"I will not leave you as orphans - I will come to you." John 14:18

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

There are a couple of times during the year that a sadness will hit me. The anniversary of my Grandma Jeannie's homegoing. The times when I talk to my family and miss them terribly, knowing I'm missing out on a really special time with my nieces or nephew. And Mother's Day. Inevitably, every year that passes, I become further and further away from the possibility of getting married. That in and of itself is heart-wrenching to me. But the fact that I don't have a child. . . it continues to burn and ache in my soul. I am so so so grateful to be in the lives of so many children and feel as though I'm making a difference. . . my students at school, my nieces and nephew, my BF's 3 boys who happen to live with me. . . but how I long to have one of my own.

I do feel as though I've taken steps backwards in the last three months. Many people have asked why I haven't posted anything on the progress. That's because there has been no progress. Nothing. Nada. My home study is not done. My paperwork is not complete. I had to put it on hold and haven't yet picked it back up. My intention is to get going on it with a vengeance as soon as school lets out. I'm FREAKED out about the home study. I know I shouldn't be, but it's tough to think that someone is going to come into my home and judge it.

I had the opportunity to meet with a friend, Brea, that has been through domestic adoption twice. My goal was to ask her about private agency versus DCS adoptions. I was SHOCKED (and ecstatic) to find out that I can do foster to adopt through a private agency and it is still virtually free. I remember being told back at my initial interview with DCS that I could go through a private agency, but I misunderstood and thought he meant that the foster care system was not where I needed to be. I didn't realize that you can go through a private agency and they act as a liason between DCS and the client. This will add an additional level of screening that will ensure that I will be contacted only for cases that meet my "list".

Oh boy. . . the list. Another source of panic and questions. Brea recommended that I make a "list" of situations or "conditions", if you will, that I would feel comfortable or capable of handling. For instance, do I feel capable of caring for a wheelchair bound child? Am I willing to parent a child with a severe handicap? And things like that. That way, when the agency calls me with a possible placement, I don't immediately get mommy-fever and consider to take someone that I can't possibly care for.

But how do you HONESTLY write down what you'll take and what you'll not take? So that's where YOU come in. I need prayers. I need desperate prayers that will help guide me towards what I can take and what I can't take. This list will not be shared with the case worker, just a list that I can refer to, but I know it's important. I am not equipped to make decisions on what I can handle. I trust that God will only give me what I can handle, so I'm asking you to petition for me as I continue to ask God to lead me.

It is truly my hope and prayer that this will be my last Mother's Day alone. I expect tears tomorrow. They come every year when I'm at church. They flow quickly and burn my cheeks. My heart beats fast and my stomach churns. But, I am trusting that God will provide what I need.

To the precious moms that are following my journey of obedience, I wish for you peace, love, joy, and deep happiness on this day that celebrates you and the gift that you gave to the world. Hug your children tightly. Kiss their precious faces. Know that you make a difference everyday. Please don't take it for granted. There are some people that would give nearly anything to be in your world.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ready to Talk

So, I guess after my short post last time, I'm ready to do some "splaining". Where to start, where to start. . .

All of this began with my knee surgery. From my previous posts, you probably already know that my surgery set me back further than I would have ever imagined, physically speaking. Gratefully, the weekend after my surgery my BF and her boys moved in. They have helped me SO very much with the house and the dogs. It's been a real eye-opener having them there. I knew it would be, so that doesn't surprise me, but it really helps having them in the space that they are in so that I can really judge how much space I have to work with for adoption purposes.

My house is a wonderful blessing. I own a 4 bedroom townhouse that is two stories. Currently, my BF and the boys are occupying the entire upstairs which has 3 bedrooms and a full bathroom. My bedroom, as well as a full bathroom, kitchen, dining room, and living room are all downstairs. Prior to them moving in, we had all discussed what would happen if and when a child would come to live with us. The boys would share a room, and that would leave an open room for the child to have. Now that I can see how the space is being utilized, I'm not sure that it is the best time right now for me to take this on.

The amazing thing about the timing issue that God has placed in my life, is that just prior to my new roomies joining me, I had some serious doubts as to what path I should really be on. Why did I chose foster to adopt? Is there another path that is more appropriate for me? I'm not regretting going through the PATH training classes, I'm just not certain anymore that fostering is for me. The constant mention of "fostering teens" has really got me thinking that maybe I'm not supposed to go through this program to increase my family.

