A few days before our newest foster child, baby C came home, my husband and I had a short conversation. I had this "feeling" (I think the feeling was that mother's intuition, or possibly God preparing me for what was to come) that we might be getting a "call" soon, as it had been a few months, and that usually doesn't happen. I asked him what we would do if we were called to take in another infant since we are licensed for two kids. (We initially got licensed for 2 under the age of 2 in case there was a sibling group that needed us). Well, we sort of looked at each other, and didn't know what to say. We really couldn't imagine things with another baby in the house. We decided to think about it, and talk the next day. The next day was a monday. I was sick in bed, missing work, and Jeff came in the room to tell me that we just got a call to take a newborn! I looked at him with a shocked look on my face, then plopped my head back down on my pillow and stared at the ceiling. After pondering this for about half an hour, I went out and asked Jeff what he said when they called. He just said he would talk to me and we would get back to them. He was actually considering it! This was shocking to me, as there was a time when he wouldn't consider starting foster care, after we adopted L from China, because she can be a handful at times, and there were many times we felt our plate was full just dealing with her tantrums and meltdowns. He then said I should call back to find out more information on this newborn (at this point, we didn't know if it was a boy or a girl). I called the guy that called us, and left a message. He never called back that day, so I assumed a home was found. On tuesday, late in the afternoon, Jeff asked me to try calling him again, to make sure he knew that we did try calling back. When I did this, the response I got was not what I expected! When I told him who I was he was so excited to hear back from us, and he said he didn't get my message and that he really needed us, and wanted to place this baby with us. I was shocked, to say the least. There was no way I could say no then. This man has wanted to place a baby with us for a couple years now. He knows we signed up for foster/adopt, and he had called us often in the past, before we were ready to take a placement. He gave our number to the assigned social worker, and she called us back with all the info. Baby C has siblings, all of which have been adopted. We don't know what will happen with baby C as of yet. Her parents are both involved, and it could be that they are going to get themselves together enough to parent her, or it could be that a relative will step forward, or she may need an adoptive family. It is so early on, we can't be sure of anything. So far, having two babies in the house has not been that difficult. I think God knew exactly what He was doing. Baby L sleeps through the night, and is becoming more and more independent every day. This was probably the earliest we would have ever felt okay with accepting another placement. So far so good. We are enjoying both baby girls, and the older girls are enjoying them too! We are blessed...
Wow, when I boarded the roller coaster a few weeks ago, I had no idea it would be such a crazy, unpredictable ride! I can't even begin to explain what has happened the last few days. One day things are looking good, the very next day, the plan has taken off in a completely different direction! All I can do is sit back, and let the ride complete itself.
It does feel like we took one step forward and a thousand steps back, but won't know that for sure for awhile. If you are an edge of your seat, thrill seeking kind of person, someone who thrives on change and adversity, foster care may be for you. For those of us that like stability, a sense of knowing, and predictability, it's much more challenging. Right now I don't see an end in sight. Thankfully...I have God and these precious little ones to focus on, and that makes it all worthwhile.
The other day I heard someone talking about how backwards things have gotten in our society. One example used was that in public schools, parents must consent and be notified if their children request a tylenol from the school nurse, but parents do not have to be notified if the student requests an abortion. Then I just turned on the news and saw this story: http://www.komonews.com/news/88971742.html
I do not believe a 15 year old child can make a decision like this on their own and not regret it. Abortion advocates fail to talk about the prolonged emotional distress that women live with who have had abortions. Parents should be notified when their minor child is going through something like this and schools should not bend over backwards to get the child to an abortion clinic as fast as they can. This is unfortunate, unfair to the unborn child and the pregnant child, outrageous, and unfortunately, happening more and more.
Little baby C is doing great! After the court hearing tuesday, we found out she will be staying, but, as with all foster care, knowing how long is the question that goes unanswered...sometimes for a very long time. The visiting nurse stopped in today, and despite all of our issues with feeding, she managed to gain 4 ounces in less than a week! I was pretty happy, considering I was concerned that she may have lost weight. She is still sleeping a lot, but staying awake a bit more at times. She is getting stronger, and eating better. So far, things are going well, and the adjustment to two babies in the house has been smooth. The hardest part is the middle of the night feedings-Jeff and I both love our sleep, so this is something we have had to get used to again. There is more to our story with baby C, and I will share that in an upcoming post!
And here is sweet baby L, who has been crawling for a few weeks now!!! This has added a new dynamic to our household...babyproofing everything, being on your toes at every moment watching what she is getting into, etc. She is such a sweet baby, and she continues to laugh out loud ALL the time, and smile at least a thousand times a day.
