Chronicling the joys and challenges of fostering and adopting.

Follow by Email

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day

As we celebrate Father's Day, I get to reflect on how incredibly blessed I am to have a father who has shown me unconditional love. He read us stories, brushed our teeth, wrestled, went on hikes, took us camping, encouraged us to be adventurous, and spoiled us. He was always so patient with me and willing to be gentle in my emotionally charged teenage years. I remember times I would be sobbing in my room, probably for no reason, and my dad would come in anyway. He would meet me in my mess. He was and is such a great example of how our Heavenly Father pursues us, in our mess. And he always pointed us to Christ. My brother, sister and I have a collective favorite memory of him: seeing him reading his Bible while we came downstairs after we woke up. He is not perfect, but he knows that he is saved by God's amazing grace and always pointed us to God's truth, and I'm thankful he could show that to me. And even today, he does all he can to pour more love into my kids. We have asked him to love kiddos that aren't "blood," and he never gives it a second thought. He's as passionate about them as his own as I am, and for that, I am forever grateful. I love you, Dad!

Because of the man he was, my standards were pretty high to find a man to marry. In God's great mercy, I married Sean. I'm blown away at the dad he has become to our kids. I think back to when we were dating and first married, and he always said he only ever wanted one, maybe two kids (being raised with a total of 4 kids was too chaotic for him). But now he is a father of seven, and he is one of the best dad's I know. He makes them a priority in his life and moves beyond exhaustion to pour into them. This summer he has made it a point to wake up with each kiddo and look at the stars with them and teach them about the universe that God has created. He chooses to teach them God's truth on a continual basis. He is kind and gentle when a girly needs it, but then rough and playful when another needs that too. He gives all he is to be their father and to point them to Christ. I am so thankful that he is their dad. I love you, Sean!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

This week has been rough. Very rough. A situation happened to make me want to crawl in a hole and cry for a week. It was a defining moment for our family in how we foster. We are choosing to let brokenness into our home, and that brokenness affects every single area of our lives. Our innocent children become aware of things far too early. We are tested and tried if these children are worth the pain and strife they bring in.

Christ tells us the two greatest things in life are to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). With what happened in our home, I knew that we were at a point of loving this little girl like we would love ourselves. And when I think of “ourselves,” I think of “our kids.” Many foster families will say, “I have to keep my kids safe, so the foster kid needs to go for such and such a reason.” I understand where they are coming from, but when are these foster children ever going to be loved like they are someone’s “own” kids? When one of “your own” children does something horrible, will you kick them out? Or will you do everything in your power to make them be able to survive and eventually thrive in your home?

Our girlie is teaching us that she needs to be loved. She needs to be wanted. She needs to be safe and secure and free to make mistakes and not get kicked out, or beaten, or abandoned for her sin. She is silently asking us to love her as we love our other children. I have such a hard time depicting any of my children different from the other. God has given us 7 children. How He gave us each child is as unique as the child. And I love that. But with each of those gifts has come much heartbreak as well. 

Colossians 3:1-3, 12-15, 17 “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, no on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God . . . Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body . . . And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

P.S. Because of God's sovereignty, children are moved from homes not outside of His will. We have known families who have needed to move children from their home, and those choices are never taken lightly and really are necessary. Each family is unique. This is a post specifically about our family's foster journey.