Thursday, December 27, 2007

Old journal entry that needed sharing

This is from the fall of '06.

I have a two year old who is OBSESSED with the song, quoting him "ohnoyouneverletgothroughthecalmandthroughthestorm". Every time we get into the car he starts saying "ohnoyouneverletgothroughthecalmandthroughthestorm", as if saying it over and over and over will magically make it appear on the radio. Every one is required to sing along, he even said to the shy sitter "SING TINA". Of course I could just go buy the cd, but it just so happened that it was that time of the month, financially speaking, mortgage, utilities, bills, bills bills. I have to try daily not to impulse buy things and hope for the best. So I said "God I need $10 to buy this boy a cd."

This morning I woke to a surprise bonus and was feeling all thankful until lunch when I checked our account. We were OVERDRAWN by $637. I had no idea what we'd spent $1500 on and the online entry just said "pending". My husband and had absolutely no clue as to what the $1500 was for, but until the pending was updated, there was no use fighting over it.

I was pouting as I started a load of laundry, when I was clearing pockets I found a $10 bill. Kind of thankful, but more snotty brat. I informed God that cd's really cost closer to $20, and we'd probably need the $10 to feed the starving masses. His answer to me was "you said $10, I gave you $10, go buy the boy a cd".

My little temper tantrum, obsessive forensic accounting of the morning had put me behind schedule. Our two year old had a play therapy appointment, and we were running late. Not everyone appreciates the "sorry I'm late, God told me to go shopping", excuse. But it was true and maybe she'd set me up with some much needed therapy for myself.

I hurry into the the Bible book store and quickly locate the Matt Redman cd's. That song is on NONE of the cd's. Browsing, browsing, browsing I see a sale rack of compilation cd's. BRIGHT yellow sticker "You Never Let Go" SALE $9.97. Could you be a little more clear God? I don't think so.

The therapist was running late. Our bank card number had been stolen and the bank never took the money out of our account, and I was reminded once again through our two year old that You never let go, through the calm and through the storm. Every high and every low. You never let go of me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Duh People

My biggest gripe about foster care, and there are many, has to be caseload workers. The paper pushing licensed professionals who couldn't pick you out of a line up, but are the people who are supposed to be your support system.

Last year our town was in an uproar because a child died in foster care. The paper talked about the condition of the child's room, the stresses that the foster mother had been under, the discipline techniques that the foster parents used. The reported atrocities were many, everyone wondered how this could happen.

Being on the other side, I'll tell you. We've recently changed case workers. She's been our caseload worker for four or so months. She's spent approximately one hour in home, total. I don't think she's looked in the babies room. I know she doesn't know how we discipline. She's never asked how I was doing, and even if she did, I probably wouldn't tell her as she is a stranger. As of the date of this posting she has "moved on" but we will soon be going through this again.

God forbid anything should happen to one of our children who are still in foster care. Texas law supposedly mandates that kids shouldn't spend more than one year in care, we're well past three. My family has no one with the proper letters behind their name that has been in our house and knows us. I don't doubt that we have friends that would be there for us, but juries like letters, even without relationship.

The sad thing is I know of several couples who have foster licenses and for whatever reason have never been asked to take in a child. 'Tis Christmas time, all we hear of is all the children out there that need a family. Hey people, there are families that need a child. Take some time to look for them, otherwise they'll have to make the choice to go private. Then we can all continue to whine about how foster children are forgotten children, and complain about the rich people buying babies from the poor. That is not the case, but what matter is truth when it makes for good news?

Monday, December 17, 2007

My Husband

Another edition of people who've changed my life. He deserves to be farther down the list, (so he'll be higher when I've posted thousands), but it is his birthday and I didn't get him anything.(jk)

He has always been a good person, even before God got ahold of him. Knowing God didn't change who he is as a person, but God gave him direction and he's ran with it.

People who knew me 11 years ago would not know me today. Even my sisters wonder who I am when I make it home for a holiday, or other family gathering. I allow others to speak my truth for me too much of the time. The truth my family speaks of me is not really my truth. My husband speaks the truth I want to be, and because he believes it so can I.

He adores me, though I'm not always adorable. He thinks of me before he thinks of himself. While in many ways we are completely opposite, at the same time we are completely the same, whatever it is is working for us.

He is a good friend, a father to the fatherless, and while this may seem "duh?" to some people, he always does what he says, he always pays his bills, and is completely reliable. And simply by being by his side for nearly eleven years I have become a better person.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Miss Bryant

I haven't settled on a number yet, the number of people who've changed my life is probably greater than I realize. I was going to start with Jesus, but realized that when all is posted he'd be at the bottom of the list, and people might get bored with my third grade teacher and not get to read about Jesus and how he has changed my life. I'm not talking tabloid Jesus, I'm talking living room Jesus, but we'll save him until later and get to my third grade teacher and my junior high soccer coach. Not that these people aren't awesome, we're saving the best for last,(ish, hopefully this list will never end.)

