Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Desperate

Dear Ones:

I don't think this will be a favorite post of mine. I am in a desperate place. Parenting children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome has always been hard. We have fought and fought for our girls. Multiple and weekly therapies for the last 8 years. Deciding to homeschool when they were drowning at school. Countless hours of prayer. Research and reading until your eyes and heart want to explode. Up until last week my fight felt determined and this week it feels despondent. Over the past year one daughter in particular has been acting out destructively. It is to the point now where she requires constant supervision and still somehow she will finds the one second your back is turned to destroy something. It has gone from occasionally to daily and even several times a day.

I have felt attacked but thought I am not going down. Not now and not from this. But I am feeling drained and hopeless. I am so tempted to check out and surrender. It doesn't feel like anything I try or pray about makes any difference whatsoever.

A good friend of mine had a good description of how this feels. It's like this is my job. To be the absolute best mother I can be. To make a difference in their lives. In all the lives of my people. But her destructive behaviors are like my performance review and it feels like glaring hopeless failure. I'm tired and exhausted and desperate for a shred of hope. I am on this FAS island and there is no sound or sight of rescue.

We are waiting on a referral to see a behavior specialist and then it is a long wait to even be seen. Please pray we will get in sooner rather than later.

I need prayer. I need some Aaron and Hur's in my life to hold my arms up. I need to see clouds of hope forming in the sky. I need to hear the whispers of God come close to me. Honestly right now I don't see or hear anything but depressing discouragement. I hate waking up at night because my mind will betray me and it will look for hope and find none. Then it's wake up and do it all over again.

This doesn't feel like me. I usually am scrappy and I find the hope to be found. But I feel like I have gone down. I want to stay there if it means the attacks will stop. But they don't. Then I am just face down in the dust.

I am sorry to be like this. I am ashamed to even be here. Please pray Jesus will lift my dusty tear stained face off the ground. Please pray he will help me get my fight back. Please pray he will send his rain. At the very least a cloud for me to focus on.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Calling

Good Morning Dear ones:

It my time with Jesus lately he keeps taking me back to my calling. I think because I have lost myself because of discouragement. For as long as I could remember my deep hearts cry and desire was always to be a mom. And the Lord blessed us with four amazing sons. It was also a part of my desire to be a mom through adoption. To be a mother to someone who needed a mother. Through that desire two little girls were given to our family. The adoption process itself wasn't easy. It took a failed international adoption, and three years in the foster care process before the dream came to fruition. To be exact it took 4 years, 2 months, 1 week and 4 days to finalize our first adoption. There were giants to fight through that process and since the girls became ours there has been giants like I never imagined we would encounter.

You see both of our girls have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. This is permanent brain damage. The suffer from a number of issues. The hardest ones are the hidden ones. The look like everyone else but are at least 3 years behind academically. Struggle to tell the truth. Struggle to have any impulse control or make good decisions. Gravitate to what is wrong. And this is daily and constant. And can be so exhausting and is always hard! These are just some of the lions and the bears we fight daily. Somewhere in the fight I lost myself and my hope. When you don't see your progress and feel like you spin your wheels in mud and go no where you kind of want to just stop spinning. It is so hard to pour yourself into a life and not know if you are making a shred of a difference. So you start to look for other things. Things that will make you feel like you are making a difference and then the things you are walking away from suffer. I have honestly doubted and wondered if we bit off more than we could chew or if we had made a mistake. Seriously doubting if I was the mom for this F.A.S thing. But God keeps bringing me back to my calling. And this word pictured from my Pastor this morning was God confirming it once again. Bringing me back to where I need to be. I am called to be a mother before anything else I can come up with to feel like I am making a difference in this world. Circumstances with F.A.S are completely different than how we had to parent our boys. The giants are way bigger than I ever thought they would be. But the calling is the same. I just need to be consistent in my calling. I feel my passion returning as I let this truth sink in. I am guaranteed the same power. The same God that brought us through challenges and giants with our boys and through the adoption process for the better and the worse will be with me.

As my son Elijah told me, I can't control what F.A.S brings into our lives but I can control my response and honestly I have been failing miserably lately. And as my other son Noah told me, I need to write down my wins, otherwise all I see are the never ending daily lions and bears we fight.

My calling, like yours, they may be different, but they require a great amount of faith. So I thank God for showing up for me. For speaking truth to me and getting me back on track. Adopting my girls will never be a mistake. It may be incredibly hard and lonely at times. But the mistake would be to abandon my calling. To give up. God never said it would be easy. But I do praise him for saying he would never leave or forsake me.

Today Lord Jesus I am coming back to my calling. Thank you for being with me. Thank you for forgiving my failures. Give me your power to fight the F.A.S giants and may (F)etal (A)lcohol (S)yndrome become (F)ulfilling (A)lmighty's  (S)tory... not even my story Lord but Your story. Help me play my part in the story how you want me to play it, in Jesus powerful name. Amen

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Days Are Long But The Years Are Short

Dear Ones:

The days are long but the years are short. I have used this phrase often throughout my parenting years but it has never felt more real or painful than it does right now. It is just after 5:00 am Tuesday morning and in 24 hours my firstborn son, Elijah is moving to Montana. I woke up at 4:30 and as soon as I was alert I sighed a deep knowing sigh. I knew I was not going to be able to go back to sleep. I couldn't escape my emotions. Not even for a couple more hours until the sun rose and life rushes in. I begged God please don't let me be awake right now. I laid there still until wet hot tears started to soak my pillow and I couldn't hide my sniffles anymore.

