Friday, December 31, 2010

Good stuff!!

(Stealing this from you PotterMama :) )

"I will never forget seeing her pull the measuring tape out of her purse as she talked about the skull of her child.
The woman, standing in an airport in Russia with my wife and me, was, like us, an American. She, like us, was in the former Soviet Union to pursue adoption. But she was worried. She had heard “horror stories” about fetal alcohol syndrome and various other nightmares. She said that the measuring tape was for gauging the size of the craniums of her potential children, to “make sure there’s nothing wrong with them.”
The reason I think about this conversation so much these days is because I am finding—more and more often—that one of the primary obstacles for Christians in advocating for the fatherless can be summed up right there in that measuring tape: the issue of fear. As much as we might not want to admit it, many of us don’t think much about orphans because, frankly, we’re scared of them.
Orphans are unpredictable. Often we don’t know where they’ve come from, what kind of genetic maladies and urges lie dormant somewhere in those genes. Moreover, in virtually every situation of fatherlessness, there is some kind of tragedy: a divorce, a suicide, a rape, a drug overdose, a disease, a drought, a civil war, and on and on. We’d rather not think about such things, and we’re afraid often of what kind of lasting mark they leave on their victims.
Those of us who know Christ ought to recognize that fear is often a deterrent to justice, a deterrent that has been indicted, crucified, and buried in the triumph of Jesus. In Jesus’ story of the so-called “good Samaritan,” after all, Jesus presents us with a man who “fell among robbers” and was beaten, nearly to death (Lk. 10:30). With little commentary on why, Jesus tells us, simply, that two passers-by, both religious officials, moved on to the other side, to avoid the wounded man (Lk. 10:31-32).
While many have speculated that there might have been theological reasons behind their neglect (the fear of becoming ceremonially unclean from touching a corpse), the most compelling reason I’ve ever heard was from Martin Luther King, Jr., who wondered whether the passers-by were simply afraid.
After all, there were no streetlights on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho—the setting of this story. There was no police force. A man beaten by terrorists is a good signal that the evildoers are still about, perhaps hiding in the caves along the roadside, lying in wait for their next victim. Moving on along, quickly and quietly, probably just seemed like prudence.
But Jesus never was one for justification by prudence alone. He praised a Samaritan—a reviled outcast from the official religious structures—for the compassion he demonstrated toward this man. And the compassion Jesus commended—and commanded from us in imitation—wasn’t mere charity. The Samaritan didn’t simply help the beaten man; he gave him his own animal, set him up in an inn, and paid for all his expenses for his ongoing care (Lk. 10:34-35). Any Israelite hearing this account would have seen immediately what was going on. The Samaritan was treating the beaten man like family.
Right now, there is a crisis of fatherlessness all around the world. Chances are, in your community, the foster care system is bulging with children, moving from home to home to home, with no rootedness or permanence in sight. Right now, as you read this, children are “aging out” of orphanages around the world. Many of them will spiral downward into the hopelessness of drug addiction, prostitution, or suicide. Children in the Third World are languishing in group-homes, because both parents have died from disease or have been slaughtered in war. The curse is afoot, and it leaves orphans in its wake.
Not every Christian is called to adopt or to foster children. And not every family is equipped to serve every possible scenario of special needs that come along with particular children. Orphan care isn’t easy. Families who care for the least of these must count the cost, and be willing to offer up whatever sacrifice is needed to carry through with their commitments to the children who enter into their lives.
But, while not all of us are called to adopt, the Christian Scriptures tell us that all of us are called to care “widows and orphans in their distress” (Jas. 1:27). All of us are to be conformed to the mission of our Father God, a mission that includes justice for the fatherless (Exod. 22:22; Deut. 10:18; Ps. 10:18; Prov. 23:10-11; Isa. 1:17; Jer. 7:6; Zech. 7:10). As we are conformed to the image of Christ, we share with him his welcoming of the oppressed, the abandoned, the marginalized; we recognize his face in the “least of these,” his little brother and sisters (Matt. 25:40).
The followers of Jesus should fill in the gap left by a contemporary Western consumer culture that extends even to the conception and adoption of children. Who better than those who have been welcomed by Christ to care for the most feared and least sought after of the world’s orphans? After all, who are we, as those who are the invited to Jesus’ wedding feast? We are “the poor and the crippled and the blind and the lame” (Lk. 14:21). Since that is the case, Jesus tells us, we are to model the same kind of risk-taking, unconditional love (Lk. 14:12), the kind that casts out fear.
Yes, orphan care can be risky. Justice for the fatherless will sap far more from us than just the time it takes to advocate. These kids need to be reared, to be taught, to be hugged, to be heard. Children who have been traumatized often need more than we ever expect to give. It is easier to ignore those cries. But love of any kind is risky.
The Gospel means it’s worth it to love, even to the point of shedding your own blood. After all, that’s what made a family for ex-orphans like us."
By Russel D. Moore

