Thursday, November 3, 2011

My God Will Come Through Always

People claim to know God, but they deny him by the way they live.

Not my words, but Apostle Paul's [Titus 1:16 NLT]. My heart is undergoing some pretty big transformation - and I'm only a week in. I've heard my share of good messages, but recently I attended a conference and listened to John Bevere speak on extraordinary living. The shaking that took place in my heart was so violent, particles are still mid-float.

I have been distracted this year for various reasons, but God has been growing passion in my heart at an alarming rate, and it is time to focus my energy on His voice.

I made drastic changes this week.

It is not coincidental that we're knee deep in the foster license process at this time. Last week, we finished our ninth session of PRIDE training, submitted all the necessary paperwork [it sounds so easy stated this way!], and have our home study visit on Monday.

We have experienced a fair share of frustration during the process so far, but I believe that God has given me supernatural faith for this time; for His purpose. Unlike the roller-coaster of emotions I felt during domestic adoption, I am undaunted by the foster adoption path before us.

Do you love that Kristian Stanfill song as much as I do?

Oh, My God, He will not delay
My refuge and strength, always
I will not fear, his promise is true
My God will come through always

If I believe that my God will come through, there any reason to be anxious?

No way.

I can't focus time on my fears or failures, because there's work to do. I have to trust God that His purpose will be multiplied in the life of my family.

There are 460,000 children in the U.S. foster care system.
114,000 of those kids are waiting for an adoptive family.
And 30,000 kids in the U.S. "age out" of the system every year.

What really drove these statistics home, this week, for Ben and me, is the fact that Michigan has approximately 10,000 churches and 4500 kids waiting for adoption. If half of those churches could produce one adoptive family, all the children in Michigan waiting for a home would have one.

Our hearts are on overload. In our first go-around, here, we're willing to take a sibling group of three. But God is stretching our hearts. What about the sibling groups of five or six? What about the eighteen-year-olds that never have "family"? When you allow God to move...boundaries are obliterated. I'm coming to Ben saying, "We can care for a baby addicted to cocaine" and he's coming to me saying, "We can care for teenagers in the independent living program."

What we can't do is adopt 114,000 kids [smile].

I am praying very specific prayers, right now, because I don't want to trust in my own abilities anymore. I don't want to cap God's power in my life, or put a limit on what's possible.

And I certainly don't ever want to be accused of denying God by the way we live...


  1. After a great conversation with a birth mom last night, I realized why you are the adoptive mother that everyone wants. For one, you realize that there are kids in foster care that need homes. For this, I have the UPMOST respect for you. I think you are wonderful in any and everything you do! I wish you nothing but the best and I love to follow your journey!

  2. it isn't simple and it isn't easy, but God didn't ask us to care for them...He demanded it.

    it's time we stop acting like He didn't.

    and you know that if God sees fit to give you a sibling group of 6 (I will laugh my head off) and then I will totally babysit them once in a while for you :)

  3. Okay kids in foster care need homes that are willing to help them reunify with their families first, if thats not your goal then fostering should not be your goal. Second kids who are available for adoption are most likely older than your son Ty. I believe that God comes through always, in ways that bend what our expectations are around what his will is, so that in the end, nothing of whats left can bring us Glroy but rather point to the one who placed us where we are. I think its wonderful for every one to consider being a foster parent, and equally wonderful when people are brave enough to admit that they are willing however that looks. So I guess after reading your blog for a bit as a foster parent and an adoptive home please search your heart and if you cannot make this process fit into what you think it needs to be, then wait on the Lord. Sometimes he doesn't answer by bending the rules to somehow allow you to adopt a child under a specific age or situation. I am reading alot about how you will not let barriers get in your way, however I think sometimes we and our will and our wants are made of brick and blocking our path. If God is big enough to get you a child in the right age group, he is also big enough to prevent it should that not be his will, if he is great enough to give us the desires of our hearts, he is also great enough to change them and mold them to what looks like his. Adopting from a state agency is 100% different then private adoption and its 100% needed however the kids that truly need homes are not 100% desirable by us, but the are desireable to him who created them who breathed life into them, who walked them through abuse and neglect. So when things look like a stumbling block and it doesn't fit easily and sweetly into a nice blog post about how God will get you through and somehow you will get the child many state agencys have told you they cannot offer you, because you are behind the other 400 families who are also waiting for a child 2 and under, then maybe its time to not look at it as something you will change about them, look at it as something God is trying to shift in you. Don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with feeling like you can only accept a specific child in your home there are many reasons, bedrooms, siblings etc...the issue there is is that those kids whose placement you can accept are few and far between the kids you mentioned the ones waiting for homes are often at least age 6 and above and come with a past. IF you cannot marry what is right for your family and the children who are waiting then truly you should wait, truly you should search other avenues.

