Thursday, September 16, 2010

brown and lovely

Dark and Lovely No-Lye Conditioning Relaxer System, Superthere is a hair product for black people called dark and lovely.

thinking about that this week gave me a new nickname for our foster baby girl: brown and lovely.

if you have met her, then you know that lovely is a great word to describe her.  and i just love her brown skin and brown hair, which contribute to her loveliness (even tho birth dad cut her lovely hair last week, grrrr.... but that is another story).

there are so many lovely things about her.  her smiles, her laughs, her faces, her hair (when she had it), her giggles, the way she wrinkles her nose when she laughs, her dimples, her cute chubby legs, her consistently pleasant mood, the way she does the cutest push-ups ever right now while she is trying to learn how to stand up, her cute pitiful sounding cry during the rare occasion that she is crying...  even if we only had her and not the boys, i am sure i would call her lovely, but i think a big part of the reason that i think of her as being so lovely is because of the sharp contrast between her and her brothers.

i mean, really she has an unfair advantage over the boys for many reasons.  first of all, she is cute and little.  they are bigger and therefore are just not as cute.

secondly, she is a girl.  i love being mama to three three boys.  from the moment we first heard about the kids and i knew that the oldest three were boys, i was excited.  but for all the advantages that come with boys, there are the disadvantages... and those disadvantages shine out all the more clear in comparison with my brown and lovely. :)  and baby girl clothes are waaaaay cuter than toddler boy clothes.  they just are.

additionally, when she does cry, it is way more understandable than when her brothers cry and whine (which is a lot!) since they can communicate their needs in other ways.  so, for her its excusable, but for them, less so. (besides, she is so lovely that even her crying is almost endearing!)

Moby Wrap Original 100% Cotton Solid Baby Carrier, Chocolatei am so excited because lovely girl and i are going to get to bond even more now that i finally ordered a moby wrap.  i will get to carry her much more throughout the day... yay!  the occasions that she does cry are usually when her brothers are taking my attention away from her needs, and i think she will be much more comforted to be "worn" with me throughout the day.  the numerous benefits of baby wearing can be read here.

as a side note, i might also use it with our youngest little man, who is still displaying big signs of insecure attachment, which makes me sad.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

compromise... some rambling thoughts

one of the harder aspects of loving four foster children under the age of four full time is the fact that i have to compromise my values multiple times a day, every day.

our kids want our constant attention.  and what young child doesn't?  but how much more so kids coming from their kind of situation.  sometimes they are literally clambering on top of one another to get our attention.  being that i am just one person and they all want so much (not to mention what they actually need) i have been forced to do a lot of things that i never thought i would as a mother.

for example, saying "because".  our oldest little man is in the question stage.  example:

"what is this?"
"its a shovel."


"what are you going?"
"do you mean where am i going?"
"where are you going?"
"to the store"
"to get food for your dinner"
"because otherwise you wont have something to eat"

how do you answer that??  it doesn't even make sense.  to top it off, i hear every question in double, because second oldest little man copies everything the oldest says... most of the time its kind of funny, and i enjoy teaching them about the world.  but it can be very mentally draining and especially hard if i am trying to get something done.  so i compromise and say a flat "because" hoping that the question period will end.

another compromise is in the area of nutrition.  feeding my children high nutrition foods is a priority for me.  the other morning i really needed some time off, so alex stayed with the kids.  i gave him boxed cereal to feed them because i wasn't around to make anything better (i usually make smoothies, eggs or soaked oatmeal for breakfast).  it killed me.  but i needed some time off, so i had to.  and then i did it again a few days later.  it was a kick in the stomach to read this in a book this week:

"[breakfast cereals] are supposed to be healthy, aren't they?  that is what numerous TV advertisements tell us.  unfortunately the truth is just the opposite... being a source of processed carbohydrates, breakfast cereals feed abnormal bacteria and fungi in the gut, allowing them to produce a new portion of their toxins...but what about fibre?  the manufacturers claim that with a bowl of their product you will get all the fibre you need.  unfortunately it is the wrong kind of fibre, [it] is full of phytates- substances that bind essential minerals and take them out of the system.  there has been an interesting experiment performed in one of the food laboratories.  they analyzed the nutritional value of some brands of breakfast cereals and the paper boxes in which these cereals were packaged.  the analysis showed that the box, made of wood pulp, had more useful nutrients in it than the cereal inside" [gut and psychology syndrome, p 85-87]
things like this make  me wish that i didn't do research into areas like this.

