Adoption

Becoming a CASA Worker

Becoming a CASA Worker

Becoming a CASA Worker

The above graphic on Becoming a CASA Worker might give you an idea of what one does.  This is a volunteer program, for the most part.  Social workers are tired.  They are overloaded with work and laws that really do nothing in the grand scheme of things.  It is sad.  I have known (and know) some amazing social workers.  Then, I have known some “out for blood” people that turns people away from this important work.  Social work is a thankless job.  Honestly, I have such respect for these men and women going in and trying to do their best to help these children.

CASA

A CASA worker, again, is a volunteer job.  When I was a worker, it was about 9 years ago.  We were waiting for Jude’s adoption to go through.  I needed something to feel like I’m doing something to help someone.

There was a lady that I answered too.  We had meetings and classes.  Also, I would go with her to court and observe to see how things were handled within the courtroom.  I have never been one to shy away from a courtroom.  They are actually peaceful to me.  It can be frustrating when you see something so clear and then another decision is made by the judge.  Once done with the classes and following my boss, I was swore in, by the judge.  Then I was able to testify if needed.

What I Did

I was the voice of the child.  That is the whole point of being a CASA worker.  We advocate for the child.  Sometimes you take the stand and sometimes you don’t.  Each person has someone working for them and being their voice.  There are the attorney’s (for both parties and the who represents the state), guardian ad litem (represents the child as their attorney), social worker (works towards reunification and closely with the parent(s), R&C worker (the foster parent’s advocate), and a CASA worker (the child’s advocate).

It sounds intimidating but it really isn’t.

Yet, it is a responsibility that you have to take seriously.  You have to look the part, behave the part, and know your stuff.  There was a situation, where a certain social worker, who didn’t care for me, put me on the spot.  It is no great secret there is no love loss between us but I tried to remain civil.  She had a hard time with that and refused to take the stand.  In fact, she said I “knew it all” and that I would handle it.

Well.  He called me up to the stand.

Guess what?

I handled it in direct opposition that this worker wanted it handled.  This is not a sparring match between two people who can’t play well together.  Honestly, this is about the child(ren) and helping them keep their core family together if we can.

I Loved the Job

For real, I would have done this permanently had Jude not been with me.  When he came home, he was my 100% focus.  Maybe one day I will get back in the groove.  I’m sure things have changed in the last 8 years.  So, it is best that you call your local agency and find out what you need to do in order to be a CASA worker.  It is totally worth it.

Call to Action

We are not all called to adopt BUT we are all called to do something.  Is this your something?  Shadow a worker and see if what they do fits into your idea of what a CASA worker does.  Seeing positive family reunifications is so rewarding.  There are other things that you will see that will hurt your heart, to the core.  Yet, we are placed in that position for a reason.  Spread the love of Jesus in all that you do.

If you have any questions, let me know!

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Adoption

Foster Care Awareness Month

Foster Care Awareness Month

Foster Care Awareness Month

May is National Foster Care Awareness Month.  Foster Care…scary words, huh?  It was for me and Big Daddy when we started this journey many many years ago.  I have so many thoughts going through my head when I even utter that phrase.

Foster Care.

When we began our journey, we went in SO naive.  I mean googly-eyed and just eager to “fix,” “save,” and “help.”  Oh, my goodness.  We learned, quickly, that that was not the case.

Please remember, this is OUR journey.  These are OUR feelings.  This is OUR story.  Your story will be different.  That’s the beauty of life and different perspectives.  I’m PRO foster care.  I just wish we were better prepared for what we went through.

Before I Begin…Look at These Facts

The Lakes.  These numbers are staggering.  Across the board, staggering.  Every child deserves a home.  Also, every child deserves a last name.  Every child deserves safety and their basic needs met.  Bless…every child deserves love and a chance.  Every.  Single.  Child.  Whether they are fresh from the womb or 40 years old…EVERYONE deserves a family.

