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I am not gonna lie, these have been some difficult days. I am at my inlaws, continuing to be with Dana, Stacey, and Tori while their parents can’t. I got here last Monday, brought them back home with me for the weekend, and we are back now as they are going to school. I have all sorts of ideas for blog posts about all the fun we have had together and the memories we have made and the spiritual lessons I’ve learned while trying to teach them, but this isn’t one of those posts.

It has been almost 8 weeks since Harlie got sick. That is almost 2 months that these girls have been without their sister, and, for the most part, their parents. Their dad will come home about twice a month for a few days at a time to pay bills, run errands, etc. Their mom has come home 2 or 3 times total. They have gotten to go see Harlie once. And I think everyone is really starting to feel it.

Emotions are running high this week. They always fight a lot (oh. my. goodness. mothers of all girls – I SALUTE YOU!), but this week anything and everything will trigger a fight. My massive tantrum throwing child has been at the pique of her tantrum performances. I’m not sure whether to punish her or give her a Tony. Tears have been flowing, even for the one who is usually stoic.

I sometimes feel at the end of my rope. I can work hard to take care of their physical needs and make sure they are safe. I can plan fun activities to serve the purposes of having a good time, staying away from too much screen time, and distracting them from their circumstances. (And I do try to have at least one fun activity a day!) I can establish a discipline system so that everyone knows what the expectations are while they are in my care. I can listen to their hearts (oh, I need to do this more!) and express as much empathy as my exhausted body can muster.

But I cannot do what they really want. I cannot bring Harlie and their parents home.

And sometimes it’s exhausting to work on a problem that you cannot solve. At least, that’s what I remember geometry being like.

So this post doesn’t really have a conclusion or anything. Just some of the thoughts rattling around in the ol’ noggin.

But I was very encouraged by this post of Alyssa’s. Meeting children where they are. Developing a relationship with them and discipleing them as individuals. What a scary and glorious challenge! I know that not all of the children in my care are mine. We are a surprise family, a temporary family. But I can still apply some of these principals for the short time we are together.

OK, that’s quite enough elegant writing for today.

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