Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Did I make Disciples today?

Did I make Disciples today? That was the question that popped in my head as I finally got to sit on the couch after putting the kids down for a nap. At the moment I didn't even want to think about it, I just wanted to relax with my latte and turn off my brain. Did I make Disciples today?.....the question kept repeating in my head. In what ways have I equipped my children to be disciples for the Lord? 
The one thing that I know for sure is that children are sponges! You hear this often, and if you have children or are around children in any way you understand what this means. What are my children soaking up from me? The other day Bret was looking for a little action figure. He frantically asked Layla where it was, she didn't know. He then came to me super serious and said "Where is my little guy!?" I don't know Bret, I haven't seen it. "What do you mean you don't know!?" I realized this conversation sounded familiar, just that morning I told Bret to find his shoes, when he replied he didn't know where they were I was quick to say "What do you mean you don't know!?" 
One More example: a few months ago Layla was putting her babies down for a nap. Layla walked down the hall opened the bedroom door and yelled "I said go Night Night!" Mother of the year award for that one! Children are sponges! I'm going to ask this question to myself again: What are my children soaking up from me? We need to be setting an example for our children. How are our children going to disciples for the Lord if we aren't fully committed to being disciples ourselves? One of the prayers I pray for my children is that they grow up to Love and serve the  Lord, that's what I want them to soak up from me. I want them to see my relationship with the Lord. I want them to see my struggle, I want them to see me face on the ground asking for forgiveness for my sins, I want them to know what God's grace feels like, what it feels like to know you need a Savior, and to know the only one that can fill that need is our precious Lord! 

Distractions are my weakness and oh goodness does the Devil love distractions! I like to call my distractions the "Mommy Pressure". The pressure to have everything together. How did we get the impression that to be a good Mom is to have everything together? I should rephrase that....Where did I get the impression? There have been times when the day is done and the kids are in bed I feel defeated by the day, like I used all my energy on everything that doesn't matter, when the only thing that does matter is what ways have I equipped my children to be disciples for the Lord?

Luke 18:16" Let the children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the Kingdom of God." 

My purpose as a Christ following Mother is to raise my children in the way of the Lord with the hope that they will one day be disciples for Jesus! 

Did you make disciples today? In what way have you equipped your children to be disciples for the Lord?

Be a disciple, make a disciple. 


Monday, March 2, 2015

Be still and Know

After having this precious little girl in our home for 6 months her adoption was finalized on Feb 13th, 2015! She is officially a Blythe! She has blessed our family so much! My husband and I continually say "I can't believe she's ours forever" "Can she be any cuter!?" Its getting quite ridiculous, but of course we will continue to say those things. And let me tell you!!!!........her smile is bigger than those huge brown eyes!
My husband and I are still in shock with how fast the process was. The only reason it went so fast was because of our Mighty God! When we first brought Layla into our home we thought it would only be temporary. The chances of adoption were slim to non, but we did know that one of God's precious children needed a home and we were going to give it to her no matter what the outcome would be.
Layla's adoption Day! 43 family and friends crammed in the judges chambers

After having Layla for a couple weeks we were talking to our friends at church about Layla. They were asking questions like: Where she was born, what day, and if she had any complications. I didn't know much about her birth but I did know her birthday and the Hospital. Funny thing, their son has the same birthday and was born in the same hospital. My friend continued to tell me about a little girl in the NICU that her son was also in. As she would feed her son she could see this little baby in the next room. She noticed there were no visitors seeing this baby girl and that the nurses would be the one feeding her. Every time she fed her son she would look into the other room at this baby girl and pray for her, she prayed that the Lord would bring a family into her life that would raise her to know Him. She then told me that the baby girl's name was Layla......That was my Layla!  My friend prayed for my daughter two years before I even met her! From day one God was holding my precious daughter....His precious daughter and was preparing her life for her, a life that would bring her joy and a family.

