Monthly Archives: July 2014

Swim test

In this way, you do not have faith in Christ because of the wisdom of men. You have faith in Christ because of the power of God.                                                                                                                  1 Corinthians 2:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not trust in your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5

Growing up I didn’t love summer camp.  Summer, fine… Camp, no.  If the question has “camp” in it, my answer is “no thanks.”  There was always a swim test before we could take canoes by ourselves. The first summer I took the test I failed. But I had absolutely no doubt or fear before the swim test. I was 100% positive I could crush it.  My turn. What? I”m tired, out of breath, struggling, gasping,… can’t make it. Fail.  Cute life guard though.

I feel like that young girl on the dock right now. So self-assured and eager to pass all the tests that lay ahead. Home inspection test, first placement test, healing a child test, bonding test, reunification test, not stressing out test.  I want to live by the scriptures above, while also understanding the extremely difficult moments we are about to face. ‘Bout to get REAL.. for real.

When I imagine myself reading early posts after years of being licensed, I hear myself chuckling at my own innocence. But even now I do realize I will need God as my lifeguard.  When we jump in for the tests, God will be there. 

Keepin’ it clean

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Not a fan of libraries.  And please don’t lend me your favorite book.  I know you, people.  You all like to read in the… facilities shall we say?  That’s Nasty.  No thanks, I’ll get my own new, not accidentally mistaken for tp copy.
That’s why God made Jeff Bezos.  I ordered a new clean To the End of June, by Cris Beam.   So far it is a detailed description of Foster Care.  Just what I need to fortify my prayers.  And compelling insight to the foster care system itself.  In addition to the CCT class, I am grateful for this book.  They both confront REAL possible scenarios for us ahead.

 

God’s DJ has your hook

John Travolta in Saturday night fever

John Travolta movie binge last week.  Yep.  3 x $3.99 On Demand.  Ordered Stayin’ Alive (snore) then quickly moved to Saturday Night Fever.  Can I tell you… booties were shakin’ in the house.  Of course we had to top it all off with Grease.  Umm, turns out I’m actually Riz? Dang.  All these years I thought I was Sandy.

If you dance, doesn’t necessarily mean music is playing.  But if music is on, makes you wanna dance.  I look at God’s plan as my jam.  First I want to hear His music, feel the beat, understand the lyrics.

When we step out on Faith, I imagine God saying, “Yes I will help you with this.  But next time come to me first.  This isn’t really what I had in mind.”  Getting alignment with the Lord was the first step in applying for our license.  

Is this what He wants us to do?  Praying, reading scripture, getting to church, listening, waiting.  The song starts out quiet at first.. or maybe just a base drum beat.  Then it gets louder and the band fills in.  And that’s when I step out on Faith, that’s when the dancing starts.  I could use back-up.  Cris Judd available?

“A Good Man is hard to…”

…convince to be a foster dad.

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 “This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.  Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.”

– 1 John 4:10-11 NLT

Hey I’m no Joel Osteen.  But I do know my way around some Bible stories and City Church podcasts to know that there is no honor to God or anyone else if the so-called “honoring” and “obedience” coincides with the dishonoring of my amazing, loving, Faithful husband.

“If my darling hubby isn’t feelin’ this foster parenting route… why is it on my mind, in my heart every day?  And why did I buy a onesie last week?”

This is not our path if he doesn’t feel 100% confident like me.  Maybe the timing is a little off?  I trust my loving husband, Lord.  And I trust You, Lord.  I will follow the confirmation of my husband — whatever that may turn out to be.

Hallelujah!  Praise Jesus!  A change of heart in my hubby.  (I may have offered some compelling grounds for my case… in a very loving way as usual.)

SO, HERE WE GO!  And I will be letting y’all in on details along the way.

It’s super scary right?

Sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect.  Things that have never ever been in our house.  Yeah it’s a little scary.  It’s the unknown.  It’s hoping that your love is enough, and knowing that it might not be.

Thank you Lord for being an endless supply of Love and Strength.Thank you for putting in place resources that will give us guidance along the way.

SOME QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HEAR.  SOME ARE GOOD TO CONSIDER.  SOME ARE ANNOYING:

 “Are you sure you want to bring confusion into your family?”

“Won’t you be sad when you have to give the child back?”

 “What if you want to time to yourself?”

“Do you care what age and what race you get?”

“Do your kids really want another child to take your attention?”

“How can you bear to see how they have been hurt?”

 “We thought of doing that too. But the application process was too brutal.”

“Sometimes foster families get falsely accused of terrible things.”

“What will you say when people ask questions about your new child?”

“What if you don’t love them?  What if they hate you?”

Some may consider it a risk to become foster parents.  But for me, it’s more of a risk not to.

“How will this affect our family?”  is an easier question for me than, 

“We could have done something.  Why didn’t we?”

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“Please God make her healthy. I will do anything.”

Best best BEST part of license application so far is the Caregiver Core Training class.  It is awesome!  Shout out to teachers El-Freda and Luann.  I love you both.  They made us laugh, cry, try harder, think beyond our own conventional reason, and get nervous diarrhea too.  Here are a couple moments that were especially meaningful to me.

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“My baby mama was on meth.  I was on meth.  I prayed to God, ‘please, please make my baby girl ok.  I will turn my life around, Lord.  I will do anything.’  I took my baby and held her and protected her.  But she needed to be taken away from me, and taken to a safe place.  My world came crashing down.”

– Biological parent guest speaker in our CCT class

He is sober, responsible, living a life of Faith, and raising his beautiful, healthy daughter.

“I thought if we talked about it, it would make it a big deal or uncomfortable.  We wanted him to think we didn’t consider it an issue, that we didn’t see a difference.  I didn’t realize not talking about race makes it seem like it is ‘wrong, something to be ashamed of, and/or not important.’  Now I realize that talking about race differences is critical to bonding with my child and critical to his identity development.”

-Foster parent of a child who is a different race than the other family members

80%

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That’s my explanation for the title of this website.  80% of foster children are reunited with their families.  That is a miracle!  I had no idea.  So, “bringing our children home” is my message that the main goal is to get these precious children home with their birth parents or blood relatives.  It’s good to know that we will be preparing them to return home.  That is our charge.

We bring them into our home… then we bring them back home.  80% of the time.

Of course the other 20% will be adopted.  And that is a miracle too!  Several people coming together with love for a child.  I have 2 adopted brothers.  Believe me, many many people bonded in love to create a family for my brothers.  (not just 2 horny newlyweds!)  We are all born from our Heavenly Father — but it is pretty dang remarkable to see the extra super-duper LOVE FEST that results in the blessing of adoption.

Not flesh of my flesh
Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn’t grow under my heart,
But in it.

                                                  –Fleur Conkling Heyliger