So here I am sitting in the dark downstairs and the only light I feel and see right now is my keyboard.
I have stuffed the feelings long enough. And what a conglomerate mess of feelings it is. Joy, Pride, Excitement, Guilt, Grief...

As a little girl and young woman my main heart hunger was motherhood. After Eric and I got married we had such a rough start together that we waited on some healing before we tried to be parents. Then in 1994 it happened. Two lines showed up on my pregnancy test and I was ecstatic. Sadly a few short weeks later I had a miscarriage. So many emotions like today to muddle through. I still remember sitting on my mauve couch in our small Bible college apartment desperate for comfort from our loss. This was one of those times I opened up my bible and there right in front of me was 2 Kings 4:16 and I read the words:

"About this time next year, Elisha said, you will hold a son in your arms." So I scribbled December 29th, 1994 next to the verse. Then on December 27th, 1995 Elijah Caleb Selent, my son, was born.

Motherhood has been so much more thorny and at the same time so much more miraculous than I could have ever imagined.

Elijah has been one of those kids that has such a kind and tender soul. I tell him often that he is one of the kindest people I know and I mean it. Kindness is his superpower. Although at times he would doubt his gifts or that God had something in store for him. I NEVER have. I just always hoped and prayed it would be in the same area as me. That as life took him from my home to his own somehow it wouldn't be that far. That God would grant my hearts desire and we would still see each other face to face on a regular basis and then we would just add more beautiful faces to the mix. A wife. Grandchildren. All of which I would get to be a part of somehow. Now I am facing distance. Not a days drive distance but across the country distance and the ache is real and it is powerful.

I know this is not a drill. I know since the day he was born this has been our job to prepare him to go and as I look at the man he is today, all though far from perfect, we have done a pretty amazing job, in spite of ourselves. As I share these things I know it can sound like I am all that matters. I have had comments from others that make you feel guilt on top of the pain for even feeling the grief. So let me share that I do realize this is not all about me. It's about a wonderful young man who God designed with amazing kindness, and incredible love for others, and strong passion to make a difference for His kingdom in this world. And like I said earlier, I never have and never will doubt that he will be used in exciting and dynamic ways. To say that I am proud of him almost feels too feeble. There is a quote from Andy Stanley that I have had written on a chalkboard in my kitchen for years:

"Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise."

Elijah I have to believe those words. I have always struggled with feeling like I had something to contribute but looking at you and the man you have become, I feel like mouth dropping wow. You WILL do amazing things for God. Fresh Life was prepared in advance for you. Dad and I dedicated you to the Lord as a baby and you have done so well up unto this point and there is so much more in store for you.

"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10

As Hannah asked the Lord for a child, I also asked the Lord for you Elijah.

"I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give Him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord." 1 Samuel 1:27&28

This is a difficult transition for me. As I have always said. I love you and I like you. Your one of my very best friends. I miss you already. But you were made for such a time as this and I am beyond proud.

Thank you God for letting me be Elijah's mama and for using me to bring him to this point. Hold my hurting heart and comfort me and keep him in your hands when he's no longer in mine.






Thursday, April 20, 2017

I'm Starting To Get It

Hi there Dear Ones:


I wanted to tell you about how Jesus loved on me BIG TIME today and how it removed some blinders from my eyes also. This week we came back to homeschool after our week long Spring Break. My girls because of fetal alcohol syndrome struggle so much with their education. In fact it's because of their struggles we made the decision to homeschool. I homeschool year round so as to help retention as much as possible. I can not even tell you how many times I have felt completely inept for the task. A couple of days ago was one of the hardest homeschool days we have had in a while. I have said many times that parenting a child with FAS is similar to living a Groundhog Day scenario.

In a moment of discouragement I posted on facebook how we were having a hard day and I asked for prayer for my girls and for myself. I received lots of sweet comments and prayers that I know got me through that day. One comment in particular though grabbed me. It was from a adoptive Mama like myself ahead of me on the journey. Her son has FAE and her words went right to my heart and they meant more than any other words written that day, simply because I knew she knew. We began to private message one another and the wisdom she shared with me having walked the path ahead of me brought me so much help, peace, reassurance, understanding and confirmation.

All I could think about was Jesus really doesn't leave you alone. And then it hit me. You hear things all the time like there is purpose in your pain and to be completely honest with you that statement has always rubbed me the wrong way. There has been some pain in my life I would throw my fist up at God and scream no thank you, pick someone else, because I hated it so much and wanted ZERO to do with it. But today God allowed me to see more clearly than ever before on this purpose of our pain.  I felt such a hope and a healing as this Mama took her time with me. And then I started to get it. As I am a bit further along in my struggles, as she was in mine, I find the purpose there. Someone is coming after me. Jesus loved on me big time through her and I am going to be used by Him so He can love on somebody else big time through me.

This is one of the ways that all things work together for good I am sure of it! This is why we don't do life alone! This is why our relationships are precious and we need to protect them fiercely with every every fiber of our beings. This is why I strive to be authentic as I walk my path because someone is coming behind me.

Thank you Jesus for every ounce of your enormous love you poured out on me today. Keep me tender and sensitive so you can bring purpose out of my pain. Thank you that nothing is wasted with you! Your a good good Father and I am loved by you! Never let me miss the opportunity to be your hands and feet to be used by you to love others. I want to make the devil pay BIG TIME for every bit of pain hes brought my way.




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