our random trip to california and our crazy year thus far

EDIT: this was written and supposed to be published two days ago!
bullet points are always nice when a million things happen in just a few short months. oh, who am i kidding, even with bullet points this is going to be long. and rough.

  • on december 27th, 2012 we found out we are pregnant!  it was from the Lord but it was also…um…anticipated?  i’m not sure how to explain it any other way.  i felt a clear yearning to have a biological child from the Holy Spirit (before adopting a third…and fourth….and fifth child) and before we could disagree, bam, knocked up.  if you’re counting, which you wouldn’t be, we’re batting .1000 for making that happen.  anyway, baby is due September 4th.  we are planning a home birth.  we will most likely find out the sex of the baby when we have a sonogram (around 20-22 weeks, i’m 18 weeks tomorrow).  we think it’s a girl (chinese calendar, intuition, different pregnancy) and we could possibly name her Lucy.  other than my thyroid issues, everything seems to still be in the ‘low risk’ zone.  this means i should have no problems staying with a midwife and planning to birth at home.  (it does not necessarily mean something won’t happen during labor, duh). i’ll see an endocrinologist in a few weeks to see what they think.
  • as you already know, january was the hardest month of my life.  partly because T was in the hospital so much and partly because i was deathly sick as well, which i couldn’t say yet because we decided to announce the pregnancy to the interwebs at a later date.  i had morning sickness with caleb but oh, man, this was terrible.  everyday at 5pm i would finally start to feel better.  i most definitely threw up everyday, sometimes twice or three times and it lasted until about 14 weeks.  pretty awful stuff.  my poor kiddos.  they started making vomiting noises each time i went to the bathroom.  then, caleb would do it at random times throughout the day and between T throwing up and my sickness i almost couldn’t handle the stress.  but we got through it. barely.
  • february was slower for us.  T only threw up once or twice a week and i was only sick about half the day.  we didn’t go anywhere or do much, though.  we were pretty much tethered to the house.  we made it through since i knew it was just a season.  we found out things were moving along with T’s case and they would have a hearing on March 20th.  they would decide when he would go home.  we just waited and lived on until that day.
  • march brought more health and good weather.  dane and i were able to get away and actually have some fun.  T only threw up about once a week.  we knew he would definitely be going home in the next few weeks/month so we just tried to soak up every moment we had with him.  on march 20th, the judge ruled for T to be placed with a family member, effective immediately.  our case manager requested it be the next day so that we could have time to say goodbye.  i had 24 hours with him after hearing the ruling.  we really did have a great last evening together.  dane decided to call in to work on the 20th.  he played with caleb and i took T to a dr. appt.  then we heard the news and just spent the rest of the day hanging out and packing up his clothes.  the next morning was another dr appt.  dane went to work and i am thankful i had my mom with me.  it was extremely difficult for me to keep it together (remember, i’m pregnant with extra hormones) knowing we would sit at a very long appointment just to go home and hand him to CPS.  there was one good/weird thing about when he left.  i had to wake him up.  he hadn’t been taking a morning nap but when we have a visit or dr appt he does.  he fell asleep on the way home and i had to put him in his crib while i loaded things for CPS.  we chatted for awhile and i handed over meds and his schedule then went to wake him for hugs and kisses.  he was so completely out of sorts.  it was sad to see but it was also a blessing.  with us having so many different people to see in just a few days you can imagine how clingy he became.  he would scream if anyone tried to hold him.  he didn’t really react to mine and caleb’s loving and didn’t scream when our case manager took him.  i mean, i was a total mess but it would have been much worse to see him so upset.
