Blessings in the chaos.

my favorite thing about being a foster parent_dumasEvery Single Child deserves someone to love them and to believe in them. They deserve someone to be their advocate and to give them the resources they need to succeed in life. Every child deserves a forever home!

May God bless all of you that go above and beyond and are involved in Foster Care. You will win some and unfortunately loose many battles. You will rock lonely children to sleep, comfort and reassure those who are afraid, and speak life into young ones lives who have lost hope in themselves.

For all the appointments, meetings, trainings and court hearings…and for every sacrifice and or missed family event or function…I say, Thank you for your love and dedication to the child placed with you!

For every time you’ve questioned what you were doing, or wondered if you were really making a difference, please know…that you are!

For every time you are hurt and for every struggle you persevere through, may you feel Gods comfort and strength to continue on.

In a Foster Care system that is broken in many ways, remember there is a God who can take the broken pieces and make all things whole.

If you feel as if you are alone, know that you are not. There is an army of people who have similar hearts as yours. They get your worries and they can relate to the many frustrations that can come alongside of working with Social Services. So many other people understand the magnitude of the blessings you receive, even in the midst of your chaos.

Thank you! Thank you from the bottom of MY heart❤️

Keep doing what you do! You are making a difference! One child, one family, one situation at a time…You are changing the world!

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A Passion Pause

Foster Parents~Let Your Love Shine Brightly in 2016!

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I’ve heard your pain, your hurts and your worries and I have felt them myself. Being a Foster parent is not an easy job. As a matter of fact, it’s the toughest job you’ll ever love.

Nobody fully understands what it entails and nor will they ever completely get it…unless of course, they too are given the heart to walk the hard road of fostering for themselves.

These children come in all different fashions when they arrive at our door. They can be any or all of these things when we are finally introduced. (fear filled, fragile, desperate, beaten, neglected, starving, anxious, confused, shaken, hyper, mischievous, hurtful, calm, depressed, etc.) They often face other struggles because of their life circumstances. (Attachment disorders, learning disabilities, sleep disorders, post trauma disorders, fetal alcohol syndrome, severe anxiety, processing disorders, and so on)

We don’t just open our doors and everyone blends perfectly together. We cautiously open our hearts too. And when we do that just right, so many other things start to unfold. We long to really “know them”  so we can care for them just right. The unknowns about “who they are” and “what they will be like” brings on our own set of pre-placement anxieties. We wish we had all the important information upfront. And we somehow accept that we may never really know much of anything. (What have they gone through? Will we be all that they need to heal?) So many things matter in how we move forward, yet little is ever answered. We help them transition the best that we can. We set out to love unconditionally and try not to have preconceived expectations. We are on call 24/7. So therefore, we live a life of spontaneity. Organization becomes second nature and we learn quickly to utilize resources when a call comes. We usually over think things, analyze everything, and have only a handful of people (or less) that we can talk to…about everything.

The life of Fostering is a hard one. It’s exhausting emotionally and physically. It is definitely not for all. It makes our hearts ache, our heads spin and can turn things upside down in our families for awhile. But…it is desperately needed! It’s rewards are great! And it is making a difference, one child and one family at time! And in the midst of some crazy days/nights, weeks/months, and sometimes years…as we do what we are called to do…somehow, someway, the blessings manage to outweigh each and every struggle and heartache.

We may not see the progress or healing while they are in our homes, but we claim it for each child and family.  We have faith and it outweighs a failing system. We cannot do it by “our power” so we trust an unfailing God and “His power” to do all things.  We seek the Lord as we keep pouring out. He fills us daily, so we can keep our focus and move forward with every struggle. We pray His perfect plan unfolds in everyone of our Foster children(s) lives. And sometimes His plan is a forever home through adoption.

Remember…You (WE) are not “just a Foster parent.” 
We are comforters in the middle of the night, when a child wakes with night tremors or wants their Mom. 
We are therapists who hear the things that would break anyones heart. 
We try our best to speak wise words of love and truth…when at times we are struck to complete speechlessness.
We become reporters, when a child opens up for the first time. Or there is visual evidence of wrong doing.
We are transporters as we caravan repeatedly to appointments, court dates and visitations. 
We quickly become patient advocates as we seek every service and resource for a child’s medical needs. 
And….We are professional child advocates as we fight for the help our child(ren) need in school, with daily tasks, or life in general.
We are often the first real example of a parent (mom or dad) and it’s imperative that these children have one. 
We can improvise and change routines or plans in a split second. 
We are a quick learners and we learn things about our child(ren) and…ourselves daily! 
We multi task and meet the needs of our husbands, bio kids and that of your placements. (which all bring there own challenges) 
We appear to be super mom to others, but often we feel alone on your mission to save the world…one child at a time. 
We sit for long hours at appointments, in court, at therapy and visitations, and sometimes still work other jobs outside of the home. 
We are happy doing what we are called to do despite the chaos at times. 
We are creative and fun loving…
We are motivated and determined. 
And…We are so much more!!

