Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy Birthday

Three years ago today we stared into the face of the most beautiful baby we had ever seen.  We couldn't believe how wonderful and challenging parenting her would be.
She is a wonderful blend of her mommy and daddy.  This can be both fun and trying.  But she is also completely her own person.
God has given her deep gifts of compassion, love, and an extra dose of fun.  She has a spunky humor and a vocabulary that blows people away.
Happy Birthday to our Sweetie Pea!  We are honored and humbled that God has chosen us as your parents!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Every Morning

This is what we do every morning.....run out to the porch and give Daddy a BIG send off!  We all love it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Body of Christ and Foster Care

When our children arrived in our home they had nothing and by nothing....I mean nothing.  Their former life was completely gone.  It wasn't salvageable.  Often kids come into care and they bring or are quickly given clothes.  Many of these items are not salvageable.  However, we didn't even have the ability to try saving items from their former life....there was nothing!

When they arrived at the DCFS office they were given something called Journey Bags.  Theses bags were begun by The Forgotten Initiative, a ministry to the local foster community.  They are filled with pj's and sometimes and outfit, a stuffed animal, socks, hair care products, underwear, etc.  I emailed the founder of TFI to thank her for what she did and for my kids Journey Bags.  Here was my email:

"Last night at midnight three precious little beauties showed up on my doorstep. They each had with them a blanket, a stuffed animal, and a book bag....their Journey Bags of course. I kept waiting for more, anything more, but nothing came. The investigator told me that yes indeed this was all they had. Our 5 year old had come with shoes which were so bad they had to be thrown away, one of our two year olds had no shoes, the other two year old had two left shoes. When I asked about getting anything out of the home the investigator said it just wasn't going to be possible. The kids had nothing. There worldly possessions consisted of Journey Bags. As I stared at those bags I began to cry. What if no one took the time to fill those bags and deliver them?  What would our children have then. Absolutely nothing. Nothing to claim as their own, nothing to protect or cherish. Thank you for all you do. Thank you for my kiddos' Journey Bags."

Jami put this email on TFI's blog.  At the bottom she posted a video about Journey Bags.  It was a video that I had watched months and months before.....before we got these kids, before we got our license, before we had decided on three kids.  However, I decided to watch it again.  I was brought to tears as I recognized item after item in the video.  This church had packed my kids' Journey Bags.  Even more humbling....they had prayed for my children....specifically for each one of my children.  God had laid these children on peoples hearts months before anybody in the system knew they existed.  How GREAT is our God and how MIGHTY are His plans for these children.

Check out the video here.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


This little girl blows my mind.  She has given up SO MUCH in order to get the title of sister.  A title which she adores.  We still have our moments with her but I am so proud of her.  I thank God that he allowed me to be Mommy to all of this spunk and fun!  Twirls and Princesses make up our daily lives.  God has given her the ability to be a World Changer and I pray she uses the gifts he has given her to their full potential.

Friday, July 20, 2012


I got to have a fun conversation with Big Brother today....

BB: "Did God REALLY make _______?"
Me: "Yes He did."
BB: "And ______?"
Me: "Yes He did."
BB: "Did He make EVERYTHING?"
Me: Yes He did!!"

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


"DA-EE" he screaches.  His smile lights up the room.

He drags me into the kitchen, points to the stove and says, "E!  Pia!"

I hold him close and wispher, "I love you."  He strokes my cheek and stares at me with those big beautiful eyes and declares, "Uv ooo".

It takes me back to the conversation I had with the investigator when I first "met" him.  "The twins are pretty delayed.  The boy in particular.  He is non-verbal."

Well, he's not so non-verbal anymore.  God's healing and redemptive power are working miracles in this child.  Because Jesus first loved us, we are able to lavish this little boy with LOVE. 

It's working.....

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


In today's society families of six reach the "WOW" level.  Four kids within 3 years....well, that's a bit overboard.  And taking on 3 extra children at once....CRAZY. 

Are we crazy?  I know a lot of people think we are.  We've even been told that "we DID pray for this....and you're going to get what you prayed for."

Yes, we are crazy.  Life is crazy.  But we are NOT sorry for it.  Jesus was considered radical by the Jews.  It was blasphemy to claim to be the Son of God.  Obedience to God often calls for us as believers to be RADICAL. 

Yes, we did pray for this.  Yes, we did want this.  Let me set the record straight right now......NO we do not regret this.  NO we are not wishing we wouldn't of said yes.  When we agreed to take a license of three it is because we felt God wanted us to take three....and we wanted it because God wanted it.

I look at these three kids and I think "which one do people want me to give up and give back?"  We already said no to other siblings.  We would have either of taken the twins or taken Big Brother.  Big Brother would not be doing well on his own.  Addilece would not be doing well with just the twins.  These kids NEED each other.

When you are standing in the center of God's will crazy doesn't matter.  God has filled our hearts with a deep joy.  We get up smiling every morning and go to bed thinking, why God did you choose us to love these children.  It is such a PRIVILEGE! 

We don't mind being the crazy family.  We don't mind that God chose to shower us with exactly what we asked for.  We are filled with Him and that is all that matters!

