Monday, June 27, 2011

James 1:27

I've kind of regretted telling anyone about this blog yet. I've had a few rough spots since my last post and I couldn't bring myself to write about them, knowing that someone might actually read this now! After thinking about it, I think in the future if I need to write about my sadness, I'll go ahead and do it, but I'll follow that post with something happy-ish. Maybe that will help me get over my "stage fright" a bit.
 It is crazy to me that sometime memories of Mama can make me smile all day, but sometimes they just take my breath away with sadness. The very same thoughts and memories that make me smile or laugh out loud can break my heart with sadness the next day or even a few minutes later. Boy, I miss her all the time! Sometimes I realize that I'm being selfish to want her here with us now. Most of the time, I am not in that frame of mind. Even believing that she is better off now, I miss her so much and wish she were still with us in this old crazy world. Of course, even writing that, I realize how selfish it is, and I am glad that she doesn't have any earthly problems anymore. It's just hard without her. I hate not being able to call her when I want to. My sister Brittnye said once that she told us everything we needed to know, and if she didn't she told someone else, so we can just ask our siblings. I thought that was pretty smart of her!
Mama and I talked a lot about Fostering before she died. She brought it up nearly every time we talked for several months. It was such an important work for her and she wanted it for us too. One of Jonathan's favorite verses about Mama is James 1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world" (KJV). She would always reach out to people who needed help, ESPECIALLY the fatherless and widows. She physically cared for more than one widow in her life. At times even letting them move into her already crowded home so that she could care for an older lady while also raising her own children. For example... We had an older aunt who lived with us when I was really young. My sisters and I would tell our friends that she was a witch and we would charge them a quarter to take them to see her. Her room was always dark and she had a chain on her bed for some reason and she would yell at us with a crackly voice and shake her chain when we would peep in the door. I think our friends got their money's worth. BUT, then our parents found out about our little enterprise and put a real quick stop to that! :)
 Before her biological children left the nest, she and my dad began fostering. They did a lot of good in the years that they were foster parents. Through no fault of their own they had to get out of the system abruptly a few years ago. After a year or so recovering from the trauma of that situation, Mama's heart was still there. She still wished that she could be a foster mom and told me over and over again what we could do to prevent the problems that she and my dad had through the foster system.  They were such good examples of "pure and undefiled religion"  this is another way that I can follow her example as I follow Christ.  In the beginning Jonathan and I were so against fostering. I have three sisters through the system, but there were scary situations that I knew of too.  It kind of reminds you of the saying, "No good deed goes unpunished". Jonathan and I have really wanted to adopt for awhile, but we did NOT want to foster. Through Mama's patience, guidance and excitement for us we became excited ourselves. Now we WANT to become foster parents and we can not wait until we are able to start bringing little ones home. We never thought that we would be excited about becoming foster parents, but we are!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sacred Selections

The Dinosaur Quilt
Sacred Selections is a non-profit organization that is close to my heart. It is a charitable organization that helps Christians with the finances needed to adopt. Last Friday night there was a Sacred Selections fund raiser in Memphis that Jonathan and I were able to attend. We took Emilea and Mike, our niece and nephew, and met Sam, Clay, Amos and June. This particular benefit had a BBQ dinner, a couple of silent auctions and a live auction. These events are lots of fun and for a great cause. It is neat to go and meet adoptive families who have already benefited from Sacred Selections, and to hear success stories of others that have been helped as well. Hopefully, Jonathan and I will be able to have Sacred Selections children in the near future! Jonathan and I didn't win anything at the auctions this year, but we did buy a t-shirt. Sam and Clay had some money to donate and they won a beautiful quilt! It was in the shape of a dinosaur and it was so soft and cuddly.
Amos staking his claim

The stories of the night really seemed to move Emilea and Mike. At one time during the presentation, I looked over and saw that Emilea was crying. She was touched by the kids needing forever homes and loved the happy endings that she heard of. Even though we didn't realize that Mike was paying much attention, we realized later that he was listening and taking everything to heart. He was a little melancholy, which is not like him at all and he kept wanting to bid on things at the auction. Much later that night Mike and I went to Walmart and I suddenly realized that he wasn't right behind me like I had thought. I turned around and saw him parting with his hard-earned change. He was donating it to a children's charity that was set up there. Mike likes to keep his coins close. He is constantly saving for something, so to see him parting with his money was enough to choke me up a little. I asked what he was doing and he told me that he was "Donatin' money so that me and Uncle Johnny could get a baby for cheaper!" I was already choked up, but that almost made me start crying right there in the front of walmart! I explained to him that money he donated there would help babies, but it wouldn't help us get a baby. He was ok with that, as long as it was a good thing. He told me that he donated money earlier too. I'm not sure what he did. Maybe left some change on the table at the benefit, or something. But whatever it was in this case it is for sure the thought that counts! I love my nieces and nephews. They have such sweet little hearts! I benefit from their goodness all the time.
Emilea, June, Amos and Mike

