Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Powerless

I am afraid to say that I am at the lowest point of my life. I'm afraid to say it because I am deathly fearful of it getting any worse, and with the way things have been going, that is a strong likelihood. I thought I was "broken and defeated" back in June, and now I would give anything to be back there.

This evening we went to an informational meeting for Foster Care. I wanted to learn more about it, even though we would not be able to pursue this avenue until September at the earliest (I would want to stay home with the children, and my school program will require me to work 4 full days per week in my last semester. Right now I'm doing 3 full days.) In retrospect, it was probably the dumbest thing I could have done right now... we are dealing with a LOT, and right now we would risk blowing our future chances even with fostering. But something inside me was driving me to go, to start the process. With everything happening, I desperately need SOMETHING good to work towards. It doesn't even have to be something that materializes into good right now, but I need to know that it WILL END IN GOOD, and put my effort and my hope in that project. The fertility stuff? Well we all know that is going nowhere fast. The adoption? Done. Nada. Not gonna happen. We were hoping to start negotiating for a house (long story, but there is a house that my FIL has $$ in with a friend, but the friend ran out of $$ and now it has just been sitting there for years, just a frame and a roof) - but the friend is being stubborn about how much she wants for it, and also about paying FIL back the $$ he's owed). So, the house likely is not going to happen anytime soon, either.

So we are stuck in this apartment, attached to my in-laws' house, and circumstantially, (this is really the least of our problems, but just one more blow), we won't be able to be approved to foster while in this apartment because my in-laws' pool is not fenced in. Rather, they have a fence that surrounds the entire backyard... but our back doors open right into the patio and the pool is merely 10 steps away.

Another issue that arose in my mind while at the meeting was how to handle religion with a foster child. If we do a foster-to-adopt program, the woman was saying that unfortunately they are experiencing a lot of problems with the legal finalization process (time-wise), and that it is taking up to 2 years to even get court dates set for adoptions through the system. In the meantime, that means the parental rights are NOT terminated... and that means taking the children to church whom we very well may be adopting in the future may be out of the question... baptizing certainly would be, as would CCD classes. So, for argument's sake, let's say we get a 1st grader for placement, he is likely going to be eligible for adoption, we raise him for a year or so and then he is made eligible for adoption. In the meantime, we were not allowed to enroll him in his first reconciliation classes, nor First Communion, and by the time the adoption is finalized/legalized, he may be in 4th/5th grade. Not only would he be way behind his peers at that point, but we would have "our child" in our home and not even be able to raise him in the faith that we hold so close to our hearts and souls. This just bothers me. A lot.

But that's not the only thing that bothers me about foster care. The biggest issue I am having right now is an internal one. An issue of motives. I am truly struggling right now with why I am exploring this avenue of foster care to begin with. In many ways, I feel like I am only doing this because my womb has been shut and the adoption door was slammed and locked. Am I just trying to "cheat" God? Is this my way of saying to Him, "Oh yeah? I'll get a child come hell or highwater, just You wait and see!" Or am I being lead to this?

With adoption, it was much, much different. Infertility was NOT what lead me to begin the adoption process. I felt the call to adopt from an early age, more poignantly in my early 20's. If I could have, I would have started right away when we got married, but agencies required us to be married for at least two years. Point being: adoption was a CLEAR calling. And I resented when I saw many other couples, specifically on television, pursue adoption as a "Plan B" to parenthood, when they did not have the true heart or a calling for it. (Note: I do not mean any of you bloggers when I say this. I'm thinking more of the couples who view children as a "right," and none of you fit that description. Furthermore, having read all of your blogs, I have seen just what adoption has meant to each and every one of you who are pursuing that road/ or have become adoptive parents.)

The thought continually crosses my mind, Am I now becoming one of THOSE people? The people who just follow a course of action to get what they ultimately want in the end, but not because they truly feel that is what they were CALLED to do? Foster Care is a calling, as well, and I have had the amazing privilege of watching others, such as Sew Infertile, receive and pursue that calling. Am I cheating her, and others like her, by going through the motions of this when I'm not sure if it's a calling or not?

