A few years before we had Hilary and Tatum, I researched foster parenting. I felt like we could offer a good , fairly stable home to kids in need. Lance was a little hesitant, not really on the same page. Then we decided to try and have these last two babies, and the idea got put on the back burner. A few months after Tates died I started revisiting this idea. I really wanted to try fostering kids with disabilities. Again, Lance was not as excited as me. This was a real disappointment to me. I really wanted to at least investigate the opportunity. But I knew that I could not do it without Lance's full support. Then a few months later some changes in my work led me to start thinking about school. I got on line and did some research and coincidentally, or not, the program that I have always wanted to go back and complete had just opened up for an extra period of time to apply for fall 2014. When I brought this idea to Lance he was more than supportive. He doesn't always take to change, but he didn't even hesitate a little bit. So that was my answer. Again, not what I wanted. I wanted to hang out at the house and take care of foster babies. Instead I have started back to school to earn my Bachelor degree in Social Work. Maybe I can fix myself in the process:) I have already started taking a summer class that is a prerequisite for entering the program, which I will do in the fall. I am really excited, but really scared and overwhelmed. Which is always the emotions that seem to come with the answers that I get.
I have been working feverishly this summer to get some things around the house done so that I will be able to really concentrate on the things that I have to when fall comes. Our guest room has always bugged me. It was done in all neutral colors and it was just depressing every time I walked by it. One of my friends consulted with me on what changes I could make to cheer it up a little and I am so happy with it!
Boys lighting fireworks, girl not realizing that there was ash on her hand and touching her face. She looked like a chimney sweep!
We had a great family trip to Idaho. It felt nice to all be together. The feeling of missing people in the family is just never going to go away. It is hard to enjoy myself sometimes when I think about how hard or impossible this would have been if Tatum were here. She could not have tolerated this trip, at all. She was way too fragile. I would trade it all to have her here.
I have had several bouts of flash backs lately. When I had to bring Hilary in for her splint I felt super emotional pulling into the parking lot of my doctors office. It just seems so surreal how it all happened with Tatum. That day seems like an out of body experience. How did I know to take her in? I know the answer to that, but really? What a miracle. How did it all happen so fast? How have I survived it all? Why am I still breathing, how is my heart still beating being so broken? Both times that we went to the office we ended up in the "treatment" room, which is directly where they brought us when I brought Tates in to the office on that February day.
Then the other night I was walking through Walmart and I passed by the toddler clothing section. I hate to admit it, but that is where I got a lot of Tates clothes. I usually only had time to go out late at night once everyone was settled for the night and Lance was home. So I found a lot of cute things for her there. When I pass by the clothes I try not to glance over and wonder what I might have bought her. That sounds so superficial and weird, but I think about it and it makes me sad.
We have family that came in for one of Lance's sisters 50th wedding anniversary. All five of their kids and their families came, from all over the world. Some we have only seen a few times in our married life, but because of social media we feel like we all know each other. It was really fun to get together with them and hang out and talk. Obviously some of them had questions about and wanted to talk about Tatum. Lance's sister had a baby that died two days after birth, and one of their sons and his wife have never been able to have kids. So we had a nice talk catching up. I just feel like I have been so much more emotional about things lately. I wish I could have a little more control over when and where things happen. I just never know when the conversation is going to come up, or how it is going to affect me.
I was listening to a conference talk a few days ago that was really comforting. It was called "Fear Not; I am with Thee" from the April Conference. Some of the talk was about prayers being answered and how close our Heavenly Father is to us, and how aware He is of us and our worries. I know this. Sometimes I forget, though. So it was good to listen and be reminded. It got me thinking about all of the prayers that have been heard and answered in my own life. Some quicker than others, and not always how I think they should be , answered none the less. I am so grateful for the evidences that I have seen in my life of this power we call prayer. I loved the C.S. Lewis quote that she stated in her talk: "I pray because I can't help myself....I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God. It changes me." No more profound statement. We are changed as we pray and receive and see answers. I am changed, even if I don't always get the answer I think I want.