Thursday, May 24, 2012

Just Arriving......

Last week I walked into church and my friend said, "you sorta left your blog with a cliff hanger."  Yes, indeed, I did.  We did that for a reason.  I didn't want to declare something and then have to pull it back if for any reason it didn't happen.  However, we now have a readied room, borrow sports equipment in the house, and today I went online and checked out some free summer reading programs.  All in preparation of our 10 year kiddo we are getting.

We had the privilege of taking Our Guy for a weekend respite (a foster child can not be out of a licensed foster for over 23 hours and if the parents need to be gone longer then that respite is provided by another licensed foster home).  He seemed to do well with Addilece so when we were asked if we would consider taking him after the school year answer we said yes.

The whole thing is a bit surreal.  It doesn't feel real that he is coming tomorrow.  It doesn't feel real that he will be here for lunch and every meal on out for a while.  It doesn't feel real that we will be dealing with everything that goes into raising a child in Junior High.  We know it is real though.  We are looking at sports for him to play and discussing pool passes, so it is very real.

Honestly, Tony and my emotions have been all over the place.  We have dealt with extreme sadness and grief as we face the reality of Our Guy's past.  We have been excited as we look at the possibility of putting him into football and taking him on vacation.  We have felt uneasiness as we discuss rules and guidelines that need to be in place for a child this old.  We have also felt confusion, joy, love.  I have a friend that I do playdates with in the same town he is currently living in, this has been overwhelming being so close but so far away.

More than anything we are praying.  Praying that God would open his heart to hear scripture and truth.  Praying that we can see past anger and bitterness and see the heart of this child.  Praying that we will glorify God above all else in our parenting.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Our Foster Care Journey....One Year

Each month I take time to read posts from that month in years past.  I was reading May posts today when I realized that we decided to begin our foster care journey a year ago this month.  I still remember that day where it "hit" me.....we NEED to do this.  God is calling us to do this.  I was fidgeting all day, praying, waiting for my husband to come home.  I sat on our swing set that night and poured out my heart......Surprisingly my husband replied, "I already knew we were suppose to, I was just waiting for you."

So what has one year brought us?  Well, much further then we planned a year ago.  Our grand idea was to wait until Addilece was three.  However, two little girls forever changed our hearts.  We thought we were welcoming them into our homes for a short time.  Instead we met them for 5 minutes and they showed us what it truly means to care for the least of these

We have been through the classes, signed a ton of papers, and been officially licensed.  We have even taken a respite placement for a weekend (babysitting for a foster for over 24 hours).  It has been stressful and tiring.  But doing what God has called us to do has also been beyond fulfilling to us.  And life is about to change again and our journey will take another twist......

And yes I'm going to leave you there......

More to share soon.... 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

You CAN Help: Adopt a Family Adopting/Fostering

Many times I hear "I wish I could do that" or "I would be so afraid my heart would be broken" when I talk about our foster care/adoption journey.  There are was You CAN Help, even if you are not called to specifically foster or adopt.

One of these ways is you can adopt a family that is adopting or fostering.  I know what you are thinking, "I just said I wasn't CALLED to do that."  Hang with me here for a minute.  A family who is walking to path of foster care or adoption is under a lot of stress and pressure.  They are welcoming a new child into their homes (one who is typically not a new born, has different genes and personality then they do).  Beyond the "normal" things that need to be dealt with in adding to ones family they are also dealing with a child who they have little or no medical history for, attachment issues, and the scrutiny of the public and the agencies they are working with.  Many times they are now placed in a fish bowl for the world to view how they parent these precious children.

I know many families who would love to be taken under someones wing.  That extra support would mean the world to them.  Here are some ideas:

PRAYER:  This is the first and most important.  If you have a desire to support a family going through this process please PRAY for them.  They will covet your prayers!

MEALS: Could you bring a meal to the family?  It doesn't matter if its a week past bringing the child(ren) into their home or six months, daily tasks can still seem overwhelming at times.

HOUSEWORK: A new child(ren) means more dishes, laundry, toys, and just general mess.  Coming to clean once a week, once a month, or just once could truly ease a burden.

BE INTENTIONAL: Many times adoption brings a drastic change to a family.  This could be two children suddenly become "twins", a family with teens now has a toddler, or a family jumps quickly in numbers.  This brings about a whole new routine for church, school, shopping.  Be intentional about seeking this family out to help in these matters.  Maybe that means they need the door at church opened when to walk up with their double stroller, maybe this means delivering or picking up some of their children from Sunday School (with their permission), or maybe this means being available to take care of some of the kids so they can get things they need to get done for their other children.

BABYSITTING: All I can say is....YES, YES, YES!  Foster/adoptive families are desperately in need of free babysitting.  Whether it is the ability to run a few errands on their own or enjoy coffee date with their spouse these families could use the relief.  Even a few hours to breathe can make a world of difference to them. 

Many adoptive and foster families feel alone.  They are dealing with unique problems and children that are hard for others to understand.  Coming along side them to love and support them would bless them and you!