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I’m here.

I’ve woken up from the coma to discover that none of this was a dream.

It’s reality.

And somehow, it’s taken me 10 months to figure it out….and then

WAKE UP.

Yes, we’ve had the children for more than a year now, but after that 10 months I figured out that I probably should get a life now.  Or at least what may pass for a ‘life’.

That is something that no one tells you….after those precious foster children come (or foster CHILD, as not everyone jumps in feet first like we did), there is a time period where something happens, and you just fall asleep.

The world as we knew it ceases to exist.

It stops turning for you.

Nothing is the same.

We wake up, we function to the best of our ability, and then we go to bed.  It’s almost robotical in nature.  Wake, care for kids, eat, do laundry, sleep.  Repeat.

And we look around quizzically at everyone else as their world continues to spin.  They function normally.  Or we just stare at them and don’t even comprehend that.

Holidays come and holidays go.  Milestones are reached and surpassed.  Clothes grown into and out of….

…and we just sleep.

Ours eyes are open, but we aren’t really there.  We have slipped into a coma.

And I stayed there for 10 months.

It isn’t that the dream was a nightmare, it was just so far from what I had imagined in my rainbow and glitter world, that I was overwhelmed.

I have 6 children:  3 birth children and 3 foster children (soon to be adopted children).

Life takes a HUGE jolt when this occurs.  Laundry quadrupled.  Laundry room didn’t get bigger.  The washer and dryer did not give birth to baby washers and dryers which would make the laundry doing easier, the laundry just GREW.  And grew.  And grew. The house that we had more than enough room in, has now shrunk to the point that I have now given up on any semblance of storage, and just live like a semi-hoarder.  Except we use all of our stuff.

We need some growing room desperately.  On land.  Please, Lord?

Bellies are constantly hungry….even when they are not, they think they are. ;)

Emotional baggage needs to be tended to.

Spiritual lessons need to be learned.

And 6 children that need love.  Sometimes all at the same time.

And somehow anyone to sit and listen to me rambling disappeared.

They’ve grown.  They’ve changed, and somehow I feel like I missed part of it.  I now have a Junior in high school:  rugged, good-looking, no longer playing football, but hunting and fishing instead….and getting to be more and more of a man.  I have one in 8th grade:  swooshy hair that the ladies swoon over, singing, and my Baby Whisperer.  My baby Princess is 1st grade now:  and we can no longer spell things we don’t want her to know about, she loves having younger siblings, and yet, even with 2 of them in the same room with her at night, she is still afraid of the dark.

Then I have my foster babies:  my Diva Princess who grew up caring for herself and doesn’t seem to need (or occasionally want) a mother to help her, who is in serious need of fashion help, and some days frustrates me to no end (I am looking for opportunities to bond more with her, she needs it even if she doesn’t know it).  My Little Man that may just be the sweetest little boy I have ever encountered, that loves for me to hold him, and still has issues with allergies and eczema.

Oh then we have that mischievous, miracle monkey-baby:  who’s walking and climbing and into everything ALL at the same time, who’s curiosity may just be the death of me, and his laugh stops my heart.

Some days are amazing and wonderful and I can hear the angels singing back-up to our crazy family band.

And then some days I just look up to the sky and wonder what in the world was God thinking.  How could He ask so much of me.  How could I give up so much.  Was this reward or punishment?  Are You still there?

And then I marvel at the sounds of the 3 little ones giggling and playing in the backyard and I’m greeted daily by new chalk drawings all over the driveway and front porch.  I see my miracle Baby Boy figuring things out in his head that is supposed to be damaged….

….and I wonder what Life was like before they came.

We’ve had updates like a letter from their bio-grandmother and then more recently, the heart-stopping letter from their bio-mom.  (It’s all good. God is still good.)

And we’ve had set-backs like Diva Princess testing behind in school (again, very normal) and the adoption that had a slight hiccup.  It wasn’t a major one, just a minor one…..paper work, and nothing more.  Praying for the end of the year.

But this is the OTHER side of Fostering that no ones warns you about.  It isn’t always sunshine and butterflies….but some days it is.

And those are the days we live for.

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