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Monday, December 17, 2012

Before I Forget Them...

     I have been so busy lately with our "new" kids living at the Children's Village, that I had forgotten to stop and remember thank God, pray for, and blog about our "old" (very young, not age-old, but life's timeline old) kids.  I am going to write a few memory blogs before I get too bogged down with the last year of our lives and forget sweet moments from our time in Memphis as foster parents.  I am also still struggling with the horrific events of the CT Kindergarten massacre and I feel that paying honor to the children in my life will help to honor all children.  This was our first baby:
Miss Adorable

     My friend Hannah and I were starting a girls' Bible study for the summer, and this was actually our kick-off first meeting in June.  I had been cleaning and preparing our apartment in Seminary housing all day for the Middle and High School girls who began arriving right on time.  About 30 minutes before they were arriving, our social worker began calling and asking if we could take a baby, right now, they had no idea how long yet.  We said yes, didn't even have time to begin our Bible study, and then she arrived! I was so happy and excited and had no idea what to do with her.  I stood in front of between 15-20 girls holding this little 6 month old Hispanic baby girl in my arms, wondering what I should do.  Baby girl looked just as confused as I, but was sweetly not crying.  She had the cutest big brown eyes and fuzzy hair and dimples.  My personal Baby-child-health-related-question philosophy is: 'When in doubt, call your mother,' (she's a mommy of 3 and a nurse) so I did just that.  She recommended I try to give her a bottle and then just see how it goes.  We did and I just kept right on talking to those girls.  John ended up taking her over to a friend's house and playing with her there so I could finish the Bible study. 
Calling my mom
     We fell in love with her so fast! She slept through the night, easily fell into a schedule with her bottles, and ate up some baby food.  It was strange to suddenly have this little person we cared about so much. We loved every minute of her visit!
Deciding He Liked to Be a Daddy
     That same friend Hannah offered to take these great pictures of us together that Sunday after church:

     She was only with us for 6 days before going on to her forever family.  We cried the night before court, but then got there and met some nice people who obviously loved her and deserved to keep her.  They were able to adopt her and she is now part of their family. The social worker explained that her mother had left her with them to babysit her and then never come back when she was about a month old.  They had had her the last 5 months but couldn't get her social security number and have custody and get her medical treatment and things like that until they went through DCS (Department of Children's Services).  While DCS was investigating them and checking their home and making sure she would be safe, well fed, etc, she came and stayed with us.  They were so happy to get her back. You could tell she recognized them and played with them sweetly while she had looked mostly confused at us. We left court happy for her future.  It was our first baby good-bye, and it was not bad. My prayer for her now is that she be raised to know Jesus as her Lord and Savior, that she be kept safe, well-fed, and learning and growing to her full potential.

      We then spent two weeks with no kids, deciding we should definitely accept a sibling group of two next time since one kid was much easier than we expected.  We had previously planned to go to summer camp with our youth group at church, and John and I were both to drive a 15 passenger van and be the adult chaperones in a room with 6-8 teenagers each at Student Life Camp at the beach. We had to leave for camp on a Thursday.  The Wednesday before camp, the social worker called and asked us if we could accept a sibling group of 3 kids, and it really broke my heart to have to turn her down because we were about to be gone for a week.

     I resentfully went on that trip, but fell more deeply in love with God than ever before.  They had David Platt as the speaker, and he shared about his adoption experiences and was in the process of adopting his daughter while we were at camp.  He preached a phenomenal message on praying the Lord's Prayer to fit your life - as in "Hallowed Be Thy Name" (praises, glory to God for his goodness/greatness) becomes "Make Your Name Hallowed in My Life" (show the goodness, glory, greatness of God with our lives, ask God to use our lives to show His Name is Great to others).  I had always enjoyed praying the Lord's prayer, and this really taught me how to use it more specifically. The worship was also excellent, and John and I spent some good time in prayer letting the Lord know that we were ready and willing to do whatever he asked of us as a couple.
At camp with some great girls!

Trying the beach hair look at camp

     Camp is rather exhausting though, staying up super late with cool teenagers, spending a lot of time at the beach, shopping, and at the conference listening to the speaker and worshiping twice a day.  It's a ton of fun, and worth every second, but exhausting by the end.  We were half-way home on the 6-7 hour drive, and I felt like I was falling asleep and asked if another one of our adult chaperones could drive.  I was a sleepy passenger for about 30 minutes before John called me from his van and gave me this news,

J: "So, the social worker just called and asked if we could take a sibling group of 4."
K: "We're only approved for 3 kids though."
J:  "She said it was fine because we have that other room with a bed."
K:  "How old are they?"
J:  "1,2,3, and 5, the three little ones are girls, the oldest is a boy."
K: "Three little girls and boy. Hmmm. What do you think?
 J: "I don't know babe, four kids is a lot."
K:   "You just told God we will do whatever he asks of us, and you've always said you wanted a girl.  He's offering us THREE of them!"
J: "So does that mean you want me to tell her yes?"
K:  "Do you want to?"
J:  "Do you want to?"
K: "What do you think God wants us to do?"
J: "I don't know.  I told her to try to find someone else, but we don't want them to break them up, so if they can't find anyone else to take all 4, we'll take them if you say it's OK."
K: "OK then.  If she calls back, let's do it!"
J: "Alrighty then."

  So much for being sleepy.  I woke right up and felt my heart racing as I wondered if she'd call back needing us and trying to remember what stages of development a 1, 2, 3, and 5 year old would be in.  She called back, and asked if she could bring them over right away. We were still 2 hours away from home, and told her that we'd call her when we got there. I got so excited talking about and imagining these little kids all the way home.

     We unloaded our stuff, helped to unload the church trailer, called the social worker and told her we should be there within thirty minutes, then raced home only to find that John had left our house keys AT THE BEACH!  So here we are outside our apartment with two huge bags each from being gone all week, and we are locked out of our house.  John began to get so frustrated, and I knew it was just the devil trying to discourage us from taking these kids.  He had to knock on several doors to find which one was the housing person who had an extra key.  At last we walked in the door, put our bags in our room, quickly tidied up, and they arrived, cuter than I could have imagined.  I'll tell you about them next time. :)

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