Monthly Archives: January 2015

Sunday Time With Purpose

This mid day Cheryl, I and the kiddos sat listening to the readings of the week. The boys sat fussing and anxious but other wise doing a good job about sitting in one place for an extended period of time. The first reading came from from first Samuel Chapter 3:

Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD
where the ark of God was.
The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.”
Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.”
“I did not call you, “ Eli said. “Go back to sleep.”
So he went back to sleep.
Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli.
“Here I am, “ he said. “You called me.”
But Eli answered, “I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.”

At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD,
because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet.
The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time.
Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am. You called me.”
Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth.
So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply,
Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”
When Samuel went to sleep in his place,
the LORD came and revealed his presence,
calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!”
Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him,
not permitting any word of his to be without effect.

The Gospel reading came from a john Chapter 1:

John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God.”
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
“What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” — which translated means Teacher —,
“where are you staying?”
He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”
So they went and saw where Jesus was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
“We have found the Messiah” — which is translated Christ —.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
“You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas” — which is translated Peter.

The priest’s homely talked of his younger days in college and the call he had to priesthood. Later he talked about our own calls and what we should be doing in our own lives.

For Cheryl and I, we spent so long like Samuel running to Eli thinking we knew the answers we had to our perceived call. The chance to foster, while challenging and difficult and tiring feels right. We may feel like we are losing our minds forgetting the one kiddo’s visit and scheduling something in its place, but going with the flow lets us accomplish our goals (even when we feel out of place). In the afternoon after mass we had a chance to spend time with our engaged encounter friends and while we are tired and spent, I feel charged for the coming week. Hope all your week is a good one, thanks for reading.

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Home Visits

Last Wednesday I was sitting in front with the kiddos.  The two boys were playing with their blocks.  Ones had the bag slung over his shoulder the other had two in hand chasing the first.  The youngest was on the floor practicing her new skill, rolling.  Rolling is the best because it gets you places.  Every once in a while we throw in a pivot and half body turn.  None of these things are crawling, but we have started hold up our body and rock just like we need to in order to rock.  I looked at my phone 5:24, just about time to start the broccoli.  I walk into the kitchen and punch in 350 to start pre-heating the oven.

KNOCK-KNOCK-KNOCK I hear at the door.

Who could that be?  Well it is Girl Scout cookie season, might be one of the neighborhood kids trying to sell their share of cookies.  Or maybe another piece of mail sent to the neighbors address.  Or maybe Century link trying to sell us on a tv subscription.  I get to the door and open it.  Aw, it is one of the kiddos workers.  (But wait we are scheduled for next Monday)

“Come in”.  I look around at the piles of toys that had been played with for a short minute and then cast aside for another toy.  Dog toys everywhere.  Front room blankets in disarray.  “Please come in and sit at our dinning room table”.  Oh goodness breakfast dishes in the sink.  More dog toys on the ground.  “please sit, Cheryl isn’t home yet but will be soon, “ (well maybe not, she didn’t know about this visit either) “but we can get started.”

The worker and I sit and talk after a few minutes of me getting the kiddos set in their high chairs with a pre-dinner snack.  CPS workers had a page full of questions that they ask on their visits and in the middle of trying to get the kiddos set, put the veggies in the oven and answer questions I feverishly text Cheryl to see if she was on her way.  Twenty minutes or so of talking and answering questions Cheryl makes it home early (that’s right she was at worker super early).  Cheryl finishes up answering the workers questions while I cook our protein.  The worker leaves right as the protein is ready to be served.  Home visit successful.

Fast forward to this Monday.  Similar setting but a bit later in the evening.  I already have the kiddos in the seats and have dinner started and KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK at the door.  I know this time it is not the Girl Scouts or the neighbors or Century link/ Quest it is the other CPS worker.  She comes in and sits in the same seat and asks the same questions the previous workers asked.  The only difference is she was asking about the kiddo who we did not answer about the first night.  This time however, Cheryl was there.

In the future we are going to be better prepared.  Also, because the office of both workers is about 50 miles from our house, going forward we think that the workers will be trading off months.  We actually have a third separate home visit scheduled this month on the 17th, but this time by our licensing agency and not CPS.

Thanks for reading.

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

One of Cheryl and I’s favorite past times as a couple is to go to the movies on an early weekend day. Since becoming foster parents we have had very few weekend mornings on to our selves, I mean it would be just wrong to bring little ones to a movie for both them and the other patrons. Over the holiday days we found more than our fair share of time to visit Harkins.

This last Friday we decided to go see “Annie” (which I had never seen). Cheryl loved the movie growing up and we had gone to see my pick earlier in the week. Cheryl says that the movie had seen some major updates… I thought it was a decent though movie. The reason that I am writing about it is to talk about the 2014 story line.

The first was Annie kept saying she is a “foster kid, not an orphan. I have a family.” This line is inspirational to me because the kiddos we have in our care have their own families. So many people ask us if we plan to adopt and for Cheryl and I we know that the kiddos need a support system while they make their way back home. The system works so slow and so many things have to happen before this can happen and we are happy to offer support in the mean time.

Second was the characteristics of many of the caregivers. You had mean old Mrs. Hannagan who was very much just in it for the money. Second you had Mr. Stacks who seeks to exploit Annie for publicity to become mayor. There is a city worker who helps grant temporary guardianship. All of the characters at one point or another seek to exploit the foster child Annie. By the end of the movie these characters have a change of heart and work for the best of what Annie needs.

Third was the fist analogy. Mr. Stacks explains all of people he can count on is that fist. As the two characters Annie gets him to turn it into a pointing finger. And maybe more. This was the most intriguing part of the movie because it seemed to run counter to Annie’s character.

At the end I know it was just a movie and is meant for the purpose of entertaining, but I think the update to the story illustrates what a believable story might be. Orphanages are less believable than foster kiddos. Adults who are in it for something more than altruistic reasons is more believable than those who don’t. Kiddos who have it better than they use to will want to change their attachments to their past are more believable than ones who will want their past no matter how good things might be.

Life is not written in Hollywood, but somewhere in the middle of this fictional story are lots of truths. At the very least, Cheryl and I were very happy to be able to go to the movies together. We hear all too often that we are doing something great, but the reality is we are just doing our part. Doing what we feel like has been set in front of us.

Thanks for reading