  • in the meantime, we are receiving prayers, calls, texts, love from family and friends which was really great for us.  my mom had been there all week with me (praise God, seriously!) and left around 5:30pm the day T left.  I think he left our house around 1:30pm and then we spent the rest of the afternoon packing up his room while caleb slept so we wouldn’t have to deal with it later.  That night we were sad and numb.  We went out to eat and on our way there Dane and I tried to make a plan for us to get away for the weekend.  our original plan was to go camping but it would freeze at night.  our brother-in-law, joel, had been pestering (yes! very persistent.  i’m so thankful for him!) to use his buddy passes through Southwest Airlines.  we had nowhere we thought we needed to go. even though the flights were free we’d have to pay for hotel, car, food, etc. then i mentioned california.  this was around 7:30pm thursday night after talking with dane’s mom (who had mentioned caleb and i come out the next week to get away).  dane loved the idea of us just picking up and going so i texted joel and he called his dad and at 10pm that night, we had open seats on a 6am flight waiting for us the next morning!  dane was able to take off friday and monday to spend the weekend with his parents.  caleb and i stayed until thursday (march 28th).  flying with buddy passes (standby) is pretty tough with a 2 year old but we could not be more thankful to joel and, mostly, God for working it all out.
  • you’ll see in the photos that we went the beach on saturday.  i mean, it’s awesome.  who doesn’t love the beach?  the waves, the wind, the sun, the sand.  you don’t see anything but God there.  i dare you to look out into the ocean and not be overcome with your smallness and God’s greatness. humbling.  so i know the majority of our friends and family were relieved to see us there.  what a great distraction!  and it truly was.  but, for me, the Lord did not leave me to let my mind wander.  the pain of losing T was still very raw.  throughout the weekend i felt that everyone had forgotten T except me.  everyone had their ‘tasks’ except me.  i felt very….alone.  even when trying to explain it to dane, asking for comfort, he was confused.  as he should be.  no one understood what i was going through and they weren’t meant to.  i felt the Lord let me get to that place of ‘aloneness’, not leaving me, and let me make the choice of how to deal.  after being together with my wonderful man 8 years i’ve learned quickly that he is not my savior.  i immediately apologized for expecting him to comfort me when he was doing the best he could.  i started to seek comfort from the Lord.  i wasn’t sure how to do it because i had never lost someone this close to me.  it is much like a death when looking at our day-to-day but i’m thankful he’s out there somewhere blessing his family!  i began to search Scripture and looked forward to attending barry and lisa’s church service and bible study.  i wanted to be surrounded by His word, His majesty, His people, His love.  when you have a special needs kid, that’s all you think about.  when they’re gone, you can’t just turn that off.  it was still there.  i heard him crying every night.  i would not allow myself to make plans without thinking of what he needed first.  and each time that happened and i realized he wasn’t there, my heart broke.  over and over and over i would pray that the Lord stay patient with me and not leave me.  that He would fully comfort me and heal my pain.  it is still my prayer today.  it is much easier, even being back home and seeing his stuff here and there, because of the tiny stitches in my heart in California.  so, yeah, grandparents are amazing.  the beach is amazing.  fresh seafood is amazing.  but the Lord is greater than all of those things and He has proven that to me in a very real way.
  • you’re probably wondering about caleb.  he’s wonderful.  all those weekly visits with T and his parents really paid off!  i don’t think he fully understands everything but he’s not at all sad.  he knows that T is being taken care of.  something he’s been teaching me.
  • so, yeah, we’re doing well.  the Lord is gracious.

