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"God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow into them."

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Making my life sound interesting

I feel like there isn't anything that interesting to talk about. Just the same old stuff.

S:

This week S had her first counseling session where they have "anatomically correct" dolls that they will use to let her act out what goes on at her mom's house or whatever she wants to talk about. I felt like the counselor was very unprepared for us. She kept asking me who people were, she didn't know the names of any of the people they would like to discuss with S...it just seemed kinda dumb to me.

Her social worker came for her monthly home visit. She wants S to be in some type of head start program this coming school year. I would like her in a head start program as well, out side of our home. Because she is only 3 I think they might only be able to offer some person coming to the house and working with her on random stuff and that isn't what I want and I don't even know if I am allowed to say no to that. Also, even though I do want her in head start, i kinda got the vibe that if I didn't it wouldn't matter if they though she should be in it. It was just weird. I wanted K in head start so bad and could never get him in and here they are making S do it one way or another...if I want it they don't help, if I don't they shove it down my throat. This is getting more and more awesome.

She is off at her mom's house this weekend. They didn't know if they would have enough gas money to bring her back because the social worker told them she would either meet them at our meeting place and give them a check for gas money or give it to me to give them-she didn't do either.


Lizzy:

Ok, here is my confession about Lizzy. She had visitation on Wednesday. My mom's birthday was Wednesday so as it ended up, by the time it was time for her visits she had had only a 20 minute nap. She was hell on wheels during her visit. The first one, with bio mom, she was ok with her mom, LOVED seeing bio dad, and screamed when her aunt, brother and cousin tried to get a hug or anything. She wasn't into her mom and only wanted me and bio dad. Her mom brought her 1/2 a bag of skittles and fed them all to her during the 1 hr visit and brought her out to me covered in skittle puke. Great parenting.
Legal dad showed up for his visit and while we waited for that in the waiting room (waited for mom to get done with her visit so he could have his) bio dad and legal dad were both in the waiting room with me. The tension was THICK to say the least. Bio dad wants to beat the crap our of legal dad and trust me, he could.
So, anyway, mom brings puke covered Lizzy to me and they all say good bye and I go and clean Lizzy up because I can't take her home, she HAS to have the next visit.
Legal Dad says Hi to Lizzy and she freaks out and starts screaming. She won't go any where near him and I look at the social worker and mouth "Do you want me to try to get her to go?" she says yes, but Lizzy isn't having it. The social worker asks me TO COME INTO THE VISIT BECAUSE LIZZY WON'T GO and I have to drag Kobe and S in with me to this tiny little room with Mr. Heroin addict. He tries to talk to Lizzy and she screams. He tries to give her this bear that lights up and she screams. Eventually she takes the bear but only long enough to heave it onto the floor and scream and try to leave the room.

Eventually it was time for S's counseling (same building) so I snuck out of the room while Lizzy isn't looking only to hear her scream as she notices I left. Anyway, in the end they ended the visit early because Lizzy was a mess.

My confession is that I didn't tell them why she was acting that way, no nap. Honestly, I think it showed the social worker who she likes and who she doesn't and all the sudden they are starting to get serious about seeing if bio dad can have visitation and perhaps stopping legal dad's. I do not think that they will stop his visits, but who knows.


Kobe:

Kobe starts school on Aug. 30. He tried out for flag football at our church on Tuesday which he will be doing starting very soon. He went over to a friend's house this week which I am dure he enjoyed. This morning I left Lizzy in her highchair eating breakfast while I threw a load of laundry. I came back up stairs and Kobe was feeding Lizzy because "she was having a hard time and couldn't do it herself" and when she was done he put her plate on the counter, moved her sippy cup, and got her out of the high chair like a pro. He blesses my heart EVERY SINGLE DAY.


So, that's what my life looks like. It is wonderful and extremely challenging all at the same time.

Friday, July 30, 2010

On a lighter note...

S's Quote of the Day: July 29, 2010


"My poop looks like a seahorse!"

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dear Lizzy,

Oh, sweet baby girl, where do I start?

I just want to say I am sorry, this in not fair. How dare they make you go in a room alone with a man you don't know when you are crying and begging not to.

How dare they not let you see the man that obviously loved on you before I even knew you.

I am so sorry, baby girl, that you don't know who your mommy & daddy are. I would give anything to know the answer to that question as well.

I know that everything you see and experience leads you to believe that we are your mama & daddy and truthfully we love it. We want to be that for you-forever.

It breaks my heart when you want me and I have to push you towards people that aren't there for you every day. It is gut wrenching to watch you try to get away from these people and run to me and have to let it happen.

