Category Archives: Foster Parenting

The extras we are thankful God sent to our table,

Adotion Thing Logo Final-1

IMG_7844_edited

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.

300px_web

BELIEVE IN

The Night Before Thanksgiving when all goes awry!

 

Adotion Thing Logo Final-1

IMG_7874_edited

Woke early, tis the eve of Thanksgiving and there is so much cooking

Got breakfast, and washing, and toasted the GF bread for stuffing.

Final list on my phone, including Vet trip and medicine for the dog.

Got Brandy, egg nog and finally stopped.  Driving.  End of rhyming.

I couldn’t possibly  begin now to outline just what can happen in a house as full as mine when you really need to get some things out of the way before the great day.

I left before some were up including one that had a red patch on her calf last night which I was lead to believe was bite.  She is the one that attracts the very last mosquito and has welts from every attack of the flying creatures.

But then also on the menu for today was the seventeen year old who had a red “mole” grow suddenly on her butt, that had been removed the week before.  Call from the dermatologist and it is a dodgy “juvenile melanoma, not dangerous, but has some oddities.  More butt surgery for her at 2.30.

Rog takes the dermatologist and I take the pediatrician.  Noon, still no cooking.

Then child with butt surgery informs, which is a way of asking without getting a no, that she has eleven people over for a fire pit at five thirty and would like to learn to make an apple pie, to impress them of course.

So I go to the pediatrician who orders hot compresses, and medicine to be picked up of course, for the cellulitis that is now forming around an infection, commonly called a boil.  Of course she is so incapacitated that she needs my crutches from knee surgery.

Arrived home, now the home made apple pie which I realize if I don’t start peeling granny smith apples we will be here all day and she has to leave for surgery in less than an hour.  Well at least I bought the pastry crust otherwise we would have never got done.

Enlist the other nearly seventeen year old to help and as I go to empty the peelings into one of the three sinks in my amazing commercial kitchen which I need, I trip over the sleeping blind, or nearly blind dog and in an effort not to damage the post surgery knee, slam three fingers on my right hand into the edge of my most amazing granite counters.

I am dropped to my knees.  I am crying, no yelling crying, not even ugly, just howling from the pain in my fingers which feel like they are severed from my body let alone my hand.  It wasn’t until later I realized there was a big bump on the bone of my arm where I somehow slammed it.  But, my knee is fine.

So, the wonder of family here is, that although they all wanted to, and were sleeping on the couch, watching TV etc, the moment I got hurt, they all rallied.  Butt surgery child reprimanded her father for not acting fast enough, and got the ice pack.  Made me sit and fussed over me.  Rog watched on, somewhat in shock, because he had never heard me howl like that.  He’s outside right now making sure there is not a full moon.

So now with fat fingers, I directed the cooking and we made a flourless chocolate cake, excellent, scalloped potatoes, cornbread for the dressing, peeled and cut up all the butternut squash for the roasted brussels sprouts, squash, pecan and cranberry warm salad with maple syrup of course.  Thawed the turkey for stuffing, the other gets fried, the hunk of rib-eye, and cleaned everything after cooking and prep.  Just remembered to get out the salmon!!

So fat fingers, a stitched up butt, and a swollen impending boil, is just how we roll.  Thanksgiving will be just that.  Thankful for all of my family and the ones that surround it.  The ones that don’t have family like the kids around my fire pit who I am feeding pizza on the eve of Thanksgiving.  Tomorrow a mere 35 or so.

Be thankful guys,  even when it doesn’t quite go how you want it to.  Make lemonade!

I am not a perfect person, I pick up the

300px_web

Adoption…. Fostering……When the paperwork creates overwhelm

Adotion Thing Logo Final-1

IMG_7874_edited

I remember very well the first time I was handed that huge wad of paperwork.  Talk about overwhelm!   Where did I start?  Lots of things ran through my head.

Ah, how much do I want to do this?

Surely there is an easier way?

What if I don’t measure up?

Why are they talking about fostering?

I just want to adopt, OK?

What do you mean parenting classes?

And so on, and so on.  But, for me, for us, the call was greater than the paperwork.  And there is a ton.  Not for the feint of heart, but worth every minute of the process.

The fingerprints, the home study, all those questions about you and how you think, what you think, DO you think.

In my day, some eighteen odd years ago, and then again about eight years ago, it varied between agencies.  And those have changed now too.  There are a lot more private ones over your local Department Of Children’s Services where we first went for our first training.

And the support or should I say WHAT support?

It was no wonder that after the first class some dropped out until week ten and only the die-hards were left.  We were among them.  You see, we cried in the first session and it only became more heart wrenching after that.  If I didn’t come because I wanted to, I would have stayed because of the need that was before my eyes and my heart.

I can honestly say to all of you who are wondering if this journey is for you, you will never look back again at the world the same way.  You will be forever changed even if you never foster, you will now know.

You will be now be informed

Fostering is not on my horizon at the moment, I won’t say never because when I do, that becomes a challenge to God.  But, I do want to encourage those who have that small voice in their minds, and their hearts are breaking for a child, to be led into this magical, heartbreaking, joyous, sad, meaningful, desolate, rewarding, misunderstood adventure.

Your blessing will be greater than you could ever imagine in ways you could never imagine

You will carry the joy and shed the tears for the ones you cared for, and the ones you are still caring for.  You will never forget their faces, and you will carry them in your heart forever.  You will suddenly realize this is the biggest achievement in your life and the life of someone who really needed you, more than you needed them.

Your heart may get broken a little, but you will put tiny broken hearts back together, piece by piece, a little at a time until they are whole again.

And if, or when they go from your life, you will hold memories, photos, testimonies that will remind you of why you did this.  Why you loved a child unconditionally, without restrictions or parameters, contracts or conditions.  You will never forget them, and trust me, they will never forget you.

It is a lonely life sometimes, the one of the foster/adoptive parent.  One that is not understood, one sometimes overlooked, taken for granted.

 But, that is the very reason I CHOSE to be Life Coach to foster/adoptive parents.  It is a journey not everyone will understand, but I do. You see I fostered over fifty children, and adopted eight.  I know what you face every day, I know what you feel, what you worry about and what you need in the way of encouragement.

Contact me for any reason.  I am here.  I offer a free session to anyone on this journey.  Just put your name in the email sign up and I will contact you.

I am not a perfect person, I pick up the

300px_web