i took photos when we went to the beach and then a random day when caleb was helping wash dishes.  i don’t know.  i wish i would have taken more but these will do. 🙂

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january

probably the hardest month of my life.  it was one of those times where we just tried to get through each day the best we could.

a recap:

December 6th, 2012 – T started throwing up and we thought it was a stomach virus.  It lasted 4 days and none of us caught it.

Dec 29th or 30th (can’t remember!) – admitted into the hospital after 8 hours in an ER waiting room.  T had been throwing up bile.  we were released 4-5 days later

January 14th – admitted into the hospital again after 5 hours (with both kids!) in an ER waiting room.  my first trip in in ambulance to have T transported to the children’s hospital.  we were released on the 18th and had to cancel our family vacation to California.

January 24th – T started throwing up again.  This time he healed within 36 hours and they did not send us to the hospital

February 3rd – T threw up again.  this time he healed within 24 hours.

i mean, really?  5 rounds of this sickness in 8 weeks.  the hospital stays were by far the worst.  i just hate it there.  anyway, we got through it.  i’ve never prayed so much in my life while also, simultaneously, feeling so lonely.  it was rough.

after the first few rounds the bitterness left.  i was able to still find joy in my life even through these ‘trials’ but now i just feel old.  and tired.  and boring.  ‘

my life consists of disinfecting my house, holding a sick baby, and going NOwhere.

the reason i write this out is that i can’t wait to look back and clearly see every area the Lord was tuning.  He is long-suffering and patient, you know, so i won’t pretend like i know my ‘lessons’ or fully understand why all this happened at the time it did.  He hasn’t revealed it to me.

He didn’t leave me, though.  for some weird reason i love this ministry more than i ever did.

i am so addicted.

when you pray for a heart like His, you will not be able to abandon those characteristics (loving the orphans, etc).

and He won’t abandon you if you do His work.

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i didn’t take a single photo on my actual camera (just phone camera) in the month of january.  it’s because i have  a 2 year old and a 1 year old who will not sit still.  but you can get an idea of what Caleb is looking like these days.

redemption

a year ago today i had a miscarriage.  i wrote this post a little afterwards that was very vague because i was still processing everything.  it was our first experience with death that close to us.  i threw myself in the Word so as not to let my emotions towards God wreak havoc on our relationship.  i didn’t trust Him for awhile.  i wanted to know more.  a year later, i think i’m ready to tell the whole story.  the way God is writing it for me to share.

on november 30th, 2011, i had a weird feeling that i was pregnant.  i’m not really into weird feelings.  i did have the same weird feeling the day i found out about caleb, but he was somewhat planned so that doesn’t really count.   i happened to have an extra pregnancy test in the bathroom because i thought i was pregnant in october.  my body had been out of order for a few months so a pregnancy wasn’t out of the question.  i took the test.  i remember setting a timer on my phone and forcing myself to go lay on my bed and pray.  i prayed for exactly one minute then ran into the bathroom to see a very bright ‘plus’ sign.  i was so pregnant, the test didn’t need the full 2 minutes.

i immediately started shaking.  not a good kind of shaking.

the night before we had attended our final class of our month long training to start the foster care licensing process.  it was a million hours or more of training and we could not have been more excited about getting all the paperwork started.  we wanted to be licensed by february or march.  we had originally decided on april, after caleb’s 2nd birthday, but we were so moved by the training that we didn’t think we could wait that long.  this pregnancy would change all of that.  i have never felt so torn in all of my life.  with this pregnancy, a precious baby was growing already.  already ours.  but it also meant losing out on all those kids we wanted to foster.   i’m not sure if you’re understanding this or if you ever will unless your heart goes through the beginning stages of transformation of adoption.  it’s not a decision you can easily turn on and off.  it is our whole life.

i tried to convince my head to pray about it all, but it wouldn’t.  i texted dane to call me.  when he did,  i blurted out the news and started crying.  by this time i was excited and scared.  the good kind of excited and scared.  dane was extremely happy.

that same day, my best friend dropped by after work.  to this day, i don’t know why i didn’t tell her about the baby.  i spent hours with her and didn’t tell her.  part of it was because i was afraid my emotions would betray me and i was kind of scared what would come out.  i wasn’t ready to deal with it all without thoroughly praying with my husband.  it was exactly a week later when i attended her appointment with her midwife at the birthing center that i knew i wanted her to be the first to know.  i got to hear jack’s heartbeat (before he was jack, before he was a boy) and then we went to Sonic where i failed at finding a clever way of telling her.  like with dane, i blurted out the announcement.  she used my own words in reply, “are we happy about this?”, before showing emotion.  i cried through a ‘yes’ and we hugged and laughed.  i told her about the weird feelings i was having this time around.  it was so good and the first time i remember being truly excited about it all. she ended up staying at my house until joel returned from work.  i was going to cook them dinner and we’d hang out and celebrate.

not even two hours later, i started spotting.  i knew this could be a sign of normalcy.  nicole had gone through the exact same thing just weeks earlier.  but, like any good mom, i started to panic that something was terribly wrong.  i called my nurse friend and she came over.  by the end of the night, 6 adults stood in a circle in my living room all huddled up, praying over our baby.  i will never forget that night nor the power of community.

