Monday, September 12, 2016

Tiny gifts, social security and lawyers oh my!

Before I crazy laugh my way into hysteria I thought I would come to my safe spot and jot down a few notes...

We owe the attorney TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED dollars, totally no big deal because Jesus is ahead of me and money started growing on trees out front yesterday you know when one of my lovely children decided to harm their not so inexpensive instrument.

We owe the attorney a publication fee ($1,000+) to file information in a newspaper somewhere about someone so that this adoption can be finalized and another child can share the Fasnacht name.

This adoption could have been the very easiest out of all the adoptions we have ever done (4 down, many more to come???). Jesus knows that I don't do normal, that I don't appreciate normal and that I certainly do not brag about normal so of course this is anything but normal! We have spent over $3,000 so far on this Journey and will likely be looking at $5,000 to $7,000 more (or more, who knows).

11 days ago Jesus handed me a gift. I teeny tiny gift. 4 pounds of perfection! This baby girl is mine to love for maybe 24 more hours, maybe more maybe less (get the unknown part). I have watched as Jesus has used people to shower this tiny one with diapers, formula, clothing and so on. Anything that she needs has been provided for (Jesus meets needs). Jesus not only loves her mommy enough to pave a way to avoid foster care and a CAR ACCIDENT He loves me enough to gift me this time with her. Time to absorb that 4 pounds of goodness, times to watch Jesus provide for her needs, time to watch her fully accept the love we have to offer (I need to accept the love from others...get it). I feel overwhelmed that Jesus is able to speak to me through a 4 pound piece of perfection! He is speaking to me through a beautiful mess. He is showing me that he is trustworthy and kind, loving and willing. He is showing me that I just need to be as this baby has been...willing to accept.

The phone call before the attorneys call was the social security office...hahaha...they wanted to verify information on my family for a child who is receiving benefits. Side note here, this child was receiving about $100 per month that covered gas to appointments and then was going to be sent to camp...this summer they cut it down to $30 hahahahaha...Its ok Jesus is bigger. This summer I spent countless hours submitting everything needed for a review of his case so that I could help full fund camp...they refused to accept that or talk to me. SO in swoops Jesus, the man on the phone explained that they "randomly review" cases and my sons ended up on his desk. At the end of the call he explained that with my son not living here right now they do not need to take our income into account!!!!! He said we should be recieving a ton more money to help with camp!!!!! AND he said that they OWE US MONEY for the past 24 months that they were shorting us!!!!! Oh my goodness! So basically we had a savings account for such a time as this with no knowledge. Now I have no idea how much this will end up being but I do have an idea it will be exactly what we need!

Whenever I start to feel unseen by the ones around me I stop to look for signs that I am seen by the only one who matters. I have never found a time where Jesus was not fully present in my life!

Tiny gifts, social security and lawyers oh my! 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

overly confident...

In the months we prepared to become foster parents, all those years ago, by far the greatest fear that we heard from others was "what will that do to your biological children". Now please note at the time I was still an overly confident twenty one year old who was positive that I was going to change the world. I thought that others were crazy to worry about my biological children, who were not even a thought yet, and goodness they were scared what my foster children would do to them? I am so glad that not only was I confident in my ability to change the world I was a million times more confident in my Gods ability to go before me and ensure that we walked in the right direction.  I was recently prompted by a very close friend to "imagine what it would be like with only my biological children". Together we went through Aurora and Selah's little lives. I would be a mother with two living biological children and 1 dead biological child. That would be the extent of my parenting. Auroras birth was extremely typical, I would have raised and loved a very typical daughter for three years, though a loss and then on to birth Selah. Selahs pregnancy brought devastating health situations for me and her. Selahs birth was so traumatic I think I would have been lost in postpartum and her health deteriorated so quickly I could have completely lost myself. If it were only those two just as I was getting a grasp on Selahs health Aurora would have started to have her episodes
requiring tons of attention. Processing through that possibility is absolutely terrifying!!!! I want to scream praises to Jesus for asking us to become foster parents first, for adopting first, for my boys needs to be first. I needed to walk a gradual up hill battle to build up the strength needed to have my biological children. Through my first children's needs I learned how to navigate the insurance world. I was introduced to all the children's hospital within a 3 hour radius and I built wonderful relationships with many many Doctors and nurses who would be needed every step of the way in my biological children's medical journeys. I can understand why others were so fearful of an overly confident 21 year old! I can understand why they would be fearful that the trauma that foster care brings would alter us forever and I can say that they were absolutely correct that it has forever altered us! It has impacted my biological children but it is not in the way that produces fear. The creation of my family has always been in God's timing. Some of my best moments are when I can connect tiny pieces together. I had no real reason to adopt before we had biological children other then a burning desire that I can only describe as a "need" placed there by Jesus. I can now look back and see that I was no where ready to handle Aurora or Selah. I can say that the compassion that all of my children have developed for each other from each others struggles is something the is continuously needed. Aurora had three years to learn how to truly love another who cannot currently love you back before her medically needy little sister was born. We have never struggled with sibling jealously just loads of love for each other. Aurora had already seen, heard and experienced many many hospital settings and doctors offices in her life before her episodes started making her fear level much lower. My children have watched their siblings be healed from things and heard Doctors shock and awe over them! Selah's allergist told the children it was a miracle and maybe Jesus is real. They believe that Jesus is powerful and they truly believe that they will someday change the world!

