Thursday, April 9, 2015

Adoption...update. the money. the struggle. The real.

A little update on our adoption journey.

i try really hard to protect myself..and i try really hard not to speak bad about others...and I hope you see my heart as just being real. After all we are all real people who struggle daily...this is just that a little glimpse of the struggle...

So on April fools two years ago [we] announced...well [I] announced we were trying to adopt.

We actually were matched two different times.
One where our adoption consultant would not work with us because the agency that the birth mom was being represented by had been known for fraud in the past...this was the one I was most excited about...
And another that the costs were 45,000.00. ouch! and was due in 2 months.

To be honest...I have wanted to adopt since I was little. i use to say I was going to adopt twins and that would be it...no more kids for me.

I'm thankful the Lord has blessed me with three birth kids...but my heart is still for more.

The first match for the 45,000.00 in 2 months...was financially too big..we didn't know how to come up with that kind of money in that little of time.

The second one..as I said the consultant wouldn't work with us...We were able to quality for a adoption loan and get some grants to pay for this one...but with us, then having to, walk alone in this journey when you've paid a consultant was just a little more than we felt were capable of.

i would get emails daily...I would pray...ask tony to pray...and then we would decide no...I always wanted to say yes...put in our family profile ...and Tony would always say no.

The adoption process we(Tony and i) both agreed to move forward with, came to a screeching halt.

One day, Tony decided he just didn't want to do it.
its been hard to work through..because a decision we came to together has now been stopped due to one person and more because of fear of paying money for a child..and having to tell our birth children no on disney world.(I'm not joking..I know it sounds terrible, i'm just being honest)...No we did not discuss it any further. This also was hard for me. I believe in a God who could raise that money over night(ten fold!)...I believe in a God who could give us an amazing child and still let our kids enjoy life...I guess I just know what I've fought for so much in life and seen God come through on what He's placed on my heart(and what man has always said is stupid or incapable of)...like our house...I think i shared that story, a few blog posts back.  I'm not trying bad mouth Tony...but to just be real. Life is a struggle. Hearts hurt for things and hands can be tied...I wish I knew the plan God was holding when he burdened my heart for orphaned kids.

During this process...I made signs..did a craft show with my mom...made some jewelry...and sold Ethiopian jewelry to raise funds. Was it tiering? Yep...but I believed it was worth it.
i raised $1200.00 for our adoption.
No its not amazing..but it wasn't the worst either...

There was a very critical time at ebenezer grace children's home, and we received an email to pray...they had no money...they only had a little to buy food that day...but no meat...just bread...and such.  the decision was made to donate that 1200.00 to them. I definitely couldn't sleep at night knowing kids were not getting food each day.  I knew we had to do something. I also knew that God would replace that money if Tony ever felt like we could adopt again. I'm thankful to report they now have steady resources coming in above their actual needs.

Yesterday I was watching the Joanna Gaines youtube video...and man was that a blessing. She said how some very encouraging things..about being lead by God in the season your in...what really blessed me was that her husband trusted that his wife was being lead by the holy spirit...if you get a minute go watch it...so simple...yet so powerful.

The struggle is real. Instagram, and Facebook can make life look so perfect...
The closer it comes to this life on earth ending, the harder the struggle.

I wanted to say thanks friends and family who came along side and believed that God was speaking and stood in the gap financially for us. The kids in Ethiopia are not hungry because of it.

XOXO!
Gina   
I'm hitting the publish button a little scared(please be kind.)..but I hope it encourages someone and clears up where the fundraising money has gone.

Friday, March 6, 2015

God speaking to my heart.