on thursday, in a last minute decision, i decided to see my doctor.  she could get me in for an ultrasound and i could rest knowing my baby was fine.  nicole went with me, once again by my side during a difficult thing to experience.  i saw my baby for the first and last time that day and he/she was measuring around 4 weeks.  i was stunned.  i knew my body had been off, but i was sure i was 6, almost 7 weeks.  after giving me a lesson on conception, the nurse dismissed us.  i paid for the ultrasound and we walked to the car.  the information started to really sink in.  by the time i was sitting in front of the wheel, i had no more self control.  i broke down in the worst kind of way.  i knew something was wrong because there was absolutely no way i was just 4 weeks along.  i know how conception works, i’ve already got one kid running around!  nicole tried comforting me by holding me and talking.  she wasn’t aware of everything tumbling around in my brain.  she was just excited they saw something, definitely a baby.

i think it was then that i knew we would lose the baby.  i knew what it was like to be David, praying over his child as if he wasn’t going to die (2 Samuel 12).  i knew, in that strange Holy Spirit way, that God wanted me to be right where i was.  to be helpless, crying out to Him.  i had so many moments of great strength in Him where i felt total peace.  they didn’t last long in those first few weeks, but i always knew He’d be there to heal me.

that night we watched The Help.  why? why didn’t anyone tell me it would be so terribly sad.  or maybe i was just so terribly sad.  i cried for nearly two hours and finally felt like i ‘let go’. if you’ve ever had a miscarriage, you know it’s never fun going to the bathroom.  for the next three days, that room ruined my life.   i was thankful for the weekend.  time with my family.  time to be with my husband who was mourning, too, and was finding it very difficult to watch me go through it all.  time at church with my community.  and just the gift of time itself. i marked it on the calendar as our baby’s birthday.  i didn’t want to ever forget to celebrate our baby.   i talked about it a little with friends and family, but it wasn’t until april when we had our homestudy that i was confronted again.  you will never forget any of your kids, but i felt so ready to move on and love on others.  i wasn’t just putting on a show or saying things to get our license…it took everything i had not to break down over NOT getting kids in our house immediately.

we took december and january ‘off’ from our licensing process so we weren’t official until June 26th.

on june 29th, friday, we got a call about a little boy who was in the hospital.  after little deliberation we said ‘yes’ and waited for CPS to make their decision.  it was around 5 or 6pm that evening that told us we could visit him, but he wouldn’t technically be in our care until the following monday.  CPS had closed for the weekend.  we knew absolutely nothing about this baby except his name and that he had a chronic illness.

i stayed the entire weekend and dane and caleb visited often.  he has several medications he takes that the nurses were administering to him regularly.  i allowed them to so i could watch and learn and ask questions about how to take care of him.   late that first friday night, the nurse came in for his nightly meds.  she cross checked the ID tag he had on his foot with the tag on the syringes.

“OH!!  What is his birthday?  I don’t even know!!”,  I exclaimed, startling the nurse.  i turned baby T over to get a better position for reading his ID tag.

12/11/11  is what it read.

my mouth dropped open and my shoulders went limp.  i remember leaning my head back on the chair and laughing to myself.  i couldn’t wait to tell dane.

here i was holding my precious baby boy.  the baby that God promised me.

neither one of them will be mine forever, but whatever time God allows with them is reason enough for celebration.

so happy birthday, Mikka, and  happy birthday, baby T.

 

getting back up

i think we have found our new ‘normal’ around here.

we have known our littlest for a month now and we are officially settled.

life with two kids plus a chronic illness is quite challenging some days.

there’s been a lot more of this…

but also a lot of this…

(*insert super cute photo of my Big holding my Little.  i mean, super cute*)

there’s also been school planning (starting in 3 weeks!)…

and lots and lots of time with friends who have been the hands and feet of Jesus by helping me so much!

there hasn’t been a whole bunch of house cleaning or special time with my husband.

and for that, i’m learning to have grace.

honestly, my energy is running out.  there hasn’t been much diversity in our days.

hopefully there will be a day soon when i will not have to make a choice.

the same choice i make each day when i come to the same crossroad.

