Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I'm guest posting over at Renowned and Crowned (my new sis-in-law's blog) today about what God has taught me through the hysterectomy.  You are free to check it out.  Poke around Kayla's blog while your there.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Katie spoke to my momma heart today.  Check out her post:

Rummaging through our box of paperwork, I find it and it hits me unexpected.

Her birth certificate, the one her birth mom stuffed in her bag as she sent her off to a “better life” at her uncle’s when she was only five......Read More.

God Will Keep Us Afloat


That is the way to describe life from after Christmas until.....forever?  Ok, not that long, but you'll get what I mean here in a minute.

This will be a busy fall.  We are going full force into the foster license.  We meet with our Liscensing working on the 8th of September and our PRIDE classes start October 4th (27 hours worth of classes).  Tony will be studying for and taking the GMAT.  He will also be applying for Grad School.

However, this Spring is where life flips for us.  Tony will hopefully be returning to school part time to get his MBA.  He has to have it and its time he goes back.  We have no clue what that will look like (evenings weekends, time away to study, number of years). It will also mean that our licenses is close to being completed and so foster kids here we come.  With the desperation for foster families we won't be child less for too long after we receive it.

We know that this is were God would have us.  I'm glad we can be so confident in this.  If we weren't I'm not sure how we would survive.  But we will.  I look forward to testifying to His grace through out this rather busy period in our lives.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Job Chart

We have decided to start a Job Chart/Behavior Chart for Sweet Pea.  Its only been a few days but already we love it.  Here is how it works.  First, she has three jobs:
  • Pick up toys before naptime.
  • Set the table for supper
  • Pick up dishes after supper
And she has three behaviors that she must display during the job:
  • Happy Heart (good attitude)
  • Fast Feet (no dawdling)
  • Diligently Hands (completely the job well)
We feel these are three attributes that she needs for life, particularly in the work place.
She gets rocks- one for the job and one if she displays all three attributes- and can earn up to six a day.  When she fills her jar she gets a treat.  A movie, ice cream, swimming, the park, something from the dollar store.  We plan to expand and change this a bit with older kids but for our two year old it is working great.  As a side note: notice the stickers on her shirt.  Those for going potty in the toilet.  YAH!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

So Wrong

Have you ever had those moments where you realized how very wrong you were?  You just have to sit and marvel at how you though you got it all right but it wasn't.  That was us recently.

Recently two little girls forever captured our hearts.  Since then we tried walking through several open doors to minister to this family but God has not allowed us down that path.  A few times I have asked God why we couldn't have gotten them when they would of done so great here.  Little by little God has been answering that question.  One of those answers was a smack in the forehead.

Tony and I have discovered some boundaries that we have drawn with God.  We use Addilece as an excuse, her safety as an excuse.  While it is important to think about our daughter and her safety. It is wrong to use that as an excuse not to do what God wants us to do.

My excuse-no fostering yet. We need a strong 10 year old.  She needs to have a solid sibling.  That may be valid for some people, but God revealed it as an excuse in our lives. 

Tony's excuse-no fostering yet.  Until Addilece is three.  We worked through mine and then we came to this one.  Keep our child safe.  God revealed it as an excuse in our lives.

So here we go, head long into the foster system.  No waiting.  Just trusting.  Trusting God with our daughters safety and well being.  And He will take care of it so much better than I ever could!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Do Princesses?

Do Princesses love semi-trucks?.........

 This one sure does.

She looks so little in that big ol' truck.
Thanks to Daddy and a friend of his at work she got to ride in one too. (Unfortunately Daddy didn't get to join us.)
We had so much fun.
Thank you Josh.  You made on little girls day....ridding in her "Daddy's semi."

Monday, August 8, 2011

Parenting the Heart

"If you sit nicely for this picture I'll give you a piece of candy."  I almost laughed at myself when I heard those words come out of my own mouth.  My husband was quite appalled when I told him later.  We were at his brother's wedding reception.  I had a toddler who had not taken a nap, was getting close to her bed time, and wanted to be left alone to boggy the night away on the dance floor.  But more importantly my brother-in-law and sister-in-law needed a family picture.  I knew to get my child to sit it was a bribe or a threat and a threat did not seem like a good idea at the time.

It worked.  She sat AND smile.  A momma got to rejoice in a miracle and a toddler got to enjoy some candy.

One of the things that God has impressed on Tony and myself is the need to parent our child's heart, not our child's actions.  When we parent her heart we focus on what the long term consequences may be.  We look more than what she is doing and into what we want her to become.  When we parent her actions we are solely looking at what she is doing.

But oh it is so hard (as you can tell from the story above).  It is so easy to parent the actions.  I react so easily to a temper tantrum that my child is having by yelling at her that we don't throw temper tantrums (great example huh?).  Its easy to laugh at something "cute" but disobedient she does but it doesn't help to teach her about the disobedience.  Its easy to tell her no or give her hand a smack.  Its much harder to stop and get on her level to talk to her about why she should not do something.   Its easy to think temporary and short sited and not worry about the future.

When I'm truly parenting her heart I look at the situation for more then just that moment and time.  I think through what could happen based on my response (whether letting her off the hook or coming down on her way to hard).  It forces me to talk to her.  I've learned to treasure our talking moments after a time out.  They are great teaching moments, everyone is in a much better mood, and they are full of hugs and kisses.  Parenting her heart takes the "me" out of it (and the emotions that go along with me) and helps me to focus on her.    

Oh how often I fall short as a parent.  It makes it so sweet when I can look at a situation that was right and say "Thank you Lord for showing me how to do it."

Monday, August 1, 2011

Taking Time to Look Back

Addilece's birthday brings about a mixed bag of emotions for Tony and myself.  We are beyond thrilled to have a child who is a year older.  We feel so blessed to be her parents.  However, it also brings memories filled with a whole range of emotion as we relive the hours and days after our child's birth.  Things like the sinking feeling as I sat on the hospital bed, having just been cleaned up, to feel more blood (an abnormal amount of blood) gush out onto my pad and even my bed.  Holding my new baby girl's picture in ICU realizing I had been apart from her longer than I had been with her.  How glorious that turkey sandwich tasted after going with out food for so long.  Sending our child to the nursery so we could pray and cry together, just be together.  Having our Pastor and his wife pray over us.  Taking a shower.  Walking.  Good and bad, they all come back to me. 

Addilece's birthday fell on a Sunday this year.  So, when one of our friends asked about it being her birthday I asked him, "Can you believe it's been two years?"  He said, "I can't. I remember it well.  We were really praying for you guys."  I don't think I will ever forget the look on his face.  How grateful I am for him and his wife.  I'm grateful because I know there are a few out there like them who haven't forgotten.  They were walking right beside us back then and continue to walk beside us now. 

Looking back, remembering all of these things, connecting in a unique way with people who are so dear to us, allows me to see the journey God has had us on.  He given us a passion to help the hurting and lost deeper than I could ever imagined.  We are less focused on ourselves and see God's bigger picture for our lives.  We have learned to grieve while resting in God's reassurance and blessings.  Our faith has grown as we see God's sovereignty play out in our lives. 

I would love to hold another newborn in my arms again.  I would love to discuss who they look like "mommy or daddy".  But never at the expense of where we are now.  God has us on this amazing journey, first into adoption world, and now into the foster care world.  He is opening our eyes to His heart.  I could never give any of that up.  I know God's heart and purpose is so much greater than anything I could ever fathom.

This song, Blessings by Laura Story, is a great summary of what these last two years have been to us.