Foster Care Awareness Month

May is Foster Care Awareness Month!

foster-care-words

This video shows so much. It makes my heart hurt and stirs so many emotions in me every single time I watch it. 

Please take the time to watch this video by clicking here -REMOVED-  There are other videos in this series on YouTube. You’ll need a tissue for all of them!

To the Children in care…you deserve a voice, you deserve love, you need roots and you need a family! There is hope! You are Worthy!

To other Foster Parents…it’s the toughest job you’ll ever love! All of God’s children are worth all of our efforts ❤️ 

Thank you so much for making a difference one child at a time!

family love quotes and sayings Awesome I love my family so much quotes Pinterest Gallery

Dreams Come True!

Book Released Today

It’s in my hands now!!!! It’s for real! 

Book Photo

My story can be found  in the section “Blessings in the Midst of Chaos”  (pages 277-294) And my quote was chosen for the back of the book!  Wow! Someone pinch me!  God’s timing is just soooo good!  I’d love to say what an awesome job all of the Authors did, but i know first hand, God was all over them while they were writing.  So all of the acknowledgements go to our Lord and Savior!  

The Editor has changed all of the children(s) names for privacy reasons.

Thank you to Katherine Piper for having a dream to make a difference and allowing the Lord to use her in such an endeavor. It was tedious and i know it had to be a bit crazy communicating with so many different authors from around the world.  She showed such grace as she allowed God to guide her every decision making step along the way.  She has already made a difference!  (To all of us Authors as well)  With this book to encourage adoptive families,  she’ll continue to make a difference for many years to come.  I’ll forever be grateful for her obedience to carry out her vision and for approaching me to share our story.     

Also, a huge thank you to all of my family who helped encourage me to “go for it” when the opportunity to share our 3 adoption stories was presented. I am honored (with 27 other Christian Authors) to be able to encourage Women on their adoption journey’s. May God receive all the glory he deserves, for orchestrating such a beautiful arrangement of heartfelt love and faith shared within the books pages. It is all of our prayer to help fund forever homes for children for many years to come.  And we will, as copies of this book are sold…

Hope for the Adoption Journey is now available on Amazon!

Get your copy here: Hope for the Adoption Story -Amazon Prime

All proceeds from the book go towards helping other families adopt through the Show Hope organization.

Visit Show Hope Organization here

The Following is from the Show Hope website:

This movement began in 2003, when Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman founded Show Hope after having their own eyes and hearts opened to the global orphan crisis.

Since then, Show Hope has worked to holistically approach orphan care, helping children in four key areas:

  • Adoption Aid
  • Care Centers
  • Pre+Post Adoption Support
  • Student Initiatives

Through Adoption Aid grants, Show Hope has helped more than 6,000 children from more than 60 countries, including the U.S. More than 2,500 waiting children with acute medical and special needs have received loving care through Show Hope’s Care Centers in China. Show Hope’s partnership with the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at TCU and Empowered to Connect has helped bring hope and healing to children around the world with encouraging, research based teaching in Pre+Post Adoption Support. And Show Hope prepares for the future with our Student Initiatives by educating and empowering the next generation of leaders to effectively care and make a difference in the lives of waiting children.

Book to be Released Soon!

28 True Post-Adoption Stories to Comfort and Encourage

Hope for the Adoption Journey, compiled by Katherine Piper, features the heartrending stories of twenty-eight women from very different circumstances who have personal experience with adopting and fostering children, both domestic and international, of various ages and backgrounds, with a wide range of needs—and who have endured to share their joy.

Are you a mother facing the chaos of adoption in your family?

Do you feel alone and overwhelmed with the struggle of adoption?

Or are you considering adoption and wondering if you can do it?

  
“Adoption can make your heart ache and your head spin, and it can turn things in your family upside down for a while. But the blessings do outweigh the chaos, and every struggle and disappointment too. Remember, you are not alone in this endeavor. There are many others who have been or are in the trenches with you. And God will never leave your side…
Love fiercely as He loves you.”
—Mother of adopted & foster children
(Susan Woodward)

All profits will be used to help prospective adoptive parents bring their children home.

Will be available on Amazon and Kindle, August 2018.

Book

 

Adoption Story Two -sneak peek

Shared from Blessings In The Chaos 

McKenzie – Our fourth gift.

Two months after Austin’s adoption was final we received a call from the Department of Social Services to Foster a sibling group of three girls. The girls were two, four and nine years old. There wasn’t much hesitation in us saying yes. It was known by the Department that we would do our best to take in any child that needed to be cared for. We discussed it as a family and prayed before giving them our final answer. From the day they arrived in our home in July 2007, until the day McKenzie’s adoption was final in November 2009 it was a whirl wind of chaos. There were days I felt alone, misunderstood and even miss guided by the Department. It was God alone who gave me the strength to dig deep and move forward. There were many times I prayed for God to reveal the blessings to me. Being a parent to six kids with three of them having additional special needs was emotionally draining. I reminded myself often why we chose to go into Foster Care. I knew that we were making a difference, but I didn’t always see it. Remembering why  we were in the chaos, always gave me the boost I needed to continue on in full force.