i hope it comes naturally to me and i will not waiver.

do i slow down, sit down, quit?

or do i keep running?

do i keep washing the same (same!) 15 dishes everyday?

and the same clothes?  and diapers?

do i continue to work to connect with my 2 year old?

and discipline instead of fighting?

do i dig deeper in the Word even when i only have a few minutes?

and pray and cry out to Abba, my Father?

do i make an effort to play, talk, and sing with my kids?

planning activities, getting outside, looking them in the eye,

LOVING them.

yes

yes yes

yes yes YES.

right now, that Yes isn’t natural.

it doesn’t come quickly.

and not at all some days.

my heart, initially, is No.

even after prayer and meditating on Scripture.

but the Lord is growing and changing me.

it sucks.

it hurts.

and when i quit

(because i have!)

the Holy Spirit is there telling me to

get back up.

Thank you, Lord, for your Helper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

final FINAL list…i think

it is the final list until CK sends us more items.

BUT we have been assigned a case worker!!!!!

which in foster world is known as your new best friend since you communicate so much with them.

1. fix koi pond – we have a plan, now we just need to get it done. maybe next weekend.

2. floor plan – we made one for our fire inspection, but it needs to be more detailed

3. home inspection – just need to get the pond filled in!

4. CC book review – i mean, this would take 5 minutes…just keep forgetting to ask dane for it.

5. whole life adoption review – oh, look!  we need to read another book! and write two more reviews! we just found out about this a few days ago.

6. background checks – need these for peeps who will be over at our house frequently. i think i am missing 3 and only need ID’s for 3 others.

also, to be officially licensed, we just need to have 1-3 done!  our new deadline is 5/28.

 

 

the FINAL list update (as promised)…

it’s may 2nd. and we’re not finished yet. :/

we didn’t get much done this weekend.  i had Project Mom in Dallas all day saturday (6am to 6pm) and then a session on Sunday.

but, we did cross off one thing…our FINAL training session!

we haven’t made the time this week so the goal this weekend (even though i have two sessions) is to GET IT DONE.

well, mostly.

1. photos (this requires me to have my entire house clean at once which hasn’t happened the past week.  or it was and the babe went down for a nap so i ended up not doing them until he was awake…and then i just never did it. tomorrow?)

2. seal holes (EDIT:  i was just informed by husband via the comment section that he already did this! yay!)

3. fix koi pond

4. weather strip (we’re thinking this is a house manager issue now.  not sure if we can fix it ourselves)

5. home inspection

6. disaster relief stuffs (just need water and a little more food)

7. bank bags

8. required reading

ok, but seriously, this is the final list

wow, what a week we’ve had.

this time last week, we weren’t even halfway through our home study (which went well!) and i was wondering what the other side of it would look like.

here we are!

we didn’t do too well during our home inspection so now we need to fix a few things and she will come back and inspect again.  i do appreciate how nice she was about everything, but we were pretty bummed to find out we had quite a few things left to do.

the FINAL (it better be!) LIST:

1. Photos (the agency needs photos of our entire house, inside and outside.  i completely forgot about these since i was waiting on the nursery.  i’ll get these done tomorrow!)

2. Seal Holes (oh gosh, there are two places where the coax cable comes up through the floor.  what the heck???  anyway, dane cut the top, pushed the cable back through and now there are two holes that need to be filled.)

3. Fix koi pond (apparently the renters before us had a nice koi pond in the backyard which is now dried up and considered a tripping hazard since it’s filled with jagged rocks and debris.  our kid is alive, but whatever, we’ll fix it. i guess.)

4. Weather strips (our floor is rotting by our backdoor so there’s a nice open area for bugs and weather to creep inside.  we’ve managed to live with it, but i guess we’ll fix that, too.)

