Kris Mares

Just a woman trying to love Jesus and others a little bit more…

Dear Birth Mother, September 27, 2010

Dear Birth Mother,

Our daughter recently celebrated a birthday.  As we celebrated, I wonder if you remember her and think about the day she was born?  Do you remember holding her as a newborn, smelling her head, counting her fingers and toes?  As  I think about our daughter now, I so wonder what that moment must’ve been like.  I wonder what her infant cry sounded like.  I wonder if she liked to nuzzle in the crook of your arm or the space between your chin and your neck.  What did she feel like in your arms?

As I feel my own child growing inside of me, I wonder if our daughter was a kicker too.  Did she like to hang off  your rib cage?  Did she spread out wide so you could feel her everywhere, or did she like to ball up and just PRESS into one area?  What sounds did our daughter like to hear as she grew inside of you?

As I watch my smaller children play and grow, and I think about the stories our daughter tells of growing up as a smaller child, I wonder what your memories are of those same moments.  Did you smile when you saw her laughing and jumping in the surf?  Did you curse the sand that ended up throughout the house after a day at the beach?  What memory still makes you smile?  Which one makes you cry?  And now, do you wonder where she is?

Our daughter is safe, loved and part of a beautiful family.  A family that God knitted together just for her.  She has siblings again.  She’s learning a new definition of family.  She’s learning a new definition of mom, too.  Sometimes, as we struggle to define this relationship, I’ll be honest, I get mad.  I get mad that I didn’t get to help define it from the beginning.  I get mad that it even has to be redefined.  I get mad that there is this other image of mom that I compete with.  And then I have to remember, if it wasn’t for you, our daughter would never be a part of my life.  So as much as I get mad, I try to be grateful for the life you gave and the experiences you shared with each other.  Good and bad, those experiences have shaped who our daughter is today.

Our daughter is really great.  I don’t take much credit for that because so much of who she is doesn’t even come from me.  It comes from you, from early family, from foster parents, friends and people in her life today.  But mostly who she is comes from an amazing something that God placed on her while she was still growing inside of you.  From the moment our daughter was created, well really, long before that, God knew who she is and who she will be.  God has protected our daughter from the time in your womb through today.  What’s great is that she sees it and knows it too.  As we look back at her life, we both see so many times that circumstances might have been different, but God intervened and protected her from those life circumstances.

I don’t know where you are today or what you are doing.  I don’t know where your choices have taken you.  I do know that I love your daughter.  She may have been placed in your womb, but I know she was placed in my heart long ago.  I love her like I gave birth to her.  I hope you can understand that.  I want to think that I love her more than you do, but I know that there is a special love of a mom and her child.  Even though our daughter is no longer in your life, I hope that thoughts of her somehow bring a smile to your face and a hope that our daughter walks a better path in life.

Our daughter is loved.  Our daughter is strong.  Our daughter is full of dreams and visions for the future.  She is full of hope of better things yet to come.  Our daughter is beautiful – and you had a part in that.  For that I thank you.  I forgive you.  And maybe someday, we’ll be able to share special memories of her.  But for now, know that our daughter is so much more than I ever could have asked for.


A Day in the Life September 1, 2010

Filed under: Motherhood — Kris @ 8:07 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

My days right now, look nothing like I thought they might when I was growing up.  My days are full, yet I often feel like I don’t get much accomplished.  Raising 4 kids while pregnant is hard.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids to pieces, but it’s hard work.  So, in an effort to help myself see that I really DO get something done each day, I thought I’d list out what my day is like.  And, if you get a better glimpse into me, my life, my family and how we roll (some days), that’s good too.  So, here is what we’ve done today.

Shortly before 5:30am – Professor is up and in the bathroom

5:30am – Alarm goes off, get up, wake up Blue, pop in to make sure Professor is getting ready.  He’s already dressed and has made his bed.  Remind him to get the dirty clothes in the basket.  Warm up the 2 day old coffee (I’m the only one who drinks it – 1 mug a morning – and I just can’t let a pot go to waste)

5:45am – Make pancakes for breakfast.  I made a double batch hoping for a few leftovers.  Put plates, butter and syrup on the counter for people to get what they need and eat.  Packed lunch for Racer, Blue and Professor as I was too tired to do it last night.

