Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Training Day 2

“Thus has the LORD of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; 10 and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’ (Zech. 7:9-10)

Facts and Figures
Training Day 2 started out like any of my Saturdays with breakfast and glorious hope. This new journey of going after social justice and being everything that I was created to be was awakening passion once again in my life. Today in class we learned about attachments. It's amazing how without a correct attachment to an adult a child can become completely lost. Basically the attachment circle goes like this (Child feels a discomfort) --> (Child Expresses discomfort)---> (Parent comforts child -meets need)---> (Child feels comfortable) and the cycle continues. As a child continues to get their needs met they become more and more attached, trusting, and able to relax.

Many children in the foster system have an attachment disorder. Meaning that either from neglect or abuse they are unable to attach to a healthy adult. Bonding with a parent is so vital for children it helps them develop identity, worthiness, emotional intelligence, and many more important aspects that helps then develop into productive adults. The lack of secure attachment looks like: manipulative behavior, anxiety, authority problems, aggressiveness, hostility, poor peer relationships, poor self-esteem, and self isolation. Foster parents are told to do the following to help the child who is unattached gain some sort of healing, positive interactions, strong nurturing, allowing the child to grieve and mourn the loss of birth family, providing structure in the home. I think that we can all remember the media out pouring of stories of families who returned Russian orphans because of this exact issue. One of the most recent ones basically shut down the adoption to the United Sates from Russia ( to say the least this is a serious issue. The reason why so many not only Russian babies but babies all over the world have detachment disorders is because they are in orphanages that most of the time don't have enough staff and if they do it's under paid and over worked.

Below is a blog that I thought might stir some hearts out there.

This is one reason why I appreciate that we don't for the most part institutionalize our children. Even though there is significant bad press about the foster system and some see it as a bad word I think for the most part they try and put children in homes. This helps at least part of the time bond with humans and for the ones who get into homes that are so amazing and have such loving environments these kids get a chance to be the best version of themselves.

In this class they also went over what it looks like when a baby is on drugs or effected by alcohol. I won't get into all the details here because now we have google and all the information is available but I will talk about what I wasn't aware of before this class. First I had no idea that alcohol is actually more damaging than drugs. Why you may ask? Well apparently alcohol actually effects the genes of a child where it can permanently damage them and there's no cure. With drugs the infant usually takes several months, while painful and a horrible process to detox from any drug the infant could/can return to normal developmental milestones. Ways to help little ones who are detoxing is swaddling, low lights, soft sounds, and a lot of love. Now looking back on this class I'm glad that my story went the way it did. I was ready for a drug baby but I knew I couldn't handle an alcohol baby on my own. I would need a partner for that one. Many babies are put in the foster system because of drug abuse.

Tied into the drug use is birth mothers with mental problems. Those genetic tendencies can be passed down to a baby and if the mother is not diagnosed could pop up later. All of these factors go into understanding where your future child is coming from. The thing about this journey for me is I'm not picking my perfect child from a catalog. If I wanted to have a perfect child I could go through a private adoption agency and or adopt from a foreign country. Not to say children in other countries don't have problems when they come to parents. I find that the problems that make orphans in other countries is mainly poverty. In this country its abuse. Either or drugs, physical, sexual, or criminal. When considering the type of adoption you're looking for consider these different aspects. What I've found talking with parents who have adopted from here to Africa is that in the US comparatively it's easier to adopt domestically. Even my family who live in Argentina this it's a miracle that I can adopt as a single woman and so young too. There you have to be married to be able to adopt and I think even to foster. My aunt and uncle have adopted numerous kids from the foster system down there but they are a couple. I've heard of people in Europe waiting over 10 years to be approved to adopt.

All that to say I'm feeling so fortunate to be in a country where I can go after what God has placed in my heart. I can't imagine my life any different and when my story is written I want it to say she did all she could to fight for love. What kind of story do you want to leave?
Here's some recent statistics for children in foster care. It's possible that in our generation we could adopt all the orphans in the US.

