Saturday, April 27, 2013

I don't know how to put this's kind of a big deal.

A BIRTH MOM CHOSE US!!! We are having a baby BOY!

This is our surprised face. Yes, I have dark circles under my eyes.

I am told her words were:

"I choose Jenny, Aidan and Ella Mae to raise my baby."

Wow. I am still very much in shock. 

What a wild ride it as been. When we started the adoption process we were hoping to bring home a 3 or 4 year old child with Down syndrome from China. God almost immediately showed me that He had different plans!

Soon after starting that process, we found out about a local newborn boy who had Down syndrome and might need a family. While seeking to serve in any way possible in that situation, God showed me that He wanted me to go through the process to become a licensed Foster Parent. I also felt His leading to register with the National Down Syndrome Adoption Network. I wanted to be obedient so I did it, but I would have NEVER imagined anything would come of it! Who would EVER choose a single mom out of the HUNDREDS of "whole" families in the network?!?!?

The local baby ended up being able to stay with his family, but I continued to follow through with what God said and completed the classes to become a Foster Parent. VERY soon after I finished, I got a call from the National Down Syndrome Adoption Network that a birth mom in Texas had chosen US!

This story started with a newborn boy with Down syndrome, and it looks like it will end with one…God's perfect plan in HIS perfect timing!

So what now?

Well, I have spent the last 10 ish days filling out a whole bunch of paperwork. On Monday I will do the first interview in my home study process.Once all of the paperwork is done, we just wait for the call that it is time for the little guy to be born, likely the end of  JUNE!

The birth mom originally wanted a closed adoption, but has since decided she wanted to have contact with me. Communicating with this mom has been by far THE most humbling experience of my LIFE. She does want us to be there when he comes, so we are just hustling to get all of our little ducks in a row to be ready by then!

What can you do to help?

I am so glad you asked :-) Obviously I have been moving full speed ahead in the Foster Care direction, so I have pretty much all the baby "stuff" I will need, but I have done NOTHING in the way of fundraising. Did I mention I am in shock? :-) So the main need we have right now is simply funds to pay for the process, agency fees, travel to Texas etc.

There are 2 ways you can pitch in:

We would be honored for you to be part of our FIG family!
1. You can make a tax deductible donation to our FIG (Family in the Gap) account via Project Hopeful. No amount is too small. We would be honored for you to be a part of bringing our little guy home!

2. Make a purchase from my Noonday show! I will be having an in person show with a few friends soon, but you can purchase online via this link:

Be sure to put my name in the Customer Note field (right under billing address).

I am admittedly a very, very, very cheap person....BUT...I LOVE Noonday. Purchasing and wearing something that you know allows another woman to keep her family together and provide for them. I think helping a mom to keep and feed her child is a really great reason to spend a little more than normal on a piece of jewelry....and it makes you feel really good when you wear it!

 Our passion at Noonday Collection is to connect you with the lives of artisans struggling for a better future while styling you along the way. Fashion and design are a vehicle for opportunity and change. You, too, can be a voice for the oppressed! Every Noonday Collection piece has a story behind it...a story of the artisan who makes it being provided with a pathway out of poverty and given an opportunity to provide for their family. Many of our pieces are named for the artisans and their children.At Noonday Collection, we also believe every child belongs in a family.
We also would love it if you would all pray for us! This is going to be an adventure to say the least, but it feels AMAZING to do this knowing that we are right in the center of God's will!
Jenny, Aidan & Ella Mae

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I just couldn't give them back. Thoughts on foster care.

"I would LOVE to do Foster Care, but I just don't think I could give them back."

If I had a nickel.

Imagine with me for a moment:

Imagine you and your husband (or boyfriend, or friend) are cooking in the kitchen. He spins around to put something in the sink and accidentally nails your child right in the eye with his elbow. Child falls backwards and hits her head on the corner of the cabinet. Ouchie. You take a trip to the ER. Child checks out fine, but a social worker has to talk to the family about the "incident" because it is protocol.

A few weeks later you are on your way home from work and you get pulled over. You have an expired tag ticket from years ago you forgot to pay. And you were speeding. Woops.

What if (we are imagining with me), you get taken to jail. What if your husband (boyfriend, friend) is out of town on business. You have no family in town. Babysitter has to go home. Kids have no where to go DHR is called. 

I know this is a big stretch on normal events, but my point is very simple:

IF something happened to YOU and YOUR CHILD was placed in Foster Care for some crazy reason, whether it be for an hour, a day, or a week, who would you want to be caring for your child while you couldn't? 

AND......would you hope that they would be willing to give YOUR CHILD BACK?

Not one of us is immune to the effects of this fallen world. "But by the grace of God go I" is what keeps playing over and over in my head.

Giving a child back that has been in my care for a hour, much less a year or more..................... IS GOING TO BE HARD. 

But, when did we decide that God doesn't call us to do the hard? 

Quite the opposite if you look at scripture. To be Jesus to a child, whether it be for a day or a year or forever. The opportunity to pour love in to a child who has never experienced the love of Jesus. A child who may never again experience the loves Jesus. It is life changing stuff people. It can be eternity changing. Just think about that.

So then why doesn't the church do it?

Why don't you do it? 

It doesn't cost a dime to get started. You simply attend classes that will teach you more than you thought you could learn about Foster Care. Once you have completed the training you are not obligated to anything. You can move forward or decide to wait a while. You can do respite care for Foster families (a huge need). There are so many ways you can help. Contact Alabama Baptist Children's Homes to learn more.

The need is great and the CHURCH should be meeting it. We are not.

"It's too hard" is not a good excuse.

If God is tugging at your heart strings, I suggest you just take one tiny step toward may not be easy, but I promise it will be worth it!