Letting go

I am an emotional wreck this morning. I have tried to keep busy, and with three Littles still here its not been hard, but my tears are still falling freely as the have all the last few hours.  

This morning was a huge step in independence for our 5 year old. For the first time since we moved he was able to ride the bus to school. Seeing that he still requires a car seat the bus needed to arrange an aid. Back home in WV our special needs bus automatically had an aid (we miss bus driver Richard so much) but they had to hire one here. We had to drive him back and forth to school  while we waited for the job to be listed,filled, and back ground check done before he was able to ride. Today was the day.  I walked him down the driveway, his purple Popsicle in one hand my hand in the other.  He looked so big. He asked why we were not in the car and I told him he would see.  As the bus pulled in he smiled great big and let out a loud giggle. He started jumping up and down saying “my bus my bus it pick me up” I smiled while trying to hold back the tears.  The bus door opened and his driver, a sweet little older lady, smiled and welcomed him on. She had me come on as well so that I could met the aid. We talked briefly while JR found his seat. She assured me he was in good hands and not to worry. With that it was time to let him go. He waved and giggled as he told me bye. The door closed and they were off. As I walked back up the driveway tears began to fall. I started thinking back to the fist days he was in our care. All the hospital visits all the reports saying “He may not make it” “He may never walk or talk we just don’t know” all the emotion hit me hard. I look back over my shoulder and think how far he has come. He is walking. He is talking. He is thriving.  I dry off my face and go in the house.

My husband gets our middle daughter ready to head out the door to her bus. He hugs our oldest daughter goodbye and tells her if she needs him just to call. He then tells Elissa to give her sissy a hug, she does and says “see you later sissy” Out the door they go. She will be so upset when she realizes sissy will not be here this evening. We tried explaining it to her but she is six, things seem to go in one ear and out the other with her this days. We will just pray for the best this evening.

Bags and suitcases line the hallway. We loaded up the last of her things and she tells the boys and baby girl goodbye, I stand in the kitchen waiting so the little ones don’t see me cry.  We hug and I kiss her check.  I go over her checklist and reiterate the importance of her calling me along the way when she stops and again when she gets there. The five hours drive worries me.  We walk to her car and I snap a few pictures, hard to believe she’s leaving. Even harder to beleive this is her last year at college.  I swear it was just yesterday I waited outside with her to catch the bus to go to kindergarten. Time moves so fast.  She looks out her window and says “I got to go” She blows me a kiss and I blow her one back. She pulls out of the garage and down the driveway she goes.

Letting go is not something I am good at. My kids (and my husband) are my life. I feel incomplete when they are away. I know that it’s part of life and they must spread their wings and learn to fly on their own but the worry is still there.  I pray that I as their mom have taught them enough and prepared them enough for the harsh world we live in. I have prayed for Jesus to cover them with His protection and for Him to give them wisdom when facing hard choices and for Him to remind them they are never alone that He is always with them. But as a mom you still worry have I done enough?  Letting go and letting them discover life on their own is hard but it must be done.  One day, just not today, I will look back and think of this day and a smile will come across my face because my babies were able to move on to the next part of their journey and that I was there to see it and be part of it. One day they will thank me for letting go and letting them move on and move forward. One day, they too, will have little ones that they will have to let go and on that day if tears fall down their face I hope they know its ok to do so. It’s hard on us moms but when we see just how much they accomplish on their own we will smile, our hearts will grow with pride, and we will be even more pleased with the wonderful children we have raised. Until then it’s ok to cry it’s ok to miss them it’s ok to worry about them. After all whether they are 5 ,21 or 100 they will always be our babies.

From our beautiful chaos to yours take time to make memories today for far to soon it will be time to let them go 

Our dinner table

Some of my best memories come from the dinner table.  At my grandparents (on my dad’s side) my brother and I would spend countless hours sitting around the dinning table, that sat in the kitchen, playing cards with papaw and mamaw. Back then we did not have common core math we had something better grandparents with imagination. My brother and I were taught how to add, subtract, multiply and divide by playing card games such as Rummy, Poker, and our favorite Canasta. We could spend hours playing with our grandparents on cold rainy days or even on days it was just to hot to play outside. Man I miss those days. 

