Beautiful Chaos Returns

My Husband and I had a wonderful weekend planned.  We were going to celebrate Valentine’s day (yes, a week late) by splurging on a fancy dinner…ALONE!  In our home this happens no more than twice a year and I am completely fine with that.  Let me stop here and reiterate…I really am fine with that.  I love our simple life (that is totally anything but simple in our eyes) and we both love spending time with the kids in tow.  So expensive dates out alone are not a priority at this time and we’re both okay with it.  BUT, come time for that date, I am so ready to dress like a grown up, drive in the car with my handsome date, talk about grown up things (okay, it’s still usually about the kids) and even enjoy a glass of wine and desert (without sharing the latter)!  So our weekend was planned and the girls were looking forward to spending a few hours away from home with my dear Aunt and her friend.  Perfection.
Then, the night before our ‘big date’ just before the ‘bed time prep’ began, my phone rang and it was OCS.
“I understand that you used to foster Lulu…can you take a placement tonight?”.  Everything stopped.  My heart began to race as I asked “Does Lulu need us?” I asked.
“Yes. Can you come pick her up?” Half an hour later I was buckling Lulu up in our car and as I shut the door, I was overwhelmed with these words, “God LOVES you, little one…He has got you covered.”  And he does.
Since we have kept a good relationship with Lulu and her Mama, coming to our home again was an easy transition.  She was still used to the house, LOVES the girls and couldn’t wait to ‘love on’ the cats (poor cats)!
Ron had put the play yard together while we were gone and she was sleeping soundly within 30 minutes of arriving.  I, on the other hand was full of adrenaline and stuck in high gear.  Full of mixed emotions that I could not process, I laid awake till 5AM (stopping to read the Bible at some point…praying…seeking and waiting for sleep).  Once I did fall asleep however, it was short-lived.  A sound woke me at 8:30 and I was up…mind racing again.  “Lord please give me the strength needed today to love on these girls” I’ve prayed this a lot and God has ALWAYS provided.  That night was our date-night and I was still determined to make it so I called my Aunt to see if she was up for ‘one more princess’ and she was more than happy to see little Lulu again (thank you, Lord for those who are willing to love with us)!
I opted to wear ‘trendy/comfy jeans’ with my new boots instead of the feminine dress I had received from Zulily…3 1/2 hours of sleep does not allow for uncomfy dress wearing.  But Ron, being the amazing, God-sent Husband he is, raved over my ‘metro-cowgirl style’ throughout the evening.  Yes, he’s pretty awesome.  We dropped all the girls off with my Aunt and spent the next couple of hours, RELAXING and taking a much-needed breath over an overly priced, but yummy dinner with a glass of wine, desert and even a cup of coffee.  Ahhh…perfection, still.  We spent the evening dissecting all that had happened the night before…trying to process what it meant for us, for Lulu and for her Mom and in the end we were just happy to take it all one day at a time.  Once we had stretched dinner to its ultimate max, we headed to Wal-Mart…Don’t laugh (okay, laugh a little…we did)!  Yes, we headed to Wal-Mart to buy some socks and other miscellaneous items for Lulu that she needed.  I know, it’s all so very romantic 😉  We had a wonderful time (even with painting the town red at Wal-Mart) and topped our evening off with a couple of hours at my Aunt’s home, catching up, laughing and taking in the madness of all the little ones playing wildly into the late night.  Lulu has grown so much (walking….rather RUNNING all of the place) and she now insists on wearing a purse over one shoulder at all times.  Have to say, I think our house of princesses left an impression!
It’s now been 5 days and life has returned to beautiful chaos with a toddler in tow.  It’s wonderful.  Lulu is a blessing and I am amazed at how easily she fits right back in where she left off.
We are still praying for God’s will and praying also for Lulu’s Mama and her struggles.  Over the past few months we had grown much closer to her and both Ron and I hurt for her and her loss.  I am still trying to figure out just ‘how’ to pray for her now.  Hm.
So we do not know for how long Lulu will be with us (a meeting is scheduled with OCS for next Tuesday, to hopefully shed some light) but somehow it doesn’t matter all that much.  My ‘theme’ this time around is “One day at a time“.  I have to say, it’s so different going into this, the second time around…after having been so fully covered by Christ the first time.  It’s amazing to see God work in such great ways…providing fully in all things that truly it leaves nothing to fear.  I only wish that I could have learned this truth, earlier in life but am thankful to know it and to benefit from its peace now.

