Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mamma Always Says: A Random Act of Kindness

I could make subway art out of the sentences I speak on repeat. 

Love like God loves
Be sweet or be quiet. Worry about your own behavior. Stay in bed, stay still, stay quiet. 

Sentences like these get repeated so often that my kiddos probably don't even really hear them anymore. Yesterday, a tiny conversation proved one sentence true, and it will stick in with my Noah's memory for a long time to come. 

You never know what privileges you might get.

Amos and I took Noah shopping for a watch yesterday. He chose a pocket watch of all things and was pretty thrilled with his discovery. 

We ducked into one last store where Noah struck up a conversation with a gentleman who was also shopping there. I watched and listened as the man complimented Noah's style, suggested he be an actor someday. Noah said maybe a train conductor with his pocket watch. They talked about Noah's hat, and Noah said he'd really like to have a top hat someday. The guy was tickled with Noah's demeanor. I was very happy as I watched Noah be so respectful and confident.

The sweet and silly conversation paused for a bit but continued when we ended up leaving the store at the same time. Introductions were made, hand shakes were shared. Then "Coach Mac" pulled a crisp $20 bill from his wallet and held it out to my son. 

"Noah, I'd like to give you this to help you get that top hat."

My seven-year-olds eyes were excited. Hesitant. Disbelieving. After a little nod of approval from me, he timidly took the bill and said a genuine thank you. The two parted ways, and Noah was left pondering what had taken place in the last few minutes. 

"Why would he do that?" We talked to our son about his behavior in the store, how friendly he was and how well mannered. I asked Noah what he thought might have happened if he'd been whining or throwing a fit or running wild through the store. 

As we approached our car, Noah told me, "You're right, Mom. You never know what privileges you might get." 

That $20 bill is safely inside Noah's bank tonight, and apparently we're in the market for a top hat. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

One Year Later. A Late Night (Sleep Deprived) Update

Apologies in advance for any incoherent thoughts tonight.

 It's been quiet on this blog lately, but real life has been anything but! 

In the last three weeks we've:

*Entered the world of self employment-- a little scary and confusing, but REALLY exciting! 
*Successfully worked through some educational dilemmas with Noah.
*Watched Miriam as a mini queen at our local festival. 
*Caught up with my sister and her kiddos while they visited.
*Entertained J and her friends periodically.
*Soaked up as much simple family time as possible.
*Snuck in a much needed kid-free trip to visit my big sister in NYC.

 Row Boating in Central Park

Today marks one year since we made our first official move toward foster adoption. 

Yesterday, we attended the same carnival as last year, its intention to connect foster youth with adoptive families. 

Last year, we had no real ability to pursue an adoption of any of the kids. We hadn't spoken to a social worker, hadn't a clue how to start the adoption process. Amos and I wandered the carnival aimlessly, feeling a little like stalkers as we watched the kids enjoying the festivities. It took all of our courage to inquire about one little boy we thought might be in our "age range."

This year, we brought our whole crew along. We were greeted by our licensing supervisor, saw familiar couples from our class, and enjoyed watching our kids play alongside all the others. We inquired about three kids and ended up talking to social workers of three others. Three of the children we learned about were well above our official age range. None of this was stressful. 

For now, I feel at peace knowing that God's got this. After praying, we've decided to call on Monday to ask a whole list of questions about the kids we feel might fit into our family. 

In licensing news, we'll be meeting on Monday to approve our home study. Then we'll have one more paper to sign before we're officially able to take foster placements! Our licensing worker told us that they almost called about an emergency placement last week but then remembered that we were in New York. It's crazy that we could've accepted our first short term placement already!

Now all I think about is how cluttered the kids rooms are on an given day... if my house is ready to welcome kids at a moments' notice. What we need to have on hand that we don't... A dozen concrete to-do's... and they will all be completed without a guarantee that we'll ever receive a placement. It feels a lot like decorating a nursery before a pregnancy, but that is the way of foster care!