Category Archives: Allowing

You Never Know Who You Are Sitting Next To……

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I recently attended an amazing conference in Savannah with some of the most wonderful women I have ever met.  All of us in business for ourselves, Lady Bosses if you will.  Although I am my own boss, I sometimes wonder what my coaching clients really want to hear and what client is in need of my knowledge to help them clarify their why, what and where.

I speak a lot about adoption and fostering, but have not thought there would be a huge demand for life coaching in this area.  Well, maybe I am wrong about that.

In the last hour of this wonderful weekend I started chatting to another of my fellow life coaches.  She asked a few questions and then suddenly I found she wanted, needed, information that I knew and could easily help her with.

Adoption!!!!!!

How Do I Start?

Where Do I Start?

Then the really big question, the one I always get…….

I’M AFRAID!!

Well I can tell you I was too!!  It seemed like a scary journey, and overwhelm set in more than once.  I can remember jumping from being excited, to feeling like this was too much uncertainty.  But, I got through all of it, and I learned so much about what I call “The Lost Children” on the way.

I can remember thinking I only want one or two and they would be this age, and preferably girls.

OMG!

REALLY!

Well that was the beginning of one hell of a ride!

One I never regret and one that made me a better person!

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Not everyone is called or feels the tug of adoption and less people are led to be a foster parent.  I was one of those.  I didn’t dream about this and when I did think I wanted to adopt, I never intended to be a foster parent.

That’s a whole other story!!!!

But, if you have thought about bringing a child into your home by adoption, or being a foster parent, I would love to talk to you.  I am going to do a series of videos that will be free to you, just add your email and I got you!!  I hope these will be informative.

Remember this,

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When Foster meets Biological

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I haven’t been in the system as a foster parent for several years, but, it doesn’t seem to stop teenagers in need of a place of respite from coming to my door.    When all of my family was much younger, it was pretty easy with most of the foster kids who came into care.

Of course, we had rules, which, of course, we broke often in an emergency.  Most of the rules I broke, I was blessed by.  But, there were rules we had for ages of foster children for a reason.  Good solid reasons, like teenage boys coming into a situation with teenage girls.  Not a good mix.

One of the primary rules we had, and mostly stuck too, was that our foster children needed to be younger that the permanent or biological kids in the house.  When we started that was easy, our youngest in the house were fifteen and sixteen.  But then our first boys, twins, came at twenty months old, and we had to start to think about who or what ages could come in and melt into the potluck, or God given, family that He was creating.

I have to say here, when our teenagers that were resident in the house were asked about bringing foster kids in, they were very reluctant.  They had the same arguments that I hear every time I talk about fostering.  “We will love them and they will leave!”  But, love, is exactly what all of the children coming into a foster care situation need.  Even if they have layers of PTSD, are angry, unloving and yell at you, they are the ones needing your love.

I can say without a doubt, there were times that children came into our home and were not a good mix.  I always trusted my instincts on that one, and made sure I collaborated with the caseworker to find them the appropriate placement.  Ah, the good old days.  I think it has changed a lot since then, but never give up finding a child the right placement.

We have always had a rule in our house about kids coming in.  It is simply this: “Father God, we will take anyone you send as long as they are not a problem to the ones we have.”  We have stuck to that rule.  In fact we had to put that rule into place just recently when a young man just out of his teens proved to be a serious problem to the family.  It is always heartbreaking when this happens, but when it is obvious and clear, protection of the ones that came first is imperative.

Our last desperate young man was seemingly without family at first glance and needing so much, but unfortunately he mistook kindness for stupidity.  Drugs, alcohol and deceptive behavior is not acceptable in our house.  If he, or anyone else, is honest and open to help, I am there, but denial is a part of addiction and not what I can have in my home with my children.

So, accept and believe, nurture and love, but keep your eyes open and understand what is beyond your ability to change or fix.

IGNITE YOUR PASSION_FIND YOUR PURPOSE

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The extras we are thankful God sent to our table,

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Thanksgiving is a day but it is also a word that means give thanks for everything and everyone.

I am not only thankful for my family but the “family” not related but know who are, and trust they can come and be accepted, loved, laugh, cry and be exactly who they are, warts and all, and not be judged.

Yesterday, Thanksgiving, I was honored to have not only my amazing large exuberant loud family, but others who I feel like family and trust they can come in grief and sorrow, in loss, in rejection, and be loved and not expected to be anything but “RAW”.

They know who they are.  The young wife with two babies whose husband left, with her mom who has struggled through her own life and I am sure was totally in shock at the thought and experience of the Thompson family.  She didn’t leave, and although looked a bit shell shocked from time to time, did converse in the end.  Young wife had a blast, was gracious to ex when he showed with the children, and overall felt like she did not have to pretend.  RAW!

The next were precious friends who lost a husband and a dad, suddenly, and couldn’t face putting on a pretense for anyone.  They all were here together last year, and to come back and know their loved one’s spirit was here with us was hard, but they knew no matter what emotions they came with, they would be accepted.   We let them take the lead on that.

My grieving friends laughed, ate, talked, cried, remembered and were glad they came.  The were accepted just where they were, RAW.

Then there was the young man who lost his father too early, had led a troubled life, and has no real family as his mother is on the streets.  He came, ate heartily, sat by the fire pit with the others, was accepted, in spite of his past (not too good) and stayed until the end.  He felt accepted.  He came RAW, not expecting but spilled his heart to amazing hubby at midnight while we were cleaning up.  Not only up for being RAW, but feeling accepted enough to do that.

And just when we thought most were gone was the young mother of two who lives in an extended stay motel.  She knows my daughter through work and has not always done the right thing by a vulnerable teenager with her own issues.  But, she found herself at a church because she was desperate and invited the vulnerable teenager.  God at work.

It turns out they could not remember their last home cooked meal, and the children were enthralled with my piano which I taught them to revere, hold gently in their fingers and not bang, but love.  Their eyes were shining, their minds were open and hearts receptive.

They ate, they played my piano that I have had since I was seventeen, and their eyes were not just shining, they were hopeful, trusting and grateful.  And then the sad part.

There were a few, too vulnerable and not able to trust, who committed but couldn’t come.  Too RAW!.  They have built walls, large ones, that prevent happiness, love, and the biggest thing, being able to give out of themselves more than having to be stroked, cajoled and making others feel  responsible for their feelings.  The saddest and the hardest to help because they will not help themselves.

I hate that these miss the love, the family that is available, but that is the wall they choose to hide behind, the love they choose to miss, and all we can do when they are adults is love them and let them be. Allow them to be who they are and love them unconditionally without letting them own us and make us enter their sad world.  We pray and hope they can find their own path to happiness through loving God more than loving where they are.

But my own, my family, my twelve plus grands.  You are awesome, you accept, you love, you do not judge, you just roll with what happens and who comes.  You are my heart, and you give out of my heart and your own to those who need our love.  I’m blessed by you.

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BELIEVE IN