Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It's a boy .... and a girl!

Yes you read that correctly.  Buck and I got official word last week that we are getting to adopt the littlest guy in our home as well.  We are super excited!  Although he does not have an official adoption date as of now we are hoping to finalize his adoption by the end of the year (however we know how CPS works and are guessing the beginning of the year is more likely).

What a year we have had!  As a reflected on what the last year at our house has looked like I remember, sadness, pain, uncertainty, happiness, and now a newness.  Buck and I often laugh about  how this is not what we ever imagined when we began our foster care journey.  We never thought adoption.  It's hard not to consider it though after you have little ones placed in your home.  We are as I have told many, adopting because we are foster parents!  And when I think about both of these precious children and how they were brought to our home, I can only thank God for his hand in every part of their journey to the Baskin house.  What a blessing to be able to share their story with them as they grow older.

It's been a joy to share this with our friends and family who have traveled down the foster care journey with us.  They are just as excited as us!!!  However we do get asked if we are done now.  My answer is no!  We are happy to grow our family but we also know God has purpose for us.  There is a job to be done and children who need a place to live, children who come from hard places.  So after a break (once everything is finalized) we will start again.  And who knows maybe there are more adoptions in our future....but for sure there are more kids to be loved, who need healing, who need a home.

We thank you for your prayers and ask for you to continue to pray for kids in the system and specifically for the oldest in our home.  He is hurting.  And also for us as we blend together two 1 year olds of different races, different stories, different families to become one family.  One perfect family for us!

Pictures to come soon once everyone is a Baskin, I promise!!!!!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

New news

With the summer coming to a close and the beginning of school just around the corner, I wanted to share an update on our kiddos.  I rarely share these because as soon as we get one they usually change.

First, good news for us!  The littlest in our crew, a now 14 month old girl  has an adoption date set with us!  After her parents relinquished their rights there is a 90 day waiting period to see if anyone will appeal the decision.   We went to court in July and the Judge told us that she does not feel there is any reason for us to worry about the appeal period and set us an adoption date for November 22 which happens to be National Adoption Day!!!  We are so excited but still taking it a day at time as we know there are many things, specifically paperwork that has to occur before we can make this all happen.  However we are so thankful to have made it this far with her and are trusting God that the rest will fall into place.

Our littlest boy has court in August.  We will know more about his case then.  Until we know we are loving his laughter, watching him grow and of course  helping him develop his natural pitching arm! :)

The oldest in our home has had a few rough weeks with some rough news so if you remember please pray for his little heart as he processes what is going on.  He is so ready to start school and is becoming more inquisitive each day.  He doesn't even stop between questions for us to answer him :)

I hope all of you are enjoying what is left of your summer!  I have enjoyed having my whole family home but I am looking forward to the school year starting.  We can't wait for the football/volleyball games (go Poteet Pirates), cooler weather, Buck turning 30, and so much more that this new school year brings!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

So a little over two year in...

There are some things you choose to do because it is the right thing to do and you feel better that you've made a difference.  There are also thing you do because they are the right thing to do and it changes you.  The latter describes our foster care journey.  We began it because it was the right thing for us as a family.  We wanted to stop talking about making a difference in others' lives and actually do something.

Over the past 2 plus years we have met many families in crisis, little ones, CPS workers, fellow Buckner families, lawyers, etc that have each impacted our adventure in foster care.  It has not all been easy.  We have shed many tears in the process- some of deep sorrow and some of joy.  However all of this has brought us to where we are today. We currently have two potential adoptive cases in our home.  We have a precious 12 month old little girl whose smile will melt your heart and eyes will allow her to get away with anything.  She is tiny and full of spunk.  There is also a 15 month old little boy who is always happy.  His laugh is contagious and he full of affection.  He loves kisses and hugging and playing with the other kids in the home.  We currently have one other foster child in the home.  He is a hard worker who has overcome so much in his little life.  He likes to help and loves to ask questions :)

So how have we changed?  Well we didn't choose to do foster care so we could adopt, we are adopting because we did foster care.  Adoption was not on our radar, not why we chose to get into foster care.  Honestly we thought we would give children a safe haven while their parents worked out their issues or until a family member could permanently care for them.  God's plans are bigger than ours!  Buck and I had talked about kids before we got married.  We decided we wanted two but we wanted to wait a while.  Ask us now and here is our answer.....we want a house full, as many as we can get in our house and still get around in a car together (a bigger car is in our future)!  

