Monday, June 23, 2008

Applying MAPP training to real life

There is a family in our church that does foster care. They are on vacation this week and needed someone that has been CORI'ed by the state to watch a couple of their foster children. (This is known as respite care.) Since I have been CORI'ed and have completed the MAPP training (and with my social worker's approval), I was able to help them out. As I have been getting to know these two precious little boys, I am amazed that so many of the things we learned in MAPP training apply to them. The first thing I noticed is that the oldest one has been "parentified". His brother always asks him questions before he'll ask me. When the younger one doesn't know how to do something, the older one steps right in to show him how to do it or does it for him. The younger one won't get out of bed in the mornings until his brother tells him it's okay...even after I try to coax him out. Secondly, despite the older one being parentified, they are both emotionally very young.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Getting ready

Now that MAPP training is done and the home study will be completed in a few weeks, I need to prepare the apartment for placement before the craziness of my summer begins. Here's the preliminary "to do" list:

1) Move the desktop computer out of the "kids' room" into a public area
2) Get beds and dressers
3) Make room in the closets (a daunting task!)

I know there will be more to do...most of which I will not be able to do until I know who the child is (or children are).

I can't wait to meet him/her/them!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

MAPP graduation

I officially completed MAPP training!

I received my certificate from MAPP trainers, Deb and Sharon, tonight. My social worker will have the home study done in 6 weeks (or less).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Legal mumbo-jumbo

Tonight, one of the DSS attorneys spoke to us about the legal part of this journey. There is so much that has to take place for an adoption to be finalized. There is so much to take into consideration...legally free, legal risk, open adoption, closed adoption,, legal, legal.

Things I learned...
1) Once a child is in my care AND is legally free for adoption, the child has to reside with me for at least 6 months before the adoption can be finalized.

2) Open adoptions can be negotiated to help birth parents make the decision to sever parental rights. It can be used like a settlement to avoid the final ruling by a trial judge. As in any court case, the "deal" may be placed on the table at any time and a decision will need to be made quickly.

3) Open adoption scenarios can run the gamut from the adoptive parent sending a picture and an update to the birth parents on an annual basis to the child and birth parents having supervised visits 3-4 times per year.

Please pray for God's wisdom when the time comes to make these legal decisions.

Monday, June 9, 2008

"One slightly negative thing"

My social worker came last Wednesday for the second home visit. Praise God, I felt much more comfortable this time around.

During our time together, she explained that there is only one slightly negative thing that could make this process longer -- the fact that I'm single. This was not news to me...the first social worker that came to do the physical standards visit said this could take two or more years because I'm single. However, my social worker said that this negative was not a reflection on me, but on the bias of some social workers that want a "traditional" family for the children in their care. She reassured me that she did not think that the waiting part of this journey would take two years.

Anyway, I gathered from our conversation that I will not be "screened out" at the end of the training!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Overwhelmed with gratitude

I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, encouragement and support that I have received since I shared how God is leading me on this adoption journey.

During the MAPP training last night, I was able to share several stories of how encouraging and supportive everyone has been. After the meeting, one of the guys told me he was relieved to hear that people from my church supported me in this journey. He was worried that a single woman adopting a child would be frowned upon in the church and that I might even lose my job because of it. He explained that in his previous church, they never would have supported such a thing. I have to admit that I was shocked by that statement. I am so thankful that "my church" is not like that!

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress" (James 1:27a)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A precious gift

This simple birthday gift meant the world to me...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Pray for this child

Please pray with me for this child...

Dear Lord,

At this time, I do not know who this child is, but I know You do. I praise You because this child is fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

I don't know when I will meet this child, but I know that all the days ordained for this child were written in Your book before one of them came to be. Prepare this child's heart for the day when we will meet.

I don't know where this child is right now, but You saw this child in the womb. This child's frame was not hidden from You when made in the secret place.

I have no idea what this child has lived through or why this child is in the care of DSS. However, I trust that Your plans for this child are plans to prosper and not to harm, plans to give hope and a future. Hem this child in - behind and before - with Your love and protection. Keep this child safe.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

from Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 29

Pray for me

Please pray for me as God leads you...

On May 1st, I went up to the North Shore to spend the day with God. Here is an excerpt from my prayer journal:

Father God,

There are so many thoughts and feelings all jumbled up inside of me regarding adoption. I am excited ~ about this child you have prepared for me, to be a mom, to help a child, to share Your love. I am also nervous ~ about our first encounter, about my ability to care for this child and his/her needs, about the changes that will come (cause You know how good I am with change). God, I need Your guidance and wisdom.

Please pray that God would guide every step of this journey and that I will trust Him all the way. Also, please pray that I would be salt and light in the MAPP class.

God is in the details

When I told my friend, Susan, about the adoption, she shared how she had been talking to someone else about me and adoption. Here is a part of an email she recently sent to me...

As I mentioned to you, I've prayed for a long time about adoption for you because I just knew how desperately you wanted a child. I feel like though you never told me, God had already shown me that part of you.

I love how God moves in the hearts of His people to pray! I love how He answers those prayers!