Sunday, August 8, 2010

Camping Trip

We went camping with the kids this weekend. Just here locally on Lake Allatoona, and for those who are wondering in an airconditioned camper (I wouldn't have it any other way). We had a blast! B went fishing for the first time, and caught 2 fish! They both loved swimming in the lake! We roasted hotdogs over the campfire and made s'mores (they are still learning to like those)! It was a fun, blessed two days. We brought two very worn out children home (their parents too)!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Life with kids...

It has been awhile since my last it is when there are kids around. B and A (the two younger ones) have been with us full time now for a little over three weeks. Life has certainly changed, but what fun it is! We have had our ups and downs, but we are all getting used to each other and getting the routine worked out. Grandma has come and visited a couple of times, they love Grandma (she comes bearing gifts)! We are going on our first camping trip together this weekend, that should be fun and exciting.

B touched my heart yesterday. "Jesus Loves Me" came on the CD on our way to church and both he and A were singing along with the CD. When the song finshed, he asked, "Can we sing that again? I love to sing that song!" Needless to say, with tears in my eyes, we sang that song again! When I get frustrated with DFCS and all the hoops we have to jump through, I can remind myself, that it is all worth it just to hear a little one sing joyful praises to God. A little one, who might not have had that chance if it weren't for Robert and I being obedient to God's calling to do foster to adopt care. Whether they are with us forever (which is our prayer) or temporarily I pray that we have a lasting impact on their eternal status with God.

We are both beginning to fully understand the concept that B and A were created by God, for us. We both fully believe this. They even look like they could be our biological children. But, taking the physical appearance out, they were specifically chosen for us at this specific time. We also fully believe that God placed us here on this earth, at this time and place for B and A. It is so awesome to see the amazing hand of God working everything together for this moment for this situation. All the waiting, worrying and agonizing was preparation for this specific situation. B summed it up by stating one day in the car, "I am going to live with you a long, long, long time because you are my family."

Doug, our Adult Ministries Pastor, gave a scary statistic for our county here in Georgia. There are over 250 children in foster care in Bartow county and there are just over 30 foster families in Bartow county. Do the math, it doesn't add up! I don't know statistics for the nation, but I am sure that this is close to the case in many other areas of our country. If you feel the slightest inkling that God is leading you to do foster care or adoption, go with it. It will be the biggest blessing you will ever receive. It might be frustrating and a lot of red tape, but we need good families to help these children. I am not just talking about foster and adopt here in the US, there are many needs around the world as well. I am a supporter of national and international adoption.

Okay, I am off my soapbox now. Please continue to pray for us. Our prayer is that God will work out whatever is best for B and A, we hope we are a part of whatever that is. I will try to post more often also.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Counting the days...

We had an awesome overnight visit with the kids! We are definitely head over heels in love with these kids! When we had to take them back, we all were in tears, they didn't want to go and we didn't want them to go. But, we have until Friday and then we have them for 2 whole days! So, we (us and kids) are counting the days. Each time we leave them will be harder and harder, but July 10-11 is coming soon and then they will be with us!

Friday, June 18, 2010

An Amazing Night

Last night, Robert and I met the kids for the first time! It was amazing! We had prayed that God would make it clear what we should do, either yes or no. We both felt Him saying a resounding YES! Neither one of us wanted to leave, we both were ready to take them home that night and both are anxiously anticipating our next visit. They are the sweetest kids, very loving and full of life! M, the oldest, colored a picture for me, which lead to B, the middle child following suit. We got high fives and A, the youngest, blew kisses when we left.

So, now begins the flurry of preparations. Making sure we have everything we need to care for these sweet children. We continue to covet your prayers through this whole process.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Building excitement...

Well, we survived the week with the sweet little girls without any major hitches. The younger one got sick so that made the end of the week interesting. It was a week of lessons learned and preparation for the next stage.

We had our meeting with the caseworker and foster family of the sibling group of three. It went very well, we got to see pictures of the children and learn their names. We are going to meet the children at the foster family's home tomorrow night! We are very excited about that meeting. After that everyone will take the weekend to make final decisions and, if all goes well, Monday we will set up a transition schedule. This means they would come spend a day with us, then they might spend the night, then a weekend, etc... The plan would be for them to be in our home around July 10-11, right after we get back from our vacation. If we proceed with this we have tons of work to do getting a room ready, beds ready, etc... We are excited and I can feel it building by the minute. We are also nervous, just not knowing what to expect. We know that the oldest child, the 6 year old, will be the biggest challenge, but he will also be with us only for a short period.

So, keep praying and I will keep you posted!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Getting in the Groove

Well, it has taken us 4 days but we have gotten in the groove with the two girls that are staying with us this week. Of course, they go to their real foster home on Sunday... It has been quite the culture shock to go from a house with no kids to a 1 and 2 year old, especially a 2 year old who likes to test (of course, I haven't found one that doesn't...)! But, we have gone from survival mode to cruising mode for the moment, of course life is unpredictable. Anyway, thanks for the prayers and keep praying.

We heard from the caseworker of the sibling group of 3 today, she wants us to come in and meet with her and the current foster family on Monday at 5:30 pm. We covet your prayers as we are questioning the wisdom of taking on 3 at one time! Of course one might only be with us for a few short weeks, it is still a lot to take on!

Well, tonight is short and sweet because I must get my tired old body to bed soon! Thank you again for the prayers!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Curve Ball

Just when you think you've got it all figured out, God throws you a curve ball just to show His control over everything and to see if you are paying attention. As I said before, Robert and I were all set to meet with our caseworker and have a frank discussion. We had also decided to switch from foster-to-adopt to straight foster. We had it all planned out, we had prayed and we both felt God leading us in that direction.

