Tuesday, December 30, 2008


This past summer we attended a worship concert at our church that was amazing, to say the least. We attend a mega-church that is filled with wonderful people living for Christ.  Its very contemporary yet very real.  During the concert a song was preformed called "Everything" (by Tim Hughes) that really spoke to me.  The lyrics are below.  (If you can find it preformed by Marcus Jones, even better.)


God in my living, there in my breathing
God in my waking, God in my sleeping
God in my resting, there in my working
God in my thinking, God in my speaking

Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything

God in my hoping, there in my dreaming
God in my watching, God in my waiting
God in my laughing, there in my weeping
God in my hurting, God in my healing

Christ in me, Christ in me
Christ in me, the Hope of Glory
You are everything

Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Delay

We were supposed to receive our license last week and mid-week I decided to call our licensing worker to see when we should expect it.  She informed me that she forgot to give us paperwork to fill out for background checks since we've lived in two other states other than CA in the past 5 years.  Apparently this should have been completed in October when she did our home inspection.  So she mailed them to us, we filled them out and mailed them back to her yesterday and on Monday she'll mail them out to the respective states.  UGH!  

I'm just praying that this delay isn't too lengthy.  We were really hoping to have a little girl join us for Christmas, but its not looking like that will happen now.  So we continue to wait and try to be as patient as possible (if you know me you know this is not my forte).  I wonder why the social workers don't move this along quicker...especially since there are so many children needing homes?  Its sad.  The kids are the ones who lose out.

Friday, December 5, 2008

We're DONE!!!

We have finally completed our 27 hours of foster care licensing classes!!  We are SO thrilled that we are finished and that we can resume Saturday's as normal.  We were missing our babies; it was hard being away all day, especially for me since I'm never away from them for more than a few hours at a time and even that is pretty rare.  

Our last class (Nov.22) was not great.  We missed the classes on October 25th because I had a wedding that I was coordinating (something I do here and there) so we had to make it up at a different location with different social workers.  Thank goodness we didn't sign up for those classes.  The social workers weren't as knowledgeable as the ones we had been working with and the other members of the class participated very little.  But I'm sure they were all good people.

Anyway, we're done and now all that is left to do it wait for that phone call.  We should receive our actual license next week and I expect a call around then.  But who knows...  I am just praying for this little girl and also for our family.  I pray that God blesses this experience and that ultimately His will is done.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Only 9 Hours Left...

We have 9 hours left of  licensing classes.  THANK THE LORD!!!  

I have to be honest, I am SO sick of these classes!  I hate being away from the kids and I miss my Saturday's.  Although they have been informative, I can totally understand why people decide not to do this. Not only is the process long, but the state rules are rigid and pretty unrealistic.  For example, in a recent class we learned that we probably shouldn't allow our little 2 year old foster daughter to sit on our laps because its not appropriate(?)....here's the kicker....and so as a result, we also shouldn't allow our OWN children to sit on our laps because it will cause the foster child to feel different and unloved.  Are they kidding me?  Perhaps this rule would apply to an older child, but sorry, I'm not going to change the way I love my kids.  I know that they have to say and cover all area's of the rules and regulations, but much of it is completely unrealistic.  Don't even get me started on the spanking topic...apparently if you spank, you abuse (they group any type of physical discipline in the abuse category) and no spanking (even your own children) is allowed within earshot of the foster child. It really upsets me that a few bad apples have spoiled the bunch. But we'll be fine; we will continue to parent the way we feel God has called us to parent and I know this little child will feel loved and accepted while she is here. 

As far as the Concurrent Planning Program, I think that right now its better for us to do traditional foster care, mostly because we really cannot say with 100% certainty that we are staying in southern CA long-term.  Once we know either way, we will get started with adoption, but are unsure as to what that will look like.  We are praying for God's guidance and perspective over the entire situation.

Something interesting to note:  We learned this past weekend that if you adopt from CA's foster care system, not only are you given a monthly stipend until the child turns 18, but the child also receives MediCal until they turn 18.  This makes adopting from the foster care system so doable for the average family!  

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Our Home Inspection

Today was our home inspection and I have to admit that I haven't cleaned so much in a LONG time.  I mean doors, baseboards, the top of the fridge....the works.  I figured our social worker wouldn't be that thorough (I was right), but I didn't want to take the risk.

The social worker arrived 15 minutes late (a huge pet peeve of mine), but she was really nice. She was surprised that we had done everything required, especially since it was our first home visit.  The only thing we have to do is get a land line (something we did away with since we never used it) which doesn't require another visit (thank goodness).

We asked the social worker how long it typically takes to receive a placement after we've been licensed (even though we had already been told by a few other social workers a couple weeks to a couple months).  Something interesting that the social worker said was that if a really good foster family comes along the county is just waiting for them to get licensed so they can place with them; she has seen children placed as soon as the same day a license has been received. That made Mark and I believe that maybe the odds are in our favor.  I'm not getting my hopes up, but it would be great to have a little girl placed with us before Christmas.

And it looks like we're leaning toward the Concurrent Planning Program...we really want to adopt.  But we aren't certain and we are still praying on it.  Thank you to those who have emailed/called offering encouragement and support.  We appreciate you all so much; your prayers give us strength.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


We started our 27 hours worth of classes a few weeks ago and have learned so much about foster care and adoption.  We are once again faced with a new set of decisions that need to be made...

When we went into this we didn't even realize that adopting from foster care would be an option, but we've now learned of a program the county offers called Concurrent Planning.  This is when a child who has a very small chance (like 10%) of reunification with her birth family is placed with a foster family who has the intention of adopting the child if/when the child becomes adoptable.  Basically the Judge tells the birth mom that since she has continued to fail to meet the requirements necessary to reunite with her child they have a concurrent plan in place (adoption) for the child.  The birth mom is usually given one more chance to get it together and if she cannot, her rights are relinquished and the child is adopted by the foster family, who she has been with for some time.  

I think that this program would be a really good fit for our family since adoption is our goal. Mark, however, is still leaning towards traditional foster care.  This is something that needs to be decided soon because there are additional things that need to be completed if we are going to be preparing to adopt (classes, more paperwork, another set of fingerprints, etc.).  

Again, I ask that you would pray for our family.  I know that God has a plan and I am remaining faithful in that.  Also, please continue to pray for this little girl.  I find myself wondering where she is and who she is with and about the severity of the situation.  I pray for God's protection over her during this chaotic time in her young life.  

Friday, October 17, 2008

Orphans Ministry

The video below was included in a book ("Launching An Orphans Ministry in Your Church") that we are using as a guide in launching the Orphans Care Team at our church.  I thought I'd include it here to bring a little more awareness and information to this need.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Foster Care Orientation

The foster care orientation went really well despite how LONG the day seemed.  We survived and the kids survived without us for the majority of the day.    

We filled out our licensing application, were finger-printed, TB tested, CPR and First Aid certified and we also registered for the 27 hours of required classes, which we'll be attending every Saturday from Oct. 18-Nov.22.  We accomplished a lot and are really looking forward to being done with our classes.

We also learned something VERY interesting: 
Apparently, when you adopt a child from the foster care system (I believe this is statewide, but definitely in San Diego County) not only is the fee minimal (if any at all), but you also receive a monthly stipend until the child is 18.  How is this not publicized?  I know SO many people who would love to adopt... and the most common reason for not doing so is "we can't afford it".  

This option could change lives.  If only more people knew!

When I found this out not only did I want to go that route versus fostering, but all I could think about was how anxious I am to get the ball rolling with our Orphans Care Team at church so that we can make this information public.  I want people to know that they can do this.  

But we've decided that since we aren't sure whether we are staying in Southern CA long-term, we will foster a 2-3 year old girl.  Then we will re-evaluate the situation and consider our options.