I initially chose foster to adopt for a couple of reasons~

1. I feel very strongly about domestic adoption. I am a huge advocate for international adoption, but I also believe that there are hundreds of thousands of kids on in my backyard that need homes.

2. Extremely selfishly, (and now that I'm really being honest) and probably faithlessly speaking, I chose foster to adopt because of money issues. I know that international adoptions as well as domestic adoptions are crazy expensive which just ticks me off. Why is it that good people, with good hearts, and good homes can't adopt a child for free or next to free? I think that a lot more people would consider adoption if the price wasn't so steep. So my decision to foster to adopt was based on the fact that fostering is nearly free. I say nearly because there are things that I have to purchase to make my home able to pass strict guidelines - carbon monoxide testers, medication lockboxes, ect.

3. I don't want to parent an infant. As a single female, I don't think it would be wise of me to parent an infant that requires daycare and other needs that I am not able to provide. I know that it is rare for infants to come into the custody of the state, so that's another reason I chose foster care.

4. Although I have nothing to back this up except for my thoughts and feelings, I still feel leary about being a single parent by choice. I figure(d) that an adoption agency will ask a lot of questions and be suspicious of me if I'm single rather than DHS just being glad to have a warm home to send a child to.

So where do I stand? I have no clue. I'm in a crazy transition period right now. I am finishing up my PATH training classes in the next 2 weeks. I chose to complete those classes because I am not a quitter, and I believe that no matter what path God leads me down in my life, those classes will make me a better teacher and better human being. I will complete my homestudy with DCS in the next 2 months or so. I am not a quitter. I will push forward to see what God wants me to do. I am not a quitter. I will continue to lose weight. I am not a quitter. (Ok, Ok, so I've struggled ALOT with this last one. I want to quit. Dang, I want some chocolate cake right now. Like, the whole thing.)

My thought now is that I am at a crossroad in my life. I still feel strongly that I need to pursue adoption. I still feel strongly that I need to pursue domestic adoption. Fostering to adopt is an issue that I'm wavering on. My new thoughts include the path of adoption agency. Why? Well, looking back at the four reasons I gave for following the path to adoption through foster care, three out of four of those are (I feel) selfish, lazy, and faithless excuses. I am not trusting my God to provide financially. I am not trusting my God to place the child that HE wants me to have in my life. I am not trusting my God to make my way clear and be able to answer questions about my singleness. Shame on me. Shame on me. Shame on me.

My God is not a God of confusion. My God is not a secret God. Thanks, Erin, for the reminder. Any confusion comes from the father of lies. Any secrets that I perceive are only secrets because I am not looking and seeking.

Please pray that I will be seeking the answers that I need and that I will be obedient in following the path God has for me. If you have any input on adoption agencies that you think I should look in to (or those that you would NOT recommend), please let me know because I'm going to begin doing research to see if that is what God would have me to do.

Thank you friends. You are a blessing to me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hey God, how about a map?

Frustration. Weariness. Moments of Anger. Exhaustion. Confusion.

I don't even really know where to begin. The last three weeks have been absolutely exhausting as I've tried to juggle all of my normal responsibilities as well as respond to the pull of my heart. My physical state (crutches and a wheelchair) have pushed me beyond exhaustion physically - not to mention the mental state it puts me in to have to be dependent on others.

As my week began last week, I wasn't sure I was even going to be able to go through with the rest of my home study. As the week wore on, I knew it was physically impossible for me to be prepared, so I called and postponed it until April.

I'm sorry. I have to blog more later. I cannot separate my thoughts right now and need more time to think. Thank you to those of you who have been faithfully following and praying for me.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Knees, Roommates, and WHAT???!!!

It's been a whirlwind of activity here in my world in the last few weeks. I have been having knee problems (again) the last few months and have been consulting with my orthopedic surgeon to try to get them fixed. After steroid injections, physical therapy, and a round of orthovisc injections (the fat from the rooster comb), it was evident that surgery was going to be my only option. My doctor couldn't see anything on the MRI due to the large amount of scar tissue present, so exploratory orthoscopic surgery was scheduled. This surgery was to take place on a Friday so that I could go back to school on Tuesday without any complications, but it wasn't to be. Instead of walking to the car after my surgery (which is what happened last time I had knee surgery), I received a walker and strict instructions to be completely non-weight bearing for 4-6 weeks. Gulp. Did you hear that? Four to six weeks on crutches, a walker, and a wheelchair. Initially she also told me to be off of work 3-4 weeks. Yeah right. Like I have that kind of time. Now, mind you, this is knee surgery number 5 for me. . . 4 on my right knee, one on my left. I am no surgery infant. I know what to expect. I know when I can push it. I have learned, through this surgery, when not to push it. I took off an additional 3 days (thanks to President's Day and a snow day) and returned to school this last Monday in a wheelchair that a friend let me borrow. That wheelchair has saved me. Literally. March 18 is the big day. Not only is it the day after my birthday, but the day I can start to walk on it again! This week has been a slow downward spiral for me culminating in today's break down. I am completely exhausted physically and emotionally.

