Sunday, March 18, 2018


Many years ago, when I had 2 foster kids ages 3-4, I got another sibling set ages 3-4. The first sibling set was available for adoption, which was so exciting for me. Then the caseworkers asked if I would be willing to consider adopting the other sibling set, should they come up for adoption. I said, no way! There was no way I could raise them, especially once they are teens. So no, I was not willing to adopt all 4.

Yet somehow, by the Grace of God, I was blessed by the adoption of all 4 kids, and now they are 12--13 yrs old and I love them dearly..

Deep down, I have always been afraid of raising teenagers. My own teen years were very turbulent. Suddenly I have 2 teens and 2 on the cusp of teendom.

I am getting a crash course on teenagers. It's not just one, but 4. When I have one figured out the other one jumps in with drama. Add in early childhood trauma, the "hard places" these kids have survived and we have interesting dynamics.

On a positive note, they are really really awesome kids. They are fun, loving, kind, sweet, hard working, respectful kids. I get many compliments on their respectful attitudes and their maturity.

I love having peace and calm, I like being in control of my life. Having this crew means,lots of chaos, lots of wild energy, lots of illogical drama, lots of silly laughter and lots of letting go.

I firmly believe in co parenting with God. God is the Father of the Fatherless. The only way I will survive the next 5-6 years is by HIS grace and mercy.  Recently he impressed on my heart that something was not right in my house. I spend a good bit of time in prayer, some electronic fasting, just seeking Him, trying to find answers.

He revealed the sin to me on Friday.  I did some praying. My initial reaction was to flip out, to completely cut off things, to shut down, to put my foot down.. but God.. My goal is to be a Holy Spirit Parent. I want to respond not react to my children.

So I waited and I prayed. God revealed His plan for me. See, one my kids had used to internet to search for things. Things that were not edifying or upbuilding.

So God led me to this website, it had great resources, for kids, for parents, and it showed people who had recovered from a lifetime of addiction and sin. It was great. I spend a couple hours, praying, seeking God and putting together a little "presentation".

I called a family meeting and presented my presentation. It was a really neat God experience, but reality is deep down in my soul, there is this fear. What if I mess up this thing called parenting, what if these kids who have only been with me for such a  short time, don't have enough of a foundation to withstand the temptations of the world?

I need to let go, I need to find the balance of losing the reins and pulling them back in when they need. This si HARD for me. So hard. I want to control and carefully build this sheltered world, where my children can only be ok. But.. they need to fail, they need to mess up, they need to feel the sting of sin in order to learn to stand strong.

Another one of my children is struggling, they don't like my rules, my boundaries and my parenting style. It has been a bit of a bumpy road lately. On Saturday, after the family meeting where I shared my presentation, I prayed and prayed. God help me lead these kids to you.

I had to run to pick up my Zaycon chicken, in town about 30 minutes away. So I asked my daughter to join me. She was not happy with me. But when we got in the van, the local christian talk radio station was on. I rarely have it on in the van. But it happened to be on, and the lady on the show was talking about relationships between girls and their families.  We listened for 20 minutes. AT the end I looked at my daughter and we both burst into laughter.  I told my daughter "That was from your daddy Jesus, just for you and I".  God cares about every moment of our lives. He speaks through many things.

I took a 2 mile walk with my walking buddy last night. I vented to her, she is an adoptive mom too. She understands my fears. I love that God has placed her in my life for such a time as this.

This morning, at church, the message was again a confirmation.  This was our conversation on the way home.
Son #2: Mom, Pastor A preached on the very thing you talked about yesterday!
Me: yup, God is trying to tell us something.
Son #1 Well, Pastor A did a much better job then you did mom!
Me: He is a Pastor, what do you expect?!
Both boys: His message wasn't nearly as embarrassing as your presentation!
Me: But he validated what I said, and that is all that matters.

I have spend a lot of time in the last week, praying, seeking God, asking him how to parent these kids. Surrending my will, knowing that I can not control their futures. I can not live in fear. They are truly good kids and they are fun to be around, I can not live in fear of losing this. I must trust that God holds them in his hand. I must let them live out the story that God has written for them, EVEN if that means they suffer pain and heartache.

This weekend I am reminded again, when I feel inadequate. When I am terrified of raising teens, when I have no clue how on earth I will parent these kids. That God is faithful, He is true and He is the pilot, I am merely along for the ride.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My Miracle Girl

This girl is rocking and rolling. She is making new friends, growing in many ways and doing so many new things.
We got this awesome stander right at Christmas time. She loves loves being upright and moving. This is the perfect piece of equipment for her.

It took a good bit of begging and pleading before the insurance company and the therapist agreed to fund it for us. But we got it accomplished. She rolls all around the house in this thing!

This past summer, I started praying for an ipad. I really felt like ti would be beneficial to Nesiah. I prayed and sought out different options. There was really no funding available anywhere. A $500 ipad was not in the budget.. Long story short, a friend from the past and her husband blessed us with this amazing ipad. free. completely free gift. It has been life changing for Nesiah.
It has improved her tracking and vision abilities. She loves to listen to music on it too. It also has helped her interact with people around her, because it is HER ipad, the kids have to play with it by her and with her. So it is a social interaction tool.

Nesiah loves worship music. She is learning to communicate. She has started demanding that I let her stand with me during worship time at church.
She lets us know when she is hungry, sad or wants a cuddle.  She loves to be in the kitchen with me when I am cooking etc.

For this season of life, God has blessed me with several great respite providers AND finally after several years of fighting,I have been approved for respite funding.  A young woman from our church comes once a week for 4 hrs, another lady comes when I need extra help on some days, and yet another friend loves to have Nesiah over to their house. She loves each of these caregivers and they are all people who truly enjoy her. I am able to attend youth events, church events and take my big kids out to do things I otherwise would not be able to.

