Thanksgiving Preparations

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This Thanksgiving we will have the pleasure of having three little treasures joining us for the holiday break. Their foster family is traveling to visit family themselves, and we’re more than happy to absorb them into our brood for the week.

First, I asked everyone in my extended family if we could host the Thanksgiving meal this year. We need to maintain consistency for our guests and everything at our house is already childproofed! My brother was fine with that (they are expecting their second child) and my sister responded, “Yes, please!”

While I’m excited about it, there are arrangements to be made that will make things go more smoothly for everyone–these little ones in particular–but for my own children as well. The kiddos are young so we always try to greet them warmly with a small gift like a stuffed animal. With young children sometimes it’s helpful when they aren’t attached to you and need a cuddle. Picking something out for each of them helps my own children to look forward to meeting them and helping prepare the bedroom space for them. They like helping care for them and get excited to show them our toys.

So, we do have a Thanksgiving meal to plan, but more importantly, I’m thankful that we are able to take on the responsibility of caring for these little ones and sharing our love with them during the holiday.

Caring Enough to Foster

Do you have extra room in your home?  How about in your heart?  Have you ever considered foster care?  When children are removed from their home, usually through no fault of their own, they most often are placed in a foster home.  Usually due to abuse or neglect, the child’s parents are unable to meet their safety needs.  Trained foster parents care for the children and work with the biological family as well as case workers, therapists, and medical professionals to follow the case plan and if possible, support the goal of reintegration.  If that isn’t possible or safe for the child a foster family might care for the child until an adoptive placement is found.

This weekend we have the pleasure of providing respite for another foster family.  We have a sibling group of two girls and one boy staying with us.  They are amazing kids.  They are near my own children’s ages, so it has been like a play date all weekend.  When my husband and I talked to our children about becoming a licensed foster care provider we discussed details like sharing our attention, their space and their toys.  They had questions but were excited to help.  It isn’t a decision to take lightly, but it’s what we feel called to do.  James 1:27 states that, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

To find out more click here for a foster care resource list or make an appointment with someone from your local agency.

Self Care

As a school counselor I know that when I take a little time to care for myself I’m better able to care for others.  It’s a pretty simple concept, but not always so easy to implement.  We get busy.  There is a to do list–or multiple to do lists–and we get pushed to the bottom.  Well, today I took time to have breakfast with my friend, Molly, and then we got our nails done.  Now, this is something that I seldom take the time or money to do.  But after just a couple of hours away I feel refreshed.  I am meeting the challenges of the day with a smile.  Make sure that every once in a while you take the time to do something that makes you feel special.  Not only will you benefit from it, but the people in your life will benefit from it as well.