Monday, October 4, 2010

October 4, 2010

Do you ever find along your journey that your life is so full of moments that are hard to describe but when you add them all together it makes the magic of your life?Our journey is a bit like that right now. There are hundreds of moments passing by. They don't warrant a blog entry, but they are the letters making up my life. They are good. They are bad. They are perfect in their timing and their happening. Much of what is going on in our life is protected by the privacy laws of this government entity or that. I can only write vague generalities about the children who are in our care so I have not been writing much--at least for public viewing. But I feel compelled to tell you not a day goes by I do not see God in the faces of the five children who are placed in my care. There are no nights that pass I don't find myself concerned about their individual futures and their collective happiness. Their tears stain my life walk and their laughter brightens my days. They are doing well, they are growing, they are healthy and for now they are mine.

The truth is I have no idea what the future holds for any of the children. But I have faith in a God who will love them through it all. And I know I am forever changed.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Case for Dignity

My son Noah is an amazing little boy. There are about a million things I love about him, but I think my very favorite part of him is his compassionate heart. Noah is not much of one to just notice a problem and not want to find a solution and so it is with a little organization he is getting off the ground called A Case for Dignity. You can check out his website The website was a school project we began at the end of the school year last year and he will actually be making a professional (non blogger) website this year with the help and direction of a friend who knows much more about these things than I.

This year we have found that all things bureaucratic from adoptions to charitable organizations are slow, require a TON of paperwork and work to get you to quit before you get started by their very nature. Not wanting to lose momentum or heart, we chose to ask our church and our family to help us meet our goals. Noah set a goal of 60 bags filled to give to the Cabinet of Family Services to help the kids who will be removed from their home.

Members of our church donated the bags and supplies for 27 bags. My parents and Noah's Uncle Jason and Aunt Andee's efforts put him well over the 60 bag goal. Andee wrote me and let me know that there would be enough bags with the help of their friends to push Noah over his goal. When I told Noah, he stood with his mouth wide open and began to tear up. He was so moved by the support of our family and was so glad his desire to get bags to kids was going to be fulfilled.

There are a lot of good people with giving hearts who are willing to pitch in and help everytime we have asked. There is nothing more faith affirming than to see people so freely giving of themselves, their expertise, their time and their resources.

Noah has been able to sit at the feet of successful business men (Warren Guyer) to learn more about what he needed to do to get bags in bulk, he has sat with skilled artists (Mike Cary) and been allowed to develop a logo for stationary and printed materials. He has been given valuable information on developing and maintaining a user friendly website by a web developer (Matt Robison). He has had a ton of financial and resource support from our friends and our family. How blessed he is.

Mainly I stand amazed at how one little 10 year old boy can have an idea and a God big enough to motivate the hearts of countless people to help children who are desperate for the help. As a citizen of the world and a christian I am so thankful for everyone who is helping to meet the need of those children. But as a Mom, I can not extend enough thanks for everyone who has taught my son, little ideas can make big differences, that there are good people all around you and that with a little faith, God can make very BIG things happen.

My love and appreciation to everyone who is helping Noah with his goals.

A VERY proud Momma.

Prayer for the Day:
Lord, I just want to praise you for all you do and for all the people you have placed in our path. Thank you for making big things happen for A Case for Dignity. May all the good that comes from this endeavor be for your Glory.

Because of Jesus, AMEN

Friday, July 30, 2010

You'ses House

There is no easy way to hear the words of a three year old saying, "I am not happy because I am at you'ses house." The reality is I know she is not happy. If I were in her place I would not be happy. But it does not take the sting away. When we were in training classes there was an exercise they had us do ( I am sure I have written about it earlier, but I am too tired to go find it right now) where the teachers had us close our eyes and go on a journey. I want to take you on this journey, but don't close your eyes--it will make it hard to read what I want you to do.

Imagine you are sleeping in your bed. You are living a life that is familiar to you. You are in the only bed you have ever known, living with the only family you have ever known. You don't know any other life than the one you have, so you don't know if you have a good life or a bad life, it is just your life. You are awakened by strangers in the middle of the night. Police officers are screaming at your family. You are grabbed by a strange person and told to grab a few things. You are not given a chance to get an explanation. Your family is screaming and crying for you, but the strangers won't let you go to them. You are placed in a strange car and are driven away from your home. There is no explanation for why you are being taken from your family. You turn to see what is behind you and there is nothing and no one there.

You are taken to a new house. It is a beautiful house. It is clean and full of all the nicest things. The refrigerator is full of food like you have never seen before. The people there are acting like they know you. They want to hug you and kiss you and tell you how much they want you to be there. How do you feel? Do you want to go back home? Do you want to return to your spouse? Your life? Now these new people insist you call them family. They give you new clothes, they have you sleep in a new room. How long before you stop longing to be with your family? Just because these other people are willing to give you things are you wanting to be a part of their family?

