Category Archives: Allowing

When You Never Give Up

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I never give up.

When I know deep inside that I am supposed to do something, I do it.

My child Friday is like that.

He has a long story that no child should have to ever endure.

But he did, and he never gave up.  Neither did I.

Short synopsis.  He was adopted from a Liberian orphanage at around eight years of age.

He was sent back by his adoptive parents to Liberia five years later.

Illegal by anyone’s standards.

Lots of red tape, custody papers, a flight to get him and he came back.  Became a part of our family.  He is third from the left, in the front row, in the photo above.

Tough few years getting him educated, helping him through his fear, anger, resentment, abandonment issues, rejection and trying to teach him to love.

Still fighting the rules and the systems, he did get graduated and got his drivers license.  He was free!

He has “lived” his life over the last couple of years experiencing failure, tough times, hard decisions and finding his place.

He has kept in touch, especially in the moments where, he was living in his car in California and needing to get home, when he just needed to know I was there, the occasional comment on social media, but I knew where he was, and most importantly, he knew where I was.

Then shocking news.  He was in a serious car accident, barely hanging on to life for several days.  A “miracle” he was alive.  I had to choke back tears when I saw him.  On a breathing machine, his left ear swollen from being stitched back to his head, the intubation, the distortion from swelling, the tubes everywhere including the top of his head to relieve the fluid.

But, he is a fighter, and he has a purpose in this world.  I knew from the moment I heard that I would start fighting in the spiritual world for his total recovery.

I experienced his fight in the spiritual, and I knew he would not give up.  I had a peace, a peace that passes all understanding that he would be not just ok, but totally himself.

Brain trauma is a scary thing, he has a road ahead, but not one he will not conquer.

He is one state away from me, so I drive every week to see him.  Tomorrow I drive and I get to see him awake, just three weeks after this terrible accident.

If you would like to know his story you can buy my book, “Finding Friday”  here.

You can find his song, “Run To”  on my cd “Broken Hearts And Broken Wings” here.  These are songs related to fostering and adoption.

Sign up for my emails and you can follow his amazing progress!

And, p.s.  Please like my FB page “Finding Friday” here and “The Adoption Thing” FB page here.

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Stronger!

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You see that word there?  Islands.

We cannot be islands, but there are times when we need to be.

My son, Isaiah, or his real name Friday, has at many times needed in his mind to be just that.  He is the one third from the left, front row,  in the photo.

An Island.

Why?

Because too many people had failed him.  Let him down.

He felt abandoned.  Alone.  Unloved, Rejected. But strong.

You see through his trials, losing his mother, losing his father when he could not provide for him anymore, losing his first adoptive family because they were too young and made mistakes, being sent back, yes “back” to Africa, being in the “interior” a nice name for jungle and suffering to the point of death at a very young age.

Starving, not knowing how to catch fish with his bare hands, not knowing how to climb a coconut tree.  These were the issues a westernized, thirteen year old faced going back to the Interior, south of Monrovia,  Liberia.

Did it make him STRONG?  You bet.  There is a song out there called “Stronger” and the words pale into insignificance compared to my sweet boy’s journey.

Strong is now being applied in a different way.  A car crash.  Terrible.  No one even knows how he was alive when they found him.  Two hours after, and two rescue units to cut him out.  An ear cut off, a spleen damaged, three fractures of his spine, but the worst?  A life threatening head injury.  Trauma to his brain.  Swelling, fluid that causes life and death issues, not only with the brain, but with the lungs filling with fluid.

He IS a MIRACLE!!!

Dang, another one?

You see when you become part of my family, a miracle is expected.

I never doubted his recovery from first knowledge.  I just prayed.  I interceded in the heavenlys, I sent healing to him through prayers and intercession, holding a space for him to recover.  He has, and will have a full recovery.  Why, because my desire for this meets my belief it will happen.

Ok, sink that in.  When you believe as much as you desire, then God makes it happen.  I could tell you more miracles that have happened  because my dog determined belief plus desire made it happen.

That’s another blog.  But, my sweet boy, is going to be ok.  It will take time, but not the time they think, because once again, he is STRONG, and my belief/desire is STRONG!

I am in awe of the power of God, the healing powers, but also the gifts he gives of discernment to hear when his children are hurting and the gift of intercession.

