A Passion Pause

Foster Parents~Let Your Love Shine Brightly in 2016!

efb93a316f9326b8e19d4c2601ecd2fd

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… 

Don’t Confuse Your Path With Your Destination

15 - 1 (1)

Every one of us will encounter storms on our journey.  Let’s face it, not one of us is exempt from them. It’s a part of growing. It’s a part of parenting. It’s a part of building our faith. Storms can mold our character; teach us about love, mercy and His amazing grace….they are a part of life. We can face storms on our path at any time as we move towards our destination. We may walk through some dark and gloomy days, wake to hurts and losses wishing they’d have disappeared over night, and stomp our way through some very difficult times.

But the Lord says this….

Deuteronomy 31:8   The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Sometimes we get off the path while we are facing a storm. We lose focus on the sunshine that is promised to come again. We need to remember we are never alone. The Lord is with you and has already gone ahead of you.  He already knows the outcome and has a perfect plan. The sun will shine again.  Keep your head up.  Keep pushing through the rain.  Trust His plan even when all you see is dark clouds.  Have faith that your destination will soon be glorious.

After the storm…..the outcome may be all that you have hoped for, everything that you have pushed forward towards, and way more than you could have ever imagined.  Allow the Lord to work on your behalf as you seek Him…even in the midst of your storm…seek him with all your heart!

The Lord also says this….

Jeremiah 29:11-13  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Facing a storm?  Or in a storm right now?  Or do you have a testimony where the Lord has calmed your storm, brought the sunshine back into your life, and or set your path straight again?

You may be a glimmer of sunshine to someone else.  Share your story.  It’s been given to you for a reason.  Let God use the path you’ve walked to share HOPE with others.  

Mission Impossible? No Way!

I am so honored to have my son as a guest on my blog!!! He has a huge heart for people and missions and he serves the Lord that he loves. He needs help in going to Nicaragua. We know God will move in the hearts of His people and make a way. He always does. The Lord  gives us the desires of our hearts and I am so thankful for a son that has a heart for reaching others and furthering His Kingdom. If you would also like to make a difference in the lives of the people in Nicaragua….You can! There are two ways YOU can serve with this Mission.

  1. Give if you are able to financially help (here)
  2. Pray for the Team that will be going.

mission

From the Heart of my Son Wes

Thanks Mom for letting me put this out there.

To those who are reading this blog. Here’s the scoop.

The opportunity for me to go to the nation of Nicaragua presented itself to me and I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go.  I have always had a heart for kids and missions.  While the Team is there we will be doing hands on ministry in the streets and reaching out to the communities. We will be serving so many young and old that need to know Jesus. This is an awesome opportunity for me. Not only to serve others, but for my faith to grow as well.

This will not be my first mission trip. I am extremely excited and praying God uses me greatly.  The missions on our agenda will be difficult, but there’s no doubt the rewards will be great. We hope and pray to see many lives changed for eternity!

Prayers are needed for both me and the team above all else. If you are able and can help me in raising the funds to go, it would be a huge blessing to me. I am currently 1/3 of the way there in my fund raising with a deadline fast approaching. If there should be any funds exceeding my goal, they will be directly applied towards this mission.

Click here :  Nicaragua Mission Trip

Thanks in advanced for all the support and prayers. Maybe Mom will let me update all of you on the awesomeness of this mission when I return.

Destine to reach my goal,

Wes Woodward
WES

To Tell You My Story…is to Tell of Him

         Every lost sinner who has experienced the saving grace of Jesus,                     knows the victory over sin and death.

We all have a story to share with those who don’t yet have a story.                    Share love.  Share hope. Share victory.  Share Jesus.

 Share YOUR story! 

My Story BY: Big Daddy Weave 

As you listen to this song reflect on your story.

Is it a Story That Tells Of Him?

  I love the words to this beautiful song…and I hope it blesses you!

THIS IS MY STORY, THIS IS MY SONG, PRAISING MY SAVIOR ALL THE DAY LONG!

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

SW