Imagine they will not let you see your family, you can not talk to your family, you have none of your favorite items. This family lives a very different life than you are used to. Are you comfortable? Do you want to be there? What if they allowed you to see your family for two hours a week? How would you react when they said, sorry it is time for you to leave again? Would you be happy to be there?

The reality is that no one would be happy to be there.....but it sure does sting when a little voice is telling you her unhappiness is taking up residence in your home with her.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dear Birth Mother,

It seems strange to me that someone I have only met once and will only see for minutes a week can have such a profound effect on my thoughts. There are few minutes to pass before I am contemplating you, your situation and how you could live in such a way that your precious little ones are living at my house instead of yours. They are precious and precocious and perfect. They are sad and scared and sick from not being old enough to understand why strangers pulled them from your arms and placed them in mine. They cry at night as I put them to bed begging to go home, wanting "Mommy and Daddy." Imagine the confusion that must be going on in their heads when sentences like, "Mommy, (meaning me) I want to go home and see my Mommy (meaning you)" Imagine my confusion when they hurt or are sad and they cry out for "Momma" and I don't know if it is me they want or you.

You should know I don't believe it to be God's plan for me to raise your children. He entrusted them to you. He made them to look like you and their Daddy, to share special natural likenesses in tastes and mannerisms. He gave these children to you as a precious gift to love and cherish so you could feel in a very minute way the love He feels for you. It is not His plan for you to live your life in such a way your own children can not be with you. He wants you to love them. But I believe, it is His plan for me to raise them if you refuse to take care of His gift. Please know I have no doubts in my mind I could love these children as if they were my own flesh and blood if you refuse to do whatever it takes to be what they need.

My heart's request is for you to choose quickly and make a solid commitment to either be the best mother you can be for these children by removing the demons from your life or be the best mother you can be for these children by removing yourself from theirs. Please do not make these children spend years of their childhoods bouncing back and forth between you and your demons. Please don't let them know they have come 2nd or 5th or 100th in your life, but instead let them know you love them first and foremost. Whether that is by using the time they are with me to improve yourself, your life, and your situation and never looking back in the direction from which you came or if by realizing you never will and letting them go...please don't selfishly hurt them for your own needs.

I pray for you hourly, I am trying so hard not to judge you. I love your children.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our First Year as Foster/Adoptive Parents
Sara Kinser Jones
June 16, 2010

Presentation given to new class of foster/adoptive parents completing MAPP classes.

Good Evening. I would like to thank Fonda and Michelle for giving me the opportunity to come and speak to you about our journey as foster/adoptive parents. About a year ago we sat where you are sitting excited about the prospects of having children come into our home and very clear as to what we thought we knew and what would happen. I have never been accused of lack of confidence and as I sat in your seat I felt prepared and confident about who we were, what we wanted and what was going to happen over the coming months.

I guess like all journeys, the plan should be set, but the plan should always be flexible and the best way to meet your destination is to be willing to accept and keep going even when detours are placed in front of you.

My name is Sara Jones and my husband and I decided about two years ago we would like to foster with the hopes of adopting a child in need of love and a home. We spent the first year praying over the decision and after that first year we called and enrolled in the MAPP classes. We came into the classes and set out on the journey to just adopt. We have three children and we were afraid that they, and we, would not deal well with having to say goodbye to children we became attached to. We set out to adopt, preferring to adopt a boy--not interested in babies, looking mostly to adopt a child between 3-6.

We felt as we completed the classes that we knew what we wanted and that was one little boy to love and to make our own. Soon we would realize that what we thought we were so confident about would become a very organic idea and we were moved and we were changed by the experiences that were afforded us through the year.

As we completed the paperwork, we were matched to two little boys. We were more than willing to take a sibling set and were so excited to move forward. We felt so blessed to be matched to children so quickly. The more we thought about it, the more excited we were that there would be 2 children to adopt. They would have each other, someone they looked like, someone that shared their personal history. This was the first change to our original plan. Over the next few months, we developed a very real relationship with two little boys we never met. We read their history, we studied their pictures and we waited to meet them. We scheduled the meeting with the team that supported the boys, caseworkers, foster parents, and etc. We learned a lot about the boys and at the end of the meeting we had agreed to move forward and with a set visitation plan.

The morning of our first visit, we received a call from Fonda letting us know the foster parents who had the boys for the past 2 years just could not let them go. Nathan and I were heartbroken because for months those boys were our boys. We grieved this loss, we for a few weeks were not sure if we wanted to continue on this journey, but we came to the second change of heart on our journey. We reaffirmed that our goal was to provide a home to a child who needed one. We found comfort in the fact that these two little boys did not meet our criteria, they did not need a home, they had a home and two parents who loved them. We had played a part of them finding a home in the home they were used to and we were at peace and excited for the boys.