My Feels are Feeling

We were so naive.  I think I mentioned that.  We were eager.  First, we had our PS-MAPP classes.  10 weeks, 3 hours a week, sitting through classes re-learning how to parent.  We were not completely welcomed.  Judged, if you will.  There were people there that were older, older couples, younger couples, singletons.  I remember looking across the room and this one couple flat out asked us what we were doing in that class. That we had no business being in there because we already “had” children.  It wasn’t fair for us to take available children when some people in this world “can’t biologically have” children.  Bear in mind, in this class, I was there by myself.  Big Daddy had to work and did one on one classes.  So, I fielded some of the hate all alone.

Punch in the Gut

That statement took the wind right out of my sails.  I have many friends who cannot “biologically” have children.  Some have remained “childless” from society’s perspective.  Yet…they are just as much a parent then I am.  They love, deeply.  Sacrifice for others whether that is for their stepchildren/nieces/nephews/cousins/god-children or animals.  It is beautiful to witness.  There is beauty to be found in the ashes.

I have friends who have chosen to adopt BEFORE they biologically had children.  That is how they wanted it all along.  Some women can easily conceive and then make the choice to “prevent” conception in a permanent manner.  Then, they regret “playing God” and move towards adoption.

However, you come to the cross in how your family is structured…it is YOUR journey.  Yours.  No one should judge another for having no children or 1000 kids.  It is simply none of your business.  Gracious.  There can be so much hate, judgment, and condemnation.

Ways You Can Help

Not everyone is called to adopt, but we are all called to do something!  Here are so tangible ways to help a foster child(ren), foster family, adoptive family, or a child you see that may need a little extra love.

  • Pray.  For the child, their parents and bio family, the foster family and extended family, judges, attorneys, guardians, social workers, counselors.  Can you even imagine, going from the chaos of unsafe home, the only home you know, and leaving with a stranger?  Then, being left with a stranger.  Sleeping in a strange bed with people that you don’t even know their names or where the light switch is.  I cannot even begin to imagine.
  • Respite.  Provide a weekend, afternoon, or just a drive for the foster family with this new child.  Respite is a paid position if you so desire, it is basically babysitting.  Believe me, everyone will welcome a short break.
  • Meal or Errands.  Provide a meal or errands for the foster/adoptive family.  Cook one for now, and have one extra ready for the freezer for later.  What a help.  Running errands helps to contain the chaos.  It is so hard to get out and about sometimes.  There are just moments when we need someone to run to the bank but due to a crisis, we just can’t get there.  Be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Other Ways To Help

  • Help Around the House.  Mow the yard.  Do a load of laundry.  Come clean while people nap.  Oh, if I had that…people to go to the doctor’s appointments with me.  I was wagging 5 kids, by myself.  I had no help.
  • Be a Non-Judgemental Ear.  I never had that either.  Just listen.  Listen to all the words, even if they are un-Scriptural.  Don’t try and fix it.  Just listen and love.  Pray.  Point to Christ.
  • See a Need.  Meet a Need.  No questions asked.
  • Volunteer at a Boys and Girls home.  Big Brothers Big Sisters.  Youth facilities.
  • Become a CASA worker.  Be the voice for the child.  Worth it.
  • Donate to Moses Basket or Bags of Love (these are specific to our area).  You can call your local DCBS office and find out who you can donate items to help children coming into care.
  • Love.  Be Jesus with skin on.  Be His hands and feet.

Tomorrow

I may share the story of our first placement.  It was a hard time, personally, during my life.  Then these children blew life into my life and I was renewed.  Only to be devastated a short time after.  I know what satan’s eyes look like.  Met him, in person.  Still struggle, after all these years.  Today is not that day that I want to revisit that pain.

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Adoption

Dear Amygdala

Dear Amygdala
https://www.neuroscientificallychallenged.com/blog/know-your-brain-amygdala

Dear Amygdala

Dear Amygdala,

You are not my friend, my Dear Amygdala.  The emotions that you project are not welcome.

