Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Third and Final interview is in the bag!

We had our third, and final, interview today for our home study. We talked about how Brian and I met and about our relationship. Once again there wasn't anything that needed much discussion.

We also talked about our extended families and how they were feeling about our choice to do foster care and to possibly adopting one day. In one of the first interviews we said that we didn't have a preference regarding the race/ethnicity of the children we may have. She also asked us if our extended family would have a problem accepting a child of a different race into the family.

Neither Brian or I have been raised with any kind racial prejudice so it was easy for us to say that our families would accept any child, no matter what ethnicity they are. This is another area that I'm so thankful for. I know that if we do get a child that isn't caucasian then there may be a lot for us to learn to ensure the child understands their culture, but this is something we are looking forward to.

She said we can expect a call in the middle of January telling us that our home study has been approved. Any time after that we can get our first placement.

That is only a few weeks from now! Wow all of the sudden our "wait" hasn't seemed so long. =)

Please continue to pray for us. Pray that the first child (and every child after that) we get will be exactly who God has picked to put in our family. Pray that God will prepare me, Brian and the boys as much as possible these weeks/months leading up to our first placement. Now that we are getting closer my original fear is back... I'm getting nervous about being attached to a child and having to "give them back" to their family. Pray that I will have a peace about that and that I will not worry about things I can not control.

I am so thankful for the life God has blessed me with.. all of it. I can't wait to start this new chapter... officially.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

Welcome to our family blog!  If you're checking out the link we put on our Christmas cards this year then you've made it to the right place.  For people who didn't get a Christmas card, this is what we sent out.  Sorry if you didn't get one, it's more than likely because we know you would see this blog anyway! =)

So here is our annual family update in a few paragraphs.

Andersen had his first birthday in November.  We gave him a super hero themed party.  He had a great time and especially loved digging into his giant cup cake.  He started taking steps a few months ago but hasn't quite committed to this new way of getting around until just this week.  He eats just about anything and is a pro at "gumming" any food given to him.  This is probably why one of his back molars is coming through before his two top teeth.  He points to things he wants and is becoming quite vocal.  Today while Camden was washing his hands in the bathroom Andersen was pointing to the sink and squawking, letting me know he wanted to wash his hands as well.  I told him he didn't need to wash his hands because they weren't dirty.  I turn my attention back to Camden who is now drying his hands and when I look up Ander is dipping his hands in the toilet.. Ok Andersen you get to wash your hands now.  He was quite happy that he got his way.  He's starting to enjoy the train table even if Camden does everything in his power to keep him from playing with it (messing it up).

Camden is now 2 1/2 and talks to us like he's 12.  He's always reasoning with us on issues such as bed, (always wants "2 more minutes") brushing his hair ("it's fine"), taking baths (will only settle for a shower), eating ("my tummy isn't hungry) etc.  We have mastered putting on his boots, washing hands, identifying most colors, shapes, riding his bike, riding his scooter, potty training and much much more.  When we started potty training he would tell us to "GET OUT"  so we would stand outside the bathroom door and as soon as he would start going he would yell "It's working!!!!"  He never wants to go to school (nursery with Ms. Lauren while mom works) because he doesn't want to leave his house and never wants to leave school because he doesn't want to come home.  Needless to say he keeps us busy and it is always a challenge not to start laughing during the times we need to be stern with him.  He is exactly how I (Mary) was when I was little and that makes us laugh even more.

Brian will start his fifth year with UBS Financial Services in January.  It has been a great job for him and he enjoys working with the other people in his office.  He is a very good dad and helps me a lot with the boys and around the house.  During his free time he's playing his xbox, at bible study with a group of guys, seeing the latest movie or making nachos for a late night snack.  His dad took a lead pastor position and  moved to Sunnyvale last January so we have been blessed to see his parents quite a bit this past year.  The boys especially love being able to see Grandpapa and Nonna every few weeks.  

I am still teaching at SonShine Christian Preschool.   Last year was the first year for the preschool and on the very first day of school we had a total enrollment of 12 students and we ended the school year with 24.  This year we are full with a total enrollment of 40 students (24/day) and we have a waiting list.  It has been awesome to see what God is doing with this new ministry.  I've been blessed to meet so many incredible families.  Along with teaching part time, being a mommy and a wife, I've also started doing photography on the side.  It sort of happened by accident but I've enjoyed this new found hobby.  You can click here to check out my photography blog.  If I have any spare time at night you can find me reading.  Currently I'm reading the "Fame" series by Karen Kingsbury (A spin off from the Redemption series). 

