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When Fear Overcomes Your Desire To Foster/Adopt

This photo is of me on my front porch.

I’ve been on that front porch with more than one therapist.

Someone who is helping me and my child.

You see, there is help.  Help in all situations when you foster/adopt.

But there is also fear.

Fear that there will be no help, nobody to support you.

Fear that overcomes you to the point that the desire you have to foster/adopt is overcome by it.

I have heard so many stories where foster parents give up.

Why?  Their heart is broken or their expectation is not met.

Yet, there are still children out there needing foster parents.

Their hearts are already broken, sometimes even shattered.

Our hearts mend.  We are adults.  We can overcome.

But, can they?  Overcome?  Live without a parent?

There are 700,000 children that pass through the foster system in this country every year.

400,000 end up in a foster situation where there are not enough homes, or families to step up.

In any county on any day, at least in Georgia, there are 500 kids in foster care with only 100 foster families.

What happens to the others?

Go back in time, to when you were a kid.  What if you were put in foster care?

What would that have felt like?

Who would you have wanted to be there for you?

You see, I had four biological kids, all who had some sort of issue.

So, what if amazing hubby and I had died in an accident, who would have taken them?

That’s the thought that led me to be a foster/adoptive parent.

Do you have fears around the desire to be a foster/adoptive parent?

Do you want to overcome that and maybe have the most rewarding experience in your life?

Then go here.  I would love to talk to YOU!

My Amazing Family through birth, adoption, rescue, and foster.


The Joys and Challenges of The Foster/Adoptive Parent

Adopting eight kids is a joy!

Adopting eight kids is a challenge!

One set of twins is a joyful surprise!

Three sets of twins is a challenge!

But, do not get me wrong, all children bring joy!

All children bring challenges.

Adopted, fostered or biological.

My journey brought much joy and restoration to my life.

You see I lost an identical twin with my second pregnancy.

I was blessed with one of them, but was sad that I never conceived another set of twins.

I knew I was a twin mum.   So did God!  He sent three sets!

Often when there is an adoption through a private agency that turns out to be twins, it becomes a little unstable.

It is much harder to make the decision to adopt out two babies, over one, but, that is not always the case.

You see, my extended adopted family, was in exactly that position.

I did not know them at the time of the adoption, but, they were about to adopt twins from the same birth mother that two sets of my twins came from.  Whew, complicated.

What birth mum has three sets of twins!  Well, this one did.  Her first two sets came into foster care, where I became first their foster parent, and then their adoptive parent.  The second set are two and a half years younger than their older sisters, but, came to us because in the Foster system, they really do try to keep siblings together.

We were and are totally blessed.  Of course they are all now teenagers, and that, is another challenge, and story for another day.

The third set came along about eight years after my youngest.  By a miracle, and I do believe in miracles, we were connected with the new adoptive parents of these amazing little ones.  Birth mum had gone through an agency, and the parents were in an open adoption with her.

We all had this immediate extended family connection.  I will never forget our first adoptive mum to mom conversation.  It lasted for hours.  Today, we all keep in contact, have visited, and are overdue for a visit.  Hoping to correct that in the very near future.

Fostering is not for the feint of heart, but the joy is so rewarding.  And, if I had not fostered, I would not have my two singletons, and my three sets of twins.  All came through foster care, as infants.

All were new borns except my eldest boys who were twenty months old.

Don’t be afraid of fostering, your heart will mend, theirs will not; unless they find YOU, the home and mother they are meant to go to.

And last thing, do not put limits on God’s gifts to you.  You may want two children like I did, and He may call you to more.

Please accept my complimentary gift of a free coaching session here.

And please accept this gift of our Ten Layers Of Swiss Cheese orTen Tools For Foster/Adoptive Parents here.

You may have questions.  Please go here for my story in the book “Is Eight Enough.”

See you on the call!

My child I fostered from a broken adoption that put him on the streets of Liberia with no family, no home, no love and no comfort.  If you want to read his story go here.

ps.  He had the most horrific accident just about a year ago.

pps.  He fully recovered miraculously.

ppps.  God saved him twice from the jungle of Africa, He didn’t give up.  He saved him again.  Go here for his story.

My family!  Blessed!

 

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!

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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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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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.

valentine45

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