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Pottery Barn & lice.

A list, if you will:

1. Healthier lifestyle is going great.  I’m seeing results when I weigh myself each week but, more importantly, I’m seeing results in my mind.  When I want to eat something that is not healthy for me, I don’t just not eat it — I stop and ask myself why I want it.  Am I bored?  Am I upset?  Am I stressed?  Am I being lazy?  By identifying what is going on in my head, I feel like I can have better long term success with trying to be healthier.  It will be a long road that will hopefully be made even longer by pregnancy somewhere down the road.  In my ideal world, I would lose a certain amount of weight, get pregnant, stop losing weight, have a child and then lose more weight.  Then again, my ideal world also includes Beth Moore fixing my hair each morning, so I guess we’ll just see how life pans out.

2. Yesterday, while we were eating lunch together, Paul and I got a call that our home is officially open for foster care.  I feel like a pregnant woman waiting for her water to break except I don’t know if I’m “giving birth” to a toddler or adolescent.  When the call does come, we’re ready.  The bedroom is clean — floors scrubbed, toys polished, clean sheets on the bed.  I know the quickest route to the car seat section in Target, if we were to need one.  Short of buying an outfit in every size and gender, I don’t know what else we could do to be more prepared for an unknown child.

3. One of the strange things about foster care is not knowing what age of child you will be committing to take care of indefinitely.  I know we are not going to take a teenager this time around because I just feel like I’m too close in age to a teen (the last time I fostered, I was barely 10 years older than my oldest foster child!).  So, will we get a baby?  A kindergartner?  A third grader?  Will they be adoptable or is reunification with birth parents the goal?  Is it a boy or a girl?  Do they have medical needs?  Will English be their primary language?  This has been your complimentary peek into my mind over the last 24 hours.

4. I have a theory.  My theory is that our licensing process was being perfectly timed (by God) to match up with the timing of the “right” child coming into custody.  A whole lot of intricate details have to happen at simultaneous times for my theory to be correct but I’m still going to stick with it.  I may be curious about the child we’re going to get but I can’t help but to believe that this is being micromanaged by God since I can’t micromanage it myself.  As hard as my last foray into foster care was, I still believe that I was meant to foster those three children at that specific time in their life (and, incidentally, I would still do it all over again even knowing what the outcome would be).

5. One of my biggest fears about telling people that we are going to foster is that people would think we’re doing it just to “fill a need” for a child in our life since we don’t have a biological child of our own yet.  I can easily see how people would come to that conclusion (if I was on the outside looking in, I would totally make that assumption).  Here is what I have found, though: choosing to foster while going through infertility is not an “answer” or even necessarily a “relief.”  Basically, what we are signing up for is taking in someone else’s child, falling in love with them and potentially sending them back out of our lives forever just when we get good and attached to them.  What I wanted to sign up for was this: my mother, stepmother and three grandmothers crowded into a doctor office, all trying to see the ultrasound screen followed by a nice leisurely lunch at The Cheesecake Factory before we all head over to Pottery Barn Kids to pick out crib bedding.  Instead, I may get lice.  So, no, this is not something we’re doing because we want a baby.

6. A video about foster care just came out that has captivated me.  It hits so many intricate details of foster care that are hard to put into words.  If you have a few minutes, I’d love for you to watch it.  If you’ve never fostered, this is probably the most accurate description of fostering I’ve encountered so far.



Comment from Lyndsey
Time: March 13, 2014, 3:28 pm

Love this! “being micromanaged by God since I can’t micromanage it myself” SO needed this today! Thank you for sharing this journey! I appreciate your transparency!

Comment from Kaye
Time: March 13, 2014, 4:01 pm

Oh man! I’m crying like a baby after watching that video.
I recently had a 7 year old foster boy for 8 weeks emergency care (it was meant to be 3 weeks). He came into my care weeks before my approval had even become official.
It was hard!
But the most heartbreaking bit was having to say goodbye and send him off to foster home number 15. Just hoping and praying he finds stability…and a dad.
Even though I only know you in the digital realm, I fully believe that you and Paul are going to be incredible life-changers to each little person who comes into your home. You are a truly inspiring woman Amy Beth.

