Friday, December 14, 2012

Kiddo Convos (4)

Today hasn't been the best day. The kids came home today from a very unstructured day at school, where they got 3 donuts each. They fought all night, back talked and refused to listen. So, I'm thankful for Bedknobs and Broomsticks, circa 1971, right now. Though they haven't been the most obedient children today I'm still thankful for them, and I'm thankful for their safety, especially after the tragedy that CT has seen it makes me want to hug them and remind them I love them even more. I'm also thankful for the laughter they bring to my life, so I wanted to share another Kiddo Convo today because honestly, I need it! I need to laugh, and I'm going to take these quiet moments to do it.

While cooking potatoes for supper:
Reg: Um, yeah his butt is gone.
Alis: Uh Kelso wheres the potatoe's butt?
Me: (laughing) I mean I'm cooking them right now I guess.
Alis: Huh?
Reg: She means Mr. Potato Head's butt.
Me: (laughing) Oh I'm not sure.
Reg: Here it is.
Alis: Well, um, can you put it back on? Unless you want to cook it too.

While the boys were eating breakfast:
Don&Reg: (running) Help!
Me: What?
Don: There's a fart monster in the kitchen.
Me: Excuse me?
Reg: Yeah we were eating and then a fart.
Me: I really have no answer for you.
Don: (as honest as could be) It wasn't me and it wasn't him.
Me: (looking to the kitchen) Uh, yeah still no answer.
Reg: Can you come lo... oh wait I think it was Calie.
Me: (listening) Yes, you're right the cat is farting.
Don: Fart monster, how ridiculous are we?

Eating Pizza for supper:
Ken: Why are you eating those hot dog things.
Me: They are brats, and I'm eating them because I can't have pizza.
Don: Why Diabeetus?
Me: (laughing)

Reg: Hey, what's your name?
Maureen: My name is Maureen.
Reg: Huh that's too bad.

During breakfast:
All kids: Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider.
Me: Ok we're done.
Ken: Wait! No! Aliens go to Jupiter to get underwear.
Don: Oh yeah aliens love underwear.
Reg: Oh yeah that's right.

Talking about math and shapes:
Don: Do you know what a spear is?
Me: A sphere, not spear.
Don: Oh yeah. Do you know what a spear is?
Ken: Oh yeah I know what a spear is. It's the thing you hit your horse with.
Me: (laughing)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Da Kids Week

I would say success is when all the kids you're watching are bathed, fed and on the school bus without any melt downs or loss of limbs. I know that's how I felt this morning because this morning started the 7 day stretch of mornings of respite care, and I guess if there was any morning to worry about it should have been this one. But, I guess there always is the surprise factor. :)
I didn't sleep well last night for 2 reasons. 1: The morbidly obese cat at the house pounced (well more like flopped) on the bed at 2 am, making me literally jump out of my covers in attack mode. 2: I was so scared that the kids were going to be late or maybe I had forgotten to do something the night before that I woke up every 2-3 hours. Well the alarm went off at 615 and as usual I laid in bed for 15 minutes until I had to get K up to start her day. She hates that mornings, so it's slow moving. The boys trotted out before 7, so I was grateful for that. We ate, got dressed and even had a little time to play before the bus came. I would say that's a great feat, well at least for me. The start to, what I hope is, an ability to take other kids in.
So, today I feel successful, and I guess we will see how that goes come supper time tonight. Hopefully the same thing is true!
PS: stay tuned for some Kiddo convos, I plan on having some at the end of the week... they're already reeling in the hilarity.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Kiddo Convo (3)

I'm not sure what I expect when I spend time with the kids in Columbia, but I know it's hardly ever what happens. These are some thing from this week and last week. The next one I do will probably be all magic because I will be spending an entire week with them while their parents are on a little vacation. That's 24/7 for one week! I can only imagine the surprises that will be in store for me. Until then, enjoy what has transpired from the last 2 weeks of adventure!

While getting ready to eat supper:
Me: And some green beans for you.
Don: Uh no thanks.
Me: Not an option, sorry.
Don: Well this isn't fair.
Me: I know, I know.
Don: Kelso seriously I can't eat this I'm not a herbivore.
Me: (laughing inside) Good use of a large word, but you still have to eat it.
Don: What if I said I was a carnivore? (then explains what the word mean)
Me: I'm glad you've been looking those words up, but the green beans still stand.
Don: Man...

Another time out:
Reg: I'll just explain what I did, and why I am sitting here.
Me: Why? It's not going to get you out of time out.
Reg: But you always ask why I was here when I'm about to get up.
Me: Yes, but that's when your time is up.
Reg: Well we could just skip the time and call it even.

Later on that night at supper:
Reg: Thank you God for all this food and people and the sky and the grass...
Me: (chuckling because when he prays it's usually about 5 minutes and all the kids have started eating by then)
Reg: Oh and before I'm done thank you for Kelso, even if she puts us in time out and doesn't understand.

While standing in the drive way with my crocheting hook in my mouth:
Reg: Kelso! We do not smoke!
Me: (laughing) Well I'm not.
Reg: Then what's that?
Me: It's my crocheting hook.
Reg: Likely story.

Before I was about to leave last night:
Ken: Kelso I don't want you to go, just stay here a little longer.
Me: I have a meeting. I have to go.
Ken: But I don't want you to. Just stay and we can talk.
Me: (feeling loved by her sweetness) Well you will see me all next week, everyday all day.
Ken: Well in that case then... never mind.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kiddo Convo (2)

I haven't been with my Columbia kiddos in a while, but I will get to see them tonight. However, I got to spend some time with the Carson kiddos last night, and as usual they did not disappoint with their comments. I brought them Christmas presents because in the upcoming weeks it's going to be a little hard to see each other. These are some of my favorite quotes.

Me: Well I'm going to go.
Micah: No! Why?
Me: Well you have to get ready for bed and brush your teeth, and I have to go home and do the same.
Micah: But, I wanted you to use my toothpaste.
(this is the first time I have ever gotten this request, so I thought it was funny. But, like any good friend does, and yes this little guy is my friend, I said:)
Me: Well... next time I'll bring over my tooth brush, and I'll use your toothpaste.
Micah: Yeah then we can have a teeth brushing party.


