Our Heartbeat

Months ago, my friend and kindred spirit (fellow INFJ/introvert raising and extrovert/lover of Jesus, of learning, and of Jane Austen), Melissa Droegmueller, from Rolling Prairie Readers asked me to share my heart for fostering and adopting. The mission of fostering as a family has become the heartbeat of my life, or more accurately, my family’s life. We’ve been at it for almost four years now! In that time, we have fostered four little ones; one went home to Grandma, one joined our family forever, and two are currently teaching us a thing or two about the unbreakable bond of sisters. Speaking of currently, this what our family looks like today: one mama, one papa, one miracle brought to us biologically, one miracle brought to us through adoption, two miracles brought to us through foster care, and two dogs – by far the most needy of our children. Then there are the extensions…more miracles: our beloved Randee (Denver’s biological mamacita – we love her like a daughter) and Sugar Pea (our foster daughters’ brand new baby sister.) Yep, fostering makes like messy…deliciously messy…like a HUGE chunk of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Mmmmm. Messy. But I digress…mmmm, chocolate.

When Phil and I started this fostering journey, we jumped in blindly, simply following a tug that we both felt on our hearts. Through the support and help of our church and its outstanding foster/adopt support group, we have grown and learned from the best. It is no doubt the influence of other folks on the front lines of fostering who have shaped and focused our vision. Our vision has shifted from loving on children to loving on families and helping them heal.

Now, before you get the wrong idea about me, know this…my heart and my parenting is as imperfect as the next person’s. In fact, I am not what one would call “a kid person.” As a people, they are noisy and messy…and they get in my introvert space. My methods of parenting are not always stellar, like that one time I banged a sippy cup of milk on the table yelling, “Stop screaming! Stop screaming! Stop screaming!” So, there’s that. Nonetheless, the beauty of fostering is, I am enough. Full of faults. I am enough to change a life.

Every family story is unique, and our is no exception. I have documented so much of our journey right here on my blog. And since it’s summer, I’m taking it easy and simply linking the heck out of this article. You may read as much or as little as you desire, by clicking on your topic of interest.

Thank you for your interest in fostering! I pray you are blessed by what you discover here. If you have questions, contact me. Looking forward to hearing from you.

That time we knew we could not NOT foster.

That time we decided to risk Eden’s heart in order to foster.

That time we realized fostering was not safe for our hearts, but it was good.

That time I dropped off Denver for her first visitation with Randee.

That time I fell in love with Randee.

That time Denver was relinquished to us.

That time our hearts melted with the beauty of watching Denver interact with Randee.

That time we realized we were the second choice.

That time we realized we had a heart for bio moms.

That time we expanded our family from four to six…overnight.

That time we counted the cost of fostering for the third time and how it could affect Eden and Denver.

That time we saw the Pea’s mom for the first time.

That time we realized God was growing us up a bit…shaping and humbling us.

 

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Remembering Chuck – Year Six

Today is the day that Chuck let that boisterous spirit fly free. And so, to honor him and his utter defiance of…well…everything, we cut our hair! Why? It started out simply enough. Chuck did not want to shave nor trim his locks until he was arrived home. Granted, we figured that would be a month, two at the longest. We did not anticipate FIFTEEN months. Blessedly, the man grew hair quite slowly. The deal was, Chuck eventually lost the ability to do the impossible. Most of us were used to Chuck charming his way into and out of any situation. So he did what he could, he took charge of his hair…and boy, that was some hair by the end. (A disclaimer, Chuck did finally get me to break rules right and left on his behalf. No big surprise there. I miss that. It’s rare anyone encourages me to break rules…much less the law, these days. Sigh.)

Thank you to those of you who are not in the Tessier household and actually have a choice about whether or not to cut…and cut anyway. Thank you, Phil, for your generous, gracious spirit…the way you encourage me to celebrate Chuck and honor his memory. You are a keeper!

And Chuck, I want you to know, that we trimmed Eden’s golden locks this year. Her first haircut ever…to honor you…to honor the man who shaped the woman who became her mommy. Thanks, Chuck. You are remembered. And as ever, you are missed.

Oh dear. What can I say...my devotion is great to show this before photo.
Oh dear. What can I say…my devotion is great to show this before photo.
My after photo. MUCH better.
Phil's before photo. That's one handsome man!
Phil’s before photo. That’s one handsome man!
Phil's after. HANDSOME, handsome man.
Phil’s after. HANDSOME, handsome man.
Eden's before photo. Cute, wavy mullet!
Eden’s before photo. Cute, wavy mullet!
Eden's after photo. The curls are still there. Whew!
Eden’s after photo. The curls are still there. Whew!