Tonight, I am just struggling a little. So, if you do not wish to read whining, have a good night. I will not be offended if you do not finish past this line.
I just feel lonely tonight.
Yes, I am surrounded by a wonderful husband and 6 amazing children, but today I feel alone. We may as well be on an island somewhere, alone.
When you have more than the average quota of children, the invitations stop coming. I was standing in the back of a very large room watching packs of people congregate together and talk…..and I realized:
I don’t have a pack anymore.
I didn’t have friends gathering around me asking about the kids, how are things around the house, how has your week been, would you like to go to lunch together? Wanna come hang out? Are you busy this week, let’s have dinner sometime this week, Tuesday work for you guys? How is the adoption going?
Maybe people are getting tired of hearing about it. Maybe I’m not as fun and nice as I think I am.
Let me reiterate: fostering is NOT easy. It’s really tough some days, and it makes it even harder when few people stop to ask how we are doing. If we needed anything. Can I just pray with you?
Today, I would have jumped at the chance to have someone pray with me.
I’m not going to lie though, I would have blubbered all over the place. Today was not a pretty day for me.
I have no pack….I have no group of supportive friends that are close enough to me to say these things in real life. I have no one to cry and say “I feel ALONE serving God.” No one seems to understand what we are doing….or even WHY we are doing it.
We are fostering out of OBEDIENCE to God’s call. THIS is our Mission field.
We are not doing this to add children to our family, we are doing this because God has instructed us to, and we are being obedient.
And this Mission field is turning out to be a life-long commitment we have said YES to!
And there isn’t any furloughs in this or a retiring age.
Most people say to our faces that we are crazy. We’ve even had someone we’ve known for years say the words, “You aren’t actually adopting THOSE children though are you?” No, we thought we’d put a slice of bread in their pockets and pin a note to their shirt: FREE TO GOOD HOME. Let me educate you a little:
When you love God, and you pursue a relationship with Him that is strong and REAL, when He tells you to do something:
YOU DO IT.
For the last few months, my prayer has been for a “pack”. I need some good people in real life to surround us and love on us and encourage us. I need some close people I can be totally honest with, and say I need help. I need a hug. I need a night out. I need prayer. I need prayer WITH me. I need a shoulder to cry on. I need people who, without even being asked, they will stand up under us and hold our arms up when we just cannot go on anymore. Those that I thought would do it, haven’t, and that’s painful. It hurts my heart.
My husband thinks I’m just being too needy and expecting too much out of others. “Those that don’t understand what we are doing, are just spiritually stunted” he says. “They won’t understand until they understand God.” And trying to explain it to them is like the verse in Matthew 7:
Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.
Well, I’m hoping it isn’t like that….
But in the meantime, would you pray for me? I’m a social person and I hate feeling alone. If nothing else, ask God to pull my head out for me if I’m being dumb. I’m a big enough girl to take the rebuke. But either way, just pray for me. I have some worries and concerns and I could use the prayer for us.
This letter is hard to write. It confuses me. I have mixed emotions and I am not sure how to deal with them. So, please excuse any rambling….they come from a perplexed brain.
I realize that you are where you are supposed to be: jail. I realize that everyone has consequences for their actions, whether by law or by nature.
You tried to kill your baby.
That is a very hard reality for my mother’s heart to understand and a very hard truth for my brain to come to terms with. In my “reality” bad things don’t happen, all mommies love their babies, and daddies are present to raise their children.
Fostering has permanently changed that for me.
But, hearing that you had finally been arrested and you were currently sitting in jail waiting your arraignment (or whatever it is they do) to finally pay for your terrible actions against this beautiful baby that I love so much…..
I felt sadness.
I don’t think I was prepared for that. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t gleeful at the thought of you “rotting in jail”, I was sad for you. I felt compassion for you.
And I can’t understand it. It confuses me.
Normally, when bad things happen to bad people, I rejoice with it. I know that isn’t very nice, but I do. When Donald Trump claimed bankruptcy, I laughed. When Jeffrey Dahmer was killed in prison by another inmate, I giggled. Yes, it’s wrong of me, I know. But I didn’t feel that this time.
I feel strangely drawn to you.