I also think back to my other grandparents(on my mom’s side) The table was placed in the dinning room between the kitchen and the bedroom.  Saturday nights my grandfather, dad, and all my uncles on that side would gather around the table to play cards while the ladies cooked up something yummy to eat. All of us grandkids would be out chasing fireflies, swimming in the creek, or playing the “Dukes of Hazzard.” Sundays we gathered to eat meals fit for kings. Completely homemade, completely wonderful. We did not have assigned seats at the table, but everyone knew who sat where without saying. At both tables you would find my grandfathers at the head of the table where they could over see everything. And the chain of command went down from there. My dads mom could be found to my grandfathers right. Close to the sink where she could avoid the early afternoon sun coming in the far window.  On my moms side the men always ate first, childern second and the ladies last. Its how her mom had done before her so that tradition carried on to her house. Nowdays I am sure someone would be offended but back then it was just how we did things no one questioned it no one fussed. These were the good ol’ days when kids could play till the sun went down, we drank Kool Aid, ate homemade breads, parents just yelled out the door to say time to come in, yes times were simpler  then. 

I have tried to keep the dinning room tradition alive at our house. We all sit at the table together now. With six little ones you need all hands on deck. And you can tell you sits where by looking at the chairs. 

There is the obvious chair baby girl claims. It’s the only one with a booster strapped to it.  There’s the one Alex sits in. It has very little stains on the cushion, he is the cleanest three year old eater I have ever met.  Which brings us to Eli, his seat is covered with stains from meals past. He is not the cleanest three year old to eat. I think he gets more food on him than in him. Elissa sits at the top left seat, so she can watch for dad to come through the door if he has to work late. JR’s place is at the end of the table. He likes to stand while he eats so no chair is needed. (He does have one just on case he would ever change his mind) Next to him is where my husband eats. Right by the door so on those long days at work he can slide right in as soon as he comes in. When our older kids are home for a visit they pull up the stools and determine their place by which younger sibling wants them beside them the most. It’s always a different spot seeing the young ones can never agree on anything.  That leaves my seat. To the right of my husband, just as my grandmother’s seat was to the right of my grandfather’s. This places me beside my husband and beside baby girl. That takes us full circle or in this case a rectangle, you can’t fit nine people at a normal table. 

We share stories about our days. We laugh, we do homework,we eat, we live around that table.  My husband refinished our table shortly after we moved. The table belonged to my great grandfather on my dad’s side. I am sure if it could talk the stories it would have to share of a simpler time and stories we have created.  I pray that as my children grow some of thier best memories come from the time we spend around our dinner table.  

From our beautiful chaos to yours take this day God has given and make some beautiful memories. 

And Sadie makes 7


Foster care is full of unexpected twists and turns.  Just when you think your journey is over God laughs and says “You’re not finished yet”

It was mid September last year. My husband’s job was talking about transferring him to Tennessee. It would be awhile before the kids and I move down because we agreed it was best they finish out the school year where they were at. Our oldest son was a senior and there was no way I was making him switch schools, he would graduate with his friends even if it meant I would be a quote “single parent” for most of the year. We looked at places to rent, hotels, townhomes, ect for my husband to stay in but finally decided we needed a camper. He could live in it while we were still in WV and then we could use it to stay in when we travel back to visit family. Perfect solution. We had a plan now to find what we were looking for.  Todd’s parents aka papaw and mamaw picked up JR and Elissa early one Saturday morning so that they could go enjoy the day at a fundraiser for a local children’s therapy group.  Todd and I thought this would be the perfect time to go look for campers seeing we would only have two little ones instead of four.  We loaded up the car and headed towards the camper dealership. Our oldest son Devin was in the back with Alex and Eli watching a video while Todd and I figured out what we really needed, not wanted, and how much we needed to spend.   Life was about to change but not in the way we expected.

