• FOSTER CARE

    Why We Changed Our Foster Care Range of Acceptance (and what we changed it to)

    While Buzz and Woody were still with us we knew we were going to change our range of acceptance for our next placement.

    Their social worker constantly raved about how well they were doing and how good our home was for them but the truth is, it wasn’t the best for our family.

    The three and a half months they were in our home wore on all four of us and our family as a whole. A lot of that we felt and were aware of and some of it we didn’t even realize until they were gone.

    I know God knew exactly what He was doing by putting those two boys in our home for that time. If for nothing else it definitely reminded us that we are not doing this because we are good at it, but rather because we know there is a need.

    Ten minutes after the phone call where they said Buzz and Woody were going to get picked up in a few hours we got a placement call for another two and three year old. Yes, the boys were still in our home and they were calling with another placement.

    Just a reminder how much our province needs more foster homes, especially ones that are willing to take multiples.

     

    Why We Changed Our Foster Care Range of Acceptance

     

    I felt, and still do feel, bad for saying no to that placement. One paper the siblings looked nearly identical to Buzz and Woody but with more needs.

    It wasn’t something our family was ready to go back into.

    As soon as Buzz and Woody left, like half an hour after, we realized that Ephraim’s goofy personality had been suppressed for the last three months and we hadn’t even realized it, or at least not the extent of it, until it started coming back. It was a good sign that we wanted to have more space between Ephraim’s age and the age of the oldest foster child we accepted into our home.

    Our homeschool has definitely looked different in the last few months than I had intended. I would say it “suffered” but the kids did do lots of learning, just not what I had planned out. It’s fine to go off course for a bit but to do that indefinitely isn’t possible. For the first time I really started to consider sending them to school because I didn’t feel like I could both foster and homeschool at the same time.

    So, for all of these reasons, and more, we knew we needed to make some changes if we were going to continue to foster.

    Did we want to continue? Yes and no.

    Either way, we didn’t feel like we were supposed to be done yet.

    So, we said no to the sibling set and said we would take one child, under 18 months.

    And, in true social services fashion they approached us with a child who was 17.5 months old. 😂

    We haven’t even had quite a week yet with him but so far the first almost-a-week has been a much better adjustment for our entire family.

    I don’t know where we will go from here. We may wait until we feel adjusted and then open up our home to another child. We may wait until he leaves and be open to two kids next time, we may be done after this . . .

    Seriously, only God knows, I won’t even pretend to have a clue.

  • FOSTER CARE

    And We’re Back at It

    Well, yesterday afternoon we had a social worker drop off a 17 month old boy so I guess we’re back at it!

    Originally, after Buzz and Woody left, we had been planning on taking a break for a few weeks but we took last weekend to hang out as a family and then did a quick little trip to Edmonton and actually felt rested and ready to take another placement.

    We did make some adjustments to our range of acceptance, which I’ll share more about in another post, but we did make the decision to only take one child this time.

    I don’t have an online name for our little guy yet, hopefully we’ll have one soon.
    Edited to add: We’re going with Alfalfa (from Little Rascals).
    Edited again: Name change! We’re switching him to R2D2, it’s too perfect for him.

    So far the first 24 hours of him being in our home have been the complete opposite of Buzz and Woody. They hardly slept in the first 24 hours, this little guy slept twelve hours straight last night (and is currently napping).

    Buzz and Woody were both very active, noisy boys and he is quiet and fine with sitting in one spot playing.

    As I feel like is always the case, we have no idea how long he will be with us. It could be quite awhile, it may not be that long at all.

    Our goal is just to love him well while we have him.

    If you are curious, you can see our foster care timeline here.

  • FOSTER CARE

    And Just Like That, They’re Gone

    Yesterday morning Buzz and Woody’s social worker phoned and started out the conversation “Sometimes the Ministry does things strange . . .” and then proceeded to tell us she would be picking them up in a few hours to reunite them with their birth family.

    That call was not expected.