Or is this God's way of calling me to Foster Care? Is it that He knew all along the only way I would even explore this possibility would be if every single other path was closed to me? Was it because God knew how motivated I was to meet MY goals, that He had to bring me to the absolute lowest point in order for me to see the beauty of Foster Care? And additionally, is this His way of making me think about myself LAST, and putting these broken children FIRST? Because, to me anyway, that is what Foster Care is all about- not finding the perfect child FOR ME. But helping to heal these children and their families, being a beacon of light for THEM through THEIR struggle, even if only briefly.

One thing that I took from tonight's meeting was clear, however. I cannot emotionally take on Foster Care at this time. When the presenter spoke about what the Home Study process was all about, she concluded with the statement, "We want to make sure that you both are going to provide the child with a STABLE home environment, because we are taking these children from very traumatic homes and the last thing we want to do is place them from 1 traumatic home into another." Right now, we are far from stable. We are broken in millions of pieces. We need healing in so, so many ways.

But I will continue to pray about this. Maybe in the future when we are stronger, we will be able to do this. I do think it is an absolutely beautiful thing, and one that I never in a million years thought I would have the strength to do. But I'm sure if this is what God intended for us, He will help us to make it happen. And if not? Then this door, too, shall shut.

A very scary thought came to me this evening as we were driving to the meeting. I had a strong feeling that the devil has been working against us, and anyone who knows just what has been happening (which is only about 5 people) would agree. If the devil truly is working against us, how am I to win? I feel absolutely powerless against the devil. Yes, I have God in my life, but I am not God. I feel like this is a battle I can never win...

Like I said, I have a lot of praying to do about this, and a lot of thinking. I really don't know which way to turn anymore, and my worst fear is that it can still get worse (though it is unfathomable at this point). I am in a very deep depression, one that my home is reflecting. If you walked into my home, you'd think you walked into a crackhouse. I kid you not. It is disgusting. But that's a post for another day. Better yet, I'll just ignore that altogether, just as I've been doing.

I need help.

27 comments:

allyouwhohope said...

Oh I am so, so sorry. I wish I could make all your problems just go away. You are such a sweet soul and it doesn't seem right that'd you'd have to suffer this much. But I also know you are very strong and your suffering is not in vain. I have to believe God is using it for good.

As for whether you are being called to foster, I too worried whether things were my will or God's. In the end I realized that if I pray about it and put it in God's hands, He won't steer me wrong. I know you already know this. Just keep asking Him for guidance. And remember that it's always the darkest before the dawn. Your resurrection will come soon!

Shannon said...

OH, TCIE. I'm praying for you. Your cross is so very heavy.
Prayers, Prayers.

Chasing said...

I'm so sorry. I wish there was something I could do to help. I will continue my prayers for you guys.

Second Chances said...

This sucks. That's not one of my favorite words, but it fits. I'm sorry you're in this hole.

So, I've been reading about spiritual warfare and you've GOT to read this! I am amazed at the ways the devil attacks us - mostly through good things even! It's a book called "Onward Catholic Soldier" by John LaBriola. Not sure if you've heard of it, but it's revealing so much to me right now about how Satan loves to work in the midst of chaos (ie. our messy homes) and through others for unknown reasons. The website is: onwardcatholicsoldier.com.

Also, maybe get a priest to come or go visit one? Maybe you already have a spiritual advisor, but I had one for my most difficult times and it really helped.

I'm home alot right now so if you want to chat via email, please feel free :) Praying for you.

Sissy said...

I wish I knew the words to make it better, but I don't. I wish I had a solution to all of it, but I don't have that either. You are in the valley right now, but the great thing about a valley is the mountain next to it. God moves mountains and certainly he will move this depression away at some point. Keep calling out to him and trusting that he knows. I struggle with this too, trusting his complete plan for me to be a mom. It's hard to rely on our faith when things don't seem to be working our way. I've been there and will probably experience it at some other time.

mrsblondies said...

I'm so sorry that you are dealing with so much suffering right now. I'm praying for you.

On the fostering situation, all you can do is explore it (just like you are doing) and pray about it.

