Thursday, December 12, 2013

To Mama and Daddy

Mama and Daddy,
Do you remember the day we got the call?  Just 2 months after Daddy's heart attack we were hosting a "Frustrated Foster Families" gathering at our house.  While we all had foster cases that looked hopeless and set up for doom... agencies were looking for a home for a brand new baby.  Even when you were feeling overwhelmed with everything, you immediately said yes!  Little did we know that the baby they told us we'd have for only a couple weeks would officially become a family member a year and a half later!  So much has happened in that year and a half and our family has grown stronger in the Lord because of it. 
Baby A immediately snuggled into our hearts forever and we knew it would be hard to give her up.  We thought "giving her up" would mean when she was supposed to go to her bio-family members, little did we know it truly meant giving her up to the Lord and His perfect will for her life.  After watching her first smiles and laughs and seeing her learn to sit, crawl and stand, all we could do was watch and pray as the baby we love was literally dying right in front of our eyes.  You had protected her from everything possible in her first 10 months but then there was nothing any of us could do when her seizures started.  Those horrible weeks in the PICU are ingrained in our minds forever, but they were days where we were reminded once again that God is in control of every breath we breathe and every beat of our hearts.  When things seemed out of control to us, everything was going according to plan for Him! 
Thank you for listening to the Lord's command to care for the least of these even through the hardships and spiritual warfare you've faced.  God has immensely blessed and grown us all because you have been faithful to His calling.  I doubt you ever saw your life leading this way, but look at what the Lord has done in you and through you!  At a time in life where you could have been going on cruises, golfing and enjoying a clean house in peace and quiet, you instead chose to do mounds of paperwork, be subject to volatile birth parents, go to countless doctor's appointments, sleep on uncomfortable hospital beds, trip over toys, listen to whining and the same kid songs over and over, research strollers and seizure disorders, clean up vomit and administer daily urine tests!  All this is stuff that you didn't "have" to do.  But because of your sacrifice, these kids the Lord has brought us are seeing the sacrifice our Savior did for ALL of us!  He didn't "have" to die for us, but He did because He loves us.  Thank you for being an earthly example of Christ's love and sacrifice for us. 
 Mike, Becca and I are thankful for both of you and for the loving upbringing we had.  We're thankful to have been born to such great role models and are thankful that these children now get to be blessed by the great parents that they deserve and need. 
We love you!
Love, All of your children

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Her Eyes, please read

It's been busy around here now that Baby is home, but all is well and I will be posting again soon.  For now though I wanted to share a beautiful post my friend did after visiting many different orphanages in one week.  This is just one of the MANY babies she met.  Please read and be moved...

Her Eyes

Saturday, April 20, 2013

4 Weeks and Very Thankful

Here I am in the same house, doing the same things at the same time I was one month ago. Once again putting off my bedtime to later than I intended, hair all wet from my shower, clothes and food all prepared for a restful Sunday. Yet this time all I hear coming from that room are some gentle snores from some little ones we care for. Thankfully I am NOT hearing a shaking crib and weird grunt/gasps, running over to the crib with my eyes trying to adjust to the light to see what this is. Thankfully I am NOT picking up a soaking wet baby who then goes limp in my arms, running into my parents room and throwing on the light saying things in gibberish. Thankfully Daddy can have his phone left alone on his nightstand instead of trying to get an ambulance here FASTER while watching his precious girl shaking uncontrollably while every once in a while gasping in air. Thankfully we do not have to spend 4 agonizing hours in the ER not able to see the baby we love so much while they try everything they can to stop those seizures. Thankfully we do NOT have to spend this next week sitting beside a lifeless baby praying she will live another hour while doctors work tirelessly to figure things out.

 My arms are shaking as I try to type this. We have all tried to push that awful night to the back of our minds. We have been successful in doing this lately because of all the miraculous things that have happened since then! But what would all that be if we don't remember how it all started? If we remember the darkest moments as much as the brightest ones, we are reminded even more of the incredible mercy and power of our Lord and Savior! All these joyous accomplishments are from God and are definitely celebrated. But do we really celebrate them as how incredible they are? We can only do this when we go back and realize how much the Lord has done and is doing! This baby shouldn't be alive! Praise the Lord she is!

