Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Foster Journey - 3 months

Our family received our first foster child just 3 months ago, he was a mere 2 days old and 5 pounds. Little A. has grown into a happy and relaxed baby. He is still not sleeping through the night but he is down to only one typical feeding at 4 AM then he goes right back to sleep. A loves to sleep and takes very long naps when we are home, if we're our running errands, he is less cooperative! The long "awake all nights" are done and he is  becoming more and more predictable each day. Littler A loves his milk warmed, hates water, loves chaos and movement and his swing, hates his crib and long car rides. His beautifully created personality is coming out more and more each day.

Our kiddo's have adjusted well to having a little charmer in their midst. The 10 and 5 year old are big helpers, always ready to push the stroller or bring me a bottle. They love to smile and make him laugh. Gabe, my middle 7 year old ignores him most of the time, he doesn't like to feed or push him much. We've tried to be more aware, since this was not unexpected, and spend more 1 on 1 time with Gabe. Gabe is finally warming up to him.

This week the kids are at VBS, and this was how Drew and Abby responded when asked, "Oh, do you have a new baby brother?"

Abby - No, he is not my brother, he is our foster baby. We have him because his mommy made bad choices, but she is learning to make better choices and then he will go back to her." I Wuv him a lot.

Drew  (no nonsense kid) -  Looks over at me and then looks at his teacher and says "Yes" then walks into the class. I laughed silently, he has come to the same conclusion I have, yep he is a Williams for now and we look at him as such - plus its just not a conversation we need to have with the general population. When little A moves to his forever home we will  be sad and mourn the loss and await the next "Williams" to join in our our journey.

We are so blessed to be a little part of this boys life, God has great things in store for him. We pray daily that he would come to know the Lord at a young age and would be a light to his wounded family. Our heart will break when he goes on to his forever home - whether that is with a relative or to his parents.  We also pray that God would consider us as his forever home, but its too early in the process to consider this.  We are trying to stay focused and committed to taking this one day at a time. He is safe and in our care, that in itself is something to celebrate!

We have a few friends walking this journey with us who are going on vacations, so this summer we are looking forward to providing respite care for some little ones!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Jesus Brings Hope - Our Foster Journey Placement

March 11, 2015 our little foster baby was born and hope entered the world. He brings to us a message of Christ's love  and purpose for all mankind. His mother chose life and for this very reason I know that in her own way loves him deeply.

I headed to Houston on March 12th -  the 17th "met you" anniversary for my husband and I. My husband sent me off with a kiss - off to deliver a huge part of my past. Little did I know our future dreams were about to begin. I was headed to Houston to deliver 8 years of payroll files to our payroll office and to say good-bye to many friends who have battled along side me through the ups and downs of  company life - my job of 17 years was about to be handed over in boxes to be scanned and destroyed, it was very depressing! The files delivered, we ladies went out for a farewell dinner and then I headed to a co-workers home to spend the night.

I  went to bed frustrated,  we had been licensed for a foster child since the end of January. I was beginning to loose hope in the plan that I felt the Lord had given to us - looking back now that  seems so silly to my impatient spirit!. I prayed and God reminded me to be patient. I was a bit ashamed of my impatience and confessed this to the Lord. This  was my last full nights rest as of the typing of this post. I wish I had known and enjoyed it more!

March 13 I awoke and  grabbed my Starbucks coffee and headed back to my anxiously awaiting family who were finishing up their last days on Spring Break. I arrived home at 2:00 pm and had just brought my bag into the house and was catching up on the past 24 hours, when my phone rang. I answered and it was our agency, they wanted to know if we wanted to take custody of a 2 day old preemie who was 5 lbs, 4oz. I smiled at John, ran it quickly by him and said yes! We were then suppose to wait for CPS to select a family which we were told could take an hour or so. However, 5 minutes later our agency called and said CPS accepted our placement!

I ran around the house - all 40 weeks of nesting completed in just 2 hours!  We all pitched in and the house was spotless - the wait was short - a mere two 1/2 hours from the phone call and we had a newborn baby dropped off at our home, it was very surreal.

At 4:00 our agency arrived and we signed paperwork and then at 4:30, fresh from the hospital our little man arrived - hospital bracelet and a newborn outfit that he swam in. . He was so tiny and looked so frail - his skin was pale and wrinkly - but we were all in love. I immediately fed him a bottle and  tried to get as much background on him as possible.

The whole process was over by 5:00 and we were left with a newborn baby. It  was a quick delivery! We all sat in the living room -  all 6 of us; trying to process what had just taken place. There was a lot of silence and smiles and kids who were very curious.

It has been quite the whirl wind ever since, just 6 weeks we have had him, yet he fits right into our family.  Our little A. man is up to 8.6 pounds and is growing and gaining and thriving.