Thursday, December 30, 2010


I thought that since our agency was closed for several days this week we might get away with out a visit this week, but his mom called about 3 hours before the usual time and it was going to be "on." For the past year I have sent the communication book with LM every time telling her at least something that happened during the week. She usually writes back chit-chat or tells me something that she would like changed/done. Two weeks ago (before she lost her visit last week) I sent her a Christmas gift and a pleasant note about LM's week. What I got back was "his pants are stupid!"

I really want to be a light and I didn't want to get upset, but she abuses (verbally/emotionally) pretty much everyone that is in her life, and I wanted to let her know that I will not tolerate that and she can't treat me that way. So...I decided to not send the book this week. If she didn't want to use it for what it was designed for, then I won't participate. She really isn't one to realize social cues (at all!) so I really didn't expect that she would "get it."

The CM dropped LM off and the first thing out of her mouth was "the mom was upset you didn't include the book and tell her how him Christmas was." I told her why and she said that mom wrote me a note and she realized that what she wrote was inappropriate and she apologized in the note! Quite surprising let me tell ya! So I will restart the book but be firm and tell her that I won't accept such disrespect and use it for it's purpose.

She sent him many Christmas gifts including you ready???? Here's the kicker.....she sent two pairs of JEANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I about fell over!!!!!!!!! If you have read for any length of time you know she HATES jeans and has told me over and over to not let him wear them (he does...just not on visit days!)

I was talking with the CM and it looks they are going to head to a TPR consult!! This woman LOVES her son, but she simply is just not emotionally/mentally stable (even if Dad got his act together) to care for a child. Their apt was so filled with smoke that the CM could only stay for a minute....LM is asthmatic!!!!! (The Christmas gifts smelled so bad that I had to give him a nebulizer treatment and I had to take my inhaler because neither of us could breathe). She really needs HELP, but she is still in so much denial about her mental state that she doesn't think she needs any help. In any conversation or note, you can tell she has no steady stream of thought. It's so sad!!! :( She talks daily about leaving LM's dad, but then is back in love an hour later. DRAMA!

I am thankful that LM doesn't have to go through that drama and I am glad that he is in a safe and stable place to grow up :) Nothing is going to happen quickly in regrads to the TPR as it is a "whole process" but I'm getting pretty used to things moving slowly! The next court hearing set is the end of January and I might not be able to go because it's the same time as another very important appt, so maybe God doesn't want me there for a reason??? LM is in his hands and I have nothing to worry about! :-)

Monday, December 27, 2010

It's time!

Little Man is getting to that point where he is able to get disciplined for his actions! Whew! This child has an attitude and has no problem displaying it to anyone who would like to see it-lol! He has the language to express simple needs/wants and rather than using them he tends to scream and throw a fit. So...this past weekend Mr. M and I started "You sit!" It's not really a time-out \, but rather if he wants to throw a fit, that's fine, but we aren't going to listen to it (ok..we're kind of forced to, but we don't give it any attention). The first time we put him on the spot we told him when he was all done crying he could get up. We really expected him to get up a few times, but he just sat there! :) We went about our business and he stopped crying and got up and played. He did it several more times over the weekend, but he understands, sits, stops crying and gets up. The time he spends on his crying efforts are getting shorter each time. Yay!

He also has this stubbornness in him where he wants to get up on the couch (he can do this all by himself but prefers to be lifted up because it's easier!) and rather than saying "up" or "please" he just screams at you. Well....not gonna work here! We told him "no whining...use your words. Say "up please" and he calmed down quickly and said the words. Yay!!! The next time he whined again and we just had to say "use your words" and he did. So....thank God for less screaming!!! We jokingly call him Baby Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! He can go from total tantrum screaming to giggling in a second!

If you haven't read the book "Loving your kid's on purpose" by Danny Silk I highly recommend it! One example in particular that stands out in this case is "fun or room?" If you want to be fun you can stay here and play or if you want to be crabby you can go to your room. I think "You fit you sit?" will turn into that when he can open his door! lol! Lots of great stuff in that book...I think it's time for a re-read for me too :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry CHRISTmas!!

