Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Who is "nesting?"

A good friend that read my last post said what I was doing was called "nesting."  Maybe it's different because we are getting foster kids, but maybe it's not.  Anyways, I came home to this today and I have just one question..."WHO is doing the nesting around here??"
that's my hot, strong husband in the red
Is this normally what husbands do a month before your kids arrive?? 

Just jokes.  Apparently a pipe busted on Monday when we happened to have a friend over who is going to fix our retaining wall.  When it rains it pours, right?  So our entire backyard is currently in shambles...very muddy shambles right now as it is literally pouring outside.  We were actually wanting to take up the concrete deck and put something new in...we just weren't thinking it would be this soon.  Needless to say, we will be holding of on our health and safety inspection until we have a functional backyard :)  It also means that my hopes of decorating a nursery is definitely getting squashed.  Something tells me this is God showing me His control.

On a side note - another funny story.  I couldn't find my keys this morning when leaving for work and had looked everywhere.  Finally I remembered throwing an apple core in our garage trash can when I came home from work yesterday and sure enough, there they were.  That's not really the funny part.  This is not the first time I've thrown my keys away when throwing something else in the trash.  Only last time it was much worse because it was down our apartment trash chute...at 5 in the morning...a very cold morning I might add.  You see before we lived in our house, we lived in an apartment = taking the dog out every morning as soon as you wake up.  So, being not quite awake, I hook Roxy up to the leash, grab my keys, and the trash bag sitting outside our door.  I throw the trash down the chute and walk Roxy downstairs and out the door to the grassy area so she can potty.  We come trotting back and I realize I don't have my keys.  That's when I realized I must have dropped them down the chute and now cannot get back into the building.  I decided to wait a few minutes for someone to come out, but quickly realized no one gets up that early in our building apparently.  So I decided I had no other choice but to jump in the dumpster and search for my keys.  It was awful people, truly awful.  I will not describe the stuff I had to dig through...truly awful.  LUCKILY this particular trash chute opened up to 2 dumpsters, so I not only had the joy of searching through one...it was like a daily double!  My lucky day, right?  So I'd search for about 10 minutes, get frustrated, sit by the door and cry for a few minutes (meanwhile Roxy has no idea what is going on and is licking my tears away), then jump back in and look some more.  After about 30 minutes of that, I hear the door open while I'm in one of the dumpsters, covered in trash mind you.  So I jump up and yell "wait!!"  I climb out of the dumpster and start crying as I'm trying to explain to this poor Hispanic man that doesn't speak good English.  Luckily he understood enough (or felt sorry for me, or just wanted to get away from the crazy girl in the dumpster) and let me in.  So now, it's about 5:30ish and I go upstairs to our apartment to bang on the door to try to wake Dave up.  My sweet husband opens the door, still groggy of course, and I just burst into tears...again.  He was so worried that something terrible happened and I couldn't get any words out to tell him it was just my keys.  So...after calming down we both go downstairs to continue looking and we decide that to do a thorough look we have to empty everything out of the dumpsters.  After not finding it in the first dumpster (of course..it's always in the second dumpster, right??), we begin emptying the second.  We pull this small to medium size Christmas tree out and we hear the sweet jingle jangle of my keys.  I had forgotten how sweet that sound was until this morning when I shook our garbage can and heard it again.  It made me happy.  I love it when you can look back on stories that were completely dreadful at the time, and laugh.  Now here are pictures of my snuggly dogs, who also make me happy...

the tear licker who is always concerned about us and where we are
the slow, soft, borderline creepy licker (think Marvin Gaye, "Let's Get it On"),
who cares more about chasing bugs or lint than where we are....we sure do love him though!!
  This is by far my most random post yet...thanks for listening.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


No, we are not pregnant...technically.  Just jokes.  I really do not consider myself pregnant in any sense, although I do feel as though we are expecting kids.  I don't know what it's like to have a baby growing inside of you and be "expecting," but lately I've been wondering if the emotional side is anything like what I'm feeling.  When you get pregnant, you have roughly 9 months to "expect" your baby and, for the most part, you know pretty much what they will need.  Although some people choose not to know the sex of the baby, you do know that they will be a day 1 old infant.  So with that you know that they will need things like...a crib and/or a pack n' play, changing table, infant clothes, infant diapers, infant car seat, stroller, etc....I'm sure you moms out there could add to that list.  With us it's a little different...as I'm finding out more and more, 'different' is going to be our norm.  Instead of 9 months, we will have had about 4.  Are we 'expecting' a toddler? an infant? a school age kid? a boy? a girl? will they have behavior issues (I guess you could say, what kid doesn't?)?  will they have learning issues?  This has been challening for me as I am a person who likes to know and to have a plan.  I am one who would definitely find out the sex of the baby.  It would make me feel more prepared.  I don't feel at all prepared for the kids that are coming.  I know I need to let that go because God will prepare us and our home, but it isn't easy.  All of a sudden I feel this urge, or need, to prepare a nursery, or buy a kitchen table that's been on our "wish list" since we moved in, or get new carpet before the kids come...the list goes on.  I wonder if this is what you do when you are "expecting" or if it's my way of trying to prepare for something that is so ambiguous.  Either way, I know it's definitely something I need to work on.  These kids don't need a house with new carpet.  Or a perfectly set up room with newly painted walls (they probably won't even mind that we have popcorn ceilings).  Or even a kitchen table to eat on (yes, we do have a dining table...we would not be sitting on the floor to eat).  These kids need something way more important.  They need love.  They need Jesus.  They need consistancy.  They need structure.  They need care.  None of these things cost money or take any amount of preparation....other than lots of prayer :)  When I remind myself of this I feel more prepared.  

