Saturday, October 30, 2010


It is completely different then I thought it would be.

Having a child leave after a year and a half leaves a gaping hole in your life.

One that can only be filled by something not of this world.

I was pretty sure if she left I would loose it.

I would curl up in a ball and not be able to function for at least a week.

That didn't happen.

I was scared about so many things.  

I was terrified for the day she would have to leave.

I was scared that I wouldn't be able to trust God anymore.

I was scared that I wouldn't be able to foster anymore.

I was just so so scared.

But none of that has happened.

I am far more convinced and convicted about my life and what I need to do with it.

I am convinced of God's love for me and that I can trust HIM completely.

I am filled with even more conviction that we NEED to foster.

I was so scared, yet the opposite of everything I feared has happened.

It has made me stronger- not weaker.

It has given me faith - not taken it away.

I see the hand of God - not watched it leave me.

It has changed me - not in the way I thought it would.

It hurts.  It's hard.  My arms ache and my eyes swell, but my spirit is strong and steadfast in HIS love for me.


Well, this post just won't write its self.  I guess I am going to have to sit down and actually type something.  

I have been so exhausted.  So busy with work.  I'm happy about that though.

First I will answer some questions and then get on to my story.

"Have you heard for Sabrina's mom at all?"

No.  She is mad at me.  At the last court hearing I turned in a report listing ALL the things Sabrina came home and told me were going on at their home and even thought Sabrina's mom didn't even make it in time to be part of the hearing, when she did arrive her lawyer handed her a copy of it so now she has 5 pages worth of me tattling on her in black and white.

"What is going on with Joseph???"

Joseph is still living at his foster mom's house and has no real clue of what is going on.  The DHS worker wants to take things VERY slow so we are and will probably go visit him the first Saturday in November.  We are finally getting really antsy to get him home but are well aware it will not be until after the holidays. His birthday is in December and I am hoping to be able to see him on it.

Now.  Onto my story.

The day we went to go meet Joseph my son had a field trip.  My husband had stayed home so we could go meet Joseph and get some other errands done so he took Lizzy with him and I got to go with our son.

The class was going to a nature preserve in our area.  I drove 4 loud boys over there from the school.  They all ran in and got there seats in the front row of a room where one of the staff talks to the kids before they go on there nature walk.  My son was the first to grab his seat and he was front row center.

As the rest of the kids came in there was one boy in his class that wouldn't fit in the front because there were no more seats.  He walked to the 2nd row away from everyone and sat down all by himself with an obviously pouty expression on his face.

Do you want to know what my son did?  He hoped up out of his seat and said "Here Pat, come sit in my seat."  Pat declined.  My son said "No, really, come sit in my seat."

Pat still declined. 

I looked at the situation and grabbed a chair and put it on the end of the front row and motioned for Pat to come and sit there, which he did and then all was well in his world.

Then, I took a seat in the back row, nearly in tears.

This was only a week or so after Sabrina left.  

Obviously I have had my own struggles about Why? and even Why did you let the lawyer hand her that report?  All these questions I have for God.

But, as I sat there and watched my son opt to sit by himself so that someone else didn't have to I saw what the goodness of God really is.

It is still dripping all over my life.  In the simple ways and the huge ways.

In the ways that no one can take away.

In the spirit of my son.

The goodness of God is everywhere and I want it to show up where it counts.  And it is.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Time has marched on.

One of our little girls is no longer ours -

but we still have two amazing kids that we get to spoil rotten.

And trust me, we do.

We took them to a local place were they got to ride a train and go trick-or-treating early with some of our family.

They had a blast.

That was last weekend - this weekend we took them to a indoor water park.

That was even more fun.

I am so proud of the progress Lizzy is making.  

She is calming down and starting to listen and obey.

We have become quite the buddies lately.

We do everything together.  If you have a 1-2 year old you know what I mean - heaven forbid I close the bathroom door.

And, my son, well - he is still as amazing as ever.