Ann - Building a Nest said...

I hate so much that you are surrounded by so much pain. You've been such a help and inspiration to me and I wish there was something I could do. Praying so hard that you’ll be delivered from this.

On the fostering/adopting, I have my own struggles on decipher what is my will and what is God’s. I completely understand. I think you just have to be open to it (like you did) and pray from there.

barbie said...

oh I'm so sorry you are going through this, you are on the top of my prayer list. I hope the sun comes out for you very soon.

WheelbarrowRider said...

I think in terms of fostering, you are asking all the right questions and that, especially since you are giving it some time, your questions will be answer and your path will be directed. Like you said, if the door is shut, you will know.
I do believe it is the devil pursuing you. But I also believe you can win because you do have God on your side. He will fight the fight for you when you are weary.
I am sending you a hug from KS and continue to lift you up in prayer. I was just thinking about you yesterday and praying for you!

LifeHopes said...

I know that God is still with you and leading you through this mess. And yes there is a way through it.

It seems you are working your way through a lot of issues that might be some practical ways out of some of these problems and I do think healing is a great starting point.
(easier said than done, I know!)
Please know you have my daily prayers.

Praying for Hope said...

Often times, I think double guessing what God is or is not trying to tell you leads you nowhere. As with the foster care, don't ask yourslef if you care enough or if God is leading you in that direction. If it feels right, when you're ready, just do it. Trying to guess at God's plans for you leads only to more questions and too many frustrations. Live your life as seems right to you and take that as the cue that that is the direction in which God is leading you.

I'm sorry. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I think we cause our many of own problems by overanalyzing every last detail. I think we're better off anymore to simply go with our gut and trust it to be the right thing to do at that moment.

Tridentine Wife said...

Wow, you're dealing with a huge mess right now, and the only one that can work through it is Our Father. I'm not going to give any false advice bc that's probably the last thing you need. I will say some strong prayers for you in the hopes that maybe one burden will be lifted from you. I do recommend one saint's intercession: St. John of the Cross who as I'm sure you know had an intense "dark night of the soul"

In Christ.

Life In Mazes said...

As I was reading your words, I just sensed that a resurrection will be a part of your future!

I have to hope for that and pray for that for you, even if you can't right now.

In regard to having to battle the devil, I am very aware of how hard it is to survive the attack of the dark one. Someone made the comment to me the other day "I bet the devil just tries to fight you all the time." What the heck? Seriously, I am sure I am not the only one he is trying to fight. Well, a week or so later I read that each time the devil sees that our spiritual lives are at the point of progressing . . . it is then that the devil comes on so forcefully. I found great consolation in that, knowing that I am not doing something wrong, but something right that is making the dark one seek me out.

Keep on doing good works, serving God, and loving your Father in heaven - your reward there will be worth all of the muscle you earned in carrying that very heavy, crushing cross!

Will continue to pray with you that your resurrection comes soon!

Complicated Life said...

This is a time of desolation, but believe me when I say that He is near. He will guide you and someday, like AYWH said, your resurrection will come.

Sew said...

You are not powerless, God lives inside of you and he can do anything through you....

Girl, I want you get ready for this battle, I want you to pick up this cross, stare it in the face, kiss in square in the middle, and throw it over your shoulder like you own it.

Show this cross who is carrying it...Show it that you will not be weighted by the weight of it. It might be heavy as the world but you are going to carry it til its time to give it up.

Like you are woman hulk or something. Get really pissed and powerful(but not in a bad way, ahahahah)

Say come hell or high water I'm carrying this cross straight to Jesus feet and all my barren friends are helping me carry it.

I am right behind you screaming go TICE, Go TCIE! You got this, you can do it! Eternity awaits....Through prayer I'm taking some of this off your shoulder....

Sew said...

And even if you don't feel Jesus, know he is near you. Fake that feeling til you make it...He is right there near you saying, My child, let me help you...My child give me your burdens...

Suzie-Q T-Pie said...

I am praying for you! I know that whatever obsticals we encounter, God is there to get us threw and happiness is soon to follow. keep your head up girl! Happiness is comming :)

Kaitlin said...

