Friday, August 30, 2013

Mixed bag of emotions

Just as I entered the joy and comfort of summer...the state began calling. Two cases and three kids later we had 8 kids in our home. It quickly became rough. Almost overwhelming at times and that's not even the kids. It's everything involved in having kiddos placed. The priority is getting the kids, who are scared and overwhelmed settled in. Then the next step (before you can blink an eye) is the phone calls start. All the people who are wanting this and that from you and the kids. It felt pretty much non stop. Phones calls in and out. Appointments and parental visits. I had reached my limits...at least I felt I did. The kids were 5 (with delays and speech impediment),1 yr old needy baby, and also a 3 year old girl from another family. I won't go into details of all the requirements and requests, but it's taxing...especially when you already have a marriage and 5 kids, 3 dogs, cat and home you are managing. Not to mention other emotionally draining events happening with adult kids, family, and friends. I raised a white flag, humbled myself and had to call the state a month later and declare it was too much. I had to have the sibling set transferred. It was gut wrenching...something I will never forget. It was completely bitter sweet! The relief was great, but the baggage left behind of me feeling like I failed them was heavy. My family sighed a big sigh though. Three weeks later and it appears the "long term" placement we had will be transferred soon. That is bitter sweet as well. She was a huge challenge with emotional outbursts and a strong will, but about a week and half ago she took a turn for the better. Huge improvements. Now who knows how the transfer will affect her. Which brings me to a rant.... I understand how the state wants to find 'family' for kids that are removed from their homes...but it's too much. They are paying 'family' members to care for these kids. So called family that doesn't even know the child or has only seen them once or twice. Such as second cousins, Great aunts of the abuser and so on.....I could be wrong but I feel if kids in state care didn't come with assistance that some of these 'family' members wouldn't be so willing. I pray I am wrong...truly...I worry because my heart is deeply seeded with the little ones. I want them to be loved and cherished and cared for. I worry they will become a fixture within the home. Also this policy/law has made it to where kids are now experiencing more transfers within the system. Instead of being placed in a foster home and then staying there until they can be returned to their parent/s, they are then transferred to another home, causing more trauma. It's mess...and there is no easy answer. I feel for the parents who feel trapped within their lifestyle, I feel for the state workers who are torn between their hearts, their job, and the judges. Then I feel the deepest for the wounded little ones. They have no power, no choice, and suffer the greatest of the consequences. PRAY for them...pray for the innocent all over the world. School starts next week and I feel I need another month. I am not ready and neither are my kids. I dread with all my being...now isn't that an encouragement to my babies!!! sigh! I love my kids being home. I love my home being homework free. I love have the flexibility to be spontaneous. Summer break is soooo short! On a high note, we western Oregonians had a great summer. We actually had sunshine and heat, but not too much heat. It was fantastic! Hate for it to end. It was beautiful. Had alot I could have updated but my time is up....so sayeth my little ones. Three day weekend ahead...praying all families are blessed and safe. Gods peace on each of you

Thursday, February 28, 2013

My daughter in Japan

The exchange student we had for the month of January was amazing. She fit our family perfectly. We were so nervous and yet again...God called us to it...and He worked it out perfectly. She was so sweet and gladly accepted our crazy house and our affection. Two days before she left we were in my car alone and I mentioned how she would be leaving soon and I couldn't believe it. She started to cry. Oh my goodness...that touched my heart. I figured she was ready to go home. The day she left, she sobbed and sobbed and didn't want to let us go! We all cried. Even my baby girl. She was so broken hearted to see Mayu (My-oo) leave. It was so difficult. We have stayed in touch. What a blessing. She calls me Mom. So I consider her my other daughter. God is amazing at the plans he makes and the blessings he has in store for us. Ones we would never imagine in our wildest dreams. I never imagined myself having a exchange student. I never imagined falling love with a young girl from Japan...a mommy kind of love. I never imagined what an impact a young lady from Japan would have on my kids. I never imagined our family would bless a family in Japan. I can't wait to see what else in store. I am excited, but in no hurry, to see how the Lord will use my kids in ministry....maybe even in Japan.
I have a daughter in Japan!

On it's way out...

February is already on it's way out! I just can't seem to say it enough...time sure flies! I have tried reducing my activities in order to create more time for family and my home and yet there doesn't seem to be more time. God knows what He is doing. Times are hard and will get harder. If the days were long and seemingly never ending, our hearts could not endure. Watch the news for an hour and see the truth in that.