Our family as a whole has had a wonderful year.  We are taking a break in having our own kids for at least another 9 months because we are starting Foster Care.  If you want to know more about that you can read more of this blog starting here.  
Thanks for stopping by to get our annual family update.  Feel free to continue to visit the blog for the latest and feel free to look around and see more of what we've been up to.  Also always feel free to give us a call, email, text, find us on facebook or even stop by!  We hope every one is doing well this Christmas season. 

Brian, Mary, Camden & Andersen Gudgel

Monday, December 6, 2010

Home Study part two

Today we had our second home study. I knew it was today, it was on my phone calendar, I'd emailed a friend last week and mentioned it... However it didn't cross my mind once yesterday and I didn't realize today was THE day until about 10:00am when Brian called me to ask me what time he needed to be home for it. Luckily the house has stayed pretty clean lately so there was no stress in that area and there wasn't much preparing to do on our part.

Our boys even got to be here for today's interviews because they were our one on one interviews. So Brian and I basically took turns having our interviews and hanging out with the boys. I liked that she got to meet our whole little family. I can't help it but I'm proud of my kiddos, i'll admit it.

So the personal interviews were her attempt to figure out why we are who we are.. How we got to this point in our life. She started with our childhood... once again both Brian and I had nothing but good things to say about our families. We talked about how we did in school- both socially and academically. Although I had an A-B average all through school, the social part was always a lot more important to me. I was the kid in first grade that got in trouble for talking to my friends when I wasn't supposed to be... that trend continued through college.

We talked about each stage of our lives and any big events that happened during them. The death of my grandpa and both of my grandmas took place before I turned 12 and although I remember being sad and aware of what was going on, I was too young to really be affected.

Then the same questions followed about my high school and college years. Unfortunately there was a couple different topics to discuss there. All sudden deaths of friends in my life.. peers. That wasn't fun talking about to say the least but it was needed because those events definitely played a part in my life. They took part in shaping me into who I am today.

I talked to her about my family and my relationship with my parents and my siblings. All good to report. I loved being able to tell her how awesome my sister is. How despite the fact that she's almost 10 years older than I am she's my best friend. When I was little she played the roll of a second mom.. then through my teen years she played the roll of a cool big sister that let me come visit her at college and stay with her and her roommates at her apartment. Now were so blessed to be living so close to each other and to have kids the same age that are partners in crime ;)

We talked about our extended family and what roles they played in my life. I liked being able to tell her that I have cousins that are more like sisters than cousins and second cousins that are more like nieces and nephews.

It was nice to be able to talk to our social worker so openly. I talked to her about how much God actively played a part in my life... in all stages. That relationship is why I am where I am today and for that I am grateful.

At the end she asked me what word I would use to describe Brian. I said helpful. Of course I couldn't just say one word so I also said patient, kind, loyal.. and then I couldn't keep it at single words so I continued with phrases like, "he's super involved with the boys" "he loves God and me and the boys more than anything else" she got the point ;)

She laughed and said that when she asked Brian the same question he described me by saying "Fun" and then when asked to explain he said something like "she's fun to be around so I don't want to be any where else but with her"

This all leads into our final home study. It will be another interview, this time only 45 min. We will talk about our marriage and then go over some of the adoption training we did a few months ago.

Things went great today. One more step is done and there's one more to go.

After the interview we were casually talking about the journey ahead of us. She mentioned that she was working with another family who was going through the home study so they could adopt a foster child they currently have in their home. They have a 6 month old baby and they're trying to hurry up and get this done because they're also more than likely going to be adopting this baby's sibling that will be born in March. (This is baby 8 and 9 for the birth mother. Babies 1-8 tested positive for drugs when born and are no longer in the birth mothers care so they're assuming #9 will be the same). This world is so broken...It makes me sick to my stomach to think of these situations happening and to think that they really are not that uncommon.

I'm excited, nervous, hopeful, anxious and every other emotion you can think of to start this chapter of our lives. We're almost there!