I want to go to the jail to meet you. I want to sit across from you and ask you a million questions. I want to show you pictures of your children, tell you how much they have changed, and share all the fun things we’ve experienced together.
But above all, I want to share Christ with you.
I have this overwhelming need for you to know Christ. Even if it isn’t me that gets to share Him with you, I want you to know Him. I want you to know Him the way I know Him! And I’m so grateful to have a friend that is sending you a Bible. That is so important to me right now.
And no one seems to understand this craziness that has suddenly overtaken me. My family thinks I’ve gone insane. I have compassion and a strong desire for you to know Christ. You, the one that tried to murder your baby, need to know Christ. Me, the one that normally would wish terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things for you….
…is praying for you.
I am not praying BABY KILLER be tattooed across your forehead. I am not praying to meet you down some dark alley. I am not praying for fellow inmates to murder you in jail. And I’m not praying for you to spontaneously combust.
I am praying for you to meet Christ.
I am praying for your life to be truly changed by Him. I am praying that one day, if your children get to see you again, they will see Christ in you.
I am not threatened by you, I am not afraid your children will love you more than me, and I’m not afraid you will ever get your children back.
I’m afraid for you to live the rest of your life the way you have been living.
I do desire for justice to be done. I desire for you to have to serve time for the consequences of your actions. It is how we learn. And how our society works and functions. It’s how we keep our community and our children safe. And why I want you to meet Christ. It may be the only way you can change. What you did was pretty shocking and an image I can never get out of my head. It still brings tears to my eyes and makes me snuggle him just a little longer. So He is truly the only One that can change you. And why I pray for you.
It’s strange really, but I suppose this is the work of Christ in me. Maybe I am bearing much fruit. Maybe this is the overflow of the Holy Spirit working and moving in my own life, that I can have compassion on you.
The soon-to-be Real Mom.
I had a wonderful conversation today with a lady I have never met before, but their Foster Ministry at their church would like to match a member of their church with our family to help in any way we need.
Wait…..a complete stranger, from a church I’ve only visited once a long time ago, wants to help us?
I am telling you, the things that God has allowed to happen for us and the people that He has led to us has seriously blown my mind. Never in a million years would I have imagined total strangers would be led to MY family, to help us.
I have been told several times:
“God led me to your family”
“I think God wants me to talk to you.”
“God wants us to do …..”
I’m not a person that really stands out. I’m not in any popular crowd. I’m not even a little bit cool. I’m not attractive at all. I’m “just a mom”, not one that many people would look twice at or go out of their way to talk to. I’m not trying to be morose, I’m just old enough now to know the way of things.
But it’s Christ working in me and my family that has led these people to us.
(I hope they aren’t disappointed. LOL)
Anyway, during this conversation with this wonderfully sweet lady, we discussed the MISSION of fostering.
The MISSION of fostering.
Most people and most churches don’t view fostering children as a MISSION. Foster parents have gotten a bad reputation for many years because of bad foster parents. Those that do it for ALL the wrong reasons (money, martyrdom, etc) have made it look bad.
But God is sending in MISSIONARIES to do His work!
No, most of us don’t have to leave our homes and travel some place that requires a pass port. But not all mission trips require that.
Our family, for instance, did NOT go into this to gain more children. We did not go into this as a job opportunity to make money. And we did NOT go into this to make our family look like really good people. (We’re really good people all by ourselves. The “cool” people just WISH we’d hang out with them. BAHAHAHAHA) Sorry, I have to crack myself up.
Anyway, God called us to do this. He called us into the Mission field of Fostering children. Caring for His orphans. We work everyday to better the lives of 3 children. We work everyday to ensure they know and love God. We work everyday so that these 3 foster children God has placed in our home KNOW they are safe, loved and wanted. Some days are not pretty. Some days are just plain HARD and it’s only God that gets us through it. Some days we’re exhausted, but God keeps us going.
And if God calls us, we will stay on this Mission field for the rest of their lives.
Be kind, and DO UNTO OTHERS.
(Brooklyn, holding her very-loved foster brother.)
May is National Foster Care Awareness month, and as everyone has been reading my facebook statuses……I have shared ways to pray for every aspect of the foster care system.
But, now, I think it’s time to share ways that EVERYONE can help the orphan, especially the foster child. It has been brought to my attention that I talk a *lot* about fostering, and that it really isn’t something that everyone should do.