Here's the family that Prayed for our daughter
God continued to work in amazing ways with Layla's story. There was a court hearing coming up. This hearing was a review hearing, which means, they would review where Layla was and how she was doing then have another hearing in 6 months to talk about adoption. It got us excited because we knew adoption was on the table now! Well the hearing day came and went. I wasn't expecting to hear anything about it but I got an email from the social worker with the words: PARENTAL RIGHT TERMINATED! How could this be? We were no where close to this step. She continued to tell me that the judge was a visiting judge. Normally visiting judges postpone any decisions on the case until the regular judge is back. She was as shocked as I was. The visiting judge looked at Layla's file then our file and noticed that the parents didn't show up and made the decision that it would be best for Layla to stay with us and he terminated all rights. Praise the Lord! This quickened the process by almost a year! God knew from the start that Layla was going to be ours forever, even in that hospital when she was alone. I couldn't hold her then but I know that God had been holding her that whole time and preparing us for this time we are in.

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The beginning of forever

My husband and I are creating our family through adoption from foster care. We have always said "Lets continue to do foster care after we get our cute little family", so the plan is to adopt 3-4 kids and in the future continuing to do foster care when our kids are a little older. If we did bring in a child that may go back to his/her biological family we wanted that risk to be very low. We didn't want to go through the pain of losing a child that we were planning on adopting. Our plans don't always match up with Gods plans. He definitely had something else planned for our family.

(Baby Bret!)
When we brought our son home he was 6 months old. He was the cutest little chunk ever! We fell in love instantly. He was a low risk child and our adoption process went very smoothly. He was adopted when he was 20 months old.
After Brets adoption we immediately got our homestudy done and had our name on the list for another child. We waited just over one year until we got "The Call", but it wasn't the call we were expecting. This call was about a little girl that needed a safe place to stay for  a while. They wanted to place her in a home that would want to adopt just in case she would become adoptable. This was a hard decision for us to make because we knew that we would probably lose her. What kept going through my head was this may not be my child but its God's child and she needs a safe place to live. How can I argue with that!? I had a peace about the decision that my husband and I made. This little girl needed a safe home and we were going to give it to her.
She is the sweetest and funniest little girl. We have enjoyed getting to see her personality slowly come out. She calls us Mommy and Daddy. She loves to sing. She LOVES her new brother Bret. This little girl instantly stole our hearts.
Its been 3 months of uncertainty. We have had good news and not so good news, but we always stood firm on knowing that God had us in His hands leading our family to do His will.

Today there was a court hearing and parental rights were terminated!!! We are looking at an adoption finalization near March of 2015!
We were not expecting this to happen today. In fact, we weren't expecting this at all! The news of the adoption was a complete surprise.

Praise the Lord we have a forever daughter!.....and she's the darn cutest thing ever!


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Look past the brokeness and see the Children!

3 years ago is when my Husband and I decided to adopt through the foster care system. We had choices, domestic adoption, international adoption or foster care adoption, but foster care adoption had always stuck out to us because of the # of kids in the system needing homes right in our own county. These are the kids that you walk past on the sidewalk or the ones making silly faces at you while you're driving. I got into a bad habit while I would go out shopping, I would see a child and think "you could be my child". In California, there are over 58,000 kids in the foster care system. What a heart wrenching statistic.

During the time that we were really nailing down where we were going to start the adoption process  we met with a mutual friend who did a domestic adoption. We wanted to hear about our options with the different types of adoption. She gave us a good view on what a domestic adoption looks like. We mentioned how we were thinking to start the foster care process and she went straight to the typical negatives of foster care "They get too personal"..."They control your life and your parenting" "They tell you how to run your home". She mentioned that one of her friends tried doing adoption through foster care but didn't complete the process because they didn't like how they "controlled" their family. Jaron and I walked out of that meeting very discouraged with our decision to go with foster care adoption. I wasn't sure if we were doing the right thing to go through with it. I didn't want someone else controlling the way I did things. I just wanted a child! Jaron and I prayed.....a lot. We wanted to make sure that this strong pull toward foster care was the right thing to do. We wanted to be sure that we were doing what God desired for us. We went forward with the foster care system. Let me tell you....that was the best darn decision we could have made!

Let me take you through these "negatives" about the Foster care adoption process.

