Where is Hopping to IT? (And those Darn Cute Kids)

Some have ask where did Hopping to It go? (really more wanted to know where the cute kids went!) Don’t worry, it is still here.  I am just starting to make some changes to grow a bit more.

 

When I moved in March, I took on the domain name of Mommahopper.  That was my nickname I was using for many things and it seems like a good thing.  But I didn’t want to lose the “hopping to it” yet become some only knew me as that.

Time was slipping away and I needed to make a change.  So I started playing with a program one night and came up with my current header.  Bear with me as I transition with this.  It will be easy, as most everything is already in the mommahopper name.

What will I do with the name “Hopping to It”?

Create a simple newsletter/mini ebooks now and then.  Ones that would focus on family and faith with resources and activities. So regardless if you are homeschooling,  going to public or private school, the activities would help everyone.  I am looking to include resources for faith building ideas to be used at home.  I would like to be pulling from my educational background as a DCE (director of Christian education).

The first one will come out in just in time for the Advent seasons.

So stay tuned…..change is coming, and change is good!


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Is the Internet a Drug?

A plus or not of cruise is the ability of having the Internet or not having it. The point of a vacation is to have a break from the things that consume your life everyday:cleaning, laundry, cooking, dishes, working, which for most include the Internet.
The Internet-our key to the out side world. It use to come in the form of newspapers & and evening news. Excycpedias and magizines. Now most Google what they need to know. Don’t get me wrong, I love to read the newspaper, and when I get a chance I watch the evening new. But I LOVE the Internet. I LOVE how easy it is. The high when I find what I’m looking for. The awesome feeling of connecting with someone new. I love think of cool Facebook statuses and twitter messages.
But I did not realize how addicted I was till this cruise. I had brought my iPhone along on our for port exsurction in Halifax. On the way back I wanted to stop at the indoor Farmers Market. As we went in I guess I was the only one who saw the sign…FREE WIFI….

My heart start pumping a little faster as the little voice inside me said “YES!”. I calmly took out my phone to check it out-found the wifi and before I knew it all those glorious little dings started coming through. Facebook, email, twitter. I buffered my phone in hope that know one noticed anything. After I knew it worked, I let my teen and hubby in on my little found secret. Not really a secret-the sign was there when we walked in-
Soon my son and hubby where nose deep in their phones getting what quick dose of of internet for free we could get.
I realized at that moment that the Internet was almost like a drug. The need for quick fixes, the need for what was going on. The need for it.
This was vacation. The need for our family time was more important. That family time is becoming so rare. And as our oldest is getting ready to to graduate next year and more out, this is our last family vacation together.
The next day we lucked out of our 5 hour tour at St. John. We had a bus with WiFi in it. So our need for quick fixes, became not as important. My son and girlfriend got many hours of texting in. We got limited use-we could check email and Facebook.

This Disney Cruise I was going to blog more-but family trumped that. Our next Disney Cruise will be overseas next year. We will be leaving the two little ones behind. We will most for sure have Internet on the boat. Just to keep in contact with them.

Is the Internet a drug? It could be seen in the same addiction as a drug, gambling, or any other addiction. The same need or want for it. Walking or searching for that signal. At home we pay, and get it 24/7 without thinking about it. But when you have to pay a high amount for it, how much is it worth to you?

Used wisely the Internet is a resource beyond its weight in gold! Just at what price are you willing to pay?

Proudly, we did not buy Internet minutes aboard…although very tempting. We survived with our limited access for the 4 days. But that breakfast at port…all of us, with our phones out, checking out the world…and so it begins again.