Quite right, quite right.
I 100% agree with that statement, and I’ve stated that very things several times, including on the blog.
No, not everyone is cut out to foster and/or adopt.
Some people just should not do that. Each one of us has talents and skills we excel at, and for some, that does not include parenting other peoples children. For others, it may be not parenting at all. We are all made differently.
So, if God commanded us in the Bible to help the orphan, how are we to do this if we weren’t made to foster and/or adopt?
Well, as luck would have it, I’m there for ya.
Here is a list of ideas that ANYONE can help a foster child in your area:
1.) Pray. I know this goes without saying, but we are dealing with so many problems all at the same time, without God, we’d be lost. Completely. Pray for physical, emotional, spiritual healing. Pray for comfort and peace, patience and energy. Pray for needs being met, emotional, spiritual and financial. Pray for workers and attorneys and counselors and therapists. Pray especially for wisdom and understanding.
2.) Respite. One of the BIGGEST blessings for me throughout this nearly 9 month fostering journey, has been my best friend taking the time to become my OFFICIAL respite worker. She has taken the children for me on several occasions and that has been such a God-send. The kids love her too! I don’t think I could have done this without her. Some times you DO just need a chance to step back, regroup and BREATHE. If you cannot foster, but you still want to be involved on a closer level, sign up to be a respite worker. It means spending time with foster children, but only as often as you need.
3.) Volunteer. This takes almost ANY form, here’s a few ideas:
a.) Volunteer at the shelter. I know the shelter in our area is SUPER nice, and they’ve made it EASY to volunteer! You can volunteer as much or as little as your schedule allows! And the ideas are LIMITLESS: clothes sorter, book reader, baby rocker, basketball player, make up artist, paint fingernails, etc etc etc….
b.) Tutor a foster child whether in the shelter or in a foster family.
c.) Become a Big Brother or Big Sister in your area.
4.) Have a skill? USE IT! I know of one photographer that has volunteered her skill taking Senior photos for all the graduating Seniors from the Children’s Home! I’ve known a hair salon that all of the hair stylists volunteered their skill to cutting an entire foster families hair whenever they needed it. I’ve known of a movie theater that allowed a foster home free movies to use as rewards. I’ve known of carpenters that volunteered their time and skill to adding on a bedroom to make room for more foster children. (A local lumber yard donated the supplies!) A Karate school waived tuition for their karate classes. A bakery donated birthday cakes to a foster family for all their birthdays. It REALLY is limitless in how you volunteer!
5.) Become a CASA worker.
6.) Adopt a foster family. We were so blessed to have had the Frito Lay company in our state, adopt our family at Christmas time. We really would have been completely SCREWED without their help! When we were house parents at the Children’s Home in our area, we had a church "adopt” each house. Each church did various things, but here are some ideas of what some of the churches did: provided a meal WITH the family once a month, provided groceries occasionally, took them out once a month for a fun outing to the lake/bowling/camping trip/movies/etc, helped with house projects once a month, sent presents/cards for each child’s birthday, spent TIME with each child and did fun, personal things with each child. Talk to your church about ways they can get involved and help a foster family (or Children’s Home) in your area. If it’s a small foster family, perhaps a church can adopt several foster families!
7.) Donate. Clothes, shoes, used electronics (iPads, iPods, calculators, tvs, dvd players, computers, etc), furniture, small kitchen appliances, TOYS, baby equipment, FOOD, books….pretty much anything usuable in good condition can be used by a foster family or the Shelter or a Children’s Home. Donate TIME and TALENT as well. Can’t say that enough.
8.) Mentor. I just feel like this needed it’s own space. Being a foster child is HARD and they can feel so alone, sometimes, just knowing someone is out there and cares what happens to you, and keeps in touch with you, REALLY helps. It can be something as simple as emailing or texting or more involved like getting together. They need positive role models and encouraging people to walk this hard road with them. They need to know they are important to someone and that they matter. It’s an easy thing to do!
There are MANY, MANY opportunities that EVERYONE can do something to help. It just takes the desire to do them. What is your excuse?