Thanks for your prayer and support. It means a lot and we can feel it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Home Study part one

Our first home study was yesterday and it went great. We met the social worker that would be writing our home study report for us. This is basically a report that will cover our family in detail. This will be what the county social workers read about us when they are deciding who they are going to place kids with. Basically it's our advertising... we want our family to stand out, be different, something unique that will help those county social workers remember us. Something that will bring us to their mind when they get kids that need a great family.

This whole report will be based on three different visits. This visit we answered a lot of questions that would help this social worker get a feel for who we are. We also went over what kinds of kids we were willing to take into our home. Kids with ADD, FAS, Born addicted to drugs, Autism... kids who are blind, deaf, handicapped etc, or what about kids that were neglected, physically abused or sexually abused? We had just as many questions for our social worker as she did for us. We talked through a lot of these "scenarios" and decided what would work with our family and what we didn't think we could handle... for now anyway.

We also filled out questioners about ourselves and our spouses. Things about drug and alcohol use, our extended families, our childhood etc. The social worker will use our answers to come up with topics that need to be discussed during our personal interviews. These questions were so broad. One was, "have you ever used illegal drugs?" Immediately I think no, of course not. Then I remember that my freshman year of highschool I had smoked Marijuana (yes, believe or not I wasn't perfect). I asked the social worker if that counted.. she said yes. So I'm sure that will be a topic of conversation in our interview. That's okay though because that's about as exciting as it got for our questionnaires.

Brian and I felt so blessed that we were able to mark "no, never or N/A" to the majority of the questions. It was yet another reminder of how good we have it and it all started with our childhoods. Our parents loved God, loved us and loved eachother (and still do). They taught us to make good choices, and though I ignored some of those teachings (smoking marijuana in hs would be one of them) I ultimately had a good head on my shoulders. Most importantly they taught us about God and guided us in finding our own relationship with Jesus Christ and for that we are blessed.

The next step will be our personal interviews on December 6th. After that we will have at least one more. The social worker said that for some reason things tend to slow down for them during the holiday season. Maybe the county knows the private organizations tend to be closed? Maybe the overall feelings that the "holiday season" brings help families to keep it together? Or maybe people are just to busy to notice things aren't going good? Whatever the reason, it is what it is. She predicts we will probably have a placement around January or February. This whole process is taking a little longer than we thought it would, but we are in no hurry. We believe in GODS timing and know that he has a plan for us and for the child that will be coming into our family.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Andersen's first birthday!

Happy first birthday Andersen David. We love you more than you know!

Seriously this was only a year ago?!?! They change so much the first year.

Last weekend we celebrated Andersen's Birthday with a superhero party. We had a blast celebrating our little guy with our loved ones. (Remember you can click on the collages so you can see the smaller pics better.)

We are so thankful that God gave us this precious little guy. I can't wait to watch him grow... but I do wish time would slow down just a bit because it's already going by way too fast!
Listen this to this song if you haven't heard it yet, all parents can relate I'm sure. (you may need to turn off the play list on the bottom of the page before you start this song)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Time for costumes...

Every year I dread Halloween because I don't think I'll be able to come up with a costume for the boys that will measure up to the year before! After much brainstorming we decided this year was going to be a superhero theme. So after talking my sister and a few other friends into joining me and making all of our little munchkins superheroes, we got together today and made the first part of the costumes... the capes. It took a long time but the results were beyond my expectations. We'll have to have a costume creations part 2 because we still need to work on accessories but here's what we've got so far.

The best part is Andersen's first birthday party will be the week after Halloween and were going to do a superhero themed party.. So the kids will get to wear their costumes again. I love killing two birds with one stone. ;)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My somewhat new hobby...

About six months ago we became interested in getting a Digital SLR camera so we could take quality pics of our boys. We've been quite spoiled over the past few years with people in our lives that wanted to use us to "build their portfolios". When Camden turned a year old we ran out of people interested to take our pics either for free or pretty close to it. It was great while it lasted but I also got used to having GREAT quality and really affordable pictures.

I knew nothing about where to start so I talked to a few people and got some advice. One obvious resource was Brian's brother Brent. Brent lives in LA and is involved in Film. He's a partner of the production company Chronicle Project. On a side note, they are making a series of short film documentaries right now about how every day people are being used by God. They're really cool. The series is called Deidox, Click HERE to check them out.