McKenzie was the youngest and the frailest. Although she was two years old, she only weighed 17 lbs. and wore size 9-12 month clothing. She had already had her tonsils and adenoids removed. She had suffered from a bowel blockage and was so tiny that it scared me to hold her too tightly. She did not speak when she came. Most of her basic needs were quickly met by her oldest sister who had been her primary care taker.

I would love to say that when termination of the parental rights happened we were relieved and had peace. This would be far from the truth. We were extremely torn, and frustrated with the decisions the Social Workers, Therapist, Lawyers and Judge was making in regards to what they felt was in the best interest of the girls. They made the decision to separate them. At the time, we just couldn’t wrap our heads or our hearts around that decision. It’s awful hard to trust God when you are experiencing great pain.

We have never been the same from the moment the three of them entered our home and our hearts. It wasn’t an easy road, but Kent and I continued to remain obedient with every twist and turn we were faced with.  We understand that we were created with a purpose to love those who may seem unlovable to others. We do not possess or pretend to have the answers. We have no greater option but to seek God daily for guidance in raising all of our children. We look for joy in each moment and have become great at finding the blessings where others may see none. We fill ourselves in God’s presence often. This has allowed us to continue to pour out and into others with every chance that we get. God knew that we would make a great team.

Adoption can make your heart ache, your head spin and can turn things in your family upside down for a while. But the blessings do outweigh the chaos. They even manage to outweigh every struggle and disappointment too. Remember you are not alone in this endeavor. There are many others that have been or are in the trenches with you. And God will never leave your side. Even when you think you are failing and do not see him working, remember he is always working on your behalf. So keep keeping on despite the chaos you may endure and love fiercely as he loves you. Don’t lose hope. For hope will continue to change the world one child at a time.  

This is just a small piece of my second Adoption story in the book I have Co-Authored with many other Christian women. The details of her story and our other two adoptions are shared in length in the book. I am so excited that it is in publishing now.  I cannot wait to encourage others on their adoption journey and to help fund forever homes for others. 

Other Sneak Peeks can be read here:

Telling our story…sneak peek!

Adoption Story One -sneak peek

 

Adoption Story One -sneak peek

 

Austin disney

Austin Celebrating his adoption at Disney World when it became final.

Austin –

Two years old.

He was our third gift.

He was born into our hearts differently, but perfectly.

The gift of Austin in our lives came eleven years after the birth of our biological daughter and thirteen after the birth of our biological son. He opened our family’s eyes to the tremendous needs that were literally right around us. He grew each of our hearts in an instant. They would never be the same again.

Austin was our first placement call from our local Department of Social Services. The call came on a sunny day in July. My husband Kent and the kids and I were enjoying the outdoors. When I answered the phone, it was immediately different than what I had expected our first placement call to be like. We realized later, it was also very different for the Case Worker on the other end of the phone. This child would not be able to return home. This child was going to be available for adoption. We knew immediately that God was in all of it.

I was just as terrified as I was excited when I hung up the phone. My husband Kent’s reaction complimented my own. We were both ready and agreed to move forward. Neither of us knew exactly what “forward” entailed, but we knew our answer to that call would be yes. We didn’t hesitate, we had already been praying for months. God had given us clarity. We agreed to be obedient to whatever he called us to do. In 5 minutes all of our lives changed forever. We didn’t understand the magnitude of the blessings in that decision. But today, the blessings continue to unfold.

We felt pretty confident about fostering prior to that first placement call. Our confidence was shaken several times in the years to follow.  Austin became the first of many children God placed with us through the Department of Social Services. Our plans initially were to help one child at a time and work towards reunification with their parents. But, Gods plan for us is often different than our own. We now have many stories. With each of them there is a common factor. We trusted God. We knew that he would guide our steps in all of the unknowns we were to face. And he has proven faithful.

My mind was racing even more than my heart on the 5 minute drive to Social Services to meet Austin for the first time. We were casually introduced. He sat on the floor of a quiet room in the Department of Social Services. His only belongings were next to him in a small white bag. He held onto a small McDonalds Happy Meal toy and looked up to see who had entered the room. No matter how I have tried, I cannot find the words to describe when I looked at his sweet, expressionless face and our eyes locked for the first time. I instantly experienced something within me.  It was as if God birthed him deeply into my heart. I longed to hold him close and never let him go. I knew then, without a bit of uncertainty, God was giving us another one of his precious gifts. God has reminded me of that moment many times in the midst of life’s chaos.

This is just a sneak peek of Austins story.

I could have written an entire book about each of our adoptions. Maybe someday i’ll fullfil that dream as well.  Right now, I am just thankful for the opportunity that was given to me to share pieces of our stories in the chapter written for the book being published to help Adopted children.

Stay tuned for other sneak peeks to come…

Read another Sneak Peek here:   Telling our story…sneak peek!

 

Telling our story…sneak peek!

