Life Posts

Initial Thoughts with a Foster Child

Here's little Adelyn meeting the new baby for the first time.

Here’s little Adelyn meeting the new baby for the first time.

Last Tuesday Michelle and I received our first foster placement. We have been unbelievably blessed to invest ourselves in the life of a beautiful baby boy. Here are a few of the highlights of our experience so far, both the good and the bad.

Secrecy is bizarre, and even feels a bit cruel.

With foster kids you also adopt an interesting set of rules. We can’t show his face publicly (which is why you see the very selective camera angles in our pics). We can’t share his name publicly. And we can’t tell anyone (even our other family members) his story before ending up in our home. It is very odd to have such a major part of your life with the coupling of strict secrecy to go with it.

People often struggle with the concept of fostering but not with the actual children.

Before we got our little guy it often felt like people wanted to talk us out of doing this. We’d get comments like:

  • “Are you sure you are ready for this?”
  • “Your kids are so young already.”
  • “We could never do something like that.”

You walk away from these conversations second guessing yourself and feeling a little bit crazy. Clearly we aren’t thinking through this the way everyone else is. The result was that we were slightly nervous to see how people would react once we brought a child into our home. We couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised. My Facebook post announcing the new arrival garnered nearly 500 “likes” and almost 100 comments. While you might argue that those types of metrics on social media are superficial, I can honestly say that it felt like a tremendous vote of support from a lot of people.

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The Tipping Point of Loyalty

burger kingAs I’ve written about before, I’m not a big fan of McDonalds. That meant that Burger King was my fast food common choice of preference. I say common choice because there seems to be more Burger Kings and McDonald’s than other fast food chains (and we all would choose In-N-Out if we had the choice).

But I’ve officially broken my loyalty to Burger King after my experience this weekend. I can boil this decision down to three things:

  • they’ve changed their fries from what I used to love to something I think is very subpar
  • they’ve stopped making my favorite sandwich, the BK Double Stacker
  • I waited twenty five minutes in the drive through line. I timed it. And I’ve never before been so close to driving over the landscaping to get out of the drive through line.

I will do my best to avoid Burger King from this point on. This is a little shocking since this was a place I used to enjoy. As I’ve thought about my change of heart I wondered how much it takes to break loyalty to something? Loyalty might be a strong word to describe my previous view of Burger King, but at least I had some type of relationship. I can clearly articulate three things that caused this change. But I wonder, would two of them have been enough? Would just one?

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Foster Video Pt.2

Michelle and I had previously filmed a video, originally used in our church, to begin to document our journey with foster care. It’s an overlooked issue for many people and an overwhelming process for everyone who takes the time to get involved. Our goal has been to tell the highs and the lows of the process and to encourage more people to get involved in one way or another. When you consider that there are around 15,000 orphans in the Arizona foster care system alone it is quite disturbing.

Here is our second video that we showed this weekend that updates our process after all of the training but before our first placement.

2 Tricks to Become a Morning Person

My New Year’s resolution for 2013 was to regularly wake up earlier. As a self professed night owl this has been a challenge. As I updated in February, I’ve been able to make some progress bit by bit. My goal has been to offer encouragement for the many other people who easily make it to the single digits before they go to bed each night but then feel like they are always late to the party each morning.

I’ve recently hit a couple of new breakthroughs. I read through this article and came away with a couple great insights on how to trick yourself into waking up earlier.

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An Ovation for Revenge

Demptser hits ARod

Revenge is alive and well. Especially in baseball. Consider the following tweet from one of the Yankee beat writers:

 

In case you aren’t a baseball fan, those pitching stats are awful. So why would Ryan Dempster, a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, get a standing ovation? Because he hit Alex Rodriguez with a pitch. As if the Red Sox didn’t already have enough reason to hate Rodriguez, the recent suspension and appeal have added a freight truck of fuel to the fire. He’s received roaring boos from every crowd the Yankees have travelled to play. Last night he also received a very intentional baseball coming to him at 92 miles an hour. (more…)

Can My Daughter Be A Princess of the King?

Disney Princess

One of the weirdest moments in church ministry for me happened in my first year. I was on the student team staff and was the driver for one of our events. That meant that I drove a fifteen passenger church van with another adult co-leader riding shotgun with me. On this particular event, something strange happened: I had a van full of only females. That had never happened before, and as you might imagine, it caused our conversation on that trip to be different than most.

I don’t remember how we got into the discussion but the focus turned to these teenage girls explaining how they were each a “princess of the King.” As I listened to how they were applying this metaphor I realized it can be used in two ways:

  1. to find self esteem and value in the love of Christ
  2. to find a sense of entitlement as someone more special than others

As I listened to the girls talk it sounded to be mainly the second one. So I attempted to thoughtfully challenge them to think through how they were using the metaphor. After all, there is no society where all the women are a princess of the same king. The metaphor by nature implies exclusivity. While some of the ladies were a bit heated in the discussion, I felt good about the dialogue overall.

Until the phone calls started.

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