Advice from Big Weld

A few weeks ago we took in 3 more foster kids. These kids are older than our last pair. (I really miss my “littles” by the way. Thankfully, I get to keep in touch with them). Our current batch of cutie-patooties won over my heart within minutes. They seem to fit in well with our family & have settled in quickly & easily. With this tiny trio comes a whole new set of worries & a whole new list of prayers. Little things they say & do seem to simultaneously make me happy & break my heart. They like being with us but miss their family. It’s hard for the kids to understand this transition & equally hard to explain it to them, so we end up giving lots of hugs & wipe away a few tears.  The biggest challenge for me personally, so far, has been learning how to manage the amount of work that comes with having 5 kids under 8 years old, figuring out how to still get housework done & dinner on the table.

While navigating this challenge, I have been amazed at how my friends rally together when new kids come into our home. They have brought over mattresses, clothes & an entire trunk of groceries! I am extremely thankful for God’s provision for my family & the community that He has placed us in. A community that puts value in investing in the lives of others. Not only are my friends investing in the lives of the tiny trio, they are doing it in their communities as well. They “adopt” families around them & include them in their daily life. Invite them over for dinner & holidays, take the kids school shopping & drop by with groceries. They get to know people in their community & fill the needs that they see. Other families I know have invited teens that had ended up homeless to live with them, invited single mother’s & their children to live in their homes & come along side a young single adults struggling to get life figured out.  Investing in people is not always something that comes in an easy , convenient package. Usually, you find your self elbow deep in things you may have never dealt with. I often find myself not knowing what to say. I pray that God would give me wisdom to share, and that I would know when to speak and when to just listen. I pray that whichever it is, they could see Christ’s heart to love and serve them through me.

As I type this I am watching the movie Robots with my kids. The theme of the movie is presented in the beginning by Big Weld is “See a need, fill a need.” Which is what helping people is all about, filling the needs of those around you. I know of many organizations that you can get involved in, I’ll list a couple that I actively support, but really sometimes it just means coming along side people you know & helping out. I can’t help but wonder, if someone would have come along side my tiny trio’s family & helped them along, would they have remained out of the system?

*Organizations I support: New Direction Resource Center & Beacon Hill


I asked her to marry me

My 7 year old son is looking forward to going back to school this fall so he can see his fiance. Yep! My son Gideon was engaged by the ripe old age of 6. He is fiercely committed to the little girl in his 1st grade class that he proposed to. In February 2011 he came home & informed me “Mom, we have a new girl in my class. Her name is Ciara with a C. She likes dragons! She has a How To Train Your Dragon backpack. I asked her to marry me & she said YES!”

Well, there you have it! Once Gideon sets his mind on something he rarely strays from it. February through May, he remained steadfastly in love with Ciara with a C (not to be confused with Sierra with an S). In addition to their common interest in dragons, they both love the color red & enjoyed sharing their lunches everyday, he likes her cute hairstyle & he thinks she “talks cute.” Once on a quiet drive home he informed me “Mom, I would like to take Ciara on a date. It would make her happy.”

One day in April he came home & asked when he could kiss a girl – specifically Ciara w/ a C. I told him that kissing was something you were not allowed to do until he was older & that he could only do it after he asked for her father’s permission to do so. He said “OK.” but I could tell he was thinking hard about something. About 2 hours later he came to me & said (reluctantly) “Mom, I kissed her on the cheek during reading class. I think I need to go talk to her Dad.”

In May, Gideon unfortunately got sent to the principle’s office for fighting (well, the 6 year old version of fighting which is rough behavior) with another little boy on the playground. When I asked him why he was fighting he told me that he thought that the boy was “going after” Ciara & he was trying to protect her. Though not appropriate behavior, I thought in my head “Gideon, mighty man of valor,” which fits my sons character.

It is now late July. Gideon is looking forward to going back to school, not just because he enjoys it but because he can see Ciara again. Summer feels like an eternity when you’re little. He has thought about his dragon loving fiance many times this summer, he has prayed for her & told me that “he can’t wait till he is 18 so he can get married.” As his mom, his romantic notions make me nervous. However, I am realizing that my marriage is an example to my son. Gideon sees how much his father & mother enjoy their relationship &  sees it as something that is worth seeking. My husband has set the example that is it his job to provide for & protect his family, as well as make his wife happy.  My son witnesses this & tells me that he wants to marry Ciara so he can “take care of her & make her happy.”  I am a proud mom to this funny, amazing, observant little boy.


May is Foster Care Awareness Month

May is National Foster Care Month & we were first-time foster parents for the entire month. So, I figured I’d take a sec to write about our experiences so far with our “Littles.” For confidentiality reasons, we aren’t really allowed to mention names or post identifying pictures online.

James & I have been thinking & praying about foster care/adoption since 2009. It was something we spent a lot of time preparing for, as well as preparing our kids for. I felt that we were fairly prepared & knew what to expect. Despite all the preparation, my head understood what to expect but my heart didn’t get the message. The first week we had the Littles, my heart broke in ways I had never experienced. I also watched my kids begin to understand that not everyone is as fortunate as they are, cry when their toys were broken & act out cause they weren’t receiving as much attention. Some of these moments left me wondering: am I strong enough for this, are my kids ready for this, was this what God was calling me to do?

After awhile things got easier, there were more good times than sad, everyone was sleeping thru the night & adjusting to the new routine of life. I rejoiced over small victories, savored all the extra hugs & kisses, & loved hearing the Littles insist on calling me Mommy. I was falling in love with them, loving them as my own kids, but preparing myself to see them go.

There are dueling emotions that come with doing this. Loving them as your own but withholding a part of you cause you know their time with you is temporary. Moments when I want to keep them & wish I had the right to, then moments when I wonder if I will continue to do foster care. These are emotions that you can’t fully understand until you are in this position.

It is not easy doing foster care, but I think more people should be opening their homes to kids. In Alaska there are about 1/3 the amount of foster families as there are kids in the system. I know many families that have welcomed kids into their homes, I love to hear their stories & about the lives they have changed. The news only tells us stories about bad foster homes, no one writes articles about the good ones. There are many good ones out there, I hope you get to hear their stories.

In one of my more challenging moments I wondered if God was calling me to do this. Yes. The need is the call. I had to trust Him to do this. We went into this fostering process knowing that Christ calls his followers to care for the orphans, but in the back of our mind thinking that it would be easy because we were following God. It is not easy but God is not calling us to life of ease. I know that He directs my path & is my strength as I follow it.

This is my first time blogging instead of just posting pictures, I had help getting my thoughts together. I hope you enjoyed reading it & hear my heart thru my ramblings.


Some bunny to love

When it rains, it pours.


Support Our Troops

We were driving on base & my 5 year old son was watching the F22s fly overhead. Pointing, he said to me “Mom, when I am a grown up I want to fly those. I still want to be Batman too, but I also want to fly those.”  :) We got him a uniform that matches his Uncle Josh.