This song spoke to me this week…
To encourage and not give up hope…
Miley Cyrus, Climb
This song spoke to me this week…
To encourage and not give up hope…
Miley Cyrus, Climb
Today was an amazing day, today we completed our foster adopt classes and training. We learned different ways to discipline and how to work with some of these abandoned children. There are so many hurting children in foster care, recovering from all kinds of abuses and neglect. Some of them are so horrific, just watching a movie on this made us all cringe. Simple things on how to give them time in’s, instead of time out, how to make them feel loved, not ashamed, not feeling like they can’t ever measure up or be good enough.
Gosh I wish when we were pregnant with Beka, our first child, that we had gone through classes like we just did. To learn how to discipline without using punishment, and just learning some other ways.
It’s almost been a year since I went to China and had my life radically changed. It’s been a year of trying to find the way to adopt a child.
Tomorrow is my Birthday, I think this is the best Birthday present, to actually turn in our application to foster adopt. I am amazed by how God works. That he has led us in this direction. I feel so honored and privileged to be a parent to one of the babies, one of these children.
Now we are pregnant, we have tons of paperwork and preparing to do. I feel like I am pregnant, without the morning sickness or the belly, but my emotions feel the same. When a woman is pregnant, she starts looking at her home and nesting. That is where I am right now, trying to get the room ready, painted and ready for our new arrival. We are looking forward to the day we have our license and soon after we could get a special call, about a child. A child that we will love. We may get a call to take in a child for just a weekend or we may be called with a child, that the agency thinks might be a good match for us. In all things we will continue to trust in the Lord, he will show us which child he wants for us.
We are ready to begin this journey, I am ready to love another child, to sing songs, to hold and rock, to love unconditionally. To give my soul, my body, my heart, my whole being. To bring her up to know God her Father. To teach, to laugh, to hug, to know her. To save a little one, to give her a home, to give her love. To provide her with a family, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends. Family. I am ready to dance with her in my arms, and playing pony girl, pony girl on my lap. Taking her for walks in a stroller, doing all those wonderful things that a mom does with her children. I can’t wait to have her in my arms, seeing her big eyes looking at me. Seeing my husband spoil her every day, to see him come home from work and once again his baby, running to him, calling daddy’s home. All those things we enjoyed and lived with our children and miss, since they are teens and young women.
To just love.
My girls are ready to be a sister to another child and my husband is ready to be a daddy again. We have been discussing so much lately, reminiscing on when our girls were babies and the things that happened to them while growing up. The silly things that they used to say, the funny things that they did. Each child is a miracle from God, so precious, not one of us is alike.
Matthew 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
This weekend we started our first adoption foster care, pride classes. We have to take two classes for a total of about 14 hours total. It was amazing to sit with like minded people. People that are ready to open their home, lives and hearts up to all children in different situations. Some of the people there were just like us, looking to adopt. But the majority of them were there to foster care only, to give a child a home while the birth parents get their lives together.
The first major focus of foster care is to keep the child safe. The second is reunification of the birthparents and child.
reunification- To cause (a group, party, state, or sect) to become unified again after being divided.
If the birthparents are still not willing to or cannot change whatever the problem was, then the objective is for a family member or another family to adopt. There are some circumstances that an older child can decide they don’t want to be adopted and they will continue to live in the foster care home until they age out.
It was interesting and perfect, to hear all of our hearts and stories of why we were there. A testimony of God’s love and direction in each of our lives.
I feel wonderful to actually be stepping into this direction. Instead of saying we are looking into this, we are actually doing this. We are moving forward.
To understand and not do, is not to understand.
We are understanding and doing, we are walking, we are stepping into the unknown. We are following a path, that is not traveled as much as it should be. It is thick with ruts and roots, with brush overgrown on it. We can’t see over the horizon but we know there is a beginning, a middle and end. We are at the beginning. When I look back I see all of the changes in our lives. We were sitting with our girls this morning, talking about the child that will be a part of our family. We are thinking we would like to adopt a girl, since we have so much experience with our girls. Anyway, we were talking about her birthmother maybe being not able to love her, like they were. Maybe not held and rocked and loved like they were. Maybe her mother was addicted to drugs or there was abuse in the family or neglect. So many things that can happen to these precious babies.
While sitting there hearing about emotional and physical issues foster kids can go through my heart felt so heavy. To digest all the abuses and to feel how they would feel to lose their family. To maybe be separated from your own sister or brother. I heard a story of a young women being at a camp and recognizing her brother there. He may not even remember her or recognize her. To let it sink in that these kids are given a second chance, the parents are given a second chance. To fix their life, to get back on track, how awesome is that. I’m sure we can understand how much anger a birth parent could have when a social worker intervenes and tries to help or removes their children. In the 1930’s there was a program for animals that were abused but nothing to help children and their families. Thank goodness things have improved.