My phone rings. If you noticed it always starts with my phone ringing lol. The number was not one I recognize. I look over and showed it to Todd. He shrugs his shoulders and says “just answer it, probably a telemarketer”   I said hello and on the other end in a hurried voice I hear ” Are you the parents of, insert Eli’s birth name,? I am trying to find his adoptive parents” I slowly answer yes, not knowing why she was looking for us. With a sigh of relief she says “Wonderful I found the right ones.” She starts talking about a mile a minute spitting out information and asking questions.  I look over at Todd and he asks “What’s going on?”  I shrug my shoulders because I still have no idea, shes talking so fast I can’t get a word in.  She finally pulses and I quickly jump in and say “Whats going on? How did you get my number? Why are you asking about our son?”  She apologies and slows down. She informs me that birth mom has had  “ANOTHER BABY” and that as soon as the police show up to escort birth mom and dad out we can come see our newest addition.  I almost drop the phone. I look at my husband and he is shaking his head no, repeatedly. I look at my oldest son and he also is shaking his head no. I find my voice and mustard out “I thought she moved out of state? Let me talk to my husband I will call you back in a few minutes”

I hang up the phone. Todd starts in “We said we were done after we adopted the boys. We agreed not to take anymore kids in” The whole time our oldest son is agreeing with him.  Once he finished his speech I look at him and say, “Its not a new placement. It’s thier mom. She had another baby”  He comes to a stop in the middle of the  interstate. Then he looks at me and smiles while shaking his head and says “Can we at least go look at the campers first?”  One of the many reasons I love him.  As I pick up the phone he says, “Maybe she’s the dark haired girl”    

A few months before this I was having dreams of a little dark haired girl. It made no sense to me because Elissa’s hair is blonde but I could not get it out of my head. My oldest daughter and I had went to a Womens conference where you could sign up to sponsor a child. We walked over to the table and there was a little dark haired girl on one of the pamphlets. I thought to myself she must be the one I keep dreaming about. So I signed up as her sponsor. But the dreams kept coming never seeing her face just her hair.

I call the worker back and tell her we will come by the hospital after we finished looking at campers. I explained we were a couple hours out our and she said not to worry we could take our time. She thanked me and said she would notify the hospital so we could get in. 

I can honestly say we have never looked at campers so fast. I could not tell you anything about any we did go in.  Our minds were on the new little princess at the hospital.  We make the trip back to the house were we are met by my parents. I had called them to watch the boys while we went to the hospital.

We drive to the hospital and are quickly greeted by the nurses and given all of baby’s  information. We had been told she did not have a name,but ny the time we got there they had found it. Birth mom had scribbled it on a napkin right before she stormed out. We had decided to name her after both our grandmother’s. So that is what the nurses started calling her.  She was so tiny,less than 5 pounds, and we were told she would be in NICU for a few days while she went through withdrawals.  She shook and trembled but she was beautiful. When I placed her in my husband’s arms he smiled and said “Welcome to the family” When I went to change her diaper I took off her cap. There we saw her hair, her beautiful dark hair and we knew she was ours.  

She spent a week in the hospital and came home weighing in at 5 whole pounds. The nursing staff gave her a blanket and a few outfits to help her start her new life off right. She still uses that blanket. Truly an amazing group of nurses. I will never be able to thank them enough. 

Her parents had been terminated less than a year before on Eli so they were only granted one visit to say goodbye. One hour when she was two months old she went into a little room at the local DHHR with two workers and her birth parents where she screamed the whole time, according to the worker. After that the process went fairly smooth. We did not have to do visitions or improvement periods so we only seen the birth parents at court hearings. I would give them an update on how she was if they asked and shared some small talk to pass the time. Their termination came quickly because of their history in front of the judge. At the last hearing birth dad asked me “if we are terminated today will you keep her and our son together? If so we will not fight this.” I told him that was my plan and that I would do everything in my power to keep all of her children together (we have 4 of her 5 the oldest was adopted out before we got involved) The hearing was short and as the birth mom left you could hear her say “I will keep having these fucking kids till they let me keep one” the dad said nothing just hung his head low.  Sad so so sad.

