Any Way You Slice It – Part 2 of 2

My bloody finger was now wrapped in a paper toweling and twisted tight with a rubber band. Then just when I thought I had things under control, I saw dinner was burning on the stove.

Working quickly, I grabbed a wooden spoon with my good hand and began chiseling the bottom of the pan.

Oh well, I told myself. A little burnt taco meat never hurt. And besides, I had to get Kiddo off to bed soon, so I couldn’t afford anymore delays.

Despite the fact that I could feel my pulse through my finger, I managed to chop some tomatoes and shred some lettuce and cheese. I then added some corn shells to the toaster oven before turning back to help Kiddo open the remainder of the gifts.

So far so good. We had twenty minutes to eat, brush teeth, and go to bed.

As Kiddo ran around enjoying “them’s” new gifts, I turned around to see the taco shells toasting to a crisp.

Moving as quickly as I could, I used my one good hand to yank each shell from the oven.

AHHH! Two shells broke, and now my fingertips were burned.

Doing my best to stay positive, I plated the shells so the cracked ones could come to me and all of the burnt sides were facing down.

I then helped Kiddo get situated at the table and positioned the pan of taco meat in front of my place setting.

All I had to do yet was grab our plates. But as I set the wooden spoon down into the pan so it was ready for serving when I returned, the moment I walked away, the pan tipped over, the spoon went sailing, and taco meat went flying everywhere.

For the love of God!

My first reaction was to “fly off the handle” much like the spoon, but instead of yelling my little head off, I stayed silent and took it all in.

As I washed up the chili powder stained mess with each of my charred fingers, I looked up at Kiddo, happily devouring my disaster of a meal.

So this is motherhood, I thought.

It’s clumsy, it’s messy, and it’s exhausting.

Yet no matter how you slice it, it is a gift from God indeed!

ete

(Note: For confidentiality reasons, “Kiddo” and “them” refers to the child in our foster care at the time of this post.)

Any Way You Slice It – Part 1 of 2

It’s been over month since Kiddo arrived, and in the past few weeks, some family and friends have kindly mailed gifts to honor the occasion.

Kiddo was really looking forward to opening a package my parents had sent and excitedly opened the silverware drawer. “I help,” Kiddo squealed, grabbing the scissors and jumping up and down.

How sweet, I thought. ‘Them’ wants to help.

I reached out to take the scissors from Kiddo’s hands just as the blades opened and closed on my middle finger.

“Owwwww,” I cried out, pulling my hand back to cradle it from the pain.

“I sorry…. I sorry…I sorry,” Kiddo whimpered.

Blood began soaking through my fingers. “I know it was an accident,” I managed to say as I dashed into the living room and fell to my knees.

Rocking back and forth, I cupped my finger high in the air, taking several deep breaths for relief.

Moments later, I could feel Kiddo approach me from behind. I quickly pulled myself up off the floor then grabbed a Band-Aid from the hall closet.

After wrapping the bandage around my finger, “Okay,” I said as cheerfully as I could, “let’s see what’s inside of the package.”

Half-way through opening the first gift, my finger began spurting blood again.

Kiddo noticed it first. ‘Them’ began to squeal, “You okay? You okay?”

I looked down to see more blood dripping onto the gift packaging.

“I’m okay,” I winced, turning on the faucet with my good hand so I could soak my wound under the cold stream.

I stared at the red pool of blood forming at the bottom of the sink. Would I need stitches? I inspected my finger more carefully.

Nope. I’d be okay. I just needed to bandage two sides of my finger instead of one, since both ends had been caught between the blades.

Not wanting to delay Kiddo anymore, I yanked some paper toweling from off the roll, wrapped my finger in it tightly, then twisted a rubber band around it to keep things snug.

I have got this, I told myself.

And I nearly believed it too.
That is, until I realized dinner was burning on the stove.


ete

-Part II coming soon-

 

(Note: For confidentiality reasons, “Kiddo” and “them” refers to the child in our foster care at the time of this post.)

Teachable Moments (part 2 of 2)

“We should pray to the angels, for they are given to us as guardians.”

– St. Ambrose

 

The cart was no where to be found, JayJay was whining her little head off, and the f-bomb had just erupted from my mouth.

I steered quickly to the back of the parking lot, then let out the dogs to do their thing.

