Showing posts from 2015

My Fourth Son, Our First Special Needs Adoption

It's been almost 2 months since I've written and I apologize for leaving you hanging, but we have been so busy adjusting to life with 8 children! The second I saw his picture online, I told my husband that I was naming him Judah because it means praise. I later found out that the Judah in the Bible was the fourth son of Jacob and he is our fourth son as well! We brought Judah home on November 3 after meeting with his neurosurgeon. We were given very little hope for him and told that it would likely turn into failure to thrive. She recommended no ER visits, no feeding tube and no ventilator for pneumonia if it were to occur. Many children with hydranencephaly die from aspiration pneumonia. We left so excited to be taking our son home, but sorrowful about the information we received from the doctor.

The first few weeks were HARD. We could tell he was in pain, but didn't know if it was related to his diagnosis or just normal baby colic issues. Just a few days ago, after many …

A Lot Can Change in 2 Weeks

2 weeks and 1 day ago, my husband and I watched The Drop Box on Netflix. It rocked our world. Go watch it. You have to read subtitles for most of it, but it's worth it. Trust me. We had recently opened our foster home again, but we had zero calls for placements, in almost 2 months. That was definitely a first for us! After watching The Drop Box and seeing this precious pastor truly give his life for all of these unwanted children, many with special needs, we started praying. We prayed that God would use us. We will take the risk that others can't or won't take for these children with special needs. We prayed together through tears that God would be glorified through our family and that we would do anything, He just needed to show us.

The next evening I messaged a fellow adoptive mother in another state, who has even more children than us :), many with special needs. I asked her where we needed to start this journey. She sent me back a couple websites, one being www.chask.or…

Visits with Birth Family

Many times as a foster or adoptive parent, you host visits with birth families. We had no idea where to have these visits when we first began foster parenting 4 years ago. I thought I would list some of the places we have had visits with birth family members since then to give others some ideas.

Church nurseries. Many pastors have no problem with sharing the nursery or childcare room during the week when services are not being held. Just remember to clean up when you leave. It also gives an opportunity to invite birth parents to church or have church leaders pray with them. This is our number one pick for visits. ParksSpray parkMcDonald's or another fast food restaurant play areaLibrary - kid's area or often times there are empty rooms you can go in and use.  Your house - we felt comfortable enough with the birth families to have them occasionally to our house. We never had any problems and the kids enjoyed showing off their home to their birth parents. DHS office - it isn't…

Forever Family Day!

Today marks 1 year that we became a forever family! We celebrated with Happy Meals, playing at the park, visiting our local fair and making chocolate chip cookies. So thankful for the Lord's blessings!

"Praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens.  Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness."  Psalm 150:1-2

Repost: "The system is too broken" is not a good excuse.

So thankful for this post I read this morning, had to share it on here. My thoughts are few and far between on the blog recently and the boldness and honesty from this blogger is refreshing.

“The system is too broken” is not a good excuse from Her View from Home.

"When I talk to people about foster care I get a lot of responses. People are always telling me why they could never invest themselves in these kids. There is the standard “I’d get too attached” response that while it frustrates me (Of course you would! That’s the point. These kids need people to attach to them.), I think I get most baffled by people who shrug and say they’d love to do something but “the system is just too broken.” Maybe they follow this up with an anecdotal story about a friend’s cousin who had a foster child that went back to an unsafe biological family member or they speak disparagingly of caseworkers and judges who are overburdened and just don’t care. So why get involved if the system is so broken ki…

How we Disciple our Children

"Our goal as parents ought to be to help our kids become independently dependent on God." - Francis Chan

My two oldest children are currently 9 and 7 years old. They were recently baptized. They wanted to be baptized a couple years ago, but my husband and I wanted to make sure that they understood what they were "signing" up for, as much as possible at their young age.

When people ask how we disciple our children, I wish I had a formula to give them to say if you do this, then this is the outcome. That's never the case, because ultimately, it is the Lord who grows our children's faith, we can only help plant the seeds and water them. Hands down, what has inspired and strengthened the faith of our children is the way my husband and I strive to live our life everyday. We strive to live a Christ-centered life in every area. We care for orphans, we take in foster children even though we risk getting hurt by losing them. We love and forgive the birth parents of o…

Repost: To the mom who doesn't feel like a mother, yet (and the other moms too!)