    Earlier in the week we were told that the birth family had just made an effort to start the reunification process and the social worker said she wanted to take things slowly, with day visits and then overnights but she’d let us know more information at the end of the week.

    Well, that information resulted in us saying goodbye immediately, with no transition.

    Because we have been able to meet their birth family a bit in the last few months I feel more excited for them than sad for us but the last 24 hours have been quite the change in our house. I keep tiptoeing around because it feels like the boys are just napping, but then I remember that they’re gone.

    Within ten minutes of getting off the phone with the social worker with the information that they were going home we got a call for another placement for another sibling set, young kids who have been living in a group home for a few months because there aren’t families to take them in.

    Our province so desperately needs more families to step up and be willing to take children in.

    Just two weeks ago I was saying I didn’t know if we would continue to foster after they moved on but I can say that right now it does feel like we are supposed to continue, though we may make some changes in our range of acceptance.

    As of right now we are taking a few days as a family to adjust to the transition, spend some time together and pray about where to go from here.

    I would love it if you would pray for our family during this transition and while we figure out where to go from here. I would also love it if you would spend some time in prayer, asking God if He desires your family to open your home to children in foster care. I can tell you, it doesn’t take special people to foster, but it does take a big God.

  • FOSTER CARE

    Honest Thoughts Three Months Into Fostering

    An alternate title I had for this post was: What Have We Gotten Into?

    We are just three months into our fostering journey and I wanted to write a post with some random, honest thoughts, similar to the one I wrote after the first month.

    I don’t know what the average length of placement is for fostering here but I would be curious to know. We’ve just had the one placement (Buzz & Woody) for the last three months (with no end in sight). I know some people who have had much longer placements and some much shorter.

     

    Three Months Into Fostering: The Good and the Hard

     

    HONEST THOUGHTS THREE MONTHS INTO FOSTERING

     

    MOTHERING DOES NOT COME NATURAL TO ME

    A few weeks into this a friend mentioned something to the extent about how fostering was easy for me because I was a “natural mother”. That could not be further from the truth.

    Let me just say this right now: We know that God did not call us into fostering because it go with how He made us. It feels like quite the opposite really.

    Neither Jared nor I are natural parents.

    Fostering has been a major stretch our of our comfort zones and natural abilities.

    (If we can do this, anyone can!)

     

    I DIDN’T REALIZE HOW HARD IT WOULD BE

    I mean, I knew it would be hard but I thought because God was obviously calling us to it that it would at least not be incredibly, incredibly hard.

    It turns out it’s incredibly, incredibly hard.

    I realize not everyone will have this experience, especially if you are one who is a natural parent, but it’s been my experience.

    It turns out living a life poured out is harder than just talking/thinking about it.

     

    Thoughts on Fostering

     

    I’VE REALIZED I HAVE SOME ISSUES I THOUGHT I WAS OVER

    The major one is selfishness. I’ve got it bad. I thought I had gotten better in that area, it turns out my kids were just at an age that it made my selfishness not as noticeable. Throw a toddler and preschooler in the mix and my selfishness shows itself pretty quickly.

     

    I APPRECIATE FREE TIME MORE

    I definitely feel like I have been used my time more efficiently and at the same time doing a better job with resting. When it’s nap time I make a point of relaxing and recharging instead of always feeling like I always need to be productive.

    As a result I’ve definitely read a lot more (at least in January, but that can also be a result of the colder weather as well).

     

    Thoughts on Fostering

     

    THE GROWTH IN MY KIDS HAS BEEN HUGE

    This has probably been one of the main things I have seen, the last few months my kids have become so much less selfish (how are they learning lessons I can’t seem to learn?). It’s not always easy for them but I can see it is good for them (is that what God is thinking when He watches me?).

     

    IT’S BEEN GOOD FOR BUZZ & WOODY

    Their social worker is kind of speechless at their improvement in the last three months. Issues that they apparently had before have been non-existent at our house. Buzz came only speaking 10-ish words and now he’s probably up to 100+ and speaks in multi-word sentences.

