Wednesday, November 29, 2017

For the Love of Fostering. After ABC15's Story.

Sooo much has changed in our lives these last few months.  Our lives have gotten SO busy it has been difficult to ever get onto my blog.  I guess I can say my focus has changed.  Sometimes the only free time I have is 9:30pm.  An hour before I need to sleep. If it comes off as complaining, I'm sorry. I LOVE MY LIFE!  I don't know how to explain it.  I love being a mom and I love being a foster mom.  How could I love something so much, have so little resources, space, and little money yet love it SO MUCH?  I don't know.  I feel like I've finally found my path.

My husband and I just had this conversation earlier.  He asked, "Why are we facing so many obstacles?"  I replied, "Because we found our calling."  We have hit roadblock after roadblock since we first started fostering.  The story is long and I want to write about all of it here to help me to see how far we've come. 

I'm gonna start with my third foster son James (name hidden).  A year ago we realized with him being so high needs, he needed to have his own room.  Two of my boys moved into the garage to make space.  We realized through inspections that even though we converted the garage into a room, there are certain things that have to be done to make it passable for inspection.  We realized we needed to turn either the garage into an actual room or the patio.  Maybe it'll be easy.  Nope.  The beginning quote was $8,000.  There was no way we could raise it so fast.  We reached out to Boost a Foster Family and they came out to look around.  They normally do little stuff but not build whole rooms.  They started making some phone calls and this is what came out of it..... ABC15 came out and wrote an article with a video about what we needed.

In the middle of this project James was taken to get mental health treatment for severe issues.  He was then moved to a therapeutic group home.  MY HEART SHATTERED.  I sobbed and sobbed for weeks.  James didn't deserve what he went through.  But his therapist said being in a home with a family was too overwhelming for him.  I received horrible letters from people accusing me of using him to build the room.  It hurt so bad.  I realized there will always be haters.  He began to sneak call me from the hospital and his new group home.  We talked and talked as quick as we could and as often as he could get away with it.  Unfortunately, the boss of his new group home was one of the people that wrote a horrible letter about me online.  Saying I hurt him and used him.  That I didn't really love or care about him.  She was rude to him and didn't treat him well.  Thankfully he was removed from there and taken to another therapeutic home that was much, much better.  Now he's able to call me as often as he wants whether at school or at home.  We talk before bed every night.  :D 

So why still build the room?  In the middle of all that, we had gained a new teen foster daughter and eventually also her brother.  We still were MEGA lacking space.  You can't place a boy and a girl in the same room after they are a certain age.  The project continued.  Bell Mortgage and New Heights Church in Arizona reached out to cover the costs.  Wow!  Several months later the project was finished.  Soon I'd love to post some pics of the process!  We now have 5 bedrooms and have already started talking about the possibility to add on again to help more children.  Whew.... another battle for another day.  But it's gonna happen.

Our foster kids have two more siblings that need placement and our agency is NOT allowing it to happen here because of our family size.  Although OLR (licensing) has no problem with it, I just happened to pick an agency that has stricter rules about it.  After they held a staff meeting and turned me down FLAT, I immediately asked to be able to find another agency.  With their blessings, I'm currently calling around like crazy.  I have a deadline, yet again, to unite siblings together and within a short about of time.  However, without all these amazing companies and people in my life, it wouldn't even be a possibility.  It's only possible because we were gifted an extra bedroom.  

Will you join me in prayer?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Why It's Hard to Be a Foster Mom

I'm not sure if I ever updated how I have two new foster kids.  One is 15 and the other is 11.  Boy, it's been a journey.  They have quite a bumpy road they've had to live.  The hardest thing about being a foster parent is getting them the help they need, therapy, vision, dental, and doctor appointments and see them grow in maturity.  To be with them through the tantrums, cops being called, being cussed out, but rejoicing when growth and changes are happening.  Even the tiniest change makes me want to rejoice!  Those tiny changes towards healing is what makes it all worth it for me. 

Here is the hard part.  Knowing the case plan is set for reunification and almost nothing has changed. Situation is shaky at best with mom and kids are going back.  As much as I want a stable life for these kids, all I can do is love on them, bring them to Jesus, feed, clothe, and care for till they go home.  Boy, it makes it hard for me.  Somehow I have to learn how to love and let go.  NEVER, EVER do I want to keep children from a mother that is doing her best to change for the better.