I had some very good teachers, and some downright "why on earth did you choose this as your profession" awful teachers. My third grade teacher was also my Kindergarten teacher. Back in the day when you didn't have to speak three languages before K. Back then it was our kindergarten teacher that taught us the ABC's and the 123's and we even had inflatable people and it took us all year. So thanks for teaching me how to read Miss Bryant, turns out it came in handy.

The only thing I remember from third grade is playing the gossip game and writing letters. I wrote my aunt who coincidentally went to school with Miss B. Small world. She still rocked as a teacher in third grade, but apparently I didn't learn anything that year. I guess she made more of an impression just for being nice.

So I guess the poster is true, everything I did need to know I learned in Kindergarten.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

and then there was one.

It is a monumental day in our household, we are down to one kid in diapers. Praise Jesus. We've had multiples in diapers for almost three years. Yes, I know I could have pushed the issue and done it months ago, but when they are ready, they are ready and it was easy, and I'm fighting enough battles here.

Speaking of which, the teens seem to thing that chores do not apply to them unless they are in immediate need of something. I have set up a very generous point system, if they did all of their assigned chores, every day, they could go out with friends twice a week, have friends over twice a week, have their cell phone and their internet and at least $20 a week. They choose to hover around what they need to cover. Results have indicated that they expect Santa to cover all of their December wishes and chores have taken a hit. Our big girl is assigned to do the dishes, she waits until midnight to do them. I told her that dishes were more important than me giving her a ride to work, and if dishes were undone, that she should not expect me to provide her a ride. Yesterday she waited for her friends to come over and give her a ride, no worry for her, she was only 30 minutes late. This morning dishes were still undone. So we got her where it hurt, wireless internet access. Lo and behold, I dropped her off after school and went to pick up another kid, in the fifteen or so minutes I was gone, guess what was done for the first time in weeks? That's right, the dishes. Of course, the first question was, when can I get my internet back.
Let's see, maybe when you appreciate all that you have.

Don't worry, she's a senior, she'll only have to endure this torture for six more months.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Miss me?

I just got back into town after a much needed break. Hubby and I took our born of the body babies out of town on a family matter. And before you get upset about us not taking the born of the heart babies with us, let me explain that my born of the body babies have had to share their parents for the last four years. The heart babies will have five full years of being the only children in the house once all of our body babies are grown. I think the body babies deserve to have their parents for five days.

Ok, so that out of the way, let me say how much fun we had. Our boys played in the pool for a couple of hours. It's not that they don't get along normally, but with a six year age difference they don't tend to play together much at home. Our younger boy was absolutely thrilled that his big brother was hanging with him.

My primary purpose was one last hurrah before our oldest body baby left the nest. I arranged it around a secondary event that I REALLY wanted to do. Weather did not permit my secondary event to happen. I was REALLY upset, but remembered that the first thing was the first thing and that was accomplished.

Anyway, I have to go and deal with the aftershocks of the long absence so catch you later.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Christmas Help NEEDED

Christmas is coming and stores all over have bins to drop in toys. This is such a good thing, and many foster and adoptive families are so blessed by the gifts they receive. The problem is, the older the child, the less they get. Also, the biological and previously adopted children get nothing. So, this is my focus this year. The families as a whole and the older foster children. The children that are in middle school and high school.

Anyone who has children this age know what I'm about to say. I don't even know what to buy my own kids, let alone someone else's kid, and how ticked off you'd be if someone bought your kids something that required additional purchases by you. So, God love the gift card.

I'm looking into the tax implications of receiving the donations myself, but will probably have you forward them to the agencies I'll be working with. If you can donate a gift card to Target or Best Buy or some other place let me know, I'll let you know where to send them. If you could keep them at $25 that would make it fair for everyone.

I would also like grocery gift cards for the families, also in the $25 range. So, rally round and thanks a lot. You have no idea the blessing this will be.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I've said it before, and it's been following me since, but girls, let us stop worshiping at the altar of the Proverbs 31 woman. I read a book, some guy is pointing out how all women should strive to be like her. (When you read my book on how to be a man we can talk.) I turn on the radio, and there she is offering advice. I randomly pick a blog, and someone is telling everyone how she longs to be a P31. I am completely sick of it.

I don't know who wrote it, neither do I care. All that I know is this is about a woman who was adored by her family for all that she did for them. I am that, and have done it with very little striving. I am far from perfect and my husband adores me. I am not at model weight and yet he thinks I'm sexy. I am not up before the family, and he steps in and takes care of what needs to be done. He let's me sleep in on weekends, I haven't sewn anything in years, although I did "make my own bed clothes", and he was kind enough to have it quilted for me for Christmas. I cook, sometimes I clean, I do laundry, but I've given up on striving.

What we are working on here is balance. We've been working on it for more than a decade, and we are almost completely happy, almost all of the time. And I'm sure right before one of us dies, we'll get the perfect balance.

If she were THE role model for women I think Jesus might have mentioned her somewhere, but he didn't hang in her circle. He even told Martha, who was complaining about Mary sitting around, that Mary knew what was more important, (maybe it was the other way around, but you know what I mean). If I'm going to try to be like somebody, I want to be like Jesus.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I am born

It sounds silly. I am born. No one ever says it that way. They say I was born. They joined their family of origin by being born. Some children join a family by being adopted. From then on they were adopted. They don't continue to be adopted. It's a one time thing, not a lifelong sentence.

