February 27, 2008

We're On! - Foster Update

Two and one half weeks ago the children I've been praying for entered foster care for the second time in three months. We were called to become a placement for them, should they not be able to return to one of their parents.

In court today it was determined that neither parent was able to care for them at this time, so their children will be placed in our custody. We requested that their current foster placement keep them over the weekend, since we'd made arrangements to help my mother-in-law with her move to a new home. I was told that the children may need to move before the weekend. The case worker said initially that it should be a short-term placement, but, as my husband says, "it's not set in stone". They could be with us a very long time.

So, after wiping the sweat off of my head and neck (I've been riding my exercise bike!) I called our certifier to inform her of our need to expediate the process of recertification.

The little girl is 4, her brother is 3. We live with lots of space around us, and little brother loves being outside. Culture shock might hit his sister, though, when she realizes there is no TV to stare at! Looks like I'll be reading lots of stories and playing lots of games!

When I informed my husband of their status, I told him that I had only been imagining the "worst case scenario" with having them in my home - of our things being broken and disruptions and noise and all; until just now. Now my faith has to kick in, and I have to say that if my life has come to this day, then God has been preparing the way.

The strength, the wisdom, the insight will be there - "for such a time as this". I can't offer any excuses when I'm trusting God. I can't say that I'm too old for parenting, or too tired, or too busy, or even unwilling! If He is my resource, then I have everything I need.

That's all!

I have everything I need.


February 20, 2008

Waiting, But Not Idle

My husband and I have decided that I should begin (once again) to actively pursue my career in proofreading with Christian publishers. It's not because a week has passed since I quit my jobs and I'm desperate, but because God hasn't led me away from going that direction!

I've been reading the book of Jeremiah this month. As I quieted myself one evening before reading, I began to ask God some questions about the future of the children I may be caring for. This is what I came to:

"This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: 'Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians. My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord. They will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with all their heart.'" Jeremiah 24:5-7

My entry in my journal: "I accept these words as being spoken to the house of (the children I'm praying for). Promises of coming back, of building up, of planting, of knowing God and being His - the end of captivity!"

To clarify my beliefs: The foster care system is not holding the children or their family in bondage. The bondage I believe God is talking about (to me) is the bondage to the lies that can't be overcome. Lies about who they really are, and who God is.

His promise: He will watch over them and bring them back to that safe and healthy place with Him where He will build them up, plant good stuff in them, and change their hearts so that they will know who He is - like they've never known before! Yes!

February 16, 2008

Still Waiting for the Children

On this beautifully sunny, quiet Saturday morning I'd like to update our foster care situation.

The case worker is doing an awesome job working on the children's case, to assess their needs and plans for them. I hear bits of news through the grapevine about her progress, and I am pleased at her thoroughness. Since the children are currently in a foster family that's willing to be flexible with their length of stay, there's really no reason to hurriedly pull them out and relocate them.

I have some anxiety about my own situation right now, too. I'm in a state of limbo, of insecurity, about my own future. The children may not be placed with us after all! Maybe only one of them will come.

I'm getting a lot of tasks done at home - organizing, planning, exercising. I'm actually working harder than I did when I was employed away from home!

I've made time to take long walks and talk to God during the day. I listen, and I ask Him for different things, but it all comes back to my deepest desire to just leave it all in His hands - and trust Him!

In my previous post I talked about taking a "leap" into this new life. I think about the children... Their's wasn't a willing "leap"! It was more like they were "launched" into the unknown. I can imagine their cries and their screams in the darkness.

Show me how to pray for the children, Father.


February 14, 2008

The Leap

I took my daughter with me to the DHS office yesterday afternoon. I was expecting to bring the children (ages 3 and 4) home with me after a visit with their mother, but we didn’t. It turned out to be a “get re-acquainted time” with them, which was good. We got to observe and interact with them, and be supportive to a mother who has to see her children taken away to a stranger’s home.

Because of our relationship with her, I felt that I could come close and take her in my arms and just hold onto her. She pressed her face into my shoulder and wept for a few minutes. She has such a hard road ahead of her! I hoped she could grasp the words I offered, that God was big enough to take care of her children and she could trust Him. God will make the seeds (my efforts) grow and bear fruit.

Have you seen the illustration on the cover of John Eldredge’s book, Wild at Heart? It’s a silhouette of a man taking a leap off of one boulder to another. I feel that I am aloft like that; I gave notice at my two part-time jobs yesterday and left the path that I thought had already led me into my chosen career. Now because of souls in need, I’ve let it go. Like the illustration, my foot has left what was a solid rock, and I’m stretching myself through the air towards a new rock. I’ve been telling people, “We’ll see how I land!”

One year ago we retired from fostering. My husband's heart just wasn’t in it, and my own had changed. I know this literally doesn’t happen, but I felt that “the anointing had run out”. That season of my life was done. We didn’t have the strength required to continue parenting young needy children any longer. We were ready for change, for me to work and bring in income, and to be active grandparents.

Maybe that was just a year-long vacation (so to speak). I honestly don’t know.

This morning we are in process for re-certification as foster parents. The children’s current foster placement is adequate for now. They're working on a another relative placement, and we’re the “back-up plan”. He doesn’t have an established relationship with the younger child, and doesn’t handle his special needs well, so we will likely be given custody of the boy this week. Even this plan is subject to change at any moment…

Instead of this time of my life being called “The Change”, it should be called “The Changes!”

…is for support as a foster mom. Who will watch difficult children for me when I need some time away? It’s basically impossible for me to leave children I’m responsible for with the peace of mind that they are truly cherished and not a burden on their caregivers. This is where I need prayer. (Thank you!)

There’s time to get more things ready here. Today I am unemployed. I need to plan how I’ll “child-proof” my home again, since they are going to be a handful at first. I have a proofreading job to work on. I will make an appointment for my husband to see the doctor, and make meal plans. (Who says I’m unemployed?) I need to locate a couple of beds, and arrange to get them set-up. Thankfully, there are quiet moments in my day to reflect and pray, till I get that phone call that sets a new world in motion for me!

Will my feet land solidly on that rock?


February 12, 2008

We Got the Call...Again

This time it's two children who are known to us!

My last post was an announcement that I had started my desired career in Proofreading. One year ago this month my husband and I retired from foster parenting. We were sure we were done.

Yesterday we were called by acquaintances - with the request to rescue their children from a stranger's foster home and take them into ours. Wow!

If I am to become a foster mother again, then I must devote all my energy to it and give the children my best. That means putting the brakes on all the dreams I've dreamed and plans I've planned this whole year!

The only thing I can say is that this has to be one of those "adventures" of life. Wow!

I should be alarmed, I suppose; but the problem is - this may be God's design! It's possible that all we've been through as a family has had God's hand on it, to bring us to this day when we'd be available to care for these two precious children that He made! My husband and I have prayed that we might make a difference in their lives. Maybe this is the reason we became foster parents in the first place - just for these!

Lord, help!


February 7, 2008

First Proofreading Job!

I started today!
I completed my first proofreading work for a website - AND received positive feedback for my efforts.

A satisfied customer!
Okay, she's my friend; but still, it's a gift from God and my proofreading career has begun! Today! YEA!

I told God, when I felt that tug on my heart to become a foster parent, that I would commit to one child, and if I was done after that I would be satisfied to just help the one. I challenged my husband to try just one. All I want is to not back off of something challenging because of my own fear. If it turns out to be sour, then I'll spit it out and try a different fruit!

I have done one proofreading job. He has answered my longing. Tomorrow is in His hands.

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