The family is going great. Alot of illness this year...stomach flu and resporitory stuff. There is never a moment goes by that someone is blowing their nose, sniffing, coughing or clearing their throat. Quite an orchestra! But other than that all is well.

I have lost 17lbs and gained back about 4. Fatigue has returned. I felt great for a while and then wham the energy was gone. So frustrating. Last week was not a very good diet week. I do so much better when I plan our meals in advance and have everything purchased. So easy and yet many times I just don't do it. But I am still not giving up. I MUST get some of this weight off. My poor body needs me too. If food just wasn't so darn good! Talking with friends at church last night...we discussed how when you get sick to your stomach, such as stomach flu, and then you eat something or smell something and it adds to the feeling sick....you usually never want to eat it again. I came up with a great diet. Get the stomach flu and make yourself eat everything that you love...maybe once you are better you won't desire it anymore. But then again I worked for someone who had stomach bypass surgery, once she returned to work she discovered that everytime she ate chicken she would throw up. Guess what...she continued to eat chicken. She would shut her office door and we could hear her throwing up. Sad, but true. I would probably be just as bad.

An exciting event for our family is a new puppy. After our last puppy, several years ago, I told myself I would NEVER get a puppy again. Too much mess and too much work. Well...I have felt the need for a little dog, complete opposite of our two moose dogs at the moment. I have been searching for about 8 mths. I wanted just the right dog. I finally found her. She was at the Oregon Humane Society and she was THREE months old. ugh!!! But I saw her and knew she had to be the one. We went and met her and fell in love. She had 3 holds on her. They were able to remove two of the holds while we were there but we had to wait 24 hours for the other hold. It was a painstaking 24 hours. No one showed up for her. They needed to pick her up by 10:30 am....I called at 10:35...thought it kind to give a few extra minutes. As soon as they said she was still available for us...we jumped in the car and went. She is great. ALOT of work...but great. The kids adore her, our Great Dane adores her...our Whiner (we call him) does not adore her. He doesn't really even tolerate her. She scares him and irritates him. He is better this week, but still gets irritated by her. Other than that...it's been fun. She is so much like my kids...my daughters. She is a sweet, snuggly little spitfire! She is a 5 1/2 lb half Papillion and Pomerian. We named her Mia (Me-ah). I think I was needing a baby. Haven't had a baby placed with us for almost a year.

Wonderful news for our family is my Hawaiian daughter and her family will be moving to San Diego. My son inlaw has re-enlisted for 6 years and was assigned to San Diego. We had hoped for Washington State but am happy with SD. It's a world closer and cheaper to get to than Hawaii. They will be coming to visit in March. Not sure when but know they will. Can NOT wait to hug them and hold them all. It has been a year February since I was with them. Too long. The longest I have ever gone without seeing my daughter. We are all very excited. I am praying she finds as nice a townhome as she had in Oahu. I will greatly miss having a home connection in Oahu though and if I ever go there to vacation they will be on my mind all the time, seeing the all the things we did together. I am very proud of my son inlaw for the decision he did. It was not an easy one. I am one happy mama!

I have not started any new ministries. I did join a ladies bible study. We meet once a week. I am still on worship team and enjoy it very much. I have more control of my voice since I had my thyroid removed, that pleases me greatly. Not sure what the Lord will do with me. Right now I am caring for my family, and interacting with bio families of my adopted and foster kiddos. That hasn't been easy and I pray I am a good witness. I spend most of my time caring for my home. If that is all I am ever called to do, I will be satisfied....but I am sure the Lord has more in store.

Going to attend a Chris Tomlin concert in April. I can NOT wait. I love praising and worshiping with 100's-1,000's of others!!! It's amazing.

God is good all the time. I love Him and I hope my life glorifies him.


Friday, January 11, 2013

2013....Happy New Year, again...already!

