Thursday, May 09, 2013

Homework and Heartache -- Timeline

"Create a timeline with five events from your life. List the year the event took place."

I was born 1986

I graduated from high school 2004

I graduated from college 2007

I got married 2007

I became a foster parent 2013

Simple Enough.

Except if you're a foster kid.

This is the homework I helped S with last Sunday evening after we got home from our 48-hour "vacation" in Michigan (their first vacation ever). I quickly thought of a few neutral, at-best, events to suggest (ex: "I moved"). Before I went into damage-control mode, S thought for a few seconds and then came up with the only event he could think of to add to his timeline, "Our vacation to Michigan."

While he finished his timeline, I finished my mini-breakdown in my bedroom, and Andy explained that "Mama is crying because she just loves you so much!"

When S was done, his timeline consisted of the day he was born, playing on a baseball team last year, the two times he moved in the last two years, and our "vacation." The last four events on this timeline happened all in a span of 2 years. That school project was a heartbreaking reminder to me that my son has few fond memories from the first seven years of his life.

Foster parenting is no joke. It is crazy hard. Parenting these boys is super challenging. They have experienced so much trauma, and that manifests itself in their behaviors. Some days S drives me bonkers, but then there is a moment like the timeline thing, and the fact that this kid has had more painful experiences in his 9 years than most adults hits me again...and again.

There's no real solution to this, no happy ending for now. All we can do is love these boys hard through the pain and all that comes with it.

We would really appreciate your prayers as we walk alongside our boys as they navigate through their confusing experiences and try to heal.

Thanks for your continued prayers!


  1. I totally understand this one! My 8yo 1st grader had to do a project like this about 2 months ago. A timeline of his life with one event each year from birth until now (entering 1st grade).....with PICTURES! UGH!!!!

    We worked the best we could and used ALOT of clipart. But it was still hurtful and hard when he know we had no idea when he started to walk, or talk...and had no photos of him. He even said, "I wish you could see me...I was a cute baby." (I bet you were IronMan!!) We used some obvious when his siblings were born...and yes he even used 2 from our vacation (his first) too!

    I then tried to explain to the school that projects like this are nearly impossible for our kids...and many out there. Journaling about "My favorite holiday...... or tradition...." and when he doesn't do it - it isn't defiance but survival mode. So many kiddos have a 'lost'/'broken' past breaks my heart...

  2. Oh the joy of finding such a resource for this newbie foster momma ...

    Delighted to meet you this evening. I hope you don't mind if I splash around a bit to get to know you. This looks like a crazy blessed place to be refreshed.


  3. You guys are such wonderful parents! It's SO cool to see how God has blessed you with open hearts and unconditional love for children, a job most people couldn't handle. Reading about how much those boys loved you even from day 1 shows how much you've loved and prayed for them from even before they came to you. Bottom line, your story is inspiring to me. Thank you for obeying God's calling for your lives! I'm praying for you!