The sad news is...the great great uncle and his wife are still interested in adopting her. This may be a good thing...but sad for all of us. I will continue to pray and trust that the Lord's hand is on her and her situation, and that we will be ready and prepared for the day she could leave. We, of course would love to keep her and be her forever family...but know that this may not be the plan God has for her at this point. One thing I do know....there are so many people that love this baby, including her birth mother. Her birthmother is so young, and so lost, and seemed to have never had a chance in life. It is heartbreaking. Another thing I know is that no matter how much you say you won't get involved in anything else but caring for the baby when you do foster care, you can't help but feel a burden for these birth families of the little children you are caring for. It is hard not to want to reach out and do something, anything. There are fine lines you have to walk, and you have to constantly weigh every step you take, and hope you didn't cross the line at any point. It has become a ministry of sorts, and I know that the greatest gift I can give is the gift of prayer to these sweet children and their families. More updates soon!
Well, little baby C is here! She came home last night. All the girls, including our other foster baby, (baby L) were so excited to meet her! You should have seen baby L as she made a mad dash to her with this huge smile on her face, and tried to grab her before I was able to take her out of her car seat. The older girls were just amazed at how tiny and cute she is. They just wanted to touch her, and when they did, they couldn't believe how soft she was. Jeff is a bit apprehensive as he just looked at her and said she looks too fragile for him. Well, technically, she should be in her momma's tummy for another month. She weighs 5 lbs. She eats between 1/2 an ounce and 2 ounces at each feeding. Her muscles are not that strong yet, so getting enough to eat is difficult before she gets tired out, and falls asleep, then there's no waking her up. She sleeps all the time, and is only briefly awake during feeding times. Feeding her today was a challenge, as she is supposed to take in 2 ounces at each feeding, but there were times she would take no more than 1/2 an ounce, and even when she drinks what looks like a full ounce, she is loosing a lot of it out of the corners of her mouth. I tried a lot of different things today, and was finally able to get her to take close to 2 ounces tonight. If she has another difficult day tomorrow, I am planning on calling the NICU to ask them what they recommend.
Other than that, things are running smoothly! I took all 4 of them out once today, and it was a bit difficult, but we managed. I will just have to get used to it, if she remains with us long term! More soon!
I have spent the last two nights at the hospital in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) during feeding times for little baby C. She is so cute, and so very tiny. She is doing well, and should be coming home tomorrow. If I was in the market for a new career, I know exactly what I would do-become an NICU nurse. Oh, how I have loved sitting there rocking and feeding this precious baby, with all the other teeny, tiny babies around me. The unit has been full, and it is so fun watching all the parents come in to see their babies. Tonight as I sat there feeding baby C, I looked around and saw the same isolette M was in when she was born 6 weeks premature over 8 years ago. What memories that brought back! I remember my first time being allowed to leave my room and go up to see her, I was weak, and being pushed in a wheelchair, and when I saw her for the first time, all 4 lbs. of her, I was in awe. It was truly the most magical moment of my life. I thanked God for the gift He had given me, and felt so undeserving of such a precious gift.
This baby is a precious gift as well. She is a tiny bundle of cuteness and she feels almost unreal in my arms. Since she is preterm, she is really only semi awake during feeding times and will remain that way over the next month. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined myself at this point in my life with a house full of FOUR little girls. I am speechless.
I hope to do an update tomorrow after I bring her home from the hospital, so check in for more details then!
Yes...you read that right...we are taking another baby! I don't know how long, it could be very short term, or very long term. We got a call monday, and it wasn't confirmed until yesterday that they still wanted us to take this baby. What I know now is it's a girl...she's a preemie...still in the hospital...having some feeding issues. I will be going to the hospital on two occasions tonight to learn the technique to feed her, then we will bring her home tomorrow. The parents contested the hearing today, so there will be another hearing next week to determine if she will stay or go somewhere else. Foster care is quite a journey, and you never know what might happen! Please pray for this little one, it sounds like she is having a rough start. Stay tuned for more details!
M, my sweet 8 year old daughter, has been wanting to start her own blog for some time now. I finally got around to finishing it up for her based on her wishes and title...she has lots of ideas for it, and would love to have some readers! Come on over and welcome her at My Farmhouse Journal She will be so happy you came by to visit!!!
I like what Courtney wrote about today. It very much relates to something that my pastor was discussing in church this morning. Technology has made things easy, too easy, and there are costs. One of the costs is that children are growing up with so much technology and gadgets, cell phones, ipods, gaming systems that they are now lacking perseverance. (I think I touched on this a bit in my series on healthy brain development in a society of media and technology). Why spend time getting really good at a sport if you can just sit in front of a TV and move your wrist and look really good at a lot of sports? It's really hard for young brains to persevere with any task when they are so used to sitting in front of screens of all sizes getting constant immediate gratification. Courtney talked about saying no to our kids. Not giving in to all the things they want. Not buying all the toys they will forget about after a moment of play. The other cost my pastor talked about is the greatest cost of technology: the loss of our capacity for wonder and imagination. I agree wholeheartedly. I love it when there is no TV going, and the girls begin to engage in imaginative play. I love seeing them so excited to play outside, and search for bugs, as they build little cities for them. I love watching what they can create out of a blanket, some sticks and a bucket of dirt. Saying no to our children is one of the greatest gifts we can give to them. It is giving them the quietness of mind, and the ability to be creative and imaginative. It is growing their brains, and it is creating memories they will never forget. Deprivation of techno gadgets and the newest hot toy can be a paradigm shift for a lot of people, but it is something we all need to do more of. Count the costs. The rewards will be priceless.
