The Family Moore

The Family Moore

Monday, April 21, 2014


On Good Friday, Mike picked up L from his foster placement and brought him to Montgomery for his first weekend visit.  It truly was a good Friday.  And a good weekend.

It's a long drive, and the two of them had a good amount of time to talk about many things.

On Friday night we were supposed to have a Sunday School class social and Easter egg hunt but, having rained for 24 hours, the yard was a pond and that was postponed.  Instead, we cooked steaks to welcome L home.

Saturday we took him to see Captain America 2 (GREAT flick!!) and took him shopping for some clothes and for some items so he could finish a school project.  Yes, on his first visit, he had homework to do.

That night, we had the long-awaited talk with him and told him we loved him.  Mike told him we wanted him to be part of our family, our son and a brother to Zach and Sean.  His response was "You're gonna make me cry..."

He said yes.

He told us that he feels a peace with us and at our home - now his home, too.  We told him that God made us a family - even before we knew each other!

Easter Sunday was great.  L got to meet a lot of our friends, and he went with Zach to youth Sunday school and met the Youth Pastor and Youth Intern.  Mike talked to both of the youth leaders and asked them if they could identify a couple great 9th grade boys to take L under their wing and guide him through a new church.

After the church service we took him to meet Pastor Jay and a friend of ours, Tanya Birchfield, got to meet him and she took our Easter picture.  Here is (almost) what it looked like:

(picture removed) 

The inevitable time came to take him back and, as we expected, things got a little sad.

We loaded up the van and set out as a family to take L back.  Everything was pretty good until we got him there and we all had a hard time saying goodbye.  We reassured him that it was just a week at a time and that we were expecting to pick him up for a weekend visit every weekend until school was out.

We've said this before but the hard part is the separation.  We want him here and he wants to be here.

He told Mike Saturday, after we had bought him several things, that we should not have spent so much money on him (it really wasn't that much).  Mike pointed out that's what parents are for, to make sure their child has what they need, no matter the cost.  It is a concept he could not understand because it's something he has never experienced.

He talked about how he wasn't going to have room in his new bedroom for all his stereo equipment and other stuff.  Mike pointed out that, until now, his room was his haven.  He now has an entire house and family to spend time with and that he would not be spending that much time in his room anyway.  He looked a bit perplexed at the idea.

Zach and Sean have really taken to him - he is a natural big brother.  They are eating up his attention!

We, and L, have a long road ahead of us.  Mike talked to him about the need for him to let go and let us BE his parents.  That he needed to let himself be vulnerable and trust that we "had his back."  He admitted that was going to take time.  Mike told him there wasn't a time limit.

Please pray that this next month goes smoothly.  And quickly.  Try imagining having to take your own child and leave him with someone else during the week.

L is our son.  He is our child.  We want him at home.  Pray that we will be able to be for him what he needs, and that he will feel God's love as these walls come down.  L will have a really hard time being vulnerable - pray that we have patience.  Pray for L that he can understand and accept our love for him - we are blowing his mind at the moment with our profession of love and care for him.  He doesn't understand why we would want him - what a perfect opportunity to share God's grace and love!  Thank you for praying for our family!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Saturday, in the Park...

This past Saturday, after Sean had played his AYSO soccer game (and won 5-1) we drove to the town where L is living to meet him for a "play date".

We met him at Olive Garden where he was dropped off by his foster parent.  She did not wait around for us to talk to her but that's okay.

After eating our fill of Italian fare, we drove around and he showed us the high school he attends (WOW!) and some of the local sites.  Then we went to a local park to throw and kick a  ball around and give L a chance to run around with Zach and Sean and for us to see them all play together.

Things could not have gone better.  Again.

It was, incredibly, the most natural thing.  L took the lead and set up what they were going to do and both Zach and Sean ate it up.  All three of them really enjoyed themselves.  Mike got hit in the shoulder by a swiftly-kicked soccer ball and Kerri learned she doesn't want to try a catch a football with her chest.

No broken bones or blood on anyone at the end so a success by all measures!

The park has a lake with a jogging path so we walked around for awhile, talked, joked, laughed and had a really good time.  All around the lake there are benches and randomly placed hop-scotch and similar concrete pads to play on.

Mike re-created the scene in "Elf" where Buddy hops across the road in New York on a crosswalk.  A random stranger even gave him applause for his effort.

L couldn't believe he would do that and Kerri explained that's how we roll.  "You'll get used to it!"

We left and went for shakes at Chik-fil-A (yum!), hung out in the AC and just talked some more.

We have to say, this was the most natural family outing you can imagine,  It's like we have been a family for a long time.  L got a little sappy and Mike got right there with him and we all had "a moment", one of many to come.

Thank you Lord.  Thank you that you have ordained this moment.  That you have made us a family.  That you did that even before we knew it.  We know you did because your fingerprints are everywhere.

It was time to take L back to the park to catch his ride.  As usual, everyone got a little quiet.

When we got to the park he saw his foster parent.  We told all three boys to stay in the van while we went and talked to her.

Aha!  A captive audience.

It was a pleasant conversation and it was important to us to have that chance to talk to her and let her get to know us.  Mike came away feeling much better that L was going to be able to stay put until the end of the school year.

L had mentioned that he was a rebellious child and that he had needed someone to stick with him through his bad choices.  He said his current foster parent had provided him that and he was grateful.  Kerri was able to tell her that.

This coming weekend he is coming to Montgomery to spend the weekend with us.  Yeah!!!

We plan to tell him Sunday that we want him to come live with us, join our family and to be our son and a brother to Zach and Sean.

Please keep the prayers coming.  This is a most incredible experience.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Day at the Zoo

When we set up a day and time to meet L and have Zach and Sean meet him for the first time (in person), we had to have a fallback plan.  If the weather cooperated, we were going to the Birmingham Zoo.  If not, it was the McWane Center.

The weather was perfect.

We met about 10:00 Saturday (April 5) but L was texting Mike the whole way there to see where we were.   He and his social worker actually beat us there and so they were waiting at the gate.  We told Zach and Sean they had to RUN up to the gate and meet L in person.

It was a great day.

L was a little nervous at first but as things progressed he was able to relax a bit.  We even had all three boys ride a camel (one at a time).  We rode the train.  We took time for a snack.  All was good.  At one point Mike pulled L to the side and asked him what he thought.  L said he was scared that Zach and Sean wouldn't like him and that this wouldn't work.  Mike told him "this is not a test you have to pass - you've already done that.  This is just a time to get to know each other."  With that, L seemed to relax a bit more.

We left the zoo about 1:00 to go to lunch at P.F. Chang's at The Summit.  It was about here that L started to get a little more quiet and withdrawn.  Our social worker noticed it and mentioned he was beginning to realize the day was nearing an end and we would soon have to go our separate ways.

After lunch we went to a new popsicle place at The Summit called Steel City Pops (thanks Brandy!)  It was different and fun and really delicious.

So the whole day ended about 3:30 and we had to send our boy to his home and head to ours.  We really enjoyed our time with L, the boys said they really liked him and we think he felt all that. He just is ready for a permanent home with a family and it's difficult to deal with all that emotion.

We are going to see him again this coming Saturday, April 12, when we drive to where he lives and take him to lunch.  It will be a short visit but it's hard not to make use of every moment you have until you are together forever.

Mike is picking him up on Good Friday and he will spend that weekend with us.

We have not been able to talk about permanency with him in the past because things have to occur and play out in a certain way.  It makes it difficult when we can't tell him "it will be soon..."

Our biggest concern right now is that the foster home where he is currently living will tell DHR that he needs to go ahead and move (before the end of the school year).  The transition process can be a bot chaotic for a foster home and there are a lot of reasons this could happen in our case but in reality it should NOT happen.  Ever.

We have made contingency plans in case it does happen but it is absolutely not in L's best interest to move before the end of the school year.  We want him and will take him whenever, however and wherever but we also want what's best for him.

Please pray to soften the heart of his foster parent, that she will be kind to L, that she will be blind to the chaos this process causes, that she will supportive of the transition, and that she will not even consider asking for him to leave before the end of the school year.

Please pray for us as we spend the next six weeks waiting for the clock to tick and our son to come home.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Play Date

We found out late yesterday that we are going to be able to meet L in Birmingham this weekend, April 5, rather than having to wait another week.


Our plans are a trip to the Zoo if weather permits or, if not, a trip to the McWane Center.  Afterwards, we are going to take him to lunch at the Summit.

We also requested that we be allowed to get him Friday, April 18 (Good Friday) and have him spend Easter weekend with us.  Our social worker says that so far nobody had voiced any reason that can't happen but it's not yet a definite, so keep that on your prayer list.

This is all so exciting and we can't wait for it to unfold.

Unfortunately some things have been said to L that have made him discouraged.  We have dealt with this before in our first adoption but it does not make it any easier when the child you want to adopt tells you the terrible things people say to him about what his future holds if he is indeed adopted.

That an adult, or anyone for that matter, would be so self-absorbed as to try to discourage, delay or prevent what we are trying to do is unbelievable.  We are walking with God and He has led us to this point so we have the faith and peace that He is with us.  Satan does not want for families.

We have done everything we can do, for now, to reassure him.  We have told him that we are praying for him and to be strong but there is only so much we are allowed to say to him at this point in the process.  We can't say "Hold on, it won't be long" because it implies permanency and we are not yet allowed to talk with him about permanency.  It really limits how encouraging we can be and how we have to tread lightly until we have discussed with DHR and then him about our desire for him to come live with us.  We pray that he will be okay until he can come home.

We schedule phone calls twice per week (Mike texts with him daily) and tonight (Thursday, April 3) we get to FaceTime him.  We are all very much looking forward to "seeing" him again.  If you think about it, please stop and say a prayer for him and for us about 7:00 tonight.