     

    Thoughts on Fostering

     

    THEY DON’T FEEL LIKE OUR KIDS

    This is something I have really noticed, when we adopted Ephraim he instantly felt like ours, we haven’t had that with fostering so far. I know some friends have and it makes me feel like I am doing something wrong. I don’t know if it’s because we know that their birth family does want them back (even though they aren’t making an effort) and it’s a defense mechanism but it is what it is.

     

    I’M NOT SURE IF WE’LL CONTINUE

    All in all, I’m not sure if we will continue to foster whenever it is that Buzz & Woody leave our care. First of all, we have no idea if that will be next month or in three years or never, but assuming they eventually leave I don’t know how I feel about continuing (at this point). If we do we will more than likely just take one child to start and then maybe once we feel settled with that one add in another. Jumping in with two has been pretty much completely overwhelming.

     

    Thoughts on Fostering

     

    IT’S HARD NEVER HAVING A BREAK

    As a work-at-home, homeschooling, fostering parent it definitely feels like I never really get any time away from kids. And the chances of going on a date with Jared are even slimmer. We did plan on having a date a few weeks ago while the boys had a family visit but the family never showed, so our date included two little boys . . .

    I’ve never been a “weekly date” person but it definitely feels more necessary in this season and it’s just not possible as social services has a lot of rules of who can watch the kids and where and we don’t have very many people who are willing to do so.

     

    I STILL FEEL LIKE THIS IS WHAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING

    Even though it’s been hard I do feel like God has called us to show His love to these boys as well as their birth family. I know He has a plan in this and know that He has called us to this for at least the length these boys are in need of care.

     

    There we go, just some honest thoughts three months into fostering.

  • FOSTER CARE

    Thoughts and Lessons from Our First Month Fostering

    It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since we welcomed Buzz and Woody into our home! In some ways it feels like way more than a month and in others it feels like it has cruised by.

    I thought I would share some random thoughts from the month. These thoughts aren’t really organized, I’m just sharing them in the order they come to me.

     

    I bought clothes that were way too small

    They came with some needs in the clothing department and so we bought some the morning after we got them and I ended up buying a few things that were too small. I didn’t realize the three year old would be fitting into size five and six . . . (I feel like that’s an acceptable mistake).

     

    Fostering One Month Update

     

    I missed reading picture books

    I came to the realization that Rae and Ephraim slowly got out of wanting me to constantly read picture books to them and now that I have been pulled back into that world I realized how much I missed it!

     

    Expanded vocabulary

    I don’t know exact numbers but I think Buzz came to us with about ten words we could understand and I would say he now has over twenty!

     

    Fostering One Month Update

     

    We live in uncertainty

    I kind of like to have a bit of a plan in life and this life situation makes that impossible. When the social worker dropped them off she implied that it would probably be long term but in the past few weeks there have been signs that it might not be that long at all. I feel like they most likely will be here for Christmas but even that is not definite.

     

    It’s been hard

    Honestly, a toddler and a preschooler are often a lot on their own but adding them into your family after never meeting them is a huge adjustment! Jumping in to a lack of sleep, trying to understand delayed speech in kids you’ve never met, attempting to keep up with laundry and trying to feed everyone has kept me busy, never mind trying to do any other things on top of it.

     

    Fostering One Month Update

     

    It’s been good

    Even though it’s been hard, it’s been good. Raeca and Ephraim have grown so much and have been so helpful. I’ve also learned that while I love seeing Jared love our kids it’s even more amazing to see him love someone else’s kids well.

    And because of my now lack to time I feel like I don’t focus on the own little worries I used to have. It has helped me to focus less on myself and more on others. In the Bible study that I am currently in we are studying about Joseph and I wrote down this quote from the video a few weeks ago: “No more self-wallowing, life is not about us. Push out of ourselves and get into ministry for others.” I feel like it sums up life right now.

     

    I both want what’s best for them and want them to be able to go home

    I thought I would feel more possessive when we got kids in our home and while I care for them a lot, I find that I keep praying that things will get figured out in their home and they will be able to return. That’s the goal here anyway.

