No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, although, some days I feel like it. 😉
We’ve just been thrown, face first, into the journey of a lifetime! I’m not sure what else to call it. It’s mind-blowing, and a little mind-numbing if I can be so honest.
When we began this journey over a year ago, we had no idea where exactly God was leading us, we just knew He was leading and we were going to follow. At all costs, we were going to follow. We had “planned” for fostering 1 child, probably a baby, and probably a baby girl. We had no for-sure answers, we just had an “idea”. We said YES to fostering because God led us; He called, and we answered. I’ve seen fostering done very very wrong and for all the wrong reasons, and I never wanted to go that route. And I believe in my very spirit that people who do it for the wrong reasons (money, a good story…combination of both), are not following God, they are following their own selfish desires.
And I’m here to tell you, when you do something totally within God’s will, it’s so different. It’s like climbing up and sitting directly in God’s palm, and with His other hand, He covers you. Can you see that? Can you just imagine? It’s just like that.
I won’t lie and say it’s a piece of cake, and we never have any problems, but it’s just different. You have problems with a peace and focus and direction. Yeah….it’s like that.
So, Tuesday August 23, we received a phone call from Cherokee Nations that they had 3 (yes, that’s 1 more than 2, and 2 more than 1) siblings that are in need of a home. They had 2 in the shelter, and the baby would be released from the hospital tomorrow.
A sibling group of 3, all family has been exhausted. No one wants all 3.
I won’t lie, my heart skipped more than a few beats. In fact, I’m not sure it ever really started properly again after that.
I asked the case worker if I could discuss it with my husband and call him right back. In my head, I thought for sure Mike would balk. That’s a lot. THREE siblings. THREE. We have three…..we’d be adding THREE more.
I hung up and just looked at him. I had to read all the info from my notes because I wasn’t sure I could stand to see his face when I said THREE. And I was shaking. A lot.
I read my notes and looked up at my husband and he said simply: “When can we pick them up?” I love that man.
We picked up the 4 year old little girl (“B”) and the 2 year old little boy (“A”) from the shelter within 2 hours. There are some things caseworkers don’t tell you on the phone. In this case, it was about “A’s” extreme eczema and extreme allergies to food. So our first look at this little boy was with a horrible rash on his entire body. The extent of it we didn’t see until we got home. I’ve never seen anything like this. His little body is scarred and it feels like rough sand paper.
He didn’t want you to look at him and he didn’t want you to touch him. He was not perfect or normal, so people ignored him. They didn’t love on him or snuggle him. They didn’t look in his eyes. He was left alone to fend for himself. He foraged for food because he couldn’t trust anyone to take care of him. He was a throw away child. Defective. And you could read all of this in his little face. Over the next few days you would have thought he had been raised by wolves. He had no social skills, he was leery of everyone, and at times he would growl. Literally, growl at you. His defense mechanism was his sharp fingernails and his wall he kept around himself.
“B” learned to cope by being cuter and better than everyone else around her. Everything was a competition for attention, and she was going to win it. Talking and acting younger than her 4 years got her attention, so that’s what she learned to do. Let me be totally honest and say, that gets annoying really, really fast. 😉
But all of this is easy to work through and reteach good, healthy actions and reactions. This is fixable.
The baby however, would not be so easy. Again, there are some things the caseworkers don’t tell you and the extent of the baby’s problem was far from easily fixed.
We met him the night before he came home, in the hospital. This little tiny body with this great big head and even bigger eyes. He looked so tiny and fragile. And all alone. I wouldn’t know the problems and the reason he was in the hospital until later.
I went the next day to the hospital for my training on how to care for him. If those are not the scariest words ever, I don’t know what are. He has to have daily injections every day, 12 hours apart. WE would have to do the injections if we were willing to take this baby. The words of the caseworker still haunt me “no one wants them”.
This little tiny baby had no one and he needed us. He has 2 skull fractures (we later found out he had the evidence of a 3rd skull fracture she had left unattended), retinal bleeding, brain hemorrhages, and a blood clot in his right leg.
He was barely 3 months old.
He had been shaken and when that did not help, he was spanked repeatedly until there were bruises. When this did not work, he was picked up by his ankles and slung into the wall.
My heart cannot stand the thought.
Only time will tell what long term effects he may suffer, but daily I am reminded of God’s mercy and grace on him when he smiles over and over at me, when he coos and laughs, and by his very breath. He shouldn’t be alive. He shouldn’t be able to see. And he shouldn’t have use of his limbs. And yet, he does.
So, we are the proud parents of 6 children. 3 of our own making, and 3 that no one wanted except God.
And for some reason, God trusted them to us.
We are so blessed.
So, yet again, this blog will change. But the main point will always be: God is good.