Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas wrap-up

we had a wonderful Christmas and i hope you did too! it was totally different than Christmases of the past, but i guess that's what happens when you have kids in the house. :)

i had Christmas eve day off while ryan worked a half day, so it was fun to be home with the boys for awhile by myself. i got the house cleaned up and in shape for guests, and had some time to do some last minute present wrapping for family members. later that day, we all got cleaned up and headed to Christmas eve church service with my parents, sister and family, and grandparents who were visiting from tennessee. since it was a special service, their church had no childcare so little P came to church with us. he did great in the service and at one point grunted/growled/screamed along with one of the carols we were singing. it was pretty cute and i think everyone around us was impressed with his musical prowess :)

after church, we headed over to ryan's stepdad's family Christmas party. this is by far one of the highlights of the Christmas season for us as we love getting to spend time with all the relatives and catching up. plus, there are a lot of other "kids" our age, most of whom are fellow UK grads so we have plenty to talk about! (*can anyone say, 14-0 baby?!? go cats!) here's this year's annual Christmas eve family picture:

we brought a pack-n-play for P, so we put him to sleep and stayed at the party until about 11:00 p.m., which is a super late night for us old folks!

after the party, we headed home and for the first time ever, ryan and i were up late that night helping "santa" get the rest of the boys' gifts wrapped. (*side bar - "santa" did not wrap in my house growing up, but ryan insisted that "santa" wrap for our children because he always did for him. to that i say - next year, "santa", you're on your own. if you want to wrap, go right ahead but i need my beauty sleep!!) we finally got into bed around 1:00 a.m., with all presents wrapped neatly under the tree.

the next morning, we got got P up first, changed his diaper and got him dressed for the day. then we went in and woke up R, so we could all go down as a family to see whether or not "santa" had come. i think R may be a little too old though to really appreciate ryan and i excitedly shaking him and saying, "santa came! santa came!" over and over again first thing in the morning.

the boys opened their gifts from "santa" and we let R open his big gift from us...the sony PSP. he was super excited about it! we enjoyed some time together as a family around the christmas tree for awhile but then had to pack up for the rest of the day's activities. we shuttled off to my parent's house for our annual christmas breakfasts (mmmm...i can smell the biscuits and gravy now!) and gift giving. unfortunately, i think P was overwhelmed with all the activity of the morning because he would not take a nap to save his life! instead, he grumpily joined us for all the morning's festivities.

we exchanged gifts with each other and the boys rushed outside to try out one of R's gifts...the rip stik:

(*note: this is not an actual photo of anyone in our family. their rip stik skills are not this advanced. that is all.)

after almost breaking their necks, the boys came back inside and somehow we began a large family game of rock band. i wish i could share the photos, but i think i would die of embarrassment! we rocked out for a really, REALLY long time but sadly, we had to head out and get on to our next christmas destination.

we headed back to our house to celebrate christmas with ryan's parents. for the first time ever, they joined us at our house and we had our traditional christmas brunch meal. *i don't think i've ever eaten that many orange sweet rolls in one sitting!* after brunch, we exchanged gifts with them and then spent the rest of the afternoon watching movies and just lounging around. it was fun to have them over and have nowhere to rush off to next so that we could just enjoy each other's company for awhile.

all and all, it was a busy christmas, but the best one i can remember!! seeing how welcoming both our families were of the boys, seeing R's excitement over gifts, and just getting some time to hang out with our families was more than i could have ever asked for!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

parents' visits with the boys

so as promised, i will now give you all a little update on where things sit with the boys, however, first let me issue a is most likely that along with this post, there will be quite a bit of whining/complaining. sorry in advanced for this, but sometimes a girl's got to vent!

well, as i've said before, the boys' case plan is set for them to be reunified with their parents, and nothing has changed with that. the first week of december, they began weekly supervised visits for an hour at a visitation center with their mom. also, two weeks ago, P began visits with his dad at the center for an hour on a different day. it's a lot of running around to do, but so far we are managing. i think once ryan begins traveling a lot more for work, we're going to feel the burden of all the back and forth a little more, which will kinda stink!

so, the visits have been alright. we have been less than impressed with the visitation center's staff though. on the boys' first visit, i asked the visit facilitator to make sure that P was fed both containers of his food around a certain time. when ryan brought the boys home that night, i noticed P was pretty fussy so i checked his bag. low and behold, he had not been fed as requested. more than frustrated, ryan called the visitation center to see what had happened. we unfortunately live about 40 minutes from the center, so since no one made us aware that P had not been fed as requested, he was more an hour and a half past when he was supposed to eat. the visit facilitator told ryan that she mentioned the food to the boys' mom but didn't remind her about it when the time came because she wanted to see if their mom would remember on her own or not. well, obviously she didn't! however, ryan and i were still a little frustrated that the facilitator couldn't have mentioned that to ryan when he picked the boys up so that ryan could have fed him before driving all the way home.

since the first visit, bio mom has only fed P one other time as requested. he also has not ever gotten a diaper change by mom or dad while at a visit at the center. dad has also not succeeded in feeding P. during dad's scheduled visit times, P is supposed to get solids and a bottle but has only gotten half of one or the other, never both. also, since beginning visits at the center, bio dad can no longer bring his mom along for visits so i think he's just generally lost on what to do with P. i decided to stop fixing the bottles before the visit myself so that bio mom and dad can learn to do it on their own, but i don't know if that's going so well. after P's visit with his dad, he came out with a half full bottle of ice cold formula. thankfully ryan noticed and was able to run it under some hot water so P would actually drink it on the ride home.

also, P's dad showed up to his first visit at the center 12 minutes late. now, if i only had an hour with my child once a week, i'm pretty sure i would do everything i could to be there for the full hour, but call me crazy!! however, the last 2 weeks, we have not had any visits at all with P's dad. on the 19th, he decided to not show up to the visit and didn't call either, so the center cancelled his future visits until he could call and explain why he missed. being the savvy internet stalker that i am, i checked P's dad's facebook wall (he doesn't have any privacy settings) and was able to find out that bio dad spent the weekend in another state visiting his new girlfriend. sure would have been nice to know that before ryan and P made the drive to the visitation center! as of yesterday though, we met with the boys'/their parents' worker, and she said that the reason bio dad didn't show up or call was because he was in jail. she said he went into jail that thursday (the 17th) for violating the no contact order with the boys' mom. i kept my mouth shut about the info i saw on facebook for the time being because the worker said she was going to double check the dates his was in jail to be sure. i would love to know if he was in jail, how he had such great access to the internet! i printed the screen on his facebook page, so i have some back-up for future reference. i did get a call today though that bio dad called the vistiation center today, so his visits are back on starting this saturday. we're hoping to get the visit day changed for the future so that our weekends don't have to be interrupted with drama...

the boys' mom did not have a visit with the boys last week either though because the visitation center is closed on Christmas and new year's eve. they said that she was one of the only parent who visits that day that didn't request for her visits to be rescheduled. when i told the boys' worker about that yesterday, she seemed a little annoyed that i didn't suggest to bio mom to ask the center to reschedule the visits for her. i guess i didn't realize that holding her hand through all of this is also my job...

well, that's it for now. that's everything (and more, i'm sure!) about what's going on with the boys' visits with their parents. as i mentioned, we had a visit yesterday with the boys' worker, so there's much more to share but i'll spare you for now! thanks for listening to me vent, but don't worry, there's more where that came from :)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas, Y'all!!

