Monday, November 5, 2012

Quick Catchup: We're foster parents and have 6 kids!

0

I think God snickers when we buy into his plan thinking at a manageable level. Like, "sure, God. We can take a kid into our family and show him or her your love."

I think Christa and I have said it a few times in the month and a half since we became a family of 8: We never planned on having 6 kids! But it is one of the best things that has ever happened to our family.

We get accolades at this level. Case managers thank us. Complete strangers bless us as if we are saints. But I want everyone to know: these kids have brought our family so much joy!

I used to think having 6 kids was crazy. OK. I still do. But I used to think it is beyond our abilities. I guess it is. God has grow us into this!

It has come with many adjustments but it is exciting to see how far God has brought us.

I don't sweat like a 400lbs dude doing a pushup when we take the kids out anymore.

Thanks to a $75 trip to the salvage yard, we now have an 8 passenger van.

My wife is now super laundry woman.

We sleep a little more at night. Could be more!

Our home is overflowing with both affection and irresistible cuteness.

We don't feel so awkward as people stare at us when we go out into public. Though they still do!

So I think we're doing ok!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Our (Adoption) Foster Parenting Journey - Part 5

0
Part 1 - 143 Million
Part 2 - 2AM Conversation
Part 3 - I thought this would be easier
Part 4 - Adoption Placement Staffing Match? 

Sometimes we start something noble with overwhelming excitement. At some point we realize that what we started enthusiastically, turns out to be a lot more difficult than we had first anticipated.
Looking forward from the starting point, doing something big has an adventurous draw. We imagine all sorts of perfect scenarios involving us completing what we started and  becoming some sort of a hero. Then reality happens. And we are faced with a choice: Give up because it isn't easy, or  move forward, accepting the high cost of the journey and expecting no heroic medals.


"11 Now you should carry this project through to completion just as enthusiastically as you began it..." 2 Corinthians 8:11 NLT


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Our Adoption Journey - Adoption Placement Staffing Match? - Part 4

0
Part 1 - 143 Million
Part 2 - 2AM Conversation
Part 3 - I thought this would be easier
Part 4 - Adoption Placement Staffing Match? 
Part 5 - Foster Parents

The events of this post occurred several months ago. I've had trouble putting some of this into words as this next part of our adoption journey is the toughest yet.

Christa continued to pray her prayer: "God, if you want us to adopt, please move this forward in a way that is unmistakably your hand at work."

About four weeks after Christa started praying, a friend of ours from church introduced us to a friend of hers who was foster parenting a sibling set of two beautiful children under 5. *Jonathan was older and *Emma younger (names have been changed to protect their privacy).

Before meeting them for the first time, we promised each other that we would stay objective about the children. After all, before now, we had never considered adopting two children at the same time!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Our Adoption Story - Part 3 - I thought this would be easier

0
Part 1 - 143 Million
Part 2 - 2AM Conversation
Part 3 - I thought this would be easier
Part 4 - Adoption Placement Staffing Match?  
Part 5 - Foster Parents 

After attending the 30 hour MAPP class requirement for prospective adoptive and foster care families, we had our "home study" in hand and ready to welcome a new child into our home. We were told a finalized adoption could take anywhere from a few months to a few years. But we would be different... right?

We scoured the Heart Gallery websites for children that might be a good fit for our family. We spent hours looking into the eyes of beautiful children posted online. We would read and reread the descriptions, trying to guess from cryptic cues, "Is this the one?"

At times it felt like we were bidding on an eBay auction. I struggled with this at first, wishing that there was a better way to find the child/children meant for our family without it seeming like online shopping. In addition to being a pastor, I'm also a website designer. I knew that this method created incredible visibility for children waiting to be discovered by their adoptive family.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Theology of Alcohol in the Bible

2
Tomorrow, I will teach a sermon entitled, "Sober or Wasted". The sermon will focus primarily on the value of living life in the joy of sobriety instead of under the oppressive influence of drunkenness from alcohol, or high-ness from illegal drugs or illegitimate prescription drugs.

This topic is so important -not because it is a controversial topic that tickles ears, but because if I don't teach about it I'm leaving something out. Not only does the Scripture speak often of alcohol but our families, jobs and our present awareness of God's influence in our lives is influenced in part by how we interact with alcohol.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Take Time for Healing

0
The Red Trail on the St. Sebastian Buffer Preserve in Fellsmere
I went for a hike this morning in the St. Sebastian Buffer Preserve. There is something about that place that heals me. I had been listening to my iPod for a few minutes, but allowed myself to be distracted by the birds singing and the frogs croaking (this is Fellsmere after all). After pausing my iPod, I found myself in a moment of renewed perspective. As I looked around I couldn't see any power lines. I couldn't hear any cars whizzing by. Just me and 21 thousand acres of trees blowing gently in the breeze, deer frolicking in the puddles and armadillo rooting for a meal.

I could almost feel that place breathing new life into me as I walked along the trail. It was as though God had brought me out there to pour back into me what had been depleted by my busy schedule, taking myself too seriously and trying to solve problems in my head that weren't even likely to occur in reality.

I must have looked like a happy idiot, smiling widely as I walked along in the middle of the woods. I thanked God for the reminder that I have to take time for healing. I have to leave my routine and abandoned my aggressive to-do and allow God to replenish me from the inside out.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mailbag: How to deal with X-Wife or X-Husband & Children Betwixt

0
When I give advice in areas like these I always like to start with my disclaimer...

I'm a pastor- not a psychologist so my answer will be derived from my experiences as a follower of Christ and from my understanding of the Scripture. I'm also only 30 so if you want sage advice you'll probably be disappointed. I'm just figuring out life along with most of the rest of the people on this planet. Also, this advice is not valid in the state of Oregon. Why? I dunno... I got carried away writing my disclaimer. "Ahem..." The topic at hand:

I grew up in a home where my mom and dad were great examples of a great husband and wife. However, in spite of my parent's picture-perfect marriage, I've noticed a few things about X's while simply  existing on this planet for the last 30 years: