Friday, August 30, 2013
Christian Camp we used to work at! It was so fun and relaxing!!!
Uskichitto Retreat Center! They now have 2 children and are doing an amazing job there. We are thrilled that they took over and have done amazing things including continuing to reach children for JESUS! :)
Christian Adoption Consultants, we didn't have ongoing phone connection at all. So it was good and helped us just relax a whole lot more without modern technology. :)
Ahhh.....LOVE being HOME!!!
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Now Bekah Shae has been to our church The Crossing (Brandon, FL) before and my family posed with her and her husband for a picture. Needless to say in the picture Bekah Shae was holding Joanna, and she never lets you forget that! Joanna will say, "Bekah Shae hold me". :)
Ok so while at the class Pam said- I know Bekah Shae......and I said that is awesome!!!! So she texted her a note along with my address......and we got a package in the mail with "Love Glasses", a CD with the song on it- and a note to Joanna, as well as a bumper sticker too! Very sweet!
Telling The Truth To Your Adopted Or Foster Child (Making Sense Of The Past) by Betsy Keefer & Jayne E. Schooler and my world was ROCKED!!!!!! I am telling you- if you are like me.....shaking.....quivering.....praying for help with this.....GO GET THE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can not emphasize that enough. I got it while at our class and it has totally redefined what I think about it!
If one of our children comes to us asking a question about a birth family - we answer them at a level they can understand. We tell our family's story to them in generic terms if you like- similar to what I have shared on our blog. Nothing that is really personal (unless it was only about our struggles- not with their story).
It is selfless, hard, sometimes down right gruesome! Sometimes there are hardly any details at all to speak of which can make it even more unbearable- what do you say then?
Whew! Now that I know that....and I am still processing that......I feel better in moving forward!
1) Initiate Conversation About Adoption - don't think they will ask. If you were tired one day and your child asked and you blew it off. They may think they can't approach you. Or if you were avoidant while answering before...again they think you don't want to talk about it. If your child NEVER brings up the subject- YOU BRING IT UP AND TALK ABOUT IT!!!
2) Use positive adoption language!!!
NOT TO SAY- Real parents, natural parents, gave up for adoption, put up for adoption, adopted child (overused it makes them feel like they are weird), their own child, their real child, keeping, hard to place........and I am sure you know more.
DO SAY- Birth family, Made and adoption plan, my child, birth child, to choose parenting, waiting child, child with special needs, adopted person.....again there are more. **Expectant mom is now used before the adoption happens in domestic adoptions.
If you don't know if it is a good term to use- ask yourself if you would like to be called that, or ask :).
4) Allow a child to express anger toward a birth family member without joining in! It is good to be supportive of their feelings. It is not good to say- well I know...how could they have xyz. Don't do that! Support them however you can. Acknowledge what they are feeling and help them process it by asking them open ended questions about their feelings as well as lending a listening ear. It is more about listening and caring then stating your own opinions.
6) Don't impose value judgments on the information! This is important and that goes for positive judgments as well as negative!!! So don't say- I bet your birth mother thinks about you daily- if you don't know her. Or say I am sure xyz. DO NOT DO IT! Say things without your feelings or things you want to be true. In the same respect don't make it look worse than it is. Don't say I bet she is doing drugs right now. OYE! That is not a good picture. Now if you know because of ongoing contact with her or the agency that she still uses drugs you can share she/they still struggle with drug addiction. If you know that the birth mother has said- she thinks about them daily- then yes you can say that!
Ask them if they ever think about their birth family?
Ask them what they know about "their story"?
What is their earliest memory?
Scrap book it!!! Whatever information and or pictures you have! Even if it isn't much- won't matter!
Put up a picture of the child with their birth family if you have one.
Let them read their file if they have one- or at least the documents you have.
Let your child guide the discussion.
If you don't know something- DO NOT MAKE IT UP! Just simply say- I don't know that sweetheart- I am sorry. **If you can ask- do it!
There is more swimming in my head about this, but I pray it helps you to start thinking about it. I know it has helped me immensely!!!!!! :) Trust me I am still growing and learning with you! Maybe you have some pointers for me!!! That would be good too- would love that :)
Oh and GO GET THE BOOK!!!!!