I know YOU…I am You!

You have cried in the quiet

And yelled privately at the system

You encourage yourself to keep going

And question everything you do

You have doubts

And you talk yourself out of them

You are happy with baby steps

And ecstatic with big ones

You jump for joy when you sleep all night

And you try to catch up on sleep when you don’t

You shoot to move mountains

And are satisfied when you help a molehill move

You love the smiles and laughter

And you look forward to new goals

You get discouraged when trust is broken

And you hurt when a child leaves

You prepare your bios from the loss that’s to come

And you protect and guard your own heart without even knowing

You worry about outcomes

And you wonder about plans

You love each and every crazy minute of your life

And….You love and provide so much more!!!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! You are like me. And WE are like so many others. And WE are all called to love!  To live life and help others to live their lives better. To make the world brighter! To make a difference and then some! 

So let the difference your making be inspiring. Let your story be told.

Let your love shine brightly in 2016!

Remember, We are so much more then what the world sees as “JUST a Foster Parent”.  

We are a Gift to a child..a Blessing to a hurting family… and a crucial piece of stability to a system that needs our help.

We are changing the world… 

I have a purpose, hear me roar!?!

Roar

 

 

 

P -Passionately Mothering!

U -Unflinchingly keeping my eyes on the goal!

R -Regularly and richly impacting God’s word to my children!

P -Praying constantly-my heart always looking to the Lord!

O -Ordering and managing my home with diligence!

S -Saturating my husband and children with love & encouragement!

E -Embracing & nurturing all the children God has placed in my life!

Ok, maybe you can’t actually hear me roar. But, I do sometimes! I’m passionate, loud, dramatic and full of energy, as I embrace and live out my purpose!

We all have a purpose!

What’s yours? And how do you live it out?

Rescue A Baby With Me!

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As an advocate for Operation Baby Rescue I feel I have been given an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of rescuing and restoring children who are in desperate need of help. I know I am giving a voice to the voiceless. I am helping a child to have a chance to live. To grow up and have the opportunity to learn and experience the love of Jesus!  

I hold babies often. I cannot imagine my life without them in it.  My heart is burdened for hurting kids and my heart has often cried out to God to rescue some of them! Through Operation Baby Rescue – I have an amazing opportunity to pray for children that I will never meet and that I will never hold.  But I can still be apart of rescuing them….even from across the world.  By praying and by giving!    

So, I’ll keep writing and talking about it. There’s too many babies in isolated areas with life threatening needs. As I bring awareness, it also allows YOU an amazing opportunity to make a difference. It’s easy too! You can help by Praying…Loving like Jesus…and by Giving!  

My husband and I have been called to Rescue & Restore.  We have had an awesome opportunity to help in our community over and over again when we made the decision to become Foster/Adopt parents. Everytime a child has come into our home from an abusive or neglectful situation, we have felt a sense of helping in their rescue! The Lord has met each need that has been represented in our home. We have followed our hearts and with the Lords guidance we continue to give. It is a humbling as well as demanding job.  There are so many children locally, and worldwide that still need Rescuing….and Restoring!  We have also been blessed to help many children and families through our leadership and connections in running The Hope Again Care Center in Winchester, VA.  The Care Center is a ministry of The Winchester Church of God where my husband has been on staff for 10 years as the Care Pastor.

Every child is worth rescuing! 

Operation Baby Rescue gives each of us a beautiful opportunity to be able to help rescue a child across the world!

So many children, so many people, so many near and far away, that need rescuing!

Over 4,000 children have been rescued through Operation Baby Rescue since 2011! And there are so many more that are living moments from death without our help.

Please jump on board and Resuce and Restore with me.

You can make a difference across the world in a childs life, by giving up the cost of one (or a few) specialty coffees, and donating $5, $10, $20 or whatever you can give. And you can do it from right there where you are at this moment. Click here to donate

ISAIAH 46:4 
“I am He who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

If you would like to connect with me you can follow me on Facebook or on my blog website HERE (Truth.Love.Service)

*Enjoy a blog I wrote  A Neon Orange Moment of Mine  (talking about World Help)

The Lord Rescued me! I was lost and He found me. And oh did I need rescuing….

We Have Gotcha…and We Will Never Let You Go!

Happy Gotcha Day!!

We Have Gotcha and We Will Never Let You Go!

You didn’t grow under my heart. You grew in it!