However...our agency does require a tad more..as they should.  Since about mid-December we have been filling out paperwork, gathering documents, getting our house inspected, etc.  Here are a few things that are on "the list":
  • a 2-part survey
  • 23 page application with essay questions and scenarios...here is what helped me get through that:

just jokes, it wasn't that bad
  • copies of things like driver licenses, social security cards, marriage certificate, pay stubs, pet vaccinations, insurance cards (health and car), and diplomas
  • a floor plan (have you every made a floor plan of your house?  it's not so easy...or at least it wasn't for me)
  • a fire escape plan...here is a picture of ours...i'm quite proud of it:

yes i measured every room, hallway, and closet
  • house photos
  • registered dogs with the city
  • fire inspection (thank goodness for foster kids...apparently we only had 1 working smoke detector in our house...see, they are blessing us already!) 

what we needed for our house to be "fire safe"

couldn't pass up the "after-Christmas sale isle"...score!!
So, that bring us pretty much up to date.  We have a few more things left on the list including a health inspection (hopefully will be done this week or next), disaster plan, fingerprints, physicals, and TB tests.  Our first training is this coming Saturday.  We'll go all day for 2 Saturdays in a row, as well as 2 Monday evenings and 2 Tuesday evenings.  By February 7th we should have everything done on our end to be "prepared" for kids.  Our agency will still need to do our homestudy and writeup before we are "open."

One last thing - thank you for all your kind words and prayers about my last post.  I really feel like our family and friends are walking this road with us as they support us and pray for us.  It's definitely appreciated, so thank you.  Again, my hope for this blog is just to keep you all informed on what is going on and how God is working in our lives.  I hope that people will look at our story and see God and just how amazing HE is.  We are so excited to continue walking down this path He has laid for us!     

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

our story and what you can do

I thought it would be appropriate to start with "our story" to give people a little insight into how we got where we are now - which is getting ready to be foster parents for those that may not know. It has not been the easiest road and I know it will only get harder, but we are SO incredibly thankful for where God has taken us and excited to walk in this with Him.  Oh and get comfortable - this is a long one!

I guess it started about a year ago when we decided we wanted to start a family.  We tried for several months and soon came to realize that maybe God had other plans for us.  This was extremely hard for me, Kristy, to accept.  I didn't understand why it was so easy for others and why God would choose not to "bless" us in that way.  One of our close friends were doing foster care during this time and although I was aware of this option, I never imagined us going down THAT road.  To be honest, I never thought I would be content without a biological child.  Throughout our 10 or so months of "trying" I had feelings like - "I'll miss out on stuff that you can't have with foster/adoptive kids (pregnancy, baby showers, sonograms, the day you find out what you are having, giving birth, etc.)", "what will people think?", "people won't look at us like 'real' parents," "people will think that we settled for adoption."  All these thoughts had such a hold on my heart, and now I'm almost ashamed to say them.  Then something cool happened - God changed my heart.  Each month we didn't get pregnant, I could feel those thoughts and feelings loosen and not really matter all that much.  Through scripture, prayer, my sweet husband, and friends, God showed me that those things aren't important.  I've learned so many things throughout this process.  I've realized that God's plan is soverign and He knows me better than I know myself.  That only God can make your heart content.  That it's not about me and what I want for our family - it's about serving God.  That "our" kids will not be "ours" whether they are biological or adopted...they belong to God. That you have to find joy in the plans that God has laid out for your life, even if it's not what you want or expected.  And that you can and should figure out a way to turn your disappointment into a blessing.  We truly feel blessed that we are able to serve God in this way and take care of the fatherless.  I would have never expected to feel this way a year ago.