Like is but a breath, a vapor, a mist...the bible refers to and what truth once again. As I look over a few pages of my blog, starting at my last entry which was August of last year, I can't believe the time that has passed and the events that have unfolded and it is all in the blink of an eye. Some of that is good....most of it not so much, especially when it comes to my kiddos. Oh how I desire for them to stay little and young.  When they become adults (I know, because I have two) it seems that time slows and then you can catch a breath and enjoy the pace...then what happens? They give you grandchildren. It's back to the races as you watch your sweet grandchildren spring up before your eyes. But, what amazing beauty God has blessed us with. Life is full of sadness and heartache and tragedy....but the thread of beauty is always there. Sometimes blatant, sometimes subtle. blatant would be to hold a newborn and sit in awe of the miracle that you are beholding. Subtle would be to catch a glimpse of one of your children sitting, doing nothing but just sitting there and have tears well up into your eyes as you marvel at the beauty of that creation! My focus is always the children, whether they are members of my household or a little one in the store or one in a far away country who is needing a home. There is so much beauty in this world to behold, and it swirls all around us and I appreciate it, I glory in it. Such as Mt. Hood. I gorgeous, majestic mountain that I can see from the area I live in....a creation of God that deserves appreciation....but have a child walk past me and let me see the beauty of their souls through their sweet eyes, it will bring me to tears every time.

Much has happened since August of course. We have one foster boy living with us. A great kiddo. So handsome, so tender hearted, gentle and kind. It's been good and bad having him reside with our little guy LB. They are a year apart and play hard, but they also destroy and cause quite a ruckus. Playing hard means more noise and minor devastation left in the wake. That's just the way it is. Only they could through a cloth ball the size of a baseball that is so light it can't even be measured, hit the pull string on a ceiling fan causing the chain to swing up and hit the glass, shattering it all over my mothers bed. Yeh....who would have, could have thunk?!?!? Not me and for sure not them. His reunion with his mother eminent which is good. We thought before Christmas but now it appears it will be slower than that. Which is fine. He loves his mom and enjoys the visits but doesn't seem in too much of a hurry to make things final. There is history and the history would make anyone hesitant. Thankful for his sensitive spirit.

Since August I have dealt with tennis elbow and oh how painful. In October my dad suffered an episode which they are classifying as heart failure. It was a moment of dizziness and instability, and then weeks of weakness. Many tests and everything came out good, oddly enough. His heart is just wearing out. My parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. I had the honor of organizing that event. It wasn't what I had wanted it to be but they seemed very happy. All their kids (5 of us) were there and the majority of their grand and great grands were there. Church family and friends also came. It was a good time. My parents looked happy. Another one of the moments of beauty and blessings.

I had the remainder section of my thyroid removed in December. In 2000 I had the left side removed due to enlargement and this time the right side. It was pretty darn big and uncomfortable. Still recovering from that little stint! Taking daily meds has been ok. Wasn't looking forward to it and it would be nice not to have to...but it is what it is. The week after surgery I had the stomach flu along with 3 of my children...that was fun...NOT! Eventually all our household and a few other family members had it as well. Christmas was here and gone before I knew it. I wasn't ready for it to leave...but it did Anyways. New Years was quiet and relaxed....!

I have family members still unemployed or underemployed which is so sad. Things are not better in that area. Yes unemployment is down, but they don't factor in that most of the employment is part time at 20 hours or less. No one can make a living on that. Still hoping things will turn around.

January we welcomed a Japanese exchange student. Have never hosted an exchange student before so this exciting. A little nerve wracking at first, but put faith in God knowing that if he allowed the counsel to pick us then God had someone special planned for us. We picked her up on the 8th and she is wonderful. Does not speak English well, but she tries very hard and she is just a beautiful young lady. Very sweet. We are enjoying it...especially my youngest BG. They adore each other and are having a blast. My BG gets ALOT of attention but doesn't always get the play interaction she needs. Mayu does that. After school they will play for a good 2-3 hours. Very endearing. It will be hard to let her return home, but I am sure she will be more than ready. A month away from home is such a long time. I am grateful for the opportunity and so are my two older girls.

My Hawaiian kids are doing good...except my daughters Navy husband is deployed right now for a month and a half. We are thankful though he was here for the holidays and for my grandsons 3rd birthday. That was an answer to prayer. He is deployed to San Diego right now switching out his ship. Always feel sorry for my girl when she is alone. sigh!!!

What is in store for 2013? Who the heck knows....we don't even know how many hairs are on our head, but the one who created us does....so I choose to stay by his side. I am sure this year will be much like all the other years, bad times, good times, and great times!!!

My local adult children, my son and his family are such a blessing. It's great to have to have a continuing good relationship with my dinlaw. Plus I get to see my grandson weekly. For that too I am so grateful

For you for this new year: The Lord Bless You and Keep You , the Lord make his face to shine upon you and give you peace.