6:05am – Remind Professor to do “hair, teeth and deodorant” and get his school stuff together.  Ask him to feed the dogs.

6:15am – Pour Blue a glass of milk and get Professor out the door for the bus.  It came early yesterday and we didn’t want to miss it again today.

6:25am – Come inside with Girlie (she woke up and joined us waiting for the bus and looking at a HUGE spider) and watch Racer shove 3 pancakes down followed by a glass of milk.

6:30am – Tell Racer and Blue goodbye for the day, help Girlie get her breakfast, change Gorilla’s diaper and get his breakfast

6:45am – Start breakfast cleanup

7:00am – Breakfast is done, start boiling eggs for lunch, turn on cartoons for the little kids

7:15am – Sit down and check computer stuff (Facebook, email, blogs I follow, get my morning Swagbucks)

7:40am – Realize that the eggs are still on the stove!  Go in and see the pan boiled dry; turn off the burner and put cool water in the pan

7:45am – Little kids brush teeth while I get dressed (no shower today), put a load of laundry in, then get little kids dressed.

8:00-10:00am – Homeschooling; This week we are on the letter A for apple, alligator and astronaut.  We read, practiced writing Aa, did apple addition, made alligator paper bag puppets, reviewed our Adam and Eve story w/coloring pages and wrote a letter to an “A” friend.

10:00am – Outside play time!  While Girlie and Gorilla play, I hang the load of laundry on the line, try to have them “beat a rug,” load the recycling in the car, sweep out the entryway, vacuum the vent/windows in the entryway.

11:20am – Come inside and make lunch, eat clean up

11:55am – Change Gorilla’s diaper and put him down for a nap

12:00pm – Send Girlie up for “quiet time” and talk to Racer during his lunch break

12:15pm – Sit down to computer to check message boards and begin blogging

12:50pm – Go outside to get mail

12:55pm – Come inside and sit down to read the mail (I got a magazine)

1:10pm – Lay down “for a few minutes to put my feet up”

1:43pm – Wake up, realizing it’s been longer than a few minutes and I need to use the bathroom

1:44pm – Watch the clock change and think “I really need to get up,” close my eyes again

1:48pm – I REALLY need to use the bathroom!

1:55pm – Take a pack of toilet paper to the kids bathroom on my way to the kitchen to unload/load the dishwasher

2:10pm – Realize I need to change the printer ink so I can print out the recipe for tonight’s dinner

2:15pm – Sit down to print out the recipe and check FB, email while the page is loading – Hillbilly Housewife is doing maintenance and the page is going slow, update blog post

2:25pm – Gorilla is awake and Girlie is now downstairs, get off computer and get them something for a snack

2:35pm – Prep the Hamburger Pinwheels for dinner tonight and clean-up mess; mental note – next time, double the dough recipe

2:55pm – Go upstairs to check on Girlie and Gorilla playing.  She has created a “party” which means many of her toys are piled on the floor between her bed and window wall.  Mental note – when she is a teenager, NEVER let her host a party.  A mess is sure to be left.  Pick up many toys and get room slightly back in order.

3:10pm – Go outside to bring in laundry and wait for Professor to get off the bus.

3:20pm – Professor is home.  Go inside, put laundry on the bed (it’s Racer’s stuff so he’ll put it away), clean out lunchbox, sit down to update blog post (otherwise I’ll forget what I’ve done)

3:27pm – Listen to Girlie and Gorilla chase each other, talk to Professor about a carrot top he’s trying to sprout, snack he wants and homework to be done

3:29pm – BIG SIGH!  Close eyes for just a moment, deep breath and remember that one day, I’ll miss this crazy, loud chaotic after-school time

3:30pm – Go get a snack ready for Professor

3:35pm – Blue gets home from school a bit early, play tooth fairy and nurse w/Girlie while wrestling/playing jungle gym with Gorilla, remind Blue to take out the dogs