     

    In another month (plus two days) it will be Christmas, I’m curious to see where things are at then!

  • ADOPTION,  FOSTER CARE

    How Do You Know if You’ve Been Called to Adopt (or Foster)?

    It’s Adoption Awareness Month and I have a number of ideas of posts to share for this month. I got a few different questions asked and I plan on answering them all over the next few weeks.

    Here’s a peek into what I hope to share (and I’m sure I’ll come up with more):

    • how do you know if you’ve been called to adopt? (that’s this post!)
    • how to get started
    • how long does the paperwork take?
    • what if I don’t instantly love my adopted child?
    • how to talk about adoption with your adoptive child

    Let me know if you have other questions you would like answered or topics you want me to cover!

     

    Adoption Awareness Month - How Do You Know if You've Been Called to Adopt (or Foster)?

     

    Okay, on to today’s question!

     

    How Do You Know if God is Calling You to Adopt (or Foster)?

    I’m just going ahead and adding fostering in there because it is the same answer.

    I have two answers to this question: the long one and the short one.

     

    Adoption Awareness Month - How Do You Know if You've Been Called to Adopt (or Foster)?

     

    THE SHORT ANSWER

    The short answer is: you usually don’t know if you’ve been called to it.

     

    THE LONG ANSWER

    The long answer is much more detailed.

    I pretty much covered this in a post about faithfulness earlier this year but I often go back this line that Francis Chan wrote in You & Me Forever:

    Err on the side of action.

    If you were to live until 80 and were looking back on your life do you think you would be more likely to say “I wish I wouldn’t have adopted (or fostered).” or “I wish I would have adopted (or fostered).”

    I think we often regret the things we didn’t do instead of the things we did do.

    And the truth is, if you are a Christian you have been called to help the orphaned and poor.

    We are not told exactly how we each are to do this but we are all supposed to be doing something.

    Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
    James 1:27 (NLT)

     

    Adoption Awareness Month - How Do You Know if You've Been Called to Adopt (or Foster)?

     

    Some verses that have really stood out to me in the last few years are out of Ezekiel. If you are familiar with the Bible at all you probably know about the story of Sodom. It was a city that God destroyed (you may remember that Lot’s wife looked back while running away and turned to a pillar of salt, cause that’s not normal!). Sodom was a severely messed up city (you can read about it in Genesis 19). I mean, if you read the chapter you can kind of understand why God would want to destroy it.

    But, do you know why God actually wanted to destroy the city? It tells us in Ezekiel 16:49-50:

    Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needyThey were haughty and did an abomination before me. 

     

    That seems crazy. I mean, there were a whole host of guilts I feel like could have been listed against Sodom but what was actually mentioned? Having pride, excess food and prosperous ease and yet not helping the poor and needy.

    Does excess food and prosperous ease sound familiar? It should! If you are reading this now it means you have a lot more resources than many people in the world!

     

    What if, instead of waiting until we felt called to adopt we stepped out in faith and started the process and waited to see if God closed the door?

    What if we erred on the side of action?

     

    Adoption Awareness Month - How Do You Know if You've Been Called to Adopt (or Foster)?

     

    While some people will feel called to adopt, some will have it on their hearts from childhood, yet others will step out in faith because they believe all Christians are called to help the orphaned in some way and they know they can provide a home for a child who doesn’t have one.

    I don’t think everyone needs to adopt (though I would highly recommend it! 😀) but if you are finding yourself drawn to adoption or wondering if it something you are do or are called to I would suggest taking the next thirty days to intentionally pray about it and do some research on the topic.

     

    Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me.
    Matthew 18:5

     

    If you want to read more verses about orphan care or even pray through them check out this post.

    If you would like prayers while you consider what your role should be in caring for the orphaned and poor feel free to leave a comment or email me and I’ll be praying for you!

  • FOSTER CARE

    We Survived the First Week!

    It’s officially been just over a week since we got Buzz and Woody* and we all survived!

