The Final Yes {Guest Post}

{Note from Susann-aka Mommahopper: Welcome Back!   ifoster and adopt 2 is a place where anyone can share their stories. This week we are joining Susan Mathis as she shares her final part of their journey of foster care and adoption.  If you missed the first part of her story , The Power of Yes, you can find it here. Her second part of her story, Say Yes to the Stress is here.  Thank you for hopping by.}

The Final Yes

The call came one early morning in mid-October.  We had four children in the home at that time, and really didn’t have room for any more.  But the worker was desperate and assured me it would only be for a few days, so I said yes and called James at work and told him I’d be picking up two more kids and would stop by his office on my way home.

When I got to the agency, I stopped by to talk to a worker about something else.  Sitting in her office, I heard the unmistakable sound of little boy’s feet running as fast as they could down an office corridor.  I stood up as a towheaded three year old rounded the corner, literally jumped into my arms and said, “Hi, I’m Jeremy.”  He was adorable and I knew I was in trouble.

I quickly sat down and started talking to him.  Then, I heard someone enter the room and looked up to see the most beautiful baby I have ever laid eyes on.  I did not know it then, but one day her name would be Linda.  Just as with her brother, it was love at first sight, and I knew I was really in trouble.

The caseworker went over the situation with me:  bad parents, tired grandparents, a few days of respite.  But I was already in love and was wondering how I could ever survive such pain again.  Even as I buckled 10 month old Linda into her car seat, I whispered in her ear, “I am in trouble, little girl, because I already love you and I’m going to lose you, too.”

Obviously, I didn’t.  Instead, the grandmother called a day or two later and admitted she could no longer care for the children.  The mother was mentally challenged and had no real desire to parent.  However, the father wanted them back and there was another wrinkle.  There was a third brother, Joseph, who was in the custody of an aunt with a lengthy history of mental problems.  If the father (her brother) wasn’t going to have custody of all three children, she wanted them.

So we waited, again, for the other shoe to drop.  We waited through a fire caused by a very troubled little girl at Christmas.  We waited until February, when the father went back to prison for nearly killing the children’s mother.  By then, he was ready to surrender his parental rights, too, but only if his sister would give up Joseph to us so the children could be raised together.  We waited for a full year, and we prayed for a miracle.

Ultimately, we got one, though it was certainly neither what we’d prayed for nor what we expected.  In January of 1996, the aunt who had custody of Joseph died suddenly of a mysterious blood disorder.  We got custody of Joseph, the parents signed the termination of their rights, and the adoption was final on October 9th of that year.

Did we live happily ever after?  No, of course not.  Nobody ever does.  But we are still the very proud parents of three young adults who continue to excite and exasperate us as they struggle to find their place in this world.  In short, we’re pretty much like everyone else.

*For obvious reasons, I’ve changed their names.

Susan Mathis is the soon to be former homeschooling but still mom of three young adult children.  She enjoys sharing what she has learned through the years, as well as giving a little credit to one of her favorite sites, PaperStarters.com.

This is final part of her story.   If you would like to be notified with future ifoster and adopt 2 stories fill out contact forms and we will get you on the list.  If you would like to share your story goto our ifoster and adopt 2 page and fill out our form.}.

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Say Yes to the Stress {Guest Post}

{Note from Susann-aka Mommahopper: Welcome Back!   ifoster and adopt 2 is a place where anyone can share their stories. This week we are joining Susan Mathis as she shares their journey of foster care and adoption.  If you missed the first part of her story , The Power of Yes, you can find it here. Thank you for hopping by.}

Say Yes to the Stress

One of the things that I kept asking myself as we went through foster parent training is, “How do I keep from getting attached, from falling in love with these children?”  It was about halfway through that I realized that that would not be possible.  I would get attached and fall in love.  The sacrifice lay in letting go and accepting the hurt that would inevitably come.  Had I known how much hurt, I might not have agreed to it.  But then, I would not have known the joy, either.

Our first placement was three siblings whom we had for only a week.  They were beautiful and sad and had already suffered a lifetime of hurt in the first few years of their lives.  Next came two little boys who, oh so happily, were adopted out of our home by a family member who desperately wanted them.  There were a few other short placements, I think, in those first months, but I don’t remember now.

