Now that Calvin’s adoption is finalized, I’ve been enjoying some of the little changes that come with going from fostered to adopted. :)

I was filling out dental information for him and when it said, “Relationship to Patient” I put something I’d never put for him before…mother…not foster mother, simply one word….mother.

Now when I call my kids, I can say, “Hey PRYOR kids, it’s time to go!” Because we all share that name. :)

We had new prayer cards for our ministry made with a picture that includes all 4 of us.

If we want to take him out of state, we can do that without getting a single person’s permission! Well…and out of country once we get his passport…Africa here we come!!

We can even stay with people without having to ask information for a background check.

If we want to visit with his bio family we can do it when, where and for how long we’d like. We don’t have to go through the caseworker or anyone, it’s all up to us. As far as staying in contact with bio family, that’s another post for another time, but the short answer is yes…we do feel that in our case it is important to stay in touch.

I can tell you that his name is Calvin…like his for real name…not some cheesy “Little Dude” nickname I came up with on the fly for using on the blog and facebook.

Not to mention I can do this:

 

And this:

And even this:


Frugal Friday

I just had to come back to the blogging world to tell you something…..

Remember Little Dude?

Remember pictures like this:

Well….as of today, I can tell you that this is Calvin!

And this is what he actually looks like:

And that he is my son…my forever son, as if born to me, declared by the judge just this morning!

Little did we know that 21 months ago when we got a call, “There’s a 4 year old boy who needs a place to stay tonight, will you take him? He probably won’t be with you long.” And we prayed, and not even sure we were making the right move at the time, called back with a “yes.” We’d only had our fostering license a couple of days. Little did I know when they opened the door at family services, when I saw a little blonde curly haired boy with sunglasses and a t-shirt that had a smiley face and the words “no stress” on it, that he would become my forever child!

Calvin (also called Junior), is almost 6 years old. He’s having his adoption and birthday all in one month.He’s good with his hands and loves building with Legos and making forts in the house. Calvin’s athletic and loves to play outside. His favorite color is orange and he loves all superheros. He likes to eat, especially burgers, fries, strawberries and pizza…and did I mention he’s my son? :)

Frugal Friday

I’ve been reading lots of great articles lately about fostering and adopting and I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you. So grab some kleenex and read away…

Adoption Story Written by God

 

Another Perspective on Birth Families and Foster Care

 

It’s Not About You

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been kinda dreading this post, cuz I just love so many awesome blogs! I have several that I check on a regular basis and others that I just go to when I have more time and happen to think of it. And I’m always discovering new blogs, so this list is definitely not comprehensive and it will probably change a million times, but for now here’s some of my favorites!

Frugal Blogs

Adoption

  • Owlhaven - Not only do I love Mary Ostyn’s blog, but I love her book Family Feasts for $75 a Week.*
  • One Thankful MomGreat blog with honest truth!
  • An Inviting HomeI recently stumbled across this blog and am so glad I did! This family adopted a sibling group of 3 from FOSTER CARE!!! (now you see why I’m drawn to it). They also have 2 bio kids, so she’s a busy woman! I’ve read her post One Year Later multiple times and plan on reading it again! :)

Other

And of course, there’s plenty more that I read, but this should at least get you started if you’re looking for some good reads! :)

*Amazon Affiliate Link

A couple of months ago we went to a picnic, there was food, a bounce house, face painting, build-a-bears and plenty of games! Kids and teens were everywhere. While on the outside it seemed like a great picnic, going deeper it was the most heart-wrenching picnic I’ve ever been to…the purpose was for people interested in adoption to meet kids waiting for forever families.

While the kids (Gracia, Little Dude, Big Sis and Little Bro were all with us at the time) had a great time with the games and all the fun, I couldn’t help but think of the future of the kids going around in matching t-shirts indicating they were the ones available for adoption. There were some that looked like they were in their late teens. Some had been in foster care for years, and all had some kind of loss in their life.

Just today I was looking at kids all over the United States at Adopt US Kids, and then I started looking at the ones in Missouri, and to my surprise (although I don’t know why it surprised me), I recognized  a few of them from the picnic. Whether or not we realize it, there are kids in our very own towns that desperately need someone to show them consistent and faithful love and ultimately point them to the only One who can truly love them perfectly.

“…plead the cause of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:9b

Linked at A Blossoming Life.

Orphanology – Rather ironically, I had never heard of this book until the girl babysitting for us while we took our adoption classes loaned it to me, and now it’s my very favorite book on taking care of orphans. But it’s not just for those interested in adopting, it’s all about how we as the church of Christ are obligated to step up to the plate and take care of needy children and it gives some practical ways of doing that (and not just by adopting).

 

Shepherding a Child’s Heart – If I were to recommend one book on parenting this would be it. The whole concept of going to the heart issue has been a goal of mine and Cameron’s with Gracia, and now with Little Dude, it’s been a reminder again of how just outward obedience isn’t enough.

 


Choosing to SeeI already gave my 2 cents on this book, but I will again. :) Mary Beth Chapman’s (wife to singer Steven Curtis Chapman) openness about her struggles with whether or not she was good enough to adopt really hit home with me and encouraged me.

