Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Broken Families

This is how the conversation usually goes....

"So do you know if you are going to get those kids yet?"

"  We are still a ways off of knowing whether they will be adoptable or not."

"Oh, so there parents haven't given them up yet.?"

And que the fake smile while I die inside.  This conversation is so-very-common, especially among other Christians.  Often people assume that the parents are purely evil and we, as the foster parents are the great rescuers that have come into save these kids from the horrors of the world.

It's just. not. true!

Have bio parents made mistakes?  Absolutely.  Are there times, a lot of times, they need to loose the right to their children?  Of course.  But please listen to those questions.  A mistake.  Loose rights.  We throw it around as if it's nothing.  We treat bio's with a distance and disdain for where their children are at.

Can it be horrible? Awful? Sad?  Yes.  Are they greatly affecting their children in unrepairable ways? Definitely.

I have learned something........If a child can go home, if it is safe and they can be cared for, then emotionally that is so much better for them. (Even if it breaks my heart into a million and one pieces.)

The other day Baby Girl kept repeating, "Mommy, my heart is so SAD.  It is taking a long time to get home." 

We were walking home from the park and it was taking a long time, but I didn't understand why that made her sad.  Suddenly it dawned on me, she wasn't talking about my "home", her current "home".  She was talking about going home to her parents.

God instituted families.  God desires families.  God is NOT happy when they are ripped to shreds.  Sometimes permanent separation is necessary, but that doesn't mean that the brokenness is part of how God wanted it.  Sin is the reason for the brokenness, not God.

Yes, God ordained adoption.  But that adoption is part of the brokenness of the sinful world we live in.  It was how he offered us a way out the muck and mire that we try to call our lives.  It was how he redeems us and offers the ability the be part of his family.  It is how he redeems these children's hurt and broken hearts and makes them new.

Just a note to Christians: Before you judge the bio parents and judge them.  PLEASE take a moment to remember what God did in your life.  Remember how broken and lost you were.  With out the Grace of God we are on the other side of the judgement ourselves!   

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


"Addilece.  What happened to your bike?"

The bike was less then a week old.  Addilece had gotten it for her birthday.  Now there was a whole in the seat.

"I don't know mommy."  She says as she climbed back on the seat.

"WHO put the hole in her bike?"  I begin to look around at my kiddos.  Suddenly my eyes fall on Baby Girl.  "Maybe I did it."  She states ever so casually.

After a rather long talk to her and a dishing out of discipline I tell her she must apologize to her sister.

"I forgive you."  Slips out of Sweet Pea.  She runs off to play.


It comes so easily to my four year old.  Forgiveness is just part of her everyday language.  But for me, I was still angry, frustrated, sad.  The bike hadn't been damaged by 3 year old carelessness.  The bike had been damaged by a hurt and jealous heart.  She was upset that her sister got a new bike and she didn't.

This time I did something right.  I prayed for this little girl and I asked her to pray.  As she choked back tears, I heard words beyond her years.  "God my heart hurts so much.  Make my hurt go away."

This time I did it right.  This time I saw my daughter through God's eyes, not my own.  This time I forgave.  But what about tomorrow?  And the next day? And the next?  This won't be the last time that the hurt causes pain in others, especially my other children.

Most of the time, I'm not quick to forgive.  Letting those words slip from my mouth and take root in my heart like Sweet Pea did is hard.  I don't want to see my children hurt, any of them, especially by each other.  It is not natural or easy to forgive.  But God requires it of us.  It helps to show His heart.  So tomorrow I will get up and pray harder and work harder for God to take out myself and put in Him. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Favorite Blogs About Foster Care and Adoption

Looking for a good blog about Foster Care or Adoption?  I have several favorites.  I have a lot I read and follow.  Most of those can be found on the side.  So here is my criteria for sharing the ones I did.

1. The blogger has to post pretty regularly.
2. They have to talk about foster care or adoption pretty regularly.
3. They have to be a blog that is both real, but also encouraging.

Life With a Personal God-Jami Kaeb

I have the amazing privilege of knowing Jami in real life.  She has a passion to follow after the heart of Jesus.  She has adopted internationally and through the Foster Care system and is now working on her second international adoption.  She is incredibly real with what God is showing her.

The Zap Life-Aaron and Julie Zapata

I have so blessed to call Aaron and Julie friends.  They haven't been on this Foster Care journey long but God has already taught them so much.  So often I find my head nodding along as I read agreeing with everything they wrote.

One Thankful Mom-Lisa Qualls

I happened to stumble upon Lisa's blog one day and prayed a quick pray of thanks to God.  Lisa is so very real.  She shares her life and her family but is still great at respecting what needs to be private.  She is an encouragement and blessing.  I'm always thrilled to see you put up a blog post, even though I know that often her words will be hard to hear and ever so convicting.

