5 Month Overdue Update

WOW! I am not even sure where to start or what to include in this blog post as it has been SO long and SO much has happened since my last post (hence my delay in writing).

Let’s start with the obvious- COVID 19- which turned ALL our worlds upside down and has given 2020 quite the bad reputation. Who would have ever thought that the past 5 months would have looked like they have?! Never in my wildest dreams (nightmares really). I remember, we were wrapping up a week of respite care for our friends’ 4 year old foster love when it all became REAL. I had heard the whisperings of some odd virus in China and cases creeping into the US at that point but I would have NEVER expected the magnitude of devastation that virus would cause. We had taken the 4 kiddos to do a ropes course and climbing wall that weekend at our gym & the place was EMPTY. Hand sanitizers everywhere and people cleaning constantly.  It was eerie and quiet.  We were so busy with respite that week that we had hardly stopped to research the enormity of what was happening. Once we did, we were concerned that our friends may not even make it back from Florida… luckily they DID (although we LOVE their foster daughter dearly we were ready for a break lol… there wasn’t a whole lot of sleep that week!). 

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Creative Sleeping Solutions: when one kiddo wants to sleep with the overhead lights on and the other does NOT

Then the schools closed and we began “homeschooling”. Which is actually something I had always wanted to do with our young kids and even planned to do, but NEXT YEAR, not like TOMORROW.  There were good days and bad days… enough good that we have chosen to homeschool this upcoming school year too, but jumping straight into it and having limited options for getting out of the house and socializing was HARD. I’m sure all of you can attest to the fact that the isolation and uncertainty was difficult mentally. God definitely designed us to live in community. We are not meant to live how COVID forced us to live day after day.  It was starting to feel like we were stuck in “Groundhog Day”.  There’s only so many science experiments and crafts to do and pillow forts to build. Side note tho: Kiwi Crates are super fun. My husband signed us up for their subscription boxes and they are really worth it in my opinion (look them up!). Luckily my oldest is still only 5 (almost 6). I can’t even imagine how hard it was to school the older kids with such little time to prepare and for many, while also working full time. I pray that this upcoming school year is better for everyone & that families in difficult situations receive the support they need.

Shooting sight words w/ a Nerf Gun 😆

Next, we got this crazy idea (which we had pondered a while already prior to COVID) to sell our house and plan to build on some land. My husband and I both grew up on farms and want our kids (and future foster kiddos) to have an area to explore and roam like we did. A woodsy lot became available that we felt called to put an offer in on and after some back and forth, we got it!  SO now, in the midst of a pandemic, I was preparing our house for the market & simultaneously trying to discern where we would live IF our house sold quickly. We were uncertain what COVID would do to the housing market so we were open to selling and then renting a home for the “in between”. Long story short, we got an offer before our house was even on the market, accepted the offer, moved to a “tiny house” (as my kids call it… much smaller for sure), and 3 months later we are just now breaking ground on the new house. It’s been an ADVENTURE. And really, it’s just begun. It’ll be a LONG haul I’m sure, especially with COVID, but we feel like the lot, area, and home we are (eventually) building will be a great place to raise our kids and growing family through foster care. We are learning a lot through “minimalistic living” and definitely have had plenty together time as my husband was working from home and I was caring for 3 under 6 in this little house that we have grown to love (yet will also make us really appreciate SPACE once we finally can move into the new build).

The lot in the woods 👀

Also during that time was the 1st anniversary of my dad’s death and his birthday (which are a day apart).  I hadn’t realized it prior, but I hadn’t really taken the time or allowed myself to grieve yet. When he passed, we were fostering siblings and it was a crazy time. I think, as a survival mechanism, I didn’t allow myself to fully FEEL or process the loss. Well, what else do you have to do during COVID… so I finally processed & grieved.  May was one of the hardest months so far but I am thankful for the time I had and a husband who put up with me.  For anyone who has experienced loss, know that there is NO TIMELINE of grief.  It’ll hit you like a ton of bricks at the most odd times and that is ok… anytime is an ok time to process your loss and there is no point at which you should be “fine” or “over it by now”. I miss my dad so much but I am SO glad he’s in heaven during COVID- there are no masks in heaven, no social distancing, no toilet paper shortage, no riots or violence, no politics, and NO FEAR or sickness. Thank you Jesus!

Recent camping view- nature is my therapy lately. I feel closest to God and my dad there. ❤️

We also did respite one more time and learned that you CAN foster in small spaces… it’s definitely harder but we fit 4 kids in this little house and the kids had a BLAST together. Not once since we moved have I heard a single complaint from my kids. It’s amazing how adaptable kids are and how little they value size, or number of toys, or age of the home (lol… this one is from 1950). They are just super excited to be sharing a room and having sleepovers every night!  It’s not the size or the “quality” of the home that matters when it comes to fostering (or parenting in general), but the love inside it and the ability (willingness) to make it work. {Although, check your states rules as there are some rules about room sharing & space }

This is getting long, so I will wrap this up and save some for later posts.  Quick general update though: We are in the midst of our longest placement yet and approaching the 1 year mark. Please pray for the best for this little sweetheart & for decisions to be made that protect her safety and wellness. COVID has thrown wrenches in all of this too as court is being held on Zoom and was delayed. The unknown and the waiting is hard- but my hope lies in the fact that God called us to this (read my first ever blog post if you want to hear that awesome story), to her, and that He works all things for good.

Big brother is the best helper. These kids have grown so much through fostering- thank God ‘E’ told us to “sign up” a few years ago. 💙

* If you have questions about fostering full time or providing respite care for foster families don’t hesitate to reach out. Happy to help answer questions.

God Bless You ALL. 

Angela

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