Comment from Erin
Time: March 13, 2014, 4:16 pm

I had to turn the video off three times before I could finish watching it. But I made myself finish it. My heart is broken for those kids. One of my very good friends is a social worker and every time I see her, I just want to hug her because her heart is filled with so much love and light despite some of the darkness she sees everyday.

I cannot wait to see who God places in your home. I pray that He gives you and Paul the wisdom and patience to really make a difference for that child. I loved your words: this is being micromanaged by God since I can’t micromanage it myself. What a perfect way to say it!

Good luck and many blessings to you!

Comment from Kait
Time: March 13, 2014, 5:04 pm

Phew, that video was a tough one to watch. I think I’ll have a few rough days ahead of me. Lots of triggers & memories.

But on a happier note, it is amazing to “be the summer” for these children who were broken. To give them an out, or a break, from a life that is daily trauma.

I’m a long way off from considering children, but I’ve already started to wonder if I’d make a good foster mother.

Thanks for sharing this Amy Beth.

Comment from Rosanna
Time: March 13, 2014, 5:36 pm

I too am in tears after that video. Praying for you and Paul. May you find God’s grace sufficient as you continue to walk in faithfulness. Blessings.

Comment from Erika
Time: March 13, 2014, 5:37 pm

I think you both are amazing for fostering. I’m sure it’s one of the hardest things you could ever possibly do, but to open up your heart (and home) that way, seems like just what Jesus would do. :) My little sister in law (now 15) came to David’s family as a foster child. They adopted her when she was 3 and a half. Her background before coming to them was as tragic as you could imagine….now she is in a place where she is loved and safe. They would be the first to say that it isn’t always easy, but totally worth it.

Comment from Kylie
Time: March 13, 2014, 7:04 pm

Phew I’m another one crying after that video. I know you and your husband will be loving foster parents. You’re amazing!

Comment from Amber
Time: March 13, 2014, 7:44 pm

I really love #4 and I agree that God is in the details. I am on the edge of my seat waiting to see the story He is writing for you and your sweet British man. :) Love you, friend! And remember that I”m always here if you need an infertility buddy to talk to.

Comment from Jennifer B
Time: March 13, 2014, 8:38 pm

Well thanks for sharing that video but how about a warning! I’m over here bawling! Ha! Praying for you & Paul in this journey.

Comment from nanette lynch
Time: March 14, 2014, 9:03 am

Thank you for sharing your journey. I just can’t help but think about the kids that are LONGING for love/guidance/stability and how you and Paul will be able to provide that for them.
This is between God/Paul/you on the why. No one else really matters.
I love your courage.

Comment from Katie
Time: March 14, 2014, 9:59 am

That comparison over what you want vs. what you may get made me laugh, but it is so true. However, I’ve often found, and I know you have to, that what you end up with is often better than anything you could have imagined. I will continue to pray that over this part of your journey, sweet Amy Beth!

Comment from Rebecca
Time: March 14, 2014, 10:59 am

Such a great post!!

I wanted to put this little tidbit in your ear since you mentioned that weight loss would be put on hold while being pregnant. I was overweight when I was pregnant and my doctor told me that I could safely and effectively lose weight while being pregnant if I didn’t overeat and/or eat a lot of fattening foods. Why? Because the baby ate the calories I consumed and my body used my fat (or I guess it could go either way…). And you know what? He was right….I did. So more power to you as you continue your journey! :)

Also, I had PCOS and was told by the number one fertility specialist in the state of MS that I would probably never have kids or at the very least, would need lots of help in order to get pregnant. I was prayed over several years later when I was a newlywed and I was immediately healed. I was pregnant within two months. It was all God alone!! I don’t say this to gloat, but rather to offer encouragement. Doctor’s can be right and then be proven wrong. I pray that is the case with you as God lays His healing hand upon your life! :)

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