Monday, May 5, 2014

Am I lovable?

Just three months after we moved to Colorado, we started foster-to-adoption classes through our county. In March of 2011 our intent was to open as a foster home and build our family.

God had much more in mind! Three years later, we now have 80% of our friends in the Colorado Foster Care/Adoption community. These people are the kind of friends who have also become our extended family. Family who help, share ideas, and, love my kids as much as I love theirs. I'm also a part of a foster/adoption support group that meets monthly. These connections led me to the most amazing Girls weekend I've had yet - The Passion for Orphans retreat. I'm currently in classes learning about trauma and the brain, and, how to connect more deeply with the people in my life.

I am grateful.

I am humbled.

I am amazed.

I've watched this wonderful community of selfless people grow along with their children. They've watched me and my family do the same. It's a beauty for ashes, sweat and tears kind of journey.

My heart is full tonight as I think of so many interactions I've had with my son and my friends children, who have come from the hard places (foster care).

One moment that I'll never forget:

We were all together at a karate function. Our friends foster son, E, (a sweet teen boy) was carrying around Lauren and JoJo, when he said: "Your kids really love me, don't they?" I answered: "Yes, they do." Then, E stood just a few inches in front of me, looked me in the eyes and asked: "Am I lovable?" Surprised by the sudden depth. I quickly said: "Absolutely, you are!"

I sit here, tonight, weeks later, still pondering the condition of a heart that would feel the need to ask that question.

It's an honor and a gift to know these precious kids. They are so valuable. They've shown me that all that truly matters is how we love others. period.

They teach me to be more careful with my words, my facial expressions, and, my tone of voice. They teach me that each day is a chance to begin again. They teach me to forgive quickly.

They teach me to be present.

We almost didn't move to Colorado. We almost waited longer to attend the foster-to-adoption classes. God has made our life rich!

Today in the U.S. about 100, 000 children are currently waiting to be adopted from 'the system'. Many others need foster care short or long term.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


This is my story of our sweet baby who lived inside me just 10 short weeks. He was a surprise and his short unborn life has meaning. Noah went to heaven four nights ago... I laid in a hospital bed... I pray tonight for the many other moms who will be wheeled through the same ER doors for the same reason. Noah is our 6th child and the 4th heaven homed baby. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ David is now just turned 6 (in heaven.) *may 2006 - 8 wks gestation Grace is now almost 5 (in heaven.) *july 2007 - 5 wks gestation Matthew is now just over 2 (in heaven.) *march 2010 - 8 wks gestation and now sweet Noah is 4 days old in the arms of loved ones (in heaven.) *may 2012 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Each baby I've lost has left me with a "golden nugget" about life and taken a piece of my heart. Both are an honor. A beautiful scar. I'm reminded tonight that as Steven Curtis Chapman sings (of his young daughter who died)... "we're all taking the long way home." Each baby has taught me about love, grace and courage. Doctors do not have a certain reason as to why we have lost four babies... yet? We are undecided if finding a reason this time is needed. Each precious loss has taught me: that love always wins. that grace is real and powerful. that courage will bring me to amazing new places. Being treated in a hospital and enduring pain all to leave without a baby in my arms is devastating to say the least. But. The amazing staff have blown me away each time with their kindness and compassion for my baby and me. Nurses and Doctors are hero's. The other night, I encountered medical staff who cried with me, held my hand and gave their best. Somehow I was never scared and I felt a deep peace - a real miracle. The doctor would say: "aren't you in a lot of pain?" Yes, I was in pain - but my body was somehow at rest. In the bible James 1:2 talks about how we will face many trials... and that if we hold on to hope we will not be crushed. The process of faith, I feel, is filled with seasons of doubt and anger and confusion because I live in a broken world and I am human. And, I believe God can handle my stumbling around; He never leaves my side. My heaven homed children are happy and to them we will all be together in just moments. In the meantime, I continue to pray and ask God to heal my broken heart, to heal my family's broken heart. To bring us the little baby we dreamed of years ago. Bring purpose to this suffering. To bring about His will. I know God hasn't forgotten my family. When I get a glimpse of what love means I see that I have nothing to fear. Noah, We all wanted you so much. You are a treasure. We wish we could hold you... We love you everyday.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

twas the night before mother's day...

Today was the fourth day of not seeing more than a few [quality] moments of my husband. He currently works second shift while attending full-time college. My husband is Superman. I have yet to see his cape. I'm sure this is because he is humble. He only seeks the spotlight when looking to bring laughter to others. I play the part of wife and mother who homemakes, and, homeschools.
Now for a deeper layer of truth, my gracious God breaks me and bends me in his beautiful ways... He exposes the dark areas of my heart. He shows me unconditional love in the eyes of my children. He gives me wisdom through the words of my husband. I look at my messy home and I see that my dear Savior grants me endurance in the form of painful daily sacrifices. I. get. to. serve. Like every mom, I am stretched [often to tears, almost daily]. But, deep down I know that God has a plan and He loves my kids more than I do. When I get tangled up, God quietly leads me back to peace. God is love. I have to tell myself moment-by-moment "I have the gift of two busy healthy daughters." My girls no longer nap. Life goes on is our own beautiful story being written from sun up 'til sun down. I must remember. I sit here tonight, and, I realize that my treasures will not be recognition Sunday morning at church. Not flowers, gifts or chocolates. My treasures are already all around me. They are the eternal kind. "Love begins at home, and, it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action." -Mother Teresa

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Letting Go

As my girls grow I let more go.

In regards to my daughters - I have recently let go of their matching outfits, perfectly organized toy sets, up-to-date photo records [something that works for me: just print pictures every so often and pile them in a bin to put in an album when the kids are older], and sleeping until the moment my girls wake up...

