I don't talk about foster care often, mostly because there is so much that I cannot share. I've also found that taking pictures of and talking about a 17 year-old is different than taking pictures and talking about a 9 year-old.
At seventeen, they are their own person. I read the following a while back and it made so much sense to me....the reason I share so little about R and less and less about Avery:
And so much of it....you just can't talk about.
Because you suddenly realize that these kids are people.
People with feelings and emotions. And you can't go around blogging about their mean math teacher or their failed attempt at choir auditions. These are things that are too precious, too priceless, too soul-baring, too hard to share. They need you to be their safe place. They need you to keep their secrets. They need you to pick up pimple concealer at CVS and not breathe a word to anyone. They are so easily embarrassed and you must do your part to help them get through it.
And you know what? You will help them get through it. You will give them pep talks and scoldings and reminders and notes.
You will give them confidence, and wings. It just takes awhile.
(Check out the whole post HERE...so good!)
We have a full house this week. By many standards, five kids is not a lot, but having a respite or a new placement adds a significant degree of difficulty. We spend the first several days concerned about basic safety for all involved and then the process of getting to know each other begins. Routines, rules, likes, dislikes.
Also, the patience-trying process of building trust. I have no reason to trust them and they have no reason to trust me, so we start from scratch and make small, almost imperceivable steps towards trust.
You don't realize how fundamental trust is to a quality relationship until you don't have it. With my own kids, we started building trust from the moment they were born. When they cried, I fed them. When I said don't touch, its hot and they touched it anyway, they learned to take me at my word.
And for many of the kids we take, they are starting over again. Disheartening for them, exhausting for me.
Yesterday morning I went out on the porch alone and just said, God please help me. And quietly sang
Lord, I come, I confessBowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
God IS my strength. I marvel all the time that He called us to foster care in spite of me and all my shortcomings, not because I am so special or have a clue what I'm doing. He took my carefully crafted list of reasons why I should be disqualified and torn it into shreds and reminded me that I can do all things through Him.
In the snippets of time when Shaun and I get to talk and I'm able to share pieces of my struggles, he's started to jokingly say what you need is to find a husband who can help you out with some of this. :) Yes, looking forward to having my partner-in-crime back from tax season and I'm clinging to Jesus, who is my Source.