We are lucky that most everyone in our family and friends are super supportive and are  big cheerleaders for us and even for foster care.  What a blessing.  We have had a few nay sayers but that comes with anything you do.  By far the most asked question we get is "don't you want children that look like you, will you ever have bio children of your own?"  I think that's a rather personal question and I find it odd that people think it's their business to know.  I have never really known what to say to this and usually change the subject.  However as I was driving to take our oldest to speech therapy yesterday God reminded me of a verse, Genesis 1:27 So He created man in His own image, In the image of God He created them, male and female.   So when I look at these precious little ones they are God's image and when I see myself I too am created in God's image which means we do look alike.  My children no matter how they come to live in our home will look like us because we are all created in the image of God!

And though they may not physically look like us they do remind us of God's vastness.  How he loves all people red, yellow, black and white and we have to add brown for our house-it's left out of the song  :) What a picture of what Heaven will be like-all people from all nations of all colors praising the same God!  So how has this journey changed us? We see God a little bigger and have learned to love with a little more compassion.

Please pray with us as we continue along this journey, for our two potential adoptive children and for our foster case as well.  Pray for all involved and for our future little ones.  What a joy to be a part of something bigger than you ever could have dreamed.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Devotional we wrote for Buckner for foster care month (may). They will run it in their magazine next month.

One of the most important lessons we have learned in the Christian life is that we are not created to do life alone.  God has designed us of course to have relationships with him but also to have relationships with others.  This can be difficult to grasp, the idea that our relationship with God is not enough, but it is true.  If you look in Genesis2:18, everything is perfect, sin has not yet entered the world, and Adam has perfect fellowship with God.  But God says something very interesting, “It is not good for man to be alone…”  God knew that we needed relationships with others along with our relationship with him because that is the way that He designed.

This fact has become vital for us as foster parents.  There is no way that we can continue to do what we do, and live out this calling that God has placed on our lives without the support of others.  Be it a difficult child or a failed adoption, we need loving encouragement of friends, family, caseworkers, agencies, fellow foster parents, and anyone else we can find so we can continue on this challenging and rewarding journey.  We believe this now more than ever having dealt with multiple situations that did not go as we had hoped.  We were not really sure how we would pick up and carry on. But so many people around us, including Buckner were there to lift us up and we were able to carry on because of the clear picture of Christian community we saw in our lives.

But there is something else we need to consider.  The children who come into our home are the same way.  At the point that they are placed with us they are very likely at the loneliest point in their lives.  And while we often think of their needs we often forget about what Mother Teresa referred to as the greatest need in the world, loneliness.  We must ensure that we do everything in our power to meet this need for the children in our home through getting them involved in activities, helping them meet friends in our area, keeping them in connected with family as much as is allowable and appropriate, and most of all through the loving, nurturing relationship that we ourselves build with them.  Because just as we cannot carry on in this often difficult journey of life alone, neither can the kids from hard places who we have been called to love.  

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Over the past few weeks I have been praying and asking God for normal.  I wanted to feel normal.  I wanted to be able to go places and not worry if the child with us is going to have a melt down...I want children who like me (our current placement could take or leave me)...I want school to be easy for the children in our home...I don't want to have to explain to others why we do things differently...I don't want to have to answer to everyone for every move we make (CPS, foster care workers, etc)...I want normal!

Yesterday as I picked up our little one from school and his teachers were telling me that he had a rough day.  And when we say rough we mean rough- hitting, screaming, then complete shut down. I got in the car and began to pray (which I have to do in situations like this before we decide to discipline); I prayed that God would teach me how to discipline so that one day we could have a normal day.

And as God always does he reminded me what I really wanted.  I wasn't asking for normal, I was asking for easy.  All those things I wanted were easy and made life less difficult.  But easy isn't normal.  What should be normal is that we are compassionate towards others, that we love people where they are but spur them on to greatness (especially little ones) and we do life together with others.  When you do all these things it's not easy but it should be what's normal for us to do (no matter if it's easy or not).

When you look at our past two years in foster care and just in life in general the right thing was almost always not the easy thing.  As I prayed for many different situations I always felt God was saying no.  I even told someone the other day, I just want God to say yes to one of my prayers-when it is my turn?  However today I am grateful life isn't easy (that our family doesn't look or do things the "normal" way).  It's a constant reminder that we need God and that I must take my ideas of normal and throw them out the window.  The healing process isn't pretty and I have to be in constant compassion mode.