    *My Instagram friend, Jessica from @theopenhome suggested we use those names for our online names for our first foster care placement and they are so perfect for these boys.

     

    Here’s a few random things from the first week:

    The first few nights were rough

    Not a lot of sleeping occurred but the daytime was pretty good. You win some, you lose some.

    Thankfully it got better and they are pretty much sleeping through the night now except Woody who will sometimes wake up once and wants to be held to fall back asleep but then wakes back up when I try to put him in his crib. I haven’t quite figured out how to make the nights he wakes up work well. Since the boys share a room I don’t want him waking up Buzz.

     

    They know where home is

    In some ways it’s concerning how quickly they were okay with our house being home. After they had been with us for two days we had our first aid training and the kids were at my parents for the day, that evening when we drive into the house Buzz raised his arms and said “Yay! Home, home!”

     

    They (generally) nap and fall asleep well

    Buzz likes either Jared or I to sit in the room until he falls asleep which usually takes 15ish minutes (except I’m trying most of this post so far on my phone while he’s supposed to be napping and today it is just not happening).

     

    Toddler kisses are just the cutest

    To give kisses Woody puts his lips on my cheek and breathes out through his nose, it’s adorable.

     

    Our first week of foster care

     

    It took hardly any time at all to fall in love

    This is one of the biggest things I prayed while we were all in the approval process. I have seen God really answer that later because they came to us with colds (aka snotty noses) and I still quickly felt love for them. Because of this it is easy to treat them the same as our own children and it makes serving them and helping them through trials and tantrums that much easier.

     

    Taking in two toddlers is a great exercise and weight loss program

    Granted I haven’t actually weighed myself so I don’t have definite statistics but it’s definitely hard to find times to eat and toddlers don’t always allow for me to finish my food. Add in the carrying of some not-so-little toddlers and you’ve got more muscles than you did the week before.

     

    Toddlers are busy

    Seriously busy. Make that two boy toddlers and I think that doubles the busyness. There have definitely been moments where I’ve thought “maybe we should have started with just one”, but we didn’t get into this thinking it would be easy, we wanted to be able to open our home up to siblings so they could be kept together. Yes, life is busy, but I don’t think I would be living a life poured out if it wasn’t.

     

    I’m rooting for their birth family

    Honestly, I thought I would feel more hesitant to be in the birth family’s corner but that hasn’t been the case so far at all. I really want them to be able to do what they need to have a safe home Buzz and Woody can go back to.

     

    I think that’s a pretty accurate summary of our first week! Honestly, I’m more tired than I expected but things are also going better than I would have expected. Thanks for praying for us, we would love your continued prayers!

     

    On a slightly different note, November is adoption awareness month. I hope to share a number of adoption related posts in the next few weeks. If you have any questions related to adoption that you would like me to attempt to answer or topics you would like me to cover, let me know! I’ve got a few ideas of things I will be sharing but am open to some other ideas as well! (A few potential ideas: why we chose international adoption over domestic, timeline, fundraising, etc.)

  • ADOPTION,  FAITH,  FOSTER CARE

    Monthly Scripture Writing Challenge: Orphan Care

    With November being Adoption Awareness Month and Ephraim’s adoption anniversary it seems like the perfect month for an orphan care Scripture writing challenge.

    I don’t think that every Christian needs to adopt or foster (but I’m not opposed to the idea either!) but we are all called to help the fatherless and needy.

    You’ll notice that the verses for this challenge are not all orphan specific, there are a lot of verses about doing good that don’t specifically point out orphan care. It plainly says in the Bible that people will know we are Christians by the way we treat those around us and one of the ways we can do this is by caring for the orphan.

    If you are interested in looking at previous Scripture Writing Challenges I’ve created a couple of others so far.

     

    The truth about adoption - life after international adoption

     

    You definitely don’t have to write out the verses every single day to take part in the challenge. I understand that life happens and we get behind.

    One of my pastors once used this illustration for daily Bible reading, he said something to the effect of: if you missed breakfast and lunch one day, you don’t need to first eat breakfast and lunch before you can have supper.