We went through a few files, we asked a lot of questions and nothing felt right. We talked with Fonda and she supported our decision to say no when our gut was telling us no. We received an email at the beginning of this year about 4 little girls, ranging in age from 4 to newborn. This was nowhere close to our plan, but we took a night to pray over the situation and think about it. Nathan and I both came to the conclusion that this felt like something we wanted to learn more about. Fonda ultimately shared with us that she did not think this particular situation was not in the best interest of our family. But for a week or so we really had the chance to think about our original idea of what we wanted. I guess the problem was that statement, “What we wanted.” We decided it was not about us. It was about giving a home to a child in need. We realized that for now, for our family and our set parameters, the need was there for foster parents as well as adoptive parents. If our goal was to give a home to a child or children who needed one, then we need to take a leap of faith and open ourselves up to meeting the need--so we called Fonda and shared with her our desire to open our home to foster.

This past week we received our first placement a sibling set of three children ages 7, 4, and 20 mos. It was a short term placement of six days, but it was an amazing experience and we know we are now doing what we had set out to do. We do hope to adopt and open our home to a child or children on a permanent basis, but we are glad to be sharing our hearts and our home now to children in need. We have had a very emotional year that has changed us and opened us in many ways. We look forward to what the next year on this journey will bring. I pray that each of you finds your heart expanding as we have found ours.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I plan on sitting and writing a mini novel about the first four days of our time with the kiddos, but I am too tired to do it right now...Just wanting to say thanks to those of you who are praying for us and have stepped in and helped us get the supplies we need on such short notice. We are very greatful to be surrounded such amazing friends.

Pics and stories coming soon!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Our first placement

We have our first placement....three little ones a girl age 20 mos. and two boys aged 7 and 4. They have handled everything so well and we are adjusting and trying to find our stride. Bedtime last night I think was he scariest time for them, because not only were they in a strange place with strange people, but also they were going to bed in a horrible thunderstorm. The 4 y.o. was so sweet and so scared.

We are having a good day is VERY loud and I think the first born of each sibling groups is trying to figure out who is the boss.

Please pray for all 6 of the children and for Nate and I--I know this first few weeks are going to be a huge transition!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Up and Down

What happened today:
2:40: received a message from caseworker that there are three kiddos needing a home.
2:45: finish conversation with Nathan, we are a go...
2:46: Talk with Fonda, get details of kids (3 ages 4mos, 16 mos, and 4 years boy girl boy). Live about an hour from us are we willing to commute for visits? Oh yes!
3:00: Caseworker calls back, family in the county of origin of kiddos is willing to take the kids, foster board thinks they should stay in county of origin. No longer coming to us.

Up and Down Up and Down. This is getting frustrating.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's official...

...we are now on the list of foster families in the state of Kentucky. All the paperwork should be expedited by June 1. We are super excited. If you read this and would like to continue to read this, I will be going private so I can share information with you (including pictures), please either "follow me" or shoot me an email and I will send you an invitation.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Photo shoot

The kids and I decided to celebrate a sunny day with a photo shoot around our yard (and our neighbor's yard) this afternoon. I am really pleased with how they turned out. Thought I would share a few of them here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

What are you waiting for?

2 Timothy 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."

I was driving into town today lost in my own thoughts when the song WALK ON THE WATER came on. I have struggled in my heart with fear and worry. I have heard God calling me to do things that I have eventually said no to because I was too afraid, too comfortable, or maybe too lazy. I lacked faith in myself and God. Do you hear the whispers of God calling you to do His will and you say no out of fear? You are not alone. If you read this and you struggle with this will you share? I am realizing true discipleship is not easy or is radical, it is hard and there is a promise of suffering. But I feel confident in my soul that it will all be worth it.

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid!

You look around and staring back at you
Another wave of doubt
Will it pull you under
You wonder
What if i'm overtaken
What if i never make it
What if no one's there
Will you hear my prayer?
When you take that first step
Into the unknown
You know that he won't let you go

So what are you waiting for
What do you have to lose
Your insecurities
They try to hold to you
But you know you're made for more
So don't be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes
And you can walk on the water too

So get out and let your fear fall to the ground
No time to waste, don't wait
And don't you turn around, and miss out on
Everything you were made for
Gotta be, I know you're not sure, more
So you play it safe, you try to run away
If you take that first step
Into the unknown
He won't let you go

So what are you waiting for
What do you have to lose
Your insecurities
They try to hold to you
But you know you're made for more
So don't be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes
And you can walk on the water too

Step out, even when it's storming
Step out, even when you're broken
Step out, even when your heart is telling you,
telling you to give up
Step out, when your hope is stolen
Step out, you can't see where you're going
You don't have to be afraid
So what are waiting, what are you waiting for

So what are you waiting for
What do you have to lose
Your insecurities
They try to hold to you
But you know you're made for more
So don't be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes
And you can walk on the water,
walk on the water too

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Officially back in the game

May 12, 2010. We are officially back in the business of actively pursuing adoption through the foster to adopt program in Kentucky. I think Nathan and I have reached a place of comfort and healing through our past disappointments. There are so many things that have happened since we lost the boys last fall. I believe we have been tested and tried to help us to determine just what we were doing, why we were doing it and how far were we willing to go. Many of these things are not meant for anyone else to read, but are etched in my soul and shared only with God and the man God has blessed me with.