It has come to my attention that satan is using and abusing you.  He is controlling you.  In doing so, he is taking past trauma that is inside of you, from a past life and family.

He is taking all that anger and those memories and making someone project that trauma into the present and onto a person’s new family.

I am onto you and your sneaky ways.  Bite me.

God is BIGGER.

Unsincerely Yours,

Brandi

For Inquiring Minds

The Amygdala is the “fear center” of the brain.  It is your primitive brain that begins development when a person is conceived.  The Amygdala holds all your memories from conception to 3 years (the implicit memories).

It is a butthole.

The amygdala is an almond-shape set of neurons that can be found deep in the brain’s medial temporal lobe. Shown to play a key role in the processing of emotions, the amygdala forms part of the limbic system.

Hard Conversations

There have been some hard conversations this past week.  Truths that have been unspoken and revelations that have been eye-opening.  Such clarity and peace with those revelations.  Yet, uncertainty as to what to do with them.

It’s a long-winding road we are walking.

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Adoption

Enkutatash Celebration

Enkutatash Celebration

Enkutatash Celebration

It seems every year, New Years sneaks up on me!  I’m totally unprepared!  So, for this Enkutatash Celebration of 2012, I’m pretty stoked that I have popcorn.  Tomorrow, I have to go to Paducah to horse therapy.  I am hoping and praying that our local Starbucks has some Ethiopian coffee.

Memories

Though Jude does not remember his country, much to my sadness, we do!  Granted, we only spent a little less than 2 weeks there, but the stamp is on our hearts.  I can close my eyes and smell the popcorn cooking at the ceremony!  The smell of the coffee beans roasting!  The coffee…the cane sugar…the sights, and rituals.  I love it!

Our Hopes

We hope and pray for this coming up year to be amazing for these beautiful people.  His mom, brothers, and sisters…still in country.  You are never far from our hearts and our prayers.  We are doing our best to make sure our boy has a deep love and respect for the traditions of this place.

One Day

We will go back.  I will see my son reunited with his birth family.  The opportunity to hug her neck is something that I desire so deeply.  I can put on my little dress I bought there, wear the scarves my sweet friend Betty gave me before we pulled away.  Maybe, just maybe…a bird will poop on us!  That’s good luck, ya know!

Melkam Addis Amet

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Ethiopia, Dhera Part 1

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Ethiopia, Dhera Part 3

Adoption

My Thoughts – Overcomer Movie

My Thoughts - Overcomer Movie

My Thoughts – Overcomer Movie

Tonight was a blessed event!  Date night!  I will pause for a round of applause.  *Pause.*  We saw the movie Overcomer.  So, though I’m not reviewing this movie,  here are My Thoughts – Overcomer Movie.

Going into this Movie

I was already swirling and twirling.  In my mind, this was a movie that was centered around a young girl with a medical issue who “overcame” her obstacle.  I knew there was a girl in the movie and she had asthma.  She was a runner.

Bear in mind, I had read NOTHING on this movie or seen any reviews.  Yet, I anxiously awaited it.  Our goal was to take all of our children because there just aren’t many films that are completely clean.  I’m glad it was just Bart and me.

Without Divulging Much

I don’t want to give this movie away for those that want to see it BUT I will caution you on some parts of it.  Well, not the actual parts, but the movie in general.  This was a great movie.  I loved it.  Big Daddy loved it.  It was well made and I enjoyed it.

Tugs at your heart on so many levels.  It speaks of sin, redemption, salvation, forgiveness, anger, and mercy.  Beautifully done and the young lady who played Hannah was a beautiful young girl who did a phenomenal job.

Yet

Those of us who are raising kids from hard places…well, this movie can be a trigger for them.  I’m so thankful that I had a chance to watch it before I let a few of my kids watch it.  It gives me time to prepare them and have a good dialogue with them.  One of my kids may not watch it at all.