5. Home Inspection (2,3, and 4 need to be done before we can call her again)

6. Disaster Relief Stuffs (we didn’t know about this!  this is a new requirement for Covenant Kids effective in February.  we did our training in November so now we need a box of non perishable foods, water, and various supplies that will last us a week)

7. Bank bags (for medical purposes)

8. Required Reading (we are FINISHED with this, but dane still needs to write his last report and then I’ll send it in)

9. CK Handbook Training (happening this Thursday).

i know it seems like i’m being kind of a brat about fixing some of our home inspection issues.  truth is, i want a safe house for our kiddos.

hopefully, at next week’s check-in this FINAL LIST will be slashed in half (at least!).

what we have left

last week we received an invite-only email to the LAST training session from our organization (Covenant Kids). this is only sent to those who have almost completed everything and usually have 4-6 weeks left until licensed! we could not be more excited.  each day the Lord has solidified this calling on our family.  even little Caleb’s heart.  i know things will be tough (that’s usually how God’s calling works), but i know Caleb loves kids and knows that we love him.  i can only thank God each time we are with friends with new/old little ones and being able to watch our son love on them, too.  he has never once been jealous of our attention for them.  and that has only made the process easier.

i told you we are currently working on the things from the ‘Documents List’.  there are 33 things on that list and a few weeks ago we had crossed off 25 (or somewhere around there).  well,  some of those items are more than just one step (like preparing for your Homestudy…that has 20, at least!).

so i made a new and FINAL list.  when everything is crossed off this list, we will be ready for our homestudy and ultimately ready to become licensed.  ready? here we go…

1. TB tests (dane and i have ours done, we need to get the paperwork to send in.  i take caleb tomorrow for his and then to check his results on wednesday)

2. Photos (need to have photos of front and back of house as well as any kid’s rooms…this will have to wait until after the nursery is put together)

3. Floor Plan (need a blueprint of our entire house with correct dimensions and emergency exits noted)

4. Adoptive Family Required Reading (there are two books.  we have each read one.  and written a small report. on wednesday we switched so we’re half way there!)

5. CK Handbook Training (April 26th.  this is the final training i was talking about!)

6. Fix sink leak (we put in a notice to our landlord so we’re waiting on them. grrr)

7. Fire extinguisher (this is on dane’s list…i have no idea where you would even get one)

8. buy crib (trying to sell a few things before we buy the one we have picked out)

9. buy mattress (my friend says she has one for us! yay!  need to pick it up.)

10. buy sheets (prolly target or thrift town)

11. bed for caleb? (we’re not sure if our case worker will mind that our toddler sleeps on a mattress on the floor. ha.  they shouldn’t, but we might get him a bed anyway)

12. buy box w/lock for kitchen meds (meds have to be double locked)

13. buy box w/lock for changing table stuff (yes, even diaper cream)

14. rid hazardous toys (need to go through caleb’s toys and put away those that will fit through a toilet paper roll.)

15. buy first aid kit

16. car seat and base (my friends said they would give me their infant one!  now we just need the next size up just in case! also, did you know they expire?  the one we used for caleb just turned 5 years old (my niece will be 5 in may!) so we can’t use it.)

17. bassinet (even though our new room is bigger, we don’t have enough space for the bassinet we used for Caleb that we borrowed from my sis since we have a desk.  and after going through the newborn days i did a lot of research on a good sleeper and think i found one we will like.  trying to find a good one on Craigslist or Kid2Kid)

18. schedule home inspection (NRH has to make sure we know how to store food and that our house is clean! we can’t do this until #1 and #6 are complete)

19. schedule fire inspection (NRH has to make sure we are ready for a fire! can’t do this until #7 is complete)

20. baby girl clothes (this isn’t necessary since that’s what the foster stipend is for, but we would like to be completely ready for any infant/toddler to make the transition easier. a lot of friends said they would help with this, too! yay!)

21. diapers (we’re going with cloth and we only have enough for Caleb.  but my sister just told me she wants to help in this way so i think i got that covered.  at least half of what we need.  yay!  i love my family!)

22. dresser (again, not a necessity, but it sure does help with all of those newborn clothes and blankets.

so, that’s it.  that’s everything (we hope!).

please pray over this list.

pray we are efficient.

pray there are no hangups.

and pray for our future baby!

