Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I wanted to "update" and say that- yes...this is still happening.
Unfortunately there is no real update. We are without any information...all this time.
I've certainly been wrestling with God about the wait. Thankfully He's teaching me about His timing, and hanging on to Hope when the physical is not quite what I expected or wanted- honestly.
I wanted to clarify some things that I've gotten a lot of questions about;
*The reason we have to find a 5BR House:
Honestly I would live in a 3 BR, but there are rules when you do foster care.
Only 2 siblings can share a room. Male and female cannot share when over the age of 5. Adult cannot share with child (even in the case of siblings).
So the rooms are as follows...
1- Matt and I
2- Belise (adult sister)
3- Fiston (only boy and 15)
4- Ornela and Chance (14 and 12)
5- Lydie and Kerene (8 and 5)
*We have no contact with the kids. We have never seen any pictures. There are no pictures. We have about a paragraph of info on each child. We will meet them at the airport.
*We cannot act on a house until we get the notice that they are coming. We will probably only have 2 or 3 weeks when we get the notice until they actually arrive to find the house and move everything in.
*We do not know their sizes for clothes. We were told they will probably be a year younger in size.
We are still very excited and struggling with the wait- but trusting God. We consistently ask God if this is what He wants for our life and feel daily confirmation that it is.
A little update on me that might be encouraging to you-
I really thought the kids would be here in the summer. I decided at the beginning of summer that I would finish my work commitment out and then be able to stay at home with the kids in the fall. I made sure I could take off 2 weeks to be with them during the summer whenever they arrived. Then, they didn't come. At the end of summer I started worrying. I didn't have a job lined up for the fall. My boss asked me if I wanted to commit and get something lined up. I asked God what to do. He said, "Don't panic. Leave space for me to provide." So I said no- I didn't want to commit and then have the kids arrive. And I didn't want to be working and not be there for them as much as possible. I did start panicking a little, and kept asking God- "why did you have me do that? What am I supposed to do now?" When the summer was over- my work asked me to stay on for an entire week to help do cleaning and organizing for the school year. The next 2 weeks I was needed as a sub. The week after that I subbed 3 out of 5 days. On top of all of that consistent work, I picked up more jobs. Everything I do is temporary right now. It's mostly sub/event basis. And God has used it to provide to the full extent. I have been so fulfilled that I have had to turn not only 1- but many things down. I have been able to make choices about what I want to do. I am so amazed at how God always provides. Matt and I continue to decide not to worry - and to replace that with relying on God for our needs. When I act as though it's me to fix things and make sure everything is safe and secure- I make an idol out of myself. I don't leave space for God to show off. I'm not saying that we should spend money immaturely and not plan. I'm saying that God expects us to be good stewards of what He has provided- but to remember that it comes from Him. Anyways- just something that we are learning.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
We have picked verses for our family!
I had this idea to pick a verse for everyone- but how overwhelming to pick a theme verse intentionally for kids that will be my own- and I've never even met them. So we did research into what their names mean. Then we had an idea to go through the bible and pick characters that represent that meaning. Then we picked verses that are specific to that character that will be encouraging to each of them in times of need. Mine is the only exception. There is no real verse for my character, so I picked a Psalm specific to my meaning. It's a cool story, but I will have to write about it later.
The kids are on medical hold- meaning they are in the last part of the process. There's no sense of any timeline and no details as to where they are at in that last part of the process. Still waiting...
Family: Joshua 24:15
“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."”
Matt- Gift of God-- Matthew
Matthew 9:9 “Passing along, Jesus saw a man at his work collecting taxes. His name was Matthew. Jesus said, "Come along with me." Matthew stood up and followed him.”
Melissa- Honeybee- Pharoah’s sister (Moses’ mom)
Psalm 68:6 “God places the lonely in families;
he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.”
Esther 4:14b “Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Fiston –Sonny - Timothy
1 Timothy 6:11-12a “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith.”
Ornela – Blooming Ash Tree- Ruth
Ruth 1:16b “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.”
Chance –Favored- Hannah
1 Samuel 2:1 “My heart rejoices in the Lord! The Lord has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me.
Lydie –Noble- Lydia
Acts 16:15b “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and abide there.” And she urged us until we agreed.
Kerene – Glorious Dignity- Mary mother of Jesus
Luke 1:46-47, 49 “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name.”