I will have a story about Mr. Amazing tomorrow.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


You know what I kept thinking about when I finally had a date set up for all of us to go meet Joseph?

I kept thinking "What do you wear to go meet your son for the first time?"

That is what rolled around in my head for literally weeks.

Oh, there is so much to tell-

Joseph's whole "story"

All my phone conversations with his current foster mom

What we were thinking/worried about

But, before we knew it, all four of us were in the car settled in for our 1 hour car ride to meet a little boy that we might adopt.

We pulled in to the driveway of a cute old house in the middle of a cute rural town.

We knocked on the front door and I saw Cathy, his foster mom, jump out of her seat in the living room to answer the door.

I waved.

She answered the door and I finally got to hug this wonderful mom, grandma, and foster mom that is a new found hero of mine.  If you can't tell I really like her.

As we walked in the door we saw a little room to the right of the front door.  In the tight squeezed crib lay Joseph, on his belly, stirring from his nap.  He popped his head up and Cathy scooped him up and walked the 6 steps from his little nook, across the entryway into the living room.  She "introduced" us and plopped him down in a comfy chair and the phone rang and she whisked away to take an "important call".

Joseph just sat still, sippy cup in hand, slouched in the chair with his big pretty eyes staring at us.  He didn't move.  He didn't cry.  He just looked.

It was so funny, but I just couldn't make the first move.  I wanted to go scoop him up and cuddle him so bad...but I just didn't want to scare him even more.

My husband knelt down and said hi, complimented Joseph's little shoes that hold on the braces that he was wearing because he had taken so long to start walking.  The doctor ordered them the week before he started walking and they decided to have him wear them for a while anyway - just in case.

As I watched my hubby get to know Joseph, Lizzy running around looking for stuff to touch and my son touching a few toys that were laying around I felt like I was watching my prayers get answered.

I had been praying that if we truly were supposed to adopt this little boy that my husband would fall in love with him, that there would be no reservation on his part.  I had no idea what God was going to do, how we would feel or what we would decide-and then I watched this little boy who "didn't like strangers", "who doesn't usually like men" warm up to my husband - and I watched my husband warm up to him.  

Some times miracles are obvious and other times they sneak up on you - and sometimes it is just watching two people who never should have had to meet start a relationship that should have never been possible.

Joseph is something special.

We are still in the beginning of all of this.

His parental rights have been terminated but his bio family appealed this decision.

We are in.

We will see what God decides to do.

Friday, October 22, 2010


So, as it normally works at my agency, Kellen's adoption worker never got back to me.  She's a nice lady but all the workers there aren't really worried about doing anything besides what they have to.  Take that how you will.  I bumped into her a few more times and eventually she gave me the name of the supervisor of the adoption dept. and told me that would probably be the person to contact.

So, I called the supervisor and left a message.

No phone call back.

So, I called again the next week.  And left a message "Hi this is *insert my name here*, we are a foster family with your agency and want to get an adoptive home study done.  Please call me at a time that is convenient for you."

No phone call back.

I call later that week and leave a message.

No phone call back.

I call again and leave the same nice message.

And, I finally get a call back.

I told her that we are a foster family for this agency and that we would like to get an adoptive home study done because when you want to find out about kids on M.A.R.E. you have to have a home study done and I had a sibling group I was interested in.

She was nice and then went on to tell me that because the sib group I was looking at was young and didn't have many issues that there probably was a huge pile of home-studies already sitting on their worker's desk to go thru...BUT...


"I have a little 18 month old boy named Joseph that I am looking for a family for.  We had him matched up but then someone higher up decided that family had too many kids and couldn't adopt anymore.  Joseph is a cutie, I would take him home if I could, but anyway, do you think you would be interested?"

And from there she described his story and something kept sounding familiar.  Then I realized a girl friend of mine who adopted her little girl through my agency had emailed me months ago telling me about a little boy they had been asked to adopt and decided not to.  Yes, this same little boy that I had called about months ago and never gotten a response was the same little boy that now was getting "offered" to me.

