Hello my friends and family,
I humbly come to you today to update you on our crazy little life and to ask for your prayers, guidance, and assistance. Some of you might already know that as of last Tuesday, we have 2 sweet girls (ages 8 and 10) living with us, and Brett and Liz have their 5 month old sister living with them. It's a very sad story that was revealed to us a little over a week ago. We had known these girls' home life was not great for a long time, but last week we found out too much not to at least try to do something about it. The Department of Children and Family Services is involved and trying to help the parents and children. Jerry's e-Devo summed it up perfectly for us today. I am praying that prayer about every 10 minutes it seems.........Heavenly Father, when our plans change, help us to embrace Your plans. Amen.
Over the last week, I have seen God do many miracles in the lives of these children. When Alexis (3rd grade) first came home with us after school on Tuesday, she struggled to add 5+1. It also took her an insane amount of time and effort to read her grade level book to me. They were both comfortable here, but a little somber and probably in culture shock. On Wednesday morning I noticed that Alexis had a terrible look on her face and was about to cry. When I inquired about this she told me that she didn't like her gummy vitamin I had given her but was trying really hard to get it down so she wouldn't be in trouble. It broke my heart in half. Of course I told her to spit it out and get something to drink to get the taste out of her mouth. I explained that when something was going on that they don't like or that make them uncomfortable that they can come to us to talk about it. That seem to be a turning point for the girls. Although it had only been 24 hours, when they got home from school on Wednesday, they were more relaxed and more alive somehow. That night during dinner Alexis told us that her best part of the day was waking up so happy and Angelina's was finishing homework and being able to take her lunch to school. Who knew you could find such joy in peanut butter and jelly? By Thursday afternoon, Alexis was adding, subtracting, doing graphs, and tables, and by yesterday, she was breezing through her reading the same as others in her class. She spends her free time dancing, singing, playing outside and smiling. The whole thing is really incomprehensible to me. It is nothing short of a miracle from God!
To try to sum up some of the hurdles, Alexis has Asthma and needs and inhaler and meds for the breathing machine. She also has a toothache. Angelina's tooth broke in half yesterday at church. I guess it just rotted out. She says it doesn't hurt, but clearly they need some dental work. The baby is 2-4 months behind of her immunizations and needs 4 shots and a well visit. We just got a medical release form signed so we can seek out any necessary medical care.
Some of you have asked about our needs, so I thought I would just put it out there. I'm not used to being on this side of vulnerable so this is extremely hard for me.
First and foremost, please pray that their parents and grandmother will make decisions that are right for the children. As of now, they are allowing us to keep their children, but at any point they could change their mind. Ideally, the parents would check in to rehab and get the help they need so that they could take care of their family. But for right now, we are hoping they will sign whatever is necessary so we can officially care for the children while they are seeking out the help they need.
Some other needs, include services....although we have met one DCF social worker, we probably need to talk with someone higher up in that organization. We also need an expert family law attorney who can navigate us through paperwork that is right for everyone involved. The girls could probably use some mental health counseling, but I am not sure they are ready to open up yet, but we could really use some advice on helping them through all of this. We thought about getting them journals with a locking code so they could at least release their feelings on paper. For our sanity sake, we will be looking for the occasional babysitter for my 4 (my 2 and Angelina and Alexis) and one for the baby. They need dental and medical services. If any of you have a connection or are willing to help with any of these services, please let us know.
Finally, are the tangibles... This seems really weird for me to even type. I'm usually the one giving stuff to others, but the girls showed up with the clothes on their backs. Thankfully, they can fit in some of my girls' clothes. The clothes don't have to be new, but they do need to be somewhat current and fit. They are getting to the age that they have their own style and they have suffered enough embarrassment at school. They also need panties (size 8-12 ), socks (the athletic ones that just cover your foot, but don't go up on your ankle is what they prefer, shoes (size 3 and 5, I think). I would like to take them shopping to Target, Justice, Walmart, or somewhere like that. If any of you ladies that know them pretty well want to take them shopping, please let me know. I finally understand why my friend, Kristi, buys so much stuff at Costco. I cannot believe how much food it takes to feed 4 girls. Not to mention they are now eating breakfast at home and packing their lunch for school, whereas before they were eating free breakfast and lunch at school. I cannot take that new found joy away from them, regardless of the cost. The sweet baby really needs one of those Floor activity things and a Bumbo type chair. She also need sleepers (Size 3-6 months) and cloth bibs. Again, these things do not have to be new.
At church yesterday, I finally took some time to process the emotional side of all of this. I know that God is carrying us through this because there is absolutely no way we could do it otherwise. It's amazing how quickly you begin to love someone that is counting on you. Please, please, please pray that we can get something official signed to be able to keep and care for these children until their parents are able to fully care for them. I'm counting on an able and almighty God!!!
I am so thankful for each and every one of you!!!