My 3 yr old daughter took this pic of me

Sunday, May 22, 2011

To be a Foster Parent

When people think of becoming a foster parent, they think of helping abused and neglected children.

They think of poor little souls coming into their homes and being nurtured and loved.

They think of building relationship and bringing healing.

With foster to adopt, which is what we do, the hope is always for us to be able to adopt the child(ren) brought into our home. For that child to become a part of our family and not be moved around in the system. It's the best case scenario for the child.

But that's not how it is.

It starts out that way, though. Workers tell you stories about how no one is fit to care for the child. None of the family can take them. How bleak the situation for reunion with the bio family looks. How likely that it is that the child will go PGO (permanent guardianship order) quickly.

So you love and you give and you nurture and you heal and you bond. Especially with a baby. It feels like it's your own child from your own body. No different from your bio children.

Things are looking good. Nothing has been happening.......Then everything changes.

Visits start. First with one parent, then maybe the other. Then a relative changes their mind and wants the child. This unwanted, uncared for child is not that at all. EVERYONE wants this child.

But this is now MY child. My baby. My love. My sweet sweet child, whom I've loved and now fully cherish with every part of my being. She is confused and being passed around and doesn't know why. And I have no say in it.

Soon enough, we'll find out what's going to happen.

Imagine how awful it would be to have your children taken away from you. Imagine that it's your fault and that you messed up. You only did drugs once or you only lost it on your child cuz you were under a lot of pressure or you left them home alone cuz you had no one to watch them and no money to pay a sitter and if you took a day off work you'd lose your job and then your apartment. Imagine. It's awful. You're torn up and your mind is racing trying to think of everything you have to do to get them back. The list is long. You are emotionally spent and feel you have nothing left in you but you have to fight.

Now imagine that you have loved and nurtured your child. You have done everything right. You have bonded so strongly. And then they come and take your child away and give them to somebody else. You will never see that sweet face again. It is pure and true loss. It must be viewed as a death. The grief is intense and long. The hole in your heart is deafening.

It's not easy being a foster parent. It's not glamorous. It's supposedly for the "good" of the child. But in a lot of situations, that's just not the case.

If I was not a christian, I could not be a foster parent. Without God on my side, holding me up when I am falling in despair, making me strong when I am weak, giving me hope when there is no hope in sight, carrying my sweet daughter when I will no longer be able to hold her in my arms....I could not do this. I pray every day to my God to protect and care for my sweet girl, no matter the outcome. I can have peace because I know He cares for her and loves her even more than I do.

God is in control of it all. Not the judge. Not the parents or relatives. Not the social workers. Not me. Only God. He will do what is best for her. He will carry her through and us, too.

Thank you, God, for watching over and protecting all of my children. For going with them when I can't. I trust. I believe. I hope. I know......the love and protection and plan and guidance of my King......because He's always been there for me. My children are all in His hands.

Job 1:21
And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

This is how I feel. This is what's on my heart day after day. I cherish each moment I get. I cherish my role as a temporary mother. I cherish my children. I cherish my God. I'm learning that nothing is set in stone......unless God sets it in stone. Thank goodness He's on my side.

If you have a relationship with God, please take the time to pray for us. Prayers matter. Thanks :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Why I Go

I am, and always have been, very stubborn about not missing church. Lots of Christians don't think that missing church is a big deal, but I'm not one of them. And I'm not judging the ones who think that way, either. I just want to share why I go.

I'll start by saying that it's Sunday, Mother's Day, and I didn't go to church today. I could have, but I didn't. We've had these stubborn colds/sinus infections for weeks and weeks and weeks now, and I was supposed to teach Sunday school this morning and would not have been able to. I would've had to keep one of my kids with me in the service as she's sick and I can't put her in the nursery. My husband needed the vehicle to go to work, cuz our other two vehicles need repairs right now. He was leaving for work at 5:30 this morning. I had a long weekend and was very busy and very tired. I just thought it'd be a better idea to stay in bed, rest, and go to church next week.

I was wrong.

Going to church really gives me that boost that I need for the week. Without it, I find I struggle a lot more through my days.

Running into my Christian friends and catching up and having them pray for me (and me pray for them) means a lot to me.

The messages at our church are very down to earth, relevant, powerful messages and they always hit home. They are life changing and rich.

When I have the opportunity to teach the little 3 year olds about how much Jesus loves them, it makes my day. It's a powerful thing to develop a relationship with a little child and invest in their eternal lives. I really missed them today :( (although I wouldn't have been able to teach today anyway)

If a relationship is important to you, you invest in it. My relationship with God is the most important relationship in my life, so committing a couple hours a week is my "date" with God. 

Going regularly is like have spiritual showers. Being refreshed, renewed. It brings peace and rest to my heart and soul. It keeps me on track. It encourages me and lifts me up. It gives me hope.

Seriously....who would want to miss that????

Fortunately, I have access to my God at any time of day or night, right in my own home. But still, it's good for the soul to be with other like-minded people and to receive the teaching that we need to grow. It's more than good. It's important.

Romans 12:2b transformed by the renewal of your mind....

Hebrews 10:24-25
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

So next time I am deciding whether or not to go......I'm going. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

A blessing for Hadara Lily הֲדָרָה

My sister gave birth to her first child this morning; a girl they named Hadara Lily. Hadara (הֲדָרָה) is Hebrew and means glory, bedecked in beauty. In the Bible it says that the glory of a woman is her hair. I think that the glory of a mother is her child. (This goes for dads, too)  Lily means pure and the lily flower is a symbol of innocence, purity, and beauty.

 Lord, may Hadara grow to love her God, and be beautiful, pure, and innocent like her name. May she be the glory of her parents and bring joy to their home. May she be a peacemaker and may kindness and love radiate from her.  Amen.

 Proverbs 23:25
Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.

Psalm 115:14
May the Lord give you increase, you and your children! 

Psalm 127:3
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Psalm 147:13
For he strengthens the bars of your gates; he blesses your children within you.

Proverbs 17:6b
...the glory of children is their fathers.

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. 

Proverbs 31:28
Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.

May God bless you both and your beautiful, little daughter all the days of your lives!