Monday, August 25, 2014


Yes, but not the kind you imagine.
It's taken me three long months to write this blog post as I always end up in tears and unable to see the keys to type, but I feel led to press on and share. 

Two precious little ones who we have had the honor and privilege of caring for over the last 3+ years have gone.

 I can't share their story on here, but I can share a little of my heart and what the Lord has been teaching me through it all.  I wish there were more stories shared to help prepare foster families for these inevitable times and so that is why I open my hurting heart right now.  So often our families go into orphan/foster care with starry eyes, ready to change the world one child and family at a time!  While these are great intentions, we also have to be prepared for what is REALLY to come...
Our family's life was as peaceful as could be.  We have been blessed and want to share our lives, share the love of God, with others.  Through the Lord's leading we entered the foster care world.  Since then we have been beaten, bruised, down trodden, faced with spiritual warfare, accused, abused, used, tossed, loved and lost.  Were we told we'd go through this?  Yes and no.  In the required training it gets touched on briefly... "but let's not mention it too much or we'll scare away prospective (and very needed) families"! 
But wait!  We WERE told we would face pain and hardships!  Right in the Bible Jesus Himself tells us we will! 
John 16:33 " the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world!"
 Would we/do we do it all again?  Yes.  And we continue on ONLY because we have also seen the beauty in it all.  God's stories.  Even through a completely devistated, broken and disgusting system, we still see God working.  I know our family wouldn't be where we are today if it weren't for the hardships we have been through. 
James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
While we still lack much, through the lessons we have learned, we have all grown closer to our Lord and Savior which makes EVERYTHING worth it.
I allow my heart to attach to these children so deeply.  To love them as my own.  I try to love them as Christ loves them... even though I fall far short of that!  Some say in order to do orphan/foster care you need a "certain kind of love".  That love is assumed to be the kind that can care for these kids for a time and then send them on to the next place (be it to go back to their birth family, another foster home or to be adopted) and be ok with it... no emotional discomfort, or at least not too much.  Most people don't love like that.  Believers don't love like that!  And every single one of these kids needs the kind of love that is NOT like that.  These are hurting kids!  They need someone to show them the Someone who won't ever leave them or forsake them!  They need a person who is willing to risk their own heart for the sake of theirs.  Is it hard?  Is it painful?  Is it torturous?  Absolutely, 110% yes!  After these kids move on we are left with a changed heart and life, one that is battered and worn, but by the grace of God, stronger and healthier than before!  We are left with great sorrow either simply because we miss them - even though we know they are safe and happy or because we miss them - yet are afraid for their lives if they've gone into an unsafe placement.
It's also hard because we are left wondering what they must be thinking and feeling right now.  Are they feeling abandoned by us?  Do they think we've forgotten them?  Do they remember me?  Do they remember our songs we'd sing or books we'd read?  Have they lost that wiggly tooth yet?  How is potty training going?  Are they gaining weight properly and being fed nutritious foods?  Who do they run to when they get hurt?  Are they sleeping through the night?  Are they having nightmares?  Are they safe, healthy and happy?  Do they know how much I love them? 
Do they remember that God loves them and will never leave them even when everyone around them fails to do so?
 I can only pray that they do.  And no one on earth can stop me from praying for them even when I can do nothing for them physically right now.
Right now my little ones are missionaries in a place that desperately needs God's light.  God is using these children of His and orchestrating things all according to His plan, even though it looks terribly messy to me.  He loves these kids even more than I do... which is hard to understand!  When I think they are too young, too fragile, too small and innocent, He says they are vessels of His and are needed there right now.  We did everything in our human power to protect them, but God is showing me that it is really only Him, and Him alone who protects His children.  We'll never know what the Lord's plan is for tomorrow, but I know He holds them and protects them according to His perfect will. 
It's painful to be away from them, to not talk to them, to not see them, to not tell them how much I love them, to not tuck them into bed each night after saying prayers making sure that blankie is placed just right, to not hear their sweet voices or feel their hands give me a hug around the neck, to not wipe their runny noses or not be the one to put a band aid on their knee.  I even miss the hard... tantrums, messes, endless laundry, whining and squabbles. 
Please mothers!  Don't complain about all the hard work and messes!  Be THANKFUL for them!  Be thankful you have the work and mess-makers!  They are blessings!  Praise God for each slimy finger print, the crayon "artwork" on the wall and that 3rd accident of the day due to toilet training.  They are blessings.  They really are when seen in a different perspective.

