Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Testimony and A Temporary Goodbye

My computer has to be sent to Dell to be fixed. The screen detached way too early. IF they give us a fuss, we are cashing in our insurance on it and getting something different. I'll let you know my evaluation of their helpfulness!:)

So, this is my last post for a while unless I can let my buddy/neighbor let me blog over at her house a little.

Have to share in brief what God is doing in our lives. It gives more meaning to the poem below but is not related to the situation I alluded to through the public school. That won't ever be detailed here to protect the privacy of some. This is so related to my heart right now in that poem. Thank you for your kind words regarding it. IT is my dream to send them all to a Christian publisher someday. I need to learn how to get a copyright on my blog too, does anyone know how to do that? Do you know, when it's the right poem I cry when I read it myself. Not because I think it's good, but because I hear my deepest heart and it's like that piece has been taken out and written down forever. That is why I love poetry.

The story:
About a year and eight months ago my dad died at 54. Most of you know that. What you may not know is that my dad was not my bio-dad. I was born to man who had many issues but the main one was alcohol. My mom became a Christian and married Mark when I was five. They had grown up together from kindergarten. Mark took me in and loved my brother and I as His own. He never had his own children. (on a side note, I re-connected with my bio-dad over the phone and through mail about four years ago. He came to the Lord but was a very young christian with lots of life baggage. I thanked God for the chance to talk to him. It was good for us both. IT turned out that he contracted Lue Garricks disease the year my dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He died very quickly in June of '06 and my dad Mark died in May of '07. God has never been so near to me as he was that year of events. He became my heavenly Father in a new way. They were both the same age, born in '52. )
When he died I was overwhelmed with many different emotions. One of them was the bottled up reflections of the effect of him taking me in. I was given a deep and real burden for adoption. I wanted to do what my dad had done for me. In honor of him. I shared my burden with Rick. He did not share it. I think I've blogged about this before...can't remember.
I don't believe it is God's will to do something when he has not laid it on both hearts. I also did not believe it was right to convince my husband of anything or to make him feel the burden I felt. I knew God had a reason and I decided the burden must be for some other use. Over a year went by. I never brought it up once.
A few months ago Family Life had a few programs where they were encouraging Christian families to show Christ's love through adoption. I was totally in agreement. I had all ready been in the public schools with my kids and my heart for unsaved children was growing very full. I loved meeting the kids at school and giving them smiles when I was in the classroom or just dropping off and picking up my own kids. Many kids now days are eager for just a kind word and a smile. It gave me such great joy! There were some I saw who I knew needed more at home and wished I could help a child myself. What a perfect way to advance the kingdom, I thought. We had a neighbor boy with a tough situation in his home come over a great deal and his mom told me it was hard because he would come over to our house and come home and ask her why his dad can't play with him like Rick does with the kids, or why he can't have siblings, or why he can't have a real family. It reminded me again how I wanted ot help. Well, then I remembered Rick's feelings and realized again that this was not for us but that maybe God wanted me to be involved in coordinating such a ministry in our church or something many years down the road. Or just keep reaching out to the kids at school or the neighborhood when I could. I forgot about it again.
Then... this past December I heard an advertisement on Christian radio that was encouraging Christian parents to consider foster care. I was beginning to wonder why God was nagging my heart if it was not a direction that was open to me.
I decided to email the local foster care department and just ask for information. I wondered if there was some way I could help. I just told Rick I had sent off for info for that reason and when we started to talk he was a totally different person. He really felt that we should look into helping a child ourselves and have the optimum goal of adoption if the Lord led us to. I was shocked but tried not to show it. I wondered who he was and what someone had done with my husband. He asked if we could pray about it right then and there. I said....sure! About an hour later we got an email that said that the beginning meeting, the one you need to go to to get started was that night locally. Amazing, we both thought. We called Trish last minute and she was kindly able to take our kids that evening during the meeting.
We both were amazed by the information and the testimony of grown teens who came to share with us their foster experience. I won't get into the details of the meeting, but it was very good that we went.
We are now in the process of registering for the classes you need to go through to be licensed. It is a 3-4 month process.
We don't really know what God has for us. We don't really know where it will lead. Now that the kids are in school, I was really hesitant to even think of starting with little ones again, but he seems to be changing my heart. Like I said, who knows. We are just willing to be there if He needs us. It could play out in so many ways. We appreciate prayers for wisdom. A lot of people have fears with using the state systems, or county. I have learned that if God leads, I do not need to be afraid. He will not burden my heart to serve and then punish me for doing what he told me to do. Rick and I are limited in our monetary resources for these things so the foster system is best for us because what we do have is time and love. We would need their help with the other part. That is why we are going that route.
And, like I said, we just don't know beyond the next step. It could just end up with a huge road block and we find a purpose along the way for what we went though to prepare. You never know.
The poem though had to do with the fact that I've learned not to say I won't do something. These are things I have said before (at different times):
I will never have my kids in public school.
I will never homeschool.
I could never adopt or take in a foster child, it would be to scary.
I would never move to (the city I live in now:).
I will never let my children read Disney books. (ha, ha, this one makes me laugh now. i was kinda a snobby literature lover)
There are other things I've said that God has not led me actually to do yet like:
I could never give birth overseas.
I could never move out of state.