The other miracle here is, there is not a mark on his face.  He has stitches for cuts on his left arm, and it was his left ear, all of course on the drivers side, but, not a mark on his sweet, beautiful face.  Not a stitch, nothing.  God is good all of the time.

Now, I am going to challenge you on something.  You see I don’t look at the negative, which means I walk in abundance.  This took me a while to discern, but I believe always in the healing, the restoration, never the opposite.

Thoughts for you to ponder on.  Don’t always go to the negative, always desire and believe.  All things are possible, everything is possible if you BELIEVE!


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How Often Do You Dream?

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I have been told from a very young age that my head is in the clouds.

I dream too much.

I want too much.

I expect too much.

I AM TOO MUCH!!!!!

I will tell you that yup I do all of that.  I dream, I want, I expect, and I don’t doubt any of it is coming to me, because, why?

WHY?

For most people, including some of my close family and friends, I am too much, I do dream too much, I do want too much and I do expect too much.  Because, I’ve not only earned it, but I’ve dreamed it and expected it to happen.  And can I tell you it DID!  I believed.

From the beginning of my foster/adoption journey I have never, no NEVER, believed the bad report.  I have always not doubted, but expected it all to be as it should.  A healthy, functioning child.  Even when I was looking at a child that should, had, and indeed could live this bad report.  I_just_never_believed_in_the_bad_report.

Some say I was just lucky.  My bad prognosis kids all turned out to be functioning.  Luck is not an option.  Belief and prayer is.  Not giving up is.  Giving up my wants was a big part.  Paying attention, giving my time, being dedicated to their outcome?  Yup that was part of it.  Prayer?  Yup about ninety percent.  Luck, about zero percent.  Belief, oh yeah, like two hundred percent.  If you cannot believe, how can you do any of the other stuff?

Ok, now lets put this into some of your real lives.  Do you believe in what you are called to do?  Do you believe that your dreams really do come true?  Do you believe that you are the one person who can make all of this happen?  If you do, and it doesn’t then come back to your mind and your thoughts, then somewhere there in your mind is a dis-connect.  Between the belief and the non-belief

I am here to tell you if you dwell in the dis-belief, or non-belief that is what you are going to get.  When you stay down in the negative stuff which is really relevant to fostering, then you will attract that stuff.  It will consume you.  You will stop thinking about your child, and being an advocate for that needing little one, and go on a merry go round of fighting, and negativity.  Don’t DO this.  There is a better way.

Focus.  Keep your head in the clouds!!  The clouds are a representation of Heaven in our minds.  When we look up and see them we think of Heaven.  So, keep your head there.  Don’t let thoughts rule you.  Dream big dreams for your kids, both foster, adopted and biological.  Never give up, fight back, and most of all?

DREAM!!

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New territories….exciting possibilities!

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I am passionate about what I call the “Lost Children”.

These are the children that are lost in “systems”, drugs, and abuse.

When do we step up?

There is a remnant that do.

I’ve met some of you.

You are as passionate as I am.

But how do we spread the awareness of this “lost world” of children?

Well, that is what I have pondered, wondered, and explored how I could change, or implement change, about awareness of the orphans.

As little as the middle of the last century, when I was born, there were no orphans, no “lost” children, because the church took  care of these kids whose parents were gone, in jail, died etc.

We have supposedly evolved from some seventy years ago, but did we?  Because now these children who have been neglected, abandoned, abused, deserted have transitioned out of the church’s responsibility to the state and federal governments job.

This is not what I know my teaching tells me.  I’m stepping out here.  James 1.27 in the bible.  We are responsible.  We have been commissioned to take care of the orphans and the widows.

But, even the church has changed. So much so, that I believe the awareness of how many children are in need of foster care, is limited at best. We have our interests, our groups, our lots of things, but what we are not aware of is, these children have nothing, no one, no place to go.

In my state our foster children have gone from 6,500 to 13,000 in four years.  There are not enough foster parents, not enough awareness, not enough homes, not enough people interested in our next generation.

I understand.  I have given forty-four years to parenting, waiting in my mind for “my” turn.  But my turn already happened, I just didn’t understand what my turn meant, or what it was.

I thought it was about myself, but it wasn’t.  It was about what was on God’s heart, the children.  The “lost” children.  I heard the call, but, never understood the meaning of it, just thought it was a passing phase.

