Sunday, July 17, 2011

Still in a holding pattern

This past Tuesday, we had another well inspection.  We had an incredibly low level of bacteria from the test the week before and because nothing else had worked, the inspector suggested that we chlorinate the well yet again.  I'm getting sick of doing it, but we did it again anyhow.  We poured 2-3 cups of bleach down the well, ran the hose into the well to mix the water for about 45 minutes until the hose smelled like pool water.  Then let the whole system sit overnight.  Jack got up at about 3am and ran the hose out the back of the house, away from the septic field and ran it for 3 hours before he got in the shower, until all the chlorine smell was gone from the hose.

The guy came and tested the water again, this time I had him back down in the basement (he had been for the last 2 inspections doing it in the kitchen, which introduces even more opportunity for bacteria that can be in the pipes but not in the water to show up in the sample, it's not an accurate test as the first place in the basement before the water even goes into any treatment system in the house) and he took the same two vials that he has been taking since the second time.

Friday rolled around, the day that I normally get a call from Matt.  Yes, we are on a first name basis now, after speaking to this guy for 7 weeks about our well, you get kinda friendly.  Matt never called, so I called the office and spoke to the receptionist... One vial passed inspection with a bacteria count of zero and the other vial had a count of two... so the well needs to be tested again.   *Face palm*  Really?  Both vials taken from the same source at the same time had different counts?? 

FRUSTRATING.  How is it something so silly is what has held up this process for 7 weeks now?  That is incredibly frustrating and draining.  It almost has gotten to the point where it doesn't even feel like we are doing this any more.  We have the same two empty bedrooms that we never use, except now my sewing stuff is stuffed in a corner instead of a bedroom.  And there are more things to dust.  And the cat has a different bed to sleep on.

This doesn't even feel real any more.  It feels like old news, like it's not happening.  It's weird.  I know, 7 weeks of hiccups is nothing compared to the years some have to wait with bureaucratic red tape, or people who go through this kind of stuff for adoptions. And 7 weeks is nothing compared to the years of infertility that we have faced and been through, but this is best described by the word "frustrating".  It's so simple, yet we can't seem to get a hold on it.  And weeks just keep passing by with the well not passing by a hair.


Jack is not much of a reader, nothing quite like me anyway... and reading through a whole book is a big feat for him, partly because the act of reading isn't enjoyable for him, and partly because he hasn't found anything that he can read that holds his interest through hundreds of pages or chapter after chapter.  But, something that I have enjoyed since we got married is reading out loud to him.  I am a speed reader if I am reading to myself, and relatively fast while reading out loud, but Jack is able to enjoy books that I am reading if I read them out loud to him.  I have to resist the urge to read ahead when I'm not with him, but we have passed hours and hours on long road trips, or laying in bed before we go to sleep with me reading my books or the Bible or whatever out loud to him.

We started reading this book, Another Place at the Table a few weeks ago, and we have 2 chapters left that I'm hoping that he will let me finish reading tonight.  This afternoon I read three chapters to him and had to stop a few times to wipe off tears or get a hold of myself.

It was written by a Foster Mom and her husband, Kathy and Bruce, who have had over 100 placements and she is writing about the few placements that have most touched her heart.  There was Danny, the little boy who had such a troubled past with sexual abuse that he could never be left alone with small children or animals for fear of him perpetuating the same abuse, but that they loved anyway because he was just a victim of his life and he couldn't help what he was exposed to.  The child that they couldn't keep because they almost had to give up a child they were hoping to adopt, and how it broke their heart to let him go to institutionalized care.

There was Sara, a six year old girl whose only experience with men was them holding her under water as they molested her in the bath tub, or her own father raping her.  She was angry and violent and needed to be watched constantly and needed a special kind of care that no one on earth is capable of giving.  They write about how heart breaking it is to see how unattached she is to anyone in her life, fully disinterested in her siblings that she has been separated from to be put in separate foster homes, and even less interested in having a family.  This small girl has had to fight just to survive to the point where she finds human interaction and attachment something that hinders survival.  They write about how there are some special moments that make the whole struggle and ordeal worth it, when they finally find a way to connect with her over the smallest things.

There was Lucy, the sweetest little 7 year old that you could ever met... whose mom was just too selfish to care for her.  Her mom would rather do her own thing and leave Lucy at home so she could bar hop, so she surrendered her into care.  Because she wasn't forcibly taken from her home, but given up, her mom could essentially take her back at any time.  And she does, and within a few days, brings her back to the foster parents stating that she is just too much work.  For Lucy's birthday, her mom gives her this second hand outfit of boy's jeans and a dirt bike tshirt gotten from a salvation army.  Lucy cries to Kathy and Bruce, when she gets home saying she just wishes her mom would grow up and take care of her.  That all she wanted was something pretty... and something yellow, because that's her favorite color.  Lucy is the perfect child, never getting in trouble, just hurt and broken and abandoned.  Kathy writes about how finally the courts have changed her plan to adoption so that she can have a permanent home.  Her social worker finds her an adoptive family who are head over heels in love with her. Her new family adores her and Kathy writes about how she meets this family and sees Lucy change and blossom with these parents who love her and adore her.  And she writes about the first time she sees Lucy's new bedroom, and that her new parents have redone the previously pink room to Yellow.

And Karen was their most special placement.  Kathy writes about social workers who don't do their jobs and are over worked and under paid.  Kathy writes about one fateful visitation that Kathy has to drop Karen off at her mother's apartment, only to find her mother and a friend had overdosed and her friend was dead on the sofa with a 2 year old boy left all alone with his dead mother in the apartment.  Karen's mother was unconscious in the bath tub.  Kathy writes about what it's like to deal with Karen's birth mother and how she is intermittently sober, and when she is, she fights for custody back and the roller coaster of emotions that Kathy and Bruce go through fighting to keep Karen safe and how much they desperately want to adopt Karen to make her officially and permanently theirs.  Karen's birth mother gets a fancy lawyer who puts up a big fight.  And Kathy writes about how unbelievable it is that this small child who is under two years old only believes her to be her Mommy and refuses to trust her birth mother because she remembers her abuse and neglect.  She knows instinctively to trust her Foster Mother.

So many stories of their special placements and how it forever changed the lives of Kathy and Bruce and how they added to their family and the emotions that went with each placement as they came and went.  The heartaches and struggles that each of the children went through and continue to go through daily.  The day to day things that are so triumphant for Foster Parents and so heart breaking in the end.

I go back and forth while reading this book from thinking, "What are we getting ourselves in to?" to "This is exactly why we have to do this."  I can't prepare myself for the horror I will come across and the evil that we will witness in the abuse to these children that God will bring to our home, but I can pray that God prepares my heart for what's coming because only He knows what is in store for us.  It's terrifying.  But, at the same time, to read about the little battles won by Kathy and her husband Bruce as they get a chance to love a child and care for a child who has no one else in the world, there is no way to put a value on something like that.  It will be worth the cost.

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