sarah & jason are married.

What can I even begin to say about this day?  Everyone was pretty worried about the weather (it had been raining so much that the road out to the ceremony had been washed out), but we marched forward.  Sarah had been wanting to get married under that tree since she was a little girl, and little Sarah had some good taste.  If you can remember from their engagement session, the ceremony was held at the house where she grew up.  My photo buddy Destiny was there too and it was a beautiful day.

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Romy & Catherine engaged.

I had a blast with these two!  I have known Catherine since always and grew up with her family.  Her mom was my Sunday School teacher for years.  It was great to meet Romy.  They are super sweet together and I’m excited for their June wedding.

We went adventuring in a jeep on her family’s land and where they are going to live when they get married.  Catherine had so many great ideas; I love collaborating with couples! I only fell in a hole once, so that’s pretty good.  The lighting and the couple were so perfect that I could barely pick a favorite.

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guitar

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adventures in fostering pt. 1

Check out the beginning of the story here.

So first, I started contacting foster care agencies. Honestly, I went with the one we’re with now because they:
1. responded first
2. we know people who are licensed through them, and we were told that since they are smaller, there are less problems that the bigger agencies have.

One of the things we have to do is get licensed through foster care through the state.  None of the things are difficult, it’s just a long list.  We had just been through a lot of this in September, so at least we have practice.

-first aid/cpr
Mine expired a few months ago, so I took a free one.  I could choose between an 8 hour course or a 6 hour one, so you know what I picked. (Although the card I got says “First Aid & CPR by Susan” so I’m not sure how official that is.)
-online med training
Super fun, obviously.  Eric has his CMA and I have done this training a couple times, but I guess refreshers are good. It was honestly the most in-depth med class I have taken.
– Universal Precautions
Summary: don’t touch blood.
-references, application, background checks, car checks, house walk through, fingerprinting
Boring and took forever.

Then we dove straight into this bad boy:

“Trauma Informed Partnering for Permanence and Safety, A Program to Prepare Families for Fostering and Adoption”

or “TIPS-Deciding Together” for short.  The first book is called: “Understanding Foster Care and Adoption Today” and it was 142 pages long…it’s book one of six!

We got this warning about the class: “It gets pretty intense, so it might bring some stuff up.”  So that got us real excited to get started.

The point of the books is to get us thinking about what it really means to become a foster parent, so it’s full of different scenarios and then lots of questions for us to answer.

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I felt like Mark got a bad rap.

The books are really overwhelming until we actually would sit down and start working on them.  If we just concentrated for a good couple of hours then we would be done.

They get a little cheesy.  At one point it said something like, “Wow!  That was hard!  Now stand up and say the alphabet backwards?  Get stuck?  Turn around!  Now it’s backwards!”

And there was an odd “imagination journey” where they wanted you to basically meditate and immerse yourself in the story.  They spent two pages preparing me for this story.

One of the main things I realized from doing the books was that I need to work on having more empathy for birth parents.  It would be difficult to be supportive of parents who abuse their child to the point of them having to be removed from the home.  I understand that things happen and people lose their temper…but being asked to work with certain types of parents or send the child back to a family who did unspeakable things to them…yuck.  That’s going to be hard.

But basically, we are still trucking along, trying to get everything done soon!

 

adventures in fostering (the prequel)

I thought it could be cool to document what it’s going to be like for us to become foster parents.

A little backstory…Eric (husband) has worked with people with disabilities for 12 years.  Around when we got married (5 years ago), he realized that he was doing the work he wanted to do forever.  He didn’t necessarily want to be at that job, but he knew the field that he was meant for.

The summer after we got married, I worked at a camp for kids with disabilities.  It was the first time I had really done that work, and I found that I loved it, and that was also the field I needed to be in.

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married.

We have also worked at Royal Family Kids Camp, a camp for foster children.  He would remember the exact years and dates and how long he did it and how long I did it…but my first year there was 2005 and he started in 2007.

Since we knew we wanted to work with those with disabilities, in 2013 we started looking around for a situation where someone could live with us.  Once we found out that people did that, we knew we needed in on it! We found an interesting company, and starting working for them April 2014.  The company killed our soul.

I don’t feel comfortable really getting into it here, but while we absolutely loved the work, we despised the company and everything they stood for.  I have a six-page letter on my computer that I once pretended I would send them.

Even though that was one of the hardest years of our lives, we grew closer together (aww) and it solidified that we were in the right field; we just needed to find the right job!  Things really fell into place after the worst week of our lives, and we were able to get Eric back at his old job, find a place for us to live, and a potential new job for me.

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my moving “help”

Some things happened over the next few months that yet again, I don’t feel comfortable divulging on here.  In short: things were dumb.  Everything that we were planning on fell through, and I started substitute teaching and working on Marvelous Things a lot more.  (I’m so glad I have been able to do that!)  We also continued to work with a young fellow we met at Royal Family Kids Camp years ago (still do…that dude is at our house at LEAST three days a week).  He is still in foster care and we started discussing with his foster mom the possibility of us doing foster care.

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he is super supportive

Fast forward a couple months…and we are in the beginning stages of getting licensed and taking all the classes needed.  It’s going to be a long process even though we are a shortening it a bit.  The agency decided that since we have so much experience that we are going to do the classes and licensing at the same time and get it moving!

[part one coming soon…COMING SOON!]

 

maternity, throw back thursday

I just realized I never blogged the most amazing maternity shoot of all time!  What a fool I have been.

Destiny Bowers had her beautiful little lady, Georginna Rose, at the very end of August.  Destiny and I went adventuring when Georgie was still cooking on the hottest day in Kansas history (not really, but it was so hot and sweaty out).  So we tried to be fancy in the fields, but it was too much.  So we went to her husband’s parent’s house and got a few cute ones inside.

We meant to meet up again and do more cute ones outside, but time got out of control and then Georgie decided she was ready to be born.  It’s a good thing that Destiny knows how to make my job easy and I had a hard time finding a picture I didn’t love.DSC_0562900x674diptych-blankUntitled_Panorama2900x674diptych-blankasdfDSC_0595900x674diptyasdch-blank

recently

I haven’t written all the blog posts that I always dreamed of, but I have been busy!  During most days, I’m sub-teaching or whatnot, and then I did 4 (FOUR!) shows in a row.  Things got crazy!  I’m not quite sure what to do with myself anymore.  I had a couple new items that I’m excited about.

Literally…two items.  But I’m working on EVEN MORE!

These are currently 5×5 mini prints on linen art paper.  Pretty sweet!

WHCC print dumbWHCC ROES

(can someone explain why the color on here is so off?  I can’t deal.)

Check out what it’s really supposed to look like (and buy it!) HERE!