I know I'm probably being too pc about it all, but I don't like when people say "oh, she's adopted". No she isn't, she was; now she's a part of the family. When people say "I'm adopted" it sounds like they are setting themselves apart from the family they joined.

Of course we could solve this whole dilemma if everyone would just refer to it as either, I was born of the body or I was born of the heart. Let's work on that people.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


It's something all born of the heart parents will have to come to terms with. The bio family. Will they be involved? Should they be involved? How involved? Under what circumstances do the born of the heart parents allow or disallow involvement? When you adopt internationally the decision is made for you. If that's the case, then how do you deal with the child's story of how they came to be your born of the heart baby? Private adoptions are worked out before hand, hopefully. With foster/adopt unless the bio-parents relinquish of their own free will, all ties can be severed, but what is the right thing to do? If I were on the other side, what would I want? What would be best? What would Jesus do?

I know there will probably come a day when the babies wonder where they came from. They do not look like us, I have no intention of never mentioning their mama, but will my answers be enough to satisfy?

Of course you can find volumes of advice, all valid points, on either side of the contact fence. My least favorite is that the children will be confused about who their mom is. I don't agree that that's a problem. Children don't wonder why they have two grandma's, or even three or four. They see it as more people to love them. Another valid point is the influence factor. Will the bio family negatively influence the children? Or will the mystery build up some fantasy family that we cannot live up to? Of course if you feel your child would be in danger, that's a no brainer.

I personally don't know what it's like to be adopted. My ex-husband was adopted at birth, but even at 25 felt as if no one wanted him. He always knew he had been adopted, but somewhere along the line he got the message that it was because he was unwanted. I hope that our babies know that we adopted them not because their mama couldn't care for them, but because we wanted them.

I don't know how we're going to deal with it. I do not feel threatened by my babies' born of the body mama. I also don't want the children to forget her. I am very thankful for her giving life to three of my children, but it's hard to thank God for her knowing what she's allowed to come into their lives. I will have to do my best and give God the rest.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Women in the Bible

How is it that the Proverbs 31 woman has become the only biblical woman that we hear about? Most of us are not and never will be her, and parading her about only causes us to strive to be something that we are not, or causes us to give up because we now have biblical proof that we do not measure up. This is a woman who stayed up all night and got up before everyone else, she was perfect, but everytime I think of her I think Bree Van deKamp. This lady had it all together, and is the only woman in primetime to read her bible daily. I may be wrong but give it some thought.

I'm more of a woman caught in adultery type. Naked at the feet of Jesus, too ashamed to ask for the mercy only He can give. Now before the rumor mill gets going, let me clarify. I have not committed adultery, this decade anyway.

Sadly we don't know all of the names of the women in the Bible, but I do know that most of them wouldn't be allowed through the doors of most churches. Well, they'd be let in, as long as they kept to themselves and allowed us to pray for them. The woman at the well who had seven husbands would be the perfect prayer project.

This all brings about the question of what does a Christian woman look like today. Is she fat? Is she thin? Is she married? Is she single? Is she divorced? Is she straight? Is she gay? Does she have tattoos? Does she work outside the home? Does she work inside the home? Does she cook from scratch, or go through drive thru? Does she sew or shop? Does she have kids, does she hate kids? Has she ever had an abortion, been a stripper or sold herself for drug money? I don't know. I do know that nothing on the list would exempt anyone from being a Christian, as much as we would like to keep our Christian circles pure, exempting another would by default be un-Christian.

God can deal with anything you bring. Anything. And the nice thing is the only thing that you get for having a bigger pile of junk to lay at His feet, is MORE grace.

So the advice this naked at the feet of Jesus lady has for all you Proverbs 31 wannabes is... turn off the lights, have some sex (only you married ones), sleep late and order a pizza. The world will not end.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Message for anonymous

First and foremost I will pray for you, and so will everyone who reads this, (right people, leave a comment), secondly God's love is not predicated on having your life together, which is good news for people like me. He wants your heart, when He has your heart his spirit will help you change your life. You do not need to be in church for Him to do a great work in your life. He would like you to be in church not for His sake but for yours. When you surround yourself with a church family you can see God's love played out on a daily basis. When the world comes crashing down on you it is hard to remember that you don't have to get it all together today.

I could tell you a thing or two about bad choices and bad boys. I won't, I've chosen to not give them any more of my time. I will let you know that someone good can love you. "No one will ever love you as much as me" is a lie that bad boys use to keep the girls that are way too good for them.

I know it seems like you have a lot going on right now, and it all seems overwhelming. If you haven't already done it, give it all to God. Just ask Jesus to come into your life and change it. If you don't know what to say, just say "I want to know you more, I accept you into my heart. I don't know all that I need to know, but I want to know more. I'm trusting that you will come into my life and change it from within and we can be together forever. I accept this as the free gift that it is, and that this gift is not based on what I have done, or what I will do, but it is a gift you gave, and I am accepting. Amen."

