As many know, I have had a career in the field of Occupational therapy for over 14 years now. Since I am now focusing on being home full time with my sweet kiddos, and fostering, I am no longer working at my pediatric job that I held for 13 years. (Also due to the fact that they now mandate flu shots for all employees, and I refuse!). So, I have been doing some on-call work for other types of facilities only about once a month, sometimes more if they can talk me into it.
I have to say my career as a pediatric OT practitioner was a DREAM JOB. Almost every day that I went to work for 13 years I would ask myself "Am I really getting paid for this?" Playing with kids all day, talking with families, watching children meet developmental milestones right before my eyes, crying and rejoicing with families as they see their child doing something they were told their child would never accomplish. It was so rewarding, and I loved every moment of it.
Over the years, this occupation has somehow become hugely needed in the field of health care. I know. Recruiters call my house...weekly! I get postcards at least a couple times a week recruiting for jobs all over the US. Recently, somehow companies have obtained my email address and they are sending me job offers left and right on line. These jobs come with great pay, benefits, and HUGE sign on bonuses, sometimes up to $20,000, which was the latest one I recieved. If I was in the market for a full time job, I could have my choice, and some of the cities and states where these jobs are located are prime locations, and very intriguing.
Occupational therapy seeks to help individuals of all ages reach their greatest potential. A child's work is play...so if I am working with a child with a disabilty that could be hindering some aspect of his play skills, my job is to assist that child and family in overcoming any barrier that may get in the way of that child playing independently and successfully. That is one example. In pediatrics, I was able to work with a wide range of children with many types of issues, from behavioral problems, social skill issues, sensory processing dysfunction, autism, developmental delay and much more.
In college I worked in psychiatric hospitals, schools, nursing homes, home health, and regular hospitals on rehab floors. It is a diverse occupation, and one that will always put you front and center working directly with individuals. That was what I had always wanted. I could never see myself working in a back office on paperwork all day. I had to be hands on, treating patients, and seeing them improve and thrive.
My point for this post is to say that if you know a young person that is looking for a career, please share this profession with them. It is in great demand, and it is a career one will always be rewarded by both personally and financially. You can get a degree as an Occupational therapist, or an Occupational therapist assistant. Both are excellent positions allowing you to carry caseloads of individiuals that need your skills, and will forever be changed in positive ways because of you!
I was thinking this morning, what a blessing foster care has been! I cannot imagine life without my little baby C and baby L!!! The hugs and kisses they give several times a day, the giggles, the cuteness, how did I get so lucky?
I hear so many people say they could not do foster care because they could not handle it, the drama of the bio families, and possibly handing them off at some point back to the parents, or relatives. Thankfully, as I have walked this path for two years now, I have come to the conclusion that no matter what, if I am walking in obediance to God, caring for His children, He will go before me, and the children will go (or stay) where they belong. Trust. Love. Care. He will give you the strength if your heart is open to giving of yourself to these sweet children in the system that just need stability and a loving family.
There is some sacfifice in it of course. What meaningful endeavors don't come without sacrifice? I have had to turn down many social invites, and instead I focus my time raising and nurturing little ones at home. Hobbies? I have many. They are waiting in boxes for me to come back to. I know I will find the time again in the near future, but I have more pressing demands right now. Babies needing bottles, diaper changes, and baths. It's okay. My hobbies can wait. These two little cuties won't always be so tiny, soft, and snuggly. I am soaking it all in now. Fostering children is caring for orphans in your own community, and country. It is caring for the least of these, and God smiles when He sees that! :) I love my job! The titles are endless, and the blessings are too.... Mommy. Foster parent. Shepherd. Teacher. Nurturer. Caregiver. Provider. Boo boo kisser. Meal maker. Baby cuddler. Hug reciever...and many more. The blessings of becoming a foster parent have far exceeded my expectations!!!
After two years of having baby L, the adoption paperwork came in the mail today!!! This feels like such a miracle with all that we have been through with her! We have officially started the process, and her adoption should be complete in a few months! They are also updating our homestudy in preparation for baby C's adoption as well! Her tpr-termination of parental rights trial is set for December. Her parents have opposed every single hearing, fired their attorneys, and filed everything they can to slow down the process instead of working thier plan. They will probably appeal after the termination hearing, but all should finally end at some point in the new year-then on to adoption!
We did get another update on baby C's brother as well. Due to the fact that dcfs has realized that they need to jump through many more hoops to have him removed, they found out it will be a few more weeks before there is a final decision. They spoke again with the aunt who has custody, and she states she does want to work through the issues as well as complete the adoption paperwork, however she has been telling them this for 3 years, and she never follows through. They are at the point that they need to move him on to permancy since she is leaving him unsupervised with bio's and she is not committing to his adoption. Since he is not really in immediate danger at this time, they are going to weigh this carefully, before coming to the final conclusion. I can see where this would be a difficult decision, as he is being cared for and not abused and neglected, yet she is not maintaining her side of the bargain. If they do choose to remove him, they may contact us again about his placement, which we continue to pray about.