3:50pm – Check Professors homework

3:55pm – Head outside to push Gorilla in the swing, point out spiders and webs, lay in the hammock!, play friends, referee disagreements and watch the dogs so they don’t break out of the fence

4:55pm – Head inside

5:00pm – Start dinner

5:05pm – Call Racer to see if he made it to a friend’s house to help with a project

5:10pm – While listening to kids argue, decide to turn on K-LOVE for some refreshing Christian music, continue with dinner as Gorilla tries to hang from my shirt wanting “up,” Girlie wants a drink and Professor reads a Pokemon book

5:20pm – Set the table

5:30pm – Calm a crying baby and call kids to the table, pray and begin eating

5:48pm – Blue is done and leaves the table

5:49pm – Racer gets home and sits down to eat, the rest of the kids leave the table as they finish

5:56pm – I leave the table and go start bath water

6:00pm – Gorilla gets in the tub, remind Professor to go load/unload dishwasher

6:10pm – Girlie gets in the tub

6:15pm – Get Gorilla out and get his pj’s on, paged by Girlie from the tub 3 times

6:16pm – Notice the dishwasher hasnt’ been touched and track down Professor to do his chore

6:17pm – Blue asks to go to Wal-Mart for graph paper, told her no (we were just there yesterday and she knew she needed it then), gave her some small sheets that happened to be around

6:20pm – Sit down to update blog post

6:26pm – Remind Blue to feed the dogs

6:30pm – Hear Blue yelling about Gorilla throwing all the dog food she just put into the bowls out onto the floor as Professor laughs, go referee

6:33pm – Finish updating blog post as I hear Racer getting Girlie washed up in the tub, check Facebook

6:38pm – Girlie come streaking in after bath, Professor comes in to tell me his chore is done, he gets sent into the tub, continue my “computer time”

6:48pm – Ask Racer to take his turn refereeing, help Blue locate a stapler

6:54pm – Get bathroom cleaned up after Professor’s bath, give Gorilla a good night kiss and hug, check on Blue doing homework and have a discussion about algebra

7:05pm – Girlie and I clean up play/family room then read books while listening to Racer try to put Gorilla to bed (much crying is involved)

7:18pm – Racer “tags out” and I go in; Gorilla is putting up a MAJOR fight!  I sing, pat, hug, he screams, cries, kicks, fights.  He calms down.

7:40pm – I leave Gorilla’s room (he’s quiet and almost asleep) just in time to give Girlie a kiss and hug for bed.

7:43pm – Send Professor up to his room to bring down all the library books due tomorrow, sit down to update blog and Facebook with one of the best nursery workers ever

7:52pm – Go upstairs with Professor to do devotions and put him to bed, had a discussion about making friends and LOVED hearing his honest, sincere prayer

8:12pm – Came downstairs and looked for Racer and Blue, passed by Gorilla’s door and heard snoring, tried opening the door to find him asleep behind it.  I used the door to push him in enough to squeeze in, then lift him up and put him back in bed.  Gorilla slept through it all.

8:15pm – Thinking Blue is in her room and Racer fell asleep with Girlie.  Sat down and read Hebrews 12 and Genesis 40.  Hebrews 12:1-13 really hit home with me.  Genesis 40, not so much.

8:25pm – It’s quiet in the house.  I should probably do something productive, but instead, I get on the computer to update this post and just surf.  Started to read the summary of a research project I contributed thoughts/ideas too…

8:43pm – Blue comes downstairs and begins a discussion about a potential college major, how I feel about it, what she really wants to do, places she wants to visit…

8:53pm – remind Blue of the time and that she needs to pack lunch and shower still, Racer comes downstairs

8:55pm – Blue brings her library books downstairs and wants them ALL renewed, I told her to pick one

Since I’m tired and have yet to have a meaningful conversation with Racer (and this post is getting rather long), I’ll just end now.  Plus, I’m sure Racer wants the computer.  Know that I usually try to pack lunches before bed, and I may just lay on the couch, talk to Racer, watch something silly on TV and fall asleep.  I really do get quite a bit accomplished in a day and I know that one day, I’ll wake up, have no one to take care of other than me, and remember these days fondly, thanking God that we all made it through in one piece.