Thoughts and Journal Entries
September 2010

I'm glad that in this class I'm getting to meet other single mothers. There are actually a number of us. Then you have the couples straight and gay. I've been enjoying getting to connect with other people who are about adoption. Though I realized for some couples this is their last chance at a family. I'm a bit of an odd duck out of water just because of my age. I still am bewildered at the favor on my life. How is this possible that I actually made it this far? More paperwork has come my way nothing I can't handle. Starting to wonder how all my finances will work out though. I work 3 days a week at an office and I don't know if I'll be able to bring the baby with me even though I work usually by myself. God will have to work it out. My desire is to be a stay at home mom but unless He provides in some crazy way I'm going to have to afford daycare which I really don't want to have to do. Come Jesus bring your creative solutions.
Having doubts? No not really just trying to figure out how everything is going to work out. I have to put locks on all the cupboard doors and make sure all the things that I need are in place. There's still a lot more work to do. Many days I'm so exhausted from everything how am I going to have energy for a little one? That's why I'm doing it while I'm young if I was any older I don't know if I could swing it single :) I know it will all work out it always does.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Training Day 1

"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom.
Luke 6:20

Facts and Figures
On September 11, 2010 I began my first foster to adopt class. The irony has not been lost on me. In fact there were many things going on that day. My fathers birthday is 9/11 and also that day there was a major city out reach involving our church and others to one of the poorest parks in L.A. Starting the journey of adoption on a day many regard as one of the most tragic days in history had a deep impact on me. God's timing is never off He weaves our story into a beautiful tapestry.
The first day of class we were asked a question. What would your fantasy child be/look like? The director made us all draw out what we thought of when we saw ourselves with a child. Many people drew happy pictures of happy families, children that were normal with normal histories/lives. I don't remember what I drew exactly but I knew that entering into this program I wasn't going to get a picture perfect child and I was looking forward to that. I had in mind a drug baby or one that was severely neglected because I knew that God was the equation that wasn't factored into the rest of everyone's mindset. I knew He could heal, repair, and rescue whatever came my way. After many people described their picture perfect child the director told everyone to tear up their pictures because that was not what we were going to be getting.
By definition children who are placed in foster care are victims of a crime. Think about that...these children have to go through something really tragic to end up in the custody of a stranger. That's a rough way to start your life, with a curse already labeled and declared over you.
There are 4 kinds of adoption: Foster Adoption, Traditional Adoption, Kin or Relative Adoption, and Foster Care. Foster Adoption is the program I'm in basically it's this, the child that is placed with you is a foster child until parental rights are terminated at which time that child becomes adoptable. Then when adoptable, you must still go through the process of adoption to finalize legal transference of parental rights. Meanwhile the child is in the "Foster Adoption" home. The deal with this program is that there is a real chance that the child that is placed in your home could be given back to their parents, relative, or family friend. Basically the foster parent is the last tier of people that the child goes through before landing in a permanent home.
The Traditional Adoption is self explanatory but basically it's where children are already adoptable and so there's just the adoption process that needs to be walked through. Kin or Relative Adoption is where if the parent of the child is unable to care for them then the courts look to relatives that maybe able to adopt the child, given they complete the paperwork and classes required of them. Then there's just Foster Care, which is temporary placement of a child. It is typical for foster parents to adopt children who have been with them some for many years however there are foster parents who don't keep the children that are placed with them. Usually children who are placed in foster homes wait for a couple years until the parental rights are terminated or they are given back to their parents. Then at that point they are either adopted or in the custody of their birth parents. The agency that I'm with doesn't believe in shuttling children around from home to home. They at most will move the child twice but do many checks to make the home as permanent as possible.
When we learned that we were not going to get placed with the "child of our dreams" I think that people in the class got more determined to love. It really comes down to that in the end. Other things that they talked about in the first class was what we all wanted. Some wanted older children others wanted infants. What I found interesting about this was that the director said that there was a great need for people to take in infants. The reason being was that older children were getting placed because they spent most of the day in school where as infants needed a lot more care so there weren't enough houses that could take in babies. That was such a shock to me because I figured that the opposite was true. We've heard for years that older children are shuffled around and need homes but you never hear about the infants. The reason that I wanted an infant was first because I love babies but second because the standard is that children 3 and older have to have their own bedroom. I live in a 2 bedroom apartment and I have a room mate so I needed to get a child that I could keep in my room with me. My bedroom is quiet large so a large crib, rocker, and full sized bed fit easily without it feeling cramped. The entire process from foster care to finished adoption is estimated to take about 2 years. People getting into this process have to realize that this isn't just a hop-skip and jump to having the adoption finalized. The Social Worker told me that it was good that it took a long time because if it didn't it would be easy for the government to take children away from their homes without due process. So while it seems at times to be a pain the process has a purpose and that purpose is re-unification. I will have a key below defining these terms so that you can understand what all these terms reference. Here's the basic breakdown to the court process:

