Wednesday, November 26, 2008

1 lb in 36 hours

The little one had an appointment with his pediatrician today and had gained a pound since he was weighed Monday evening! It was so sweet, 2 doctors and at least four nurses came in to see him because they'd been so worried about him. Three of the nurses burst into tears when they heard his progress. One nurse looked at him and said to him, "thank you for reminding me why I work in Pediatrics". He's already making quite the impact on this big world. I'm so thankful I get to know him for this time.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Failure to Thrive

I'm taking care of a tiny, little baby boy who was born about two months ago and only gained 1 oz. since birth. He is really adorable and is eating very well (4oz every 2-3 hours). I was worried that he might have reflux or something that would make it difficult to keep his formula down but no sign of that so far.

Apparently children normally grow at a rate of about 30 g (1 ounce)/day in early infancy (birth to 3 months) and this then slows to about 20 g/day from 3-6 months and to only 12-15 g/day in later infancy (6 - 12 months). Older children grow even more slowly, with toddlers (1-3 years) growing, at about 8 g/day, and preschool age children at about 6g/day.

Please pray for strength for this sweet baby.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Child proofing my house

Jayden has taken it upon himself to make sure my house is safe and uncluttered...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Prayers for Foster Care

Since being licensed to do foster care, I've been moved to pray for the children and their families. Due to my work schedule, I haven't been able to accept the situations presented to me so far but I know that prayer is the most important thing I can do anyway.... I found this list today and wanted to share it...

Foster Care Prayer Requests
Pray for the children entering foster care today, that they find an appropriate, kind and loving foster family to care for them until their birth families or relatives are able to do so.

Pray for the sibling groups of children entering foster care today, that they will be placed together in one foster home.

Pray for all the foster children in care, that their first foster home is also their last foster home, as multiple placements rob children of stability and love which is required to build the self-esteem needed to grow into responsible, caring adults.

Pray that more singles, couples and families become foster parents. More experienced and caring foster homes are needed to enable Division of Youth and Families Services to make appropriate placements that keep siblings together, make the first foster placement the only foster care placement, and assure each foster home is able and willing to meet the special needs of their foster children.

Pray that all children in out-of-home care will quickly return to a safe home or find an alternative permanent and loving home.

Please pray for God's intervention with all families to enable them to successfully complete programs for recovery and allow the reunification of foster children to safe and caring birth families.

Please pray that the federal, state and local governments, will see the plight of so many of our children and families and work toward prevention and increasing services.

Pray that God blesses all the caseworkers and staff who make decisions daily which have a huge impact on the lives of children and families. Their job is a thankless one, requiring walking a thin line, in that they are continually criticized for being too intrusive, removing children too quickly; and for not acting quickly enough, whenever a child is abused.

When a family reunification is unlikely in a reasonable time period, we pray that God's hand guides the judges at termination of parental rights trials to make their decision in the child's best interest. God bless the judges who must decide whether or not children return to birth families or become freed for adoption.

Pray for all those children whose birth families are unable to care for them, are freed for adoption, but have nobody willing to give them a forever home.

Pray that foster and adoptive families and their children receive the support and understanding of their communities.

Bless those who put idea into action and make a positive difference in the lives of children, particularly children in foster care.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

National Adoption Day

November is National Adoption Month. Every year, our Children's Court opens on a Saturday to finalize as many adoptions as possible to bring awareness to the need for foster and adoptive parents in the United States. Right now, there are over 500,000 kids in foster care in the U.S. Some of those kids will be reunited with their biological parents but others will need adoptive families. In the United States, there are currently 129,000 children in foster care waiting for adoptive families. In New Mexico, we currently have 350ish kids waiting for forever families. Today, we finalized 5 adoptions through our agency and 42 adoptions in the county. They are all incredibly important and reason to celebrate but one was especially close to my heart.

One was a preteen who I have been working with for about a year and half. In that time, she was devastated by saying goodbye to her biological mother, disappointed by a family member who turned out to be an inappropriate placement option for her, felt rejected by an adoptive family who had become pregnant after her placement with them and confused by two chaotic short term fostercare placements. This child is not easy but she is amazing. She can be self-centered and controlling. She is also bright, determined, caring and funny.