Then came Robby and Bobby,* two brothers, an infant and a toddler whose mother had already lost two of their siblings to very suspicious deaths and had surrendered custody of a third child.  Their social worker assured us that there was no way this woman would ever get custody of these boys back.  So we took pictures and decorated the nursery and bought them lots of matching outfits.  And, of course, we started talking adoption.  It would be lovely.  James put his dissertation on hold and got a job selling cars so I could quit work to be home full time with them.  For nine glorious months, we were a family.  And then the blow fell.

For reasons that no one could understand then or even today, a judge decided to give their mother one more chance.  Surely she’d learned her lesson by now and would not spill boiling water on them, as she had their dead brother.  No, she’d changed and besides that, she was pregnant with a girl, which is what she’d always wanted.  So, on the Friday before Father’s Day, we said goodbye, and never saw them again.

For the record, it seems that the judge was right.  She didn’t kill them and they did live to adulthood.  I only know this because I found them, just a few months ago, on Facebook.  I thought briefly about contacting them, but I didn’t.  They would not know who I was anyway, or that I had loved them and held them and prayed for them through the years.  To them I’d be a stranger, some odd woman who thought she knew them but, by now, surely doesn’t.

So of course, we said “never again.”  We were getting out of the business.  No more kids.  But we softened, and were persuaded to take a few here and there.  It was not a problem, because we didn’t become attached.  It seemed that our ability to bond was severed, so we wouldn’t get hurt anymore.  And that suited us fine.

But God still had one more “Yes” in our future.

*For obvious reasons, I’ve changed their names.

In addition to blogging for TheCouponCupboard.com, Susan Mathis now spends her post-homeschooling time continuing to encourage her husband and three children on to greatness.  Now, if she could just get there herself.

{The final part of her story will be posted Sunday, July 8. If you would like to be notified with future ifoster and adopt 2 stories fill out contact forms and we will get you on the list}.

stories of foster care and adoption


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The Power of Yes {Guest Post}

{Note from Susann-aka Mommahopper: ifoster and adopt 2 is a place where anyone can share their stories. This week we are joining Susan Mathis as she shares their journey of foster care and adoption. Thank you for hopping by.}

The Power of Yes

I have written thousands of words as a guest blogger and freelance writer. However, there are none that are as personal and important to me as these. They cut to the very core of who I am as a wife, a woman and a Christian. But most of all, they tell the story of how I became a mother.

That day, December 22, 1993, started out with a terrible blow in the form of another failed pregnancy test. I don’t know when exactly I started referring to the test in terms of pass/fail, but in my mind, it was a test: you either passed it or failed it. And I had failed again. Or my husband had failed. Or God had failed us. I don’t really remember where my mind was at that moment, except that it involved failure.

To add insult to injury, James and I were scheduled to co-host our church’s children’s Christmas Party that night. Lovely. Celebrating the birth of a baby when I’d just learned that my arms would, once again, remain empty. Not surprisingly, I didn’t stay at the party long. Instead, I slipped off to the sanctuary. There, in the dim light of an empty space that could never be truly empty because God was there, I prayed, almost daring God to show me something. I even remember thinking: “It’s really beautiful in here and peaceful and quiet. It’s the perfect setting for God to tell me something.”

After waiting a minute for some thunderbolt from heaven, I decided to pick up one of the pew Bibles and thumb through. It was Christmas time and I wanted to read something Christmasy, but I’d heard Luke 2 about a dozen times. Anyway, I was more in the mood for a suffering servant sort of text, so I decided to go back to Isaiah.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting: I meant to turn to Isaiah 53 “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” Yeah. Exactly. Just like me. But I made a small “mistake” and ended up on Isaiah 54, which begins

Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud,

thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate

than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord.

Wait a minute! “Sing, O barren?” There’s got to be more. “Children of the desolate?” Well, yeah, James and I had talked about being foster parents someday, when we had raised our own children and had a bigger house and more money.

Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine

habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; For thou

shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the

Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

OK, so technically the house did have three bedrooms and there was just the two of us. But what would people say? I had a good job and was supporting both of us while James finished graduate school. I couldn’t really give that up just to be a foster parent. What would people think? What would they say?

Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou

shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt

not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

What would James say? After all, wasn’t God only supposed to speak to the husband? I mean, this would be a huge change in our plans.

For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer

the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the Lord

hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth,

when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee;

but with great mercies will I gather thee.

Are you really Lord? Are you really calling me to something so radical, so amazing as this?

There was more, much more in that chapter. Verses that I James and I would turn to again and again in our adventure. But for now I knew, as clearly as I’ve ever known anything in my life, that God was calling us to something radical that would change our lives forever.

And that’s how I became a mother, in some ways as the Virgin Mary did, by the power of yes. (“Be it unto me according to your word.”) How I would grow and suffer and rejoice in the coming years was ultimately based on many other yeses, and a few nos. But that is another story.

Susan Mathis is the eternally grateful mother of three young adults, all of whom she taught at home. With her new found free time, she enjoys sharing what she has learned through the years with other moms, including mentioning one of her favorite resources, FreeBookNotes.com.

{Part 2 will be posted Thursday July 5th. If you would like to be notified with future ifoster and adopt 2 stories fill out contact forms and we will get you on the list}.


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The Bond of Siblings -Does it Matter in Foster Care and Adoption?

My sisters mean the world to me.  They are who I grew up with.  Now we are raising our children together-even though separated by many miles.  One day we will be old and our parents no longer with us, but we will have each other.  We have a special bond.  Regardless of where we are in life, that bond is there. 

One of the unique things about our three adopted children is they are from a sibling group of 11 children.  I know what you are thinking.  For a while, I had the oldest and the youngest, at least for two weeks.  3 days before Isaiah was 1 number 10 entered into this world about 9 weeks early.  He is now a bouncing happy boy!

Out of the 11 -6 are together in one family.  They live not far from us and we see each other often.  The kids need each other.  One of the things I have watched over the last 5 years is they don’t wrestle every time they get together now.  They can play together, talk, and laugh.  They tell stories and are silly.  They have grown so much.  There are two siblings they don’t get to see as much as they like to.  For various reasons it does not work.  But they know who they are.  And my kids say prayers for them every night.

We have pictures of all the sisters and brothers hanging on the wall so my younger ones, who were babies when they were taken away, know who every one is.  We talk about how everyone grew in their birth mom’s belly.  How she was the one that made them all siblings.  And the bond of siblings was going to keep them together forever, regardless of their last name.  We have become a huge extended family.  Last August we welcomed another baby into the family.

Keeping these siblings together is important.  Even thought the youngest of the group won’t remember all the stuff that happened, they will know they have a HUGE family to grow up in.  We pray that the birth mom is done having babies, for her health, and for the children already here.  We are not sure that is the case now and of course we will do our best to keep siblings together.

Last year we fostered two of five siblings.  They had a very strong bond together, but all five were separated.   They were a handful to handle, but in the long run, the goal was to get them back to parents so the kids had to learn how to be together.  I ended up with two, (we were 3rd placement for one) and that help those two bond more.

But many people believe that siblings need to be separated in foster care, that it is better.  People want the younger siblings, but not the older ones.  The older ones have seen more and are more “damaged.”

Again I had the oldest of these five kids and I could tell that he was very attached to them.  He knew everything about them and even though he wasn’t together with them, he looked forward to their visits.   He would look forward to seeing his siblings more than his parents at first.   This bond is very tight and very special.  And even though the bond each child has with their foster families and adopted families is tight and special, siblings cannot be over looked.  When siblings are not together it is like a piece of the puzzle is always missing.

It does not always work to keep all siblings together in one home.  I had two of the sisters come into my home.  After a few month it was obvious that they needed to be separated, but they needed to sister, and friends.  Working with our dear friends who had some of the other siblings we have been able to do the.  Each girl needed a different kind of attention.   They also need each other.  They were in two foster homes before coming into mine and they were bonded, but there was a lot of unhealthy stuff going on too.  Keeping them in contact with each other again is a key to keeping the bond strong.