Lizzy, this all really sucks, but I promise, I am in it for the long haul. I will love you forever, even if I don't get to hold you forever. I am doing the best I can for you-whatever I am allowed.

I love you, and when you call me "Mommy" my world stops just for a few seconds and I know how every blessed I am.

You are worth it.
You are worth it.
You are worth it.

Love,

Mommy

Lots of Pictures

I posted a very picture filled post over here.

If you do not have access to my other blog and would like to you can leave your email address that you sign into blogger with on this post or email it to me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Weird Place



I feel like I am in a very weird place right now. Mentally, emotionally - my daily life is going great and swirling all around me with out stopping. Well, I use the word great loosely right now. EVERYTHING is great accept the way S's case is headed, but at the same time I don't worry too much about it most days so on a daily basis everything is going good. With having kids in our house going through all this stuff you have to take one day at a time, and most days are great so we will just go with that.

There is so much I would like to post about here, to just pour out my heart, but I don't understand what is going on yet and I have to see where things are headed before I let out every detail of my life on the internet.

I have been getting pretty hammered by a couple messages I have been hearing, if you would like to see them you can watch them here.

I know God is trying to get ahold of my heart in some huge ways - ways that are much different than any other way HE ever has before. I am so beyond excited to see what HE is doing...waiting isn't my strong suit.


Monday, July 26, 2010

The Children's Museum

Saturday we took the kids to the Detroit Children's Museum.
The kids really liked it and had a good time.
I personally was not that impressed and I am pretty sure we only stayed for maybe an hour.
It was fun to go some where new and see Kobe get a kick out of the things there. It was just nice to have a day with nothing to do most of all :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

L.O.V.E.

to see the whole picture click here

Friday, July 23, 2010

I couldn't have said it better myself - Take Three




"2 Corinthians 1:5 says, "For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." How incredible to know that when we suffer for the kingdom that we are sharing in Christ's suffering. This also means that anything that we experience is only an overflow of what Christ has already taken for us - he already knows and understands our suffering.
What really struck me about all of these verses though, is the pre-requisite to receiving what is promised in them. Christ promises to comfort us in our suffering, to be our refuge, and to walk with us through our trials. However, these verses all assume that we aresacrificing for the kingdom.We cannot experience the overflowing comfort that 2 Corinthians 1:5 refers to, if we are not already experiencing the suffering of Christ for the kingdom.
So as difficult as this has all been, it is what is expected of His children - to suffer with him to advance the kingdom. And as Christ carries us through this experience, there is nothing else for us to do but to beg Him for another opportunity to serve Him - another opportunity to join with him in suffering. And it is all worth it. It is all so temporary." - authored by not me








Our precious Kobe at 1 year old. Truly, he is the blessing that carries us through these rocky foster care waters.

Attatching.

Last night I went over to a friend's house for a Bible study. It was awesome. I am sure some day I will be talking about what happened last night, it was pretty amazing. Praise God.

Anyway, I had our baby sitter, Holly, come over and watch the kids. Lizzy loves everyone and loves Holly, but when I put her down to leave boy did she start screaming.

For most people that is sad or makes them feel bad. Not me. My heart was smiling and I was praising God for the relationship HE is giving Lizzy and I. If you remember, she liked men way more than me at first because of her issues with her mom. Now she chooses me and it make my heart leap inside of me.

God is so good.


S loves to jump on my bed and "pin around" (spin around) in her dresses :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lizzy.

Today Lizzy had another visit scheduled with her legal father. I love that Lizzy's mom acts like there is a bio dad AND a legal dad because legal dad acts like he thinks that Lizzy is his child. I guess I just gave away the fact that despite legal dad not showing up for any visits for the past 6 months he showed up today.

Lucky me.

I talked to Lizzy's worker today and she said that he had said he was coming, but, like me and Lizzy's family, didn't think he would show up.

I mean, come on, he hadn't even seen her since January or before and he didn't recognize her when he saw us waiting in the waiting room. He had to ask me what her birth date was before he was sure that it was her!

So, here he is. 20 minutes late, and I get to hand Lizzy over to Mr. Super Skinny Dirty Drug Addict. I'm sorry, it sounds really mean but I am not in the mood to play nice foster mommy tonight do I ever?


When it was time for her to go into the room alone with him she was ok. She is a REALLY friendly kid so I knew she would do ok...at first.

