Sunday, January 23, 2011

And Why Am I Doing This?

I keep asking myself this question every time I come home from taking the foster care classes. Seriously they are sad, depressing and overwhelming and that's just the tip of the iceberg. I feel so bad for these children. I really wish that all parents or soon to be parents took these classes. They are eye opening, but they also give great parenting advice.

In the last few weeks we have covered the topics of abuse(sexual emotional and physical), neglect, impacts of abuse of development, attachment, separation, grief, and loss. We spend four hours a day discussing these topics and the sad thing is we are just scratching the surface of most of them. I come out of these feeling so small and yet still empowered. I'm not sure how that is possible, but there it is.

Our trainer tells these horrifying stories of what these children have been through and then even more horrifying stories of what we as foster parents should expect these children to be like and I really ask myself if I'm strong enough to handle this. I find myself on my knee praying for strength more than ever before because I know I won't be able to do this without the help and love of my Lord and Savior.

It almost comical how my brain keeps telling me no you aren't doing this you need to stop going to class and just tell them this is not something you can do, but I find myself in the next class and turning in the next set of paperwork as if my body is detached from my brain.

Our trainer pulls no punches. She tells it how it is. We have several foster parents who are renewing their licenses and they testify that she's right on with what she is teaching. They all say it is hard work, but totally worth it. That even in the hardest child their is a soft core begging to be loved and cared for.

I can only hope they are right and that I have what it takes to handle not only the ups and downs of the children in care, but the emotional trauma when these children leave my home to reunited with their parents. I just have to keep saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger,"...

Although when I think about it if it's bad enough that it could kill me,  but doesn't, will I wish I were dead anyway?

Thursday, January 13, 2011


 It's be years since I've I've been on a date with anyone besides my husband so when it comes to giving advice to my newly divorced sister I don't have much. My sister is on a dating site and has had several men ask her out to which one she has accepted. He seems like a really nice guy and I hope they have a great time. They plan to meet at the restaurant and then leave separately so she is being safe since they did meet online. She is nervous so if anyone has any advice please comment.

It's an awesome world that a single mom with four kids can still meet people without having to leave her children all the time. It's also cool that she can weed out anyone that she knows is not what she is looking for through the websites compatibility tests. She know they are not fool proof and that people can lie, but it is a nice jumping off point.

The only thing that is a little weird is how many older men are hitting on her. She is in her mid thirties and guys in their late fifties and early sixties are flirting with her and asking her out. Maybe it isn't so weird, but there is the question. How old is too old? I realized that older man marry younger woman all the time and there isn't a code of reference for this kind of stuff, but I want to know what you think. How old would be too old in your mind?

Please comment and share your opinion.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I Must Be Crazy

"If it doesn't hurt, you didn't do it right." This is the first thing my foster trainer tells me in training and at that moment I think to myself, "I think I might have just signed myself up for the most intense emotional pain I've ever felt in my life. What was I thinking and it hits me again for the hundredth time since deciding to be a foster parent...I'm thinking of that one child I can help feel safe and loved while their parents try to pull themselves together."

I still feel overwhelmed with all the things that have to be done in order to foster, but when I read the case files and stories how can I turn my back on what I know I'm suppose to do.

A Child Like Me?
With saddened eyes and head bent low,
It's damaged goods most see.
Whith my unclear past and broken heart,
Who would want a child like me?
I watch her walk into the room.
From a distance I can see.
But dare I take a closer step?
Who would want a child like me?
And then I see her look my way.
She smiles so tenderly.
But do I even dare to dream,
She would want a child like me?
And then, as if I spoke out loud,
She approaches cautionsly.
I try so hard to once believe,
She will want a child like me.
But dare I once let down my gaurd,
And trust that she will see,
Hiding beneath this old stained shirt,
Is a beautiful child like me?
My smile, they say, lights up a room.
I'll be good as good can be.
Oh, please, dear God, let her want
A special child like me.
I feel her hand reach out for mine,
And within her eyes I see,
A single, tiny, shining tear.
Could she want a child like me?
And when she takes me in her arms,
With a warmth so pure and new,
She says the words I've prayed to hear,
"The child I want is you"
~Lisa J Schlitt

Thursday, January 6, 2011

One Good Laugh Deserves Another

So today has been a little overwhelming. Nothing serious I'm just letting all the things that stress me out attack at once. So I decided to read a few funny sayings to help me get through the day. Here are a few of my favorites.

God put me on this Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now, I am so far behind I will never die.

If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was going to blame it on you.

If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

Everytime I think I've hit the bottom, someone lends me a shovel.

If at first you don't succeed, give up, no use being a fool.    

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Moving On

My sister is divorced. It's official. They still have to go to court to divide all the assets, but she is a free woman. So what now? It's time to move on I guess. It's a new year and with it new adventures. I am interested to see what the judge will decide. Richard is still out of the country so we aren't sure if she will have to wait until he is back in order to finish this. He is not military so hopefully things can be resolved quickly.

I'm happy for her. She is entering a new exciting and scary part of again. I'm sure that must be strange, but I think she is ready to at least have a few guy friends. It's been almost two years since she was separated from Richard and she has pretty much locked herself away until the divorce was final. Now she feels she can start looking for something new. A friendship, a boyfriend, or maybe just an email pal. Who knows?

