wow. i cant believe that it is may already. time flies when you are pregnant with four young kids in the home :)
april at our home was eventful (the story of our lives recently). for the first two weeks, the kids were in respite care at another foster home. during this time i got a lot done (things that i dont have time for when the kids are around)... major work on our garden, finishing our complicated taxes, lots of catching up on cleaning and laundry. i think i even took a nap or two :) alex and i also took a weekend trip to san diego which was fun. it was also a time for reflecting on things with the kids... i missed them, despite enjoying the break, and was able to think through what i want my last weeks with them to be like.
things with the kids have shifted pretty majorly since they came back. we expected a bit of a readjustment period, and our expectations were pretty accurate. in addition, not only were they thrown off of the normal course of things by the respite care, but even more so by the extra time they have with their mom these days (visits were formerly about 6 hours, now they are 48 hours long). since this change we has seen a dramatic increase in tantrums, whining, screaming, crying, disobedience and talking back in all of the boys. it has been a trial of my patience, as well as my understanding of the gospel. God has been very gracious to help me love them through it, reminding me that my sin is much more ugly than any of their behavior. he has also been gracious to forgive me when i am impatient and don't love them through it.
their next court date is coming up soon, may 10. we have been told that they almost definitely will be reunited with their birth mom at that time. on one hand i am eager for the craziness of having all of them in the house to be over, but on the other hand i am a bit sad for the kids... seeing how they come back from their parent visits is a bit of a reality check for what their life will be like living with their mom. we have also given a bit of thought as to the possibility of them coming back into our lives again. if they are reunited and something goes wrong and they go back into foster care, we would be the first to get a call to take them in. we would be open to it, but we would most likely only the younger two kids who we started out with originally. we feel, and several other people have also noticed, that these two have developed a special bond with us that the older two clearly do not have.
this has been a month of growth for me spiritually. i have been making prayer and bible reading more of a priority, which has been good. it hasn't necessarily been life changing every day, but more like a good discipline that is making me stronger over all. i have been reading through revelation, which is one of my favorite books of the bible, and thinking more deeply about some of the things in it (especially relating to the end times).
one very exciting thing for me this month has been (FINALLY!) starting my vegetable garden. in so cal, you are supposed to start seeds january to march, but i put it off for a while since we did not know whether or not we would be moving (it also didn't help that i majorly lack free time!). i am hoping that my late start wont mess things up. by God's grace, a couple veggie plants planted themselves earlier in the year, which means that we have a tomato plant that already has lots of flowers and 4 small tomatoes, as well as pumpkin plants with tons of blossoms. in addition, i have started seeds for butternut squash, sweet cherry peppers, basil, marigolds (flowers that ward off bugs that attack veggie plants), watermelon as well as more pumpkin and tomatoes. we are blessed with a ton of garden space, and i am hoping to make good use of it all.
baby costa is getting bigger. this week is the half way point in the pregnancy, which is fun :) i bought some maternity clothes this week and have started to wear them, its nice to have a bit more room for my expanding tummy. at an ultrasound about a week ago we found out that the baby is (most likely) a girl, so we can call her a "her". we have thrown around a few name ideas, and have possibly landed on one. finding out that the baby inside of me is a girl made my affections for our foster baby girl that much stronger. i want them to grow up together, to be best friends. right now i cant imagine life without her beaming smile, her silly walk, her cute crinkly nose and her room-brightening squeals.