Within the last few weeks...a few things have transpired in my life that God is really using to teach me some things.
one being that no one that i know has ever been forced into correction with God or repentance with Him with HARSH words...
words like...God won't hear your prayers until everything is right...
or when you respond when someone asks you a question and its not the response they want..your now being called an "attacker"or unbiblical....
The above words are not the words of God I was just reading in my bible.
God's words are love and gentleness...it says His gentleness is unsearchhable...due to the vastness of it...
Sometimes we have the right heart but the wrong approach.
God is showing me in my life when I've had the right heart but the wrong...very wrong approach....
I've let my passion get in the way of His gentleness to friends who are struggling or going through a rough time...
The scriptures actually say this life is rough yo. okay..well lets minus the yo...but you get the point...It says HE upholds all who fall...because this life is tough...yet God is good and there is NO limit to HIS power, HIS love and HIS concern for HIS people.

The key word is HIS. He chose us. Not you or me choosing each other...but HIM...so who are we to say HE has turned his back on us because we aren't doing things the way you or I or jim-bob down the street would say we should.

The bible also says The Lord is gracious and Full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to ALL...and His tender mercies..
So who are we to say otherwise...
I guess my point in this blog post is to say...I will be different in this area...I'm not going to win a friend struggling to repentance with harsh words...or a friend who is sad into even happy with "stop that...you have so much to be thankful for"...rather I'm going to be compassionate knowing that I would want the same..but also because I believe thats what jesus would ask us to do.

So to anyone I've been overly passionate and less compassionate with...I'm very sorry. I'm a terrible work in progress...and I'm slow.
seriously...when someone says something to me...it takes me an entire day to come up with the words to respond..because I'm slow...
Anyways... lets extend Grace...even when its not due..

XOXO
Gina


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Meeting [Notes]

We had our big meeting with the President of our agency.
It went well.
I was having a bit of a stressful day to start....I thought...man I should just reschedule this meeting..because my head is not in it at the moment.
I was working on Emma's valentines for the party today...
Also getting newly aquatinted with our new foster loves...
They are crazy cute...
but like with any new placement learning boundaries, and that they are loved here.

So I went into our meeting with my rockstar hubby. He asked me to reiterate my heart on this to him, before we left for the meeting, so he could help convey it well to the president of Ennis.

I don't know if I could actually express how thankful I am to him of being such an encouragement in this ministry.

We sat before him...sharing our heart. Bob shared his heart...and how great the need really is. How our state is failing our kids. How broken the system really is. I really am thankful for our agency. What president of any agency would want to sit down and discuss a foster parents heart? Not many that I know of.

Did you know that kids in foster care get [1] pair of glasses. Doesn't matter if their prescription has changed..they get one pair. That is the state for you. Sad that these kids who have already gone through so much have to continue being last in the states eyes too.

So yesterday after conveying our heart, we wrote a check to Ennis for $270.00 for safe sleep.  What is safe sleep you ask?
Well,  its what prevents kids from having to enter foster care because of the lack of beds in the home[really because of poverty].
You guys! Your purchases just helped keep 7 kids in their homes. 7 kids not have to enter foster care because of poverty. Your purchase did that. 
The need is great, not gonna lie, the goal is big[huge!].  3,000 safe sleep beds are needed just in our county alone.
I'm not letting that big number scare me...or say how could that need ever been met...it can and one by one..it will be met.

We are working closely with our agency that if a need arises they will contact us. The needs that may arise is a relative caregiver needing help while being licensed...or a birthparent who needs a bed for their children to get them home...or bottles. Guys can you imagine the only thing keeping a child/baby from being able to go home is one set of bottles? Thats just beyond my comprehension...but that is the state for you.  Your purchase is going to help situations like these that might arise...and of course the safe sleep project.

So I hope you will continue to share our heart in helping be a small part of the puzzle for these kids.  Lets put the kids first for once. I'm beyond saddened that these kids needs have not come first in many years. But I am praying big GOD size prayers for this to change. You can help be that change.

Our Etsy shop is listed on the side tab <-----over arrow="" p="" there...under="" warriors="">
Still available....







We hold ready to ship sales, usually one of a kind on Instagram on Thursday evenings at 9pm eastern.

Want a custom order? Email me at daysnumbrd at gmail dot com.

