Thursday, December 29, 2011

My New Job

Today is my first day as a stay at home wife (SAHW)/ soon-to-be stay at home mom (SAHM). I have had three jobs since my college graduation over a decade ago (yikes!) and I have loved all of them. I love to work, I get it from my dad, but I have always wanted to be a stay at home mom once we started a family. We have had a hectic (yet incredible year) and Andy has been looking forward to my time being more flexible and being able to do a lot of tasks during the day so that we have more time together on evenings and weekends.

I have heard about how hard transition going from the working world to being at home full-time, so I am interested to see how I adjust. I have a serious list of projects to work on and we will begin doing weekend care for a set of 9, 11, and 13 year old brothers in January. My first morning home has been productive and now I am  waiting on our friends Mike and Claire to drop off their foster kids who we are keeping for a few days as Mike and Claire celebrate their anniversary. I am considering this weekend trial by fire!

(Well, I had all kinds of fun pictures to post of my morning, but blogger won't upload them. I'll try again later!)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Santa Hustle

I am back on track to becoming a runner. Honestly, I don't like running. I have been sick the past two days, so I really did not want to get out of bed on this very cold morning.  However, today I remembered today that race day is super fun! In general, runners are really nice people and race events have a great atmosphere with camaraderie and celebration. You also get a great sense of accomplishment when you finish!

 This morning we ran the Santa Hustle 5K and Half Marathon in Sevierville, Tennessee. It is a really fun race where everyone gets a Santa-like shirt, hat and beard to run. A lot of people took it to the next level and dressed up even more as elves and other characters. One group was Santa and all eight reindeer! They ran in formation for the entire 5K and even sang Christmas carols. It was so cute and fun. Our friends Laura, Brooke and Mackenzie ran the half marathon, as did Andy, while I ran the 5K.
 Andy has been running half-marathons and full marthons for about seven years. This morning's race was a breeze for him. He was a pretty cute (and skinny!) Santa. He loves to run and especially loves race day. Today he finished fourth in his age bracket and in the top 10 overall! Not too shabby.
 Brooke, Laura and Mackenzie also ran the half marathon! Laura and Brooke both clocked personal records for the day. I was so proud of them.

The girls decided to get in the spirit of the race and get cute socks. They were pretty disappointed to see that about half of the female runners had a similair idea at Target! They still looked adorable.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Being Available

It is really incredible to see God work as we begin our foster care journey. Andy and I pray a lot more these days as we prepare our homes and our hearts to welcome foster children. I taught a Bible study for my work this week, which is not a common experience for me, and I met an amazing couple who have been fostering for almost two years. They have adopted one of their foster daughters and are hoping to adopt a second in January. I was feeling really discouraged about the foster to adopt process that day and meeting them lifted my spirits. I also gained new friends who can give me advice on this journey. God knows who to bring us and when.

Foster care and adoption is an awfully peculiar situation to be put in where is some ways you get to pick your children. It is just such a funny system saying yes and no to children coming to your home and how to decide who to say yes and no to. We have already received a call about a potential set of brothers that may be available for adoption. The potential placement does not fall within our specified age bracket (10 years and under) nor our per-determined number of siblings (two). We have not made a decision yet and we do not have to make a decision yet. I am not sure that we are ready and equipped to provide the type of experienced parenting that these boys will need. I feel guilty for even the fact that we may not accept this placement. I told our case worker that I have mommy guilt and I am not even a mommy yet!

So, today I am pondering what it means to be available to serve God. Does it mean saying yes to every opportunity?  Does saying no mean that I am living in fear? I know that the answers to these questions are not simple. Yet, I also know that if I had listened to common sense and my fear emotions that I would not have answered God's call to provide a home for Sam. I wouldn't have been available for what God wanted for our family. And, I would have missed out on a lot of joy.