Travis and I are going through the Empowered to Connect Train the Trainer course with the goal of hosting classes for families that are going through the process of adoption or becoming foster parents.  The classes are designed to prepare families for some of the unique challenges of parenting children from hard places when traditional parenting skills fail or aren’t as effective.

Our challenge this week was to take one day and say “Yes” to our children.

I’ve determined that is the hardest word to say.  I realized that I end up saying no frequently throughout the day and often when I don’t need to.  The response from the kids of getting told yes when they usually hear no was disbelief.  Jazz actually questioned if I was really saying yes or if she misheard me.

My concern for this day was that my day would get so side tracked with all the yes that I would be stressed about the things that I needed to do that didn’t get done.  Well, it didn’t.  There wasn’t anything unreasonable and I was able to connect with each child personally in a way that they needed.

Saying yes is a challenge that I would issue to every parent.  When your child asks you for something or to do something and the first word you want to say is no, to stop and ask yourself why and if you have to say no.  Then, if it is possible, to say yes and see what changes happen in your relationship with your child.


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Such a time as this.

Esther was beautiful.  So beautiful that she was chosen among all the beautiful virgins to be the Queen to King Ahasuerus.  But behind her beauty she hid a secret that could cost her her life.  Esther was a Jew.  Mordecai, Esther’s uncle who raised her, refused to bow to Haman, a high-ranking political adviser.  This act of defiance enraged Haman and him and his wife plotted to kill all the Jews.  Haman told the king, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from those of all other people and they do not observe the king’s laws, so it is not in the king’s interest to let them remain.(3:8)”  The king ordered that all the Jews were to be destroyed.

But there was hope.  Hope in a beautiful young lady who had hidden her heritage.  Who hid her love for the God of the Jewish people.  She was afraid to go to her husband as she knew that for any man or woman to go to the inner court who was not summoned would be put to death.  Unless the king holds out his golden scepter.  

She wanted to hide still.  To remain in the palace safe, quiet, alive.  Mordecai speaks the wisdom she needs:

“Who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?(4:14)”

Such a time as this.

God created us all for a purpose.  What is yours?  Were you made for such a time as this?

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Home is…

Our pastor is currently presenting a sermon series based off the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32.)  Drawing from his insight into the parable he came up with 3 definitions of home.

Home is… where you can be, or find, your true identify — I belong.

Jazz and Bird, they have many similarities to me being biologically from me.  Bird is a weird combination of Vati and myself (although I did see some Nana today.)  But you can tell she’s related to us.  She acts like us.  She looks like us.

Jazz, on the other hand, has some of Vati’s personality characteristics but still has a lot of behaviors from her biological dad.  Things that are just inborn to her regardless of with who she was raised.

They will each have to find their true identity separate of us eventually, but will always have their foundation in us.

Now, bring in a child that has no biological ties to either of us.  Likes, dislikes, personality, patterns of life, that are inborn to them and/or acquired from their time before us, and quite possibility at the opposite end of the spectrum from us.  We have to be a home where they can be and find their true identify and yet still belong.

Home is… where you receive affirmations of love from the Father — I’m accepted.

And of course from the mother.  Home is where we have to provide a foundational love.  Not the love that gives them toys, but the love of 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

These are, at times, hard actions to do!  These aren’t superficial feelings but day in and day out actions.  And despite whatever trauma a child comes with they have to be accepted and loved where they are at, not where I expect them to be.

Home is… where you are loved unconditionally because of who you are.

I first read this and thought, “What a fuzzy warm heart feeling… loving someone because of who they are.” But then I realized I made a massive note-taking error.  Pastor said, “Home is where you are loved unconditionally because of WHOSE you are.”  Big difference.

Home is… where you are loved unconditionally because of WHOSE you are.

Nuff said.



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Baby G was with us for less than a week but we all loved him from the moment we brought him home.  Bird and Jazz both cuddled him endlessly and when I looked for a chance to hold him Jazz informed me that I could hold him at night while I fed him.

Surprisingly, taking a (healthy) infant around attracts a lot more attention than a preschooler or toddler does.  Everyone wants to stop and comment and love on them, which is wonderful.  What I didn’t expect was the, “I could never do it, I’d get too attached.”

I don’t know why I didn’t expect it.

This isn’t my first experience with comments such as those.  In nursing, it is common to hear the, “You’re such an angel.” “I could never do what you do.”  It never bothered me, it is just part of the job.

But this time, it bothered me.  Perhaps I was tired.  Well, not perhaps.  I was tired.  Perhaps unlike nursing, this involves my whole family.

“I could never do it, I’d get too attached.”

Wait?  Am I not attached?  Are Jazz and Bird not attached?  What do you think Vati was doing on those late nights he stayed up to work and cared for Baby G so I could sleep?  I’m confused.  Do you think we won’t attach to this little one in our care?  Do you think we won’t suffer when he leaves?  I’m still confused.  My tired brain isn’t processing what you’re saying.

That is when I’m thankful for friends who always seem to know the answers.

“Well, that’s what these little ones need, a family who can love them fully.”

My family suffered.  Bird cried and cried.  Jazz said it was too sad for tears.  But we pulled together and prayed.  We prayed for protection over this little one as he went to extended family, we prayed for comfort for our family, and we gave thanks for the opportunity to love as God calls us to love.  It was a lesson for us all.  That following God’s plan for our lives will bring much blessing, but with it will also come suffering.


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Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child


Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child

Cathy Glass

Oh my. A book that you don’t want to read but you must. This is the true story of carer (foster parent) Cathy Glass and a foster child. This book is a worst-case scenario for any foster family. Not only is it a heartbreaking story, but an anger causing, sick to the stomach story. Why is it a must read? If one is ever placed with a child that has experienced sexual abuse one needs to be mindful on how you approach and collect information from that child so any evidence will be usable in court.

The kids ask, “Why do you read these terrible stories, Mom?” I read them so I can learn from the stories of other people. If a child comes into my care with anything similar I would rather have in my background a knowledge of how to approach the child. Not only to be able to best help her but to also best preserve the validity of her story in the eyes of the court.

I have put many of her other books on my “To Read” list and look forward to also learning from them.


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The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog

boy who was riased as a dog

The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog

By: Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

This book is a collection of smaller stories collected from the notes of Child psychiatrist Bruce D Perry.  When we first started the process of becoming licensed foster parents another parent posted about this book on a fostering group.  I had a long run coming up so I found it on audiobook and started running.  I didn’t want it to end and extended the run just to continue listening.   This is a book that one could benefit from at any level of experience.  What I took away from it at this point is the importance of attachment and meeting a child where they are at, not where you think they should be.  As I gain in experience this is a book I will go back to for further insight into the children we have in our home.

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A look at tomorrow…

Heading into the new year, into an unknown amount of tomorrows, I look to the past.  I look to seemingly unrelated little things that shifted the entire outcome of my life.

The stories I heard from my mum about working at a children’s home.  As a child, it struck me as unimaginable.  A child without a home?  When there are so many homes?  So many empty rooms?

A girl at school.  A girl without a home.  Perhaps, better put, too many houses but not a home.

A co-worker who fostered.  Did she realize her stories were adding shape and structure to a formless feeling.

Prayers to God on what we are to do with his gifts.  How are we suppose to use, to be good stewards of what we’ve been given?  The walls started to form.  A roof, some windows, a door.


A home for little ones needing a home, be it only for tomorrow or for an unknown amount of tomorrows.


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