Foster Parent Prayers Day 5

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 When I was an adolescent in foster care, I remember thinking that God had abandoned me. That if He loved me and cared for me like I had heard He did, I wouldn't be in foster care, separated from my brothers and feeling utterly alone. I gave up on God for several years and it took several more years after He found me again to understand and accept that He had not abandoned me to my circumstances but rather was there with me all along. Many of the foster children that have entered our home have done so feeling a similar way toward God that I did all those years ago. "Some help God is" or "I don't want anything to do with a God that would … [Read more...]

Foster Parent Prayers Day 3

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1-2 I have discovered there is a lot of worry that can accompany the foster care journey. Our kids come to us with sad and sometimes scary stories. Sometimes they are reunited before we think they are (or their bio family) ready. Sometimes a judge orders contact with a parent that hurt them physically. Sometimes they are exposed to domestic violence. Sometimes-- heck, most times-- we don't get much of a say for their safety or well being outside of the walls of our home. I have also discovered that worrying and fretting doesn't serve a purpose other than to work me up and stress me out. A wise friend reminds me frequently that fear and faith can't co-exist. So, the next time you are worried … [Read more...]

What it means to be Pro-Life

A few weeks ago I attended a baby shower. The church was decorated adorably (pink, purple and zebra print) to celebrate the impending arrival of a little baby girl. Twenty women arrived with yummy treats to share. The gift table was full to overflowing and we played the traditional baby shower games. It was a fun afternoon. But, the thing that made it special to me was the fact that, for most of the women in attendance, the mom-to be was a complete stranger. My friend, Karen, had created an afternoon full of love and celebration for someone that we hardly knew. She invited and women came! They came to love on an unwed mama, down on her luck, who is set to deliver a sweet babe in a few weeks. I can't think of a better way to illustrate Christ's love. This mama to be was showered with … [Read more...]

Taming the Temper

I am into round 2 of raising up littles. My four are grown (24, 22, 19 and 18) and we currently have a 10 year old foster daughter and 5 yr old and 2 yr old grandkiddos under our roof. In a lot of ways, I am WAY more laid back and relaxed this go round. But, I have to admit that, more often than I would like, my temper gets the best of me and I react instead of respond to these crazy kids. I could make excuses for that (the sheer amount of words the 5 year old uses in a given day is enough to drive anyone to lose their ever lovin' mind, I promise you) but I don't want to. I want to change it. I don't want to wound them with my tone and my words. I want to pour love into them in every interaction. And, God laid on my heart to work on this very thing this Lenten season. Negativity, … [Read more...]

My Real Children

One of the questions that annoys me {and many other adoptive parents. I'm sure} is "are you her real mother?" Or, even better, "are they real brothers?" Really? They share the same parents and the same last name, what do you think? For the record, real moms come in a variety of packages.  Some carry their babies for nine months, only to make the brave choice that the best way they can parent is to let someone else parent their child.  Some travel thousands of miles to the other side of the world to bring home a child from an impoverished, desperate situation and literally love them to life.  Still others provide homes for children temporarily, until the child's parents begin to make better choices or an adoptive family is found.  Many feel called to parent older children, about to … [Read more...]

When Parenting Teens and Young Adults is Hard

Wouldn't it be nice if our kids could look at the replay of our lives and consider our mistakes a lesson learned on their behalf, thus saving themselves from anguish and heartache? If you read here regularly, you know I write a monthly column for The M.O.B Society, a popular website just for mama's of boys.  As a writing team we try to watch the Facebook page and give advice and insight when we can to questions that moms post there.  Yesterday, a mom posed a question about her 14 year old questioning his relationship with God and not wanting to go to church.  I've been down that road once or twice with my kids and quickly typed out a response for this mama that went something like this: One of my boys was 14 when he went through this same type of issue. I was so scared and sad but our … [Read more...]

Dear Weary Mom: The days go by so fast

I texted him at 9pm "This time 17 years ago you were 45 minutes old :) Love you so much!" How does seventeen years go by in the blink of an eye? How do you put the brakes on this growing up and becoming a man thing that is happening before your eyes?  How do you look up into the eyes of the baby that is taller than you and not want to press rewind to the days when he sat in your lap asking you to "read it gen, mama" or when he would fall asleep on your shoulder with a strand of your hair wrapped in his chubby hand so he would be instantly alerted when you tried to lay him in his crib? I know that when you are in the throes of temper tantrums, runny noses and sleepless nights that it is hard to imagine ever wishing every.single.one of those days back again.  Believe me, I … [Read more...]

Sometimes there’s just not a Mother’s Day card that fits

Maybe you stand in the greeting card aisle, putting cards back one by one because you can't find one that says what you need it to. There isn't a Hallmark card that says "it's okay. You did the best you could and I turned out just fine", now is there? Maybe it's not that you don't want to acknowledge the holiday or let your mom know that you love her, you just want a card that doesn't feel dishonest and phony.  For those of you who have stood awkwardly in the greeting card section of the local supercenter, this post is for you. Because some of us have mom shaped holes in our heart.  And there is no day that makes those places ache like Mother's Day. To be a mother is to put your child's needs above your own.  Sometimes, for various reasons,  mothers are unable or unwilling … [Read more...]

Loosening My Grip

Sometimes, when I am quiet in this space, it becomes increasingly intimidating to return. Is anyone reading here still?  And the haunting question always lurking in this writers mind-- do I have anything important to say? But God, sweet friends! He just doesn't give up on this pen to paper call He has placed in my heart.  So, I write again. Life has been challenging so far this year.  I am learning to parent palms up--letting go as my children learn to navigate this world on their own.  I never imagined watching my children stumble could hurt so much.  Gone are the days of brushing off skinned knees and bandaging boo-boos.  Two of my children are actually grown-ups now and two are quickly nearing the end of their childhood years. We had to carry out some tough love with one … [Read more...]

For your desperate mama moments

Three kids six and under and a mama all with the chicken pox.  It is NOT my fondest mama memory.  Oatmeal baths and whining {mostly from me} and calamine lotion and whining and scratching and reminding not to scratch.  The worst was being cooped up in the house for a week. There was a knock at my door, thirteen years ago, when I was speckled with calamine lotion and red-eyed from crying the "why-me's".  A sweet friend from our playgroup had dropped off all the chicken pox and stuck-in-the-house supplies a girl could ask for.  Board games, library books, Aveeno cream...you name it, she brought it. She left it on my porch with a sweet, encouraging note. Suddenly I didn't feel as desperate anymore.  I knew I wasn't alone, no matter how alone I felt in that moment.   Moments … [Read more...]

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