But, it was God’s heart.

It took me all this time to understand that.

So, although I cannot take more children at this time, I can support and make others aware.  That is my intention.  In every part of my life.

As time goes by, I will tell you more, but I am excited, afraid, anticipating, and wondering how this decision will affect my life, and my new found career as a life coach.

But, my heart, my soul is for the children, the “Lost Children”.

Where are you?  What are your thoughts?  I would love to know.

Here is a link to my songs about adoption.

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The Scary Part……Neurologist

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So tomorrow we see the Neurologist.

She has had a headache since the seizure last Saturday night.

She is on anti-seizure medicine, but what is causing this?

In hindsight, I have seen unusual behavior from her in the last six months.

I saw the same thing when she was coming out of the seizure.

The behavior is gone.

After taking anti-seizure medicine.

I thought it came from just “teenager” behavior.

She is almost 16.

She has never had a behavior or discipline issue.

She is sweet, respectful, determined, stubborn, but that is her.

If she wasn’t strong, she would not be alive.

So, how has the last few days been?

Watching like a psycho person.  Wondering if she will seize, knowing she won’t because of meds, but terrified of the next event that will make me and her helpless.

I am wondering now about the studies on seizures.  Is this epilepsy or something else?  She has a brain bleed from birth which has caused concern about learning disabilities, cognitive ability, and all sorts of other unpronounceable diagnosis’.

I am remembering about my eldest child who had strange episodes going through puberty that were diagnosed as temporal lobe epilepsy events and recognize some of the behaviors and symptoms.

I am digging, digging, digging because I am her only advocate.  Even if she was still a foster child, I would be her only advocate.   There is no-one else other than the mother involved, foster, adopted or biological.  No-one else is invested.  No-one else is going to dig, and dig and dig for the answer.

Although this is on some level stressful, on another it is not.  I am a seeker for truth, answers, and my mind and thoughts kick in knowing there is an outcome.  You see, I can think desperate, or I can think, “there is an answer and I will find it”.  I can think hopeless, or I can think, there is an answer.  I can think like this is a valley or I can think like this is knowledge leading me to have power over this situation, and end up on the mountain top.

You can too.  I learned this through a few years of learning to be a Life Coach.  I have such a different perspective on all emotions and thought patterns.

That doesn’t mean I don’t fall apart in the moment, it means I have an insight into my thoughts and how they lead to my feelings.

My thoughts when this event happened were panic driven.  Not rational, not tapping into my knowledge of this disease, just feeling driven thoughts, emotional driven thoughts, not thoughts I could evaluate and consider if they were the right ones.

I was in emotional mind, not wise mind.

This happens, but should not stay there.  You should always come into a wise mind, one that enables you to think clearly, rationally, and know precisely how your thoughts are going to lead to your outcome.

So, if this a new concept, something you don’t understand, please email me, I would so love to help you understand.

Keep connecting for the update, which will come in as soon as tomorrow or the next few days.

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A Seizure in the middle of nowhere?

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So, I have a couple of kids who have epileptic seizures.

Scary, but I know who, maybe when, never where.

I have a birth mom to four who is epileptic.

Needs meds to this day.

I have two out of four that I know are epileptic.

I know they have an older sibling who is also.

So, driving down the road, when I hear ” she’s having a seizure”

I expect it to be the known two, not the unknown.

My miracle child who has beaten all odds, like not walking, not talking, not learning, a brain bleed, a leg brace supposed to be forever, is having her first seizure in the back of our airport shuttle in the middle of nowhere and I don’t know why?

I am shocked!

I have forgotten everything I know about seizures because she doesn’t do this!!

I am in full on A type personality mode of “you will come out of this” and now!!

I am not patient!  I am not thinking!  I am in panic mode!

I forget the positioning.  I forget that this is temporary, she will come out.

I forget to soothe.  I forget everything, because I am panicked.

I forget, because the overwhelming love and need to be her everything is not what she needs right now.

I forget because she hasn’t done this before.  She is sixteen.  Although she has a history, she hasn’t presented these symptoms.

I forget because I want to.  I hope and believe all the past issues have gone before me and I don’t have to deal anymore.  But, because of this, I do, and I will.

