Friday, September 9, 2011

Sweet Relief

In 4 hours, our foster children will once again enter our home and the craziness will begin again. That's not a bad thing at all. We are ready to see them, to catch up on how their weeks were, and to continue to love them as Jesus does. However, we have learned in the world of foster care, "relief" is called that for a reason! About once a month we get a week off. The kids move next door to the relief houseparents home, and we get a week of "relief." Considering this is a 24/7 job that also comes with huge amounts of compassion fatigue due to the different struggles/backgrounds of the kids, a week off a month is VERY necessary. Relief allows us to recharge, refocus, rest, spend some quality Belt family time, and engage in extra stress-relieving activities. Today marks the end of our first week of relief. Here's a snapshot of what our week looked like.

* We spent a couple nights at my parents house just to get off campus and away. It was nice to let mom cook and take a break from cooking for a little bit. I spent some time on Sunday morning reading my Bible and journaling on their back porch in beautiful weather looking at the mountains (ACCH is down in the valley by the river, and we actually can't see the mountains from where we are).
* Last Friday after we moved the kids next door, we went some friends' house for dinner. It was so nice to do something like that and have some adult time. It was a very uplifting evening for us.
* Sunday night, Taylor had planned for us to get away for a night as a belated mother's day and birthday gift for me. We left Carter with my parents and spend 24 glorious hours away-just the two of us! We went out to dinner at Standard Diner (featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives!) and stayed at the Hotel Andaluz in downtown ABQ. We slept in, had breakfast in bed, then did a little shopping before heading back to mom and dads'. We were so ready to see Carter when we got back, but we had a wonderful time! Carter did great on his first night without us. He was a little extra cuddly after we got back, but he wasn't upset while we were gone!
*We watched a few movies. Two old timers (Shenandoah and Friendly Persuasion) and a new one (Inception)! Inception blew our minds away. We loved it though.
*I spent a lot of time reading. I'm working my way through One Thousand Gifts right now. I really like, but have to take it slow cause it's so thought provoking. I'm beginning to be tired of it though, and ready to move on to something else. I also read through a few Real Simple magazines from my mom's stash. I'm quickly falling in love with this publication!!! I think I'm going to put a subscription to it on my Christmas list!
* Taylor and I were able to sit down and visit about what is working in our house and what isn't working. We talked about this in light of our foster kids, as Carter's parents, in our marriage, etc. Just really analyzed how this change in our life is affecting everything. It was SO nice to have time to talk through that and to know what is going really well and what we need to work on - individually and as a couple.
* We had Carter's 3 month portraits taken at JCPenney! He did SO great! They are just precious!!! I'll see if I can get some up on the Internet sometime soon.
* We went for a couple walks enjoying this amazing ABQ weather and trying to make an effort to get back into shape. We are hoping to start making a habit out of heading to the park to walk right after we have put everyone on the school bus.
* I was able to use birthday money to update my wardrobe which was wonderful!!! I felt like I was wearing the same 3 things over and over again cause that's all I had that either fit or flattered my post-baby figure. Now I feel like I have many more options.
* Oh, and of course, we slept in and took naps!

And, that's a quick glance at our week. It was a great week. We are ready to get our kids back and resume foster parenting. We did have one disappointing thing happen while we were gone. One of our kids (our 9 year old) decided to go back home. We weren't even able to say bye. We can now simply pray for him and that, Lord willing, we planted some seeds in his life. Because of this, the dynamics in our home will change slightly. We will see what it will be like.

As always, I'm so thankful to any and all of you that are praying for us. To say this job is hard is an understatement, but we know without a doubt that this is where we are supposed to be. Please continue to pray for us and our children. We really can feel your support and prayers!


Jennifer said...

Our girls moved into the house today. It went really well. So glad you guys got some rest! Love you!