Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Please Won't You Be My Neighbor?


When you were a little 80's kid watching Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, did you ever stop and think to yourself, "How can anyone be this nice?" I did. 
Yep, at 5 I had trust issues. 
I also downed mass quantities of parmesan cheese when no one was looking. Picture a little kid with glasses chugging down that cheese from a can like a little Italian girl ninja. 
I was also very confused as to why he partially changed his clothes when he came in the door. 
But golly, I loved that man. He just set my heart right. KnowwhutImeanEarl? (Oh Ernest. You were so before your time- but I got you.) 

Before I get all Andy Rooney on this mug talkin' 'bout too-small-un-toyed cereal boxes of now and lamenting of yesteryear, I'm going to stop because I can never come back from that. 

So what's new with you guys? We are 32 days out from being done with the whole 90 days to contest our foster to adoption. Meaning, on or around Feb. 9 things will start happening. Things like petitioning for adoption and things like making plans for dare I say it: Gotcha Day. 

Let me break this down right quick.... 
For those that don't know, we are fostering to adopt a precious baby girl through an agency, through CPS. Let me stop right there and humbly educate a few. Did you know that there are agencies out there that will help you adopt through CPS -- you really should not go it alone-- and that all you pay for is legal fees. And in some cases, not even that? Did you know that the training for our agency was done with 4 different classes as opposed to the CPS's 9 sessions? I sidetracked to mention these facts because so many people see cost as an excuse not to adopt. Please, please email me if you live in Houston and need the name of a loving, great adoption agency! 

During this 90 day period from the last trial is where anyone from our dear one's bio family can come forward to contest our keeping her and try to keep her. However. we've already had 2 different people come forward prior to the trial. You know that was a barrel of monkeys- replace barrel with "glass shard" and monkeys with "sharks." One redacted her plea and one did not fit the bill in any way, shape or form. God worked that mess out. 

In my mind, this is all just earthly details. 

I'm focused on that Kingdom vision-- that we are her forever family, that God has it all under His control, on His timeline and in His Filofax. Dang, those things are expensive!!! Have you seen those planners? Like $75 for one. Nope. 

So, day 32. To have a little visual we made this: 

Each link has a different person's name or something regarding our adoption to pray for. It's been real neat. And helpful. 

In fostering to adopt, you have almost zero certainty of things. But isn't that how life is when you think about it? 

I've said from the beginning, yes we could lose our baby. There is that chance. But I also don't know how much time I have left with Johnicles, or Lbug or anyone I love. So it's been a faith journey not only for us, but also for our family and close friends who are also waiting, praying, and believing. Thank you all so much for cheering us on and for being our water breaks. Don't they do that for runners? I don't know I'm in the 0.0 club for life.

I used to run track though in middle school, no lie, my nickname was "Wonder Bread." I don't know why. I do like bread! For those that run/ran you know that feeling where you feel all shakey-leg but you see the end of the race and so your innards make a push to get there? That is where we are at in this adoption case. So close. 

What else.. What else.. Oh we have a bearded dragon, a "beardy" named Chuck Norris. And he's a big divo y'all. Almost Mariah Carey level. With his basking light he's always gotta be hot and have certain lights. His faux log. His daily salads with spring mix and various squashes.  All the things he shan't ever eat- like a silly Mogwai. There was even talk that he would need misting-- um, no line drawn thanks!

His dusted crickets. Which, I had a fit about because I really, really detest crickets. Our 8 y o daughter asked Santa for this thing. Saying, "I tend to do better with more complicated pets." And that girl has done a fabulous job I must say feeding him everyday, reading all sorts of manuals, and never complaining about his maintenance. Which is high.... 
This is the kid who has drawn up plans of "L.J's Safari Experience" -- an animal experience with animals from the continents of Australia and Africa. Oh yeah, and a gift shop that her mom can work at. She's not joking.

And I recently got my upper wisdom teeth removed at 34 years young. And subsequently died. It was horrible. I got an infection and a Godfather resemblance face. The pain meds hardly kicked it. 

So there's that. 

Oh and there's this: 

Can't quite make it out? It says, "The Grinch Lives Here" and it's 4 feet tall and it's pointing at my house. Let that sink in. 

You make one little personal post on FB all in jest and with a light heart about how the next door neighbor's music is too loud and you don't want their smoker pit in front of your house for 3 days with explicit music blaring past midnight but again I tell you it was in a funny tone and then you get - see above. I even took the post down after an hour thinking, yeah that's probably not encouraging or uplifting. But it was funny. 

I noticed the sign as I was pulling out this was early December BTW. My 8 yr old did not see it thank goodness. 

Being a mom what would you do? 

You'd get home asap after dropping your kid off. 
You'd stay in your stretchy pants.
You'd forego a shower and get dat foam brush so fast.

Print out an image of the Grinch. 
Pull out an old photo backdrop your hubby made from wood and his blood. 
And you'd paint a lifesize Grinch on that bad boy so your kid wouldn't come home and have a full on freak out sad fest of confusion. 
So that's what I did y'all. By God's grace.

My legs hurt for daaaaaays after painting and drawing for 2 hrs.

But when my kid came home and was like- "Oh look at that. They did that. We did that. How funny!" I knew it was all worth it.

What are we supposed to do?
I realized that yes, Johnicles had gone outside and asked for the music to come down, but maybe we could have been more direct. So I typed up an apology letter, and made up a gift basket after Signgeddon day. I did feel bad. Because they had gotten us all wrong and there had to be a reason. And it was time to remedy that.

John and I both discussed when I called to tell him about the sign that we want to be Christians in this situation. Yes, I was hurt, crying and upset. But it was the perfect time to flip it for the positive. To let them know we were sorry for not doing what God has called us to do on this street- show the love of Jesus.
I say and show this story to brag on God. He turned this situation around. I wanted to just wallow and have people feel sorry for me- me, a Grinch!? And my older kid seeing this-- the horror. If ever I had an excuse to go Mama Bear/Badger- now was the time!
 But God told John and me - be the Grinch! Embrace it. He Gen. 50:20 it big time. 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

And guess what? We got a bbq invite for New Years Eve and had pleasantries. Granted it was Antarctica cold so we couldn't stay, but it was a step on the Moon for us. And things are good. And I will go anywhere for free guacamole. I'm not ashamed. It was dark and I couldn't find the chips, but I found some fries boy howdy and tore that up. Fries and guacamole can work in a pinch! John showed up with the baby and immediately had to go home because his eyes were frozen.

So many people were so sweet and rallied for us. It was awesome. I really appreciated the people who genuinely cared and didn't just want the juicy details. It was refreshing. But it was funny because at home John- whom I call JNOFB on facebook- John Not On Facebook- we had little back and forths. I'm pro FB and he's anti it. He thought it had gotten us into all this and he was right. But at the same time, I see it as a way to show off God moving.

And now, due to many reasons, we are considering moving on. It really has nothing to do with the sign at all- how silly would that be, right!? It has everything to do with where we feel God is calling us to next. We are praying, purging, garage sale-ing, and in the process of painting walls and doors and things that scream us in an effort to neutralize the personality. It might not end up being the time, but we will see!

We are seeing where God leads. We know it will be good!

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