Hodge-Podge…

8.7.17

There is so much to say, but it feels so hodge-podge just bear with me, this is definitely one those posts that makes sense to us but most likely will feel so “unconnected” to others.

Little man had some hard days at the beginning of the week but Thursday morning he woke up completely different than he had been, this was a HUGE answer to prayer.  You see he is 5 (almost 6) and he remembers EVERYTHING it seems from what he has experienced in the past.   So one small thing that seems insignificant to us can be HUGE for him.  One emblem on a car reminds him of people that he loves but that he doesn’t get to see hardly at all anymore.  One picture in a book can bring back a flood of memories, some good and some not so good.  One trip in the car can make him remember trips in the past.  One sighting of a dog that looks like his dog makes him reminisce about the dog that he loves but no longer sees.  But the opposite is true also, he knows that in our home he has his toys, his bedroom, his familiar things that he knows and things that are his and he loves to be at home in the familiar space.

He has been with us for 20 days…that is all but we quickly established a routine and the week days are very similar each day and he thrives on that routine.  He knows that Monday-Friday he goes to “school” for a couple of hours and then Ryan picks him up.  He knows that on Sunday we go to church.  He knows that the bedtime routine includes a song, Bible story, prayer and lots of hugs and kisses.  We also want him to know that we love him and each day the decisions we make we are trying to do what is best for him.

Ryan and I were talking last night before falling asleep how much we have learned in the last 20 days about parenting and how much we have yet to learn but are thankful that we don’t need to know everything right now, but take things one moment at a time. People have said to us many times in the last 3 weeks they don’t know how we are doing it but to be honest we don’t know how to do it either, except by God’s grace and wisdom for each new moment.  We never in a million years thought that our first experience as parents would be with a 5 year old, but God knew.  God knew exactly what that would look like.  Right now we have an overwhelming need that we didn’t foresee two years ago, when we made a huge decision but God knew and God has it completely under control.  Do we know how He is going to take care of that need?  Absolutely not, but He didn’t bring us to this point in our lives to just let us “hang out to dry” so we will trust knowing that His plan is perfect.

Our dear church family is doing a “Welcome to Parenthood” celebration and we are beyond blessed that they are celebrating with us this new chapter in our lives just as if he were our biological child, even though he is our foster son.  We are thankful that the Lord lead us to our church only a year ago when we moved an hour away from our families and our familiar territory.  Once again God had the perfect plan.

You see what I mean…complete mis-match of things but things we don’t want to forget and we want to be able to look back and remember.

RLG

 

Chicken “Noodle” Soup

8.1.17

Little man told us on Sunday that he liked Chicken Noodle Soup!  I tucked that away in the back of my mind to plan to have some when the weather cools down but little did I know that Chicken “Noodle” soup would be served only one day later.

I have a very dear friend at work that is super sweet and we help each other out and just are a support for each other.  She has been so excited for us on this journey of foster care.  I have also met her mother several times and she volunteered to help me with an event last fall, she like her daughter is just so kind and genuine.

Fast forward to yesterday, she (mom) knocked on my office door and I was excited to see her it had been several months.  She had purchased a couple of games for our little guy but she also had a large cooler in her hand…she had 4 quarts of soup and 2 quarts of spaghetti sauce.  She wanted to give us some quick easy meals for those crazy insane days so we had something easy to prepare.  She wanted to be a blessing to us.  She wanted to support us in a way she was able.

I share this because she had NO idea that little man had just told us the day before that he loved Chicken “Noodle” Soup and neither of us had any idea that when Ryan picked him up from school that he had a fever and just wanted to lay around.  But…God knew exactly what we could use, God used this sweet lady to be a blessing to us in a most unusual way…chicken noodle soup.  Little man loved the soup for dinner and we have several more quarts for future enjoyment.

This was a HUGE reminder to me, that I can be a blessing to so many people…so often I don’t think I have enough to give, so often I am embarrassed because what I can give might not be “good enough”, but I just need to be a blessing no matter what, I need to find ways (no matter how simple) to help others.  We never know what God is going to teach us through this journey and I need to be willing to learn and grown more than just in helping little man but also in every day life.

RLG

Singing

7.24.2017

Remember in the Hot Potato post when I mentioned that after I got little man to give up the games in bed, he wanted to sing…well it just wasn’t as simple as singing one song.

I told him we could sing one song (he LOVES to sing) he reaches for my hands and holds them and picks Jesus Loves Me.  But wait…let me go back and explain a little.  On Thursday just him and I were in the car for a long period of time so I started singing “Sunday School” songs, he seemed to really like them and would start asking for them by name or give me a couple of words of the song and I would know which one he was wanting.  We sang and sang and sang, but his favorite by far was Jesus Loves Me.  So back to Thursday night…he reached for my hand and holds it and I told him he could pick which song, he picked “Jesus Loves Me”.  We sing it (he tried to sing as many words as he knew), we finished that song and he says “just one more?” well I totally gave in to that cute face and beautiful brown eyes and I said okay, he picked “ABC”.  After that one was finished I got up to leave and he wouldn’t let go of my hand and he says “can we sing Jesus Loves Me again?”, weak Momma caved, how could I resist?

This boy of ours has completely changed our home for the better!  He is growing us in ways we had no idea, but it is so good!  I am thankful to be his Momma if only for a short period of time or forever we will never forget the impact he has had on our lives so quickly!

 

Unconditional

7.24.17

This word has taken on a whole new meaning in the last 5 days.  It has made me think how I really love and look at people.

Do I love unconditionally?  Truly?  or do I just think I do?  Do I “expect” things from others and in return I will “love” or “like” them?