Merry Christmas to all of you!!! We have been so blessed with a wonderful year and a whole year with Little Man! Yesterday we decided to bless the firefighters who have to work on Christmas Eve/Christmas with some homemade goodies. They invited us in to look at the truck/ambulance and all the kids were THRILLED! Little Man just stood there for awhile and then throughly enjoyed driving the fire truck! He didn't even flinch when they set the sirens off! LOL!

Little Man loved the presents this morning, but he tended to get fixed on one present and we had to urge him to open another one! At the end all the presents were open except for some 5 of his! Mr. A and Mr. I were more than happy to help him!

This is somewhat bittersweet...we are so happy that he is here with us celebrating, but I keep thinking of his birthmom who is sitting at home missing her baby boy today (not to mention her other kids of which this will be her first Christmas!). She doesn't have any family around and I can just imagine how truly lonely she is feeling today :( Truly praying for some incredible life change for her...there is HOPE and His name is Jesus! The reason we celebrate today!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Not as planned

Court didn't go so well today :( Mom and Dad didn't show up again in person (more excuses) but Mom did appear by phone. She acted so incredibly inappropriate to the judge and would not stop ranting and interrupting that the judge said if she was in court she would be in cuffs and since she was on the phone she was going to hang up if she interrupted one more time. She did. Goodbye! So...this is the THIRD continuation since the end of October just to try and get a JR done! Grrr....January 24th is our next time in court. This judge is actually moving to another area, but she noted that she wants to keep our case. I can't imagine having to start all over with another judge so that is good news!

Little Man was scheduled for a visit with Mom today, but because of her actions in court the judge demanded she be drug screened today and the GAL's attorney suggested that the visit be cancelled because Little Man doesn't need to see her so unstable. It makes me sad...I wish I could peel the layers off her eyes so she could see the damage, but I can't :(

We may lose yet another case manager because this Mom has pushed this one to the brink in a mere month and 1/2! The way she acted in court is what this CM deals with daily. Oh Lord please bring this case to end SOON!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Busch Gardens!

Today we went to Busch Gardens! We were given 5 free tickets from our licensing agency and off we went! This is Little Man on a zebra on the mini-carousel ride. He loved it :) It was a very cold morning to start, but warmed up nicely. He did great the whole day and didn't even fuss at having to spend lots of time in the stroller! He loved the "aminals" as he called them and FLIPPED out when he saw the Elmo show. I have a great pic of my husband holding him and he has this horrible "boo-boo" face (as we call it) because he couldn't go dance with Elmo on stage! Too fun!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Blessed Abundantly!

Little Man was blessed by the Foster Angels with all of these goodies!!!! In the past there have been certain restrictions, but this year they wanted every single child in foster care (traditional, relative, etc) to have an abundant Christmas! I was expecting maybe 3-4 toys, but they gave him so much! Of course he is MOST excited about the Elmo ride-on toy. No, I didn't give him the gifts, but he had to come with me to pick them up so he kinda saw. I've already hid it and he'll forget about it for a week! LOL!
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18 months!!!!!!!!!!

I simply can't believe that my sweet boy is 18 months old today!!! Gosh I wish I could plaster his adorable little face all over this blog! He is such a little spit fire but sweet as can be on the flip side! He has really gotten into dancing lately and it is just the cutest thing...the kid has rhythm! His favorite song to dance to is the Target Christmas commercial with the Electronic Santa Claus. Hilarious! He and Mr. I break it down family style! He can throw a tantrum with the best of them and I am surprised the neighbors haven't come knocking with the way he screams! lol! He is a complete joy to our lives and I cannot wait to see his face Christmas morning! We celebrate Christmas morning with a chocolate cake for Jesus' birthday so I'm sure he'll enjoy that too :-)

Court countdown....4 days...I'm probably setting myself up for another disappointment, but I can't help it! lol!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Where's Grandma?

Little Man likes to "talk" on the phone to my Mom (who lives out of state) at least a few times per week. Mr. I. likes to call Grandma too, so between the two of them she says "oh, really?" a lot since they are hard to understand-lol! Anyway, she mailed all 3 of the kids a "Twas the Night Before Christmas" recordable book. She recorded her voice reading the story and at the end it says "Merry Christmas! Love you, Grandma!" The first time Little Man heard the book it was hilarious!!! At first he just froze trying to figure it out. Then he knew it was Grandma's voice so he ran to the phone. He kept running back and forth between the book and the phone trying to figure it all out! :) So cute and smart!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jump aboard the crazy train!