The child is pulled from the home>within 48hrs a petition is filed on behalf of the child>there's an initial hearing the same day or the next court day.
15 days later there's a Jurisdiction hearing>10 days after that there's a disposition hearing (this is where they grant re-unification services 90% of the time the other 10% have their services denied.
If services are granted it means that the state will try everything to help the birth parents get their life on track so that they can get their child/children back. They will grant them drug treatment, supervised visitations (usually it's 3 times a week up to 2 hours a visit), job training ect. Whatever the parent needs to get their life on track to be able to support and raise a child. The judges of late have been granting these 3 times a week visits for 2 hours per visit on purpose because they want to parent to feel the burden of taking care of a child. If they can't make those meetings then how can they be a full time parent. That's the logic behind that, on the other hand the foster parent is required to make sure that the child is at the planned meetings. While the foster parent doesn't have to monitor the meetings they have to make sure to make the time available to the birth parents.
These services are granted for 6 months after which there's a court date to review the last 6 months if the birth parent has completed all that was required of them by the court and has proven that they can handle being a responsible adult or parent the court will move to bringing the child back into the birth parents home. If the parent has not shown any effort in trying to get their child/children back then the court can do one of 2 things. The judge can rule that the services be terminated and they are moving towards terminating parental rights or they can grant them 3-6 more months of services and give them a second chance.
Lets say that the re-unification services were terminated at this hearing, then the birth parent has 120 days to contest the court and process. Which means that if the birth parent files a petition then the child goes back into "foster care." If the birth parent doesn't file then the child is technically in a pre-adoption interim. Meaning that they are adoptable but won't be able to be adopted fully until the parental termination hearing happens. A 366.26 hearing is granted, which is code for the parental termination hearing. Once the date of that is set then the parents who want to adopt the child move towards that goal and fill the appropriate paperwork ect.
Once parental rights are terminated then the adoption process starts. There is no guarantees ever. There are no set time frames or standard outcomes, every case is different. Many things can happen along the way, all judges are different in how they see the cases and what they deem fair.
This whole journey for whoever goes through it is very emotional. There are very few rights given to the foster to adopt parents. The advice is to attend the later hearings to show your presence and to prove you really want this child. As a perspective parent being in the court room proves your dedication and it shows the court that you care about the future of this child. It makes the judge put a face to the name on the paper. While this process is so steeped in law, the reality of walking it out is so different, there are real people attached to all the legal paperwork.
Another thing I found interesting was that even if there's a safe surrendered baby or a mother who was willing to sign over parental rights they still had to go through a majority of this process. The birth parent could never show up to one court hearing and still get these services granted. There's so much to this process but it's so fascinating once you're inside of it to see how our Nation really fight for the best for our kids. I know the news really demonizes the system but really there are people who care and lay down their lives for this.