Adoption Story… part 6 April 7, 2010

Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4  Part 5

The road to finalizing the adoption was longer than we anticipated.  In all reality, it wasn’t that long.  After Blue had been with us about 3 months it was time to move forward.  From the point that the workers began to move toward adoption (as opposed to just foster care), start to finish was 5 months.  I know, I know, that’s not very long, but in our minds it was taking forever.  We just wanted to be done.

One of the things that held us up was a name.  Blue wanted to totally change her name.  It is incredibly difficult to pick a name for a teenager who has definite opinions on what her name should be!  After a couple of weeks, we finally settled on a name – one that we could all agree on.  Then, it was just waiting on state workers.  Parental rights had been long terminated, so that wasn’t an issue.  Just state workers…

While we waited, we learned a lot, grew a lot and loved a lot.  Parenting/adopting a teenager is hard.  Developmentally, teen  should be breaking away from their parents and gaining independence.  We wanted Blue to connect to our family, bond, stay close.  It’s an interesting line to walk.  We faced some effects from Blue’s past.  We learned what it mean to be mother and daughter (still very much learning).  Racer and I became a better team.  We made mistakes – still do – but grow in faith and love most days.

Finally, it came.  Adoption day came.  We invited the Fosters, our pastor and his wife, and two other friends to be with us that day.  We dressed up.  Girlie was excited to wear a new dress for our “special dress-up day.”  Blue picked out a new, blue, top.  She looked beautiful.  Professor was so excited to leave school early that he was all packed up, cleaned up and ready to go before his class went to lunch.

We went into court, waited through two divorce proceedings (weird juxtaposition huh?) and then it was time.  We didn’t realize that we would be in judge’s chambers, so our friends wouldn’t be able to watch.  It was short, sweet and Blue came out glowing.  It was official.  She was now a permanent part of our family!  We went for ice cream to celebrate.

What was even more special in many ways came in just a few days.  On Easter Sunday, Blue was baptized under her new name.  She cried, A LOT.  I smiled.  Now all of our children had been baptized on an Easter Sunday.  The pastor we love, who will be retiring shortly, got to perform the baptism.  It was a beautiful ending to a journey of faith and love.

Not that our journey is over.  Really, the fun is just beginning.  We now have an entire life to watch how God continues to weave our family – the journey of love and faith and grace and beauty – together.  I look forward to watching Blue grow into a woman of faith who sees God working in her life.  I can’t wait to see what God does next.


Adoption Story… part 5 April 5, 2010

Part1  Part 2  Part3  Part 4

It was time – time to tell Blue about “our plans.”  Racer and I were nervous.  We didn’t know what she’d say.  We didn’t know if she’d want to be a part of our family.  We didn’t know how she’d respond. 

The morning started out with a meeting of workers (lots of meetings).  Then when all agreed to move forward, Blue’s worker would drive out to the Foster’s house and tell her.  We didn’t get to be there.  We’d follow behind and arrive a little later.  Professor was visiting family and Girlie and Gorilla were at a friend’s house.  (This friend, by the way, grew up having foster brothers and sisters.  Isn’t God’s design wonderful?)  We got a call that we could come out to the Fosters.

Blue was crying and in shock.  She didn’t know what to say or how to say it.  She couldn’t quite believe it was true.  Blue had been here before – facing a family that wanted to adopt her.  Unfortunately id didn’t work out with those 2 different families.  We know this time would be different.  Blue didn’t, so of course she approached the situation with some reserve.  She was still excited and nervous and shocked.  We asked if she would like to come spend the afternoon and evening with us and she agreed.

That afternoon, we just “chilled” at home.  Nothing fancy.  We ate, cleaned up and spent a regular evening like we always would.  After the little kids were in bed, I took Blue home.  She still couldn’t believe what was happening.  I explained the plan for her to spend increasing amounts of time with our family – day visits, overnights, weekends, a week-long trip to see family.  Blue understood and I dropped her off to sleep in her bed at the Fosters.  She didn’t want to go back, but understood why.  Blue just wanted to transition NOW.