Sometimes I'm a little confused by Avery's convos because communication can be difficult still, but this is what happened, and I thought it was hilarious:
 Avery: Hear that?
Me: What is it?
Avery: Daddy loud, I'm going to spway him.
Me: Spray his with what...
Avery: (runs to the top of the stairs mumbles something then laughs)
Me:  (laughing) did you spray him.
Avery: uh huh (laughs)


As I walked in the door to the kitchen:
Micah: Uh... are those presents?
Me: Yes.
Micah: For us?
Me: Yes.
Micah: Can I have them now?
Me: You have to wait for a moment.
Micah: But Kelso I'm so excited inside I can't wait.
Me: Well you have to wait for your dad to comeup.
Micah: ok... I'll wait. (maybe 10 seconds later) Kelso, now?
Me: Be patient.
Micah: (frowns) You've told me that before, and I don't like it. I just don't think you understand. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Nathan S.

This is Nathaniel, he goes by Nathan. He's 13, and he is very eager to meet a forever family that is willing to adopt him. Nathan, at first, can seem shy and a little bashful, but he opens up quickly. Once Nathan has opened up he is very talkative. Nathan, like any 13-year-old, is very energetic, loves sports and video games. Nathan really enjoys one-on-one time, taking and intreating. Nathan currently has no pending family for adoption.  If you are interested in learning more about Nathan or others like him please visit moheartgallery.org or email moheartgallery@adoptex.org. 

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Jessica Lamb-Rosa


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Yes


The mom I want to be, but really the mom I'm probably going to be! My mom said a great truth about this: "Yeah, you always have this great idea in your mind then the kids derail it." 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Jeff City Adventures

What does a girl have to do to get some Indian food in Jeff City? That's all I wanted last night when I got off work. I had been craving it for a while, but I had suppressed the desire because I know cooking it would mean stinking up the house, and I'm pretty sure the family I live with wouldn't really appreciate it. But, yesterday they left, and I knew they would be gone for a few days. Perfect timing, I thought! So, when I got off work a little early, and I didn't have to babysit, I knew all signs pointed to go!
I went to Walmart to buy some necessary things that you need to have the proper Indian meal: parathas, these kind of look like tortillas but different, some needed spices and of course Indian style rice. Well, I struck out there, so I went to Hyvee. No luck. Same for Schnucks. I got desprate, pulled out the trusty Iphone and googled "international food store." An answer to my Indian food dilemma! There was one on the other side of town!
So I was off in Gladys, my trusty minivan, to find this international food store. I hit Jeff City rush hour but nothing would stop me from getting my goods. Nothing, except for the food store no longer being in existence! I was a defeated. My hunt had failed, so like any good book worm does, I went to a used book store to sooth my broken heart. However, on my way to the store, out of the corner of my eye, right next to the Little Ceasers and 60's Love (which reecked of... well I bet you can just guess) I saw a little place called Taste of India. Oh yes, this was it! I didn't stop though, I went to Nancy's Trade a Book and then even to Hastings.
See, I didn't stop because I have a small fear of eating in places alone. Yes, I know it sounds ridiculous, but it's a fear I have. I'm not really sure when it developed or why, but it's there. When I moved to Jeff City I vowed to work through it. At one time I wouldn't even go to fast food places alone. But, I can now go into places like Chipoltle or Taco Bell and eat all by myself, like a 22-year-old should be able to do.
I had never ventured out to the sit-down-serve-you type places and that's just what Taste of India was. After my Hastings visit, it had been decided, I was going to go and do it alone! I drove, parked and got out of the car. As I walked to the door my mouth went dry when I saw there was NO ONE else eating in the restaurant. (side note, this may scare some people, but if you are not familiar with Indian places their busiest time of day is lunch because they have a buffet and it's a little cheaper. It doesn't mean the foods bad) I got to the door, and I almost turned around to go back to the van. There was a carry out number on their sign, and I thought about chickening out and doing it. No, I was going to be brave. I went in and of course the waiter, who's name was Joshua and we had a good conversation, asked if I would be the only one dinning. He sat me in a booth and took my order. I got my food, and I ate alone.
Now, because I'm a white girl in an Indian restaurant. when I begin to eat with my hands it draws attention. But, my Indian friends in college taught me well, and they made me promise to the rule, when you eat Indian food you must eat with your hands because it tastes better, plus it's cultural. So, I kept the pact. The ladies that worked at the restaurant were, what I would call, gawking at me. I think I must have gotten stage fright because suddenly I was no longer hungry, but I finished what I had put on my plate. I asked for a to go box, paid and then had a lovely conversation with the lady at the register. By the time I made it home I was hungry again, so I finished my leftovers at home. I'm still counting it though! I was there for 25 minutes, and I actually ate alone.
My next step is to eat somewhere like Olive Garden. It still makes my mouth dry to think about that, but I'm working on it. You never know, I may just work up to going to the movies alone...Yeah, I agree, probably not!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ash V.

This is Ash! He's 12. Ash is very eager to meet an adoptive family, and he wants family that he can consider his friends, too. Ash enjoys skate boarding, bike rides and garage and yard sales, that's my kind of kid! He has a very captivating personality, and he has a very relaxed demeanor. Ash says that he wants a family who loves him for him. He currently has no pending family for adoption. If you are interested in getting more information about Ash or other children like him visit moheartgallery.org or email at moheartgallery@adoptex.org

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Ed Vaughn 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hakeem M.