Oye! Mom has been able to contact workers through the leasing office and she is throughly torn on what to do. She wants to now separate herself (through legal means) from Dad. Will she do it??? I don't know!!!! I know they received an eviction notice yesterday to be out in 3 days. Please pray that she finally makes some sound and smart decisions for her own safety and sanity!! I really pray she finds a safe place to stay where she can work on her own issues apart from this man.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

No visit this week

I guess Little Man is not going to have a visit again this week. At least we didn't go through the hassle of getting him and his things ready, driving there, and waiting only to find out she isn't coming. She never confirmed her visit and apparently couldn't find a way to get to the visit so it got cancelled yesterday morning. She has no phone now (it got disconnected) so I guess we wait and see if she contacts anyone and if there will be a visit next week.

It's so hard to see someone be so eager to get her child back, doing all that she needs to do only to place a man (and toxic relationship) ahead of her son. She seems to have totally given up all of the sudden and it's so sad! Now don't get me wrong....I am thankful that he gets to remain here in a safe environment where he won't be exposed to things a child never should! I guess only time will tell what will happen long term, but we are praying that December 22nd is a big day in his life and ours!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

More drama...

Never did I think that this case could be even MORE screwed up! Oh my...Mom and Dad are both alive and at their apt. Lots of UGLY details came out of yesterday's visit by the case worker/GAL and things are looking bleak. If only Mom could separate herself from this toxic relationship she might have a real chance of living with her son again. As things are right looks like there will be lots of drama in court again in a few weeks. Thank God Little Man is too little to have a clue what's going on...he's playing near my feet happily saying "Thomas...see it mama?!" He loves Thomas the Tank Engine these days :)

Friday, December 3, 2010


Nothing was accomplished in court today :( The parents did not show and nothing that was told to be completed was ready to present. The judge was in a VERY bad mood today and I felt very sorry for our case manager :( Mom has suddenly dropped off the face of the earth (Dad too)and it's very rare to not hear from her anywhere from 2-4 times a day, so the judge ordered the CM to find them and drug screen them immediately and be ready with the results on the 22nd which is when we will continue the fun! :-(

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Preparing for tomorrow

I think there are a lot of valuable lessons for me in my kid's favorite Bible story...David and Goliath!

"Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him." I Samuel 17:32
We currently are fighting a pretty big giant here, but as this verse says, we must not lose heart. We have no control, it looks like the parents are doing what they need to be doing, we may not get to keep Little Man here with us forever, BUT we must not lose heart!

" I cannot go in these,' he said to Saul, 'because I am not used to them.' So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine." I Samuel 17:38b-40
We cannot use someone else's faith to fight our giant!

"David said to the Philistine, 'You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty'." I Samuel 17:45

"All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's..." I Samuel 17:47 (emphasis mine)
The following is from my study Bible and totally summed it up for me :)

"Many of us have obstacles looming in the distance. We can approach them with the same confidence as David: When we pray in the Lord's name, remember what God has done and confidently place the results in God's hands." (emphasis mine)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

One year ago today!

I can hardly even believe that it was ONE year ago today that Little Man was brought to our home and joined our family!!!!!!!!! Back then he was a 5 1/2 month old BIG boy who actually assimilated pretty well. I remember the initial item that stopped him from crying was a red bulb on the Christmas tree that he could see himself in :) The first month he was with us are almost a blur as we adjusted to having an infant in the house and especially because he was SO SICK with asthma problems. We had so many Dr. visits that month it was crazy! Of course things settled down and he became part of our family. He has changed so much and is developing into quite the little character! He's not a baby anymore and he is looking more and more like a big boy!

Never in my foster care fantasies did I imagine that our first foster care placement would be this long. I'm not really sure what I expected, but I think I was expecting more of what my friend has had her first year...12 kids! Obviously God has us each on the path that He has planned for our separate families but we certainly have had different experiences for sure!

I have learned so much in the past year...there have been very hard times...there have been fun/easy times...there have been moments where I want to scream at the system...there have been moments when I have tried to encourage workers with tangible efforts to "keep going" when their job was "too much." There have been times when I have cried at the very thought of having to say goodbye...there have been times where I dreamed of the day I could announce that Little Man would be a permanent member of our family! I never imagined the emotional rollercoaster that foster care has turned out to be, but I know that this rollercoaster is from God and we are along for the ride to do as He wants us to!!

We have no idea how much longer Little Man will be here with us (hopefully we'll have a bit more of an idea after Friday) but we will cherish each and every day we have with him and even if he does return to his parents someday we will never regret having the blessing of him in our lives for however long God had him here!!