MeRrY ChRiStMaS, friends!!
i hope you enjoy a wonderful day with your families celebrating the true meaning of today, the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

"in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. he was with God in the beginning. through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. in him was life, and that life was the light of men. the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. he was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. he came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, became the right to become children of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. we have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
-John 1:1-5, 10-12, 15

here are 3 of our 4 previous Christmas cards:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmastime is here!

(our tree last year)

sorry for neglecting you, dear friends! i think this is the longest break i've taken from blogging in awhile but it was pretty needed. i guess i've been caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season so i haven't had much time to put my thoughts to paper *or print. i guess that's what this is??*. anyways, our family is intact and doing just fine. we've had quite a few new developments *nothing major though* in the boys' case over the last month. mostly, we've just had things happen that have frustrated the fire out of ryan and i, but i guess that's life in the foster care system! i will try to post separately about things going on with the boys but for now, i'll just update you all on our lives...

after a crazy kick off to the Christmas shopping season with a midnight to 4 a.m. trip to toys-r-us on the night of thanksgiving, i just finally finished all my shopping last saturday. i tried not to go overboard with the gifts for the boys but it was definitely harder than i thought!! baby P is getting mostly practical stuff - lots and lots of new clothes *he's already outgrown almost everything he has and really needs to be wearing 12 to 18 months*, a few toys, some new blankets, shoes, etc.

however, R is who i really had a hard time not overspending on! he's been asking for a PS3 *and so was ryan!* but we didn't think that would be a good idea since we most likely would not send it with him if/when he goes back with his mom. instead, we settled on getting him a PSP so he can have something to take along with him when we go to all his appointments, in the car, etc. plus, if/when he goes back to his mom, we'd be happy for him to take that with him. we also bought him a slew of clothes, dvds, tech decks, and some other small trinkets. we had also bought him a skateboard but decided to take it back because my sister got him a rip stick, which is similar. however, last week i decided to return the skateboard while the boys were at their visit with their mom, and on the way, i made the mistake of asking R if there was anything else he wanted for Christmas that he hadn't told me about. sure enough, there was something...he said that he'd really been wanting a remote control monster truck. i told him that i didn't think that would fit in what was left of his Christmas budget but we'd see. sure enough, after just going into the store to return the skateboard, i came out as the proud new owner of a large, red monster truck.

now that my shopping is finished, i still need to get a move on with my wrapping. i have wrapped almost everything for everyone not in our household but have wrapped hardly anything for the boys. i haven't had enough energy to stay up past both of their bedtimes and get much done, but hopefully tonight i will!

aside from shopping, ryan and i have also been busy with quite a few Christmas parties. on saturday, his company had their annual Christmas party at a museum here in town. since his company has a few employees outside of our city, they also booked a block of hotel rooms downtown at a reduced rate, so we took the opportunity to have a night away. ryan's parents were sweet enough to keep the boys and we had a great time just getting to catch up on us! it seems like i'm usually on baby duty and ryan is on the go with R, so we rarely get much time alone so it was a great treat! we haven't done Christmas gifts for each other for the past 2 years, so we considered out evening get-away our gift to each other this year. his company party was really nice, but it just reinforced my theory that djs should not be allowed at corporate events...especially not when there's an open bar! the evening's play list included - baby got back, peace up a-town, pour some sugar on me, the cha cha slide, and many more. i think i was more embarrassed for the drunk fools dancing around like crazy people than they were for themselves!! it definitely made for a comical evening!!!

also, last night we had our annual "a very GEE Christmas". *ok, i know that sounds a little off, but really it's not as bad as it sounds!* for some reason, in high school, my group of friends started calling ourselves "the gees" and the name has stuck. last night we gathered everyone and celebrated the birth of our Savior with great food, conversations and lots of laughs. it was so great to see everyone and to reconnect with old pals! it always amazes me that we can only get together once or twice a year, but still pick up exactly where we left off. i am truly blessed to have such great friends!

so, that's a bit about what we've been up to lately. we're really looking forward to sharing this Christmas with the boys and hope we can continue to reinforce to them that this season is more than just presents and parties (even though i realize that's all i've just talked about in this post!!). we've been reading The Glory of Christmas each night as a family and have had some great conversations with R about who Christ is and why He would come to earth as a baby and suffer for us. i hope the seeds being planted will one day be watered!! anyways, hope you have a great day and are able to enjoy the last few days before Christmas!

Monday, November 30, 2009

turkey day wrap up

we had a great thanksgiving!! we ate lots and lots of food, shed some tears as always during the "i'm thankful for...", had lots of laughs and just enjoyed spending time together. however, i think one of my favorite memories from this year is from wednesday night. R was grounded from tv, video games, computer (*yes, again.) so he was allowed to read, lounge around or hang out with me in the kitchen. surprisingly, he chose to hang out with me!! i was busy making 2 pumpkin turtle pies, 2 green bean casseroles, and 2 corn puddings. with 3 thanksgiving dinners ahead of us, we had lots we needed to contribute. so, i tasked R with helping me dump in the ingredients, stir things, open cans, etc. and we both had a great time!! we were very busy laughing and making a mess, all while torturing ryan with the blaring Christmas music from my iphone. it was great!

we also had lots of fun introducing the boys to all the new faces of our extended families during the festivities. P was eating up all the attention and being his usual adorable self. he even christened a few family members with some of his acid reflux action and they still loved him! R made some new friends with some of the other kids around his age too. it was really exciting to see them fit right in with everyone, and to not have to worry about Christmas being ackward for anyone! R said that he was thankful for being able to meet so many new people.