  • They get too personal- This makes me laugh! Of course they are going to get too personal! They are trying to know your family inside and out. Know your interest. How you fight as a couple. What your daily routine is. Your work schedule. How much you make. What's your relatives like.  Oh, the list goes on and on!! It is very overwhelming but you have to remember, they are trying to find that perfect child for you and your family. They match you and your family to a child and the only way they can do that is for them to know you like the back of their hand.
  • They control your life and your parenting-  Yes they do! so what? Until that judge signs those adoption papers you have a child in your home that belongs to the state. There are rules and regulations that you have to follow. Don't get me wrong....its difficult and frustrating and sometimes you'll want to pull your hair out but only last a few months.
  • They tell you how to run your home- dare they!? They give me this list about how chemicals cant be under the sink, and that these kids deserve their own bed! little sarcasm there:) The rules that they have are to keep the children safe, healthy and to make sure they are comfortable. Most of the kids in the system come from homes that cant give them what they need, just imagine a kid walking into a room and having their own bed! Their own dresser! Their own personal space! Their own toys! Its priceless! :)
Our social worker visits once a month and they are delightful visits whether we hear good news or bad. We have a relationship with a few of the social workers in the system and we keep in contact with them through our process even if they aren't on our case.
There are terrible stories about the foster care system out there. Foster care homes that abuse these precious children and social workers that abuse the system and judges that send kids back home where its not safe for them. The system is broken but so are the children that are in the system because they are missing the feeling of having a Mom and a Dad that love them. Look past the negatives of the broken system and focus on that child that needs a safe and loving home. My husband and I have had a successful story through the foster care adoption system. We have a beautiful 3 year old son. I can't imagine my life without him.
Just think, if I listened to the voice of someone with wrong information about the foster care system instead of listening to the voice of God leading me to my son, where would he be?

Adopting through the foster care system is challenging, painful, frustrating, terrifying, exciting, nail biting, and worth every tear of joy and sadness. Just look at that handsome boy, he was worth all of that!


Thursday, October 2, 2014

All to Jesus I surrender

One of my favorite things to do (besides looking at my husbands backside in the picture above) is spending time at the ocean. We don't go much,  but when we do I can sit in the sand for hours and stare at the power of the waves and the amazement of how far the deep blue water goes in the distance. Everywhere I go I can see the beauty and power of the Lord in the things He created, but there is something about the ocean that just makes me speechless. When I'm starting at the waves crashing I feel like I'm able to see just a tiny itsy glimpse of God's power.

I have been struggling during this foster care/adoption process with Lay-Lay (I wont be using her
name) with the fear of losing her. My husband and I both knew that there was a huge possibility that we would lose her when we said "yes" to bringing her into our home. My prayer during this time has been "May the Lords will be done" but at times why do I find myself trying to take control of the situation. When life is easy and going great its easy for me to say "Lord you are in control!", but when life is confusing and tough I tend to place God in a box and say "ok, let me do this part.....this is how my life should be going right now."
I need to remember those times at the Ocean and reflect on How powerful, amazing and faithful our God is! Its common sense right? give control to the one that created the world and has been faithful and loving and is a fair and a just God. The one person that I trust my life with is definitely not me, its God! Its not easy to completely surrender your life to God but its what He commands and desires from us.
Ephesians 1:19-20 "I pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God's power for us who believe Him. This is the same might power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms."

Let God take the reigns of your me....its for your own good:)  I know from past experience, the times when I tried to do it without God I failed.....big time.

So during this process with Lay-Lay I pray that I can practice what I preach. I will surrender her to the Lord. I know I will have my human nature of trying to take control of the situation, I just hope that I'm smart enough to remember that God has Lay-Lay and my family in His hands and He is going to do what is best for Lay-Lay....even if that means that we lose her. Its times like this that God is shaping us to be more and more like Christ.  God is a good God all the time! ALL THE TIME!

Yesterday, as I was struggling with my tendencies to take control a song came on the radio. I don't remember who sings it but it was a song with part of a hymn in it. That hymn was "All to Jesus I surrender". Goodness, did I need to hear that.

All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

    I surrender all,
      I surrender all.
    All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
        I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel Thy Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power,
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory to His name!

I surrender ALL!


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hello Again!

