Insanity

just released-State issues emergency rules to ease adoption for Alaska Natives (click here to read…)

THIS makes me ill and as an Alaskan Native, ICWA family it infuriates me to no end.
Surely this comes down to one thing…money and power as it is most certainly NOT the best interest of the child.
The first question we should ALL be asking is “Where was the family/tribe during the last year or more?”
It takes almost TWO YEARS to terminate parental rights and during those two years, OCS/DHSS HAS to search for eligible family or tribal members willing to foster or adopt.  After those two years have passed and no family or tribal member has stepped forward, or proven to be eligible, and when parental rights are (finally) terminated THEN and only then is the child available for adoption and in most cases the foster family they have been a part of is eagerly waiting to do so.
So why then is this new ICWA rule so important?  Why are we not only allowing the family/tribe to step in (literally last minute) without questioning their intent after being silent/uninterested in the child for years but why are we now not even requiring any formal declaration of their intent to do so (as we do with EVERY other race/culture)?  Am I the only one who thinks this is insane, racist, discriminatory and ultimately completely inhumane for the child?!

Okay…let me take a breath.  Here’s a little back story for those who are not foster parents and might think this new rule is all rainbows, sunshine and cultural goodness…

ALL foster families, are very much aware that there is little to NO chance of ever adopting an Alaskan Native child (unless they are in their family or SPECIFIC tribe as we have learned).  Never mind the fact that out of the 2,500 children in foster care in Alaska,  1,500 are Alaskan Native and the number of AK Native (ICWA approved) foster homes makes up a tiny fraction of our resource families.  Nope, no need to take that into consideration at all (apparently)…basic supply and demand economics doesn’t seem to matter to our law makers, as long as we can put a culturally sensitive band-aid on the problem, we can sleep well, right?  Who cares about the actual children and how they’re sleeping…

So most foster families hoping to adopt understandably refuse to take Alaskan Native children at all in order to spare the heartache of attachment and removal.  Sadly this has left our group ‘homes’ (using the term ‘homes’ loosely mind you) FULL of almost only Alaskan Native children to be raised in a facility instead of a loving home with staff instead of family.  Hmm…I still don’t see how the ICWA laws are protecting our children or culture…Perhaps those who wrote and continue to expand upon them should sign up to foster?  Crazy thought, I know.

Of course there are those faithful few hoping to adopt who still choose to take these little ones in regardless of the risk, opening their homes and loving them like their own, putting their hearts on the line every hour of every day for years, only to have them taken away (from the only stable, loving family they’ve ever known) and given over to a sub-par family or tribal member, declaring they are (and I quote from page 2, paragraph 3) “protecting the stability and security of Tribes.”  What?  I thought we were protecting the child?

It is cruel for all involved ESPECIALLY the child.
Common sense is checked at the door in the name of ‘cultural sensitivity’ while this is the most inhuman thing a person could do to an already traumatized child.

We are to love regardless of color (or culture) right? So how is this discriminatory rule a ‘GOOD’ thing?

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So if we are the Body, Why aren’t His arms reaching, why aren’t His feet going?

There are100,000 orphans right here in the U.S. waiting for forever families, and nearly 350,000 Churches... So if we are the Body, Why aren’t His arms reaching, why aren’t His feet going?

So if we are the Body, Why aren’t His arms reaching, why aren’t His feet going?

There are 100,000 orphans right here in the U.S. waiting for forever families, and nearly 350,000 Churches… So if we are the Body, Why aren’t His arms reaching, why aren’t His feet going?
Here is a list of how many children are waiting for families vs. how many churches are in each state.
Contact the Alaska Center for Resource Families at (907) 479-7307 or visit their website at http://www.ACRF.org, to learn more and see how you can attend an informative orientation.

Real Love Bleeds (Proverbs 31 Ministries)

Did you know that there are approximately 100,000 children in foster care (right here in America) waiting (legally free-no parent’s attached) to be adopted?  Did you also know that there are over 300,000 churches in America?  This means that if just 1 family out of every 3 churches, softened their hearts to God’s call to ‘care for the orphan’ that America would have no orphaned children.  Wow.  Clearly God’s call to care for the orphans is perfect-He never intended for them to be left without a family.  This tells me that someone, somewhere is not listening, not moving when called…for whatever reason, closing their eyes-turning away from God’s beautiful will for their life.  Sadly they are not only denying a child the home God designed for them, they are missing out on the priceless gift of experiencing a life lived in God’s perfect will…more than likely exchanging the opportunity of a miracle-filled life, for one of earthly ‘comfort’ leaving both the life of the child and the planned family void of God’s beauty.
This thought continues to plague me daily. 

I wish that I could show you the heart that God molds as we welcome in ‘the least of these’ and trust in Gods provision each day.  I wish that you could see the beauty in the brokenness, the strength that is born in our weakness and the priceless gift of seeing God’s hand at work as He brings it all together for good.  If people could see this…if they could trust God’s will, there would be no orphans left.

I received this from Proverbs 31 Ministries this morning and had to share.  If you feel God move in your heart as you read please stop and pray-ask for Him to lead you and be willing to move your feet.
———————————————————————————————————
Proverbs 31 Ministries-
MARCH 27, 2015

Real Love Bleeds
CHRYSTAL EVANS HURST

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 (ESV)

Once while attending a conference I found myself browsing through the vendor section.

Most, if not all, of the vendors had products available where the proceeds would be invested directly into a ministry or mission project designed to change the lives of people near and far.

The idea that my purchase could in some way be a small contribution to Kingdom work propelled me to actively seek something that I wanted to wear, use or display in my home.

I paused in front of a table featuring art prints with various inspirational quotes and verses. It was like a sea of words.