We constantly have feelings of apprehension, but know that God has called us to do this.  There is simply no other way we can explain how our hearts have been so transformed in such a short amount of time.  Please continue to pray for us.  And please pray for the little girl who will be joining our family in the near future.

Friday, October 10, 2008

HHSA Orientation Tomorrow

Well, tomorrow is the big day...our foster care orientation.

And honestly, I am so nervous.  

My stomach has been turning all day.  Not because I don't want to do this, that's not it.  I'm looking forward to finding out more information tomorrow; I'm really curious about the details and if this really is something that we could do.  I'm nervous because we're leaving our 5 month old son ALL day.  I've never left him for that long before and I've never left him with someone other than Mark.  I'm sure that everything will be fine, but still.  I've just completed a typed schedule, directions on how to heat up breast milk, emergency instructions and labeled the snacks and foods in the fridge and the times in which to give them to Emma (which was included in the typed schedule, but redundancy sometimes is necessary).

So more to come after the orientation....  Pray that everything goes okay.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Becoming a Servant

Yesterday church gave us a new prospective on how as Christian's we're called to serve (of course we've always known this but yesterday we felt God's clarity).  We saw the 30,000 ft. view of our lives and how living an average, mediocre life is not God-honoring. The message was inspiring and it completely paralleled how we feel about living our lives as disciples of Christ.  I felt the message was confirmation from God about the decisions we've made recently about serving and helping children.  And boy did I need confirmation because some things have annoyed me lately regarding the direction in which we believe God is calling our family to move, specifically where foster care, adoption and our family growing are involved.

I completely agree that it would be easier to not adopt or foster a child.  It would be so much easier to not be involved with our church and not volunteer to help out in the children's programs, small groups, and lead our own ministry (which is now called the Orphan's Care Team).  It would be easier to put the kids in daycare and go to work and live comfortably on two incomes versus watching every penny as we navigate this life based on what we believe is best for our family.  And at one point I was all about the easiest route.  But I have changed and I have grown to realize that its not all about me.  And the more I grow, the more I pray, the more I'm in the Word, the less I'm able to just sit by and be the mediocre uninvolved person I once was so comfortable being.  

All I want is to live a life of significance.  A life that is more about serving and honoring God than serving and honoring me.  Although I have been a Christian for more than 15 years, I have just begun to see what that looks like.  I'm excited.  I'm terrified.  I'm willing.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Let the journey begin...

Yesterday I received a call from the County of San Diego's Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) regarding foster care (hello...God?).  I spoke with this particular woman a couple weeks ago regarding our interest in becoming foster parents and she called to see if we were still interested as orientations are beginning next week.  I told her that we are still interested and we were just deciding about when would be a good time to make it to an orientation.  Well she went on to tell me about one that is taking place on October 11 that is an all day event. Basically its the required orientation, TB test, finger printing, CPR certification all in one 8 hour day. This makes getting everything done extremely convenient (if you don't count the baby sitting fee for the kids or having to pump enough for two bottles for our 5 month old - ugh). 

I am feeling so nervous about all this for a few reasons:

1) The obvious fear is our family getting so attached to the kiddo only to have her (we're requesting a little girl) taken away.  I can't imagine how difficult that would be, but we have to go through this with our eyes wide open, knowing that reunification is always the goal.  

2) I'm also really nervous about how our 4 year old daughter, Emma, will react to having another little girl in the house, especially since the two will share a room.  We have spoken to her about this and she seems really excited about having a "sister" as she already calls her (leave it to our super outgoing, presumptuous daughter to already deem the kiddo her "sister"; again, this references fear #1.)  I'm a little nervous about the sharing issue, the attention issue, etc. Even though we have two kids, there is almost a 4 year gap in between the two and our 5 month old son doesn't pose much threat to Emma since she doesn't have to deal with him playing with her stuff.  I'm sure this will mostly be a non-issue since Em is very giving and typically easy-going.  But kids are kids...