Monday, August 15, 2011
3 particular persons stand out in our journey this week
I revel in the sovereignty of our Lord and His specific provision
I have been so stirred by the people who have come forward over these last months to share that they have been following our new pursuits and endeavors
it propels me forward to know that the Lord spreads Hope and Passion so easily, almost in a contagious way, and across so many miles
Thank you for your emails! For your Faith! For your desire to partner with us!
May our Father overwhelm you with boundless blessings!
Through these people, God has provided more and more of our needs;
· bedding!!! for 6 twin size beds
· school supplies (scissors, markers, crayons, pencils, pencil sharpeners, glue, pens, erasers, colored pencils, folders, notebooks)
· more to come in a few weeks
(The website has been updated concerning our needs' list)
We have no recent developments on their arrival, but we continue to prepare our hearts and cross off our share of logistics as we continue to wait
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
It still has it's share of kinks, but you can check it out here
We got some free book shelves off craigslist this week, and were also blessed with some more specific items that were a part of my original vision for the house. Praise God!
Also, we had another meeting with one of the lead's on the team this morning, scheduled a training, doing our health screenings and TB shots tomorrow, I'm getting my CPR and First Aid tomorrow...
Please pray for patience this week as Matt and I feel we are reaching a new challenging level with summer coming to an end.
You can check out more prayer requests on the website, as well as specific physical needs. Thank you!!!
Sunday, July 31, 2011
We have looked at a few houses in Redwood City now that could work if the stars aligned, and one in particular is pulling on our hearts. Who knows what You want and have for us, Lord! Please pray into that.
Also, the meaning of our kids' names follow below.
Ornela (Blooming Ash Tree)
Kerene (Glorious Dignity)
We are continuously excited for all of the opportunities that keep coming our way through this huge God sized dream. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have my stone refined by the Lord.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
In the meantime Mel and I are finding new ways to keep this a reality in our everyday lives. I would love if you joined one of us in a schedule of prayer.
Monday: Matt: Belise (21) Melissa: Kerene (5)
Tuesday: Matt: Fiston (15) Melissa: Lydie (8)
Wednesday: Matt: Ornela (14) Melissa: Chance (12)
Thursday: Matt: Chance (12) Melissa: Ornela (14)
Friday: Matt: Lydie (8) Melissa: Fiston (15)
Saturday: Matt: Kerene (5) Melissa: Belise (21)
Sunday: Both: Family Unity (marriage, kids, Gambit)
A little bit of an update on our home search. After speaking with our social worker we now realize that tying to convert a garage or a dining room into a fifth bedroom will be too complicated to make sure it would all be legal. So we are looking for 5 bedroom houses (this does include 4 + bonus room/office or 4 + an in-law apartment). We do really want this home to be in Redwood City. However, we are willing to compromise if that is what God wants for our family.
We also found out that the kids' current status is "pending medical exam" whatever that means. But we are still being assured that they are coming, and most likely this summer! Please keep praying. These kids are going to need every last bit of us we can offer, and I am getting more and more excited to give. I want to live my life dying to myself and living for Christ.
Monday, June 13, 2011
i believe the reason i am not anxious is only because God has given me peace considering this circumstance, and He is allowing me to trust Him and not pretend that it's me who makes things happen in my life.
so....things are good.
we continue to watch the ball roll forward. We've filled out forms, met with more staff, had more interviews, looked at more houses...we found a place that could work in Sunnyvale. We applied, and haven't heard anything. I'm beginning to have 2nd round hopes of Redwood City. It does seem like a shot in the dark to me considering the cost of rent versus other locations. But, we will see.
Things we need to figure out fast: people want to financially support- how should we do that?
please pray for wisdom for us specifically in this during this week so that we can get this decided and worked out. PRAISE THE LORD for calling on willing hearts!!!! Thank you to ALL OF YOU who are doing this!
A new friend has come forward to partner along side us in this, and his first big step is getting us a storage unit to start collecting the things for all of our rooms. I am excited about this as it will clarify our real needs. THANK YOU!
We continue to see people step forward that want to be apart of this crazy amazing thing God is doing. Please pray that God would reveal clarity of His purposes in the roles people will have in all of this. and please let us know if God is calling YOU to be apart of our lives in any way. We are so excited to serve alongside our community.
we are still waiting. but to answer your question- YES it is happening. Yes it's happening now. Yes with us and Yes with this family.