Normally an adoption from foster care takes between 2 years to 3 years.  Elissa and JR’s took us 2 1/2 years from the time he was placed with us and the boys took right at 2 years.  Sadie became forever ours when she was only 9 months old. God is good.   

She will now get to grow up with her siblings as God intended. She is a beautiful happy baby girl that brings us joy we didn’t even know we were missing. She keeps us on our toes now that she is crawling and trying to walk. She is truly a gift from God.

We never bought our camper. Todd did take the transfer and we bought a house instead. He moved down and started his new job in October while I stayed back and let the kids finish out the school year. After her adoption we were able to move and finally all be under one roof again. Life is good.  We are not sure what the future holds for us here as far as fostering is considered. For now we will enjoy our 7 amazing kids. If God calls us to be the parents of another child then so be it. We answer to Him not to those that criticize us for our decisions. When God says we are done then we will be done. I am truly thankful for the plan He laid out for our family. There are times I want to pull my hair out, there are times I question myself why did we take so much on, but I would not change a thing. I love my beautiful chaos and all that goes with it. So if my phone rings again, I am sure we will answer the way God intends. Until then,

From our beautiful chaos to yours enjoy the day God has blessed us with.

Sunday mornings 

Alarm goes off at 5:30 I look around and everyone is sound asleep…finally.  The baby was up just an hour ago and one of the boys had to pee at 3. I could hit the snooze and get a few more minutes a sleep before the day begins but service starts at 9.  I lay in silence for another fifteen minutes before the baby starts stirring. Better get going before she wakes if not I will not get a hot shower.

Hop in the shower for what I like to now call the works. Hair (shampoo and conditioned), legs and underarms shaved, lathered from head to toe while standing and just letting the water fall down my back. The kids are still asleep so I can enjoy a few minutes without an audience of little eyes watching me. Good Lord knows this may be the only full shower I get all week having five kiddos under 6, you moms with young kids understand. Jump out of the shower to the sounds of two of our boys laughing. Hurry to throw on my Sunday best to get to my room to see what the fuss is all about. JR and Eli are now wide awake playing cars in our bed, baby Sadie is babbling in her crib and my hubby is still fast asleep. Wrangle the boys down the stairs while carrying baby girl to start breakfast and get the day going. Time 6:32.

Once downstairs pull ups and diapers are changed, the refrigerator is raided, and we finally decided on yogurt and Coco puffs to eat with milk to drink.  I place the baby in her bouncer go upstairs to find our six year old in the bathroom “chillin” I have her go downstairs while I pick out their clothes for the day. I should have done this last night but I didn’t. Next week I will remember to….. or so I tell myself.  Politely tell my husband it’s 7 time to get up and go to break up the first fight of the morning (she’s been up less than 3 minutes it’s going to be a long day) 

I get Elissa’s breakfeast ready, she only wants pop tarts this morning with juice, and go start getting the other children ready.  Start with baby girl by placing her in a rainbow dress and pulling up what hair she has in a “ponytail” on top of her head.  Start dressing Eli and hear JR and Elissa’s at it again, this time he looked at her wrong.ūüė£ Go back upstairs to not so politely tell my husband “its 7:30 get up already”  and go back downstairs. Finish getting Eli dress tell him to sit on the couch and not move. Go throw a load of laundry in the washer and a load of dishes in the dishwasher. Elissa decides the best time for her to “use to bathroom” is while I am trying to put on my makeup so I don’t look like someone off the cast of the Walking Dead. She poo’s and tells me why she’s NOT wearing the dress I picked out all while I try not to vomit from the oder that now consumes the bathroom.