 

Too Small to Ignore – Even though I can’t say I agree with everything in this book, the main premise of how important kids are really was a challenge to me, and to hear Wess Stafford’s  own personal story of abuse made it even more real. And did you know he was the president of Compassion International?

What great books have affected your life?

*These are all linked to my Amazon affiliate links, but if you don’t want to buy them see if your local library has them!

 

I just finished reading a book I’d been wanting to read for a long time and finally I got it through our inter-library loan system! Choosing to SEE* is written by Mary Beth Chapman, wife of singer Steven Curtis Chapman. She tells their whole life story including the tragedy of their daughter’s death. Mary Beth’s openness and honesty were encouraging to me. It was such a great reminder that God can use even the hardest of times to draw us closer to Him.

I have a new appreciation for Steven Curtis Chapman’s songs now that I know the story behind them, and I love how they promote and help in orphan care (check out Show Hope). Did you know Mary Beth has a blog?

Have you read any great reads lately?

* This is my amazon affiliate link, and I receive a portion of the money if you make a purchase through my link. However I was not paid in any other way to make this post. All opinions are my own.

 

I received a few questions about fostering:

….What does it mean to your foster child when y’all move from your current county?….Regarding your foster son, how old is he, and is adoption an option?  If it is an option, is it one that you would consider?

And another reader asked about fostering too:

How is fostering going? I know you can’t tell us everything, but whatever you can tell us would be appreciated. What has the hardest part been so far? What’s the best part?

So I’m going to break these down a little bit, kinda like an interview:

What has been the hardest part?

One very stressful situation happened the day after Little Dude came to our home. It was by no fault of his own, just a health issue came up that he had never had before and we rushed him to the ER. Thankfully he is fine now, but at the moment it was very scary! We showed up at the hospital and were like, “We don’t know very much about him, we’ve only been foster parents for less than 24 hours, but here’s what happened…”

Another hard time was that less than a week after Little Dude joined us, Cameron left for a trip. He was only gone a few days, but it was very stretching for me to be a mom of 2, after being used to being a mom of one for so long, especially since the 2 kids were not getting along so well. Thankfully they’ve been doing a lot better now, and every time I have to tell them to be quieter because they’re making so much ruckus playing together, I try to remember to thank God that at least they’re having fun and getting along! The few days Cameron was gone, also really showed me how important teamwork is and gave me so much more appreciation for how amazing he’s done at being a foster dad!

To be very honest and real with yall, I have already (even though I haven’t even been at this a month yet!) doubted if I’m good enough to be a foster mom, but I have to keep coming back to 2 truths:

  1. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
  2. I’m very far from the perfect foster mom for Little Dude, but I can at least teach him about his perfect Father who loves him more than he can fathom.

What has been the best part?

I know exactly what the best part has been!! I’ve been reading through 365 Read Aloud Bedtime Bible Stories with the kids each night (okay, maybe not each night, but most nights). One night when we were learning about God making everything. We headed outside to look up at the stars in space. I pointed up and asked, “Who made that star?” to which Little Dude replied, “God!”

He may have already known that before living with us, I don’t know, but either way, it was such a reminder to me of how important it is to teach kids the truth. For some reason I never think telling kids about God counts as witnessing, but I’ve realized it not only is witnessing, but they’re some of the best people to share this truth with! They’re open to what you have to say and can get so excited over the stories in the Bible. I have no idea what Little Dude’s future holds, how long he’ll be with us, when he does leave, if we’ll ever see him again, but one thing I hope and pray, is that we get to spend eternity in Heaven with him!

Little did we know, but just a few days after this picture Little Dude came to live with us!

 

Regarding your foster son, how old is he, and is adoption an option? If it is an option, is it one that you would consider?

Since I’m so new at this fostering thing, I’m still figuring out what I’m allowed to say on the internet, and what I can’t. So for now I’ll just say that the plan is for him to get back with his family. But as far as us personally adopting, that’s actually the whole reason we got our fostering licence, and we weren’t really planning on fostering unless it looked like it was going to head toward adoption. One of the main reasons is simply because of our plans to work in foreign missions, which leads to the next question…

What does it mean to your foster child when y’all move from your current county?

We will probably be here in training for 1 more year. At this point we are willing to foster Little Dude for as long as we are here, but after our training, our plans are to spend some time raising support and then heading off to another country, so we would not be able to foster.

That being said, we are not hiding the fact that we’re here temporarily from the caseworkers. In fact the lady who called us asking if we would take care of Little Dude knows very well our situation and we had discussed it with her just a few days before the call.

Like I said, we weren’t originally planning on fostering unless adoption was in sight, but our minds were changed, since this need came up and foster parents are so greatly needed. It also fell at a good time, since we’re not in classes I can stay home with the kids while we all transition to having 4 in the house.

As a last thought I’d just like to share that there are 463,000 kids in the U.S. in foster care. Here’s some common myths about foster care adoption. And if you have any questions (regarding fostering, missions, frugality or anything else) feel free to ask me! I’m planning on doing more posts in the future about my personal experience with being a foster parent.

 
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