So, any regrets?  Yes. 
But not because I wish I had loved them less to save my own heart from the aching.
I regret not holding them more... until my arms fell off,
Telling them how much I love them... until I was blue in the face,
Watching their breath as they slept... until my eyes dried up,
Playing cars and princesses... and left my chores and "important" tasks until later,
I regret not sharing even more of Christ's undying love for them...
 until I had NO breath left in my body.
The things we think are important, really don't matter at all.  Our hearts and lives are not our own to do with as we feel safe and comfortable.  As followers of Christ, we are to follow His example.  He gave his life up for us, even though we are far from deserving it!  I'm sure Jesus was the opposite of safe and comfortable.  There are countless hurting children out there.  How can we stand by, afraid of hurting our own hearts, afraid of the pain when we have to give up a child we have grown to love? 

Being a follower of Christ is the hardest yet most beautiful life imaginable.  I pray that someday I will learn to love with no regrets!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

My Mother

My mom has always been a great example to me growing up. 
She always made sure we had the basics... full bellies, clean clothes, good sleep, play time, changed our diapers and took us to doctor/dentist appointment.  We were kept safe and clean, taught good manners and how to pick up our room, do our chores and how to share. 
These things are just the basics.  The things all kids should have.  The truth is, not all kids get a mother like I do!  Some kids don't even get the basic love and care like this.  Their booboos go unkissed, their stories go unlistened to and they are stuck in front of a TV never to see the inside of a book, not to mention, never hearing the name of Jesus!  It makes me extra thankful to know I am extra blessed because I have a mother who goes above and beyond just these "basics".  She lives a very selfless life.  She is a living example of how God designed the wife and mother to be.  She loves and cares for us in a million and one quiet and thankless ways.  There are so many things you don't even notice she's done until she's not there.  She's always the first one up, even if she's had a long night with a baby.  She'll suddenly have "nothing important to do" and sit and hold a child needing some extra love and attention.  Even when she was fed up with the foster care system she didn't hesitate to say yes to another!  Honestly, if it weren't for Mama's tireless research Abbie would still be seizing daily and continue to take steps backward.  Her "time off" would be to go grocery shopping or her own doctor's appointment and not on a coffee date like lots of women get to.  Especially since Abbie got sick she has not gone many places.  When she does go out, it's for church, doctors appointments or therapy. 
And this is all her choice!  She does it because it is God's calling on her life and she lives faithfully for His glory and not her own.  I know how blessed I am to have the opportunity to be taught and trained by this amazing mother and hope one day I can be like her!    

Saturday, March 22, 2014

One Whole Year!

Today marks ONE WHOLE YEAR since Abbie got sick!  Remember?

I will never forget that terrible day when I found her seizing only to have her go limp and lifeless one moment and back to convulsions the next. It's been a hard, ugly, beautiful, growing and BLESSED year! The Lord is SO good! He is SO faithful! He is SO powerful! Even though a year later, we don't have a ton of answered questions, we know we serve a God Who knows all.
 It is Him alone who has preserved her life and has every little detail under control. The same God who created the sky, animals and trees (oh, and He made the stars too) knows this little one of His from the inside out and knows what each day ahead will bring. And guess what? It is ALL for His glory alone! None of this is a mistake. But all of this happened to bring glory to His name! Even through all the "tough", we are honored and blessed to have had a front row seat to His awesomeness!

We look forward to what God will do in the year ahead and pray that through our precious Abbie, others will be drawn to the one true God!


Friday, January 10, 2014

Adoption Slide Show!

Here it is!  I have a new sister and this is her life's story so far...  God has great plans for her life and its been beautiful to have been witness and a part of it so far.