Your Risk is NEVER a Failure…….GERONIMO

“If you don’t go all the way with me, through the thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look for me, you’ll find both yourself and me.”-Matthew 10:39 (MSG)

 

I wish I can sit here and let you know that this first post, this first blog for Geronimo-Project comes easy to me. But here’s the reality, I’m struggling with saying YES and letting you in, but right here, and right now, it’s time to exchange my fear of failing and my shame and regret over, for God’s perspective over what he is doing in my life, my family’s life, our littles life and the community we walk in.

I kept discussing with my husband what I should say what I should share….I mean; it has to be this huge thing right? He reminded me, no that’s not what HE wants from you; He wants you to share your heart and be obedient when sharing your heart. Not to hide the sad or the happy. Not to hide your anger or tears but, to just be real.

So here it is for those of you that know me and for those of you that don’t, Geronimo-Project is simply a way to share and educate what it’s like to be a foster parent, what it’s like to support a foster parent and what it’s like when you’re YES is simply to love those He has put into your life.

When I was younger I never thought this would be my life. To be 100% honest I never imagined I would ever make it to where I am today. When I was younger while my friends were dreaming up their life plans I was just trying to survive my life.

My heart connects with our littles not just on a level of me wanting to be a mother to them but my heart connects with them deeper because I know there past, I’ve lived there stories and because of the light God has put into my life I stand here today the woman I am. Believe me I’m not perfect…..but you don’t need to tell my husband that.

I’m a bio mom to two awesome kids Isiah who is 15 and Nevaeh who is 12 going on 35. Seriously how can you love these people so deeply yet want to just hit your head up against the wall over and over when talking to them. All you parents out there with pre-teen and teens my heart and prayers really go out to you. On a serious note though these kids hearts and dedication to the littles that come into our home I cannot praise them enough. They take the good and the bad and yes I get some talk back from some of the rules now in place and freedoms taken away but what a great lesson on obedience.

My LOVE. This man gets me in so many ways that I don’t even get myself. It’s funny because when I talk to others about what it takes to be a foster parent they ask of course about our marriage and I can honestly say, and am not afraid to share with you, it’s not perfect. How can it be? REMEMBER where I came from, I was broken and while he thinks he is perfect, he too was broken. Here’s the beauty God’s been working in our story and on our hearts before we even choose to believe he was. God knew I needed someone that would love my ugly, breakdown my barriers and show me that LOVE could be something beautiful instead of broken. We have been married for 13 years and I cannot wait to see what the next 60 years have for us.

Our family also consists of two pound puppies Oreo and Teddy Bear. Lord help these dogs! I would honestly laugh if they had a vote when we signed up to do foster care. I feel they would have used all four paws to say….heck no mom. They take the kicks, pulling of ears, snuggles and they just love and bark a lot at the littles that enter our home.

My littles. You will never hear me call them my foster children they are my kids now and forever, whether they are in my home or are reunited with their parents, they will always have a place in my heart. My husband and I have been blessed in the 1 ½ years of doing foster care, welcoming six kids into our home and currently have three with us now.

There were very few things about the foster care and adoption journey that my husband and I knew before stepping into it. We knew there was a huge problem in our city, we knew vulnerable kids needed loving homes and we knew God was leading us to get involved. But that's about it. We knew what we needed to know at the time, and it was enough to allow us to step into something largely unknown. It was scary at times - not knowing what we didn't know - but perhaps knowing more would have been even more frightening.

If you had asked me a year ago to tell you what I thought fostering and adopting would be like, there's no way I would have anticipated what was to come. It has ebbed and flowed and evolved our family through multiple repetition, forms and makeups - driven by what seems like a constant of chaos only punctuated by moments of calm. It's been a collection of experiences and emotions we could never have fully prepared for, some ending in very beautiful ways while others still linger in extremely broken ones. We've found there really is no conclusion to any of this - the good and the bad, the beautiful and the broken - they will never leave us but are a forever on-going part of what we are. In many ways the most impactful things about foster care and adoption today were at one point the most hidden things. We were simply unaware and incapable of comprehending all that was to come. His mercy spared us from the burden of carrying information that would have potentially paralyzed us, and invited us on a journey....one where He said go, we asked where, He said don't worry about that right now, and we said - with a little bit of fear and a whole lot of hope - ok, let's do it.

Compassion means to “suffer with,” and the more we travel down the Broken Way, the more we are willing to suffer with others and to let them suffer with us. –Anne Voskamp, The Broken Way

Foster care and adoption has turned our family into something it would have never been able to become on its own. The good has far exceeded anything we hoped would come from this - permeating places in our home and our hearts we were largely unaware of before. A year ago if God had told us how good this whole thing was going to be we likely would not have believed Him. But He didn't. For that, we are grateful.

At the same time, foster care and adoption has required our family to grieve and struggle under the weight of hard things we would normally have gone to great lengths to avoid. It has been far more difficult than we could have ever anticipated - pressing us down into the cracks and crevices of other people's broken stories while exposing the deep and flawed faults in our own. A year ago if God had told us how hard this whole thing was going to be we likely would not have obeyed Him. But He didn't. For that, we are grateful.

In the end, it's the mercy of God that He doesn't show us everything that will unfold in the foster care and adoption journey the moment we first say "yes" to it. All the hard would be too unbearable and all the good would be too unbelievable.

Let your faith in what you do know drive you, not your fear of what you don't know deter you. I'm convinced God is more pleased by our willingness to be faithful on the journey than He is concerned about our ability to control any of the good or bad that will inevitably come along the way.

So here I am risking it all and saying YES. With hopes that Geronimo-Project will be the start of healing for foster parents. A way to educate the community we live in. Change the policies that say they are protecting them when really they are defeating them.

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