Foster Parent Prayer for May 8

It was a long weekend at Casa Smallwood. I wasn't able to post prayers on Saturday or Sunday because I was dealing with a situation with one of my kids. That situation led me to this prayer for today (I had it scheduled for later in the month but I myself need to pray it today).   The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. Isaiah 50:4 These kids have seen things they shouldn't have, had things done to them that shouldn't have been done, been exposed to situations their little hearts and minds weren't ready for and had their hearts broken by the people that are supposed to love and protect them. Heartache has one cure and that is the everlasting love … [Read more...]

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 4

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8 Sleep doesn't always come easy for children in foster care. That should really come as no surprise given how chaotic their lives have been before they come to us, but it doesn't make it any easier for foster parents to handle. Insomnia, interrupted sleep, nightmares and night terrors are just a few of the issues our kids face.Tired foster parents and tired kids end up creating a recipe for crankiness and hurt feelings. Some things that have worked for us include consistent bedtime routines, limiting screen time before bed, weighted blankets and night lights. What has helped you when your foster kiddos have trouble with sleep?   Follow along for the month of May as we post … [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...]

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...]

Homecoming

We don't always realize how beautiful the tapestry of our life is turning out to be.  We get caught up in the busy of everyday life and fail to take note of the extraordinary way He weaves things together.  Friends, even when life doesn't make sense or you are left wondering why God lays something on your heart but doesn't explain His plan, trust that He has a purpose for ALL things in our lives.  Seeing those things come to fruition is truly a beautiful thing. I have always had a special place in my heart for children with special needs, specifically Down Syndrome.   I worked as a case manager for children with developmental disablities back in 2007 and LOVED it.  Many of you that read here know I advocate for Reece's Rainbow, an agency that assists in the adoption of children with … [Read more...]

God is Bigger Than Statistics and How We Feel

Sometimes the number of orphans across the world can leave me feeling helpless and useless. Sometimes the cost of adoption can make families afraid to even begin the process. Sometimes parenting the children I already have {and failing miserably on a daily basis} makes me think I must be certifiable to consider adding more to our family. And, sometimes I find a Scripture or an inspiring story or a video like this that reminds me that one person, one family can make a difference to one child. And even if we only ever help one, that one matters to God. What did this video say to you? … [Read more...]

The least of these

I have much to write about and tell you. Yet, when I sit here all I can think about are the 143 million+ orphans around the world that need forever families.  The over 1/2 million kids in the US foster care system that need their families loved on and repaired.  The over 100,000 that can't go back home and need new families to step up and love them, despite their tough exteriors.  The teen mom's that I serve on a daily basis that need mentors to help them become the best mothers they can be.  The medically fragile children that lay dying in orphanages. The children that go to bed hungry in our country and abroad.  The 30,000 kids that die every day of preventable, treatable illnesses. My heart bleeds.  My eyes leak. The Bible makes it very clear that these children are precious to the … [Read more...]

God is still in the miracle business

RAD ODD PTSD "We are absolutely amazed that you have stuck with him this long" "It would be completely understood if you walked away from this child right now" Those were some of the labels and statements made to my husband and I, by social workers, psychiatrists and therapists, over the last 12 years of raising Jason. "He is incapable of feeling empathy" "He will never be the child you think he can be" When you hear those things on a regular basis and life at home is full of violent confrontations, rejection and despair--you can be tempted to believe it.  I fought hard {in my flesh} against the constant temptation to throw in the towel. In 2006, I learned one of the most horrific things about my son that any mother can imagine.  I sunk deep into a hole of self-pity, defeat and did … [Read more...]

The Least of These

***Update:  I found out today that Reece's Rainbow has over half a million dollars waiting to help families adopt these precious children.  Please pray over this wonderful ministry and if there is room in your heart for a beautiful child, visit Reece's Rainbow today!*** Driving on curvy mountain roads Admiring the snow blanketing the landscape Remembering why I love living in West Virginia Miss S and I pull into a quaint little town, a tad over an hour from our home, as we do at least one time a month. We find the little sign that indicates we have reached our destination We gather a birthday present, Sweet Pea and her diaper bag and of course, the camera. And we go see Mr S. He turns 10 years old tomorrow.  He has a smile that lights up a room {I wish that I could show it to you}  … [Read more...]

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