Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Day Foster Life Got Me Down, Taylor Swift Lifted Me Back Up And My Car Got A Beating

Once upon a time, our social worker came over for her monthly visit at 8 am on a Monday.  Since it made no sense to take the kids to daycare then for a whole 45 minutes before I'd pull them back out for their parent visit, I kept them home in between.  We girls were coming off of a rough weekend of hands in mouth, Tylenol and screaming at 5 am.  Sister's fussy flailing continued all the way to the CPS office where I sighed with relief when I saw the kids' social worker coming out to the car to help me get them inside.  Cue the weekly awkward chaos of getting mom, kids, social worker, diaper bag, etc back to the visit room, where Sister didn't want to be held by anyone but her bones melted when set down, resulting in a puddle of toddler on the floor.

I wanted to join her.

I hurried away from the chaos back to my car, ran an errand, parked back in front of CPS and pouted for a good twenty minutes waiting for the social worker to appear at the door for the shuffle back to my car.   Then comes the drive to daycare with my arm twisted backwards and my hand jostling Sister's leg, singing a resounding chorus of The Wheels On The Bus, trying to keep her awake because she has to eat lunch at daycare before she can fall asleep.  After getting them settled inside and thanking the daycare teachers for their flexibility with us, I sat back down in my car and realized...I'm physically exhausted.  And it's only 11:15 am.

I headed home to change into work clothes. On the way, Casting Crowns' song Voice of Truth came on the radio.

I lost it.

Like sobbing and beating on my steering wheel at the intersection of 39th and Colcord kind of lost it.

You see...I know some of y'all say things like "You and Trent are handling this foster care thing with flying colors", etc.  And we're doing great.  For real, we're really cut out for this and generally rock and roll.   But...there are moments when it's really hard.  Moments when doubt creeps in.  Reminders of how little control we have.  Times we feel terribly misunderstood.  Days when we're hit square in the chest by this messed up system and situation and can't breathe.

So a song comes on talking about the courage to walk on water or slay a giant, and the naysayers that will drag you down and it hits close to home.

But the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me, time and time again
"Boy, you'll never win! You'll never win!"

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says "Do not be afraid!"
And the voice of truth says "This is for my glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.

I sat in my car in our driveway for a moment and prayed.  I prayed for peace, for stamina, for a mute button on the naysayers, for the right stone to slay the giant, for courage to tackle him anew each day.  I changed clothes, patched up my face and considered the fact that I should be good and scrounge up some lunch at home. Then I considered the beating my steering wheel had just gotten and decided Mama needed someone else to make her lunch...  

I settled into a booth with a nice sandwich and soda.  A couple from our old church came in.  I hadn't seen her since Day 2 of the kids being with us, when she brought over a boppy pillow in quick response to a Facebook plea I posted that morning.   

"You look a lot better now than that day!"  

As I showed them pictures of the kids on my phone, I agreed and laughed, remembering the absolute wreck I was on February 6th, but wanted to say "You didn't see me thirty minutes ago..."  Turns out foster care continues to wreck me.  I felt more tears coming but punched them in the face because Jimmy John's was not the place for another breakdown.  Instead we chatted about Sister's crazy curls and I gave my appropriately vague update on their CPS case. 

What does Taylor Swift have to do with all this??????

I made it through the afternoon at work, more or less, and headed back to the daycare to get the kiddos.  On the way, Taylor Swift's newish song, Shake It Off, came on the radio.  Let me back up and explain that this has been my theme song since I first heard it.  It's quite ridiculous really, the connection I make between her lyrics and my life, but let's just roll with it, ok?

Just as Casting Crowns' lyrics resonated with me earlier in the day, so did these, with a drastically different effect.

But I keep cruising
Can't stop won't stop moving
It's like I got this music in my mind
Sayin' it's gonna be alright

'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
Shake it off, shake it off

Hey, hey, hey
Just think, while you've been gettin' down and out
about the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats of the world
You could've been gettin' down to

Well yes ma'am, Miss Swift, I will indeed get down to your sick beat, complete with top volume singing, bouncing in my seat at red lights, drawing attention to myself, not caring, and yes, more beating on my steering wheel, but this time because I needed a drum, not a punching bag.

Sorry lil Volvo...