Tag Archives: Foster parenting

Forever Started in 2013

BC & meFor all its joy, bewilderment, love, anger, grief, laughter, wailing, mourning, exhaustion, jubilation, wonder, doubt, fear, questions, rage, surrender, and hope, 2013 was the year in which a little family was born. Forever took on a new and surprising shape as BC and I began to become son and mom.

How I pray 2014 will be a year of peace, as forever settles in our hearts.

For this child I prayed… 1 Samuel 1:27

Happy New Year to you and yours. May your New Year be one of peace, in which forever is settled and true. Amen.

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Anger, Longing, and Hope for Advent

AdventWeek1For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.  Isaiah 9:6, NASB

This Advent, I’m living in the reality that a child has been born and then come to me, a son has been given to me. I nearly couldn’t read the passage above, about Jesus, as BC and I first lit our Advent wreath two Sundays ago. Unto us, a Son has been given, a Savior who is Christ the Lord. Unto me, a son has been given, a son with many wounds and much delight, all tied together in ways I can’t unravel.

Advent is a season for longing.  The candles we’ve lit so far have been for hope and for love. Though there is abundant and heart-rending love, I’ve struggled with the hope part of this season.  Maybe because I’m angry.  I’m angry to live in a world where a mother chose a violent man over her son. I’m angry that my son suffers wounds that affect every part of his life, and for some reason make school a nightmare. I’m angry at Christian cliches, thrown around ad nauseum — spare me the “he just needs…” and the, “you should just,” that end in syrupy sweetness. My boy has been broken by the sins of others, period. Don’t deny the awfulness of what he suffers in the name of making everything feel nice, neat, and tidy.  He’s been bounced around for five years and you expect him not to be defiant and angry? Two months is supposed to undo five years? Yep, I’m angry.

But…I don’t always get to the “but”…the anger is easier to deal with than the longing.  It’s easier, but it gets in the way of the hope. (And, really, the love, too.) I long for a world as it was meant to be — a world in which children are sheltered and delighted in, and in which hobbling adoptive moms don’t run out of energy and use anger as a spare supply.  Yep, I’ve been angry.  I’ve also been spent.  And humbled.  I gave up thinking I’d have a son a long time ago.  And now I have one. I long for the day when he looks back and sees amazing, startling grace redeeming his deep wounds. I hope for the moments when that brokenness is turned into something good, kind, and strong in him. I long to rest in the One who loves BC more than I do, who tends to his heart in ways far more helpful than what is so often my driven striving.

I hope for those things because to me a Son has been given. Hope and longing are painful and by their very nature require me to live in tension and the unknown. Jesus, the Son who has been given, brings comfort and joy into the tension and unknown. I believe Him, and I need help in my unbelief. I refuse to be comforted, and He comforts me anyway.  I’m cranky and unjoyful, and He surprises me again. His work in BC’s life and mine will most likely be as messy as the floor under His manger, as crazy as a baby Savior born in a food trough. In Him I will hope.

Amen.

advent2

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Baptist Lizards and Farting Sinks

BasiliskBC, my foster son, moved to his new home nine days ago. Those nine days have been filled with a disorienting swirl of mixed emotions. This morning I’m enjoying a welcome pause in the swirl as I remember two of my favorite, funny moments with that delightful boy.

BC loved to search our backyard for lizards, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and butterflies. A book about lizards became a mainstay at bedtime for several weeks. One day, as I weeded a flower bed, BC called out from the porch, “I see one of those big black lizards!!!”

“A skink?” I asked.

“A skink! He stinks!” There was a short pause. “Is he a reptile?”

“Yes, he’s a reptile.”

“Is he…a Baptist?” BC had attended a Southern Baptist church with me for about five months at this point, and he also attended a Baptist preschool. I couldn’t really tell from whence this reptile theology question came, so I hid my smile and said, “No, Baptists are people.”

There was a longer pause.

“Is he a basilisk?”

Oh, one of those lizards that walks on water! No, skinks are not basilisks.” BC went right on enjoying his lizard hunt, and I went back to weeding the flower bed, thinking all kinds of funny thoughts about the implications of lizards being Baptists…or Baptists being lizards.

Around the same time, the water filter at my kitchen sink was due for its annual tune-up. One of the side effects of this maintenance is that the gasses used to make the filter work seem to be affected by the rest of the plumbing in the house. For a few months, a pretty loud, high-pitched flatulent sound bursts forth from the sink from time to time. BC thought it was great when I answered his questioning look the first time he heard it by saying, “It’s the gasses in that filter in the sink. It’s like the sink is farting. Who ever heard of a farting sink?!”

A short time later, a similar sound burst forth from BC as he worked on a craft at the kitchen table. I said, “I don’t think that was the sink.” Having been absorbed in his work, BC apparently hadn’t noticed what his own body was doing. He did, however, file away the comment. That night, getting out of the bath, the same thing happened, but I didn’t hear it. He looked me in the eye, smiled, and said, “I don’t think that was the sink!”

I can still see the twinkle in his eye as he said it, and hear our laughter together over a new shared joke. I miss BC’s sense of wonder and sense of humor; both brought joyful and free laughter to our home. How I miss that delightful boy!

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