Buffer to Bridge

June 24, 2016

When I said we could take the kids for a few weeks, I had no idea the ultimate cost.  I had this very small vision, which showed Z being able to go to 5th grade camp, 5th grade activities and finishing the year at school with the rest of the class.  As chaos ensued, I often thought…

‘What have I done?  What was I thinking?’

We were a buffer, a step from Mom to foster care…but was a buffer enough?

Z became happier and Mr. T thrived…  His daily growth amazed us.  Mr. T’s verbal skills caught up nearly 5 months worth of growth in 32 days.  It was astounding…and it was exhausting.  My Loving Spouse did his best, but he was gone for work, most of the days and nights of the last month.  The chores were barely done, the horses were never ridden and the chickens decided to hang out on the porch and poop.  I knew I could not keep it up.  buffer t quilt

The loving quilts our quilting group makes for new foster children takes on a whole new meaning for me now.

buffer z quilt

With a kiss on their head each night, I put them to bed covered with their new quilts.

buffer z quilt 2The concern was that the kids would be split up and sent to other towns.  The absence of available homes here able to take two kids with such different ages was the reality.  What then…would they think we’d failed them.  Would we even be able to continue to see them?  I was too tired to continue much longer.   My Loving Spouse tried to come up with possibilities.

“What about our friends Auntie A & Uncle F?  Weren’t they going to become foster parents?”

‘They would be perfect, but I haven’t heard them mention it in a few years’, I said with a sigh.

 “I am afraid the kids will think we’ve kicked them to the curb.”

‘But…I cannot keep it up…’, I sobbed.

The day came where I had to meet with the ‘officials’ and give them my drop dead date.  I scheduled the meeting for my lunch hour at school, knowing I had to be clear.  If the kids were split up, perhaps our respite care would be the tool that kept them in touch…

Twenty minutes prior to my meeting, Auntie A came to me at school.  They had sat in the pew in front of us the first Sunday we had the kids in church with us.

“Can I talk to you about the kids?”

‘What!’

“We are a few weeks away from getting our Foster Care license…can you tell me about the kids.”

“There is no place for them and they might very well be split up…they need you so much!”  

After each question, I answered for Auntie A, she would say…”That is just what we want!”

I could not imagine a sweeter fit, or a better family for these two.  They will thrive beyond all measure.

‘I am meeting with the ‘officials’ in 20 minutes, can you sit in….’

I had been too tired to pray.  Does God see our actions as the cries from our hearts?

In order to make the transition work, it meant my keeping the kids longer…would I do it?  Of course, if it meant that they would go to Auntie A and her family.  Unbeknownst to the kids, the real reason why, we began spending time with Auntie A and her family.  A smooth and loving transition was our goal…

The kids are happy and secure, as their ‘family’ grows.  Moving to live with Auntie A and Uncle F, they are loved by us all.  We will return to being surrogate Grandparents.

Having the kids might have been one of the harder things I have done.  Worth it?  No question!  As Number Two Son said, “Mom, you’ve gone from being a buffer to a bridge for them to a new life.”bufferGod is good…and I am blessed.

  • madeleine

    precious Ellen….I have caught myself up with the happenings in your life through your incredible blog. You and Pat are truly angels. Thank you for being the face of Jesus in these kids’ lives. You are such a blessing to these children, as well as to all of us who are blessed to share in your lives through your blog. Lots of love to you and your family! xoxo-m ps: I am in dire need of quilting advise. It has been years since I’ve quilted, but I saved all my kids’ baby/ toddler clothes in anticipation of cutting them all up to make quilts out of them once they were grown….and I can’t believe that they are! Once you feel well restored, can we chat? Thanks in advance Quilting Guru

    • Sweet friend, thank you for your kind and supportive words. I look forward to you making snuggling quilts for those kiddos you’ve loved so well!

  • Diane

    I am so glad that those little ones have a new loving home and will still have loving “grandparents”! Wishing you much rest and special delights as you and your Loving Spouse take some time for yourselves. I am sure those horses need to be ridden and that canal needs to be floated on!

    • Thank you my friend, we are in the recovery process. God is good!

  • Christa Peitzman

    So glad to hear they are able to stay together. You are a brave lady for answering the call and I know too well the toll your obedience took on you physically and emotionally! I STILL feel I am in rest and recovery mode so give yourself as much time as you need with zero guilt. You are indeed a good and faithful servant!!!

    • Thank you dear friend! I will take your words to heart and take your permission to take care of me for a long time! Thank you!

  • Miriam

    You have made such a difference! Soon you’ll have time to breathe and relax. Just don’t start another house project too soon!

    • Mims, I plan to make sure from now through July, to pamper myself…and Pat. To do only what I feel like doing, sewing and even a bit of weeding…my gas tank is empty. Thanks!

      • Miriam

        Good for you! You’ve got to fill up “your bucket” nice and full before taking on anything new. During any weeding stints, I’d suggest daydreaming and cloud gazing and the heck if any weeds get pulled!

        • Thank you! I am going to practice saying ‘yes’ to things I want to do and ‘no’ to anything that takes effort!

  • Dianne

    I agree … we done good and faithful servant! What an amazing gift and blessing you are to those kids. And to us for sharing your experience.

    • Thank you Dianne, I know prayers kept me going and helped me keep my patience…now time to refuel.

  • Lorie Ames

    Well done good and faithful servant!

    • Those are the sweetest words to hear.
      Thank you!

  • Richard Godley

    That is really wonderful – and very apposite as my friend in Montana has just been seperated from his little granddaughter, who is now with loving relatives. Well done on all your hard work – believe me I know..!!

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