I needed to cool down and God must have known it, because no sooner than I stepped outdoors, the frigid temps shot my mind back in place.

“I’m sorry I said a bad word,” I said as soon as I returned to the driver’s seat. I then pulled my vehicle up so it was just outside of the entrance.

I began taking long deep breaths then asked Kiddo to join me in asking the angels for help.

“Dear angels, we need your help. Please help us find the wallet.”

Intuition guided me to use my cell phone and call the store to find out if anyone had turned in a wallet within the past hour.

“Yes, we have it,” the service rep said, “We’ve just been waiting for you.”

“Praise God!” I said as I hung up.

I bundled up Kiddo once again, this time nearly skipping into the store.

Once the back office received my proof of address, my wallet was safely returned.

“Do you happen to know who turned it in?” I asked.

Management didn’t really know. We then inquired with the service counter.

“The cart guy,” answered the service rep.

“Well, please tell him thank you,” I said, being sure management heard me as well.

As Kiddo and I proceeded to leave, we saw “cart guy” near the entrance of the store. Though his face was shielded behind cold weather gear, his eyes were warm and sincere.

“Thank you for returning my wallet,” I said, unzipping the main pocket and reaching for some cash. “I’d like to thank you for doing that.”

The man held up his hands and said no. He informed me that taking rewards is against store policy, and he insisted he was just doing his job.

“Well then please let me thank you with my words,” I said. “I am so very grateful to you.” My eyes began pooling with appreciative tears. “I just took in this Kiddo into foster care recently and ever since my head hasn’t been on straight.”

The man blessed me and thanked me for doing such great work.

Hearing this was very unexpected, yet it felt really good.

He then shared that he had seen the cart way off to the side but something told him to go get it.

“It was so cold out, I ignored it at first,” he said, “but something kept telling me I better go and get it”

I smiled big and said, “That ‘something’ was your angels.”

The man’s kind eyes lit up. He knowingly nodded.

Thank you angels! Thank You cart guy!
Thank You God!

Thank you angels! Thank You cart guy!
Thank You God!

Kiddo and I sang these words in the form of a tune all the way back to the mall.

ete

 

(Note: For confidentiality reasons, “Kiddo” and “them” refers to the child in our foster care at the time of this post.)

Teachable Moments (part 1 of 2)

After one week doing foster care, I was feeling rather proud of myself for being up early,  keeping my patience, and enjoying each moment with our new little one, and then this happened . . .

(Note: I will now refer to the child in our care as “kiddo” or “them” depending on the context.)

 

“Kiddo” clung to me tight as we ran from the chain store out into the freezing -20 temps and back to the car where our two dogs were patently waiting. Once “them” was buckled in tight, I pushed the cart off to the side and thought to myself that if it wasn’t so cold I would have gladly brought the cart to the return.

The mall was next, and though driving there wasn’t very far, the roads were so icy I was glad we had recently invested in an all-wheel drive.

After grabbing a new winter jacket and warm hat for “Kiddo”, I approached the department store rep.

“I have a couple of returns too,” I said, placing all the items on the counter.

“No problem,” the rep said, “I’ll just need your store card to get things started.”

I looked down at “Kiddo” and smiled then began rifling through the return store bag for my wallet, but it wasn’t there.

“Well,” I said, “this is embarrassing, but I think I left my wallet in the car.”

The rep understood, assuring me my items would be held there safely until I got back.

Laughing to myself, I bundled up “Kiddo” for the frigid walk back to the car.  As we approached the side door, the two dogs’s began thumping their tails.

I greeted the dogs, seated “Kiddo” comfortably with a snack to pass the time, and then began checking each of the chain store bags, confident my wallet was thrown in one of them.

No such luck.

Panic stricken, I frantically began checking under the seats.

Nothing.

“Kiddo,” I said, “I am feeling very sad, because I can’t find my wallet, and I don’t know what to do.”

The dogs wagged their tails even harder and “Kiddo” laughed.

Since I don’t carry a purse, I began rechecking every shopping bag.

Still nothing.

I went around to the passenger door and opened it. Maybe it was wedged between it and the seat.

Nope.

Heart racing, I grabbed “Kiddo” and rushed back into the department store. Did I leave it on the floor or on a table in the children’s department?

I searched and searched and came up short. The rep said he’d be on the look out and notify others in the store.