anyways, it was a great holiday weekend and i will cherish these memories for a long time! now, it's officially Christmastime :) WOOHOO!! we've started to get the tree up but probably won't get it finished until later in the week, but i can't wait. Christmas with kids is the best!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


so the bug got us...the stomach bug that is! my nieces and sister had it last week, my dad and ryan got it on saturday, and i got it on sunday night and monday. i'm feeling more like myself today finally though! still a little queasy from time to time and a little scared to eat much, which really stinks considering that thanksgiving is TOMORROW! i can't believe its here already...

this year we have so much to be thankful for!! i remember hoping last year that we would have a kiddo through foster-to-adopt or be on our way to starting a family the old fashion way by this thanksgiving. and it looks like those hopes have come true! while we may not be R & P's permanent family, we do have the opportunity to share our family with them as long as we can. i am looking forward to showing them how we do thanksgiving...they should be in for a fun ride! we usually have 4 houses to go to - my parents', ryan's mom & stepdad's, ryan's dad's extended family, and ryan's stepdad's extended's a very busy time of the year! this year, we not going to ryan's dad's family since that would be way too much on the boys (and us!).

so, here are just a few of the many things i'm thankful for this year:
*ryan - 'nough said. he's more than a great husband, best friend, dad, etc. i love his eternal perspective and watching him be a role model for our boys. he keeps me sane, grounded and centered, and always points me back to Christ when i get off track. i could go on all day about him, but i'll spare you the mushy details :)
*R - it brings me a new kind of joy to see him feel settled, comfortable and safe in our home. his laugh brightens my day and i love it when we can be goofy with each other. i love seeing him open up and fall into place with our family and routine. i am grateful for the alone time we spend driving from place to place because it gives us time to chat and sing country music together!
*P - i will always cherish our mornings together before i go to work, especially seeing his big smile when i get him out of his crib. i love being able to take care of him, make him laugh, and hear him babble like we're really having a conversation.
*our families - we have such a strong network of love and support. i have never wondered where either of our families stood on us being foster parents (*or anything else in life!!) - they have openly supported us and voiced any concerns they have. they are the first people we call when we need prayer, ideas, advice, etc. we're obviously new to this parenting gig but the support we get from our families is uncanny. we could not do this without them!! they also love us for who we are, no strings attached.
*my sister - our relationship has grown so much over the years...she's no longer my bigger, annoying sister who wouldn't give me the time of day. she's now one of my best friends despite our shortcomings and disagreements from time to time. i can depend on her and tell her anything. i am also so thankful that her biopsy for thyroid cancer came back negative.
*ryan's new job - thinking about past christmases and how much time i spent without him, i'm so grateful for ryan's new job. despite a struggling economy, God provided the right position for him at the right time. we now can spend time together on the weekends, travel and do many more things that we could not do in the past. the job is also providing for us to live comfortably but not so much so that we can lose sight of Who is really providing for us.
*my job - i'm so thankful that i work for an understanding boss who allows me the flexibility required to also be a foster parent. there have been countless appointments, meetings, etc. that i have caused me to leave work early or get to work late. through it all, my boss has been so flexible even though he does not have to be.
*our church - we floundered for the first 2 years of our marriage without a church to call home. it was miserable. we both grew up in church (*the same church, actually) and so desired to find a church home, but never found anywhere until we started attending fellowship. we know the church, our friends, the preaching, the Bible studies, etc. are true blessings from God for us and many others. it is so much more than just a bunch of people meeting for social reasons. the depth of preaching is challenging and renewing spiritually. we are so grateful for those from the church who have and are pouring into our lives.
*our social workers - we know many others in the foster care system that have less than helpful social workers, so we have been truly blessed. both our worker and the boys' worker seem to care about the boys and have been pretty helpful and available so far. while i know we're still just in the very beginning of this process and may feel differently later, i'm grateful for them right now.

there are so many more things, but i don't have time to go on forever. basically, i know that i am really blessed, and more importantly, that all these blessings come from God! i am most thankful that God has control of my life and has a plan for me. i cannot even verbalize how many time the Lord's provisions have been more than enough. He is such a good God and i'm so thankful that He loves me despite my imperfections, shortcomings, and mistakes. while i know i am not perfect, He is and His love is sufficient for me.

i hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving with your family and friends!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

i can't believe today's friday already!! i was hoping to update a lot more this week, but it just never happened. so, i'll give you some updates on our life lately...

R has been doing well in school and at home...well, except for that *minor 3 day suspension last thursday through this monday that he got for fighting in school. (*sarcasm implied) when we asked him about the fight, he admitted that he started "messing with the kid" because he annoys him every day between classes. thankfully, R didn't really put a serious beat down on him or anything (although he probably could have because of his size), but started with hitting him with a rubber band and then it escalated from there. we were NOT HAPPY either way! after a long discussion, we decided that R would not be allowed to play in his basketball game on monday and he lost his fun privileges around the house and outside of the house for awhile too. i think he was shocked to actually have consequences, but he was respectful of our rules this week. aside from that, he's been pretty content and chatty all week. i can tell that's he getting more and more comfortable in our home, and i love to see that. he now refers to our house as "home" and his room as "my room", and i'm thankful for that. we keep telling him that as long as him and P are with us, we're family and our home is his home, and i'm glad to see that sinking in a bit.

last saturday ryan took R to get glasses and a hair cut, and really looks cute! i told him that the only fighting that might be going on in our family in the future is us fighting the girls off him ;) R has been asking about seeing his middle brother, C, for his birthday for awhile, so on sunday we met C and their aunt and uncle at a local go-kart place to hang out. we ended up staying for 3 hours and the boys had a great time and their aunt talked my ear off! she told me quite a bit of stuff that i wish i didn't know but it was good to get a larger perspective on the situation. you can tell that she knows her sister well, and sadly, she doesn't seem very confident in her chances of truly getting it together...

this week, we also had a lot of other appointments for R. we got him started with his therapy, and i was really pleased with what i saw of his therapist, even on the first visit. i have a follow up appointment scheduled with the therapist in a few weeks so that we can discuss specific issues we're seeing in our house and start devising a plan of action for R. we also went to the dentist and didn't have such a good time there. he's got some major dental issues, including 4 cavities, 1 root canal and crown that need re-doing, 1 baby tooth that's wedged between 2 permanent teeth that has to be removed, and a need for braces. sooooo, looks like we'll be seeing a lot more of the dentist in the next few weeks!! we also went for our orientation at the visitation center this week, which is where we'll be taking the boys to visit with their mom and P's dad. the place was nice and the staff was friendly, but i'm really not looking forward to upcoming visits there! something about dropping the boys off to strangers and not knowing what's going on at visits, makes my anxiety peak. it's uncomfortable enough already to take them for visits with the social workers that we know supervising, but the visitation center just seems a little scary...and i don't even have to go to the visits! i just wonder how R is really handling all of this. either he's a much tougher cookie than me or he's really good at hiding his feelings...

