Sunday, March 25, 2012

WOW! Have My Eyes Been Opened

I'm sitting here at 5:30 in the morning because my head is just spinning in circles from this last week. A week ago we were cuddling our little one to be and this morning I sit very much overwhelmed about a lot of things.

To be honest last night I was TICKED OFF!!! Thankfully a friend called just at the right moment and let be just be angry and vent.

I really can't go into much detail but with many hours at the hospital this weekend, many hours with the director of our Child Protective Services, many hours of learning about situations I AM SICK!!! It is not right that kids should have to go through what they do. It makes me who has lived a sheltered life angry, confused and just wondering how anyone could get to a point like these parents in the system do (I'm not just talking about the placement we have now).

On the good side God has blown me away by using his people to come together to help us out this weekend with making phone calls, sitting with a sick little one (who has stolen everyone's heart), bringing us clothes and coming home to someone that filled our kitchen with milk, eggs, bananas and sooooo much more (and these wonderful little cake balls that was perfect after such a long crazy day.

God showed me that the foster care system is a team effort. Not only did our local child Protective Service be there for me at a moments notice the director took her Saturday to go sit with me at a children's hospital a couple of hours away so that I could have a break when needed. I was so thankful to have this time to sit and talk with her, cry with her, and learn about the system.

These workers are so overwhelmed it is just crazy! I had no idea until I just spent the weekend with 2 caseworkers on what they really have to do in their job. If you want to do a random act of kindness this week  I have a couple of ideas:

1. Send flowers or a gift basket or maybe just gift certificates to your local Department of Child Services and just leave a note thanking them and encouraging them for what they do. I honestly think they have one of the hardest jobs there is!

2. Go buy some new clothes, diapers, shoes and pajamas and drop them off at your local Child Protective Services or local emergency room for kids entering the system. Let's just say that many kids come in needing cleaned up very badly and they need something to wear right away. I can't even tell you the look on these kids faces when they get something NEW.

3. Just call their office and ask if they need anything.

4. Sign up to be a foster parent (yes, I am even saying this with being overwhelmed at the moment).

Man...if churches and Child Services could work as teams like what happened this weekend then things could run a lot smoother for everyone involved. Honestly if God wouldn't have placed his people into action this weekend and people willing to say yes to God this weekend I don't know what would have happened.

Now on a side note, please pray for some broken little hearts in our home. We have a lot to figure out over the next couple of weeks, a lot of appointments to make and a lot of prayer needed!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

We Grew Again!!!

Oh my goodness, we must be crazy but even if we are, we are truly blessed. Yesterday I woke up with this feeling that I needed to get our empty beds ready because I felt we would be getting a call very soon. I got them all ready not thinking much about it until I get a phone call at around 2:00 today.

The phone call went something like this "You have 3 kids right" they went on to ask if I had 1 or 2 empty beds. I told them depending on the situation we could possibly take 2 but that our little T man coming was first priority but we were happy to fill our home until he came home. She then said "well, what would you think about taking in 4 because we really want to keep them together if we can." To be honest my first thought was "NO WAY" we have an adoption happening how can we take 4.

Right as I was thinking no God reminded me that he had whispered to me yesterday telling me to be ready. I told them we would take them for now but little Mr T comes first so if he comes home before they go home then something will have to be worked out. So for now we once again have 7 children running around :)

If you can please pray for these little broken hearts who really have no idea what is happening.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Playing At The Beach In March!!!

This morning we went to my sisters church because my niece and nephews were getting baptized. We then went for Chinese and let me tell you that we had one very excited little boy.

Since we are just a family of five at the moment (we never know when that next call is going to come) we decided to go hiking and then it was nice enough out that the kids got to kick their feet around in the lake. I can't believe this is MARCH!!!

The kids had so much fun! I can't wait until our little man Mr. T can join us and we can stick his little feet in the water.

Speaking of little Mr. T if anyone knows where we could buy used adaptive equipment like positioning seats and things can you please leave me a comment.

What did you do on this beautiful day?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

We Met Our Future Baby!!!

We are over the moon in love! We were invited to go meet our baby this weekend so we left the "twins" with mom and dad (so our first meeting wouldn't be too crazy) and Amaya, Chris and I left for our 4 hour drive to go see him.

We were excited and nervous all at the same time and let's just say that God blessed our socks off once again. The first meeting on Friday couldn't have been more perfect. We walked in to see this beautiful little boy and his caretaker was amazing and made us feel so comfortable. His caseworker was also amazing! We spent 2 1/2 hours with him and we got to watch him eat, we watched him play and we got lots of cuddle time. We also learned that his needs are not nearly what we expected them to be. He will not ever be able to walk and may not ever be able to talk but he is so easy going and really not that hard to care for. We thought he may need nursing care when we weren't around but he won't as long as we can find a few people willing to just help us out when needed.

Today his caretaker brought him to a mall and then she let us just have him (the caseworker stayed with us) and we got to love on him for 3 hours. He loved the lights and the sounds of the mall and he was just all smiles.

We walked around for awhile, went to see some butterflies in an exhibit and then we went for some playtime in a nice playroom they had. It was so good to give him some time to lay on the floor and stretch out. Amaya also had a blast in the playroom.

Anyway we are head over heels in love, including his big sister Amaya!!! We have no idea how long it will take to get him home but the caseworker is hoping it will just take a couple of months. We will go see him again sometime next month and we will take everyone with us then.

I am so thankful to  for helping us to find our little one!!!

