Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Letters

Today I needed to get letters to our caseworker to put in our file, a letter to the birthmother and a letter to the child. I thought I would post the letters here.


Dear Birthmother, We appreciate so much the opportunity to introduce ourselves to you. We are Nathan and Sara Jones. You are providing us with the opportunity to fulfill the long desired dream of extending our family. As parents, we can only imagine how much information you would want to know about us and our family. Please accept this letter as our offering to share with you some insight into who we are.We have been married for eleven years. We met after Sara completed her education and moved to Louisville for her first post-college job. We met at church and became very good friends, then best friends, and then we knew we would not want to live life without the other. We married and the following summer Nathan finished his degree work. In the fall we welcomed our first child, a son, into our family. The following year, we were blessed with our first daughter. Upon her arrival, Sara became a stay at home mother. Nathan took on his current position in the insurance industry. The next year, our family became a family of five when our second little girl was born. It was just after her birth that we moved from Louisville with Nathan’s job.
We have found that our family runs best when Sara is providing for the children as a stay-at-home mom. Nathan’s job allows for us to meet the needs of our family financially, while allowing Sara to stay home. Nathan has been with his current employer for more than 9 years. We are actively saving for the futures of the children by funding education savings accounts for each child. We are also investing in their future by providing them opportunities to learn sports, music, and various other skills by participating in extra-curricular pursuits. We live on the outskirts of town and we have 3 acres for the children to run and play. We are surrounded by neighbors with farms and there are many children on our street. We have a small dog named Lucy who loves the children and is a faithful companion as they play in the yard and neighborhood. We love to travel as a family and plan a larger vacation each year and several smaller weekend getaways during the year. We are blessed with large extended families on both sides of our family and there are many cousins to play with. We have four great grandparents and four grandparents who love and spoil the children along with 9 aunts and uncles. We spend a lot of time with our extended families throughout the holidays. The children are visited regularly by their grandparents and enjoy visits at their homes from time to time. Our extended family is excited about our decision to adopt and is ready to welcome your child into their lives.We are very involved with a church family and enjoy the friendship and kinship of that family in everyday ways. Our faith is a foundational part of our lives and we are daily pursuing a meaningful and devoted relationship with God. This is made easier with such an amazing church family. Our children are surrounded with friends from church and enjoy play dates, sleepovers, and many activities with these children. Our children are blessed with a diverse group of friends, some who have been adopted from different nations. Nathan is involved in the leadership of our church and Sara is active in the children’s education program. We feel very fortunate to know that this group of amazing people are actively supporting our children and our family. We want you to know that our family is strong. We are completely dedicated to our marriage and to our family. We adore our children and will count it great joy to love and adore your child as our own. We believe a strong family must spend time together and communicate with each other constantly. We enjoy spending our time together and encourage every person in our family to speak from their heart. We strive to listen fully as each person speaks. We make all efforts to have a balance of fun and laughter with work and discipline. We believe the greatest gifts we can give to our children are to love them unconditionally, allow them the opportunity to learn to be independent, and to challenge them to be their best and follow their dreams. We want each of our children to see the completion of the goals they set for themselves, and we will stand behind them with our encouragement and support.Please know that each day we will lift your name to God in prayer, thanking Him for the gift you are giving us. Your child will be our child and for that we will be eternally grateful. We will love him with all we have and will share with him what a gift you are. May the Lord bless you all your days, With our promise of love and devotion to your child, Nathan and Sara Jones