That same “A” type personality will find out why, what, when and where this could happen.  I will find out what meds are needed, and I will be there when and where every time.

I am reminded of when she was so little, so needing, so unable to even let me know what she wanted, and that is what a seizure is like. In the midst, they don’t know, they can’t tell, can’t express anything that is happening or what they are feeling.

We have more happening here than a seizure or epilepsy history, we have diagnosed Cerebral Palsy, and a brain bleed.  I don’t for one minute think we will not overcome this because knowledge is power and we sure have than on our side.

So, I am encouraging you to see the light through the darkness when all seems like it is crashing to something unexpected

I know my fighter, daughter, teenager is an overcomer.  She has proved this already, she will prove this again.  I have no doubts.

It’s me that struggles through these valleys only to see God on the mountain top, calling me, and telling me I can climb to any heights he calls me to.

If you are struggling, know, that all things are possible through God who strengthens me.

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Somedays It Sucks, just sayin’

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Well, somedays it sucks.  You know, or maybe you don’t, but as a positive, a focused on going forward person, there are days.  There are valleys, and peaks, and crap  walking through the valley.

When you are on the peak, or the mountain, all is rosy, wonderful, all looks positive and amazing.  But, when you are hiking, as I do every morning, you go up the hill, or mountain, and then you come down.  Down to the valley.

I have noticed when I am hiking up the hill, I am sometimes looking for the resting place, focused on getting to the goal, like the top of the mountain.  Why?  Because when I get there I get to recover and go down the other side.

But sometimes, when the bottom of the climb goes on a little too long, I am yearning for a challenge again.  If it did not come, as it always does in hiking, I think I would feel a little let down.  You see I had built my adrenalin to a peak, then needed a well earned rest, but didn’t want to lose the momentum or the exhilarating feelings I was having.

When we stay on the the bottom of the valley too long, we lose momentum, fire, exhilaration, motivation and desire.  The valley robs us.  Makes us feel small.  Why?  Because in the valley we look up at the mountains and they “feel” out of our reach.  Unattainable.  Impossible.  But that is an illusion.

The benefits of the Valley

Rest

A new perspective

Renewing of our mind

Renewing of our faith

Leaning on a higher power/God

Seeing the mountains as a challenge

Seeing the mountains as our new achievement

Valleys in our emotional life can be debilitating, devastating, and hard to recover from.  But valleys have a purpose.  A purpose of rest, renewal, and yearning.  Seeking for the truth, the next thing.   We cannot do that in a state of exhilaration, because we are not in desperation to get out of a place where there seems to be no light, or is cold, and dark.

As a foster or adoptive parent we come to the valleys in our walks with our children.  I want to say here, the valleys are what they are, as I said above, don’t make them anymore than that.

Challenges,

Rest

Renewal

Leaning

New faith.

As adults, we get this, as children we do not.  Come to understand that.  And, it is ok to lose your mind occasionally, just try not to do that around the children who have been a valley for so long they don’t understand the mountain tops, the fire, the motivation, the love, the desire fulfilled, or why their lives have been turned upside down.

I’m gonna say something radical here

Love is not all it takes

Help outside you is what it takes

Find your people

Find your village

Find everyone who is invested in your child/children

Find Faith

Find your God

Find joy in everything

Find your focus of moving forward

Find the future not the past

Find everything, and everyone you need on this journey

There are always valleys if you chose to climb mountains.  Fact.  Understand that the valleys are part of the journey.  Fact.  Never, never, give up on the climb, the resolution, the answer, your faith.

You got in this journey for a heart, spirit, mind reason.  Your very being told you to do this amazing journey, don’t give up, climb the mountain, climb the hill, renew your faith, find the future over the past, and believe that if that child is placed with you even for a moment, you  have a purpose to fulfill in their lives.  You will be amazed at the outcome.

When the valley is too long

Look up

Because the sun is shining

It is warm and fuzzy up there

And the climb is not impossible

AND

To get to the valley

You climbed the other side of the mountain

You climbed down

You are resting

You are not defeated

You are renewing

You are beginning the climb again.

NEVER NEVER give up climbing

Because

Each time you have the stamina to climb higher than the last time

If you think you would like a free fifteen minute coaching session around parenting, as a biological, foster or adoptive mum, please contact me.  Sign up on the email  and send me a note.  After fostering some 40-50 kids and adopting eight there’s not much I have not been through.  I would love to be your support.

