Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, my friends!

I'm using today's 5 on Friday to catch up a bit on happenings around our house.  Since G left, we've done some random stuff!

{ONE}




We went to Enchanted Rock State Park with my dad and his girlfriend last weekend.  It was beautiful weather!  The perfect day for a hike!


{TWO}


Kevin and I didn't do much for Valentine's Day, but I did make him some brownies in my heart-shaped cake pan!  He loved it!


{THREE}




This week was my sister's and my bro-in-law's birthdays.  We had the family over and grilled pizzas! It was my other sister's great idea!  We set up a bar of pizza toppings and everyone made their own.  Then we grilled each pizza on the grill....perfection!


{FOUR}


I've been LOVING the Sacred Holidays Women's Lent Study that I've been doing.  God has been speaking to me through it every morning!  You can still join in by purchasing the digital version.  Let me know if cost is an issue and I'll get you a code!


{FIVE}



Since Kevin has Fridays off, he's smoking a brisket for us today!  I can't wait to get home for dinner!  I never realized how much prep goes into it!

I hope you have a great weekend!  XOXO

Linking up with KarliErikaAmanda and April!




THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Our First Foster Placement

Oh.my.word.  Where do I begin?

Let me start by saying that I apologize for the silence on the blog and for being so behind on my blog reading.  The past two weeks have been so emotionally up and down, but such a testament to God's faithfulness and sovereignty.

I cannot believe that it's only been two weeks since we received our first placement as foster parents - in a way, it went so quickly.  In another way, SO MUCH happened that I feel like it was a year.

I, legally, cannot share details about the case with you or post pictures of his face, but I'll share with you what I can.

On Monday, February 1, an 11-year-old boy came to live with us and many tears were shed.  Remember what I talked about HERE?  This process is not easy, especially for the child.  The second I saw his tears, I started bawling.  I felt dumb in front of the caseworker and our agency consultants, but I could not stop the tears.  My heart was so broken for him.

The next couple days went really well though!  He adjusted quickly and so did we.  We got him enrolled in school and got to know each other.  We played a basketball a lot, played on the playground, went to a Spurs game, colored A LOT, watched superhero movies and introduced him to God.






And then 10 days later, he was gone.  I can't talk about details, but we have a peace about it.  When God called us to become foster parents, He didn't say "you will adopt" or "you're always going to be happy" or "this is about you and your feelings."  He did say "I am calling you to this, I will guide you, I will look out for the best interest of My children, I will be glorified in this."

And that's just what happened.  It wasn't easy to see him go, but we had a peace about it.  We believe that God is looking out for his good and loves him SO SO deeply.  He learned about God and the Bible in such a short amount of time.  He got to see a husband and wife that love each other.  He got to feel safe in a time that must have been so scary for him.  I don't know exactly what He learned, but I pray that God used that time for good in his little life.

I was surprised at how attached I got after just 10 days.  I cried for 6 hours straight and then off and on for about 3 days after that, all while having total peace about it.  I miss him.  I believe that God created women to have motherly instincts and part of that is getting attached to children.

But I know that God is good.

Recently, He showed me the story in Mark 4:35-41 (in my Sacred Holidays Lent study) about Jesus calming the storm.  Here is the part that I have always just breezed over in that story:

"...Jesus said to his disciples, 'Let's cross to the other side of the lake.'"

You guys, Jesus had a plan and He told the disciples what it was.  He basically said let's do this together.  And though He knew the path and knew the plan, there was still a storm.  God will call you to something and He's with you, but that doesn't mean that it won't be hard.  There will be storms.  There will be pain.  And just like the disciples did, we tend to get scared and say, "Teacher, don't you care that we're going to drown?!"  And He responds with, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

Gosh, I do this!  I get so scared and start to lose trust when He calls me to Himself and tells me to just trust him.  There will be storms in this foster journey.  It will be hard, but I have to trust Him.  He is the One with the power to calm the storm.  I need only be still and trust.

So we look forward with anticipation to what comes next!  We could get a call any day about our next placement so please keep us in your prayers.  We know it'll be hard, but we're excited to see God's faithfulness and we trust His sovereignty.

XOXO

Kelli

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Many Emotions that Come in Anticipation of Foster Parenting

There are many emotions involved as we anticipate becoming foster parents.  Click here to read about the one's most people experience!


Have you ever had so many emotions running through your mind that you really don't know how to answer someone when they ask you "how are you feeling?"

Lately, I truly don't know how to answer that question, because I'm feeling excited, scared, happy, sad, nervous, frustrated, blessed and overwhelmed.  Did you notice how all-over-the-place those emotions are?

So....we're supposed to get our first placement today!  It may or may not happen depending on a judge's signature and we've already had our introduction to the frustrating "system" so who know what'll happen today?!  I'll be able to give you a better answer tonight so if you have my number, please feel free to shoot me a text!  I love to know that people are praying for us and thinking of us.

I'VE BEEN EXCITED.  I'm thrilled to be getting a child in our home!  This is what we've been anticipating and we're really really excited to finally have children here.  We have 7 open beds that are ready for warm bodies!  We're excited to learn more about the kids, love on them and show them the love of Jesus.  We're excited to take them hiking, play board games with them, watch movies with them and even cry with them when times are tough (which will be SO often!).

I'VE BEEN SAD.  Now while we're excited to get a child or children in our home, so much sadness comes along with it.  This is NOT an exciting time for the children.  They were let down by their own parents/family and entered into a broken system.  I don't want to jump for joy when they get here and I also don't want to break into tears (which I'm totally afraid that I'll do).  It's such a weird feeling to be excited to meet them, but hurt for them in this really sucky time in their lives.  People tell us "congrats" and while it's kind of is a "yay" time for us, it's not AT ALL for them.  There is usually no joy in being torn from your own family, even if it was an abusive situation.

I'VE BEEN SCARED.  There is always that fear of failure.  Have you mamas felt like that right before you had a baby?  "What if I mess up?" "What if I'm a bad mom?" "What if the child hates me?" The truth is, I will mess up.  All parents do.  But with the help of the Lord, I'll get back up and learn from my mistakes.  Only He can give me the strength to parent in the way that He wants.  I know parenting is hard, but parenting through the foster system has it's own complications added to it.  There will be some things that some moms just don't understand and there will be some where they can help me.
 
I'VE BEEN HOPEFUL.  Since God called us to this mission, He will get us through it.  I have to rely on His strength and not my own, especially when it really sucks.  Let me say this - we know that we don't know how hard it's going to be, but that doesn't stop us from being hopeful.  God hasn't called us to live a comfortable life.  Sometimes, living to glorify Him is uncomfortable - it's hard, but worth it.

I'VE BEEN FRUSTRATED.  I don't want to offend anyone here.  So please bear with me.  It's hard when you don't feel understood.  We're different.  Most people aren't going to understand why we're fostering so we don't have their support - even family members.  We've been surprised, because there are some people that we thought would support us, that haven't.  If I were having a baby, they'd be all about the baby showers and asking questions about gender and nursery and names.  But because I'm not, some didn't come to our "new parent shower" and when we've updated them, they just say "congrats" or "it'll be interesting" or nothing.  We can tell who genuinely cares by the questions that people ask us.  On another note, the system is frustrating.  It's just so broken and sometimes you wonder who really has the best interest of the children in mind.

I'VE FELT BLESSED.  I know that God is calling us to a big thing.  I feel so humbled that He's chosen to use us.  I will probably look back and think "oh my goodness I had NO clue as to what was in store for us," but I do know one thing - we're following what God has told us and that's all that matters.  We'll get through it no matter what the journey ends up looking like.  I just pray that He was glorified through it all.