Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blessed to be a Blessing

This week, Tricia and I began a new adventure. This week, Tricia and I became foster parents.

Of course, I won't be able to share specific info about the children we will be caring for, but we are so excited about this new opportunity and wanted to share about it with you. We began the process several months ago and received our first placement this week.

I've shared with you in the past about our heart for adoption, and while it is still an option that we are considering for the future, our goal right now is to simply provide a safe place for children to live during difficult situations. As you may remember, Tricia (and two of her brothers) was adopted after being placed in the Kirschner house as a foster child. I have a few cousins, uncles and aunts and others in my family who have been adopted. And, we have many friends who are adoptive and foster parents.

We have been blessed to be a blessing. I believe that with all my heart. To not take the blessings He has given to Tricia, Gwyneth and I and turn them into blessings for others would be selfish. Being foster parents is a great way for Tricia and I to be a blessing...we have the time, we have the space, we have the heart for children.

I don't think it's any coincidence that we are beginning this journey during the Christmas season...God gave us His Son so that He could become our heavenly Father. No greater gift could He have given to us. Christmas should be a time for us to be thankful for our blessings and give from our heart to those in need.

Last year, Tricia and I participate in Advent Conspiracy. It forever changed the way we celebrate Christmas and gave us one more reason to consider becoming foster parents. Not everyone can open their home to children, but we can all invest in the lives of others in some way. Take a look at the video below, visit the Advent Conspiracy Website, and consider making this the best Christmas you've ever had.



Nate

40 comments:

donnyspi said...

My wife was a foster care case manager with a Christian foster care agency in PA and from what I know of her experiences, you are definitely to be commended for this decision. We pray the Lord will bless you and the child(ren) sent your way.

-- Don

Laura Anne said...

Amazing. I have so much admiration for you and Tricia - and Tricia's parents. Fostering is something I hope I'll be able to do in the future, though the idea of being a parent terrifies me.

Please let me know how I can be praying for you, as I would very much like to be praying for you.

Laura Anne (@koalainscotland)

Barb said...

Awesome, Lawrenson family! May God bless you and your children on this new journey. Merry Christmas!

Skye said...

What wonderful news! You are such loving, devoted parents. I am so happy for you and the child(ren) you are helping!

Thanks for sharing the Advent Conspirary website- I've never heard of it, but just saw some great ideas about getting back to the true meaning of Christmas.

SaraAugy said...

Congrats Nate!! My husband and I were placed with a little boy in Oct. who we will be adopting in May through foster care. I was adopted as an infant through foster care so growing up always knew that I wanted to do the same. As a former caseworker, I know that the caseworkers will be thrilled to have you and Tricia as a foster home...there are never enough foster homes, much less good foster homes!!

Lisa C. said...

Oh my goodness, this is just wonderful! May God bless all of you -- you, Tricia, Gwenyth, and any/all of the children in your care. It's a real encouragement to hear that you are doing this, and I am just thrilled for everyone involved. Not much is closer to God's heart than caring for orphans...

The Beaver Bunch said...

God bless your family!

We were foster parents and "adopted out" by adopting both of our 2 year olds.

What an awesome journey you are about to embark on! Praise God!

PS: My word verification is "ongrace"

Humm....not a coincidence!

Agnes said...

And both Moses and Superman were once " foster" children.

Mrs. Wilson said...

Congratulations on your first placement! I've seen the effects of solid foster homes and I'm so happy there's yet another one in the world!

I re-posted that link on FB. My chuch is doing an advent project: buying a $30,000 generator for a boat that provides free dental and health care to fishing villages on the coast of Brazil (I think it's Brazil). Much better than those extra toys that nobody will play with in a month!

Mama10EE said...

You continue to be an inspriation and God's shining light in the world. Thanks for the video....I have already reposted it on my blog and on facebook!

I would love to one day have our family be a foster family.

Twinkletoes said...

Congratulations! I can't wait to be a part of this journey, too! Thanks for sharing!

