I’m an emotional person that, as a whole, probably cries more than the average woman, but my tear ducts may dry out here soon. My nose has dry, flaky skin from the nose blowing and I’ve probably spent on tissues what you spent on the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.
Foster parenting is hard.
I have really high high’s, like when I see the progress that my 17-year-old (she turned 17 two weeks ago! Eek!) has made and how glad I am to have her in our home. And I have really low low’s, like when I just feel defeated about my 12-year-old’s behavior and refusal to take ownership of her health. Yes, I know that she’s still a child, but she was 252 pounds when she came to us at 11 years old. She’s on the verge of a heart attack and diabetes.
We keep beating ourselves up when we get frustrated and feel like giving up. We wonder if we’re truly doing something good at all. People remind us that we’ve given them a safe home and are loving them well, but it’s hard to see it in the midst of trials. It’s easier to see from the outside - maybe I need to take a step back and try to see it from someone else’s view. Because when you’re in it 24 hours a day/7 days a week and you’re exhausted from sleep deprivation, tears, arguments and frustration, it’s hard to see.
So today, I want to focus on the positives. I need to see it written out to encourage myself!
- We got LG (17) a nice Bible with her name engraved on it for her birthday. She loved it. She told me that she wants to start reading the Bible more and asked me where to start. She hasn’t shown any interest in that over the past 5 months so this is progress!
- LG seems happier. When something doesn’t work out like she wants it to, she goes with the flow. She has a good attitude and isn’t negative at all.
- LG talks about going to college, though she’s worried she won’t get in. She’s open to us helping her find colleges, applications, encouraging her to study for the SAT and ACT. AND she increased her grades since being with us! Let’s pray her senior year is good!
- LB (10) has taken ownership of his health. He has improved DRAMATICALLY and lost 20 pounds. He makes the right choices (for the most part) when he’s not with us, which is huge for a boy his age! His bloodwork improved and we’re so proud of him!
- LB is so fun to be around. He can get rowdy, but what 10 year old boy isn’t? His laugh is infectious and his jokes are pretty witty. His heart is pure and he just wants people to love him.
- LB loves going to church and learns a lot from his class! He’s never once said he didn’t want to go.
- AG (12) is very personable. She is a social butterfly wherever she goes. She’s never afraid to make new friends and usually has one within 5 minutes of being in a new place.
- AG enjoys spending time with me. She constantly wants to go to the museum with me, paint nails with me and occasionally go on a walk with me. She craves attention so I try to give it to her in a healthy proportion.
- AG has the most beautiful singing voice. She truly could be famous someday if she’ll be open to voice lessons and hard work. She’s very talented!
- Things are most definitely not perfect and we have our hard times, but as a whole, Kevin and I have gotten closer. When we remember that we’re on the same team and in this together, our marriage thrives. I fall deeper in love with him every day, especially when I see him reading to LB when he just said that no one has ever read to him at bedtime before or when he speaks to teenage foster youth in group homes, residential treatment centers and juvenile detention centers across the city.
- We’ve been able to talk to hundreds of people about fostering and educate people on the foster care system. I hope to write more about it on here eventually. Foster parents are SO needed as there are roughly 400,000 children in foster care in the U.S (according to federal officials).
- We’ve met some of the most wonderful, compassionate, sacrificial that exist through foster/adopt venues. We go to a couple support groups for foster/adoptive parents and are constantly connected to other couples with similar hearts. I’ve never met such people that truly exude the sacrificial love of Jesus like these people do.
Praise God for all of these things! They are only because of Him! Have a wonderful weekend!