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You are my Sunshine Part 1

I got lazy with my blog posts lately, aka more busy with “real” life. We have been visiting with the soon to be member of the Kemmerer family. Eclipse the horse. This is a dream come true for me, I’m a little more excited than the kids. 😍


So my Twin girls are turning ONE next month. Wait what??? I seriously can’t believe it! Time to start the party planning! My theme is Sunshine and Lemonade. Colors are yellow, pink and purple. 


Today I made a sweet sign to hang in the kids bedroom, and use for the party as well.

I used some already cut old pallet boards and picked out some wood letters that fit on the boards. 

I didn’t have another “P” so I put painters tape over that spot.

I used white spray paint. Spray back and forth from about a foot away so you don’t spray the letters off the board. 

Let dry outside then remove the letters. Since I was missing a “P” I had an extra step. I removed the tape, moved the “P” over, held a board over the already finished part and sprayed the new “p”.


For the “make” sign I wanted to hand paint the letters white and leave the pellet board brown. First trace the letters.

Then paint them in with white paint and a little paint brush.

To hold my sign together I used scrap prices of pallet board. My husband was home from work so with a kiss I convinced him to drill and screw the sign together for me. 😊

All finished! Cute for the kids’ room and party decor. 🎉

I always let out happy squeals when I finish a project that I’m pleased with…tell me I’m not the only one that does this…

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The Amazing Nine Months

“Adoption is when a child grows in the mother’s heart instead of her tummy <3”

IMG_2167cooldudesWe’re best buds! 🙂 Yes, I am wearing my 6 month old’s sunglasses.

First things first, the news you all have been waiting for. Our case is being moved from reunification (getting Tristan back to his bio mom) to adoption (keeping Tristan with us forever). Does that give you goose bumps or what? We are so excited about this progress!

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Tristan at 7 months

Our caseworker had an internal meeting with her superiors on September 25th, to change our case to adoption. We just so happened to be at a funeral for a dear friend that night when we got the good news. We learned at his funeral that he had been a foster child himself. This dear man had struggled with Parkinson’s disease for most of his life. He was an amazing example of faith and trust in God. He was a role model for many to follow. He was a great encourager to those that he knew that were pursuing foster care. It was reassuring for me to see such a great man come from a past of struggles. It amazed me to see all the lives that had been changed because the Hendricks family had chosen to take in an abandoned child. I don’t know much about his foster care story, but it gives me hope to think that Tristan could turn out even half as good as Bob.

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New Puppy Oakley

Getting the news that we will most likely be able to adopt Tristan by his first birthday brought back so many memories of the past 9 months. I remember praying for the expectant foster baby, that God would keep him/her safe. We prayed that God would be preparing our hearts for this baby. I remember getting the call that a little boy was born on the 3rd of January and was in the NICU because he was cold and only weighed 5 pounds 3 ounces (birth weight was 5 lbs. 9oz.). Tristan was an answer to prayer just by being safe and healthy! He had a tragic delivery in a bathroom during a huge snow storm. He tested positive for every drug imaginable along with alcohol and cigarets. He did not experience any withdraw that we were aware of, what a miracle. I remember seeing him for the first time and holding him. That excitement I felt. The same excitement I feel now, knowing he will be mine forever, Lord willing.

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Farmer Boy

I also remember all the times I have cried thinking I might loose him. There is still a chance we wont adopt him, but chances are good that we will adopt. I remember wondering if we would still have him when he was 9 months old. Or if we would get to share his first birthday with him. Maybe my hopes are too high, as they normally are. Tristan’s future is in God’s hands, as it always is. It certainly changes how I see Tristan. I just feel more in love and closer to him if that is possible.

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Eight Months

Alisia’s birthday was September 20th she turned 10. We threw her a birthday party with all her friends and family before going to Myrtle Beach SC for our yearly vacation. She came to Myrtle Beach with us this year as well. I think the realization of Alisia’s and my age difference is really sinking in. I love her to death don’t get me wrong, I’m just realizing that I don’t think I can be a “mom” to her. This is very humbling for me to admit this. Anyone can be a mother figure, or a good example to someone. Viewing her the same way I view Tristan is close to impossible. Tristan feels like my flesh and blood. He knows me as mommy, and that’s that. Alisia knows all too well who her bio parents are. She misses her mom like crazy. She hopes to live with them again some day. The whole situation is confusing, she really is not up for adoption (great grandmother has custody, she is not a foster child), so in order to protect ourselves, and to protect her heart we feel that we should set up boundaries.

