Certified Parent

Well…we just had our last environmental inspection of our home to make sure everything is good to go for our future foster kids. Once the state is done with all the paperwork, we’ll be certified parents. Yep.

I find it interesting that we have gone through so much to be able to care for other’s children, yet the normal couple has to do none of these things. But let me stop right there. I do realize there is a difference between what we’re doing, normal healthy parenting, and then the type of parenting that isn’t conducive to a normal or healthy upbringing for a child. I’m not discrediting good parents by any means.

What this goes to show is how easy it is to be a lackadaisical parent and how tough it is to be a proactive parent. (Remember…we don’t have children so much of this stuff is new to us even though I think we’ll be awesome!) It tells me there are days where the parents just don’t have energy to go to the park. Between work, housekeeping, meals, and other various grown up responsibilities, taking care of a child is a TON of work (even when giving the most basic care.)

Did you know that smoke alarms expire? Yeah…so $200 later, we have all new alarms and a carbon monoxide detector. I thought…this is normal house upkeep, but I wouldn’t have known this had it not been for my house having to get a fire inspection. We made a fire escape plan in MS Word and posted it on our fridge. We’ve been to lots of people’s homes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fire escape plan lol!

Going the extra mile to play with them, talk to them, read with them, to really listen to what they have to say…it all adds up and can seem like a mountain of responsibility. And that’s not having to meet with a child advocate, judges, social services, and the birth parents. Going through the process of making our home ready for kids is a little eye opening to the work parents have to put in to making a house a home.

As usual, I get into my head and think, oh my gosh, this is going to be crazy. Going from no children to possibly 3 is really insane. But, I easily overwhelm myself. I’m sure once we get a child or 3, we will get into a routine and adjust to the changes. This is something all families must do. Like anything that is worth doing, it takes work. Could we be somewhat lazy-ish foster parents? Probably. But that isn’t why we’re doing this so it’d defeat the purpose of pouring time and love into a foster child. Plus, the snuggles are going to make it all worthwhile šŸ™‚

Love each other šŸ™‚

~Jason

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But here…

Well, here’s another post about perspective. We’ve all heard it. Every story has 3 views or every coin has 2 sides. Perspective drives the view of so many things. No need to belabor this point.

I remember last year when I volunteered at the school. I love those children more than I probably should, but I’m wired this way to people will get over it. I love playing with them, listening to their stories, and letting them use me as a jungle gym. But the perspective to some their was that it was weird. I mean, who’s husband just does that? It’s unconformable for some and bystanders might misconstrue what they see and make allegations. I understand some of the hesitation. Because really…how many guys are volunteering to play with kids during their recess and eat lunch with them? Not enough, I’ll tell you that much. But it doesn’t happen a lot and so in our culture it’s odd.

That’s one perspective.

Here’s another. Tonight is week 9 of our foster class. To the agency and a family…me wanting to take in a child (whom I don’t know), play with them, care for them, take them to school, feed and nurture…could be a blessing. My wife and I will soon be taking care of someone else’s child while they get back on track and to the agency and the child, it’s wonderful. But I guess to some this too is weird and not normal.

So…here we are. At one perspective, caring for kids and giving them attention are questionable and weird. But here…wherever I dwell…it will beĀ called love.

Be kind to each otherĀ  šŸ™‚

~J

Mark 10.13

Support Systems

Everyone loves a good success story. We get to see someone triumph. We see them overcome adversity, beat the odds, and defy the critics. But often times, Ā people that help them get there are somewhat forgotten. What if support systems and people behind the scenes were the stars?

I’m not saying that people in the spotlight should be sent to the shadows. What I’m saying is something I’ve taken notice to for quite some time. Do you ever watch award shows? We always see who won best actor and actress awards. We always see what show won best drama or comedy. What we don’t see is who won the music production awards, who won best lighting, or even best writing. These happen during commercial breaks. But these unsung heroes are critical to success.