Blessings In The Midst Of Chaos

My husband and I were married sixteen years before we decided to go into Foster Care. We lost our first son when I was 29 weeks pregnant. Three years later, after another complicated pregnancy, I gave birth to our son Wesley.  He was born with a heart defect that required open heart surgery when he was two. Then against the advice of my doctor, I became pregnant again and gave birth to our daughter Amanda. When she was 9 months old I had my first of two major surgeries. We went through some real tough trials in the first five years of our parenting journey. There was undeniable chaos at times. We experienced a great loss and had many fears. Thanks to God, we had the ability to find joy in our hard moments. The blessing throughout our parenting journey has continued to outweigh the chaos.

It came completely natural for us to do Foster Care. We simply wanted to make a difference in the lives of children in our community. Our entire family was onboard as we began our journey in 2005. We became licensed through the Department of Social Services in 2006. We knew that our lives would be changed by the many children who entered our home and our hearts. What we didn’t know, is God’s plan was much different than our own. We were unaware of the impact that three children would make in our family forever. We trusted God then and we still trust him today.

Parenting is difficult no matter what. There will be many blessings mixed within the chaos of life as you are raising your children. With raising adopted children from the Foster Care system, the chaos you experience will be a whole different kind. It may even leave you at times searching for that blessing. Don’t stop looking. The blessing is there. Look for it in the midst of your fears, through every struggle, and in your darkest hours. And if you need to, pray for your blessing to be revealed, because it could become lost in all of the chaos.      

It is my sincere desire that as you read our adoption stories you receive a renewed sense of hope in your own. Hope is a gift freely given through the grace of our Lord and Savior. There is hope for every one of Gods children. I pray you can cling to that throughout your journey. I believe it is the key to all successful adoptions. You need to believe and trust that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 It is a special calling to adopt. I am pretty confident that you’ll have moments when you will be questioning that calling and or your ability to continue on. But guess what? That’s ok. He doesn’t promise any kind of parenting will be easy. But he does give us encouragement in his word. So, cling to his word often and remind yourself in times of trouble, that he will guide you in parenting your children, if you allow him.

In the midst of every storm, remember why you chose to Adopt. Embrace your journey and let God work. God can bring peace in the hard times and clear any of your doubts. Learn to trust him in all of it. There is no question that your adoption journey will strengthen your walk with the Lord.  I pray you will continue to, or for the first time, seek the Lord for His wisdom, as you parent your precious gift. If God has entrusted you with one of his children through adoption, there is no doubt he wants your journey to be full of love and blessings.

My husband Kent and I have three adoption stories and each of them have their own unique storyline. These children came from three different circumstances and from three different families, yet with each of their placements there were undeniable similarities. In an eleven year period we have been given the sacred privilege to Foster over 25 children. All of the children placed in our home have been through the Department of Social Services and have shared many of the same attributes.

These children all came to us afraid, experiencing separation and loss. They have each exhibited trust issues and have each had some form of specific need. In addition to that, each child has had some type of hurdle (big or small) that they were in the midst of or would be facing in the times ahead. We have learned to embrace the work ahead of us with each child placed in our home. All of them have needed help to heal emotionally. Some children have required us to seek additional resources to parent them adequately. It is certain that they’ve all been in need of a safe and loving home. Together, we prayerfully made the decision to find the blessings a midst the chaos. We have fully trusted God to guide us in meeting their specific needs and parenting them. We have always remembered that there is hope. Hope for us all.

We learned to acknowledge and accept each of our children’s differences and have made a conscious effort to parent all of them (biological, adopted and those we foster) in the same way. We love them all fiercely. We have always tried to communicate openly, remain as consistent as possible and give age appropriate consequences when disciplining. I have often referred to this with others as “My Three C’s” of Parenting. (Communication, Consistency and Consequences.)  

We knew before we became parents that our faith would play a huge roll in the decisions we would make while raising our children. We have solely depended on God. It is he alone that gives us the wisdom and strength to be effective in all we do to honor him. It is just as imperative to honor him with our parenting. It remains our goal to “teach our children in the way they should go, so when they are old they will not depart from it” Proverbs 22; 6.  Prayer has remained our focus in everything, but we have learned to become prayer warriors during the difficult times we have encountered as adoptive parents. When my heart has grown weary, it has been God’s word and his promises that have sustained me. 

If you are thinking of adopting a child through the Department of Social Services, please know that it is possible. There are many success stories. You can make a difference in the eternal outcome of a child right from your local community. You will be blessed beyond measure by choosing to bless the child that God entrusts to you. It doesn’t mean it will be chaos free. But I am certain; if you are obedient to the call to foster/adopt, the Lord will equip you. He will never leave or forsaken you on your adoption journey or ever. Remember to seek him often. He will answer your cries for help and he will comfort you in your pain and or frustrations. He will flood you with blessings and joy in the midst of life’s chaotic moments or extended amounts of time. He will provide just what your family needs to succeed. I am certain that right now in the community that you live, there are children waiting for someone to love them unconditionally, forever.

This is the intro to the three adoption stories that are told in the Co-Authored book i am apart of.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to share our stories in hope to encourage just one family to make a difference in a childs life forever or to find strength in the journey they have already begun. I hope to share other pieces of my chapter with you in my blog as i wait patiently and pray for all involved in the process of the book as it is published. 

God is good and his timing remains perfect to fulfill our hearts desires.