A blog post from a grateful foster dad

Last year at this time I was a new foster dad of a 3 year old son Little Mister (as we refer to him on the internet.). Kara and I were so excited to be helping a child in need, our kids were excited too, thinking this was going to be like getting a new puppy. Kyle wanted a boy his age, Katie wanted a girl her age, Claire wanted a girl her age. We received our first little gift in Little mister and have had him for over a year in our home now, and what a year it has been!!!!

In addition to Little Mister we had the pleasure of fostering two others, both of who stayed with us for a while and then moved on. One was a young lady 11 years old and another was a young girl 8 years old. They were aunt and niece.

As we have learned over the year all of these little ones come with “issues” and a history that is tough. Some may have medical issues like delayed development, autism, or Cerebral Palsy. Others may have emotional issues like abuse (in many forms) neglect, fear for safety etc. Most of the time, in our limited experience, they have a little of both. The challenge for us has been to manage those issues, along with their astronomical amount of appointments, and the various agencies that are in their lives. Ultimately though what these kids really need and want in addition to thereby and meeting their medical needs is someone to care and love them. And let me tell you some of these kids have issues that make them hard to love, but still they need it. They need someone to play with them, to care if they are doing their homework, to fight for them when they get a raw deal from society.

Kara and I and our family have been so blessed by the kids that have stayed with us, we have become a better family because of it. I am so proud of my biological kids and their welcoming with open arms to the kids.

I say all of this because there are thousands of kids out there that need a home. They need someone to care. Will you be that person?

At the beginning of this post I have a music video from Steven Curtis Chapman about caring for the orphan. Watch it and listen to it and give some consideration to what you can do. Maybe it is pray, maybe it is donate, maybe it is jump in and open your home, whatever it is just consider doing something.

Merry Christmas all!!!

Grateful Dad,
Joe

Merry Christmas from a new Foster Dad

Today we celebrated our first Christmas with a fourth child.  Our fourth child came to us via the county almost 7 weeks ago.   He is 2 ½ and is one of 4 children from the same home.  He is an amazing little kid even though he does not talk yet nor does he totally respond to his name.  He does not sleep well at night due to nightmares, which has made it real hard on Kara and I, but we are getting through.  The return though is a little guy who is extremely loving, eats well and loves to be tickled and chased.  What a blessing it is to be a foster dad…hard work…..but a blessing.

 

As I celebrate this Christmas with our new extended family I would implore you to consider what you can do to help all of the foster children in our world.  There are so many that have nobody to help them.  Nobody to love them, give them kisses goodnight, hug them, tickle them or just give them some stability.  Kara and I decided to take this leap after lots of prayer and some gentle nudges from friends.  It has been an amazing adventure.  We have had great days and tough nights.  We have been surprised by so many different responses when we have told people around us that we are doing this.  Some are supportive and excited for us, others are concerned that a foster child will mess up our biological children, and still others are concerned that we will not have enough time for all of the kids.

 

We look at it as an opportunity to share Gods love with another person and give him a chance to be successful in the world.  For a month of for longer, we are in this to make a difference.

 

Merry Christmas to all!!!!

 

Joe

 

Foster care references:

Info about becoming a foster parent:  http://www.fosterparenting.com/

Sleep Train has great info regarding foster care as it is a charitable cause of theirs:  http://www.sleeptrain.com/help-foster-kids.aspx

Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s was a foster care kid: http://www.davethomasfoundation.org/

 

 

Vacation vs. Family trips

In the summer of 2006 Kara, 6 months pregnant at the time, and I, took our two daughters, three and six, to Sea World. This was a much-anticipated “vacation” for us and the first one we had taken since we had started a family. We were excited to have fun, rest, relax, and enjoy just being together. Part of that happened, but some of it was just a pipe dream. We packed up our little family and headed down to San Diego from our home in Elk Grove. We traveled by day making so many stops. Time to pee, take a break, get a snack, because the ones we brought were not as good as highway gas station ones, and hitting traffic. My travel timeline was all messed up. When we finally arrived, we were ready for the resting and the relaxing, however we quickly learned that taking a family on vacation is very different from when were DINKS (Double Income No KidS). There was not relaxing, no resting, instead there was lots of whining dirty diapers and parents needing to be the entertainment. And who would have through that a regular hotel room would become a jungle gym for the kids…….. This was a great learning experience. Just last week we took another family trip, camping with our church. We actually had a great time. We hung out with friends, made new friends, spent time in God’s word. Katie was baptized and Kyle threw up. Of course, no family trip would be complete with throw up. We had a great time. We bonded as a family, enjoyed one another’s company, and just enjoyed being together. Family trips, or vacations are not just about having fun, but they are about enjoying time with one another. We had a great time will have many more. I hope that you and your family will also make memories together through family trips.

Being a Dad

Tonight I got to experience the awesomeness of being a Dad. Don’t get me wrong every day of my 11 years of being a father have been great. Sometime exciting, sometimes scary, and always an adventure. Today between a light cleaning of the house, going to church, having the cable guy come out twice to fix the cable and working on science projects with the girls and writing my own paper for school, I somehow had time for a little bit of reflection on being a Dad. Tonight the oldest had a tough time going to sleep. I found myself needing to cuddle her to get her to calm down and fall asleep. While I laid there I realized that she is growing up, but she still needs her Daddy. I serve as the protector, comforter, teacher and leader. How I carry myself, sets the tone for her in the future. I am so luck and happy to be a Dad, but I also have a huge responsibility. I think I have always known it was there, but tonight I realized I need to focus on it more.
-J