Father God, I ask that You will prick the hearts of everyone that reads this post, even those who just browsed it, with the heart and desire to help those in need. Open their eyes to see the opportunities available to them to obey Your commandment of helping the orphans. Open their ears to hear their cries. Soften their hearts, Lord, to the need that is out there. I believe You did command us, all of us, to help and I ask that this month, people will step up and obey. Thank You for trusting us with these 3 foster children and help us to always do the right thing.
In Your precious Son’s name.
I feel I must put a warning at the beginning of this post. This post will be dealing with s e x u a l references as they pertain to a particular book series. Please be advised before you continue.
Also, please know, this is *MY* opinion and what I believe Christ has instructed me.
I know this post will NOT be popular with the world. I realize this. And yet…..here I go anyway. I am not supposed to be of this world anyway, so there. LOL
I have been hearing a *LOT* about a certain, new series of books that are out for women and people are going NUT-SO for them! The raving reviews are INCREDIBLE! It’s what The Hunger Games and the Twilight series did for teenagers: got them reading in droves! (Although it has NOTHING to do with the literary talent.)
Now, I’ve always been a book-lover. I love to read.
But, God spoke to my heart a few years ago and convicted me of the kind of books I had been reading: romance novels….the kind involving bodices being torn, etc. (Emphasis on the etcetera.) The racier the better. I loved it all. (Now I look back on it and I cringe!)
I had to come to terms to what exactly I was doing and having it shown to me with such honesty and abruptness by GOD HIMSELF really hit home to me and I’ve never forgotten it.
Ladies, it’s p o r n o g r a p h y plain and simple. I don’t mind being the bad guy that tells you this either. More on this later.
This book series that has all the women a-twitter is called 50 Shades of Grey. As a Christian woman, striving to live a close relationship with God, I cannot in any way shape or form, promote this book. I find it very sad honestly. I know the reviews are saying things like how “liberating” it is for women, but I just don’t see it like that.
Let me put it in terms that you may see it from my vantage point. If a wife stumbles across her husband’s hidden p l a y b o y collection, she would be upset. If she came across her husband’s hidden p o r n collection, she’d probably scream and yell and possibly throw things.
Men are visual, that’s why these appeal to men.
These books, 50 Shades of Grey, appeal to women’s minds.
IT’S THE SAME THING.
The only difference is, women can put it on their coffee tables, carry them around with them in their purses, read them on their kindles, and it is just a part of polite society. Liberating…. (tongue in cheek)
It is p o r n. It is written to appeal to women’s s e x u a l appetites. It is expecting our husbands to live up to this made up, make-believe man in a book and taking our affections away from our husbands and onto another (fake) man. It is emotionally and in some cases, physically draining on our marriages. It’s detrimental. I don’t care about the reviews that say it’s “bringing marriages closer” or about the “50 Shades of Grey” baby boom…..it’s taking your physical desire away from your husband in your own mind. It is finding your pleasure in something else other than your husband.
OR, in the cases of single women…..it’s finding your pleasure in an unnatural source. It’s still p o r n.
1 Peter 5:7-9 Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Now, I realize the early church was not speaking on p o r n o g r a p h y for women, but it IS a warning: Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. I don’t know about anyone else, but that SCARES me!
These books are Satan’s way of devouring us with a made up man named Christian Grey. It’s his way of steering us away from God. Not the direction I desire to go. And it worries me how very popular these books are.
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman [OR MAN] with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Now, let me end this by saying, this was written by a Christian woman’s perspective. It is directed at the Christian women out there. Those who do not know Christ will not understand what it is I’m trying to convey. I believe these books to be a stumbling block in a Christian woman’s walk with God.
And…..this is something very personal that God has laid on my own heart. If He has not convicted you (and you have sought Him on this), then by all means, make your own decision. But I cannot, in all good conscience, recommend these books on any level.
Be kind to others, and seek Christ diligently.
Edited 7/10/2012: Please, before you comment with your opinion, make sure to read the ENTIRE post. Please notice the last line: Be kind to others. So, if you feel the need to comment with a mean and nasty opinion, don’t. It isn’t needed, and it isn’t kind, and it will be erased anyway.
Please know, I am an exceptionally kind lady to everyone. I am nonjudgemental of people, and I have very real feelings that can and are being hurt by comments by internet-brave people.