And as I was reminded of this my anger was gone, my voice was no longer mad, and the rage I felt as I heard what he had done at school was gone....I saw him as God sees him and was thankful to be apart of his healing process.  I'll take that over normal any day!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Last year October during a soccer practice for one of our little ones placed with us I was watching the kids play.  At this time we had four little ones placed with us and for a reason I cannot remember I had all four of them at a practice. Usually Buck did soccer practice and I stayed at home with the other three or we would all go.  However on this rare circumstance I was there with the kids.  I remember thinking how much we were having and how I knew that two of the kids would soon be living with their grandmother.  Buck and I were happy about that for them and believed it was the best thing for those two.  Then as I watched the kids play I began to think about the fate of the other two little ones.  For these two their future was uncertain.  Buck and I were certain though that we wanted them to be a part of our family.  CPS had led us to believe this was a possibility, that this is what they wanted too.  I knew there were still some unknowns but these kids had captured my heart.

I began to pray.  I asked God for peace, for clarity and selfishly for the kids to become part of our family.  As I continued to pray for the future of the little ones and watched the soccer teams practice on a beautiful fall day where the sun was shining and there were very few clouds in the sky I saw a rainbow.  Immediately I felt a peace, I felt like God was reminding me that His promises are true and that I could rest in him and give him my worries.  It was overwhelmingly wonderful and overwhelmingly strange because things like this rarely happen to me.   And I cannot remember ever having a visible sign from God like this before.  It was such reassurance.

Time went by, one set of siblings returned to their grandmother mid November and then in what can only be explained as getting hit in the throat (it comes from no where and it takes you breath away and still hurts days later) court date the other two went home to their mom.  Buck and I cried, we felt lied to by CPS, we felt confused by what we thought God was telling us, and mostly we were sad.  Sad to not be able to wrap our arms around these little ones, to not know how they were doing and know if they are being taught about God's love and promises.

Time went by and we worked through the circumstances and began to foster again (after a two month break).  Our next placement was a five month old baby who was only with us a week.  I felt as though it was a nice way to ease back in.  He was a lucky little guy who ended up going to a good home.  But once he left it brought up all those emotions from our court date and the little ones I feel as though we lost.  So yesterday I was praying again about the future of those precious babies.  I cried because I missed them, because I wanted to know how they were doing, because I wanted hug them.

And again, as I was praying I see a rainbow-the fullest, brightest, and longest one I have ever seen.  At first I was thinking what does this mean.  Does is mean, they are coming back, does this mean God will soon give us word on how they are doing, does it mean that we will get new little ones soon that we will fall in love with just as much or does it mean......As you see, at first it didn't calm me down.

But then I realized, God's promises are true and are meant to bring comfort.  So what I can hold on to it that no matter where those little ones are God knows them, he sees them, he will be with them.  And in that I can see the beauty in the rain.   I may miss them, but I know that Jesus loves the little children and they cannot be in better hands than in His.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


What a crazy past moth it has been at our house.  Of course when it is not crazy at our house :)

One week after we reopened our home for placements after our two month break, Buckner called for the placement of a 5 month old baby.  A sweet little one that we were receiving from his stay in the hospital.  Although I cannot tell you why he was there I can tell you that God was truly looking out for this little one and must have big plans for him.  I would often tell him that God must want him to do something great since he kept him safe and allowed him to heal.  He went to live with his grandmother after a month with us.

This month we also were blessed to keep our niece for three weeks.  What a joy she was!  We played and laughed and got sick and played some more.  Hallie is full of energy and just loves to be with people.

We dog sat also in the last month and last weekend we had DNow at our church.  We had 15 girls at our house for the weekend.

It's been a beautiful messy past month but we loved it!  However, I am thankful for a day or two of rest.  We are taking time to clean the house and get it back into order and spending time praying for the next children (and the family they represent) that will be placed in our home.  Though the quiet is needed from time to time, I must be honest....I miss the craziness.  It's in those times you grow and you learn how to love!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Here I (We) Go Again

So after a month break from foster care, prayer, talking it through with each other, friends, family, and our trusted Buckner workers Buck and I have decided to reopen our home for placements on Monday.  When our home developer left yesterday and we told her to put us back on the open home list I couldn't help but start singing the all so famous Whitesnake song...

No, I don't know where I'm going 
But, I sure know where I've been 
Hanging on the promises 
In songs of yesterday 
An' I've made up my mind, 
I ain't wasting no more time 
Here I go again 
Here I go again 

Of course I know we aren't in this alone.  And I am thankful for the sweet moments God allowed for restoring our passion for foster care and the conversation we were able to have recently with a mom who just got her little ones placed back with her.  Her story was one of redemption.  We look forward to what God has in store next for us (and a little nervous).  And as reminded by our Buckner team, this doesn't mean we can't still be sad, we can't still wonder how our past little ones are doing but it means we are trusting God in all situations. 

So as next Monday, January 7, here we go again!