School Track Team

Veritas Classical Academy TrackToday marked the first track meet for the newly formed Veritas Classical Academy Grammar School Track Team. And to show you how prepared Millie was for this, as we pulled into the parking lot of the school where the track meet was she said to me, “Do you mean there are going to be actual races at this thing today?”

I’ll let you figure out where her sense of sport comes from…*giggle*

Craft Night at Chick-Fil-A

Family Night at Chick-Fil-A
We eat out on Tuesdays. It started out as a matter of practicality – the girls go straight from school to choir on Tuesdays and have a 45 minute window in between, so we dash somewhere and snag dinner on the way. This semester has been a little different, though. Because of the various extra kids we’ve had in our home, Craig’s been running the choir shuttle most weeks, so he just snags dinner for the girls on their way. For a while he was then meeting up with me and the extras and we’d eat somewhere different. But lately, he hasn’t really had time to do that, so the extras and I have been on our own.

And lo, Tuesdays can be long with just me and the boys at home all day. And this week has been a super rainy one, so going to a park was out. I thought Chick-fil-A sounded like a good idea because it was family night which means crafts or some such. And it was a good idea – the boys loved crafting and I got handed a tissue paper flower for my hair and a new bracelet made from pipe cleaner and beads, both courtesy of A4.

But I had to be the bearer of bad news not too long after we got there when another kid hauled off and popped A4 in the mouth with his fist. I had to break it to the kid that that was not an okay thing he did and then I had to break it to the kid’s dad, who wasn’t really paying attention. That was all kinds of fun. Then, as we were eating I thought it would be a good chance to talk to both boys about how to behave in the play area (ie: what happened to A4 was bad and they couldn’t go in there and do that to anyone else). What I forgot was that giving a direct command to R3 gets translated in his brain as “do the opposite” so not even five minutes passed before he went in there and hit another kid. So I had to bear bad news again when I made him sit at the table for the rest of the time we were in there. A4 got to play some more, but R3 did not.

This has been a heck of a week with the boys, to be sure. But I’m trying to love them in spite of themselves.

Just the way I need to be loved myself.

The Night I Almost Gave Up on Foster Care

Mommy Time Out at Whole Foods
Well, if there was ever a day I considered throwing in the foster care towel, today was the day. From the moment the boys woke up this morning until the moment they…well, they *still* haven’t gone to sleep yet and one is still trying to convince us that he’s about to be eaten by tigers in his room and I know for a fact that there are no tigers in his room. It’s been *that* kind of a day. The kind of day in which the sticker chart we have for rewards and consequences meant NOTHING to them. The kind of day where time out in the living room chair was met with a defiant laugh. The kind of day where if I had a padded room I would have locked both boys in it and called it a day. Or I would have locked myself in it and called it a day.

It was the kind of day where I texted my case worker to see what the status was of their long term placement. The kind of day where she informed me that the family they had lined up to take them “got cold feet” at the thought of taking two brothers and backed out. The kind of day where I was informed that our 3-30 day placement, having just completed day 38, was now being stretched to a 60 day placement with no plan in place for when they might get moved into a long term home. The kind of day where for the first time EVER I inquired about putting children in my care into daycare. The kind of day in which I was informed that DHS doesn’t pay for daycare for kids in “emergency” care. The kind of day in which I called a local Head Start to get the boys on their list because, y’all, I’m crying uncle here. I. need. some. help.

Maddie and Chloe had another MASS rehearsal tonight and Craig sweetly offered to take them to it, but I pretty much insisted that I do it. I needed to get out of here. I dropped the girls off and went to Whole Foods for an hour. I drank a Dark Chocolate Mocha at 7:30pm. I stared at all the pretty hipsters shopping for organic catnip. I considered for just a few moments how in the world we got to where we are right now. I despaired for a bit. I bought myself flowers.

If I’m to be quite honest with you, I think I’ve lost my biblical call to foster care and have been operating more out of a social justice call. There might not seem much of a difference to you, but to me there is a huge one. A social justice call to action says *I* need to do something. *I* need to take action. *I* can do it myself. A biblical call to action says *God* needs to do something. *God* needs to take action. *God* is the one who does it. And perhaps He does it through us, but the lines of responsibility are clear – *I* can not do it. And deep down I know that, but on the surface I haven’t been acting like it.

I can’t love these boys the way I’m supposed to apart from the hand of God guiding me to. I can’t train them up in the way they should go, they don’t even listen to me. But God can love these boys and He can choose to love them through me. And God can train them up in the way they should go and I have to just trust that He will because on this side of Heaven it seems like one of those impossible tasks.

The tiger cries have now died down and my 7:30pm caffeine buzz is tempering a little. I will go to bed and we will all try again tomorrow. And I will get down on my knees and beg God for mercy, like I should have been doing all along, because this gig? It’s not one that anyone can really do alone.

It was never meant to be done alone.