There is a great document of the Ten Myths and realities of Sibling Adoptions  

10 Myth: There are higher rates of failed adoptions in families who adopt siblings.

Reality: Siblings who are placed separately are more likely to demonstrate greater emotional and behavioral problems. Research indicates that when siblings are placed together, they experience many emotional benefits with less moves and a lower risk for failed placements. (Leathers 2005)

Siblings together do matter in foster care and adoption.  Also foster parents and adoptive parents keeping sibling from larger groups connected is important too.   As much as it hurts some foster parents hearts to lose a baby they have fostered to be with a sibling, in the long run it will be  better for them.  Adoption is not a black and white type of thing.  It come with many challenges and obstacles.  While it would be nice to shut the door of any relations to the birth family it isn’t always that easy.

There is a story of siblings who waited 80 years to find each other.

Put up for adoption to relieve the pressure on her family, Barbara Miller spent decades searching for her biological relatives. She was unaware that she had eight brothers and sisters looking for her at the same time.

Imagine that family they all just found with each other.  Those pieces missing, nieces and nephews that they never knew.  At what point do we say it is ok for them to know each other.  These were 80-year-old siblings who still could not open up their adoption records cause they were sealed.  I think that siblings have a right to know who their other siblings are.

Yes, it does matter!

 


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Permission Granted

When I had my first baby I wanted to be with him all the time.  This is normal.  Mom’s need to be with their children and at the same time I treasured those little trips to Target to get food.  Just small outings where my husband could have one on one time with our baby boy.  As Robby grew I was never away from him over night.  I adjusted my job so either he came with me, or I came home for the night and went back in the morning.

Then when Robby was three Dan arranged two days away for our anniversary to Chattanooga.  He had friends of ours watch Robby for those two days.  Those were the hardest two days of my life and the best two days.  Permission Granted.  I could be away from him and he was just fine.  He had a blast.  In fact, two weeks later he went to my sister’s house for a few days too.

New moms need to know it is ok to be away from their kids.  They have permission, actually they really don’t need permission.  Part of raising kids is teaching them to fly.  Part of that is done by gently pushing them out of the nest.  We home school, gently pushing them out of the nest comes in forms of summer camps, VBS, homeschooling classes and other clubs and sports throughout the year.  My husband and I have taken week-long trips together without the children.

Moms you have permission to be away from your kids.  It is ok.  Yes some will cry, and it will be hard.  I have a five-year old who cried, screamed, yelled, threw, you named it he probably did it when we dropped him off at our church CDC for morning preschool.  I finally had to take him out.  But a few more months at home and he has made it a week at VBS.  But I know not all kids are not easy.

I also look at foster moms, since I am one too.  In one year we can all of a sudden have a house full of kids.  Most families take years to have this many kids.  And if you are a stay at home foster mom, the state does not fund child care for you.  So here you are left with little ones and no help.  But you need help.  Permission is granted to ask.  In fact you don’t need permission.  Just because you are a stay at home mom, does not mean you should not be allowed help for daycare, or summer camp for your kids.  You need a break.  You have to take care of yourself first.  Ask, ask, ask.

Moms, it is ok to be away from your kids.  To send them to VBS for the week or summer camp.  Even if they are in school all year, it is still ok.  Each mom is different and do what you know you can handle.  Permission is granted for you to be an awesome mom, and amazing mom.  Call another mom and go out for coffee.  Get a baby sitter and go on a date with your husband.  Have your husband take the kids to the movies and you stay home.  Your deserve it.

Permission Granted.


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6 Skills to be Successful at Fostering and Adopting

About 7 years ago Dan and I adventured out into this fostering world, we had to begin with GPS class we took at our local DHR classes.  These classes guided us through many subjects areas.  One of them was 12 skills for successful fostering and adopting. These skill gave us many topics to discuss.

7 years later I could only remember for sure the first one, and was kinds sure about the others.  So I pulled out our training folder and found the 12 skills.

1.  Know your own family-  This is so important. As ours grew and we adopted we keep in check what is working and what is not working.  The last time we fostered we had two wonderful boys, but they were each the same age as two of our other boys.  It was good as they had instant best friends.  But it was like we gained twins, two sets and that presented many challenges.  Like Robby was already set up to do certain things that Brandle was not.  He had a hard time understanding why he couldn’t do everything that Robby did.  And if something is not working in your family, you need to tell DHR.

