Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Glimpse of God's Heart Around Every Corner...

We all place barriers on our hearts. Like it or not, we just put limitations on ourselves and our ability to love. This false perspective of our limitations paralyzes us from 'loving the least of these', as well.

Please don't get me wrong, here. I have no desire to 'guilt' you into considering fostering or adoption... I don't have or want that power. :) However, if God happens to be nudging you and you keep saying 'no, thank you' please prayerfully reconsider. Believe me, I'm in that place right this very minute... Quicker than Dallas, (as they say around these parts) I can run through the reasons why a 'family of 7 or 8' would just not work for me. (I'll spare you all of the gory details!)

And yet, there is a strong conviction for Alex and me that our efforts in this area are not complete. Maybe we will foster, maybe we will adopt, maybe we will raise money for an orphanage somewhere (Poland or Brazil?)... who knows? God knows. And He has not let our hearts rest in this area ... He prods and pokes and makes us both very, very uncomfortable.

Please watch this video, Taking a Chance on Fu Yang... I believe your hearts will be touched by this man's unexpected discovery. We have found situations like these to be around each corner...

Take, for example, a call I received back in January. On the other end of the phone was a stranger; a pregnant young Mommy, without a husband, whose family was completely against her keeping a bi-racial baby. She was calling to see if we might consider adopting her baby when it came into the world.

Our discussion led to something unexpected, she really wanted to keep this baby! It was a privilege to help her figure out how to support the baby, even if her family never came around. And now, a picture hangs on our frig door of a chubby baby girl, 4 months old, with a precious sign that reads 'A Gift from God.' This beauty rests in the arms of her Mommy, with her Grandmother and Great-Grandmother right there beside them. I praise God for such a miraculous turn of events. Forgiveness is supernatural... and, for that matter, so is love.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Gifts of a Saturday!

This past Saturday was spent in an all-day training for Covenant Kids to maintain our foster license. We always seem to dread this 8-hour Behavior Management training. This year was no different... especially since there was a new trainer. Would she make us stay the entire 8 hours? Would she put us all to sleep? We sounded like grouchy teenagers as we headed out at 8:15 a.m. without enough time to stop for a Starbuck's.

Our day turned out to be inspiring and encouraging. Those two words describe perfectly what it is like to sit in a room of 25 Christian foster/adoptive parents and swap stories. Why do I always forget this prior to the training sessions? I believe God uses these other parents to sharpen us and to move us along to that very next step He has planned ... When we leave these meetings, we always ask ourselves 'How can we ever
stop doing this?' What seems like complete craziness to the world seems perfectly normal within those walls.

Let me give you a few examples of these folks:
*A foster/adoptive family with 9 kids - some are homegrown, some transplants, some seedlings that will grow in someone else's garden;
*A single adoptive Mom back for her 2nd round after adopting her son over a year ago;
*Grandparents who have 3 grown children who are almost ready for their first foster/adoptive placement;
*A precious couple who struggled for years with infertility. They are fostering 2 little guys (brothers) and will be taking their soon-to-be-born sister in July. These children will most likely be returned to their biological parents; one struggles with schizophrenia and both parents are only 19. The couple we met desperately wants to adopt but has chosen to foster and wait patiently.

Do you see yourself in any of those people? ... ordinary folks with stories much like yours and mine. What a way to spend a Saturday! Oh, and the trainer was engaging, funny and gave us some great tips for the toddler whining that breaks the sound barrier in our home.

***Oh, another thing. A very good friend of ours up here in the boonies has just been licensed as a foster/adoptive Mom. She is a single woman with 2 grown daughters. She had plans to adopt from Russia and then found out about a need for foster/adoptive parents right here in our county. Originally, her heart's desire was to foster/adopt one baby girl. Friday, she got a call about two sets of sibling girls that are free for adoption (one set ages 3 & 5; one set ages 4 & 6). She is actually contemplating taking 2! Please pray for her... God knows her name and the names of these 4 little ones who need a Mommy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I May Be Too Literal ...

Remember how our CPS caseworker mentioned we could adopt Little Boy Blue on the 91st day after the 90-day appeal period ends?? ... I suppose I am too literal for my own good. With all of the talk of moving bouncing around our house, we obviously desire things to progress with the adoption as quickly as possible. Plus, we just want him to be ours, permanently.

We found out today that she was exaggerating. It will take several weeks after the 90-day mark for them to get their documents together and do the official 'presentation' of his file to us. Since we've had him so long, nothing should be a surprise to us. However, we legally have to wait 24 hours after reading his file to say we want to move forward with his adoption. Next we have to sign paperwork and then, and only then, can the final hearing be scheduled.

What is another two or three weeks, I know, I know. And yet, I get my knickers in a twist over things like this. I like all of the information up front. Don't sideswipe me with more 'stuff.' We also found out that Covenant Kids will have to redo our home study to include Prince Caspian. And, they have a mile-long report to file to the court.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My Castle-Builder is 8 Today!

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

A gentle boy, with soft and silken locks,
A dreamy boy, with blue and tender eyes,
A castle-builder, with his wooden blocks,
And towers that touch imaginary skies.

A fearless rider on his father's knee,
An eager listener unto stories told
At the Round Table of the nursery,
Of heroes and adventures manifold.

There will be other towers for thee to build;
There will be other steeds for thee to ride;
There will be other legends, and all filled
With greater marvels and more glorified.

Build on, and make thy castles high and fair,
Rising and reaching upward to the skies;
Listening to voices in the upper air,
Nor lose thy simple faith in mysteries.


Budding Author is 8 today. He still builds castles of the Lego sort. And I believe he still imagines he is a knight fighting a fierce dragon and rescuing the town.

I can remember the night he was born so vividly; the mix of fear and excitement that swirled around his unexpected arrival. Alex calls the birth of our first child one of the major highlights of his life. I would whole-heartedly agree.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Sigh of Relief and a Look Forward ...

The termination is complete and Little Boy Blue is free to move forward in life and gain a permanent family. I am thrilled for him and thrilled for us. Sadly to say, I don't have any grief at all for the man who contributed to Little Boy Blue's life. He has never seen his son, nor has he ever contacted CPS with any interest in him. He has missed out on this very special life. Given how I feel about Little Boy Blue's Mom, you might think I would be praying for him. The thought has never crossed my mind. Hmmm, something to ponder for another day, I suppose.

For today, I'm just excited and hopeful for his future. Only 90 days until he has a new first and last name and a forever family!! Cheers to you, little one!

Please let it be today ...

You know, I go through these times where I totally and completely forget that Little Boy Blue is our foster baby. Our family functions well and he is one of us after a year of living here. And yet, there are these reminders that throw me back into the land of the living.

His attorney visited on Tuesday, his caseworker last week, his therapist last week and his Covenant Kids caseworker next week. Each month, I have to fill out a report on his life ... and in May I completely and totally forgot to do it. Why? Because it feels like he is mine, why would I need to write down in detail when I put Desitin on his bottom? Seriously, that much detail is required.

Today is the termination for his Dad. I really, really, really pray that this happens today. His case needs to come to a conclusion.