I remember two quotes from a great movie, Hope Floats with Sandra Bullock .
1. My cup runneth over.
2. Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That’s what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will…
But for me, I think my cup runneth over to mean, my heart is being stretched for all children. That there is more than enough room for all of my girls (including our adopted child) and all of the children out there needing a home and love. It all started in China, God stretching my heart and changing it. He continues every day to show me his compassion for the children, for the abused, abandoned, and lost. I found it funny that some of the ladies at our class were talking about pouring into the lives of the children in the neighborhoods. You don’t hear about that hardly anymore, everyone is so busy raising their own children, so busy making their lives better. Neighborhoods are no longer a community of families helping each other out. My husband and I remember other parents maybe seeing us doing something wrong and right then and there, yelling at us or telling us to get home. Michael remembers other moms in his neighborhood, grabbing him by the ear and marching him right back to his house.
I ask everyone reading this to look outside of yourselves, to look around and pour out to one, around you. Whether its a teen at church or in your neighborhood or maybe a child in your own immediate family. My girls have a few people who really look at them, talk to them, are interested in them as young people, as individuals. People that respect them and want to be a part of their lives. I thank you for making them feel important, you know who you are.
I remember as a young girl going to visit my Grandma Freisner and all the adults sitting playing cards. They always made me feel comfortable to watch them and listen to all the gossip and stories. After 30 some years, I still treasure that feeling. Made to feel like I belonged, not to be told to “go in the other room, we are talking.” Children learn how to be an adult by watching their own parents and family.
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 18:10 ESV)
More to come later!
With anxious hearts and open arms,
we sought you everywhere.
You, dear child, are a gift from God,
The answer to our prayer.
No matter whether birth or choice,
A home is blessed from above.
When caring parents claim their child,
A family is formed by love…..
I am so excited and ready to begin another part of our journey on this road to adopt. This coming up weekend we are starting our foster care classes, we have to take two saturday classes, to go through the orientation. So we will be on our way. I don’t know how long it will take to the finish lane, to get our child in our house. I just know that we are walking through this door, with excitement and joy. We are preparing our home, our lives, our hearts to love unconditionally. To let God show us the child he has wanted for us all along.
We are on this journey for the long run, little by little and step by step, it will happen. No matter if it’s six months or a year, we are ready to do what we have to do. We are starting the pregnancy part, the part where you wait and get your house ready and usually get the other siblings in the house ready for a new sister or brother. I am starting to think of what I may need for this baby, a crib or toddler bed, a car seat, all those things parents have to have ready when they come home from the hospital with their child.
For some the adoption process can take years and years. I am so thankful that God showed us his heart, for an orphan. It didn’t matter if the child was Chinese, or from another country, or from our own state. That a child is out there that needs us, needs a home, needs love. That we won’t have to wait for years and years, waiting and waiting, getting older all along. Looking back there were more than a few people that brought up foster care but at the time I just saw a Chinese baby or one from another country.
There are many types of foster care.
1.Adult foster care- is a licensed family setting for adults who are unable to live alone due to physical, emotional, or developmental impairments. The home provides 24 hour care for no more than 5 functionally impaired residents. Residents receive meals, support, supervision and assistance with personal cares and living skills, as needed.
2. Emergency foster care- In some cases, a child will be left with no family to care for him, or the child’s immediate removal from his current home is necessitated by extreme circumstances. Emergency foster families are specialists at taking children at almost no notice.
3. Long-Term care- Sometimes a child will come into foster care on what is expected to be a short-term fostering placement, but events make it impossible for the child to return home. Sometimes a family decides to long-term foster a child instead of adopting him because they anticipate that they will need a high level of support for many years and want to be sure of access to it. Sometimes an older child will come into foster care and be adamant that he doesn’t want to be adopted. Any of these reasons can lead to long-term or permanent fostering. That is, the child remains in care until he is a legal adult.
4. Pre-Adoptive care- Also known as “transitional foster care” and “cradle care,” this kind of placement is generally for infants. The babies may need adoption but for some reason there is no family available at the moment; there may be a period of time before placement in the adoptive family while parental rights are terminated; babies may also be place in transitional care while birth parents, who may need more time, make a final decision on an adoption placement.
5. Short-term care- This kind of foster care is intended to provide short-term care to children whose parents may be experiencing special or emergency needs of their own. This kind of care may be given when parents lose custody during the investigation of improper care but it is fully expected that the children will return home within a week to a few months.
6. Traditional care- This kind of fostering is usually for children who have had to be taken from their parents because of neglect or abuse, but it is thought that there is hope that the parents’ behavior can be changed enough for family reunification. While the child is being fostered, the parents will be going through re-education and/or therapy, and their behavior and progress will be closely monitored by social services and the foster parents.
7. Foster-Adopt- these programs were created to bridge the gap between a child’s initial need for temporary care and the long-term need for a permanent home.
More to come later!