Category Archives: Speaking

When Your Life Is In A Trash Bag (And You Think You Are Just Plain Garbage)

I chose a drama piece for my theatre group the other day.

It was about foster kids.

Foster kids who didn’t stay in one place.

The ones that are troublesome.

The ones that think their life doesn’t count.

The ones looking for love from someone who sees through their disguise.

The ones that carry their life in a “trash bag.”

If you have enough its a black large one.

If you don’t its a white one meant for the kitchen size trash can.

I know this is real.  You see I fostered kids who came with a trash bag.

The saddest thing is one of my new drama kids, was that kid.

The one with the trash bag.

At three.

Her mom did drugs, and so did her dad.

She was a trash bag kid at three.

She thought she was garbage at three.

Cause, garbage comes in trash bags, not your life.

Your possessions.

Your jeans, your make up (to cover the bruises), your basketball, your hairbrush, your teddy bear (if you are lucky), your toothbrush, and maybe your deodorant.

Yup, not made up.  True.  To this day.  Sad….pathetic.

Not the kids.

The adults who tip them out with the same trash bag.

So why do the adults tip them out?

Because they cannot cope with the pain either.  Sometimes it is really hard to dig for coping skills in our own lives.

Sometimes they get thrown away like the part that no-one can deal with;  or can explain, can heal, can help, because the pain is deep, it wounds, and the wounds dig into the adults trying to help.

It exposes parts of the very people trying to help, to the point where it is so painful, they give up.  They send them away, with a trash bag, because, the pain is part of them.  It is something that brings up memories, or hurt, the very things that made them become foster parents in the first place.  The hidden things training did not address.

You see I have learned that as a foster parent you need to know why you want to do this very important duty.  What issues in your life, or what desires in your life,  caused you to want to help this foster child carrying the trash bag.  Your issues and desires need to come to the light and you need to understand them to be able to deal.

Well how do I know this?  Gosh I fostered over fifty kids, and yes, sad to say, there were some that brought up my issues.  I wish I had known then what I know now.  I needed to deal with rejection, sexual abuse, and controlling issues because I was a victim of these things, myself.

If you are a foster parent reading this, I urge you to dig deep into the reasons you want to do this amazing, rewarding, fulfilling  adventure.  If you do, and understand those issues in your own life that have lead you to this, then you will have total fulfillment and also be the best foster/adoptive parent you are capable of being.

I have a task.  It is to enlighten and educate with the experience I have as a long term foster/adoptive parent.  Even if that precious, hard to understand child comes with a trash bag, let’s not let them leave the same way.  Let’s help them see their life is valuable, worthy and that God loves them regardless.

I have a task.  To love on my new drama student.  A trash bag kid at the age of three.  To make sure she never has to feel like she is garbage.

If you know of any foster kids in your area, donate a back pack, please!  Lets use trash bags for the purpose they were designed for.

If you would like to talk to me I offer a free coaching session to help you on your journey in this difficult, but rewarding call.

Click here to contact!

Want to Adopt? Where from……………….


 

So, you want to adopt?

Where from?

How?

How old?

When?

All of these questions arise when the thought, adoption, comes into your mind and won’t let go.

You live it, dream it, google it, it never leaves.

I remember the very first time that thought came to my head.

I remember the importance of the moment, and the impatience that came along with it.

I wanted to get going NOW!!!!!

But where from, how, when, like how long does this take?

It all fell into perfect place for me and I found my feet through all of the trainings and paperwork, but it isn’t always that easy.

Our first choices for adoption did not work out.  I didn’t fully understand that until much later on, but, they simply were not meant to be my children.  God had another plan.

I have fostered, not my first choice either, but one I will never regret. How could I?  That is where my adopted eight came from.  Foster Care.

There were many times in my journey through fostering, adopting and raising the children I was entrusted with, that I really felt alone.

Although exciting when your child arrives, it comes with all of the usual, and some not so usual, behaviors and issues.