3) Navigating the foster care system as a whole is very  intimidating.  From what I've heard and read, the system itself is very frustrating and sadly, many times the best interest of the child is not what is the priority.  I am praying that if this moves forward as planned that God will bless us with a competent, caring and punctual social worker/case worker so that things run smoothly, at least most of the time.

So that is where we are at currently.  We continue to pray for God's will and hope that He will use us for the glory of His Kingdom.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Latest

Its been a while since I've been on here as life continues to be busy and full.  

The latest:

A couple months ago I was relaxing during a free moment and I decided to see just what was on TV at 9:30am.  I happened upon a Christ-centered show called "Living the Life" that is geared towards women and mostly revolves around living your life for Christ.  Even though the women were a little annoying (I have to keep it real) I thought that it was awesome that this type of show was on and watched the whole thing.  

The next show to come on was the 700 Club, which I have always known existed but never watched.  I was cleaning the kitchen at this point and half listening when something caught my attention that made me sit back down on the couch.  They were doing a segment on the plight of orphans in the world and showed an orphanage that they support financially.  Then they spoke about adoption and I sat on the couch and cried as I heard about the huge need of these precious children.  I felt the Lord putting orphan care on my heart right then.  

Within the next 20 minutes I had committed to God to do whatever He was asking of me. We've always figured we'd have 3 kids and for the first time I was really seriously considering adoption.  I called my Mom, who I tend to bounce big stuff like this off of, to see what she thought.  She attends a great church in our hometown where a few couples have adopted, including the Pastor and his wife, and she has seen what a blessing adoption is.  She immediately supported the idea and only encouraged me.  

I prayer more about it throughout the day.  

Husband (Mark) came home and I was nervous to bring up my latest passion (if you know me, you know I have many) for fear that 1) he'd think I was making an emotional decision based on a segment of the 700 Club that I'd seen and 2) that he'd not be interested in walking this path with me, which would lead to me not walking this path at all.... at least not in the way I was hoping.  To my surprise, he was 100% receptive to the idea and wanted more info.  We spent the next month researching and researching, committing and backing down, willing to take the financial risk in faith, unwilling to take the financial risk with little faith....and on and on it went.  

We finally came to the conclusion that we will adopt.  We are unsure of God's timing or what that will look like, but we are certain that He has called us to love one of His as our own.  We also decided that meanwhile we'd love to provide foster care for a child or two.  This is something that I'd NEVER thought I'd do.  I was fearful of getting attached to a precious child only for it to be taken, fearful of how taking a child in would alter our comfy already -established family dynamic, fearful of my own personal time being interrupted by the needs of yet another child.  Then I took a step back and looked at the situation not through selfish Alison eyes, but through God's eyes and I saw something that could beautiful and restoring to a neglected soul.  And even if we were to have a child that we fall in love with leave after a short time, that time can be used to provide comfort from the chaos, fun, and to show that child the love of the Parent that will never harm or abandon - God our Father.

So now we are waiting...the thing I do worst than anything else.  

However, in the meantime, Mark and I are starting an Orphans Ministry at our church.  We attend a very large church (5,000+) and there is HUGE potential for this to have a substantial affect on the community.  I am continuously praying that God send us the right people to form this team so that we can get kiddos in Christian homes.  That is the ultimate goal.  I am so excited about what God is going to do.  I have seen Him work through other churches across the country and the results have been awesome.  There are over 300,000 churches in America; if each church committed to adopting one child from the foster care system, foster care would no longer exist as we know it today.  I believe with all my heart that orphans and waiting children need the church to step in and educate and inspire families to change lives for Christ.

So that is the latest...please pray for us. 

 For more info visit: www.icareaboutorphans.com

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Great Read

I am currently reading a book called "Created to be His Help Meet " by Debi Pearl (Debi and her husband Michael have a ministry called No Greater Joy that can be accessed at www.nogreaterjoy.org).  While we were living in NH my husband's friend ordered us a bunch of their literature knowing that we are Christian's (it was free for military if you requested it, not sure if it still is).  We listened to one of Michael Pearl's sermon's and WOW...I could immediately tell that the No Greater Joy ministry was extremely "old school" aka conservative. This was not "feel good" religion.  This was Biblical straight talk like I hadn't heard before.  I told my husband to turn it off... I couldn't listen to it.  Not because I disagreed with what Mr. Pearl was saying, but because it was too harsh...too raw.  I wasn't mature enough to handle it.