Thanks friends...can't wait to share more of all that God is going to do through your purchases!

XOXO!
Gina

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Bubby's stock....

hello friends.

I've never made wallets before but I figured I'd try and I think they came out pretty good.

Now me being a perfectionist they aren't up to my normal standards. Many of you have asked if they are available and with my husbands prodding i will make them available alone with other purses and pouches that haven't met my standards.

These "less than perfect" items will be called Bubby's stock.
You see when foster kids(foster arrows) come into care, they are often times than perfect or even damaged but they deserve the same love and care as any other children.  These "less than perfect" items can be loved the same way  these foster kids deserve to be loved and are a good reminder that these kids are broken and "less than perfect" in the worlds eyes but they are loved and cherished in Jesus' eyes(and ours).
So when I sell an item from Bubby's stock i will list what part i'm not all that pleased about it, but know that these ones are nearest to my heart because they are just like these children that are foster arrows and we love them through the brokenness.

These items are not clearance items, but rather my special stock.

To find out more about Bubby and why it's called Bubby's stock click the link at the top next to home button that says "about Bubby's stock"....to see our heart, exposed.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Arrow*warrriors... what does it mean??

Hey friends..or shall I say WARRIORS.



i wanted to explain my heart and decision to change my pouch name from Difference Maker to Arrow Warriors.

i was reading this morning in Psalm 127...
and in verse 3-4 it says Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward,
Like ARROWS in the hand of a WARRIOR,
so are the children of ones youth.

and of course I loved verse 5...
HAPPY is the man who has his quiver full of them(although it doesn't really pertain to what I'm talking about right now.)

You see these children, my children, your children [ALL] children are little arrows.
and [WE] yes, you and me are WARRIORS for them. For their hearts. For their protection. because of LOVE, we can be WARRIORS for the little arrows.

i pray daily for my arrows...the ones here, the ones that have moved on, i so badly want them to make the bullseye...all i can do as a mama warrior is pray for them all and guide the ones here with me because He guides me.

I felt it fitting and felt it was actually the most perfect to change our name to arrow*WARRIORS.

please join in me in being a warrior for these arrows.
also you can now find us on Etsy... right here...

arrowWARRIORS

 XOXO!
Gina


Friday, January 23, 2015

The zippered pouch #arrow-WARRIORS project

So heres a little behind my heart on why I'm making these zippered pouches.




Kids [arrows] in foster care go through a really tough transition being yanked from their home(no matter how bad it was their...it was still theirs)and put with families that they've never met before...some loving..some not so loving...
Our hope is that instead of yanking these arrows from their home and putting them with families that they don't know...that a relative would be able to step up and take them. Now this isn't always best..but when it is best we want to foster that. And sometimes its just an electric bill that they may not be able to afford to pay because of the extra mouths they need to feed...or maybe they don't have the extra grocery money to be able to feed the extra kids...thats where we'd like to come in. Our hopes is to help provide for these relatives stepping up for their own families while they get licensed....or take other steps to have a better situation financially so that the kids that have entered their home will be well taken care of...and from a family member. The transition would be less hard on them...which I believe would make for less long term diagnoses.



My husband and I have seen many kids come through our doors..and the heart ache of the unknown to them...While we are loving and they have all they need here...is almost unbearable to these kids. We've had kids run away...kids try and hurt themselves...kids diagnosed with ODD, RAD ect..
I know not every situation is best for the kids entering foster care to stay with a relative...and trust me when I say, the agency is looking for any and every reason to say the relative home is not fit...but when they do say its fit..we want to step up and help.  This last Christmas we were able to give Christmas to a grandpa that stepped up to take his 3 grandkids entering foster care...part was our youth group and part was tony and I...and really this is where this idea was birthed...This grandpa stepped up with nothing extra...in fact in the red...and He made it..but it he still makes it barely each month...I know just having Christmas provided for them was a huge relief for them...