Thursday, June 16, 2011


 Jonathan and I have officially begun the process into becoming foster parents! I have been trying to get the ball rolling for almost a month now. Every time I called for a couple of weeks the girl was "on vacation". When I finally got in touch with her she said she just started. So I am guessing that "on vacation" is code for we don't have anyone in that position yet! Who cares, though? We have filled out our first tiny bit of paper work and we are now getting into the system. She asked what we were interested in and I said under school age. So she goes, "So you want me to put you down for ages 0 thru 7 or 8" Uh, no... Kids go to school 'round these parts at age 5 so I was thinking more along the lines of 0-4. I didn't really say all that first part. :)  Just reiterated that I meant under age 5. Then she tells me that since we are young with no children that maybe we could consider preteens. Again I say no. I am so glad that Mama and I talked about Foster care before she died. This might have been a discouraging conversation to me otherwise. I knew to expect them to push older children at us. I know that the older children need help too, but as first time parents we don't want to start with teenagers, I don't know if I will ever be comfortable with older kids b/c of what my parents went through, but I'll take care of all the little kids that I can! The past few weeks have seemed harder without Mama. I crave her advice so much! I am so glad that we discussed this last year. I don't think I could do it without that. But we are so super excited!!! I know that there will be bumps in the road. I know that heartbreaking situations will be presented to us. I know that my heart will break at times too,  but I also know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Phil 4:13

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The joys of babysitting

So I started babysitting recently to make a few extra dollars for our family and the little girl I am keeping is a live wire! I love her so much, but she really keeps me on my toes. Jonathan too for that matter! One day last week she spilled a completely full bottle of syrup on the kitchen floor. She didn't tell me about it, so by the time I found it one minute later it was all over the place! She denied it at first, but once she realized that I KNEW it was her, she said it was a "assident". Whatever! :)  It took three times to get that floor good and mopped! That same day she dumped out all my clean and folded laundry and knocked over a rack of clothes hangers in my laundry room. I had intended to get some things done that day, but all I got done was mopping syrup up, cleaning clothes hangers up and refolding laundry... my favorite chore! She has been telling Jonathan every day to "doe to da torner!" She tells him that she is going to "whoop him and put him in the torner!" his crime, though I have yet to see it, is biting the dog. You think he'd learn his lesson by now, but he has been getting in trouble for the same thing every day!

The good and the bad

I am trying to make this blog be about more than losing Mama. I want to be more like she was. Jonathan and I have decided to be Foster parents. We have thought about it for a long time and we are trying to get started. I've been calling the past couple of weeks to try to get started but the lady that I need to talk to is on vacation. It's frustrating! :) Now that we are ready to go down this road we are ready to get started! I am very thankful that this was in my heart and on my mind before Mama died. She already gave me so much advice on getting started and how to be a foster Mom. She was a great example of it herself. I can't wait to get started. My new goal in life is to follow in her footsteps and use her as an example. She followed Christ in her life. By following her while I follow HIM, I can't go wrong!

In my Bible readings lately, I came across a verse that I absolutely love.
Psalm 113: 9 RSV "He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!"  

Today has been an ok day. I've been crying a lot lately and I think my lowest point was calling Daddy yesterday and upsetting him! I thought it would help to talk to him, but I think he was in tears by the end of the conversation. We did have a good talk before I just couldn't choke back that last sob. I stopped crying after I got off the phone with him and I felt so bad for crying to him, of all people. My siblings and I lost the world's greatest Mama, but he lost the world's greatest Wife. I am so sad for him a lot of the times! I called him back to let him know that I was ok, but he sounded a little choked up. I talked to him again today and I think that he was ok. I know that he has had really tough days too  and I hate to think that maybe I made it a  little harder for him. I know that dealing with her loss will get easier with time, but for right now it is still harder than I thought it would  be. We will be ok, though.