The Forgotten Blog

The Forgotten Initiative was started locally by Jami Kaeb (see above) and has grown throughout the nation.  This blog always has great "in the trenches" stories of the fostering community.  It is motivating.

No Greater Joy Mom-Adeye

Wow! is about all I can say.  Adeye and her husband (who blogs at No Greater Joy Dad) have opened their hope to some tough special needs kids.  They have at least 4, but I believe the number may be greater.  Since we are caring for a special needs child this blog is always a blessing to read.  If you do NOT wanted to be convicted and moved about the turmoil and hardship of special needs children around the world then this is NOT the blog for you!

Do you have a foster or adoption blog that you just love to follow?  Feel free to share in the comments section.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Happy 7th Birthday Big Brother

Dear Big Brother,

Seven.  It's hard to believe that when we said yes to you, you were FIVE.  That seems so little compared to seven.  It's amazing.

The last year has been an incredible year.   You have gone through so many things that a child never should have to go too.  We've watched you get hurt and disappointed.  We've watched you deal with feelings and healthy and good ways.  We've held you while you cried.  And smiled at your laughing (most of the can get pretty crazy sometimes).

You got thrust into being a big brother.  You weren't even used to being a brother yet, let alone a big brother.  That is something that is so hard for you Daddy and I to remember.  And we've seen you grow in that area too.  It still can be hard but you are beginging to think about how you can help your siblings and put them first.  And I am so proud of you. 

You are also quit the helper.  With you height, this is an awesome gift.  You have learned to hang laundry on the line with the best of them.  Your muscles are growing and you are getting strong.  We are also proud of you for this.

This next year is not going to be easy kiddo.  There are going to be a lot of things happening that you won't like or understand.  We are going to be here for you, to love and support you.

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy.  I am so blessed to call you my son!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013



I remember when I overheard my mom tell someone, "I don't like it when the kids go back to school.  I really like having them around."  As a kid that makes you feel pretty good.  I wanted to enjoy my kids that much.

Last summer Big Brother started school six weeks after he arrived at our house.  I was looking forward to it by week one.  I needed him to go to school.  And I mean NEED!  I told Tony that attitude bummed me out.  I wanted to enjoy having my kids home.  I wanted to look forward to summer.  I wanted to be sad they were going back.  "Maybe next summer," I said. 

Tony laughed.

Christmas break came......I was counting down the days for school to begin.

Spring break come....I was counting down the days for school to begin.

On to Summer.  I did something right for summer.  I implemented our daily schedule.  It was incredibly helpful.  It allowed for structure and entertainment for the kids.  It helped me to not rely on the TV to make it through the day.  And it allowed me to accomplish some of my goals for the summer.

So now that we are 1 week away from school for Big Brother and 2 weeks away from school for Little Man and Baby Girl, what do I think?

Well, I am ready for them to go back.  They are ready to go back.  We have children who I need a break from.  We have children who need a break from me.  We have children who need more time with me.  And we have children who need a break from each other.  My daily and weekly tasks (like laundry, paying bills, balancing the check book, straighten the house) are also begging my children to go back to school.

So while I am ready for my kids to go back, I am also beyond thankful that we had a fun summer.  We enjoyed the library, swam, did a garden, did lots of crafts, visited family, and lots of other things.  I'm a pretty happy momma.

Monday, August 5, 2013

July/August Goals

I've been enjoying summer and it has caused so many things to go to way side.  It's also caused me to catch up on many things.  Goal tracking has not been a priority, but I'm going to take a guess at this.

*Read 75% of the Out-of Sync Child (I read a tiny bit....definetely NOT this much though), Finish Hearts at Home (I finished MOST of if only I could figure out what I did with it)
*Complete "Save My Sanity" 21 steps

*Continue talking about Emergency Kits.
*Finish paper work prep for Awana.

*Life Books
*Right a note to our Case Worker.

*Do two in home dates.
*Do one out of home date. (If going to a wedding and court counts)
*Write a love note to Tony
*Sit down once a month to re-evaluate schedules and cut what needs to be cut, add what needs to be added.

*Pay off a set amount of debt.
*Finish paying to X-Box and dryer fund. (Funny thing....we more then finished this.  But our washing machine broke.  So we put the dryer on hold....bought a washing machine and we are now saving up money for the dryer.  So thankful we had the cash set aside already.)

August GOALS:
*Read 75% of the Out-of Sync Child, Finish Hearts at Home, Finish Quirky Kids

*Continue talking about Emergency Kits.
*Finish paper work prep for Awana.

*Life Books
*Right a note to our Case Worker.

*Do two in home dates.
*Do one out of home date. 
*Write a love note to Tony
*Sit down once a month to re-evaluate schedules and cut what needs to be cut, add what needs to be added.

*Pay off a set amount of debt.
*Save up for dryer and new X-Box.