As for me I am also entering a new stage in life. My youngest is going to be in school this August leaving me at home alone. You might be wondering what I will be doing with my new found freedom. Go shopping everyday, make a daily trip to the gym, or maybe just lounge around the house reading and writing. That does sound nice doesn't it? But not me. I can't seem to give myself a break. So here it goes. My husband and I are going to be foster parents! Yep you heard me right. We have decided to get out license so we can foster children five years old and younger.

We are excited and nervous at the same time. Our children are all for it, but I'm sure there will be time when we all wonder what the heck we were thinking. I'm sure there will be tears of joy and sadness, but either way we are entering a new world and hope to be able to give a few children a home were they feel safe and loved until their own parents can figure out their lives.

So here's to the new year! May God bless and watch over all of you and may you find the things in life that make you happy.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Silent Night

As I sit tonight enjoying the last few hours of Christmas this year I am left with a feeling of gratitude and sadness. The holiday season always feels so rushed and sometime I let that get the better of me, but tonight with my family all tucked in their beds asleep I get to take a quiet moment to think back on this last year.

It has been a year of turmoil and wonder. Of course some of the turmoil was created by Richard because for some reason his being around seems to make everything harder. So my first thought is how grateful I am that he is far away in another country. I realize this might sound vindictive and mean, but really when he is gone everything calms down.

My next thought is of my two younger brothers. One was married this year to a wonderful woman. They seem to be so happy and he has waited such a long time to finally meet the right person that I would feel so ungrateful not to mention this wonderful event tonight. They have been married a little over four months and the newlywed glow still gleams brightly off both of them. The other is far away in another country and I am missing him tonight. He called for Christmas and it was so good to hear from him, but it left me feeling sad that he is not here sharing Christmas with us.

Another grateful thought is for my sister's divorce. It finally happened this week after a year and a half of struggling through it. The only sad part is that nothing has been settled. Richard filed for bifurcation so that if he died while overseas my sister didn't have any rights to make any of the final arrangements. They still have to go to court and battle everything else out, but at least my sister is free to move on with her life. With all the turmoil surrounding this situation I expected a big bang at the end, but it happened quietly without much fanfare. I am sure this will not be the case when they go to court.

One thing that has left me feeling sad and happy at the same time is that my two older boys came to me a few days ago to let me know that they knew the truth about Santa. I can't say I was disappointed that they knew the truth, but it did make me a bit sad that they are growing up so fast. I worried that this knowledge was going to make their Christmas experience less exciting, but that wasn't the case at all. They were still excited to open their presents and put on a great show to keep the spirit alive for my younger two children. In the end I feel them knowing was a blessing for me because I felt I didn't have to lie, or pretend if you will, and still be able to fully enjoy Christmas day. They knew who the gifts came from and they were so great to thank their father and me all day for the wonderful presents without taking the excitement of Santa away from my younger two. (I may not push Santa on my children, but I won't ruin it for them if they want to believe.)

My finally thoughts of the night are on the little baby boy who's birth we are celebrating tonight. A baby who would grow into a man and bring a message of joy and happiness to the world. I am most grateful for my Savior and for the message of hope and of love he shares with us, but most of all the message of having an eternal family.

So to end this entry I want to wish a Merry Christmas out there to my family. I love you all very much and hope such great things for you. May God bless each of you and may your days be merry and bright.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Only The Lonely

My sister has been separated from Richard now for well over a year and a half. She filed for divorce about four months after she left him. About four months after she filed Richard was engaged to the new love of his life. My sister found this out from her children who were unsettled that their father had met someone and asked her to marry him without really even talking to them.

This woman has a two year old daughter and Richard insisted that  his boys refer to the little girl as their sister. He had his fiance move her things into his new house and gave the little girl her own room. His boys were a little upset about this because he told one of them that they could have their own room and now they couldn't. The little girl was a bit spoiled being two and an only child which was hard on my youngest nephew. He was used to getting a lot of his dad's positive attention and now Richard was yelling at him more and more. My youngest nephew did not take this well.

My sister was concerned that Richard was setting a bad example for her boys by letting his fiance and daughter stay overnight. Not only were they not divorced, but they had always taught their boys that you should be married before living with someone. She discussed it with him and he swore up and down that this was not happening and would not happen while they were divorced and he was married to his new fiance, but not two weeks later her oldest came home and said that not only was she spending the night, but that she was sleeping in bed with his dad.

This was upsetting and hard for my sister. How was she supposed to teach her boys right from wrong when their father was always contradicting her? All she could do was continue telling them that this was not a good thing and that they shouldn't do it.

Another upsetting thing was that during the time of his engagement he was still trying to get my sister to reconsider and come back to him. Which proves that in his mind he thought there was still a chance they might not get a divorce. So he was in fact cheating on my sister and because he was still trying to come get back with him he was also cheating on his fiance. When my sister brought this to his attention his excuse was that he was lonely and in a bad place.

Well let me tell you something. I've have had my moments of loneliness and I know my sister is lonely, but it has never crossed our minds to go out and find someone new while we are married to someone else. Whenever I get sad or lonely I usually get a new pet and my sister reads a book, exercises or calls someone to talk too. Funny how she manages not to go whoring around even though she's lonely, but I can promise you one thing if she did Richard would be all over her for it and wouldn't have the slightest problem pointing out that she was doing so. He's such a peach I tell ya.

Oh and about four months after he asked this woman to marry him she broke it off. I wonder why? It couldn't be because Richard is the most selfish man on earth, could it?

So we know what Richard does when he's lonely, and what my sister and I do when we are lonely. What do you do when you are lonely?