Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sad Heart

My heart has been sad.

I've been asked about foster care a few times lately. It has been one year since we had our first placement.

I miss him a lot.

His birthday is coming up. That makes me sad.

The kids listened to "Radioactive" on repeat a few days ago and it made me sad. It was his favorite song.

I found myself praying this morning that he would come back then I felt terrible for praying that. My heart was genuine in that I worry about him. I want him to grow up and know how to read and feel special because he is. I want him to break the cycle. Odds are stacked against him though.

So yeah, my family misses him. I have no doubt that if he walked in our door tonight that my kids would be all over him. His room is painted in a color we let him pick out.

Saying goodbye is hard and worth it.... I guess it is the not knowing if they are safe that hurts the heart so much.

Anyways, we are still working on paperwork. I'm slow. We are trying to figure out which age group to take. Such a hard decision. It might be perfectly clear and I'm plugging my ears saying, "lalalalala i can't hear you..." haha

We live in a fallen world friends. A world full of evil, pain and sadness.

"But take heart. I have overcome the world." -Jesus.







Thursday, December 22, 2016

Paperwork Wins

The kids are out of school. I kicked them outside since it is relatively warm and I am not here to entertain them or take them all over Tulsa because they are bored. I want to be bored!

I say that but after I kicked them outside I grabbed the novel of paper work needed to fill out for foster care stuff.

I learned a month ago that the paper work we filled out a year ago has to be filled out again after a year.

A YEAR!

Doctors don't have to take their big test every year. They just stay current and up to date with their education and I'm guessing certain certifications and they put their hands INSIDE bodies!

Here I am filling out background checks (which i thought were good for 3 years), signing agreements, signing rules, notifications and verifications, profiles, filling out 'general info.' I'll need to schedule doctor visits for all 6 of us, never mind the fact that some aren't due for a well-check and I don't want to be told "scoot down to the edge of the table" in 2017! I have to give my income statements which doesn't show how much of a strain fostering actually is on your bank account.

Do I sound perturbed? I am!

Here is my personality; when I think something is dumb or a complete waste of time. I general go into refusal mode. I stand my ground and refuse to conform to the stupidity of whatever the stupid thing is that stupid people are asking of me. Some things make sense; insurance, vaccs, pet vaccs.. Stuff like that I get. I can even conform to the background check every year but this?! This is ludicrous. I have a hard time believing that those foster families that get arrested for abuse did alllll this paperwork every. single. year? Doubtful.

So here I am, looking at what seems like 1 million pieces of paper and I'm gonna fill out every last damn one of them. But mind you! I will be REALLY pissed off the whole time at whoever thought this was needed to be done every. damn. year.

I can see how people get to the "I've had enough." phase of fostering and call it good. It would be easier for me to toss a deuce and be over it. Believe me, I tried. Matt said we should fill all this out. I might have huffed and internally pouted at his answer. I was expecting him to give me the out so I could use all this paper for kindling. Ohh and it would be good kindling but I'd also be burning the hope of humans. Little humans.

What does our future hold for fostering? I have absolutely no idea. What age will we be open for? I have absolutely no idea. The kids have asked if we will foster again. They are ready. I'm not. I'm scared. I'm comfortable! I'm happy.

The last kid was more than we could deal with and when he left, he left us in ruins. He came in and set the whole place on fire and laughed as he left. Matt and I had to reconnect. Matt and I had to reconnect with the kids. We had to reconnect with Jesus.

But it is the first kid, BH, that we had with us that has me filling out a stupid amount of paperwork.

He was worth it.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Post Thanksgiving 2016

"Did you have a good Thanksgiving?"

I know this question is the holiday version of, "How are you?" or "Nice weather we are having."

In the past, I gave the typical, "It was good!" While raising my eyebrows and voice for umph and to come across sincere.

I can remember a few Thanksgivings in my past... One last year, wasn't so awesome. The one soon after my parents split was horrible and I opted to be the gal to show up to work A&F all day and night just to avoid the awkwardness. There was the one when my Grandmother said something rude to me about my mother. (This was post divorce.) It hurt so bad and the turkey tasted different from then on. It is amazing how dark events can almost completely overshadow good. I thought this Thanksgiving would be spent in mourning, grieving. I thought it would be a dark sad day.

So when people ask, "Did you have a good Thanksgiving?"

I want to scream, "HELL YEAH I DID!"

It was one of the best ever. It was a Thanksgiving that felt new. It felt like a gift.

It WAS a gift!

As Matt and I were getting ready to leave the house for his parent's, I said, "You realize your Dad shouldn't be here today?"
"Yep."

I will treasure these two days in November for the rest of my life.

Pretty sure each person in that house, above the age of 18, will treasure this Thanksgiving for the rest of their life.

What will Christmas look like? I have no idea. I DO KNOW, don't take for granted those gathered around the table. Reality is, no one in my family thought my FIL would be here. The humbling truth is that any one of us could be the empty plate for the next family gathering.