Also, please remember this was WRITTEN by a Christian woman to other Christians out there that love Jesus. So, before you leave a nasty or mean comment, please ask yourself if it is something that you would say to Jesus Himself. If you are not a Christian yourself, you do not even need to leave a comment because I was not directing this post to you at all.
So, in conclusion, let me say again: Be kind.
This post is full of emotion today. If you are feeling judgmental, please turn back now.
Everyone who knows me, knows this is all I talk about. I am a HUGE proponent of fostering. I believe God commanded all of us to help the orphan…even the temporary orphan….in one form or another.
But let me be completely transparent with you:
It isn’t easy.
Some days, I’m lucky to breathe.
Some days, I go to bed and cry myself to sleep.
Some days, I’m too exhausted to even make the effort to cry.
Some days I want to quit.
And some days I miss being “just the 5 of us”.
(I warned you about the transparency.)
It’s rough stuff! It isn’t for the weak at heart or weak in spirit. It’s raw and revealing. It’s draining physically, emotionally, financially. It’s hard on a family and a marriage (at times). Anyone getting into this needs to know the truth of the matter. You can’t do it for the money. And you can’t do it for a good story or make yourself look good. God knows our hearts and intentions anyway.
We’ve had a rough week with Princess Tiana. We have been teaching her to always the truth. It’s how we are with our own children, and we want to instill it in our fostering babes as well. If you are honest, it’s less punishment. Tell the truth and we can deal with whatever else. We have an open door policy, just always tell the truth.
But, when you are dealing with foster children, the truth means beatings. It’s safer to lie.
That’s hard for me deal with. It’s hard to remember sometimes that I am not dealing with my own children, I am dealing with hurt, broken children.
And I can’t stand liars.
So trying to teach Princess Tiana to always tell the truth is important to me! I want her to speak the truth, even in the times she may get into trouble. This is a safe place. But she is accustomed to a place where wrongs are met with “beatings” disguised as spankings. In the almost 9 months she has been here, her punishments have been groundings (from playing with her bike mostly), time away on her bed in her room, and the occasional losing a privilege. So she doesn’t have to worry about spankings or beatings here.
So it takes a LOT of time and a lot of determination. And some days I have it, and some days I’m lacking. I’m so blessed to have a handful of people surrounding me that I can call and cry on. That I can say all the scary things going on in my head….and they pray for me when I fail.
This week I have been straying from my One a Day Bible reading plan, and have been prompted to read other things. I need to find some more quiet times during the day to delve into the Word more and cry out to God to help. I’m struggling right now and I have to make it through this. If He can pick me up and wash away my ugly, surely I can teach a 4 year old the importance of telling the truth.
This is the honesty of fostering and sometimes it just needs to be said.
But it is still the hardest thing I’ve ever loved doing!
Prayer needs: making it through this rough patch with love and raising money for new beds for the foster babies. I have almost made it half way to the goal, but halfway won’t get them permanent beds! LOL Princess Tiana has pitifully grown out of her toddler bed!
Be kind to others, and build each other up!
“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.” Matthew 25:35
::::::::::::::::::::climbing up on my soapbox::::::::::::::::::::
Oh how I wish I could hold my tongue sometimes, but of course, sometimes I just can’t. (Yes I know there are verses in James that speak on this. I’ll read them again. LATER.)
I’m just so SICK of seeing and hearing about that stupid Time magazine cover on Attachment Parenting. Seriously……SICK.
Let’s a get a little perspective OK?
This child on this cover is OBVIOUSLY well fed.
Do I care how he is fed? NO!
Do I care where he is fed? NO!
Do I care where he sleeps? NO!
Do I care how old he is? NO!
He is obviously fed. He is obviously well loved and well cared for. He obviously has a BED to sleep in at night. He is obviously well groomed. He isn’t beaten. He isn’t neglected.
So, his mother still nurses him. WHO CARES! That is a PRIVATE matter. Emphasis on P.R.I.V.A.T.E!!! So what if he co-sleeps with his parents! AT LEAST HE HAS PARENTS!