So as I sit here, still an overly confident now 31 year old I still have the belief that I can change the world. My children are living proof that the world can be changed, altered for the better. We can take broken things and through Jesus they are made whole! I am raising eight, confident, world changers who daily struggle with sin and watch as they and others around them are forgiven. I am raising children who believe in healing but who also believe in the need for suffering. I am raising children who are so much better together than they ever would have been apart. I am raising the children that God knew would need me and I have discovered along the way that I need them.

Today I am praising Jesus for perspective!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

We as a people...

I was prompted to write this all down last May, though I refused. I know better then to refuse leading from Jesus but I often take advantage of my own free will and then have to live though an experience to remind me of what I have been asked to do. Here goes nothing...

Many of you are familiar with my family (if not search through my blog) and many of you are aware of Aurora's recent neuroblastoma "scare". If you were not aware my daughter Aurora, who is 7, started having strange health issues, resulting in many many tests and concluding that she must have a cancerous tumor called a neuroblastoma. Testing with oncology proved that her first test was some how a false positive or lab error. PRAISE JESUS for that! We only had a taste of the terror, the fear, then unknown that so many families are going through every single day! This is where my thoughts get tricky to express and my reasoning of refusing to try to muddle through them last year. We as a people do cancer support! We totally rock! My statuses were shared hundreds of times to cover us in prayer! People who had never heard of us were messaging, visiting, SUPPORTING us during this time of terror. I don't believe an hour would go by without an offer for help, Bible verse shared, prayer sent, food delivered, or phone call would come in! We were surrounded by SUPPORT! Possible cancer equals support...cancer, support, wow.

*I need to add in right here that my village is STRONG! The following is not a reflection of MY VILLAGE*

When I replace the word "cancer" with "RAD", "PTSD", "BIPOLAR, "MENTAL ILLNESS" why does the word "support" often change to "alone, empty or judged"? When I shared that Aurora possibly had cancer there was not one person who messaged me and said "maybe if you just loved her more this would go away" or "are you sure she looks healthy to me" BUT do you know how many families, when finally sharing about mental illness get those responses and worse! Yes cancer has terrible treatment options that take children and parents out of the home for hours, days, weeks and more but so does mental illness. In 2014-2015 we had a child/children in a psychiatric hospital for about a total of 9 months. That displaces the normal routines, we lost work hours, we spent hundreds on gas to get to and from these places, more on food to provide my children with needed nutrition, we missed out on birthdays and special times. Thankfully we have a wonderful village but what about the families who do not? We say cancer and even a stranger will spare time or money, we say mental illness and people stare at the ground. Even the medical professionals are kinder in a cancer situation...I get it the child did not choose to have cancer, guess what my children did NOT choose their mental illness. Some forms of cancer have a 95% cure rate I LONG FOR A CURE FROM MENTAL ILLNESS! There are mental health treatments that are effective in about 8 out of 10 people if continued LIFE LONG! BUT you say "cancer kills people" guess what so does a mental illness. These are things that I let set in while pondering Aurora and her possibility of having cancer and I found my self saying "well at least it is not depression" CRAZY I KNOW I should never ever admit that I had those thoughts, that the idea of years of chemo was not as scary as life long mental illness treatment. Many will label me a terrible mother and person for that, thank God I shed my need for human approval at the same time I shed the social norm for family size, make and model. Please do not misinterpret this CANCER SUCKS! I believe my favorite cancer hashtag is #FUCKCANCER (yes that is the F word in writing by me on my with it). I feel a deep need to completely cover EVERY family facing cancer with love, prayer and SUPPORT!!! I commend the villages that hold these families up because, trust me, without you they could not move in a forward direction! I challenge the villages, or current spectators, of families walking with mental illness to take a few, heck a million, pointers from the cancer villages and start to pair the words "mental illness" and "support" together. SUPPORT is so very beautiful and without my village my family would have crashed a long while ago!

