So we are a little lot behind on this blog. SORRY! We've had some space issues on the site that we are still sorting out so that's one excuse, but the other reason is much more exciting. We have a new munchkin in the Mercer household!
Yep, that's right...there are now 3 kiddos here, but no, we did not have a baby & no, we did not adopt...
We became a foster home!!
We've had a lot of people really excited for us, but the next question is always, "why?"...well...why not? There is a HUGE need for foster homes. These are kids who, of no fault of their own, cannot remain with their family, cannot go home and just need a place to live safely and hopefully get fed well & loved on. How could we say no to them?
We had heard the term years ago, before we had kids, but dismissed it. Thoughts of troubled teenagers first came to mind & that was not an idea I wanted to pursue.
Then Brian joined Twitter. Through Twitter, he met many new "friends" with similar interests as him like music, soccer, and in this case, the Colorado Rapids. He met some local Rapids fans & started meeting his new online friends in person, at Rapids Games. Through this unlikely connection, we met a family that did foster care. When we discovered this, it peaked our interest. How can they do this & still have a "normal" family and do fun stuff (like attend Rapids games)?
Brian & I always new that we wanted to adopt sometime in our life. We each had this on our hearts from very young ages & when we married, we just new it was in our future. Like most couples, we still had the desire for some biological children. It's only normal to wonder what your offspring will be like! After two, we didn't want to risk anymore (kidding!). Ours are great! But my pregnancies were not and the second was worse that the first, so I was fearful of how a third pregnancy would go. We knew our family could still grow by other means, so we decided to not have any more biological kids.
Life with kiddos is tough. And some days I must admit, the joys do not outweigh the hardships, but for most of us, we stay strong to our commitment to our kids and do our best to give them a good life. Our kids are spoiled. They have no idea what it is like to need. They have more than enough to eat. They are warm, have plenty of clothes (that fit) and their toys have taken over our home. Our life is comfortable. It was this comfort that made us uncomfortable.
One of our favorite pastors once said that "God is in the business of giving us more than we can handle, so that we lean on Him and not on ourselves." This struck a chord with both of us. We were comfortable. We could handle things. We were trusting God, but relying on him? maybe not so much.
So back to our new Twitter/Rapids friends. Brian got to know this family (here is their blog) & started asking them more about fostering. Eventually they invited us over & we spent an evening with them- hearing about their family, their experiences & their heart. They expressed how after finding out about this need, they just couldn't forget it. How can you turn your back and just forget about these kids? We felt the exact same way & knew we were being led in this direction. We read through the rules and regulations for foster care & were horrified that some of the rules had to even be stated. We knew we could do better.
I had thought that foster care wasn't an option for us because both Brian & I work full time. Growing up, I always new that I would work outside the home. After I had kids, this was confirmed. My kids and I are both better for it. I was worried that this would not be fair to a foster child...or an adopted child for that matter. I was also worried that it would be too hard to take them to appointments & visitations with our work schedules. These were all valid concerns, yet should not be deal breakers. We realized that our kids are in daycare & before/after school care & do just fine..even thrive! If it's good enough for them, it should be good enough for any kid...much better than in an abusive or neglectful home. And what is more important...work inconveniences or a child in need? enough said...work, though very important and a necessity, could take second place to more important needs. It was all about priorities.
In May 2012, we started the process of becoming a licensed foster home in our county. It's not a rigorous process, just thorough and takes some time & coordination to attend the required trainings and to get your home ready (getting extra sheets & toiletries, a fire extinguisher, door locks, etc). We finished our training in August and then had our home study. We were approved & licensed the end of October.
We were anxious, knowing a call could come at any time...but it didn't. A week passed...then two, then a month. I had to remind myself that this was a good thing. We were ready & willing, but even better if parents are doing their job & being responsible, so we aren't needed!
Then it came. It was God's timing & was perfect. I had stayed home from work with a sick little Mason, so I was able to take the call, say yes, & then frantically prepare for our new little guy!
We wish we could share more details of him, as he's an amazing kid, but alas he's not ours, so there will be no pictures or specifics. He's doing great, transferred over to Addie's school smoothly, and plays great with Addie & Mason...they love him and are already starting to bicker a little like real siblings :)
This year we were a family of Yo Gabba Gabba Characters...so fun! Mason was Plex, Addie was Foofa, Mommy was mommy Foofa (Toodee wasn't available) and Daddy was DJ Lance Rock
Addie even won cutest costume at school. I just love that my kids still enjoy the cute & fun costumes, since we will not be allowing the scary or gory in our home.
If you didn't already know, Addie has the most fun Daddy ever! He brought her to school like this :)
Addie has graduated from preschool to kindergarten! She loves school and we're excited for her to be in school 5 days a week now. It was a little bittersweet though, leaving Little Lights preschool where Addie had a blast this past year. Such a great little school and the teachers were so awesome with Addie, and us. We will probably be there with Mason next year so it wasn't a permanent goodbye.
Here are some pictures from our 2-day journey from Little Lights (Monday) to Prairie Hills (Tuesday).