Rush, Rinse, Repeat…

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Busy busy busy busy busy busy days..

These days are days of constant movement, never stopping, always moving to the next thing and the next and the next. I’m tired.

My mornings begin with making sure two 14 year old girls get ready and leave the house by 6:30 to catch their bus. Then it’s on to waking the 13 year old man child and making sure he gets up and brushes his fuzzy teeth, eats and has a lunch with him.  He leaves at 7:10 to catch his bus.  Then it’s on to the two 8 year olds and the sour patch toddler.  The 8 year old are ready for the day as soon as they rise! It’s questions and “let me show you this” or “Mama, yesterday my friend and I were designing a video game and it goes like this….” The toddler is just the worst.  He cries and whines the whole time.  We all work wicked hard to get him to just be content.  But of course he only wants mama to make his waffle and he only wants mama to turn on the t.v. and he only wants mama to give him his blanket…. ARRGG!!!  I have to get the sour patch kid happy and get him dressed and bags packed for daycare.  All while telling the 8 year olds “Did you brush your teeth?? Go brush your teeth! I mean now!”, “Get your shoes on”…. “Get your shoes on!” “Do you have your backpack?” “Where’s your homework? Put it in your bag!” “GET YOUR SHOES ON!!” I rarely get time to actually drink my cup of coffee or make my own breakfast.  I can barely remember to brush my own teeth some days! Then it’s to the bus stop at 7:50.  The 8 year olds get on the bus by 8:05 and then it’s off to daycare with the sour patch kid. Some days he enters the daycare like a civilized human child. Other days he enters like a horrible demon possessed beast.  It’s loud screaming and lots of tears and daycare workers prying him off me.  It’s painful on so many levels. Not only do I want to run and hide from him as fast as my chicken legs will carry me, but the crushing weight of guilt that comes from being relieved to have a break from this child that I love so dearly hurts a whole lot too.

After getting all these little blessings off to their schools for the day, I rush right to work. I like work, but it’s work. After the morning I’ve had I wish for my bed and a good book to just sit and be still with. Instead it’s emails, and phone calls with vendors, some who are amazing, others who are… not so amazing. I stay there till 5pm and then it’s time to get two of the children from their daycare/afterschool programs and rush home. It’s dinner time and chore time and homework time and time to hear how everyones day went.  There are 6 of them.  I am outnumbered and don’t have enough ears to hear all of their stories, but I do my damndest.  We eat dinner at the table together and then it’s clean up and bed time.  And time to start thinking about doing it all over again the next day. But first I go to the gym for at least an hour.  I do this about 4 times a week because it’s something that I love and gives me life. And then it’s home and bed.  As soon as I hit that bed you would think I would fall fast asleep, but that is not the case.  It’s when I make my list of things to do for the next day.  It’s when I get to sit in quite. I edit pictures that I’ve taken that day.  I post a lot on Instagram between 11pm-12am.  

I can’t really describe how tired I am on a daily basis.  I feel the tiredness in my bones some days. I feel the hopelessness in my bones too.  The hopelessness that it’s never going to get better and that this is all there is to life. Running, rushing, rushing, rinse, and repeat.  It’s overwhelming.  We don’t even do sports here in this house. It’s just regular life that keeps us on the go.  

I have 6 kids that I am charged with keeping alive.  Some days I don’t know if one or two of them will make it past 10 years old. Somehow they make it to the next day and the next day and the next.  Somehow they still like me, even when I have to be the crazy mother who yells because “NOBODY LISTENS TO ME!! DO YOUR CHORES!  WHY DON’T YOU HELP ME! I CAN’T KEEP UP WITH ALL OF YOU!!!!!!!”  Those aren’t my most favorite moments to replay at night when trying to sleep.  Ugh. 

I love them.  I love them all so much and when I think about not having to be so tired and do all of the things I do for them, it makes me so excited for the future!!  HA! You thought I was gonna say I would miss it didn’t you???  Well I might miss it when I’m old and gray and ready to die, but right now I just want a little relief.  A vacation away from m ALL of the THINGS!! And I’m not gonna feel guilt over that. I’m super excited that my kids are getting older and can do things for themselves! One of the 8 year olds taught the other 8 year old how to make eggs. People!!! That means I don’t have to make eggs on a Saturday morning anymore!!! HALLELUJAH!!!! JESUS THANK YOU!! I have two 14 year olds who can change poopie diapers and you bet your bottom that I pay them 2 dollars per gross diaper they change! The 13 year old man child can change a diaper too, but just the wet ones. He also takes out the trash anytime I ask him to.  They no longer need me to wake up with them and they no longer need me to cook every single meal for them or get them dressed.  They are self sufficient tiny humans.  I enjoy them and I love them more than I ever thought possible, but I’m not gonna lie and tell you I aint looking forward to going on a cruise with other adults, or traveling somewhere all by myself, and not having to worry about packing snacks or extra clothes for anybody but me.  

