Saturday, March 30, 2013

A quick update

A lot has happened since my last post.  I really should update more often : /.  Baby C, who we had for 3 months, left us to go live with family.  We knew from the start that the plan for him was short term for us.  It doesn't matter.  When a child lives with you and you are their caregiver in the full sense of the word just as any parent is to any child, and then one day they are gone, and you no longer take care of them, and just like that it ends.  Your heart breaks.

But God, and experience, has taught us how to love and let go.  Its not a place I enjoy, I'm the first to admit. And even still, its not a place I want to continue in.  Technically we have had 10 foster children in under 3 years.  Sweet Girl S has been with us since Aug.  She came at a time when our hearts were literally shattered in the wake of great loss and she has brought us immense joy.  To say we don't want to lose her is the greatest understatement of the year.  But, yet again, the plan is for this one to leave too.

We had a sweet 4 year old that needed a place to stay for the night while his extended family came to get him after a very difficult day he had.  He and Cody spent the evening playing Xbox and I spent the wee hours of the night introducing him to God who was protecting him while his family couldn't.  He said he'd not heard of angels or Jesus before :(.  Hopefully we planted a seed.

And now we have one of the sweetest baby girls, in my opinion, that we've ever had-baby A.  I think she has won me over quicker than any before.  She and another sweet girl came to our home on the same day; yep!  two babies on the same day!  However, because of some special needs that this one has, we decided that the other baby needed to be placed in a different home so we could fully care for this one and give her our 110%.  It became clear quickly that it was a smart decision.  So, after about a week and 1/2 we were back to two foster children: Sweet Girl S and baby girl A.

We are on that dreaded stretch of counting down our time with S and just beginning our journey with A.  What a rollercoaster fostering is.  Sometimes I think my heart can't take it anymore.  But then I know I just can't stop.  To not do what the Lord has so clearly given you as a ministry is worse than to do something painful and to stick with it.

I can't hide that my heart is so very weary.  10 kids and no adoptions.  Of course I ask the Lord questions about His plan for us.  I cry often over my desires, especially since I'm certain He gave me this one.  But I will do everything in my power to obey Him.  Because doing His will in His way is the purpose.

Doing His will in His way.  This is my purpose.

Every child is so precious and blesses us so very much.  That's why we get so attached to them all.  And why its so hard to let them go.  Fostering allows us to parent many children when so many never get to parent one.  For this I give thanks.  Jeff and I have, at this point, let 8 children go.  But on the flip side we have parented, so far, 12 in our marriage.  God has been sweet to us.  God gives and takes away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Being Restored

I've never wanted a new year to come as much as I've wanted this one.  I couldn't be happier that it's here.  This past year brought trials and sufferings that affected me so profoundly.  It has been such a scary place, an unfamiliar place, a place I don't ever want to be in again, though I know I'm not immune to it.  I've not been able to write much about my experiences because it has been so burdensome and painful to ponder on.  To put it on "paper" brings it to life again and I want to make it all non-existent as if the past 6 months never happened.

Anticipating, daily, the ensuing separation from our (foster) son J was a much harder journey than I imagined it to be.  We tried to transition him out of our home in stages to help with the change but even still it was torture to my heart.  I wanted to trust God fully with our future, J's future, our ability to handle such a change, such a loss.  I questioned God on how Cody and Macie would deal with losing a sibling they loved so dearly but I knew He was capable of meeting all our needs and I felt safe in Him.  Safe.

But our nightmare came 3 weeks early, only it came in a different package.  I remember getting the news.  The cold lobby.  The winged back chair I fell into.  Our children's minister standing by me as I questioned "How will they face losing both J and Paige?"  I felt as if I couldn't breathe.  Her sister, one of my closest friends, was literally across the world and I desperately wanted to get to her.  It felt like I had been running a treacherous race and had suddenly hit a brick wall.  And it took the life out of me.  It really did.

Safe.  I want to feel that again.

Rest.  I want to know it again.

Paige was more to me than I even knew.  Isn't it funny what death teaches you.  Why can't life teach us as much?  Even concerning Christ, it took His death to reach people.  I would give anything to have Paige back, to put a big red bow on her hat head and have her at the foot of Macie's bed when she wakes up in the morning.  But Paige would never come.  Even for her mom and dad, Seth, Anne, my sweet GK or my Macie, she would not consider for a second leaving the presence of her Savior. She is in eternal fellowship with Him.

And J is with the ones God intended for him.  He ordained it that way.  And I'm okay with it but my heart loves him so.  Always.