Quite frankly, I wished I had a shoulder to lean on more than once.  I paid for non-refundable counseling for a whole year which was valuable, but didn’t ever give me a game plan for the future.

I also ended up involved in an overseas adoption and brought a very sad, but angry, child back to the USA from Liberia, after his first adoption fell apart.

I wished I had someone to lean on then as well.  Someone who knew some of the obstacles I would face.

Today, I am that person I wished I had back then.

Are you in that place right now where you would love someone to lean on?  Where you have a future plan and know where you are going?

Are you looking at choices of where to adopt from and it has become overwhelming?

Whether you are a foster to adopt, or seeking to adopt, I have answers for you.

After fostering fifty or so children, adopting eight, custody of two more, and raising twelve, I have walked in your shoes.

This adoption journey has been the most life changing event that ever happened to me.  Amazing, full of love, laughter, tears, and a lot of growing to love unconditionally those things I could not, and cannot change.

I am now a certified Life Coach and am offering a free coaching session.  You can click the link below and experience how an hour of coaching can change your life.

Here is the link.

p.s. Never become an island

p.p.s. Help is at hand.

When The Honeymoon is over……what next?

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This morning I needed a plumber.

This morning my plumber needed me.

Why?

My plumber had been together with his partner for nineteen years with no children.

Three months ago, he took home his niece and nephew with guardianship, because their drug addicted mother could no longer care for them.

One month ago, being compassionate, caring and trying to do the right thing, he tried to  “help” their mother.

All chaos broke out.

He does not understand why his efforts to be kind and caring are backfiring.

A few questions and he answered all his own questions.

You see, you cannot change anyone, including a 32 year old addict.

All of your best efforts to do so will fall on deaf ears.

Change can only come from within.

But, children, can be changed and guided by love, understanding, and building trust with them.

The change still comes from within them, but is guided by parents, guardians, foster parents, those that are sent to guide them, lead them, and love them.

Children are still forming their minds and patterns even in the midst of chaos.

They are looking for a hero, someone who will love them regardless.

They will push every boundary, and test you to the limit.

They may have seen too much, but, given the right guidance, counsel, and wise counsel, they will survive and overcome.

In my personal experience, I cannot change the addict, they can only change themselves, with professional help.

Again, in my personal experience, I can help the child to embrace a different life by providing the right counsel, opportunities, understanding and love.  Tough love at times, but love.

Love alone does not work.  Prayer, followed by hard work and dedication do have an effect.

Just as in marriages, honeymoons end, and, real life begins.  When the honeymoon ends, that’s when we see the real picture, and know just where to go, what to adjust, and if we do have the stamina and tolerance to ride this relationship to it’s fruition.

I could have left my marriage many times when things did not go my way.  I could have walked from relationships with my children when times got tough, and I could have walked from my relationship with my elderly mother when times got to be outrageous.

But, a relationship, has two sides.  Yours and theirs.  I choose to sculpt my side of any relationship in the form I want and need it to be.  It rubs off if it is done with the right attitude and the right heart.

So, in the case of my plumber, he wants to talk with me a whole lot more because his mind gained a new clarity after our “conversation” or impromptu coaching session.  He went from being the victim, to understanding the real victim, the child.

He went from feeling hurt, to understanding the hurt from the child.  He left not feeling hurt from words said from a thirteen year old child, but empowered knowing he can stand on the other side and help the child without getting his feelings hurt.

I leave you with this.  No child needs to be left behind if our thoughts are captured, looked at really hard, and understand that we will survive, but if we take offense from a child who has been abused and neglected, we are not helping anyone, including ourselves.
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So You Want To Foster To Adopt

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You are frustrated. You want to adopt a child, here, not overseas.

The system is difficult, long suffering, and impossible.

You decide to foster to adopt.

You expect your first child is going to be the one that stays, he/she doesn’t.

Then the second, the third, the group of three, none stay.  You are disillusioned.

You want to give up.

Why?

Maybe those children were not meant to be yours long term?