Growing frantic, I ran back out to the car. By then I was “cold” sweating and panting worse than my dogs.

After getting “Kiddo” buckled in, I started to think back on where I last remember seeing my wallet. I know I had it as we were leaving the chain store. I recall throwing it in the cart along with all of the shopping bags.

It must still be in the cart!

I began taking in deep breaths to keep myself as calm as possible as we pulled out of the mall parking lot. I steered back into traffic and toward the chain store.

Moments later my one-year old puppy, JayJay, was whining and whimpering so loudly I could barely hear myself think. And from the foul smell in the air she had to go poop, and I mean bad!

“JayJay,” I yelled, “please be patient and hush. I’m going as fast as I can.”

JayJay continued to whine and to whimper. My inner worrier grew louder in my head.

Ahhh! My wallet is gone! This proves my entire identification has officially been flipped on its head!

I turned on my blinker to take a left. That’s when BOTH dogs began crying so loudly I could barely hear myself think.

As we turned into the store parking lot, the front wheels hit a patch of ice and my lips launched out the f-bomb so loud and so fast that I surprised myself!

Fish tailing the car back into alignment, I began taking long, slow, deep breaths.

“Kiddo’s” jaw was still dropped when I peered into the rear view mirror.

Just keep acting natural, I told myself, not wanting to draw more attention to my potty mouth.

As I drove back to the spot I had previously parked, I desperately said a prayer, “Please let my wallet still be there.”

But, the shopping cart was gone!

ete

-Part II coming soon-

New Kid On The Block

A meme on Pinterest reads,
“Once upon a time I was a perfect parent.
Then I had children.
The end.”

Yes, our first placement arrived nearly a week ago.

For legality reasons I am unable to share any details (it’s part of protecting the child as a foster parent)

Be assured I am elated, exhausted, and overjoyed. 🙂

And that I can say this from my heart and my soul . . .

Dear Parents (my own included),
Please accept my apology.
I did not know how much time it takes to raise a child.
I didn’t understand that what normally takes 10 minutes now will take at least an hour

I did not understand how easily priorities shift throughout the day,
Or how “baby brain” can affect you so badly you can forget your own name unless you write it down.

I didn’t know that when you get sick, no one relieves you because parenthood must go on.

No, I did not know what I did not know.

So please accept my apologies. And please accept my gratitude too.

Thank you for your patience.
Thank you for your hugs.
Thank you for being a role model, an advisor, and an inspiration.
Thank you for always doing your very best at any given moment.
Thank you for your sacrifices.
Thank you for your teachings.
Thank you for all of your love.

ete

Two Halves Stay Broken, Not Whole

A week or so ago, “Ronnie” (the person assigned to us for our home study and foster licensing) reached out to my husband and me to let us know a sibling group had come available for adoption.

After asking many questions and reviewing the file, Steve and I graciously declined.

While explaining our reasons to Ronnie, I said, “For lack of a better analogy, I feel like we are on one of those reality shows where we are being asked to marry someone without ever meeting first, and as much as Steve and I have dreamed of having children, this just doesn’t feel good at this point.”

Ronnie’s response was a bit of a surprise. She explained she was relieved to hear this. She then shared that many foster families go into adoption “desperate for a child” and she is glad to know we are willing to foster first in order to take things slow to be sure it’s a good fit.

Having been licensed as foster parents before, Steve and I know all too well how easy it is to want a child so badly that you say yes without even knowing if it is a match.

Many well intentioned people are willing to take any child no matter what, or go into adoption with the hope of feeling good because they are ‘fixing/saving’ a kiddo. Others go into it trying to fill a void for reasons of loss or infertility, while some others have a religion that has taught them that having a bigger family means greater after-life reward.

Steve and I are very grateful to be past this now.

Looking back ten years ago, we were willing to adopt for very unhealthy and selfish reasons: in hopes it would help us feel more “whole and complete.”

Back then Steve and I didn’t realize we were broken. Boy, did we have a lot of growing up to do! We needed this time to discover who we really are.

And though there are still days I wonder what ever happened to little Cynthia, I am very grateful we were not chosen as her forever family.

Why?

Because this notion of needing someone else in order to fulfill you is a a false illusion that will just leave you feeling lost and unfulfilled.

When you go into any relationship—including fostering or adoption—with the idea that someone else will make you whole or complete your family, it is a sign that you need to do more inner work.

For as Patricia Fry once said, “Two halves do not make a whole when it comes to a healthy relationship. It takes two WHOLES,” and I might add, two wholes who are compatible and bring out each other’s soul potential.

Thank you so much God for helping me see this importance of individual wholeness and authenticity. No matter what happens from this point forward, I am grateful to know that apart or together, Steve and I are already complete.

ete

Something To Cry About

It’s Christmas night, and the house is quiet. It’s a perfect time to reflect and write.

Though grief has struck me on and off for the last several weeks, today I am feeling at peace.

For one, Beauty and the Beast just got done playing on ABC. And whenever I hear its memorable music I begin to smile. If you knew my husband Steve and my history you could appreciate this more. Let’s just say I was able to see through his tough guy exterior at the start.

Speaking of Steve, we took a road trip together recently. All those hours in the truck allowed us to really talk about our life and what we are envisioning for our future. I began sharing how I had been seeing other families with their children a couple of days before. I really needed a good cry, so I crawled up into a ball in front of the toddler bed and began asking God why He keeps taking so long.

“Then I immediately felt badly for thinking such things, because I know lowering my vibration will only cause further delays and because I was feeling guilty that there are so many others who are worse off and really do have something to cry about.

“I went outside to start shoveling snow and the phrase ‘Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about’ came to mind.

As a a child this saying was meant as a threat, yet as I moved that shovel it took on new meaning,” I said.

I then explained that I had originally gotten upset because I was jealous others had something I did not. I then started crying because what I desire is not yet showing up. Then I felt guilty because there are people in this world who have had children and then suffered loss.

As I reflected on this more my maker helped me realize this kind of thinking is a trap. Being envious about someone who has something I do not, or feeling contrite because someone may be much worse off is preventing me from being in the NOW.

“I feel so much better,” I told my husband. “Because even though this time of year has a tendency to pull us back or project us into ‘what ifs,’ I now understand this is a decoy that prevents us from being fully present.

And so tonight I cry tears of happiness. Thank you God-Source for the gift.

ete

Just Below the Surface

“I’m okay,” I said when a friend inquired how I am doing, because overall I am fine. I am all right.

I am in that stage of one door closing and another one opening. Some might call this a hallway or an in between.

To me it feels like a void  — a total space of nothingness where everything is both possible and impossible. I have been here many times before.

Each time I arrive I show up differently: some times hopeful; sometimes mad; sometimes fearful,  disappointed, or sad. I have had 17 years of practicing this.

For the last five years, including this one, I have been in a cycle of what feels like a toggle between relinquishing and surrendering. Most days I maintain a total commitment of allowing my life to be what it is.

Some days I feel let down by the belief that this is all there is. And other days I rejoice in being a DINK with the freedom of “dual income / no kids”.

This year though I find myself more expectant than ever before. It is as if I am a child again, too innocent to be acting entitled and still young enough to be full of hope, with a total knowingness that the gift I have wished for is due to arrive very soon.

A recent meditation helped me understand this more. I was listening to a guided visualization that I had created for some of my virtual students. It begins with breath work and then progresses into deeper relaxation.

When I asked to receive a symbol or sign from my spiritual team, I saw a cluster of cicadas. (note: I knew they were not grasshoppers or locusts. They were clearly cicadas on my path.)

As I came up from trance, I was anxious to look up their animal totem meaning. It contained such magic and wisdom that for a moment I just stared in awe at my computer screen.

It is said cicadas choose a divine time to be born. Certain types known as “periodic cicadas” remain underground for over a decade. Some remain submerged for 17 years.

Imagine my surprise when I saw this number staring back at me.

Not only will it be 17 years of no children for my husband and me next month, it will also be 2017.

1+7=8.

8 is my life path number

There are three types of cicadas that live as a nymph amongst the roots of the trees for 17 years. Their resurrection is perfectly, divinely timed.

After breaking out of their casing and digging their way up through the ground by way of a tree trunk, the cicada discards its old skin, preps its new wings for flight, and then finds a fertile partner so they can mate.

Thank you so much God-Source for sending me this vision of the 17 year cicadas. This totem has helped me understand why this time I feel more certain in the void.

I now know to patiently trust the rhythm of mother nature so it can act like a key and open my next door.

ete

Second Chances

I am feeling very loved today. May this joy ripple outward to the world.