I apologize for not attempting this blog a year ago. It would have been better then, I was at a more sound place in my moving forwardness...I stand on completely different ground today trying to figure out where I am headed and what that looks like so please accept my apologies!

We as a people do cancer support lets be a people who do support no matter the need...this is what I want for my birthday this year!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

...and LOVE

This began as a run on facebook update and decided it was kinder to write my thoughts here then continue the sea of words that would spill onto my friends news feeds. As our friends and family know we have begun the journey of natural healing for my daughter Selah, she is the one with FPIES, lived in the hospital a ton in 2013 (yes the same year that Truth FINALLY came home). We have seen crazy results in very little time with my sweet Selah and I decided that if Selah could take these homeopathic remedies and be willing to eliminate tons of foods from her diet and feel FANTASTIC that I wanted in...I began seeing Dr Tomasetti and his team in the beginning of February. This rambling was all just to fill in the gapes needed to appreciate the following, enjoy...

Today I had "one of those days", we all have them. I am struggling in multiple relationships, my house is a mess, I sprained my ankle on Saturday so I cannot really walk, the emails from the teachers are ongoing...and so on...blah blah blah....I decided to call the Drs office and see if I could get in today to address my aching body, from falling and spraining my ankle. I could tell by the call that they were extremely busy but they got me in anyway and even close to the time Selah was there anyway! Selah had an amazing appointment with Miss Kim! We both were so excited to see how far Selah has journeyed in such a short time. We moved then into my appointment, I hid my "coffee" under the chair so Selah would not bump it and began being seen, About 24 seconds into my adjustment (did you know there is help for a sprain????) Selah says "oh no mommy", and I just knew, She must have kicked my cup over. I was instantly embarrassed and started to get really nervous! I know better then to have a partial cup of anything in an office, I have had other experiences such as this and I was just waiting for the looks of disapproval and comments about not bringing drinks, I tried to apologize quickly and hide my red face promising to clean it up. Guess what...the Drs calm quick reaction of asking someone to get paper towels and smiling at me with no sense of sudden hatred being shown on his face was like a breath of fresh air. A kind woman entered the room cleaned up the mess that my daughter had made due to my poor choice while chatting nicely with Selah. She then left returning shortly with my rinsed out coffee mug. I think I went through the rest of my appointment in slight shock. The Dr accepted my apologies and never once tried to make me feel bad! I felt awesome from the adjustment and left the room to schedule our future appointments. While scheduling Miss Kim surprised me with her homemade cream for my eczema! She had taken her time and found a jar filled it up and gave it to strings...pure beauty. I apologized again at the front desk for my mess and was told "If that's the worst then this is a great day!"  

Not only are we experiencing physical healing through this office we are experiencing family, kindness, grace...and LOVE. PRAISE JESUS for this piece of our journey! There is a bright spot in my darkness and I have found a team willing to take on the Fasnacht Family without fear.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Wonder and Waldorf...

A theme that seems to be forever etched into our ever growing family is a perfect picture of God taking something broken and creating something more beautiful then one could ever imagine. I look back on the broken pieces of my journey in this life and see nothing but the perfect placement of brokenness held strongly to the next piece of brokenness by God's never ending love. I see medical doctors saying one thing and then watching healing, I see families destroyed by adoption and then made new through adoption, I see the death of dreams laying foundation for bigger and better realities, I see Jesus in every single step that I have ever taken.