We have received so many times what I like to call God whispers through this journey. Little things that are reminders of how God is in control and how He will lead us to where He wants us to go even if it is not the place we had set out for. I have learned so many things about God, myself, my amazing husband, about our marriage, our children, our family and our friends. In the days following the loss of the boys we were surrounded by our friends, giving us comfort...holding us up while we allowed ourselves to be angry and sad. I have learned how my faith can shake but not crumble. In the midst of my sadness for myself I was given the gift of knowing how well the boys were doing. I have been reminded of that gift over and over as different people in my life have come into the lives of the boys and report back how well they are. I believe we were a tool for the will of God to happen--for the boys to be in the home of who He wanted them to be in, and I have realized I can rejoice in being used as a tool even when it hurts and does not bring about my hearts desire.

In the winter months of this year, I have been working through my thoughts and emotions. In the midst of that exercise, it was suggested we should give a home to four little girls. This was nowhere in our plan--we preferred little boys, we preferred not four. This situation is a complicated one and in the end not meant for us, but such a gift to have experienced. In accepting the idea of four little girls joining our family Nathan and I really had to search ourselves and decide what we were doing. We were able to define our purpose.

As we move forward in this journey we move as different people than those who started it more than a year ago. We have grown and changed. We have learned we are strong and we are determined. I am excited to see what lies ahead. I am convicted in enjoying this journey--whatever the destination, because the journey has been well worth taking so far.

Monday, May 10, 2010

May 10, 2010

Yesterday we celebrated Mother's Day in a very lovely way. My parents, grandmother, sister and her family and my family enjoyed a nice lunch at Mariah's. My children had awakened me with breakfast in bed, a gift wrapped by my girls (it was adorable!) homemade cards and many hugs and kisses. What a great day! Nathan would let me do NO work and instead I just relaxed and enjoyed my day. Divine.

At lunch yesterday, I asked my Mom to share some stories of her mother to my children. My mother's mother died from Cancer when my Mom was eight years old. She shared a few stories, her memories are limited and her most vivid are of her mother being sick and I imagine visiting those are not enjoyable. One of the things that my Mom said touched my heart. "Had we been raised in today's world, we would have surely been in the foster system." These words stung my heart.

We have had a friend staying with us temporarily while he made his way through a divorce and he has now left our home and I am speaking with our caseworker today to move forward with fostering. The words of my mother struck me as I knew this appointment was today. I have thought many times, "if not us than who" but now I think of the few stories my mother has shared and I am convicted....whose mother will these children be?

Monday, March 29, 2010


On Friday we were heading up to Louisville to let the girls meet their baby cousin for the first time and to see Nate's oldest brother and his family. We left the house at 8:30 and we got about 30 miles up the freeway when we came to a stop. We sat for about an hour with the windows down and wondered what was going on. Nate turned the car radio on for a few minutes and we learned there had been a huge accident where 11 people had been killed. We sat for about an hour more and the kids were over the waiting and lacking understanding of why we were just sitting there. Nathan explained to them there had been an accident and I told them to remember it is better to be sitting in traffic behind an accident than being either in the accident or the family who lost their loved ones.

It took us 6 hours to finally make it to Louisville--about 100 miles. Later that afternoon we learned that a dear friend of ours had a sister in the van that was hit by a tractor trailer truck and she had passed. Ashlie was 22.

Yesterday we went to the visitation at the church of the family and I was talking with Ashlie's older sister. She talked of how the day before the accident Ashlie was painting with this sister and she just could not stop talking about how excited she was about the trip. She was going to a wedding in Iowa with the Esh family (or 10 members of the Esh family.) The sister said, "She was so excited for this trip. She thought she was going to a wedding, instead she went to be with Jesus. I think she underestimated how amazing her trip was going to be." How powerful a perspective.

The Esh family lost in the accident 8 members of their family. A mom, a dad, a son, 2 daughters, a fiance of the daughter, a daughter in law, and a grandchild--a four month old who had been adopted into the family just 2 weeks before. 2 children--adopted sons of one of the sons and daughter in law survived the accident with no physical injuries. Ashlie Kramer and the driver of the tractor trailer lost their lives as well.

Such a great tragedy, but in the end a great reminder of how Heaven is our home and our time on Earth is limited. I rejoice in the celebration of the Kramer family of their daughter gone to be with God. I hope if in the same situation my faith would be as strong.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I have been thinking a lot lately about leaps of faith. A leap of faith is what it is because it requires faith. Faith that you have the ability to make the leap, faith that if you don't have the ability to make the leap, but do it anyway there will be something there to catch you.

