Monday, June 15, 2015

Thursday, June 4, 2015

#AdoptionTalk Link Up

It's been a while since I've done any link-ups.  It's been an even longer while since I've got caught up reading other people's blogs about adoption or fostering.  

Adoption Talk Link Up is a good way to meet other families who know the ropes and to learn from their experiences.  Today I linked up one of my older posts and I look forward to reading what others have to share.

Come join us!  HERE'S HOW.

Starfish Confidential #Adoption Talk

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Meth- Not Even Once

This is not a happy subject but one that needs to be shared.

I can't get these series of clips (produced by out of my head since I watched them this morning:

I've mentioned before how when we first started fostering my focus was on helping the children who were placed in our care.  But I've come to learn that children aren't the only victims foster families aid in helping.

When addictions enslave individuals the consequences are far-reaching and the addiction doesn't just affect the individual but it affects their family members and friends, too.  Like a domino effect, when families are affected then society will be affected.

I admit that in the past when I've witnessed firsthand the suffering our foster children have experienced (or will continue to experience) because of their family's addictions I've concluded that addiction is a choice, and therefore, the addict is the one responsible for their own suffering and the suffering they cause others.  But when I take a step back and set blame aside I realize that addiction is also a disease and can't we all benefit from being more compassionate and less judgmental when people are suffering- regardless of why or how their suffering came about?

To me, the greatest tragedy of alcoholism or drug addiction is that they are totally preventable conditions which is why I feel so strongly about sharing this- even if it helps just one person or one family.

 Click HERE for resources for Help.

400 Facebook Fans Giveaway Winner

According to Random.Org The WINNER of my recent Giveaway is Entry #6 . . .

which happens to be . . .

Alice Anne is the mother of two boys- 4 years and 4 months old- who joined her family through adoption. And guess what?  Baby Boy #3 is due sometime THIS MONTH.  Wow!

I hope Alice Anne and her family enjoy God Found Us You and Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born.  They are two wonderful books about adoption which are specifically geared towards little children.

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway- perhaps I'll have another one when I reach 500 Facebook Fans. :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Learning to Sit Still

A month ago I touched briefly on the topic of acting upon impressions we receive in our minds or our hearts.  One thing I shared is "When we do act upon those impressions we are often given further light and knowledge, and if we're lucky enough, some clarity."

I’ve had some experiences over the past few weeks since initially posting about Moving Forward with Faith to Build our Family, which have been accompanied by some very specific realizations, namely:

Sometimes moving forward with faith actually means learning to sit still and to wait for God’s timing.  

Sometimes we’re led down one road solely to discover that there’s another road much better suited for us. This four minute clip is a great example of that principle.

Even if something is a basically good desire, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the timing is right at the moment.  Timing is everything.

I’m going to elaborate on each of these discoveries because, well- this is my blog and writing is one way I sort out my thoughts when I’m feeling overly analytical!  But in addition, I feel like although these lessons are tailor-made for me at this point in my life and they have provided me with some additional clarity and a deepened understanding of which direction my family should take, I also believe that in a general sense many can relate to these observations and apply them to their life’s circumstances- whatever those may be.

Now for some elaboration:

Sometimes moving forward with faith actually means learning to sit still and to wait for God’s timing
I know, that sounds like an oxymoron- how can sitting still equate with moving forward?  They’re basically opposites.  This is an especially hard concept to accept if you are a planner by nature.  Trying to “let go” of how you think things should turn out and handing it over to God takes a lot of trust and humility.  It seems so much more predictable and comfortable to try and plan things out yourself.  Not to mention so much more convenient when it’s on your personal timetable!

Sometimes we’re led down one road solely to discover that there’s another road much better suited for us.  I’m not gonna beat around the bush with what I mean by this in terms of our fostering/adopting journey except to say that for so long our family has focused on having a baby (or very young child) placed in our home.  And you know what?  That’s a good desire, but I am more inclined to think that the next child we welcome into our home- whether temporarily via foster care or permanently through adoption- will be just that- a child rather than a baby.  In addition, there are other very practical reasons why adopting a newborn through a private adoption may not be the best fit for our family at this point in time.

Although it’s sad to think that we may not be welcoming any more babies into our home I am also extremely grateful that over the past six years I’ve had the amazing opportunity to care for seven babies (“baby” meaning 1 year or younger) in my home.  Seven babies in six years is pretty miraculous for an infertile woman.  Talk about beauty for ashes.  Infertility has definitely been a beautiful heartbreak for me.

I can see how my thinking has evolved from when we first started the adoption process-nearly a decade ago- and how now we are more apt to take ourselves out of the center of the equation and put the focus on the child.  In other words, it’s not so much about finding the right baby or child for our family and fulfilling our needs but about being the right family for a child.

I just can’t ignore the fact that there are so many children in my own country who are waiting for permanent homes.  Everybody needs to belong to a family whether they’re four or forty so it boggles my mind when I try to imagine what it would be like to not belong to a family. 

Although it would be easiest right now to just sit back and enjoy the time I have with the children in my home I am also filled with a sense of responsibility (I might even go so far as to call it “guilt”) that there are children who need homes and we have room for one more.   If you’re a foster parent or have felt the need to respond you can’t just sit back because once you know the need is there it’s not something you can so easily ignore.

Take, for example, my friend Julie, who is the mother of five small children and who could easily say “I’ve done my part in fostering- and I have my hands full.”  But because the shortage of foster homes in her state of Arizona is so crucial that children have to sleep on the floors of child welfare offices- she and her husband have decided to reopen their home to foster children in order to meet that need.

Even if something is a basically good desire, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the timing is right at the moment. 

I know that our family has room for another child and that fostering and adopting are good things.  My problem is that some days I get so obsessive about looking through profiles of Waiting Children that I am overcome with a sense of urgency and I feel like if things are going to happen they should happen NOW.  However, things take time and should most certainly not be rushed- especially when it comes to something as crucial as finding the right family for a child. 

Who knows- maybe we won’t end up adopting another child till our children are older (I am aware of the need to adopt older children and yet adopting out of birth order happens to be another big concern for our family) or maybe we won’t end up adopting again at all but just continue to provide a temporary refuge for foster children while their families work things out.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of my post, sometimes the greatest display of self-control is turning things over to God and realizing, “Hey- it may not happen for a while.  It may not ever happen.  So just chill out and enjoy where you’re at right now.”

Sound Advice From Design Mom