Brent was generous enough to pretty much give us his old Nikon D70 since he was getting a new one. So first step accomplished, we got the camera. The next step was learning how to use it. I still have a lot to learn but I've come a long way in the last 6 months. I finally understand the "manual" settings on my camera, every one said once I got that down I would never go back to using "auto" again and they are right. I love it.

The next step is learning how to use a flash. I've never really attempted one because I prefer to use natural lighting for my pictures. Next weekend my friend Heather (Heather Marshall Photography) and I will be shooting our first wedding. The wedding is outside, but it's at 12:00pm. This means we will have a lot of direct sunlight and I'm dreading that. Also the reception is inside and who knows how the lighting will be in a reception hall. My good photographer friend Cherie, who is also one of the most generous people I know, let me borrow her flash. She has a Nikon SB-600. I've been playing around with it for the past few days and so far so good. I'm amazed at how much of a difference it can make when it's needed.

In the past few months I've been privileged to take pictures for our friends. I started putting some of my pictures up on my Facebook, not thinking there would be that many. Soon people were adding me on FB so they could see their friends pictures or because they had questions about getting pictures done with me. I finally decided to make a photo blog where I could showcase my work without adding people on Facebook. I wouldn't have imagined I would enjoy taking and editing photos so much, but I really do. I love getting to preserve these special times for so many different families.

So here it is, my photography Blog. Take a look around and enjoy :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Now all we have to do is wait...

Brian and I did our last set of finger prints today!  This was a huge thing hanging over our head because it's not cheap.  This is the second time we've done prints.  The last set was for the foster care part and this part was for the adoption part.  So about 30 minutes and $212 later we finally got our LAST set of finger prints done. (for now anyway, i'm sure at some point or another we may have to do them again.. like years from now?)   The forms went straight into the mail along with the last few forms we needed to submit, our tax return and Brians DMV record that for some reason came a good week after mine even though we submitted the request for them the very same day!

So now we just have to wait... wait for Koinonia to get the papers, wait for the finger prints to clear and wait to be assigned a social worker!  It feels so good to get done with this first step and it feels good for the ball to be in the other court for now.  The next step will be to schedule a time the social worker can come out and start our home study.  We were told this may take a few different meetings to complete and we are looking forward to it.

In other news: I (Mary) got to go on a scrapbooking retreat this weekend.  I left Friday afternoon and came back on Sunday evening.   While I was there I got to get two families pics edited and I did 37 pages in Camden's scrap book.  By sat night I realized this was the first time I felt actually relaxed since we've had kids.  It was really weird to have THREE days and two nights to do nothing but be crafty in the company of other ladies.  I didn't even have to cook for myself because all of the meals were provided.  I came back so refreshed and recharged, ready to be a better mommy and wife. Brian had the boys all weekend.  When I came home everyone looked great and my house was immaculate!  I felt very spoiled and totally completely blessed.

The scrap book retreat is definitely something I'll be doing every year and I'll be making sure Brian gets to do something similar.  For him this year it was meeting his college guys up in the Bay area for a live Fantasy football draft.  Sometimes we all just need a break, not because we don't love what we do every single day, because in the end I wouldn't have it any other way, but because we all need a little refresher sometimes.

I also started Bible study last week and we are studying Hosea.  The title of the study is "A call to commitment"  I don't think I've ever read much of Hosea before although one of my favorite books, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is based on the book Hosea.  I'm excited to do this study and think by the title it won't be hard to apply it to this chapter in our lives. 

The first lesson is on Forgiveness.  The verse for the week is 2 Chronicles 7:14 "Then if My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves, if they will pray and seek Me and stop their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven.  I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land."

In our last adoption training we spent a lot of time talking about how this process has an impact on three different parties.  The foster parents and foster children, but also the birth parents.  I'm sure we will experiences a bunch of different kinds of birth parents and i'm sure it's not always going to be easy to trust that it will be best for the kids to go back to them.  We will have to trust that God is in control and I pray that the families we will eventually come in contact with will come to know God,  pray and seek Him and stop whatever it was they were doing that made them get their children taken from them.  If they do God WILL hear them from heaven, He will forgive their sin and heal their land. (Family perhaps?)

