Blessings.

Three blog posts in three days – crazy right?! At this point, I don’t know if anyone will feel like reading.. but we have had a day of good news after my post last night about the windows. Here’s what’s going on:

  • Our amazing friends and family have provided us with MULTIPLE people that would be willing to come look at the windows and see if they could help. We have at least five names, and I’ve already been in contact with one (shout out to my amazing sister in law) that is coming Saturday to check it out.
  • I called and spoke with the fire marshal and he told me we really only need to replace two of the windows. There only needs to be one window big enough for evacuation in each room, and we don’t need to worry about our room because we won’t have foster children sleeping there with us. We have one foster bedroom that has two windows – and it’ll be funny looking to have two different windows in one room – but who cares! We can worry about that when it is time to resell our house 😉
  • I am almost (but seriously – just almost) positive that actually extending the windows will be unnecessary. I’m thinking this based on research and lots of information people have given me in the last 24 hours, but I know I could still be wrong. We are hoping and praying we just need to replace and not extend!

See? So many blessings! With all that being said – we want to thank everyone that has helped inform us about window replacement, given us names or suggestions, and prayed for us in this process. Kind words and encouragement go such a long way – today was a much better day than yesterday.

I also wanted to apologize if my post last night came off the wrong way. I want to be clear: We are not looking for handouts and we don’t want you to feel bad for us. When I started blogging about our foster care journey, I promised myself that I would be as transparent and honest as possible. I wanted people to know what the process is like and I want them to eventually be able to read about the realities of foster care when we are licensed. My hope and prayer would be that people read our story, learn about the system, and feel inspired to get involved in some way (foster parenting is NOT the only way to get involved!). My post last night was an update – about what is going on and why we might take a little longer to start receiving placements. We knew that our amazing community would have information and recommendations. We also knew that people would be praying for us. THAT is what it’s about for us – the love and support. The feeling that we are not going through life alone. We in no way wanted to suggest that we need donations or pity. We know there are much, much greater needs than things like replacement windows, and that having to spend a couple thousand dollars is not the end of the world. We do not want to downplay anything that is going on in anyone else’s lives, we just wanted to share what was going on in ours.

God is good – He has and will continue to provide for our needs. We are clinging to His timing, His promises, and His love throughout this entire process.

Y’all are blessing us. Daily. Thanks for loving us so well and being with us through this process!

 

Complications. 

In an unfortunate turn of events.. today we failed our fire inspection. For real. I hope you thought I was joking, because I was convinced my husband was pranking me when I first got his text. When I realized he wasn’t, my heart sank. And it’s been a rough afternoon. 

Long story short, our windows are too small. The windows in any room that a foster child will sleep in (we have two) have to be a very specific size. We have known this since the first day of training – but thought we had nothing to worry about. We measured the entire window and thought we were good – but the only part that needs to measured is the part that opens. It all makes sense to me and I’m 99% sure they probably told us this in class, so we are feeling pretty silly. We should have checked more specifically, but our rooms have brand new windows from when we bought the house and we honestly thought nothing of it. Boy were we wrong. They are too small. Of course they are. The fire marshal said if they opened an inch higher he would have passed us. That only made the tears flow more. I had a “shut my classroom door during lunch and cry” moment at work for the first time in a while. 

What does this mean? Well, we need to replace or extend the windows. Extending them would be a crazy amount of work and money. We are looking to replace them – and in my few hours of window research – I think we will be replacing them with casement windows. I think anyway.. I know nothing about windows or the lingo. Or if this is even possible. We have asked for some quotes and are waiting to hear back.

Unfortunately, this may set us back a bit. It all depends on price and how quickly these companies get back to us and if they can do the work sooner rather than later. It could be a couple thousand dollars (I’ve seen a large range online from $500-$3,000), and we just don’t know if we can do that right away. We’ve had some major expenses within the past six months (Dog surgery, car repairs, our trip to London) and we are trying to budget and plan enough that I can be a stay at home foster momma this summer. We may just replace one (we have to do three) now and take one placement (foster child) at a time, and then fix the other two later. We will see – it depends on a lot of things. 

I threw myself a pity party today. Mainly because I imagined snuggling babies as soon as this weekend. I’m no longer allowing myself to dwell on this as something negative – it’s just something that needs to get done. It’ll all happen in Gods timing! 

With that being said, if anyone knows of any companies that do window replacements – we would love a recommendation! 

While we’re waiting..

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted. We’ve been in a place where we’ve just been waiting to hear about and schedule inspections. In this inspection stage of it all we’ve had missed calls, lots of voicemail’s left unanswered, miscommunication, scheduled and rescheduled appointments, and lots of impatience on my end. I’ve had many wonderful friends step in and set me straight. I need to relax and trust God’s timing. And I need to stop trying to force things to happen faster than they are naturally. I’m trying.. but it’s a struggle for me for sure.

With that being said, we did have our health inspection – and passed! It was an awesome feeling to have that completed. My husband and I have been working hard for months to get our house ready, but the few days leading to that inspection were pure chaos. We cleaned and re-cleaned every inch of our house because we (I) was so sure the inspector would look at everything. A friend from my foster care classes reminded me that these inspectors are not against us – they are not looking for reasons to fail us. And that was so, so true. Hubby was home for the inspection while I was at work – but he said the inspector was very kind and supportive about our home and what we were trying to do. We needed to fix our water temperature, but fortunately that does not cause us to fail.

