Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Catch Up

Hello dear friends!  I am sorry to say I feel like a blogging failure these days.  I don't think I have a specific reason in particular that I haven't been as consistent in blogging.  However, it might be because Caleb and I have this new running schedule worked out where he goes on some mornings and I go on some evenings, which is when I might usually blog.  We have also had extra things we need to work on, like foster care paperwork for instance. 

So, this post will basically just inform you about the recent happenings in our life.  We have completed our foster care training and are super excited about it.  We were thoroughly pleased with our trainers and are eager to get involved in The Call.  We have a CPR/first aid class to take at the end of August and we are hoping our home will be open by mid-September.  Just sayin', these people expect you to be far more prepared for these kids than you are for your own (background checks, CPR, knives and prescription meds locked up with a key, fire drills)... seriously. 

Caleb's parents came down and watched Emerson for our training this past weekend.  Emerson had a ball and we feel very blessed to have such a great support system.  Here are a few pics from their time together (from Mike's camera).

Please notice how E's hair is finally coming in!!
Love this.

We are headed to the beach in North Carolina in about a week.  Call us crazy, but we are driving and it will be at least 20 hours.  We are driving through the night, so hopefully E will sleep and nap for 10-12 hours  of it.  I and my mother-in-law have planned many activities to try to keep the boy busy.  We are driving with the in-laws in their van, so we will have some extra help.  Wish us luck!  I know once we get there we will have a BLAST!  I'm so excited to introduce Emerson to the great, blue sea!

Well, that's all I'll bore you with now.  Unless I think of something exciting to blog about before we leave town, I'll probably see you after!  Stay cool :)

Monday, July 16, 2012


Emerson already has a love for tools.  A boy after his daddy's heart.  Caleb is making a toybox for Emerson, so he was able to help Daddy with his very first project.

Tilt your head to get a better look

Saying "wood"
Focused Face

I will show pics of the finished product soon!  I'm pretty excited about it!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Foster Care Training Recap

Wow.  This weekend was good and exhausting and long and valuable and I'm glad we did it (our foster care training weekend).  I think we learned a lot and were able to take a lot away from the weekend.  I feel like we were able to start some important friendships with people who are beginning the foster care process too.  One couple turns out to be our neighbors!  These relationships will be very important once we are in the midst of foster care.

We were also able to learn a lot.  One important thing I began to grasp was about the trauma that kids go through by being taken away from their biological parents and what they know to be home.  They will probably even have to go through the grieving process.  Sometimes it's tempting to think that the kids will feel rescued from their abusive situation or that they will immediately cling to a loving home, but it's not like that.  As a mother, I know there is a special unique bond between a biological mother and child.  And to completely remove a child from his mother, can be traumatizing.  I learned that so many of the acting out behaviors we see in foster children have underlying causes that are actually pretty understandable.  These kids are forced to go through things that most adults haven't gone through.  They have so many mixed emotions to sort through as a child that they don't know how to handle.  Knowing that can help us as their foster parents to be empathetic and offer healthy ways to handle that stress.

I was also reminded that the ultimate goal of foster care is reunification with birth parents.  It's not like we are the good guys and they are the bad guys.  We are seeing the birth parents in their worst days and hopefully they can use this as a turning point to get their life together.  If I keep this mindset in my head that reunification is a goal, then reunification will hopefully feel like a success to me rather than a loss.  However, if reunification doesn't work out then we have to figure out what is best for that child, which is probably adoption.  I think having this mindset will be healthy for me. 

I could probably go on more about the weekend, but I am tired and need to hit the sack.  The weekend was good and I'm thankful we can do it through The Call so we can establish relationships with others in the same boat and also so we can have Christ-centered training and support throughout this process. 

ps- Emerson did great at Nana and Papa's house.  I think he ate a little junk food and stayed up late and played hard and crashed at the end of the day.  Nana's are supposed to spoil a little, yes?  I missed him terribly and it is not good for my heart to be away from him :(  But our reunification was good and we are glad to be under the same roof once again.  Thank you for your prayers!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Foster Care Training

Friends, the long awaited weekend is here and we will begin our foster care training tomorrow!  I'm so excited to move past this point that we've been in for months.  Emerson will go to my parents' house for the weekend while Caleb and I spend the weekend in Siloam Springs getting trained.  We hope to make a fun-ish weekend out of it by staying in a hotel Saturday night, going on a date and [gasp] doing a little gambling at the casino.  Lol... we have allotted each of us $25 to waste. 

We are so excited to get the training done with.  The lady said that it is usually 8 weeks after the training that your home is opened for a child.  I would like to ask for prayers that we can learn a lot at the training and build relationships and community with other foster parents.  Pray also that we have discernment about what age of children to take.  I mostly still feel like we should do older (ages 6-10), but sometimes I think 'Well, I'm not pregnant yet and a tiny baby would be fun'.  So just pray that the Lord will give us discernment and direction when it actually comes time to accept a child.

Well, I just wanted to give you a little update blurb before the weekend.  I'll let you know how it goes!  Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

15 months

Dear Emerson,

You are over 15 months old now and I wanted to let you know what exciting things you have done and learned this past month.  You are such a boy and always going.  Things you love are climbing up slides, swimming, eating, playing in Brody's cage, and socializing with family and friends.  You like when attention is on you.  Sometimes you act shy around strangers and other times you totally work it, giving huge grins and performing tricks.  I guess it depends on your mood.  You can be pretty clingy to mommy sometimes.  I admit I kind of like it, because I know it won't always be that way.

Splash pad

Your vocabulary is growing like crazy these days.  Some new words from the last couple of weeks are tower, tools, towel, toe, eye, egg, bummer, hi, cool and probably more I can't think of.  You are a sponge and sometimes you imitate words we use and it makes us laugh.  You like to sing "Row, row, row your boat" and you attempt your ABC's.  You have been growing your molars recently and you don't like it so much.  Some days we keep tylenol in your system the whole day because you are fussy and cry at the drop of a hat because you are in pain. But generally, you are a pretty happy kid.

Some exciting things that happened this month are that your cousin Nolah was born.  She is beautiful and we are excited to meet her, hopefully at the beach next month.  We found out Aunt Ariel is pregnant, too!  So you are blessed with many cousins! 

Nolah, photo courtesy of Danielle's facebook page :)
Caeden and Emerson, ages 2 and 1
This month we celebrated Father's Day and Daddy's 26th birthday!

Father's Day 2012
Daddy's Birthday 2012

We also threw Nana a surprise 50th birthday party.  Boy was she surprised!  And This weekend, we were supposed to go on a camping trip with your buddy Caleb Braschler and his family, but there was scorching heat (reaching 104 degrees), so we decided to move the camping trip to our house!  We did fun things like eat, nap, swim, eat, nap, play, eat, sleep, play, etc.  You and Caleb had so much fun together.  You two are such hams and I'm excited to watch you two grow up together.  My favorite was when you two would hug goodnight or goodbye.  I wonder if you will still do that in 15 years!  lol..

You two were SO hard to get a picture of together because you both were so active!
 Basically, buddy, I think you are pretty great and I enjoy life with you every single day.  I am thankful God decided to place you in our lives. 

I love you,