Beverly said...

I think that is such a gift to those you will help. I will be remembering you....

Dena said...

Awesome news!! My husband & I are in the process of adopting internationally, and I'm so excited to hear of this new adventure for your family. :)

And I *love* Advent Conspiracy!!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! How exciting!

I'm 18 years old and my parents just became foster parents 5 months ago to a tiny little baby! We didn't expect (or even request) a baby...so you bet we were surprised when we got that call!

It is such a fun, crazy, scary, joyful, heartbreaking, wonderful experience!

Praying for you and your wife as y'all adjust to this new life!!

asplashofsunshine said...

Wow! I just had my interview to join the CASA team today. I have a special place in my heart for foster children and families. Enjoy the time with the child in your care... he/she is blessed to have you in their lives.

Just Me said...

I follow you on twitter, so saw some of your "tweets" about this. Mine are "locked" so I couldn't respond that way, but that is awesome! I have read your blog on and off since Gwyneth was born and I'm so excited for both of you. I'm a pediatric nurse and got my first foster placements nearly six months ago. I started off motherhood with a teen and a toddler, but they are amazing girls. It definitely isn't easy being a foster parent, especially since we've been in the "transition back to home" the entire time they have been with me. However, it's awesome to know how much of a difference I have made in these girls' lives...and how much my life has been changed because of them.

Congrats and good luck!
Amanda
(@iloveblogs44)

Becky said...

So excited for you on this new parenting adventure. We have adopted, but not fostered. This week at our "Forever Families" meeting one of the couples will be talking about their experience fostering, then adopting, 4 boys. Looking forward to learning more.

Debi said...

Awesome! I love this! :) My husband and I have been foster parents for 2 years and have had 15 children in our home - it's been scary, crazy, and AMAZING to see LOVE transform their lives! We have done a lot of ministry and been in ministry a long time, but there has been NOTHING where we felt so close to the heartbeat of Jesus, like this! Seriously. We are now in the process of adopting a little foster girl who has been in our home 4 months! Super excited to make her a permanent part of our family! :) Bless you guys as you venture out in to this new season! Oh, I don't know if you've ever heard of The International House of Prayer in Kansas City, but they have a prayer set for 2 hours every Friday morning from 6am - 8am, praying specifically for justice for children and for foster/adoptive families. Our church joins in via webstream. You can join in free through their website: www.ihop.org It is such an encouraging, focusing, and strengthening time for our hearts! Just thought I'd mention it! :)

JUST A MOM said...

we were foster parents for 10 years (adopted our younger 3 through it)ENJOY AND LET GOD GUIDE YOU!!

Kate said...

That's great news! My husband and I had started the foster care process ourselves but we wanted to give IUI a try first. We do hope to do foster care in the future. Good luck and congratulations on your first placement!

Donna said...

we have fostered over 70 babes in 23 years....you will definately be a blessing and also be blessed by how God can use situations.

Carol said...

Love to hear about your family giving your tremendous love in this way. And the Advent Conspiracy. Boy, if people need a way to impact the water problem, close to home, in Haiti, check this out:
http://www.worldwaterrelief.org/
(not sure posting links like this are permitted)

Enjoy a lovely Advent - I hope to conspire! : )

Terri said...

Blessings to your family for deciding to foster kids. I know the kids will be blessed as well as you!

Anonymous said...

You guys take my breath away... Destiny

Carol said...

Nate and Tricia,
I'm a long time urban educator, a never married fifty year old teacher who adopted two little guys from the foster care system seven years ago. I am always so excited when I hear about Christian families opening their homes to kids desperately in need of love and kindness. However, I also know it can be a long, bumpy road. A resource that has been super helpful to me is Heather Forbes' Beyond Consequences website and book. You might want to check it out.

Amy E. said...

As a teacher I have seen/taught many kids through the years that have been in foster homes. I know the children that will spend time in your home will be blessed forever. Its such a huge responsibility to take on, you and Tricia and Gwyn will be in my prayers as you open your home and the children you bring in will also be in my prayers.
I think this shall be the best Christmas you all have ever had.