Tomorrow we will have our fire inspection. The fire marshal will be at our house at 9:00! I am not nearly as anxious about this inspection, because we didn’t get a multiple page list of things to do for it in the mail beforehand. I am hoping that it is short and simple, and trusting that our house is ready. After this inspection, our home worker will contact our references, and then she will type up our home study to be approved. And then we wait! It could be days (they’ve told us some people get called before they receive their license), weeks, months.. no one knows. Like I mentioned above, I am not good at waiting. But this will be a different kind of waiting. Right now, we’ve been waiting, but it’s been on things that we can partially control (I can call and schedule things, I can get my house ready, etc). After all the inspections are done, all the paperwork is in, the interviews are complete.. there is nothing we can do on our end to make anything go faster. We wait. And we pray. And we research and educate ourselves about this journey that we’re about to go on.

This song keeps coming to mind – not just today, but throughout this entire process. These lyrics in particular:

And I will move ahead bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I’m waiting I will serve You
While I’m waiting I will worship
While I’m waiting I will not faint
I’ll be running the race even while I wait

This is my prayer for us. Instead of being impatient and frustrated, I want us to focus on the Lord during this time of waiting. I want us to learn and grow together, to enjoy time with just the two of us, and to find ways to serve the Lord in our day to day lives. I want to be bold and confident about where God is taking us – I don’t want to continue questioning everything and trying to figure out ways to be in control. I want to take EVERY step in obedience – even if it is not what I want. That is what I’ll be praying for us. Because I am a selfish, controlling, sinful human and all of what I just mentioned is not what I’ve been doing up until this point. Today I am extra thankful for a God that redeems and restores us – and loves us even though we continue to fail.

 

A Letter

To our future foster child(ren),

I’ve been thinking of you extra tonight. I find myself wondering about you constantly. About where you are, what you’re doing, what you’re feeling. It’s crazy to think that we know nothing about you – and yet our lives will soon intertwine. 

We want you to know how much you are loved. By so many. God loves you so much – and knows everything about you. When life is hard, when you are hurting, He is there. He will protect you. He knows your thoughts, your feelings, your dreams. And He has great plans for you. Even if you’re not sure what they are yet. 

Tonight, I spent time praying over your future bedroom. It’s finally ready. Ready for laughter, chaos, crying, playing, learning, growing. Ready for life. Ready for a whole lotta love. Ready to become a safe place for you when you need it. 

It is bittersweet to think about our journey together. Bitter – because caring for you will take you away from all that you know. Because foster care starts from a broken place. But sweet – oh so sweet – because we will be making space for healing to happen. And because God is so much bigger than anything that’s broken. 

Your life is about to change, and so is ours. You’ll become a part of our family – and we will become a part of yours. You will love our parents, and we will love yours. We will learn each other favorites. We will explore together. We will try new things. We will face fears. And we will make lots and lots of memories. 

Only God knows how long this journey we are going on together will be. But I already know – whether it’s a season or a lifetime – that we will love and cherish you forever. 

Love, 

Your future foster parents 

Interviews

Another part of the process is complete! And I am *pretty* sure we passed. Yesterday and today we had our interviews. These are done separately – and they lasted about two hours each. They were basically broken down like this: 

Tell me about your mother. (Strengths, weaknesses, things you liked about how she parented, things you would change, etc) 

Tell me about your father. (Repeat)

Tell me about your childhood. 

Tell me about yourself as a teen.

Tell me about yourself now. 

Tell me about your parents marriage. 

Tell me about your marriage. 

Tell me about your husband.  

Tell me about your sister. 

Tell me about your other sister. 

Each phase had anywhere from 10-15 questions – pretty repetitive for the people in my family. Got to show off my teacher skills and use lots of adjectives (is that considered a skill?). It was actually pretty fun to talk about my life. Toward the end, I said I felt like I was in a therapy session. I was connecting things from my life that I’ve never connected before. Sometimes it’s different when you think out loud – and its weird to say but I feel like I learned a little more about myself. 

With each topic, she kind of dug deeper about certain things. For me, we had to go deep into my history of anxiety. There was a long talk about how stressful the system can be and if I felt like I could handle that. It was good to talk about – because I feel like I’ve come such a long way – but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared of what might happen. In the past it didn’t take much for my anxiety to take over and control my life. These past two years have been incredibly freeing, but I know that the possibility of regression is there. We’ve prayed about it. We’ve talked about it. I think – with help from the Lord – that I’m ready to willingly enter something that will cause stress in my life. I refuse to let my fears dictate such a big part of my future. 

I am pretty happy with how the interview went. I think she understood everything I was trying to say – and I hope she appreciated my honesty. There were some tough questions toward the end: What makes you angry? (So many things..) How do people know you’re angry? (I lash out at the ones I love, shut down for the ones that don’t know me well enough) Are you judgmental? (Yes – but aren’t we all? I think the good thing is that I don’t stick to my first judgment and I give people a chance) What would you change about yourself? (My weak self esteem, my lack of organizational skills, how easily I let others affect me) 

Is being too honest a thing? Because reading what I typed above.. Not so sure how I did anymore. I know she might not have wanted to hear some of the things I said about myself – but I can’t hide anything. I’m a work in progress – like everyone. And if I got one point across to her.. I hope that she understood that I think flaws are okay. That we are imperfect people that are perfectly loved by Jesus. That we are stronger because we know our weaknesses. And that we desperately want to be better. 

Hubbys interview was today. In typical man fashion I got a text saying, “It was good.” I was able to get a little more detail while I was at work, but I’m eagerly waiting up for him to hear the rest tonight!

Some other highlights: 

  • Our home study worker thinks I look like Amy Schumer. Literally thought I was joking when I said no one has ever told me that before.
  • No lead paint test needed for our home! 
  • References (already been sent out) & safety inspection (I leave a voicemail daily) are our last two items 🙂 

Happy Tuesday!