Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Manicures and Taco Bell

Wow, things have been crazy and busy lately. Just want to update on our whole fostering process because I've had a lot of people asking questions. Since my last post we have seen S three times.

Our first visit was to take her clothes shopping and to eat. We told her she could pick anywhere in Southaven that she wanted to eat and the sweet girl picked Taco Bell. So we take her and tell her to order whatever she wants, this results in her ordering one taco. So we get our food and sit down and after a little bit of small talk there was a pause and out pours the stories. Stories that I didn't really want to hear but needed to just so I could know her heart and what shes been through. She began to talk about how she's never met her father and that her mom just went to jail. She shared stories of how she had been abused along with her younger brother. And then out of no where she looked up and said "I just want to be your color" (chill bumps immediately appeared). How do you respond to that? So I asked her why she wanted to be my color and she said "Black people just fight and argue and white people like peace" As we know that is not at all the norm for either race but in her eyes that's what she has been taught through her experiences. She also seemed completely shocked when she found out Andy and I were married. She asked me "why did you do that?" and said "I hate weddings". Through many questions and explaining a lot of things she started to understand but the fact that the concept of marriage was so foreign to her was an eye opener. We truly come from a completely different culture than S and I need to remember that. She also told me that I was a copy cat; I asked her why and she said "Because I wanted to be a nurse first!" Needless to say it was a good night and we learned a lot about each other. It was also a great night because it was the first time Andy and I tried a pickled sausage ;)

Our next visit was this past Saturday, we were meeting the girls at Chick fil a in Olive Branch. Let me just say, I have a brand new respect for this company and will be supporting them more than I did before. They were serving lunch to the girls in the home S is from and Andy and I were invited. They had set up a table with flowers and a table cloth and had menu's. They let the girls pick anything they wanted to eat and even had a "waitress" at the table to bring them things. They also got a gift bag when they left which they all loved. We got to speak to the director of marketing for over an hour and she was so sweet and thoughtful with the girls. One of the girls even said "This is the best day ever!" They really enjoyed it and so did we. After this we took S to get her nails done. (After we stopped at the gas station and grabbed a pickled sausage of course) It was so much fun just to get to do something with her other than just dinner. She of course chose pink and said her's looked cuter than mine did :) Andy was a trooper and sat in the nail salon while his girls got pampered.
Yes we had fun Saturday but it felt different. It felt like she was actually a part of our little family and that we all fit together. Every where we went she was right beside me and even followed me to the bathroom at the nail salon. She's getting attached. Which is wonderful and scary all at the same time. I wasn't expecting it so soon at least from her side. I loved her the moment I met her but that was because I knew God had placed her in my life. But for her, I thought it would take months for her to be able to trust me and get close.
Sunday she got to come to church and I see her as soon as I walked in and Cathy (her house mom) says "Don't let her fool you, shes been looking for you since we got here" So she came and sat by me and as soon as Andy got on stage she said "look there's Andy!" The service started off like any other, small talk and us sharing some candy but then we had a guest preacher who spoke on loving the "outcast" and "the least of these" Listening to that sermon with S right beside me brought things to a whole different level. It reminded me of the responsibility God has trusted me with in helping to shape and teach this precious child and to always love her like He loves me.
In the middle of the service I glance over and see her holding her hand out looking at her nails, so I hold mine beside hers and she just looks up at me with the biggest smile. A moment that seems so small but it was huge to us. It was a reminder of the time we shared together and the fun we had that previous day.

Things are moving slowly in our process of getting her here full time but that's okay. We see her on the weekends and we love the time we have together. I'm praying that everything works out for her good and I know that will happen, I just have to remember to trust the Lord every single day that this is His plan and it's not on my timing which is emotionally challenging. Sometimes I just want her here. Especially last week when she was sick, I just wanted to be her "mom" and to love on her.

This next week is her birthday and Andy's so it's gonna be a party in this house ;) We also have a doctor's appt coming up next week so if you could all pray about that, I know S is nervous. I guess that's all the updates for now, thanks so much for all of the prayers!