Jillbert said...

How exciting for your family! My husband and I were foster parents to a darling little girl a few years ago. She came as a newborn into our lives and left to a permanent adoptive home. Seeing how her situation worked out (we are fortunate to be in touch with her adoptive family and to still see her as she grows) renewed my faith in God. Fostering is hard emotionally....and there is an adjustment when adding a new child (or two) to a family, but knowing that you are having a positive impact on a child --- whether for a few days, months or years --- makes all of that seem like small stuff. I wish more people realized what a gift fostering is ---- not just to the children who come to you, but to YOU and your family. It will change your heart forever in the best way.

Jan said...

We fostered over 22 kids when we were younger and found it interesting and challenging.
We also have an adopted child among our six.
Take it day by day.

Leah said...

I've followed your blog for a couple years now (since the pregnancy) and stop by often. I pray for your family, your health, your outreach. :) Just wanted to say hi, and congrats on this new adventure. My husband and I have 5 children and are foster parents to a sibling set of 2. We've had the 15 months now and have learned so much about the system and about true unconditional love. We may be adopting, and are looking forward to seeing what God has in store... :) God bless!
~Leah in Alaska

Leah said...

Congratulations on fostering! And THANK YOU!!! I am currently in Eastern Europe (specifically Serbia) adopting my new son with Down syndrome. (my 14 year old has DS) The plight of orphans in EE is horrible, at best. There is a little girl I know of with CF. She will not receive the treatment she needs here. Kids in EE with CF have a very short life expectancy. Diana has already beaten those odds! http://reecesrainbow.org/diana-29

mommytomy2 said...

My husband and I are fosterparents. We have been for five years. I just want to prepare you that you are going to get huges blessings from the children. Even during our hardest placements I felt blessed. I thank God everynight for the blessing of being a fosterparent. Enjoy your addition(s) for how ever long you have them.

Anonymous said...

You're outstanding human beings. :) Truly!

ryleeandnoahsmom said...

I'm so happy to hear of the start of your foster care journey. I have been following your blog for a year or two, and the Outer Banks (specifically Corolla) is our favorite vacation destination. My husband and I became foster parents earlier this year. We originally only had intentions of adopting, but God really worked on our hearts. After training we were almost immediately placed with a sibling group of 2. We now have (including our 3 biological) 5 kids age 8 and under. Our house is such a busy home, but such LOVE!! It is NOT always easy, but God grows you and stretches you and always gives you the grace and the strength to meet each challenge. I'm so excited that more Christians are really getting on board with foster care. I think its time for the church to start doing more concerning orphan care and foster care. Great job, guys!!! : )

~j~ said...

Wow! Congratulations to all of you.
You are such amazing parents and that gift will now be given to one very blessed child and of course you in turn will be equally filled with joy. Merry Christmas sweet family.
j

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! We adopted our precious 42 year old daughter when she was 5 days old. One of the BEST decisions ever. Now, I've been thinking about foster care. . . we have a lot of love to give, just as your family does.

I can't believe your "baby" is almost 3 years old.

I'm not really Anonymous but I can't get my sign-in to work!

Love to all!

Becky in VA

Wherever HE Leads We'll Go said...

So exciting! What a wonderful way to share the blessings that God has given to your family!

The Burgess Gang In Hot ol' AZ! said...

Congrats on becoming foster parents. It is the most rewarding and life changing thing that my husband and I ever did. We were foster parents for 18 years..we just recently "retired". We are also the adoptive parent of 7 special needs children. God Bless you and your family.

Robin said...

How exciting!
-a fellow foster parent

Kristi said...

Congratulations! You will be wonderful foster parents and wonderful adoptive parents if that's something you choose some day.

Happy New Year!

Kristi -- mom to twins who joined our family through the miracle of adoption

stephanie garcia said...

Thank you for your willingness to open your hearts and your home in this very special way.