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Through the encouragement of our case workers, family and our church we have decided to take a small step back. Basically the only thing that is changing is the way we view Alisia. We still care for her and want to help her out in life as much as we can. Ben and I will be a big sister/brother figure, and a Godly example for her to look up to, instead of trying to be part time parents. I’m learning a lot from this whole situation.

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Beautiful Little People

I see how desperately Alisia needs a mother figure. That causes me to try and fill that role. Being an older sister figure might be more realistic. If it is God’s will for Ben and I to become Alisia’s parents, God will give us the strength and wisdom to pursue that task.

We continue to pray that Alisia will be blessed with forever parents. Parents that are more experienced with teens and older children. Parents who are not just starting a family. We had been taking Alisia friday through sunday to give Gram a break, and to let Alisia be a kid and hang out with her little brother. We’ve had her every weekend for the past 9 months, and sometimes even more! It was a struggle for Ben and I. Weekends are our time to spend together and be a family of three. We’re cutting back to at least every other weekend, preferably because of our schedules we’re hoping to do a couple hours here and there on school nights instead of weekends.

I felt a wave of releife come over me when we talked to Gram about taking a step back. I guess I really wasn’t ready to be a mom to a 10 year old. Thankfully she agrees. Like I said, not much is changing, we’re not just dumping Alisia. The last thing we want to do is make her feel that we have abandoned her as so many have done before.

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Again, please keep us all in your prayers. The adoption for Tristan is not final, and our case worker says in the end the judge makes the decision. Please pray that we continue to have wisdom to know how to handel Alisia’s situation.

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All in three months

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From this….

To this…..img_0050

“This is a blog post I had from my previous blog. I thought you deserve some background on my life. This is my story about my son Tristan. I will also post my 6 month foster care progress, and on Friday (Tristan’s 9 month birthday) I’ll post about our current progress. Enjoy.”

I have gotten so many questions from friends, family and complete strangers. I love all the attention and pride a new baby gives, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. I am going to elaborate on some of the answers I gave to the questions I have had while being a foster mom. I’ll also give a little insight into my heart. Let me just start out by saying these past 3 months have been the toughest, most amazing 3 months of my life. I never knew how much sleep I would loose over a little baby. I held Tristan ALL day, even when he was sleeping. The only time Tristan was not in my arms was when Ben was holding him, or he was sleeping in his crib at night. Mommy and baby both thought it was better to be together all the time. The first couple of weeks were an amazing bonding time. After the ‘meals for the new mom’ (I was so blessed by these meals) stopped coming I realized I would have to put Tristan down once in a while in order to take care of myself, and my husband. Holding and feeding Tristan all the time made it hard for me to eat or sleep, so I just skipped my meals and didn’t sleep much. Not a good idea. All of that said, I wish I could relive the first couple of weeks again.

I was blessed, and encouraged by the way that friends and family received the news that Ben and I would be foster parents. It would be so hard being foster parents without the great support from friends and family, I am so blessed!

So many people tell me that they would never be able to be a foster parent. They say they would get too attached; that they could never let a child go that has been in their home. I usually do not give much of a response. Quite honestly I am too annoyed to say anything nice in response. The thought that I am some hardhearted person that can easily give up a child is imposturous. Do they really think I would get any less attached than they would? Absurd! Yes it does take a special person to be a foster parent, but anyone CAN be that special person. The fear of having to one day let go of Tristan makes my heart hurt.

Another remark I get fairly often. “Tristan is so lucky to have you.” I know people mean well when they say this. The truth is, Tristan, or any other child in foster care is not LUCKY, quite the contrary. I am the lucky one. I am blessed with such a precious child to care for, and love as my own. I am so thankful for the opportunity to possibly change a child’s life.

