Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Thank you Jesus!!!!!!

I read this in a devotion today; 

The eighteenth-century pastor William Law wrote, "If anyone would tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness they would tell you to make it a rule to thank and praise God for everything that happens to you. For it is certain that whatever seeming calamity befalls you, if you can thank and praise God for it you will turn it into a blessing."

Today we are thanking and praising Jesus for the opportunity to see little M Last night! 
Us after our visit with him last night. The picture is blurry but we are giddy because God has not closed the door completely wth our sweet boy M. God could have closed the door, and He would still be a good, good father if He did. In most foster care cases, the relationship does end after the child goes back to family. But God, in His sweetness has softened both our hearts and M's bio moms heart. She has been so considerate of us. And we are grateful. 

Last night at the visit she introduced us to the group of people at the home as "M's new GOD PARENTS" 😂 - how AWESOME is that? Kalen and I had no idea she was going to refer to us in such a way and we were definitely taken back (with tears filling our eyes) when we heard it; filled with complete joy at the thought of it! She told us last night she couldn't take M from us or us from M.  She was too thankful for us, and our relationship is too special!  How beautiful of a redemption picture is this? Foster care is not just about bringing healing to the kids, but to the families too! God's heart is for them as well!  We are just praising God. Completey! It's all Him.  And give Him all the glory! 

M is bonding with his mom in a specialized government-owned home while recovering. So... the place is gated and basically on lock down. We couldn't bring our phones in or anything except our IDs and keys. To give you a little idea, we had to go through a metal detector test. So, unfortunately we didn't get a picture with M or mom. But we did get to see him; which is all we wanted. When his mom brought him in the room a flood of emotions came over me. I love him so much. Getting to see his face And kiss his sweet cheeks Again was such a gift. The time went by too fast though! We couldn't get enough snuggles, giggles and smiles. M is still his super special, sweet self. Now he has two front teeth coming in on the bottom! 👦🏾

We are looking forward (Lord willing) to watch him grow and be a support system to his thoughtful momma. What a gift this process is. We are beyond thankful. Thank you for prayers. Keep praying for M's mom as the case is still open and she still has a ways to go in recovery! 

Love in Christ,

the thankful God mother❤️

Thursday, January 21, 2016

This is how we feel about...

Getting a call from M's mommy telling us we can visit him on Monday night!

God is so kind! And so faithful! And we're just ecstatic that we can see our boy again! Thank you Jesus! 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Foster Care: to Give or to Receive?

That is the question. And of course, your answer and my answer are the same thing... To GIVE of course! Duh! How could anyone go into foster care, a broken system where children come in torn apart, to GET? To receive from them? To expect to receive something...?

Well.. When motives are tested and things are revealed, I found that inside of me somewhere were the hopes to receive a child. Receive... A forever family. Receive joy and happiness from them. And that motive, not dealt with, causes many problems - because it's not about me. It's about providing those very things (joy and happiness) for them no matter what the outcome. I truly thought going into foster care that I knew this. I did "know" it in my head, but my heart was in a different place. It's interesting how we can know something but our hearts can be far from that idea, and because we "know" it in knowledge terms, we think we've "got it"... just then to have circumstances reveal that our hearts never really knew it in the first place. We need to be mastered by it, and the only way to be mastered by a truth, is to go through it.. To be tested and sanctified by the good Lord Jesus. So, here I am... Going through it! 

"Foster care is less about getting a child for your family and more about GIVING your family for a child." - Jason Johnson

I reveal all of this to you for one reason... If we can deal with this very heart issue, deep down; surrender it to Jesus, then our Foster care process will go so much smoother and be so much more gloryfting to God.  

This may not be the case for some of you. Some of you may already have children of your own in your home and so you solely went into foster care prepared. Others of you, like me, thought you prepared yourself for the cost, knew that forever family was never promised, but  when push came to shove realized you really wanted to receive, too.  

The great and glorious thing is there is hope! God has just recently shifted my heart... From wanting to receive for me, to wanting to give for them. This.is.grace.

--- end of writing

As usual, I started this post a few month or so ago... And am now today just getting to finish it. It's amazing that looking back Jesus was preparing my heart for what I didn't know would happen so fast... Giving M back to his biological momma. 

I'm so thankful that God shifted my heart.  It helped me so much in the grieving process (that's still happening) and it made M's bio mom feel dignified knowing I'm for her well-being, too. When my heart shifted to be completely in this to serve Jesus, M and bio mom - instead of myself - Jesus did miraculous things. Just as Jesus does. 

Dear middle mom, 
Please consider asking Jesus for His heart for ALL the people involved in your foster care case. Believe me, I know, you're putting in all the hard work, giving your heart to be shattered, and shedding deep heart tears as your heart loves so deeply a child that is not technically "yours". I know it feels right to feel like you deserve the child because bio mom Keeps slipping up. Dear momma, consider your relationship with Jesus and how many times you slip up; yet Jesus welcomes you back into His arms as you turn to Him in repentance. To receive grace. To receive redemption. Please consider redemption in this. And how we're all on this walk of redemption. I'm going to write about what I've learned about redemption in foster care in my next blog. Be looking for it. I'm loving hard with you. For His glory and His purposes. 
Hugs in Christ, 
The middle mom and God mother of M❤️,  

Monday, January 11, 2016

our song in the night

We got the call tonight. CPS is coming to pick up little M tomorrow.

When my worker called me I couldn't help but start balling on the phone. We were not prepared for this. But, I guess you can never be prepared. I couldn't even finish the conversation with her. Our convo was a haze. 

Right now I am laying with little M in my arms, he normally doesn't sleep with us, but tonight is different. Tonight is our last night. I am hoping the night won't pass and time will stand stil  so that I can hear his little breath and feel his sweet skin on mine. What am I going to do without his smile in my days? His laugh? His talking? and seeing his face light up when i walk by...*

*and that's the end of the typing I did that terrible  Thursday night. I just stopped typing and snuggled him through the night. I didn't sleep, but I sure watched him rest with us. Now it's Monday and our hearts still ache. It was excruciating going through the first night, morning, car ride, church service, visit to grandparents, ect. without him.  Today I had my first walk without him. Oh how I'd give anything to have him snuggled up to my chest again. 

But God, in His complete faithfulness has shown us His mercy through these painful days. He's reminded us of the call and the cost of loving these babies and we've decided that all this pain is so worth it. Little m is worth it all. The 4 1/2 months of being his parents and sharing so many delightful memories with him was totally worth it. God makes beautiful things and doesn't waste a moment. Not even one. So we pray now. We pray that we can keep in touch, that the mom will respond to my letter, that M will be saved as well as his mom and family! We pray because our God is glorious and He can do infinitely more than we can ask or seek or imagine. We serve an awesome God who redeems all things. And redemption in foster care is HIS business!

Some sweet videos of our precious boy taken the day he left; 

When we first got the babies my morning walks with them were my sanity. Seriously. During my walks, both babies were content, and I could breathe in the fresh air and turn my worship music on loud!  These were my sanctified times with Jesus too. I cried many tears asking for help with the seemingly insurmountable task of raising two babies 14 months apart while never being a mommy before. But I also sang many praises. I prayed many prayers. All on my walks. This last walk with M was more of a silent recollection of the grace God enabled us to have in taking care of this precious boy. The song "You're beautiful" by Phil wickham came on and we worshipped God together As a family. God  indeed is beautiful.  He gave us this beautiful opportunity to love on precious M for almost 5 months! This was a special moment and I'm glad "dada" captured it! 

Kalen also captured this the last day. When we first got m he was coming off cocaine and so he was very irritable and couldn't be soothed easily at all. The only thing that would soothe him was being sung "Amazing grace" to  and swaddled real tight. I remember one time counting 13 times that I had to sing it to him for him to finally close his eyes, but he did! And this song always calmed his heart. This day, it only took 1 time to sing it. This is precious to me, and I wanted to sing him to sleep one more time before he left. 

This Last video was m and dada. I'm telling you guys, my husband is the Best dad. He came home every night excited to hang out with M (male bonding I guess). They developed a sweet relationship! Dada loved to make him giggle. Little m was beginning to start talking a lot, and even started squealing when he was really happy! This video captured his squeal perfectly and the sweet relationship they share!❤️

So I end this post with a thankful heart. God was so kind to give us 4 1/2 months with M. We cherish every moment. One last thing... I started coloring this sheet of paper from my new coloring book last week and finished it yesterday. I am so amazed how much God is in the details... did I know last week that M was going to be leaving? Nope. But God did. So he had me start this page a week ago and finish it yesterday to remind me He knows all things and I can fully trust Him! ❤️❤️❤️