My best friend, S, and her boys, T and R, moved in this last weekend. While it is not a permanent move for them, it is an adjustment for them as they've had some pretty major changes in their lives in the last 6 months. So, I've gone from living by myself to living with 3 other people, 2 of which are teenagers. I absolutely love having them here, and it has been such an incredible blessing to have them here.

And of course, in the midst of all this craziness, DCS calls. They have decided that they want to move forward with my home study. WHAT?!?! You mean, I'm not a lost cause because I don't feel called to parent a teenager right now? I guess not. So, now the panic starts. My case worker will be here next Thursday to complete the second part to my home study, my first actual home visit. So you can just imagine the mad dash for the bottle of Fantastik! Oh my gosh! Throw me that Magic Eraser! Could you please fill up the bucket with Pine Sol? Quick! Install the carbon monoxide detectors! Lock up the medications!! Oh yeah. . . Did anybody remember that I CAN'T WALK!!!??? I can't even carry a glass of water down the hallway! How in the world am I gonna clean this house spotless!? I know, I know. Everyone I've talked to about home studies say that they're not looking at the cleanliness of your house. But, by a show of hands, how many of you would feel comfortable with a stranger walking into your house to evaluate it with dirty dishes in the sink, stains on the floor, and dog hair all over the place? Go on. Anybody? See. No hands. Yeah, me neither.

So, this week, I hobble around on crutches around the house. Truth be told, when no one's looking, I dance from one wall to another just so I can walk around without those stupid wooden appendages. And no. I don't want any help. Don't you dare offer to come over and help me. I don't want anyone else cleaning up my mess. I won't allow it. I'd be horrified.

Oh yeah, and on top of all of it. . . my right pointer finger is infected. No idea how that happened, but the antibiotics I'm on hopefully will clear it up. Currently, it's the size of a Bob Evans sausage. When it rains, it pours.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

First of many

Today I experienced the first of what I'm sure will be many heartaches on my journey of obedience. I have eagerly anticipated my first meeting with the Sumner County DCS workers for about 10 days now. Today was the first meeting of what was to be my home study. I was told that three meetings would be the make-up of a home study. They asked me to tell them about my motivation for wanting to be a resource parent. After I explained "Crazy Love" to them and a passion that my Savior has placed on my heart, I was greeted with this statement; "I see here that you are interested in a child 4-8 years old. At this time, we are really in need of foster parents for teenagers. How do you feel about that?" I replied with the fact that, although I'm not closed to it, I don't feel like that is what I've been called to right now. I did tell them that I would be willing to open up to a child as old as 11.

In a nutshell I told them:
** I want to foster to adopt (meaning that I am not too keen on fostering children that will never be adoptable)
** I am willing to wait as long as I need to find the child or children that God has for me
** I understand that this is a journey, not just a one time deal
** I fully expect that children that I foster may ultimately return to their parents or families
** I fully expect that I will have a broken heart at sometime in this journey

The interview continued, but not for long. I felt very confident that I shared my heart with them to the fullest, but I neglected to remember one fact: They are not interested in my heart. They want to find good homes for kids that need them. I am more of a business transaction than a human being that has wrestled, prayed, cried, and hurt over the decisions that have brought me to this point. Their job is to find homes for kids. They will do this by any means.

At the end of the meeting, which only lasted 25 minutes, the statement was made, "In the past we started PATH training meetings by telling people that we were only looking for people who are willing to take in teenagers. But we've changed that because people started to not be honest in the process. We are at a point now where we don't even start a home study unless people are willing to take in teens." I hope with all my heart that the disappointment that flogged my heart was not evident on my face. They had mentioned to bring my binder with me and turn in any paperwork that I had ready, but by the end of the meeting, they hadn't even asked for it. I offered it at the end, proud because I have finished well over half of it and have collected what I need to get, and they smiled, and kindly took it. I feel like it was just to be nice.