However, the gain is in the 'letting go'.

I'm learning to plan ahead and be intentional with my time. I'm coming up on almost 4 years as a full-time-stay-at-home-mom and I am just now beginning to grasp how important it is that I run my home the same way one would run a business. This means that I have had several blunders that are now successes!

I'm reminded that God cares most about the details that others outside my home may never see. I've set down a few hobbies / commitments to be more present in this very small sliver of what I believe is the most golden part of my life. These little years with my kids. I know that perfection is an unattainable trap.

Currently, the kitchen is unorganized but the dishes are clean. The girls bedroom floor was a sea of tiny plastic animals that I kicked to the side as I put the girls to bed but all of their toys are in their room. Our laundry is currently not put away but it is clean. Something always has to give.

I hope that the strain [when present] in my relationship with God, my husband and my kids is always the first place that I clean.

My days are usually filled with my children along with the honor of caring for a few others. And Friends - Yay! PLUS our hopeful goal of welcoming a baby foster son sometime this year.

And, our new dog. Oh, yes, our. new. dog. ;)

I want my energy spent on people in ways that impact both of us for the better.

Happy New Year!

May we each have our eyes opened to the many meaningful ways we were created to live.

"Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you." - Matthew 6:4

Monday, November 14, 2011

the greatest... and latest!

God is good! It's often said... but in our home these days, it's deeply felt.

Sadie, our big first grader lost her first TOP tooth, tonight! She's 6. When she was 5 she lost two of her bottom teeth -- back then she insisted that we give her one dime (per tooth) as this was the going rate for a lost tooth in the Berenstien Bears' home. Mama and Papa Bear gave Sister and Brother Bear ten cents for each tooth that was hid under their pillow! Now, Sadie knows the value of each coin and the value of one dollar! As you may have already guessed, she asked for one dollar this time! ha ha

Sadie is doing well in school. One of the top students academically. She won student of the month for her class in November and her picture as well as a nice little blurb was placed on the schools wall of fame in her honor!

She also attends Awana! She's having fun, learning scriptures and earning badges!

Lauren is learning her letters, numbers, colors and shapes at home! She is constantly moving, jumping and climbing! A lover of dress-up & pretty shoes! She just finished up a gymnastics class and has begun a tap / ballet class! She loves it! Lauren is very expressive and beginning to voice complex ideas as well as carry on conversation!

John, is the man! After a period of uncertainty... He (God) has led us into a promising new phase! John and I have become closer as friends and we look forward to what we hope will be 'normal life' for the first time in a long time! John landed a job in the IT field. He's excited to start soon! He also plays beautiful music at church and cooks and continues to make us all laugh!

I'm so grateful to be married to a man who puts God in the center of our life.

Me, well, I am doing great! I'm building back strength and learning the best foods to eat after being diagnosed with vocal cord dysfunction back in August. I am on a baking and crafting kick! I'm learning to crochet. I've gotten the hang of apple pies and I'm back into the swing of snapping pictures! Now, I just need a new book to read! The one-year-bible has been a new endeavor as well!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

foster to adopt

A quick update. Thank you to those who are following & praying!

We're now in the 6th month in what we were told should be around a 9 month process. We began foster care classes in March of this year. Very significant because we lost our 5th baby at 10 weeks gestation in March of 2010.

What is left to do:

John needs to get a physical

Waiting for a note from Sadie's Teacher

[The homestudy will be 3 visits. Family interview. Seperate interviews. Home safety inspection.]

Presentation of 'our story' to the 5 person child welfare panel.

Getting licensed!

THEN. Once we're licensed [IF we're approved by all 5 members.] We just wait to get a call - anytime day or night.

Our social worker is hopeful that we should be licensed before Christmas!... :)

We have such anxious hearts to be in the most simple way a helper in a team of people in a family's / child's life. The depths of compassion and inspiration we're about to witness are far beyond our grasp in this moment.


We feel ready. Like a runner waiting for the gun shot at his race.

As with biological pregnancy I'll admit I've found myself buying several cute blue things here and there when I've found great deals. AND we can't say Thank you enough to some VERY special people who have given us countless baby items. Your rewards are the eternal kind! In foster care, it's more common for boys to land in the system... So, being that we already have two daughters: we have asked to be placed with boys only [of any race] age 12 months or younger. :)

I have recently taken on a part-time daycare baby girl! The girls have responded with open arms to her presence in our home! I like to think this is God's way of getting us all in baby mode again! ;)

As I've shared before we started this process with the intent to add a son to our family. Today, we are going into to this trusting God's timing is best and that we may help several children / families before officially adopting... It hit me today that we'll be growing our hearts and families with the 'sons' who simply visit, too.

Because as Mother Teresa says: "...we belong to each other."

And, I know what I want for Christmas:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lauren and the age 3

"Loh-nan" is what you call yourself! You're 3 and nearing the age that Sadie was when you were born [3 years & 2 months]. Today you spent the day in underwear - and you told me that you would just 'pee in the grass' while we went outside... Lol. You went on the potty more than once on your own and I think you're real close to staying dry during the day.

You just celebrated your birthday with a puppy theme. You just can't get enough of all things dog lately! You love being "Ser-reee!" [Your way of saying 'three'!] And here's a recap on your current interests:

"Nastics" Gymnastics class

Playing with Dolls

Dress Up


Playing with water

Filling cups with water

Putting toys in a cup; then filling it with water


Looking at books

Doing school/learning time with Mom

Scooting on your new scooter

Getting the mail

Washing your hands [emptying soap EVERYwhere]



Eating at "Sick-a-way!" [Chick fil A]

Playing in the play-place

Eating frozen yogurt

Bike rides in the burley