Friday, July 24, 2009


I can't tell you how many times I heard "seriously Jennifer" tonight - one right after the other. It got to the point where it was just funny. It had no meaning, or maybe it's like that old term "dude" that could be said to mean a million different things.
I am tired of demands over requests, being told what to do and that I am not in charge ('cuz she thinks its funny), and its making me get blunter in my comments each day. Tonight we had an argument on: you need to shower and brush your teeth. Yesterday I had to call her on the multiple versions of stories I was getting - after I gave her an earful on how we both have to make sacrifices, and there are some things I am going to do that she is just going to have to come along for.
Tomorrow morning - early - she is going with her dad, and Sunday afternoon she leaves for camp for a week. I am so excited to have some time to myself. I enjoy having her for the most part, and don't want her to leave to live with her friend instead of me, but wow, she can wear a person down. I think her friends even get tired of it.
Let's end on a bright note. Well, it's marred of course, but I'm choosing to see the good side here. She made a couple of comments on me being her mom. First was that I wasn't a good mom, then she immediately retracted that statement. That's a compliment to me. Later was something about me not being her mom, but then this confused, well sort of... Hey, I'll take this as a good sign, that sees me as a mom. I like that.

Monday, July 20, 2009


As last week progressed, C-- ate better and better. She would still claim she wasn't hungry, but ate when I prepared food. She even asked me to prepare breakfast on Friday. This weekend she was with her dad most of of the time. All she ate with me was cereal. So naturally I was concerned about what she was doing for dinner, etc. I am still wondering about this.
This morning, it was the same as it had been for breakfast most of last week - not hungry. Then, as was making a sandwich for her lunch she also made these statements: "I don't need a lunch. They'll have food there." As I told her, I was there last week, there wasn't food. That was followed by: "I ate yesterday, I don't need to eat today. You don't have to eat everyday." (I'm thinking, oh my goodness, does she really believe this? Has she done this or is she just being obstinate?) Of course I told her that she does need to eat everyday...
She ended up eating a bagel for breakfast. The smell of mine must have made her hungry. Who would have thought that eating regular meals was something I was going to have to model.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Small changes, large joy

C-- is coming around a little more each day. I see little changes, and take joy in them. Here are a few things she's said to me:
  • Monday afternoon I had followed her to another part of the beach we were at. When her and her friends were going to another place, she called out to me: "Jennifer, we're going over here now." Basically asking/telling me to come along.
  • After picking her up from camp yesterday: "My friends like you- not as much as they like my dad, cuz they've known him longer..." The thing is, she wasn't around any of the friends I met that day.
  • In talking about an activity she is attending tonight: "I don't think you can go. Not that I don't want you to go, but I don't think you are allowed to."
  • Along those lines, a random comment, with no real context, where I think she was talking to me, and I think about about the church camp she's attending: "You could go, but it's too late to sign up." That was odd to me, why would I go to church camp?
  • This morning she was volunteering information to me, telling me about yesterday. She sounded excited for today.
She hasn't objected when I have said I am coming along; got used to that pretty fast. And wasn't really upset when I told her she couldn't go to her friends, that they would have to come over. Although that could be because I immediately followed the statement with, "so I decided to get a Wii." And last night I said that I'd like to get to bed earlier, and without my asking she did when it was time; we didn't even discuss what time.
Okay, one more thing. or maybe two. I was telling her yesterday how so many people said good things about her and I was too and she said not to believe them. I told her from what I have seen, they have been right. So I was glad to have that opportunity for an encouraging word. This morning I snuck a napkin with a note "I love your smile" in her lunch. We'll see how embarrassed she is this afternoon.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Good Day

Today turned out to be quite fun. After church I joined their youth group at lunch and got to meet some of the girls who help out and see C-- interact with them. That was encouraging; it looked like they have a great relationship. Then this afternoon we went to the beach with C--'s friend and a couple of ladies who are also leaders in the church youth group. They had boogie boards too. Then we got some tastee-freeze, great way to end the time at the beach! I agreed to let her friend come over for dinner and watch a movie, so we stopped by his house I met his mom and then we went to Blockbuster and home to make dinner.
I have to say my favorite part of the day was when I was preparing dinner. C-- wanted to help, which was quite the turn around from the night before when she didn't want to even eat. But the best - when she blared "Mighty to Save" by Hillsong through the ipod dock and said it was her favorite. I was so happy to hear both of them sing along at the table. Those are the moments that are amazing and give strength for the hard times. That church and its impact on C--'s life is such a blessing. God is certainly working through the people there.
She still wants to go back with brother, and if that doesn't work out I know she will be upset. But after today, I know we will be able to get through it. I want what's best for her, and I don't think it is going back. That is not my decision, but we will see what happens tomorrow. I think I'll sleep better tonight though.

