30 November 2016

Project Greene Light 5K + Fun Run

It the last day of National Adoption Month and I know I didn't say much about it this year. It goes without saying that we are pro-adoption around here.  We are also pro-family preservation; and pro- foster care; and pro-reunification.  There are so many variables to adoption and the internet has turned into a somewhat ugly place at times, so I stay quiet occasionally when maybe I shouldn't. I feel like I haven't shared enough about Brad's organization this fall as they gear up for their 5k, so I wanted to spend a little time on that today.

There is nothing easy about foster care.  Even the stories that seem neat + tidy began with loss + heartbreak. There are so many facets to it that I would do an injustice if I were to try and explain it all right this minute.  I really just want to explain a bit about what Project Greene Light is doing and help you understand why it is important.  I would love for you to sign-up for the 5k & Fun Run this month.  You can join us locally, or register for a virtual 5K {and then whether you actually run a 5k or not is completely up to you and you still get a cool shirt out of the deal}

PGL {Project Greene Light} is going to open an Emergency Placement Home for children coming into foster care in Russell County.  Currently, when children are brought into foster care they go to the county office or the sheriff's department.  And they wait until a placement can be found. This involves phone calls to open foster homes, and if none are available in-county then the search widens to out-of-county homes.

PGL believes their Emergency Placement Home will be an excellent alternative to the current situation.  Children will come directly to the home.  Hopefully, caseworkers will be able to complete their interviews with the children right in the home, then go back to their office to begin finding the just-right placement.  Meanwhile, the children will be able to play with age appropriate toys, change into clean clothes if they want to, and relax in the family room.  The staff will be able to give the kids as much attention as they need because someone else is making the phone calls to find their placement.

Children will be able to stay in the PGL Emergency Placement Home for up to 30 days.  The home will house 7-10 children.

To illustrate the need, here is a story about sibling boys. Initially, these two little guys were placed with a grandmotherly foster momma.  She loved them well, but they were just "too much" for her.  Within weeks of the placement they needed to move.  A foster momma was called on vacation and asked if she would consider taking them.  She cut her vacation short, hopped in her car to drive home, and called the caseworker to say "don't you dare separate those babies."

I don't doubt for a second that the caseworkers would have done everything in their power to keep those boys together.  Every caseworker that I have met cares deeply about every child in their care.  But the resources are limited, the number of open foster homes is limited, and time is limited.

Sometimes, the foster momma can't cut her vacation short.  Sometimes they just need a few days and then they will be available to receive the placement. Having a safe place like PGL's Emergency Placement Home means more siblings can stay together.  It means more local foster children can stay in-county and attend their same schools.  It means willing foster parents can take a few hours or few days to ready themselves for their coming placement - and in doing so be better able to meet the needs of the kiddos they are welcoming into their homes.

It won't solve every problem and it won't make foster care easy.  But it will serve well as a necessary support for those that are doing the hard work.  Consider being a part of it with us?

Click this link to register here.
Feel free to share this far and wide, registration rates go up tomorrow.

23 November 2016

A to Z Lettering & Lovelies

When my sister and I were in elementary school we played little league softball.  It was evident early on that she was good at softball and I was terrible.  She could hit and throw and catch.  When I was up to bat I prayed the pitcher would throw balls so I could walk.  I almost always struck out.  One year when we chose what we wanted on the back of our jerseys my sister chose "hot dog"  and I chose "A to Z."  I think that was my favorite thing about softball that summer.  I loved that my name started with an A and ended with the letter Z.  {My maiden name is Rosencrantz.}

Fast forward 30+ years and I was trying to decide what to call my hand-lettering business.  I was out for a run weighing things over with God and He reminded me of that little girl that was a terrible softball player.  I smiled, because I felt a bit of God's delight in that moment.  My eyes got teary as acknowledged that my name still starts with an A and stills ends with a Z.

Honestly. I have never really dreamed of being a small business owner.  I am terrible with details and deadlines and fine print. However, over the last year I have been steadily taking orders for custom hand-lettered items.  The most difficult part of the process for me has been setting prices for my pieces so I thought perhaps this etsy store would help solve that problem for me.  I had been cautioned about selling in the state of Alabama without a business license so I applied for one of those.

I continued to drag my feet though.  I started setting things up on etsy, completing all the steps except for one.  Finally, last month I was a day late in reporting my business income for the prior month {which was $0.00 -- in Alabama you report your income monthly, whether you made any sales or not.}  As I filled out the online form I got sick to my stomach when I realized I had to pay a late fee of $50.00.  It was my fault and I didn't have any excuses other than fear.  I felt a little bit like that little girl up to bat, praying for the pitcher to throw a ball.  But it was a strike and I didn't even try to swing the bat.  I knew then that it was time to let this thing fly.

So its out there now.  I am still terrible with details and deadlines and fine print.  But I am going to trust God to grow me and stretch me.  I love to sit down and write, words that inspire or words that challenge, or words that make me giggle.  I love to create a special piece that will be treasured by the recipient.  I will keep carrying around my sketch pads and my pencil pouch and doodle in waiting rooms. I will ask God to guide me and give myself grace when I make mistakes.  I will be giddy when I make a sale and be so grateful for those of you that delight in my art.

You can check out my shop here.  When I add new items, I will share them on social media.