Beach Buddies

Beach Buddies

Friday, May 29, 2015

Building Them Up...

One of our goals in Foster Care is to build up the children in our care. We want to help them to thrive, grow, develop, be nutured, love and be loved (among other things). This is a time when they are safe, and we are striving to meet all of their needs. We can teach new skills, words, ideas, manners, routines, and so much more.

As we help build the little kids in our home I wonder who is building up our kids (the ones who we will adopt and give a forever home)? Whose care are they in right now? Is someone teaching them to trust and love and know that they are special? Is someone listening and caring for them as we do for the kids in our care? I wonder what kind of shape these kids will be in, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, socially, etc.? I pray that whomever is responsible for them right now is hoping and praying for a good home for them For someone to love them as much as they do.

My foster child just got his foot caught under the couch and came to me for a kiss on the foot to make it better. Just a tiny kiss on the foot and he's off and running again. I hope somewhere a loving foster parent is taking care of our kids with love and kindness tonight.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


Prior to entering Home Study part of the Waiting Child Program (through A New Beginning Adoption Agency) you have to do an intake interview. Part of that is checking yes, no, or maybe to the long list of descriptions/behaviors I talked about in my last post. They want to have parameters to help find a good match (not just for us, but also for the kiddo who'll be coming into our home). It's hard to try and figure out what the ideal situation will look like. We have a general idea, but we're open to the different possibilities.

Foster Care has taught us to not have specific expectations. While it is a system, it still is full of individuals and you can't always predict what will happen. We thought we'd only have the kiddos in our home for a few weeks, and we're now coming up to the six month mark. We didn't know what to expect from the kids, from the system, or even from ourselves. We're learning to take things day to day. This helps me with my own expectations of myself, and the unrealistic ones I had in regards to bringing two little kids into our home. Letting go of the expectation that I can have a clean house when I'm up all night with a teething baby. I'm figuring it out slowly, but surely.

I have been realizing that the joy of the journey in life is letting go of expectations and idealistic notions, so when the unexpected comes along you can be open to a better situation. When I was younger I had all these notions of what my life would look like. It is not the way I imagined, it is better. Way better. I wouldn't trade what I have now for those unrealistic ideals from before. Ideally, there is no ideal. Life can take on whatever shape it wants, and I will enjoy the unexpected delights that it offers.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


We did our intake today and are now officially in the Homestudy process! Hooray! We should be able to get this next part done by mid/late June (if not earlier). We then will be able to move on to the next step. The wheels are in motion, and we have piles of paperwork to get started on. 

Meanwhile, we are still fostering the two kiddos, and while we cannot talk about case specifics, things are also in motion. There is no set end date, but we know it's out there. Sometimes things go very slowly, and sometimes things start to change without much notice. The fostering process has really tested our patience, and my ability to plan ahead. 

You literally have to take things day to day. You have to constantly keep your focus on the kids. You have to love with permanency and all the devotion of forever while reminding your heart that it's going to be ripped apart in the future. You have to love with an open heart and open hands. 
It's hard, I'm not going to pretend it's not hard. I love these kids. I worry for them. They need us to care for their daily needs, to help shape their behaviors, attitudes, and hearts.  

Tonight a friend (thanks so much Connie!!!) lent the two year old a bike and helmet to use. The joy on his face as Jeff helped wheel him around (peddling will be worked on) made a very rough day of dealing with the ups and downs of the foster care system worthwhile. These kids make it worth it. They don't actually make it easier, lol. When do two little kids make life easy? But they make it richer. They make it sweeter. They make the moments of peace and rest that much better. 
They make us better every day we have them in our lives, and in our hearts. 

I've also been considering how to become an advocate for kids in Foster Care. This adventure has opened my eyes to the need for advocacy for these kids. I am not sure what that will look like, but I'm going to pursue this, and see what I can find out. Advocating and being a voice for kids in foster care is needed in our home, in our city, state, and nationally. I'm excited to see where this will lead, and what I can do to help. I will work on the one way I know how right now- which is loving these energetic, sweet, crazy little kids who are in our lives, and home right now.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

When Bandaids Won't Work...