Too good not to share! Reposted from Katie Davis' blog, On Earth as it is in Heaven.

It seems to be the lament of many adoptive mothers I meet, “I didn’t really feel it.” Somewhere along the line, adoption has become associated with the myth of “love at first sight.” I surely cannot say that no one feels this, but I can say that not everyone does, and not everyone has to. Because the truth is, love is a thing that grows.
I am sure there is truth in the stories that many tell of that moment they saw their child for the first time and knew instantly that God had ordained him to be theirs and fell in love. But I think so much more often, the action of love precedes the actual feeling.
 I knew many of my children months or years before I became their mother. When I first met them, I had no idea that this would be a bond we would share. Even when they first moved in and we filled out the foster care papers, I was tentative. I didn’t really feel like a mother, I felt like a stopgap in the …

Mother's Day 2015

Happy Mother's Day to all the Super-Mamas out there! Hope it's blessed!

Looking Back

I'm bed-ridden this week, with a pinched nerve, so I've been reading past blogs and looking at pictures. This quote really stood out to me. I posted it 6 months before getting Hannah, our first foster child, and now adopted daughter. I am so thankful we followed God into the unknown. More than the blessing of 4 more children, we drew closer to Him and know Him better now than ever. Praise You Father!

"Ultimately, I have just as little control over my own life and what will happen to me. Isn't the easiest thing at this point to start living in a guarded, safe, controlled way? To stop taking risks and to be ruled by our fears of what could happen? Turning inward is one way to respond; the other is to acknowledge our lack of control and reach out for God's help. If life were stable, I'd never need God's help. Since it's not, I reach out for Him regularly. I am thankful for the unknowns and that I don't have control, because it makes me run to God."…

An Unexpected Phone Call

About a week ago, we got a phone call from DHS about 8:30 pm. To remind everyone, our home has been closed for over 6 months now. I knew that even with us closing, there were always going to be opportunities with kinship placements that might happen just because of the people we have relationships with now. It wasn't kinship, but our region was in a bind. They had a sibling group of 3 sleeping in the office for the second night in a row because there were no open homes. The supervisor suggested us since we had "recently" closed and I assume because all of DHS knows that we don't say no when they call. Seth and I took a few minutes to talk about it and offered to take one child.

We got everything ready, 6 of our 7 children were already asleep, so I just talked to my oldest son about what had happened and that we were going to take a 1 year old for a little bit. He was hesitant and surprisingly upset that we were going to separate the 1 year old from her siblings. We …

Saying goodbye to Facebook

As a foster parent for 3+ years, Facebook was my much needed support group, ministry tool and orphan advocacy platform. I believe that it served it's purpose and God has been laying on my heart since we closed our home, that it was time to officially end it.

Recently, when I asked my kids what my favorite thing was, one of the top things they said was, "Checking your Facebook." So not cool. I refuse to be one of those parents who can't stop looking at their phone or checking "likes" on posted pictures of their kids who are growing up right before their eyes. I will not look back 10 years from now and regret the impact of technology on my relationship with Christ, my marriage or my parenting.

Facebook and other social media outlets are addictive for many people. This was how I successfully broke my addiction and regained my focus.

How to deactivate your account and lessen the temptation to return:

Post a goodbye message, admitting that Facebook has become too…

Challenge of the Lord's Prayer

“I cannot say ‘our’ if I live only for myself in a spiritually watertight compartment. 
I cannot say ‘Father’ if I do not endeavor each day to act like His child. 
I cannot say 'who art in heaven' if I am laying up no treasure there. 
I cannot say 'hallowed be Thy name' if I am not striving for holiness. 
I cannot say 'Thy kingdom come' if I am not doing all in my power to hasten that wonderful event. 
I cannot say ‘Thy will be done’ if I am disobedient to His Word. I cannot say ‘in earth as it is in heaven’ if I’ll not serve Him here and now. 
I cannot say ‘give us this day our daily bread’ if I am dishonest, or if I am seeking things by subterfuge. I cannot say ‘forgive us our debts’ if I harbor a grudge against anyone. 
I cannot say ‘lead us not into temptation’ if I deliberately place myself in its path. 
I cannot say ‘deliver us from evil’ if I do not put on the whole armor of God. 
I cannot say ‘Thine is the kingdom’ if I do not give to the King the loya…