Thank you Lord, for watching over this little one!  I pray your continued protection over her heart and against any confusion she might feel.  I also pray for her Mama…that you would keep her safe and that your will would be done in hers and Lulu’s lives.  Please provide enough for today, to do your work.  Amen.

Looking for a “Joseph” to interpret my dreams…

The last two nights in a row I have had extremely vivid dreams…Dreams that appear to have a clear meaning, though I cannot see the call of action…what does God want from this family???

Here it is…

I recall picking Lulu’s Mom up at a strange apartment-style building that felt like a dorm for recovering addicts.  The feeling in the apartment was unsettling, unwelcoming and ‘off’.  The walls were a minty green and the carpet a darker, dirty green.  The woman were kind of hanging out in the apartment stairway and entry to her door…watching how we interacted and ‘sizing me up’ in a way (very much like the rehab center, she had been living in).
The next thing I remember was that it was very late, Lulu’s Mom was at our home (though our home was not the home we live in now) and I was thinking that I was SO tired and not looking forward to the long drive back to the center.  However, we loaded baby in the car and she took a seat in the very back row of the car (although it was just us 3 driving because the rest of the family had gone to bed).  I remember trying to recall how to get back to the building (as it was new to me, in the dream) and trying to retrace my previous path.  It was absolutely pitch black and there seemed to be no street lights (or even a moon) to light the path.  It was winter and the snow was thick on the roads.  At one point we began to drive up a steep hill just as the road narrowed to what seemed to be less than one way width, birch tree branches nearly scraped the sides of my car and my line of sight was absolutely nonexistent.  I could only see the sides of the car where the headlights reflected off the heavy snow coming down.  The car heaved up and down over huge bumps and I recall driving quite fast through the blackness, bouncing recklessly along, thinking ‘What am I doing?  I can’t even see!’ but I kept on going (plowing blindly through the snow and trees).
Finally nearing the top of the hill, the road abruptly ended with multiple warning signs posted ahead.  There were two homes to my right, both nicely lit with exterior lights (nice, beautiful homes) and to my left was a complete drop off down to the city below with just a few naked birch trees offering a false sense of security between me and the air beneath.    I backed up slowly feeling panic set in, wondering how I was going to get out of this situation.  I managed to pull into what seemed like part of a driveway, though my car was surrounded by birch branches, stopping lop sided in the snow.  I then looked back at the road I had just taken and could see for the first time that what I had crossed was really no road (in the conventional sense) at all.  It was a kind of dirt bridge, just half the width of my car with loose dirt hanging down and large tree roots (acting as part of the road) protruding from the ground’s edge hanging out above the cliff.  No wonder the ride had been so bumpy…how did I manage to cross that and how on earth am I to attempt it again…now knowing what I will be crossing?!”

At that time, a woman and someone else came out of the home to get into their car.  I thought that perhaps I could follow them out safely (seeing how they managed to cross the gap) but then thought that maybe I should attempt it first so that she could help me if needed…neither option offered any comfort.  I rolled down my window and asked the woman how she managed the road.  She seemed to laugh it off and made a comment about it ‘being difficult’ and got into her car.
I then felt hope as my headlights lit what appeared to be a narrow road just ahead of me (down a path or alley way to the side of the home).  However, upon adjusting my eyes to the dark, I could see that the shadows ahead were trees dotting the ‘path’ in such a way that would not allow a car to make it through (no such luck).  I looked back over my shoulder to the ‘bridge’ I had to cross again and noticed that Lulu’s Mom was no longer in the back seat.  I was completely gripped with fear.  The panic left me unable to move but I had no choice but to cross it.  Then I woke up.