So - after about 10 or so months of trying we decided that we are not going to take "expensive" or "drastic" measure to try to get pregnant.  We realized that we just wanted a family - it didn't matter where they came from.  We were invited to attend an adoption conference in October (I think) where our eyes and ears and hearts became open to adoption.  We actually started out thinking we would do international or domestic adoption.  I remember thinking "fostering is just too scary and sad."  International/domestic adoptin felt "safe" and "easier."  Umm hello - hadn't I learned anything through all of this??  God doesn't usally ask us to do the "easy" or "safe" things, does He?  One of my friends said "if your life is easy, you're probably not doing the right thing."  So after dinner and discussion with this said friend and her husband (who now are on their 3rd placement of foster kids and have adopted a beautiful baby boy...check out God's AMAZING story for this boy here), God fully loosened those strongholds that were on my heart and gave me a DESIRE to be a foster parent.  Crazy, huh?  Psalm 37:4 had a new meaning.  These were certainly not my desires when we started on this journey, but God gave them to me.  What a blessing!  I remember Dave and I also thinking "how can we not?"  Our eyes had been opened to the need and we were reminded and made more aware of God's calling for everyone to "look after orphans."  We realize that everyone is not called to adopt or foster, but we do believe that everyone is called to care for the fatherless in some way.  We are just thankful that God has given us this opportunity to serve Him in this way.  And don't get me wrong, we are not doing it "all" correctly...by any means.  God calls us to do a lot of things and there are certainly areas where we need to do better. 

I think that bring us pretty much to today.  We made the decision to move forward with foster care about 2 months ago and we've been trying to prepare our home and hearts for what comes next.  So what comes next you ask?  Well...after completing our "to do" list from our agency (more on that later) and each filling out our 29 page application (well actually Dave has already done his and I have yet to start, although I set a '3-page-a-day' goal about a week ago), we will take training classes at the end of January/beginning of February.  Then, as far as I know, we will just have our homestudy (which can take a while, or so I've heard), until we are open for kids! I'm expecting that we will have kids in our home around late March-early April. 

Again - we are so thankful for "our story" which is really God's story that He graciously chose to include us on.  We know it's not going to be easy and although I talked a lot about my changing of heart, I certainly still have days where I'm scared, nervous, anxious, fearful, and sad.  But I know this is where we are supposed to be and I know God will carry us through.  I think we are mostly excited about loving kids who need love, God's love.  Sharing Jesus with them and showing them what a life with God can look like.  Every time I think of these things I think "wow! how lucky ARE we??"  I know there will days where I don't feel so "lucky," but I'm hoping the good days will outweigh the bad. 

So - what can you do?  Pray.  Please pray for us.  Pray for the kids that are coming.  Pray that God will give us the right words to say to make them feel welcome.  Pray that they will end up in a home that looks to Jesus...whether that be our home or someone else's.  Pray that God will prepare us for this journey.  Thank you so much for listening and being a part of this with us.  You are already helping just by praying.  We thank you for that!!

Now that I've caught you up to speed, I'm excited to share this journey with you!  Thanks for reading - I know it was a long one.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mic check....is this thing on?

Hello out there! I've been contemplating writing a blog for a few months now and I'm finally going for it.  (Can you tell I'm someone who puts way too much thought into something??) I'm really excited about the idea of keeping everyone in the loop about what is going on with us and our family.  Hopefully that will actually be what I do and I can keep up with posting regularly.  I apologize now if that doesn't happen.  I also want to take this opportunity to apologize for my writing as I am not very good with words and sometimes am not clear with my thoughts.  I'm also hoping that this blog will help me with that and make me a better writer and thinker.  I know I have really enjoyed reading blogs of people that are going through a similar situation or have some kind of common interest.  I think blogging can be good for you and maybe a little therapeutic....although it comes no where close to praying and spending time in God's word if we are ranking them.

Ok so now you know my hopes and dreams for this blog.  I hope it's as fun for you as it is for me and you find it at least somewhat enjoyable.  Hopefully it will fall somewhere between the first thing you think about when you wake up ("will Kristy write a post today?? oh how I hope so!") and the thing you remember to check when you're bored out of your mind on your last day of being home sick with the flu for a week.  If so, then I will call it a job well done.  If you are lucky, you may even get to read guest posts from my wonderfuly wise husband Dave....and maybe on occasion posts from our crazy, but loveable dogs, Roxy and Clark.       

During this month or 2 of thinking about writing a blog, I've had so many good "blogging opportunities."  Every time Dave asks me if I've started THE blog yet, I respond with "yep, it's all right up here" as I point to my head.  Unfortunately I have a horrible memory.  So my first few posts may seem a little jumbled and out of order as I try to remember the things that got me excited about wanting to share our story.  Stay tuned for a post coming soon about what we are up to right now and where God is taking us in starting a family.