 

 

thankful: day 1

today, i am thankful for community.

i just returned home from a foster friend’s house.  her name is tori and she is truly special.

now that we have completed training, we have to turn in a billion papers and then Covenant Kids will conduct a home study before we are licensed foster parents.  so i wanted to see how hers went and what we should expect for ours.

i also wanted to hold their new placement, Tiny Baby.  what. a. doll!  (james, their oldest, is a year older than caleb and has an awesome playroom.  needless to say, he will nap well today.)

and when i finally looked at the clock, it was two hours later!  tori and i go to church together, but that was only the second time we actually got to hang out.

time flies when you’re talking about the passion God has placed in your life.

if it hadn’t been for tori and mark and their love for kiddos, i don’t know if we would have ever actually made the ‘jump’ to foster.

like i said, i am thankful for community.  God’s community for us.

 

(Mark is the guy behind us in the photo above.  it’s the only photo i have of either one of them. ha!)

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thankful is a daily series during the month of november in which i plan to write out what I am thankful for that day.  please feel free to join in and link up!  and be praying for the Lord to show you each day how to be thankful for what you have.

foster/adoption part 1

who knows how many ‘parts’ this will be, but i wanted to write all of the process down so we can look back and thank God for his grace and mercy in all of this!

a little history…i have wanted to adopt a child for as far back as i can remember.  i don’t know why.  i think because i thought it was the ‘right’ thing to do.  and i knew my husband would want to as well.  i wanted a chinese or african baby, because again, it was the ‘right’ thing to do.  i mean, that’s what you do when you are a Christian, you adopt African babies…or so i thought.  then enters friends into my life that i met in college that actually were adopted and my desire grew stronger.  and then it really was for the right reasons, because God was calling me to it.

it wasn’t until i began looking at my own life as God’s adopted daughter that i knew i would never turn back.

bullets, shall we?

  • had our friends, the Bjornholms, over for dinner in September since they are the only ones (that we know of) in our church that have adopted and are fostering.  that was a fun time.  crazy, but really fun.  they were both encouraging to us and let us in on the process through their organization, Covenant Kids.
  • e-mailed Covenant Kids the next day
  • filled out the 17 page application
  •  signed up for 25 hours of training in Arliington at the end of October

the amazing thing is…dane was the only one leaning towards fostering 100%.  i was still on the fence.  we knew we wanted caleb to be the oldest in our household and we only have enough room to take in another baby.  it’s not likely that you will adopt a foster child between the ages of 0-2 so i knew we would have to be in it for fostering.  so i prayed about it.

this week we have completed two of our intro classes for training and guess what?  God answered my prayer.  He has completely changed my heart towards fostering (ok, i’ll admit…it wasn’t that hard).  i know there will be times in our life where we might go inactive, but i could see us fostering for the rest of our lives.  one of my prayers is that we won’t have to…that parents will get off crack, get good care, get jobs, sober up, etc, and take care of their babies! will you join me in praying daily for this, please?

we have 4 classes left to complete in the next few weeks, then gather our documents (all 4 million of them), then do our home study, and then become active for kiddos!  we will probably wait until after january since we will be traveling to california again to visit dane’s parents for vacation. it seems like a lot of steps, but you can take as much time as you need and they will literally do it for you if you need help.  dane and i were discussing last night about how most Believers would, without hesitation, take in a needy baby or sibling group (or would find the nearest person that was able to) if someone came up and handed them over.  but, it’s the paperwork, training, etc that stops them.  so i prayed last night that God would give me opportunities to share our experience.  it’s been easy, awesome, rewarding, life-changing, challenging, and amazing.  and to also set some records straight about fostering that i have learned throughout the process.  i am truly impressed by the state of texas and their ‘system’.  it’s not perfect, but their priority is to protect and love on the child.

which, to me, reflects the character of God.

you see what he’s doing there?  one of his favorite things.  sweeping.  he sweeps because i sweep.  he watches me, patiently, while i sweep an area then i let him hold the dust pan.  and then it’s his turn to sweep the area and my turn to hold the dust pan.  and because we have hardwood floors we do it, oh, about a million times a day.  and i used to hate sweeping my hardwood floors a million times a day, but now it’s not so much of a pain.  he’s watching and learning and adapting because of the things we do on a daily basis.

and i pray that one day he will foster or adopt because we did and because God did so for him.