Well my last post was Feb of last year:/...ooops. During this past year the adoption of our son Bret was finally complete! He is 3 yrs old now(we got him at 6months). He has us laughing everyday and brings so much Joy into our lives.
After our sons adoption we immediately placed our name on the waiting list for another child and we waited seems like for an eternity. On August 20th we got a call about a little 2 yr old girl that needed a safe home for a while and had the potential to be placed for adoption. Our chances of adopting her are very slim. Knowing the slim chance that she would be forever ours we knew that her being placed in our home was what God had for us at the time. We have no idea how long she will be with us but we of course love her like she is our own child. On Aug 21st we brought her into our home. It took 2 minutes or less to completely fall in love with her! She is so sweet and funny. We see more and more of her personality sneaking out the more comfortable she is getting. Bret is an excellent big brother. The first couple days she was very scared and nervous about being in our home, but Bret would hug her and say "Its ok L**** God is with you." He was a huge part of her taking no time getting comfortable in her new home.

Its been a rough few weeks but definitely worth every exhausting day. I wouldn't change our decision for anything! Each day is a gift from our Savior and what a better way to spend it than with two beautiful children and an awesome Husband!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The parental rights have been Terminated!

The moment that Jaron and I have been waiting for for almost a year:) Although the  word "terminated" is such a powerful scary word in this case it was music to our ears! I still find myself with the biggest smile on my face constantly kissing and hugging Bret; to the point of bret pushing me away and shaking his head no when I try to kiss him :) But I'll excuse him of those actions....he's a boy :) We are SOOOOO ready to sign those adoption papers and make Bret an official Blythe! Jaron and I keep talking about how blessed we are with Bret being our son! He constantly has us laughing and awing over him.
Thank you so much to all of you that have been keeping my family in your prayers! Jaron and I are so incredibly blessed to have such an amazing support group and prayer warriors surrounding us! This process has definitely been an emotional roller coaster and we can finally see the ending! I just can't wait to show Brets face to all of you!

This song is one that I kept listening to over and over again during the process. There is no way that you can guard your heart when you bring a child into your home. The moment Bret came into our home we saw him as our son! We knew going into this that there might be a chance that he would get taken away but that never stopped us from loving him with all our heart! Our hearts are overflowing with Joy and emotions that I just can't put into words after hearing that this fear of possibly losing Bret is finally over! He's going to be ours FOREVER!

This may sound weird and a little crazy to you but as these last couple days have gone by I can't help but think of the Bio-Father. My thoughts and feelings have been so harsh towards him through this process. Thinking to myself and at times out loud.."How could someone give up so easily?" "who wouldn't want this baby!?" "He is so Selfish!!" "He is nothing to Bret!" "He's choosing Drugs over Bret!" and unfortunately the list goes on. Can some of these things be true?....sure they can....and at times he proved them to be true. But what keeps making me want to grab my words and shove them back into my mouth is remembering that He is still a person that God loves and wants him to become his child.  I didn't want to pray for this guy during our process.....but I knew I had too. It makes me laugh a little now but one of the things I would kept telling Jaron as I struggled to pray for this Bio-father was, "Can I pray that he changes his life and lives to serve the Lord AFTER Bret is adopted!?" I admit...I was nervous, I was nervous for this man to turn his life around and Bret getting taken away from us. I knew the Lord was holding all of us in His hands and protecting us but even the thought of something like that happening made me cringe with fear.
This man needs the Lord so bad! He has been battling with his addiction for quite some time now. I really do mean this when I say it...I want him to change his life and get out of the bottomless pit he is in (ok, I'm saying that freely now because Bret is ours!), One of the things that our Social Worker mentioned was on the day his rights were terminated he was grateful. He had written us a letter a while back thanking us for taking such great care for Bret and loving him. Even though at times he wanted to fight for Bret it was like he knew that he couldn't give him what he deserved and we were the better fit for Bret.
Just like how Bret is being adopted into our family....I want this man to be adopted into God's family!

This Blog post was not what I had planned to write about, but it was something that was laid on my heart and something I have been struggling with.

So lets go back to the exciting news! BRET IS GOING TO BE OFFICIALLY A BLYTHE!!!!!!!!!!

um...and also Ive noticed on this post that random words are being underlined. I dont know why. Hopefully that wont show after I post it.