From a Counselors Perspective

Doing the job that I do, as a counselor, I see the same thread that is interwoven through these children I work with.  They are so “broken” from societies standpoint.  These kids do not know their worth because they have been through some extraordinary circumstances.

All kids, whether they can verbalize or not, want their “core” unit together as a family.  No kid wants to come from a “broken” family.  They may know, logically, that due to circumstances out of their control their parents are not married.  Parents can very well be better co-parents than married.  That is sad, but it is true.

I am not, in any way, shaming or judging these families.  Things happen sometimes in their control but sometimes out of their control.  These things can dictate the present or future of marriages.

Marriage is HARD

Oh, it is SO hard.  Just every day can be a challenge but when you add in addiction (of any sorts), jealousy, work, kids, special needs kids, etc it can make it even harder.  I say, often, that I get it because I do.

One day, with Big Daddy’s permission, I will share some of our story.  We were so close to ending our marriage and that was after having kids.  The first time, we had 3.  The second time we had 6…so I get it.

Addiction

Addiction is a very real problem.  The system is FULL of kids of parents who made poor choices.  Yet, they sit and blame themselves.  They may have been adopted and are completely loved YET have a hard time accepting that love because they see themselves as “thrown away” by the people who gave them life.

As much as they know the reality, they still want that core family.  Mom, dad, house, dog, and a white picket fence.  Sometimes it is hard for their little brains to understand the dangerous places they were in because they idealize or fantasize about their beginning (or middle).  They make it seem softer than it was when in reality, it was anything but soft.

Be Mindful

Not all stories end with a pretty bow tied around it.  The troubled parent doesn’t always find Jesus.  These parents are not always nice and as much as we want that “core” family, sometimes it is not safe.

Again, I loved this movie.  Really, I did.  Knowing the background of some of my kids, the fact that they have “forgotten” the past does not mean they will not want this ending for their lives.

I know some people will get what I’m saying and some will not.  That is okay!  They will see a beautifully created film that points people to the cross.  I love that!  Yet, in order to protect the hearts and minds of some of my people, I’m glad we didn’t take them.  This may be too much for their hearts to take.

Triggers

Triggers are a tricky thing.  They can be places, movies, foods, smells, certain touches.  Triggers encompass your senses.  In my opinion, this fantastic movie is one giant trigger.  I’m not saying they will not see it, eventually.  What I am saying is that we have to go far and beyond to do damage control before they see it.

It can absolutely yield amazing conversations.  Also, it can give us the opportunity to use our words and tag our emotions.  It can also, sadly, cause more trauma, hurt, pain, and confusion.  When my kids experience those things, it never turns out well.  Escalation happens and then intense, sometimes violent behaviors can emerge.

In the End

This was an amazing movie.  I had to bite my cheek to keep from ugly crying because the theatre had more people in it than I had anticipated.  It was wonderfully filmed.  This crew has come a long way from Flywheel (another great movie but you know that it was their first film…for everyone LOL).

I just wanted to express my thoughts and put a small warning label on this movie.  Whether you are a foster parent, adoptive parent, foster child, former foster child, orphan, adult adoptee…just be mindful!

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Adoption Choosing for My Heart to Be Broken

What It is Like to Be a Foster Child by Gigi

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Adoption

Reflecting on Contentment

Reflecting on Contentment, 4 years later.  Content a 7 Letter Word that I do not like so well.  On October 14, 2015…..I remember sitting on the pot (yes, my revelations come in the bathroom) and contemplating life.  I have always yearned to have more children.  Big Daddy and I took that matter into our own hands and chose to “get him fixed” when Noah was about 2 maybe 3….at the time, he was 14.  I was looking up at a picture that my kids had made.  Each one had done their handprint in yellow and decorated it.  My frame was full….literally and figuratively.  We even traded in our suburban that, easily, fit 9 people for a smaller minivan.  Yep.  My life was complete.  Next up:  Grandchildren.

