We have been busy parenting and dealing with Junior's case. We have had school conferences, family photos, school fundraisers, Halloween, a court hearing, homework, doctor appointments and parental visits plus phone calls to relatives. With the day-to-day busyness I have forgotten my own appointments, even ones on my electronic calendar, that I decided one night to ask God for a clear head and peace. The serenity prayer came to mind and I found the full version. The first verse is well known, but the second verse resonated with me that night and still does, particularly the first three lines of the second verse, "Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace..." These words became my mantra right before this months hearing as we did not know what to expect. We are still moving towards termination, but there are changes to the case plan.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
We are planning Junior's birthday party and so many things keep coming up the weekend of his party that we have to decide as a family what we can and cannot participate in because we cannot clone ourselves easily. Some of the events Mike and I were looking forward to because they are annual traditions for us and it was going to be Junior's first time experiencing them, but birthday parties are more important.
Besides the normal foster care issues, we had to help Junior deal with school bullies. It broke my heart. Both Mike and me had to deal with being picked on and bullied in school. You want to put a protective bubble around your child or chide the bully for their insecurity. Since it was happening at school and he informed his teachers, the teachers were obligated to deal with the situation and we helped him come up with scenarios for dealing with bullies. Junior thinks he can take on the world by himself, but we are working with him that sometimes you need to get adults involved such as when bullies don't stop picking on you. The bullies had found a small "flaw" in Junior's appearance to exploit. He chipped one of his front teeth years ago; most people do not even notice it, but these classmates had and whispered taunts during class so no other student nor the teacher could hear or even notice that anything was happening. Now his tooth has been repaired and his smile is complete, though it was not repaired for our family photos, but it did not prevent him from smiling. Junior has a wonderful smile and hopefully the classmates will not find something else to tease about him. Middle and junior high students can be very cruel. Our role as parents is to guide Junior to deal with difficult people, how to stand up for himself without violence and how to retain resources when necessary.
We continue to provide a safe and stable home for Junior. He expresses his joy at living with us and being a part of our family. We love him, we have bonded and we are looking forward to permanency.
"Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace..."