another compromise has been using disposable diapers.  yuck!  but we have no other option when sending them off to 6 hour unsupervised visits.  if parents "accidentally" lost some of our cloth diapers, it could be $100 down the drain in no time.  so we send them in sposies, and i feel like a bummer mother.

and i wont even mention that sometimes lovely girl sits in her pack and play and cries for 15+ minutes when the boys need my attention for other things... because the social workers would probably freak out if they read this.

anyways, i am not even sure what the point of this post is.  maybe God is teaching me something through this, but i cant say what.  maybe to give up control to him, even to do things that i feel are wrong?  i don't know.  but that is why i titled this post "some rambling thoughts".  it is my ticket to feel free to ramble :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

outpouring of hatred from the "childfree" and an update on our kiddos

today i read this article that alex shared about a recent battle in a washington DC neighborhood of dog owners versus parents.  the rage of the "childfree" adults was almost scary to read.  here was one comment quoted in the article:

"keep your nasty little snotty kid away from me, PLEASE!!!! Do not let your stickly offspring rush up to me in Whole Foods and grab my $250 Ralph Lauren silk skirt with it’s grubby, crusty hands. One of the benefits of not having children is not having to wear the Mommy Wardrobe. Do not make those of us who are not forced into wash and wear to pay extra for the dry cleaner to remove child goo. Do not allow your offspring to lean over the seat of a restaurant and try to initiate “conversation” with me when I am enjoying a meal with friends."

it reminded me of the story in the bible of when jesus embraced the young children and invited them to come to Him.  though children were practically ignored in that society, he sought them out.

it also reminded me of the fact that when sin abounds, the weak are always trampled.  right now it is cool to care about social justice, so in general our society sees it as a good thing to care for the hungry and the needy.  but it seems like it is becoming more acceptable to look down on children and treat them as less than human (and most especially unborn children).   this is an area that the church should be sure to have a strong biblical conviction on: that children ARE a blessing, so that our society's lies do not take us off track.

this article also made me sad because it showed me how i, too, fall for the lies of our society.  though i love our four little ones (despite the chaos they bring at times!) i almost feel apologetic about them sometimes.  when we are out and people ask about the children, i always rush to point out that they are foster kids that we hope to adopt, implying that that we were not the ones "irresponsible" enough to have so many kids back to back like that (all four of them are under age four).

on the subject of our kiddos, please keep them in your prayers.  they get really scared at night and have been reporting more frequently of recent seeing monsters.  when we pray with them when they are scared, it seems to help a lot.  this could just be an attention seeking behavior, but we really suspect that there is a lot of spiritual warfare in their life right now, and the "monsters" could be something real.  they are starting to understand some spiritual concepts, which is pretty encouraging, but this could be the reason that the spiritual warfare seems to be increasing.  please pray that each one would be seized by the power of the great affection.

another update is that there is a court hearing on monday, which could result in some or all of the kids being placed somewhere else (like maybe with another family member).  we love these kids.  i love getting to disciple them and teach them about jesus every day.  we so desperately want them to know God, which doesn't seem like it will happen with their birth family.  but God is sovereign.  please pray that he would draw the kids to Himself and that he would help alex and i to trust what he is doing right now.

Friday, September 3, 2010

kids CD recommendation

To Be Like Jesusa few months ago, sovergeign grace ministries had a big sale on their materials.  knowing that we would be getting kids soon, i decided to buy "to be like jesus", which i had heard highly recommended on several blogs. 

i can easily say that this was one of the best $5 investments i have ever made.

the CD is about the fruit of the spirit mentioned in galatians 5:22-23.  each song focuses on one of the character qualities that the Holy Spirit brings, as mentioned in this passage.

what i love about this CD is that it is gospel focused.  in other words, they do not sing about trying hard to be loving, peaceful, patient, etc.  the songs all point out that jesus has all of these things and that he gives them to His followers.

i am almost positive that God has used this CD more in my life than he has in the lives of our kids.  he always seems to bring a song that I need to hear at the right moment.  like the song about peace when all four of the kids are crying or whining.  or the song about joy when i am tempted to feel sad about how hard this life stage is.  or the song about love when the kids are being unlovely.

i definitely recommend this CD to anyone with children (especially anyone with four foster children under the age of four!).  i cant wait until our kids are old enough to understand the lyrics.  but until then, i am definitely being impacted by it in a big way.