A Little Introduction
I have been very happily married to the same wonderful man for 26+ years. We currently have a total of 6 children through birth, adoption, and marriage, ranging from two years old to 25. Yes, we have many life stages in our home all at once. When the youngest of our first three children was nearing the end of high school I remember thinking, when everyone left me at home by myself for a week, "This house is WAY too quiet! I'm not done yet." Our timing and plans are often not the same as God's. They say healing from trauma is like peeling an onion. Though we would have loved to foster/adopt children earlier in our marriage I still had too many layers to peel before I would be able to give of myself to traumatized children.
I am a survivor, THRIVER; conquering the effects of childhood abuse. You can read my story in my blog if you want to know more. God blessed me with THE husband who would stick with me through the healing process and continue provide the love and support I need. Over the years God has also provided Christian friends, mentors, counseling, resources, time, and environments for me to learn to work through triggers and difficult circumstances. During a particularly difficult time in our marriage we helped to start a non-profit organization through our church to help educate the public about child sexual abuse, and to provide support to survivors through our partnership with Voices for Children Advocacy center. We also got involved with Darkness to Light and became Authorized Facilitators to train adults to prevent, recognize signs and symptoms, and respond responsibly to childhood sexual abuse.
Since we began our journey as foster parents in 2016, there hasn't been time for me to dedicate to outside organizations. Foster children are in care because of all kinds of trauma and typically require much more attention than children who are raised in a loving and safe environment by their biological parents. Foster children often believe that adults are NOT trustworthy because of the abuse or neglect they endured. In addition to building trust and bonding with our little ones, there are often many additional services that consume the time, such as occupational and speech therapy, trauma therapy, caseworker visits, Early On, Early Headstart, doctor and dentist appointments, and "fun" activities like gymnastics, other sports, and play groups. My favorite thing to do with my little ones are to read stories with lots of animation in my voice so they ask me to read it again, and to sing with them during play activities at home, and before sleep. When our little ones are asleep I hide away in my little office to pray, read and write, or "play" in my veggie garden while listening to the birds and my wind chimes in the breeze. At night I enjoy time with my hubby and occasionally crochet while watching movies.
I believe "that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
Because of my experience in multiple losses, trauma, and training through the years, God has given me the passion to prevent other children in the world from being abused, and to help families break the cycle of abuse within their own homes and begin a new legacy. My book, Raising PEARLS: Prepared, Empowered, Armored, Restored, Loved & Secure Children is the result of my passion coupled with much prayer and encouragement of dear friends and Christian family. In fact, if it weren't for two specific people who made a special point to encourage me on a conference call during a time I was feeling unimportant and unheard, my temptation to give up and hide my story might have won. (Thank you Cathy & Dawn) My greatest wish for Raising PEARLS is to give parents and caregivers the words and tools to empower and protect their children in a way that I wish my parents had as they raised me.
Thank you for reading my bio. I hope you find a blessing as you visit Genie's Wishes 4 Kids and will contact me if you have any questions or comments.. better yet, subscribe to keep up or join a forum to chat with other like-minded people.