Today I am reflecting on a very specific piece of this mosaic we call life...Israel...Israel entered our family through the foster care system. His family did not choose us and would have obviously preferred he remain in their family (as would have we if the roles were reversed). His adoption story is full of ups and downs and proof that God can heal even the most strained relationships. I believe his biological family and us needed the rocky start to create the strong love that we have for each other now. The details of his adoption are his and his alone at this point, though that is just part of this piece. When Israel came to live with us we had just adopted Graham and Everett was in the process of moving back home with his mommy. We received a phone call and almost instantly picked up a precious baby boy. The unbelievable joy and incredible pain that surrounded that day will never be forgotten. When Israel was just 3 months old we were told that he would "never walk talk or function" that is the same day Jesus told me to call him by the name of Israel for he was to be a fighter. That is a part I reference often because of the crazy cool things we watched happen through Israel in the following years. The part that I often leave out is that also when Israel was 3 months old I became pregnant with Aurora. During that pregnancy I believe I gave more of myself to Israel then I ever had given to a child before. It was almost as if the child within me needed Israel near and as if Israel need to be near that child. We joked around that it was like they were twins just carried in separate bellies. Every night when I rocked Israel to sleep he rubbed my belly and Aurora would leap every time she heard his voice. I was shocked when she was not born on his birthday because it seemed that it would make sense ;). Aurora was born 4 days after Israel's first birthday and as I often say she felt instantly adopted. When I brought her home from the hospital Israel acted as if he has found something he had always been looking for. Whenever I would nurse Aurora Israel would cuddle in my lap and rub her back or stand at my side and stare at her in amazement. At this point in Israel's development he had totally shocked the Dr's and therapists and was developing more large motor skills then they ever thought possible he was running and jumping! Their concerns were that he did not seem to do things with purpose. Such as he would walk aimlessly though the room with no intent to do anything, he would hold a toy but not play with it, he would babble but only when we worked really hard with him. He was alive but was not living in a sense. When Aurora was born he became her shadow and we watched this once "lifeless" child start to develop a sense of purpose. As Aurora developed so did he! When she learned to sit and play he finally found value in sitting and playing. When she learned to crawl he would follow her around crawling, he was copying her but more then that he was seeming to experience things as she experienced them. Every night for the next year I rocked them both to sleep on my lap as I had Israel while I was pregnant. They shared a room because he could not stand to be away from "ro-ra". To anyone close to us watching their relationship develop was such a beautiful thing! Through Aurora's birth there was such awakening in Israel, that right there is enough to prove to me that Jesus has this whole thing covered! These two have been best friends, brother and sister, "twins" from before I knew I was pregnant. They continue to love and encourage each other in a much different way then the rest of my children. Aurora is still the "leader" and Israel is still the "protector". When Aurora started at the Waldorf school in September we all could visibly see the amazing impact this had on her! We were instantly in love! The flip side to that was we could also see the negative impact this had on Israel and Auroras way of lifting each other up. They both showed signs of unnecessary anxiety, they would both spend moments each day crying because the other was not close and they both expressed true concern that the other was not around. We can truly see that in this stage of life they both need each other in such a special way I cannot put the right words to it. I started to feel slightly panicked about how I would repair this. Every time I talked to Jesus about them I was reminded of the neat connection they have and how Jesus has always used one for the other. I was not seeing the whole picture, Aurora is the leader it is her role to "test out" this new path of schooling. When the timing was just right God reviled to us that Israel was to join Aurora at the Waldorf school and HIS timing could not be more perfect! In September I could not have seen a way to afford having two children in private school, because that way had not been created yet! I am excited to share that as of Monday the wonder of Waldorf will be fully shared by Aurora and Israel. The "twins" have been united and not in any timeline that I could have created or would have foreseen! I so wish I could just stop trying to control what I have placed securely in Gods hands.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Praying for a refill...

If anyone is reading this beware. I am over tired and under thinking even before I am allowing myself to type these words.

Guys, I am grasping for breath and running out of the fight it takes to brake the surface and inhale. The worst part is that this is happening in full public view, as if I were in a glass box in the middle of town. I have reached out for help, begged for help, cried out to girlfriends and family and most of them offer to pray for me, which is fantastic if it is true. Thankfully the violence level in my home is at an all time low (praise Jesus) we are seeing huge progress in some areas. I am able to see the joy in all of that though I have lost my ability to feel any happiness attached to that joy. Physically I have too many things going on chat about here but just know the daily physical pain is getting to me.

I finally see the path to true healing for my children, true unconditional love. As in TRUE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Love that hurts and is messy. Love with little happiness and tiny rewards. Love with an unimaginable amount of grace. Love that no matter what refuses to give up...this takes years and years and apologies and grace and forgives. This take truly placing yourself last to those you are loving. This takes being "beaten" and "abused" time and time again knowing that it is  their defensive shield and not the scared child who is terrified to allow you in.

The problem with this new sight is that I have been viewing those in my life with a new perspective. I now wonder why those who can see me dying can offer nothing more then prayers. Goodness if this is the view that the world has on "Christians" I don't want to stand anywhere near that label or thought pattern. I officially am no longer a Christian. I am and forever will be a Christ Follower but I fear I have wandered too far away from "modern Christianity" I cannot live a life full of people who promise prayer just to get out of tangible assistance.

In this moment of physical pain and emotional death I am screaming praises that I can see the lies.  I am overly thrilled that we found "home" for some of my children in an amazing private school that takes part of my burden. I can see Jesus in my life every single day. I will never lose trust in who Jesus is. My forever is here and now just hurts like hell. The daily fight is overwhelming. Fighting the public school system sucks me dry and clinging to my children's healing is wearing me thin.