Been There, Done That with Adoption Avenues

Ethiopia was closing.  Foster system…..yep…..did that.  We couldn’t really afford any other type of adoption, so I just sat there, praising God for the children that I have and I uttered the words “Lord, I choose to be content.  I am content.  My kids are getting bigger.  I have more freedoms.  Life is good, and I’m thankful.”  I am thinking He was sitting on His heavenly throne, eating popcorn, and laughing hysterically at me.

The very next day.

THE.  VERY.  NEXT.  DAY.  Bart was home, and it was the tail end of fall break.  I was on cloud nine.  I felt like a thousand elephants had jumped off my chest and I was excited about letting go of a dream and moving forward.  In moving forward, we decided to throw caution to the wind and take 5 of our 6 kids to the movie.  Our oldest daughter was working.

Surprising our Kids with a Movie and Lunch

We were all getting dressed and almost out the door when the phone rang.  Normally, since most of us were in the van, I would ignore the phone and go on…I didn’t for some reason (or a God reason), and I looked at the caller ID, and it was my oldest sister.  A little mini back story about my sister and I.  We come from a very close-knit family, and when one of us is hurt or threatened, we surround that person and become a barrier of protection and love.
Yet…my sister and I were never really close.  She is close to my oldest brother, and I’m was super close to my sister 2 yrs older than me.  K is 6 yrs older, and my brother is 10 yrs older.  We loved each other….that has always held true, but that was about it.

A Little Backstory

About a year before this event, I had an appt with my number 6 child.  That trip took me close to where my sister worked.  I ran by there to say hi.  Also to get an update on her kids/grandkids.  Lastly, I wanted to give her an update on my family.  I suggested that we go to lunch together.  To get to know each other and to figure out who we are, as adults.  To my surprise, she said yes.
Faithfully, for a year, we met for lunch once a month.  It came to be a time that we both loved, and we didn’t want to miss it.  We started calling each other….texting each other….having jokes…solving the world’s problems.  I would now consider her one of my best friends.  My sisters are my strength, and they hold me up with love, consistency, prayers, devotion, honesty, and fussing at me when I need it.  When we told our other sister what all had transpired between us, she just cried.  She said that is what she had been praying about for years.

Always Answer Your Phone

So when I saw her name, I picked up the phone.  I knew she and her husband were out of town, so my first line was “what is wrong.”  I heard the panic in her voice…..she kept saying “can you go and get the babies.  Go and get them.  Mom is out of town.  I’m out of town.  Daddy is with them but can you get them.”  Uhm…..YES, I can.  We all loaded up and headed to town and when we pulled up tears and chaos surrounded us.  I will not go into detail because first, I do not have my sister’s permission….second, it is her and the babies stories….not mine to share.

Adding 2 Kids for the Weekend

We kept the babies that weekend (by babies they were 5 and 2), and she picked them up on Sunday.  I remember thinking “God, I have helped the least of these…may You bless them and protect them during this journey they are walking on.”  Then, I went to bed cause I was tired LOL.  I have not had a little one here since Daniel, and he was 2 1/2 when he moved in.  Jude was 5 when he came home.  To thrust me into little people clothes and diapers…..no thank you…I am good LOL.

Oops, We Missed One

Fast forward just a little bit to November 2015.  See, K and J had a little brother, Hunter.  He was living with, whom we thought was his father, but in reality, he was not.  His mom, my niece, was living in the streets wheeling and dealing and drugging.  Broke our hearts.  My heart broke for this little dude.  I knew my sister and her husband were working full time and had a toddler and a 5 yr old who are both dealing with PTSD and severe trauma from their beginnings.  Could she take on a baby who was 21 mths old?  Yep….would she go bald and run down the road naked screaming at the top of her lungs?  Yep.

Yielding

I talked to Big Daddy, my kids.  Also, I spoke to my other sister and my mama.  Then, and only then, did I talked to Kim.  One of the rawest, difficult, blessed events that have occurred between us.  We cried.  She agreed.  Niece agreed.  Judge agreed.