Now that you are a true princess, feel free to ask God to help with your situation. You are now His child and he wants only good for you. this is not to say that there will not be any natural consequences for the things that you have done, but He will be by your side as you work through them. Feel free to email me with anything that you might need. It's true that I don't know who you are, but I do know a few things based on what you've written to me, I remember the age well, and it sucked for me. To top it off I did things that made it suck even worse. Worse yet, is it took me years to work through it all. Looking back now, though, I am glad to have gone through it. It has made me into the woman that I am today. My email is linked on the bottom of the right side. I will pray for you, but would also like to help you with whatever needs you have right now. I can encourage you while you are going through it and would be honored to do so.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

And the winner is.....

Me. It was discussed at length today amongst every fourteen year old boy my son knows. I am officially the worst parent ever.

I had to repo a cell phone today. It seems that it is outrageous for me to require someone to pay for their cell phone usage. NO ONE else, on the whole planet, has to pay for their own cell phone usage. It's not like I'm shaking down the teens for cash to pay our bills. I am asking that they do a couple of assigned chores in a competent manner in exchange for certain privileges. My big boy is required to take out the trash and pick up the towels and stray clothes in the bathroom. I'm a slave driver.

When my nomination and ultimate win was announced this afternoon, it came with the reasons for the unanimous vote. I have come up with the dumbest chore system on the planet. You do a chore you get a point. You can exchange the points for cash or privileges. When my boy does 50 chores and is able to buy $50 jeans he loves this system. I love the system. The problem is, the boy doesn't have points, because he hasn't done any chores, and now he doesn't have any privileges. This is somehow my fault.

Of course I could have given him credit for all of the chores he didn't write down. I could have extended some credit, it was only two points. I could have waited until tomorrow to charge him, but that would have been the easy thing to do. It's not about the battle at this point, it is about the war. I'm not raising kids here, I'm raising adults. If you cannot take responsibility to write down your hours, you don't get paid. It is not wise to rely on credit. Bills are due when they are due, not when you get around to paying for them. I would rather he learn this life lesson when it is the matter of a cell phone for a couple of days, not when he's $50,000 in credit card debt. Although it would've made my day easier.

This is a lesson that gets played out in my neighborhood everyday. We have a couple of thirty something kids on my street. They are not living with their 'rents because of their parents declining health, or to be helpful. They are not living there temporarily, they've been there since we moved in six years ago. One of the neighbors has had to hire help in the yard due to a heart attack a couple of years ago, his sons only contribution to the yard is cigarette butts. The other neighbors kid drives a brand new truck that has been replaced every two years. I will gladly be the worst parent ever, if I can avoid the Peter Pan Plague of our street. Do I want my kids to hate me and never speak to me again? No. I just want to visit them somewhere else someday.

My daughter is a senior in high school. I'm hoping that she is excited to move out. I love my parents, but can't imagine living with them still. I would like to think that my parents are proud of the fact that I can not only live on my own, but also thrive on my own. I hope that I can share their joy when my babies are outta here. I of course corrected all of the mistakes that my parents made, but probably made just as many new ones. Luckily my kids will be able to correct my mistakes.

I would like to thank all the little people who voted for me, I would like to share the honor of worst parent ever with my husband, I wouldn't be here without him. I'm wondering if there is a cash prize associated with this....

Friday, October 12, 2007

Life math and science

We tried a little unscientific experiment at the house last night. The three little ones wanted to sleep in the tent in the playroom. Oh, what harmless fun that would be. We all have heard the law of physics that states each action has an equal and opposite reaction. I was nice and they have responded with the equal and opposite reaction this morning of extreme grouchiness. I sense this afternoon will begin with grouchy mom putting everyone down for a nap and happy kids awakening.

Life physics also applies to the teens. They want cell phones and computer time and friend time, but I'm still expected to change their laundry at midnight because they forgot. We have not yet gotten the message across that with freedom comes responsibility.

Life math is also an ongoing lesson. We add, add add, then when we need to subtract we gripe at the process. In order for my life balance sheet to actually balance, when I add something, I also need to find an area from which to subtract. Sometimes it starts with a subtraction and we need to add something so we are not in deficit. I recently began subtracting coke from my life, the a-cola type, not the ocaine type, but I had to add water. Sometimes after we've added a husband or a baby, we have to subtract friends.

In the end, after all the additions of friends and families and jobs and hobbies are subtracted through deaths and moves and retirements and declining health, I hope that the good and bad balance to the positive. With all of the different variables yet to play out I already know the answer. The sum total of my life here on earth will be One.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Isn't it hard?

That would be the most oft asked question of foster parents. The answer, surprising: Yes. But I have a follow up question. What worthwhile isn't hard? Being a parent is hard. Being married is hard. Going home for Christmas is hard. Getting a degree is hard. Jobs are hard. Sometimes just getting up in the morning is hard.

There are two schools of judgement on us. Either people think that we are saints, specially equipped to tackle the job of fostering, given a gift that they did not receive. Or they think foster parents are just in it for the money.