 This is Hakeem, he's 17. Hakeem is looking for what we call a forever family, who are willing to support him beginning in his teenage years and will stay with him for life. Hakeem likes movies and video games, but he loves sports. On his basketball team he is one of the major stars, and though he's good at basketball he wants to be a professional pro-wrestler. He has a great sense of humor and a sweet spirit. If you are interested in learning more about Hakeem or others like him please visit moheartgallery.org or email at moheartgallery@adoptex.org

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Lourie Nowling 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The End that's the Beginning

There have been a lot of moments in my life where I have reached an end that I never thought was coming. The end seemed so far off but really it was just around the corner. Like:

  • High school graduation, realizing what I had known for 12 years was over. 
  • When I got off the plane in China, I never thought I was going to get there. All the preparation that the trip took, I thought it would never come. 
  • When I had my first conversation in Chinese. I had been there for over a month. It was at a little shopping market I went to every day to get food. I was stunned, and I'm pretty sure the lady was stunned too. 
  • The first batch of bread I cooked while in college. I think I tried about 7 times before they actually turned out. 
  • Learning to drive a stick shift. 
  • Trying to figure out how to manage a budget. 
  • Trying to figure out how to get around by myself without getting lost in St. Louis
  • Graduating college. Going into the "real world" after 4 years of classes, exams and late nights that I sometimes didn't know if I would make it through.
Those are just a few examples that come to my mind when I think about 'ends' in my life. Really though, they were new starts. They all led to something else. I had another end today, that will just lead to another something else. I finished the last class in foster care. Really, I wasn't sure if I was actually going to reach the end. There were some Saturdays I would have rather slept in or when I asked if this was really what I was supposed to do. But, I finished. Now it means the real work begins. Actually getting placed with children, and not just children teenagers! Well, it'll be a new beginning, yet again. I'm excited, nervous, anxious and a slew of other things. Yes, I know there are verses for those things in the bible and believe me I probably will wear them out just by my eyes running over them, if I haven't already. But, though I know there will be struggles, I know there will be great victories. There's going to be MUCH learning through these next steps in life, I mean there already has been. But, I look forward to sharing them with you. For now, I finished this leg of the race, I can't wait for what the next will be! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Daisy D.

This is Daisy D. I love the name, such alliteration! Daisy is 15, and she likes doing what every teenage girl likes, talking on the phone and being with friends. Daisy is really outgoing, and she loves to smile! Daisy wants to be a lawyer when she gets older, and right now one of her passions is debate class. Daisy has started her own cupcake business to make some money. The business is called "Daisy's Diva Cupcakes," which I think is fitting a teenage personality. Daisy currently does not have any pending family for adoption. If you would like to know more information about Daisy or others like her please go to moheartgallery.org or email moheartgallery@adoptex.org

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Staley Wessell

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Kiddo Convo (1)

Well I stole this from a great friend who post convos between her daughter and herself. I loved the idea, and I wanted to post convos from the kids I interact with because I'm honestly amazed by most of the things that come out of their mouths. Here on some from last night:

Me: Alright put your play clothes on to go outside.
Reg: Whoa Miss Kelso.
Me: What?
Reg: Your hair isn't looking crazy for once.
Me: (tying to decide to laugh or not)
Reg: I'm just sayin, maybe you should wear it like that more.

While playing outside and the trash man was picking up trash:
Me: What are you guys doing? Don't lay on the curb like that you're practically in the street.
Ken: Kelso, shhh. We're pretending to be trash to see if he picks us up.
Me: Why in the world...
Ken: Shhh!!! Here he comes, you'll give us away.
Me: (watching)
Trash man: Umm....
Me: Yeah it's typical.

While playing a card game:

Don: I'm a little kid. I'm only 8.
 Me: oh don't play that card
Don: you're 16!
Me: well thank you but I'm way older than 16.
Don: ok fine 20
Me: 22
Don: see! You're 100 years older than me and...
Me: (dying laughing)

While getting onto Reg for not listening and doing opposite of what I asked 3 times:
Me: Why aren't you listening very well tonight?
Reg
: Well you see my bike is a mountain bike so I can't go up the hills because the tires can't handle that much weight.
Me: What? What does that have to do with my question?
Reg: I have a mountain bike and...
Me: (putting my hand up) I get it.
 

Michael M. and Stacha B.



Michael (6) and Stacha (11) are a sibling group through Missouri Heart Gallery. Michael prefers to be called Mikey, which I think it just precious. He's a pretty outgoing little boy, and he likes what most 6-year-old boys that I've been around lately like, riding his bike, playing with neighborhood kids and board games. Board games are few and far between though because Mikey loves the outdoors so much. Stacha is also an outgoing child, but she's really relaxed. She loves music, which she loves to share with people she meets. So, her iPod is her life! These two currently have no pending family for adoption. If you would like more information about Mikey and Stacha or other children like them please visit moheartgallery.org  or email moheartgallery@adoptex.org

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Melissa Pfannenstiel

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How to get Started

Happy Adoption Month!! I have had some people contact me and ask about how to start finding out how they could adopt, so what better way or time than now? It's excited to have people asking me those questions! There are so many different ways, so I wanted to just give you some links to find more information about the process. I will give more links than just Missouri Heart Gallery links because there are a lot of different ways to do it in Missouri. There's also the option of international adoption, which I will like one thing here because if you are interested in that I want you to have an outlet to start as well! Hopefully these helps some of the questions that have been asked! Don't hesitate to email if you would like even more information!

Missouri Heart Gallery  This will take you to how to get started or look at getting started to be an adoptive parent through them. They have a little bit of a different way of going through the adoption process than some other organizations. 

Missouri Adoption Services This site has some more linked sites and information if you would want to go through the state agency. They talk about the different options that are offered to you as an adoptive parent through the state. They also have private agencies linked from this website that you can look at as well. 

American Adoption Agency This agency is for more than just Missouri. I wanted to put an option on here for if you were looking out of the state of Missouri but still in the U.S. This website can be a little confusing because it's for mothers who want to sign up for giving their babies up for adoption as well. Just go to the "Become a Family" tab and it will take you were you need to go. You can also just request some free adoption papers to give you a taste of what the process will be like. 

Adoption Network Law Center I have not read a lot about this agency personally, but I have heard them talked about a lot in the private adoption realm. You can request a free consultation with a case worker and free information. 

Missouri Alliance  This is the agency I am going through to be a foster parent. I have met some people in my classes that are just going to adopt and they are not going to be foster parents. The specific adoption classes start the first week of December. 

Nelson Family  These are some friends of mine that are currently going through the adoption process and are trying to adopt a baby. Check their blog out, it talks about the process they are going through, and I know they would answer any questions you have about their specific agency. 

Holt International I'm pretty familiar with this organization. They allow you to sponsor children, but their true focus is to get children adopted and to help international adoption flow smoothly. You can check out their website and begin to apply for adoption through them. 

Compassion International You could always look at this website if you would like to help out with a child but cannot commit to fostering or adoption. It's a great organization to help children that are in great need!

I know that's a lot of option but hopefully it helps. Again Happy Adoption Month and if you are beginning the journey, I wish the best to you!

Deja F.

