As I am sure you can guess, being a mom to five kids doesn't lend itself to being able to blog the way I'd like, but here is a quick update for those of you who are still reading!
Well, we made it through February. This year February was filled with birthday celebrations, excitement, sickness, puking, fevers, coughing, Asher missing, swimming, Build a Bear, and grace...lots and lots of grace. I can't say I am sad to see the calendar turn to March. I'd like to say that dates like my mom's birthday and Asher's birthday pass with ease, yet I found myself in tears even this year. I can't help but wonder what my sweet five year old would be like, what kind of cake he'd choose and what his prized gift would be! We took the kids to Build a Bear and made animals for his birthday and we found sweet Hope grieving the most as she never got to meet her other red haired brother. I still find it tough to get through February without thinking of where we were five years ago to the date...the sonograms, the tests, the hospitalizations, the results, the heartache, the joy, the grace, the love, and the tears. I am just grateful that we can continue to grieve with hope.
We are looking forward to spring and summer and getting outside more. Jacob is oh so close to walking and I know he is just going to love all of the activities that come with summer. He is coming into his own and his Occupational Therapist believes as of May he will no longer qualify for her services! This is great news, but we will miss her. He started speech therapy this past week and it was really intriguing. I wasn't sure what speech therapy for a one year old would entail but it was pretty cool!
The boys are chugging along with school work and exploring and using their imaginations like I'd never imagined they would without school. They are growing and becoming such amazing little men. I am so grateful that I get to be home and witness their lives. They are such a help to me!
Hope is as spunky and sweet as ever, she loves being a little momma to the babies and giving her older brothers a tough time...she is trying to figure out this world and what is "true" and "real". She is writing her name and drawing up a storm.
As for foster care....baby girl is still here. It is unclear if she will be here beyond her court date in May, but such is foster care. I find myself infuriated with the "system" most of the time as it is broken and often doesn't do these dear ones the justice they deserve...all we can do is pray for her and her family and know that God is sovereign over all if it.
All that to say, it is exhausting. When the stomach flu starts in this house it takes a full week to work through everyone and by then we've started on fevers, coughing and the next illness. I spent the afternoon yesterday, soaked in puke waiting for chest xrays for baby girl. Four hours in the hospital followed by insurance drama at the pharmacy had me ready to throw up my hands! As I expressed my frustration to my sweet husband, he gently reminded me that THIS is why people "could never do this" night after sleepless night, germs, foster care frustration and insurance drama aside, I am still confident this is where God has placed us. It is so easy to just want to throw my hands up and say, "I quit, this is not my problem", but then I am reminded that it IS my problem, it really is all of our problem. Quitting isn't going to fix anything, and God surely never quits on me, so we will press on.
Truthfully after a little quiet time, I realized what a privilege it was to GET TO sit there with that sweet girl in the hospital making sure she got the care she deserved. Someone has to fight for that precious child, and I get to be that Momma. I have no idea what the future holds for her and that is really hard, but I know right now, today she is safe, and loved and cared for, and truly, that is all I NEED to know.
All in all we are hanging in there, by the grace of God. Some days are merely about survival, others I fail miserably and others yet, I feel a sense of great success. By and large we are more blessed than we deserve to be and are really enjoying life as a family of seven and trying to live in the moment instead of always looking so far ahead, that is one blessing of foster care, you kind of have to adopt that view or you probably go crazy. :)
One of my greatest struggles though is getting dinner on the table during the that hour of chaos when everyone is home, hungry and full of energy. I am finding my crock pot is a very useful tool to beat the chaos...what are some of your favorite crock pot recipes?!