As I left there, I wanted nothing but to go to my house, crawl into bed in my dark room, and cry. I wanted to let the tears flow for my naivity (is that even the right word??). I wanted to let the tears flow for the boys and girls that need homes that I can't get to. I wanted to let the tears flow for the DCS workers that obviously see this as a job and not as lives that you're touching. Oh yes, they said the right words. . . but when the rubber met the road, I felt like I was a number.

Oh Jesus. . . thank you for the reminder you just gave me. . . literally as I was sitting here. . . "Take heart, I have overcome the world". I don't even remember the reference, but thank you Lord for bringing it to my mind.

So where do I go from here? I don't know really. Just the other day, I had a moment of panic and asked my best friend, "Am I doing the right thing? Am I ready for this?" Maybe this was God's way of preparing me for a different path. Maybe I shouldn't be going through the state. Maybe I need to pursue a private agency for adoption? Oh boy. Dollar signs flash before my eyes. But so does the fact that God still moves mountains. God still performs miracles.

I will trust. I will allow the tears to flow. I will continue to work hard physically to lose this weight. I will fight to find my children.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

How are the classes going?

This is a common question I hear several times a week, and let me try to explain. The classes are called PATH training - Parents As Tender Healers - and they are for people considering foster parenting. The classes are each Thursday night and last for about 3 hours. The instructor and the participants are the same from week to week. I have received two massive binders; one of which I carry to class, and the other I leave at home as it is my home study forms and information. The classes consist of discussion through the book as well as short videos to help train. Explaining the requirements and steps to foster parenting is a huge task.

During each session, there is a topic of discussion. For instance, last week we had a panel of four girls that have been or are currently in the foster care system. They answered questions and talked about their experience so that we could gain information to be the best parent to children in the foster care system.

The second topic was on abuse. All types of abuse. Physical, emotional, sexual, neglect. The whole kit and caboodle. We discussed how to best parent a child that comes out of that situation. The statistics broke my heart. Seventy five to 95 % of kids in the foster care system have been sexually abused. Ugh. That makes me sick. But the reality is, if I am to be the mother of a child that spent any time in the foster care system, I have to be aware and know how to help my child through those terrible, gut-wrenching memories.

So, when someone asks me, "How are your classes going?" it's not a matter of just saying fine and moving on. These classes are changing my life. They are changing my view of the world. These classes are placing a burden on my heart for the children in a new and fresh way. They are not happy classes. They are not light-hearted. They certainly do not give you "warm fuzzies". All that to say - if I do not seem gushy about talking about the classes, it's not because I'm not open to talking. But really, how much detail do you want? Do you want me to say the classes are fine? Do you want to know that each Thursday night when I go to bed my heart breaks for children that are in that situation?

I love talking about what I'm learning, but I totally want to be positive about my experience and to be totally honest with you, the things that I am having to learn in my class are not positive things. They are sad, gross, disgusting, violent, and frustrating. Don't quit asking how things are going. Please. I need your support. But please don't think that I'm crazy if it's not all bubbles and rainbows when I answer. Thanks again for your interest in my life and in what God is doing. Thanks for joining my journey.

On a lighter note. . . the weight is coming off! You'll see that I've added a weight loss ticker on the bottom of the page so that you can help me in my quest for skinny motherhood! I know that many people have become interested in my weight loss and I will be preparing a post soon to help you understand what it is that I am doing to lose weight and to prepare myself for the life that God has for me.

Enjoy your weekend!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Trial Run?

So I get a message today from a friend that she needs to speak with me. I call her and she says that she knows of a 1 year old boy that needs a foster home for 16 months. Would I be willing to pray about it? I nearly choked.

Long story short, the boy is from a ministry that is run by a woman that goes to my church, Jonahs Journey. It's a ministry that cares for children of imprisoned women so that they don't have to go into state care.

My head began swimming. So many questions flooded me. Am I what this boy needs? Would we be a good fit? Would I be able to return him when it was time? What if the situation with his mother hadn't changed? What about daycare? What about the plans that I've already made for Spring Break? What about my upcoming knee surgery? Wait! I'm not even wanting to foster! And he's ALOT younger than I am mentally prepared for and willing to take in.

But I prayed. I begged the Lord to show me what He wanted me to see.

