Category Archives: Fostering

Life Update: Building Beauty from Ashes

I write often about homeschooling and cooking, and I love sharing what God is doing in my life and how he is reshaping my heart, but I felt like you all are owed an update on the original reason I started writing: to share my journey through the world of adoption. My, how our world has changed. I am remiss for not sharing this with you all. Here we go. The update of all overdue updates:

When I first began this blog, however many moons ago, the ultimate purpose was to share with family and friends our journey through adoption. Private domestic adoption. That was back in 2011. In that time, some of my best friends have grown their families by two, three, or even four (!) babies. My husband changed careers. We bought our first home. I adopted an adorable rescue dog. And, somewhere in there, we decided to become foster parents.

Caught up now?

I kept you informed with the foster children who came and went, and said prayers and shed tears each time we had to say goodbye. But then we got the call that would change our lives. One beautiful summer Friday, while we were enjoying a cookout on the porch with one of our closest college pals, the phone rang.

They had a 19 month old boy and an almost-3 year old girl. No idea how the case would turn. No idea if they would stay the weekend or be with us forever. We didn’t know their ethnicity. We didn’t know their names. We didn’t know their health status. Would we take them? We took a leap said yes. Because sometimes in life, you just say yes. They showed up and our worlds were turned upside down.

That day was June 6, 2013.

Adoption Day

They became our forever children, names changed and all, on September 4, 2015.

After 796 days in limbo, they became ours forever.

I’m not a fan of the new Pinterest trend that shows the adopted children holding a sign that says how many days they spent in foster care. I’d rather my children not associate the time before their adoption as “foster care,” because they were never with another family other than us. They came home to us on June 6, 2013.

I’ll say they were in limbo for all of those days. Stuck between many homes. Learning the rules of our house, mourning the loss of another. We couldn’t permanently decorate our daughter’s room in the fairy style she so badly wanted, because of a truth we wouldn’t say out loud: “What if she leaves?” We were all in limbo. Wanting to fully dive in and love them like they were never going to leave, but also wisely guarding our hearts just in case. And I know for them, it was the same. They wanted to love us, but felt as if they were betraying someone else if they did. So in limbo we all stayed.

That day, the judge said he had more people supporting us and celebrating with us in the courtroom on that day than most adoptive families. He also added, “But it should be like this always.” We even hired a good friend of ours who is a professional photographer to document the entire day. While she had documented birthing sessions, it was her first adoption.

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Photo by Katie Woody Photography

Happiness Forever After?

I think it’s easy to talk about how difficult it is raising children who come from hurt and trauma while ignoring or refusing to acknowledge the brokenness and hurt we as parents also bring into the equation.

Pulled in different directions by many people who felt they knew what was best, I know the time was hard on the kids. While the storm of the case has died down, the storm in their hearts (and ours) hasn’t died down yet. That process will take years.

But, they are ours. And we are theirs. 

People are quick to talk about how far they have come, or how much they have changed for the better, or how much we have helped them or saved them, but no one talks about the fact that we’re all broken and full of hurt and sin. In God’s ideal plan, none of it would have looked like this. The hurt, the loss, the pain, the anger, the grief, the rage, none of it. He has a plan to restore our entire family to the beauty he originally envisioned.

I really dislike when foster parents are called “saints,” because you don’t know the darkness or the doubts in my heart. You don’t know my fears for the future or the questions I have. You don’t know the work it takes to create a feeling of family among strangers.

We’re all learning this together. Some days I cry because I don’t have a clue how to do this adoptive parent thing. No reading in the world can really prepare you. When you separate ME from the blood of the Lamb who covers me with his grace, it’s really a mess under there. But God’s promises endure, and I will hold fast to them.

Some days, I think they were an answer to our prayers, and some days I think we were an answer to theirs. I know for sure that one day, this whole story, not at all how I imagined it or necessarily wanted it, will come together as a beautiful testimony. Being in the middle of a time or trial that you know will one day be a fantastic testimony is hard. Sometimes parenting our kids is really exhausting and heartbreaking, because we are parenting kids whose hearts have been broken. They know pain the likes of which most adults will never understand. But my faith rests in the promise of God:

“To all who mourn in Israel he will give: 
beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness
For God has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory.”

Isaiah 61:3 TLB

Regardless, we are a family.

God is building beauty from the ashes of all of our dreams. For all five of us.

And let me tell you- Jesus saves me every single day.

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Filed under Adoption General, Faith and Adoption, Fostering, Parenting, Personal Posts

Struck Down But Not Destroyed

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. -2 Corinthians 4:8-12

I do not understand the plans of God, but I know without a doubt that he loves us.

Baby Girl left Wednesday evening and the only thing my heart wants to do right now is write. My sweet boy reassured me that when Santa comes on Christmas Eve, he will give him the castle he’s been asking for and give Mama “hugs and kisses so you don’t be sad about her leaving.” It warmed my heart. Continue reading

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Saying Goodbye to Baby Girl

In my previous post, I shared with you my thoughts and fears surrounding baby girl’s first court hearing. Fortunately, the judge ruled in the favor of the state and she stayed with us. We were told by her case worker that she would stay with us until a hearing on January 3rd, and at that time she might be moved to a relative’s home. However, I was caught off guard on Friday of this past week when I received a call from a new case worker stating that she would be moved to the relative’s home on December 19th. I was in shock and my heart broke. I thought for sure we would have her at the very least through Christmas. My family had purchased her Christmas gifts and lovingly decorated stockings for her. I ordered her a beautiful hand made doll from an Etsy artist as her very special gift from us. All of these thoughts rushed through my head and I was crushed.
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First Court Hearing

Our first court hearing for baby girl happens tomorrow afternoon. All weekend long I dreaded Tuesday with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I tried my hardest not to think of it, but I couldn’t avoid the fear that came with any reminder of what’s going to happen on Tuesday. Continue reading

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Filed under Adoption General, Faith and Adoption, Fostering, Personal Posts

Our First Foster Placement

Only two weeks after becoming licensed foster parents, and after FOUR calls with possible fostering or legal risk {likely adoptable} situations, we got a call on Thursday morning for a precious baby girl being discharged from the hospital that very morning. She was born on Tuesday. I didn’t even ask questions. I just said yes. Loudly and over again many times. I called Travis immediately and told him, “We have a newborn coming home in a few hours. Come now.” He of course didn’t even ask questions but instantly came home. Continue reading

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Filed under Adoption General, Faith and Adoption, Fostering, Parenting

A New Leg in Our Journey

I have been waiting all week to post this!

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Filed under Activities, Adoption General, Creative Ideas and Crafts, Faith and Adoption, Fostering, Halloween Fun, Personal Posts, Proverbs 31 Homemaker, Stay at Home Moms