 

2.  Communicate effectively When you bring in a foster child to your home, you do not just add that child to your life.  You add their social worker, GAL, counselors, teachers, Biological parents.  It is key that you affectedly communicate with them.  But also you as husband and wife, need to keep that communicate going, cause it will get crazy and hard.  Don’t let it catch you unexpected.

 

3.  Know the children-the kids that come to your family are being ripped from the only things that they know.  Even all the “book” knowledge you have will not prepare you.  Each one is different and unique.  When the first come, be gentle and set guide lines.  Watch and listen.  In our family my two older boys would report to me anything they thought was important that the kids told them.  Know why children do different things.  Make list of what you see in your kids.  List strengths, areas of weakness.  Things that concern you, things they say.   Know their needs and make sure you communicate them to DHR.

 

4.  Build strength, meet needs-Every child is going to be different.  Some may speak non stop and others you may not get a word out of them.  Most will seem older than their age, or younger than their age.  Find what they are good at and build on it.  If they are good at  cooking, have them help you.  If they like sports, find a team.  Some thrive in school and others will need lots of help.  Skill 4 builds on 2 and 3.

 

5.  Works in partnership  Remember just a bit ago that when you brought in a foster child you bring in many other people into your family.  There were some months I had social workers in and out of our home.  We would have in home therapist come once a week.  Sometimes a visit from the GAL-those were rare! Our goal in fostering is to help parents get their lives back in order.  We feel that it benefits everyone for us to work with the foster parents.  I have sat in ISP meetings telling a mom that going into a drug program will be the best thing for them and their family.  And that their daughter isn’t going to look down on you, but look up at you for being brave and making that change to get them back.  Sometimes they have to hear from foster parents that you are on their side to get their lives back together.  This is always my goal till it is evident that it is just not going to happen.

 

6.  Be a loss and attachment expert-I never understood how important that was.  But the more I foster, the more I understand this.  These kids first loss everything they knew when they come into foster care.  Each once responds differently.  Know about loss.  Read up about grieving.  Read the stages.  This is important, cause look where the anger part is.  Then know about attachment.  Know about RAD.  Research.  We carry all our babies in a sling.  Helping them form attachment at such a young age is super important and a gift we give them.  Helping any kid with attachment is important.  And understand attachment may explain some of the behavior the child is displaying.

There are six other parts to the list.  I will touch on those tomorrow.


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Makings of Strong Families-Teaches right from wrong

5.  Teaches right from wrong

Notice the word teaches.  I talk to many parents who expect their children to know this.  But like anything else there is a training period that lasts about 18 plus years.

You are the biggest example in teaching right from wrong.

Let’s face it even God knew this was going to a tough thing for us to know right from wrong.  This is why He gave us the 10 commandments. While he expects us to keep these commandments perfectly,  He knows we can’t so He sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for us.  This is the foundation for teaching my kids right from wrong.

A while ago I wrote a post on lying.  Why do they lie?  Why do our kids do the things they do?  We have many issues with Isaiah.  As I started this post, I had pause to do a time out with him for stealing his brother’s blue tooth.  And his chocolate Easter Bunny front he freezer.  And for food under his bed.  (it is bed room cleaning day!)   Isaiah is five, he entered our family at 3 months.  So he has been raised by us, same morals and values.  Same rules.  I keep teaching him right from wrong.

One of our foster boys I made up a little reminder sheet for him.  He had sticky pockets.  AKA as always taking things with him that were not his.  He did this a lot from his class room.  He would take things from other kids backpacks.  He could walk by something and just take it.

The reminder sheet simple said:

Is it yours?  Yes, then you may have it.  No, leave it be.

I think one of the best ways to teach kids right from wrong is to discuss it daily.  Talk about why what they did was wrong, not that it was just wrong.  Keep the communication open.  Discuss the 10 commandment.  Martin Luther’s Catechism is great to review the 10 commandments and their meanings.  There are many great ways to memorize the 10 commandments.

 teaching kids right from wrongHaving Family Rules also help.  This gives them guide lines to so they know what is right and what is wrong.   We have rules, but they have become unwritten down again.  Again a May project we are working on to update them.    I think rules should not be should nots.