Below is a link to the flow chart of the court system:

Below is a link to Children's Bureau:

Key Terms to know:

Foster to Adopt- Child is still in foster care but the goal is adoption.

Birth parents- the parents who birthed the child in foster care

Re-unification services- Services granted by the court to help the birth parents get their lives on track to be able to reunify with their children.

Fast Track- Is usually applied to children 0-3 who are taken from birth parents, because of the circumstances of the case the court is only obligated to grant 6 months of services after that they move quickly to terminating parental rights.

Home study- A report written up by the social worker stating that the house that the child is placed in has met all the requirements. The report also includes a personal history of the foster to adopt parent.

Thoughts and Journal Entries
July 2010-September 2010

Emotionally it's been a roller coaster since deciding to move in on being a foster to adopt mom. My roommate that I lived in the same room with moved out in August giving me the green light to move ahead with my dream. How I'm going to financially survive this I don't know but God knows all my needs and this is His heart. So far I've filled out the paperwork and I had the first social worker visit the 10th of September right before my first class. She seems very nice I have a sneaky suspicion that she's a believer but they can't tell you that. The initial interview went well, she has to make 2 more visits and then she will finish my home study.
She looked around the apartment and told me the safety issues that I had to fix, hanging a mirror, decals on the glass door, safety locks for the cabinets, a hook for the blind cords, fire extinguisher, ect. Actually it's all doable I thought it was going to be a lot more. Some of my friends threw me a baby shower right after my first foster class. I got a lot of things but it's hard to know what I'm really going to need who knows how old she will be or what her exact needs are. I did get this amazing crib that has a changing table attached I'm so excited about it it's exactly what I wanted. It's awesome to have such support. I don't know how people truly feel about my journey but I do know that outwardly I'm getting a lot of support. This is what the Kingdom's about, being radical can look all sorts of ways but to me this is it. Not only learning to love but leaving a legacy of love.
The Lord keeps impressing on me that I'm getting a girl and I can't stop looking at pink everything. Passing the baby section in Target is not an option any more I have to stop and look. What will I need what will I be able to get? Every time I'm in the store I buy one baby thing to keep me motivated in moving forward with it. I know that it's going to be worth it in the end.
As I pray for this little one that's coming my way I just feel so much destiny on this child. She's a leader and so full of love and justice. Her life is going to be a testimony to many people and she's going to change history. Whether I have her forever or just get to care for her for a moment she's going to be marked by heaven, for encounter. It's truly not about me, it's about His story for her life and I get to just ride along. I'm truly humbled by the love of the Father for this little one that may not even be alive right now. Before she was even born He knew and predestined her for amazing is that?

Please leave comments or questions I would love to answer them. If you would like to support us on this journey there's a button at the top where you can donate. This blog is to educate the Body of Christ on adoption in the States and stir up people who are passionate about adoption to take action. Be inspired!