On the homefront, things are busy! Today I revived a newborn kitten that I thought was dead, took baby L in for an emergency Dr. appt. after she ate a cashew nut and had an allergic reaction, and finally met up with the lady that is helping me finish my first quilt---the one I started working on 3 years ago! I am already dreaming of the next one I want to create!
Summer is slipping away! We haven't even had a moment to plan a camping trip, or go to the lake! Hopefully soon...
Yesterday I talked to the SW that is dealing with the situation with baby C's brother. She said that she has met with the big boss, but they still have not come to any conclusion. She was going to call the Aunt again, and try to get her to talk and explain why she isn't fighting for this boy. During the meeting she really seemed overwhelmed with life, and was not committed to adopting him, although she was supposed to have completed his adoption over a year ago. Now the court advocate believes that all along she was allowing him to have a relationship with his bio parents, and she never intended to adopt him. I was told DCFS is going to make a decision soon. He will either be moved, or he will be staying with the Aunt, if they give her another chance. I really hope a decision is made quickly, and I pray it is the right one.
I have been going on a morning walk each day. I absolutely despise exercising, and the walks, and workouts never get easier. Lately I have been trying to change things up to make it more tolerable. I decided to take my camera along the other day, and snap a few photos of anything that catches my eye. Look at these majestic creatures I came across! Aren't they beautiful??
I have been giving thanks on these walks, talking to God, and my dog along the way. He has given me eyes to see, legs that walk and a beautiful route to walk on. How can I despise that? Thank you, Lord, for all you have done, and all you continue to do and all you have given me. Thank you for helping me to see the beauty all around me, even while exercising!
The last couple of weeks have been so busy, I can barely even keep my head on straight. I collapse at the end of the day. There are projects to do...painting inside the house, exterior painting on our barn...ponies to train...toddlers to train...meetings to attend...appts. to make...friends to see...parties to plan...and it is all so much. I have to take time for the Lord...in prayer...before all of this. I have to be diligent in prayer, and seeking His will. I have to be mindful of my time, yet meet all the needs around me. Most of all, above all, keeping Jesus at the forefront.
This can be a challenge. We continue to seek the Lords will and peace regarding baby C's brother. It is a sad situation. We want to do what is right...yet we know we are stretched. Can God stretch us further...and also bring with that the peace that surpasses all understanding? Yes. Will he? We still don't know. I attended an emergency meeting at DCFS yesterday...it was supposed to be to discuss his placement. When I arrived I was informed the aunt was there! The meeting was not about what we were told. It was heated, and security almost had to be called, but finally...things calmed, and issues were addressed. Honestly..I wondered what I was there for, but in the end I realized I have a much clearer perspective of the entire situation. A little boy waits. A life that hangs in the balance. We continue to wait as well. What will the outcome be for this precious child? We should know any day.
I appologize for this post....but I really, really, REALLY have to vent right now.
Casey Anthony was found NOT guilty....where, WHERE is the justice in this world????
I accidentally got hooked on watching this trial, because a few weeks ago, I was on a long car ride, and I started listening to it on the radio to stay awake while driving and I was hooked!
The jury came to their conclusion in only about 10 hrs. that she was not guilty on all counts. There is noone that would have thought this would happen. Everyone knows she's guilty of killing her daughter. I am so shocked, as is everyone else I have seen. They interviewed this huge group standing outside the courtroom in Orlando the people felt exactly as I do--many of them were even in tears--crying--totally shocked and appalled that the jury did this.
It is so obvious-it's common sense. This girl never reported her daughter missing, never looked for her, and her car smelled like there was a dead body inside. Where is the justice? Even her parents felt she was guilty and there was no look of relief on their faces when the verdict was announced. Wow. I am stunned.
We were out of town all day today, and while we were away, I recieved a call from our new adoption social worker-since we have finally been switched over to the adoption unit as DCFS!
It was a call I NEVER expected!! She asked me something that had never even crossed my mind. I was, literally, shocked!
I hung up the phone...and told DH that he would never guess what she was asking...here were some of his guesses, and none of them were even close:
Oh no! The relatives are back in the picture for baby L now that we are so close to adoption?? Nope.
Baby L's mom is pregnant again?? Nope.
Baby C's mom is pregnant again?? Nope.
Baby C's parent's are making some kind of false allegations? Nope.
So, he also was stunned when I told him what it was all about...
Like I said before, this is something we never saw coming, never even thought about, or discussed, because it is something that we never thought would or could happen. We don't know what we will do. She wants us to call back next week after we have thought about it. Obviously we have a lot of soul searching and praying to do...I am still baffled and surprised and honestly just need to go spend some quiet time with the Lord.
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.