Let Me Pull at Your Heart Strings

All photos in this post taken by: Photographs by Meg

My blog website has been malfunctioning and it looks like it is an issue that will need to be resolved by a professional- sigh. Gotta love technology…that is the reason it has taken me so long to post!

My last update was in April which really leaves you hanging about the new happenings here. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you have probably been following the latest in our foster care journey. We had decided at the beginning of this year that we would be open to taking calls about placements if it was the right fit for our family. I had received a few calls and nothing was right. Not to mention, since February, we had been praying for this particular girl!

Fast forward to the end of April, and we received the call we had been praying for for a few months. I have a friend who also fosters and she had a little girl a while ago that was sent back home to her parents despite the significant evidence that it probably wasn’t in her best interest. We were all heartbroken. Our families spend time together often so we get to know the kids and are always sad when we feel the children aren’t being protected. When she went home at the end of 2014, we kept hoping that something would happen and DSS would have to remove her again so my friend or I could take her. Nothing ever did. Then in February 2016, we found out that she and her 14 year old sister had been removed and placed with a family friend due to the dad having a domestic violence charge a few months prior. Someone had called it into DSS and they took the children away. Through a series of events, this family friend called DSS to come remove the girls because of our-now-foster-girl’s behavior issues. None of these problems were made aware to me until we had her a week. Which I feel like in the interest of full disclosure, that should have been mentioned. But I was shocked when the case worker told me some of these issues because she had been nothing but sweet since she was with us. Her sister was taken to a girls’ home further away because the parents refused to let her stay with the family friend- heartbreaking. And while our girl’s behavior did start to become more difficult it wasn’t anything that put us or our children in danger and was most likely due to her environment.

Foster care isn’t glamorous. It’s hard and emotionally challenging. But so are these kids’ lives! They didn’t choose to be born into these families. They have no control over what is done to them and where they go once they are in the system. Foster care is not for the faint of heart. But it IS for the Big-of-Heart.

There are so many valid reasons to not open up your home to other children. And in the same breath, there are so many reasons TO do it. No ONE family can foster forever. And in the next few years we will hopefully pass our baton onto one of you. I will always be your cheerleader and support you and your family in any way possible. For me, most of the time it’s having a listening ear. I have been blessed with friends who are always willing to listen or attend stressful court dates when I’m terrified to go by myself. And I am so thankful! It takes a village to raise a child(and ME!) and that couldn’t be more true for foster care. Just having friends who love her and I enough to spend time with our family and treat her like part of the clan means so much. People offering clothes and dropping off bags of toys is so so amazing.

It has been a wonderfully challenging time the last 3 months. Taking her to therapy and visits and dealing with the emotional fallout from those therapies and visits is exhausting. But I don’t think it’s nearly as exhausting as having to relive hiding in closets and watching your mom get beat on. So when I am worn down, I remind myself how much worse it could be. These poor poor children…

Children are the future and if we can have the privilege of giving one or two kids a chance at a wonderful life- that is what it’s all about. It’s our job to pick up the pieces WITH them. Not easy. Not fun. Sometimes easy! Sometimes fun! Like taking them on their first boat ride or their first swim lesson or the excitement over their new pair of shoes- that stuff is so good for the soul. In this cruel world, that’s what makes life worth living. And I have fully embraced those moments let me tell you!

If you are on the edge and terrified(like we were and still are) of all of the unknowns and “what if’s”, WE ARE HERE. We are YOUR village! We have had a wonderful village and I don’t think we could have sustained like we have without it! Pray for us over the coming months. I have already felt your prayers and seen so many answered. It’s amazing to have so many people so supportive of this process, as it should be. These sweet innocent children need us. If just a SMALL number of us fostered for just 2 years, no child would ever be without a home.

There are so many more details I will share in the coming months. I like having this blog as a diary to keep track of life happenings and I love looking back and seeing how our family has grown. Thank you for your prayers and support! God is so good to give us the desires of our hearts. Pray for the sister as she wades through this awful time dealing with her parents not wanting her and her having to testify to the awful things that went on in the home. I have cried so much about her and pray God gives us clarity on how to best be in her life and help her.
-Andrea

Matthew 5: 3-10
Blessed are the poor in the spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Hebrews 13: 1-2
Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Psalm 82:3
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.

James 1:27
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

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