March 28, 2014

Fostering a Miracle: My Newborn Baby



I never thought my husband and I would get to raise a baby from day 1 but just 3 weeks ago we got a call to do just that.

The hard part of foster care is knowing that the babies came from a home that was so bad that CPS had to remove them from the home. A social worker once told me "CPS doesn't take your kid away from you because you're a bad parent they take them away because there is a huge safety concern." Once the child enters foster care and goes into our home a lot of the times the damage is already done and it's where we have to step in a provide for their needs and show them love. My hope accepting children 3 and under is that the damage will be forgotten and they will just remember us, but you just never know and each situation varies so greatly.



But when we got a call for a brand new baby girl we immediately said YES! I never even imagined leaving the hospital doors with a brand new baby, I gave up on those dreams years ago. Picking her up from the hospital nursery at just 3 days old and weighing on 5.4 ounces was so surreal. We were both smiling from ear to ear. Our hearts were the fullest they've ever been. 



Everyday we get to experience her "firsts". We get to sing to her and bond with her as the only mom and dad she's ever known. Yes the waking up every 2 hours a night is exhausting to say the least but I can't go a day without smiling everytime I look at this precious miracle from God. 

The "if" factor in all this is hard and sad but I can't really dwell on that too much. I'm just going to love her as my own and hope we get to be her forever family sooner rather then later.

Once again I end with my God is in control, it's what keeps me going.


March 22, 2014

My First Foster Babies



I wrote this about 3 weeks ago just haven't had time to post it until now:

As I sit here watching toy story with this little baby girl that walked into my life 2 weeks ago, I have the biggest smile I've ever had across my face. I know so many people are waiting for me to post about my new babies and about the whole foster care process but to be honest I haven't had time to post only because I've been trying to take in every single moment with these kids. 

December 27th we received our first foster baby. He was 9 months old and we fell in love with him for the next 6 weeks. Appointments and visits, you name we had to do it was also jam packed in those 6 weeks! We were introduced into the foster care process and WOW were our eyes opened to a whole new world! The baby boy had 4 visits a weeks between his parents and also county visits and attorney visits to our house plus all the doctors, dentist and ER visits just to get approved for Tylenol. It was a roller coaster ride to say the least. But we did have a lot of fun with him too, it was our first real experience as parents and we will never forget it! We knew from the get go it would be temporary but when baby boy went back to a family member I couldn't help but be a little sad. Of course I didn't show anyone I was sad because that's just not the tough, no feelings girl everyone knows. I know my husband was pretty sad so I felt I had to hold it together for the both of us! 



The same day we dropped off baby boy we picked up this sweet baby girl and entered not only a new gender but an entirely different age! Which means all new clothes and whatever else she needed! The second time around is definitely a whole lot smoother than the first go at it!  I know what I'm doing this time and know what to expect! I wish I could post pictures of her, she is so beautiful!! She has such a sweet personality! 



I wasn't sure and really didn't know much about foster care but after having been through two kids already I have to say I love it!! It's been the greatest decision me and my husband have ever made! Our daily lives are now filled with what we have dreamt of for the past 9 years.... Kid's laughter, little feet running down the hallways, little snores after they have fallen alseep on you, little singing voices singing "if you're happy and you know it clap your hands", little sticky cheesy hands after they have snuck into the bag of Cheetos, so on and so on. I'm learning to sit back and appreciate every single moment with these kids. Fostering is amazing, hard, but amazing and wow what a journey you get making such an amazing impact into these little children's lives! 

UPDATE: The little girl has went back to her family and we have gotten a newborn baby straight from the hospital, I will post more on her later!

December 19, 2013

Homemade Bread Bowls

After posting our dinner from the other night, homemade bread bowls and broccoli cheese soup, on instagram, I've gotten a lot of recipe requests...so here you go. Knock yourselves out...
seriously, you won't be disappointed.



ingredients:



1. 2 [.25oz] packages dry yeast



2. 2.5 cups warm water
3. 2 tsp salt
4. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
5. 7 cups flour
6. 1 tbsp cornmeal
7. 1 egg white
8. 1 tbsp water

directions:
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition.
  3. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, [about 6 minutes.] Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
  4. Punch dough down, and divide into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 4 inch round loaf. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in size, about 35 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, beat together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; lightly brush the loaves with half of this egg wash.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden. Cool on wire racks.
  7. To make bowls: Cut a 1/2 inch thick slice from top of each loaf; scoop out centers. Fill bread bowls with soup and serve.


And our secret for the soup...


Seriously, just add water...can't beat that!




December 16, 2013

The Third Trimester: Foster to Adopt


So here we are... 3 weeks after getting our foster care license (yes, we got approved) and I felt like once that happened I would be less stressed about the entire thing.... Ya, that didn't happen.

Now it's like I'm in the third trimester of pregnancy and at any moment my water could break and I could have a child of my very own. Except in my case I don't know the age, gender, where they came from, what their temperament is like, if they are healthy, and so on and so on and so on. 

So many questions run through my mind as I play this annoying waiting game, which 3 weeks feels like a century. Everyone around me is just as annoyed and they keep asking when will it happen and maybe you should call or do this or that. But when you think about what it is that we are actually hoping for, a child being taken away from the only home they have ever known at Christmas time, you start to check yourself. 

As badly as I want a child to call my own, I can't be selfish, I thought being a mother would teach me patience and selflessness but apparently I am learning this even before becoming a mother. My heart goes out for all those babies out there, who even though we think it's best for the child to be removed from their home because of certain situations, they are still being removed from the only home that they have ever known. THAT'S IT, that is ALL they have ever known. 

I know that I will be able to give any child that comes into my house an amazing life where they will be loved more then I can even say, but I also know that it's going to be rough because they have to learn that they can trust me and create an entirely NEW bond with me.

I know God will give me the strength needed to deal with any situation that's coming my way, but just know that while you are with your families this Christmas season, my future child could be going through a really hard time right now, it breaks my heart just thinking about it. I prayer for him/her every night and I hope you could pray too! PRAYERS are so appreciated. 

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