Thank you for the outpouring of love and support regarding this new blog. So many of you have sent private messages or commented on Facebook, and it means so very much. Please also start sharing your thoughts below as well.

So, it’s been almost ten years since little Cynthia (not her real name) came into our life. You might remember my sharing stories about her before. From strawberry shortcake hugs, to magical fairies, to playing make believe. Knowing for weeks she was to be our daughter only to have it overturned by the courts left a big hole in our hearts.

To fill the void, my husband Steve and I took in three foreign exchange students. This is something we had started doing when we lived on the farm in the midwest. This lasted a span of five years and allowed me to advance in my career.

Earlier this year though I needed a change, and so I followed my intuition once again. I stepped down from being one of the Best Psychic Mediums (a title given to me for 3+ years) and began limiting my client time to group courses and V.I.P.’s.

And then it happened. I missed my menses two months in a row. I was so elated and overjoyed. I was hopeful this was our miracle.

But God-Source surprised me once again. “It’s perimenopause,” my doctor said. The grief I felt brought me to my knees. I must have cried for three days straight. My husband was dealing with this news in his own way. When we finally spoke of it, he admitted he was in pain.

“Let’s go to our place off the grid,” he encouraged. I felt too depressed to travel, but he insisted. And so we drove through the mountains and across snowy roads to arrive at our bungalow where we remained for a week.

Still feeling blue, I began paging through a People magazine and came upon a featured article on writer and actress Nia Vardalos, star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. And the more I read, the more emotional I became.

Her story was of struggle with years of infertility — from invitros to surrogates to miscarriages, loss and devastation. She was then encouraged to consider fostering with the intention to adopt.

“Yea right. Good luck with that,” I said aloud and closed the magazine with a sigh.

But then God-Source’s voice penetrated my heart. “Keep reading.”

The words were a warm invitation, and so I gathered the courage to continue, and by the time I finished reading I was weeping, because Nia now has a daughter to call her own.

As I sat sobbing behind the pages of the magazine, Steve wondered what was causing me to meltdown in this way. And so I told him all about the story and how it MUST be a sign from above.

“We need to consider this again,” I said. The words were coming out of my mouth so fast it was as if someone else had taken over my body to speak. “If we don’t do this now, we never will. Do you really want to give up our last chance? Because this is it. This is our final soul-felt tap.”

Steve was moved yet naturally resistant. We debated for at least an hour as he threw out all of the old reasons it wouldn’t’ work. Yet nothing he said made any sense anymore. We are not the same two people we once were. — We have two homes, we have good jobs, we are healthy and in love.

“Let me think about it,” he said. That was good enough for me and gave me reason enough to start smiling again.

Here we are almost one year later and we are licensed in our home state. This took our having to fill out the packet of paperwork again, take more classes, and open our living space and personal lives so the home study could become complete.

Having to relive our pain of infertility has not been easy. It as taken a lot of courage and teamwork to retrace our steps again, yet we remain hopeful our next leg of the soul journey goes well.

Thank you God-Source for leading the way, because just like those foster children who all deserve a second chance, you are giving us our do-over again.

ete

Vortex of Light

I have been sitting with my emotions more and more. Doing so has allowed me to recognize that the strong feelings I had for those little souls went way beyond my current reality.

Call it what you will: de ja vu, parallel universe, past life. Either way, my soul felt connected to them in a way no words can possibly describe.

It’s like when you meet someone for the “first time” and just know you are kindred spirits connected beyond the limitation of space and time.

I cannot logically explain it, yet my seeing them again unlocked my soul and gave it permission to move.

Another dimension opened up for me. It happened during a recent walking meditation. A portal began pulling at me much like the suction of a vacuum. Once inside the space, I could tell from my feelings that all I was experiencing was genuine and true.

The landscape was not of this era, giving me the impression of a different place and time. And, I somehow just knew those two children were mine but not in this lifetime, rather in a completely different space-time reality. Each memory belonged to my soul.

Having this experience was a gift. It has allowed me to move on and to heal. And my heart no longer aches the way it did, because I know they are in good hands in their new home. They are loved, they are fed, they are safe.

Thank you kiddos for crossing paths with me again. I am now at peace with whatever outcome is meant to be.

Thank you God-Source

ete