We learned later that the lady who wrote our home-study remembered us when making placements and requested us specifically. The timing was amazing, John was home on Spring Break, both of Abby's surgeries were done and I had just completed my last work trip.God's plans are always perfectly  timed.

I'm so excited to see what a family of 6 entails!

This little boy brings hope - my prayers over him these last 6 weeks have been:

Lord - may he bring healing to his home, a light to the darkness.
- May he follow you all the days of his life.
- May he be anointed with joy and resilience
- May he bring hope and peace to the lost people in his life
- May he know the joy of salvation and walk in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man.

Lord watch over this little miracle of a child,  may he bring hope to all who meet him.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Williams Homeschooling Mission Statement

Why did we choose to homeschool? I receive this question all the time. I received it a lot more 5 years ago, before the homeschool movement had inundated the area in which I live. I thought about this question a lot, there are a ton of reasons so I decided to write down our mission statement back in 2010  when my kids were tiny and I started teaching my first child at home. You see, I knew the days would be long and the journey hard. I am constantly reminded that the divine things in life are hard and produce perseverance, which leads to great gains;  marriage, child raising, college, discipline, spiritual life, etc to name but a few.

Romans 5:1-4
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, wea have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And web boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but wec also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

  • ...because I love being with my children, being with them all day means the corrections I make into their lives are more readily excepted because they have been with me all day and their hearts are receptive to my instruction. If they run off to school, they would be at school more hours than with their momma.
  • ... because crazy schedules and busy days make me anxious and grouchy.
  • ... because doing homework after 8 hours of school seems insane and I wonder when they get to be kids and play outside and use their imaginations?
  • ... because my kids try my patience and shape and change me as a believer and that makes me a better mother. Not more "me" time or break time, its the pressure that refines me most days.
  • ... because I want to plan what they learn and see the progress, I want to slow down and speed up based on the child's gifted'ness and struggles. No child walks or talks or crawls on cue to a schedule, nor does a child learn to read, write or memorize.
  • ... because I care more about my children's character than their intelligence  and character is forged at home with a loving parent who instructs and guides and prays for wisdom.
  • ... because my Faith in Jesus is a significant part of my life and I want my kids to see that lived out - the great and the ugly. I want them to hear me ask for forgiveness and hear me pray for more patience. I also want to start the morning in prayer and bible and not rush off to an institution that doesn't enforce my core beliefs.
  • ... because I'm not a morning person and the idea of waking my kids up at 6:00 am just sounds like torture! Call me selfish or lazy -  I don't mind, I love my sleep and I'm a better mother because of it!
  • ... because my children are uniquely designed and therefore need unique learning opportunities.
  • ... because life is short and I only get to be a mom for a few decades, I don't want to miss a thing!
  • ... because I hate making lunches and school food is full of crap, harmful additives that I don't want my children to consume. 
  • ... because I think that heading to the Zoo is just as valuable, if not more so, than sitting at a desk.
  • ... because children learn by moving and wiggling and asking a bazillion questions - something an institution isn't capable of managing with 20-30 kids per class and is often annoyed at.
  • ... because testing produces anxiety and is a horrible way of evaluating the intelligence of children - especially in the younger grades.
  • ... because schools are all geared towards instructing girls and do not recognize that boys and girls are not created the same and do not learn the same ways (Read: Why Gender Matters). Since I have two boys - it didn't seem very logical to me to send them off to receive a feminized education.
  • ... because no teacher is committed to the success of my children, more than I am!
  • ... because I am made of flesh and I am very selfish when left to my own devices, I know if my kids were off at school all day I would waste my hours away and loose focus on the ideals God has set in my heart for our family.
  • ... because God has called me to homeschool since Drew was just a tiny little baby - something that wasn't very popular. God always directs me to His perfect plan and I learned a long time ago that obedience produces great faith and blessing.
  • ... because it never felt natural to me to send them to a bus stop or drop them off at school  5 days a week.
  • ... because family is important and I want my children to love one another - to be united and a team - homeschooling naturally produces this environment.
  • ... because  I am blessed with a husband and a job that also support this lifestyle. I also live in a great state that has a lot of like minded homeschooling moms.
 So, on the next homeschool day that brings me to the brink -- I will read my words - written while fully awake (12am to be exact) and having been well fed - an encouragement to my weary body to never give up, to not grow weary of doing good, and that refinement and perseverance produce their desired results. 

Also - remember to smile Momma  - its contagious!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Inscription for Drew: On His10th Birthday

Happy 10th Birthday my son. I can not believe you are double digits already. I have loved you from the very minute I saw the double line on the pregnancy stick. You ushered me into Motherhood! I remember the day of your birth, you were born sunny side up and my back labor was more than I could bare. I begged for an epidural but it was too late - you were on the way!