What On Earth Am I Thinking

So here I am, just turning 43 yrs old.  One out of the house, one almost in college, one in high school, one in middle school, two in grade school and a baby…..a baby who wasn’t rocked that often.  My life consisted of standing in the baby aisle crying because I didn’t know what he needed.  Sippy cups.  Diapers.  Baby toys.  Diaper bags.  Smooshed up foods.  Car seats.  My van didn’t accommodate everyone.  Oh.  My.  Stars.  What have I freaking done!  I have a BABY!

So Much More to this Inter-Family Adoption

There is SO much more to this story.  Sadly, there is still so much fighting and many days in court.  There have been many tears.  So many “thank yous” from my sister and her husband.  Also, so much therapy and so many hospital stays.  So.  Very.  Much.  You can read, from my sister’s perspective here on her blog Mom By Proxy….and God’s Grace.  We “officially” adopted him right before Christmas, last year.

Reflecting on Contentment

Through It All…His Eyes Were On You

Through it all…..God knew what He was doing since before He created the Earth.  He knew how my family would be shaped.  That my relationship with my sister would be healed.  Also, He knew that I would be in my 40s still raising babies.

Straight Up Joy

This boy……..this baby………he has bound my crew together.  He has changed one of my daughters.  My little dude has his biggest brother wrapped around his little finger.  He is loved so deeply and completely.  His laugh, smile, and “I love you, mom.”  The fact that he says “daddy you are my favorite.”  Also, that “Mamaw is my girlfriend.”  His imagination, drive, and determination is to behold.

He is my joy, the calm in the storm.  That little dude is my baby and he melts me.  Am I finished with babies?  I don’t know.  Grandkids are in my future…one day….but so may a little one who needs a family.  We shall see what God wants.  Till then, I will NEVER utter the phrase again “Lord, I am content.”

 

Adoption

Miracle on November 17, 2011

Miracle on November 17, 2011

 

HE IS COMING HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is my Miracle on November 17, 2011. Praise be to God.  We are so thankful that our eyes are opening, our hearts are willing, and our minds are preparing for adopting an older child.  What a journey we are fixing to embark on in the coming days.
Yesterday, I got a call at 9:15 am, and it was immigration.  The officer said that she received our addendum, the mother’s birth letter (blessings and prayers for her) and PART of my income verification, but not the one part that they need.  Ugh.  I told her I was on it.  Next, I called and was blessed to speak with the same person I’d been talking to for the last few days.  It was then that I explained, again, the situation, she transferred me to her supervisor and her supervisor was on it like white on rice.  It was sent.
Finally, I got another call from immigration stating that the documents that were in hand were too faded to read.  In addition, the officer asked if we had the originals.  Sadly, we did not have the documentation in original format.  I told her that I was on it.  At that point, I called my agency, Sheila called her right-hand person (Angela)…and Angela began to work her magic.  She made all the documents bright and shiny, rescanned them, and got them sent to immigration.

Final Confirmation

I called immigration to confirm that everything was sent and I actually spoke to my officer (which is not so easy a task).  She has been WONDERFUL with our case and our family.  I asked her if everything was received and she said: “yes, your packet is done.”  I just kind of sat there and said: “what packet, I don’t understand.”  She stated that it was our APPROVAL packet and that we were approved.
I just sat there, then I balled…it was loud and really really ugly.  All I could say was THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.  She was pretty pitiful too.  She kept saying “Oh, Brandi, please don’t cry….please don’t cry, your son is coming home, please don’t cry.”  I couldn’t get out any more words other than “must go to my husband.”