Earlier this summer, I was doing the bible study, "No Other Gods" by Kelli Minter with some wonderful friends. Here is an excerpt from my notes from August 14th... "I've come to realize that I have made my work a god in my life. I sometimes feel like if I don't fix something, it will stay broken. If I don't make things happen the way they should, everything will go awry. I live under an amount of stress that I don't think God wants in my life. I finally understand that when I go overboard fixing things for people, I may be getting in the way of God's plan for them. He is probably teaching them (and me) something in the struggle. This may not make sense to you but it is HUGE for me. In the meantime, I have a client, we'll call her, Ann. She is 12. Her mother made a voluntary adoption plan for her earlier this year and I placed her with a family. This family became pregnant immediately after the placement and chose not to continue with the adoption. This broke Ann's heart and created a sense of responsibility in me that was overwhelming. I felt like I was the only one that could/would figure things out for her. I couldn't sleep, I was always worried about her. I received several inquiries from families who were interested but none of them seemed right. For the last several months I've been reading a blog I found online written by a mom with a large family. I found her blog this spring when I was searching for information for a client. I was so interested on how in the world this family was thriving and loving and living. We'll call them "the Smith family". During this time, because of this study, I'm slowly realizing the depth of my misperceptions regarding allowing work to be a false god in my life (according to the bible, an idol is something other than God that we set our hearts on , that motivates us, that masters and rules us, or that we trust, fear or serve).

One morning, I was sitting outside in the backyard doing my biblestudy before work and realized the damage of my selfishness and attempt to control. I cried out to the Lord to take this situation. I admitted that He is the only one who knows where this little girl needs to be. I am powerless. I do not know what's best for her. I immediately felt a sense of peace. It was like the Lord was saying to me, "Megan, I've just been waiting for you to get here". As I was getting ready for work, I thought, I wish a family like "the Smiths" would send their profile. They seemed to really get what older kids need. They seemed to be the type of family that would stick it out no matter what. Later that day, I read "the Smiths" blog and there was a post about the fact that they had moved around the kids' rooms and there was an empty bed in one of the rooms and that if they ever adopted again, it would need to be a teenage girl. I about fell out of my chair. I literally wept. I knew in my heart I had to email them and just ask. Would they be interested? I sent an email that evening and by the next morning, they'd written back and said they were shocked, considering it and praying about it. Hope! I felt like I was going to sing. I just kept praising God. God was moving in ways that I could not even have imagined. After a few days, the Smiths said they felt that God wanted Ann to be in their home and they were interested in proceeding. I'm telling you, I couldn't stop praising the One who knew exactly where Ann needed to be. Walls I worried would be insurmountable were crumbling. I am shocked, humbled, amazed and so incredibly blessed to be witnessing the miracle the Lord is creating for Ann. Please join me in thanking God and asking for his peace, wisdom and grace. Please pray that Ann will be able to open her heart and be vulnerable. She is an incredible kid who has had so much disappointment in her life. Please pray that I can step back and observe the mighty hand of Ann's true Father."

Today we finalized "Ann's" adoption by the "Smith" family. God is good. She is home.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

1 Thessalonians 1:3

I will receive my foster care license on Wednesday. I don't know how long it will take for a child to actually be placed in my home. I am relying on God's impeccable timing and trusting that He will use every minute to prepare me for my next steps in this journey. I want to purge everything that would not be "child friendly" from my life and my home because I want my home to be a sanctuary of warmth, safety and security. Since I received the copy of my homestudy last week, I've been caught in a thought process that surprised me. Of course, I'm nervous and excited but mainly I've felt moved to pray. Pray for the state of our world, pray for our NEW PRESIDENT, pray for my friends and family, Pray for myself but above all---Pray for the little boy or girl out there who is in a less than optimal situation. There are approximately 500,000 kids in foster care in any one time in this country. Estimates are that three times that number are being abused/neglected in their home environments every day. The chances are good that the child who will soon be placed in my home is even now surrounded by chaos, danger, abuse or neglect. I work with these kids every day but it is so incredibly different to be on this side of things. Specifically, I am praying that God will be with this child in whatever their current circumstances. I am seeking God's miraculous intervention for protection, resiliency and peace.

My devotional this morning is Psalm 91:4-7
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.