For an hour or so, I was on the phone with a whole host of people trying to ask questions, and get my prayer warriors on their knees. I surely didn't want to make a snap decision, but didn't want to draw it out longer than it needed to be drawn out.
I went to a doctor's appointment for a routine check up and sat with a blank stare on my face. My doctor, who I consider a friend, immediately knew that something wasn't right when she walked in the room. We ended up talking more about my current "situation" as it had panned out in the last hour than we did talking about my health. As I left the doctor, I received my answer from the Lord. This sweet boy has serious allergies, and asthma and I have two dogs.

I am so grateful that God gave me a quick and clear cut answer. I am sure it'll never be that easy again, but I am grateful for what He showed me and so grateful for the opportunity to entertain the thought of a little one in my home. This experience gives me some insight on what it might be like when I receive a call from the Department of Children's Services to place a child with me. I now know some of the questions I may need to think through and some of the emotions that I will feel.

And it's all because of these rascals that I don't have a little boy with me now. . .

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Prayers for the Overwhelmed

On the eve of my second PATH training class, I put this post out there to ask for your prayers. I have been quite overwhelmed lately by busyness in my life. It's all stuff that I've chosen to do and that I feel passionate about, but it's taking up a lot of time none-the-less. With that comes a deep feeling of panic. I feel as though I'm starting to dip below the surface of the water and can not get enough breath. Just when I make it to the top to gulp in, the waves push me down again. Is this an indication of things to come? Is this a glimpse of how my life as a mother will be? Heavens, I hope not. I am usually pretty busy doing "stuff" and pretty bad at saying "no". But even in my busiest times, I sit for an evening and feel guilty because that time is not full. For the first time in a long time, I am ready to admit that at this time in my life, I am officially over-committed. I don't feel like it's appropriate for me to go into details of all of the irons I have in the fire right now, but trust me when I say, it's got to be pretty bad for me to even admit that I'm over-committed. So, things have begun to fall by the wayside. I've had to look carefully at the things that I'm doing and decide what is most valuable. The things that are far down on the list and take much of my time have to be put to the side. I've already dropped one of my classes that I was working on for my Plus-30. At this point in my life, finding my child is more important than furthering my education. I am still in another class, but the class I dropped was going to be too much work for this season on my life and I wanted to be able to take more time to fill out my foster parenting paperwork. I knew that if I had the choice to fill out my PATH paperwork or do homework for my class, the PATH paperwork would always rise to the top and I wouldn't be working for excellence in my schoolwork.

So yes, as you see me at church, around town, on Facebook, or through the phone you may find me with bags under my eyes, a blank stare on my face, a quiet voice, an exhausted tone, or at loss for words ~ but I am ok. Please just pray that I will be obedient to what God wants me to do right now in my life and in the path that He's chosen for me. Hugs are great. Pats on the back are welcome. Gift certificates for spas are lovely. (just kidding) Please just keep praying that I can work through the necessities of life. . . that I can do what God is truly asking me to do and say no to the other things.

Thank you for praying friends. . .

Oh yes, and by the way, I went with the blue sharpie pens. . .

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sharpies, Post-it notes, and favorite pens

People will probably think I'm nuts, but I'm one of those individuals that junk mail was created for. I love to read junk mail, and will fill out virtually any survey or form that comes my way. I have even been known to fill in forms for other people just so I can have the pleasure of filling in those little blanks. I ooze over the sight of a sharpie marker. I crave sticky notes. I am tickled pink with the thought of a bubble sheet to fill in an answer sheet. Give it to me. . . multiple choice. . . fill in the blank. . . true/false. . . whatever you have. . . give it to me and I am in heaven! The mere thought of being able to use my fingers to communicate my feelings on a piece of paper makes my heart soar!

So now that you know that I'm officially crazy, tonight's PATH training was such an interesting experience. The meeting started at 6pm and I was there early so that I could be sure I knew where I was going, and didn't walk in late. I was nervous to go because I didn't know what would happen once I got there. The thought of meeting new people doesn't scare me. The thought of sharing my story doesn't scare me. The paperwork doesn't scare me. It's simply the "unknown" that puts me on edge. Will the instructor be boring? Will I feel like I know the most out of anyone, instructor included? Will I feel like I don't know ANYTHING? Thankfully, all of my fears were put to rest. The room was half full when I got there, and by the time the class was 15 minutes into the session, I was grateful that I was early as they had to pull in chairs and other tables. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I wasn't the only single person there. The mix of people was interesting. Single people, married people, retired people, people who have been through training before, and people that were as green as I! The instructor, Marcee, was extremely pleasant, but not sugary, and very professional. . . even through some pretty persistent people.