Dear Little One, This letter is to say hello to you and to introduce ourselves. We are Nathan and Sara Jones. We wanted to write you and tell you a little bit about our family and to share with you how important you are to us. Nathan is the Daddy. He is very tall and is very funny. Nathan works at a business that helps people after they have a car accident. He is at work through the days, but at night and on the weekends he is at home taking care of the yard, the house, and playing games with our family. Nathan loves to laugh and loves to play. Sara is the Mommy. She is not so tall and is very silly. Sara stays at home and takes care of the children. She teaches the children their school work. She cleans the house, reads books out loud and takes the children to the pool and to friend’s houses. Sara loves to tell stories and do crafts.There are three children who live at our house. Noah is 9, Macy is 8, and Molly is 6. They love to swim and play. They like to ride their bikes and read books. They like to play on the computer and sing and dance. Noah, Macy and Molly are very excited to meet you. They cannot wait to play with you.We have a little dog named Lucy. She is a very funny dog. She lays around and is lazy until a car drives by and she tries to run and chase the car. Lucy is very nice and likes children very much. Lucy likes to have her ears scratched. We live in a house out in the country. We have a very big yard where you can run and play. A few houses down from us there is a farmer who has cows. There is also a house that has horses.We are very excited to meet you. We would like for you to come and live with us at our house. We have a special place set up for you and want you to make it your own. We want you to be a part of our family. We want to love you and take care of you. We want to listen to what you want to become and then help you become that. We want to give you the opportunity to learn about our world, play sports and learn music. We want you to grow big and strong. We are here to give you the strength and discipline you need to make your dreams come true. As you become a part of our family we promise to love you forever and to do all we can to provide you with all that you need and a lot of what you want. We want to give you a lot of hugs and kisses. We want to laugh with you and give you a place where it is ok to cry. We want our home to be your home and our family to be your family.With all of our hearts, Nathan and Sara Jones

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Case of the Hurry Up and Waits

We are done. All the paperwork is in, the interviews have been done, and the inspections have passed. Now we wait. Our Caseworker (F.W.) says she will have two weeks to finish all her reports, then it will go to her supervisor, who will have a week to review and submit it to Frankfort (the State) to get their approval. Frankfort will then have 2 weeks to review our homestudy and file and then--we should be approved. FW says she does not see any reason this should not be the case. So we wait until apx. mid August for news.

We did learn the names of the boys and their birthdates. We received a bit more information about their situation, why they came in to care and issues the boys will face in their lives. We will be able to see their entire file after we are approved. So until then, we will sit and wait. And pray.

Lord, you are so good to us, and we feel your grace. We don't fully understand the love you have for us, but we recognize how good You are for it. Lord please be with us as we wait for all the paperwork to be completed. Help us spend this time focusing our hearts and minds on what you would have us to know. Lord please help us know if your will is for us to be parents to these little boys. Please be with these boys, hold them in your care, protect their hearts. If we are not meant for them, please bring them a family who will Love you first and then them entirely.

Thank you for wisdom, thank you for adopting us. Help us to extend the grace of our adoption to children in need. Be with Noah, Macy and Molly as they open their hearts to more siblings. Help Nate and I to be good parents to them.

Because of your son, we feel we can come to you and pray.
Amen

Monday, July 13, 2009

One more time

We have the second of our Homestudy sessions on Tuesday. It will be the last of the sessions. I think after this session, she has 2 weeks to get our reporting in to her supervisor and then we will be approved and ready to go! Very exciting!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

First Home Study

Our first homestudy visit went well. Our Case Worker came and had breakfast with us. I made my Grandmother's cinammon twists. We ate and chatted as a family, and then the children went upstairs to watch tv while we talked with her. She asked us mostly about our childhoods, our relationships with our extended families, how we met, how we would describe each other (Nate and I), our concerns about caring for kids, and we chatted about the situation with the boys she had mentioned. (I will write more about that later!) She then spoke with the children privately. She wanted to go ahead and schedule our next visit as quickly as possible. Looks like it will be on Tuesday evening. Everything with the house was fine. After this second visit she will have two weeks to get her report into her supervisor (Her supervisor was the second teacher in our classes.) and then we should be good to go. Things are going well. It seems to be going fast, but we are excited about that.

Prayer for the day,

Lord, I just praise you for your goodness. Thank you for being with us in this journey. We feel You around us and we are relying on you. You can make all things happen for your purposes. And for that we praise you.
Amen

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thursday

Thursday is the day to count down to this week. Our Case Worker will be here to inspect the house. We have been working on a bunch of projects this week to prepare for her visit. We have tried to be open minded to our home to decide what could be perceived as a danger for smaller children who do not know our house.

My dad will be thrilled that we finally installed the banister at the top of the first stair case. When we moved into this house there was a column up at the top of the steps. I felt it was more of a danger because if you touched it, it moved. I thought it would be safer to realize you needed to be careful than to have the false security of the column. But it has been repaired and I am glad it is taken care of.

We have a little left to do in the boys room to show we are ready for a new little one to come and live with us...mostly cosmetic, should be done tonight.

