Wanted

Today my husband shared this post with me.  It’s written by an awesome guy name Steve Carter who was our camp speaker for a couple of years.  Joseph still listens to his sermons online and we both appreciate the wisdom that he shares.

Joseph said upon reading the want ad that that’s how they should advertise for foster parents.  Brutal honesty, so people know what they are getting into.   Here’s how we would advertise for foster families:

Wanted.  Families to foster.  Guaranteed to bring you to your breaking point and break your home, your vacation time, your bank account and probably your heart.  Adoption doubtful.  Blessings are limitless, lives will be changed (including yours).  Must like long waits in the courthouse, sudden change of schedule and not sleeping through the night. Must be able to rely on the Grace of God and lean heavily on your church family.  Cute doggie optional.  

Putting the sass aside, foster families are needed.  Everywhere.  And if right now you are thinking ‘not where I live’ I beg you to call your local DCS, CPS, DCFS, or whatever acronym your area uses and ask them if they need foster families.  You may bring the person on the other end to tears just by asking.

This past weekend we went to Nashville for the baptism of our niece.  One thing I love about church in Nashville is the LARGE pool of musicians.  Every church service I have ever been to in that city rocks.  This weekend we sang Hosanna (the Brooke Fraser version).  Each time I sing it, it nearly brings me to my knees.

We were singing Hosanna that night so many years ago when I heard God tell me we needed to foster.  And each time all of this gets hard – with long waits at the courthouse, sporadic schedule changes and another night with little people interrupting our sleep,  I remember that it would be easy to quit.  It would have been easy to ignore God in the first place (maybe not so after the No as we find in the story of Jonah and the big fish).

Here’s the lyrics that brought us to this place.  The ones that opened my to hearing my Big God say Foster Care for the first time:

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What is God calling you to?  Are you willing to answer, even if it means breaking your own heart?

Dear Children’s Museum

Dear Madison Children’s Museum,

By Monday (the day of our visit) we had been packed into my parents small, but warm and loving home for going on three days. The kids were getting restless. And everything seems to magnify when there are 5 kids, they are all 5 and under, and it’s 0 degrees outside.

To say your brightly colored walls were welcoming would be an understatement.

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Before our visit I had visited your website – wanting to be informed of your hours, your snack area, check out a map, etc. While checking the prices, I noticed you gave a discount to foster families. I wondered out loud to my husband if that was only Wisconsin foster families, or if you would accept our Indiana licence.

But then I did the unthinkable and left our license at home in Indiana. So I timidly approached the counter and told your representative that we were indeed a Indiana foster family, but had forgotten our licence. He looked at us and told us he would be glad to give us the Foster family rate. Of 7 dollars. Total.

I thanked him for his kindness and he returned with thanking me for mine – for being a foster mom.

But I wanted to do it again – Thank you. Thank you for caring about foster families. Thank you for giving us a little break in life, so that we can do something special with our foster kids. To make them feel special. To make memories.

We had a wonderful time, of course until it was time to go. Everyone was sad to leave, with the exception anyone over 4 foot tall who were all ready to leave. It was a great day, and the kids were exhausted in the end. I wish we could have spent every day of our vacation with you, but these things take planning when you have 5 kids, they are all 5 and under and it’s 0 degrees outside.

Love,

A little foster mama in Indiana

PS – See you next Christmas Break!

If you were wondering, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has an equally great program – Foster families receive free passes! We wish we lived closer to Indianapolis to take advantage of their kindness also. Maybe someday soon.

Change of Plans

Well, here in good ol’ Indiana we are setting records for low temperatures. Today my car red -4. I have never seen a negative temp in all my time living in Southern Indiana. And middle Indiana got like 15 inches of snow, so the Governor shut all state offices down.

Including my local Department of Child Services.

And with it canceling our court date today. A court date that could have changed things and set things in motion.

I knew last night it was happening, but this morning I still work up with the court-day tightness in my shoulders. The kind that comes with weeks of worrying about what’s going to happen. And so often, like today, nothing does. But yet, I dwell in the ‘what if’s and the could have been’ instead of being present here with the family I’ve been given to care for.

Each time things don’t shake out the way I want them to, I think I won’t get so worked up about it next time. I won’t worry about court or what’s going to happen, because I can’t change the results. But I still do.

I don’t make resolutions (I can’t or it would break my resolution from three years ago to make no more resolutions.) But if I could make one plan of attack for 2014 it would be to be in the present.

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I have wasted too much of my time and my families time waiting to see what happens next, and forgotten to look up and see all the wonder surrounding me.

So for now? Change of plans for what I thought today looked like. Instead, I am going to go nurse this headache I gave to myself with a cup of hot tea, a warm blanket and a very snugly husband.

New Baby Accessories

We have discovered a new use for socks – bandage covers. Last night #5 got his finger pinched in the closet door and we spent a good hour in the ER. Now we have to keep this little one from pulling the bandage off. It’s been a rough 24 hours, for us. The baby is taking this all in stride and only cries when we change his clothes. We are doing lots of snuggling and praying over him.

Bath time Conversations

Her: when did you have your first kid?
Me: your the first kid.
Her: No, when did you have your own kid?
Me: I don’t have any kids of my own
Her: why didn’t you and Joseph have kids?
Me:…..well, God knew that you needed me, so I didn’t have any kids so you could live here.
Her: oh! So I could live here when I couldn’t live at my house!

Yes, I think my 5 year old just asked me to explain my infertility. And I did. Sort of….