My first thought when I woke, was that God was showing me not to fear what lie ahead…even if it seems an impossible path to cross.  I blindly followed by faith the first time and He brought me through the impossible.  How could I doubt that He would not provide again?
This translation seems obvious right?  The problem is that I am unaware of a fear that I am struggling with.

I shared my dream with Ron, confused as to why God would give me this dream.
I did wonder though if it had to do with recent fostering decisions…To back track a bit, just the day before this dream, OCS had called and asked us to take in a 2 year old girl and her 5 day old brother as pre-adoptive placements (meaning that there was a good chance that we could adopt them).  Although our goal is adoption, we were not expecting to adopt more than one and the timing was all wrong (reasons?  Our home is too small for two more little ones, I am waiting for hip surgery, AND we were holding off on fostering till we felt sure that Lulu’s Mom was going to remain on track with her sobriety), BUT I prayed and asked God to show me HIS will…knowing he would provide and the more I prayed the more certain I was that God would cover us if it was His will.  However, when I presented the question to Ron, his initial response was ‘this is not the right time…not now’ (which did not surprise me as he is the proverbial ‘realist’ in the marriage while I am the ‘dreamer’…pun totally intended) although he agreed to inquire upon God’s will before the decision needed to be made the following day.
So the next morning, he called from work to confirm that he truly felt this was not what God was asking of us now (we reviewed all the reasons why this is not right for us now) and I, after much prayer, agreed with him.  So though disappointed, I felt we were making the right decision in not moving forward at this time and was admittedly relieved to not have to take it on amidst all the obstacles facing us at this time.

Connection?  Seems like there could be but we both felt that God was telling us to wait.

So I asked God to show me the meaning of my dream.

The next night I had another dream.  This time, my parents had just adopted a baby girl (about 9 or 10 months old).  We were living in Anchorage (in their home in fact as we were between homes) and for some reason we had the baby with us (this was the day they had just received the baby so it was a bit odd even in the dream).  We were on our way back to their home when we found ourselves delayed in a kind of transit area with people crowded in.  While there, women were commenting on the baby, who in the dream, I was happy for my parents, but I had no personal attachment too.  At one time I told the woman inquiring that although we were foster parents; my parents had adopted her.  With that a young girl, small for her age with pale skin, dark eyes, long black hair pulled back into a pony tail and wearing a teal blue top (I want to say she looked to be about 13 but for some reason I recall thinking she was 17), looked up from a table and said, “Would you take ME in???” I was surprised and replied, “We are only licensed for newborns to two years old…are you in foster care?”  She said that she was and that she had been in many different foster homes.  I asked her when she had come into the system and she said in “about 2007” but that she had recently been put into a group home where she feared she would never leave.  (The look on her face was so hopeful that she might have a future with us…)

I will not leave you as orphans...
I told her to give me her number so that I could talk it over with Ron (who was in another area of the building).  When I went to give her my number on the same paper, I noticed that she had drawn beautiful art (in various styles) all over the paper above her phone number.  The art was breathtaking and she told me she loved to draw.  I then told her that I was a graphic artist and felt a bond…a comradery between us and thought that ‘this might work’ with a teen, (perhaps I could even help her with her future).  I gave her my number and as I woke the lasting thought was “She sought US out”, we were not searching for her (not what I had expected…I literally ‘search’ the northwest adoption page almost daily. I pray for these children wondering if one is meant for us to love, knowing God has called us to love all of his children).

I have to say, there are definite ‘fears’ and (worldly) reasons to fear about taking in an older child (when we have two young ones of our own to consider).  However, if God wanted for us to walk in faith on the matter, we would.  I do not believe that our fears of stepping out of our ‘baby comfort zone’ would hinder us from moving forward IF God showed us that this was His will for this family (as I know that He will provide in ALL things).  We just have not felt that this is what He wanted from us. Till now (?)

So today I am wondering what it all means.  Is it obvious?  What are we to do, if anything (outside of praying for God’s will to be done…whatever it may be).  Thinking back on Joseph in the Bible…God does give some the ability to interpret dreams, to show us what we are overlooking. If you do feel you have a word to share, please do and if not, please just say a prayer for us, that God would open our eyes to His will and prepare us for it, whatever it may be.