We set up a time for the supervisor to some out to our house to turn our foster home study into a adoptive home study.

We got finger printed.  Again.

We got our physicals done.  Again.

Had our foster care license re-newed.  Again.

Also, the supervisor gave me the phone number of Joseph's current foster mom.  So, I waited until the evening and called her.  Boy is this lady a foster care HERO.  She takes in the hard cases and gives these babies a chance to HEAL.  When Joseph was born he weighed 1 lb 13 oz.  He was in the hospital for 3 months, with his bio family for 2 months and then came to his current foster mom when he was 5 months old and has been with her ever since.
She has taken him to all the doctor appts and visits.  Dealt with his bio family and taken care of him just like a mommy would.  I have talked to her every week for at least 4 weeks and I have fallen in love with her heart and fostering style!  She has been in it for so long she is a "let's get this done" kinda lady and I love it!

Anyway, we finally got to meet Joseph on Wednesday, and I'll tell you about that later.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I have 2 months worth of telling to do.

Sabrina leaving made the time pass very quickly between first hearing about Joseph and then going to meet him.  It ended up taking way longer than it probably should have, but anyway, back to the beginning - 'cuz it's kinda a good story.

Every month I get together with a group of ladies that I am falling in love with.  They meet once a month and have a Bible study together that is different from any I have ever been to.  Let's just say it is a come as you are and worship your Saviour how ever works for you kinda deal.  And trust me, where 2 or 3 are gathered together GOD is in the midst.

Anyway, during one of these get-togethers we were worshiping in song and as we were a little face popped into my head.  It was a young african american boy who had bright eyes and adorable hair.

I got a little emotional because I thought it was a picture of my next foster child.

The lady leading the group asked if anyone had seen anything when they were worshipping.  I told the ladies that I had had this little face pop into my head.  I assumed it was a rough description of what my next foster child would look like because I have had a rough thought of all my kids before I got them.  I usually would know boy or girl, color of skin, and around the right age of who we ended up getting.  I don't mean that God listed it out to me this way, it always would mostly be day dreaming/obsession with a child that we would get a call about that would fit the child that was in my heart at the time.

Anyway, I went home and the next day I happened to go on M.A.R.E. and I came across this picture and stopped dead in my tracks:
The little boy on the right in the red shirt looked exactly like the little face I saw in my heart.  What I didn't expect was that there would be two more in the picture.  

I shared all of this with my husband that LOVES me but thinks I am a little off my rocker sometimes and he was...sceptical but, as always, never tells his crazy wife no.

So, I told him I was going to inquire about these kids...because, you know, just shooting off an email doesn't mean anything.  It isn't like I was committing to adopt them or anything.

I had inquired about a child on M.A.R.E. before and knew that if you were not home study ready all they would do was send you a packet of info that had no info about the kids but just a bunch of info about foster adoption.

So, the next time I went into our agency I ran into Kellen's adoption worker and asked her what I needed to do to get a adoptive home study done and she said she would find out and get back to me.

To be continued... 

(I have to add that these are not the children that we have been asked to adopt, though they are a huge stepping stone to the next part of the story)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I wish I was better at keeping secrets.  

Now that I have actually managed to keep one from you it is time to let it out.

There is a boy.

His name is Joseph.

We have been asked to adopt him.

I'll tell you the rest tomorrow :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


A day or two after Sabrina left I, of course, was struggling with all the thoughts that were floating around my head.

"Why did God allow this"

"Why is HE willing to risk Sabrina getting hurt...again?"

"Her mother doesn't deserve anymore chances!"

"The system failed" 

"We all failed"

"Her mom lied and lied and lied...and got away with it"

"There is no point in doing this"

"The system is more screwed up than these families"

"Why should we keep setting ourselves up to be hurt?"

...and about a million more thoughts just. like. those.

