Sunday, May 30, 2010

What a "Blessing"

Naomi Grace was blessed today and it was wonderful. We were surrounded by friends and family that we love and missing the ones that could not be here. I am so grateful for Naomi. She is such a meek but happy little thing. She has touched our lives so much in the two months that she has been here and brought happiness to all of us. She is the perfect addition to our family.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Letting Someone Down Can Literally Break Your Heart

Today I became a failure. Today my heart broke. Today I let down a good friend. Today I wished I was someone else, somewhere else doing something else. Since taking in 5 foster children that belong to a friend of mine, I have known more happiness, more heartache and more tired that I have ever felt before. Tonight the heartache got the better of me. I have felt for a few days now that I could not handle one of the children that we were caring for and so today he was placed in another foster home. I had talked to him and let him know that if he could not stop being physically violent with the other children and could not respect others in this house that we would have to find somewhere else for him to live. I don't think he believed that it would really happen. He is such a good kid and has just been dealt a really rotten hand in life but I was not able to help him and I had to protect the other children in this house so I had him removed. The hard part is facing his mother who is a good friend of mine and knowing that I have let her down. I cried all afternoon and although I tried so hard to be strong when he left I could not help but shed tears. He came to me minutes before he was leaving and asked if there was anything he could do to stay. I hugged him and told him I loved him and I was sorry I could not do more for him and that he would have to leave. It was the first time I have ever seen him cry. It broke my heart that I had to stand firm on my decision to have him removed. Now I am feeling like a very bad person. What makes it even harder is that the mother of these kids is staying with us with the approval of CPS and now there is a distance between us that will never be closed. Our friendship will never be the same and so I tip-toe around my house feeling like I have torn out her heart and stomped on it. I feel like a failure even though I have been successful in taking care of the other 4 children that we placed in our home. It does not matter that I can successfully provide love and support and take care of 8 children, all I can think about is the one that I let down. The story of the Savior and the ninety and nine sheep now means so much more to me. I hope that this little lost boy can find his way home, wherever that may be and I hope that some day he can forgive me for not being able to do more for him. Most of all, I hope that someday he believes that I love him very much and always will.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What a Rough Time

I am at a loss as to what to say about today. It was a very bad day. I spent the day at the doctors office and the therapists office and dealt with very emotionally hard things. Two of our foster kids are going to have to be placed somewhere else because of my limitations and I feel horrible. I am emotionally exhausted. I have fallen in love with these little ones and the thought of them leaving even months from now makes me so sad. I think this is why Matt and I have never done foster care before, it is a heartbreaking thing.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

From Simply Acts of Service a Testimony Grows

Well, we made it through another weekend with 9 children in the house and I must say that I am exhausted. This week I pulled the muscles in my lower back and so things have been that much harder. I do not regret the decision to take these children into our home but I will say that it is without a doubt one of the hardest things we have ever done. Many people have asked what they can do to help and I must say a HUGE thank you to all that have served us. We began last week spreading the news that we needed 2 sets of bunkbeds and some dressers and it didn't take long for the news to spread through the ward that we were in need. I was amazed when we were told by two different ward members that they had bunkbeds for us. Tonight we put the last of the clothes in the drawers that we were given and assembled the last set of bunkbeds that were donated. It is through these simple acts of service and kindness shown by others that my testimony has grown these last two weeks. The Church and the Gospel must be true because of the simple love and service that it teaches. We could not have done this without the help of these individuals. This is going to be a long term situation and the poor kids were sleeping on the floor. Now they all have their own beds and drawers for their things and I hope it will start to feel a little more like home. I would like to get a handle on the fighting but that is for another day. In the meantime, thank you, thank you to everyone who has prayed for us, thought of us, helped us and more.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Importance of Love

This last week has been a super eventful one for this Garff household. On Tuesday we took in 5 foster children...yes, I said 5. We went from a family of 4 to a family of 11 in one day. After the first two days I thought for sure that we were crazy but as the days have progressed I feel more and more blessed. I know that sounds crazy and maybe I have just totally lost my mind but these children are so loving and so amazing. I am also so proud of my own children for the acceptance and love I have seen them display. Tonight after I bathed all nine children and got them into their rooms for bed I started what I call "rounds". I start in room 1 singing lullaby's and end in room four, having sung a total of 12 different songs. Tonight as I was singing "baby mine" to one of our foster kids I felt an enormous wave of love rush over me. The lyrics to the song touched me as I sang them to this little girl who gives so much love and needs so much love in return. As I sang "little one when you play, don't you mind what they say; all those same people who scold you, what they'd give for the chance to hold you." I held her in my arms and thought "if only everyone could see how special you are." These children are in need of so much love and have endured so much judgement from others but they truly are awesome kids. I took the 3 older girls to get their hair cut today and under all of the tangles and chocolate milk mustaches were the most beautiful little girls. They were so excited about their new hair cuts, as were my children who got their hair cut as well. Ivan was so funny, he wanted his spiky on top and so instead of my bald little baby boy, I now have a grown up (very handsome I might add) little man. I am so thankful for this opportunity to help and serve these children and for the opportunity to teach my children about the importance of love and acceptance. We truly are so blessed.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Family Home Evening

Family Home Evening is an interesting time around our house. Despite its chaotic nature we make the effort every Monday. We got out of the habit the last 2 months of my pregnancy with Naomi but now that things are back to our normal crazy we are having FHE again. Last night we talked about tithing and savings with the kids. We started by going to Target to pick out piggy banks with the kids. Nora of course dropped hers in the store and broke it and we had to get her another one. (Thank you to the workers of Target for not charging us for the broken one) We finally made it home and the kids were given 10 dimes. We talked about always paying tithing first. We showed them what the tithing slips look like and then helped them fill one out and include their tithing. They were so excited. We then talked about the importance of saving 10% for yourself whenever you get paid. The rest was just for them to spend. It was great to see how they reacted to it all. It was completely crazy but the lesson seemed to get through and this Sunday they all have tithing to give to the bishop! I am so thankful for FHE and the lessons it teaches my kids and the lessons it re-teaches me.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Truly Blessed

The last 2 days have been hard ones for me. For the past week or so, Ivan has been very rude to me. He has been mouthing off and just plain mean. Last night he told me he wished I was a nicer mom and didn't put him in time out. I have been very good about keeping my cool and using time out rather than shouting but it has been so tough. How do you make a child understand that they cannot talk to anyone like that. I know the best teaching tool is example but what if that is not enough? I have just felt under-appreciated and over-worked but I don't know what mother doesn't. At least we haven't had any major problems, illnesses etc. It has been a restful time for us and I am so grateful. I am so grateful for the quiet, trial free times that help me build up energy for the time when trials come. Even though they have been hard days, I have felt very blessed to be able to stay home with my children. I am so blessed to have a wonderful husband who is devoted. We are truly blessed.