While professor was visiting family, I called him and let him know we had a new child that would be moving into our house.  He was very excited about having a new sibling.  When I told him it was Blue, I could almost hear him jumping up and down.  Professor couldn’t have been happier!

The visits went well and at the end of July 2009, Blue moved into our home.  She didn’t have that much stuff.  Some belongings that were special to her.  Some jewelry, books and clothes.  We did school clothes shopping – what an experience!  Blue does NOT like to shop for clothes.  We got information switched at school started.  Things did not always go smoothly.  There were times that were definitely challenging.  Racer and I handled them though and we did it as a team. 

Now, on  to getting everything finalized…


Adoption Story… part 4 April 3, 2010

Part 1  Part 2  Part  3

Now that Racer and I knew what God wanted us to do, we had to figure out how to go about it.  First, we called the Fosters.  They were shocked – “How can we adopt Blue” was certainly not a phone call they expected, especially from us.  That phone call to the Fosters led to days of back and forth phone calls between us and case workers.  Guess what we had to do?  We had to take that training class we had inquired about a year and a half prior to all of this.  We had to be approved as foster parents, have Blue “placed” in our home and then move forward with adoption.

God definitely knows what he is doing.

So, as we look at our schedule for this training class, only 1 night totally conflicts with Racer’s work schedule.  His boss agreed to let him off early to be able to take the training classes.  On the nights when a conflict was avoidable by driving separately to the racetrack from the rest of the team, the boss let Racer drive a company car.  God had it all worked out.  Our regular babysitter was available and willing for each night.  It was perfect timing.

Blue still did not know what was going on.  We asked the Fosters and her case worker to not say anything, just in case something fell through.  There were a few very trusted friends (my “girls” being some of them – I’ll have to tell you all about them later) that knew what we were doing and were praying for us and with us.  We were praying.

In Blue’s life, she was working hard to figure out how to stay in our community.  She had asked a few couples in our church to adopt her (obviously that didn’t work out).  She had written a letter to government officials and gotten church/community signatures supporting her.  She continued her quest to find a place to call her permanent home.

Shortly after the retreat, I stopped doing youth ministry (read my post about it here).  It was the right decision, one I had been contemplating for some time.  Looking back, again I see that God’s timing is perfect.  No longer being Blue’s youth minister allowed me to transition out of that role so that I could transition into a new one.  Blue was sad over me leaving youth ministry, but I (knowing more than she did), assured her that I would still be around for her to talk to and ask life questions of.

Racer and I finished the class, the 6 workbooks – EACH – and the 2 inches of paperwork.  We had our home visit and our “shoe” was approved to be a home for just one more child.  As we prepared, I felt like I was nesting for a new baby.  We moved the crib so that Professor and Gorilla shared a room.  Girlie and Blue would be sharing a room.

We began to prepare Girlie and Professor.  We didn’t tell them exactly who would be coming into our home, but we began to tell them about a new child that would come into our home.  We talked about how our family could love that child.  We talked about what if it was a boy, girl, older, younger, etc.  We asked Professor if he could pick any of the teenagers from church to be a big brother or sister to him, who would he pick?  First, he picked this boy who is just a great young man.  I totally respect his family and what they are doing with him.  For a big sister option, Professor picked Blue.  I remember almost crying at that moment.  I knew it would all be just fine.

We had a big meeting with the caseworkers.  During this meeting, we learned Blue’s life history as they knew it.  We learned what was in her case file.  I knew most of it, and since I knew it, Racer did to.  There was only one thing that we didn’t know and it didn’t change anything.  We still wanted to adopt Blue and we were ready for her to come into our home.  Ready to parent a teenager?  Who really is ready for that?  But ready for Blue to join our family we were.

Now, it was time to tell Blue.

