No internet

Hey guys, this is Tom. I wanted to drop a quick line while I could to update…

We just finished the re-licensing  process for foster care and at the last meeting with our liaison we received a phone call for a child. I think our liaison found it very interesting to witness the process we go through in receiving the call and deciding. In fact, I think she was a bit surprised.

So, now we have two foster kids, 8 months old (boy) and 5 days old (girl). We don’t really have any long-term expectations on either, but the short-term is busy with feedings, dr.’s appointments and court appearances. The boy is gaining weight and happy as ever. The girl was technically premature (35.5 weeks at birth) so she is small and hungry, but so far so good. But that also means we won’t leave the house very much as a family.

We are cutting expenses too since I’m not working actively this semester. We have cut nonessential items including internet (but not gymnastics!) and I’m not going to shave (haha!). Honestly, we are too busy to use it much anyway. And, I’m sorry to say, we had to cut for the near term some of our mission support and outreach funding as well. If you are looking for ways to help a hurting world, I know of two resources you could consider funding (Samaritan’s Purse and Mission to the World) as they have most recently lost a little funding.

Writing is going well and prospectus will be defended soon. And there is general excitement about the dissertation project from adviser and faculty. Plus, I submitted a paper proposal to a conference (in January) and have a good expectation of acceptance. And, I’m preparing for the job market in the spring.

But all that to say, we are busy, we aren’t connected to the internet at home (well, we have access through the iPhones but not posting using our phones), and we will seemingly fall of the radar this semester. One of us will occasionally post pics when we go to the coffee shop or McDonald’s or something.

Prayers are most needed.

We love you all.

Love never fails

Questions arose today on the permanency of our new foster child.

For almost 4 years we have had the amazing opportunity to care for orphans. We are in the process of renewing our license. It was a busy day,  the guardian ad litem and the Department of Health both stopped in for a visit.

When faced with this question of how we feel about a child in our home, we always answer the same. Love. We love the child like they were our own, from the moment they arrive, not from the moment we know they might be staying with us permanently.

Because love never fails.

We welcome them from the start with the attitude that this is the child God  has given us, for a time, just as He gives any child to a family.

The eight children we have cared for over the last few years have needed love more than anything else. Most have come from families that are falling apart, most of them have suffered from extensive drug exposure either as infants or prenatal, most of them would never hear the name Jesus if they stayed with their parents.  And all of them begin to thrive again in a home where love and joy of God is given and offered freely.

As foster parents our role extends also to supporting the family. We often run into them at visitations, court hearings, and for other reasons. While our love for the child is strong, working with the families can be the hardest part of a foster parent’s job. Seeing the issues …. while only wanting the best for the child … leads often to disappointment and serious concerns.

Each day we also try to reach out in prayer to the families. Specifically that they will be able to recover, that they will grow to know Him and follow His will for their life. And most importantly that God’s will be done.

We remind ourselves that we are not better than others. The love of Christ and the love of others are synonymous.

This is not to say we disregard behaviors and actions. We are proactive foster parents seeking a winning solution for the child. However, we remind ourselves that our job is to cheer for the well-being of the family, not to discourage it.

And we are able to serve both the child and family best if we remember that LOVE is the necessary link. Both love for the child and love for the family.

“Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” I Corinthians 13:4-8