And we keep on.  I have the reference Isaiah 61:1-3 tattooed on my wrist.  It reminds me that I have a job to do.  The Lord has called our family to testify that He binds the brokenhearted, sets the captives free and gives liberty to prisoners.

We are mostly likely saying bye to another foster child any day now.  Another one I don't want to lose.  But with every one that comes and goes we are planting His love, our love. We are fulfilling that scripture.

I am still weak from life's events.  I force myself to spend time in His word.  I used to get really excited about it.  I'm barely teaching anymore.  I use to go crazy if I wasn't teaching, refusing to take breaks.  I'm trying to figure out what to do with this brokenness that has settled in my spirit.

The one thing I know is that God is tenderly caressing my broken heart.  Its tangible to me.  He calls me daily to His presence.  He is my Abba, Daddy.  And He does bring safety.  He does provide rest.  I know it will come.

I changed this summer.  Life does that to you.  But God did not change.  He never does.  And the wonderful thing about Him is.....He restores :)

Friday, November 2, 2012


I want to have given them Him more than Him having given them to us. 

This is a bit of a revelation I had after reading Katie's blog tonight.  She has had many children (and adults) come through her door and she has poured her life into them with the ultimate goal of giving them Jesus.

My heart desperately wants to adopt.  We are on our 7th foster child.  Five have come in, lived with us, been loved by us, been adopted by us in our hearts though not on paper, and five have left us to go to their forever home.  Two are currently with us now.  There have been 4 particular that have felt like I birthed them myself, in every way but physical.  They feel like they are a part of me, like they truly belong to me and with this family, forever.

But so far, God has only given us the privilege of being a bridge for them.  And this has been hard on my heart.  I am a mom.  I love being a mom.  I love raising children.  I love the process of discipling, nurturing, exhorting them in the Lord.  I love fighting for them.  So, the thought of adopting children out of a system that hinders all these things in their life as they hang in the balance compels me to keep pressing forward. 

Yet, it can be so very frustrating to give so much and to feel like it's a means to no end when every one of them leaves.  I don't want to hear about how I'm planting seeds or that we are making such a difference in their lives or at least we are giving them a wonderful home while they need it.  I know those things are true and I don't discount them, but I still think, what about our hearts? 

Tonight, however, I am reminded that ultimately when theses 7 are gone, and the next one has come and gone, and then the next, and so on, as long as the Lord uses us in this way, will those children, or their parents be any closer to an eternal home with Him because they spent temporary time in our home?

I have to want to give these children Him more than I want Him to give me them.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Other Side

I've been putting off posting again because I knew I would be writing about him being gone, and frankly I don't want that to be reality.  But it is.  He no longer lives with us.  His sweet, feisty, quick self no longer graces our rooms.  We do miss him so very much.  It is quite different to have a personality like his developing around you day in and day out for a year and then its gone. 

They really can't prepare you for this in foster training.  One can't be prepared to stop being someone's parent when you've spent a year making sure you did everything to the contrary.  And then to know that now, someone else is likely spending time and effort erasing some of those bonds that will forever be in your heart.  Yeah, its gut wrenching. 

Until, the Lord reminds me of His purposes on my life: to participate with Him in planting oaks of righteousness for His glory.  What will J's life look like now?  What will all the prayers I prayed over him mean in the future?  What will your prayers mean for him?  All the times he spent at our church, the testimony of his life, the witness of ours to his family.  What seeds will be watered in their futures because of the past year?  The meager amount of time we gave to him could mean so much to generations to come.  Its overwhelming to think of what good could come out of this temporary aching of our hearts.

I will forever know him as my son.  But, truly he is God's.  As long as God keeps entrusting His to us, we will keep planting seeds, proclaiming that with the Lord comes freedom and joy, all to His glory.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Counting down, Fretfully

We are within the last week of being a full time family to our little guy.  It has been a year.  A year of firsts, a year of celebrations, a year of traditions we have introduced him to, a year of trips together, a year of day in and day out living.  And it comes down to the final week.  How can this be?  How can we willingly and obediently pack him up and send him on his way?  So many foster families have done this, and do this all the time.  But I'm not sure I can.

I really don't understand why God has called us to do this.  We weren't made for this.  This is for someone else.  But here we are.  I hope I never forget every thing he has done that has made me laugh, made my heart love him, or made me feel like a new mom again.  We will continue to foster, somehow, but there will never be another like him.  Three more nights now.  May time stand still....