The caseworker said they need adoptive families so bad. Are you ready to say YES yet? Sooooo many kids need a loving home.

Friday, March 16, 2012

20 Years Ago...

I worked at a place that changed my life forever. I worked at a place that God showed me a love you could never explain. Twenty years ago God taught me that he gives EVERY SINGLE PERSON in life a purpose!!! When I had to leave I left part of my heart, I was young and needed to move back home).

I remember sitting at one of the funerals crying and begging God to someday let me be a parent to a child that other people had a hard time seeing their true purpose. I prayed for him to please let one of these true treasures that not many people really know about be my son or daughter. Not that I ever want to sit at a funeral of a child again let alone my child but I wanted a chance to have one of God's special treasures that I never had to walk away from again. It was then that God gave me a peace knowing that someday, someday I would be holding one of these treasures again that couldn't walk or talk.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

God's Timing Is Truly Amazing!

Today was the big court day for our little guest. The life of a foster parent is just crazy let me tell you. We didn't know waking up this morning if he would be staying with us or leaving. I had to have all his bags packed and ready to go so that if the judge said he could go live with dad then dad would come straight from court to pick him up.

Court stresses me out let me tell you, but it's all part of being a foster parent. The judge decided that our little guest could go live with dad (dad is from out of state). Our little guest was very excited and I am happy for them.  We woke up with 4 kids this morning and we are down to 3 tonight.

The very cool thing is that on the day that one leaves I get an email saying that we will be able to meet our new son very, very soon!!! How cool is that for God's timing?

Not only do we get to meet our new son soon but we now wait for that next foster call to see who God has waiting to spend a season of life with. That season could be a day or a year only God knows.

I truly love being a foster parent and I really hate that we waited this long to do it. Our kids love doing it too and get so excited to see who the next call will be for.

Monday, March 12, 2012

First Time This Year

This weekend we had the most amazing time. We have some land that someday we will build a very special house, made for a very special purpose. You can read more about our God's land here. This land is our peaceful place. Do you have one of those places you go to and you can just feel God's presence all around you?

One thing the other blog post doesn't tell is that God also told Chris and I several years ago that when we build this house that it needed to be built accessible for someone in a wheelchair. We had no idea why but we knew that this is what God wanted us to do. Now we know exactly why, God already knew about our little precious son waiting on us. Make sure you stop and listen to God's little hints!

I can't believe it was warm enough in March to play in the creek but it was and we had fun. Here are some pictures from our many hours at the land this weekend.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Love One Another

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 

If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 

This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

                                     1 John 3:16-20

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Off To School!

Do you remember your little ones first day of school? Remember how excited and full of emotions you were? Little did I know I would have those same emotions this morning with our little guest but at the same time my heart is breaking for his mom who didn't get to see her baby get on the bus the first day of school. I took pictures for her but still my heart breaks for her.

I told Chris this morning that the feelings I have had being a foster parent is not what I expected to have. I don't know what I expected to feel but to be honest it breaks my heart for a momma not to be able to hold her baby, not to be able to see his firsts at things. Yes...we have a job of protecting him right now but at the same time in my head I am cheering the mom on and praying she does what she needs to do to get her baby back because he needs his mom and she needs him.

Anyway our little guest was super excited this morning and he kept asking me over and over to take pictures of his backpack. I can't wait to hear about his day after school!

I know it has been awhile since I shared pictures of our crazy kids so here is a picture that I totally love. Hopefully next week we will meet our new son and have a picture of all 4 of our kids (sorry you won't get a face picture of him though until the adoption goes through).

If you have thought about being a foster parent just stop thinking and make the call!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Having a Sibling that is Disabled

In bringing home our little one, one question we get asked is what about our other kids. To be honest I feel like this is a crazy question but at the same time I understand not many people have been close to a child with a severe special need. If you have not been close to a child with a sever special need you wouldn't understand.

I know from working with many special kiddos in the past that what it will do for my kids is teach them something beyond incredible that they couldn't learn any other way. They will soon learn a love like they have never know and so much more.

I was reading a blog this morning and I loved how they put it:

 A child with a disabled sibling is anything but typical. I have borrowed (and adopted) the term “typically developing child” from my good friend John Knight. It is clear and accurate language in the proper context. But the more time I spend with siblings in families touched by disability, the more I realize these kids are anything but typical (per se). I have watched in awe as siblings have stepped into difficult situations rivaling the heroic status of soldiers, firefighters and police officers. I have seen awkward, backward teenagers discover their extraordinary gift and calling as compassionate caregivers. And many times when I began to feel pity towards one of these typical siblings I have felt the faint nudge of the Lord scold me with, “Pay attention, I’m doing something incredible in the life of this child as I conform them into the image of my Son.”

No school, public or private, can teach the deep lessons of life like the school of disability. I can say without hesitation that my sons will be better men because of their relationship with their disabled brother. Living with Jake has not only prepared them for the worst of trials, it has equipped them with a profound sensitivity to recognize the intentional hand of God in the smallest, most unsuspecting, details of life.

What an extraordinary gift their brother has been!

These lessons are not even close to being exhaustive. They are ongoing and ever developing all around us. The desperate search and refreshing discovery of each nugget of wisdom brings strength to our family and equips us to be poured out into the lives of others.

If you are reading this and happen to be new to the community of disability, welcome to the family! It is a wonderful, glorious, breathtaking journey that will open your eyes to the most precious things in life as it draws you closer and closer to the most precious truth for eternity.

I love this special needs blog and if you or someone you know has a child with special needs please share this blog with them by clicking here.