And today you are 10!!  I don’t feel a decade older and yet somehow we made it here  – all 3 ft 12 inches and 50 pounds of muscle and wit and boundless energy! You have grown up so much this last year, you are helpful and kind and have started to look for opportunities to help others. You have a soft and sensitive spirit, never loose that!  This was your year to soar in reading - we've waited so long to overcome your reading struggles and this year I've seen so much progress it makes me want to cry! You made new friends in our neighborhood and have gracefully pointed them to the Lord even though they think you are weird. I'm so proud of you!

Here are a few things to remember as you brave the next few years of maturity before growing wings and leaving the nest:

1. Love the Lord above all else - friends will come and go but the Lord will never leave you. Always put Him a t the front of your day, let him direct your thoughts and decisions and pray like crazy!

2. Be your own person – You are ninja warrior, animal loving, inventor,  chocolate-eating, brother-loving, introverted, retrospective critical thinker  - enjoy those God given talents.
3. Laugh with people, be a good friend, never hurt with your words.
4. Keep a journal, dream big!  It forces you to put into words all those thoughts that fly through your head, it will help you focus your thoughts!

5. Love your family – we are an amazing family, like no one elses family. Thought the grace of God I was given the family I always dreamed of. do not take that for granted, know this family takes a lot of work  - contribute, learn and  bless the family so you will be prepared to create the family of your dreams one day. Enjoy us, love us, contribute to our uniqueness and be proud to cary the Williams name!

6. Be a critical thinker -  do not believe just what I believe because I'm  your mom and teacher, sharpen your mind and spend time being critical and use those investigative skills to know why you believe what you believe.  Be ready to give a defense and create skills to help you become a better communicator - God will use this in powerful ways to share your faith!

7. Begin with the End in Mind - plan ahead, spend money wisely and realize that you need a plan to accomplish your goals - whether it  be college, buying a house, a passionate relationship with Christ, serving the Kingdom, balancing a  checkbook, it all takes a plan. Make that plan with the end in mind.

8. Have fun - you are an oldest like me so this will be hard, but I have faith you can do it!

9. Love others and exude thankfulness - it is the language of a Christian - they will know you are a Christian by your love and the thankfulness will keep you on the path of seeing God in the daily dealings of life.

10. Mature and Marry well - do not take the act of getting married lightly, it is the most important decision you will ever make, you are picking the mother for your children and the owner of the bank account, the cook, gardener, educator, etc. Plan and pray - make sure she is the One God has set aside for you and keep yourself pure and undefiled. You must become the man God wants you to be in order to obtain such a gem of a woman. Plan ahead and begin with the end in mind!

I love you dear son and pray for you each and every day. May this next decade mature and prepare you for a life of steadfast persuit of the Lord.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year - New Plans - New Life

The year 2014 was wonderful, it was a quiet year after the chaos of building and moving. We spend time together as a family resting and playing games and getting back in touch after a rough 6 months of house building chaos, living in boxes, frustrations, & overall chaos. We rested and got settled. John built the shop he has always dreamed of and we built a fence for the property. Life slowed in July so we took the Foster Parenting classes we had been praying about for years. I spent the next 5 months slowly combing through the paperwork and requirements and rules so we would be complete by the New Year!

October 20 - surprise I awoke anxious to leave with Abby the next day, my birthday, to visit Oregon. Instead I found out, along with my entire company of 17 years, that our company had been sold. I later found out in December that I would be part of the group being let go in March. Wow.

So here I am, my world will shift completely  in the next 4 months. It is all good, God is  good and has been preparing my heart for these changes for many years. I would be a liar though if I didn't say I am a bit lost. I've always known who I was and what I did every day. I worked and taught and kept the house - granted at a crazy busy speed. Now that work is slowing, crawling really and our finances will be cut in half - its a lot for me to take in. I am always had my work, always had a consistent paycheck. I have worked with the same people for 17 years, that is longer than I've been married. Saying good bye to all of that is very hard.

Life is hard and good and changing all the time. I will not deny its going to be rough and hard for me to find my new self, new pace, new schedule. But I know that God has orchestrated all things together for His glory and His ways are so much better than anything I could dream about. So I try to rest in Him and His promises. I will worship like I've never worshiped before and teach like I've never taught before and keep house like I always wished I had time for. I will also get depressed and cry and question too, because those are  real thoughts and fears and changes. But I will overcome because I don't' really have a choice.

I am very blessed and have an amazing family to support me during this transition.

I am also excited to give out of this season of grief - give to the little life that will be coming into our home needing a safe place to find peace and care and  comfort. We are all very eager to welcome in a new child to serve and love deeply on.