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10 Things About Me you Need to Know


  • I love Jesus with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my life.
  • Everyday I fall in love with my husband more and more and thanks God He put him in my life.
  • I love my children-even if God placed more in our home, I understand how the heart grows with love.
  • I miss working as a DCE. I miss the joy, excitement, and fast pace life. But I do not miss the politics within the church while working. But I miss working as a DCE.
  • I have a Love Hate relationship with homeschooling. More love than hate. But I love the freedom it gives our family. And I love how it takes our family outside of the box and we can explore and learn the world. Because if I ever did go back to work, this time with them now, is important.
  • I am working to make myself healthier. I use to suffer with 3-4 headaches a week. Sometimes I would go silently with the pain. But now with the help of my Dr. and medicine, I am down to 1 every 3-4 weeks. I feel like I have gotten my life back. It is still taking some time to adjust-but I am enjoying this new found pain free freedom.
  • I love Sushi.
  • I love coffee. A LOT!
  • I am a horrible speller and writer. I don’t know how I have gotten this far in life? I was diagnosed with dyslexia when I was a child. I am not sure I ever really over came that other than learning how to over come it. I was told in high school I would never amount to anything. Well I made it through 4 years of college. Got my BA. Went on to Graduate school. Got my degree to become a DCE (Director of Christian Education) continued to get a Master in Parish Education. It really makes me mad when a school tells a child they cannot do it. And it makes me sad when a child gives up because they think they can’t do it. I did it and I did it being a horrible speller.
  • I am addicted to my iPhone. My lap top not too far behind. And if I had an iPad it would be just as bad. BUT…I lived without my laptop for 2 months, so if I had to……..no not sure I could live without my iPhone……..but I have strong will power……I would give up coffee first then my iPhone.

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Summer Survival: Phineas and Ferb Style {5 in 5}

;

Welcome Back to the final 5 days of Summer Survival. Do you still have your stillness? On Monday I focused on mom’s stopping for a moment to find their stillness-make sure you read the post if you are just joining us! (Personally I have had to reread it. My week has been very hard and I have had to look to God many times for my stillness. I have gone to my knees in prayer, praying a mother’s prayer for her son.  God sent me my stillness. Those moments I needed to keep going on when the world felt like it was crashing around me)

“I know what we going to do today!”

One of the best things about Phineas and Ferb is they talk about using your imagination.

The bigger the better. Summer can be just as simple as sitting under a tree or building a rocket with mom’s car. How horrible it would be if our children would lose the ability to imagine.

We are all about imagination. While we do watch TV, play video games, and use the computers, we encourage the kids to just play. I love to give them things to do, but I want them to come up with things to do. So I make sure to have toys and other items that are good for using imaginations.

  • Legos
  • Lincoln Logs
  • Wooden Blocks
  • Dolls
  • Play kitchen
  • Train sets
  • Cars
  • Arts and crafts
  • Recyclable stuff
  • Empty Boxes
  • Tea sets
  • balls
  • My kids start kick ball games outside on their own
  • The build forts and bases.
  • The play tag
  • The play hide and go seek
I think on the best way for kids to use their minds is to just let them be. Give them a box of dress up and let them have fun. We just got done with VBS this week, and we had a great basket of “Rock and Roll” stuff out for our PRAISE VBS. I had to get in the action-it is my dream to be a rock star!
My kids love to Dress up. At Halloween we do dress up.  Our dress up box is filled with lots of fun. Isaiah went through his flipper stage.  Robby pretends to be a pastor all the time.  My kids can play the strangest games.  After the tornadoes last year they played tornadoes drills for months.  For them that imagination play was a way to cope with the disaster that had hit our area.  They would have sirens, hide in the closets, and then report if it was a F4 or F5 tornado that came through.  Imagination play  help my kids process that horrible day.
Here are some of my kids in their “imagination play action!”

This summer we are going big.

I have been waiting.

Phineas and Ferb style big.

We got some art work a few months ago, (Thomas Kinkade. We bought a week before he died.) The artwork came in HUGE boxes. They have been sitting in my living room. (driving me crazy) But I know that there is a great week or two of play here. I am just waiting. And then I will release the boxes. Imagine what my kids will create!

So what ya doing today?

The premiere homeschooling blog hop, a first of its kind in the homeschooling community,

sponsored by our good friends at The BEECH Retreat.

Thanks for joining me and these other fine ladies for one-hundred high quality posts full of homeschooling activities and advice, child-friendly and specialized recipes, Biblical encouragement, and much much more!

      • 5 Days of Bonding with Your Daughter

from Sade at Sade Tagbo

      • 5 Days of Homesteading

from Connie at Smockity Frocks

      • 5 Days of Decluttering

from Lisa at Chaos Appreciation

      • 5 Days of Homeschooling for the Busy Family

from Jenilee at Our Goodwin Journey

      • 5 Days of Homeschooling Pre-K

from Lauren at Mama’s Learning Corner

      • 5 Days of Homeschooling in the Military

from Aadel at These Temporary Tents

      • 5 Days of Kindle in the Classroom

from Jodi at Granola Mom 4 God

      • 5 Days of Return of the Routine

from Tricia at Hodge Podge

      • 5 Days of Homeschooling a Special Needs Child

from LaToya at Christian Momma

      • 5 Days of Oven-Free Dinners

from Tabitha at Meet Penny

      • 5 Days of Freezer Cooking

from Stacie at Motherhood on a Dime

      • 5 Days of Family Games

from Christine at Fruit in Season

      • 5 Days of Camping Tips

from Jenny at Planner Perfect

      • 5 Days of Educational Apps

from Kim at Not Consumed

      • 5 Days of Real-World Math

from Joan at Our School at Home

      • 5 Days of Summer Un-School

from Jamie at Unlikely Homeschool

      • 5 Days of Using Your Slow Cooker

from Sarah at Sidetracked Sarah

      • 5 Days of Summer Survival

from Susann at Momma Hopper

      • 5 Days of Creative Co-op Classes

from Ami at Walking by the Way


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Writing What’s in Your Heart

There are times I wish I could openly write what’s in my heart. What I am feeling, how it effects me, makes me feel, without worrying about what someone else would say.

If I was mad I should be able to SCREAM AT THE TOP OF MY LUNG HOW MAD I WAS. How disappointed I was.

If I was confused I should be able to express my confusion without needing to be the one to clarify things but rather to have things clarified to me.

If I was hurt I should be able to write that really was painful. Please don’t do that again.

If I was betrayed I should be able to express it in a respectful angry way that it would not be ok to do that again.

If I love you and you broke my heart. I pray my heart can be mended again.

If you are lost, and you can’t find your way, don’t push me away. But if you do, you are going have to knock at my heart before I can let you back in.

The things we wish we could write are all taken differently. You as a reader would have no idea who or what I as the writer is writing about. My words are powerful, therapeutic, and healing to me. To someone else they only see words that they put their own interpretation behind.

So when I write I can’t breath. My head feels heavy and my heart burden with sorrow. I feel as if something has been stolen from me. As if something was torn from my heart. And my only prayer is that God knows my heart, knows my needs, knows me. God my God knows my writings. He is the only one who can take and read and hold me and comfort me. He is the one whose arms are wrapped around my family keeping them safe.

Sometimes you as the writer must write what you must and you as a reader can only wonder?

What do you really want to write?

Go write it.


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Summer Survival: Playing in the Kitchen {5 in 5}

Welcome Back to 5 days of Summer Survival-Day 4. Do you still have  your stillness? On Monday I focused on mom’s stopping for a moment to find their stillness-make sure you read the post if you are just joining us!

The center of our house is our kitchen.  It is one of the “well-loved” rooms in our house.  It is always a mess, always dishes in the sick always something on the counter. My kids always want to help me in the kitchen.  To be honest, I get more done if they are not in the kitchen but we know that is not realistic. Kids need to be in the kitchen. Kids at a young age need to playing in kitchen.  As they get older they need to learn how to cook and clean.

Summer time is a great time to get kids in the kitchen!

Things we do:

  • I have a drawer for my toddlers.  They can pull it out and play with whatever is in there.  I put toys and some Tupperware.  I use to let them play in the Tupperware cabinet, but to be honest, I was tired of putting it all back.
  • I let them play in the sink to “wash” dishes.  They love this.  It is messy, but fun for them.  Use non breakable dishes.
  • Have them help pour ingredients into the bowl.
  • Give them some rices, a funnel, a bowl, a cup and a spoon.  They will love this!
  • They love to stir. And stir, and stir.
  • We have two-step stools so the can see whats going on.
  • Have them look through cook books. My kids love this. We pick recipes and make them.
  • Flipping pancakes.  We have them help us flip them
  • Make Mickey pancakes
  • Unloading the dishwashing. This is the job of my 10-year-old.  The little kids help him.
  • Wiping.  Kids love to wipe and clean.
  • Make Glop
  • Sweeping.  Get a little broom and dust broom from each child.  They will love to sweep!
  • Let them experiment with cooking.
  • Make Cookies.  Lots of Cookies
No Bake Cookies

The premiere homeschooling blog hop, a first of its kind in the homeschooling community,

sponsored by our good friends at The BEECH Retreat.

Keep joining me and these other fine ladies for one-hundred high quality posts full of homeschooling activities and advice, child-friendly and specialized recipes, Biblical encouragement, and much much more!

      • 5 Days of Bonding with Your Daughter

from Sade at Sade Tagbo

      • 5 Days of Homesteading

from Connie at Smockity Frocks

      • 5 Days of Decluttering

from Lisa at Chaos Appreciation

      • 5 Days of Homeschooling for the Busy Family

from Jenilee at Our Goodwin Journey

      • 5 Days of Homeschooling Pre-K

from Lauren at Mama’s Learning Corner

      • 5 Days of Homeschooling in the Military

from Aadel at These Temporary Tents

      • 5 Days of Kindle in the Classroom

from Jodi at Granola Mom 4 God

      • 5 Days of Return of the Routine

from Tricia at Hodge Podge

      • 5 Days of Homeschooling a Special Needs Child

from LaToya at Christian Momma

      • 5 Days of Oven-Free Dinners

from Tabitha at Meet Penny

      • 5 Days of Freezer Cooking

from Stacie at Motherhood on a Dime

      • 5 Days of Family Games

from Christine at Fruit in Season

      • 5 Days of Camping Tips

from Jenny at Planner Perfect

      • 5 Days of Educational Apps

from Kim at Not Consumed

      • 5 Days of Real-World Math

from Joan at Our School at Home

      • 5 Days of Summer Un-School

from Jamie at Unlikely Homeschool

      • 5 Days of Using Your Slow Cooker

from Sarah at Sidetracked Sarah

      • 5 Days of Summer Survival

from Susann at Momma Hopper

      • 5 Days of Creative Co-op Classes

from Ami at Walking by the Way


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Summer Survival:Reach for the Gold {5 in 5}

 

Welcome Back to 5 days of Summer Survival-Day 3. Do you still have  your stillness? On Monday I focused on mom’s stopping for a moment to find their stillness-make sure you read the post if you are just joining us!

Next Friday the world will be focused on London as the opening ceremony’s for the summer Olympics start.  For some this is not a big deal.  We are not big sports people when it comes to watching sports on TV.  But every olympics you can find us watching.  I don’t know why, but it is one of the few places that our world comes together.

My kids are already getting ready.  We watched the Gymnastic trails to see who the USA team was going to be.  My 5-year-old told me to sit back and enjoy, hours of this trail.  He was fascinated by what those girls could do!  And when it was the guys time, all he would say, “oh I can do that, that’s easy!”  I just had to laugh!

The one thing the olympics teach above all, is to reach for the gold.  If you don’t try, you will never know if you can do it.  Take your dream and run with it.  Your gold may not be what goes around the neck of the first place winners, put the knowledge that you did some amazing and you did you best to get their.

Things you can do to get ready for next Fridays big event!

  • Watch the Torch Relay
  • Goto the web pages for our USA teams and see who they are.
  • Go red, white and blue
  • Plan a party and invite some friends over.
  • Have your kids come up with their own floor routine.
  • Have a backyard olympics.  Our Journey Westward had a great water backyard olympics.
  • Study Ladder has some great (Free) resource to inspire kids for the Olympics.  (Did I mention Free!)
  • Our #  in our 100 things to do this summer was watch Olympics.
  • Here is my Pinterest board and my friend Penny’s board.
  • Coloring sheets
  • Make sure you download the London 2012:official app to keep up to date with all the action!  Team USA and NBC also have an App.  Search your phone apps.

Keep joining me and these other fine ladies for one-hundred high quality posts full of homeschooling activities and advice, child-friendly and specialized recipes, Biblical encouragement, and much much more!

The premiere homeschooling blog hop, a first of its kind in the homeschooling community,

sponsored by our good friends at The BEECH Retreat.

 


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Summer Survival: Cookie and Cream Coffee Please {5 in 5}

Welcome to 5 days of Summer Survival. For the next 5 days we are going to look at ways to “survive” the rest of the summer. From tips on traveling with kids, to getting into the kitchen with your kids, to some Olympic fun and a Phineas and Ferb style of summer, I talked to you and asked you where you need help this summer. Out of all the moms I talked to the one thing that was common was they all felt like they, themselves, were overwhelmed. Today I want to focus on you.

You know who you are

  • The new mom who doesn’t understand why her new baby will not stop crying.
  • The young mom with small children who can’t go outside more than 10 minutes because it is just plain too hot or it’s raining.
  • The mom counting days till school starts back because her ADHA child is bouncing off the wall and she doesn’t know what to do any more.
  • The working mom who is spending her day dropping kids off at camping, going to work, picking kids up, cooking dinner and crashing in the evening, wishing summer was longer to be with them more.
  • The homeschool mom spending her time getting ready for school while balancing summer fun with her kids.
  • The mom traveling to be with family and barely finds time to just stay at home.
  • The soon to be empty nester getter ready to send their last child off to college wonder what will be in store for them next.

Personally, I am the homeschooling mom spending her time getting ready for school while balancing summer fun with her kids. I felt like I was failing. I am right in the middle of my summer. We always make our list of a 100 things to do each summer and while we were getting some done, I still felt like nothing was going as planned. Weather too hot. Weather then too wet. Washer broken for TWO weeks. Computers broken. I felt like all I was doing was yelling and screaming at the kids.

One night I could not sleep. I wandered our house, which was mess. I came to our front door. I love staring out into the night. I love listening to the night so I opened the door and stood on my porch. The air was the warm, humid summer air with sweet rain smell in the distant. As I breathed in and out, I heard God’s word speak “Be still, and know that I am God;” (Psalm 46:10a)

“Be still, and know that I am God”

I so needed those words at that moment.

What about you?

At what moments do you need God to come and remind you to be still? Stop moving, stop with all the excess that is going on. Refocus yourself to what he has put into your care. I had gotten too caught up in trying to keep my house clean, I was missing my kids. I had to back up and be still, I have to refocus.

I know you all are still wondering what is up with the Cookie and Cream Coffee? When do I get some and what has that got to do with stillness?

Ok ok, when I get stressed at home, I like to got to Target or Kroger’s after kids in bed and get a Starbucks. But lately I’ve had to take them to the store with me. One day the kids where driving me crazy and I needed my mocha. I’m Lutheran, I don’t change much, but they introduced that new Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino early this summer. I am not a cold coffee drinker, but the girl said try it. It was like pure bliss (which I just ignored the calories). I was strolling along, with one whining beside me another dancing and singing and one flipping on the cart. Then I had a stillness moment – a moment where God was saying, even here in the supermarket – be still and know I am God. I will take care of you. You take care of yourself first. And that is what I did. I was taking care of my needs for a bit. You know what, the rest of the shopping trip was just fine. Oh the name Cookie and Cream Coffee is what my five-year calls it. “Mommy is mad, let’s get her a cookie and cream coffee!”

Where can you go for your Stillness or your Cookie and Cream Coffee?

  • Find a Friend. Grab a Cookie and Cream or Cookie Crumble or whatever kind of coffee.
  • Where is your quiet spot? Go there often. Find one if you don’t have one.
  • Headphones. Plug in those headphones while the kids are watching a movie and listen to your music. Here is a song that a friend just introduced to me that really speaks to me.

;

Online

Apps (iPhone-sorry that’s all I know-but many are the same for other phones!)

Books-

  • From CPHCoffee with the Savior by Kristen Myers. I really enjoyed this book.
  • From CPHGod Is in the Laundry Room by Susan Senechal. This is a great Bible study.
  • Four other great books that two friends have suggested to me recently. I have not read them but they both say they are good and worth reading so they are on my list.

Mom, first be still. Go get that Cookie and Cream Coffee, or Crumble Frappuccino. Breath, regroup. That stillness was what I needed. Just that moment with God, the coffee just a bonus.

So here is what I want you to think about. Where do you need stillness in your life? Where do you need to stop for a moment and refocus? For me it was the time I was spending or not spending with the kids. I was too worried about the house and other things I was missing out on fun time with them. So I made little changes. I readjusted my schedule and I feel like I am back on track.

For the next five days join me and these other fine ladies for one-hundred high quality posts full of homeschooling activities and advice, child-friendly and specialized recipes, Biblical encouragement, and much much more!

The premiere homeschooling blog hop, a first of its kind in the homeschooling community,

sponsored by our good friends at The BEECH Retreat.


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The Final Yes {Guest Post}

{Note from Susann-aka Mommahopper: Welcome Back!   ifoster and adopt 2 is a place where anyone can share their stories. This week we are joining Susan Mathis as she shares her final part of their journey of foster care and adoption.  If you missed the first part of her story , The Power of Yes, you can find it here. Her second part of her story, Say Yes to the Stress is here.  Thank you for hopping by.}

The Final Yes

The call came one early morning in mid-October.  We had four children in the home at that time, and really didn’t have room for any more.  But the worker was desperate and assured me it would only be for a few days, so I said yes and called James at work and told him I’d be picking up two more kids and would stop by his office on my way home.

When I got to the agency, I stopped by to talk to a worker about something else.  Sitting in her office, I heard the unmistakable sound of little boy’s feet running as fast as they could down an office corridor.  I stood up as a towheaded three year old rounded the corner, literally jumped into my arms and said, “Hi, I’m Jeremy.”  He was adorable and I knew I was in trouble.

I quickly sat down and started talking to him.  Then, I heard someone enter the room and looked up to see the most beautiful baby I have ever laid eyes on.  I did not know it then, but one day her name would be Linda.  Just as with her brother, it was love at first sight, and I knew I was really in trouble.

The caseworker went over the situation with me:  bad parents, tired grandparents, a few days of respite.  But I was already in love and was wondering how I could ever survive such pain again.  Even as I buckled 10 month old Linda into her car seat, I whispered in her ear, “I am in trouble, little girl, because I already love you and I’m going to lose you, too.”

Obviously, I didn’t.  Instead, the grandmother called a day or two later and admitted she could no longer care for the children.  The mother was mentally challenged and had no real desire to parent.  However, the father wanted them back and there was another wrinkle.  There was a third brother, Joseph, who was in the custody of an aunt with a lengthy history of mental problems.  If the father (her brother) wasn’t going to have custody of all three children, she wanted them.

So we waited, again, for the other shoe to drop.  We waited through a fire caused by a very troubled little girl at Christmas.  We waited until February, when the father went back to prison for nearly killing the children’s mother.  By then, he was ready to surrender his parental rights, too, but only if his sister would give up Joseph to us so the children could be raised together.  We waited for a full year, and we prayed for a miracle.