In the package we received there was a book called "Created to be His Help Meet" that Debi Pearl had written about the biblical role of a wife.  The back cover read that the book would transform your marriage.  At the time, our marriage was at a rough patch, but at the time I was too stubborn to accept any wrong doing and so after reading the first chapter of Debi's book I literally threw it across the room.  That was 3 years ago.

We got through that rough patch and our marriage is great thanks to the Lord's blessing, an awesome support system and a great church family.  But a year ago I felt an internal stirring.  I wanted to not only to have a great marriage, but a Godly marriage.  I wondered how God really intended marriage to be.  What could I do to have the best marriage possible?  Last fall I came across "Created..." and I am a little more than half-way through it now (in addition to reading it I am reading 2 other books and raising a family... I'm taking my time with it).

I read the first chapter through different eyes the second time around.  This book has resonated with me in a way that continues to surprised me.  Although I don't agree with everything in the book, there are so many "ah ha!" moments throughout it.  I have a better marriage because of it.  I have a clearer understanding of my role as a wife and I am better at loving and serving my husband because of it.  

No matter the state of your marriage I recommend this book.  It will give you a different perspective on marriage and a woman's role in that union.  It will most-likely challenge you, since we are women of a new era and mind-set, but considering the rising divorce rate in our country, it may be beneficial to become a little more "old school" and examine what God really intended marriage to be.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Who Would Choose This?

Today I read an article on partial-birth abortion.  I always knew that partial-birth abortion was an abortion that was preformed during the end of the 2nd or beginning of the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, but I never knew the exact details of the procedure itself.  I honestly don't know what to say...

I sat on the couch and cried.  I cannot understand how any human, especially the pregnant woman and operating doctor, can willingly involve themselves in something so completely inhumane. The only way to describe what is being done is murder.  It is as simple as that.  To murder a viable baby is so disgusting and so selfish.  

I have heard all the arguments before..."what about if a woman is raped?" or "what about those unfortunate cases of incest?" or "what if the woman's life is at risk?".  We live in the 21st century.  Rape is no longer an excuse for an abortion because of the education of women these days.  We have all been taught about rape kits and the benefit to the woman of not only being medically examined after a rape has occured, but also in aiding in the arrest and prosecution of the accused rapist. Incest falls under the same category as rape. As for protecting the health of the mother, all I know is that if I were in the position where a possible pregnancy compromised my health, I simply would not get pregnant.  If once I were pregnant there were complications to my health, I would go the course and trust in God.  I would never choose to murder so that I could live.

There is currently a ban on partial-birth abortion nationwide and additional bans exist state-to-state.  But there are definitely those who believe that this should be legal and available to women in support of a woman's right to choose.  What about the rights of that child?  How is it that we live in a country that is so conscious about everyone else's rights (black, white, gay, straight, etc.) yet we can allow a baby with no voice be discarded without batting an eye?

Don't get me wrong, I am against all forms of abortion, but for some reason this particular form (and forms similar to it) really enrages me.  If a woman chooses to have sex outside of marriage she needs to be responsible.  Free birth control is widely available and easily accessible.  If a woman does get pregnant and does not want that child, adoption is the way to go.  

Women need to take responsibility for their actions and stop buying into the lie that this quick fix will solve everything.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sounding Board

Lately I have been needing to express thoughts and opinions that I only share with a select few and otherwise keep to myself.  Some of these are pretty simple and straight-forward while others are controversial and completely go against the grain of our selfish culture.  I just need an outlet and since conventional journaling (which I used to do religiously) has become a luxury as I am rarely able or willing to pull out the old journal and pen, I figured this would be a more convenient option.  

Stay tuned...