This is Deja, she's 12. Deja loves to be a girl, and by that I mean loves to get dressed up and look pretty, but what girl doesn't like that! She like to swim, do art and take trips. Deja is polite and she loves spending one-on-one time with people. She likes structure and redirection because she can sometimes easily get distracted. Deja currently has no pending family for adoption. If you would like more information about Deja or others like her please visit moheartgallery.org or email them at moheartgallery@adoptex.org.  

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Kelly Dunsford

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Little Listen

I love music. I just wanted to share this group that I can't stop listening to right now. I love celtic music, and if you're like me and listen to it a lot, these guys are nothing new to you. Hope you enjoy. :) 



Kala S.

This is Kala. She's 16 and she's in 10th grade right now. I would say that Kala is the typical teenager. She enjoys movies, dancing, art, gym and of course the computer. Kala is a hard worker and she has gotten awards from school for that and also for the respect she shows other people. She's great with kids, and she said that she wouldn't have a problem with being the oldest is she were adopted by a family. She currently has no pending family for adoption. If you would like more information about Kala or others like her please visit moheartgallery.org or email moheartgallery@adoptex.org.



Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Scott Chapin

Monday, November 5, 2012

Wrecked or Maybe Just Wreckless

"A few months ago I met this lady. She had everything going for her. Great family. Nice house. Lots of control over her day. But she had this little voice in the back of her head telling her to get involved with foster kids. It had been there for a long time, and every once in a while she would explore her options. Attend a class. Sign up for more information. That sort of thing. Then everything changed. She heard about a kid that didn't have anywhere else to go. Who desperately needed a family. She mentioned it to her husband, and he didn't hesitate. She made the phone call, and the next thing you know, their family grew.
To a casual observer, she may come across as reckless. After all, getting involved with this kid will take time away from her family. Will cost her some money and some tears. Will mess up her schedule. But the truth is, she isn't reckless at all. She is simply wrecked. She can't stand the idea of a kid who has no mom. Can't imagine a teen who has no home. Can't tolerate knowing about foster kids without doing something about it. Her heart is wrecked. Or, perhaps you could say that she is WRECKLESS. I wonder if Webster will add that one to the dictionary." (Fostering Hope Day 18 Deb Shropshire)

I can relate with this woman. I understand that voice. I get having control over my day. I took a class over the weekend called "peaceful intervention." The fist slide you ask? Oh it was good, it was encouraging, it had a lot of great things to say. What were these encouraging words? "What to do in case your child comes at you with a weapon." Yeah, are you laughing? Maybe even looking at the screen in shock? I did both. I looked at the ladies around me, and they all avoided eye contact, I guess that's what happens when you laugh out loud after your case worker talks about something that's not so funny. After that wave of awkwardness went away I said a silent prayer/question, which God is probably very used to getting from me. 'Are you sure this is what you were and are asking of me?' For some reason this scripture came to my mind in that moment: "And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5.5 
I wasn't particularly sure why that was the verse. I pondered for a moment. I have been reading a lot of Romans 5 lately, I just can't seem to stop rereading it, writing it and thinking about it. I guess in that moment it related to the hope that I have for these kids to feel love and to really know the true love of the Savior. I hope that they see that He wants to save them from what this world has to offer and that they know the true hope the Holy Spirit gives.
It's easy to think what I'm doing is reckless. I sometimes laugh before God because it sounds utterly reckless, and it's against what's ordinary. But, He's wrecked my heart, and I believe He is wrecking the hearts around me for His children that have been left with their lives in shambles. I can't deny that this is what He's asked me. And, I think sometimes people say things like "You know this isn't going to be easy, right?" or "Have you thought about how hard this is going to be?" because they really think I haven't thought about it. That's not the case. I've thought about it, and I've weighed the options of not doing it. Honestly, it would be easier: my schedule wouldn't be interrupted, I would have control, money wouldn't be that tight. I've thought about it, but God really continues to wreck my heart.
I asked a long time ago for Him to give me His eyes and to give me His heart. Well, He answered that loudly, and I can't run away from it. So, I guess that "peaceful intervention" will become part of my life. Maybe it'll even become the new normal. I can only imagine what God will then do to make another out-of-the-ordinary, normal in my life. Whatever it is I can guarantee that it'll be even more wreckless than this one!

John H. and a celebration

Before I talk about John today,  I just wanted to rejoice a little bit! I have had some people contact me about adoption! Not only for Missouri Heart Gallery but other organizations! Thank you Lord for that! That's the entire reason I started this! Just wanted to share that large celebration with you! Thanks!

This is John H.! Rocking the basketball, he already has my heart! John is 11, and he loves sports. He loves to laugh, and I hear the laughter he brings makes others laugh right along with him. He's a really curious child, and he loves asking questions. He always has questions to ask, but what little boy does? John loves movies and some of his favorites are adventure and scary movies. He currently has no pending family for adoption. If you would like more information about John or others like him go to  http://moheartgallery.org/gallery or email moheartgallery@adoptex.org.

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Ginger Weselech 


Friday, November 2, 2012

Donald J.

Donald is 14, and he's really outgoing! Donald loves the outdoors, it allows him to be closer to animals, which he loves as well! Donald is looking for a mother or a father, but would love both if there is a family with both willing to take him. Donald is someone who needs encouragement. There are not pending families for Donald at the moment. If you would like more information about Donald or others like him please visit: http://moheartgallery.org/gallery

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Mark Stephens

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Steven S.


What a cute kid huh? His name is Steven and he's 9. He has a great personality, and he's witty and funny. He's the typical 9-year-old boy. He loves Spiderman, Transformers, dragons and playing outside. He loves watching new dragon movies, and he loves getting anything dragon. Steven's pastimes are being outside. Really, anything to do outside, the park, bike rides, running, swimming and playing sports, he loves it all. Steven works best in a one on one setting because the attention really makes him succeed. He currently has no pending family for adoption. For more information about Steven or others visit http://moheartgallery.org/gallery

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Denny Medley 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Jay'Ron W.


This is Jay'Ron, he also goes by Jay. He's 16 and full of life. Jay loves all athletics, but he really enjoys football and basketball, which he excels in. He has hopes to play throughout high school and get a scholarship to play in a college setting. Jay is extremely relaxed, and he is very respectful. Talking to Jay is easy, and he has a great sense of humor. There is currently no pending family for adoption. To learn more about Jay or other visit http://moheartgallery.org/gallery/tiled

Information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Kelly Knetter

Thursday, October 25, 2012

D'Asia T.