Friday, March 25, 2011

In the Beginning

"He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing." Deut. 10:18

Facts and Figures
The Foster care system in the U.S. is quite a unique system. While other nations have orphanages the U.S. focuses on putting children in actual families. The concept being that children function better when they have connection with parent type figures in their lives. While the foster care system is far from perfect there are amazing revelations that can be gained by understanding that God never intended for children to grow up without connection. We as humans were created to be connected into a family. It gives us identity, worth, values, boundaries, and most of all creates a platform of love where in we can full fill the fullness of who we were created to be. I've heard arguments for orphanages and I agree if done correctly it can be quite effective in creating community and strong individuals but for now I wanted to focus on what they States have chosen to do.
I believe with all my heart that God blesses America because we take care of the poor and the broken. I know our system is far from perfect and sometimes it just perpetrates poverty but as I've walked through this journey of being a foster/adopt parent I've seen how much support has been given to protecting and providing a place for these children. Below is a link that shares the history of foster care in the US. It's really interesting that the religious groups where the ones who initially thought of putting children into homes instead of keeping them in orphanages. Family is important and the States have made it possible for people even if they have a low income can have the opportunity to take a child in. Basically the government takes care of all the needs of the child so that the family focus on taking care of the emotional and connection needs of kid placed in their care.
I believe that the original mandate of taking care of the widow and the orphan was given to the Body of Christ but because we didn't step up and take it, the government did. While we know there's been a lot of corruption over the years we do know one thing our government was established on the Word of God. The States are blessed because it's stepped up where the Bride has not and now accesses the promises that are outlined in Isaiah 58. While many try to refuse the foundation of our nation the reality is is that it was founded on Christian beliefs. Yes we have separation of church and state but in reality the core beliefs of those who set up this nation were ones grounded in Biblical principles. That being said our nation is one that carries the foundation of justice, grace and mercy towards the poor and broken.
I want to inform the Church of what the government has set up not to criticize it but to stir up passion about how much more God has strategy to come along and build up the structure that's in place for taking care of the orphans in this nation. I'm coming across a lot of people who have no idea how the foster care system in the US works. Besides seeing headlines in the newspapers about how children die and are abused in the system there really hasn't been any good information out there of how agency's and the county lay down their lives for their jobs. So many of them are passionate about children in their care and make unseen sacrifices to get these children in healthy, safe homes. It's time to talk about the good side and sing the praises of the unseen heroes. I will talk about the problems but I want to bring hope to those who don't know anything but the negative side of the system. Check out the link below and get educated about the history of they Foster Care system in the US.

Thoughts and Journal Entries
March 2010-July 2010

I love the children of the nations. Being in Thailand in March just ruined me for the children all over the world. I know that it's not my time to go yet I still have so much to do in LA. I've been created to do the radical things of the Kingdom and yet I feel a deep quiet waiting within my Spirit. What is that? Why am I to stay in this city when I feel the pull of the nations on me so strong. I know that this city is desperate for the Spirit of Adoption. The level of broken and hurting people in this city is staggering. I feel Thailand was easier than LA in some ways but doesn't mean I love LA any less. People are who I'm called to so wherever there is people that's where I'm to be. In the secret place with the Lord 3 years ago He asked me if I would lay down music to be a foster mom. I couldn't answer Him in that moment but I knew what my answer would eventually be. The long and short of it is I want Him. The thing I long for above all else is the Heart of God.
What's in His heart? Many people are looking for the face of God, the hand of God, the favor of God, which are all amazing. Anything about God is incredible and worthy of being desired. I want His heart. I love doing the crazy stuff, praying for the sick, prophesying, preaching, teaching, doing the works of the Kingdom but something is missing...something that I've been meditating on that I don't know how to do is walk out what love looks like. I know many profess to know how to love but I suspect none of us really do. We still put conditions on it, we still define love as the world defines it. I want not only His heart but to learn what love looks like. The verse that runs through my head constantly is John 15:13 ,"Greater love has no man than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends,". Do we lay down our lives for each other? We aren't suppose to love like the world does. What does loving beyond comfort look like, laying down ones life for another? This is the journey I want. This is the legacy I want to leave to know Love, the person.
I had a vision today, I saw in the heart of God. Not surprising really I saw two things in His heart, the widow and the orphan. He holds them in His heart desiring as a father and husband to love, protect, and take care of all them. I want take care of what's in His heart. Bill Johnson said one time, " A servant only does what his master tells him but a friend does what's in the heart of a friend with out having to be asked." Did God ask me to be a foster to adopt mother not in so many words it is more like He showed me His heart and I knew that this is what I wanted to pour my life out doing. I've seen where the orphans and widows live around the world and I know that I can provide love to a child. God is our Father and He will provide. Am I scared? Maybe, but the love that I have for Him out weighs the fear I may have by choosing to be a single mother. Is this radical? Is this revival? I don't know I just know that I will lay down my life for Him no matter what it costs me.
I've kind of wrapped my head around the fact I've started my journey of being a mother. Initial paperwork is starting and I'm arranging my life to fit a baby. The Lord has told me that it's going to be a Hispanic, infant girl. I'm open to any race and who knows what I'll actually get but I just feel so strongly that she's coming. There's sooooo much destiny on this little girl my Spirit is already fighting for her. Some of these obstacles seem so huge, I need a new car, I need space in my apartment because I share a room with my roommate. I don't know how God is going to work out all these details but I'm taking a step into the unknown. I see a dark ravine and the Lord asking me to step into the seemingly bottomless darkness...I've been at this place before. Faith is spelled R-I-S-K. one great revivalist said once. Here I go just going to jump and pray God catches me...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Justice in the Kingdom

