Thursday, January 31, 2013

Twins

Last night was very exciting around our house!

We got a call to take seven year old twins. TWINS. 7-year olds. Boys. I thought the Hubs was going to have a heart attack. He kept saying "I think I might throw up..."

Long story short, they found a relative to take the boys, so we didn't get them. However, there was a 2 hour break between the time we said yes to taking them and the time when they found a relative. Needless to say, we were teetering on the edge between excitement and total freak-out for a little while there.

If you want an adrenaline rush, that's a great way to get one. We have never in our lives cleaned the house so fast.

By the way mom, thanks for laughing when I called you. She heard seven year old boys and cracked up.

Fun times. Now I can't wait to get a placement that actually works out. Also, I feel like I need to start stocking up on kids underwear and socks. ASAP. We realized that if they had come, we would have had to run to WalMart at like 11:00pm so they could have clean underwear and socks.

Also, holy wow we have an incredible group of friends in our Sunday school class. Our class has a Facebook wall, so I put on there that we had gotten a call and could use the prayer. Within five minutes my phone was ringing off the hook with friends offering to bring dinner or help us get them clothes or just to say they were praying. You guys are awesome and we love you!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Selah

Last year, as I was reading some of my favorite blogs, I came across the concept of having a word for a certain year. It's something that I'm sure I have heard of before, but I had never really paid attention to. The idea is that you ask the Lord to give you a word for the year, like hope or grace or sing or whatever, and then you frame your year around that word. If it's grace, for example, you spend the year learning more about grace. You study how the Lord passes it down to us, what it means, and you learn to extend it to others. 

I thought the concept was cool, but I didn't really put much thought into it, and it didn't seem like something I wanted to do or really had time for. So, I went through last year learning a myriad of lessons, but maybe none about a particular subject. In fact, if I had to pick a theme or a word God taught me about last year the word probably would have been trials. Haha. But, I whine enough about that here and this is a new year so I'm moving on.

At the beginning of this year, I wasn't really planning on doing a lot of soul-searching or prayer to find the "word of the year" because, well, that's a lot of work. But, God had other plans. I was riding in the car one day thinking about this idea, and I just kind of asked God, "if I was to have a word for this year, what would it be?" And immediately, the word Selah came to mind. 

Now, I had heard that word before in the Bible, but I honestly couldn't even tell you where I had heard it. I didn't know what it meant, and I asked God, "are you sure? I don't have a clue what that means!" But that's all I got. Selah. 

So I went home and looked it up. Apparently it's a very hard word to define. No one is really sure what it means. Great. The best definitions I found were from here. There are apparently two main definitions that can be used to describe the word Selah. The first is the idea of a pause to reflect or to praise. Selah is found most often in the Psalms, usually at the end of a Psalm, so that idea makes sense. It could have been meant for the singers to pause while the music played alone. The second definition is the idea of weighing something on a balance. Maybe Selah means to pause and reflect on an idea, and weigh that idea in your mind? Kind of like the concept of meditating? I'm not sure. I don't know where to go with this limited information.

It sounds to me like this year, this 2013, is going to be a time of waiting, of pausing, and of reflecting. Maybe He wants to teach me to slow down a little bit and just think about Him in the middle of my day. I think it's interesting that this is the year of me learning to pause, especially because if we get a foster placement this will probably turn out to be one of the busiest years of my life so far. Maybe that's the point. 


So far, I've been thinking of Selah like coming up to breathe. 
If 2012 was the year I felt like I was going to drown, 2013 is my year to come up for air. 

 
It's a year to wait, expectantly, and with hope. God's going to do some big things this year, I can already feel it. 





Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waiting

I am learning to embrace the waiting. We started this foster care process six months ago. Now, we are finally approved and we are still learning the fine art of waiting expectantly. So, while we are over here waiting, I figured I would put up some pictures. Sorry for the iPhone photo quality, but they say say that the best camera to use is the one you have right? Although I really need to dust off the big girl camera.

Our week in pictures:

The Hubster had a birthday!! He is officially old. At least that's what he told me.

We got snow!!! Mom, don't get excited-it wasn't real snow.  I mean it was real, but it only lasted like 5 minutes. But, for us that is a lot of snow. So, I took pictures of it covering my car (although it looks more like a giant flock of pigeons flew over and let it rip). Oh well.


And we went bowling for a date night with another couple that we love to hang out with. It was very fun even though I stink royally at bowling.



I would also like to point out that this is NOT me bowling granny-style. Although I might have taught her that move...I finally figured out how to get the ball all the way down the lane without using the bumpers. Yes, I am a 25 year old child. Don't judge.


That's about all we have going on over here. And I didn't forget to post pictures of our foster bedroom. It's on my list, I just have to get the art hung and then I will give a play by play of how we got it all fixed up.




Saturday, January 19, 2013

Already?!

We already got a call about a placement. We turned it down, it wasn't a good fit. That took less than 24 hours!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Approved!!

We are now officially licensed foster parents!!!

Now we are just waiting on those phone calls :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Photo Dump!


I don't have many pictures of Christmas because I had to have surgery, but this was one from the first morning that I actually felt good.
Then we have the obligatory shots of the hedgehog. Prickles is my only "child" for now so she gets all the love and has to deal with my camera in her face 24/7. She's cute though! :)

This is how she cuddles with me most nights. I watch TV and she digs her way under the neckline of my sweatshirt and falls asleep.


I think she actually likes the camera at this point. She is not always cuddly and fun, she can turn into a ball of quills at the drop of a hat, but I think that makes the sweet moments better.
                      Vampire Hedgie!!                                                   

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Dreaded Homestudy

Maybe you are new to Foster Care or Adoption, maybe you have been around a long time, but what you have probably realized by now is that if you want to foster or adopt, there is a certain approval process that you have to go through.

This process is called the homestudy, and I know a lot of people get freaked out about it. I'm here to dispel some rumors based on what we learned through the whole process.

First of all, it's not super scary. It's not the end of the world.

Is it time consuming to fill out a crap ton of paperwork? Yes. Is it inconvenient to have someone come to your house a bunch of times and ask you questions about your whole life and your philosophies on parenting? Absolutely. But, it's worth it.

So, what exactly is a homestudy?

I'm so glad you asked. :) A homestudy is basically what it sounds like; a study of your home. A social worker will come to your house several times over the course of a few weeks/months, and they will talk to you about the adoption/foster care process and collect some information from you.

Basically, they want to know:

  • Is your home safe for a child? If not, they give you a list of things you can do to make it safe and they expect you to do those things. This includes locking up medications, firearms, and putting a fence around pools. This also includes getting working smoke detectors for every room of the house.
  • Why you want to foster/adopt. There isn't one answer they are looking for, but there are definitely some answers you don't want to give. Example, don't tell them you are collecting children or you need little helpers so you don't have to mow your own grass. 
  •  What your financial situation looks like. It's different for every state, but in my state you basically have to show that you can make it from month to month and that you aren't on welfare. If you are getting a homestudy for international adoption it's different, and you might have to prove that you make a certain amount of money, but in order to do foster care in my state there is no minimum income requirement. You just have to show that what you have coming in is more than what you have going to bills.
  • Do you have room for the child/children? You don't have to have the kids bedroom finished before the homestudy process is started, although they do like for you to have it finished before you are through with the homestudy (at least if you are doing foster care, because you might start getting calls about placements as soon as you are approved).
As far as the actual home inspection, it's pretty quick and easy here. In some states you might have to pass a fire inspection, show that you can physically open all the windows, and that kind of stuff. Here, we just had to lock up all of our medicines, put outlet covers in the outlets (this is only if you are getting approved for younger kids) and lock  up our firearms. Guns have to be locked up and have trigger locks on, and ammo has to be locked up in a separate place.

Documents that you will need to gather include:
  • Copies of licenses (drivers license, handgun carry permits, etc.)
  • Copies of a physical exam from your doctor
  • Proof of car and home insurance
  • Letters of recommendation from friends and family (our caseworker did this part for us)
  • A map of your house that shows exit routes in case of emergency (this can be hand-drawn)
  •  A ton of signed papers showing that you read the Dept. of Child Services' policies on giving medicines, discipline, and a whole bunch of other stuff.
Honestly, if getting a homestudy done is what is holding you back from foster care/ adoption, don't let it be!  We loved our homestudy writer and she really helped us out by answering all of our questions about the process and by explaining what to expect. Your house doesn't have to be perfect, although you might not wanna have mice or roaches running around clear out the clutter a little. ;) All in all, it was a good experience for us, and even if it can be a little inconvenient, the purpose of a homestudy is to make sure that you are ready to have a child placed with you. I promise it isn't all that bad.