P is getting big and is a very active little fellow!! his love for his jumperoo seems to be ending, as all he wants to do now is army crawl around the floor. if you give him some toys on the floor, he's content to play all by himself for a long time. i think his little chunky self will most likely begin to thin out now that he can really get up and go. with all his new activity, we decided that it was time to lower his crib to the lowest setting. we were worried that he'd be able to pull himself up and over the side of his crib, so we're not risking it, even if it's a little premature. he's also has another tooth that has broken through, next to his first. i can't wait until he starts cheesing and we can see those little teeth!! (*i soooooo wish i could post some of our adorable pictures of him and R, but maybe one day!)

anyways, well that's all i've got to report for now! next week will be busy as usual but we shouldn't have all the crazy appointments. the only thing on the schedule so far is the boys' mom's first visit in over 4 weeks. we'll be meeting at a mcdonalds one last time and then begin the following week at the visitation center.

hope you have a great weekend, and enjoy some time with your family!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

fostering is hard.

i have not felt up to blogging much lately. we are so busy all the time that it's hard to take a break and have a few moments to myself, but when i do, i mostly want to read other people's blogs, surf the web, or just lay on the couch :) also, i think i'm a little fearful to document too much of this process for fear that things will change dramatically and i'll be left having to pick up the pieces of my heart and write about it at the same time. but, for the sake of honesty, i will say that fostering is hard!!! much harder than i thought! giving everything you have - time, energy, resources, and most importantly, LOVE, to kiddos who may never remember you or may grow to resent you, really sucks sometimes. i want to think that the things that we're doing for these boys will have an impact on their lives and for their eternity, but you just never know. it's the selfish side of my heart that makes this process so hard. i want to think that we will get to see these boys grow up to be strong men who love the Lord and who love us, but again, you just never know. God could have something totally different in store for their lives, and we have to accept that blindly.

it's also hard to think about what the outcome of everything may be. if i would let myself, i could probably run through a million different scenarios of how this placement will end, but for my sanity, i do not. i try to focus on the facts, and the things i know to be true about their case...things like, their worker said that this is not a concurrent placement, but just a foster placement...things like, R loves and misses his mom even though he's had to live through a lot of her mistakes...things like, P will probably not remember these several months of his life with us but we're still giving him a great foundation...things like, they have a whole extended family out there that loves them best as they can and that wants to see them succeed.

i'm not sure how anyone could really just be in fostering "for the money" as you hear people say so often. the money isn't sufficient enough to care for these kids' basic needs, much yet cover the emotional rollercoaster that we are all going through. if it were not for the love of our sweet Savior, we truly could not do this...not now, not ever. there is no amount of money in the world that would motivate us to take this journey - only the knowledge that God loves us so much more than we can imagine and that He is so worth showing love to others. He is the example we can only hope to strive for. we just hope that R and P will one day understand His love in a personal way, and that we could possibly share in a little of that joy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

pictures of a place i love

i just want to share with you all some pictures of afghanistan posted by the denver post. these pictures are mostly from the perspective of the US military, as they were taken by david guttenfelder - a photojournalist embedded with troops in afghanistan but they give a good overall picture of life in afghanistan now.

go here to check them out. *also, for those news junkies like me, you may recognize one of david's's of a solider taking shots while wearing his pink "i love new york" boxers after having to rush to his position from his sleep.*

many of the pictures capture how destitute the situation really is in afghanistan. there are many pictures that gripped my heart...particularly the one of the children playing in the prison courtyard and the one of the Afghan refugee drug addicts. although i know its hard sometimes to connect with a picture, please remember that these aren't just images, but are actually real people with real needs. they deserve better than the lives they are living and i hope our country continues to see that they get better. please remember the afghan people as you pray. we face many troubles and hardships in america but many of them are nothing compared to the daily lives of afghans.

if you are interested in learning more about how to help the people of afghanistan in an easily quantifiable way, please consider giving to sozo international. you can give one time gifts, including food for a refugee family for $100, medicines for one of the 4 sozo clinics around the kabul area for $50, or school supplies for street children for $25. you could also consider giving an alternative gift this christmas. for $25, you can purchase an ornament made by a widow in a refugee community called barek aub. the $25 donation goes to continue funding the important work of sozo international in afghanistan, while also employing a widow and helping her feed her family.

Friday, November 6, 2009

all about baby P...

baby P is an absolute joy to have in our home. he's a plump little fellow who already has everyone in our family eating out of the palm of his hand. he's generally super smiley, but also tends to look very pensive when he's sleepy. when i first picked the boys up, all he came with was a dirty bottle, the clothes on his back, a few diapers, a more than half empty can of formula and a box of rice cereal. i was told his first name, that he had really bad acid reflux and that he was used to sleeping in bed with mom...that was it. so, everyday since then has been an adventure in babies 101 for ryan and i. however, even though we really had no clue how to care for a 5 month old baby going into this, we knew immediately that this little guy was probably going to be the easier of the two boys to care for!

he absolutely loves this "galloping fun jumperoo" and is content to play in it for hours. it has really been a lifesaver over the first few weeks! i so wish i could post some of the countless adorable pictures and videos of him riding into town on his horsey :)

the first few nights we had him, he slept pretty restlessly but we only had to actually get up and feed him once in the night, around 5:30 a.m. after a few days of adjusting though, he's now on a pretty solid schedule in which he easily sleeps from around 8:00 or 8:15 at night until 7:30ish in the morning. ryan and i have thanked God for this little blessing many, many times! *especially last week after the time change and him cutting his first tooth rocked our world (and our schedule!). you can now officially see and feel his first tooth coming in! he's no longer a little blond hair, blue eyed, toothless wonder...he's still all those, except toothless :)

i took P to the pediatrician last week for my first official duty as a mommy with a baby. it felt pretty weird, but maybe because it was surprisingly normal. as requested by his SW, we kept P with the same pediatrician, which, while it is completely inconvenient and kinda annoying, it was nice to get an update on his progress compared to previous check-ups. he had to get 4 vaccinations, which neither he or i were really a fan of! now i know what my mom meant when i was a kid getting shots when she said that it hurt her more than me. P is in the 90th percentile for both height and weight. at 6 months and 1 day old, he weighed in at 19.5 lbs!! the pediatrician also said that he has grown 2 inches since his 4 month check-up. i think he's going to be tall like his brother R!

speaking of R, the boys are very close and P craves time and attention from R. P will start laughing at the drop of the hat if R is giving him some love. we will be driving in the car and P will be fussing a little, and as soon as R gives him some attention, P's whole disposition will change and he will be his laughing/smiley self again! it's the precious moments like these that make it so hard for me to imagine the possibility of the boys ever being split up. (their SW told me last week that this is a definite possibility if P's dad gets his act together before their mom. P will go to live with his dad and R will stay in foster care until/if their mom gets things together. i pray this does not happen!!!)

overall, we've been managing pretty well with baby P. he's a great baby and exactly what we would hope for someday when we can adopt or give birth to a child. both boys are definitely growing on us and we're glad to have them (for however long!).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

the skinny on R

so since there's just a whole lot of craziness going on in our lives right now, i thought i'd give a little breakdown about each of the boys and how things are going. however, i've got about 3 weeks worth of stuff to unload, so i'll just update you one boy at a time.

