Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wait Time....

If you haven't read Matt's post yet...get your tissues out.  I don't know if it will have the effect on you that it had on me.  I've written quite alot about our process and our wait time. 

It's frustrating....feeling...taken some unknown child...who isn't even here yet....who isn't even a picture....or an idea....but just having heart....and knowing....that the best thing we can do for to get our stuff in better order.....but...being in love....and waiting....and loving the ones we have for now....and growing ourselves as a family.  It's good....

I could use some encouragement.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Plans within plans: Aka: waiting and more waiting

Hey folks, it's Matt

Just as an update to Mariah's recent post, there's a lot to plan, but one of the hardest things is knowing you want to pursue something but not knowing what steps to take next.

For example, we know (91% sure, Mariah said) that we want to foster with the option of adopting.  That's not a hugely complex process.  But there are two factors: time and money, that keep making difficulties for us.  We're pretty sure we're not going to be ready financially--or space-wise really--to start fostering for about another year.  That puts us right at the time when we'll be done with our current lease and moving. you do it earlier, or later?  Probably later, after everyone's in a new house and you're not putting a new child through more transition problems than just moving from one place to ours.

So, more than a year out.  What do you do in that time?  How do you prepare, when the best thing is probably not to get started with paperwork or classes?  It's really hard to feel like you're not moving towards something.

Lately we've been discussing making our parenting better.  Not 'becoming better parents'--everyone thinks they're terrible--but improving how we do things.  Probably the most important thing here is creating consistent systems a foster child can quickly begin to TRUST.  For a lot of kids in the system, you aren't going to gain their trust by giving them something they like (they've been bribed before) or by acting like their friend.  Consistency is something they can count on.  Right now, we think that looks like:
  1. Being more consistent with schedules: bedtime and baths for the girls at a consistent time every day
  2. Being more consistent with discipline.  This means having better understanding of how you deal with different circumstances.  We use time out a lot.  What about when you don't have time for time out? How do you deal with different kinds of misbehavior?  How do you communicate effectively and simply what is and isn't okay?
There are others, too, but these come to mind.  We've already started work on this, and it's neat to see that it's something that helps our current children as well.  Some of the things we've started to change have had a great effect on the kids, and they seem happier in ways we're used to them being upset.

I'm excited about the ways that preparing for you, Number 4, is helping our family now, and building it so that it will be an even better family when you get here.  I can't wait to meet you, and I hope you, and any other children who come through our door feels loved, and like they can trust.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fired up....

The Only Mommy War Worth Fighting
by Kristen Howerton

Just read it....You'll understand why I want you too AFTER you do.

comments welcome.....Let's talk about it. 

The Plans and the Steps....

It's been 7 months since I started this blog...and more than a year since we decided that we are all in on this journey toward number 4...and even longer since we've been feeling called to adopt. 

We've been back and forth an upside down about what kind of adoption we think will be best for our family.  There are so many ways to go about it and so many kids who need a family and so many stories that break my heart etc.etc. etc.  We've had endless conversations.  We've talked it out with friends and family.  We've prayed and researched and listened to other families stories.  We've given it time and we've talked to our kids and we've waited and listened for God. We've considered everything from international special needs adoption to domestic adoption of a healthy newborn.  We've weighed options, finances, the emotional toll on our girls, travel requirements, etc. etc. etc.

The bible verse that keeps on popping up for me through the whole thing is....

"In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps." Provers 16:9

So we fully realize that our plan is ours.  We believe God has and will continue to bless it but the steps are His.  We surrender this whole thing to Him while we ask Him to continue to give us guidance and grace.  We are moving forward. 

We're getting closer to finally being "official" future adoptive parents...finally getting on paper.

At this point we are gathering information on the foster care process...specifically dual licensure that would allow us to foster with an intention of adoption.  We've received several packets of information about the process from different agencies/counties.  We are 91% sure that this is what we have decided to pursue.  (I just made up that percentage from the top of my head...but you get the idea.  Right?)

Our plan looks something like...getting approved for foster care/adoption and completing the required training.  Then getting a placement who is likely to become adoptable.  Then finally adopting...if the situation is right and everything works out.  The big news is that after we add number 4 to our family forever we are likely to continue to foster other children through this program in the future. 

That being said, there are still so many unknowns, so much information to gather and so many questions to ask.  We're working on it though AND we'll keep you posted. 

A few pictures to keep you smiling while you wait for more news.

Your 3 big sisters are waiting for you number 4.  They just can't wait to include you in their antics.