Tomorrow is the day we leave for our much anticipated vacation. Princess O is staying with a respite family so she doesn't burn to a crisp like the rest of us will. Thing1 and Thing2 got to spend time with Nanny and Tots when we went on vacation before each of them turned 1. Since Princess O doesn't get that luxury, God has blessed us with a wonderful family that loves having fun with her. I am completely amazed that I am sitting in bed before midnight and not stressed about getting ready to leave in the morning. Mr. A and I are actually as packed as we can be. It's amazing! I think Mr. A thought I was being a bit neurotic making multiple lists to be sure we didn't forget anything. I'm sure we will still forget something. It's our MO. I want so much to be ultra-organized, thinking that it would decrease stress and make things go faster. It doesn't happen. But that's the mark of genius, right? That's my story, anyway. Leaving the princess will not be fun, but I know that the boys will enjoy some extra attention. Princess O won't mind a little extra attention either.
The last 2 weeks has been CRAZY! End of school for me, my nephew in the hospital, test for the baby, and life. The princess had a reflux test. Big news- she has reflux. At least we know that everything is anatomically fine. She was dismissed from ECI with developmentally appropriate skills. Yea! Nothing has gotten better during parent visits. Nothing changes when I speak with the caseworker. I am really unsure if she even knows how to care for an infant. Yet she still reminds me not to use the baby's middle name (never mind that no one has had a problem with that thus far), and can't seem to make a simple phone call for paperwork herself. Grr... The rule-follower in me is highly agitated because I don't want to abide by this, yet feel guilty about not. Another part of me says to play the game. They can't really control what we call her when no one is here. So, in the privacy of my own home she will continue to be Princess O. If that is the worst thing they can find then it seems like grasping at straws to me.
In the middle of all of the stress over the last 2 weeks I have had several moments where I close the door after a visit or sit down after a phone call, look at my beautiful children, and realize what really matters. I don't know why God saw me as a vessel to be filled with such wonders in the form of my family, but I am so glad He did. He uses them every day to teach me more about my relationship with Him. Mr. A showed Thing1 and Thing2 "Bambi" this week. Thing1 was very concerned that Bambi couldn't see his mommy anymore. I happened to be at the gym while this was all going on. Thing1 called me and told me that Bambi couldn't see his mommy and asked if I was coming home. We got to talk about the fact that even though Bambi couldn't see his mommy he had friends that took care of him. "And you and Daddy aren't going away?" (just break my heart!) My gut said tell him no, never, but then what happens if something does happen to one of us? So, I took a deep breath and told him that I was coming home, but that we didn't every need to be afraid because Jesus always takes care of us. He was ok with that. We have talked a little more about it over the last couple of nights. I didn't think a 3 year old was supposed to have this kind of thinking! I wasn't ready! The insight God showed me through this was to remember He is always taking care of me. He does always put the right people in my life at the right time even if I can't see it. No, this is not a new concepts for me, but a neat way to be reminded. Thank you, Thing1- you can't even imagine how you have let God use you just by being curious.
Here is how you can pray for our family this week:
-Mr. A, Thing1, Thing2, and myself for safe travel and good family time on vacation,
-That Princess O would bless the respite family with a little of the joy she brings to our house,
-That those involved on Princess O's case (judge, ad Litem, CPS caseworker, our child placing caseworker, birthmom's attorney) would be given wisdom and discernment in all of the decisions to be made,
-For me to use wisdom and grace in dealing with the adults I have to deal with for Princess O. That I would stand firm for her best interests, yet communicate God's love in every interaction,
-For the respite family taking care of Princess O that they would be blessed by her this week,
-For birthmom to come to a saving knowledge of Christ as Lord and Savior in her life.
"I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep. The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by your side. The sun will not strike you by doay, or the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all harm; He will protect your life. The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever." Psalm 121