Monday, August 13, 2012

The Next Chapter

Life is comfortable. Life is blessed. And He has shown us much grace as He has carried us through the highs and lows of parenthood.

Years back as Eric and I would talk back and forth about our family and what we predicted it to look like, adoption was just a passing topic. It was something we would talk about, but we never moved forward with.

But then, without telling a soul, we went ahead and started into our foster to adopt paperwork right before little Lincoln burrowed himself into my belly.

And a sweet detour was born :).

We settled in as a family of 8 and breathed in all that newborn baby boy goodness. Life seemed normal and our routine seemed in place when the topic came up again. Foster Care. Adoption. Really?

We talked and prayed and waited.

And then on a whim this Summer, we met up with some friends in Tennessee where we were able to get some insight and answers from a family just like us. After talking and laughing and sharing joys and fears about our already crazy (but grace filled) life, it all started to become clearer. It was time to move forward.

(On a side note, would you mind lifting them up in prayer? They have been through a month of heartache and I'd love for you to pray for peace and healing.)

There are almost 1000 children in our county alone who have no permanent home, no belongings, and no voice.

But we have a voice, and we're ready to use it.

"Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of the orphans. Fight for rights of widows." Isaiah 1:17

I read that truth, but I'm scared.

But not as scared as a child who has been pulled from their home, and not as scared as a baby laying in the hospital with no mother to hold them against her chest and rock them.

I cry when I think of it. In fact, if you're planning on talking to me in person about it right now, you may want to bring some tissues.

My heart. It's literally aching for these orphans.

I'm emotional as God continues to reveal this new chapter in our life. I'm broken as He opens my eyes to how my ordinary life is actually pretty extraordinary. And I'm embarrassed at how so many of my mountains are actually molehills.

Are we ready to give back a child that we have fallen in love with because the court orders us to? No. Will that be really, really hard? Yes. And are we clinging to the hope that sooner rather than later, we'll meet the babe that is supposed to be with our family forever? Completely.

But that's all part of the journey of foster care. And just knowing that God is already in the tiniest details of our journey gives me peace to take the next step.

He knows who is supposed to be in our home, and He knows that every time I do my kid count in the store, or at the park, or just to make my babes laugh, that I always feel in my heart that there could be more - that someone is missing.

There's more to the puzzle, and more to the story. And because of that, we're already well into the process of being able to foster to adopt.

Do we know exactly what this is all going to look like? Or how it will all play out? Or if there will be a handful of downs before there is an up? No. But I really hope that you will pray for us if you feel led, and I'd love for you to join us for the journey that lays in front of us. We're going to need you.

So here's to a new chapter. And here's to His plan, His story, and His vision for our little family.


Emily said...

I will be praying for you and your family. I really admire and respect families that do foster care. I pray for wisdom and peace as you figure out your next steps.

Berea Bear said...

Having now adopted five children from the foster care system in the past year (and returned four precious others that were able to go home) over a four year period, I know the journey you will be on. While the details will be different, the trials and triumphs common to children from broken homes, forge a common bond between all that have "been there" :0)

My only advice to you is read read read about attachment therapy, and apply the techniques even if they sound crazy...because some of them will... and give all the love you can with whatever time you have. The truth is that no child is ours forever, their lives and times are in the hands of our Father, and He calls some sooner than others. Every moment spent being entrusted with the life of a child is precious.

We cared for two very young boys a few years ago, one was 4 and the other 18 months. They were with us about 2 months and I received only 24 hours notice that the boys would be returning to their family member. I had to pack up their toys and clothes in the middle of the night into black garbage bags and I wasn't allowed to say anything to the boys. I had planned to take them on a field trip the next day...and we went, but all day I was praying, Lord we've only had two will this little boy ever know of your love and mercy? We had taught him "Jesus loves me"and read a Bible to him, but his mother was a satanist and despised all things about God...and I wondered how much his young mind would be able to retain.

He knew some of the verses of Jesus loves me but had never been able to sing the whole song. That day as I drove him to his mom, with him completely unaware of what was going on, and as I cried and prayed softly in my seat. Out of nowhere he started singing Jesus loves me, every verse and chorus perfectly... I sobbed and the Lord reminded me that day that He is the one keeping these little ones, we need only be faithful with the time we are given.