The first day

This is hard! I slept terrible. Last night C-- was missing her brother and wanted to go back. It's hard not to want that too. I keep asking myself what am I doing? A single person who has never raised a child. God is this really what you have for me?

I feel more upset, and literally my stomach hurts more, when I think that way. C-- really is a good kid. It's the emotions that are hard to deal with. I think I handled the situation last night okay, but it's the pain of separation from her family that is hard. I had to explain that even though some things might be the same, living with someone other than your family is going to be different. (Dear God please give me the strength I need.) She has friends in this area and her church is just across the street. With no contact with them this weekend that makes it harder. I also keep wondering if I should have waited until Monday to get her. But it is too late now.

My biggest concern is still day care; yesterday when I was praying God reminded me of the verse about the thousand cattle... Basically telling me to trust him to provide the money. There are other complications with this in specific to C-- as well, but there is nothing I can do about it today. Matthew 6:34 I can just pray that God will work everything out.

...I wrote that when I woke up this morning. It has been better since (10:10 am now). I decided it was okay to let her go to her church youth group. It is so close and at church for goodness sake. I didn't talk to the social worker, but with the level of privileges she had the lady at Polinsky made it sound like the social worker would say it was okay. I am taking a chance, but it is not fun for either of us to be cooped up in my apartment all day.

Friday, July 10, 2009

My visit to the children's center

This is probably one in a burst of posts. I keep getting the same questions, so I might as well share my answers here. (and this is a rather unorganized pile of thoughts by the way.) I am not sure about sharing some personal things like name, so you might have to have talk to me in person.

I went and visited, we'll call her C--, this afternoon. After a little mix up of her being the right child (a her for one thing; guess that comes with living with a dad and brother) we talked for a while. She didn't know what was going on with her living situation, and was likely wondering who and why this stranger was visiting her. I learned more about her, asked what she enjoys doing. Skateboarding was a big thing. ...She is going into 7th grade! Yikes, I was looking for early elementary. But I think this is good, in that there are a lot more things she will be able to do for herself. In addition, she understands what is going on and why - even it doesn't make complete sense. So we seemed to carry on a conversation okay and she sounded eager to come and live with me. That was encouraging to me. I am sure there are going to be challenging times ahead, pushing rules and boundaries, but she seems like a well-behaved child. ...I think she knows my neighborhood better than I do -- she is involved in the church youth group just across the street, so that will be convenient.

My biggest concern is what I am going to do while she in not in school. Her age makes this more difficult too. But God keeps whispering to me that I need to trust Him. He has certainly shown himself faithful this week when I have surrendered to Him. So I will take and deal with the challenges as they arise. I know what I need to do and worrying about those things because it is past office hours doesn't help anything.

I got a call about an hour after I left there that I could take her back with me after my visit if I wanted. Too late! But I wasn't quite ready to schedule a time just then. That caught me off-guard; I thought I would have a couple days to prepare. But after a couple hours I feel okay about it. It will probably be good to bring her to church Sunday. So I plan to call tomorrow and go and pick her up. I probably won't talk to the social worker until Monday though. Which is looking to be a non-office day for me.

What other questions? I can't talk about the reason for being in foster care... She has been at the center for two weeks. Wow! I realized making dinner tonight that she missed the 4th of July. We'll have to go watch the Sea World fireworks one night. =) My mom asked me on my way home what I was doing this weekend. I think now it looks like a weekend of shopping - Target here I come.

First phone call

I got a call yesterday morning. I had anticipated that morning something happening in this part of my life. I knew I wasn't supposed to call, but felt something was different. That the waiting time was changing/coming to a close.
It was scary; wow, what a decision to have to make. I was so thankful that the social worker told me I could take time to think it over. An eleven year old girl needs a home. There were pros and cons in what I learned, but I will always have that to deal with. It is a matter of if I can deal with the cons, really.
I worked yesterday and prayed all day too. I was amazingly focused on my job, which involved a detail-oriented project, while I continued to mull over what I learned about this child. Last night at home was much of the same. I didn't spend a lot of time on my knees about it, I felt I had been in communication with God all day. I just needed those thirty seconds or so down on my knees to confirm what I was feeling. That God had prepared me for this, and that I should say yes.
There were a few more questions I had to ask, but I figured anything terrible would have been shared with me initially. So I called this morning and got my questions answered. I was right, nothing I learned was bad, either what I expected or better. (those classes really prepare you for the worst) One thing I learned is that I can visit her in the children's center she is staying at. So I am going to do that this afternoon. It is both exciting and scary. What do I say? As I ask that God calms my heart, it is going to be okay. ... I will write more as things develop.