I think there are plenty of times in our lives we take leaps of faith....the first is probably the day we take our first breath. The last will be the day we draw our last. In the middle there are the days we make a friend, the day we give our heart to that first dream, hope, or boy. The day we walk away from that boy when we realize he just isn't the right one. It is the day we say yes to that amazing man bowed on his knee, the day we declare to God, friends and family that we will love each other all the days of our lives. There is the day we push our way into being a parent the first, second and third time. It is the day we sign our name to a mortgage. We make all these leaps because the risks are overshadowed by the gains. We are encouraged to take these risks because it is what we do to become happy, fulfilled humans.

I think a lot of these leaps have occurred in my life not because I dedicated myself to making the jump, but more like a child who does not fully understand the risk and jumps just because they want to. I did it and realized the implications of failing after it was all said and done. Call it naivety, call it confidence, maybe mix the two together and you have the mindset of me in those moments.

But I am beginning to reach an age where naivety is all but gone and I have enough scars to make my confidence wain when it comes to making big decisions. It is not so much a fear of failure that becomes an obstacle from just leaping anymore, but the pain of jumping even if I succeed. Kind of like why I will not jump from a bridge with a bungee tied to my ankles....I have faith in the bungee..I also know that much tension and jolting on my joints is going to make my middle aged shoulder, knees and back hurt...a lot. The benefit is there, the risk is outweighed, but past life experiences and future life expectancies start to filter in and make the waters a bit muddy.

So it is with extending our family with adoption. We are not young parents in our twenties who think we know it all and have more energy than sense. We have lived long enough to realize we don't know it all. Our energy is there, but sometimes our motivation is hibernating. We are not just us against the is us and Noah, and Macy, and Molly...strength in numbers, yes, but responsibility multiplied. Every decision is weighed by what can we handle, what can we afford, what will be best for Noah, Macy and Molly, what this--what that. And then in the end it is no longer a leap of faith, but a calculated move. And in that moment we have moved on our own accord and not with the God who placed the desire within us to begin with. Excuses wrapped in the pretty paper of Wisdom are like the gifts displayed in the mall at the holiday season--pretty, but fake and empty.

So how do you marry wisdom and good choices with leaping in faith? Can you do both? I believe you can. I believe in striving to align yourself with the ideals of the God who created standards and believing no matter what we will be held in His hand allows you to be both wise and courageous. He is both...and if we are an image of Him, so can we. I think where it all falls apart is when we become our own standard or we allow the standards of those around us to determine what we need and what we must do. What shackles to place upon ourselves! How can we make that running start into a great leap if we are wearing that weight?

I am reminded over and over our whole duty as humans can be boiled down to this: 1. Love God. 2. Love man. That is what Faith makes us do. We have faith in Him, so we love Him. We have faith in Him, so we love man--and in turn he provides for us to do that which He has asked us to do. It may not be all we want, it may be just what we need. It assuredly won't be pain free--discipleship is a call to suffering--how can we imitate our crucified savior and not expect to endure our own pain? But in the end....the risks are overshadowed by the gains.

So what does this mean? It means you look to HIM and you jump. For us that means we come out of our heads, come out of our comfort zone, we come out of our own selfish wishes, and we foster. We open our homes to angels (Hebrews 13:2) and we love them while they are in our lives and rest in the Hand of the God we believe will provide. It is our desire that in fostering we will be blessed with children that will find permanency in our home, but if that is not the plan, we will strive to make each child who enters our home feel the love that we feel from God. 1...2...3....Leap.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March 21, 2010

We had a visit from our caseworker this past week. It was an informative meeting but not much progression in getting us to our end goal. I feel like I should catch everyone up. Right after Christmas we learned of four little girls who were in need of a home. They had been pulled from their home, but TPR (Termination of Parental Rights) had not been completed for their mother. We did not know at the time they were all girls, just that there was a four year old, a three year old and a toddler and a brand new very prematurely born baby. As we learned more and more, we realized they were girls. We were talked to about the girls by their caseworker and we were asked not to speak to any other caseworkers, including our own, due to there being some disagreements in the cabinet as to the best place for the girls.

The birth mother has had seven little girls. All seven are now or have been wards of the state. The oldest two girls were adopted by a family who were now striving to get custody of these girls. This family has 6 children in their home now and the caseworker for the girls did/does not feel they need to take in four more. However, the Kentucky Cabinet for Families places a very high priority of keeping blood relatives together. This is to be commended. We were to be considered if for whatever reason this other family was found to be a bad placement for the girls.

In the past few weeks we have learned much more about the girls, the baby is medically fragile--this takes us out of the picture for her care--we have not taken the required training to be a medically fragile family. In light of some new and very disturbing information, it seems to be in the best interest of our family that these girls not be placed with us. We are very disappointed, but know God is covering the bases for us.

FW told us currently, save a large number of teenagers, there are few adoptable children who meet our criteria in the system. Praise God for that. However, there is a great need for foster families. She asked us to consider opening our home to foster. We will be spending the remaining days of March and all of April praying and meditating on this decision. We have only minimal reservations to fostering, mainly due to the emotional stability of Noah, Macy and Molly. But we will not know how we will handle giving up children to their parents until we try. We are asking God to give us very clear direction in this decision. We ask you to join that prayer with me.

