May 28, 2015 by greenhouse04
It’s been a crazy six weeks since I’ve written last.
Toby’s visits have continued to increase in the past six weeks, going from one night a week to five nights each week. That’s crazy fast for foster care.
But the imminence of parting with Toby has been the least crazy part of the past month.
The craziest was when Baby M.’s* dad called one evening, started sobbing, and asked us to take care of Baby M. for an indefinite amount of time.
Of course we said yes, and Baby M. was with us for the next three weeks. Thankfully, his dad’s personal life is now somewhat straightened up, and he is able to care for his son again. But it was a crazy three weeks as we discovered what it’s like to have four children (with two under the age of two)!
[One very crazy part of that saga was when we learned that Baby M.’s mother is dating the son of our neighbor… and may move into his home! Remember, we live in a very tiny town, a good distance from her hometown, so this seems like quite a coincidence.]
Those three weeks with Baby M. back in our home were full of stress as we also supported his dad through several different personal crises. But it was amazing how God gave us energy and grace to handle the stress, and how He worked out the return of Baby M. to his father while allowing his father’s feelings of trust and goodwill toward us to be preserved.
While Baby M. was with us, we took a trip to Mr. Green’s hometown to honor his parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. Thankfully, we didn’t have to take Toby along – having an unexpected toddler traveling with us added enough craziness. But, the celebration and the entire trip were a big success. And God protected us at one point in the journey when we almost hydroplaned off the highway.
A few days after returning, my 32nd birthday came along — the craziest birthday I can remember having! The night before, we had convinced Baby M.’s dad that he needed to take responsibility for his son again, so he agreed to get him the morning of my birthday.
That morning I woke up and received the gift I’d asked for – breakfast in bed. It was a sacrificial gift on Mr. Green’s part, because it meant getting four children up, dressed, and breakfasted on his own. Soon the household became so crazy that I just had to hop out of my warm bed and enter the fray.
I began my birthday with four children. Around 11:00, Baby M. left with his father. At 3:00, Toby left for a 5-night visit with his mom. Right before lunch, a teenage friend named Kari came to spend the rest of the day and night (something I wasn’t fully aware was planned!).
Then, in the evening, after eating a big piece of my self-made, very-chocolately birthday cake, I got a stomach ache. A few hours later, I started barfing. And barfing. I barfed like crazy, every half-hour, until two in the morning. Happy birthday to me!
This was less than a week ago, and despite lingering indigestion, the past several day have been amazingly relaxing. Mr. Green and I hadn’t realized how stressful Baby M.’s situation had been.
One very unpleasant (and crazy) thing did happen yesterday. I was having fun with my children in the tree row, clearing out branches to make a fort, when the branch I was moving jabbed me in the eye. Right in the eye. I didn’t even see it coming; it was sudden, searing, blinding pain. I’ve felt a little handicapped since then – burning discomfort, a mild headache from squinting, and blurred vision have been my reality for over 24 hours. I went to the doctor today after waking up feeling even worse – just blinking caused sharp pain. My cornea is scratched in two places, but that’s all. Hopefully it will start getting better soon (or I’ll have to see an eye doctor).
Other than that, like I said, the past several days have been stress-free. . . and busy with our church’s Vacation Bible School! Tomorrow is the last day, and then summer will start in earnest. I am determined to spend my summer enjoying my children, Eddie and Emma. They’re growing so quickly, and I tend to stop enjoying them when my life is full of stressors – like unexpectedly caring for Baby M. and saying goodbye to Toby.
Because it does look like we’ll be saying goodbye to Toby soon – very soon. He could be reintegrated with his mom next week after court on Tuesday. These two nights here with us could actually be his last.
That’s crazy to think about, and hard to wrap my mind around. It’s just been so fast.
He’s snoring next to me as I type this. He is the cutest baby I’ve ever seen since Emma. Crazy cute. I hope he has a wonderful childhood, with a stable home where he knows he’s loved, and where he gets the chance to hear about Jesus.
I am SO glad Jesus is with me, even in the crazy.
*Baby M. was our foster baby in 2014. For his story, see “Chronicles of a Foster Family” posts.