I'm hurting for you after reading your words. In regards to your motives on fostercare, when I'm facing similar situations I take comfort in the fact that there really is no "wrong answer" when what you're doing is a good thing. Maybe God doesn't want you to be foster parents, maybe it's not in His plan-but if you do it anyway because you THINK it's His plan-there is no punishment. It's still a good thing-a child still has a home and two parents to love him. God makes good out of all things, and becoming foster parents isn't something He'll have to work too hard on. Even if you realize that you're desires are partly selfish-God will reward you for opening your home.

JellyBelly said...

At the info session that we went to earlier in the week the SW talked a lot about the importance of foster parents. I know that it wouldn't be something that I could do at this point in our lives. I would get too attached and it would break my heart when the child went back to their parents or went on to be adopted.

My cousins who adopted a couple of years ago said wonderful things about their daughter's foster parents. They were an older couple and they treated their daughter with so much love and care. Perhaps when we're older we'll be able to provide a temporary home for a child too.

I will pray for healing and decernment for you. I wish that things could be easy for you just once.

Kathryn said...

I agree with Second Chances...find yourself a good holy priest. Have him bless your home, and bless you two. Find a healing mass.
Hit those sacraments HARD.
I also agree with LIM...God is working a beautiful thing in your soul, and there will be a resurrection for this cross. He has something big in store for you...I think I said the same thing to AYWH awhile back...and I felt it then, I feel it now for you, too. Make acts of trust to Jesus all throughout the day.

I want to help. Like in a concrete way. Email me if I can do anything. It grieves my heart to know end that there is a mother out there in the world (you) without a child...I have seen all the children in Ethiopia without mothers. It is a great injustice that this is happening to you (and those children). God loves those orphans more than we could ever know. He is fierce about them...I have to believe He will make a way for you. I'll believe it for you while you can't, ok?!

Joy Beyond the Cross said...

I thought I had posted a comment earlier today, but I don't see it. So, just know that I am praying for you and will say a special pray to St. Gianna this evening for you. Keep the faith...it is corny but true - the night is darkest just before the dawn.

K and T said...

You have God - HE fights your battles - and HE will always be victorious.
Isaiah 54:17 states that " no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me, declares the Lord."
You could very well be in the midst of a spiritual battle - but, WHOM SHALL YOU FEAR with the LORD HIMSELF on your side?
Keep submitting to Him, KNOWING he has the power to give you exceedingly more than you could ever ask or imagine.

Erin said...

I know how rough of a time this is for you. Please know that I pray for you often. Please call me anytime you need to chat.

Thankful said...

I am so sorry and will continue to pray for you.

expatbarrenness said...

Know that I am praying for you, too. I'm at my whits end these days as well, so I can't offer advice (probably for the best :) )- the one thing that did occur to me was that the religion angle for foster to adopt might be jumping the gun. (The issue came up when we were looking into adoption here.) Wouldn't the restrictions only apply if the birth parents were opposed? Even if the birth parents aren't Catholic some Sunday school might not be out of the question. Whatever begins to feel right for you at some point, this probably isn't the issue that will be decisive.

All that aside, wishing you peace (even if that only means feeling like you can breathe for a little while) and prayers

the misfit said...

I'm so sorry you're suffering so much. I'm not there today but I have been. I probably will be again soon. This is nothing original, but for what it's worth, depression is real. The fact that you're still fighting is an accomplishment, as is the fact that you're keeping up with your u/s program. The house can always, always be cleaned tomorrow (whether you clean it today or not, as I've found. With me it's usually "not"). I don't know what the way out looks like, and I wish I did. But do something, will you, and make sure to take care of yourself as best you can right now. If you need sleep, sleep. If you need to say no to obligations, do that. If you need to get exercise, make time for it, even if it seems like an inconvenience to someone else. If you need a treat, get one. Sometimes it's the small things that make the bad days at least survivable. Praying for you.

Leila said...

I wish I could have said it just like Sew.

We are all praying for you like mad. Hang in there, because something's gotta give, and God is most definitely on your side.