Telling Big Daddy and my Children

I wanted to be so coy about the whole thing and attempt not to let the girls know till I told Big Daddy first. Well, that plan went out the window.  I stood at the top of the stairs…screaming for them.  They blew up the stairs asking what was wrong.  Finally, I screamed WE ARE APPROVED…there was lots of yelling, crying, praising Jesus, and hugging going on.
My next thought was  “he needs undies and socks…we have none.”  It is amazing what can go through a person’s mind.  I told them to get dressed, we were going to daddy.  That drive took FOREVER.  We finally got there (no coat and flip-flops for one girl; no socks or teeth brushed for another girl, and I looked like I had been run over by a train).  I got into HR and asked to see Big Daddy.
The girl behind the desk said “this must be an emergency…you look really upset” LOL.  She even escorted me to a conference room.  Big Daddy walked in…I told him…it was beautiful.  We have a tentative flight schedule, tentative keep the kids’ schedule, and Big Daddy bought my boy some undies and socks 😉

Theme Verse

Yesterday’s verse of the day was Phil 1:6 “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  This verse has filtered throughout the last 13 mths.
It was first told to me by a precious lady, in my Wednesday group.  She would say over and over that what God brought me too…He will be faithful to bring me through.  The night before we got our approval…another wonderful friend emailed me stating the same thing.  Before approval, I went to post something, and that was my verse.  I knew yesterday would be the day for a miracle.

God Changing Me

In the end, God has changed me…He has begun the healing in our family.  As well as, He has revealed that shortcuts are not His will.  Also, that I need to be patient and wait on Him rather than try and control the situation.  God has revealed to me that all things come together for His good.  He is good.
God is good….now off to pack.
Blessings.
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Adoption

More Sadness on October 25, 2011

More Sadness on October 25, 2011

 

More Sadness on October 25, 2011.  Sadness, on a really gorgeous day.  Another day with no word from immigration on our newest paperwork submission.  I’ve been praying, daily, that it will happen.  Yet, today and there is still nothing.

Discouraged

Well, that’s one word.  There are several other words that I have, but none need to be aired out on the internet.  Most words, however, are not Biblical so I should not even type them out.  It is hard to see, day after day, posts/emails/etc. about successful adoptions that have little to no issues.  We have worked so hard, we’ve learned so much, and yet our son is still not home.
I’m not sure what the Lord is doing, but I pray that He is working this all out for His glory.  Somewhere inside, I *am* happy for these families.  I just wish this story was our story.  I’ve distanced myself from people to guard my heart and my sanity.  I sincerely hope they understand.
First, I feel like I hear a family say, “we’re adopting.”  Then, two days go by, and I hear “we have a referral.”  Next, two more days go by, and I hear “We were approved by immigration.” Lastly,  two more days go by, and I hear “We are traveling next week.” Finally, before you know it, the child has been home a month.  The same family is doing this all over again.  They do this because it was “so wonderful” the first time around.

Our Story:

We’re adopting.  Then days, weeks, and months go by.  Finally, we have a referral.  Next, days, weeks, and months go by, and we get word that we are traveling for court.
Adoption is finalized.  The day after we get home from this international adoption, a letter from immigration.  Sadly, immigration says ‘we need more stuff from you.’
Another set of days, weeks, and months go by, and we hear “we are intending to deny you.  You should’ve never traveled in the first place.”
Shock.
Oh wait, more days, weeks, and months pass on by, and we get our first (of many) denial.
After even more days, weeks, and months saunter by, and we hire an attorney, find a job for me, life change for my kids, new home study agency, and new home study.
Then we wait another few days, weeks, and months.  The home study is done, and now we are waiting for an attorney.  Which takes, you guessed it, days, weeks, and months…crickets…
Still, waiting on our attorney.  Our attorney sends us and immigration more paperwork, and because of that, we fork out more money.  Then, in one week, immigration wants more evidence.
Eventually, we get evidence sent off again.  Over a year later…..WE ARE STILL WAITING.

