This April marks 3 years since Darin and I first began fostering! Throughout the last 3 years we have had ten children in our home along with our son Winston. This is a reflection on these last 3 years for our friends and family, and an update on where FLM is
heading. There is some major news in this blog so please read!
Near the end of January, I began to feel very physically and emotionally exhausted trying to keep up with everything. We began to realize that all of our 6 foster children were going to be a longer term placement or potentially adoption. I was feeling like a failure because keeping up with 7 kids, housework, the church ministry, wrestling, counseling appts, doctor appts, court dates, monthly foster care meetings and case worker visits, and the ministry of Fine Linen made it hard to stay up on things.
While few people may have realized, I was a wreck at home and felt like I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Most of this was because of the pressure I was placing on myself, not the pressure from anyone else. I was sobbing nightly and struggling with exhaustion. The hardest part for me to come to terms with was why other people could handle having several foster children and not me? I am a stay-at-home mom and I have Jesus... so why did I feel like I was failing? Yes, my pride was in the way of seeing clearly. Darin and I realized we had bit off more than we could chew for a long term period. I asked a couple from our church who had bonded with our youngest two foster children if they would be interested in fostering them, and they were! The kids were actually asking us if they could live with them, which also hurt my pride and feelings, but showed me God's hand was at work in this whole situation and not my own. I believe it was His Providence.
***March 2016: (The BIG News)***
Our 4 boys' case goal was changed to TPR (termination of parental rights) and Adoption. This is a big one, and I want to explain so that all of our family and friends can better understand the situation. When a case goal is changed from reunification to adoption it does not mean that it's a for sure thing. It has a dual purpose: 1.) To work towards permanency for the children 2.) To continue offering the bio parents the opportunity to start working on the requirements to get their children back. For some parents when the goal is changed it serves as a wake up call to really get at it, but for other parents they continue to not do what is asked and at this point the parental rights will end up being terminated.
Darin and I would like to adopt our 4 boys if the parents continue to not be involved in the case plan. I want to explain something though. With older children, the feelings are very mixed on adoption. While we are extremely excited about the possibility of adopting them, there is a lot of grief in working with the boys through their own grief. It is a great loss for children when their parent's rights are terminated, and it is traumatic. No matter how great or loving the adoptive family may be, they are still losing something very precious to them. I say this because I want to ask our family, friends, and church family to be sensitive to this and not talk to the boys or in front of the boys about "Darin and Becky adopting them." If they bring it up on their own that's different, but I would ask for you to err on the side of caution and sensitivity. Remember that especially for the older two it will be difficult if their parent's rights are terminated, and the excitement that you and I feel may not match their own. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask us!
We have been so blessed by our four boys. They are amazing kids. While adopting 4 older boys was not in our plan when we started fostering, the possibility floors us in a good way! There are some kids that you just connect with better than others, that you could see being your forever family. That's how it has been with the boys. They love the outdoors, camping, swimming in the pond, sports, playing air soft, and video games. They are very musically inclined. Our 13 year old D is playing the tenor saxophone for the first time and his teacher asked him to go to contest with the more advanced band class! The boys are super smart and creative, Two are very expressive while the other two are a bit more reserved and quiet. They are the best brothers to Winston. They love to cook, they love going to bed listening to Adventures in Odyssey, and they are very thoughtful. I could go on, but I wanted to give you a picture especially if you have not yet met them. We've also been blessed in that the boys have amazing Grandparents, Great-Grandparents, and Aunts and Uncles who have been supportive this whole time and very invested in the boy's lives.
Please keep the boys, their parents, and us in your prayers. Pray for God's will and His hand to move however He sees best in this situation.
So WHAT NOW for Fine Linen?
Many of you were very generous in supporting the "More Than Us" album project last year! In fact, producing the album would not have happened without your support! I would like to ask you to pray and consider continuing to support Fine Linen through Prayer and Giving. While we are a "small" ministry at this point: "Clothing the Broken with God's Word" is our ultimate goal! Whether through song-writing and recording, leading worship for events, teaching at youth and women's events, producing children's books, or promoting the ministry of foster care and adoption through educational materials and special drives for foster families. I hope to continue using my creative abilities to promote the gospel in these areas!
If you believe in the ministry of Fine Linen and would like it to continue would you consider supporting us monthly or through a one-time donation? 3 monthly partnerships of $10 would cover the yearly cost of the website, and 4 monthly partnerships of $20 would cover the cost of babysitting to be able to continue writing songs, blogging, and developing the ministry as God moves and works! You can click the link here to donate
FLM's Specific Needs:
Optional but Helpful Needs
is a rural Missouri preacher's wife who stays at home with her son Winston and 4 foster sons whom she and her husband are in the process of adopting! (Looking forward to the day I can put their names on here!)