This is D'Asia! She's 5-years-old, and she is waiting for adoption. Though she can recognize objects and people around her, she isn't verbal at this moment. She's loving, a fun spirit and very smart. Currently she has no pending family for adoption. To get more information about D'Asia or others please visit http://moheartgallery.org/gallery/tiled

All information from Missouri Heart Gallery
Photo by Staley Wesslle 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bridget and Sheila A.

Today starts a project that I have been wanting to do for a while. I have had the desire to feature a child/sibling groups from Missouri Heart Gallery each day, which they have given me permission to do in a partnership for adoption in Missouri. These kiddos are waiting to be adopted into a loving family. I wish I could adopt them all and give them a home. If there's no desire for adoption in your heart, I just ask that you would pray and hope for these kiddos to get a forever family! They need one!


These 2 beautiful ladies are Bridget (18) and Sheila (16) A. Sheila loves dancing and fashion, while Bridget loves athletics. Sheila shows her personality through her strong affection, and Bridget is giving with a generous heart. They currently have no pending family. For more information about these ladies and others visit http://moheartgallery.org/gallery/tiled 


Information from Missouri Heart Gallery online. 
Photo taken by Layne Halley

Craving Achievable Stability


"She was not quite 2 when they took her in from the foster agency. Her mom had a lot of struggles and could barely take care of herself, much less a toddler. Her new foster family fell in love with her immediately, enjoying her laughter and the silly tricks that she would do, but especially the brief moments at bedtime when she would sit in one of their laps and snuggle. Over time, both she and her biologic mom achieved milestones - hers including learning how to write her name and memorizing her address and phone number; her mom's had more to do with parenting classes and a steady job. And after some time, it became apparent that they would reunite. They moved a lot - never could quite achieve the stability that most people crave. She lived with her mom some, as well as a variety of extended relatives. She called her old foster family every once in a while - she had never forgotten the phone number - and every single time they inquired about her new address and made a trip to the post office, sending off a box of goodies. Art supplies. Candy. Books. But most of all, love. They were intentional in their influence. They didn't just answer the phone and have a conversation, they acted. Even thought it was painful. Even though they worried about the fact that every phone call was from a different phone number in a new state. Even though it cost them. So how did it turn out? On her 18th birthday, the phone rang again. 'Mom, can I come home?' You can guess what the answer was." (Fostering Hope day 12 Deb Shropshire)
In foster care the ultimate goal for a child is reunification with the birth parents. Though that is the goal, it's not always easy. Sometimes the foster parents can have the child for a few years before they go back to their birth parents. Sometimes the foster parents have to fight with the desire to know what's best, even though they have no power over the ultimate decision. The child can also be confused in wanting to be with their birth family but also missing their foster family. It can even make the child feel like they aren't being loyal. So...
  • Pray for the birth parents that go through the process of reunification. They go through rehabs, work projects and parenting classes. Pray that they would learn how to take care of their children properly for reunification. Also, pray for the foster parents that are hurting because they are missing the children that were placed and removed from their home. Lastly, pray for the child as they deal with the stress of being placed, removed and placed again. Ask that they would feel comfort and peace, and they would have good life-long relationship with foster parents. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Edgy Life


"She was 14, with thick auburn hair that fell in unruly layers around her face. She was beautiful, but rough. Even in her short years she had experienced her share of hardship, and it showed, in the stiffness of her posture and the edge in her voice. I found out that she was in 8th grade, and liked math but didn't want anyone to think she was a nerd. She had a brother but didn't get to see him much. She was not a stranger to foster care - had slept in other people's homes off and on for as long as she could remember. Said she'd learned how to fold towels 'correctly' 10 different ways. As she talked, she waved her arms and I saw them. Words carved across her knuckles. Others over the back of her hands and up her forearms. HATE. WORTHLESS. CRAZY. Scabbed. Fresh. Evidence of pain that extended much deeper than the wounds that marked her skin. She seemed surprised when I touched her arms, gently massaging antibiotic ointment into each line, grieving with each stroke. How do I fix that kind of pain? How do I speak life to someone who has only known death? I don't always know how to heal. But I do know how to touch, how to provide the most basic of human contact. So do you. Are you willing?" (Day 13 Fostering Hope Deb Shropshire)
I was reminded of the Samaritan woman when I read this. No one wanted to be around her, she hid when she went into public and she avoided interaction with people at all times. I think that's how many children in these situations feel. If they could just push people away or not have personal interaction, they won't be mocked, they won't be hurt, they'll be safe in their solitude. I think the enemy wants us to believe that. I have had people in my life like this, and they are hard to deal with. But, the pain they feel is real, and they need Jesus. In that brokenness, I see myself because before Jesus I was the stiff, edgy person. I see what Jesus has promised to redeem and is redeeming. I'm thankful for that He changed me, and I want to see Him do the same in lives like this. I may not know how to heal, I may not know how to fix the pain, but I trust that He does. 
  • Pray for children like this that don't know how to handle what's happened to them in their lives. Pray they would have soft hearts to the Holy Spirit, and pray that the Kingdom would be recognized in their lives. Pray, too, for physical and spiritual healing, there's more need than we could ever imagine. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