Something else I hear quite often. “Won’t this be hard? How will you give up the child?” Yes this is hard. Yes this will be hard. I don’t think you can quite understand how hard it actually is unless you go through it yourself. I have not even had to give up a foster child, yet, but I have shed many tears already. Sometimes I just hold Tristan tight and cry and cry just thinking how will I ever give him up. In those moments I am weak, I am being selfish. The thing is, I am not doing this for myself. I admit, when we first got Tristan I was close to calling the caseworker and having her come take him away. I thought, what have I gotten myself into. I cannot do this. You know what, I cannot do this, not on my own that is. I know that a lot of people do not understand why I would want to do foster care. It is not only painful for me, giving up a child affects my friends and family as well. My life, and Tristan’s life, and future are in the Lord’s hands.

Isaiah 55:8 & 9 “ For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

“What do you call yourself? Mommy?” Sometimes I feel awkward calling myself mommy. Yes, there is a biological mother out there, somewhere. That woman is not being a mother. She is being selfish. The moment I got the phone call that there was a little boy 5lbs 9oz. that needed a safe home. I became Mommy! One little smile from this boy confirms that I am Mommy. He just melts my heart!

Another question. “What made you decide to be a foster parent?” There are so many places in the Bible that God talks about feeding the hungry, caring for the fatherless. If the fatherless are important to God, I want to care for them!

Matthew 25:40 “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Psalms 68:5 “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. “

James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

So far being a foster parent has been the most rewarding endeavor of my life. Ever since I was a little girl I loved helping people. I especially have a heart for children.

God never ceases to amaze me. The details of our foster care experience so far blow me away. I can see Gods hand so clearly. I really could not comprehend what being a foster parent would be like. Now that I am a foster parent, I am slowly realizing just how amazing this role is.

Often Ben and I will talk about the IF and when we have to give up Tristan. Ben asked me just last night if I would be able to get another foster child. That is a really hard question to answer. I do not even want to think about giving Tristan up because I cry every time I do. Yes it will be like losing a child if I have to give him up. I am sure I will mourn for the rest of my life if I have to give him up. Will I do it again? I would like to say yes. The good far outweighs the bad. I know my weak human heart will want to give up, but I know the Lord will give me the strength if foster care is His will for my life.

It also amazes me how many people’s lives are touched, just by having a little boy live with us. I never thought about the Aunts, Grandparents and siblings that we would be in contact with. I feel so blessed to have a part in healing this family. I especially enjoy spending time with Tristan’s older sister Alisia. She is 9 years old and has had more loss, and hurt than anyone I know. Alisia squeezes every ounce of love out of us and just keeps squeezing. She lives with her great grandmother known as Gram. Gram is the sweetest lady. Gram has a hard time getting around these days though and cannot offer as much attention to Alisia as Ben and I can. Alisia has hinted and practically asked us to adopt her. At this point she is not legally up for adoption. We just smile and ignore the question. All I know is this girl needs us right now. We are going to try to do everything we can to help her.

It is amazing what God can do if you allow him. Being a foster parent is one of the easiest, but also one of the hardest things you will ever do. To be a foster parent, all you need to do is be capable of loving a child, no matter how they are acting, no matter what their past has been like. It reminds me of God’s love towards mankind.

Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

As a Christian, I am an adopted daughter of God. Gives me the goosebumps.

Galatians 3:26 “ For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

1 John 3:1 “ Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”

It is crazy to think how our lives have changed, for the better, in just 3 months. I cannot wait to see what God will do with the rest of my life!

I hope that by reading this you were encouraged. I love talking to people about our foster care journey, please feel free to ask any questions. Here is a thought I would like to leave you with. What if every Christian family fostered or adopted just one child? Could every child have a home? How could you change a life of a child?

P.S. We do not know if we can adopt Tristan yet, or if he will be going to Texas to live with his grandparents. We have not gotten paternity testing done yet so we are not 100% sure who the dad is, we have a pretty good idea though. Bio mom and dad are roaming the streets, staying far away from the case workers. As far as we know they are back to doing drugs and whatever else they do, no sign of change at the present. Please continue to pray for Ben, myself, Tristan, Alisia, and everyone else that is involved in this. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. It really means so much to us!

Here is a link to a short movie on a foster child, WARNING, this will make you cry!
Love what this mom has to say as well.