 I am only a little surprised at my emotions lately. Just hearing a siren makes my heart ache. Seeing one turn into the children's hospital makes me pray for the child and their hurting family. Even seeing an ambulance come into where I work to take a little girl who simply dislocated her elbow made me cry and want to go hug her mom!

You never know how fast your life can change. One night you might be taking that too late shower after settling things for the next day. Those outfits you laid out may sit there for weeks before you can get back to them. Or those outfits may never be worn again by the person intended! You never know! My car shopping and to-do lists went out the window! In fact I just looked at the one I had made for that next week. None of it got accomplished. So was it really all that important?

It makes me think of harsh/hasty words or looks, things done or not done for one another and hearts not right with God. You never know when your last breath or heart beat is. You never know when your brain may be attacked or a tree falls on you. But be sure you know the One who gave you life and breath! Be sure you know where you're going! These bodies we are living in will die, but your soul will not. Please give your life to the One who gave it to you in the first place!

And calling the crowd to Him with His disciples, He said to them, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever will save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit for a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" Mark 8:34-36

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Path of Hope

Everyone has a different path in life... one that God has created specifically for each and every person!  Each one an adventure.  There are roads He takes us on that are lovely and clear and refreshing, but there are also those paths that are, well... scary!  Believe it or not, both paths are beautiful as long as the Lord is the One leading the way.
Baby's life looks very different from a lot of our lives and very similar to a lot of other people's as well.  This is the life God gave her!  Many would look at it in pity.  We choose to look at it as something SO very beautiful.  A beautiful life is one that points and brings glory to Christ.
Even at 10 or 11 months old, this little lady has pointed many people (probably more than we even know) to her Creator!  She can't even speak yet and she's already a missionary!  We have heard many stories already of people who have turned their lives to the Savior or who are seeking the Lord now that they've heard Baby's story. 

This is a quote from the book, "War of Words" by Paul Tripp (great book by the way!)
"Hope = a confident expectation of a guaranteed result.
The Lord will never put you in a situation without giving you everything you need to do what He has called you to!"
Thankfully our hope is in the Lord and not in man!  Yes, including the doctors, nurses and modern medicine, even though I do believe God uses people like this to accomplish His will.
Some might say it's "unfair" for something like this to happen to a baby.  And I confess I have been one of those.  I have wished to take away her struggle and pain and take it on myself.  I've asked God why it didn't happen to me instead of this little one.  I kept thinking there should have been something I could have done to prevent this from happening in the first place.  These are human failings.  What right have I to question our Omnipotent God?  Because it was Baby who God chose to use in this way, lives all over the world have been changed!  The same God who created the heavens and the earth just by SPEAKING it into existence is the same God who created Baby... fearfully and wonderfully!  He knew her in her mother's womb!  He spoke and she came to be!  Yes, even in her birth situation.  Some may say she was an "accident".  The typical thinking of foster children's parents is that people who can't take care of kids shouldn't have kids.  I'm not writing about that, what I am writing about is the one fact that NO child is here because of "accident"!  God created every single human being.  Red, brown, yellow, black and white... aborted (murdered) ones and ones that get to live because of the decisions of their mother.  It doesn't matter if we're here because of sinful acts or God glorifying ones.  God. created. US!!!  You never know how God is going to use your life!  If we yield our lives to Him and live in His will, He can work mightily through us!  We should choose to see each trial as an opportunity that God is giving us to draw others to Himself.  Nothing happens that is outside of God's control.
I appreciated a nurse the other night who said, "You are so blessed to have her!".  Isn't that the TRUTH!  Many have said it the other way around... that SHE is blessed to have US.  We are honored to have been to have been chosen to care for and love Baby!  Even if that meant only having her for a short time.  We are extremely thankful God saw fit to let us enjoy her and learn from her for a while longer!  We are blessed by this blessing!  God has great plans for Baby and I am excited to see what adventures He has for her as He leads her on this path!  I pray she will continue to tell of God's amazing grace with any other hardship or joy that the Lord leads her through!
Psalm 33
Shout for joy in the LORD,
O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright.
Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre;
make melody to Him with the harp of ten strings!
Sing to Him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings with loud shouts.
For the word of the LORD is upright,
He loves righteousness and justice;
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
and by the breath of His mouth all their host.
He gathers up the waters of the sea as a heap;
He puts the deep in storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him!
The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
the plans of His heart to all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people whom He has chosen as His heritage!
The LORD looks down from heaven;
from where He sits He sees all the inhabitants of the earth,
The king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is nt delivered by his great strength.
The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
and by it's great might it cannot rescue.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