The kids who have come and gone were not meant for us. Some of the kids went back home, some went to grandparents. Some went back into the system. I can only tell you what has happened to one of the kids who has come and gone. The others I've had to trust that they are in God's hands and we did the job as well as we were able. The kid that I know what has happened to is much better where he is now, than he would have been had he stayed with us. There are some children who cannot be integrated into a typical family situation. This is not my fault, I was not sad to see him go, and I am very thankful that God has made many different types of foster families to deal with many different types of children.

Our first official placement was three teens. One who had a milestone birthday in foster care. This was their first removal from their home. In the two weeks they were with us the cops were here three or four times. Half the time one of them was missing. The CPS worker couldn't believe that we stuck it out for two weeks, was it hard: yes. Was it worth it to see a fifteen year old boy run across a parking lot crying because he was so happy to see his mom, and getting to go home. Yes.

We also had children who have been in dozens of homes. After so much time not belonging, they could not be comfortable belonging. They could not wrap their heads around someone being there for them FOREVER. While they were here we did our best to keep them safe and happy. We tried to teach them what we could and prayed for the rest. Was it hard, OH MY YES. We miss them terribly, but know that we could not have kept them here any longer.

Do I worry everyday that someone is coming for the kids that are here now? No. Does it cross my mind? Yes. Most people comment to us that they "could not do it" I want to tell them they could, I don't. While some people may have physical constraints to prevent them from doing it, like not having enough space in their homes. Most people have room in their hearts to do this. I am not immune to the hurts that come along with this, but I have received blessings that I cannot explain.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Abigail is in the house

Several weeks a little invisible friend came to live with us. Her name is Abigail, it is NOT acceptable to call her Abby. She is 69 years old and doesn't go to school, but she still rides in her carseat. The interactions with baby girl and Abigail are the absolute cutest, but I hesitate to tell people about this because baby girl is under the watchful eyes of others.

Now read any child development book and you'll see imaginary friends are acceptable at this age, I doubt, however, that the "watchful eyes" have read a child development book. I'm worried that this will be classified as hallucinations or something of a psychotic break to gather more funding for baby girls special needs, (the buck is not subject to trickle down economics and stops well before it reaches my hands)we of course would be scrutinized as to how we parented baby girl to the point where she interacts with persons who cannot be seen by others. Since Abigail "can't like" boys does she have gender issues that we have been insensitive to?

It would be funny if I were kidding. But in a world where I can be cited for not double locking neosporin, I may have legitimate concerns. I am also concerned that they find out the horrible care that has been provided for Abigail while she has been here. I have left her home alone. I have forgotten her in the car, in stores and at school. I have sat on her and thrown her out. I demolished her living quarters and am always stepping on her hair. She also gets to watch tv whenever she wants and gets to have chips for breakfast, of course my babies would NEVER have chips for breakfast.

I have not had to deal with any imaginary friends since I had my own. My born of the body babies did not have any that they shared with the family. But I am in awe that baby girl has come up with such a complex ecosystem for Abigail, her great concern for Abigail, baby girl knows her likes and dislikes and they love spending time together without the boys. I feel lucky to see the creator/created relationship through the eyes of a child.

This is the day...: ...I get a do over.

This is the day...: ...I get a do over.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Please judge my heart

Being a parent is exhausting. Whether you have one or twenty it's a lot of work. Parents of toddlers should be compensated with hazard pay. I look around my house at the artwork on the walls, and the stains on the furniture and wonder if I'll ever have a "magazine" house. My car has permawhif of McDonalds fries, and you could wipe out hunger with all the food underneath the cushions.

I have never been a matching outfit, button down, hair perfect kind of mother. If you can dress yourself around here, it's encouraged. If it's backwards or inside out, I applaud your effort. Our eight year old used to put on shirts and check for the tag up front, if there was a tag he didn't ask to help turn his shirt around, he asked for scissors to cut the tag out. I'm sure I missed a teaching opportunity there, but you'll be hard pressed to find a sweeter eight year old, so I know my intentions were blessed.

There are days when I get discouraged, frustrated and dead tired. I rarely want to get up and get back in the game. But I know I've been richly blessed. When this season seems too much I thank God that He entrusted me with so much, and I pray for the mothers who go to sleep each night praying for children they do not have.

I'm hoping that when their pants are on backwards they've learned that I love them. I hope that underneath the jelly faces they are truly happy. I hope that they know they can do more because they can eat cereal off of a plate. When I hear them say "I lub you mom," I know my intentions are blessed.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


It's the national anthem in the land of two year olds. They sing it loud and proud. Mine, mine, mine. I'd like to say that I've left the home country and declared my cititzenship as an adult. The truth is I like to sing the familiar song of home, mine, mine, mine.

I sing it in my heart every time an issue comes up with the babies. I've had them since their lifespan was calculated in weeks, not years. They have spent their entire life in my home; they are not mine.

It would be nice if I could take comfort in the fact that I do have children that are mine; I can't. I have no more control over the actual life and death matters of the children that I bore. The fact of the matter is that I cannot truly claim another as mine. Not my parents, not my husband, not my kids, and certainly not my foster children.

I know that there will be a day when there are no children in my home. It is the way it was designed. Whether they were born of my body or born of my heart, they will leave. It is statistically most likely that either my husband or myself will spend some time on this earth after the other has left it. All we know for sure that we have is today.

