Saturday, October 20, 2012

Garces Fostering to Adopt: Our Decision Confirmed

This was originally posted in Lynnette's personal blog (


"So, don't lose heart... though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison." 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

After a month of intentionally spending time with God in regards to "Fostering to Adopt", we have come to a decision. It has been very emotional and draining time of seeking for the directed path only because I was being stubborn in listening to God.

This past Saturday, DJ and I decided to start fostering in November. Our heart was set, which also meant that I would not be able to attend the Women's Arise Conference in January that I already committed to going several months ago. 

On Sunday, not knowing that DJ and I made a decision to start fostering starting in November and that I had already made a decision not to go to the conference, my friend Jay pulled me to the side and shared how she really needs me to go to the conference with her as her support.  My heart just sunk! I was torn... do I let go of my desires to foster a child or do I be loyal to my friend and attend the conference. After the meeting, I ended up crying to my friend Valeree because I knew in my heart that it was a confirmation from God that I have been pushing aside. God used Jay to shake my heart to listen to His voice. 

Hope Chapel Metro: Arise Women's Ministry

I got home from church and talked with DJ with tears discussing what was being confirmed in my heart. I shared with him how I felt that in this season God wants me to continue to focus on the ministries He has called me to serve Him in. As I was sharing with pain, the story of Abraham and Isaac resonated peacefully in my heart... which gave me great comfort. 

I told God that, "Lord, I will give up my own desires of fostering a child to be obedient to your call for me in the Philippines." tears, tears, I know God's dream for me is far more greater than mine. I know without a doubt God will bless us abundantly as we focus on drawing even closer to Him. I know that in His precious time God will give us a child whether through fostering or naturally.

Just last night, while in the process of mourning, I got a message on Facebook from a friend April Brangenberg. God bless her as God totally used her to speak encouragement to me... (Thank you April for sharing your wonderful gifts and praying for us)... Her message was a great reminder of what God has shared with me also. God is so amazing!

Here is the godly message she shared with me...

From April Pacleb Brangenberg

Dear Lynnette,

As I was praying for you and DJ regarding the possibilities you are facing about a baby, God brought two things to mind:

1. As much as your heart yearns to hold, love on, and nurture a child of your own, yearn even more deeply for God.

2. As much as you yearn to love on a child with your whole heart... God yearns to love on you... a zillion times more.

He knows you and loves you that much... already!

Can you imagine?

Allow Him to come ever closer to you. Allow Him to drink you in, to hold you, to feel the warmth and tenderness of you in His arms, pressed in so gently and securely upon His chest that you can hear His heart beat - just for you.

Allow Him to embrace you as He feels full and satisfied deep inside - as He breathes in the sweet perfume of you - in the same way that you love to breathe in that sweet, beautiful, joyful "baby smell."

Allow Him to enjoy you in the still quietness and trust of who God is for you... without your questions, fears and doubts. You know He loves you. You know He knows your needs. You know He will continue to provide for you.

You know He will continue to love, nurture and grow you in the likeness of His very own Son, Jesus, because you, dear Lynnette, have been created in your Father's image too.

Allow God to bless you.

And rest in His love.

He is so willing to do this... to do all of this... with you.

Invite Him. Welcome Him. Enjoy Him.

Now. And forevermore.

With much love and joy because we belong to Him,


Friday, October 12, 2012

Lynnette's MC Prayer Outreach

Lynnette wanted to challenge her Mini-Church (small group) to do a prayer outreach at a shopping center where our church Hope Chapel Metro has its services. Within the shopping center there are numerous stores, & restuarants to minister to.


TRAINING SESSION: Lynnette created a mini-training session prior to the outreach and had her MC ladies role play so that they may feel comfortable when doing the outreach. For some it was their first time doing such an outreach. 


PURPOSE: Lynnette's heart was to have each of her MC ladies "adopt" one of the stores and committ to praying for them for 1 week. The purpose was to bless the people by praying for them and building a relationship.


OUTREACH: Lynnette had the MC ladies go into their adopted stores and minister to either the store owner or the workers by asking if they can pray for them. The ladies were also asked to share 1-3 minutes of their testimony. The ladies left each store by sharing with the store owners and workers how they will be committed to praying for them throughout the week. In the end, the MC ladies recieved each store's contact information so that they may text or email throughout the week encouraging them through prayers or scriptures. 


FOLLOWUP: Next Sunday, the ladies will return to their "adopted" stores and follow up with them building bridges and relationships with the store owners and workers of IL Terrazzo. 

VIDEO: Here is a footage Lynnette documenting during their outreach: 


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fostering to Adopt: House Visit & Possible Twins

This was originally posted in Lynnette's personal blog (

Today was the day that our social worker visited our home for the first time to evaluate our living conditions. I was a bit nervous as we live in a very small one bedroom more like a small studio. I wasn't sure what the "normal" was for a good evaluation. But he seemed to be pleased with the condo... Praise God!


Signing the Fostering License Application with social worker

We also began our Part II interview along with signing of the Fostering License Application.  The sense of reality started to settle while signing the papers to foster...on top of that my "nesting mode" started to kick in. 

Decision Of When We Will Foster: 
We shared with him that we are leaning on fostering a baby after January when I return from an Arise Women's Conference in Hawaii. But then, the social worker shared that just yesterday a young lady gave birth to a set of twins a boy and a girl... He looked at me and said "will you be interested?" My heart jumped as I always wanted twins. Then he proceeded in sharing that there were 5 more babies born within the past weeks. My husbands eye's went big signaling to the social worker that we'll start with just one for now. LOL. 

If it was up to me I wouldn't mind taking all of them. My desire is to parent 3 to 5 children. 

Possible Fostering In November:
The social worker shared that once we get all the paper work completed, we will be able to foster a baby as soon as the first week of November.  My heart swayed more to November versus end of January, especially when the social worker shared how many babies needed a home. My heart wanted to start right away.

I may have to prayerfully seek if I should go on the Arise Missions Trip in January. And try to convince my hubby that we can handle twins! ~wink~wink! 

Overall, I am feeling such joy and excitement that in a month we could be possible parents to a foster child for the duration of 3 to 6 months at a time. My "nesting mode" is definitely kicking in. I'm already staring at the walls picturing and imagining how each baby furnitures will fit and where the clothes, bottles, diapers etc... will go. 


Our first baby gift from the Galido's!

On Saturday, I'll probably go to SM Mall and price out possible items in case we start in November. I'm a minimalist so hopefully I won't make a long list. Thanks to my good friend Jay Galido for our very first baby gift! 

Prayer Request:  For protection, guidance, wisdom, and financial provisions. 


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fostering to Adopt: Update - Next Steps!

This was originally posted in Lynnette's personal blog (


Meeting With Social Worker
It's been about couple of weeks now since our initial meeting with the social worker. We were able to get a better idea of the requirements for this initial fostering process. I feel great peace about this agency as it is one of the two that caters to "fostering to adopt" and the agency has a great track record of successful placement of the children with the government & embassay.

During our initial meeting the social worker shared with us that they currently have only 0-2months old babies for placements and there is a high rate for girls. Originally our heart was set on having a boy but now knowing that there is such a high rate for girls we are leaning more towards having a girl.

The social worker also shared that there are two divisions financially in fostering: first is subsidized which is where the agency pays you about $35 a month for the child's needs and monthly we will need to take the child in for checkups and evaluations plus home visits regularly for accountability. And the second division is the unsubsidized which is where the foster parents gives full financial care for the child and does not need regular home visits. We are not sure which route to take as we are living off of support.

"Practicing" Picture of Baby Zoe Galido 
(Our friend Jay & Nolan's 2 month old daughter)

Also, we learned that in order to be eligible to adopt we would need to live in the Philippines for a total of 3 years which was saddening... But the social worker assured us that we are still able to foster until we meet the requirements of 3 years. (So, it'll be 1 year and 6 months more to go for the adoption!).

Another limitation is that a child is allowed to live with the foster parents for only 3 months at a time. Therefore, after 3 months we will be getting a different baby or child each time. (Hmmm, am I ready for this emotionally of letting go of the child every 3 months?) We are praying that the agency will allow us to have the same child placed at our home until the 1year and 6 months is up for adoption.

Our Next Steps
Our next steps is to send the organization recommendation letters from 3 references whom we asked our close friends here in the Philippines along with our parents. We are also required to get a medical clearance certification for their evaluation process. In the meantime, the social worker will be contacting us to do a "house visit". So, we are going to just continue to move forward in faith until God gives us the red light.


Emotional, Mental, & Spiritual Preparations
As shared in my first entry that DJ & I will be committing to do intentional devotions regarding this next journey of our life as possible parents. The devotional times has helped a lot with my anxieties, concerns, and worries as it is a lot to process and prepare for.  However, I was blown away how God showed up in all this...

I normally follow a bible reading plan on "YouVersion" for my daily readings & devotional reflections. So, for my Day 1 of intentional devotions I opened up the reading plans and started to read the first two readings. The readings were a bit dry and I was feeling discouraged as I was eager for God to show us or speak to us through this time of reflection. Before I moved onto the third readings which was on Luke 1, I asked God to show up as I'm not receiving anything from the first two readings. 

I started reading on Luke 1 and I couldn't stop crying. I was first overwhelmed with how God totally answered my prayer about showing up through this reading. And second I could feel him showering me with the promises, hope, encouragement, and love he has for us.

Luke Chapter 1, was on the story of Zachariah and Elizabeth and how God blessed them with baby John (later known as John the baptist) from Elizabeth's once barren womb. 

Of all chapters, and of all scripture readings God orchestrated my readings to be on Luke 1. I was super blessed by the quality time He spent with me that morning. What a way to kick of Day 1! As each day went by I just felt God's grace, love, & peace that he has it all under control and that all I need to do is take one step and one day at a time trusting in him each way.

Prayer Requests
Here are some of my prayer request regarding the fostering to adopt:

  1. Whether to start fostering within the next month or to wait until after January when I return from a women's conference in Hawaii... Is it the right timing? Or should we wait to pursue on our 3 year mark?
  2. For financial provisions - Although as missionaries we live off the donations of our generous supporters, we are currently still about $200-$300 short of our monthly expenses. But some how for the past year God has always provided for us each month! I still don't know how we are surviving from month to month. It has really stretched our faith not knowing if we have enough for each upcoming month. With a child added on... my prayer would be: "Are we currently making a wise decision for this season in providing for this child?" Ultimately it is God who is the provider and I just need to trust in Him that he will continue to provide even if the "numbers" show differently. 
  3. For emotional, mental, & spiritual protection, wisdom, and discernment through all of this. 

I just want to thank all our loved ones who have been praying and encouraging us through this all. Stay tuned for the next entry on "Fostering to Adopt" journey.