One Week

Wow! Where were we exactly one week ago at this time? Our whole family was relaxing, the babies sleeping soundly in bed with NO idea that our lives were about to change drastically. In one hour it will mark one week since Baby had her first seizure. In so many ways it seems like a month ago and in others just yesterday. So much has happened in these last few days that it's hard to wrap my mind around it. We've prayed for other families going through similar situations in the past, but I never thought we'd walk this path. Here we all are... where God is guiding us through. A 48 hour seizure-free baby sleeping soundly in the big hospital bed in front of me.

I am SO thankful! Thankful for so much. For this little life, for the doctors, the nurses, this hospital, modern medicine and my wonderful family. I'm also thankful that we are allowed to be here with her 24/7, for the sunny weather outside, the comfy (for a hospital) beds we have. I am so, so thankful God saw fit to bring Baby into our lives almost 11 months ago. We have been so blessed by this little one!!! So incredibly changed forever!

We are especially thankful for all our friends and the MANY and countless blessings you have been to us. Thank you for the encouraging music, blogs and letters you have all sent. Thank you for spreading the word to get people praying for Baby! We have had total strangers write and call us with encouragement! How beautiful is the body of Christ! Thank you for being here for us, calling us, feeding us and mostly for lifting Baby and our whole family up in prayer. You'll never know what a gift you are to us!

We can't help but wonder about all the unsaved people around us. How do they handle this? We've seen first hand how they handle it... they don't. They can't. Because they don't HAVE a Hope! I can only hope and pray that by seeing all this, because of Baby's life, they will see Jesus.

We have an extremely long and uncertain road in front of us. So many unknowns to us poor humans. Thankfully we trust in our Father who created this little lady and He knows her from the inside out. Every cell, vessel and muscle was crafted by Him! He knows what's "working" and what's not. He holds Baby in His hands. His eyes have never been off of her for a second since even before she was born! He knew her and loved her before any of us even had a thought of her! He loves her even more than we do. She is HIS child! Not the court's, not her birth parents, not ours. HIS alone. And He has her days all planned out. He will reveal His plan through His power.

Praise the Lord! Remember He came to save us. He died for us. He rose for us. And He lives even today, for us. Let us bring Him glory!

Friday, March 29, 2013


Good Friday. 
My Savior died for me, Baby, our whole family, my friends, everyone else here at the hospital, the WHOLE world!  He died to save all of us broken people. 
My mind is every which way these days and I hardly remembered we celebrate our Lord's resurrection this Sunday!  I pray we (and everyone else who is praying for Baby) will remember the sacrifice Jesus did out of love for us.  Why? I'll never know.  But I know He did!  And the same One who held the world in the palm of his hand on that darkest of days is the SAME One who holds the world and this precious baby in His powerful hands today!  So as our hearts and minds are filled with prayers for Baby, let's also remember He has a plan and even when it seems to all be going "wrong", it's still His beautiful and perfect plan!  He works all things together for good!
A friend of ours wrote this beautiful post... I hope she doesn't mind my sharing it.  But it's quite beautiful!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pray for a Miracle

Our foster baby is in the hospital and is not doing well.  The doctors today gave us the facts.  Right now she needs a miracle.  PLEASE pray for her!!!
Seizures that will not stop, high fever that will not be controlled and unknown reasons for all this.  I only know the One who knows these answers and am BEGGING Him to spare her life.  I know that may not be His plan and I pray we will be able to handle that. 

Lord be glorified and magnified in all this!