So I'm selling these pouches...In hopes to help more Grandpas out their who love their grands and are willing to step up to bring them to their home...their familiar home.
DON'T GET ME WRONG...I will happily open my home to as many foster babes that need it...I love them all so much!
I'm just praying HE sells as much as needed to for this that HE has birthed in my heart.
I'm on instagram as mrstgiraud ...which is where I sell most of my pouches...between $25.00-$40.00... Also just re-opened my etsy shop.
Interested in a pouch to support foster care? Comment here or hit me up on Instagram.


Thanks for listening to my heart friends.
Have a blessed day!
Gina

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Humbling time in life...

Today we took temporary placement(for the weekend) of our foster son's half sisters. Yes sister(s).  One is 5 1/2 and one is 2 1/2.
This day has not gone anything like I expected.
The girls were very excited to have a sleepover at our house(I expected moaning and groaning)...like so excited they were bouncing off the walls...
this would actually be just after I told the hubs that these girls are not hyper. LOL.
We have had our challenges of trying to push to see how far they can run the house..which is so very much expected by any child coming into your home..muchless a foster who has bounced from houses a bit.
Nap time came around...
The oldest says "Gina! Can you do our tuck ins and high fives and hugs and kisses?"
Me "sure..just tell me how and when to do them.
Oldest "Now tuck in...
Me: tuck in...
Oldest: "Now hug...
Me: Hug
Oldest: "now high fives"
Me: high fiving to the number five.
Oldest: "now kiss"
Me: "Kiss"

This is where I started to get humbled...a little girl who I've only painted her nails a few times in our agency...and brought her a couple of little things..and picked up once from her house to take to a visit wants to hug and kiss me?
That just blew my mind. Seriously...it still does...

The younger ones turn....
Same routine...but the older one yells out...she doesn't like the hug part...so I asked "do you want a hug too?"
She shook her head yes...
so I go to hug her and it was a genuine hug..with weight and heart behind it.
so I squeeze her like I would mine own...
And right then and there I'm humbled yet again...

Then after nap time...the kids went in the pool...and our bio kids rock is all I can say! They took turns caring for each girl in the pool...helping them with their floaties and googles...staying by their side...My mama heart was literally leaping with joy to see these kids step up in such a big way today.

After swimming we had to take Ez to baseball practice...and so we all went today, i thought it would be good to have the kids get out of the house and run...and play in sand.
So i drop off Ez and Tony to practice...run and grab some food through a drive through and as were heading back to the practice the older one corrects em as she say "my mom"...the older one corrects her and says "well she's our mom now too!"
YEP! humbled right again...jaw dropped...
Amazed again that these girls who have been through more than I could ever imagine and even possible for anyone to handle...are not hiding like I would be...but running to the arms of a new person who is willing to care for them properly.
Then we had a talk about skin color...the oldest asked em "why does you and your mom have the same skin color?"
I answered..."Jesus makes people in all different skin colors, shapes and sizes...and everyone is beautiful...the skin color for em and I happen to match but doesn't change how jesus see's us." She blew it off...
its okay...I pray she remembers that one day....
Then bed time rolls around....and we do our same high fives..hugs, kisses and tuck in routine...
and read a bed time story(which to be honest was rough for me, because I was tired!) and as i was walking out of the room...i just felt the need to tell them "I love you."
And once again...
I'm humbled by their response...
"I love you too! Good night!" from both girls...

I don't know all that the Lord is doing in my heart through saying yes to these girls for the weekend...is it all a bed of roses? No...
Am I exhausted? Yep...
Am I overwhelmed?  A little...Not too bad...
But I know Jesus is using them to humble me...

I know foster care isn't for everyone...but what if you just said yes to a child for a weekend...and poored into their souls for a weekend...while you may think your changing them...and you may very well...think about how much is being changed in you.

Pray about foster care...Pray for the orphans...these kids in my home tonight truly are a picture of what the bibles talks about as orphans...right here in our own back yard.
okay...goodnight friends!

Gina