By the way, I hugged 5 people over this holiday. Well, 6 if you count a friend that 'hug greeted' me at church this morning.... I'm sure there were some rogue hugs in there somewhere.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

People often ask if I am ready for Thanksgiving or if we have plans...
Four years ago, this was the Knox crew.



We now have 1 more grandkid, 1 in college, nearly all 15 in school, job changes, lots of Tooth Fairy visits aaaaand cancer. A lot can change in four seemingly simple years.

This year, when you expected an empty plate at the table and now that plate will hold food? You are READY for Thanksgiving and your plans are SIMPLE.

Who am i kidding, our plans are simple every year but this year will be a lot of attempting to imprint memories on our hearts.

When my kids were little, I would go in their rooms and watch them sleep. I would sit there and stare in an effort save those moments in my heart, my soul.

It is so hard and even as I type this, I can't truly 'feel' that feeling I felt in those late hours staring at my kids. It is like a breath-taking sunset, your heart sings in the moment but once the sun sets, you can't remember exactly what the sunset looked like, only that it was amazing & your heart was incredibly happy and at peace.

The Knox crew will gather on Friday, hold hands and I will overcome my dislike for holding clammy kid hands(for this moment) to pray and sing,
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below, Praise him above ye heavenly host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen"
I will eat lots of food.
I will listen to the men and kids play moon.
I will watch my family like a sunset and pray it imprints on my heart forever.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Orphan Sunday

Today was Orphan Sunday at church.

This means we have been with Jenks First Baptist for one year! 

Sitting there, listening to the pastor and thinking how this time last year we were working through our foster care classes. 

As the year ends, we will have had two kiddos in our house since we joined Jenks FBC. 

One thing struck me though, that needs to be pointed out in a weekend geared mainly to adoption...

Not all kids need adopting. 

But all kids need love, support & safety. 

Adoption isn't something we have felt called to do. Maybe one day but I haven't been told to do that yet. We may never be called to adopt a child but I know for sure our hearts are called to reunify families. Just because a child is in foster care doesn't mean he/she needs saving, it means he/she just needs help while their 'people' get help or work a program. Sure, some in foster care do indeed need a forever home!!

I don't know... I just don't want people to think all kids in care need to take your last name. 

Standing at the table in the lobby with my friends that have adopted.. there were 3 of them and between them, they have adopted 9 kids. 

Maybe you don't feel that tug to adopt but you feel that urge to give kids a safe place and a warm bed and food for a period of time. THAT is needed TOO!! 

I was sitting in church, wanting to yell to everyone that there is another way to help kids in crisis. It takes those called to adopt and those called to reunify. It takes those praying and those that can run errands. It takes the church. The church once had a roll in taking care of orphans. We need to return to that.

This started as a FB post so forgive the lack of structure. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Update

"How is your Father-In-Law?" I have been asked this question a few times lately.

I apologize for not updating sooner!

As I've said, at least I think I said, I got word of my FIL's illness while Matt was in Kenya. It was Day 5 of him being gone. Five days left on his trip. I can't even begin to tell you how hard it was to get that news and Matt not be here to tell let alone cry with.

I remember worrying that Matt might not make it back in time to see his Dad one last time this side of Heaven. He wasn't aware of the seriousness of his father's health. When Matt left, his Dad had not been feeling well but that was about the extent of it. Things went downhill fast while Matt was away.

Matt got home September 25 and I believed we had very little time.

So, how is my FIL doing?

He went from unable to stay awake for extended periods of time to mowing the church lawn this past weekend.

A miracle. Truly.

"Teach me to number my days that I may gain a heart of wisdom." Ps. 90:12

In my weekly Bible study at the Kirk, we are going over the life of David in 1 & 2 Samuel and the Psalms. Love how God meets you where you are when you need Him to be. This study has been incredibly fitting for our life right now.

My FIL is a an amazing man. His son is just like him. Determined. Calm. Peace that passes all understanding. Gentle. Patient. They don't get flustered. They trust in Jesus wholeheartedly.

Keep praying for our days to be multiplied!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Live With Purpose

Every encounter Jesus had, he had it with purpose.

His purpose.

This has struck me as something I think most of us wish we did more often.

In a random series of events one day last week, I had lunch with the President/CEO of Fine Airport Parking. He began to tell his story. A midst the chatter at the table, I hung on every word. If you want to be great, you learn from the great.

I didn't have much time but I knew I wanted to ask one question. I had purpose, a goal in the brief time I had.

I've been fortunate enough to spend some time with my father in law in the past week. I listen to him talk to his son, his grandkids and wife. He is the one person that will talk theology with me. I'm gonna miss that. The time spent with him is a treasure. A true treasure. I don't know how to emphasize that enough.

There is purpose. There is intent. There is 'the knowing' that this meeting could be the last.

The stuff with my FIL has been life altering, heart changing and focus shifting. I'm grateful to those that have walked the path before us & brought us comfort.

I'm not sure any of this makes sense. The journey thus far has been so mind blowing that it can be hard to absorb, and even for ME to put into words, but I am trying to be mindful of His nearness,

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." -Psalm 34:18

Live with Purpose.