Prayer for the month:
God we do not want to get ahead of you.
We know that in your time all things are perfected and we want to live in your way and in your time. We ask you to give us very clear direction in the decision to foster children in our home. Please help us to see if we are getting ahead of you, or if this indeed is your will for our family. Lord please help us to trust in you. Help us to prepare for this if it is your plan for us. Help us to prepare Noah, Macy and Molly for loving children who may never be a part of our family.

Lord we love you and we long for you to bless us in this endeavor.
Because of Jesus we come to you,

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Our family will be bigger by one!

I know the intent of this blog was to share with you the journey of our family growing through adoption, but I am excited to share with you our family is growing by one---through marriage. My sister Carli and her favorite fella, Robert, have become engaged and we could not be more excited. Robert is very funny and seems to fit in our family perfectly.

Journeys of faith are happening for everyone. Carli's journey has led her to her heart's desire. And that desire is Robert. God has been faithful to bless her with this relationship. It is definitely great to see how God knows the perfect timing.

Congratulations Carli and Robert!! We are so excited for you and we are praying for your marriage to be strong in love and joy and rooted in the great love God has for you.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Blindside

I am currently reading this book. Given our life circumstances, this book acts as a source to make me furklempt and motivated in one glorious binding of sweet words and footballese. Please note, I am only half way into the book--so I have no idea exactly where the book is going other than the obvious direction of Michael Oher's life story and how it applies to the philosophy of modern football, but I have been thinking--we all have a blindside. It is the place where we need faith to function. And like a quarterback who is looking to get his job done, he must rely that the left tackle is just going to do what needs to be done. He can not worry about if the left tackle is going to do what he is supposed to do, he just focuses on what he can control. I think that I need to be better about having faith in God taking care of me. I don't need to worry just focus on my field and do what I am supposed to do.
Much to think about, much to pray over, much control to let go of.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dear Self...

In a couple days tell the story of how God covers all the bases. Thanks. Me

Weekend Update

We as a family went to Owensboro on Saturday, my first day out of the house all week...Hallelujah for fresh air....and Target, but I digress. We headed to Owensboro to have lunch with Steve and Melissa Hanvey and their most adorable son--little Steve, I mean Asher. They have lived in Owensboro for the past several years and we have failed to make the opportunity to see them in their new digs. Their home was built in 1942 and was an adorable cape cod, filled with character and great architecture and Melissa has made it feel so warm with her artistic touches. We visited with them for a few hours and then they kept the children while Nate and I went to the Match Day event.

The Match Day event was in a word, heartbreaking. We suspected there would be mainly teenagers...and we were right. There were only two kids who were not teenagers, a little boy who was severely handicapped and a little girl who was probably 10 or so and she was being hovered over by a few Moms. Nate and I decided to make the most of the situation and felt it would be a great time to just love on these kids for a few hours. We played ping pong with a teen named Chris, 14 a shy boy who had great manners. We met a beautiful boy named Justin, who was big and strong enough to be an amazing defensive lineman, but instead was a musician with Hard Rock sensibilities. We met Quincey who wanted to be near by, but did not want to talk, never smiled and could jump in basketball with the ease and flight of a young Jordan.

Nate decided to take the boys on in some Basketball. A competitive game of HORSE was thrown down. In the sport the true nature of the kids began to show. Chris had a quiet confidence and an impressive athletic ability. Nate was behind him in the game of HORSE and not too far into the game said, "Now Chris, it is all your fault I am at HO." Chris with a down turn head said, "I know, everything is my fault." Nathan turned and grabbed him by the shoulders and said "No, no, buddy it is not and hugged him." Chris looked up at him and smiled and returned the hug. How heartbreaking the scars of these hearts. Heartbreaking.

Of course, still convalescing, I could not play basketball, so I decided to be the cheerleader. Quincey was on fire and was tearing up the hoop from all over the floor. With each "Swoosh," I would enthusiastically call his name and cheer. The boy who would not talk, would not smile, would light up and the side of his mouth would curl up despite his best efforts everytime I would yell, "Way to Go Quincey!"

The heartbreaking part was that Nate and I are not in a place in our lives to bring home a bunch of teenage boys. And those teenage boys, as all the teens at that event knew exactly what it was. An event to let parents "shop" for kids. And I wonder if they think, oh, I think they really liked me or if they are defeated when the phone calls don't come in the weeks following such an event. How much rejection can one young heart take before it become calous and defensive? Heartbreaking. Nathan and I wrote a letter to ourselves reminding us how we felt that night. We talked about how we could not take in these teens now, but we in the future will lose that excuse and we will need to remember--give these kids a chance to know love...give them a home!

