It’s been a little over a year since I have updated my blog… so much has changed, so a quick update if you will! The last time I blogged, I talked about forgiveness and it is still something I must choose daily, even more now than ever! I am happy to say that May of 2015 we were overwhelmed with joy to be able to adopt two amazing little girls. Church Mouse and Apple as we have called them on our blog are home forever with us, they are our daughters and we are their very proud parents!
I would love to say that everything has been amazing, but the reality is, it is our very own, complex, challenging BLESSING… and we wouldn’t have it any other way! We love our daughters, to the ends of the earth and whatever that entails, we know that God is guiding us and has called us to them for HIS purpose! It’s that simple and difficult all at the same time! But there is love, OH so much love!
Now onto my purpose for writing this blog…
It’s been almost a year since our adoption and we explained to our agency that we were taking this year off to allow our daughters to adjust to normal life, outside of foster care. We continue to maintain regular contact with their siblings and are thankful that every family involved has chosen to walk this journey together, for the sake of the children. My husband and I have been talking a lot lately about the right time to start fostering again or possibly adopting again! We fully understand that NOW is not that time. We respect the place that God has us, and while we have a heart to serve children in need, we also respect our daughters enough to know that now is not the right time. So with that mindset, my hunger, our hunger to continue to serve children and even families in need, needs its proper place!
Yesterday, on my way to work, I was listening to our local Christian talk radio station. The host was saying that every single thing we do and say has a ripple effect. That even how we speak to our husbands does one of two things, it can grow us closer together or drive us away, even to the point of divorce! She went on to say that this advice was given to her prior to her wedding and it has resonated in the many years she has been married. Discussion back and forth lead to current events with that mindset, that even the smallest of things like walking into a store and cussing out the clerk can change someone’s day for better or worse, but those words or actions that may not have been directed at you, can in fact impact your life! That was an “Ah-ha” moment for me… every single choice has a ripple effect! EVERY choice! That’s deep!
In the afternoon I rushed out of work to pick up my oldest daughter and then home because I had a “meeting” planned with the supervisor of our agency! She and I have on-going communication because any opportunity I have to give back, participate, share or whatever else we can do to serve, I try to participate! This is one of those “proper places” for continuing to foster without having children in our home! So as we began to talk, we were talking briefly about the increase in the number of families that have shown interest in becoming foster parents! My heart swelled, people were stepping up!!! She continued to talk and in conversation said that when that campaign launched (Fostering Goodness campaign) the numbers of people signing up to foster and go through the training increased dramatically. She continued in saying that it wasn’t just our agency, but the other agencies involved as well. THEN IT HIT ME… I said, you mean the Fostering Goodness campaign??? She said yes, my eyes swelled with tears and hands went up in victory! It was the RIPPLE… you see, that campaign was something I was honored and privileged to be a part of… that campaign was something that was born out of the Foster Care Advisory Board that I sit on… that campaign was our words and thoughts brought to life on behalf of children in dire need! It was the ripple in full effect and I can’t wait to hear and see where this all goes because I know that even if only half complete the training, there will be children in need blessed by their commitment to changing a life!
This phase of not fostering has left me out of sorts in some ways. Don’t get me wrong, we are so thankful and grateful that our journey lead us to adoption and we are grateful for forever… but something is missing and that something is this passion deep inside of me that simply wants to serve wherever and whenever I am able to do so! Sitting across the table from the supervisor lead to a conversation about how things were in our home… she meant REALLY, not the pretty smile and lip service of everything’s okay, more like the nitty gritty stuff! It was fine, I knew where the conversation was headed and I was optimistically honest. While blessed, things have been difficult at best, post adoption does not wrap anything up in a perfect little package, if anything it does the opposite and we are fighting (in a good way) through it, for the sake of our child!
The next question was centered on how we are caring for ourselves. That was a tough answer because the truth of the matter is, we really aren’t. My husband walks/runs almost daily and I see not only the health benefits for him, but how he is processing and dealing with life in general. For me, well, I need to get back to making hair bows and finding an outlet that is therapeutic. I am that person who doesn’t do “me time.” Once I became a mother, all bets were off and it’s ALL about my children and husband! YES, I know it’s healthy to have some time alone and to replenish, but I seriously have issue with it for myself! Instead, I feel the need to help others and participate where I can, so my self-care often comes in the form of serving in whatever capacity I can… because I would much rather be “the ripple” in a positive way! I have to say, it was GOOD to work through that with someone who “GETS IT” and was able to offer suggestions and resources. Our caseworker, even post adoption has been fabulous as well… so we are blessed with an amazing agency who genuinely cares for us, even post adoption! It also lead to the question that I knew was coming and that was whether or not my husband and I would be comfortable co-hosting (with one of the caseworkers) bi-monthly support groups! OF COURSE my answer was YES, YES, YES!!! Like I said, we want to be involved, so this was a no-brainer!
Yesterday was a “turning point” if you will! It made me realize that what we do has an impact and we never truly know where it will stop. Yes, I know that and words can speak life and death because there is such power in the tongue, I guess I just never looked at it from the perspective of the simplest of things and how they can change people’s lives! So now we continue to move forward, not fostering children at this time, but I will continue to serve on the advisory board, help with the orphan’s ministry at church, mentor foster parents, and now help with support groups with our agency! We are also still working on our duffle bag project to rid the trash bags upon removal… so this is still our “do something” and hopefully our RIPPLE!
One thing I know for sure, is this… Any time we choose to say yes, we choose to make a positive change or step up to the plate for someone in need, there is a ripple effect. We may never know the full impact of that ripple, and that’s okay, but the good that is sent out may continue far beyond what we ever imagined. This includes the negative, but I would so much rather focus on putting the good out there! Sometimes it’s hard to deal with the negative, for me personally, I am learning to walk away from it, pause, and ignore it to the best of my ability… but I have to believe that the good far outweighs the bad and this entry is truly about the ripple effect that occurs when we engage in positive things!
One last question… What is your ripple?
Hebrews 13:16 ~ Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Fostering Goodness Commercial…. https://vimeo.com/album/3373266/video/152440366