God, you are awesome and mighty.  I pray that we will remember to always trust you and be thankful that we have already turned to you to carry our sins.  Please give us the strength to know you are in control of even these situations and let us remember that you have the power to transform these broken families and make them whole.   Amen.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

These are the most common questions we've been asked so far.. we figure you might be wondering the same thing so here's our answers. =)

Why did you choose to go with a private agency instead of the county?
The county social workers are on overload and are very busy.  The private agency we're going through offers a great deal of support to the families and the foster kids.  We have been told already several times to call them for anything at anytime and they'll be there to help us.  Also our agency, Koinonia Family Services, takes the time to match families with kids based on your home study and what they know about you.  So the simple answer- We're going to need a lot of advice and a lot of support and we are more likely to get that through the private agency.

Why did you choose Koinonia Family Services instead one of the other private agencies?
We came in contact with a family that was currently doing foster care through them.  They had so many great things to say about them.  Once we got involved with them we knew exactly what they were talking about.  The simple answer- they're awesome.

How do the private agencies get their kids?
When the county has kids they can not place, or want help placing, they use the private agencies to find families to place them.

How many foster kids do you want at a time?
Initially we were thinking just one.  Then we realized many foster kids often get removed from their home with a sibling.  Of course we would want them to be together.  So one or two foster kids would work for us right now.  However two would be a bit difficult because we wouldn't have a car big enough for the whole family... We aren't too worried about it though, we know God's in control.

What ages of kids are you willing to take?
For now we are open to taking kids preschool and under.  This is what our home is equipped for and this is the age we have experience with.  As our kids get older we'll take older kids.

Do you want to have more of your own kids?
 Yes!  We're thinking two more at some point.

You can have foster kids even though you both work?
Yes.  If you both work long days and don't get home until it's time for the kids to go to bed  it's probably not the best idea.  However since Mary just works half days its not a problem at all.

Are you worried about how Camden and Andersen will be affected?
Of course we can't help but think about this from time to time.  They are our top priority. As long as we communicate well with them and are in tune with their feelings it shouldn't be a problem.  We are also going to make sure we give them all the quality time they need. We are excited to give them the opportunity to be raised in a home that shows continued love for others.   Camden is so social he's going to love having extra play mates around the house. We have asked Camden if he wants other kids to come live with us and he always says, "Yes." We'll see how he feels when some actually show up.

Are you finally going to keep your blog up to date?
We are going to do our best.  We're really excited to share with everyone how God is working in our family.  However, due to privacy laws and confidentiality laws you won't hear much detail about the kids.  We also won't be posting pictures of them.  This is going to be hard for us not want to show off the little cuties that come through our home, but we know the kids and their families deserve this privacy.  You will hear about how our family is adjusting to this new adventure.  I'm sure there will be plenty of stories to share. =)

There's obviously more but these are what we are asked the most.  If you have any more questions just ask and we'll tell you!

Friday, September 10, 2010

How we got to here...

Since we got married in 2006 adoption and foster care was a topic that crossed our conversation often.  We both felt it was something that we wanted to eventually do.  Eventually, as in we would have our biological children first, and then when they were in high school we would start foster care.  It was easy to talk about it like that because it was something that was in our distant future, didn't require any immediate action, just conversation.

Now that we have Camden and Andersen the idea of parenthood isn't an idea... it's a reality.  We also realized that everything we do is revolved around the boys and we love it.  We're great at changing diapers, giving baths, making bottles, reading books, playing trains, singing songs and the list goes on and on.  We love being parents.

When I was pregnant with Andersen I had a conversation with a friend from church about foster care.  In that short conversation I learned a lot.  I learned there were private organizations you could go through to do foster care rather than going straight through the county.  I learned you could be specific as to the ages you would be willing to take.  This friend's cousin only took infants.  I couldn't stop thinking about getting started in foster care.  This is the moment God really put foster care on my heart.  I started thinking about what it would be like to have even more little ones in our home and seemed like it could be a reality... I talked to Brian and we decided we needed to wait until I had Andersen before we got started on anything, maybe it would be "safe" to start when Andersen was a year old... maybe.  That made sense so again the foster care topic was put into the back of our minds.

Every time it would cross my thoughts I would feel so convicted to get involved.  The idea made my stomach turn and I often found myself thinking things like, "I have two babies under the age of two, there's no way this is a good idea".  There were so many reasons I gave myself for it NOT being a good idea.  The main one was, "People will think we are crazy!"