You should not hit.  Instead say,

In this family/house we respect each other.  Which means we do not hit, kick, bite, smack, pull hair, spit, punch or hurt any one.  Including the pets.

This way is also better for new foster kids coming in. Using “In this family” get past the “well in my family we do it this way.”  I simple respond with, in this family we do it this was.  This also works well with friends who are over visiting.  Some with use the Lords name in vain.  We simple say, “In this family we respect God’s name.  Please don’t use God’s name in vain.”

Pinterest really has some great and cleaver ideas for making family rules.  I thinks families have embraced family rules beyond the “should nots”


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The beginning…

Hello. My name is Jennifer. My husband and I adopted a little boy this year, Bryan, and he is 6 years old. I thought I would share with you our journey and “labor pains.” I want to be sure and start from the beginning so you know WHY and HOW we decided to take this path. Buckle up and ENJOY THE RIDE BECAUSE I KNOW WE HAVE..

When I was younger, I remember saying that I wanted to adopt children. I didn’t know anything about adoption or know anyone who was adopted so I am not sure how I got this idea but I did. After Jeremiah and I got married, I was diagnosed with PCOS. They told us it would be difficult to get pregnant but we continued to try. Countless baby showers later, I had had enough. I wanted my chance to be a mother.

At a friends house one night, somebody mentioned they were going to adopt through the Foster Care System. That Monday we were signed up to take MAPP classes and get licensed for Adoption. We started our classes in October 2011 and had an approved Homestudy on December 20, 2011. This is going to sound a little harsh, but at this time we were allowed to start looking for children on a website. It’s very different than adopting a child that has been placed with you THROUGH Foster placement. We actually had to search through children on different websites. We submitted our homestudy EVERYDAY to so many different agencies and rarely received a reply. COUNTLESS children without homes and we were willing to give them one… but nobody called.

In March we decided to contact some agencies who have what they call Meet and Greets. Basically, you go to an event that is set up as a fun day for children in Foster Care or Group Homes who are waiting on a Forever home. We went to 3 events in April. I will skip to the punch here and let you know that we met our son on April 23, 2011. There he was playing a game all by himself. Normally I don’t have a problem talking to children but when I saw him, I was at a loss for words and was so scared to go up to him. I took a deep breath and just walked right up to play with him. LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT!

Bryan, my husband Jeremiah and I played all day. We played on the swings, we sang songs, had lunch, jumped on the trampoline, read books and told stories, played tick tac toe, had an Easter Egg hunt and shared cookies. There we met the Gaurdian Ad Litem, case worker and case manager. They were all so nice and loving. They shared with us that Bryan was just TPR’ed on April 22 so he hadn’t hit any websites yet and was legally available for adoption. They also stressed that they didn’t have any families in mind and would gladly start the process on Monday morning with us. The GAL said that she loved us for Bryan and wouldn’t not stop until she got what she wanted and that was all 3 of us together. Later that day, we say SEE YOU LATER to Bryan. (Of course I cried bc honestly you never know what will happen at these events or if you will see the children again.) I gave our information to everyone involved and took down theirs.. EXCEPT FOR THE GAL. Once we got in the car tohead back to town, I started emailing our homestudy to everyone involved. I asked them to send it to the GAL. This is when my labor pains begin…..


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Developing a Sense of Trust Makes Strong Families.

4. Develops a sense of trust

When babies are born, the first thing that they learn is trust. Trust that when they cry their needs will be met. Crying is their only form of communication. When our babies cry, we pick them up, love them, feed them, and care for them. This teaches them that every thing is ok.

This little guy above is my nephew Jon Jon. My daddy took the picture!

When you get married you form a bond of trust. For better or worse. I promise to be there.It is wise for you to create hedges or fences to make sure that trust stays true in your marriage. Listening to each other and keeping communication strong helps keep trust strong. Respecting each other creates a sense of trust.

Divorce is not in our vocabulary. We never have to worry about if we have a bad day with each other that it may end it all. We trust each other that we can make it through those tough times. We trust that God has given us the strength. But it takes work. All the time.

