Things here in Half Way to Ninety Land have been busy! We are in the midst of raising money for our foster daughter’s service dog. We have the puppy, a beautiful Golden Retriever. Logan decided to name her Gidget. The name fits. Spunky, curious and smart as can be. Our mission now is to continue to raise enough to cover the training.
Gidget, Logan and I are just beginning the long process of training for Gidget to become a licensed service dog. We had our first session today. I am learning how to work with the puppy and Logan. Today we started to learn to spin in a circle, crawl through a tunnel, do diagonals, and worked on the starting position. This is a bit challenging since Logan doesn’t know her right from left and can’t really stand still for even a few seconds. Let’s just suffice it to say that I am tired tonight and so is Gidget! We had soccer first thing this morning, too.
The theme for September is learning. The kids all started school (Puppy School, Kindergarten, First Grade and Fourth Grade). So far, so good. This month is such a transition time for all of us. Back to packing lunches, packing backpacks and getting everyone up in time to be ready for school. We have three separate start times in this house. We are becoming Masters of Coordination. I would like to say we are a well-oiled machine at this point, but I think we can safely say we are one step above a chaotic circus in the morning.
Speaking of chaos, Todd and I ask each other, daily, if things are really improving with our foster daughter. How can we tell? How much potential does she have? What does her future look like? Will she ever be independent? Will she read? Will she learn? Does it matter?
This is the intersection of faith and obedience. When we pray about this tough situation, we can hear that still, small voice of God saying that we are right where God wants us to be. She is here with us. This path is exactly where we are supposed to be. We are trying to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this situation. Trouble is…this is hard. Hard to do, hard to keep doing, hard to stay positive, hard to put one foot in front of the other. I am finding it hard to not worry about tomorrow. I am, by nature, a control freak. I like to know what is going to happen and when.
Fostering a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder is a walk of faith. We know that she can find comfort in Christ. We know she can be healed – it may take a long time. We know that we have to be patient, loving, caring, kind. We hope that our two boys see this. We hope they understand that all of this disruption is worth it. I know they see our good moments and lousy moments. There are plenty of those. I fully admit to feeling worn down at the end of the day. This little girl can zap the energy out of a Tasmanian Devil. I am not saying I am a Tasmanian Devil, perhaps Sid the Sloth nowadays!
Squirrel moment: A plastic, squeaky toy, hot dog just flew past my head. Really! The boys are tossing around the puppy’s toys. Now, Sam has put red dye in a cup of water and said it’s blood. Oh my head.
Back on track…We had a hearing for our foster daughter recently. We let our Judge know that we started down the path with the service dog. She was elated. We were able to express that we believe this pup is the key to giving Logan stability and comfort as she walks through her day. She needs to feel safe. What better way to feel safe than a dedicated service dog!
We also had another message for the Judge: We are ready to make Logan a permanent part of our family. Adoption Day is tentatively scheduled for December 1st. This feels a bit like pregnancy, labor and delivery all mixed up together, including the hormonal surges that accompany those things! Good, great, scary as heck. Beautiful. Orchestrated by God. The journey to this decision was not easy. I absolutely can tell you that we moved through doubt, hope, laughter, tears and lots of just shaking our heads. It is in the quiet moments (although those are few) that we truly can have peace about expanding our family. We can certainly say this is deliberate. Planned…not so sure!
On that day back in February, when I got the call that a little girl needed a home, I had no idea that our lives would change this drastically. I, naively, thought that one more child to this busy house would be A-ok. How hard could a little girl be? Well, I guess I am glad I didn’t know how hard this journey was going to be – kind of like labor. I am glad I didn’t know my labor with Levi would take from a Tuesday night to a Saturday morning.
We are going to miss all of those newborn firsts. The first cry, the first smile, the first bath, the first sight of a precious little baby girl. We have different firsts. We have the first meal we shared, the first time I saw her walk up to my door. The first thing she said to me was, “Hi, Mommy.” I have to change my expectation of what firsts I was hoping for. I am working on it. So, now we celebrate the firsts we do have and put one foot in front of the other.
I hope that all of us can see the uniqueness of our journeys and celebrate in the firsts, however odd they may be. I am staying the course. I will love as best I can. Love the girl and the pup. Here’s to another grand adventure!