The last time I wrote those exact words above it was our One Year of being in foster care. I threw a party to celebrate not only my survival of an ENTIRE YEAR but it doubled as a farewell party since the boys would be moving to an adoptive family soon. Obviously that never happened. #thisisfostercare
But today I celebrate an even greater milestone!! ONE YEAR since my boys became Ho’s! And yes, it’s OK to laugh at that. 😉
What a better time to launch my new blog than to celebrate this milestone that I never thought would happen to me! When I met these two cuties they were just 6-months and 2.5-years-old. Today, they are 3 and 5.5yo! I am not sure what dimension I live in now but time runs at warp speed these days. Where did my babies go?!
Adopted life is waaaaaay better than foster life! I have certainty now that they are NOT leaving, I can plan for our future, I can make permanent changes in our lives to support this whole single parenting thing, and best of all I can soak in the moments and love them freely without fear or anxiety. Foster care was ROUGH, y’all (will share more reflections in future posts) but we made it through and are now a Forever Family! Was it worth it? You bet! Would I do things differently a second time around? You bet! Would I foster again? A double yes!
What have I learned in the past year?
- The freedom from foster care paperwork and visits from various CPS/legal parties is nice!
- I’m finally used to my boys having my last name! #theNewHoFamily
- Not only is single parenting extremely draining on all levels (physically, mentally, and emotionally) enduring it for such a long time brings ever more challenges.
- Elementary school life is a BIG adjustment coming from daycare!
- Daycare is craaaaazy expensive, especially when I was paying for two.
- People assume I birthed these kids (aka I’ve gotten some interesting questions!)
- Married folks really like to tell me they “know how I feel” being a single parent. #youdont
- Breaking generational sins in family takes completely re-wiring your instincts and thought patterns.
- God is still good. And He’s taking such good care of us!
The past year has brought even further challenges for me mentally and emotionally. Sometimes I think, how long can I run without any rest? How long can I continue to do this alone? Well, the answer is: Not very long. When we were in foster care I pushed myself so far making sacrifice after sacrifice because I “knew” it would be temporary. I maxed myself out on all levels….and then the boys stayed and I never got to recover. I’ve taken time off work, I’ve had weekends off from them, but I have not been able to recoup all that I had lost. And thus comes in the grieving. I grieved for my ability to rest, to leave the house whenever I want, to shower anytime I choose, to go out dancing or to a movie (or to any social event with friends!), to have a quiet and peaceful home, to sleep in on Saturdays, for the failed reunification with their birth parents, and once again for the dream that still hangs out in my heart of desiring a husband and THEN kids. Now I’m doing it all backwards, and honestly, it really sucks a lot of the time.
But then I remember my purpose. I have known since I was little that my heavenly Father had a purpose for me (even though I didn’t know Him) and that was to be a Mother. I used to get labeled as someone who has “baby fever” and that always irked me. I would respond with “I’ve had baby fever my whole life!” I just LOVE babies!! And I really do. Even though this process has been so difficult that I lose sight of it sometimes, when I pause to look up He reminds me that every gift and talent I possess was because He gave it to me. He designed me for this mission. He took all those broken, odd-shaped pieces and formed a masterpiece. He rescued these two little boys (and me too!). And I continue to lay down my life at His feet in order for His glory to shine through me as much as possible.
This past year has also been incredibly beautiful. I have never loved a human being more than I loved these two. I am surprised at how the same gushy “in love” feelings I know so well in a romantic sense feel almost exactly the same way here for my sons! I have two sons!! Sometimes it’s still strange to say/write! 😆 Being able to love them fully and freely (without the weight of knowing I would have to say goodbye) changed everything for us. I fell head over heels for them. And WOW did it come bursting forth and suddenly I was looking up at my Heavenly Father realizing that THIS TREMENDOUS feeling is just a glimpse of how He feels about me, His beloved daughter. And so I sit and soak that in as best I can and let it heal the cracked places of my heart.
Just last week I completed the final step of the adoption process: social security cards with new names and numbers. It took so long because the birth certificates take several months and then my name was misspelled so I had to send them back. And so….the adoption process is DONE! They have new identities, a new parent, a new home, and a completely new life. It’s completely surreal at times. It may not be how I imagined it but that’s OK because God did imagine it exactly as it happened. And I trust Him to fill in the gaps for us along this wild journey.
For more on what’s coming in this blog check out Why Did I Start a Blog?.