  4. What if a few of these 10,000 churches had programs that promoted family preservation? And the resources to support families in need (whether they are affected by poverty, drugs, mental illness, or all of the above). Because kids DO deserve better than to be swept away and "saved" by people.

  5. Beautiful!!! I am praying that God will ignite a fiery passion in my heart as well!!! I am unable to foster a child but what I can do is pray along with you!!! I want also to submit myself to God, it's difficult sometimes but after reading, I'm motivated to press on. Thank You.

  6. Andrea, You've misinterpreted my words and judged harshly.

    God is showing us His heart for kids waiting for homes (we are not fostering; only adopting) and I'm writing it out as it's revealed. You're totally right that God's plans are not our plans and they don't fit in neat, tidy boxes. This is why we're stepping back and allowing God to do His thing, His way.

  7. Andrea, are you a foster mom? and maybe you should read things BEFORE you speak...they are planning on adopting a child AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION, not fostering and hoping to "win" a child in a court case from their bio parents.

    And why are you trying to scare off someone that is trying to adopt a child that needs to be adopted??? MANY kids that are foster kids end up needing to be adopted, shouldn't they be put in a family that wants them while they have to go through the hell of being pulled in two directions by the state?

    You have a lot to say...but do you know what you are talking about?

  8. ok, Andrea, I see you are a foster mom. i am sad that a foster mom would attack someone like this. especially knowing what you should know.

  9. rebekah, you don't need to publish all of these, trust me i won't be offended, but can you believe "jilly" (who is a brand new profile) and I can almost guarantee has been involved with social services herself in one way or another by the way she said "saved".

    i agree that we, as the church, she try to preserve familes...but, not at the expense of the children who seem to always be the ones to suffer.

  10. We see your hearts and love you guys. We are trusting God with you and looking forward to living an "extraodinary" life along side you...

  11. I did see that she is adopting from foster care just trying to align myself up and give accurate information. I think when you list going through the Foster care process I was confused at first. See the sad thing is that sometimes people view truth as judgment when in reality it’s not, it’s just simply truth. If God is opening your heart and life for kiddos waiting then that’s amazing, my response was in response to the many post about how agencies will not work with you because you are trying to honor birth order, How about instead of getting defensive, to both you and your friends, try and see the words and the road that others have walked. Our God is amazing and in my wildest dreams I never imagined the life he brought me to, I am selfish and lacking and still he sees fit to see me and place me in his plan. I have no desire to use harsh words and my words were neither harsh nor judgmental. They were experience mingled with truth. This life is hard, the children waiting need families, if you can be that family then do it, but if you need a specific child that fits into a neat box then this isn't the avenue, not discrediting other avenues, just offering an admission different than the others. I am a 31 year old married lover of Jesus who is raising an 18 year old daughter, an 11 year old daughter and a 9 month old daughter and this is definitely not the picture I imagined but the one God masterfully created for me. I guess it’s not politically correct any more to encourage other Christians to grow and stretch please explains how my post was offensive and I certainly desire to have a teachable heart.
    Please understand that I truly do want people to be encouraged, however as a foster parent, a member of the training team that yes trains potential foster and adoptive parents and a mentor to both bio parents and foster/adopt parents it is highly important to have correct information. I was offering some. Again show me where I was on the attack, or not encouraging adoption I truly would love to know where the message is lacking.

  12. Andrea, I looked for a personal email account attached to your blog, but wasn't able to find one. I'd rather take this off-line.

    If you want to speak into someone's life, it's important that you first have relationship.

    My post exposed my vulnerabilities as I described the transformation process that God is doing in my life (we're not perfect as people or adoptive parents or prospective foster adoptive parents). I was shaken to life this week and committed some areas to God that were causing distraction. That includes the foster adoption process and the plan we had conceived. Ben and I did go into this narrow-minded, but as God beckons us further, our hearts have been laid open on the table.