Sunday was a packed day of happiness. Valentine's Day, Chinese New Year and Elder/Deacon commision day all fell on the 14th of February. Our church family chooses each year the Elders and Deacons who will serve our congregation. Once they are chosen we have a special dedication service for these men and it was so beautiful to realize how extremely blessed our church is to have so many willing men to serve.

We have a large population of Chinese students who visit with our congregation and after our services and our potluck, the Chinese students prepared activities for us to participate in to celebrate the New Year. There was a Chinese Dragon animated by the kids in our congregation, TaiChi demonstrations, gifts, and information galore. So neat!

Valentine's Day ended up low key. I was feeling tired and overdone, so Nate and I grabbed some dinner and a cupcake from GiGi's while Michael Dunn watched the children. It was sweet and fun and just enough.

What a weekend. This Monday morning I am tired, looking forward to news coming on the 18th and still resting up. There is snow outside and much to do inside. I need to get to it!

Friday, February 12, 2010

It has reached the point of embarassing to tell you how many hours I have sat on my bottom and done nothing but eyeball my computer this week. Recovering from my surgery has turned more into a sit and gawk fest for me. Blah. I am ready to leave this house, ready to be in the land of the living. I asked Noah today if he was ready for me to be up and going again,"Nope, I don't want to go back to our regular routine. I would rather do nothing." Translation, lady you have been so busy sitting reading blogs on the computer, you have no idea how many hours of wii and tv and whatever the what computer game I have been playing.

When not reading the whole life story of Ree Drummond or chatting on Facebook IM with friends across the universe, I have been eavesdropping on the conversations of my beautiful daughters. They are the hurricane and tropical storm of our home and while I have been of course busy reading my computer, they have wreaked havoc on their bedroom. I went into their room this morning took two steps in and walked right back out. I told them there was an hour of reprieve on that room, but after the hour was over I was going all trashbag on them and they better get to it. So they went upstairs for the three hour playtime that is cleaning up their room--to be honest it is the 2 hour and 45 minute playtime and 15 minutes of ramming with all their might everything that was in their room into their closet. Whilst they were doing whatever it is they do while in their room supposedly cleaning I tuned in to their conversations. Usually it is them talking as if other people--most likely sophisticated teenagers--but today they were just Macy and Molly 8 and 7. "Molly who is your best friend?" "You are of course." "We were best friends when we were babies and we are best friends now." "I think we will always be best friends." Puddles. That was what I was. Puddles. They are ridiculously sweet together and they played this week as if they were on vacation--they were, I was in a chair, my feet up reading the internet--and they have walked through the house arms laced through arms giggling, speaking a language I, nor anyone else knows, and being sisters. How blessed they are.

Tomorrow we are heading to Owensboro to go to an Adoption Match day program hosted by the Commonwealth. We will be playing with a bunch of kids who are adoptable, getting to know them,they getting to know us. We have a big day coming up on the
18th. There is a court hearing scheduled for that day which could be very impactful to us...or it may not. I will not go into the details just yet, but if you are still praying for us, pray that the 18th will be blessed and God's will for a sibling set be done. I will share with you more details next Friday if I can.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February 9, 2010

I am home looking out the window at the most beautiful snow fall I have seen in some time. The kind of snow fall where the flakes are so big you can almost see the design and the fall so thick and delicious you just want to stick your tongue out to catch them. I am inside because I had surgery yesterday and I am just laying around today. I had my gall bladder removed due to stones and many very unpleasant attacks that were getting more frequent and more disturbing. Nate and I headed to the hospital at 6:00 and I was taken back at about 6:35. Save the children I have not had surgery and this is my first get totally knocked out type. The surgeon, Dr. Daniels came in and prayed with us. I really appreciated is humility and his approach that he could do a procedure, but only God could heal. It was a blessing for sure!

I remember being wheeled into the operating room, but I had been given a dose of "I don't care" medicine and I woke up and was ready to leave the hospital by about 1:30. Sheryl Borders came at 5:45 to stay with the children until they woke, and then Ann Kirkpatrick kept them until we came home. It is such a blessing to have such amazing friends to help us with the children.

I came home and went back to bed. I woke up this morning about 6:00. I am a horrible insomniac. I have not had a full night of sleep in years, so it was very refreshing to sleep so much. I was able to eat some yogurt and eggs for breakfast and I am feeling really good. I have some soreness at my incision sights (there were four incisions) but other than that I am feeling pretty good.

Nathan has taken a few days off and the children and I are enjoying having him here. He is doing school with the children and I think they are enjoying a different voice! He is so amazing to do all the things that need to be done. I am so blessed!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

February 4, 2010

It has been almost a month since I have written. There is very little to write about in regards to adoption. I have realized our journey of faith is much bigger than the trip to adoption we are taking now, and there have been so many things to happen lately that have been born from the grace of God. I am going to try and be better about writing an account of our total journey.