Hubby walks down around 8:15 clean shaved and handsome in his dress shirt and sits on the couch and starts getting shoes on two of our three boys.  Fight three happen as I give Elissa the dress she is wearing and tell her “wear it or wear nothing” I am then nominated for “worst mom ever” as she graps the dress to put it on.  

JR ready check, Eli ready check, Sadie ready check, Elissa ready…..check, Alex where’s Alex??  Back up the stairs hubby and I go to find Alex fast asleep in his bed, time 8:35.  Pick him up carry him downstairs, stand in by the potty  and start dressing him while “He goes”  He is sleepy does not want anything to eat so shoes go on and out the door we go. 8:45

Load up the car to the sounds of Alex crying because Eli found a peice of candy (Smarties) in Alex’s set which should have given Alex clam to it. Quickly I run back into the house to get Smarties for everyone so we are not screaming as we pull into the church.

Arrive at church at 8:54 all kids in tow. I take baby Sadie in one arm, Eli in the other and Elissa holds my dress while Todd has JR and Alex who refuses to walk, he is still mad over the candy issue.

Walk into the church and we check the kids in their classes. Sadie is easy to drop off. The nursery worker smiles and says , “We are so happy to see you again Sadie” she checks her diaper bag in and we are off to the next rooms. Alex and Eli go in without a fight, shocking I know the tears have mysteriously disappeared, Elissa never looks back as she runs to show off her “beautiful new dress” smh I will never understand her lol.  Next is JR. We walk in and it’s a new teacher…crap.  JR does not like change.  He screams and throws Thomas the train across the table. I look at Todd and tell him to go on without me.  The teacher and I talk, she tries to get to know JR but he is having no part of her. Looks like I will be setting in with him today.  Then Ms Bethany comes by, JR smiles he likes her. She was just dropping off some other kids before she went to her class (the volunteers rotate rooms) The teacher goes over and asks who will be with her today and Bethany over hears. She asks the other volunteer to trade places with her and she comes in and JR smiles. She tells me she has him and says “Go enjoy service”

I get up to leave and he screams, tears rolling down his face. I go to pick him up and she says, “its ok I got him just go it will be fine” I walk out as he screams “Mommy no go, mommy no love JR”  I walk but tears are now rolling down my face.  Autism is hard no matter what day it is. I wipe off my face and head into service time 9:12. Good I haven’t missed all the music yet.  The music is playing people are worshipping and I see my husband. I quickly take my place by his side and we stand. I see the words on the board and hear the music play, but my mind is racing a thousand miles a minute. “Will he be ok?” “Did I leave her my number incase he needs me?” “Why did I wear this dress its so hot in here” “I should have pulled my hair up I’m burning up”  and of course “Now two of my kids think I’m the worst mom of the year and it’s not even 10am.”  I know I should have been more focused on the service, after all its the one hour my husband and I get to spend with each other worshipping our Lord, but I was exhausted.  Todd reaches for my hand and gives me that “it will be ok” look . I try not to stare at my phone the whole time but I worry.  I have an hour and 13 minutes before I pick the kids up, well that’s if I don’t recieve at text. 

The pastor comes out and starts the message for the today “Fear and Faith” how appropriate. I try to listen but I can’t and then I feel my phone vibrate. JR is having a meltdown I thought.  But to my surprise I recieve a picture. It’s JR playing with his cars at the table with a simple message said, “Mom he is doing fine”  I smile and sigh. He is fine, didn’t expect that message today.  I relax and hold Todds hand a little tighter. The message was great and exactly what I needed to hear.  A little after 10 my phone vibrates again. My heart tightens and I am afraid to look. This time it’s a picture of JR with his hands held high in praise. His smile speaks volumes.  All the chaos and the aggravation of the morning disappears.  God is good. Really good.
I have so many fears about our new journey. New state, new faces, new schools, new drs, the list goes on and on. But today I was reminded that even though everything is new here one thing remains the same…God.  He has always been with us and will continue to be will us no matter if we are in WV or Tennessee. He will protect us from the things we fear and if life throws new fears in our path He will be there to hold our hand all the way through the storm.  Our God is that good.