    The same thing applies to Bible reading and Scripture writing. Just continue on with where you should be, you don’t need to go back and do all the previous days.

    October was the first month since July that I didn’t stay on top of my Scripture writing, I got sick and still had good intentions, I got my Bible and notebook out and looked at the verses and my brain just couldn’t make sense of any of it so I had to wait a few days before starting back up, it happens. Then we got our first foster care placement and had to do two full days of first aid and CPR training on very little sleep, so I missed a few days there as well.

    Don’t focus on the missed days, focus on the days you got into the Word.

     

    Free Month-long Scripture Writing Challenge on orphan care, adoption, foster care and doing good

     

    I am really excited about the theme for this month because it is a topic I have felt very passionately about since I was fifteen.

    I am hoping to do some adoption awareness posts both on Instagram and here on the blog but am not really committing to anything specific at this time since life feels a little crazy at the moment though I do plan on concentrating most of my posts here (because I like blogging more than I like Instagram).

    If you are interested in reading more on topic you can check out our adoption timeline and adoption posts as well as our fostering timeline and fostering posts.

     

    Look at this flashback to a couple weeks after we adopted Ephraim! <3

     

    As with all my Scripture Writing Challenges I’ve left them just numbered with no days of the week and there are thirty-one verses/passages. I always feel the need on months where there aren’t thirty-one days to point out that yes, I do know there are not thirty-one days in the month, but I want to have that many verses in case people decided to do the challenge in a month where there is thirty-one days. See, I am (a little) smart.

    To get the printable Scripture writing challenge just sign up here and you’ll get an email with info on how to access all the freebies on this site:

     




    check to verify you want to receive the newsletter & freebies 

     

    BIBLE VERSES ABOUT ORPHAN CARE AND CARING FOR OTHERS

    I also wanted to try something different this month and include the actual verses here instead of just the printable. I like making the printable because you can use your preferred version of the Bible and actually go to each passage but for this month I wanted to try having the full verses here. These are all in the ESV unless otherwise noted.

     

    Bible Verses about Orphan Care, Adoption and Caring for Others

     

    James 1:27 (NLT)
    Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

    Isaiah 1:17
    Learn to do good;
    seek justice,
        correct oppression;
    bring justice to the fatherless,
        plead the widow’s cause.

    Ezekiel 16:48-50
    As I live, declares the Lord God, your sister Sodom and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. 

    Jeremiah 22:15-16
    Do you think you are a king
        because you compete in cedar?
    Did not your father eat and drink
        and do justice and righteousness?
        Then it was well with him.
    He judged the cause of the poor and needy;
        then it was well.
    Is not this to know me?
        declares the Lord.

    Psalm 68:5-6
    Father of the fatherless and protector of widows
        is God in his holy habitation.
    God settles the solitary in a home;
        he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
        but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

    1 Thessalonians 3:11-13
    Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you,  so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

    John 14:18
    “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

    Galatians 2:10
    Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

    Luke 12:33-34
    Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

    Matthew 25:35-36
    For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.

    James 2:15-16
    If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?

    Isaiah 58:6-10
    Is not this the fast that I choose:
    to loose the bonds of wickedness,
    to undo the straps of the yoke,
    to let the oppressed go free,
    and to break every yoke?
    Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
    and bring the homeless poor into your house;
    when you see the naked, to cover him,
    and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
    Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing shall spring up speedily;
    your righteousness shall go before you;
    the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
    Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
    you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
    If you take away the yoke from your midst,
    the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
    if you pour yourself out for the hungry
    and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
    then shall your light rise in the darkness
        and your gloom be as the noonday.

    Matthew 18:5
    Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me.

    Proverbs 28:27
    Whoever gives to the poor will not want,
        but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.

    Psalm 82:3-4
    Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
    maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
    Rescue the weak and the needy;
        deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

    1 Samuel 2:8
    He raises up the poor from the dust;
    he lifts the needy from the ash heap
    to make them sit with princes
    and inherit a seat of honor.
    For the pillars of the earth are the Lord‘s,
        and on them he has set the world.