We feel like we have done everything possible to love our little guy and show him we truly love him, not just with material things but with things like attention, food, patience etc. but on Saturday we experienced extreme push back on that love, no doubt testing us to see if we would still love him, still take care of him, still give him a home and a bed to sleep in, still feed him even if he disobeyed, even if he slammed doors, even if he called us names, even if he told us NO! 100x, he is trying to find out if we will love him UNCONDITIONALLY.  Ryan and I have prayed for patience and wisdom and so many of you and others are praying daily for us as well and it is only with those prayers that the Lord has carried us through two of the most trying days.  I said to Ryan it is so hard to see him being so defiant when we have shown him nothing but love, but I am sure in his little mind it makes complete sense!

But on the bright side…this morning he woke up (early 6:15) and came down and saw me and wrapped his arms around my legs.  I walked over to the couch with him and held him and he just laid there with his head on my shoulder and then talked and talked and talked, kissed me, hugged me and was completely different today than he was on Saturday.  It seemed he was completely content that this was home!

We were told to be prepared to experience the high’s and the low’s but to hear it and then to experience it; is very very different!

Thank you so much to those that are lifting us up in prayer and for all the encouragement.  We know without a doubt that he is in our home for a reason and we will love him no matter what!

RLG

Parents

7.19.17

So tonite at 4 p.m. we will become parents for the first time!!!!  That is hard say, let alone write.  Excited, nervous, anxious, excited, unknown, excited (oh wait, did I say that already)…yes there are many words to describe the feelings we have right now but one thing we do know for sure is that we are so BLESSED!

Last Thursday we received a phone call with our first referral…less than one week after we were approved.  Ryan and I talked about the situation and said “YES”.  So after many phone calls, emails and even more interviews and making final preparations for our home study we will meet our son tonite.

We heard many times during our pre-service training that this process is an emotional roller coaster and we have already experienced that for sure.  But each day (and many times throughout the days) we just prayed for God’s will, we prayed for peace and wisdom to know how to proceed and God answers those prayers in a big way.

When we were called with the referral late Thursday afternoon we were told we might need to go pick him up that night…we were ready!  Then several hours later we were told no, but they would be in contact tomorrow with more information and details…so we didn’t know if that meant we would be picking him up or what the situation might be. Friday came and we were told that they decided to review several other families profiles and they would make a decision…okay, we would wait (we knew all along that if he was to come to our home God would work it out).  Friday afternoon we were told that the county wanted to meet Ryan and I in person and interview us…sure!  Monday we found out that the interview would be Tuesday at 1:30…we weren’t sure what this would be like.  Tuesday we drive out of the county into new territory and we for the first time are in a Children and Youth Center to meet a caseworker and as we sat there and waited I was just reminded how absolutely blessed I am!!!!

After an hour and a half interview (which wasn’t scary at all) and finding out more about this little guy that needed a home we took some time and talked to the representative from our agency and we said YES again to this little boy.  Yes to the unknown, Yes to being parents to an adorable blond hair little guy, Yes to loving this boy with all of our hearts no matter how long he is in our home.

So last night on the way home we stopped at Walmart and grabbed a couple of things that we thought he would need and Ryan had fun trying to find the things that we needed in superhero themes (who ever knew that they made superman toothbrushes?).

We know that our lives will be forever and completely changed with a child in our home and last night we talked about how different things will be from now on, but we have definitely learned this whole process isn’t about us but about these children who need love, care and attention and if we can help them and minister to them (ever if just for a short time) than that is what we will do.

Pray for us!

RLG

Interviews

7.5.17

So tomorrow Ryan and I have our individual interviews with our agency…

We have no idea what this includes!  We are interviewed separately by our caseworker. We have already “interviewed” with a marriage counselor so we aren’t sure what else they will ask us but we are ready!

Yesterday I was able to pick up the final item that we needed to be able to pass our home study…a lock for the laundry room doors, so we are 100% ready.  As we understand it after the interviews are completed and then we can have the home study so we are in the final days of waiting to be approved.

The Lord is definitely using this time of waiting as a way to work on my lack of patience, thankfully my husband is much better at this and reminds me often that our waiting is part of God’s plan to bring us the child(ren) that He wants in our home.

Waiting Expectantly,

RLG 

Timeline

Just sitting here thinking how quickly things have progressed since we have decided to pursue foster2adopt.  So I did this quick timeline.

September 27, 2016 – Attended orientation and walked out saying “no way could we ever…”

April 4, 2017 – After much prayer and discussion we decided to “walk this journey”

April 5, 2017 – Turned in our 22 page application and misc. documentation needed

April 13, 2017 – Attended our First Pre-service training session 6-9 pm (there are 9 to attend)

June 1, 2017 – Attended our last of 9 Pre-service training sessions (which was actually the 1st session material)

June 1, 2017 – First Aid/CPR and Infant CPR Certified

June 15, 2017 – File was Transferred! (which means we can do our fingerprinting and our home study will be scheduled)

June 16, 2017 – Completed our Fingerprinting and background checks

June 27, 2017 – Email from the caseworker that is going to complete our profile.

…can’t wait to fill in the next date when we are officially approved to be parents!!!!!

So this has all happened very quickly (they tell you in the first orientation that this process typically takes 6 months to a year), for which we are so thankful, so far it has only been 2 months for us!  They said typically they are “chasing” the families for their paperwork, etc. not us we are all in!

Each step of the way, each homework page completed, each interview and each “obstacle” we have seen God work mightily!  Thank you to all of our dear friends and family that have supported, prayed for, given money and gifts, it all matters and we are beyond grateful!

Waiting Expectantly,

RLG