little boy. Really there are no words. How I wish his little heart didn't have to be so hurt. How I wish YOU could be the only one navigating his future.

  6. Rebekah, I kept waking up and thinking and praying for you, Ben and your precious kids all night. A couple verses came to my mind so I thought I would share them with you to encourage you.
    Psalm 139:5,6
    Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
    The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
    What wonderful verses these are. The entire chapter is awesome and what I am praying and believing for you. I just see all of your kids saying that one day!
    May God fill you with grace today, the amazing grace that we sing about all the time. May laughter come back to your house in a greater degree and the peace that passeth all human understanding fill your hearts and minds.
    I also thank God for how great your marriage is and that God is keeping it completely safe and that you have no worries there. I also pray for your finances that you will have no worries there, just increase! I also thank God that he is giving both of you keen in site into what to ignore and what to pay close attention to.
    Please know we are praying for you as God makes your lot secure!

  7. On my knees in front of the Lord for you and the family!!! Praying. Stay strong.

  8. I eagerly look to my reader every morning to see if you have any updates. I've been and will continue to keep praying for all of you!

  9. Praying for all of you. As a new mom to an adopted daughter from foster care, I can truly say I understand.


  10. Praying for you! I know what you are going through. I am a foster mom of a two year old, and when his mom is a no show it is agonizing to watch the pain this little man goes through! Hang in there and stay strong. He needs you!

  11. Oh my heart. sweet sweet boy. ((hugs)) and prayers!

  12. So many prayers for you! Your family is amazing and strong!

  13. I am praying for your family, Rebekah. Oh my goodness. I KNOW this pain. The children are worth every sacrifice, but there IS sacrifice and it is NOT easy. Most of us don't mind sacrificing the big things. But when it comes to eating, sleeping, comfort in your own house and seeing your children experience grief rather than joy....THOSE are the hard sacrifices. I believe that is why God TRUSTED your precious children with you. He knows that even though you are honest about how hard it is to make the sacrifice, that you will indeed make it. You will perservere. And when it becomes good, as it always does, I can't wait to rejoice with you. Many prayers for you in this time...I know firsthand just how much you need them.

  14. "He's not a good sleeper. We think it's because there are no distractions at night time - it's just him and his thoughts."

    I have friends who use a little CD player as part of their little guy's bedtime routine. Once in bed, they hit play and he hears a Bible story as he's drifting off to sleep. Would something like that help? Or maybe just some soft music, or a familiar children's story.

    Your blog is amazing, and you are changing the world, one sad little boy (or happy little boy, or needy little girl) at a time. Hang in there.

  15. My heart aches for sweet boy. Praying for strength and peace in his lil heart and in yours.

  16. Rebekah!! Keep your head up!! God is the ultimate healer... Your boy will be healed with time. Your strength and courage carry him through. Keep up the amazing work!! You are a mom all moms should look up to!! Praying for your sweet family!

  17. Each and every post I read that you write makes me feel, just... overcome. I'm inspired by your story and by your family, and how you really show what it's like to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Thank you for always sharing the hard and the real and the beautiful. Praying for you.

  18. You guys! I am in tears reading through you comments. Please know that your words are not lost on us. I am so encouraged by your thoughtfulness and prayers. I had two bright moments, today, that reminded me that we haven't been forgotten. LJ came and told me that Sweet Boy was hiding. I walked around "trying" to find him and when I did, he jumped in my arms and squealed with joy. It was the first time I have ever heard him laugh, so heartily!

    Then before bed, I was getting ready to put their music on (they listen to worship music at night) and before I did, Sweet Boy, said, "Wait, mom. I have a song that I wrote that I want to sing....'I will worship, I will worship...' That's all I have so far.

    It was music to my ears! Thank you, Jesus, that even in the deep mud, we find daisies.

  19. Oh poor Sweet Boy :( My heart breaks for him...and then for you having to see him in such emotional pain, yet not being able to take it away and fix it for him. It sounds to me like you are doing all the right things, though. Keep loving these little guys (and the little girl) you have and it will slowly help their little hearts heal.

  20. oh sweet mama!!! tears* with you… oh boy! this is a tough tough one… but yes! God can make this all right.. He is busy with it… making it right.

    We love you all and pray daily for your sweet family xx
    Lin xx

  21. Praying for your precious family!

  22. Hey Rebekah, just stopping by to see if you had a new post. This is completely off the subject but I wanted to tell you your writing is so good I am always so happy when you have a long post because I love reading what you write. It is so true and real! It is like a milkshake that you do not want to end! Not sure how you are finding the time to write but thank you!

  23. Hi...I too enjoy your writing. God has gifted you in writing/communicating your heart. I do pray for you and wish I could help you out when you need a break or something. It will be great to hear how these boys are doing years from now. I know it is so hard right now, but thankful they have you and your husband to love them and teach them about Jesus. You are doing a great job! You're a great mom! I know it must not be easy and I pray God gives you the strength and wisdom for each moment that you face that is just so hard. Praying in Florida!

  24. Tears and sighs....this stuff is so hard!

    God is your portion.

  25. What you are going through is tough! I understand! We have 3 foster kids right now and the five year old girl's mom ( and her 5 month old brother) hasn't been heard from in 2 months. Visits started with dad ( who just got out of jail) when mom stopped showing up. Anyway, after the first time mom didn't show, and we had a very rough day, I decided not to tell her about the visits until the last minute. Even then, I use language like might, possibly, or this may happen. I haven't talked to her about the fact that no one knows where her mom is yet. And, I'm not sure how. She actually doesn't ask about either parent much, which I think is odd...
    Anyway, I just wanted you to know you aren't alone, and I will be praying for you on this foster care journey. It can be lonely and hard as so few understand the problems we face at all hours of the day/ night and from all angles (bio parents, social workers, visits, licensing workers, accusations, court, guardian at lidems, people coming to your house at any moment, etc...)!

  26. Dear Rebekah, I truly respect you and all the graceful human being who give home, love and faith to the kids who need those. My heart is full of fixed emotions-I am happy for these blessed kids and also feeling bad for many others who are left out there. In our country (Bangladesh) fostering and adopting is not a very common scenario unless it's within a family.

    Still I wish to adopt a child. I have a son, almost a year old. And I have always told my husband that if God gives us the capability of taking care of two kids I want to adopt one who is already in the world and needs that care.

    God bless you all