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What IF?

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What if?

What if there was peace in the world?

What if you never know what you are here to do?

What if you had been born to a different mother?

What if you didn’t struggle with day to day stuff?

What if it was all perfect?

What if the grass really was greener on the other side of the hill?

What if you could leave your story behind………………….?

You know, the one that you can’t get past, the one that makes you feel guilty.

What if there was more love?

What if there were no orphans?

What if the homeless, and lost children were taken care of?

What if there were more foster parents?

What if all the children who were hungry got fed?

What if there were more arms to love them?

What if there were more resources to feed them?

What if we thought about others more than ourselves?

What if wishes turned into reality?

What if reality was taking a child into your home?

What if you had a message or a testimony to tell that child?

What if you had a love inside you that was bigger than yourself?

What if you shared that?

What if it became a seed?

What if that seed grew and became multiple seeds of love?

What if those seeds of love burst through every condemnation?

What if those seeds broke the walls down?

What if love, the truth, became the way of the world?

What if it starts with you?

What if it starts with one act of love?

What if that act is being a foster parent?

What if that child you take in becomes a hope for others?

What if you have a calling you can’t quite hear?

What if you are listening, but don’t believe what you hear?

What if the call in your heart is to give hope?

Then you can count on knowing that all the “what if’s” are just that.  Because anything that is birthed in our hearts are a sense of knowing, not a what if?

Last one.

What if we all worked together for good and there were no orphans?

God is always working, we just need to listen.

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Do You Have The Heart To Foster Or Adopt?

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I didn’t want to be a foster parent.

I thought my heart would be broken.

I also thought I didn’t need training.  I had four grown kids.

Fostering seemed scary and transitional, not permanent.

But, they were thoughts, not the actuality of my experience as a foster parent.  I’ll explain a little more.

The thought (note I said thought) of children coming and going was a little off putting, something I did not think I would like, or be able to parent/cope with.

When in fact, it was the complete opposite.   When we had finished our training and were waiting for our approval to become adoptive parents, I was called about fostering twins for the weekend.  I had to make a decision quickly, and the first thing out of my mouth was we weren’t approved.  Well that was done in an hour.  That happens when there just aren’t enough homes and it is late Friday afternoon.

That was quite a story but it was the first of many.  Those twins that came for the weekend turn twenty-one in August.  They became my forever children, birthed from my heart.

Not every child stays!

But, not every child that you foster stays forever.  Some are re-united with their birth families, some go on to be adopted by other families better suited to the child’s needs.  You see, my heart was never broken because I quickly realized every child that came had a broken heart, a broken spirit, and was confused, sometimes angry, but hurt, and definitely broken.

How would you feel if you were suddenly uprooted?

I mean, just think about it.  How would you feel if you were suddenly taken away from everything you ever knew?  A child doesn’t know whether they are living in poverty, neglect, abuse or in the biggest shiniest house in town.  They just know their surroundings, and the people who are feeding them, looking after them.  They don’t judge.  The don’t have that choice, or that freedom.

They become lost.

I have had a lot of children that I have had the privilege to care for.  Some for a few days, some for a couple of years, some for a month or two.  All were lost.  All had lost everything they knew.   And, unfortunately, some become lost in the system, staying there until they age out.

At eighteen we send our kids to college, but not so for most of the foster children who are “set free” at eighteen.  They are suddenly transitioned, if you can call it that, into fending for themselves.  Sadly many end up on the street, or in prison, not having the skills or education to survive.

This becomes a generational cycle.  I ask you the question, “what can we do to intervene?  What can we do to love and help these lost children?”  In this day of internet, social media, and a lessening of face to face interaction, these children are becoming invisible.

I wonder how many people I could ask on the street, if they knew about the growing numbers of foster children waiting for forever homes?  I am sure most of the general population, and most of the congregations of our churches are oblivious, and uniformed.

If this information has you thinking about being a foster parent please don’t hesitate to contact me.  You can leave me your email address and I would love to answer your questions.

Some of you know that I not only speak about adoption, I write and sing about this as well.  I would to give you a free download of the title track single from my last CD.  If you would like a copy of the song “Broken Hearts And Broken Wings” please download here.

