Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Break our hearts for what breaks yours.....

I feel I need a disclaimer on this post (never good huh)....I am not a huge animal person.  There I said it.  We have a dog that I enjoy, but she isn't my pride and joy.  Quite honestly, most of the times we are about to walk out the door for a weekend away and one of us says...."oh crud, what about Bella?"  Now, don't get me wrong, I will be sad when Bella "passes" (J.O. won't let me say dies), but I will be the ones consoling J. O. and the kids.  Truth here people.

I will also say, I do realize I am in the minority.  Animals have taken on people status and often dress and eat better than I do.

And that's what has me thinking about this.  There is nothing that people love more than a good animal story.  You know what I mean...if you are "friends" with the news stations on Facebook you have undoubtedly seen the animal stories that are shared and liked thousands of times.  Just a few weeks ago, Good Morning America put a story up about an orphaned animal that was taken in by someone and raised.  I didn't read the story, but from the amount of likes and shares it received, it was no doubt a fan favorite.

And why not?  That story made us feel good.  An animal was abandoned and someone saw the need and responded.  Fairy tale.  Pay attention to your major news stories on Facebook.  I am not talking about local news sources, but national.  They are either about Ebola or animals.

Truthfully, these stories make me kinda sad.  We are a society that loves our animal stories, but won't share pictures of kids looking for families or the harsh reality of foster care.  We are a society that wants to hear all the feel good messages the world has to offer, but we won't share what is going on right under our noses.

This morning, there was a story I shared on FB and it was not a feel good story at all.  In fact, it was pretty morbid and I debated sharing it because it was a hard truth.  It was about a boy who had languished in the system since early childhood and was murdered over a petty argument at age 18.  Never adopted, never in a stable foster home, picture undoubtedly never shared tons of times.

I might be in the minority by saying this, but I actually think God is working big in the hearts of people in Pulaski County and surrounding areas.  I am surrounded by a community of friends who foster and look like I do.  What does that mean?  That means, they are young busy moms just like me and you.  Then, I also have extended family who help and love Anna and Abby like their own and have from day one.  They attend fundraisers and help raise awareness.  Then, I also have a church family who will get involved and are hungry to learn more.

God is moving in Pulaski County on behalf of these kids.  I love the song that says, "Break my heart for what breaks yours."  What breaks God's heart are children living outside of a family, the poor, the homeless, the widows, and so much more.

While, I agree that animals are fun and cute, let's pray that our society would be so burdened when they see a foster care story.  Or an orphans face.  Or when they read about a teenager never giving up hope they will be adopted one day.  Lets pray that their story is shared nationally and will receive just as much attention as the dog who dressed up for Halloween.

Friday, October 17, 2014

What's Next.....

It has been awhile since I blogged.  I would love to give some great excuse but the truth is, I just haven't had anything to really write about.

I have had a lot of people ask me what we plan to do after the adoption.  They want to know if we still plan to foster or not.  The truth is, I am not sure what we plan to do at all.  I know right now, we have our hands full.  We have 4 demanding children that take a lot of our time.  I know that right now, if we brought another child into our home we would not be able to handle it.  I also know there are amazing moms out there who think 4 kids is child's play, but I am not one of them.  Just reality around this house.

To be honest, I haven't handled this reality of the unknown future with fostering too well.  I love the girls so much, but I have to admit, I've been unsure why God is taking us down the adoption road.  You can't know our story and deny it was 100% orchestrated.  But, it's not the story I had mapped out for us. 

Our story was going to go more like this....We would get tons of kids in and out of our house, we would take all their pictures, record the dates we had them, and 10 years from now look back on all the little lives we had influenced.  The reality of our story is more like this......we have been open for 1 1/2 years and have had two placements.  Baby B and the girls.  Two.  Far cry from the tons in my head.

So what is our plan?  What do we plan to do?  Our resource worker asked me that again today and I just said I don't know?  We were undoubtedly brought down this path for the girls and their family but what is next?  I just don't know.

So that's why I haven't blogged.  That's why I haven't had much to say.  There have been no court dates, no visits with mom, nothing to really share and put down on paper.  And that scares me....not because I have this desire to blog daily about drama.  Not at all.  But it's because God so pointedly changed my path mid walk and I am just simply confused on where to go next.  How will I be used in the future to continue to help these children?  Respite? Emergency Care?  I really don't know.  

However, I could have never imagined that this time last year, on the eve of my birthday and the first weekend baby B spent with his relatives, that we would be where we are.  That we would be working with an adoption specialist instead of a caseworker, that we would be discussing with our resource worker our plans after the adoption is final, that we would be looking at doing respite after only having two placements, and so forth and so forth.

But what I do know is that God promises, "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us"  Ephesians 3:20

For that I am grateful.  I know that even though I have no idea what my next step is, that it will be exceedingly and abundantly better than anything I could have planned.