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If you are considering foster care or adoption, which I hope all of you are for some point in your lives, then I highly recommend the book Another Place at the Table.  I had a hard time putting it down it was a really easy read and took you through foster care from the experiences of one foster mom.  She shares her challenges, victories, heart break, mistakes, joy and despair while taking care of many foster and adopted children. 

EDITORIAL REVIEWS
From Publishers Weekly
It’s 1988, and Harrison, a happily married mother of three, takes a job with Head Start, working with at-risk four-year-olds. Her heart goes out to the foster kids; before long, she and her husband take state training and adopt two sisters. Five children make a big family, but Harrison finds it tough to turn her back on needy children. She and her husband start accepting emergency care “hot-line” foster children, too; soon, Harrison quits her day job and becomes a full-time-overtime, really-foster parent. In addition to a stay-at-home mom’s usual duties, Harrison is caring for children with serious emotional baggage and often complex medical problems. There are lawyers, therapists and social service people to meet with, plus the scheduling of visits to birth mothers, an emotional roller coaster for all parties. Birth mothers, she finds, are often “harder to hate than you might expect,” and when an especially difficult child comes along, it’s almost impossible to accept that even foster parents have their limitations. And how do you “give enough” to each child so they get a healthy sense of family, “without loving them too much to let them go in the end?” With over half a million American children in foster care today, Harrison’s personal but vitally important account should be read by public policy makers and by anyone with a spare room in their home.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist
With so much awful publicity surrounding foster parenting, Harrison’s story of opening her home to foster children, three of whom she later adopted, is tender and inspiring. It is also filled with heartbreaking truths about abused and neglected children and a social service system that is overburdened and occasionally negligent itself. For 13 years, Harrison, along with her husband, three biological sons, and three adopted daughters, has fostered abandoned infants, runaway teens, disabled preschoolers, and children discharged from psychiatric hospitals. The Harrisons also became hot-line foster parents, willing to accept children in emergency situations with little or no notice. Harrison describes the process social workers use to place children, the horrifying circumstances of the children involved, and the training required of foster parents. She brings her story home by focusing, with heart-rending details, on four troubled children, including Danny, a developmentally delayed eight-year-old; Lucy, a deeply depressed eight-year-old abandoned by her mother; seven-month-old Karen, eventually adopted by the Harrisons and later diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome; and Sara, a six-year-old who had been sexually abused. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The Constructive Curmudgeon

I love this post from a blog Jeremy reads:

1. Read old, challenging books.
2. Talk to people in situations with no background noise.
3. Pray through the Psalms.
4. Read the Book of Ecclesiastes multiple times until it sinks in.
5. Talk to older people and really listen to them.
6. Sit in silence, doing nothing for short or long periods of time (but not in a yoga posture).
7. Thank God for what cannot be taken away.
8. Write a letter (not an email) to a friend or family member.
9. See a worthwhile film and then talk about it with a group of people. Don’t use the word “awesome.”
10. Drive in silence–no radio, music, cell phones, etc.
11. Listen to John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” until you get it. But don’t accept the theology of the liner notes.
12. Fast and pray for a few days (without telling anyone who doesn’t need to know).
13. Pray written prayers from The Book of Common Prayer.
14. Read historical confessional statements such as The Thirty Nine Articles or The Westminster Confession of Faith or The Athansian Creed.
15. Do not interrupt people when you talk with them. Do not finish their sentences. Maybe they are looking for just the right word.
16. Weep with those who weep.
17. Stop watching television for one week. Note what happens to your soul.
18. Listen to a classic book on tape when you are driving.
19 Buy someone a book they wouldn’t buy for themselves and ask them to read it.
20. Pray for strangers as they pass you by.
21. Take communion on a regular basis.
22. Look for opportunities to share the Gospel with strangers in creative ways. (I’ve done it in a public steam bath several times.)
23. Listen to Mars Hill Audio interviews.

Okay, I was “tagged” by my daughter, except I really don’t know exactly what that means…I am not sure if I remember most of this because it has been soooo long.

How long have you been together? married 28 years in November

How long did you date? don’t remember, we met at a baseball game in 9th grade

How old is he? 45

Who eats more? He does

Who said “I love you” first? I would assume him

Who is taller? He is

Who is smarter? Him, absolutely

Who does the laundry? Both of us

Who does the dishes? Mostly me but he is happy to pitch in

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? me, but he sleeps closest to the door, supposedly to protect me but it is also closer to the bathroom 😉

Who pays the bills? Him

Who mows the lawn? Him

Who cooks dinner? Me

Who is more stubborn? Hard to say

Who kissed who first? Wow, too long ago but again I assume it was him

Who asked who out? Him

Who proposed? Proposed, hmmmm, it was more like hey what are we going to do, get married I guess.

Who is more sensitive? Him

Who has more siblings? Him, he is the baby of 4 and I have just one brother

What were you doing 10 years ago? Probably homeschooling four kids.

Four copies of Small Town, Big Miracle are available from FCC let me know if you want one, they are $10 each and I will wait to see if there are any left for the bookstand after I hear from you guys.  I just received a packet of information from Family Life about launching an Orphans Ministry in your church.  I am really excited about it and will let you know what progress is made.

This past week has been extremely busy, so I am just chilling out tonight and planning to work like crazy tomorrow after a good nights sleep.  Wednesday night, July 17th, the possibility arose that another driver was needed for the FCC Youth Mission Trip to Michigan.  Thursday morning I found out that I was going to go and we left on Saturday morning.  We were gone for 8 days and had a great time.  We were very busy, worked hard and were inspired and challenged to serve the Lord in ways we never imagined. We went to serve a church plant named Parkway Community Church that we learned about from our friends Josh and Missi Linebaugh who moved from Kansas City to Grand Blanc, MI almost a year and a half ago for Josh’s residency.  We miss them tremendously and it was such a blessing to spend time with them and serve their new church.  Please pray for Parkway and the devoted, passionate pastor, Andrew Lucas, and his charming, hilarious wife, Sera.  There are some real challenges here and I look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store.

Cloth Diapers!

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