    We are getting licensed for foster care because our social worker has recommended it, but our intent is to adopt children waiting for families.

    I used to get a lot of harsh mail when it came to domestic adoption, but I never expected back lash on the foster adoption side. With 114,000 kids waiting for families, we all should be working together to find them.

    I know we won't all see eye-to-eye and that's okay. I do, however, have to give an account one day for the life God called ME to, so I have to allow his voice to silence the others. I'm sure of many things, today. One of those sureties is that God has called my family to foster adoption.

  13. I think if they want to honor birth order that makes perfect sense. Its actually highly reccommended that you do that. That way the child doesn't lose its place in the family that is presently there.

  14. I know I have already shared some of my thoughts on the foster-to-adopt process with you. And I do share some of Andrea's concerns about the fine line between adopting a waiting child from foster care and becoming foster parents with the hopes of adopting. (I actually just wrote a post about that yesterday!)

    But I am always hopeful and want to encourage those who are seeking to do God's will. It certainly seems like you are opening your eyes to the possibilities of children who are waiting for families. Even though it wasn't what you originally intended. Maybe it was what God intended. Maybe he still has other plans and this is still just the first step. But either way I will keep you in my prayers as you seek God's path.

  15. As far as churches supporting these families. PLEASE!!! Every church I have been to does so much commmunity outreach to help struggling families its unreal. They provide resources that others don't get. Want to know what my church is doing about the fact I can't have children? NOTHING. No money for treatments. No help. Do I expect it? NO WAY. However, if you can have children and NOT be able to support them THEN the church should solve all your problems. Sweatheart, the church isn't The Government who will GIVE you money for food. GIVE you healthcare. GIVE you housing. GIVE you reduced or free electricity.

  16. Actually, MamaFoster, I do not work in the social service department - But I am a mom that has adopted, and am fairly well-versed in adoption and foster care issues. (I was just logged into my other email account when I read this blog and posted) I would be careful what you "almost guarantee" ;-)

    This is the problem I have. The statement "...Michigan has approximately 10,000 churches and 4500 kids waiting for adoption. If half of those churches could produce one adoptive family, all the children in Michigan waiting for a home would have one."

    OK, great in theory. Kind of. Well, not really. Think about the reason WHY these children need a home. Does the family have issues with drugs, alcohol, abuse, poverty, ?? What's the issue causing that huge number of children to need to be adopted? Why don't the churches step up and help PREVENT these kids entering the foster care system in the first place, and help support programs that promote family preservation and giving these families in need the support they need to be successful.

    Maybe instead of throwing $20,000, $30,000, whatever into an adoption - people should use that money and donate to an organization that helps keep families together and get the help they need. (Yah, I'm not naive enough to think that ALL kids can be reunified with their parents. In many cases, they DO need to be forever taken out of the home.) But to get a little off-track from foster care, I do feel like the majority of infants adopted through DIA aren't in a "NEED to be adopted" situation, and if the birth family had just had some more resources (emotional, physical, spiritual, educational, financial support...) that these kiddos would be able to stay with their birth family - like God truly intended.

    I'm not saying that all adoptions are not needed. But adoption isn't a cure for the orphan crisis (And yes, I'm considering kids in the foster care system that have no legal parents "orphans"). That adoption helps that ONE child, but does NOTHING for the big problem. I'm so sick of hearing how "adoption is the answer" for everything. No, it's not. God calls us to love ALL people - even the "un-lovable" people that need help. The church has MAJORLY dropped the ball in helping people in general, then sweeps up these children that are unfortunately stuck in the middle (and pay the consequences for the mistakes/unfortunate situations in other people's lives around them) and pat themselves on the back for "following God's will and adopting these poor children."

    PS - I also think it's slightly tacky to throw an adoptive child's story all over the internet, because some day babies grow up to be teenagers and adults and have to live with the consequences of other people oversharing their live story. I think that adoptees have NO rights, and now even adoptive parents are taking away their right to privacy and to share THEIR story on THEIR terms.

    Rebekah - I do, however, appreciate that you are willing to post comments of people that don't necessarily agree with you. I think the major way people learn, is through the voice of differing opinions and experiences.

