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11 years.. Be still my heart!

February 22, 2018

We celebrated Ruthie’s birthday this past weekend. My sweet little Valentine is 11. She is pre-teen. A tween.

She is vibrant. She is passionate. She is loving. She is moody. She is athletic. She is funny. She enjoys poop emojis! She is an amazing big sister. She is sensitive. She is loud. She is becoming more independent with each and every day. Oh my heart.

Lord, direct me as I direct her. She is a child of God first, on loan to me. Give me strength, give me grace, give me You!!

In this world there is so much heartache and sadness. So much hate and anger. School shootings, suicides, and domestic violence. I just want to protect her. I just want to lock her away and keep her safe. But I can’t keep her hidden away. Her spirit would crush under the loneliness of these four walls! She needs people. She needs fun. God, keep my baby safe wherever her steps take her.

Happy Birthday, my sweet girl. I love you so much and I am so proud to be your mom.

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Blindsided

January 19, 2018

So Brayden has been naming his cars.  Mike has talked about his vehicles having names,  so of course Brayden needs to name his. 

This car has a name

It’s Cassie. 

What?  Did I hear him correctly.  This stupid car I pulled from under the TV stand that has been missing for who knows how long has a name?! He said it so matter of fact. Without hesitation. 

Cassie. 

I didn’t know how to respond. It is the first time in probably 8 months he has said anything about her. He used to ask where she was but has seemingly accepted she is gone and she didn’t want to live with Nana and Papa anymore.  Usually I have these conversations with Ruthie.  I wasn’t prepared for it today and was definitely not prepared for it with him. 

I reassured him that her choices had nothing to do with him. I speak this almost weekly to Ruthie. But as I said it to him I thought how long will I have to do this?  How long will the wounds be there?  How long until they begin to heal and stop hurting?  How long until they forget about her?  How long before I don’t cry when I think about what’s missing.  How long before I don’t smerk and roll my eyes at children service adverstments. 

How long until I realize that her decisions had nothing to do with me. 

Man, its been a rough day in head.

It’s weird, because I know there is no place for her in my life anymore. But I could still run in to her. She lives 3 miles away! She lives like 2 blocks from one of the little girls I babysit for!  It’s not fair. She should have to move away!! She should have to leave the area. But no. She can go to the same stores, movie theaters, churches, and zoos that we go to.  I know the chances of running into her is slim, but that chance puts me into a full blown panic attack.  I am not sure I will ever be prepared for that moment. I pray my kids won’t be with me.

Coming up on a year. I’m ready to put it behind me and just live another year. Another year full of new memories and new pictures without her. I am ready for some healing. 

2018 has high expectations in this area and in so many other areas of my life. 

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Christmas is here. 

December 25, 2017

This season has been rough.  At moments I have asked simply to skip it.  Not because there’s no reason for it, but just because I don’t know how to do it.  I don’t know how to navigate my feelings,  Ruthie’s feelings… I don’t know how to fully navigate this new normal.  Holidays are tricky because they require you to be face to face with the new normal knowing it is different and there isnt a darn thing you can do about it.


My older sister from Cambodia came knocking on my door yesterday evening. She came home to be with me. To be with us. To help ease this holiday’s blow. Growing up we weren’t that close, but when she moved to Malaysia the year I was pregnant with Ruthie the computer allowed us to stay connected and become closer than we ever were. I am so thankful for her in my life and in my kids life!! She stays with us when she comes home and we don’t go a full week without talking on Facebook messenger! 

There are some people in my life that knew she needed to be home and so they provided the way.  I serve an amazing God!  People in my life,  who are just getting to know me,  who don’t know the whole story of this year even,  shoot they don’t even know Heather,  pulled together and brought her home.. 

Do you realize how big that is?!

Mike made the call and God did the rest. 

So tonight as I sit here, already experienced half of this Christmas, I’m reminded it’s different, but not so different. I’m surrounded by people who love me.  By people who care about me and want to be involved in my life and in the lives of my kids. It is still about the birth of my Savior. It’s still about the hope that lives in my heart. Sometimes the hope gets blurry but it’s never fully gone.   