I.  Am.  Tired.

I’m tired.  I have a little fight left in me.  There was one friend that said that due to us having “so” much trouble, that must mean that God doesn’t want him to be in our family.  Every ounce of me wanted to smack the taste out of her mouth.  That kind of negativity is not needed.  I need prayers, regardless of the outcome.  I eat, sleep, breathe, work with my son’s face in my head.  Praying, daily that God will show us all the way and for a person to say that, well, they needed to be smacked.
What God has brought us too…He will be FAITHFUL to bring us through.
I cling to that.
Until then….we wait.
Adoption

Watching and Waiting September 25, 2011

Watching and Waiting September 25, 2011

Watching and Waiting September 25, 2011.  It is a blessing…it is also hard…


I received 8 new pictures of our son, whom we have not touched since Oct 2010.  


He is 1 yr. older and amazingly, he is *so* much bigger.


We are watching him grow up, in pictures.  His booboos are healing, through pictures.  There is no mama to kiss them and make them better.  Also, we are watching his smiles and giggles, through pictures.  Sadly, there are also tears and illnesses that we see, as well.  I am so thankful that we see him play and are able to watch him grow, all through pictures.

Please join us in prayer.  For our son to come home.  Instead of watching his triumphs, milestones, and booboos through pictures, we can see them in person.  

Thoughts (from 2018)

Adoption, International Adoption, Older child adoption, Special needs adoption is not easy.  It is the hardest thing, I have ever done.  The Lord has refined me, strengthened me, and enabled me through it all.  For example, my marriage is stronger.  I learned that Bart is a rockstar of a husband.  When I could not function, he functioned for both of us.

There are many things I do not remember about this time, sadly.  He rarely talks of it because I see the pain in his eyes.  Bart shouldered more than any man should.  Easily, he became the mom, dad, advocate, parent, breadwinner, and so much more.  I cannot express my gratitude enough for how he carried us all.  He is my person, my best friend, and the one whom my soul loves.

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Adoption

I Can’t Save the World: September 16, 2011

I Can't Save the World: September 16, 2011

 

I Can’t Save the World: September 16, 2011.  Crap on the tiara….mess on the cape…..the world isn’t going to be saved by me.
What a crappy day filled with crappy drama and crappy people.
According to the dictionary “crappy” is an adjective or a describing word.  It means to be “nasty, humiliating, insulting or unfair.”  I would concur with that meaning and say that what was said about me was nasty, insulting and completely unfair (though humiliating doesn’t describe it at all).
I have am a “fixer” person.
I like to help people.  My favorite thing to do is to see people succeed.  To be all that they can be (no, I’m not in the army, though when people see me with my kids, they would beg to differ).  I want people to know they have every opportunity to dream and attain their dreams, even when they screw up.  There *are* second chances.
With everything going on in my life, with the challenges that my family has faced…..I have lost my fight.  I’ve lost my will to defend.  I’ve lost my ability to leave my emotions at the door.  On any given day, I deal with reactive attachment disorder, learning disabilities, girl scouts, church duties, volunteer work, my job, my home, bullies, bad grades, evolution issues, and the ever-present adoption nastiness.
Bread Analogy
You know, when those (crazy people) who like butter on their bread (I’m not one of those people).  Picture me as the bread and all the issues of life as the nasty, one molecule away from plastic, the cheap butter….the kind that merely will not spread no matter how hard you try.  You take your knife, dip it into the “reactive attachment disorder” butter and try to spread it out…the bread begins to flake.
With each other issue (adoption, learning disabilities, etc.) you continue to dip your knife in, in hopes of something good coming out of it and each time you *try* to smear it on your bread, more chunks come off and eventually you are left with giant lumps of bread all over the table and a broken crust.  That’s me…the broken crust.  My butter is not getting any softer, and my bread is in tatters.
Decisions
I’ve chosen to give up an important thing in my life and a not so important thing in my life.  One was a hard decision the other was an easy decision.
Comparing my issues to the Cross is a whole nother ball of wax.  Nothing I go through even holds a tiny flicker to what Jesus did on the Cross for me.  He died with my name on His lips.  He died to set me free, so I can be free and live in eternity with Him.  I’m so thankful for what Jesus did for me.
I really really wish, though, God willing…..He would, for once, give me some spreadable butter.  That’d be nice.