Favorite Fishing Buddy

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“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” —John Buchan

My dad fished professionally for many years, and earned sponsors and endorsements from boat and bait/tackle companies.  He was featured in magazine articles, and won many notable tournaments throughout his career.  As a matter of fact, when I tell people around here who my dad is, most (if into fishing) “ooh” and “ah” over my dad’s knowledge of the lakes and his seemingly instinctual ability to catch fish.

Before the adoption of our son, we took him to the lake often to visit his “Papa” and play around on the water.  Once our adoption was finalized, and my son had the ability to hold a fishing pole, my dad headed out on the water with him and started teaching him all that he knew.  He is now 6-years-old, and has been fishing pretty regularly since the age of 2 years.  He can name virtually every type of freshwater fish.  He can top-water fish, use a variety of baits and tackle, and even use a bait-caster.  I think he would fish just about every day if we let him.

During visits with my son’s biological mother while we were fostering him, she often asked me if someone would take him fishing.  She wanted her son to have the opportunity to learn how to fish.  I’m not sure if this is something she enjoyed as a child, but it seemed pretty important to her for him to be a boy who fished.

She was quite excited to hear that my dad past-time is fishing, and that her son would learn to fish from one of the best around this area.  When I get images like the one above from my dad while on the lake with my son, I can’t help but think of his birth mother, and how often she talked about taking him fishing.

My dad may have won tournaments, earned money, and made a name for himself through fishing, but the joy on my son’s face and the time spent with his favorite fishing buddy is by far the greatest award he has ever received.

 

Heart Gallery

Have you ever heard of the Heart Galley of America?  It is a traveling exhibit that showcases photography and audio pieces of children in the United States Foster Care System who are waiting to be adopted.  There is something quite special when professional photographers take incredible images of these children.

The professional photographers who volunteer their time and talents are able to capture moments and images of children that show that spark in their eyes, that shy smile, or that one quality that stands out and draws one in.

The following statistics were pulled from the Heart Gallery website:

  • There are nearly 500,000 children in foster care in the United States.
  • Over 250,000 will never return home.
  • Over 123,000 need adoptive homes right now. 
  • More than 29,000 aged out of foster care in 2008, at age 18 without anyone, to live on their own, unprepared and unsupported.

The website offers you the ability to click on your state (for readers in the US) and check out if there is a Heart Gallery exhibit in your state.  You can also do a Google Image search for Heart Gallery Images and it will take you directly to many photos of children awaiting adoption.

Here’s a link to it:  Heart Gallery 

If you are a photographer and would like to volunteer your time and talent, contact the Heart Gallery and inquire about it!  It is an experience you will not forget and is a great service to children in need!

Siblings

“Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring, quite often the hard way.” 

-Pamela Dugdale

My husband and I are learning the hard way that nothing causes more trouble in the home than when the kiddos are mad at each other.  

The words I say to them are “You are brother and sister for life, so work it out.”

Let’s just see how that works for us…..

Kids

Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn’t music. ~William Stafford

Sunny Days and Ice Cream Cones

Working in child welfare for any amount of time forces the rude awakening of the troubles we have in our society and the daily struggles that too many children have in the United States.  There are children who are fatherless, motherless, or both.  Many are taking care of their baby siblings even though they are babies themselves.  Some can tell you how to prepare a crack pipe because they have witnessed it in their home.  Others do not understand boundaries or safety because they have never been kept safe.  Infants are born with the addictions of their mothers; or at least, the exposure of poor choices made while in the womb.  If you do not believe or understand this, then I encourage you to spend a day with a child abuse and neglect investigator.

It is deeply troubling when I hear people dismiss children as if they carry no purpose.  I have written about this before in my post Where is Your Treasure?

ALL children are vital to this world.  ALL children are precious in the eyes of the Lord.  He loves each one as if he or she is His only child.

They teach us to forgive quickly, to slow down, to laugh, and to dream.  They see things through the lens of innocence.  They have great purpose in this world.  Not to sound cliché, but they are the future and the potential fulfillment of all things good in this world.

When I took this picture of my daughter above at a family get together, I could not help but think about what the life of a child should be made of.  Their lives should be filled with love, silliness, warmth, and parents.  Their lives should be enveloped in family, memories, shelter, encouragement, and safety.  They deserve days filled with the warmth of sunshine, the laughter of playmates, and the sweetness of ice cream cones.