To be continued…


Adoption Story… Part 3 March 31, 2010

Filed under: Adoption Story,Blue — Kris @ 9:01 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Part 1     Part 2

At some point after Blue arrived at our church and began to grow on me, there was a small fleeting voice that said “Maybe Blue is the one.”  I entertained the thought for a moment, but never said anything to Racer.  The thought came again, a few months later, but again I did nothing.  The thought came again, I shared with Racer “what if…” and he just looked at me a bit strange.  All the while, I was still teaching, learning about and listening to Blue.  I have some training in trauma counseling and could see how she was ignoring her past, yet wanting for a better future.  She wanted a family.

When the Foster’s took in a teen mom with a toddler, Blue was not happy.  She decided she didn’t like small children and looked forward to her time away from “it.”  She’d never been around really small children, so didn’t know what to do or how to interact.  I would just tease her and ask if she wanted to hold Gorilla.  Gorilla even accompanied me on some youth ministry events. 

At some point in early March 2009, Blue learned that she would have to move out of the Foster’s home.  Again, Blue was NOT happy.  This place she had happened upon, the Foster’s, our church, her school, had somehow become home to her.  She did not want to move.  The reasons why the move was planned are not quite clear.  Maybe she made a comment to her caseworker about not wanting to be with the Foster’s anymore (because of the baby).  Maybe she had grown and learned and been “counseled” and didn’t need the higher level of care anymore and a regular level home couldn’t be found in our area.  Maybe state budget cuts necessitated some kids be moved to homes that had a lesser rate of reimbursement.  Whatever the case, Blue would be moving at the end of the school year.

When I learned this information, my gut wrenched.  I felt like I was going to throw up and it was all I could do to not cry.  I told Racer.  I cried and told him about the multiple thoughts I’d had over the last several months.  I told him about my stomach.  I asked him to pray.  Within the next couple of days, Blue and I left to go on a youth retreat with a few others.  I asked Racer to pray during this time – pray for clarity, wisdom and direction.  I would be doing the same. 

On the retreat, God was very clear to me.  I saw Blue cry for the first time.  She opened up even more about her life, her feelings about our community and her heart’s desire to find a family.  I asked other youth ministers at the retreat to pray for me, my family and for Blue.  They did.  It was beautiful.  I cried.  Blue cried. 

When I got home from the retreat, Racer and I knew, without a doubt, what we were supposed to do.  We were supposed to adopt Blue.  We were to be the family that her heart longed for.  She was to be the child that we were to love and add into our crazy, already chaotic life.  We knew God was knitting together a beautiful tapestry, one that we didn’t understand, Blue certainly didn’t have a clue about and one that is still being put together.

To be continued…


Adoption Story… Part 2 March 30, 2010

Filed under: Adoption Story,Blue — Kris @ 7:28 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Read part one here.

There is a couple in our church that I have a new love for.  You see, in May 2009, Blue came to live with the Fosters.  They are an older couple, well past their years of parenting teenagers, but God has given them a mission to open their home to teens that have “issues” and need a special kind of love.  Blue was one of those teenagers.  It’s not unusual to come to worship on a Sunday morning, look over where the Fosters sit and see a new face sitting there with them.  I don’t remember the first time I met Blue.  I’m sure it was on that first Sunday morning she must’ve come with them.  Blue was broad, stocky and mad at most of the world.  It was obvious that she had been hurt in her life and was carrying around extra weight that most 14-year-old girls shouldn’t have to carry.

At some point, Mrs. Foster talked to me about Blue coming to youth group.  As the youth minister at the time, I was of course open, willing and excited to have one more young person to love and teach about Jesus.  Blue became a regular and active member of our youth group.  For some reason, she and I took a strange liking to each other.  She listened to me, was full of energy and was wise beyond her years.  Blue was very different from a “typical” 14 year old girl.  She didn’t care about appearances or impressions.  She was bold, starving for attention, overweight, hurting and did not like to talk about feelings.  (Hmmm… maybe she wasn’t so different…).  She loved to eat, so much so, that I even talked to Mrs. Foster about my role in helping develop healthier eating patterns. 

