Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Edge

This past week flew by. Between moving Ashley in and starting work, it feels like time has passed in a blur. I have so many things that I want to write about, but am still struggling to organize my thoughts. Our first week has been very uneventful. Ashley has been pretty well behaved and has handled a lot of change as well as she can. In fact we haven't seen any of the behaviors we were warned about.

I think they are coming though. The reality of all the change is beginning to hit her. On Thursday, she finally cried about how she missed her sister and didn't want to go to a new school. I don't know how she felt, but I felt relieved. She has been quiet all day. It is finally becoming clear that she really lives here and these changes are permanent. At the same time, nothing in her life has been permanent (and there is no guarantee that we are the last stop) she has dealt with more loss at seven than Justin and I ever have.

This means that she is afraid to trust, that she has no idea how long we will want her or what she might do that we can't handle. We are scared too. What if we can't handle it?  It is like we are all standing on the edge of a cliff. If we could just fall than we would be able to figure it out. It is the waiting that is killer.

So, we are taking it a day at a time. Which is really all any of us can do with anything in life.  We are trying to set systems of discipline in place, to pour as much love as we can into her, to give her a safe place.  She does really miss her sister and we are trying to get them together. We recently learned that her case worker will be changing jobs. This will lead to another adult entering her life, and the reality is that the new caseworker may not think that we are the best placement or that the girls should be separated. She may have a whole other plan on mind.

This is why I pushing each day to leave it all in God's hands. Whether Ashley is our "forever" child, or just someone we have been called to love, only God knows. All we can do right now, is help her grieve the changes that have happened and try to limit anymore.

On another note, I have received several compliments about "what we are doing", and I know that these are truly meant as compliments and I appreciate the support, I don't think that what we are doing is noble or special. I think it something that needs to be done. There are thousands of Ashley's in Oregon. Meth has given our state one of the largest foster care systems in the nation. Justin and I aren't more noble, more patient, or better equipped than you are. In fact, we have never been parents before and are therefore less equipped. All we did was say yes to what we could do. What can you do?

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