    Matthew 19:21
    Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

    Psalm 146:9
    The Lord watches over the sojourners;
    he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
        but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

    Deuteronomy 10:18
    He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.

    Proverbs 31:8-9
    Open your mouth for the mute,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.
    Open your mouth, judge righteously,
        defend the rights of the poor and needy.

    Matthew 25:40
    And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

    Philippians 2:4
    Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

    Galatians 6:2
    Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

    Romans 12:10
    Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

    Proverbs 21:13
    Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
        will himself call out and not be answered.

    Ephesians 4:32
    Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

    Matthew 5:16
    In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

    Ephesians 5:1-2
    Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

    Colossians 3:23-24
    Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

    John 13:34-35
    A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

    1 John 3:17-18
    But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

  • FOSTER CARE

    The Foster Care System is Unpredictable & Our First Placement!

    Like I mentioned last week, our social worker told us to expect a call early this week.

    Rae was already disappointed when a call didn’t come on Friday. By the end of the day Monday she was devastated. She had pretty much reduced to a constant moan. Ha, I told her to enjoy the quiet while she could!

    Then a call didn’t come on Tuesday.

    On Wednesday Rae said a call was going to come either at 12:00 or 3:06. Lunch came and went and still no call.

    But then at 3:03 the call came! (She was just 3 minutes off!)

     

    Our First Foster Care Placement - the good and the hard

     

    That call resulted in a series of calls.

    We ended up getting presented with two sibling groups – that was incredibly hard. Had the call come for either one of them we would have said yes but to pick . . . oh man, it’s hard.

    We made a decision that there was one sibling group that would probably be better suited for our family right now, thankfully it also worked out that it was the group that was more urgent, it made it a little easier to decide.

    So around supper time on Wednesday we welcomed two boys: a 3 year old and a 21 month old into our family!

    I can’t show their faces or their names here so I may end up giving them nicknames for online to make things easier (unfortunately I’m terrible at nicknames, so let me know if you have suggestions!). (Update: they are going as Buzz and Woody here!)

    As of right now we have no idea how long they will be with us, there are some signs that it may be just a few weeks and other signs that it may be long term. We are just going into this without any expectations in regards to a timeline.

     

    Our First Foster Care Placement!

     

    I am obviously not going to be sharing any of their history or personal information here but I do want to blog through our journey for my own sake (because I have a terrible memory) and because I know there are a lot of people who are curious about foster care out there and I hope we can be an encouragement for some others out there to look into the process.

    That being said, I don’t want to gloss everything over. Because I am a little behind in sleep I wanted to do a quick highlight list of things that are hard and things that are good (though, just because things are hard does not also mean those exact things are not good).

     

    Things that are hard right now

    • I’ve never had two toddlers at the same time before, so this is a new-to-me challenge!
    • the first night not a lot of sleeping occurred, the second night was a bit better and they are both currently napping and went down without a fight so I’m hoping this is a good sign for tonight (if you think to pray for us I would love for you to add in some extra prayers for good sleep)
    • listening to the three year old moan for his mom before he falls asleep at night (it just breaks my heart)
    • it feels like babysitting – I knew this would happen but I definitely was not looking forward to this first transition phase. It feels like babysitting, you are always on alert and your whole day is thrown off. I am looking forward to in a week or two when we are into more of a rhythm.

     

    Our First Foster Care Placement!

     

    Things that are good right now

    • sweet toddler hugs!
    • seeing my kids really step up even when they have been kept up most of the night due to loud crying
    • all the praying the last few days have resulted in
    • one easy nap time! (and hopefully more to come)
    • having a husband who is 100% on board with this – I’d be a walking zombie already if it weren’t for him.
    • a supportive extended family and friends

     

    Unfortunately, Jared and I have to get our first aid and CPR training done this weekend so that means the kids are getting sent off to each of our parents for a day. They are long days too (we need to be there from 8am to 5:30pm) and I am a little worried that will throw off the little bit of a routine we’ve started and put us a few steps back.

