I finished 2023 by publishing a devotional on Kindle called Adoption Survival Guide – A Devotional Activity Journal. In this episode, I take a very quick walk through the “what” & “why” of the book then begin reading the first devotional entry. I hope it encourages you in your journey! ~ Kam

~Kam

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Ep. 21 - Full Transcription

Kam Ostwald (00:01.762)
Hey friends, happy new year. Welcome to the Maker Space podcast. This is episode 21, and this year, I’m going to start out the year. I haven’t really made any, what do you call it, resolutions for the year, the upcoming year, but I thought with it being the first one of the first, or of the first of the year,

I would just kind of show you what I tied up last year with and I, which is I put together a book and it kind of started as a journal and then it kind of turned into a devotional and then it kind of went from there and mostly I was just looking to create something that mom can just kind of

turn her brain off and sit and enjoy something. And it actually was pretty easy to do on Kindle. So I published it and eventually I wanna have like a spiral bound instead of the paperback. But so this is called the Adoption Survival Guide and it’s a devotional activity journal. And I picked…

32 days for the devotional and that is specific. Everything in here was intentional. Something that I had while we were kind of going through the beginning stages of our hard journey was my husband and I would sit and do word finds. They were just no-brainer activities that we could sit and enjoy and kind of turn our minds off from all the chaos that was going on.

and so I actually included a word find and it correlates to just to kind of go back. I chose 32 days in the devotional and that is to give an end goal that’s not too far in advance but it’s not too short either. Like once you hit that 32 you’re another month done with your journey

Kam Ostwald (02:30.054)
when we were first starting out, the minutes felt like hours and like it just seemed to go on and on. And I remember thinking to myself, when am I ever going to see the light at the end of the tunnel again? And I remember that so vividly that I would just lay there in bed and dread getting out of bed in the morning and doing it all again.

Our adoption was finalized the end of June, so we had all summer to get through no reprieve from sending the kids to school or anything like that. But I remember laying in bed and just dreading the next day and what was going to be coming out of that day. What kind of chaos would we, you know, threats, whatever, anger issues, the fights, the damage to the home, whatever it was.

and I can gladly say that now I am on this side of that tunnel. And now looking back, I remember just not even like you kind of walk through it. For those of you who aren’t in it, you kind of walk through it in the survival mode and you know what you know.

but to actually have something in front of you that you’re reading every day a devotional, it’s not an easy thing to just kind of do. So that’s why I tied in the devotional with the word find. I actually have, so I have the devotional and then I have a journal area. I even have like a doodle area.

that just to let your mind wander. I have a coloring page that has the verse that I chose and then I have the word find. And then I even included recipes in here. Some are just easy, simple recipes that you can do on the fly. If your brain is just not wanting to plan a meal, wanting to plan groceries, doesn’t matter.

Kam Ostwald (04:53.514)
So anyway, I thought I would go ahead and use the next few podcasts to actually read the journal and kind of explain why I chose that verse and just kind of expound a little bit on the devotional. I hope you enjoy it and let me know what your thoughts are or if you have read it, let me know what your reviews are of it. Like I said, I would love to have it spiral bound at some point.

and hopefully kind of add to it, maybe make a more to go with it so you can just get the devotional or just get the word find or you know make little pieces and also create a new devotional that will be for caregivers. I’ve had a couple of friends reach out and say that they actually know some people who are kind of going through it right now who are caregivers they are

caring for their children and some are in an adoption type of form, but they’re also caring for their adults, or I’m sorry, their parents. Of course they’d be adults, but they’re caring for their parents as well. And so they’re kind of in that middle that some of us in my age are currently finding themselves. And so there’s a walk there as well. So hopefully I’ll be able to get a devotional out for that. But in the meantime,

Here is the first devotional from the Adoption Survival Guide. And it is called Finding Strength and Peace in the Hard. And I chose Ephesians 6-12 for it as the first one. As adoptive families, we embark on a unique and courageous journey filled with challenges and uncertainties. There are moments.

when we may find ourselves living in fear of our adopted children’s struggles, emotional wounds, or unpredictable and violent behaviors. Ephesians 6 12 reminds us, for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of the of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Fear can be a powerful

Kam Ostwald (07:16.706)
but we must remember that the battles we face in our families are not merely earthly. They often have deep roots in the pain, trauma, or challenges our children have endured before becoming part of our lives. The enemy seeks to use this fear to divide and conquer, but our fight is spiritual. We are not alone in this battle. As we navigate the uncertainties of our children’s behavior, we can find strength and peace in prayer and the word.

seeking God’s wisdom, guidance, and protection. He equips us to overcome fear and its destructive impact. Fear is not the final word in our adoption journey. Trust in his promises and take refuge in his presence. And the reason that I chose this verse was because when you are in the survival, this was something that I dealt with heavily.

was that I forgot that this was a spiritual fight. Not completely, I would be reminded of it in little pieces, but a lot of times what these kids bring back is spiritual and it’s been something that they have been battling their whole lives. And when fear rears its ugly head, it can be very hard to combat.