I am in survival mode these days, but I’m still having fun along the way.  The older my kids get the better the jokes get.  They get sarcasm and it’s so much fun to be able to tease them and for them to tease me back. And the shows and movies we watch are so much better these days. I love that they can handle hard things like mama going to work for the first time ever and taking on more chores to help me out.  I love the crap out of every season they go in, but somedays I’m tired and hope for the next season to come real quick. 

Is it suppose to be this hard?

My family is a fostering family.  It’s something that I always thought about doing as an individual, but I never thought my husband would ever want to do something like this. We already had 4 kids, why on earth would we take on another one?   BUT GOD is God and he has a way of messing around with your heart and making it want something you never thought you would. One day my husband looked at me and said, “I think we should look into that Foster Care stuff now.”  James 1:27 “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress” -ESV  had been a verse that kept coming to him during prayer or conversations.  Of course I got a bit dramatic and started to freak out at the prospect of this whole Foster Care Idea. With the help of my undramatic and very logical friend Christie, I made the first phone call. 10 MAPP classes and 3, almost 4 years later, we are still at it.

Here’s some super flattering pictures of us at foster care graduation night

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We’ve had many kids come through this house, and have loved everyone. But February 2015 my heart didn’t know what hit it.  We got the call on a Friday that a newborn baby needed a home straight from the hospital. He was supposed to arrive on that Monday but it was the year of blizzards and Massachusetts was closed on Mondays for the month of January and February, so he showed up on a Tuesday.   Baby boy was 5 days old, and I knew from the moment I saw him that he was something special.  It took a couple more months for my husband to realize this, but he’s always a bit slower and needs a little time to catch up:)   We called him JC and he captured the hearts of everyone he met.  There were times when we thought he would leave us. About a year into him being with us, the weekend of my girls 12th birthday, I was told to pack him up and have him ready to be picked up on Monday. They were going to take him to live with his half siblings and their relatives.  It was a weekend of mourning and worry and trying to figure out how to tell my 4 children, that the baby we have all grown to love so much was going to live with absolute strangers.  But in the true fashion of social workers, it was Wednesday when I finally called and asked when they were coming to get him, just to be told that they decided he was going to stay with us for a little bit longer.  This process happened 3-4 more times.  Having a baby whose future is unknown is a constant pain in your gut.  Knowing that if they decided to take him from us, not only would our world be turned upside down but so would his.  We were the only family he’d ever known.  The people he would go to wouldn’t know that his favorite band was Johnnyswim, and the only thing to get him to stop crying when he was teething was to put their album on repeat.  They didn’t know the songs I sang that would get him to smile and  calm down.  It was an unimaginable pain and deep seeded heartarche to be reminded that he wasn’t actually ours.  Through all of this I couldn’t help but think that “MAYBE WE SHOULDN’T BE DOING THIS, IT’S TOO HARD.”   I feared that our decision to be a Fostering Family would ruin my other children.  That this heartache would be too much for them and it would harden them.  Somedays I just wanted to crawl into my little introverted hole and not come out.  I had deep conversations with God.  I let him know that I might not make it if my baby boy left me.

A couple pics from the weekend we thought we were saying goodbye

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BUT GOD. He has taken care of us this entire time. He’s given me a husband that is my true partner in all of this. We cry and ache together.  He has given me friends that I can call on and cry with or rage with or just be overly dramatic with.  He’s blessed me with children that are amazingly strong and he’s molding them into humans who care about more than just their own little world.  They are compassionate, caring, and selfless.  They have depth and know what it is to serve others.  They hurt sometimes but that’s ok.  Learning to hurt and still have joy is something people work on for years.  They’re just getting a head start:)  Trusting God through all of this has definitely made us a stronger family unit.  Someone told me recently  ” You know it’s from God if it’s easy”  I think I strongly disagree with this statement.  In fact I know I do.  God never promised easy, but he did promise his unyielding support, love, grace and mercy.  This is our calling.  I feel that clearer than ever these days.  Just because its hard doesn’t mean you should quit.  So we are making  the decision to hang on and cling hard to the Lord and his promise to never let us go.

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Well 2 years and a whole lotta tears later, HE’S OURS!! We are going to be able to adopt our baby boy!  We’ve even chosen his new name,  Jameson Michael, Jamie for short. It’s still a little unreal to me.  I no longer cry tears of grief over him.  My tears are of relief and joy. And because I’m sooo dramatic (eye roll please) I’ve gone on to worrying about if I will be a good mother to him.  I’ve never adopted anyone before.  I don’t know what it’s going to be like to try to answer his questions of where he came from.  He has 4 bio-siblings out there.  I have no clue what to do with that!!!  Then I take a deep breath and think “BUT GOD”.  He knows, and I trust that he will get us through it all.