Last spring in my Wednesday evening bible study group we were asked to come prepared to share how we plan to use our God-given gifts, time and talents until Jesus returns or God takes us Home.  As I was thinking about this I wrote down the easy obvious answer on my paper.  Working at the preschool both during the week and on Sunday mornings I get to share God's love with the little ones all the time and I love that.  So I wrote what I was currently doing - teaching preschool.  My stomach was turning again and I knew that that what I wrote was true and I was using my spitiutal gifts on a daily basis... but deep down I knew I was called to foster care as well.  That evening in class when it came time to share I gave my written answer and lead into how much I loved children, not just my own children but every one else's too.  Half jokingly I said something like, "One day i'd like to open up an orphanage or something so I can give kids that need it a great home". 

Quite a few weeks later Brian and I seriously started talking about what foster care would look like in our lives.. not our future lives but our immediate lives.  We realized that having little ones in the house requires a lot of "stuff" and that our house was well equipped.   We both agreed that we are loving these stages now but once our boys are in high school there's a good chance we wont want to go back to the "baby" stage.  We both felt like we were being moved to start seriously thinking and praying about foster care sooner rather than later.

About the same time I went to my last Bible study of the semester.  It was at one of our group leaders house.  After dinner we were sitting around her dinning room table and some how the foster care idea came up.  I expressed how much God had put it on my heart and how I was nervous and scared.  I acknowledged the fact that I was worried about everyone thinking we were crazy and that was one of our biggest hesitations.  Of course at this point I was tearing up, it didn't help that my mom was sitting right across from me and she was tearing up too. One of my Bible study partners told me about her cousins (we'll call them the "B" family) who were doing foster care through a private organization.  They started it when their kids were very young and even continued to do it while she was pregnant with their third.  When I got home that night I started looking up several organizations in our area.  Brian and I talked about it further and we knew it was time to get started, but still were not sure how we were going to go about it.

About a week later we were put into contact with the "B" family .  After about an hour long conversation and A LOT of questions and more internet research we decided we would go through the organization they were using, Koinonia Family Services

We made the call to the Modesto branch and told them about our desire to become foster parents. She asked me several questions as part of a pre-screening they do.  Once we "passed" that part she got our address and sent us the first packet.  We were so excited when it came, I couldn't wait to fill out the paper work.. little did I know it was the first of much much more!

 So here we are now 6 months later.  We've finished all of the paper work, the home inspection, the initial 2 hour adoption training, the 8 hour foster care training, one set of finger printing and cpr/first aid training.  We have one more 8 hour adoption training left next weekend and one more set of finger prints to do.  After that we'll be certified to do foster care and to adopt.

The certification process should be done by the end of this month.  After that we'll be set up with a social worker who will get to know our family and do a home study on us.  Then they will "market" us to the county and when there's a match we will get our first foster child. This will probably happen around the time Andersen turns one... apparently God thought waiting till then was a good idea too.

We decided to do the adoption certification process now because although we're not planning on adopting any time soon we knew we may want to in the future.  More importantly we know there's a chance we will have a foster child in our home that will become "adoptable" and we need to be prepared to make that permanent decision if God leads us that way.

We look around our house daily and aknowledge how much we have been blessed.  We have two extra beds and a crib that just sit empty night after night.   Nothing we have been given is ours.  It belongs to God and we need to use it to further HIS kingdom.  We know and believe foster care is what God has called us to do and we are excited about it!  Of course we still get a little bit nervous, but you know that feeling I was having?  That convicting feeling in my stomach like I was supposed to be doing something that I was avoiding?  Well once we started the certification process it went away.   That was affrimation we were moving in the direction God wanted us to.

Brian and I are so lucky to have the same vision and goals for our life.  Through this process we have become even more connected.  We know it's going to be a lot of work, but being parents in general is a lot of work and we love it.  I feel blessed every day to have a husband who loves God, desires me and adores our children.  Any children that come through our home will be lucky to have him as a male role model in their lives.

Knowing that God has prepared in advance good works for us to do, this verse is a great inspiration to us and a daily reminder of how we need to live.  At the end of His life on earth  Jesus prayed to God and said "I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do." John 17:4.

Lord, you are awesome and mighty.  Prepare us during this time to do your work and to serve you.  Keep us strong and protect our family from anything that is not from you.  We love you! Amen