Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Foster to Adopt | Class [and other thoughts!]

This night was all about how abuse looks on a child at various ages. It was a tough pill to swallow. But, we are [still] all systems 'GO' with this exciting journey! Our hearts are heavy with the needs of these families -- yet we're so ready to dive in and help. Help even though we are naive & will make mistakes. Help and encourage & add love. Help and present hope & opportunity.

Every so often I get a rush of excitement deep in my heart. This experience has really shown me how much we all belong to God and each other. How we were all adopted into the most royal family - God's family. How God views everyone as important. We all add a unique piece to 'the puzzle'.

Today, I was privaledged to be able to spend a few hours with Sadie and her class [Teachers & other Parents, too] at a field trip. I was a group leader to 6 sweet little girls [two who were my own]. One of the girls was added to my group at the last minute because her Mom didn't show up as planned. Sad.

Sadie's awesome Teacher quietly asked me if I felt comfortable with this [naughty] active one in my already good sized group. I smiled and said: "[yes] YAY we GET _________!" Suddenly this girl who had been chasing her classmates with a stick on the picnic field earlier -- LIT UP and grabbed my hand. She. held. my. hand. [almost]. the. whole. time.

It gets me choked up. I was so honored to tell _________ in many ways that she is important and smart and funny... [not the naughty one.]

Labels. Lies. Yuck.

For that hour as we toured the 1860's farm, I got to be a teacher and an encourager. I have no college BA Degree that gives me a title in the education field - maybe oneday? [I plan to go back to school once John is done.] In the eyes of the girls I led around the farm I was leaving a mark. I have a not so secret fascination with 1800's US history -- God used that today to bond a group of Kindergarteners to each other and build self confidence in them [and me].

He helped me to be present in the moment.

Today, I'm reminded again that God can use us to share His love anytime - everyday - in the most ordinary ways. He makes the mundane beautiful.

Sadie and I after her recent performance in 'The Three Piggy Opera' [her Kindergarten play]!

Friday, April 15, 2011

my family [snapshot]

Tonight, while at our lovely Church Small Group a new friend mentioned that she journaled the first 4+ years of her childrens' lives! I was inspired! In no particular order, I'd like to take a few minutes to document the three most important people in my life.

Here goes:

John: You have the ability to meet someone new and connect with them on multiple levels within 10 minutes. You make others laugh. You don't take yourself too seriously and you've taught me to do the same. You help me see the bigger picture. You work hard and pick up my loose ends. You've become a close friend. We've remembered what brought us together. We have found new activities to do together and as a family. We're both pursuing dreams which have been years in the making. We sharpen each other. You are a great Dad!

Sadie: I believe you are the special treasure to your friends' in your new school, Awana & Church. Your classmates all call your name when you walk by them with me before or after school. I CHERISH my time bringing you to school and picking you up. I love seeing glimpses of your new 'big girl' world. You thrive on rutine. You never forget what I say. You keep me aware. I LOVE going on dates with you. You are smart with people and books. You have many talents to share with others. You have a great sense of humor. You feel deeply and love intensly. You're starting to enjoy playing with your sister. You are artistic and getting so good at reading. You enjoy homework! You lost your first tooth about a month ago (one of the front bottom ones)! Soon, you will take a childrens theatre class and swimming lessons. I think you're an extrovert [most of the time]. Last night while I was reading you the bible story of the prodigal son you told me: "Mom, I know that I am a special treasure to you and dad, I'll never disobey you when I'm a teenager." [I made SURE to write this one down! Ha!] You are such a sweet girl.

Lauren: You are a ball of energy. A ham. A joyful comedian. An Introvert. You are beginning to talk in sentences and express more complex ideas. You love to play 'mommy' with your baby dolls. You drag your shoes all over the house and you love wearing different pairs throughout the day. You admire your big sister and you miss her while she's at school. You also adore your big cousin, 'A'. Your little world is expanding as you welcome more [fun!] extended family members into your heart. You love to listen to stories. You are starting to draw. We've been working on colors, shapes and counting, lately. Just starting some letter sounds. You love to sing and DANCE. Soon you will start a gymnastics class. Today, you opened up a bible and said: "Thank you God my friends, Thank you God. Amen."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Foster to Adopt | Class

This class covered how to interact with Birth Parents. Attachment disorder. And other common confusion surrounding a childs' behavior when placed in foster care.

I have a fresh compassion for all involved in a foster-adoption. It is definately a 'thinking outside of the box' kind of journey. John and I will have to guard our hearts YET feel in ways we never have. I hope that we can peacefully welcome Birth Parents and Children as friends [forever] even if our time together is brief. We realize that we will be partnering with many to first and foremost make it so the child can go home. And then if not, well. Well. That's God plan I have to remember.

We hope & pray to add a son. At this point we plan to ask to be placed with one baby or toddler boy, at a time. We are open to girls and other ages in the future. A dear person [who has also adopted through foster care] encouraged us to pray for the kind of child who - first - came to mind when this whole idea - first - did.

We've also completed the first CHUNK of paperwork (as well as our taxes, almost). Great feeling!