Nate and I went through all the medicines and threw out expired medicines and double checked our first aid kit. That is set and now behind closed and locked doors. We also cleared out the cleaning supplies. I will do the last thorough cleaning on Wednesday evening. All the cleaning supplies will then be locked up.

Ithink that is the key things to be done. Nate will get out in the yard tonight and make sure it is manicured and clear.

I am so excited to get this part past us. I am anxious to get the files to peek through...so much anticipation.

The prayer for the day..

Father God,

Your time and your wisdom is perfect. Give us the patience to wait on you. Please be with our home study this week and help us to be completely open to who we are so that you can work in us to your purposes. In the name of Jesus we pray,
Amen.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Classes, Paperwork, and Homestudy

It has been awhile since I have had the opportunity to sit and think long enough to write an entry on this blog. This past week we finished the MAPP classes and it was very profitable. Nathan and I had to drive seperately to all of these classes and I think it was good for me to have the alone time in the car to process all we learned, heard, felt in the class. I cried many nights on the way home and prayed a lot for wisdom and understanding. I really struggle with what these kids are going through. I struggle with feeling any compassion and grace toward the parents who are damaging these children in very profound ways. I feel so naive, and in that naivety so blessed to not know what these children are being taught. It really helps to convict my heart this journey is a righteous one and I can hardly wait to open our home and hearts to a child or children who need us. What I am learning each moment in this is I can hardly wait to open our home and hearts to a child or children because we need them.



Class #10 was very powerful. It was the open panel night. It was the night foster parents, adoptive parents, social workers and invited birth parents come to tell their story, answer questions, and give perspective of what it is to live in this life we are journeying to. In ways it is scary to hear their stories. They all have dealt with a lot. These kids are not going to be perfect little angel babies born into our families. These are children who will push the boundaries to see if we will walk out on them too. I think the most profound statement made to me was the statement made by the social worker. She was asked, "What is the hardest part of your job?" To which she began to sob and say, "When I have to look a child in the eye and tell them, I am sorry but you are never going to get to go back home." To imagine what that must feel like burdens my heart. It burdens my heart that my child, whom I have yet to meet is going to have to hear those words if he has not already.



Class #11 was a potluck and some final items. The last lesson of the night was about being prepared for what you can not be prepared for. One of the activities of the night was we had to write down 3 words we found offensive. All those words were placed in a basket and we each had to draw out a word. We had to say the word aloud. And then if you wrote the word you had to say "That's my word". The point is to be prepared to hear language from even the youngest of children who don't know better and to respond, not in shock or disgust, but in loving direction of what is appropriate and acceptable. In ways it was a bit humerous, in others ways a bit disgusting. But yet again, a bit of perspective.



We turned our paperwork in at class #11. It seemed a lot of work. Gathering information, trying to find answers to questions you scarecely think about. The teachers of our classes help put that into perspective by stating, "Think about what all you would want to know and share about your child if a stranger was to suddenly be their primary caretaker." Enough said.....



Part of our package was to provide pictures for children to look at if we were chosen to be their home. The pictures would help the child feel more comfortable with us and our spot in the world while waiting for us to come and get them. I got creative one night and decided to make a slideshow with music, because I thought it would be more intersting. If I can figure how to put it on here, I will.



Next Thursday, the 9th we have our first visit for our home study. I am pretty excited about getting the house set up for a new child. We will need to have a bed set up in Noah's room. When our caseworker set the time with us, she told us she would be bringing the file of two boys she would like us to think about---whoa....how exciting and completely terrifying. I forwarded the message on to Nate and he had the same reaction.....oh my that is fast, but man I am glad it is fast. So we have a lot of praying to do over the next couple of weeks and I have a lot of work to accomplish!



Well that brings us up to date. Please pray for us as we continue on this journey. Pray for our child who is not currently living with us now, please pray God fill his heart with peace and comfort while he is dealing with his current circumstances.

video

Lord God,

Please give us courage to face the unknown,

the love to open ourselves to a child in need,

the mercy and compassion we will need to love a stranger,

the hope that You are not only guiding the road, but created the road we are walking,

the wisdom to listen to Your direction,

and the faith You are with us in it all,

Because of Jesus we pray,

Amen