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,