Ultimately, we got one, though it was certainly neither what we’d prayed for nor what we expected.  In January of 1996, the aunt who had custody of Joseph died suddenly of a mysterious blood disorder.  We got custody of Joseph, the parents signed the termination of their rights, and the adoption was final on October 9th of that year.

Did we live happily ever after?  No, of course not.  Nobody ever does.  But we are still the very proud parents of three young adults who continue to excite and exasperate us as they struggle to find their place in this world.  In short, we’re pretty much like everyone else.

*For obvious reasons, I’ve changed their names.

Susan Mathis is the soon to be former homeschooling but still mom of three young adult children.  She enjoys sharing what she has learned through the years, as well as giving a little credit to one of her favorite sites, PaperStarters.com.

This is final part of her story.   If you would like to be notified with future ifoster and adopt 2 stories fill out contact forms and we will get you on the list.  If you would like to share your story goto our ifoster and adopt 2 page and fill out our form.}.

stories of foster care and adoption


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Say Yes to the Stress {Guest Post}

{Note from Susann-aka Mommahopper: Welcome Back!   ifoster and adopt 2 is a place where anyone can share their stories. This week we are joining Susan Mathis as she shares their journey of foster care and adoption.  If you missed the first part of her story , The Power of Yes, you can find it here. Thank you for hopping by.}

Say Yes to the Stress

One of the things that I kept asking myself as we went through foster parent training is, “How do I keep from getting attached, from falling in love with these children?”  It was about halfway through that I realized that that would not be possible.  I would get attached and fall in love.  The sacrifice lay in letting go and accepting the hurt that would inevitably come.  Had I known how much hurt, I might not have agreed to it.  But then, I would not have known the joy, either.

Our first placement was three siblings whom we had for only a week.  They were beautiful and sad and had already suffered a lifetime of hurt in the first few years of their lives.  Next came two little boys who, oh so happily, were adopted out of our home by a family member who desperately wanted them.  There were a few other short placements, I think, in those first months, but I don’t remember now.

Then came Robby and Bobby,* two brothers, an infant and a toddler whose mother had already lost two of their siblings to very suspicious deaths and had surrendered custody of a third child.  Their social worker assured us that there was no way this woman would ever get custody of these boys back.  So we took pictures and decorated the nursery and bought them lots of matching outfits.  And, of course, we started talking adoption.  It would be lovely.  James put his dissertation on hold and got a job selling cars so I could quit work to be home full time with them.  For nine glorious months, we were a family.  And then the blow fell.

For reasons that no one could understand then or even today, a judge decided to give their mother one more chance.  Surely she’d learned her lesson by now and would not spill boiling water on them, as she had their dead brother.  No, she’d changed and besides that, she was pregnant with a girl, which is what she’d always wanted.  So, on the Friday before Father’s Day, we said goodbye, and never saw them again.

For the record, it seems that the judge was right.  She didn’t kill them and they did live to adulthood.  I only know this because I found them, just a few months ago, on Facebook.  I thought briefly about contacting them, but I didn’t.  They would not know who I was anyway, or that I had loved them and held them and prayed for them through the years.  To them I’d be a stranger, some odd woman who thought she knew them but, by now, surely doesn’t.

So of course, we said “never again.”  We were getting out of the business.  No more kids.  But we softened, and were persuaded to take a few here and there.  It was not a problem, because we didn’t become attached.  It seemed that our ability to bond was severed, so we wouldn’t get hurt anymore.  And that suited us fine.

But God still had one more “Yes” in our future.

*For obvious reasons, I’ve changed their names.

In addition to blogging for TheCouponCupboard.com, Susan Mathis now spends her post-homeschooling time continuing to encourage her husband and three children on to greatness.  Now, if she could just get there herself.

{The final part of her story will be posted Sunday, July 8. If you would like to be notified with future ifoster and adopt 2 stories fill out contact forms and we will get you on the list}.

stories of foster care and adoption


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