VerseFacts and Figures
Vindicate the weak and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.
Vindicate the weak and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.
In this months blog I want to talk about how our media portrays the foster system. Below is a link of an article written last year about an incident that happened to a child in the foster system here in Los Angeles:
When I first read this article I had a myriad of emotions. There is such power in the media to bring emotions to the surface that you might not have known you had. First emotion anger and being sick to my stomach (I don't think that's an emotion but you know what I mean). Anger towards whom? the system? the parents? the judge? who knows maybe all of them. I thought man these people are idiots who would have let this child go back into a situation like that?
If I'm a part of the system and I think that I can only imagine what people think who aren't a part of the system. You read articles like this one and think the system is systematically putting these children back into their birth homes without doing do dilligence on behalf of the child. I don't believe that's true. I know I went through an agency which I feel makes a difference but really the social workers work very hard and the judges make decision based on the information that's handed to them. If the birth parents followed the plan then they earned the right to get their children back.
Is it right this baby died? No. Where there signs that should have been considered? I think that it's hard when you have to follow the letter of the law. The parents did what they were suppose to to get their children back but the feeling or discernment of people around them was there was no way these people should be parents.
Back to commenting on media, I feel still that there is such a mass slaughter of the foster care system in general in the media. When I first thought of foster care I thought about all the stories I had heard of children dying and being mistreated. Now that I'm in it I don't think that it's that black and white. There are amazing stories like ours that gives me hope that this broken system can work and when it doesn't work the powers that be are working on making it work. Where are the hundreds and thousands of successful stories of these kids going off to be amazing grown up people being successful productive members of society?
I understand that there are media pieces on successful adoption stories but I truly believe that this portrayal of the foster system being such a mess isn't helping. Who wants to be a foster parent when your idea of a foster parent is Mrs. Hannigan (Annie reference)? I was scared of that idea of being in a circle of other foster parents who I didn't seem to have all their faculties together. Then I met some of the most amazing foster parents who risk everything for these kids and fight tooth and nail to get these children the best care they can. I realized that my mind had put together this picture that was not accurate. I came with the mindset that I was rescuing the system when in reality I was joining an already made army of people who deeply care about these kids. Really, I wanted to be in the system to see the problems and try and bring solutions but there are so many amazing people who already are fighting for solutions. It's been truly an honor to stand with other parents, social workers, and lawyers and hear their stories and see their journey however difficult it maybe.
Our words have power, media has power. Whatever is spoken, declared, or written becomes a prophecy of sorts. When we keep declaring the failure of an organization that is taking in our children in need the eventuality of it I believe is failure. But as we start declaring the beauty of every story of victory either ones of redemption or adoption we begin to see the emergence of a beautiful structure that carries the heart of a good father who takes care of his children and loves them into their dreams being fulfilled.
What will your story be? We are all adopted in our lives somehow, whether into a community, a family, a work place, a tribe, or a church. Will we let media form the ideas and concepts of something we don't have personal experience with or will we be seekers of truth and begin our own journey? There is always more to the story how about going and finding it!
Thoughts and Journal Entries
In my last blog I forgot to mention that since having Bella I have forgotten to do anything for myself. Buying clothing for myself especially of late has not been on my priority list. Even thinking about hauling Bella around a store while I try on clothing I can't afford causes me exhaustion but God heard the cry of my heart for new clothing and one of my best friends over thanksgiving bought me some sweaters and then my sister for Christmas practically bought me a whole new wardrobe. The wonders of heaven never cease! For me I think why doesn't God pay for something I need, instead He gives me something I want. It's the Father's good pleasure to give good gifts to His children!
Like I do every year I had a date with God. I sat down in prayer and reviewed my last year with the Lord and then asked Him what I would see this year. As I was in prayer I had been burdened by the fact that I felt the grace for living in LA was up. I asked the Lord where I was going to be this year and instead of Him saying LA I didn't hear anything. My heart had really longed to move back to Redding but I wanted His best and didn't want to move back to something comfortable just because. I needed something so clear so I asked Him for a scripture. Genesis 31 popped into my head, mind you I had no idea about what was in that chapter but I turned to is and burst into tears. Right there was my confirmation to move back to Redding. So as I continued my conversation with God He told me that this was my promise land year and because I was born 2/12 and it was 2012 there was going to be many surprises lined up for me :) I asked Him when I was going to be able to move and I heard June but that's really going to have to be God because I can't move until the adoption is finalized.
When we got back to LA after holiday break we did some work off and on for different people I was still working in the office but I knew that that job was about to be over it was too hard having Bella in the office with me crawling around. The Lord had told me I was there for other reasons and I've been ministering to my boss in such a way where I can see God is softening his heart. Yeah for people coming into relationship with the amazing One!
A couple weeks into this month Bella and I both caught a horrible bug. She started puking at noon and didn't stop till 5pm I started at 11pm and didn't stop till 6 am. It was horrible I could barely walk or lift her out of the crib. My roommate was out of town and being all alone was so horrible. I was dying for some Sprite after puking for so many hours that at 7 am I finally texted a friend to see if they would get me some luckily they did. Then I texted someone else later to see if they would watch the baby while I took a nap. After an hour or so nap I felt good enough to once again take over my mothering duties but boy let me tell you being sick like that with no help was so hard. The bug only lasted 5 hours or so and then we recovered for a day and felt better. The bug spread to all our little friends however and I heard about people everywhere getting it it was so weird I had no idea what it was but it was nasty.
We had a pretty big breakthrough this month. When we got back from vacation the county social worker who now is a new social worker handed me a letter that Bellas birth mother had written to me. I was so nervous never having met the woman I didn't know what to expect. She wrote a really nice letter she said she wasn't going to file an appeal and she was giving Bella to me. She also asked if I would take some of her other children which broke my heart. I wish I could but really there's no way at this point. The letter was such a rarity that my agency social worker asked if she could have a copy I said sure and now they use it as an example in training sessions. I wrote birth mother back keeping our identity a secret but knowing that Bella would need a letter from her in the future I asked her to write Bella a letter and send a picture. Favor is dripping all over this process. I'm breathing slightly easier now even though I know it's not over yet.
I can't believe that Bella is almost 1 it's so crazy to me! She's grown so much that it's been fascinating to watch her change. Her personality is coming to the surface and I know that she's going to be a leader with all her stubborn moments. Everyday I look at her and think wow I can't believe God gave me such an amazing child. The honor and reality of what it means to steward her and teach her the way of the Lord it really not lost on me. We are getting closer to the end of this journey and I know that God has been so present in every step it's absolutely amazing!
If any of my readers out there have questions you would like me to answer please leave a comment I would like to make sure that I'm covering topics people are interested in or information that is important. Thank you for sharing in our journey!
|Working in the office mommy|
|Such a sick baby just threw up everywhere|
|Look at me I'm the chair boss|