I can take comfort in the fact that they are with me. Today, when we woke, we had six happy (that term is relative), healthy children in our home. Many children have come and gone through our house over the years. Each one spent a season of their life here, each one has taught me something. I hope that they say that their time here was positive. I hope that there is more good, than bad. I hope that they know that I am only human, and that I tried. I hope they know that there was a time in their life, that this mom sang the song of her childhood for them. You are mine, mine, mine.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I know that my redeemer lives

This past week I've been singing a song, the problem is I only knew one line. My version of the song is "I know that my redeemer lives, and I don't know the other words." Joyful noise, right?
So, I was very happy when the second song this morning was that song. I've been battling this cold for the last couple of days and was not terribly excited about leaving the house, wrangling the babies across the parking lot, yada yada yada. So even though my heart was not into it, I went to church, and that song was God's way of saying "I see you."

This is not a unique experience for me, I don't think I've ever said "If you're there you'll...." but on many occassions I've had a mental checklist of things I've wanted, an overly detailed checklist and to the finest detail it has happened. I am ashamed to say that I didn't trust God on the front end. It was MY list and didn't give it over to God, but the completed list was God's way of saying "I see you."

When it became obvious that my first marriage was ending, I made a checklist of things to look for so I wouldn't end up there again. The final detail being "Chris in the morning," my dreamy dream man/morning DJ from Northern Exposure. And although my first outing with my current husband could not be classified as a 'date', his parting words to me were, "I'll be at the radio station tomorrow if you want to call me."

I'd given up on having my boy/girl twins that I'd always wanted. Statistically rare in life, let alone in foster care in south Texas at the time we were foster parents. Well, in February 2005, I got the call. Did I want a 6 year old boy and a 1 year old boy? We already had four boys in the house, only one full time girl, and one part time girl. I told the caseworker, I can't take anymore boys, but if you ever have a girl... As it turns out they had a five week old girl, but she had a twin brother, and we'd have to take him too.

So, just know that even when your heart isn't in it, and you aren't expecting God to fulfill your wish list he has many ways to tell you, "I see you."

Psalm 37:4 - Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

No, would you mind taking them?

It's what I feel like saying when people ask "are those your kids?" Of course I've stolen some children and decided to take them to the mall for shoes, huh? I know we've been taught not to assume things, but let's make the following exceptions...

1. A woman is pushing a kid around in a cart. Regardless of the possible racial or age difference between the two, let's assume the woman is in some way responsible for that child. I get annoyed at the question, but I can't imagine how my kids will feel when they get a little older. I would think that they would question the fact that everyone seems to question whether or not they belong to me.

2. There is a couple having dinner with eight to ten children. This could go either way. It could be a birthday party, or an extended family, or a foster family. If it is the first two, you'll look silly, if it is the latter you could do some serious damage. We at one point had eight kids, the older foster kids had some serious attachment issues from being in a dozen different homes. Do you really think they need to be reminded that they don't belong anywhere? I think not.

3. There is a couple with a couple of children, they personify the red and yellow, black and white. Let's assume they are a family. Even if they turn out not to be, it's better to be safe than sorry.

I've spoken to people about this, not anyone who has said anything, but friends, trying to figure out if I was just being crabby or what. It's been suggested to me that non-traditional families are noticeable, and that people are tyring to be nice by noticing. Here are some things you could say instead.

"Oh, what beautiful children." Works every time.

"you have a lovely family." Yes, I do thank you.

So, unless there is an active Amber Alert in place, don't ask if their mine. They are. Regardless of my age, or race, or the fact that I have three kids born the same year, we are family. And now that they are two I might be tempted to turn them over to you for awhile.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

How would you like it?

If you were at work one day and official type people came in and spoke to your boss. It seems that someone had heard that your husband was a no good such and such who wasn't very nice to you. That someone had reported your husband to the proper authorities, and they had investigated. These people had come to the conclusion that your husband was indeed in need of some husband classes and when offered them he refused, so they came to rescue you at work.

Now, you can't go home to get anything, but they were nice enough to pack a bag for you while they were there speaking with your husband. And I'm sorry, but you won't be returning to work until this matter is "resolved". They have found a new family for you, unfortunately this family didn't have room for you and the kids, so they were going to have to split you up. You can not call anyone you know, you can not see anyone you know, the clothes that they picked up for you were actually clothes that no longer fit.

How's your day going?

After driving around for hours and hours, dropping off members of your family one by one all over town they bring you to your new house. Inside is a family that has been praying for a new mom, and they believe whole heartedly that God has brought you to them.

Aren't you excited?

You'd always wish that your hubby would pick up his socks, or not watch basketball during dinner. Well, your new hubby is perfect for you, on paper. You go to bed thinking that this matter will soon be resolved, but weeks pass and you are still there. You get to see your old family once a month for two hours in a cubicle in someones office, with three specialists looking on. Months turn into a year, someone tells you your old hubby never did take those classes he was supposed to. You think it sucks, but you're kinda liking this new family. You're new job is nicer. Things are working pretty well. When you get home that night, those people are there again.

