A Gentle Reminder of Why We Do This!

After walking this journey for 12 years we have had a few opportunities to share our story an why we walk this path. Recently a dear friend that has a talk radio show on a local radio station about fostering and adoption asked Ray and I to do an episode on her show we agreed. As the time for our meeting grew closer we began to struggle with what our interview would be like.

The normal earthly things started to rush through our heads. You know those nagging worries of how will I sound, what will I say, what if I make God look bad, and the list goes on. Then the day of the interview arrived and Rayleen joined us on our front patio to chat. God was definitely present and His leading to do this job was definitely expressed.

We listened to this show just the two of us laying in our bed and it was such an uplifting event. We really kept it God focused and were able to encourage others to follow that leading! Below is the link. Give it a listen and let us know what your thoughts are!

https://ralenechallinor.wixsite.com/realtalkprescott/radio-interviews-most-resent?fbclid=IwAR0EYmrik5CwSUAUSvbA5rjxtoLm4S00dwlALZCwOEGVD9Fyg1tPmBVoeH4

Look for our family photo to hear our family’s story!

And We March On

WOW the things we learn when we are forced into areas of life we no longer wanted to acknowledge. As we have muddled through the new way of life due to Covid we have been forced into areas of our life that we never wanted to go into. For example, we are faced with homeschooling again. We loved homeschooling our biological children for most of their school years, however, we NEVER wanted to homeschool our trauma exposed children.

I know for this momma homeschooling my birth children was a very special journey that I would never give up for anything! I cherished the good lessons, loathed the frustrating lessons, and truly reveled in the time I got to spend with my children. When we started this journey of fostering and adopting children that have been exposed to trauma I have to admit I was reliant on their school time as my break and selfcare period. (Now I am going to be honest, I didn’t use the time for selfcare as much as a should have, but I still felt that I needed this time to me!)

Then Covid hit and we were all forced in to home learning. THIS WAS A NIGHTMARE!! I could not keep every teachers expectations and with my history of homeschooling I was quickly frustrated that I was not in control of the lessons making 3 to 4 times the amount of work for myself. After several tearful conversations with therapist, my amazing husband, and our adult children, I caved in and accepted that I needed to return to homeschooling.

As I worked through the homeschooling curriculum I began to assess each child’s needs and learned a lot about each child. This really opened up my eyes to what each of them struggled with! WOW, how are they even able to function in life! As we moved forward I learned that we had a couple of kiddo’s that truly are not meant for homeschooling, but the others are flourishing.

Now I am I back to homeschooling and absolutely LOVING it! I never wanted to be that life long homeschool family, but I am starting to embrace it. As we grow and learn we are starting over again and in a new generation. As God has grown our family He continues to grow us! Some times it is challenging and oh so often uncomfortable but as usual God’s plans are so much better than ours!! God has helped us to grow and be this He has help others to grow as well.

Remember that God is in control and we need to work to follow His leading as we move through this journey. God has brought amazing people into our world that we would never have meet any other way. God has brought us bigger challenges than we would have ever thought we could meet. I know it is His will and something that we need to be open to, but so often it is so uncomfortable that we fight, run, and ignore His leading. When we sit in church we hear from missionaries and I know for me it is sitting there thinking that it would be amazing to experience doing this amount of good for God. Ray then reminds me that we are being God’s missionary right here in our home!

What an amazing blessing that we can be of use for God and still be comfortable in our home and surroundings! I love that we can do God’s calling to reach those children in our community that desperately need our support and love. I have to admit that I have not always seen this as working for God but the more I do it the more I have learned that I am doing what God has called me to do. These kids are just as at risk as people in a third world country. We have kids in our home that walked through the door in a feral state. For those of you that don’t know what this means I will explain. When our youngest son walked through our door he needed help to stay standing, he could not hold silverware, he had never been in a shower, and he literally had the clothing on his back. He arrived without anything! You can’t tell me that this is different than people in a third world country.

God has grown us so much from the time we first answered the calling to be foster parents that we are unrecognizable. We entered the world of foster care voicing that we would never take a child with a history of sexual abuse or active drug use. I have to say that as we have walked this path we have had so much come into world and we have learned to manage trauma from an array of sources and to help these fragile children to feel comfortable, safe, and loved through it all. We have learned that there are times we have to make a child feel uncomfortable by addressing situations that remind them of their trauma in order for them to get beyond the trauma to feel safe.

I guess that is what God does with us too! We have had to face a lot of our insecurities to be able to fully address and help these kids reach their goals and stability as well! I know for Ray and I we have been through a ton of struggles and situations that most people would run from, however, we have learned that this is all part of growing that we needed to do to serve God. The most amazing point of all those is that we were never alone on this journey. God has always put the people we needed when we needed them into our lives so that we could grow to meet the challenge before us. We have never been alone on this journey even though we have often felt isolated and deserted we have never really been alone.

If you are feeling called to be a foster parent or even to adopt a child that has been through the foster system, know that you are not alone! We are always here for you by phone or video. We want to help you to grow and be a servant for God and if that means that we need step up to support you all by praying, by listening to your fears and frustrations, by giving advise, and by letting you know that you are not alone then that is what we are here to do! Please reach out to us and let us walk this journey with you! Let us grow our faith and hearts by helping yours to follow God’s leading. You are never alone!

How do we live with Satan in our home??

Now I know, every Christian has this thought. Be it over television, internet, and even sometimes people we invite in as we work to show them God. However, when we live with what is perceived as evil. What do we as Christians do?

This is where I find myself today!! I have been working through Revelations and 1 John 3-4….and goodness I am truly in a spiritual battle with how I am feeling towards one of the kids.

Now I am not flat out saying he is Satan (it sure feels like it sometimes), but I am questioning how I respond to him and his behaviors as not just a mom, but a Christian mom?

This kiddo has been with us for just about 4 years now. I also know that part of his behaviors is attributed to being on the autism spectrum. LOGICALLY, I understand that he will not handle social situations anywhere near appropriately. I know he will never function at his level, but do I have to face a life time of raising a child and young adult that is so self centered and unwilling (yes, I said unwilling because I truly in my heart of hearts believe that is his choice) to be a part of any family unless he is the center of the universe.

How do I work through this and keep my heart for Jesus?? How do I safeguard myself when I would typically plant my seeds and walk away for God to work His will in this life? I just don’t know what to do, or truly how to be in this situation! Turn to the word right….

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Acts 2:42 ESV

So, I reached out to my mentors. Tearfully and full of fear I might add!! This was God’s word through them:

Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health. Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust. Proverbs 4:20‭-‬27 MSG

Yeah…..let that one sink in a little!! I have to keep my focus on God and His plan and will!! He has brought this child to me not to torture me or him, but to grow BOTH of us! Walking with my son has grown me and minute by minute continues to grow me!!

When I step back and evaluate our walk as a family….yes we let Satan in!! We bring in the trauma, heartache, and corruption into our home. HOWEVER, this is where Jesus met people and made the biggest change in their lives!! We are following Jesus by walking with this child as he fights to stay with what he knows. While God battles for his soul, we are entrusted with his care, protection, and …dare I say it….shaping him for his future.

I guess one could ask ….. how are you not letting Satan in? How are you following Jesus, and keeping these elements/frustrations out?

So worth the battle!!