No it is not dependent on whether/when we get the house
it IS happening and God's timing is better than mine or yours
we are full of contentment and excitement in this season, and thankful of all God wants to patiently teach us
If you have any time at all to be challenged and encouraged, then read Beth Guckenberger's book, "Reckless Faith"....
[...]those of us who work in this ministry won't stop until God tells us to. We will continue to fight and pray (and continue to invite you to do so as well) for the marginalized and abandoned children. We will serve children - sweating for them, defending them, and standing beside them - in the name of Jesus.
Please join us as we stay up late talking, worrying, praying for and with the child who is "waking up." Cry and laugh with us at their antics and delight with us in their successes. They need discipline, with consistency and humility, while they test their boundaries. Will you commit with us to provide them a home and lead them out of the darkness and loneliness? Will you be used by God to vindicate them, and every once in a while watch one be literally rescued?
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Last week on Wednesday, we met with lots of social workers and answered lots of questions from each! Very fun and intimidating, that is for sure.
Tonight, we went to our first monthly meal- a meeting where the fostering families all come together to eat dinner, mingle, and have a training. That was fun and we were able to make lot's of awesome connections and get some great intro advice.
We keep looking for a house. We are wondering if we should expand the search to the surrounding neighborhoods. We can pay up to a certain amount, but would like to pay a lot less if possible, and personally I am not sure if I should compromise location or price first. It's possible that I won't have to do either. But if I do, what should it be?
We have been stopping by at open houses in the area and talking to Realtors. We've been sharing our story and handing out my card. Even if nothing comes of it, it's still a wonderful feeling to share what God is doing and for people to know that He is Alive and Active!
Something silly to share:
Babysitting the other night, I started to get ideas about how I wanted the kids rooms to be set up...and eventually designed the whole house :)
I have all of these dreams about the focal point of the rooms, an intentional family entryway, recycling old furniture for handmade new furniture...
These things may not be in place at first, but it will be fun to have a dream to aim for later!
I will just be thankful to have a place to stay and beds to sleep in!
Another great thing: We got our fingerprinting done!
So now on to the health screening.
We are doing the first part of the home study next week. That is exciting. Someone is coming over tomorrow to help me be mindful of staying organized and clutter free.
So many good things.
Things I need to do:
Set up a facebook page
Figure out how to set up a way for people to send financial support
Get board of directors
Take picture of Matt, Gambit and I for a simple, informational flyer/card
Set up intentional prayer team
Start a website
Research their culture and food
Start reading parenting books (any suggestions!?)
Get the word out to more people who will be moved by what God is doing
Would you pray for us this week as we face this list and continue to rest in Him during this Waiting period?
Monday, May 23, 2011
When Jesus was resurrected and returned to show the Lord's miracle, He came not to a man, but to a woman first. I don't think I need to reiterate how crazy that was given the thought of women in society at the time. God likes to do unconventional things.
When Jesus was sharing the good news- he came not to the "holy people"- but to the broken, poor, "insignificant," willing hearts.
We might be young, but we have willing hearts. God can use us. This is what I have to hold on to in the midst of trivial fears.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Thank you for following our new adventure. So here's the current excitement;
We were all nervous and concerned about finding a house. We felt like it was (1) the biggest thing and (2) the thing that would make everything work out. But guess what- most of the time God doesn't want us to be concerned about making everything a safe situation that requires minimal risk for the sake of security and personal control. I think he actually desires quite the opposite.
It's funny because this whole week I've been feeling weird about looking at houses, and I haven't really been able to place it. As soon as I realized the timing wasn't right, I felt this overwhelming freedom and excitement, not to mention peace. Waiting like this is going to require a huge amount of faith as we will continue to look at houses and let them pass by, regardless of our interest in them, until we get the notice that the kids are coming on a specific date. I'm not exactly clear on the timeline, but I believe that after the initial faxed date fyi, it should be 3 to 6 weeks until they arrive?
So- I am excited because like we all know- God loves to provide at the last minute. And it's such a great lesson in dependance and trust in Him everytime. I so want to continue releasing my white knuckle grasp on my life. May He teach me to be GENEROUS with my faith, among all other fruits of the spirit.
Exciting news is that we do have a car!!! PCC is GIVING us a van. THANK YOU PCC!!!!
For now, we will be continuing to get the word out there as well as moving along with the paperwork. We have to get a health screening and fingerprints, and need to have resources for such accordingly.
I just want to say I'm excited. May God never stop in His teaching me to Trust and Be Generous.