Meg's Memo

. . .writings from Wilmington.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

we are licensed!


Yesterday just after noon, I received the call that we are approved & licensed. On that same call I was told of a potential placement. Jake was at work; I took notes like crazy during the phone call, asked questions, and then called Jake to discuss the details.
We welcomed a sweet 2 year old boy (his name starts with a "K") into our family yesterday at 4 pm. Prayers appreciated.

Monday, October 20, 2014

baked oatmeal

This baked oatmeal is a family favorite.  I have had a few requests for this recipe, so I figured I might as well post it.  This recipe comes together very quickly; simply dump all ingredients in one bowl, mix & get it in the oven! We hope your family loves it as much as our family does.


Baked Oatmeal Recipe Courtesy of Cheryl “Mom” Tuttle
Ingredients: 1⁄2 cup applesauce 3/4 cup brown sugar 3 cups oats 1/8 cup oat bran, wheat germ or chia seeds (or any combination) 2 eggs 1 cup milk 2 tsp baking powder 1⁄2 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon
Directions: In medium bowl, mix all ingredients. Pour into a greased 8x8 pan. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
Serve with the following toppings: Pecans Raisins Craisins Apples

Sunday, October 19, 2014

pumpkins

We just had another fun weekend with family here. Auntie Em came to visit this weekend, unfortunately Uncle Jonathan wasn't able to come as he had a golf trip planned.  Auntie Em arrived Thursday evening & stayed until Sunday morning. Here is some of what we did this weekend:

Auntie Em & the girls picking out a pumpkin.

After naps, we got out the dot paint & markers to decorate our pumpkins.  
Note to self: pick up finger paint soon!



Saturday morning Jake & I got up early & left our house at 6 am. We drove to Charlotte to shop at Ikea.  We needed some things for our master bedroom & bathroom remodel. The main thing we needed was a closet system for our bedroom. 

We arrived just before 10 am, when it opened.  We had a list, but we first looked through the showroom then loaded up 1 cart & 2 flatbeds. Yes, seriously! The end result was success....a full van.

We left Ikea just before 1 pm and headed back to Wilmington. While Jake & I were driving and shopping and driving some more, the girls were having a fabulous day with Auntie Em.  Their day included the park, Power of Play and watching Swiss Family Robinson.

Thanks for coming up, Emily.  
This was a huge help & we always love seeing you.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

cousin's visit

We had a great time last weekend when our 'cousins' came to visit.  This family moved away in June & we have missed them.  Lily & Ella regularly talk about Sydney, Reiley, Lucas & Lauren.  We all had a great time playing & catching up.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

worn out toes

a LOT of this...

...and this...

...results in this...

...worn out toes. 

Good thing I snagged these rubber toed sneakers for $3 at Walmart.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

k4 at home

We're having fun doing low-key learning at home this year.  We started after Labor Day. I don't have a curriculum, but I have collected some number, letter, color & shapes workbooks.  We have some letter & number flashcards as well as a Bible memory verse book with a verse for each letter of the alphabet. LOVE those verses! We are doing a letter a week, nothing super structured, just getting Lily used to learning & practicing her letters.  We are doing maybe 15-30 minutes a day (sitting down at the island).  Of course we read lots of books all day and do fun things like send pictures to our friends & family whose name starts with the letter we are working on. We also made granola bars, I wrote all the ingredients on our chalk board and then Lily circled all the Ee's in the ingredients we used. We always color & draw pictures! Hard to believe this girl will be off to school next year!
As my mom has reminded me before, the days may be long (especially when they are little), but the years go fast! I'm trying to savor our time together even on the long days.


The other morning Lily said, "Mom, is this how you spell Ella?"  I came over to her paper and found this....pretty good, Ella spelled backwords A-L-L-E.

Lily LOVES to draw & do "crafts."  We go through LOTS of paper & stickers, and she always asks to use scissors and glue.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Foster Care and OUR Family

Some of you may have already seen Jake's instagram pic or my facebook post, about our family pursuing foster care. We have had many people ask us a lot of the same questions. I thought maybe it was time to do a short blog post about how God led us to this point & answer some of those questions.

Let's back up a few years to fall of 2007...Jake & I were dating & talking about the future. We both said that YES we were wanting to have children & YES we were open to adoption. We also both said that we would love a bi-racial family.  Fast forward a few years and two kids, Lily & Ella. Then last summer Jake & I started to talk about adding to our family whether biologically, with foster care or through adoption. We do have immediate family (Jake's sister, Jess, who married my cousin, Luke) that have done foster care in MN. Jess & Luke definitely played a huge part in opening our eyes to foster care - the value of it & the huge ministry it can be. In fact, in June they finalized the adoption of 4 boys that they had fostered for over 2 years. So exciting!

After discussing adding to our family, we decided to PRAY about it until I completed the marathon in January. After the marathon, we decided to pursue foster care. We started doing some more research and we contacted DSS about the process of being licensed. We didn't really know about BEAR Foundation or UCP-Easter Seals that also does foster care in our area. We filled out our initial paperwork with DSS in early February. The MAPP licensing class is only offered 4 times a year. We could not attend the April class due to Jake coaching golf, so we took the 30 hour MAPP class in July. We knew, just a few classes in, that we definitely wanted to do this. God has clearly led our family to do this & He just kept affirming this decision through messages we heard and personal Bible study over the past 6 months. In our Sunday School class this summer we did the video series For The Life Of The World. I sat in one class and cried the entire video. It was on hospitality and showing Christ's love in a tangible way. How awesome and humbling that God cares so much for us that he leads & directs us and allows us to be used by Him.

We will be licensed for 2 children. Our license will be for 0-18 year olds, but we are considering children younger than Ella (unless it is a sibling set).  In North Carolina, there can only be 5 children total in a foster home. This includes biological, so we potentially only have 3 spots available. We are definitely open to adoption, but we are also willing to be a revolving door for foster to reunification cases. God knows our hearts & our desire and we are trusting Him with each placement He gives us. We are so excited to teach our girls through this process. We know there will be good days & hard days. We know there will be difficult transitions and potential heartbreak. We are trusting our sovereign God in all these things & would appreciate your prayers with us as we begin this journey.

We mailed off all of our paperwork (piles of it, plus a home study, plus a fire inspection, plus fingerprints, plus doctor's physicals for all four of us, etc....) the first week of September. We have been told it can take 6-8-12 weeks to hear back. We are praying that we will be approved & licensed by the end of October. We have also been told that with DSS they may call you to congratulate you on being licensed & let you know about a placement opportunity on the same phone call. We are trying to get things in order now in case a placement happens that quickly for us. We already sold both our vehicles, pooled the money and purchased 2 new vehicles (one being a minivan, VW Routan) all in 2 weeks - praise God! My last day of work is Wednesday, October 1. I am so thankful that God is allowing me to be home full time now. I have always had work that allowed me to be home with our girls or have the girls with me, but I am so thankful that now all my time and attention can be focused on our girls & our home.

This blog is an awesome resource for foster parents & for those who want to help foster families.  Here are a few of my favorite posts:
Foster Care is an incredible way to show & preach the gospel.
I also love this blog post about (Re)Humanizing Foster Care.
The churches role - Ten ways to Serve a Foster Family