Monday, July 6, 2015

Fostering, & Other February Fun

Elby joined us on February 2. We got a phone call asking if we would be willing to take a 6 month old baby and his 5 year old brother. We of course said yes(!!!) and a couple of hours later, CPS dropped him off. So surreal to be handed a baby you know absolutely nothing about other than his name and birthday. His older brother ended up being placed with their 2 other siblings since they were all closer in age. We had the pleasure of being Elby's family for 3 months before the judge placed him with his brothers and sisters. We loved him dearly. He was seriously the easiest baby I've ever met. He loved to eat and sleep and was happy and content 95% of the time. He was smart and loved playing and engaging with us. He is a big reason for our eager excitement about this new baby on the way because he was a great reminder of how wonderful it is to have a baby around. And I'm sure he also set us up with some major false expectations since Boyd babies aren't nearly as easygoing as he was. Ha!

The kids LOVED Elby and doted on him constantly. They took it very hard when we had to say goodbye and it was an all around terrible few weeks of adjustment. I was already extremely sick by the point he left and wrestled with the guilt of feeling like I was failing my family, and then on top of that, the guilt of putting the kids through the heartache of losing another foster sibling. There were moments when we questioned if we had done the right thing. Because the truth is, if we had never fostered, our children would have never known that grief. They cried a lot and saw firsthand that life isn't fair and that sometimes it hurts us deeply, and we could have sheltered them from that ugly fact for a little longer. But then they also wouldn't have ever experienced what it's like to love a total stranger so graciously and share their life with them. To extend love and grace the way it's been given so freely to us. Foster care and adoption is extremely complicated. It is both ugly and beautiful. It's full of both smiles and tears. It's hard for every single person involved. But it's also such a great picture of God's love for us and how we are all His adopted children. God commands us to pass that love on to others...in actions and not just words. There are many ways to do this, but God called our family to do it through foster care. We know that He can make beauty out of the ashes of our heartache and disappointment and continue to believe that His plan is far better.

A few people have asked us if having another biological baby means we've changed our mind about fostering/adoption. The answer is no. It has obviously thrown a wrench into our initial plans, but God has had a pattern of doing that to us over the last several years. :) We are learning to rely on His plans instead of our own. Our hearts are still in the same place. We feel called to this ministry. We are open to growing our family even more. How it's all going to play out specifically? I have no idea. I wasn't expecting to get pregnant. I wasn't expecting to be so sick. We're using this time to take a time out and listen for what God has planned for our family and want to remain flexible to whatever that looks like and in whatever timing is His.





snoozing in Target
entertaining him while we waited at the doctor




He wouldn't have fit in if he wasn't a pukey baby! lol. He actually wasn't too bad but this was when he was sick and kept coughing up his bottles.
Poor sick baby. He came to us with croup and then a week or two later was hospitalized for RSV.
love those chubby little hands
couch snuggles after baths...nothing beats the fresh scent of clean little boys
Reading him bible stories
wish I could share all of his cuteness
We will never forget this precious, dimply smile

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Here was the rest of our February, according to pictures:

Rick teased me for complaining about a "little tiny scratch" I got on my leg, as he called it. I somehow managed to injure myself on the corner of a ladder while trying to dig something out of the garage. Man, it hurt! But he wasn't giving me any sympathy.


But then my "little tiny scratch" turned into this and he had to quit teasing me. haha. I don't bruise easily so I was proud of this one.


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Harrison's class studied a new letter each week and brought a show-and-tell item corresponding to the letter they were on. When they got to the letter Kk, he wanted to bring me. The next best thing: an illustrated portrait. Am I one hot mama, or what?!

he told me I'm wearing a crown since I'm the queen :)


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Our church hosted a local If:Gathering this year. Last year I was so thankful to go to the first conference in Austin with a great group of girls and was excited to hear I would be able to go again this year since it meant I wouldn't need to travel. I missed the first day since I was still in the hospital with Elby, but made it to the second day of sessions. It was so good for my soul! I loved all the speakers and content of their messages and then rehashing it all out with the ladies at my table.

It's funny how when you're in the moment and absorbing all the great nuggets of wisdom you feel like your heart is changed and you'll never ever forget what was discussed. And then two weeks later and you can't even remember what the topic of the conference was about. Or maybe that's just me?? Anyway, I'm glad I jotted down notes in a journal because it's been so helpful to reference them periodically. Lately I've been encouraged by Laura Sobiech's testimony. She shared about losing her son to cancer and coping with the grief of that ever since. She talked about how our story is given to us by God and that while we don't get to choose it, we do get to choose how we react and respond to it. I love how she talked about how God gives us manna each day -- a daily ration of grace to handle one day at a time. She encouraged everyone to open their hearts to the things God has for you even amidst grief and suffering, and reminded us that beauty and grief co-mingle and to always embrace opportunities of joy no matter what circumstances we are facing. I need this reminder pretty much every single day so I can keep my crappy attitude in check!

I scribbled down so much more from all the other speakers but it's too much to share here. It really was a great conference! We ended it by writing down on a rock what our next step in faith is. Then we stacked them in a pile. Love this tangible glimpse of how God is working in the hearts of so many women in my community.

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And here are some more random pictures from the rest of the month:

Go Texan Day

Fun at the park

Mom, look....I built Jericho! (and then he tore it down)
Such a difference in personalities. Which also equates to a difference in table manners.
My mom gave us a giant dog bed...and this is who claimed it.
My Harpie-Harp...how I love her so
shoveling in the donuts
oh boy...she has a love for pretty pink (pricey) purses. She ran to this, picked it up, and told me to take a picture and send it to her dad. lol.

Oh, Harrison.

One of his favorite hobbies

they are best friends and play so well together!

damsels in distress

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