As they were twirling around in my head God called me a name.  Yes, HE does that.

Do you want to know what HE called ME?


And this is what happened all in my head after HE called ME Jonah.

Me:  "Lord, I am not Jonah."

Voice in my head that I call the Holy Spirit:  "You are acting like him."

Me:  "No I am not, this is nothing like that."

Voice in my head that I call the Holy Spirit:  "Yes it is, think about it.
I told Jonah to do something.  He didn't want to.  He ran.  YOU didn't run, you did what I told you, but that isn't the part of the story I am talking about.  Do you remember the end of the story?"

Me:  "Yes, Jonah finally goes and tells the people of Ninevah what you told him to tell them and they 'turned from their wicked ways' and you saved them.  And, Jonah was mad.  He didn't like that you saved them even after all the bad things they did."

Voice in my head that I call the Holy Spirit:   "Exactly."

Me:  "Lord, I just don't see how risking Sabrina getting hurt again is acceptable."

Voice in my head that I call the Holy Spirit:  "That's not up to you."

Me:  "Lord, I do, so badly, want Sabrina's mom to see your grace in this situation.  I want to see her come to know YOU because she watched you give her child back even when she didn't deserve it.  I'm just mad because I don't like this plan."

Voice in my head that I call the Holy Spirit:  "Jonah."

Me:  "I am not Jonah!"

Voice in my head that I call the Holy Spirit:  "You are acting like him."

This is not uncommon for me.  I better hope no one that is in charge of my licensing reads this, they will definitely deem me mentally unfit!  ha!

God tries to tell me things and I argue with HIM.  Which, now that I am thinking about it sounds really scary.  Anyway, I am not one to go around comparing my life to Bible stories so I was surprised to be called "Jonah".  But, I have to admit, HE was right.  I wanted to decide that her mom doesn't deserve another chance.  My love for Sabrina has bred a protection reaction that all moms have for their kids.  

I am so glad that I am not the one in charge, don't get me wrong-on most days I would LOVE to be the one in charge, but, it's not my place.  My place it to trust and to pull in closer to MY God.  And that is what I am doing.

Monday, October 18, 2010


So, what do you do on your last day?  What do you do with your last hours that you have with a child that has called you "Mom" for 16 months?
Everything we normally do.  

That is what we did.  

Everyone that we normally go and see, we went and said goodbye to.

Just a different kind of goodbye.

We went and played with friends that we played with every week.

We went and saw everyone that was realistically within driving distance.

We had lunch, we were all together and then we came home.

And she left.

  We chose to be our version of our normal family on our last day.

That is what we did. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010


"Be prepared, this road is one full of twists and turns, with many heartaches along the way. Adoption is heartbreak. The fact that a child, before it can be adopted, must be abandoned first or have parents die an untimely death. Heartache. Yes, it is redemptive in that God brings families and children together and creates His family.

But the cross was a beautiful tragedy, wasn't it? That there was nothing but to shed the blood of our perfect, blameless Savior on a terrible cross for all mankind. That God had to give His only son. That His own people scorned Him and His very disciple turned Him over. Heartache. But the redemption. Oh, the redemption. Because of the pain suffered, we sinners are saved. Praise Him."  - author unknown

"What my friend needed to know is that her troubles are not the marks of failure, but of Christ-following. Christ’s love leads us into places that no one else wants to go, where the stench and the mess and the heartache push out the well-dressed and the well-behaved."  - Tonia

For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.” Phil. 1:27-29

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Time marches on and grief comes in waves but slows down as the days go on.  Prior to Sabrina's court hearing I was a MESS.  The day before was the hardest on me.  I have a very hard time dealing with the unknown and waiting to find out what is going on pertaining to things that are very important to me often sends me into a tail spin.  Waiting to hear if Sabrina was going home was the pinnacle of any anxiety I have ever experience.

Regardless of this, over the past 16 months I have not be oblivious to the gifts and God's Grace that have flowed through this entire journey...even to the end of it and I would be foolish to not hold tight to these obvious gifts that he gave us.