When we think of justice God style many of us instantly picture a violent angry God. This God that wants to punish us for being sinners but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Jesus died to satisfy that punishment. We are covered in the blood of Jesus and God doesn’t want to hurt us because that would make him a child abuser and that isn’t my God. Jesus took everything on himself that we would be justified before the Father. God see us and sees His son. So what does justice look like in the Kingdom after the cross?

Jennifer Toledo puts it this way, “ Justice is returning everything back to love.”

Love is the standard. When we see children who are in pain, poverty, abused, or used there is no love there. 1Cor. 13 gives a detailed list of what love looks like. Whether we are fighting the sex slave trade, slavery, child soldiers, child labor, or abuse of any sort there’s not love in any of that. Love and God are the same. God is love!

We think of the story of Sodom and Gammora as one where God destroyed the city because of their wickedness but Ezekiel 16:49 says this “ Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and the needy.” The reason wasn’t because of the sin of perversion but it was because they had so much and didn’t take care of the poor. It’s just so interesting that we as the body of Christ focus on the sins of adultery and perversion and we preach from the pulpit against these sins when many of us are in the sin of having excess and not taking care of the poor.

So what does it look like to take care of the poor what is the alignment back to love? Well Isaiah 58 really describes in detail what that looks like. The whole passage is so wonderful to meditate on but we will start with verse 6-

Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

Note that God doesn’t say go pay for them to have some fast food or your leftovers or even help them stay in a shelter somewhere else. God in this verse makes Justice an issue for our person. It’s a personal relationship with the poor and broken. Justice is getting low on the ground with those who don’t have homes or food it’s making everything that you have available to them. This is scary for many of us because we believe that we are entitled to the things that we have worked for. When in reality God is the one that “owns the cattle on a thousand hills.” Everything that we have is not ours it’s just instruments that God uses to bring His Kingdom on this earth. When we start making excuses for why we can’t give the best that we have to the poor and the broken we step out of the fullness that God has for us and we become selfish and miss out on the promises that are in the rest of Isaiah 58. We aren’t there in Love and it’s not an option to be selfish in the Kingdom because love is not about self it’s about laying down your life.

Love and Justice require and action. “ For God so loved the world that He gave His only son,”. Action requires us to move out of our comfort zones and face the reality that we aren’t called to be normal we are called to be radical. Whether that radical looks like jumping on a plane and flying half way across the world to rescue children from the sex slave trade or adopting from your country or participating in advocating for justice it’s our honor to be different than the world. Luke puts it this way in Luke 6:32 ,” If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.” We get the honor of learning how to surrender to Father’s love for everyone and learn how to lay down our lives for those around us. That’s what makes us different from the world that is what will draw all men to Jesus (John 12:32). “It’s the kindness of God that leads us to repentance.” (Romans 2:4) What does that mean for justice? When we in love move towards laying down our lives the kindness of God through our lives will be a testimony to those around us. Repentance means “changing the way we think.” People will begin to change the way they think and turn towards God.

This requires us to not just talk about it but be about it. It’s more powerful to live an example then preaching ideas of an example. This is my journey for the heart of God. What’s in the heart of God? What is it that moves God’s heart? I believe with all my being that it’s issues of injustice.

