I don’t really know what inspired me to dust off the old blog and start writing about our life again, but man does it feel good! So much has changed since my last post a year and a half ago. Jude is a full force toddler at this point. He’s running and jumping and is full on boy. I ended up quitting my job as a full-time teacher to stay home with him, and life since then has never been the same, in a good way! Our foster daughters we have had in our home for the last 3 years are FINALLY being adopted NEXT week! We are so excited to become their mom and dad forever. Jude’s health has been up and down and all over the place the last year as well. We finally got a diagnosis of Interstitial Lung Disease with a probable alveoli growth disorder this past summer and ever since we have just been trekking along. He is still fully tube fed but is making huge gains in feeding therapy. His lungs have proven to stay steady and not get worse over time so that is something we praise Jesus for each day. As for our fostering journey, it is going at full force. We changed agencies almost a year ago and since then God has been working hard in our lives. This summer we had a total of 7 children placed in our home in a matter of 3 months. We felt the burn out rather quickly and learned what our limits are in terms of what we are able to manage. Currently we have a 2 year old girl who has been with us since October. She is such a light and joy and we truly adore her! And that brings me to the reason why I really jumped on here and busted out the old blog again….
Every Tuesday night I leave all the kids with Josh, drive 30 minutes north of town, and walk into a group therapy session for women with anxiety. For the last almost 2 years I have been showing up every week to work on myself and manage the constant stress that life so often throws at us. It is an escape to say the least. Most nights I leave feeling refreshed and refilled. Many times I walk out with coping skills and mechanisms to make it through whatever I may be dealing with that week, but last night my eyes were opened to a whole new reality. Our discussion topic was about blind spots and how those blind spots can be a hindrance to making decisions. We were asked what we think our own blind spots are, but honestly how do you answer that question if it is actually in fact a blind spot?!
The therapist looked straight at me and said, “I know exactly what your blind spot is. It is your heart. You love too much.” I kind of wanted to laugh it off and tell her that it is impossible to love too much but then I realized that she was exactly right. This summer I found myself caring for SIX children, 5 of them fosters, ages 2 months to 7 years old because my heart was too big and I didn’t have boundaries. I found myself completely overwhelmed, stressed beyond measure, and crying at the drop of a hat because it was just too much. It was then that I learned my heart gets me into a lot of trouble. After that learning experience, I realized that it’s okay to say no and that we don’t always have to accept every offer that is placed in front of us.
Since then we have set limits for ourselves but recently we have felt that with the upcoming adoption of our girls we just don’t know what God has in store for us. If I were to be gut level honest with you, I would tell you that my heart aches for 2 girls and 2 boys in our family makeup. I so desperately wish for Jude to have a brother to grow up with like the girls have each other. For us though, it’s not just as easy as saying let’s get pregnant. Instead we have to make some life altering decisions. Do we finally pursue IVF even though we have tabled that option so many times before? Do we continue fostering and trust that God will bring us a child that He sees fit? Do we only limit our placement options to newborn baby boys? Do we close our home all together and just trust that God will miraculously get us pregnant naturally? There are literally so many options and none all at the same time.
Recently we sat down and had a long talk. We felt that maybe now was the time to pursue IVF, with the finalizations of our 2 girls and knowing that we don’t have much more room in our home for many more children. We made an appointment with our RE, the same RE who sat us down 2 years ago and told us that maybe the tiny newborn we were holding in our arms was what God had planned for us all along. When we took that plunge though and made the appointment just to see what options we have, I couldn’t help but feel this twinge in my heart like there is something else we are supposed to be doing. We felt that God had always steered us in the right direction and He has never led us astray so if we really are putting this all in His hands then we need to trust Him with whatever He decides. So two weeks ago we opened our home up again to one baby 0-6 months. We also knew there was a sibling coming into care for one of our children and we made sure to let it be known we were open and willing to take that child if they were not placed with a relative. Essentially we threw open all the doors and said, “God you decide.”
As much as I would love to sit here and tell you that I have been doing really well with just being patient and waiting, that would be a total lie! The last 2 weeks I have trusted that God would lead us down whatever path He feels is best, but that’s about as long as I got before I started trying to micromanage everything. Opening all of these doors has just given me more opportunities to reveal my blind spot to myself. The last 24 hours I have stuck my hand in so many things that really were not necessary, especially if I was actually trusting that God would handle it all like I said He would. That is where I’m trying to learn discipline. I’m exercising my willpower every time I pick up the phone or want to text the caseworker for another update (even though I know full well nothing has changed); I’m stretching myself to not obsess about the fact the phone is silent and no one is asking us to take placements; and I’m working really hard to not read into the fact that our IVF appointment was pushed back until April. It’s hard. It’s uncomfortable. And quite frankly, I’m annoyed that I even decided to push myself in this way, but isn’t it impossible to become a better version of yourself unless you try?