Foster Parenting on Hold

12/12/2011

Because we are selling our house and haven’t started building our new home yet, we had to put our home on hold with DCS. That means we won’t be accepting any new foster placements for a while. It could end up being almost a year, which is hard because we feel really burdened for the kids who need places to go and parents to love them, especially around the holidays. It breaks my heart to have to say no to a call…and we had been getting a couple calls a week before we asked our case manager to take our name of the list for now.

One particular call was so hard to say no to. Usually the placement worker starts off with just the child(ren)’s age(s) and gender(s) and that’s as far as the conversation goes unless we say we’re interested. But as we were driving home from Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania, I got a call and the worker went straight into describing the situation. It was for a 6 year old boy whose mother had been shot by her boyfriend the night before. Their only family was in another country. Our hearts were so broken for that boy and we really wanted to say yes. Jason, my dad and I took a moment to pray for the kiddo, poor guy. (My mom was napping at the time.) It was even more heartbreaking to hear about the story on the news in the following days and to talk to my friend who is an ER nurse at the hospital where his 8-month pregnant mom was taken. The baby also died. So sad.

But, we don’t want to say yes, welcome a child into our home and then have to send him or her off to another foster just because we’re moving. It wouldn’t be fair to the kid. We want to be available for as long as we’re needed for the child—forever, if that’s how the situation works out. We’re building a bigger home so we can have room for more children but in the meantime, it’s difficult to not be able to do more to help. I’m afraid I might just have to become a foster parenting advocate and try to recruit more people to become foster parents.

You should do it. Seriously? What’s stopping you?


Phone Photo Friday

12/09/2011

When I’ve got work to do and the baby just wants to be held…Moby wrap to the rescue!


Birth Parent Visit

12/08/2011

Precious’ mother requested two more visits before she surrenders her parental rights to us. I really wasn’t sure what to expect from our first meeting. We met her mother—let’s call her Brave, because she is—once before at a meeting at DCS and it didn’t go real well. But at this visit, the interactions between Brave and Precious were much better than I expected and for that I’m thankful. As awkward as it was and considering what a mess this all is, I realize now how truly valuable an open adoption can be.

Because we love Precious so much, I find it impossible to not care about Brave. Even if we’re angry about things that happened to Precious in the past, I see so much value in Brave. She holds a wealth of information about Precious’ family medical history, her ethnicity and heritage, her biological half-siblings, etc. The most valuable thing to me is to witness Brave’s love for Precious. There is no doubt that Precious is loved and wanted.

I call her Brave because what she is doing requires so much courage. She’s obviously a smart woman who has made some really bad choices. And she knows it. She openly admits that she made mistakes, putting her vices before her children. Brave is working hard to get her life back on track. Even so, she wants to release Precious to us so we can adopt her because she believes it’s what’s best for her and for us. Now that takes a lot of strength.

As much as God loves adoption, He loves restoration. I would love to see Brave’s life redeemed. And I am so thankful for the gift of Precious. It’s far from a picture-perfect story but I’m thankful Jason and I could be available for Precious when she needed us and to hear Brave say she’s thankful too—that means so much.

Could you imagine loving your child so much that you would willing let her go? She’s very brave. We’re eternally grateful.


Our Home at Night

12/07/2011

I took these pictures for our real estate agent over the weekend. I really do love this house. I hope the person/people who buy it love it as much as we did.


Wishing You a Shiny Brite Christmas

12/06/2011

I brought this poster design back into my etsy shop for a couple that wouldn’t leave me alone about it. (Sorry it took me so long!) Anyone else want one? The shipping is higher price to make sure it gets to you more quickly.


This & That

12/05/2011

• Last week I was “in” court by speaker phone. That’s the third time I’ve been in court in the past month. Oh, how my life has changed.

• Precious had her first “solid” food this weekend, if rice cereal counts as a solid. She seemed to like it but learning how to swallow it will take some time.

• My mom was asked to testify at a brunch for her bible study/prayer group this week, about the miracle God did for us and Precious. She asked if I’d say something afterward. I wrote a 5 minute speech and I’ve rehearsed it in front of Photo Booth five times because I get nervous speaking in front of groups. But I have a lot to say. (In case you haven’t noticed…)

• We had the first of two court-ordered, pre-TPR, supervised visits with Precious’ birth mom last week. It felt so strange going into it—it’s a mess and the situation is unnatural in so many ways—but it went much better than I expected. That’s a whole blog post in itself.

• I’m really thankful for the adoption attorney we found. She seems super amazing and her price is great.

• Thank you to all of you who have donated to our adoption fundraiser! Just through this blog post, we’ve already collected over $500. We are blessed and amazed. You guys are the best!

• I keep finding money lately. Mostly quarters. In random places.

• I helped my parents put up their Christmas tree on Saturday and then on Sunday my mom helped me with ours. (Jason is in Texas.) Precious loves how shiny and sparkly it is. She’s gonna make Christmas so much more fun this year.

• Our house, our beloved MCM ranch, is officially on the market now. I’m sad because I love it but I’m also excited about the new season we’re moving into. I am not really looking forward to keeping the house clean ALL THE TIME…


Phone Photo Friday

12/02/2011


Precious: Monthly Portraits 3 & 4

12/01/2011

I’ve seen a lot of clever ideas for documenting children’s growth through monthly portraits. I missed out on the first two months of Precious’ life but I’m very thankful we were able to become her parents at just two months and one day old. She’s already been with us more of her life than she’s been without us. I started taking monthly photos on her 3-month birthday. The plan is to always use this quilt that her Great Aunt Linda made as a backdrop and add just one (or two) accessories to a plain white onesie.

I’m really loving this age. At four months she’s sleeping 12 uninterrupted hours at night. Praise the Lord! She’s eating 5-6 ounces of formula 5x a day. Precious is starting to work on rolling. My mom reports that she rolled from her stomach to her back once but we haven’t seen it happen since. She’s working hard on going from back to belly, swinging her legs until she flops onto her side. Precious has just in the last week started laughing—only for her daddy so far—and grabbing toys and putting them in her mouth. She hasn’t taken a pacifier since the thrush bout over a month ago and has become a thumb-sucking expert. She can quickly sooth herself when she’s sleepy or upset but doesn’t over use it. Precious is still just as happy and easy-going as ever. She’s a wonderful little girl.