And I have talked in a previous podcast about how I felt that I was kind of that wounded, battle worn, suit of armor wearing, but beat up laying on the ground. And that was fear that did that to me. And it was fear that gripped me when the kids were home. Even before we brought them home, we had two visits.

and I knew on the first visit before they even got to the states that this was going to be a fight. I had not ever experienced fear in my life. This was completely new to me, especially in that intensity. And so it was something that I had to learn how to do, learn how to fight. And even in the Old Testament,

Kam Ostwald (09:41.722)
God takes Israel out of Egypt, but he takes them into a land with war-battled countries, peoples, and it’s to show Israel how to fight, how to exist and take care of themselves. Otherwise they would not have been able to. To just take them out of Egypt.

would have left them soft and unable to protect themselves. So taking them into a situation where they had to fight and they had to learn, it prepared them for any future battles. So I was unprepared, completely unprepared for the battles that we fought. And I wish that I would have been more prepared

just so that I understood this spiritual realm that I was now in neck deep at least. So I want to encourage you today if you find yourself with this massive

presence, fear, this massive entity being, whatever you wanna refer to it as, fear is not something that you can just brush away, hide under a rug, like it’s intense. And when we get ahold of the fact that God goes before us, and as long as we go with him,

as long as we walk with him, fear will never win in our battles. It’s kind of like the scene in Lion King when Simba is trying to roar and trying to prove that he is something to the hyenas. And it’s not until he actually has Mufasa behind him and he lets out his roar.

Kam Ostwald (11:59.958)
that the hyenas even care that Simba is doing anything. And it wasn’t Simba that scared them away, it was Mufasa. So we have to remember that God is behind us. God is our protector and we cannot fight this alone. Those spiritual battles, they do not care about us. They don’t care about our strength. They don’t care if we have it, none of it. But when we come…

with God’s authority, God’s size, Jesus’ name, they have to bow, they have to. That’s, it just, it’s a promise in the word. And if we just cling to that and remember that when we are deep in the thick of it, that is why I chose this verse, just to help us remember that the…

The trauma and the issues that our kids come with is not just something that we can wipe away, but it’s also not something that’s going away anytime soon. And sometimes the end result is getting them help in a different situation. And along with the fear of my children’s trauma and issues.

I have also sat in a courtroom. I’ve sat in a meeting room surrounded by experts who were supposed to be helping us and they actually called us crazy. They could not believe we’ve had authorities tell us, that they can’t believe how.

we were giving up on our child or how we could do this or how we could do that. The fact of the matter was we were getting our child help, something more than, you know, we were finding something more than we were able to give. And the choices that we made, it led to more fear. And we didn’t know what the outcome was going to be. We didn’t know if there was going to be a sheriff showing up.

Kam Ostwald (14:23.698)
at our doorstep, which did a couple of times just to issue paperwork. But that adds to that fear. So for those of you who are in the thick of it, I totally understand and I feel you and I know that heaviness, that weight, waking up at 3 o’clock in the morning.

and your brain just goes a million miles a minute. And just try to, in those moments, just try to remember that you are not alone, ever. You are never alone. That God sees you, he sees the struggle. He loves you, he loves those kids. He loves all of you so much.

and he wants to help you and he’s there to help you. Don’t lose sight of that, don’t lose that, don’t let go of that. When you’re in survival mode and that’s all you can do is just cling to that, that’s okay, that’s all right. And then on the outside of it, we can go back and help others and shine the light into the tunnel for others. And I hope that’s what this podcast does for you.

I’ll be honest, and I think I’ve mentioned this before. I didn’t want to do this. I didn’t want to write this book. I didn’t want to be this open, this transparent. I wanted to just move on. And I don’t want to attract any more fear opportunities. But I also feel like I have been through a battle. I know how to fight now. I no longer wrestle with the same size of

the spirit that I used to. He occasionally will show up, but he no longer is as big to me. And I no longer feel that weight on my chest. So now I have been battle worn and can shine the light for somebody else. So I hope you have a great rest of your day. Please let me know if you have gotten the book.

Kam Ostwald (16:51.182)
and what you think of the book and if there’s anything that you think needs to be added while you’re on your journey and while you know of somebody else who is on their journey. So God bless and we will talk soon.