What are you thinking?

"Good news," they say, "we've found your forever family." What, I have to do this again? Seems like while the family was a 'perfect match' for you, you didn't really live up to their expectations. You were moody, and withdrawn, and didn't really make friends, and just weren't what they were hoping for.

Now, I ask, how many times does this happen before you completely lose it?

We've had kids in our home that had been in ten or more homes. I can't imagine what it feels like to not belong anywhere. 'Get what you can from this family because you're gone in two months.' I will be the first to advise not to keep a kid for the sake of keeping a kid, but if you take a kid do all you can. You are not a babysitter. You are a surrogate parent. If you think a teenager is out of your realm, don't take teens. If a toddler will impose on your lifestyle, don't take toddlers.

Remember that while you have been prayerfully waiting for this child they are about to bring over, he's known about this for moments. He knew his family wasn't the best, but they were his family. His stuff may smell and be infested with bugs, but it's all that he has that is his. He may have been the one to tell someone about what was going on at home, and now all he ever knew is gone. He isn't going to run into your arms, crying thank you mommy for saving me. You have been saying to all of your friends, "I'll be so happy when they bring me a child," this will be the worst day of that child's life. The beatings and neglect have all run together, but he will always remember the day he lost his family. Do all you can keep it from happening again.


There has been a case here locally that involved the death of a child. The accused were foster parents trying to adopt the child. The woman has just been convicted of capital murder. I read of the verdict on our local newspapers website. The judgement from the public is harsh.

I do not know this woman. Most of you do not know her either. Apparently we've all forgotten the lesson of "those of you without sin may cast the first stone." The jury convicted her because she "failed to act". That to me does not say she meant to harm him. She made a poor choice and will pay a great price. But if you have ever made a poor choice and gotten away will a small price, then THANK GOD. If you have ever driven drunk and not killed anyone, THANK GOD. If you have ever hit your kid and didn't have CPS bust down your door, THANK GOD. (Go kiss your babies in bed), and THANK GOD. If you are out sleeping around and haven't caught something or gotten pregnant, THANK GOD.

Each and every person on this planet has made bad, awful choices, time and time again. THANK GOD that the price you pay does not cover the bill. THANK GOD that he cared enough for you to pick up your tab.

Romans 3:22-24 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


So you are waiting for God to answer your prayer for the child that you know you've been called to raise. You have taken all the classes, (in our case twice), and you are still waiting. In my case by beginning of year number two waiting for a child, I was mad because I could've gotten pregnant, had a child, and been well on my way to feeling like a normal person again. But I still had nothing. And God forbid the ten o'clock news has a story about someone beating their kid to death, it just makes you want to scream.

Becoming a parent involves pain. Whether by body or by heart. Having done both I'd say the physical pain is better. They have some mighty good meds, praise God. But sadly there is no epidural for your heart. I doubt child placing agencies would be in business if they opened up their "Fostering 101" class with "This will break your heart, you will cry, you will scream and there is little we can do for you."

Whatever route you take into parenting children born to others it is heartbreaking. Your child may be in an orphanage half way round the world, and you can't go get him because you forgot to sign page 47? Or worse, you get to hold him, kiss him, love him and then leave him there. That doesn't seem right. Your baby may be inside of a 15 year old girl who is scared to death, maybe she could get an abortion and no one would ever have to know. Throw in a little abuse and neglect and this whole thing will make you sick.

My favorite illustration of God's will is the puzzle. It hardly ever makes sense until it's complete. How can a squiggly piece of green cardboard with a blotch on it ever turn into something beautiful? By joining with all the other nonsensical pieces: bit by bit coming together. You'll get glimpses of the beauty along the way, but not until that 5000th piece is in place will you see it as the creator intended.

I hope that this is encouraging to all of you waiting for your children. Being reminded of "God's timing" makes me want to choke people. I know they are right, but it makes me feel lacking in my own faith. That is not my intention.

1 Corinthians 13: 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then shall we see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Monday, September 3, 2007


Whenever I talk to my babies about Moses I point out the similarities between them and Moses. His mama (what we call their birth mother) loved him very much. Just like Mama loves you very much. It was not safe for Moses to stay with his mama, but Moses' mama loved him so much that she wanted him to grow up and be safe so he went to live with his mommy.

I've recently been reading more about Moses. Not a perfect man. Not a very confident man. God had equipped him for the life God had planned for him. He was the right man for the job he just needed convincing. When Moses asks God "Who am I that I should go?..." I know exactly how he feels.

I feel like a whining Isrealite at this point. I've gotten complacent in my captivity. It's been pretty good being paid to be a parent, why bite the hand that feeds you. God is clearly very big on adoption.

Ephesians 1:5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

We know that it is right that we adopt these children. We are no longer complacent in our captivity, we are tired of wandering; knowing where we are going, but not knowing when we'll get there. We can look over and see the promised land, wondering if we'll be allowed to enter. Wondering if we have it in us to overcome the obstacles that lie ahead.