Ok, that’s a long way to get where I’m trying to go. Ā Our foster classes have helped to highlight the importance of having a support group. None of us can do anything alone. It doesn’t matter how how much talent you have if no one is behind you rooting you on. Listen to any award acceptance speech and they’ll likely be thanking their parents (among many others)…because support is just that important.

The people around us can either help us achieve goals or completely smash our dreams to bits. If you think about it long Ā enough you’ll be able to pinpoint times of your life where someone did one or the other.

So I charge you with this: be someone’s hope. Be the encouragement they need. Be the light in their darkness. Be the shoulder they can cry on. Be the super star that’s behind the scenes but makes the whole thing just work. Then watch them shine and be happy of their success.

Be kind to each other šŸ™‚

~J

After 8 Weeks…

Well, our journey to foster is going well. We are definitely being tested though. Getting the room ready has financially strained us, emotionally challenged us, and physically wore us down. We are getting more excited with each week though that we will soon have a huge impact on someone in a very positive way. We have also made some friends in this process.

The classes have been great so far as well. We’ve learned a lot about parenting and ourselves. My wife and I have much to discuss. House rules, kid rules, parent rules, boundaries, schedules, foods, and other decisions that we kind of took for granted in not having any kids.

One thing we spoke of last night was what we were each a little apprehensive about. For me, to be honest (which is always so dangerous), my apprehension stems from a little bit of selfishness. I have no worries about meeting the birth parents, but what I feel like might bug me is the weekly visit of the kids to their parents. I thought…ugh…something else to add to the schedule. But, I’m thinking this isn’t going to be so bad, plus, it’ll get me out of the house. Silver lining people, that’s what I’m about.

Also, we can tell that we’re spiritually being attacked too. The bunk bed we bought came in….with less than half the parts. So that’s on its way back to Amazon. Also, we needed to replace all the sinks in the bathroom. That’s going ok…but there’s been some hiccups that are making it annoying. My car battery died, that’s a fun unexpected expense. Misty’s key fob batteries are dying and her car doesn’t like that at all. Also, did you know that Fire Alarms expire? Yeah, they do every 7 to 10 years. So new ones of those will be on order. But we’ll get through all of this and God’s on our side so I am not worried. 

I enjoy writing and blogging and this will be a great way for me to get back to it. We could use your prayers and thoughts and thank you in advance for those. Till next time. šŸ™‚

You got this…

Doors

You know the saying, when one door closes, another door opens. There’s a lot of popular ones like that. Like, when God closes one door he opens a window. Nice little sayings to comfort us when things don’t go our way. And people LOVE doors. They love the symbolism and mystery. Some make art with them,Ā someĀ haveĀ Instagram accounts dedicated to them. People were upset when the new owners of the Full House home painted the doorĀ to something other than red!Ā But something is happening right now in our life that makes me see doors just a bit differently.

What if sometimes God brings us to a door and gives us the choice to open it or not? What if a lot of so called “closed doors” were for us to make a conscious decision to go through instead of throwing up our arms in defeat. “Well if it were meant to happen it would’ve happened.” Hmm…really?Ā  Sometimes…yeah sure, that’s true.Ā But guess what? Doors can shut…and theyĀ can also open.Ā Sometimes I feel though that God wants us to really make that conscious decision to take action (or inaction), and not wait on him to babysit our situation.

We see people confronted with decisions all throughout the Bible. Jesus himself had to make some very tough decisions. In Luke 22.42 he even asks God if there’s another way. He was led to a door and had to choose whether or not to open it. He didn’t want to, but he did.

So next time when faced with a decision to make, ask whether or not it’s a door that we should open. Is it a door that God brought us to, or one we found all on our own. Both are ok. Opening a door has consequences, but so does keeping it closed. Yes, God makes our paths straight and works things for our good, but sometimes…God is simply waiting for us to trust where he’s led us and for us to make the move.

And remember,Ā love each other šŸ™‚