Tag Archives: parenting

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

I’m Not Perfect

Honesty seems to be the theme of the week. Molly over at Knocked Up Knocked Over has inspired me to share my own less-than-perfect image with my own readers.

Do you sometimes wish that every blog you read and drool over has a post titled “I’m Not Perfect”? I do. I’m a “blog stalker,” meaning I love finding beautiful new blogs with interesting content, beautiful pictures, or creative ideas. The blogs that draw me in tend to focus on motherhood, cooking, fun things to do with kids, or living a Christ-centered life. I look for encouragement, inspiration, ideas, and meals. Continue reading

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Filed under Parenting, Personal Posts

What a Week

…Whew. Ever have one of those weeks that you wish you’d had a forewarning about? Maybe a little disclaimer on Sunday would have been helpful. Something like, “Kat, this is future Kat. This week is really going to suck. If you’d like to, you can just lock yourself in your room and not come out again until next Sunday. Your choice.” Continue reading

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Filed under Parenting, Personal Posts

Exciting News

First let me update you all on why I’ve been so busy (and not writing) lately.

We’re ALMOST done with the paperwork on our home study. Can I just say that the average adoptive family takes about a month to compile all of their home study paperwork for a private domestic infant adoption? Keep that in mind as I tell you- It has taken us more than THREE MONTHS now to get our paperwork done! Continue reading

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Filed under Homestudy, Personal Posts

Mommy’s Travel List

Traveling for long plane or car rides with young children is TORTUROUS… unless you come prepared. And what do smart moms do? They plan ahead.

I thought I’d share with you the bag of goodies that always goes with us for long car rides. It has the potential of entertaining my child for a few minutes (sometimes up to 30 minutes) at a time, and when used in rotation, they can hold his attention for a while. Continue reading

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Over the Shoulder Syndrome

We’re quickly skiing down the road towards our home study face to face interview. For most adoptive parents, this event creates feelings of anxiety. We have one more form to turn in before they can schedule our social worker meeting. One more form. We are turning in our paper treasure hunt left and right. Each form we turn in brings us one step closer to a new baby. Continue reading

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So…I May Have Goofed…

I messed up. Can I have a do-over?

Okay, did I mention that I’m exhausted? In a recent entry, I attempted to discuss living the “adopted lifestyle.” By this, I meant that I did not want our family to live in a cloud of fear or guilt regarding our choice to adopt. I expressed that it is my belief that some families avoid vacations, certain movies, television shows, books, etc. because their child is adopted. While some of this avoidance may be necessary for older adopted children who have scars related to their adoption or time in foster care, I don’t think it’s necessary for every adopted child. Continue reading

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Filed under Adoption Questions, Parenting