Thursday, February 16, 2012

All Because....

So I know this is a little late (more a Valentine's type post) but I wasn't finished with our project above :-)

This past summer we had a family reunion on my mom's side and someone had created a geneology chart that started a few generations back. The paper spanned the most of the length of one of the garage walls. I looked at the first couple listed at the top (I forgot how many "greats" it was) and I thought, all because these two people fell in love, all of the rest of this followed. Those two people helped create that large family that had gathered to celebrate being in a family together. The family line has not been with out "mess" and conflict but here we were letting those walls fall and singing and dancing the night away.
A few months later, I found the wall hanging at the top of the picture "All Because Two People Fell in Love" and have been waiting to find the right place to put it. As I have jumped on the "Pinterest" wagon with so many others, I saw a wall hanging with hand prints that was similar to the one I made with our kids. So last night we completed our "Hand Print" artwork (and can I say how DIFFICULT it is to get a painted hand print of a 10 month old!!). I knew my other piece of artwork would now have a home: It is because Craig and I fell in love 15 years ago that this family has come into existence. Some of our children's have come from us biologically, some have come to us through another's biology but have found a place in our hearts. We don't know how our family unit will end up: two of our children are in the foster care system and we don't know how their cases will end, we do not know if more children will come or if this will be it and for all of us, we are not guaranteed a tomorrow, so I have a snapshot of how our family is today.
Just like my family of origin, our growing family is not perfect; we have our ups and our downs. Life is messy and complicated, yet, so beautiful.
So I will sit here on my couch and see these beautiful little hands; hands that will help one another, hands that will steal siblings belongs and create drama; hands that will make messes all over the house; hands that will wrap around our necks and give us the best squeeze here on earth. 

Here's to the next 15 years and what suprises may be in store!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Letting Go

A few weeks ago I was watching the movie “Finding Nemo” with my son Jonah (for the umpteenth time J). I was having a particularly hard day. I’m not sure why but I think the reality of our life probably caught up to me that day. Many of you know that we have a foster baby “Z” with us (and have recently taken in a little 3 year old girl “J”) and many of you have asked if we will be adopting him or not. I have explained that this is not how the process goes. The goal always is for the biological parents and their children to be reunited. Sometimes the goal is achieved and sometimes the goal is not. The parent(s) have criteria in which they need to meet depending on why the child is in care (classes, counseling, drug treatment, domestic violence intervention, etc.).  It is not a short process and ultimately it is up to a judge to decide what is best for the child.

Often when people come up to me, they say that they would love to be a foster parent but they don’t’ know if they could give a child back. I understand that reaction. It is one that Craig and I talked a lot about and prayed about. We have now had “Z” long enough that he feels like he has been with us forever. Honestly, it is hard to imagine our lives without him. The day I was watching a movie with Jonah, the enormity of loving someone that much and not knowing what the future holds was clamping down the jaws of fear on my heart. Fear is like a raging river current where you get sucked down into it and before you know it you are overwhelmed by it. I wasn’t really listening to “Finding Nemo” as my thoughts were too loud. But all of a sudden, the movie got my attention and as many times as I’ve watched it, never has this part stood out to me. Dory and Marlin (Nemo’s dad) are in the mouth of a whale and they begin to hear noises. Dory begins to try and speak “whale” to understand what is going on (which by the way ALWAYS cracks me up) and she says that either the whale is saying “Move to the back of his throat or he wants a root beer float.” Of course, Marlin (who is a worry wart and pessimist) believes this is the end, they are going to die. Then there is a big movement of water and the whale’s tongue begins to move them to the back of his throat, like it or not, and Dory and Marlin are hanging onto the whale’s tongue, not wanting to fall back into the whale’s throat. But Dory hears the whale say, “It’s time to let go. Everything will be alright.” Dory…just let’s go. Marlin begins to ask how she knows that nothing bad will happen and she simply replies “I don’t” and let’s go anyway. Dory and Marlin fall to the back of the whale’s throat and it is there that the whale shoots them out of her blowhole and they land right near their destination.

I felt God’s Presence in my living room ministering to my fearful heart. I can’t control what all the future will bring, not only in the area of fostering children but in every other aspect of life as well. I need to let go of that which hinders me so that I can run the race that is set before me (Hebrews 12). What is it that you need to let go of? Maybe it is a fear, maybe it is a grudge or an unhealthy habit. Sometimes we can’t imagine what our lives will be like without holding on to those things but by letting go we can enter into the abundant life that God desires for us. So heed the wise words of Dory “Let Go” and may you experience that which is awaiting for you.
(Finding Nemo's whale scene)