Before I begin this post, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you that were willing to pray for the court hearing regarding our foster baby. Thank you to those of you that commented, and to those that emailed me so kindly sharing their willingness to pray for this situation. I appreciate it more than you know.
I don't like roller coasters...I am not a thrill seeker. We went on a little mid week trip with some friends for the last couple days, and my wonderful DH conned me into going on a waterslide that another friend of mine had warned me about. I knew I should not have trusted him, I knew he was hiding something, yet I got on the raft with him and entered into a dark hole, and was swiftly plummeted down a direct drop off into nowhere that felt like oh, about a 50 foot drop to my death. I honestly don't know what happened as my eyes were closed, I was screaming at the top of my lungs, and I think I blacked out for a moment. I was so mad at him. He knows I don't like thrill rides!
As we were playing around at this waterpark, the court hearing was happening for our foster baby. We really wanted to attend, but our friends only had these days open, and my DH booked the dates without realizing we had the hearing that day. We aren't required to be there, but it is just nice to go and see and hear with your own eyes and ears what is happening. What we know so far is that her plan was changed to adoption. Unfortunately, a relative has emerged. I expected this to happen at some point, but it is still a bit of a shock. Since I have heard this info from two other people other then our social worker, I am not clear on who it is-either a paternal great uncle, or maternal great-great uncle. This doesn't mean she will be placed with them for sure, but there is a chance, and relatives, even distant relatives are looked at in a much higher position than foster parents. So, we wait and pray, and begin the roller coaster ride of emotions and uncertainty. Where am I at this time? You know when you slowly climb, up, up, up, and you are at the top of the highest peak on a roller coaster, right before it plummets down the tracks at an insane speed? Well, I feel like I am at the top, waiting, knowing it could come crashing down at any time, not knowing if it might derail. That's the part I hate about roller coasters. I don't like them at all.
Tomorrow is the court hearing for foster baby. We are asking for prayers that something is accomplished. She will be NINE months old tomorrow as well, and nothing has happened in her case, except for the fact that her mom hasn't been working her plan. She loves her baby, but has no support, and no inner strength and motivation to seek the help she needs.
This little one needs something permanant. We all need to know where she is going to be. She is growing up so fast, and she is so precious. We know that the Lord has his hand on her and her entire life plan, but for now we just wait. I have never been good at waiting, so I am learning a lot while being a foster parent. I am gaining some patience, and seeking the Lord's will through prayer for her. We need all the prayer support we can get at this time. I will update as soon as I find out what happens at the hearing.
We are a christian adoptive family! God has pieced together our family in a way that is more beautiful than anything I could have imagined! We have adopted internationally, as well as through the US foster care system, but most importantly we have all been adopted by God! Ephesians 1:5 says "God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ".
We live on a small hobby farm, and homeschool our six children. Life is full!
My first miracle born in 2001. After giving birth to her, I realized that being a mother was the best job out there, and children are a miracle and precious gift from God. She is a true country girl at heart. Horses are her passion. She is an amazing big sister to her 5 little siblings!
Adopted from China in 2007.
Her sweet spirit fills our home with beauty and love. She is our little dancer, and introduced me to the world of recitals, dance practices, tutu's and ballet! Most of all, her love for Jesus shines bright, and even at her young age, she has a passion for orphan care and missions. These are subjects she talks and prays about on a daily basis! Can't wait to see where the Lord takes this girl!
Adopted from U.S. foster care, July 2013.
God's surprises never cease to amaze me. He is Laney's full sibling who came to live with us in Nov. 2011. Our son since the day he arrived. This is the sweetest boy you will ever meet.
Adopted from U.S. foster care November 2011.
Words cannot describe the joy this precious pumpkin brings to our lives! Another sweet miracle fromt the Lord. She was our first foster baby, arriving at the age of 7 weeks. We were blessed to adopt her in November of 2011. She refers to herself as a princess, and is also a lover of kittens, books, and dancing. I guess many more dance practices and recitals are in our future, lol!
Adopted from U.S. foster care, July 2013.
She was our second foster child who came home from the hospital at one week old. She livens up our days with her endless energy and strong will! It has been such a joy to see her and Austin have the chance to be together as brother and sister, and they definately have a bond that makes my heart smile!
Adopted from U.S. foster care July 2013. What a surprise it was to see that the little boy I pictured in my mind, who only the Lord would know, was actually in need of a forever family! Another miraculous gift from the Lord. He arrived at 4 mos. of age in Oct. 2011. Cute as can be with a contagious laugh and smile.