Blessings as you start your journey. And remember that though there might be many trials and tribulations, there is also unspeakable joy and blessing as you seek to live out the verse above...and God is faithful!!

jenny said...

You already know I am beyond thrilled for this journey you guys are on! Cannot wait to see what God has in store for your family! Adoption is one of the greatest blessings we've ever experienced....praying God will do mighty things through your willingness to step out in faith and start this process!! Love u!

The Beaver Bunch said...

So blessed by you and honored to call you my friend.

Vicky said...

Sooo exciting! I am involved in the foster/ adoptive family ministry at my church. I'm not a parent (foster or otherwise), but for now I am called to support families that are. I look forward to one day joining the ranks of foster/ adoptive families.

I HIGHLY recommend getting connected with a group of Christian foster families whether at your church or another one in your area. (and if you can't find one, start one.) The will be able to offer wisdom, support, and understanding on this journey.

Hunter said...

Girl! I am SOOOO grateful for you! I LOVE your heart! I will be in prayer for all of these things. You're not crazy for doing this either. God has and will continue to equip you AND He's putting the desire on your heart. It's not for everyone. It's for those He calls to do this. You are right He does know what His intentions for your family are. Oh I am rejoicing in the willingness of your heart to do this!

Dianne said...

Welcome aboard! Foster care is a wild ride. We have been fostering for 3.5 years and will eventually adopt. We are actually packing a kid up today for him to move as soon as tomorrow (we thought he'd be here another few months at least).

Just be willing to go with the flow and love them while you have them.

And, yes, find some other Christian foster parents who will understand. :)

peapodsquadmom said...

You amaze me. Your enormous capacity to love just blows me away over & over. I'm praying God uses you to bless children who need that huge love you have to give.

Savvy Little Women - Kate said...

So very thankful for all your words and encouragement and advice. You ladies have blessed my heart today :).

The Diaper Diaries said...

Did i know about this at Nike? Cause our paperwork is finished and we are just waiting to get our FC license. i too am scared to death, but ready for what God has for our family. Wish you were closer, but I will be following along on your blog :)

Clever Blonde -Donna G said...

Ah...I have wanted to email you to let you know I was praying for you but haven't found the time. Praying comes first! I hadn't a clue what was going on over there but have been led to pray for you & Eric several times in the last couple of wks. Praise God, He is so in control and with you every minute, every day. I will be continuing in prayer for you all. Blessings

Sarah Halstead said...

I will be praying for you all. You all are an amazing family!!

Thoughts for the day said...

wow...God will direct the right child and the right situation... pray and pray more. I pray it all works well for you.

Stacie@HobbitDoor said...

Praying. Praying. Praying. Love you guys and your hearts so much!!!

April said...

I too am finding time sweep by all too fast. My little one isn't so little anymore. He's turning 11 next week, is 5 feet tall, 80 lbs. soaking wet, smart as a whip and starting 6th grade! I'm only 33, and yet it seems like I'm so much older! :)

Robin @ Pink Dryer Lint said...

Kate, I'm totally praying for you and your family.

Jeni said...

Hi Kate!

Praying for you guys as you move along in this journey. It is soooo hard, but sooo worth it.

Savvy Little Women - Kate said...

Thanks, girl!

Mama D’s Dozen said...

Excited to walk this journey with you (not us, but you). I will be cheering you on each step of the way . . . and praying you through the tough stuff (because there will be tough stuff).

Excited that you are stepping out, once again, and seeking His plan for your family (despite the fact that the world says you are "crazy").

Hugs! Prayers! (and, yes, praying for the sweet friends who are walking through a tough month right now). Excited to hear that they were part of the confirmation process that the Lord used to confirm His path for you.


maydaygirl said...

Kate, I am rachel32004 on ig and billmissandbroods sister. We do foster care and have a 5 month old from birth. She is our 9th foster child. We also have a bio son , and adopted daughter and pray for 10 more :)

It's a crazy journey. One I honestly can't recommend! Lol but it's through the strength of Christ alone that we carry on.