In preparing for our child or children, I have found myself really starting to think about what it is I would want to accomplish with the children that will be coming into our home. We have had several conversations over the past couple of months about what our expectations are and what reality might look like. Truth of the matter is, we are preparing for what I like to call a “beautiful mess.”
When I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, I felt like everything was a mess. It also explained a great deal of what was going on in my body and up and to that point, I blamed it on stress of different situations of my life. In that “mess” I found a great deal of comfort and peace. There were things I had absolutely no control over. Now, anyone that knows me, knows that is a problem. I found myself anxious and anticipating the worst and when that didn’t happen, I was better able to deal with it. At that point in my life, I felt that I had learned to love my beautiful mess. No, I didn’t like the circumstances, and no, I didn’t enjoy the process, but I did find a blessing in each day and each stage of the process. I feel that I really learned how to find the good in each situation, even when you are scared beyond belief. I also learned that my husband had become the most amazing man I had known. His love, care and strength was amazing and brought comfort in how he took care of me. I think it is safe to say that we both learned to love our beautiful mess.
In the past couple of months I have noticed that my thought patterns are changing. I have begun to think more “like a mom” than ever before. I have also, in my head, developed the type of mom I would like to become. In essence, I have switched from wife and teacher mode, to momma mode. Watching television, cooking meals, activities and other things have new meaning. Instead of wanting to go out to buy a new outfit, I would rather buy a game that we could play together… and I know, the child isn’t even here yet.
I am also learning to appreciate this time of preparation as well. I enjoy my freedom a little more, my ability to sleep a little more (although that doesn’t seem to happen often) and am enjoying this process with my husband discovering the dad in himself. We often talk about the things we would like to do with the children. We want to expose them to the wonderful city we live in and have family time whether it is put-put golfing, movies, bowling or a trip to the museum, or participating in events with our church. We are walking in a season in our lives that is a dream transforming into a reality. It’s real this time… there are no thoughts of having the “perfect child” or being the “perfect parents,” rather an attempt to be realistic as to what we will encounter as foster parents and what our expectations are.
A few things stick out in my mind! First, I want to be a parent that does not jump down my child’s throat for doing something that is a result of their journey in life. I will use this as an example because reading this truly helped me to understand things on a different level. While reading a blog about a former foster child, she explained that she had been hoarding food in her bedroom. Her foster mom had discovered this because of rotten food. Now foster mom had a choice in how she reacted and while most would have punished the child and expressed their true anger, this foster mom decided that she would take a bin, place it in her child’s room for her to have a special place to keep her food and they would go through it a couple of times a week. To me, that was creative and it promoted so many good things for this child. It also sent a strong message of we love you and accept you just the way you are.
The other thing that has stuck out came from Pinterest. I found a pin that really caught my eye. This mom had decided to have Disney family video nights leading up to their trip to the house of the mouse. Being a big fan of all things Disney, it sung to me and the wheels began turning in my head. We could do the same in our home with our children. So I decided to take the ideas from this pin and create my own. I chose forty of my favorite movies and created a “poster” for each one. Each poster included pictures found online and a themed dinner menu to go along with it. I have been working on finishing these up and the last thing to do will be to create some sort of activity to go along with it. With lots of help from the internet and some really great websites, I am almost finished and am excited about using them. Even my husband has kicked in a couple of ideas.
I do not desire to be a perfect parent, but I do desire to spend quality time with each child that comes into our home. I get excited at the thought of planning these things and look forward to actually using them. I pray that I am a creative mom that is able to pour all of God’s best into each child. I pray that they know, no matter what, they are loved in this home. Yes, there are rules, expectations, rewards and consequences, but above all, despite the trials, there is love, and in this home, love covers all!
1 Peter 4:8 ~ Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Corinthians 13:4 ~ Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:13 ~ And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.