All of the above! When God put this mission on my heart almost 3 years ago, he didn’t promise it would be easy and it has been one (and still is) that I can write another book about. Whew! Do I look tired? I should, I haven’t slept in over 2 years! It’s 3:30 a.m. and I wake up with “thoughts, ideas, a “to-do list”. I must shoot off an email, jot down notes, or write a blog! Have you seen this outfit before that I’m wearing? You should have, my wardrobe is as old as I am! I don’t have time to shop! Does my hair look a little lighter? It should. My lady who gets my “roots back to their natural color” (blonde!), notices more grey each visit and a little less hair. My husband likes to say “God doesn’t even know what your natural color is anymore!” Have you noticed the mud underneath my fingernails? Too much rain and too much mud at the property. No time for manicures! Have you noticed my partner, Colleens’ “singed hair”..Ha, Ha. Another story, another time…oh my! Do I look thinner? No, God gave me this “healthy” physique and no matter how many meals I miss, I seem to stay “healthy”. Maybe it’s the medicinal wine in the evening and the lack of exercise, ya think?
But, it “is” and “will be” worth every minute of it. I have worn out my partner and former foster sister, Colleen. She too has many of the above “symptoms”. I also have a board of professional, wonderful women whose tongues are hanging out! It has gone from that “deer in headlights”, you’re doing what?...to, ahhh, Geary Girls Ranch, yes, I have heard of that. You guys are doing a good thing. I still get that feeling that when people see me coming that they are thinking “Oh, my, here comes that crazy lady with the crazy dream” or “Uh, Oh, here she comes and she gonna want some money”. Lol, I am and I do!
I make no secret of the fact, nor do I apologize for the fact that I am on a mission to make a change, to make a difference in foster care as it is today. My foster sister and every one of my board members share my passion for this mission. Colleen will tell you “be careful if Susie calls and asks if you have a “minute” because here we are almost 3 years later! My niece, Tricia and her husband Dave have shared our mission and our passion. Dave has donated his time and expertise in the build of this home (S & S Commercial Build, Ft. Worth). He may soon have my number “blocked”…LOL…I don’t blame him!
This journey has gone from a years’ research of being a general residential operation for teenage girls to a foster home community for teenage girls to a foster home community for all ages of children in the foster care system. After visiting 3 different successful communities in Oklahoma that are helping hundreds of children in foster care, we made the decision, on their advice, to be a community that expands the intake of children of all ages in care. They said that allowing our foster parents to determine what their “family” will be is the secret of the success…the “family”. These children will be family and will be treated as their own children as part of their family.
We have partnered with Arrow Child and Family Ministries, who will train, license and support our foster families while our mission has become providing homes, facilities, community support and programs to help our foster families. We are so excited to have raised the funds to complete our first home (eventually 8 total) and even more so to be blessed with parents who are and have been sharing the need for fostering as a family with these children. We are blessed with a “waiting list” of these parents. We cannot build these homes fast enough. In the meantime, until we can afford to build more homes, Arrow will train and license our parents who will begin fostering one or two children in their homes and when we build them a home on the ranch, they can then move in and help as many as 6 children at any given time.
We will move forward with our first foster family, our beautiful home we have built will be ready and we will begin helping the children in need. Our world may have “stopped”, but we cannot because I know that the need for care is even greater today than it was yesterday. These stressful times have more than likely escalated this need in families that were already struggling.
This is in God’s hands and always has been. I certainly know that I am not in control, but he is.
Back to bed, night night,