As I got to know Blue, I could see that she was a girl with a twisting, winding, interesting story – one that I wanted to know better.  She would open up about her past – her family, her mother, her schools – and my heart would hurt.  There was one time that our church hosted a community meeting about drug use in our community.  One of the presenters had a display box with different types of drug paraphernalia.  Blue came to me and asked “Would you like to see all the stuff my mom used to do?”  She then proceeded to take me to that box and point and tell stories, one that included her box of Mr. Bubbles.

My belly was growing even bigger with Gorilla’s life and my relationship with Blue was growing too.  Little did I know God’s plan in it all.  I look back and think how interesting that my heart wasn’t just growing with love for one more child, but for two. 

Blue began to be a “youth helper” in the children’s ministry.  It was during that time, that Blue and Professor got to know each other.  I remember thinking that it was so great to watch them together.  They shared some interests, were able to have conversation and even interacted with each other at other opportunities in church.  Blue began to grow and slowly, the emotional weight that she carried began to lift.  Mrs. Foster would talk to me about the challenges she had with Blue.  Most of the time, I saw them as typical mother/teenager issues and would encourage her in her role in Blue’s life.  Sometimes, as I learned more of Blue’s story, I could see how her interactions with family were results of life history.  I prayed for Blue.  I talked with Blue.  I loved Blue.

Soon, Gorilla was born.  Life became inundated with caring for a newborn and 2 other children.  Mrs. Foster and Blue came to my house and brought a gift.  I remember Blue saying “We didn’t know he’d be so small!”  Gorilla wasn’t really that small, Blue had just never been around babies.

 Then the Fosters took in a teen mom and her baby.  Blue was NOT happy!

 To be continued…


Adoption Story… Part 1

Yesterday was a big day for our family. We officially became a family of 6. In our hearts we have been a family of 6 since the end of July, but yesterday it was “official.” Blue’s adoption became final. Here’s the first part of our story…

In the early fall – September I think – of 2007 our church had a guest speaker. It was the chaplain from one of the Children’s Homes in our state. He spoke of the ministry they have housing and caring for older kids that can no longer live with their families. He talked about how so many churches support them and what we can continue to do to share God’s love with the kids living in Children’ s Home. For the first time ever, Racer and I walked away from a worship service with exactly the same message – we are supposed to adopt.

This message was not new to me. For many years, really since I was a teenager, I had felt like I was supposed to be a foster parent and eventually adopt. I never thought it was to be babies though. Always in my mind I was to adopt an older child, one that was past some kind of invisible line on an “adoptable age.” For Racer, though, this was the first time ever that he had thought about adoption. We talked about what that would mean for our family. We talked about what that would mean for us. I was insistent that the adoption be through our state child welfare system. I have nothing against international adoption. I know families and have family that have had very successful international adoptions. I just felt so strongly, and still do, that there are so many kids in my own country that need loving families; how could I look elsewhere?

So we called Children’s Home. Unfortunately, they were only able to assist with international adoptions and the kids in their care were part of the state’s child welfare system. So we called “the Cabinet” and learned about the SNAP program. To adopt, however, we would first need to go an informational meeting, and then take a training class that would license us as foster parents. At that point, our home would be available to care for and love a child and move toward adoption.

It took 4 months for us to get to an informational class. It seemed like the schedule never opened for the night the class was. Finally, the schedules aligned and we went. I remember before going, looking at the SNAP website. Children available for adoption were on there and I felt totally awful, almost like I was shopping for a child. It didn’t feel right to do that and I told Racer I couldn’t do that again. God was going to give us a child in a different way.

Next was the training class. It was about 3 months long and yet again, it never seemed to fit in the schedule. Racer was racing, I had youth stuff, and we needed a babysitter for Professor and Girlie. It just didn’t fit. And then, we found out Gorilla was on the way. Hmmm… didn’t seem like a good idea to bring a new child into our family when we were already bringing a new child into our family. That was spring of 2008. Here I am pregnant and working full-time. Racer was busy working. We had 2 other kids in our already small 3 bedroom 1 bath house. Yeah, now was not a good time to adopt.

Then, in May 2008, we met Blue.

To be continued…


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