  17. We can pick apart everyone's family planning decisions until we are blue in the face. The fact is, Rebekah is doing a wonderful thing. I am thankful that people like her exist in this world.

  18. I'm glad you are looking at all of the options. I know God will give you the right family.

  19. Jilly, you want people to put their money into programs where, by the time the money filters down to the families, there is barely anything to offer them (monetary help, specialists, therapies, ect)...

    The government has been doing this in a desperate attempt to get these kids back into their bio families homes with little success - I supposed mostly because there is NO HEART CHANGE, which is what it would take to heal these families.

    I, for one, know that you can literally try to DRAG a bio parent across the finish line to get their child back and they DON'T WANT THEM enough to make a change. I have LOVED on my foster daughter's bio mom and dad and still...they gave up. They made decisions that they cannot undo and it is what it is. So what can I do for them. I can love them and allow them to have a safe role in their daughters life. I can tell them about Jesus and how much God loves them and wants them...and then they make their choice. But, in the mean time there is a child who needs someone to feed her, and kiss her, and pay for things for her, and show her how to treat other people and love her. She needs someone who will do that for her, regardless of biology.

    It isn't about the masses, it is about the ones God gives each of us to care for. You guys are talking to someone who is trying to help the ones THEY are called to, at least, TRY to help...what is the point of discouraging that?

    You are a mom. You have a child who needs you. What is the difference between that and what Rebekah is trying to do? Why do you get to do it and she can't? Why is she wrong for trying to do it this way?

    And Andrea, you are a foster mom so I know that you know no one understands what it is like to take care of these kids until they do it. What is wrong with Rebekah, who obviously has a heart that is teachable and changeable, searching for a child that she is willing to help. She is going to have to adjust quickly, just like you and I have, what is wrong with her learning the way God will put before her? The way you worded things made it sound like you thought she didn't know what she was getting into and that she was looking for too perfect of a situations. It sounded like an attack. You didn't know what you were getting into when you started this, but God showed you and taught you things I bet you never knew were coming. Shouldn't we encourage Rebekah to do that instead of not?

  20. Wow. What a crazy debate you have going on here. Out of everything said only one thing really deeply offends me and that was the comment about kids being with their bio families "Like God truly intended." Bull. That is so offensive to every adoptive family out there, including myself. God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Every child is a gift from God but who is to be their parents is not dependent on conception but on a willingness to love and accept a child. I have fost-adopted one daughter and am currently fost-adopting a son, both of whom I am 100% convinced were created specifically for us, our family.

    Rebecca, I love your post because it shows your open heart to anything that God has in store for you! That is the perfect place to be. I feel the same urgency and passion for these kids who have no place to call home. You just want to help all of them. My heart matches yours in this desire. It's so hard. But we can do what we can and pray for the rest. God already knows the child(ren) He has in mind for your family and it will be so perfect when you see it come to fruition! Thanks for sharing your journey with us :)

  21. I'm not Jill, but have been following the blog for a while.

    "You are a mom. You have a child who needs you. What is the difference between that and what Rebekah is trying to do? Why do you get to do it and she can't? Why is she wrong for trying to do it this way?"

    I'm also a mom. I'm a "birth mom" if you want to get technical. As a mom, I love my child with everything I have and even more than I had thought possible. A mother's love is unending. And most mothers would say that they'd walk through h*ll and back for their kids... I pretty much did. I sacrificed my "mom" role so that my child could grow up with parents who could meet his needs better than I could at the time.

    At the end of the day, though, what matters the most is not me. What matters the most is that my child's needs are getting met and they are happy and healthy. This adoption didn't happen because it would be "easier" for me or "easier" for my child’s new parents... it wasn't about fulfilling our needs... it was about opening ourselves up, making ourselves vulnerable, and receiving the blessing that parenting brings.

    Even with foster care adoption, though, it should always be about what the child needs. It is absolutely heart breaking to see so many children out there who are being cut short in their family system. I am very close to a foster care worker, and hear every day how frustrating it is to work with families who don't want to change. It's really sad that some bio parents don't want or can't break their bad habits. I’m not naïve enough to think that it’s ALWAYS best for a child to stay with their bio parents… but I think that, as a Body of Christians, we can do more. We can do more for the children, we can do more for the biological parents, we can do more about poverty. We can.