Home for the Holidays

I can’t believe this year is nearly over! The holidays sure snuck up on us this year. We had a few projects on the “Must Be Done By Christmas” list but our sweet babies had other plans and I think the list has hardly been touched.
A couple things that are getting done are:
1.    The house is being painted next week! If only I can choose a color!
2.    We are putting in new baseboards to at least the bottom story
3.    The fireplace is being redone or refaced!
4.    Wainscoting is going up in the dining room
5.    The drapes are FINALLY going up on the bottom story after it’s painted! I officially have my hands on them!
6.    The hutch is being repainted
I am soo excited to get a few of these things checked off the list now that we’ve somewhat found our groove and routine with the kids. I’m so thankful for this sweet holiday time with them but I sure am excited to make our house more of our home!

This also includes getting our pictures printed for the new “baby wall” we have going on in a hallway upstairs. Our Christmas pictures turned out amazing of the kids and I can’t wait to get that wall started! I’ve come to learn in the last few years of owning a home that the projects are NEVERending! But that’s part of the fun to!

Together We Rise

I have loved the organization Together We Rise since before we even started talking about foster care. The thought of packing up the few things I want into a trash bag made me sick… I’d soon find out just how sick it made me.
They say that you never really understand something until you live it or see it firsthand. Of course this always rings true when the moment comes for you to experience something first hand. When the moment came for me, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Let me start by telling you the mission behind this organization. They have a goal of changing the look of the infamous “trash bag.” They strive to give kids in foster care duffle bags to take their stuff with them in when they move. Not only are they giving these kids duffle bags, but they are giving them hand made bags. You see, companies, individuals, whoever really can buy the bags from Together We Rise and decorate them to their liking for the kids. Then the organization adds a blanket and teddy bear to the bag and takes them to the county and FFA’s like Olive Crest to give to the kids in their care. Baby “A” came from the hospital so her belongings came in a clear bag the hospital discharged her with. Baby “J” came with a trash bag. When I saw this my heart broke in half. Here you have this scared little kid dragging a trash bag with his things in it. I experienced a feeling I hope to never feel again and it gave me a passion and fire for Together We Rise.
The following day, our FFA Case Manager came by with 2, beautifully decorated duffle bags from Together We Rise. They were filled cute designs hand drawn by someone that will probabaly never meet my children but I say to you now… You made a difference for them! “J” was soo excited about his bag! He carried it around for the rest of the day.
I strongly encourage you to look into this organization! They are local to us, based out of Brea, CA and their hearts are in the right place. I feel like people are so quick to say they could never be foster parents and I truly believe God has to place this journey on your heart bevasue it is gruling and brutal at times, however, EVERYONE can help these kids in one way or another. There is a vicious cycle with kids in foster care and there aren’t enough homes to change the cycle as a whole but there are so many other ways to wrap your arms around these kids! The LITTLEST things mean the world to these children and you will be making such a difference. Whether its taking part in an event through organziations like Together We Rise, making blankets for group homes and welcome centers, donating toys and books to the county or FFA’s, or many other ways, it all makes a difference! Big or small!

From this mama’s heart, Together We Rise I thank you! You’ve made an impact on my children and are making such an impact on the kids lives that you touch!

Opening a New Chapter

Well it’s definitely been a while since I’ve been on to write a post! A lot has happened to our little family the last past few months. As you probably know, Ryan and I became certified to foster-to-adopt. We had our final certification walk through of the house on September 30th and planned to wait (patiently?) for the two weeks the county takes to file our license. Welp, God had other plans for us! We went to dinner after our walk through and got a call from an LA County social worker asking if we’d take a placement of a precious baby girl that was just born. We prayed, talked for all of 5 seconds, and accepted the placement! Baby “A” came to us 2 days later. What a whirlwind!
We had 2 beautiful weeks to “ease into parenting” when we got another call for a placement. Actually, to clarify, we had received 4 calls within the time “A” was placed with us until the phone call I’m talking about now. For one reason or another we didn’t accept those placements… until this call came. The road to accepting this placement was long, tiring, emotional, and eventual, joyful. To shorten a long and still raw story, Baby “J” came to our home exactly, to the day, one month after “A” arrived. We could not feel more blessed to be loving on these babies. In the midst of pain and brokenness we’ve experienced God’s grace in a whole new light. He has taught us lessons we’d rather not have learned but blessed our hearts and our family far more than we could have imagined.

This holiday season has been such a joy to experience with these babies. Our home projects, housecleaning, yard work, and pretty much anything and everything else we were doing prior to October 2ndhas taken a backseat and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Now going in to Christmas we are truly experiencing joy in a whole new light! These babies have changed our life and we are so incredibly thankful!