Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Foster Care | Part 8 - Trainings Update

My intention was to update immediately following our training days last Friday & Saturday, but it has been a whirlwind ever since.

I have praise band rehearsal Sunday mornings, which means Sundays start for me at 6:00a.m., which means Sunday afternoon naps start promptly after lunch! :-) Can I get an amen? Then we had church Sunday night. One of the classes being offered this semester is a class on fostering/adoption taught by an amazing lady in our church that worked for Buckner for several years. Isn't that so perfect?!

So this brings us to Monday and Tuesday in which I attended the “Refuge” conference put on by Student Life. It was designed to be a time of rest and renewal for youth leaders. Since I work at our church for our student ministry, I was asked to go. I wasn't sure what to expect, but man am I glad I went. Not much in the way of resting but great for some renewal.

The speakers were Greg Matte (First Houston's pastor), Matt Carter & David Platt! They were out of this world amazing! I will be processing their messages for a while. I’m trying to find out if there's a podcast of the sermons. If so I’ll let ya know. Regardless of your involvement with youth they are so worth hearing.

ALL THAT TO SAY...this is the first non-working, non-sleeping, non-mommy moment I have had to sit and record my thoughts on our trainings.

Let me first stop and say thank you to everyone for all of your facebook comments, tweets, texts, and voicemail messages of encouragement! I am truly thankful for my family and friends, my church family and staff that are supporting us and covering us in prayer during this time. I literally several times throughout the trainings would grab my phone and read through comments or tweets. Those messages helped me immensely get through some intense and very sad moments and for that I am so thankful. It was once again a reminder of the great people God has placed in my life.

I am SO glad that I did not come home Friday night and get on my computer and write my thoughts from that first night. Let's just say it would have been a COMPLETELY different post than what it has become.

Friday night was rough. The stories we heard and the video that they showed of real life situations was really hard to hear and watch. The video was a documentary of a CPS worker who went into people’s homes and took their kids away due to abuse or neglect. It's was REAL LIFE. Not a reenactment. I’m not going to go into any further detail, suffice it to say it sucked!

So after 3 hours of that on Friday night, I had a mini breakdown and pretty much came home and went straight to bed. One of my fears was that I would be haunted with those images all night and not sleep a wink. But as I was going to see throughout the weekend, the Lord was beyond faithful and allowed me to sleep. When I woke up that morning, I told Heath that was the best night of sleep I have had in a LONG time. And it helped that Ella was having a blast staying the night at my parent's house, so the house was very quiet.

His mercies ARE new every morning!!!

Saturday I woke up refreshed and excited and ready for our 9 hours of training that day!

Saturday was focused all on Behavioral Management. Even if a person is not going to adopt or do foster care, but has children of your own, this class would beneficial. It amazes me that it is required for a person to have hours of training to drive a car but zero to have a kid. It would be a different world if all parents had to go through a class like what we went through on Saturday. I wish we would’ve gone through it before we had Ella.

The principles taught that day were incredible. I won't go into it all right now because your forehead might hit the keyboard. But I will say they basically talked about how the brain developments over 17 years of life beginning in utero and when brain development is interrupted because of abuse and neglect, then those effects are only seen behaviorally. It gave us an incredible understanding of not just how these kids are going to act out, but WHY!

Then that led to training on how we are to manage that behavior. It was amazing. Very eye opening.

Hang in with me because this is the part that I am the most excited about and gets me the most pumped up about!

At 4:30p.m. when Heath and I got in the car, he asked me if I was okay and if I still wanted to do this. I told him with a smile on my face, that I am not only okay but that I am filled with such joy and peace it was crazy! Not only was I totally not freaked out, I felt a bigger, stronger, stirring in my heart to move forward with this!!

Earlier that day, I had met with my pastor's wife to pray and to get some words of encouragement. If you know Jen, you know she's kind of good at that...just a little bit. :-)

I told her about the anxiety I was feeling over these trainings and how I was feeling a little guilty about even going with these feelings and asked her if I should not until I have dealt with why I have such anxiety.

She reminded me of this simple truth from Revelation...
What door God opens, man can not shut. And whatever door God shuts, man can NOT open. So I can go into these trainings with confidence knowing, if God does not have this in store for our family, we CAN NOT open the door and make it happen. It is impossible. And just the opposite, if He has opened this door for us then we can not close it.

On the way home Saturday, I knew that as of RIGHT NOW God still has this door open for us and who am I to shut it.


Lindsee said...

Thank you for the update. I'm sorry you had to see all that awful stuff Friday night. I can't imagine! But, PTL for the peace and joy on Saturday!

Sister Lynn said...

Praying for you! That was such a good word about not being able to open what god has closed or close what God has opened. Thank you for sharing it!

Peace - Sister Lynn