1.  I was told I would have Sabrina for 3 months - God gave me almost exactly One YEAR more than that with her.

2.  Sabrina left our house at an age where she remembers.  

3.  I never knew why, but I desperately wanted to have her for one of her birthdays and we did.  It was wonderful.

4.  The month before she was returned she didn't have her normal weekend visits, we had 4 wonderful weekends with her.  These were not taken for granted.

5.  We know where Sabrina's family lives and have been there.  This has brought me much comfort.  If they had whisked her off to some completely unknown place I think that would have bothered me so much more.

6.  A week and a half before she was returned her uncle was court ordered into 1 year of rehab or 2 years in jail.  This is obviously not a coincidence.  

7.  God did not leave me with a lack of children to love.  I still have my precious son who, as I have said many times, gives me the strength to be able to even try to do all of this and I have Lizzy who is very precious to me even though she is the most high maintenance child I have ever met :)

If I was to look back at all the gifts God gave me while I was Sabrina's mommy the list would be much longer, but here at the end, this is what stands out to me.  God gave me everything that my heart desired to have with Sabrina, except giving me "possession" of her forever.  It is so glaringly obvious to me now that children are ANYTHING but a possession that people should be trying to "keep" or "get back".  Every day I fought for her to be kept safe.  That has to be the goal in this position.  I have had so many people say to me "She'll be back" referencing her coming back into foster care and it makes me sick to think of that happening. 

 I want her mom to do GOOD.

I want her to keep Sabrina SAFE.

I want her mom to see God's goodness in giving her her CHILD back.

I want them to CHANGE.

I don't hope she comes back into foster care.

I hope to see a miracle of a family HEALED.

Friday, October 15, 2010


"If we are really following Jesus, we will go to the hard places.  Being a Christ follower means being acquainted with sorrow.  Because we must know sorrow to be able to fully appreciate JOY.  Joy costs pain, but the pain is worth it.

So, we go.  This is where our family is today and where I hope to stay- loving, because HE first loved US.  Going into the pit, entering into the sorrow because HE entered for US first and because by HIS grace, redemption is on the other side - again, and again, and again."

"For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on HIM, but also to suffer for HIM."

-Philippians 1:29

"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief."

- Ecclesiastes 1:18

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Sabrina left today around 3 pm.  Her social worker that I had worked with during the whole case was the one who came to get her.
Even in the end, everything is a complicated mess.  Basically the referee didn't even want to see the court report in which the social workers suggested that Sabrina stay in foster care, she wanted her sent home.
There were no services in place yet so technically she is on an extended vacation at her mom's house until a hearing that is going to be held a week from today to see if the services are put in place.  I asked the social worker "So, what happens if they aren't?" and she said, "That is what I wanted to know!"

Packing her up wasn't that big of a deal, it was just taking her to say goodbye to everyone that was harder.  As I watched the clock tick our day away I just got sadder and sadder.
I had put Sabrina in the social worker's car and her and I stood around talking for a minute.  I forgot her paper work so the worker and I went in to go get it and I came out to see Sabrina back in Ben's arms in the driveway.

 I could tell by the look on his face that Sabrina was upset and he looked at me and said, "She was crying and just said she wants to stay here."  
It just isn't fair, it isn't right that they get no say.  That they are a thing that belongs to someone.  So, as I have done so many times before, I sucked it up and put on my brave face and told her about all the fun she is going to have once she gets to her mom's house and tried to take her mind off of it.

Hard doesn't describe it.  Unbearable is very close to a good word for it but it isn't quite that bad either.

I would do it all over again for her though, when I look back I wouldn't change anything.  I have no regrets, I just struggle to understand this outcome.

These pictures were taken a day or two ago, my two girls playing dress up in all my clean laundry that was on my chair in my bedroom.  This was almost a everyday thing.  What a beautiful mess they always made for me.