Wednesday, July 29, 2009

From 4 to 5- Malik

Nearly 3 weeks ago we got a call from DFACS telling us that they had 2 little boys who were about to come into foster care. They were both in need of placement. Of the 2 we chose Malik who had come into the system for "abandonment." Since welcoming him in we have learned a lot more about his story. A number of you have asked where we stand with things so I wanted to use this as a chance to update you.

It turns out that at 2 months old Malik's mother gave him to a friend who in turn gave him to her grandmother. This lady took care of him up until a month or so ago when Malik's mom came to get him (Malik is 7 months old). She then left him with another person which is when the grandmother who had been raising him called DFACS to get them involved. So when they called us, he had indeed been abandoned but we just didn't know all of the details surrounding it. A week ago I would have said that it looks like we are not going to have the chance to adopt him, but only God really knows that. We at first thought he was leaving last week Thursday and after a tearful goodbye I got a phone call saying there was a mix up and he would be returning. I was then told that he would be with us through the 18th of August. Last night, however, Malik's caseworker came over and told us that we should expect that he will be here longer than the 18th. (On a side note she told us a story of a 12 month old that she had just visited and the foster parents are about to adopt. So encouraging to hear that!!) are we adjusting. Well I have to be honest and say that this transition has been really hard. It's difficult because our family has grown and with that comes growth of laundry and our overall responsibilities. I just looked at my post about grocery shopping and laughed. I have not been to the grocery store for a big trip since he came. At the same time, he could be leaving and we'd be back down to a family of 4 again which is why I think we just keep rolling along like "ahh no big deal". When you birth a baby everyone knows that life has to stop. When you're a foster parent it's a little bit different.

Since Malik has come we've had so many cool moments in the midst of the busy. We've watched our extended family become excited and on board with what we're doing, we've had countless conversations about foster care and adoption, and we've loved on this little guy along with our kids. One of the best moments is watching Malik respond to seeing Jude and Ellison after he wakes up! His eyes literally light up. They make him laugh so hard and they love to help take care of him. He has started scooting all around and eating food from a spoon, 2 things he didn't do when he came. Ellison commented that we should call his mommy and tell her.

We feel really blessed to be a part of his life and his story for however long God would have that to be. A friend of mine from small group commented that kids are only ours for a season. That is so very true and something that I've taken for granted with my own children. We are also sad for Malik to think about what his life will be like should he go back to a situation where his mom could randomly be in and out of his life. From what we found out last night, she is homeless and is expecting another baby. Malik had also been termed "failure to thrive" and was without any vaccinations or doctor visits upon his arrival. So sad to think that that is the reality for not just him but so many babies in our country and all over the world!

So we are continuing to press forward each day trying to figure things out and trusting God when we just don't know the answers. Thanks for all of your kind words, prayers and support. What a blessing it is to be surrounded by a community of people so involved in this guy's life.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Change is Good

There are a number of things that I can tie to the book Captivating lately. My post tonight is no exception :-).

Over the past month or so I've gotten an itch to start changing things around our apartment. Since we've been married we've always lived in apartments, duplexes or flats. With each change (6 so far) a big bubble of excitement rises up in me about decorating! At the beginning of our marriage I was a little bit frustrated that God would wire me to do this stuff so much but t yet we never owned a home. I've now come to see that because I love this stuff so much I've had a part in making each of our places feel more like home. How fun! And the best part is if I don't like it, we'll be moving at some point anyway.

We've lived in our current apartment for well over a year now, so why the sudden changes now you might ask?? At the start of the summer I was invited to take part in a Bible study with a wonderful group of women. On the first week, I got a chance to go in Kristin's home, which happens to be an apartment as well. It was beautiful. Each and every room was painted. It felt so calming and peaceful. My brain immediately started churning as to what I could do to bring some cozy to our place as well. One Friday Kristin came over to my house and she was so encouraging with her words. She commented on how she really liked my style. Together we walked through each room and both of us were bursting with ideas. We were speaking the same language. After she left that day I was ready to take the plunge.

In the book Captivating, I read that women were meant to display God's beauty. Not all of us are wired to do things like this, but in each of us there is a way that we can display beauty. That is our gift to the world and my world begins with my family. Thinking about this and feeling the motivation from Kristin really spurred me on. Add on a husband who loves doing this kind of thing too and you've got yourself a paint party till 2AM. My next stop is just off of Windward Parkway to have fun in my friend Joy's place.

Here are some pictures of some of the things we did. It was so much fun bringing a little of His beauty to our home!

Here is the piano that I repainted. We also painted the dining area the color behind the piano. It's antiqued but you can't really see it in the picture.

These are pictures of our years in Europe. We changed the location of the pics and added the words. The words really sum it up well!

We painted the bottom half of the wall and added a shelf. We also spray painted some of the frames. Oh...and there is a pillow I made for the couch too.