The meeting tonight was basically an orientation to explain the "resource parent" to everyone and to give information so that people could decide if this path was the one that they should be traveling. I was extremely surprised and super excited to learn that the home study process starts as soon as next week! I was under the impression that the home study would take 3-6 months to complete and the process wouldn't begin until the conclusion of PATH training. The truth is that I can start filling out my paperwork next week, and by week three I will be contacted to start my home study meetings. For those of you who aren't fabulous at math, like me, that translates into me possibly having a child placed with me as early as June! Apparently, DCS and the home study case workers only have 90 days to write (finish) my home study from the conclusion of PATH training. WOW! Can you believe that??

Of course, there was information that was presented that was initially disheartening to me. Marcee told us that the goal of the "resource" parent is to give the child a stable home while they are waiting to be returned to their birth parents. She said that last year 67% of kids in foster care were reunified with their birth parents after their stay in foster care. Only 14% of the children were adopted. My heart sank at that number. But, just as quickly as it sank, my heart rebounded when I was reminded (by the Holy Spirit, no doubt) that my God doesn't pay attention to numbers. My God is MUCH bigger than 14%. My God is even bigger than 1%. I believe with my whole heart that God is leading me down this path of fostering to adopt and I do not believe that My God would lead me down a dead end. God will make it happen. How will it happen? I have no idea. Will it be easy? I'm betting not. How will the details work out? This may sound flippant to you, but that's not my problem. I don't have ANY idea how GOD is going to work it all out. All I know is that He's asked me to be obedient and I'm doing my absolute best to follow His leading.

So Marcee kept mentioning this "binder" of paperwork that we will be receiving next week with all of our information in it that we have to fill out. My heart started racing. My eyes darted around the room. Why can't I have it tonight? Why do I have to wait a WHOLE week to get my hot little hands on it?? I even packed my favorite pen in my purse tonight so I could get started!!!

But, I must be patient. I filled out the three forms that I was given with gusto. She commented to the group that it was ok if we had to take it home, fill it out,and return it next week. Are you nutso!!?? No way!!! I'll sit right here with my favorite pen and fill out this paperwork. I even started texting friends for their addresses and permission so I could list them as references! The faster I turn this paperwork in, the faster I find my child, right? Well. Take it now. Process it in the morning. Get busy helping me find my child!!

So, my plan this weekend is to make a trip to Office Depot. I've had my eye on those new sharpie pens. You know, the ones that don't bleed through the paper? They're a bit more costly than the other pens I have, but I can think of no better reason to spend an extra dollar or two on a pen than to be able to fill out ALL of my paperwork to bring my child home. Now the only question I have left. . . blue or black?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mommy from Downstairs

There are few things a teacher likes better than a snow day. There is something crazy exciting about your superintendent saying "It's okay teachers, take the day off. Oh, and yes, we'll pay you!" As much as I adore teaching, snow days are fun stuff! But, for the first time in my life as a teacher, I was torn. Oh to have a day to sleep in! But, will my PATH training class be cancelled? If it will, I can brave school! I can make it!! But, no, the snow fell. The temperatures stayed frigid. The schools closed. And my first PATH class (Parents As Tender Healers; foster parenting) was cancelled. **sigh** I guess you take the bad with the good. I'll call early next week, but I am thinking they'll just push the classes back a week and we'll start next Thursday instead.

I had a delightful visit with a friend last weekend. I met Stacey on Facebook (of all places!!) through a couple of mutual friends. She lives on the other side of the state and has a wealth of knowledge that she has shared with me regarding fostering and adoption though the foster care system. She adopted her two precious boys, "B" and "R" several years ago. She sent me a message a few weeks ago that said that she was planning on coming to the Nashville area for a visit. I immediately offered that she and the boys could stay with me. So, she took me up on it and I was so blessed! Her boys are such sweet babies. . . They heaped me with hugs, and loved on me like I was family. They stayed the night on Sunday, and Stacey smiled as she told me that "R" made the comment when he woke up, "Where's the mommy from downstairs?" What a precious comment!!

I was able to stay up chatting until 11p (for those who know me well, (!) 11PM!!) and her encouragement for my journey was an enormous blessing. She is a fantastic mother, and those boys are taken care of in amazing ways.

So, my adoption journey is still on its way although it's been a little slower than I had hoped. I am trusting that God is preparing me for each step and that He is caring for my child in my absence.