Our little kiddos have been unwell with ear infections, colds, and fevers over the last few weeks. Seeing them unwell, cranky, and sick is so emotionally taxing, because there is only so much you can do. I was up last night at 2 a.m. feeding the baby, and trying to help the toddler back to sleep and I thought about how sickness is temporary. They will get better, and continue to thrive and grow. I also thought about how kids who are or have been in Foster Care have issues, and illnesses that won't get better right away. Bandaids, and baby tylenol won't work on some of the "owies" that have been inflicted on these kids. We will love them, fight for them, find any resource that they need, but it's going to take time. It may be a lifelong issue for these kids, and we as their parents will be making a lifelong commitment to them.

We are about to start on the Home Study part of our adoption and we were sent a survey that makes you think about what behaviors or descriptive characteristics you are able to accept (or not accept). The list is long, and full of things that no adult should have to ever deal with, and these are the things these kids have to deal with every day. We have to look at what we are able to take on, and what we're able to help provide services, resources, knowledge about for this child. These kids do not come with a clean slate, but you have to give them every opportunity to make a fresh start. It's a process that we will learn and figure out along the way. There will be things that come up and we will figure it out. I know that we may not have all the answers. We will make mistakes. It won't be easy, but we are committed. We're committed to this kid (or kids) always. We have committed love and care to give them and that can cover a multitude of owies, or at least give hope to a kid who hasn't had any.

Monday, May 4, 2015


Today marks five months as being full-time foster parents for Jeff and I. The interesting thing about Foster Care is that there isn't a guarantee of the time you have the kids in your home. When you agree to foster you commit to committing to the children in your care for as long as they need. We were told that we'd probably have the kids for two weeks. The first month was tough on us all. New routines, disrupted schedules, interrupted sleep every night, and that was just on the adults. The poor kids were confused, and thrust into a home with strangers. They didn't know us and we didn't know them. Of course time and love has changed that. Today as I write this I can't imagine life without them. They are loved, healthy, happy, growing so fast, and part of our family. They will always have a place in our hearts, and hopefully in our lives.

This Sunday is Mother's Day. We're so excited because we will get to spend Mother's Day with both of our moms. I know a few women who will celebrate their first Mother's Day this year as a mom. I have an acquaintance who recently adopted a baby, my sister just had a baby, and I am a mom to my foster kids. Three different stories, and three different new moms who get to celebrate this Sunday. I'm so excited to be a Mother, but it was kind of a process to refer to myself as Mom.

I have been referring to myself as Becky to the boys since they came into our home. The oldest boy calls Jeff Dada. It's heart melting, totally and completely. The baby starting to babble "Dada" but just as baby talk (though I'm sure he'll figure out who the Dada is very soon). I realized I was withholding being called Mom because it won't last. I also didn't want to confuse the boys because they have a Mom, but I realized this last week I am their Mom as well. I love them, take care of them, worry about them, pray for them, get up in the middle of the night when they cry, fight for them, and cry for them. I'm their Mom.

I remembered that the foster mom we did respite for this summer referred to herself as Mama Jo. So, I decided to start referring to myself as Mama to the boys. It's not to confuse them, it's not to take the place of their mom, but it's to show them they have a Mama who loves them always. It's also very humbling to take on that role. Being a mom is a super tough job, but I absolutely love it! Hopefully we will get to adopt soon and I will get to be called Mom always!

I also realized that I have two Moms in my life-my Mother, and Jeff's Mom (both now called Mom). It's a privilege and a blessing to have those two wonderful Moms in my life. They are amazing women and I would love to be as awesome a mom as they are one day! Calling Jeff's Mom by the name Mom doesn't take anything away from my Mom. It just reminds me that I have two Moms who love me. This is what I want for the boys. This is what I will strive for as long as I have them in our home.

I just want to wish a Happiest Mother's Day to all the Moms, Mamas, and those who have a Mother's heart for others! Each one of you is a Mom! Each one of you is sharing your love and heart with those who need it and it makes a difference.