If anyone would please join me in really praying that someone would want to love me unconditionally, seems stupid and desperate to even ask that. My pride is at my feet. See I have experienced that love before and it is wonderful. I need healing and health so that I can continue being everything my children need. God would not have placed each of these children/mini adults in my care without having a plan to refill me over and over. Begging for that refill now.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The tale of 3 coats...

Recently God has been flooding my family with provision after provision. I believe He knows that the tough spot we are in with some of my children could completely crush us and He is lightening the load through His people. My son who struggles with violence and aggression has been hospitalized again due to behavior. The Drs are literally at a loss for a treatment plan and have decided (with our permission) to start a terrible medication. This medication is the end of the road of available medications to treat my precious child. The Drs were very interested in how the essential oils were able to maintain him for 7 whole months! They are offering the suggestion that we do meds from October through April and then wean the month of April to use just oils from May through September. You know these oils must be pretty awesome for the medical staff at a hospital to ask me to use them 6 months out of the year. With all that going on we also have another child in our home who is following the same path that this child had tracked. We have every therapy set up and tons of medical appointments to rule out other causes. Between hospital trips and medical appointments just these two children are proving to be a full time job. Not to mention preparing for a grandchild to join our family, a child starting in the public school system, regular medical, dental and vision checks, Ryan moving to a new more demanding position at work and my current silly health issues.

God was preparing us and our village for these events without us even knowing it.

If anyone doubts that my God is real then you need to walk through part of this week with me. Background in a nutshell...The kids do not all have snow pants this year NOT A NEED so I honestly have not been overly concerned We are devoted to paying off our debt this year and so even when I found pairs at goodwill I passed them saying "God will fill this want if he decides to".  The night before last night a dear friend contacted me asking if we needed any snow pants (praise Jesus) I told her that yes we could use them! She also offered a jacket or two and that got me a little more excited because one of the boys is really growing and his jacket is getting snug.  She offered to meet the very next morning (yeah snow is coming) and so we made plans. Yesterday (the day of the meet up) I woke up late, not sure how that happened as there is always someone up needing something!, so I rushed to get my brand new first grade student ready and in the car for school. His jacket was the one that is too small so I had decided to let him use his brothers jacket and found that this brother had totally broken the zipper and other parts of this jacket. I skipped food of any kind and was really feeling it walking through the school halls with my two babies that I nanny and some of my children. Side note I have been trying really hard to eat more during the day mono had taken over too much and I was only able to eat at night so now I am attempting to get my body back on track. I ran home picked up the rest of my children and headed out to meet for the winter clothing. When I arrived my friend got out of her car and handed me a smoothie!!!!!! She had made enough for her and her Husband as usual but he is out of town so she brought it to ME! God was FEEDING ME...She then gave us the winter clothing and surprised me with a pair of boots. I stood there in complete shock trying not to melt down emotionally (thinking back I probably looked rude...SORRY) as I prepared to look at the size thinking "I know God loves our family but seriously providing boots there is no chance they are the right size". Well they were the right size, see I have been searching consignment shops for weeks for a size 2 boot for Truth and here they were placed into my hands with no strings attached just because another family loves my Jesus and wants to care for my children! She did not know that Truth needed boots she just followed Gods promoting to give to my family!!! We thanked her and parted ways. When I arrived home I was shocked to find there were enough pants for all the big kids! When I started looking at the jackets I was becoming an emotional wreck...there was not 1 jacket, not 2 jackets BUT 3 JACKETS! It was as if Jesus was saying "I am replacing the one that is too small, I knew one was broken so I got that too...and we all know that child is rough on everything so here is another so there are no worries". He covered this tiny tiny need of ours. I love how much Jesus can be found in the details of my days I pray that I never ever loose the ability to see and recognize Him.

That is just a glimpse of the care I have received! I cannot count the number of times friends have stopped in with lunch for me or supper for my family. Our village has taking my children for play dates and special treats. They have offered me hours and hours of adult conversation. They have driven my children to events and activities so that I can be at the hospital. My big girls Betty and Truth have filled in the gaps where needed and have totally rocked it! My family has been built not born and I would not have it any other way!!!!

Praise Jesus for the details that I overlook and thank you everyone who has continued to say YES!

3 years ago today this verse was what I was praying over and over as I asked for life for Selah and seems very fitting for this season of life as well.

“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?
Matthew 7:7-8 MSG