    Thank you all for your prayers, we would love for you to continue praying!

  • FOSTER CARE

    “I Would Get Too Attached” – A Common Foster Care Concern

    Well, as of Thursday afternoon we are officially an approved foster family!

    Rae was hoping for a placement call on Friday and kept asking me what the odds of getting a call were, my answer was 50/50: either we get a call or we don’t. Thanks to Corner Gas for that wonderful logic:

     

    “What are the chances that we have a riot in Dog River?”
    Karen: “I’d say 50-50: either we get a riot, or we don’t.”

     

    No call came on Friday. Not really a surprise since our worker said she usually tells the placement team to not give a first placement on a Friday because if we need anything over the weekend it’s harder to reach people.

    She did imply that we would probably get a call at the beginning of this week for two toddlers. No specific information though so we wait.

    From the sounds of things they have a number of toddlers in group homes because they don’t have enough foster homes for them. That fact does not sit well with me.

    There are over 700,000 people in our province who profess to be Christians and even if you take into consideration that some of those are in the same family, there should be more than enough Christ followers to take in the children our province has in care. As of last year there were just over 5,000 kids in care and only a little over 500 foster families in the province.

    Crazy numbers if you ask me.

    Meanwhile, more than 50% of the people in my town can’t park at least one of their (2+) vehicles in their garage because it is too full of stuff (or boats, quads and extra vehicles).

     

    I Would Get Too Attached - A Common Foster Care Concern

     

    That was a bit of a rabbit trail.

    It turned out to be a mixed blessing that we didn’t get a placement on Friday because I hadn’t been feeling too well all week so I went to the doctor Saturday morning only to find out that I have bronchitis and pneumonia.

    So, at least I got some rest this weekend before adding some more kids into the mix! Thankfully the antibiotics are pretty fast acting and I can already feel them working. (Also, Jared was amazing and let me rest on Friday while he dealt with the kids and house and my parents took the kids on Saturday so I’ve had some good down time.)

     

    "I Would Get Too Attached" - A Common Foster Care Concern

    the cutest note

     

    “I Would Get Too Attached” – A Common Foster Care Concern

    I previously mentioned I wanted to address some common concerns people (even myself) have about fostering. The first one is a huge one, I remember hearing about this concern years ago, before I was even married and had ever considered the idea of foster care. Someone from my church had commented about how strong or something this other person was for fostering and she said “I could never do that, I would get too attached”.

    I don’t know what I thought about it at the time but I very clearly remember the conversation and for whatever reason it stuck with me.

    As we began to research about fostering that was a phrase I started coming across more often. And really, I understand the idea behind the comment but during our adoption process we did some very in-depth study on attachment. I won’t get into it all now but the main thing is this: attachment is good.

    If a child never attaches to anyone that is not a good thing.

    If a child can attach to someone that is a sign they can attach to another person.

    As foster parents one of our goals is for the foster kids to get attached to us. That shows that they trust us to love them, protect them and provide for them.

    Now, I know that I am talking about kids getting attached here and not about us getting attached.

    The truth is, we will get attached quickly. Probably quicker than the kids.

    And when they leave? It’s going to hurt like crazy.

    But how much easier for us to heal after a child leaves our home, us who have each other and good, healthy attachments, than it is for the child.

    Our goal is to help them feel as loved and attached as they can when they are in our care and then pray like mad when they move on, hoping that their time with us will help prepare them for attaching to their next caregiver.

     

    "I Would Get Too Attached" - A Common Foster Care Concern

     

    So, now we wait for a call! I’m guessing it will be a little shorter than the time we waited for the call for Ephraim.

    Since we don’t know ages/genders it feels like we are waiting at the top of a hill. As soon as we know specifics we will have a whole bunch of stuff to buy (because we got rid of all our baby/toddler/preschool stuff), but for now we wait.

     

    I Would Get Too Attached - A Common Foster Care Concern

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