Mike&Sarah

Tag Archive: pain

Good Bye Baby Boy

Our foster son left us yesterday [on June 12, 2013].

It was a whirlwind from the anticipated moment we received the email and confirmation phone call from our agency that it was time to head to the Bronx medical office for his final physical to the emotionally-charged moment we handed him over to his new guardians in an overcrowded conference room at our agency. I was teary through those final, rushed, chaotic moments and now the apartment feels so much quieter, so still, without him here. PIE misses her companion and playmate, and both Mike and I woke this morning at 5am to find the crib at the foot of our bed empty.

Empty is a good way to describe how I feel.

Fostering has required everything.  Everything. We’ve poured our hearts and energy into caring for this little boy, and for our first foster daughter, too. We’ve said “no,” to opportunities and to going out because either it’s been too difficult to get a background approved sitter, or we were too tired to get out the door.  We’ve lived in chaos and built our family rhythm and weekly schedule around the foster kids’ visitation appointments. And while we hope that God may build our family through fostering, we’re also well aware of the privileged role we play in these children’s lives as stewards and care-takers, providing a safe, loving home for as long as they need the respite from whatever brokenness and chaos surrounds their family of origin.

It’s not easy. But it was the right thing for us to do at just the right time.  And as this year has reaffirmed to me, sometimes walking by faith means following God down unexpected pathways.  In January, that unexpected pathway included parenting three children under 10 months old.

Today I walked into my bedroom and it occurred to me that I had just done something I hadn’t been able to do for 6 months. Yes, I simply walked into my room whenever I wanted to. A baby has been napping and sleeping in there since January so even little daily routines like showering in my bathroom, drying my hair, getting dressed in my room, putting laundry away, making my bed, all of those “normal” tasks only had small windows of opportunity for completion before the room needed to be a silent haven for a little one.

We’re now just a family of 3, of 4 if you include our pug Frannie. It’s been six months since it’s been just us, and boy-oh-boy have I learned a ton about love, service, sacrifice, putting others’ needs ahead of my own, joy, delight and watching someone grow healthy and strong as a direct result of our love and care.  Such demanding needs and such rewarding love.

I’m in a flurry of cleaning and sorting laundry and switching our wardrobes from winter wear to summer clothes.  I have time for that now.  My thoughts keep drifting to our foster son, hoping he’s laughing and adjusting well to his new home.

One of my daily prayers for PIE is that she’d grow up healthy, happy and hopeful.  As I pray over her, I pray the same prayers for our foster son and foster daughter, those two precious children who now live in very different circumstances.  May God’s kindness protect them, keeping them safe from harm and allowing their sweet personalities to flourish and find a home in Him.  Though they won’t remember us, we won’t be same because of them.

Originally written on June 13, 2013, but not posted until August 8, 2013.

Good Bye Baby Girl

I knew it would be hard.  That’s one of the reasons I never dreamed being a foster parent.  But as I live the wonderfully unexpected life I never could’ve imagined on my own, I’ve also opened myself up to the joys and pains I never anticipated.  Mike once told me that my joys can only go as high as my lows go low.  Highs and lows.  I’ve hit both ends of the spectrum several times this year.

Foster Baby #1 (“Baby Girl B”)  joined our family on January 5, 2013.  She brought joy, laughter, smiles and giggles.  Her cheerful disposition and tender heart made it easy for her to make a home in our hearts.  In the heart of everyone who met her, actually.  Even the ladies who work the nursery at church fell blissfully under the charismatic charms of Baby Girl B.

She left our arms an hour ago and is on her way right now to live with her extended family.  I’m hopefully that they will love her and nurture her sweet spirit to maturity while cultivating her delightful sense of humor and tenderness towards others.  She’s 9months old today.

But right now my heart is broken with her absence.  I knew it would be hard to care for someone else’s child while they get healthy, but we felt called to take such a bold step.  I just didn’t expect to fall so deeply in love, nor did I expect it to hurt this much to say good bye to Baby Girl B.