I really need to learn this lesson of being open and ready. God has to have a good sense of humor is all I can say.


Joy in the Burbs... said...

Alicia, I hear your heart. I pray that God's will is done in this. I admire your willingness to reach out to others. While your computer is down, either buy or check out from the library.
Same Kind of Different As Me.
by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.
I know you'll be deeply moved and touched by this true story.

I'll pray for you all.


Alicia said...

thank you so much for the recomendation, I'll check that out.
Thank you for your prayers too.

tricia said...

I was wondering if the poem and yesterday what we talked about were related.

I try hard not to say never because I always seem to do just what I say I will never do. I said I would never live in the town you live in now and I have done that. I said I would never homeschool and I am doing that now. I am sure that there are more things I said I would never do and I have done.;)

Alicia said...

Ha! We are making this town sound really unpopular you and I!:)
Yeah it was related to this and the other thing.
Public School was the thing I said I'd never do and God has used it so much all ready, and the new development is a giving over to God in the same way.
Sometimes I feel like a puppet that He is just moving to His will. There is no better place to be for sure, but I do feel a little out of control. Imagine that.:)

I am Katy, said...

How exciting. Keep us updated on your journey. )

Kristen Borland said...

WOW! Would love to talk more about this!! We were foster parents before we had kids.

Claire said...

Wow. And, weird. I always wanted at least three kids, but dh ended all discussion with a vasectomy right after our second child was born (12 years ago). I've longed for another, but he always said "no way." Until TODAY. We have friends that foster-to-adopt (they've adopted two, fostered many more, and are adopting a third), and I was telling him about them, and how they're doing, etc. I casually brought up the foster thing, and he said to go ahead and look into it. Amazing. I'm going to "interview" my friend, since she's been fostering for over five years, and get a better idea of how it works.

Anyway, I know that with God's leading, you will do the right thing for your family, Alicia. I sure hope you aren't gone from the blogging world for long. I'll miss you'

Alicia said...

oh, my goodness, Claire! Wow indeed. God is amazing is he not!?
The amazing thing is that when we wait he brings things at the right time and we can proceed with joy and faith because we have not been stuborn to have our way because we feel we are right. I am so blessed that God laid that on your husbands heart too.
We happened to have a good local resource too in a mom who has done fost-adopt for about 12 years. She came by and sat down with us while the kids were at school. That was so helpful.
Our goal is adoption too, and actually the system now encourages it. They don't give the birth parents as long to get their problems fixed. In fact for kids three and under they only get 6 months.
Our goal is to adopt a child or a sibling group if the fit is right for our home.
I will pray for you guys too through this.
Oh, and believe me, I want my computer back soon too! Mostly so my husband can try to catch up on Hero's on Netflix before they come on again. We only get NBC, one good show to watch is a good thing:).
You blessed me to say that you'd miss me though! Thanks friend.

Brooke said...

Adoption is the heart of God. It will teach you so much about the kind of love God has for you and it will require amazing tenderness of heart to learn in the midst of very difficult behavior and the lack of control you sometimes have. I love foster kids and adopted kids and mostly my own kiddo who has been both! God bless you on this journey. Call me anytime you want to talk about it!

Kristen Borland said...

alicia, the 6 month thing is very tricky, and i think misleading some times. because the bio parents are always getting additional 6-month extensions. we've seen "sure things" fall through. but that's NOT to discourage you at all!! i just wish we had some straight forward talk when we began fostering.

Godsgirl68 said...

Alicia, this post really touched my heart. I am so grateful that you chose to contact your birth father. What a blessing that you listened to the HOly Spirit prompt you to contact him so shortly before he died. And that you got to find out he was a Christian! That is the providence of our loving Father.

Did you know there is a Christian foster care agency in SLO? Dana and I had started filling out the paper work to do foster care through them before God moved us. The social workers are Christians and they pray over each child weekly.

I lived in foster care for a short time as a child, and it has always been on my heart. I am praying for this new journey for you.

I, too, said I would never do many things that God laughed at. Like homeschool, and move to ARizona, of all places. God, indeed, has a great sense of humor. We're learning to never say never!

Love you!!!!