Friday, August 2, 2013
32 years ago- yesterday...........MY TESTIMONY OF HOW I AM A WALKING MIRACLE :)
..............As it is my Birthday...I thought I would share some of my testimony of my life with all of you. I grew up in a Christian Family- they are wonderful. My parents taught us from a very early age abut scripture, God's Love for us, repentance, guidance, church, friends in Christ, and sooo much more. As with all children you never realize what you have until you are older or you miss it. That is how I feel as well. I used to cringe when people said I was just like my mom....now I consider it a high compliment. (more on that maybe in a later post.)
So a big part of my life that most people don't know....unless you have heard my testimony before is that I am a cancer survivor. When I was 8! Actually a day after my birthday is when I found out. We were on a camping trip with our family. I had the urge to use the restroom.....again and again....so my parents took me to the doctor. They did tests thinking I had kidney failure. What they later found with more tests is a tumor that had shifted to leaning on my bladder.
They did a surgery a day later- 7 doctors.....14 hours later........and I was done. After a yearish of radiation therapy, hospital stays during the week, and coming home on weekends only......AND DID I MENTION LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF PRAYERS SAID BY SOOOO MANY PEOPLE I WILL NEVER EVEN KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was healed- by our GREAT PHYSICIAN! I was officially pronunced cured at age 18!
This was a very difficult time for our family. My dad was a truckdriver, my 2 brothers stayed with grandparents, and we saw each other only on weekends. Very tough - on my brothers, on my parents, on me.....not to mention my dad lost his sister to cancer about 7 years prior to this happening.
My grandmother called me a "walking miracle"- which is soooo true!!! The cancer weighed a whopping 5 lbs. which for an 8 year old skinny girl was a lot! They took out anything that wasn't absolutely necessary for me to live- including all of my "female" organs, scrapped all kinds of organs, and took bits so they were triple sure to remove anything cancerous. They thought before surgery that it was benign, but discovered during surgery- it was malignant and had burst outside of itself. Making my recovery and life- A MIRACLE OF GOD!!!!
It doesn't get any better than that!!! To be born is a miracle of God!!! To be saved by HIS AMAZING Grace- another MIRACLE!!!! To be cured of cancer- ANOTHER HUGE MIRACLE!!!!!!!! What can I say- you all thought I was crazy and Blessed just because of our family, but I say everyday I am alive and can breath in and out - is a miracle Blessed By God!!!!
What can I say.....my mom was heartbroken that I would not be able to have children. She even had a crazy notion that she would have children for me.....and when she had to have a hysterectomy as well- cried her eyes out. When she told me about it.....I simply said- God has brought me this far and HE has a plan.
I remember those long days sitting and waiting for a doctors......all the time......my mom would be reading scripture, devotions, praying, and just loving every minute she had with me! I could never know exactly what she and my family went through, but I do know that God did many miracles in all of our lives through this crazy, tough, hard- financially, physically, spiritually time.
Praise God I was able to see HIS plans and when He provided my AMAZING husband who loved me - no matter what. When HE provided each one of our little Miracles- I MEAN HUGE MIRACLES!!!!!!! It just goes to show HIS GLORY even more!!!!
I mean our life is a story that no one could just think up. 2 people from different countries meet....at camp.....a girl with cancer.....survives......they marry......and adopt 9 children ....I mean who could think that up??? Not me!
But, I am BLESSED on my Birthday to remember all of the many, many, many, many miracles God has given to me....and part of my calling is to share that with as many people as possible! So I wanted to share with all of you!!!!!
Thank you for reading this incredibly long post, and please feel free to share with others my miracle or yours......you never know how it may change someone's life forever- FOR GOD!!!!!
I pray that today you are BLESSED!!! Praying for miracles in your life to show God to others who need HIM! So glad to be turning 38 today because that means I have experienced a miracle that most don't get. I have been Blessed with 30 years of life after surviving cancer- ALL BECAUSE OF GOD!!!!!!!!!!!! PRAISING HIM TODAY AND ALWAYS!!!!
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