That trust we have in each other is something we have to teach Jeremy. He makes comments that Dan is cheating on me or me and the pool guy. Coming from a normal back ground kid, I would be mad. But we know his back ground. We know that we have to teach him, that Dan and I are strong and together. I do not go to the store to “cheat”. I goto the store to go to the store. But if you understood the history of where he grew up, this is what people did. They didn’t commit to each other for ever. They came and went. They cheated. They were not there when you needed them. Sometimes the only person you could trust was yourself.

Robby grew up with a strong sense of trust. He was hungry, I fed him. He was wet, I changed him. Yes there were times he cried and I didn’t know why. Sometimes babies cry. But we gave Robby that sense of trust.

Isaiah came to us stiff as a board. We popped him into the sling and carried him. He cried all the time. He was sick. He spit up all the time. We only fed him 3-4 ozs at a time. But in time he wasn’t stiff any more. We invested a lot to help him learn to trust. To teach him how to attach.

We did not know he was going to be ours forever. Just that he needed this. To trust.

This trust is a two way street though.

While teaching children to trust, parents trusting children is important to. Mr. Isaiah has been at it again with food. This time hiding food in the dinning room under a dresser. This brought in an ant parade. Right now I do not trust him in the kitchen. He is not allow in the kitchen. He had to get really strict with him about the kitchen and food thing.

When Jeremy move in with us I didn’t trust him. I loved him and wanted him. I just didn’t trust him. He was coming from a back ground where he had done many things and I didn’t know yet how much I could trust him. As time went on, I slowly trusted him more and more. But then when things would happen, certain trust would fly out the door and slowly had to be regained again.

Trust in the Lord you God with all your heart, mind and soul.

Trust is a funny thing. Here one day gone the next.

Why don’t you take your kids on a Trust Walk? or better yet, let them lead you!

Check out my Pinterest Board on Strong Families for more ideas on trust

How do you develop a sense a trust in your family?


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Why we are a “Foster Family.”

Dan and I never had that conversation where we said “we should be foster parents.”  We had talked about maybe adopting one day, in a fleeting conversation.  Dan knew that one day I dreamed I would loved to have had 10 kids.  I also dreamed I would drop them off at my mom’s for the summer time.

We had friends, James and Marlene, who had already taken in a teenage niece, was look at other foster care possibilities.  We attended a Youth Villages info meeting.  They deal with teens who need special care.  And I was not going to foster or adopt teens. We need to foster younger children.  Robby was only 3 at this time, almost 4.

While getting pregnant the second time around was a little bit harder, it is not impossible.  I do have PCOS  and that does making getting pregnant harder.  I left it at, if God grants me the gift (although personally being “pregnant” is not a “gift” it sucks for me horribly.  I was sick every day almost.  Between headaches and throwing up…there was not joy in it.) of being pregnant, then I would take what ever He hands me.   I have learned to trust him, cause again and again, He proves to me He is in control not me!

 

After Youth Villages, I knew I wanted to look a little bit more into this fostering.  So I googled DHR in our area.  I learned that there was a class starting soon, so I signed us up.  Before I knew it, we had finished class, two home visits, made many adjustments to our house, wrote our life story, made a photo album.  Why were we doing all this? Why did we want to be a foster family?

Because we wanted to give babies/kids a safe loving home to be in while giving their families a chance to get back on their feet or get a different plan in place for their kids.  This is not always the case.  But we didn’t walk in to adopt.  Or to make our family bigger.  We also knew that helping keep siblings together if possible was important to us.

After a year of taking off of fostering Robby asked me why we didn’t have any foster kids. I said I needed a break. We had just gotten done with a 14 month placement.  Robby said, “Mom we are a Fostering Family.  We are good at that”

We have fostered and done respite care for over 20 kids now.  We have learned much, seen much, and have stories to share.  Since May is National Fostering Month I thought I would share stories with you all.  I also have asked others to share their stories also.

Have you ever thought about about fostering a child?  Have you ever thought about making a difference for a child in need?  Check out AdoptUsKids on how to become a foster parent or check out your local DHR for more information.

I would love to hear your story!

 


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