First to share is the story of Trevor and Amanda. Trevor and Amanda met and married about 4 years ago. Trevor has always been a special kind of wonderful in my life--my very own little brother (one I never had). He called me on January 6, 2006 and told me he needed to talk to me. He was in love and was going to be getting married and wanted to know how long it would take to put a wedding together. (I remember the date, because when he called me I was an hour away from running the Robison wedding. I sat down for a second, because I was a bit surprised!) I remember telling him, do you think you are ready, are you sure you are in a place where you feel you can be the head of a home, what if like us you have children come into your home quickly, do you think you are ready for that? (Boy did that become a prophecy, Sorry Trev!) I had met Amanda, liked her a ton--she was spunky and smart, but mostly Trevor adored her so she had to be good stuff, right?

Long story short, Trev and Amanda have been on a spiritual journey of faith of their own (Isn't Everyone?) and this past weekend we were able to be with them as they made their commitment to God in baptism. What a beautiful sight. Trev and Amanda have come from very different spiritual backgrounds and it is such an answered prayer they have come together and found a common place of faith where they can grow and serve for the glory of God. Praise God. I pray they grow in faith and God will be the center of their marriage and family. What a joy!

There is an adoption workshop this weekend we have been invited to. I am sure we will make our way there. It is to showcase children in KY who are available for adoption.

We are still patiently waiting on information on the children we have spoken of earlier. Patience seems to be the key!

Monday, January 11, 2010


I mentioned a few days back about receiving a call and having a lot on my mind. The call was about a sibling group pulled into care and whose parents have been presented with a TPR (Termination of Parental Rights). These children will be in foster care until the TPR hearing (Should be mid-February) and if a judge signs off on the TPR then they would be available for adoption. We were presented to the children's caseworker as a potential family for adopting these kids. We don't have a lot of information right now. We know the children are safe. We know that it seems very likely the children will be available for adoption in Mid-February and we know we are more than willing to consider this opportunity.

We are excited about what could be coming ahead, but at the same time keeping our hearts in check. We have been trying to make ourselves ready, but not adjusting our lives too much--just in case.

I am asking for you to please pray for these kids, for us, for the parents of these kids, for the caseworker for these kids and for the judge who will be deciding their fate. I find it very difficult to pray for a child to be stripped from his/her parents, but I find it more difficult to have compassion for the parents who purposely damage and seek to destroy their children. These children need a safe and permanent home. We would like to be that home. Please pray that whether it is in our home, or in someone else's, children like these children and the thousands of children who are in the system in your state, and for the thousands of children who are just ok enough to get put in the system--but are hurting, are covered by the hand of God. Please pray that there will be enough homes for these children that they can find a place of hope for a brighter future. Please pray that Nate and I will show great wisdom in the upcoming days as we make decisions that will effect our family. Please pray that we will not be scared to open ourselves up again, but be satisfied to be the tools that God needs--no matter what the outcome.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Have a little faith in me.....

Please take the time to watch this clip....

If you have ever wondered why we have chosen this journey, this gives just a glimpse into what our hearts are crying out for.

Monday, January 4, 2010

If ....

If there are no more children brought into our lives I can say for sure I am still amongst the most blessed of women. I sat tonight in a circle with my family of five, playing a board game and it hit me in a very profound way how happy I am. I am happy for the blessings of my family of five. I am happy to be in an amazing marriage with a man who not only shares my dreams and convictions, he pursues them with fervor. How did I become so blessed? I have three amazing children who are healthy, happy and joy to me all the time.

I am content but looking forward. I praise God for His good blessings, for they are far more than we deserve.

So the prayer for the day is simply,
God, Thank you. I praise you for your Goodness. I recognize you as the giver of all good gifts. Thank you for bestowing so many on me. I long to pass forward your gifts.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2009

It is a freezing cold Sunday afternoon and I have been home all day. Molly woke up not feeling well so the kids and I stayed home while Nate went to church services. I have used the time at home to pull down all the Christmas trees and the other decorations. It is always a little sad when all the season's treasures come down....I love the sparkly lights and beautiful trinkets that make our home so festive, but like a new year, cleaning out the corners makes room for changes and repairs, cleanings and creative touches for a new year.

I have been fairly reflective of 2009 and looking forward to 2010 today. A new year, a new decade. Nathan and I decided 2009 would be the year we would pursue adoption. It has been a wild ride for sure! I have learned so much this year. I have learned about our world, about myself, and so much about Nathan. Tears of pain and anguish for losses have been shed along with tears of joy from realizing how blessed we are. Perspective is the word that best captures 2009 for me.

As we are now heading forward in 2010, I am taking all the experiences of this past year and anticipating what lies ahead. The decision to adopt is now more than a choice, it is a conviction. We have given ourselves over to the idea completely and we are now patiently waiting for the right opportunity to present itself.

We have received a phone call this past week with an opportunity. We are waiting to receive more information about this placement to make a decision. Tomorrow we could receive a call which could really determine the direction 2010 will go for us. I am looking forward to getting all the details and anticipate many prayers and discussions to follow. I will share more information later once we know more and know whether we will be pursuing this case.