Last but not least, I was just invited to take my daughters to a dance class on Sunday evenings. Not just any dance class.. but a dance class where the instructor is a dance THERAPIST! I am so excited to see how this will work for Nesiah. She loves music and I am sure she will love to dance!

The biggest health concern she currently has are her seizures. They seem to be hormone related, and cycle monthly. They are not fun for her and scary for us. We pray that she would soon outgrow them.

I love how God has provided each of the things Nesiah needs at just the right time! I love how He cares for every little detail of her life.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Ministering to Good Kids...

This is going to be a bit of a random post, with info that has been rolling around my brain for some time now. Thoughts I have mulled over and wrestled over for years.

Why is it that in christian circles so many people are willing to minister and serve the kids in the community, the unchurched kids, the teens in prisons, and the under privileged kids, but they are not willing to reach out to the churched, the good kids who are in need of role models?

Now, please don't misunderstand me. There is a huge need for all of the above. Those kids need so many strong role models and they NEED the church. But.. so often there are those within the church who are overlooked.

I have prayed for years and years for male role models for my kids. We had a great system for a 2 short years, but when we came to a crossroads, they went one way, we went another. That was really devastating for my children and has left them with more issues.

So I decided a long time ago that fighting and begging for mentors is not the answer, I do not want to force anyone to spend time with my kids. My kids are sensitive to that. They don't like being a ministry project. They just really want grandpa/uncle like people, and I want them to have men in their lives they can learn from.

I have gone to great length to teach my kids all the typical dad things, I taught them to throw a ball, to play baseball, to climb trees, I wrestle with them, I teach them how to run a  farm, build things, fix things and just about everything a man can do. Thing is these skills are great, but now my daughters are learning my extremely independent nature and not seeing the value of good men. How will that impact them in the future?
I watch my friends' husbands and learn from them, I let things go that drive me crazy, because I am told dads do that kind of thing. I work hard at demanding respect from my children (and respecting them too).

I asked my girls the other day, what do you think it would be like to have a dad?  My girls informed me that girls don't need dads Only boys do... Now, I realize that this has been the way I have modeled life for them. I am thankful for new good friends who have strong dads who can model a good father daughter relationship! Because I obviously missed the boat on that one.

 So I have mulled over this for years.. why do people willingly make time to go into prisons, to minister at youth centers, to go into the inner cities, but no one can take the time to throw a ball with my sons (or the sons of all my single mom /widow/divorced friends)? ( I am not judging here, just observing)

I realized that our culture has made it a noble ministry to serve the unchurched and the unbeliever. However the single mom, ESPECIALLY the adoptive single mom, has chosen to parent these kids, so it's their problem. People think "well you shouldn't have adopted those kids if you can not provide everything for them". It is not a ministry, it's not as noble to go help the good christian kids who seem to have it all together. Taking off work to go serve at a facility is considered great, taking off work to work alongside a "good" young man seems not worth the bother.

My friend (also a single mom) and I had a conversation recently. She has 2 foster kiddoes, and she is ministering to 2 young girls from two seperate "good" families. She was struggling with the question of "do I release these girls and go back into foster care or do I not take more foster kids so I can continue to minister to these girls from "good" homes". It is a question that I have struggled with as well, so we had some interesting conversations. It is easy for me to become discontent when I am babysitting for a mom who just needs a break. It is easy for me to think that babysitting for kids from a troubled home is more noble. Why? I realized that my own attitude needs adjusting..

What many people don't realize is that  boys without involved male relatives see christian men as "out there", they feel unworthy of their time and attention. They are not learning what a good marriage looks like, and they are not learning how Godly men do life. They are not learning to identify with christian men.

What people don't realize is that girls in a home without a father or involved males relatives, need to find healthy male role models too.

It doesn't take special men, every day men can be heroes. It does not mean taking them out to do all kinds of wonderful fun things. Its the little things, the everyday things, the showing interest in them and their lives, the working alongside them, just everyday stuff.

We have been blessed over the past year, there have been several men in our lives who have stepped up. One is our neighbor, landlord, my friend's husband. He is a not one to fuss, or make a big deal, he just includes my boys when he takes his boys to do stuff. His quiet ways make an impact. He took them fishing, he got them to help him build a tree house, and he took them hunting.
Another is another neighbor, 2 men, whom my oldest son works with. They are teaching him how to do farm work, they are pulling in his interests and teaching, investing and working him. It's not any big deal stuff, it's little everyday things. He struggles to trust men, he doesn't like a fuss, but these 2 men have done much for him in the past several months in quiet, unassuming ways.  It has changed his personality for the good. It has been such a huge huge gift for him.
Today my second son was dropped off to help an older man, he was planning to work alongside this man. I asked this man to give him a chance, to work alongside him, to let him have that experience of working with a man. Of all my children, he needs this most. He struggles the most with wanting a man to look up to. I am beyond grateful that this man was willing to give him time this afternoon.

I have learned to ask for these things, tho it is hard for me. Time is valuable to people and very few people wish to sacrifice their time, they willingly give their money, but time is valuable.. often to valuable to be spend working alongside young men.  For that reason, I am thankful for the people who have taken time for my boys.

I am going to wrap this up with this.. if you happen to know a young man or woman who does not have a good strong father/grandpa relationship, take time to say hi, to talk to them, to reach out to them. Do not be offended if they rebuff you at first, often they struggle with knowing how to relate, but it is important that they learn. Their eternal future may be changed by your simple kindness.