I figured that somewhere on that table were words I would want to display in my home. Words that would inspire me and spur me on to be the person God wanted me to be.

I found those words. But they weren’t the warm and fuzzy words I was looking for. The kind that would make me want to smile when I walked by them in my home.

Instead I found words that cut deep and convicted me beyond my expectation. Words that inspired me … but solemnly. Words that did not yield a cozy experience, but certainly lit a fire within my heart and soul. The print said:

“Real love bleeds.”

I bought it.

Loving people can be hard work. It can be even harder when the love you give requires the very essence of who you are to flow through wounds inflicted by the ones your heart beats for.

When I read these three small words penned by this artist-turned-missionary, I stopped in my tracks because I knew I had been doing exactly the opposite in my life.

Instead of being willing to “bleed” for the ones I loved the most, I had slipped into full-on apathy.

Why? Because sometimes caring for and loving others doesn’t feel good.

Sometimes, it’s easier not to love.

Over time, and unbeknownst to me, I had become an expert at self-preservation and pain avoidance.

Anything that hurt, I didn’t touch — including the people I loved the most.

I grieved as I realized that the very love Jesus continually offered me — the same love that came at His own great personal discomfort and eventual agony — was unfortunately the kind of love I’d become unwilling to consistently offer.

Why? Because sometimes loving others hurts.

As I stood there and pulled out my wallet to purchase the simple yet beautiful print, I realized that great love comes at a great cost — as evidenced by the example of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for my sins, which we see in today’s key verse.

I remembered His illustration of love for me and recalled His command that I follow in His steps: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34, ESV).

Now, let me concede this. I am completely aware that everyone who causes us pain should not be an automatic recipient of our deepest level of sacrifice. However, I am acutely aware of my own need to assess my willingness to love like Christ loves me and to sacrifice for those to whom I am called.

What I know for certain is this: There are times when the love I have for others is not a matter of feeling, but rather a matter of my decision to be obedient to Him — and it won’t feel good.

The question is, when real love results in my personal discomfort or even a heart-wrenching level of pain, am I willing to love well anyway?

Father, thank You for Your love — a love that never fails and never gives up on me. You are the perfect example of a great love — a love that is offered full-strength even when love is not given in return. Help me to love like You. I want to honor You by doing my best to love others in the way You have loved me — even when it hurts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Freedom!

I woke today feeling like a free woman.  I know the battle is not yet over but the termination of parental rights was a HUGE step in the right direction for our little one.  NO MORE VISITS (which, when they happened, left Lulu very confused)- no more catering to ‘mom’.  NOW it’s about Lulu.

When I arrived home after the hearing yesterday, she ran and jumped into my arms with a huge smile and a “MOMMA!!!”  Let me tell you, it never sounded sweeter! 

I am continuing to pray that the tribe will do what is best for this little one and not appeal the verdict or our adoption but I am finding it hard to do anything more than praise God for His victory!  Even Lulu’s team (caseworker, attorney, GAL…) were all left speechless after the verdict, each saying that they had never seen a Judge ‘extend themselves that far on a case’.  Clearly God’s judgement was being delivered.  God bless that Judge for defending the fatherless and oppressed!

Thank you to all who interceded on her behalf!  Our prayers have been heard and the Lord has delivered greatly!!!

For this child, I prayed

For this child, I prayed

Victory!!!

“To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,That the man of the earth may oppress no more.” God delivered!

As of 10:30AM our little Lulu has been fully justified! The Judge was amazing…Truth was pouring out of every mouth in that court today and he expanded greatly upon the gravity of the matter, continually reinforced his belief that Lulu should remain in our home (adding that to remove her would be ‘detrimental‘ to her well-being)!
THANK YOU, JESUS!!!
Our adoption home study was also just approved and we have already contacted our adoption attorney (no less than one hour after the verdict…This little one has waited long enough)!

The tribe does have plans to appeal as does the Grandma BUT one day at a time and today is nothing but victory!!!

Thank you for your prayers!!!

Justice to the fatherless…

Court could NOT have gone any better today. TRUTH was told and completely undeniable and the tribe has yet to intervene…Exactly what I have been praying for!
As I sat in the court room I had Psalm 10 open on my Bible app to verses 17-18…“LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble
; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more.”

And God delivered today ‘…justice to the fatherless and the oppressed’!

A verdict is expected by tomorrow morning and I am continually praying for God’s perfect will to be done in our little one’s life. 

Thank you all for praying alongside us!  It is such a gift to know that strangers (yet brothers and sisters in Christ) are lifting her up-actively being a part of her story without even knowing her.
One sweet day you will know full-well the difference your prayers have made.  God bless you for interceding!!!

Court is in Session…

My prayers have been continual…the same plea worded a thousand different ways, each as heart-felt as the last. I know God hears. I know He is with our little one.

Before going to bed last night I decided to read some Psalms and this is the first one I opened with…

Psalm 5-
Give ear to my words, O Lord, Consider my meditation. Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, For to You I will pray.
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You. The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; Make Your way straight before my face.

For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; Their inward part is destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb; They flatter with their tongue.
Pronounce them guilty, O God! Let them fall by their own counsels;
Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions, For they have rebelled against You.

But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You.
For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

🙂 I especially liked the ‘You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;’ and ‘ Pronounce them guilty, O God! Let them fall by their own counsels;’ part!

Please remember Lulu today. Court begins at 9AM and should go till around 3 (then again tomorrow and possibly into Friday) before a decision has been made.
My greatest concern is the tribe and their actively trying to ‘intervene’. I pray that like the Egyptians in the Old Testament (right before they all died…teehehe), that they find themselves unprepared, unable to stand in court and unable to speak an utterance that would harm this little one in the end.

Thank you ALL for your prayers!!!

Stretch!