Even though it is only the beginning of August, we've noticed a bit of change coming to the leaves on the trees around us. Sean mourns over it and I can't blame him - our warm season is much too short. I am excited, however, because with the beginnings of harvesting the garden, canning green beans, sunflowers coming to bloom and the last days of summer comes the anticipation of the arrival of our small, much already loved child in the womb.
Diapers have been washed and line dried and a small box of gender neutral clothing lovingly folded and examined by the little girls in the house.
Since this is the first child we've had without knowing the gender, we've decided to make a game of it for the children and they are working over their guesses for weight and gender. The guesses of the correct gender will get a chocolate bar and so will the closest guess for weight. I vacilate between boy and girl, slightly hoping for a boy for the common sense reason that I gave away all of my baby girl clothes but wishing slightly for a little sister for our family. Needless to say, either will thrill me!
Late yesterday morning we received the call that the judge had ordered our sweet Natalie back into her mother's care. The children and I worked together folding her clothes and packing up her toys. Miss Ella slipped in a few extra things for Natalie that she thought she'd like, which I thought was so sweet. Today, the house feels quiet. Pray for Natalie and her mom with me, will you?
We spent yesterday afternoon swimming as a family in a neighbor's pool and topping off the day with everyone's particular favorite flavor of icecream. Today, life starts a new normal, swim lessons end next week and we'll begin our formal studies the week following. While our homestudy is still current, we plan on taking a break for a few months from fostering to adjust to life and new baby and be refreshed. Fostering takes more out of you than I can describe. It is almost always wrought with heartache.