Oh Lord protect her.  Keep her safe in the years to come.  May her sweet smile remain innocent and joyful.  Protect her from evil and harm, and may her resilience and buoyant attitude keep her above the dangers of this city. As she grows, may her light shine brighter, reflecting Your love.  Thank You for the privilege of loving her and caring for her.  I know that You understand the pain of loving a child and giving them up.  Please speak peace to my heart, and guard sweet Baby Girl B.

Restoration

It seems like God called us to live our life out loud, encouraging others from the circumstances and events that challenge us to love and trust Him more deeply.

Sarah shared our experience of God’s overwhelming grace through infertility, our miscarriage and adopting Phoebe at a Cru Campus Christmas conference in Baltimore before New Years Eve, and we were surprised by how our message of restoration resonated with the 1000 students and staff in the room.  Sarah talked about brokenness, living in “the now and the not yet,” and looking to Jesus as our ultimate healer.

RADIATE 2012 – Sarah Evers from Mid-Atlantic Cru on Vimeo.

Your prayers and giving enable us to tell people in New York City and around the world how Jesus restores and transforms lives. Thank you for your partnership.

Pothole

I didn’t see it coming. How I missed it is amazing, for that pothole is the size of Texas, or at least Rhode Island. But I was wrapped up in a discussion with Mike, bartering over our departure time for a trip the next day. And then I was on the ground. With my right foot I stepped into the giant crater, twisting my ankle, while my eyes were fixed on Mike’s, pleading my side of the departure-time discussion. I collapsed on my left knee and wrist.

Mike quickly hoisted me up and helped me finish the walk across the street. Thankfully there were no cars (!) coming towards us on the busy one-way street. I still didn’t know what had happened, though. Mike told me I stepped in a pothole, but all I knew was that if Mike hadn’t been there, I don’t think I could’ve stood up, nor made my way across the street!

My hero.  Hm.. and I think he “won” the departure time discussion, though he did get some ice and band-aid for my knee when we got home.

Bad Back

It hurt.  Unexpectedly.  It was my lower back, and I was VERY aware of it. It felt like nothing I’d experienced before, in a bad way.  I wondered if I would be able to make it back to bed, for I felt like passing out.  I couldn’t stand up straight, nor could I bend down any lower.  Moving at all was miserable.  But I hobbled to my side of the bed and somehow managed to get in.  Mike was still sleeping, but not for long!

We were supposed to meet with a pastor for coffee that day, and in the spirit of multi-tasking, I thought I’d clean the bathroom before getting a shower.  I didn’t make it very far. 

When I woke him (gently, for who likes to be awakened harshly?), Mike jumped to action, putting a pillow under my knees, bringing me juice, ibuprofen, my cell phone, my ipad and my eye glasses before leaving for that meeting.  What else could a gal want, right?  A nap, and how about no more back pain?

Since this is the first time my back has “gone out” on me, I called those who I thought might have some advice.  On facebook several people suggested investing in sturdy footwear, but I couldn’t imagine getting out of bed, let alone wearing shoes!

I spent most of the day in bed, and only spent time on the sofa when Mike convinced me of the social benefits of being in the living room with him. The challenge, though, was getting me out of bed.  I don’t know how we did it, for standing and putting weight on my feet (on my back?) really hurt.  Once Mike got me out of bed, he held me as though in a big bear hug and we shuffled into another room together, as though dancing closely, but without music. Back pain aside, that part was kind of sweet.

Today is Bad Back Day #3, and I’m improving.  I need Mike’s help getting out of bed, but I can manage the rest of the day’s mobility challenges on my own. Following the advice of friends in the medical profession, I’m resting, taking ibuprofen (with food!), using a heating pad and gently stretching.  Today Mike and I even went for a short walk.  I’m not trying to be a hero, but I think moving is good.

I don’t know what brought this on.  Did I walk around the City in bad shoes?  Were my muscles too tight?  All I know is that I want to avoid this kind of pain and debilitation again. This is miserable! I imagine some kind of exercise, stretching, strength training could be in my future.

Do you think I can go to yoga soon?  That seems like an exercise which focuses on stretching and strengthening your core muscles.  I need that.  How will I know when I’m ready to dive back into life again?  Those of you who are back pain survivors, I’d love some advice!