Merry Christmas internet world.  Love your people,  you never know what the future holds. 

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This hurts. 

December 11, 2017

it was a rough afternoon in our house.  

I thought it was just me,  because the pastor talked about peace and how we are to be peacemakers in this world and I’m just going to be real with y’all.  

There is not much peace going on in my life right now.  I feel tormented. I feel frustrated. I feel helpless. I feel broken. 

Christmas is the final big holiday we have to get through of our firsts without a major player in our lives.  We celebrated birthdays.  We have had a summer.  A Thanksgiving. A few more birthdays and Christmas is all that’s left.  In one moment it feels like this year has flown by and in the next, the days and months have crept by.  I can’t believe we have lived almost a full year without Cassie. I never imagined living life without her. Previously, the longest time I had gone without seeing her was when my parents and the kids took a road trip to Alaska. They were gone 6 weeks. 6 weeks in 14 years. That’s it.  We were that intertwined. 

This year has rocked our world. The lessons to be learned are hard and truth be told,  we are not learning them well.  But it is not just Cassie. It’s life.  Life for this reason and that is hard and perspective is narrow right now. 

My little girl is hurting and I don’t know what to say to her and she doesn’t even want to talk to me because she doesn’t want to see me upset. She has always been like that.  When she was a newborn and we were still figuring out the whole nursing thing I used to have to cover her face so she didn’t see me crying. If she saw me crying she would refuse to try nursing. Even as a newborn she was sensitive to my tears. 

I need wisdom.  I need peace. I need support. I need change.  I need Jesus. 

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Adoption Awareness

November 14, 2017

No one tells you the heart ache of adoption.  Yes they talk about the long process, the mountain of papers to file, the multiple hoops to jump through.  But no one tells you about the life long attachment disorders that children struggle with from being removed from their birth mom.  No one tells you that children services will treat adoptive parents as if they were any other bad parent if accusations are made.

On the eve of adoption awareness day, my adopted sister became un-adopted.

Is that even a word?

A girl that has lived with us since she was 2.5 and had 14 birthday parties with us as a family.  We are the only true family she has ever known beside her brother who also lives with us.

Today we sat in a courtroom and listened to how children services did their due diligence again.  We listened to how we have rights, more than Cassie about the decisions being done.  I am a nobody to the courts, just a sister, a bio daughter of the parents.  I wanted to stand up and say “BS”  Bull Shataki!  Cassie has had the say from the beginning.  She said she didn’t want to see us and children services said “ok, you don’t have to”.  She said she doesn’t want to go back home and they said “ok, you don’t have to”.   Bull Crap that my parents had more rights than she has had the last ten months!   The judge sat there and annoyingly told my parents that Cassie is just a child and she has no idea what she wants or know what is best for herself.  Children Service has no founded justification for being involved in our family and yet they took permanent custody today.

As far as we know it is over, There is no more contact.  No more visits.  No more court dates. No more information on how she is or what she is doing in life.  She can hide behind the system from now until she ages out of the system.  She is 17.    She has one more year.

I wish her the best…mostly.  A small sliver of my heart is rather bitter right now.

So this morning I had 2 sisters and now I only have 1?  When someone dies you still claim them as family even though they are not here.  This feels worse than a death.  Because she chose this for all of us and is very much alive.

I’ve said it before and I will probably say it until the end of time.  Children Services dropped the ball in this case.  They have taken the word of a documented liar over parents that have been actively involved with support groups, church groups, school groups, and children service classes.  They have treated my parents as if they are criminals guilty of terrible things.  They have allowed a 17 year old girl essentially run away and still be protected from the streets.

I’ve said it all day BS won today.  Those 3 ladies from the system walked out of that courtroom proud of what was accomplished today.  I bet even Cassie walked around school today a little more smug.  What a joke.