*first things's the skinny on R:
R is doing well in our home and seems to be adjusting alright. i know he is still pretty homesick (even though he'd never admit it!) and often mentions his mom or middle brother, C, who lives with his aunt. we try to encourage him to talk about them as often as he likes and also try to keep an upbeat attitude about their future together. C is having his 12th birthday next week and R has asked if it will be possible for him to see him or celebrate with him. when he asked, i told him that we would check with his worker and see what we can work out, but it's probably unlikely. C lives over an hour from us, so if anything, we may be able to set-up some type of supervised visit here for the boys to get together, but i'm not sure.

R has only talked with his mom 1 time since she went into rehab early last week. she couldn't take her cell phone with her (*no real surprise there), so she has been calling him intermittently when she can but they hadn't been able to connect until this sunday afternoon. they didn't talk about much but she did tell him that rehab was going alright and managed to promise him to try to be at his first b-ball game monday night, only to not show up (*also, no surprise there!) it breaks my heart to think that he kinda got his hopes up that she might show, even though it was never really even a possibility. while i want her to get healthy and to improve herself so she can give these boys the home and family they deserve, empty promises this soon into the game make me more than a little frustrated!

while we have had a few small issues with R in our home so far, mainly telling "white lies" and disobedience, R seems to like living with us and is respectful of ryan and i. we had a family meeting early on and laid out the rules and expectations of our household, and he seems to be following most of them pretty well. however, the lack of training as far as manners is pretty obvious. i can't tell you how many doors i've had slam in my face over the last 3 weeks (while holding baby p's heavy car seat, none the less) but we're working on it! we've still got a long way to go on many of these issues but each day we're seeing some type of improvement. his grades in school have been less than stellar so far this year, but after meeting with his teachers and stressing to him the importance of homework, we have seen some improvements already. today is the last day of his 2nd term for the school year and he has already brought all of his grades up at least one letter grade since we got him on the 16th. hopefully, with a clean slate for grades beginning next week, he will have all A's and B's soon, because he's definitely smart enough!

R is playing on his school's 6th grade b-ball team, and ryan has been helping coach. it's a great way for them to spend some quality time together and for R to see that we really care about him and are interested in what he has going on in life. his team won their first game monday night by 20 points, and it was awesome to see him excited about the win!! it was also funny to see him - at 5'11" tall, playing with and against other 6th grade boys...most of whom were probably under 5' tall! he loves playing board games and card games too, so we have spent many hours around the coffee table playing phase 10 or uno. he also loves video games (*what teenage boy doesn't?) but we're trying to limit his time playing those...even though i'm sure ryan doesn't mind finally having a video game partner now!

the hardest part of having the boys in our home, and specifically R, is just making all of our schedules coincide. R has lots of required appointments - some of which are weekly, so i am so thankful for our great family support and a flexible job. i seriously don't think we could do this without those 2 things!! also, prayer has been HUGE for us. there have been many nights that both ryan and i have felt discouraged and defeated, but the Lord is so good and He has been so gracious to us! while this is definitely not how ryan and i thought our first foster-to-adopt placement would look, we both know that the boys are with us for a reason and we are trying to be faithful to our calling. we want these boys to know what unconditional love feels like, and we want them to know the One who can love them more than any one else possibly can!

well, that's all the update i have to give for now! however, i will leave you with a verse that is ringing particularly true for me right now and i hope it encourages you today!:
*"many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." -proverbs 19:21

Friday, October 30, 2009

sweeney halloweenie

kelly's korner is back at it again! this week's edition of show us where you live friday is halloween costumes. even though i've yet to buy costumes for our little guys this year (i'll be running out to target later today to work on that so i'm not the worst foster mom ever!), i thought i'd post some pictures of ryan and i from halloweens past:

*this is from my sophomore year of college in the dorms. my friends jessica and kristyn decided to shop in the kiddie section at walmart, while i wanted to go with something a little more creative. i obviously had more time on my hands then!!

*i've always had a thing for firefighters :) oh, and notice the pink paisley galoshes. i love those things and still wear them from time to time!

*this is actually from a spring break pirate themed party with campus crusade, but since ryan was in costume, i felt the need to share! real creative, huh??

*this is from a halloween party last year. ryan was actually really sick and ended up in the hospital the next day. i just look sick, but wasn't actually. if you can't tell, i was a publisher's clearinghouse winner (*aka- too lazy to buy a real costume, so just went with stuff from around the house!!)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

i'm alive and well

oh yes, i am alive! sorry for the major lack of updates but as i am learning, personal computer time is not really a high priority when trying to juggle 2 kids, a husband and a full time job! anyways, we still have r & p in our care and are starting to establish our new normal. we had a facilitated staffing meeting with CPS last wednesday, and that was truly a learning experience. as newby foster parents, i can honestly say that our state/county training program DOES NOT do a good job preparing foster parents, particularly for meetings like last wednesday. so for those of you who do not foster but are interested in knowing more about it, or those of you who are like me and are just nosy, here's a little about our meeting last week:

wednesday morning, we took r to the meeting at the request of the supervisor on his case. he was super nervous and so were we! on our way upstairs for the meeting, we ran into his mom while waiting for the elevators and i was surprised by how emotional it made me to see them greet each other. bio mom cried, seeming sad to be there because of the circumstances but also really happy to see r. she was cordial with us and actually thanked us for taking care of her boys, which was a major surprise! i expected her to be more angry or rude towards us than she was, but i'm still not sure how to interpret her reaction to us. i'm not sure if it's a good thing because it shows that she has clarity of mind over the situation and knows that this is the best opportunity for her to get her life and family back together, or if she just doesn't really care about her boys, so them living with strangers is fine. not sure how to process that one?!?