Friday, February 8, 2013

Love never fails

So I found myself sitting in my kitchen floor last night staring up at our new refrigerator piece. The first ultrasound photo on our fridge and it's not mine. As I thought about the journey we are starting it brought me to tears, I just sat and asked God, "What am I doing? I cannot do this." And it's true, I cannot! But with Him I can; along with help from friends and family as well as our wonderful church family. WE can do this! No sooner than I could get that prayer from my lips I noticed the magnet I just so happened to quickly grab without thinking, and the tears came again.
Love never fails. And as my wonderful friend Kim says "Love just works"

So you're probably all wondering where this random ultrasound came from and in fact it is not random at all. There is a wonderful and precious little girl that God has placed directly in our paths and we are going to have the privilege of welcoming her into our home for however long the Lord see's fit. She is 12 years old and this is her ultrasound photo that she received yesterday. You can only imagine the pain she has gone through in her short life that would encourage a decision such as this. Andy and I know we do not have the right answers as to why but we do know that she needs the love of Jesus and the love of 2 people as parent figures in her life to guide her.
February 7th will always be a great day to us. It's the day we got to meet "S" and start our journey together. We still do not have every detail worked out as you can imagine but there are a few things that we do know. As of next week we will start the transition process of bringing her into our home. This will include shopping trips with S and I, dinner dates as the three of us together, and then overnight and weekend visits. If all goes well then she will be moved in by the end of this month. Just to give you a small recap of our day yesterday..

We get to the girls home she stays in now and load up to go pick her up from school. As we pull up, Nikki one of her house moms goes inside to check her out. Andy and I are sitting in the van anxiously awaiting a sweet young girl to walk out the front doors. After seeing numerous kids walk out and Andy shouting "Oh I think that's her" and "Look that might be her" Finally out walks Nikki with S, our hearts are pounding and it felt just like the moment I had always pictured in my mind while daydreaming about adoption/fostering. Hearts are pounding and here she comes, "Will she like us?" "What should we say?" "Should we have brought a gift?" "I just hope she likes us!" All of these thoughts running through my mind as S climbs in the car and crosses her arms. We had a doctor appt about 15 minutes away from school and the entire ride there she sat in silence with her arms crossed. Of course more thoughts run through my mind as I wonder what's running through hers. We get to the doctor and shes still very uncomfortable as any 12 year old would be at the "girl doctor" and I get to go back with her for the ultrasound and the doctors consult. More thoughts "What am I doing? After today, I will be the one taking her to every doctors appt. What questions should I ask? I have to be "mom" for her, she's 12 and has no idea what's going on." While waiting for the doctor finally words came from her, and a comment I would've never guessed. "I want a pickled sausage" Okay, just so you all know I have no idea what this is! lol. And I really have no idea where to find one of these but it has become my goal before she gets here to find these things! Of all things in the world, our first bonding moment was about a pickled sausage, whatever that may be. But I thank the Lord for it because it gave us something to laugh about together. As we leave the doctor and head back to the girls home she seems to open up more around the other girls and we all have a few laughs as all the girls beg us to stay for dinner as well as ask Andy to give guitar lessons to everyone as soon as possible! I think we also had an invite to a science fair. Needless to say, these girls are begging for our attention. But I notice sweet S sitting in the corner smiling every time I look over. As we get ready to leave I ask her what her favorite color is and she excitedly answered PINK! I told her I was going to get her room ready and it would be very pink with a pickled sausage waiting for her. She laughed and said okay. As much as I wanted to hug her I tried to give her some space and not be crazy but a feeling of love for her has already taken over inside of me. I love her. Not because I feel sorry for her and her situation but because I feel God himself has planned this entire thing and he has prepared me for this moment for a long time. I love her because He has given her to us. Not to spoil, not to feed, but to love her with the love He gives us and share His love with her as much as humanly possible.
I do not think it's a mistake that I took a semester off even though I had everyone telling me I shouldn't. I prayed about it a lot and felt God was telling me himself that it's the right choice. Now I see what he had planned. And some may disagree with my choice and that's okay, but I know I'm doing what God as called me as a woman to do and there is no greater joy.

What can you do for us? PRAY! We are fostering a child that comes from third world country conditions. She has never had a doll, never had a Christmas tree, and has never been able to be a child. She also is a little behind in school, she has 9 weeks left for this year and most likely once she moves in I will start homeschooling her myself with a teacher coming in twice a week to help along the way. Big changes are coming our way and we really pray that our friends and family support us 100%. I am starting today to get her room ready which will be our guest room (also known as the room where we throw everything) so there is lots of work to do. Just a couple of big things we need as far as the room goes is a headboard for a full sized bed and a shelf for her school books. If anybody knows of one that would be great! As for me, it's time to get everything pink! The Williams' have a girl on the way and we cannot wait!