Thursday, March 31, 2011

God's Grace in Renovating

As I look around our little house and the work we are doing I am reminded of God's Grace in small ways...

I have to paint 3 coats of white paint to cover the taupe that had been there previously... after the first coat, the streaks of the old color show through and look unfinished, and not quite right

I think of how GOD works in my life, but at times, the rough spots still show through. I continue to spend time in the word, seek him through prayer and worship, and slowly, like the many layers of semi-gloss white - more of HIM will show, I will reflect more of HIM and less of me

As my sweet Bee patches holes in our new playroom, I think of how over 5 years, my spirit wounded, my body broken, my sense of motherhood and womanhood dealt a heavy blow... those holes were slowly filled. Godly women speaking into my life, the opportunity to mother this crazy lil' man, and to LIVE... each slowly filling in the holes.

Life has continued... times haven't been any easier - but like the sandpaper smooths out the bumps, the daily living of life - and the opportunity to continue to bring my problems BIG and small to our Father, have set a finish to my life.... that is soothing.

As anyone in home ownership knows... this will be an ongoing process - just as with the remodeling and the molding of my life...

Grateful to see these moments as lessons in HIM

Monday, March 28, 2011

thankfulness didn't take a break - just the blogging

in the madness of classes, licensing, additions and life, the recording of thankfulness fell through the cracks... i still remembered and spoke them, but the writing down... not so much

grateful that

79. God doesn't keep a track of my faults
80. HE doesn't need to read my blog to know what is on my mind
81. HE gives me strength just when i need it (the perfect hymn in church yesterday just as i began to doubt and feel overwhelmed in our journey)
82. friends who will come over and help put up walls, play in sprinklers, and just chill... no massive plans, just quiet fellowship
83. our pizzas came with 2 butter garlic dishes... EACH
84. daycares that are open during spring break so i can get stuff done on these precious days off
85. dropping Bee off later and picking him up early to make up for taking him in on Spring Break -
86. a 6'4" father to hold up the drywall for the ceiling as my (much shorter) hubby drills it in
87. a room that is slowly taking shape to hold the toys and games for children
88. kids by easter???? becoming a real possibility
89. love, support and prayers -> few doubters in our journey (at least that matter :))
90. L is home...             (their plane landed last night!)
91. a real life friend who is a blogging blessing
92. rediscovering the joy of a hot cup of tea
93. having a sweet boy who knows nothing of gender stereotypes wanting to sip a cup of tea w/ his momma :)
94. a hubby comfortable in life to not put the kibosh on the above blessing
95. the voice of said hubby singing along to paul simon as he continues to drywall the lil' addition :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lesson Planning for Foster Care (and other random thoughts)

Today was a teacher work day in the county I teach.

I spent the day sorting worksheets, filing, and... creating lesson plans for when we get placed.

Very surreal.

I created 2 different "emergency" day packets. I'm sure I need 2 or 3 more, but it was just odd to realize that they will be used shortly.

I set up lessons for the end of the 9 weeks units (the ones I always rush through) hoping to keep the time with the sub useful

It is a crazy thing taking off work as a teacher (tons more work than most realize).

I can't believe in about 3 weeks we will be licensed.

As I prepped I couldn't help but think about where our peanut is RIGHT NOW. Peanut is most likely already born. Peanut is most likely already in the midst of whatever drama is going to cause them to be removed.

I have had great family and friends mention how lucky Peanut is going to be to live with us. I understand the sentiment and think it's sweet. I can't help but think though, how Peanut will not necessarily think that. We have learned alot through the process of research and MAPP about loss in foster care (and adoption). Peanut will be losing their bio-family. For a time or forever. NOT LUCKY. UNLUCKY.

I am glad Peanut will have us over a substandard foster care home or over a shelter.

I just wish we weren't necessary at all.

I always pray that GOD is preparing Peanut for us, but I wish there was not a need for foster care, I wish all parents could care for their children in the minimal required to keep them safe, loved, and whole.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

God's symmetry

Today as we complete our homestudy... half away around the world another family is picking up their daughter in Ethiopia.

We were told today that we will be cleared for licensing in about 14 days or so... when the same family above mentioned will be given an adoption party.

I am amazed at how God works.

A family I have grown to love will expand and so will we...

It's amazing how God works for children near and far. How his timing lines up in our small church...

I am overwhelmed and amazed.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Brave or Stupid... Trusting

Why are you fostering? I hate this question... especially when it is accompanied by the tone that we are nuts or the slight implication that it would be for some self serving purpose.

I shared in our large Bible Study group Friday night that it is difficult for me. I am often asked this question (in the negative sense) by "christians" or nonbelievers. They then list the problems of the system, why they would never do it, etc.

Please don't get me wrong, I do NOT think that every family is called to foster. We all have a calling to reach out to the world, and there is only so much we can each do.

Often they refer to why it wouldn't work for them. Putting themselves FIRST. This is not what we are called to do as imitators of Christ. Following bible study, a fellow member of my group, Ping-Pong Man, responded to my statement of how others have been unsupportive of our decision to follow the path of foster. He said something to the effect that he doesn't question our sanity or motives, but admires us for our bravery. I love it! (not that I think of us as "brave"). He expressed the root of so many peoples meaning behind their list of reasons and questions. The fear of loving someone who will be taken from you. The fear of seeing the pain of the world, the evil that is out there. The fear of rejection, the fear of the unknown, the fear of opening your home for the world to critique and "evaluate".

I don't see ourselves as brave... we aren't able to do this (or begin the process) without trusting and faith. I am so scared right now, are we ready, who will this child(ren) be, how will our life change.... i take a deep breath and TRUST... HE knows, HE will guide us, HE will do this.

Ping-Pong also mentioned what a wonderful model of forgiveness this will be for Bee. As we work with these families to help them reunify, we will be a model of forgiveness for our bio-son, our peanuts, and their families.

Models of forgiveness of Christ.


deep breath - trust

Can we be that model? through prayer and reliance on HIM who controls all, we will......

deep breath - trust

Saturday, March 5, 2011

HOME STUDY #1 - and surprise!

oh my goodness oh my goodness oh my goodness...


home study wasn't as scary as i thought it would be - she spent the majority of the time chillin w/ us in the living room asking basic questions
 - why foster care?
 - going through a list of characteristics of children and having us rank - preferrable, acceptable, will consider, and would not consider

towards the middle (or maybe end) she let us know that her goal is to have us licensed by the end of march.


---- it's been 3 days and it still hasn't quite sunk in... babies before Easter... hmmmm....

feelings are - PANIC, fear, second guessing, excitement, terror, awe, confusion

with all the research i had done - this was not what we expected.

now i am reminding myself her goal - the ideal, MAY not be reality.

we really thought May more towards June.


we may get kids before Bee's bed from Rooms 2 Go gets delivered (next day delivery my tushie)

Needless to say, dear hubby is having to go into hyper drive trying to finish the addition stuff... and i see the self doubt in him arise. can he physically do this? can he really put the framing of the last door up... as i saw him panic over the room, i realize he is just as freaked out as i am, but being slightly less verbal... it's interesting to see him express this, greatful the Father whispered in my ear so I could pull back and let him freak out and be supportive.

babies, toddlers, lil' ones... are we ready? i think so, i know so, but just as a momma panics in the last months of preggieness, the same questions are popping up for me...

well - time to go keep up the clean house!

****Funniest event of the home visit -> Bee walking around showing Miss Ray that the rooms "aren't dirty anymore"