At our agency the supervised visitation room are in an area that is close to the waiting room. You walk thru a door into a hall way with lots of little rooms. All the little rooms have windows and doors. When ever the main door would open I would hear Lizzy either whining or crying. She has been super whiny lately so it didn't surprise me or make me too nuts knowing that she was being that way.

When they were done he brought her out and she couldn't wait to get into my arms. She didn't want ANYTHING else to do with him. He tried to talk to her while I held her and she wiggled and whined and tried to get him away from her. She wanted him GONE.

This is the child that met Ben and fell in love with him in MINUTES. She LOVES men, but not this man. Ever since I got her she has slowly but surly started to become a mama's girl. It took her a lot longer than S, but it happened and now she likes for me to hold her just a little more than Ben. For her to want to get away from this guy bugged me. Then, while she was in my arms, he is kissing her on her face and I just wanted to shove him. It was just really sad.

Things just got a little more interesting.

S's Castle

My Grandma bought the girls a shade tent that they love to fight over play with.

One day they were driving me nuts with it so I told S I would make her her own tent. As you can see I still have the extra crib set up-Lizzy is in S's crib in the other room and S sleeps in K's old bed so the extra one S likes to throw her stuff in.

Anyway, she LOVED the tent and called it her "castle."
She put these fold out bed things in it that fold into chairs as well and took naps in it and slept in it one night. I think she played around in there a lot that night because she slept in for a long time the next day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I couldn't have said it better myself - take two

"The delivery was extremely traumatic. It all happened so quick. I felt so frightened and so alone. It seemed to so odd to birth a baby this way. Lying on a cold table with my arms strapped down. People bustling all over the room, but barely acknowledging me. It just did not feel normal. I think I almost would have rathered been put to sleep. It was just too much being awake for it . I felt so out of control. Like I was in some nightmare. I did not like being hooked up to so many machines. I did not like being numb. I did not like that I could not take a deep breath. The shaking and uncontrollable chattering of my teeth was awful. It was one of the most vulnerable times of my life."





Wow. I read this and thought "This is exactly what it was like for me...someone else managed to put it into words.

I remember the day Kobe was cut out of me I gave birth to him, especially the moment the doctor told me I was going to have a C-section, very clearly.

I had been in labor since very early, my contractions started around 6:30 - 8:00 am. I was three weeks early, I am sure my doctor thought because I was so young, 18, and it was my first baby that it was just braxton hicks or false labor.

He told me to go ahead and take my morning shot of heparin (a blood thinner I had been on since I had developed a pregnancy induced blood clot that had crippled me and landed me in the hospital for a few days) and to come in for my appt that day that was already scheduled.

My contractions calmed down, enough for Ben and I to go out to eat and then we went to the afternoon appt - actually, I missed something in there, I am pretty sure I went to the hospital and they sent me home because the contractions weren't regular enough, and then I went to my appt. at which my doctor checked me and realized I was dilated and Kobe was coming out "butt first" and I would have to have a C-section.

As soon as he said it I cried.

Looking back I don't really know why I cried. I had never had to do either way of child birth but I felt like something had been taken away from me.

Regardless, because I had taken my blood thinner medicine at 8 am I had to wait until 8 pm for it to wear off so they could do the C-section. I was admitted to the hospital and the contractions came back with a vengeance.

I got to labor all those hours for basically no reason. I never felt the urge to push but I do remember them checking me around 8 pm and them saying "We have to get her in there."

The rest is a blur, an absolute blur. I remember being strapped to flat surface with my arms stretched out like Jesus. I don't remember feeling anything, I just remember them getting Kobe out and him not crying right away and asking why he wasn't crying yet. I also forgot to mention that at my appt that day the doctor also told me that he thought Kobe would be "growth retarded" and would have a very low birth weight, like, only a couple pounds because I was measuring pretty small. That had scared the crap out of me as well.

Anyway, eventually he cried and no, he was not "growth retarded". He was little, 5 lbs 11 oz, but healthy. Of course I didn't get to hold him, I was strapped to the bed and had to be sewn up, so they whisked him away while I laid there. I remember being in the recovery room and being really out of it. My brother in law took video of Kobe and brought it back to my room to show me. Of course it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

Everything I just told you, from the blood clot to the "growth retardation" to things I didn't even mention in this post are exactly why Ben and I haven't gone ahead and had more kids.
In all honesty, it is exactly why we are doing foster care.

When I think back to what the doctor that day so early on a verse comes to mind:

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

John 10:10

When the doctor told me that "it was still early enough to abort" I am sure Satan was thrilled, just hoping I would believe the doctor and be too scared to go ahead with my pregnancy.