anyways, as we waited upstairs for the meeting to begin, baby p's dad arrived and we were pretty surprised about that too. it never even crossed my mind that he would be there or be in the running for getting baby p back, but i guess at least now we know. he was much younger than i was expecting, and appears to be much younger than the boys' mom. he never spoke to us but did speak to r briefly. i still don't really know what to make of him either but he definitely is the more vocal of the 2 parents and did not mind trying to throw bio mom under the bus at every chance he could get. he also got caught in a few bold face lies during the meeting, but yet still tried to lie his way out of those too. that really irritated me!!

just to give you a brief rundown of the scene in the meeting, here's all the players who were in attendance: the boys' bio mom, baby p's bio dad, bio dad's mom, grandma and cousin, bio mom's sister and brother-in-law, a rep from the drug treatment center, 2 mentors within the CPS program, a student social worker, ryan and i, our social worker, the supervisor on the case, r, and a meeting facilitator. so, it was a full room to say the least!! since i cannot give much in the way of details about the boys' case, i will just say that there are definitely some ongoing concerns in regards to the family. the bio mom currently has a protective order against baby p's bio dad, so they couldn't even be in the room at the same time. we basically had to sit through the meeting 2 times in a row so that they could disburse and gather information from all parties involved without having the parents in the room together. it was a long morning overall, and most of the details we learned, i wish we could forget. poor r has not had an easy life, while baby p really knows no different. all things considered though, both boys are a joy to have in our home so far and we hope to hang onto for as long as we can!

the purpose of the meeting though was to determine what the state was going to recommend for the boys' case later that day in court. CPS wanted to lay all their facts on the table and see if all parties involved could come to a consensus on what the next plan of action. as i mentioned before, baby p's dad's cousin (*are you tracking with me??) and the bio mom's sister and brother-in-law were at the meeting. baby p's dad's cousin wanted to petition to get a relative placement of just baby p, while the boys' aunt and uncle (from mom's side) wanted to petition to get a relative placement of both boys. the aunt and uncle actually already have custody of r & p's biological middle brother too and have had him from infancy and he's now 11. *confused yet?* however, through the meeting, thankfully the supervisor determined that it was not a good idea to split the boys up so she basically told bio dad's cousin to take a hike. then, because the boys' aunt and uncle live over an hour from here, and because there are a few concerns with preliminary background check stuff, the supervisor also decided that the aunt and uncle would not be a good placement for the boys either. so, all that to say...after everything was out on the table, everyone (except p's bio dad and the aunt) agreed that it was best for the boys to stay in foster care and in our home for the time being. PTL! some recommendations and requirements were made regarding the case plan for bio mom and dad, and those include a range of things like anger management classes and in-patient drug treatment. we still really have no clue what type of time frame we're looking at but if i had to guess off the top of my head, it would be months, not weeks. both parents have a long road ahead of them and i really hope they do what they need to do to get their kids back. (*at least bio p's dad is pretty much a whole 'nother story!!)

the most surprising thing though about this whole situation is really seeing God change both mine and ryan's hearts in regards to fostering. one of our biggest concerns going into foster-to-adopt was just that we would accept a child or children into our home and not be able to keep them. after everything my family went through with baby sam, we just did not think we could take another lose of a child to this screwed up system, but at the same time, we both still felt compelled to pursue this. however, i'm not sure if it's just the reality of having a teenager in our home or just way too much optimism, but at this point, ryan and i both feel like we really just want to love these guys while we can and then turn them back to their family once they are rehabilitated. *now i will say though, the thought of the boys going back to their families before they are completely rehabilitated, does still freak us out but we're just trying to leave that in the Lord's hands!* SO, we are just taking things one day at a time now. we are just praying for God's mercies to be new every morning and for us to know how to best love these boys as Christ loves us.

hopefully, now that i am beginning to catch my breath again, i will update more often again and can share some of the fun stuff we are getting to do with the boys and not just all the mundane/yucky/legal stuff. thanks for all your prayers and love during this transition!!!! i know many of you have probably thought we flew the coo coos nest, but i assure you that we're doing alright and we're getting through each day with strength and guidance from above!

much love!

Monday, October 19, 2009

houston, we have a placement!

yep, you read that right...we got a placement on friday. are you ready for this? 2 boys...5.5 months, baby p, and 13 years old, r. yes, you read that right, a 13 year old and a baby!!! hence why i haven't been blogging. we've jumped into parenthood with both feet! oh, and get this - ryan was out of town for the first 30 hours of having the boys so i was on my own *well, not really...our great families were super helpful and didn't leave me hanging on my own* so, are you convinced that we need to be medicated yet? i am.

i literally have never been so exhausted in my life as i was this weekend, especially saturday. the boys got settled in pretty easily but the stress of the transition and ryan being gone was much tougher than i could have ever imagined. we weren't prepared for a teenager so we had nothing, so shopping was a must on saturday. we shopped til we dropped for food, clothes, etc. i don't have much time for the details now, but things are going as good as can be expected. r is pretty homesick and misses his mom, but we're working through it and haven't had any major outbursts or behavioral problems yet. we have a facilitated staffing meeting on wednesday morning with bio mom so we should know more about the long-term plans for the boys then. i hope to update more a little later and give as much detail as i can but for now, i've got to go make dinner for our growing bunch of boys!!!

*oh, and just a side note - i will not be using the boys names or posting any pictures of their faces on here since it's a public blog. if we're facebook friends, feel free to enjoy some pics of our cute boys, but if not, just use your imagination :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

a fall weekend with my favorite girls

i have 2 nieces that are 7 and 5 now, and most days, i'm not really sure where the time has gone. mikayla, the 7-year old, was born the summer before my senior year of high school, so i only lived in town for the first year of her life and then i was off to college. mikenna, the 5-year old, was born when i was a sophomore in college, so we've never lived in the same town until last year when ryan and i moved back home. when we lived away, i was home frequently for the weekends so i got to see them a lot and was as involved as i could be in their lives. now that we're back home, it seems like i've almost taken for granted that they are just a quick car ride away, and i really don't get to spend nearly as much quality time with them as i used to.

with the hopes that we'll be adding to our family soon, i really want to try to get as much time in with the girls as possible before life gets even more chaotic. SO, this weekend, ryan and i decided to take the girls on a quick road trip and visit Boyd Orchards in Versailles, KY. we couldn't have asked for better weather or better company! the girls are so grown up now and very opinionated!!! they were very excited to plan which activity we did first, which slide to go down next, when to visit the orchard's store, etc. the fall breezes were blowing but the sun was also out shining brightly, so it was the perfect combination for a day spent outside.

