A new year is upon us. So many people see a new year as a new chapter to be written in their lives. They often speak of making a difference in their lives. I wonder how many people have considered making a difference in someone else's life. There are many, many ways to do this, but I'm going to focus on one in particular. Every single week of my life, I run into someone who tells me they've always wanted to adopt from foster care. I don't know anyone though who has actually done it afterwards. I've pondered a lot the reasons for this when there are so many children in foster care waiting for families. I think it's fear. It's makes sense--it's a scary journey. You wonder What if a social worker doesn't think I'd make a good parent? What if the child doesn't like me? What if a child we bring into our home hurts another of our children? What if he/she has RAD? What if the trauma they've experienced has ruined them? These are all questions I struggled with before we adopted our son. I felt sure though that it was what we were called to do, so I had to step out in faith. Along the way I found some great resources to help answer a lot of my questions. The best one was this: Resources for Parents Adopting from Foster Care --there you will find statistics like the following: FOSTER CARE STATISTICS * Currently, there are approximately 425,000 children in foster care in the United States. It's estimated that 115,000 are eligible for adoption. *In 2009, about 57,466 children were adopted from foster care. *69% of parents who adopt from foster care are married couples, 31% are single-parent families. *Median age of child in foster care: 8.1 years. *Race/ethnicity of children in foster care: 38% Caucasian, 30% African-American, 22% Hispanic, 10% other. *The average child in foster care goes through three different placements and stays in the system for about 30 months. *Each year, about 26,000 children age out of foster care. As well as a myriad of personal stories from those who have adopted children from foster care. Check it out. If your thighs don't shrink in 2011, it's not that big of a deal in the great scheme of things; consider making a change this coming year that will truly make a difference in someone's life.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Christmas went well. The kids had a great time, even though I was loopy, medicated (due to an allergy-induced sinus infection again), and extremely grumpy! If you’re one of those people who thinks you have to make the chaotic trek to Grandma’s house for Christmas in order for the kids to have an enjoyable Christmas, I assure you it isn’t so. We enjoyed the same quiet Christmas at home that we always have, and the kids loved it. This was CJ’s first Christmas with us, and it was so much fun seeing all his firsts...he’d never heard any of the traditional Christmas songs we love listening to, never baked Christmas cookies, never eaten tea ring, never celebrated advent or the 12 days of Christmas, never been to a Christmas eve service, or driven around for the sole purpose of looking at lights. He loved it all (he kept saying “You‘re the BEST!” every time he participated in one of our traditions), and can’t wait for other celebrations. Especially New Year’s Eve.
My husband and I are very old people inside much younger bodies. We established our New Year’s Eve tradition early on in our marriage, and have never deviated from it. The perfect New Year’s Eve as far as we’re concerned, is to fill the table FULL of yummy goodies (cheese, crackers, cookies, sushi, fruit, veggies, dip, sparkling juice, etc.) , get into our jammies, watch old (or really funny) movies, eat our goodies, and go to bed when we feel like it (Hubby and I are usually just slipping between the sheets in time to share a new year’s kiss)
You wouldn’t think the old fogy New Year’s Eve celebration would appeal to 8-year-olds, but it does. Big time. ZeZe loves it. She’s been telling CJ about it, and he can’t wait. I can’t wait either. Family traditions are the BEST :)
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
He is so courageous. I encourage him to talk about the painful things and I explain that it will help him heal. I tell him I'm right here for him when the memories are scary. He believes me. That's huge. And he shares the scary stories, even though it seems almost unbearable for him sometimes to have to recall them. He is so brave.
Today was a tough day for him, and he handled it so well. It was tough for me too, and though I handled it well on the outside, it was a lot harder inside. So I ate a couple Christmas cookies --not great for my IBS or my waistline(when your metabolism is as slow as mine is, even a couple cookies make a bad impact!). Then we went for a walk, which was much better for all of us.
Words cannot express how grateful I am to God that CJ is safe now. That he has the opportunity to heal. My heart breaks for other children who are out there right now, in horrifying situations and in unimaginable pain. Join me in praying for a place for these children heal, and please consider the possibility that you may be that place.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
There are creatures hurting all over this world. I know this isn't a great financial time for anyone right now, but if you have some money to spare, I encourage you to use to it help others. You don't have to give hundreds. If you have 5, 10, 15, or 20 dollars, it can make a difference. I'm sure you can readily think of ways to use your money for others. In case you're having a bit of trouble coming up with ideas, here are a few:
1. Ask your church or other religious organization for ways you can help those in need in your community.
2. Donate to your local animal shelter. They don't just need your money; donate your time volunteering, blankets, food, or toys.
3. Consider sponsoring a child or giving a one time donation to Compassion International.
4. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is a great place to help.
5. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a wonderful organization that helps to bring foster children together with adoptive families.
I don't want to overwhelm you with the world's needs, I just want to show you a couple ways to help, so I'll stop there. The needs of the world are great, and you are small; but if we all pitch in together, we can make a difference.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
...you can bake cookies:
...you can play inside until your room is a disaster:
...you can bake more cookies:
...you can stare at the pretty lights on the Christmas tree:
...you could curl up in the chair for a nap:
...you can thank God for the opportunity to be inside surrounded by critters and kids when the weather is crummy :)