The End is Near

Well, I just had my last behavioral class on Saturday. It came as a little surprise because I thought we had 1 more, but we don't. In November I will take a career class and a Meds/CPR class. Career is a class that prepares you for dealing with children that are in the program for their "life." In foster terms that's until you're 18, or it can be to 21 if the child suffers from a mental disability. I feel like I learned a lot through these classes. I have learned a lot about myself, but I have gotten a lot of practical parenting knowledge. I'm thankful for that because thinking of me being a parent, even after 8 weeks of training, sometimes makes me laugh or feel like I'm still living a dream. I wake up sometimes and think, there's really no way they are going to trust me with babies (and by babies I mean kids in general, I picked that up from one of the women in my class who even calls me her baby). I just can't believe it. But, I am excited, apprehensive yes, but excited. I have decided the feeling I get when thinking about the classes being over and really being licensed is kind of like the feeling I got when I would start my first day of school every year, or when I could finally ride a bike without training wheels. It's the feeling of those butterflies in your stomach, knowing something could go terribly wrong but still being excited. It's the excitement of the unknown, too.
Through the classes the biggest thing, and I think the most helpful, I learned was about the way children react out of their fears. This really deals with the behavior of a child under traumatic stress. We wrote a paper on how we act from the fears we have in our lives, and I really learned a lot from that exercise. I think it's easy for me to have what we call in the system "the old way of thinking." This is the thought that a child is always aware of their behaviors, so they act out on purpose or to get back at you. I think this can be true in some areas of life, but the one thing that I learned was this isn't always the case. Sometimes, in the midst of fear, children go into safety mode, and the safety mode causes behavioral fears. Obviously this is triggered from the stress of a new environment, new rules, new family etc. It was good for me to learn because I think in some moments it will be easier for me to recognize those moments, and the difference between the 2 reasons for certain behaviors.
So, now that class is over, I have 2 more assessments and then I'll be licensed. I am eagerly waiting the moment when I will actually get my license, but in the meantime I will be helping another family out with their foster children. I start that on Wednesday, and I will be helping until I get officially placed with someone. I think this will be good because it will help me learn the ropes some, and I will get more kiddo experience, which I am grateful.
Also, in the meantime I am starting my "family planning." This includes a fire escape plan, rules, plans about how to clean rooms in the house, schedules and emergency numbers. All of these things have to be written out and placed where everyone can see them in the house. I have thought of a lot of cute ways to do it, but it's hard to write out stuff that you do by second nature. I want to cover everything and be fair, it's funny how this may be one of the hardest things for me to write in the meantimeness. But, hopefully I'll come up with some good explanations and good followable rules, I guess we'll see. Well, the Cardinals are losing, and I am hoping the pull through and we take the W! But, before I go to cheer them on, below I have a little bit more to read, it's an exert from Fostering Hope, and I also have my fancy official foster care graduate certificate! Enjoy!







Fostering Hope by Deb Shropeshire
"When we being to see people for who they were created to be, instead of who they are on the surface, it is easier to believe in them. And when WE believe in them, it is easier for them to begin to believe in themselves. I want to believe in people. In their potential. In the possibilities of their lives. In the awareness that a bad decision is not the same thing as a bad person. In the knowledge that we all make mistakes and none of us are perfect. In the hope that the future can be different than the past."

  • Pray for the kids in foster care as they make a transition to break the chain that their family is living under. Pray they will see that they can be different, no matter what they have been told in the past. Pray the the foster parents and the workers would not see them as projects but rather as children. Lastly, pray that the foster care workers and parents would see the children and the parents as they should, in the image of God because once we start looking at people that way our perspective changes. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fostering Hope

I haven't written in quite a long time, and this will not be an original post. I hope to do an update post this even actually, but I wanted to share some things from a devotional I'm going through about foster care. I will give excerpts that I like from the ones I've already read, and hopefully I will continue to post some of them daily as I read them. I will also add a list of things to pray for at the end, if you are praying with me through this journey. All credit for these excerpts go to Deb Shropshire who wrote the devotionals for Fostering Hope onYou Version on the iPhone, thank you!

"'How long have you been foster parents?' I asked. "'Four years,' he replied. 'Seven kids and I miss them all. I wonder what they will grow up to be. If somehow I was able to have an impact on them. Never knew I could love someone else's child like that.' It is a special thing to be a dad. But it is a divine calling to be the dad of someone else's child. A holy opportunity." (Day 4)

  • Pray for those parents who are learning how to become parents, not biologically but still in a real way. Telling family can be hard, and understanding how to be transparent with a child and their birth families can be hard. 


"'I'm not adoptable,' he stated flatly. "What?' I was surprised by him comment. 'I'm. Not. Adoptable.' He repeated it more loudly, as if perhaps he thought I was hard of hearing. He was sitting on my exam table, and I had just been looking in his ears and asking him about school and friends and girls. Then the conversation turned to family. His parents had lost their rights years ago. 'I went to this adoption party, and I overheard some people say that I'm not adoptable because I am too old.' Ad that, tears welled up in his eyes and began to spill down his face. He took a few deep breaths and went on. 'I met some people who wanted to adopt a son. They talked to me for a little while but then moved on to meet other children, and I overheard them saying that I was too old, that no on would want to adopt someone my age.' ... 'Do YOU want me? Would YOU ever adopt me?' I was frozen. Of course I wanted him to have a family; I just didn't want the effort of being it. He could sense y struggle, and his face changed again, this time looking reserved and emotionless. 'It's OK,' he said. 'My case worker says I need to spend the next couple of years learning how to take care of myself anyway.' Head down, I left the room and went on to the rest of my day, but I never forgot him. And I didn't sleep for a week. And I felt like a fraud. And I have always wondered if he should have been MY son." (Day 5)


  • Pray for the older children in Foster Care/Adoptive lists. Often they are seen as the burdens in the system. It's easy for younger children to be placed because they don't have as much baggage. They know the truth and the statistics. Pray for families to desire to take in older children and love on them. 


"Her email asked how she could become more involved with helping foster kids. She wanted to volunteer at the shelter, or perhaps become a mentor. We met to discuss the options - find her a good fit. At 21, she seemed more mature that most 40 year olds I knew. I wanted to know more about her, and over several cups of coffee her story unfolded. Not too great of a childhood. Instability. Loneliness. Abuse. Pain. Lots of pain. Then, at 14 it all changed. She didn't even own a Bible. Had no context for the songs being sung or the messages she was hearing. But soon she found herself moving toward the front of the auditorium. More importantly she found her should moving toward her Creator. How did that happen? How did a kid who barely wondered if God existed wind up as a sol out follower of Christ? ..." (Day 8)


  • Pray for younger adults pursing to help the Foster Care system. There is a driving reason for them to go into that line of work, and it's often because of a heart that has been through some of the same things. Pray for strength and support from their families. 