In a little way I feel like the way in which my first pregnancy went, he did manage to destroy me. I have been scared to death to get pregnant ever since.

But, as much as Satan meant it for evil God meant it for Good. All these years later I am taking care of other people's babies-God has put it in me to love them like they are my own. Without this scary birth story I am sure I would have never ended up where I am.

HE meant it for Good.

Confession.


At S's last hearing they stated "On October 13th we are ready to put services in place so that at this date S can be returned to her bio mom".

I knew that was the plan and that that was what would be said.

Knowing that is the plan doesn't make it any easier.

Knowing that we will have had her a full year longer than they told us we would have her doesn't make it any easier-I am positive that ONLY made it harder on ALL parties involved.

When we started this whole journey the plan was to adopt. Yes, I sat in the classes that said the plan is always to try to reunify the child with their family. I kinda feel like I had selective hearing in those early days. I would hear that and think that some how it wouldn't happen to us, we wouldn't be the people who fell in love with a child only to have them given back.

I thought it would be different, like, if they weren't meant to be ours forever we would feel different and some how be ok with them leaving. I have been through it with K - and I have no regrets about him not living here. None.

But S, S will be the one that I worry about and feel like she should still be here.

See, my confession is that I have only prayed asking God to let me keep her. Now, most people won't see anything wrong with this. I didn't see anything wrong with it.

But, the thing is, if I end up happily "keeping" S - that means that her mom and grandma will be DEVASTATED. See, there is no perfect ending in this:

-If I loose her I am devastated but they are happy.

-If they loose her they are devastated but I am happy.


See, no way for everyone to be happy. And this is across the board. Our happiness equals someone else's devastation. And other people's happiness equals our devastation.

How are we supposed to do this?

Right now I want so badly for S's mom to fall on her face, for all of the bad that is being hidden to come to light and for her to remain in our house-which is the safest option she has.

But, right now I don't feel like the right thing to pray is for us to keep her, because that means her mom has to fall on her face.

The only thing that feels right to pray about right now is that some how GOD will get ahold of S's mom's heart and CHANGE HER. And I am horrified to say that I have never prayed this until now.

I didn't want God to change her, I wanted S to stay here and her mom to...go away! I want it all to go away. That is the truth of the matter.

But, being pitted against her family, trying to fight for our happiness above theirs...it feels horrible.

I want S safe and I know that her returning home to her mom is not a good option. If you take everyone's "happiness" out of it for a minute and just talk safety we all know that she isn't being kept very safe there. But, I still have to pray that God will change that as well. I need God to sweep in and save the day-save S's life.

It doesn't matter if she grows up in our house or her mom's house-what matters is seeing God change people-change her mom, grandma, and family.

Please pray that God will change them, save them and heal their family so that my little girl can go home and be safe.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Missing K

Dear K,

Today, right this minute, is one of those moments when I find myself missing you.

Precious boy, you are no longer "just a foster child" or "a waiting child"-you are HOME.

I love the precious emails and phone calls, I can't tell you how much that means to me and how much I thank you mommy for letting you talk to me. I feel VERY blessed.

I was watching a video you were in, I forgot how little you were when you first walked through our door. You never missed a beat, you made yourself right at home, telling me to "get you some water". : )

I still struggle every now and again about why you weren't meant to be ours, but then I remember how much you loved your new mommy and all the struggles I had in my heart about you and it all makes sense.

You are happy.

You are loved.

You are found.

I hope you are having your best day yet.

Love,

Mama Leah

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Fair

Last Saturday we went over to my parent's house. They live across the street from the city's park that was having a huge fair, fire works, and a bunch of other stuff.

We had dinner at my mom's house and then took the kid's over to the park/fair.

Kobe HAD A BLAST! He went on all the biggest rides and took Ben along with him on them at least once. They had some neat rides that he hadn't been on before.

We had Lizzy with us and she was too little for most of the stuff but we did go on the carousel 3 times and she loved her snow cone I got her. Red, in hopes as it dripped all over her red dress it wouldn't ruin it!!! You can see a picture of her and I at http://wonderfullynormal.blogspot.com
I hope this video works, if not I will up load it a different way, it is so hilarious! It was the BIGGEST ride there, like cedar points power tower -the look on Kobe's face as the ride ends cracks me up!!!!
video

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Court Update

S's social worker called. The weekend visits are at the same time, but mom is allowed to be alone with S now.
Her next court date is October 13th at which it is assumed S will be returned.

S's lawyer brought up that S's mom told me the last time she dropped S off that "the uncle" was staying two doors down from them AND THEY LIED ANY SAID THEY HAVEN'T EVEN SEEN HIM.