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The Joys Of Teenagers or The Monster In The Drain

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As a mother of twelve, four grown with families, and eight at home, I am constantly alarmed at what six teenagers can do to their rooms.  The two twin twenty year olds are a whole other scenario.

Lets start in the basement.  Four girls, two nearly eighteen with their own rooms, and two (twin) nearly sixteen year olds in a shared room.

One bathroom.   Disaster.  Could call the Health Department.

I do check this, please note that.  But, I do other things in my life.  Mothers have lives too, so they cannot always collect all the washing, or clean up every mess in the lives of eight between the ages of thirteen and twenty.

Well last week, I had a cushy life.  It was spring break and I took the five, somewhat easiest, to the beach.  The youngest four were obviously the messiest, and the least to clean up.  Note to self that this should change.

I was assured in my absence, that the bathrooms were wonderful, the washing was done, the house was immaculate .

They lied.

After I got through the twenty odd loads of washing from home, not the beach -I did that before I left- I ventured down to look at rooms and said bathroom.

The drains were blocked.  In a week????  So I got the plunger from behind the disgusting toilet, covered in long hair, dust and stuff I won’t name here, and I plunged that sink.

CRAP!!!  Up from the bowels of the sink drain came this rather large, almost huge, scary, creepy many legged creature!  It flew out as I plunged and almost hit me!  I dived, flayed the plunger at that sucker and got it back in the sink.  My heart was racing!

I kept my cool.  I’ve watched those scary movies.  Heck I played the scary role in a film about to be famous.  I breathed in, pushed that hundred legged wormy creature back down the drain and drowned it.

The water was still not going down the drain.  I closed my eyes and plunged.  The monster was back in the drain, or the lock, or the sea that belongs at the end of the drain.

Can I say I am dramatic?  Yes, I am an actress.  A real one, with an agent.

I got myself together.  I retreated almost hearing the Bach’s Tocattta and Fuge in Dm.

Then in trepidation I approached the top floor.  The home of the twin twenty year olds.

Words fail me.  They have real creatures.  Like lizards, and flying things in cages.  The rats (pets) have gone because of my begging, but, any live creatures are smelly at the least.

Then there are their wet towels from the hot tub. Yes we live on what some would call a resort with hot tubs and heated pools.  Underneath monster cans, snack packets, gym bags, pistachio shells, crap from the two flying foxes (Australian), and the cage, which is double storied,  I find a pile of smelly clothes.  I think they have lost these.  They have become part of a lost Kingdom.  Underneath that, are coat hangers!  Oh the cry of my heart.  Do you understand how many coat hangers you need with eight kids??????????

Millions.  That’s all I’ve got to say about that.  It’s like a box of chocolates.

I could barely find their beds.  At least they had sheets on them, but the blankets and comforters were hanging in all the other mess.

Quite frankly I couldn’t walk through any of it, let alone know where to start.

This took a week to make.

Of me not being here.  I cleaned before I went.

Me not cracking the “whip” so to speak.

Speaking in a nice, kind Mrs Doubtfire voice that tells them to clean it up dears, is just an illusion.  I scream like a rabid animal caught in a trap because they ignore me, through the nice request.  Then they have the audacity to ask “Why is Mum so crazy?”

Oh I wish.  But.  And this is a BIG BUT!

If you are called, or find yourself in a large family, then this crap happens.  I am a little OCD or CDO as I prefer.  If you want to keep peace, some of this has to go by the wayside.

If you want to be something other than a Nazi cleaner, and a mother who yells about the mess, then you have to let some things slide.

Not to chaos, but to living.  Sometimes things get away.  Not the end of the earth here.  Sometimes, as a mum you get overwhelmed, but it’s not the end of the world either.

Learn to be flexible.  Learn to understand the laughter along with the endless mess, washing, animals, huge family gatherings which leave another mess, but leave a lot of memories.

Today, I made some really funny memories that I will tell my children’s children and everyone will laugh.

It’s called family.  In my case, blended, beautiful, big family.

Lessons learned.  While I have this many kids at home there will always be some, or major mess.

It is my job to teach them to clean it up.  Even if I am tearing my hair out.  Because if I do it, I am not teaching them.

Now, to chill out, after the 20 loads of washing.

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WILL BLOOM

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