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wonderful People Wednesdays

Angela Carson is who this Wonderful People Wednesdays is dedicated to. I've had the pleasure of getting to know this woman over the course of the summer and continuing for what I can only hope is a lifetime.
There are some interesting things I've learned from her, while watching her live a true and open life before me. 1 thing I've learned is there's something to be said about being transparent even when it hurts. It doesn't always feel good to be open and honest about your life. When her kids are having major melt downs in public or her house isn't put together quite as she would like it, she presses on. Yeah, it would probably be way easier for her to have us think that Micah, Avery and Elle never cry or throw fits. It may even be easier for her if we continue to think that she has everything together every minute of the day. But, instead of hiding  and shying away from what's really going on and just put on another mask for another day, she opens those hard times to really do life with me.  I've seen the realness that she brings, and it's refreshing. It's calming, and it's challenging. I'm challenged to be honest with my life because I see what it really means to "Go First" by watching her.
I love the heart she has for resting in God's unfailing love and forgiveness, and her heart for what true humility is and what it brings. It's also been really good for me to see her being a wife to Jeff. I've never heard 1 bad thing about Jeff from her mouth, and in today's culture that's far a few between. I love to sit under her and listen to the wisdom that God has bestowed upon her, and to see that she is always striving for more. I am thankful for the time and effort she takes to spend time with me, teach me about motherhood and just talk about what God is teaching her and ask me what I'm learning. She's even been so kind to keep a look out for some things I will need when I move into my own place (and for that I'm forever thankful because there are some things I would never think about). She's a remarkable woman, all encompassing, and if you ever get the chance to spend a little time with her, take it! Don't miss out because I'm telling you, you will be blessed!

This image isn't mine I used it from Angela's facebook.
I thought it explained the Carson family well. 
[Hope you don't mind that I used it :)]

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Musical Art

I don't draw very often because I don't think I'm the greatest, but tonight I was in the mood. I drew the easiest thing I knew to. I wanted to share it, and share some of the music that accompanied me. Check them out if you're interested.
My Love- 3rd Union
A Beautiful Mess- Jason Mraz
Take Care- Drake and Rihanna 
I Wish You the Best- Eyelit
Some Nights- Fun
Your Hands- JJ Heller
10,000 Reasons- Matt Redman 
Tell Your Mamma- Vespers
Robot- Trip Lee
Faithful- Chad Lister 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Learning, Crafting, Saving

1920 was the great awakening year when it came to children's rights. This was the first time an organization was ever created to stop the neglect, exploitation and abuse of children. This was 20 years after animal rights had already been created. This meant the for 40 years, since 1880, many children were being shoved into orphan trains to go work on farms, while others were fed left overs by the dumpsters from country kitchens. 1920 was the first time someone believed a precious child had the same right to be loved and nurtured as a cat or a dog.
That's one shocking fact that I learned this weekend in the start of my foster care classes. Some other shocking facts I learned, 9,500 children are in foster care in the state of Missouri, and only 3,400 are in homes as you read this. That means that 6,300 are in residential care where they can't have contact with the "outside world" but 2 times a week, 10 minutes each. Also, 125,00 children will lose their parents to HIV/AIDS in the U.S. this year. 150 children will die because their parent's lost their temper and took it out on them. 1in 10 teen girls are pregnant and unhoused.
I could go on and on with a lot of the things that I learned Saturday, but you may already be uninterested. Usually statistics don't mean a lot to me, but on Saturday they did. These statistics mean that God called me to a job that may never see an end. I was reminded that God has called me to a job that is way bigger than I am or than I ever could be.
In the state of Colorado, a church decided they were going to help the orphan problem they saw in their state. The number of children needing a home was rapidly increasing. Each church member decided to adopt 1-2 children from Colorado, and by that action it eradicated the orphan problem in Colorado. There are still others on the waiting list for adoptions and many have become foster parents through the process. I really wish I could look back one day and say that about Missouri. Say that my Christian brothers and sister and myself really did what we were called to do by Christ. I don't know if I ever will, but I know that I want to strive to help the abandoned. Sitting in that class I was reminded that I can't do this alone, it's no small task.
For some reason, God saw it fit to call me here, and I desire to run hard after Him, so I can run hard after the goal He has placed before me. In that room on Saturday I decided I want to strive to be the most God loving, craftiest, most money saving foster mom, so I can try to cater to as many children as the Lord blesses me with. Hopefully I will see some of those come to know Him as I know Him.
I will keep learning and watching women in my life like Angela Carson, Julie Kearns, Bobbie Underwood, Sarah Nelson and Tamika Valentine, so maybe, just maybe I can learn a little bit about being a godly woman and a godly mom, and even save a few $ along the way :) Maybe when the time comes that a little one is placed in my care, I will finally be ready. Ha who am I kidding, I'll never be ready, but maybe I'll be a step closer!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Anxiously Awaiting

Well, my foster care classes start this Saturday. I'm a little anxious. Anxious with both anticipation and then the nervousness of what lies before me. After finishing the paper work I think it hit me that my time was coming. I have the same fears as I think most mothers do: I'm not going to be good enough, I'm afraid I will ruin them, What if I totally rot as a mom? All those things fly around in my head, but I am reminded of the truths. The truth that God has called me to this, and the truth that He is the one who works all things out for the good of those called according to His purpose. That doesn't mean it's going to be easy, but it means that I am a prisoner of hope (Zechariah 2.9) and that I have hope in the Lord that even in the midst of not being good enough, He is! It's a little overwhelming, but it's so good in the same breath. I am very excited about what lies ahead because God is doing and is going to do great things. I will leave you with some photos I have taken throughout the summer. I did a little photo project with my iPhone, and I really enjoyed it. This is not all inclusive of my project, but it's some I really liked. Enjoy! 




It's easy to pass up the beauty that comes out of
a place that many would call trashy. 

 
Grace. It's such a vibrant word, and I think
sometimes I allow it to lose it's vibrancy.



There are moments when I see from a different 
perspective. Shimming under the locked stall 
is one of those times. 



Card Wash Only Laundry. The sketchy place where
interns bond and the AC is always broken!

Just another view of Card Wash
Only Laundry. 

This is a typical view of my nightstand. Well, 
usually it has about 3 more books stacked, but you
get the idea. 

This bridge leads into Jeff City. I take it when I am
Columbia. On this day I was doing just that. 