After service we loaded up and came home for lunch. The kids will fight against I am sure and they will be upset with me about something else before the day is over. And that’s all ok. Everything will be alright.  As the pastor said this morning “It is ok to be afraid or fearful as long as we walk in faith and trust in God”

From our beautiful chaos to yours enjoy the day God has given us. Turn your fears and frustrations over to Him and walk in faith.

Our Elmo

Our fourth son Eli celebrated his birthday a few weeks ago by turning the big 3.  He and Alex are known as “the twins” being that they are only eight days apart in age. His story with us started 3 years ago with coming Tuesday. Let me introduce you… 
Life was busy. We were in the process of adopting wild man and little Miss when we received the “we only need you to foster him till we find another Adoptive family” for our newest addition….that had been a month ago.  We were adjusting schedules to made life with five kids do able. I was packing clothes and suitcases for my family reunion. The reunion is on my mom’s side.  Every year aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters come together for four days of good food, laughs, games and fellowship. It’s the one weekend out of summer you don’t want to miss. Two to three hundred relatives coming together. We are blessed to have such a wonderful tradition that has lasted throughout many generations.  And this year I was excited to introduce our soon to be adopted daughter and son along with our newest little guy.

I remember standing in the kitchen placing dishes in the dishwasher when the phone rang.  It was the one call worker.  She asked if I had siblings “X and Y”  it throw me for a moment because we had not used Elissa and JR’s birth names since we found out we were adopting them, that had been over a year.  When I realized what she was saying I told her yes and asked what was going on.  She told me that birth mom had another baby and that the birth father had taken him home from the hospital. The birth dad was told if he wanted the baby he had to stay away from birth mom. Shockingly he did not so the baby was now in state care and they were bringing him to me since I had his half siblings.  I remember laughing and saying, ” We can’t.  We just took in a newborn and they still haven’t found him an adoptable home so we  are currently full…..sorry”  Then the worker laughed and said, “I already have the waiver for you. I will see you around 430” 

I was shocked, excited, scared and every emotion in between.  I know what this meant. Birth mom had already lost rights to our soon to be adopted daughter and son. And if the dad could not handle the baby he would be forever ours also.  I called my husband and his only question was “Do you think you can handle two newborns plus Elissa and JR(3 and 2 at the time) ?  And just like most foster moms I know I answered “Sure I can, it will be fun”  and with that we had six kids.  

The worker showed up right at 430. She carried his car seat in and sat it in the living room floor. Elissa quickly went over to the new baby and said, “Mommy it’s baby Elmo” we all laughed. I asked the worker what his name was and when she told me I looked over at Elissa and said “baby elmo it is”  I will never understand why birth mom gave all of her kids such odd names, maybe it’s because she know they would be changed after they were adopted or because she was so out of it they sounded good to her at the time. Either way he quickly became baby elmo, and in fact is still called elmo sometimes even now. 

We loaded up shortly after his arrival and headed out to the reunion where we surprised my mom and the rest of the family with “the twins”   The looks on many of their faces was priceless. Many wanted to know how they could adopt baby Al seeing that no one had stepped up to yet. Others questioned my sanity.  But it was all good.  I know they didn’t mean anything by it, they were just concerned.  

Days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months and just like his brother and sister he was released for adoption.  It took two full years from the time he and Alex came into our home but on June 17, 2015 they became forever brothers on the same day.  

It’s funny. They are not related by blood at all, but they are the true definition of twins in the since. They started crawling together, walked days apart, and they even have their own language they use to talk to each other.  They don’t know any different.  People would come up to us when they were babies and ask if they were twins. At first we did the, “no they are not we are foster parents” answer. They people would want to know what they (the babies) did to end up in foster care. People can be ignorant. So we started saying, “No they are not. They are 8 days apart”  and walk off. The looks on people’s faces was priceless. You could hear them talking as we walked off “she was in labor for 8 days…that’s crazy” lol. We had fun with it.  Still do.

All of our kids have brought something different to our family. With Eli it’s his sweet personality and his contagious laugh.  He is definitely our class clown. He is always doing something to get the others to laugh. He is as rotten as they come but I would not trade anything for him.  I think back to that call, what if the worker would have said “Oh I didn’t know you had a new placement I will find someone else” What if we never met him?  Life would be so much different. I am thankful God had a plan for him and us. 

Life is to short to worry about what other people say. It use to get to me when asked how many kids we had, I would answer 6 and people would say oh sweetie I’m  sorry or don’t you know how to stop that.  Now when people ask I hold my head up high and say we have 7 beautiful children God blessed us with. The comments still come but I have spend many nights talking with God and asking him things and I have come to realize this is between my husband, myself and Him. God placed these childern with us. He trusted us with their life’s. He picked me out of hundreds of thousands to be their forever mommy. How cool is that? He loves the kids so much he placed them with me to watch over and love. I will forever be in awe of His plan for our family.
From our beautiful chaos to yours enjoy your little ones and have a great weekend

I Wonder….Do You Ever Think of Them?

A letter to our birth mom (s) ….
All the little ones are tucked into bed. I have finished the second round of check-ins to cover them back up, change diapers and kiss them once more. Life may be busy and at times overwhelming but I would not change a thing.

It’s in the moments like this I find myself thinking of our birth moms. Our adoptions were not the typical ones you see play out on TV or like the ones in the newspaper ads. ¬†We did not submit our story to an expecting mother for her to look over our file and pick us to be her child’s forever parents. ¬†We do not have an open adoption were we(the adoptive parents and birth parents)can share photos and stories about how the kids are and what we both hope their future holds. We do not share stories about our own childhood in hopes to give them the same type of wonderful memories. No our story is nothing like that….so I wonder.

I wonder if on their birthdays do you think of them? Do you ask yourself ” I wonder what toys they like now or how tall are they now?” ¬†I wonder if you think to yourself “School is starting soon, will she like her new teacher?” ” Will he ride the bus?” I wonder do you miss late night cuddles and having the magicial mommy kiss that can make the biggest boo boos all better? ¬†I wonder if you miss hearing the phrases I love you mommy or Can you tuck me in tonight? I wonder if you even realize what you have lost or have the drugs completely consumed you? I wonder and wait for the next call to come in saying ,”she’s had another baby.” I wonder if you miss them. I wonder do you ever cry yourself to sleep? Do you catch yourself looking in the crowd to see if anyone looks like what you picture them to look like. I wonder if friends or family still ask you about them? I wonder what their lives would be like if the state had not stepped in to save them. A million thoughts and questions run through my mind, especially late at night while I rock our youngest back to sleep or while our son is judged by outsiders on his actions, things he can not help because of the drugs and neglect he had to go through. I get so mad at you and the things you’ve done. You have no idea the damage you placed on their lives because of your choices you made without thinking of the outcome for them. ¬†But then God reminds me if it was not for you I would not have them with me. So I wonder what do you think of me?

I am thankful and grateful that I have been given the chance to be their mom. I am thankful for the few talks we had as we waited outside courtroom doors. I am thankful for a system, though broken sometimes, allowed us to keep 4 siblings together and also allowed us to adopted one who had no one. I could not picture my life without them so I wonder what your life is like without them. I wonder if they have your smile, your laugh, or if they have your personality. Does she get her unruly behaviors from you, does he think and solve problems like you? I wonder if they will ask me questions about you later in life. I wonder how I will answer these questions. I wonder if they will thank me for giving them a chance at a normal life or will they recent me for keeping you away from them? How will I handle that? I wonder if you pray for them and wish them well in their new life. Or if once they were removed from your care you never gave them a second thought?  I wonder if your ok. I wonder if you are safe.  I wonder if you even care.

I know you never planned for drugs and alchol to take over your life. I know that having your children removed and placed in state care was not how you saw things when you were a little girl. I know you must have been angry, scared, and maybe a little ashamed. But I need you to know they are okay. They are better than okay they are great. Know that I love them. All of them. I love them with every beat of my heart. I love early morning wake ups to giggling down the hall. I love story time and playtime and all the times in between. Know that they are happy, sassy, talented, and yes they fight with each other like all siblings do. Know that I vowed to each of them they will always know how special they are each and every day. Know that I am grateful you had them and did not abort them. Thank you for giving them the gift of life.  I am blessed to have them here. I am blessed to be their forever mom.

I may never know the answers to these questions. And I guess I will be ok with that. I am thankful God placed each of them in my arms. I am thankful He had a plan for them when life throw them a curve ball. I pray for you and your life choices. I pray things start to look up and help is received.

I will continue to pray for you ¬†I know the circumstances where not what either of us planned but because of you I am mom to my beautiful chaos. We are forever connected in God’s great plan.

From our beautiful chaos to yours its okay to question the unknown but dont get stuck there.Someday you may get the answers you are looking for. Until then just have faith in God’s greater plan.

New State, New School, New year….oh my

Today our six year old started her new journey at her new school. Our normally chatty girl was somewhat quiet this morning while getting ready.  She has adjusted well with our move to Tennessee, after all she is back to seeing her dad everyday and her big sis has been with us all summer, and normally is excited to try new things.  Today however you could tell she was a little nervous. 

She got up and dressed in her new pink shirt and shorts. She put on her socks and shoes. We brushed her teeth and brushed her hair. She grabbed her new backpack and out the door we went.  In the car as we waited for the bus we made a video to pass the time and we talked.

She worried no one would talk to her, or no one like her glasses (you know things all 6 year olds worry about)  My heart broken for her. The idea we had moved and she would not be with her friends had finally hit her.  How do you convince a first grader everything will be ok when you are worried about the exact same things?  I gave her the “You will be just fine, I know it” speech, but I worried all day.  Worried if anyone would talk to her, worried if she would feel all alone,worried because that’s what moms do.   She made it through the day and when we picked her up she was smiling. She loved her new teacher and breakfast was awesome she said. She said she had talked to a few new people and that she was sure she would have new friends soon.  She was more relaxed than she was this morning and could not wait to get home and show me all she had brought home.  She will be fine for she is strong, she is confident, she is a survivor.  I will still worry, it’s what I do, but she will not let anything get in her way. And because of that I know she will be just fine.

Tomorrow our five year old goes to his introduction to kindergarten at his new school. The two will not be in the same school. JR will be going to a school that has a special classroom for children with autism.  You can tell he is also nervous about going to a new school.  Back in WV I knew all the teachers at the school. My older kids had went there years ago and so did my neice and nephew. I was on a first name basis with most of them so the anxiety about sending him to school was there but I knew enough people to keep an eye on him making it bearable to let him go.Tonight he said  he will not be going to school tomorrow. He says he wants to stay little. I can tell he is scared even though he has few words to describe his feelings. He has cuddled more, kissed my forehead more and been by my side all night.  With our daughter I was able to give her a pep talk and send her on our way. It’s not that simple with him. I know he will have a better opportunity here to receive a top notch education, but the familiar faces of home is what I need tonight to help me tell him it will be ok, I need them to tell me it will be ok. 

So tonight as I did last night I will lay in bed praying for tomorrow. Praying he will be ok, that he will find his place in the new room, praying he will like his teacher and make new friends, praying for protection praying for comfort, praying because I don’t know what else to do. I worry about him. 
Moving can bring about many fears and unknowns especially when you have kids. The only thing I know for a fact is that God is in control.  He brought us here for a reason. He has been with us the whole way and He will be with us tomorrow. Our faith in His plan is strong even if we don’t know what the plan is. I am sure I will worry about him tomorrow but I know God would not have placed us here just to have me worry. I will hug him and love him as soon as he gets out and we will take this school year one day at a time. Pray for us.
From our beautiful chaos to yours may this school year be a success