This is what's even harder.  Knowing when to just let go and let God.  Or when to report when you know there is lots of lying going on and DCS thinks mom is doing fabulous.  How would my conscience feel if they go back and get hurt?  Seriously hurt?  My heart hurts because the mom is actually someone I've known for awhile and a friend somewhat. We don't hang out but we are friendly and known each other for two decades. 

Sigh.  I have a love/hate relationship with fostering.  Jesus, please give me peace in the path you want me to take.  Give me discernment when needed.  And, boy, do I need it!  I love these kids, don't want to keep them from their mother, but also care for their safety.  Thank you for blessing me with these beautiful kids.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Boys Home from Guatemala

Guatemala for my boys was an 8 day trip.  Definitely an adventure!  They saw a volcano nearby, visited many schools, an orphanage, took a boat ride, prayed with a lot of people, and brought food to homes.  I'm SO PROUD of my boys. They definitely came back with a different perspective of America.


Ryan talked to me about how neat the market is.  How the money I sent with him was so much more there.  He didn't get much time to shop but it was neat how he was able to negotiate price.  They brought home some interesting treats for me to try.  :)

Chaz came home at midnight and immediately wanted to talk to us.  He had a major experience during the missions trip.  He absolutely loved praying with people and encouraging.  He loved being busy every day even though it was tiring.  There wasn't much time for play as they had their days packed with outreaching from place to place.  Chaz was such at ease talking to people he didn't know.  This is Chaz we're talking about here.  If you go way back in this blog, to around 2005-2007, Chaz had a hard time with communication, and some violent behaviors.  He's come such a long way! He's almost 17 and has such a big heart for people and patience for kids.

I'm glad my boys are home.  Even though they're tired, in the morning we are volunteering at an orphanage here in the valley.  I'm glad they get at least one day of rest.  :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Guatemala Missions Trip Day 2

It's been so amazing watching the pictures roll in from the facebook page Kids N Missions.  I can't wait to see how they're gonna be when they get back. My kids are so used the the amazing blessings of living in America.  It's really hard to understand what it's like for kids in other nations that don't have such an easy way of life.  I'm glad they get to see first hand.  

The boys and the teens have been doing plays to communicate.  Here is Ryan playing in one of them.  :D

On one of the days they had hiked quite a bit to bring food to some people who have houses built into the hills.  

Ryan and his friend praying for some Guatemala teens.

Ryan is the last boy in black shirt. 


This picture is so beatiful.  :D  I love all these photos of the teens and also of the Guatemala culture and how they do things.  Pretty amazing!

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Mission Trip to Guatemala Day 1

We worked hard over the last year to save so we could send our sons Chaz and Ryan to Guatemala with our church youth.  Omgosh, it was sooooooooo worth it.  I don't how many times we backed out.  Half and half we heard good and bad about going.  Was it worth the risk?  Haven't we taught our sons their whole life the importance of helping others in need?  How we are the hands and feet of Jesus?  Sometimes I laid awake at night worrying.  How would I get the money?  We have a large family.  So many expenses. 

My husband was in an accident.  So glad he make it out with only scrapes and bruises. But car was totaled.  Do we stop paying for the trip and just buy another car?  After a lot of prayer and thought we decided it was still going to happen for our boys because their heart was set on it and they wanted to go.  They had been practicing for their plays and we couldn't do that to them.

So it happened!  We got up at 1:30am to head to the airport.  We were the first ones there out of the group. Man, it was such a maze and we were tired but the boys were hyped.  They had never been on a plane before. As the group arrived the air got such an exciting feel for it.  My heart leaped with joy because my boys were living my lifelong dream.  To go to orphanages to see kids, minister to them, help feed them, and also take food to people alongside mountains.  Homes that were built into the mountain.  Long trails, hills, and winding roads but they excitedly were doing it.

As each picture came in my heart melted.  These were my boys and my AMAZING church that set it all up.  My heart has been for missions more and more over the years.  We didn't have to be pastors to experience it.  Didn't have to be wealthy.  We just have a church that says children, teens, and adults matter and we can all make a difference. 

Today, while sitting in service and hearing about where are church is going.  More and more into the missions field, for the first time in 3 1/2 years I felt like this is definitely MY church.  Where I belong.  Not just my kids and teens.  But for Charles and I.  The first time Pastor Bill talked to the church about his heart to work in missions and also some orphanages and places that work with teens in sex trafficking, I had tears running down my face.  It took everything in me not to sob.  Because I always felt I had to have status to help.  To be a servant the way Jesus meant us to be. My church made it possible and I am so grateful.