She’s gone and I’m…

fine?

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The DHS worker showed up around 4 and luckily, brought little brother along. She was SO happy to see him.

“Brother, come see my room!” she squealed excitedly. Oh, Little One. How did she sleep last night in another new room? What will she think when she realizes she isn’t ever coming back to “her room?”

I’m glad she’s with people who know her. I just pray they’re good people who will take good care of them.

I cried this morning as I squeezed water out of bath toys so I could take a shower. When I found crayons and fruit snacks at the bottom of my purse. When I turned around in my car and saw her car seat in the back. They can’t prepare you for these things.

My heart hurts with missing her. With not knowing if I’ll ever see her smiling face again.

 

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Still here.

Little One is still with us. No further contact or update from DHS yesterday at all. We’re just going to barrel along as if she’s staying, until she isn’t. Gonna keep loving her with all I have.

How do people do this? How do you make plans? 

 

“When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.  I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:10-13

Uncertainty.

Uncertainty
1: The quality or state of being uncertain : doubt

In Foster Care, uncertainty is a constant state of being. So far, it’s been the hardest part. Will I have this little love for one night or four hundred and twenty-nine? Will she go home tomorrow or in six months or fourteen?

  • DHS, Friday, 4/6: Little One may be leaving today or tomorrow to go to another foster home with her little brother.
  • DHS, Monday, 4/9: Little One may be leaving today to go to a provisional (kinship) home.

From day one, I’ve loved Little One with my whole heart. I didn’t hold back. No doubt it’s going to gut me when she leaves, whenever that is. But I truly only want what’s best for her.

She’s smart and sweet and funny and resilient. She misses her family, but she’s still able to love hard with her beautiful little heart. She looks in the mirror and says to herself in her new dress, “Oh, I’m so gorgeous!” She says “Thanks, mom, this psketti is so delicious!” even though it’s filled with pureed carrot (“Gross!”) that I snuck in the sauce! She’s proud of herself when she goes on the potty and announces it to everyone, even the dogs, “Moony, I peeped in the potty!” She loves grapes, but only if they’re peeled. She fills our home with giggles and snuggles and pink and singing and kisses.

I’ve been praying for her family and praying that God will allow her to be in the best possible place for her. If this provisional home is it, then I want it for her. I’ll be truly happy for her.

More to come as I wait for the call, text or email that will end the uncertainty. Or maybe contain another maybe. Or maybe it won’t come at all. 

No matter what happens… there may be many that come after my Little One, but I will forever feel her presence in my heart. She’s my first. The one who made me Momma Jes. 

“Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.” Romans 12:9-10

p.s. Can you believe I didn’t shed a single tear while writing that… because I can’t?! lol

Dogs and Kids.

We have 3 dogs and I was worried about how they’d do when Little One arrived and invaded every corner of our lives. They’ve been amazing. Moony is twice her size, but has been so calm and sweet to her. Sulley and Lady are enjoying the extra snuggles.

She had a hard time falling asleep tonight, getting up several times in protest. Sulley and Lady are both in bed with her now, and I can hear her precious little voice talking to them. Telling them about her day and whispering to them in a language only dogs and kids understand. I’m so glad they’re there to give her some extra (and much needed) comfort.

Little One.

Little One ran through my door and into my life on Tuesday night at 7:45 pm. She’s 4 and a half, and oh so sweet. She’s already stolen my heart. And my sister’s. And my mom’s. And all of the dog’s.

The first night she got in bed, I read her a couple of stories and then I asked her if we could pray. She folded her tiny hands and started singing “Jesus Loves Me.” It was all I could do not to burst into tears. It was the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. We finished the song together, I kissed her goodnight and she was asleep almost instantly.

This is already the hardest and best thing I’ve ever done. 

The last few days have been hectic. I stayed home from work with her Wednesday and Thursday. We had a doctor’s appointment and had to do some shopping and visit day care centers. She’s been such a trooper.

SO SO SO thankful that my mom is so supportive. She was there all day yesterday helping me and loving on Little One.  Today she, or as Little One calls her, Grama Lisa, is home with her. Monday we’ll start her in a day care near my work.

