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Category: Foster Care

Foster Care


How breakthroughs in bad dreams came to our home

Milestone #672:

This week called for a spring cleaning of the boys’ room. The kind where you pull the beds and dressers away from the wall and bust out the crevice tool that came with the vacuum.

It felt so good.

The sun was shining through the window, the kids were playing or doing chores nearby, and I was going to town, sweating from sucking up months of dirt, dust, a couple black socks and a few spare pennies.

I pulled the bed out a little farther and a piece of paper caught my eye. I pulled it out from between the trundle drawer and the wall, opening it so I could read it. Before I even finished smoothing it, my heart thudded to a stop as I remembered the font.

When foster buddy first came (15 months ago now!!!!!) he did not know how to sleep at night. He was petrified. Not only had he been taken from the only life he had known and then all of his siblings too, but the life he had before he came only added to his nightmares.

He could not sleep through the night. That meant we could not sleep through the night. Sometimes, he would come get me 3-4 times in one night, pale and shaking from his dreams. He would also sleepwalk in between, never remembering anything the next day. If I didn’t tuck him into bed that night, he would come and find me at 2am every time just to know I was home. It wasn’t long before we were the ones who felt like we were living in a nightmare.

Doctors appointments are difficult to make quickly and when you’re losing your mind from lack of sleep there is not much that can help at that point. We were desperate.

One day, I found the verse in Proverbs that read, “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” I printed it out and even though little buddy couldn’t even read yet, we taped that sucker to the top of his bed and read it out loud every night as we tucked him in. We laid hands on him and prayed over his mind, his heart, his will and his emotions.

A few more bumps in the road and we found the magical melatonin that got him sleeping through the night. Things got better, slowly but surely. Sometimes it was two steps forward, ten steps back. One night in a tough tantrum, little buddy ripped off the paper and it must’ve fallen behind his bed.

I never noticed at the time. He mentioned it once in a blue moon as I tucked him in, but I assumed the boys had ruined it in play and it had long since hit the landfill. I prayed a patched up prayer of sleeping through the night, but I was no longer begging God for that: I was thanking Him for how far we had come.

Until I saw that paper.

All the feelings came rushing back through me, and I remembered the exhaustion, the sadness, the deep grief of walking a child back to bed night after night, the desperation of seeking God in this seemingly forsaken place of loneliness. I even remembered how my legs ached, my hips feeling hollow in my bones for climbing stairs every few hours when I should have been sleeping.

I shook my head in awe and amazement.

In my moment of flashbacks, something else was breaking through: it was the song of a beautiful, happy six year old as he snuggled our family cat and swept the bathroom floor before playing Legos outside his room. The song got louder and my memory faded softer.

It was a memory that I knew we were never going back to. We had overcome our nightmares and our sleep was now sweet.

Outside of the random nighttime snafus that come with six children under my roof right now, I sleep through the night pretty much all the time.

Okay, often for that ratio, anyway.

But faithfulness is all I hear in that song, that even on the hard, exhausting, trying days, we are never going back to that again. His promise is true, and when we lie down, we are not afraid, and when we lie down, our sleep is sweet.

I breathed out a sigh of relief as I said goodbye to that faithful promise: no longer needed on paper taped over the bed; now fully engraved on our hearts.

And I had a sweet singing six year old to prove it.

Originally posted February 8, 2019

To download free printables of that verse, click here.

For more about our foster care journey, click here.



I. Welcome & Introduction – Point Person and Ministry Leader


II. Play Video “Tale of Two Rivers” to introduce how trauma occurs and the Vision30 Goal. (2.5 min.)    

 

Discuss Vision 30

Discuss System Flow Chart

-Play Kelli Moore’s video on CarePortal in action. (7.5 min.)

Q & A


III. CarePortal Tier One Grid Basic Training (3.5 min.)     

-Discuss relationships as the foundational goal     

-Tier One is where every church begins, meeting basic needs as a friend and neighbor.     

-Tier Two is a higher level need requiring background checks and more committed care.     