we had a great time and were all super tired on the way home. maybe it was from the hay ride, a trip to the pumpkin patch, wondering through the corn maze, sliding down the slides, feeding the animals in the petting zoo, and stuffing our faces with pumpkin donuts and candied apples? hmmm...i dunno!

anyways, here are some of my favorite pictures from the day:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

foster parenting mentor

we had a great visit last night with our foster parenting mentor. she's a really sweet lady who has been fostering for over 4 years. she gave us a lot of insight and encouragement about the system. *and i'm feeling like i need that right now!* she also has a connection with someone on the placement team in our county's DCBS (department for children based services) office, who used to be their case worker. she's supposed to call tonight or tomorrow with her contact's phone number so that we can get in touch with her. she recommended us call her friend so that she's familiar with us in case she needs to place a child that fits our criteria. our mentor said that us being number 3 on the list is great because there are usually several hundred people on "the list" at once - however, the specifics of the child(ren) we are requesting may be what is causing our delay. i'm nervous and hopefully at the same time about contacting her, but we'll see! hopefully if she calls tonight, i can touch base with the placement team worker tomorrow. ryan and i are for sure praying for God's sovereignty and timing!! we don't want to rush anything but we also don't want to miss out on an opportunity either...

tonight we have to pick up a golf club for ryan, meet with our small group, then go to his parents to help them move something, so we should be busy and hopefully will be able to keep our minds off all of the "what ifs" :) hope you have a great night too!

Monday, October 12, 2009

visit with our SW

i just realized that i never gave an update on our visit with our SW last week. shame, shame, shame on me!! anyways, the visit was short but sweet. we love our SW are really feel blessed to be matched with her. we've heard from other couples that she is a much needed advocate when in the thick of things. she's always been upfront with us about the system and it's dysfunction, and also very attentive to our endless questions. i just hope our good relationship remains once we get a placement!!

we hadn't seen her since our 2nd home visit a few months ago and had only talked to her sparingly over email and phone since then, so it was nice to touch base again. she said that she looked at the concurrent planning list and we were 3rd!! wow! i couldn't believe that we are third...i was thinking more like towards the bottom or middle of the list, but that just may be my coping mechanism for all the waiting. although she did point out that the concurrent list is never super long, so it still could be awhile before we add any kiddos to our home. she also said that the list was moving very, very slowly for awhile because most of the kids coming into the system were just regular foster placements or were getting placed with their biological siblings in other families instead with waiting families. now, the list is moving pretty regularly again so hopefully it won't be too much longer. maybe before Christmas?? i hope!!!

so, that was that. our meeting was refreshing and it felt good to hear that we are still on the list and do still exist somewhere within the foster care system, even though it doesn't feel like it. with the renewed excitement, i'm trying to keep my anxiety over the waiting in check and keep my perspective on praying for the right kiddo(s) to be placed with us. our true heart behind all of this is to adopt and add kids forever to our family, so we're just praying that we are able to do that at the end of this journey.

we had a great weekend and i've got some cute pictures to share from a trip to Boyd's Orchard yesterday with my nieces. hopefully, i'll get those up in the next day or two. hope you had a great weekend too!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


ok, i give up! i have been searching for the last 2 months for a rug for our nursery, and have found nothing. well, i've found lots of somethings, but nothing in my price range. why do stores think it is alright to charge $500 + your firstborn child for a rug? this is not acceptable. i will not forfeit my firstborn (or $500 for that matter).

i've even checked all the usual suspects and can find nothing that will work. i mean people, can you please just make a beautiful/slightly modern, chocolate brown rug that i like and that is in our price range?? i can find some decent patterns in our price range but most of them are on jute rugs, and from my experience with jute rugs in our foyer, i will definitely not be doing that again! every time someone comes over, i am afraid i'll get sued because they've slipped and fallen on our rugs. even with rug gripper, those things cannot be trusted! i definitely don't want to be carrying a baby in the middle of the night and take a dive on the hardwoods.

so, here are a few of the ones i love, but will not be affording:

*from both $499 for 8' x 10'

*from $549 for 8' x 10'

*from $410 for 8' x 10'

have you seen anything similar for a decent price? if so, i'll love you forever if you lead me to the rug of choice for our nursery! all i'm missing in the nursery are a few more wall decorations and a rug...oh, and a baby of course :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

a face lift and a weekend

so i was bored with my old blog design so i gave myself a face lift. what do ya think?? bright colors - check. fallish design - check. free - check. ok, works for me!! i've been wanting to splurge for a total revamp from the design girl for awhile now, but i can't really justify spending the money to the hubby right now when i keep denying him that new golf driver he's been wanting... maybe for Christmas or something, we'll see!

this weekend was lots of fun and went by in a snap, but that's how most fall weekends seem to go, at least for us. we successfully accomplished everything we had planned, although i didn't get my chance to snap a picture of ryan in the freezing cold pool, as promised. sorry to let you down but he decided to take out the pool steps friday night before we went camping so that mr. creepy (aka- the automatic pool vacuum) could work uninhibited by the pool steps overnight while we were gone. we had lots of leaves that had blown in so instead of vacuuming them ourselves *because we are lazy*, we let mr. creepy do it for us. so while i was doing the last minute packing for camping, he was in the swimming pool giving himself pneumonia. i didn't even think about the picture until after he came bolting inside for a hot shower. darn.

camping was much better than i expected. perhaps it was because we were within a gator's drive to a house where we could use a real toilet instead of having to go in the woods, and i could check facebook on my iphone :) *hmmm...maybe we should consider this type of camping more of "glamping" than camping?* i also got to catch up with lots of people from church that i haven't seen in awhile, which was a nice treat! we roasted hot dogs, smores, etc. and hung around the campfire chatting while the kids went on hay rides around the property. we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful night! the sky was lit up with an almost full moon and the crisp fall air was perfect camping weather. ryan and i didn't get to there until just about dark though, so we ended up setting up our tent in the dark. everything went smoothly until we climbed in our tent that night to go to sleep and realized that our feet were elevated above our heads. guess we didn't pick as flat of a spot as we thought! we turn ourselves around and went to sleep pretty quickly, only to wake up several more times in the night to find that we had slid downhill towards the end of the tent. so much for a peaceful night's sleep, but oh well! it was fun.