We know the battle is the Lords. He needed to grow us into the warriors that would fight the battle. We need to demand that Pharoah let our people go. I pray that God doesn't harden the heart of the judge twelve times, but if he should, it will be to the glory of God, right? We have grown, we have shepherded, we have hemmed and hawed. The fact that we are not perfect, or confident is also to His glory. If he can use a couple of screwed up people like us, how could he use you?

Hebrews 13:20May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

I'm tired of shacking up

With my babies. I want to be their mommy. I want some legal protection from the state deciding after 2 1/2 years that this no longer works for them. Today our pastor challenged us to make an ask of ourselves. So here I am asking, and believing God to deliver

The dream:

To adopt my three babies.

The do:

Find an attorney this week who will file a case for me under Texas Family Law

§ 102.005. STANDING TO REQUEST TERMINATION AND ADOPTION. An original suit requesting only an adoption or for termination of the parent-child relationship joined with a petition for adoption may be filed by:

(3) an adult who has had actual possession and control of the child for not less than two months during the three-month period preceding the filing of the petition; or (4) another adult whom the court determines to have had substantial past contact with the child sufficient to warrant standing to do so.

To challenge the appointment of permanent managing conservatorship was illegal under Texas Family Code 263.404 stating that pmc may only be granted if the child has been deemed unadoptable, or that the child is of age and has expressed a strong desire against adoption.

Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen
Ephesians 3:20-21

The dream:

To have this done by Thanksgiving.

The do:
Be an ask until...
Proverbs 6:4 Don’t put it off; do it now!Don’t rest until you do.

Thank you all for your prayers for our family.

Friday, August 31, 2007


First I'll say that God is not very subtle. You'll understand later.

Our three year old will have lived with us for 23 months tomorrow. We are his SEVENTH home. No one should ever have to live in seven homes, let alone do it all before you turn two. It should go without saying, but this boy has issues. Issues that were difficult to deal with in the beginning. They're getting better, but it has been a looooong road.

Several months after he first came to live with us, I had had enough for the day and decided that going for a ride would be the thing to do. He could scream at me all he wanted I had a super loud radio. On the ride I took it upon myself to discuss with God what I had done to deserve this. I'm a good person, I'm trying to do the right thing, all those things you say to God when you're in a situation you don't want to be in. Intellectually I know God has it all together and that includes His plan for my life, but when you're going through something, knowledge isn't always applied.

So here we are riding around, me shaking my fist at God, my baby shaking his fist at me. I had the radio on, but wasn't really listening. Then I heard a sweet voice from the back singing "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty" (example one of God's non subtleness) and my next question to God was, What had I done to deserve this.

Matthew 5:8 took on a whole new meaning to me that day. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. This kid saw God. This kid has seen evil. This kid is our God warrior in training. He keeps our minds on God daily, sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad. He has been through the fire seven times and has come out with a pure heart. There is never a doubt as to how his day is going. Pure, pure, pure.

And now for the other 2x4 Godsmack. As I was researching a verse on refining I came across this.
Psalm 12:6
And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified SEVEN times.

Next time you have a chance, read Psalms 12 and 13. It all applies here.

My question to God is still the same, "What have I done to deserve this?" Sometimes it takes on a sarcastic tone, but for the most part, I'm glad to take my place in the puzzle of God's will.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

How we got here.

I often get asked why we chose foster care. I came from a big family, didn't really enjoy being pregnant, my husband's grandparents were foster parents way back when. It was just the perfect storm.

Our journey into foster care began almost five years ago. We attended an orientation that wanted us to be involved in a local church. We were not even attending a local church, let alone involved in one. I had been a Christian for a long time, but I was run out of the church in my late teens. I was not the type of girl that most churches welcomed with open arms. My husband wasn't even sure he believed in God at the time. We decided to give it a try, if it didn't work out we could always find another foster agency that didn't have such suggestions. We were not sure where to go, but we were sure where we would not go.

Well, our journey brought us to a church we'd heard about. We had met someone who went there and LOVED it, most people however, rumored it to be a cult or something of the sort. There were a couple thousand people in attendance every weekend, we were sure we could get in and out without notice so off we went. Traditional they were not, it was more like a rock concert for God. At the end of the service all adults were asked to take a red envelope. Inside that red envelope was a hundred dollar bill and a request to bring it back tenfold the following week. Well that guaranteed us coming back next week. Not with two thousand bucks, but to return the two hundred dollars, we did not want to take God's money.

Two weeks has turned into five years. Two thousand will soon be ten thousand. It's still a rock concert for God every week. And we are involved. The funny thing about it is, the agency who originally had asked us to be involved in a local church had to leave town due to budget cuts and never placed one child with us. We have had several kids in our care, most for long periods of time. We are praying that our fostering days will soon be over and we can adopt the kids that have been with us for the last two and a half years.

This may not seem like a foster care story, but believe me. Without the local church involvement, we would not be foster parents, and we would probably not even be married at this point. Bay Area Fellowship welcomed us into the house of God, where God could change our lives, and equip us to be a family. A family born from the heart of God

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Thanks for visiting us here at Born of the heart. I thank God for the hearts that long to raise children that were not born of their body. Let me know you're out there. I can't wait to meet you.