-Tier Three is CPS certified care heading in to foster care/respite care/adoption.     

So this is a GREAT way to get your feet wet, see needs, meet needs, get involved in the community and figure out where YOUR place is in both CarePortal and the Kingdom.


IV. Our Mission field is BOTH Vulnerable Families and Case Workers     –

Lesson #1: Keeping Families Together is Top Priority.       

-“good enough” is best.       

– Explain the grief and trauma of breaking a family, consequences of negative view of police officers and social workers. Fear, anger, rage, loss… 

-Positive impact of supporting the WHOLE family, not just the child. Break the cycle.       

-Watch Church video about single mom’s testimony with CarePortal. (2.5 min.)    “One CarePortal Story”

 

– Lesson #2: Case Workers Have the Hardest Job.       

– Average 2 year life span in the field without support and people helping their families.

-They are bound to legal and best practices, etc. that they have to abide by.  They are emloyees of the state and have their livlihood to consider.

– Secondary Trauma and Compassion Fatigue are real and present in their lives.

V. Bringing it All Together   

-Watch BattleCreek Church’s Announcement about CarePortal (8.5 min.)   

-You guys are our pilot group as we work this out. We would like to have each of you figure out your place in this over the next few months and then we will put it all together and invite the rest of the church to work with us as the needs grow and we establish order for CarePortal for BRGT.    

-Church Challenge video to Share the Miracle #myconnection (1.5 min.)


Q & A

Print copies of this guide once you format it for you and your church. Use this template if yoou’d like to copy and paste:

BRGT CarePortal Team Informational MeetingMonday, June 15 at 7p at BRGT Bible School Classrooms


I. Welcome & Introduction – Point Person and Ministry Team Leader

II. Play Video “Tale of Two Rivers” to introduce trauma and the Vision30 goal. (2.5 min.)      
-Play Kelli Moore’s video on CarePortal in action. (7.5 min.)

Q & A

III. CarePortal Tier One Grid Basic Training (3.5 min.)     
-Discuss relationships as the foundational goal     
-Tier One is where every church begins, meeting basic needs as a friend and neighbor.     
-Tier Two is a higher level need requiring background checks and more committed care.     
-Tier Three is CPS certified care heading in to foster care/respite care/adoption.     
So this grid is a GREAT way to get your feet wet, see needs, meet needs, get involved in the community and figure out where YOUR place is in both CarePortal and the Kingdom.

IV. Our Mission field is BOTH Vulnerable Families and Case Workers    Lesson #1: Keeping Families Together is Top Priority.       
-“good enough” is best for everyone. Explain.      
– Share about the grief and trauma of breaking a family:
Negative view of police officers and social workers. Fear, anger, rage, loss…  -Positive impact of supporting the WHOLE family, not just the child. Break the cycle.       
-Watch Church video about single mom’s testimony with CarePortal. (2.5 min.)     
– Lesson #2: Case Workers Have the Hardest Job.       
– Average 2 year life span in the field without support and people helping their families. They are bound to legal and best practices, etc. that they have to abide by. As friends helping friends, we are not bound to anything like that. We can even be their hands and feet, and step up to help in ways that they are not legally allowed to do, or become a testimony to them as they see God work and come to know Him because of it.     
– Secondary Trauma and Compassion Fatigue are real and present in their lives.

V. Bringing it All Together   
-Watch BattleCreek Church’s Announcement about CarePortal (8.5 min.)   
-You guys are our pilot group as we work this out. We would like to have each of you figure out your place in this over the next few months and then we will put it all together and invite the rest of the church to work with us as the needs grow and we establish order for CarePortal for our church.    
-Church Challenge video to Share the Miracle #myconnection (1.5 min.)

Q & A

Have all the links ready to go either here or bookmarked on your device. Send a reminder text in the weeks and days ahead of time, and have copies of this layout edited and printed for your interested people by the time the meeting starts.

Happy Launching!

My own personal CarePortal Testimony and Story: