It's My Party...


This has become my favorite and most popular post of each year.

When I turned 33, we were able to shower DHR with boxes of diapers!

At 34, we invaded Shelby County DHR and renovated their visitation playroom areas!

Now I'm gonna be 35 in a month, and I need YOUR help to hit some kiddos up in style :)

One of 2013's major highlights was following through with our goal to become better equipped through training in order to meet the needs of the children {as well as the boys} we serve, while becoming more empowered to wisely counsel friends following the Father's call to parent children from hard places.

What children qualify as children from hard places?

According to Dr. Karen Purvis of Texas Christian University, author of the incredible book Connected Child, a child from a hard place is a phrase use to describe children that have experienced some form of abuse, neglect or trauma during their lives (including but not limited to prenatal exposure of substance abuse, difficult labor, birth or medical trauma). This phrase predominantly applies to children adopted or in foster care situations, yet it can also identify the children grown from our womb.

I know because this is Benj.

According to Dr. Purvis and her colleagues, "our focus for these children must always be clear: to help them heal and become whole in body, mind and spirit. This is not done by focusing or achieving 'good behavior,' but by helping our children create strong connections built on trust. Out of this can grow not only 'good behavior,' but so many other things that our children need and that we desire for them. By balancing structure with nurture and always remaining mindful of the inherent preciousness of each and every child, we have the opportunity to help our children realize dramatic strides and in the process discover (and re-discover) the joy in parenting." {Borrowed from Empowered to Connect}

Every, single child we have had or encountered through this journey of foster care has been a child from a hard place, and their souls and patterns bear the scars to prove it.

Whether it is a child of 10, longing to be rocked like a baby... 

Or a five-year-old who performs life as various animals because she doesn't want to face the pain...

Or perhaps the nine-year-old, whose father is in prison, yet he tells the world his father is actually quarterback of an NFL team...

Maybe it's the "little girl" who sneaks two boxes of Little Debbie's at night to numb the pain...

Or the 16-year-old who runs away every three days...

Or the 18-year-old having her fifth baby...

Or the one child who sets himself on fire, or pulls a knife on you, or licks you unceasingly...

Or the kindergartner who crawls in a stranger's lap and smiles at him while she puts her hand between his legs...

You think I'm exaggerating, but we have seen and heard it all. Many of these tales are from within our own walls.

These last two years we've showered the agencies around town to meet their needs.

Our heart this year, in honor of my birthday :), is to see these children, foster families and a local counseling agency flooded with tools to equip these children with ways to process their shadows.

When I received the call about six months ago that Lifeline Children's Services would be hiring full time counselors to serve freely foster children and families, as well as helping birthfamilies in the reunification transition, I began to weep.

My children and family {and the families of our children} have been so blessed.

Yet as their practice is still budding, we are seeing some tangible needs to have on hand for when children are in therapy.

But let's not stop dreaming there...

What if {and I get chills} we share, talk this up, and flood my birthday party so much that we at The Forgotten Initiative have these tools on hand to provide foster families and biological families these resources free to the children craving healthy ways of processing grief?

That would be the best. birthday. ever.

Last year we brought in over $7,000 worth of goods, services and donations to support Shelby County.

Can we beat that? 

I know we can't, but our God can.

I'm a dreamer, and I want you dream big with me.

So here's our needs. The links are only suggestions. 

~Puppets and Finger Puppets {Both Genders and all Colors :)}

~Baby Dolls {All Cultures, especially Asian and African American}

~Figures for Sand Trays {Much like the small animals and figures you can find at Hobby Lobby}

~Weighted Blankets!! {All sizes, colors and weights}

~Big Pillows for Theraplay

~Various Colored Bean Bags

~ Playdough

~We WELCOME ideas so many of you have from your journeys!

So now you're asking, how do I participate... because you're SOOOO excited!

1. Between now and March 4th {my 35th birthday :)}, you may send items to me or Kristin Solomon directly. Please message me at cafranktie@aol.com for address.

2. You may also make a tax-deductible donation to The Forgotten Initiative, Birmingham {follow link}. Just be SURE to note Birmingham Birthday Party.

3. PRAY for children from hard places as they journey to new places of healing. PRAY for their foster, adoptive, and biological families as they minister to them with dependency on the only TRUE HEALER. PRAY for their workers and counselors as they seek to meet their needs.

4. SHARE! What if 10,000 people read this post, and each one gave one dollar. Guys, beauty of the covenant body!!

Happy Birthday to me. I'm so glad God gave me you ~

Yeah, this is me being crazy about YOU!


  1. I'd LOVE to help in honor of your birthday, Catie and esp. to honor these precious children that will be served by these gifts! I will email you my personal email address. Thanks for the opportunity to serve!

  2. Great idea! Will this include counseling for adopted kids too?