At the beginning of this journey I had a vision. I ask God to show me the inside of His heart. Instantly I was sucked into His heart and there in the middle were faces of orphans and widows. This was in His heart, the ones whose cries He heard night and day, orphans aren’t just children it’s anyone who doesn’t understand who they are in God. A fully loved and accepted child of the King of the Universe! People ask me, “Did God ask you to adopt?” to that my answer is, “Servants only do what they are asked to do, friends do what’s in the heart of a friend without having to be asked.” To me I felt like God gave me an invitation to take this journey it wasn’t a requirement by Him but it was a requirement in my heart. I just want the fullness of Jesus whatever it takes. I love what He loves and that brings justice from heaven to earth. The message of Love will always be unpopular to servants but to friends it’s being lead by the heart that makes the relationship worth it all.

Come with me as I walk out this journey of love….

The Journey Of Love

It begins with surrender. When I started the journey I didn’t know what the cost was. I didn’t know that it was going to be full of love and full of pain. Even though the story started when I was born I will only go back to 2007.

I’ve worked with children for years now and because I’ve traveled all over the world I’ve seen some of the poorest conditions where children live, survive, and some how push through the worst environments to take their breath. In 2007, while I was interning for a ministry that fights for justice amongst the orphans and widows of the world my heart started getting stirred for the orphans in the United States. While I know eventually I will be taking care of many orphans all over the world I knew that there were children right in my country that needed the arms and love that I had to give. While my circumstances where not optimal for a child over the years I started to settle more into what I was called to do in LA. At the beginning of 2010 my heart started getting stirred to passionately pursue the heart of God.

The heart of God is so different then the face of God. Many I know contend to see the face of God. Moses asked to see the face of God and he saw the goodness of God pass before him but David was a man after the heart of God. David a radical lover of God went through it all. As we read through the journey of David we see the path that he went on for the heart of God was one of trial, pain, joy, and complete reliance on the love of God. Going after the heart of God costs everything. Jesus highlighted the 2 most important things that we have to go after One, Love the Lord with everything in you. Two, is loving others as you love yourself. The greatest thing that a man can do is lay down his life for another. What does that even look like? Are we as the western bride aware of how we go after those two things that God as given as the highest values of the Kingdom?

Knowing this, at the beginning of 2010 I set my heart to learn how to pursue the heart of God. I knew that it would cost everything. I knew it would be uncomfortable, and could not be done in my own strength but walking out the journey is a lot different then saying you know. I just want all of His heart whatever it costs me. So…I decided to go after being a single foster to adopt mother. I decided to journal my journey because I know there are a lot of myths and lies that we can believe about this topic and there are families that don’t know that they can give a child love and create a life giving environment for a child who is not able to stay with their birth parents and that it’s not that hard. As I’ve gone through my process I actually been quite impressed with the amount of support is given to parents who want to do this program.

The United States doesn’t have orphanages like other countries they put these children in homes trying their best to create places where they are in family structures as much as possible. The assistant for parents with the programs that are available are phenomenal compared to the rest of the world which, have no assistance for children or don’t even care about their abandoned children. I’m so proud to live in a country that over all doesn’t partner with the orphan spirit. Where we get to take our children and put them in home environments where at least they are fed and don’t have to prostitute themselves out just to be able to eat. I’m not saying there aren’t problems within the system and someday I’d love to be able to work at a governmental level developing policy that would greatly benefit the structure of care for foster children but we are doing a lot better then other countries.

Through out this blog I’m going to bring in statistics and current data about children in the system and break some of the lies out there about foster children and what they are really like. I even may go into what they taught us in the classes because I believe it will help to understand the benefits of what we are doing in this country for our children. Many people don’t adopt from the US because they believe something that isn’t true and I would like to bring some education to the matter. I strongly believe in education because of the awakening that happens when people understand what the truth is.

Please follow me through this journey and leave comments telling me your stories through being a parent or a child that has gone through the system.