the next day we were both pretty wiped out but we headed home to do the dreaded task of closing the pool. much to both of our surprise, we got everything closed up without any arguments or marital spats. i think that is a serious first when it comes to the pool! i guess that's a good sign of our growing marital maturity, right? :)

here's a picture of the green swamp before we closed her up...anyone up for a dip *besides Ryan*?:

and here she is all closed up for the winter, PTL!:

saturday night, i had a girls' night out, which was much needed! we went to this cute bistro/martini bar and then off to play pool at a sports bar. i've got to tell ya, after having so many friends who are new moms, i have learned more than about breast feeding, body changes during and after pregnancy, and sleep deprivation than i ever wanted to know. it makes me appreciate that we're only having a paper pregnancy this time around :) i also learned that i am truly horrible at pool. i think most of the time i was lucky to move any balls at all and sadly, i didn't make one into the pocket. sorry teammates! i warned you.

sunday, i worked in the infant nursery for the first time ever at church. i usually work in the pre-k room and ryan works in the infants, but there's a first time for everything. we have a ton of small kids in our church so it was fun to get to hang out with a different group for awhile. all the babies are adorable and definitely reminded me that i'm ready *well, as ready as i can be* to have one in our home soon!

after church, we headed to 41st street to work on the inner-city daycare. surprisingly, i really feel like we're beginning to make some progress and can really see a difference. the walls and ceiling are looking so much better, and we hope to have all the mudding and sanding finished up in the next couple of weeks. we still need to figure out what type of flooring to put in but once we complete that, we'll be ready to roll on the painting and far my favorite part!
here are some shots from yesterday's work:

linz and i after lots of sanding...we are HOT, well, a HOT MESS that is!!

the soon to be, beautiful office space and home to some great people!

ryan finally attempting to get something done. i think he mistakenly thinks he's a supervisor or something half the time :)

all in all, it was a great weekend! now back to another week in the real world...

Friday, October 2, 2009

this weekend's docket

what's on this weekend's docket?

-church camp out tonight (depending on the weather!). and can i just say that i haven't been camping since the summer before my senior year of high school? or maybe it was the summer after? i can't remember, but either way, it was a long time ago!! ryan and i were dating at the time and our church youth group took a trip to west virginia to white water raft and camp. i loved the white water rafting part, just not the whole sleep outside, hold your pee or you have to go in the grass part. much to the dismay of my dad and brother, who are super campers/hikers/kayakers/all around outdoors men, i would rather sleep in an rv or something. now that's camping! BUT, since this is a church function and my dear husband wants to go, i will oblige. plus, we are camping on someone's property here in town so it's not like we'll be lost in the woods and i can always walk to my car and drive to the nearest gas station if i need to pee. :)

-closing the green swamp tomorrow - aka: closing our pool for the winter. and yes, it is green now! we've kept up with it pretty well this summer (MUCH better than last summer) but it's still a pain. we hardly ever use it, maybe 6-10 times this summer and it's a lot of work and money for such a little return. it's above ground with a humungo deck around it so i'm not really sure how we can get rid of it, but i think we are going to next summer. it's just a pain unless someone is home to tend to it and use it frequently, which neither of us are. so, tomorrow in the brisk, fall kentucky weather, ryan will be taking a dip in the green swamp so we can get the steps out and get everything closed up properly. should be fun to watch! i told him we needed to close it about a month ago but he didn't listen...oh how i love to be right!! hopefully i can snap a few pictures for your viewing pleasure!

-working on an inner city daycare with our old small group on sunday afternoon. we started this project in the spring and didn't get to finish it up before our group got all switched around but we still want to see the project through. it's a day care center in a pretty rough neighborhood downtown. the daycare will be run through a ministry called here's life inner city, which is a branch of campus crusade for Christ. they are creating a free daycare for single parents who have no way to pay for childcare while they work. in exchange for the free daycare, the parents have to commit to coming to Bible study, parenting classes, etc. our group in particular is working on the room that will be the office for the daycare director and 2 other employees. we have been skim coating the walls and sanding, and will probably do more of that this weekend. when all is said and done, the office will have freshly skimmed and painted walls, new flooring, new desks and office chairs, a cute sitting area and hopefully some computers. it's been a fun project to work on so far and we can't wait to see how everything shapes up when we're finished.

so, what are you doing this weekend??

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

mum's the word...

i'm still here - alive and well. sorry for the "mumness" in the blogosphere lately! i just haven't felt like i had much to say that was update worthy so rather than bore y'all, i just kept mum.

oh, and speaking of mums...i planted my first one of the season yesterday because fall has finally made it to kentucky! i must say that fall is my absolute favorite season so i'm truly looking forward to seeing lots of changing leaves and cooler breezes. i'm also hoping that this new season may bring a new season for ryan and i as well, and that it may be the time God has already ordained for us to become parents. i guess we'll see :)

however, even though i know i am constantly blabbing about how hard it is to wait for a placement and how impatient i am, i can honestly say that i have felt something changing in my heart recently. after ryan spoke with our SW last week and she said that we shouldn't expect more calls any time soon, that really changed things for me. i found myself a lot less anxious and obsessed with thinking about how much longer. instead, i have really been trying to focus on what God would have ryan and i to do to serve Him while we wait. i have been praying for weeks for my anxiety to subside and for my focus to be less on the waiting process and more on Him, and i know He has heard my prayers!!

just yesterday i received a sweet message from a friend's mom with some encouragement about waiting. it was an excerpt from the devotional book, A Shelter in the Time of Storm, by Paul David Tripp. the devotion talks about how faithfully abraham waited on God for his wife sarah to bear the child God had promised them. they didn't just wait for weeks and months like ryan and i have been, but they waited for years, YEARS!! i just can't imagine! and instead of abraham's faith wavering, him growing fearful, and becoming distrusting of God during that time, his faith increased! Romans 4:19-21 says:

"without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of sarah's womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform."

wow! that definitely convicts me. i have found myself over the past few months focusing more on the placement call that we are waiting for than on our Sovereign God who gave us the call in the first place to begin our family through foster care and adoption. my favorite part of the devotion says:

"while it is true that abraham considered the facts, they weren't the focus of his meditation. no, his focus was on the God who had made this promise. every day abraham would get up and remind himself that the God who had made the promises on which he was waiting was absolutely able to deliver them. the God who made heaven and earth would have no trouble causing an old woman to deliver a promised child! abraham didn't fill his mind with his own weakness and the seeming futility of the situation. no, he filled his mind again and again with the glory of God's immeasurable power, and as he did, he grew stronger and stronger in faith."

i hope that as we move forward into this new fall season, i would be able to emulate abraham's attitude towards waiting for his promised child. i know that our God has called us to serve Him through serving children in the foster care system, so i know that He will be faithful to bring us the right child(ren) in His perfect timing!