I’ll save the tears for another day, because today I am more pissed off then I am sad.  The holidays are quickly approaching and I know they are going to be hard on me.  I had a crazy weird feeling last Christmas that it would be our last ‘normal’ Christmas.  I couldn’t shake the feeling…now I know why.  This Christmas will look so different, but the year after it will be easier and the year after that will be easier.  I know this about life.  It keeps going.  New memories happen and old ones grow dim.

 

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Relinquish 

October 26, 2017

Relinquish. It means to give up. Quit. Let go. 

It’s what was spoken in the courtroom yesterday morning. Discussion of how Children Services has done their due diligence and are acting on behalf of the family.

Bull.  Not in this case. In this case they have allowed a 17 year, known and documented liar, to run the show.  They have not tried to seek family counseling. They have not tried to encourage her to bridge the lines of communication. They have bought into her lies and believe she is an innocent victim needing saved from a vicious abusive family.   They have fed her attachment disorder by allowing her to cut off everyone who ever loved her.   

Relinquish. It’s what the parents decide to do when there is nothing left.  When there is nothing left to be said or done. When there is no hope of ever moving past this as an entire whole family. It’s when the parents accept that their child no longer is theirs. Usually because the parent did something wrong and can’t keep it together. 

But not in this case.  In this case.  Sure there were problems. But not the abuse she has spoke of. She has been a troubled child since the day she came into our home. Addicted. At 2. Contact highs meant she went through withdrawal. Just as if she smoked the joint.  She came to us broken.   For 14 years, I have poured into her. Loving her. Often being reminded she was my sister not my daughter. 

Relinquish.  In this case,  it’s about healing.  It’s about trying to finally stitch up the gaping wound that has been the last 10 months of our lives. It’s about being done. Being done with the monthly visits from a case worker who thinks you’re the worse parents in the world. It’s about being done with the review hearings that only say what terrible people we are and that she wants nothing to do with any of us.  It’s about being done with the theats of testimonies and more accusations every time Cassie gets worried children services will see through her facade. 

I understand why my parents are making the decision. But something about hearing it spoke in an official manner with tones of accomplishment and approval from children services. Something about setting a date to sign the document. I feel like we are one nail from the final one.  It feels like death, but worse because she is still very much alive.  

I’ve never felt this kind of rejection. I’ve never felt a broken heart quite like this. I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t know how to respond to it. I don’t know how to heal and move on from it.  But I know I will, which is so bittersweet. I know from experience that life moves on and that wounds may leave a scar but that’s all they are.  A scar. A reminder of tragedy. A reminder of healing. 

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Come sit at my table! 

September 28, 2017

For years I have wanted a different table.  A table that fits perfectly in my awkward, narrow, tiny space we use for a dining room. A table that will sit my whole family and then some.  A table that wouldn’t cost me an arm and a leg!! 

This.  

This is what I have wanted!!  

It fits perfectly!!  

It screams “Sarah” 🙂 

My dad is ahhmazzing!!!

Yes, my dad built this table, stained it, and sealed it. 

He even signed it

On our 12th anniversary of living in this home,  my table arrived!  I still smile when I turn the corner and see it snug in it’s space.  I get excited when I tell someone about how much I love it.  

This is the first table my dad has ever built, so of course there are spots he could have done different.  But it’s character and handcrafted with so much love.  

Sometimes I feel like this house is closing in on me.  We had a 5 year plan.  This was supposed to be a starter home.  Unrealistic?  Yes.  But we had lofty ideas! Five years came and went.  Just a couple more years.  We thought we’d add a bathroom or take out a wall.  But here we are 12 years in.  No new bathroom. No walls removed (although, there is a closet with a bigger doorway!  😉). 

It sounds crazy,  but with my new table I feel like I can live here a few more years!!  It’s something new and fresh and it is so beautiful!!! 

Thanks Dad!  I know it’s been a rough year with a lot of junk and name slandering, but anyone who truly knows you, knows that this is who you are.  A man who loves his family dearly and will strive to make them happy. He is a hard worker, willing to build a loft for his granddaughter (also something he has never done) and then turn around and build a table with benches.  

You have found your retired hobby!