This morning as I left for work I gave her a hug and assured her I’d be home later. She squeezed tight. Back in my mom’s lap she said, “Bye Momma Jes, I’ll miss you,” as I walked out the door. I barely made it to my car before I lost it.

So many emotions. The hardest part (heck, one of the many hardest parts) is not knowing how long she’ll be with us.

This is rambling and unorganized, but that’s my brain right now.

More to come.

I knew I loved you before I met you.

I keep thinking about “my” future kiddos. I don’t know their names, I don’t know what they look like. I don’t know if they’ll be short or tall; have curly hair or straight.

I keep wondering where they are right now. Are they okay? Are they hungry? Are they scared, hurting, alone? Is anyone going to bring them an Easter basket this weekend?

My heart breaks for these kiddos. I literally know nothing about them, but I already love them. How’s that even possible? (Well, I mean, I know how it’s possible. God makes it possible. But still, it’s a crazy feeling.)

Still waiting. Still praying. 

*Happy Good Friday*

Lessons on (puppy) love.

Look at this face:

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Who wouldn’t want to smooch this face and snuggle this puppy endlessly, am I right? Well, I know I do. I want to, that is. Whether or not I get to is debatable.

You see, sadly, Moony DOESN’T LIKE TO SNUGGLE. *Insert a picture of my weeping face here.*

Moony was born on my parent’s farm and I’ve known him since he was 3 days old. I spent many (many) hours with 7 squirmy little potato puppies, snuggling and playing with them all as they grew. I got to know each of them; I learned their personalities and quirks.

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I had the literal pick of the litter, it was completely up to me. I loved them all, but there was something special about my connection with Moony, then dubbed Waylon, and he was my early pick.

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I loved snuggling with him so much. I mean look at that face!

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Moony came home at 8 weeks, and we continued to develop our relationship, but as he got older, he became more and more independent. He prefers to nap in the corner down the hall, he sleeps on the floor under by bedroom window (instead of on the bed where I want him), if I try too hard to smother him with hugs and kisses, he gets up and walks away.

I have a friend who has one of Moony’s litter mates and she posts about how much he loves to get up in her lap and snuggle. What? Why not me!? I can’t help but feel a pang of jealousy!

Don’t misunderstand, I truly love my pup. I really do. He brings me so much joy every day. And surprisingly, he has been the greatest lesson I could have received right before I embark on this Foster Parenting journey. Let me explain…

While it is my first instinct and strongest desire to smother Moony with hugs and kisses and lay all over him and squeeze him till it hurts, that’s not how Moony wants/needs to be loved. (Not that I don’t still try from time to time…lol)

Moony loves to go for walks, and run around in the back yard. He likes to hike, looking back at me frequently to make sure I’m keeping up. He loves to play in the water and bring me toys for him to chase. He loves tuna fish and likes to lay at the other end of the couch while I watch TV. He stares at me during obedience class with focus and determination I didn’t think he’d be capable of. He hates being in the car but likes to put his head on my shoulder while I’m driving.

He most definitely wants affection, but mostly, he wants it on his terms. He’ll approach while I’m watching TV and sit in front of me, looking up like, now’s your chance lady.

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He’ll come up and bow his head down in my lap, asking for me to scratch his ears and shower him with just a few moments of attention. Then when he’s had enough, he’ll go lay down where he’s comfortable.

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What I wanted was a big fluffy snuggle monster. What I got was a puppy who loves me, loves spending time with me and truly wants affection, BUT on his own specific terms. I’ve had to learn to adjust my expectations and my own selfish desires to respect the needs/desires of this big floofy doof. Despite what I saw at first as a major detriment to our relationship, we have a strong bond that I know will only continue to grow throughout the years.

I learned to let go of my expectations and love the puppy I got, not the puppy I thought I wanted

Some of you may think I’m being a little silly (and maybe I am), by reading so much into this relationship with a dog. But, I truly think that dogs are special gifts from God, I think that our relationships with them are important, and can teach us a great deal about ourselves.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.