I think we are losing a little perspective here! Let me SHOW you something that really matters:
THIS matters! She bounced around from house to house all of her life. She’s terrified of being hit. ALL.THE.TIME. She never had a real bed to sleep in…..yes, THAT’S RIGHT, she slept on the FLOOR! She never owned pajamas or even knew what they were before she came to my house. She still sneaks food because she’s STILL afraid she won’t have a next meal. She owned LITTLE of anything: clothes, toys, etc. And her family DIDN’T.WANT.HER. Gave her away for whatever reason.
He was TERRIFIED of people! Didn’t know what it was to be held and loved and snuggled. He refused to let anyone TOUCH him. He was neglected and starved so he ate from the TRASHCAN! He still does 7 months later! He will eat off the floor if I don’t get it swept up fast enough. He was unwanted and unloved and uncared for. And somewhere in the back of his memories…he’s worried he still is.
COME ON, PEOPLE! HE MATTERS!
At 2 months old, he was beaten nearly to death! He had so many head injuries the doctors didn’t think he’d make it through the night. And that wasn’t the first time…..or the first head injury. It was only the first time they’d taken him to the hospital. For 3 months of his life, he knew nothing but pain and misery. Massive brain hemorrhage from the brain injury resulted in emergency surgery that nearly took his life again. He is a walking, talking miracle of God. And he is alive to tell about it.
Children like these are ALL.OVER.THE.WORLD and THEY MATTER! My family is nothing special. We struggle just like anyone. We live paycheck to paycheck. And sometimes we worry how we are going to raise 6 children. But we are trying! God commanded it! So we are doing it! Some weeks we really struggle, but we always make it through: financially, emotionally, physically.
These children MATTER, not who breastfeeds the longest or works a 40 hour a week job and puts their child in daycare. None of that matters! What matters is that they are clothed and fed and well cared for.
What matters is they HAVE someone that loves them!
I’m sure everyone around me is sick to death of hearing me go on and on about Fostering and the foster care system and what EVERYONE can do to help, but doggonit, it’s falling on deaf ears.
EVERY church can do something. SOMETHING. If EVERY church would help in some way (volunteer one Saturday a month at the local shelter, support a foster family, host a Foster Care Sunday, etc) it would change the face of our foster care system. And DOGGONIT, God commanded us to look after the widows and ORPHANS.
GET.UP.AND.DO.SOMETHING! ANYTHING! Just get UP! You are WITHOUT excuse.
In the Tulsa area, if EVERY church had JUST ONE foster family in it’s congregation, our shelter would be EMPTY. EMPTY! And can you imagine if that entire church rallied around and supported that ONE foster family, what an amazing experience it would be for EVERYONE. The foster child could have hundreds of Grandmas and Grandpas to love and spoil them….take them fishing. Hundreds of favorite Aunts who always have gum. Hundreds of Uncles to help make Pinewood derby cars and listen when a girl breaks his heart for the first time. And that foster family wouldn’t have to worry about things like gas in their vehicles or leaky roofs or whether or not they could afford bunk beds for the kids. It’s a hard job, they need help. Find out what you can do to help them.
UGH! It just PAINS me to see how everyone is so up in arms over a PHOTOGRAPH of a breastfeeding mother and yet they turn a blind eye to what really matters and is happening all around them.
It’s disgusting and I’m ashamed.
Open your eyes for goodness sakes. Get your head out. STAND UP and do something.
Support the MOTHERLESS.
::::::::climbing down from my soapbox::::::::::::
::::::::::: putting it quietly away :::::::::::::
I know it’s been awhile since my last update, but sometimes I struggle with my inner demons. I think fostering has made me bi-polar. The Jesus-in-me keeps me compassionate and prayerful of you, but the human-….the mother’s heart…-in-me, makes me angry sometimes with your choices. So I struggle within myself. In times of struggle, I just remain silent because I cannot trust myself.
But there’s a lot to update.
He has officially cut 6 teeth now, and he’s working on 2 more! Oh, he’s just the cutest thing with those little tiny baby teeth! He’s discovered real food too and he’s insatiable some nights! LOL He lost all interest in baby food when those teeth came in, and he’s been on solid food for over a month now. I am very particular about his diet because he’s already been through so much, I want him to have the best nutrition I can give him to help his body grow and heal. He loves carrots! He’s also discovered cinnamon graham crackers (my husband introduced them ) and we’ve made those his special treats.