So, looks like I have 3 months to address them lying in court.

Thank you, friends, for praying and checking on me. God heard your prayers and answered them. He really did.



Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
i put a call in to s's social worker & lawyer...got both of their voice mails.

i'll let you know when they call back.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Just wanted to let you all know that I never heard anything today, I assume I will hear from her social worker tomorrow.

Plus I will hunt someone down to see what went on.

Also, today Lizzy's social worker calls and says, "I have scheduled a visit for dad at 3:30 pm today. I talked to him yesterday and he said he was coming."

So, I take her, he calls at 3:30 pm and says that he is having car trouble and can't make it. According to Lizzy's aunt this is what he did when he was supposed to come to other visits that were scheduled for him.

At least he is consistent.

Court

I just wanted to let everyone know that S's social worker, today, the day of the hearing, called me to see what concerns I had called her about a week and a half ago.

I told her I had faxed over a list with dates and events that had me concerned. I faxed one to the social worker, her supervisor & S's lawyer.

I also called her lawyer and told him that S's mom told me that "the uncle" was now living two doors down from them and she was seeing him a lot.

It wouldn't surprise me if I don't hear much today so forgive me if there is no update today because it will only be if I don't get a call.

Tomorrow I should be able to track someone down that will tell me what happened in court today.


"The more your're willing to risk, the more God can use you. And if you're willing to risk everything, then there is nothing God can't do in you and through you."

-Mark Batterson/In A Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day


We have risked everything, emotionally, to follow God's plan for us-to find our kids through foster care. We trust HIM even if things do not turn out at all like we hope for our first daughter. She is HIS...not ours.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Swimming

Monday we went swimming at Ben's aunt's house with my sis in law and her three kids, two of which they adopted from Taiwan and just got home around 4 weeks ago!











If you can, say a prayer for our S today. This Wednesday morning her mom has court concerning her case. She has been told at this hearing the visits will go to unsupervised and that at the next court date S will be returned to her.

I have been told nothing.

I have no clue what is going to happen in there. Anything could happen from them ordering her returned right away to redirecting the case. Unfortunately they seem to be determined to return her no matter what happens.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The splash pad 2010

Every summer since we discovered the splash pad not only existed but was only 5 minutes from our house we have visited it as much as possible!
Lizzy's first time at the splash pad. Don't let this picture fool you, she hated it when she went with me...the next day she went with Ben and loved it. Surprise surprise.


Kobe loves the splash pad more than any child I have ever been there with. He will stay there until you drag him out. Seriously.

I just had to post a picture from Lizzy's first visit to the splash park. It is part of the initiation into the Wentzels. :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dear God,

I am tired.

I am emotionally spent.

I have given it my best and it is obvious that that isn't going to be enough.

I am finally starting to realize that that is exactly where you want me.

You want me to know that it isn't about what I could do.

It isn't about how hard I am willing to fight for my kids.

It isn't about me.

It is about you, and what you can and will do.

In my weakness your strength shines through.

And I am so very very weak right now.

I feel like I should have done more.

That if things don't work out the way I want them to that I failed.

My hopes and dreams "failing" are not about me.

It is about you.

It is about you getting me right where you want me.

Where you can finally teach me that not getting what I want isn't about failure...it is about trust.

Finally getting to a place where I can truly trust you even when things don't go my way.

I know that has been your plan all along, this and so much more.

I am so glad what feels like failure to me will end up being me finally seeing you for who you are.

“Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

It's who you are.

It's who you want me so desperately to know you are.

It's who I need you to be.

-Leah









Saturday, July 10, 2010

Our inside camp fire

So, it was hot outside, so I decided to have a "campfire" with the kids inside.
I darkened Lizzy's room, laid out blankets, got out some Christmas lights and my Halloween culdren (perfect for a fake camp fire!) and the marshmallows.
The kids had lots of fun pretending to roast their marshmallows and it was the least stressful camp fire I have EVER sat around with 5 kids!!!
We read them some books and let them just eat marshmallows and play around.

They all had flashlights too and the little ones just love to stare into them.



It was a fun change of pace and easy to clean up so to me that equals success!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A couple new posts

over here

Thursday, July 8, 2010

They like to hit trees

The kids like to play outside.
They like the sand...
...and wondering around...


...and hitting trees?
Is this some new fun thing that no one told me about?
I wonder if it will catch on?
Maybe become an olympic event?
See even the little one likes it.
But, she likes the slide too.
Our trees should be dead in no time :)