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Showing posts from 2015

From our family to yours

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The official Burlando Family Christmas letter.





Greetings from our family to yours.  I decided to write a Christmas letter because it's important to keep in touch with loved ones and perfect strangers on the internet. Just in case you just haven't had your fill of my family via the various forms of social media I spent too much over sharing on, here is a festive overview.  
As you can see we live in a winter wonderland.  Otherwise known as a place that looks beautiful and magical for about a week during Christmas and then quite instantly transforms into "It's so cold! Why do I live here? We have to plug in our vehicles for crying out loud!"
Here is a run down of the family pecking order. 
Our eldest daughter is 14.  She does teen ager type stuff like playing basket ball, going to youth group events, and trying to escape her home any way possible.  Her current hobbies are doing her hair, spending obscene amounts of time primping, obsessing over makeup, posing for s…

What Foster Parents Aren't

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We are not baby sitters.  I am not a nanny, a childcare worker, or an in home daycare. For one, those are all paid positions.  Foster parents do receive some money from social services which is intended to cover the expenses associated with caring for a child.  If I were to consider this income a wage it would work out to about 90 cents per hour, considering we get no weekends off and I am on duty 24 hours a day.
We are not hired babysitters.  We are parents. There is no clocking out at the end of the day.  We parent children, sometimes for a long time and sometimes for a short time.  Too often "the system" can treat foster parents like they are contracted staff, and children are put on ice until they can come up with a game plan.  But then pesky emotions and deep relationships get in the way of policy and bullet points...and that complicates things.  Some social workers appreciate that complicated reality, some don't.

We are not immune to heart break.
"I could nev…

Living with a locked door and an open heart.

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There seems to be a misconception in our culture that having boundaries equals a lack of love.

This spills out into many different aspects of relationships, family dynamics, and our society in general.  One way I've seen this explode to the surface is in regards to actual national borders and immigration policy.  There are huge debates right now on how "open" our borders should be, especially in light of the recent horrific Islamic terrorist attack in Paris and the Syrian refugees.

On one side you have people insisting that anything but dissolving national borders, and rolling out large welcome mats to anybody and everybody that wishes to relocate from the country of their birth is "xenophobic". These people often smugly insist that people who disagree with them are hateful, bigoted, racists. Because when you lack a logical argument name calling is an effective way to discredit and silence others.  There is also the assumption that if you have a more nuanced …

If your church's only response to the orphan crises is sending groups to an orphanage, there is a problem.

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I'll explain the strange title of this post eventually, but first I want to tell you about something we had the privilege to witness.

Last night our church family rallied together to help bring a beautiful 11 year old girl home. She is currently in an orphanage in China and has cerebral palsy. The family leaves next week! This is a complete miracle and amazing story in itself. From their first home study visit to their travel time was 3 months. That's crazy fast enough to leave their heads spinning and funds drained. 

All we did was organize the fund raiser...it was everyone else that showed up with big hearts and open hands. We had 72 people show up for the steak night dinner. I'm not sure of the exact total amount collected was since there were some donations in envelopes and some that came later but over $5500 was raised. That's not bad for one small church family and a handful of other family friends.  We had dared to hope that maybe, just maybe, we could come away …

Don't wait for perfect.

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An acquaintance recently wrote to me, shared her heart for adoption as well as some of her own fears.  She shared with me why it seems crazy that she would be longing to adopt, when she already has a busy household and all the normal struggles of life,  I assured her that I could relate to most every point she made.

For some reason people look at adoptive families...or families that are doing something out of the ordinary, and think they must be some sort of saints or super family.  As strange as it seems some people may even think that about us.  Those who know us well may have just spit their coffee out all over their computer screen in laughter.

 I think it's human nature to put other families or people up on pedestals.  I know I do that.  There are always families, especially online, who appear to have it all together and in comparison my messy house, tangly haired kids, and drained bank account seem really inadequate. Comparison can be a horrible trap. When you hold an una…

It's been a while

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This is definitely the longest "break" I have ever had from blogging.   The neglect wasn't planned or even anticipated but somehow it just happened.   
The more time that goes by the less this little corner of cyber space seems  like any sort of a priority.  Writing for the sake of writing starts to feel like a luxury I can't afford.  
It ends up at the bottom of the list...the to-do list that I never quite get to the bottom of.  Far below the mountain of laundry, the never ending meals that need to be made, the pulling a toddler out of the toilet, and every other little responsibility that keeps this family from sinking into filth and debauchery. 
My last post was about our foster daughters 1st birthday.   She is now a year an a half old and a delightful, spunky and very active toddler.  She has a mind of her own, knows what she wants, and is always on the move.  She keeps me hopping literally 24 hours a day (no, she does not sleep through the night).  I think this…