Then comes the curve ball. Monday morning while I was at work I got a phone call from our caseworker letting us know we were approved. YAY!!! Then she said she had a question for us. She asked if we wanted to be considered for a sibling group of three (3, yes that is what she said), a 6 year old boy, a 3 year old boy and a 2 year old girl. WOW! Of course the six year old is out of our age range, but apparently he would probably be temporary because he would be going to live with his dad. The other two would potentially be adoptable. WOW! Anyway, I told her we wanted to meet with her face to face anyway because we had tons of questions and there was still this question of switching to foster. So we met with her and after some discussion amongst ourselves, prayer and talking to Nicholas, we decided to put our names in the pot to be considered. So, now, we wait again to see if we make the first cut and then if we make the final cut. If we are chosen there is a possibility that they will be in our home by the end of June or first of July. So pray for us as we make decisions about this situation.

Well, just because you got one curve ball doesn't mean you won't get another one. Later, Monday, our caseworker called us again. This time she tells me they have an emergency situation and could we do respite care for another foster family for the week. This time it is 2 girls ages 1 and 2. We talked about it and decided we would just this once. So, I spent the rest of my afternoon getting daycare set up for the days we needed and then went to pick them up. They are precious girls but require alot of attention. But, I am proud to say that Robert and I got them up and ready and at daycare in time for me to be at work at 7 this morning. Needless to say, this is why I didn't post anything last night and am doing it during some downtime at work. So pray for us this week as we watch these sweet little girls that we will be a blessing to them for the short time they are with us.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Roller Coaster

Everybody tells you that the adoption process is a roller coaster of emotions, but I don't think anyone starting the process believes it until they are on the roller coaster. We have had our many ups and downs, but this recent down has been a doozy. We have been waiting (and waiting and waiting and waiting...) to hear that we have been approved, that the powers that be at DFCS have deemed us worthy to be a foster to adopt parent. We have called and been told that it is going through the process and they would call us when it was done. We finally were told that it was on the Director's desk, the final person in the process...we were so excited, thinking two weeks max and we will be approved and then it would be time to wait for a child. Well, that was one month ago and we are still hearing the same song and dance, there is a back log...we will let you know... Needless to say, we were starting to get fed up. Admist all of our frustrations we have found out some information that leads us to believe that we have been put on the back burner. We have spent the weekend praying about what we are to do next. We do know that we will be going to DFCS tomorrow to meet face-to-face with our caseworker to share our concerns and to try to resolve this issue. There are some other options we are considering but I will have to leave you in suspense for now.

One thing that has come out of this is God's constant reminders that He is still in control. On Friday, when all this reached a boiling point, God sent some reminders for us. One was from a friend's blog talking about hope and the joys and frustrations of hoping and hoping. Another was when Robert and I talked and prayed about this whole situation, one of the things that I talked and prayed about was about how stressed and tired I was through this process. I was simply exhausted with all the worry and speculation. During our prayer time, God put a song into my head, the song "Still". It is one we sing at our church and one that I love. The verse that popped into my head was, "Find rest my soul, In Christ alone. Know His power, In Quietness and Trust." Awesome song! Well this morning at church, guess what song we sang...yep, that very song. And since I am in the choir I got to sing it in practice and both services. I was a blubbering mess, most thought I was hurting and I was, but it was also the blessed sweet reminder from God that He DOES CARE and that He is in CONTROL. By the way, I have also felt much more at peace with the whole situation since Friday.

God has also used friends and family this weekend to encourage us through this down time. Friends who not even knowing the whole situation or what was troubling us who gave a hug, said a pray or a word of encouragement, some of you have no idea what your words have meant. Family who have been supportive now and throughout the whole process. Friends who didn't force me to talk when I wasn't able or didn't want to, who listened when I was mad and hurting, friends who were just there when I needed them to be there. I am not going to mention names because I don't want to leave anyone out, but you know who you are. A husband who has been extremely patient and understanding of his crazy wife and her crazy ideas and who has had to listen to most of my rantings (thank you Robert, I love you, you are the best husband). Friends and family who have been praying from a distance because you aren't physically here, but you are here emotionally and spiritually. I say all this to say thank you, thank you and thank you. I love all of you.

So, pray as we go tomorrow to meet with our caseworker, that God will give us the words to say and that we will say them with love, compassion and a Christian attitude. Pray for the decisions we still have to make as to what to do now. Pray that we will continue to seek after God and that we will trust Him and find our rest in Him.

Still, by Reuben Morgan

Hide me now,
Under your wings.
Cover me,
Within your mighty hands.

When the oceans rise and thunders roar,
I will soar with above the storm.
Father, you are king over the flood,
I will be still and know you are God.

Find rest my soul,
In Christ alone.
Know His power,
In quietness and trust.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Phase 2 is almost complete!

Well, homestudy is done, we are just waiting for it to be written and sent to DFCS. Once they receive it, it will go through the approval process. Then we will finally be approved and the waiting will begin. It has been a long process, with a few bumps in the road (lots of fingerprinting drama!), but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We have started to set up a nursery, although it is somewhat limited at the moment because we don't know the exact age or sex of the baby/child we might get. For me, it is something tangible, I walk by that room and I can feel us getting closer. I will do my best to keep everyone posted, especially as we get closer and hear more about a child!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Phase 1...Complete!

Last night Robert and I finished Phase 1 of the adoption process through DFCS. We had our last Impact class and turned in the last bit of paperwork. So, now on to Phase 2, the homestudy. We have been busy getting ready for this step: baby proofing, cleaning out, setting up the nursery... We are grateful to friends who have donated gently used toys, baby bed, etc.

We are very excited and ready to move on to the next steps. On other family news, yesterday, Nicholas turned 15, hard to believe. He is in Driver's Ed at school, which is a very scary thought! Well, not much else to say at the moment.