Maybe God just meant them to be there for you to nurture in the transition back to family who could parent?

What if you were their Angel unaware in their time of need?

What if you were the person who gave them their first hug, their first bedtime story, their first regular schedule, their first smile.

Does that change the way you are feeling?

Think about it.  Because God has the right child, or children in the right time.  Sometimes we just give up before the moment of miracles.

Our heart breaks with longing for the child we want to hold.  Their heart is breaking with longing for the mother or father they want to love them.

It’s sort of a catch 22.  We long for a baby, or child, they long for a family, and yet we are stuck in our own thoughts, and not allowing for the child’s.  What if you did that?  Stood in the child’s shoes?

Think of the fear they feel.  Think of the confusion; the rejection, thinking their parents have left.  Think of the lack of affection, the toys, bedtimes stories, hugs, home cooked food, pajamas, a bed of their own, all of these they do not have.

If you can give this for a week, a month, and in my case once, a year, then you have done your part of this amazing journey.  You have changed a child’s life.  You are truly a foster to adopt parent.

Your forever child will come.  At the right time, in the right circumstance, the right age (whether you asked for this or not) and the right sex.  Boy or girl doesn’t matter you know.  You get what you get when you birth them biologically.

I have two children specifically in my mind that I thought I wanted to be my forever children, but it was not to be.  In hindsight, I was right. The system was right in one case;  I painfully chose another family for the other,  but, it worked out.

Big news.  I am still in contact with them to this day because I did the job of the Foster Parent.  I so wanted them to be mine forever, but, that was not the plan, the ultimate Almighty plan.  I am blessed because I went with the plan.

Oh, and did I tell you this?  I ended up with eight adopted children, including three sets of twins.  Those that God meant to stay did, and to those children that I was meant to be their Angel unaware, I was.  To fifty or so of them.

Don’t look at the prize guys, look at the journey, and the joy on the way.  The prize is not your forever kids, it is the love, comfort and joy you give to those that are put upon your path in the journey of the Foster to Adopt parent.  Your forever kids are more than the prize, they are the virtual love of God given to you, for being able to give of your heart to “the lost children” who needed you, needed you in every hour.  Those children become “Invisible.”  They feel that way, until you pick them up, in your arms, love them, nurture them, read to them, and sometimes give them back to family who love them too.

If you want a free mini session (life coaching) go here.

If you want to list to a song that will minister about this go here.

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Help! Turn Up The Volume!

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I was out on my usual hike with amazing hubby this morning.

I could hear a voice calling out in the distance.

It seemed to be calling for help, but I wasn’t quite sure.

We stopped for a minute and listened carefully.

Yup, sounded something like “help!”

Some hikers passed us at that point, and I turned and asked them, “Can you year that?  Does it sound like someone calling for help?”

They looked at us and replied, “Yes, it sounds like that.”

Then they turned back to their conversation and walked on!

We were shocked to say the least, at how casual someone could ignore what really sounded like a cry for help.

Well, our hike took a slightly different turn and we followed the voice until we came upon a gentleman, who was not needing help, but trying to find his dog!  His dog’s name sure sounded like “help.”

We took a different path back, still wondering why no-one else on the trail went to find out if he needed assistance.  It stuck with me.

Different thoughts rolled around in my mind, and came back to the realization that most people just don’t like to get involved.  In fact, they prefer to pretend they didn’t see, or hear that someone might need help.

My thoughts immediately took me back to all of the “lost” children out there.  Some in group homes, some in orphanages, some around the corner, and some across the world.  All with a very small voice that is trying to be heard.  “I want a family;  I want a mom and dad.”

The statistics are shocking.  There are so many children, our next and future generations that do not have any home, let alone a stable, loving family.

So, maybe it’s time to shake it up.  Grow awareness.  If you relate, know about this issue and are involved, I would love to hear your thoughts.

So I don’t only think, but I know I need to “Turn Up The Volume!”  

Be heard!

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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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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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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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