He’s up to 20 pounds now and growing like a weed! He’s finally filling out in all the right, baby-chubby places. His dr was thrilled at this progress!
He’s walking so much now! He always walks first, then when he falls, he will just start crawling. He can go across an entire room now! The kids call him “Zombie Baby” because of his herky-jerky walk with his arms outstretched either in front of him or above his head. You can see it in his face how proud of himself he is.
I swear, his smile lights up a room.
I have to admit, honestly? I didn’t think he’d walk for a very long time. His injuries were just so bad, I was afraid he’d never recover, and yet…..God has made this absolute incredible miracle and I get to spend every moment with him. I get to see God daily work and move in his little life….healing body and mind. He’s a miracle!
Everyone simply adores him. They play “tag” with him and they all giggle until I’m afraid they will be sick from all the laughing! They even play “hide & seek” with him, but I don’t think they really understand they are only hiding from him and making him find them. But they all enjoy the game and the laughter abounds, so I don’t correct their “game”.
We are planning a HUGE birthday party for him on his special day. After surviving death on more than one occasion, the drs never expected him to make it to his birthday, we are throwing a BIG party for him! He has beat the odds, and his testimony is great!
He really is our little Superman.
I hate that you’ll miss it. I hate a lot of things, but I can’t change them, so I’ll be silent.
We’ve already done his photos and his cake-smash so we can display the photos of his Life’s Journey with us through pictures at his birthday party. I hope one day you’ll see them.
I struggle with so many things as I’m sure you do as well. I hope you find peace where you are. I hope you are able to change your life and make better decisions with the time God has given you.
Praying for you,
The Foster Mom
Since becoming a foster parent, I’ve discovered I’m a very sneaky person. But always for a good cause.
When these beautiful children came, they were in very poor nutritional health and not used to eating regular, real meals. I was used to cooking whatever I wanted to cook because my children are healthy and strong.
Times have changed now that we have foster children. Let the sneaking begin!
One of the best ways I have found to sneak in extra nutrition is with carrots and spinach….they can be hidden easily into just about everything!
I take a bag of baby carrots (they were on a SUPER sale and I got bags for .49! So stocked up!) because they are already peeled and require less work on my part, but I’ve used the regular carrots as well, or a bag of fresh, raw spinach. (I don’t have a Sam’s card, but I do have a LOVELY friend that does, and she picks me up a POUND of spinach when she can! I love friends that bless you with spinach! Thanks Jan!)
You take your bag of baby carrots, and put them into your little food processor (I bought mine at WalMart for $20, it’s called a Food Ninja and I LOVE it! I need a big one, but I don’t have a “big one” kind of budget. So I bought what I could afford, and just have to do the bag of carrots in small batches that will fit). Chop them up as finely as you’d like. I like to get them small, but NOT to the point of mush. Mush will change the consistency of the recipe.
Then, I start on my spinach. I used a big tub of fresh spinach from my sweet friend, Jan, who blesses us when she goes to Sam’s. I love Jan.
After you have it all chopped, to the size and consistency you want, you can either use them immediately in whatever you are cooking, or using a freezer bag, you can freeze it.
After I have put everything in the freezer bags, I flatten the bag out and squeeze out as much air as I can. (Oxygen is the arch-nemesis of frozen foods.) Now, here is the thinking behind flattening the bags out: when it comes time to cook with it, it is so much easier to break it off into the portions I want being thin and flat.
I know, I’m a genius.
I have also made bags of both spinach and carrots mixed together (because I was too lazy to do separate bags) and it works just fine.
Because the veggies are FRESH, they are far more nutritious and I know for sure my babies are getting their vitamins in a healthy form.
AND, the best part is, you can’t taste it.
I put them in almost EVERY dinner I serve (I do occasionally run out sometimes….so I can’t say EVERY dinner without lying. LOL).
Here they are in regular boxed mac & cheese…(I didn’t freeze these, just added them straight in. And I did add more because I really want them to start acquiring a taste for it.)
(I know….look at my poor pots and pans. They are 20 years old though, they were a wedding gift! HAHAAA)
Here they are in a casserole:
And in a whole big ol pot of chili!
(Yes I got strange looks from my family as I was taking all of these pictures…)
So there you have it! A good, easy way to ensure a little extra nutrition!