Micah Carson

Avery Carson

Monday, August 20, 2012

Some things to check out

I wanted to share some books that I am currently reading, and I wanted to give a few links to maybe check out in some spare time. Soon in the future, I will be featuring some friends of mine who are going through the adoption agency. It's funny because we're in the same parts of the process. Just thought I would give you some things to check out if you're interested! Have a fantastic day! 
 This book is in response to some of the universal ideas off hell not existing. It's been quite interesting so far. 


 
This is another book in response to the "is Hell real" debate. Christopher Morgan and Matt Kearns went to seminary together, so Matt suggested that I read this book. It's really intense, and there is a lot of history about the progression of the debate. It's going to be good, but for sure challenging! 


  I think the cover speaks for its self, but it's about the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and it's amazing so far. Since I am reading 3 books right now, I have said that I will only read this one before bed because it's my "fun" book right now. It's long, but it's kept me up too late some nights because it's very intriguing. 


       The link above is a blog that I've started reading. I just finished her book. It's interesting because in many ways I connect with her. She moved to Uganda, and through a lot of craziness has adopted 14 little girls. I read the book, cried through the whole thing, and I have wanted to keep up with her life. She posts when she gets a free moment between running an organization, raising 14 children and helping need in her village. Check it out. 

     This link is to a site that I found after watching the movie, "The Machine Gun Preacher" with the one the only Gerard Buttler. It was a very odd movie, and I finished feeling pretty empty inside. So, I went to do some research. This guy saves children who have been forced into the army as part of the civil war in Sudan and northern Uganda. His means of doing this are very controversial, but at the same time he's doing a lot of great things. I haven't formed an official opinion on the matter, but I think the result is making a difference there. Also, I think it's worth just visiting the site to read his story of redemption and the children's as well. 

      This link is to a ministry that I firmly believe in. They are doing great work in places throughout the world. It's run by Vernon and Amber Burger (you can follow on twitter at @vernonburger @amberburger @hisvoiceglobal). You can support a child by paying 10 dollars a month, and it can feed that child in an orphanage for the entire month. Only $10! I was amazed! Check them out, they are pretty awesome! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Overwhelming Bliss

Yesterday was quite an overwhelming day for me. It was just one of those days when life seems to be too much, when I'm too confused, when there's too much to do, the list goes on. I sat in the the living room with piles of paper work to fill out for my new van, my new personal insurance policy, my taxes and still more paper work for foster care. I found myself really having no clue what I was doing. I didn't know what to tell the insurance consultant on the other line that was really trying her hardest to help me out, nor did I know what it looked like to fill out paper work to register the car in Jeff City rather than Festus. I started to cry (which isn't a big surprise because I do often but this was a little different of a cry), yeah I had a little pity party. I boo hooded on the couch all alone because I didn't know what I was doing. Really thinking about it now, it was totally silly because there are so many more things that I don't know how to do, and if I start sitting around and crying about all of them then I'll never accomplish anything. Needless to say Holy Spirit jumped onto my bad attitude, kindly reminding me that I was probably overwhelmed because I was not heading His word very well, nor had I spent a quality amount of time with Him that day. He brought to my mind the great passage that often wrecks my life -
              Philippians 4. 4-8: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. 
Holy Spirit reminded me that this is really the answer to my overwhelming days. It's not to cry about it on the couch, trying to figure out what I should do, but it's bringing it before Him. Yeah, I will probably still cry because lets face it for some reason Jesus saved me and when He did my heart transplant, when He made me a new creation, He made my heart the softest heart imaginable. (I cry when a commercial is too good for goodness sakes!), but in the midst of those tears I really have to bring it before Him and press in.
After I got over myself, I was spent a little time reading Kisses from Katie, which will make anyone realize they need to suck it up! Then I spent the rest of the evening reading the book of James. I love and hate James all at the same time. It's so practical, but it's so convicting. I was reminded why I do what I do, because Christ saved me and He calls me to a higher life. He wants people to know and love Him, and I have been called to be a person to show Him. A verse really stood out to me while reading it, one that I've read many times before, but by being where I am in life and beginning to work with the people I do, it really came alive-
              James 2.5: Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised to those who love Him? 
I want to see a revival in the trailer park that our church ministers to. I want to see revival in the lives of the children that are entrusted to me. I believe it can happen, and I believe God will use them to really show others the kingdom of heaven. I'm excited to witness the moments when Jesus transforms someone's life and makes them rich in faith, though they can be seen as the outcast, poor or orphaned. Yesterday is just one day on this journey where God is going to wake me up and remind me that I am nothing without Him, and that I deserve hell, but He chose me. I wish I could say that it's a one time deal and never again will I find myself complaining and being in the pride seat again. However, I am a realistic person, and I know there will be times when God will kindly remind me that it's not about me. And, I'll probably whine a little about that too, but I will keep stretching out to hopefully be closer to God's heart and have His desires mold into my desires, the desire to see the poor in the world become rich in faith.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Finger prints, TB test and life history


I had my second face to face, first in-depth, meeting with my worker today. We laughed, shared some stories and I asked a lot of questions. In return he slid a packet of craziness across the table. The picture is a all inclusive foster care packet, jammed full of a life history paper I have to write, a TB test, background checks, finger printing, behavioral classes, STARS classes, payment plans, home visits, attorney qualifications, judge hearings, class schedules and last, but certainly not least, reference forms. When John, my case work, flopped this in front of me, he chuckled and said "welcome to the world." It's a little overwhelming honestly. But as I walked out of the office and sat in my truck I was reminded of a verse that I have begun memorizing. It's Acts 20.24: However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and completely the task, the Lord Jesus has given to me- the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. Well I can say the packet that lies before me now is looking like a large task, a 3 month task to be exact. When I was reminded of that, it didn't seem so overwhelming. God didn't make the promise that this process was going to be easy, nor did he promise that it won't seem like a lot. But, he did promise he would never leave nor forsake me, and he asks me to lay my anxieties at his feet. I think I am going to get a good taste of what laying my anxieties down really means. In all of this though, I am very excited. There were some foster children running around down stairs while I was there, and it made me a little bit more excited. God's heart is for the orphans, and I believe he is making my heart more and more like his in that aspect. 126,000 children are waiting in foster care right now in Missouri, and it blesses me that Jesus is going to use me to fix that problem. I just wanted to update you on the happenings in this hopeful life. I want to leave you with a song that continues to touch my heart through this process:
Bless the Lord, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Bless the Lord, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
I'll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore