Start of the Journey

18 06 2018

02 June 2018

I know this really isn’t June 2nd but I didn’t want to be updating the blog about being out of town while I was actually out of town. It may just be paranoia, but as a former coworker and friend said, “When they really are after you, paranoia is only smart thinking!”

I have been on a journey for over a year now. I will post more about that in a future blog post.

I consider my official start date of this journey August 1, 2017. We had recently booked a family cruise to the Western Caribbean and I was looking at some of the excursions. What took me somewhat by surprise was the fact that some of them had weight limits. Now this wasn’t the zip line or scuba diving where I know there are weight limits. This was playing and swimming with the dolphins. This sounded interesting but there was a weight limit. Those above 240 pounds could not participate. Since I was currently close to 300 pounds, it meant that my weight was going to be what limited me on this excursion.

I didn’t want my weight to be the reason I didn’t do the excursion. I had tried the gym, I had tried a nationally known weight loss program. Both worked, sort of, until I couldn’t afford to pay for them. I had gotten just under 270 pounds while working with a trainer. I had gotten down to 245 with the weight loss program. Neither of those were below the 240 that I needed to be under to do the excursion.

I knew that there were deeper issues behind my weight that simple behavior modification would solve. I decided to pray about this and ask God if this was the time for us to work on my weight. I was walking and trying to watch what I ate. The weight was starting to come off. In November my prescription for blood pressure medication ran out. I called the pharmacy to refill it and it was denied. It turns out that my medical insurance was now insisting that I see the doctor every 6 months while on long term medication. There was no way I was going to get in to see the doctor before Thanksgiving so I decided to start recording my blood pressure daily and see the doctor after Thanksgiving. I took my record of blood pressure measurements to the doctor and he was concerned. Not because my blood pressure was too high but there were several readings that were too low! With that diagnosis, I was officially taken off blood pressure medication.

In January I was going to the gym because walking when the outside temperature was below 50 was causing my hands and feet to be cold to the point of pain. I also got an app to start tracking what I was eating. I was stuck at about 270 pounds and was in a ± 2 pound band that I couldn’t seem to break out of. The combination helped me break through the plateau!

As I write this I am 56 pounds lighter than I was in August! Weight is no longer the reason for not playing with the dolphins! I can actually fit into an airline seat and bring the tray table down without having my stomach also resting on the tray table. It is amazing to feel the progress that has been made with God’s help. I did what I could do, watching what and how much I was eating as well as going to the gym. God did what only He could do. God removed my desire to sneak food and to eat something just so others couldn’t. God has also helped me ignore those tapes from childhood that told me I must clean my plate and to not waste food. I also no longer feel the need to eat leftovers just because they will go bad and have to be thrown out.

I am planning to blog more during this trip and maybe even include some pictures.

Until next time





Foster Care – Our Final Chapter

11 06 2018

Even after the dynamics of our second placement, we knew we weren’t finished with this foster care journey. We got two girls out of a group home in August of 2011. They were amazing young ladies who were about 26 months apart in age. They started going to the same school where my wife worked. The next year we enrolled them in the local elementary school as my wife was changing schools and we thought it would be good for them to go to school with other kids in the neighborhood.

It was about this time we were asked if we would be willing to adopt the two girls. We had already raised four kids through the teenage years and did we really want to do that again? Did I really want to go through the teenage years again with two more girls?We prayed about it and realized that God wanted us to take that step. So we said yes and then received a court order to become certified to adopt them as soon as the severance process was completed.

Though we didn’t talk to the girls about adopting them, having been with us for over a years, the girls started asking about where they would go to school for Junior High and High school. We emotionally got way ahead of the process. On the day that was supposed to be the start of the severance trial, literally an hour before the proceeding was supposed to start, the relatively new DCS worker told me they were going to be sending the girls back home with mom in 10 days. I think this DCS case worker had been on the case for a month or so when this happened.

For those of you who have read all my posts about foster care, the organization formerly known as Child Protective Services (CPS) was reorganized into the Department for Child Safety (DCS).

Anyway, to say the least I was devastated at this change of events. There was no hint that things had changed or that the plan had changed from severance to reunification. There was no consultation with us about when would be a good time to transition the girls from our care back to their mother. The date that was chosen was one week before fall break. Not that I ever wanted them to leave, but leaving school at fall break and starting a new school at the end of fall break would have been a better transition for the girls. Nothing short of the judge changing the order would be good for us but we were at least aware things like this could happen.

There was no way that I could break this news to the girls in a detached manner and I didn’t want to make this any harder on them then I thought it would be. I asked their DCS worker to give them the news. They knew something was up by the way we acted but it wasn’t until a few days later that their DCS case worked called and asked if they wanted to go home with mom. The youngest immediately said yes while the older was definitely more conflicted between her feelings for us and her feelings for her mom.

We told them that we still loved them deeply and after consulting with their mother did give them our contact information. It was one of the toughest things I have ever done to have their case worker pick them up from our home knowing they would never return and trying all the time to put on a brave front to not make it any harder on them.

We were deeply hurt and consulted a good friend who is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). She said the best thing to do was to contact the DCS ombudsman and file a complaint. She did tell us that complaining as hurt foster parents would likely be ignored. Instead she suggested reporting that DCS didn’t follow their own rules or allow us as foster parents to do what they trained us to do. That is to help the kids with transitions.

I filed the complaint online and a ew days later got a call from the ombudsman’s office. I told them that we are required to perform 30 hours of training on how to help kids transition. I also told them that we were not asked about timing for the transition. When they asked what they could do for me, I told them nothing unless they could reverse the court order, which I knew they couldn’t do. I told them they could give the other foster parents of the siblings of the girls we had time to help the kids transition like they trained us to do.

This complete reversal, and in my opinion abuse, by DCS caused us to take a few months off to recover. In that time we prayed and sensed that our journey with foster care was over. Little did I know that God was making space in our lives for another family issue.

While the girls never contracted us, we have seen the girls since they left. With their mom’s permission, we were able to take them for an afternoon and spend some time with them. They treated us and interacted with us as if nothing had happened. We hope and pray that they do well with their mother in the future.

Until next time…





The Second Foster Placement

9 06 2018

Our first placements included one who was medically fragile and that brought a whole new level of care that while we weren’t trained for, with prayer and help from lots of folks we completed.

Our second placement we requested out of a group home. She was good for a few weeks and then the defiance started. Having raised 4 kids we knew a little something about defiance but this young lady took it to levels we were not prepared for. Some of that I think was due to influences from her mother who was very vocal about her rights. I am all for peoples rights but for me that isn’t the first argument or comeback when things aren’t as they should be. The other thing that made this somewhat difficult is that this placement had court ordered phone calls with her grandparents that we had to supervise. The last thing I really wanted to do was listen in on another conversation that had nothing to do with me.

We had to fight to get her services. Removing her from a group home where there were lots of other kids to our home where she was effectively and only child was not a good move for her. We ended up asking to have her moved out of our home. Part of this was the fact that she was defiant beyond what we could handle and our support team didn’t have any suggestions that worked. Part of this was failure on both sides in regards to our licensing agency. Only when we were at the point of disruption did they mention services that they had for us. Because this was having a very negative effect on my wife and myself, though to a lesser degree, we ended up disrupting.

Thankfully our licensing agency was able to find another home within their agency to place her and she did much better there with other kids. She finally ended up be reunited with her mother.

Until next time…





Foster Care….the saga continues

6 04 2013

It has been awhile since I posted an update on our Foster Care journey. You may want to read Part 1 and Part 2 first to get the whole story.

We have reached the point where all the paperwork has been filled out, back ground checks done, certifications acquired and training completed. The bundle of information about my family has been turned in to the Office of Licensing, Certification & Renewal (OLCR). We were told it was taking 3-6 weeks to be certified. We are almost at three weeks. We were also told that there is a new supervisor at OLCR who is very meticulous about paperwork. With this new supervisor, we were told to not be surprised at all if there was some additional information that needed to be provided or more forms to fill out. I am hoping that we haven’t heard anything yet is a good sign. I would hate to think that they haven’t even looked at our paperwork yet.

This waiting is definitely developing patience in me. Actually the whole process has been a patience growing endeavor. However, I sincerely hope we are at the end of providing information and will soon be able to be a temporary safe place for kids who need that. I realize that once we have been certified, will mean the start of a new set of challenges that will only strengthen my walk with The Lord. I know He has brought my wife and I this far. There have been numerous hurdles that God has helped is over so far.

I have never dealt with bureaucracy well. I get frustrated by the sheer number of forms and apparently redundant information that has to be provided again and again. That and they don’t do things the way I think they should, which of course is the right way (no control issues here 🙂 ). Having a foster child, or children, is going to mean having to learn how to work with CPS, lawyers and the courts. I also realize that I am going to have to work within their schedules to a large extent. I have served on jury duty once so at least the court system is not completely foreign.

My wife and I will be holding on to the promise that God will bring us through anything He has called us to. I am thankful that we have developed a support network at church with other families who are foster parents. They will be a great resource of information and support when we need it.

Until next time….





A Little About Paul…

8 10 2012
Welcome to my blog. If you are still here by the end of this post, please be sure to leave a comment so I know who I am writing to.
My name is Paul I was born a long time ago in a land far away. Not really THAT long ago but I will qualify for AARP in 2013. And whether I was actually born in a land far away depends on your definition of far. If you had to walk it you would think it was far away but you can get there in about 14-16 hours by car. I never tried getting there by horse so I have no concept of how long that would take.
I found God, probably more accurately God found me, when I was in high school. There was a evangelistic meeting and this girl I would have done almost anything for, invited me to attend. I did. I believe the speaker that night was Tony Campolo. At the end when he did an alter call, I felt a stirring in my soul that I needed to go forward. I looked to my friends who I THOUGHT indicated they would go up with me. However when I stepped into the aisle and started walking, there weren’t there. I went up anyway. My walk with Christ was sporadic at best. It wasn’t until I was desparately trying to study for a Calculus test in college that my walk started to have direction. These two guys from a campus ministry wanted to share the gospel with me in spite of my protestations that I had to study for a calculus test. I let them talk and recommitted my life to Christ on that bench that day. I know something miraculous happend as that was the ONLY calculus test I ever got an A on.
Shortly after that this stunningly beautiful young lady started hanging out with the group of folks I hung out with. After a couple of dates, I created an “application” to be her boyfriend. Thankfully she said yes! We have been married since 1986 have four awesome children. One boy and three girls.
I have been very involved with the church ever since we were married sometimes burning myself out because I just couldn’t say no.
Many years and tears later, I started attending Celebrate Recovery (CR) as I was sick and tired of being overweight and all the challenges that come with it. As I have been working the program, I have felt the urge/guiding/leading to start writing a blog. If you want to learn more about the Celebrate Recovery program, feel free to ask me or go to the Celebrate Recovery webiste.
This won’t be all about CR, nor will it be all about my walk with Christ. Though those topics will come up. I have several topics in mind such as my review of iPad apps, my surgeries, foster care and my love of things pumpkin.
If for some bizarre reason you want to keep up with me between blog posts you can follow me on Twitter @pfrogers63 or facebook facebook.com/pfrogers
Since you made it this far, I would appreciate you letting me know you were here by leaving a comment.
Until next time . . .







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