(A letter I wrote but never mailed to her biological mother) 

Dear Bio mom,

She was your child first…and we are sorry that you were unable to care for her. We really are.  I know that you love her.  There is no possible way that you couldn’t. She is amazing!  She is one of our greatest joys!  The Love you had for her just wasn’t enough. It didn’t keep her safe, nurture her and provide for her needs.

She has your eyes and your nose.  She does some things just like her siblings.  And her dance moves are especially like her oldest sister.  We will always remember the love and time spent with all three of your girls in our home.  It was hard because the visitations became damaging, caused confusing and went on way too long…

Your oldest daughter really wanted to be with you.  It was so strange the devotion and obligation she had towards you. (You, the one who hurt her) Separation and attachment disorders are so crazy.  She didn’t even know how to attach to anyone but you, because of it.  So, when the courts ruled, we really struggled with the decision they made for us to transition her back to you. Nineteen months in our home and then it was like a bomb went off in our hearts…And you got another chance to parent.  Not all five of your children…but just one.  And the struggle was and is…still real for you.   

Your actions and your choices, completely rocked their entire worlds.  They were so innocent…so young…so helpless.  It was scary for them. What were you thinking when you left them hungry, dirty and in danger?  Who did you think would keep them safe when you left them in vehicles and motels alone?  Or in stranger’s homes?  You made them learn to fend for themselves.  They all knew many survival techniques when they were removed.  They had no choice but to learn on their own…how to survive…while you lived.  So selfishly. 

She was sickly and confused then.  She has struggled in so many ways since we opened our home and heart to her EIGHT years ago.  She was a frail and extremely tiny 18 months old. You had rocked her world…over and over again.

We rocked her world too!  Every night…before bed…for over two years…as we held her and sat with her into the night. We rocked her. We comforted her. We stayed awake through the tremors and the sleepless nights. We put her back in her bed over and over again…and avoided stepping on her wherever she lay in the night. We still have “all night drifting parties” often.  I wonder, will she ever sleep well? But I know by God’s grace she will… 

We wished we could have kept some of the doors open with you. But we knew what was best for her, and this just wasn’t an option. We were open to keeping connections with her other 3 siblings. They make her light up when she sees them. It make our hearts happy too.  After all, it isn’t their fault they were separated.  They did nothing to deserve what they received.  We may live forever having to change that thought process in her mind.  But we will do whatever it takes!  

We were never here to take her away from you. We were a part of a system to help you get yourself together.  We offered a safe and loving environment for 3 of your children in order for you to do so. We always work towards reunification and we will never really understand why you never accomplished that.  But we forgive you. I hope and pray you learn to forgive yourself… 

Our role as Foster Parents was to care for your child while you worked hard toward goals placed upon you by the court. We were here to support you and we encouraged you to reach them. Time kept slipping away…court date after court date…You never took any steps towards achieving the goals placed before you.  Not even for your children. 

I had felt sorry for you, because she never asked about you. But now, as she has gotten older and we have talked about you many times…I am thankful she didn’t ask more when she was younger. It seems harsh, but it is best that her memory of you is so vague. She understands it was your choices that were bad and not anything bad that she did. She also knows, accepts and understands that God has worked things out for her. She has such a forgiving and kind heart. It saddens me that you may never know her beautiful heart. One that prays for you and others.

We are thankful God spared her from even more hurt. He has worked in her favor and on her behalf many times. She is His child first…and she didn’t go through an experience of great loss.  We are all she knows and remembers….and His plan has been perfectly unfolding for her all along.

I need you to know that nothing that I could have said or done would have ever helped you get your children back. The choices that you made determined her future. A future that ended up with us as her parents. It is a future of…love, family, assurance, comfort, encouragement, care, persistence, safety, devotion and hope. The greater Hope that she has is eternal. She knows who’s she is! 

I want you to know I am deeply sorry that you were ever in this situation to begin with.  I know you still struggle.  So, we will continue to pray for you. You can still do right, make good choices and get your life together. The same Eternal Hope that she possesses is obtainable for you too through Jesus.   

You chose to give Birth!  That is definitely something to be proud of!  You chose life for your babies!  We will forever be grateful for your decision to do so.  Life is always…always a gift!  And one of the lives you birthed became our precious Gift! 

So today…..

Eight years ago exactly…(at 2:00 pm)

The court saw it in was in your child’s best interest to have all parental rights terminated! It was a sad day for you. I know it had to be. My heart broke for you.

But it was a beautiful day for all of us…and with a broken heart, I also rejoiced!

                            It became her very first Gotcha Day…

                                                                   And one of many more to come!

Forever grateful,

The Adoptive Mom

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