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 🙂

Love each other 🙂

~Jason

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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,  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.  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  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 🙂

~J

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, some have Instagram accounts dedicated to them. People were upset when the new owners of the Full House home painted the door to something other than red! 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?  Sometimes…yeah sure, that’s true. But guess what? Doors can shut…and they can also open. 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, love each other 🙂