Buckle up

I drive a 2011 Ford Focus. Boring white. It’s got just over 130,000 miles and (currently) low tire pressure. It has survived an encounter with a wayward deer. It has a dent and and a big ol’ scratch right on top where Evan tried to shimmy up the basketball goal and he (and said basketball goal) came crashing down on it. It has safely carried our family of 5 on trips to the mountains and trips to the beach (“I know it’s cramped, guys. It’s character building. And cheap gas.”). It doesn’t have a nickname. We don’t refer to it as “him” or “her”. Depending on the day it can be described as anywhere from clean(ish) to disgusting. Fancy? Nope. Glamorous? Not on your life. However, it has never stranded me. It’s reliable. It’s a vehicle, a way to get from point A to point B. It’s not perfect but it doesn’t need to be…we don’t LIVE in it. We just need it to get where we’re going.

I think foster care is kind of like my boring Ford Focus. It is certainly not glamorous. On any given day it could be described as anywhere from amazing to horrible. It’s a means to an end. It’s the way to get from point A to point B. It is not perfect but it doesn’t need to be. It just needs to be reliable and get these kids where they’re going.

We take short jaunts (like baby H that we had for 24 hours and Miss B that stayed with us for 10 weeks). We take long drives (like Sassy S that lived with us for 10 months). We settle in for the long haul with our Caleb. We never start a trip knowing where we will end up but we have learned to appreciate the meandering, scenic drive in our cramped, dented, boring, reliable, amazing way.

(This is Caleb. July 9,2012. The day we met. Riding in the Focus.)

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Sisterhood

I just returned from a ladies retreat. The topic was sisterhood. We had great fellowship and fantastic speakers and yummy food and uplifting worship. It was really, really great.
I’ve grown up going to church and I cannot count how many retreats/camps/seminars/encounters I’ve been to over the years. This one was waaay out of my comfort zone. The reason? Caleb’s biological mom went with me.

Our relationship has been blossoming over the past several months. It’s been a slow progression. When she initially reached out to me, I committed to an entire month of prayer before I made any decisions. My husband and I met with the elders at our church and asked for prayer (it’s worth mentioning that my husband (the most patient man on the planet) agreed to let me take the lead on this). I reached out to a close group of friends and asked them to pray about the situation. I prayed every single day of April 2015 for God to get right in the middle of things. And He did.

We mostly correspond via text and usually touch base once a week or so. Sometimes I get a “God nudge” to bring something up with her and more often than not she responds with something like “how’d you know I needed to hear that?”

It is the single most complicated relationship I’ve ever been in. Honestly, it’s probably the weirdest relationship I could dream up. We have every reason to dislike one another. Truly. BUT GOD.

We see one another occasionally but this was, by far, the most time we’d ever spent together. It involved driving an hour each way and an overnight hotel stay. WHAT IN THE WORLD?!?

In the days leading up to the retreat I was pretty cool about it. Yesterday, though, I kind of freaked the freak out. I am not normally an anxious person and I can put on a brave face like no one’s business but yesterday as I was driving to pick her up I was panicking because…….well, I am not even sure, really. I mean, obviously, it was a big step but I don’t even know what I was afraid might happen. Whatever tension I had anticipated just wasn’t there. BECAUSE GOD.

I met her and my mom at the library and introduced them. “Um, this is Caleb’s other mom. And, uh, this is my mom.” (I have strengths. Introductions ain’t one) Then we all loaded up to head to the retreat. Conversation flowed and it didn’t feel completely weird. It just felt like three ladies going to a retreat.

And we “retreated”. We visited and worshipped and ate and sang. I sang songs to God with my son’s birth mom. How completely absurd and amazing is that sentence? Overwhelming.

It wasn’t awkward or weird. We shared stories and joked about what to call each other. We settled on “baby momma” (no one can question our sense of humor). In my heart, she’s my sister. BECAUSE GOD.

As is my theme: I’m figuring this out as I go. And God is right there with me.

“My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.” 1 Corinthians 12:9