Sunday, July 15, 2012


I just want to let everyone know that yes, we are still alive.  Yes, we are surviving (barely).  And yes, our house is still standing (but rather MESSY). 

There are a million stories I want to tell.  But I can't.  These kids need their privicacy and the government demands confidentiality. 

Not a day goes by that my heart doesn't break into a million and one pieces for these kids, such as today when Big Brother got his first page of pj's.....ever.  They've had a tough life.

We get to take a front row seat to watch God work miracles.  And miracles are happening.  It's incredible.

I'm tired, my body hurts, toys are being broken, I LONG for bed time each day....but my heart is filled with deep joy, knowing that I am right were God wants me .....WE are right were God wants us!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hello, Goodbye

On the 4th we said "Goodbye" to our guy.  Everybody was a bit suprised he went home SO soon. 

We know why he did though......

Because we needed to say, "Hello" to three littles. 

On the 9th or 10th around midnight we opened up our home to three beautiful and amazing children.  They are also FULL and overflowing with ENERGY.  When people ask how I'm doing I typically respond, "I'm alive and my house is still standing."  (We weren't quit sure that the house would make it through the first day.)

So we are now the parents of a 5 year old (Big Brother), our little 2 year old Sweat Pea (Addilece), and twin 2 year olds (Little Man and Baby Girl).  By October we will have a 6 year old and three 3 year olds.  We are ready for a WILD ride!!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Are We Taking a Break?

Yesterday we were recapping our first foster care experience with Our Guy to some friends of ours.  They asked a question which Tony and I have asked ourselves a million times (and thankful come up with the same answer every time).  They asked if we were going to take a break from foster care for awhile.

See Our Guy was hard for us.  We weren't up all night with him.  He didn't strip down naked in public.  His world didn't collapse if his plans were changed.  However, his lack of respect (and everything that went with it such as entitlement and selfishness) took a try at our patience hourly.  Respect is our biggest rule in this house.  Apart from our faith it is the most important thing to us.  So it took a lot out of us.  We were ready for him to go home.

So are we taking a break from foster care?  Stopping for awhile?  Focusing on us?

Yes and no.  We will take a break for as long as God grants us a break.  Our name is still on the list and we are still accepting children.  In fact, we had only removed our name for a month while Our Guy was here, so we were willing to accept kids the last week and a half he was here.

We are okay if God gives us a break for a month or two.  We have a lot of work to do for the ministries we are in and would like to get back to a "normal" routine.  We are happy to not be on high alert with our rules and schedule (if you gave Our Guy an inch he took a mile....which meant NO flexibility).

Truly we are open to what God has.  We are not wishing or hoping for either and are great with both scenarios.  God has called us too this and when God calls you to something you do it.  It doesn't matter how hard it is, you do it!  Because in the end you get to hear your kiddo say, "I love you" or "I want to serve God with my whole life".  And you know that God has been glorified by this child!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Picture Perfect: Bike Riding

Our goal for this summer?  Teach Sweet Pea to ride her bike on her own.  She's getting better all the time.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Tomorrow Our Guy heads home.  He gets to be a family again.  He gets to be a son to his mom again.  We are thrilled for him.  It's time. 

We are glad that our worries about this kiddo and his home are minimal.  We are glad he has a mom who can care for him.  We know many kids leave the foster system so full of unknowns that there foster parents always worry and wonder.

We have been blessed to see Our Guy grow and change over these last five weeks.  He is now able to listen to the entire plan of salvation and not agrue about hell with us.  He has told us he loves us.  He has proven that he can disagree disrespectful and can keep his temper under control.  He has proven that at times he can think of somebody other than himself.

We know there are things we were never able to convey to him.  We also know he refuses to accept some of the advice we have given him.

He has a world of choices ahead of him and we hope he makes the right ones. 

We were never the perfect parents but we know we did exactly what God asked us to do...share Him with our kiddo.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hearts Willing to be Broken

This post was originally written in July 2011.  We still think of these girls often.  We know God put them into our lives in order to wake us up to the reality of foster care!  I pray that we will see these girls again some day and can thank them for just being them!

Lifesong for Orphans recently had this as their facebook status....

[We] asked [a] foster family how they guard their hearts. [Their] response; "we don't. Every child deserves to have some one love [them] enough to have a broken heart."

Tony and I recently found out about a family in need of temporary emergency housing.  Of the nine kiddos we said we could take two.  Mom is in jail and Dad was pretty sure he was going- the next day.  The next day we were able to work out with our contact, Kelli, to meet these kiddos.  However, she also informed us that an aunt had come forward from Texas to say that she would was willing to take the seven youngest kids (the oldest being able to take car of themselves).  

We went into that meeting knowing these kids probably wouldn't be coming to live with us.  The girls Kelli had planned for us to take were 8 and 9.  We spent less than 2 minutes with them (total).  Before we left the 8 year old gave me a hug and the 9 year told me "if we don't go to Texas I would love to come live with you." 

The car ride back to Tony's work was pretty quiet.  See these girls had done something we hadn't expected, they had captured our hearts.  It didn't seem possible to have fallen in love with two complete strangers in less than 2 minutes, but we had.  

We arrived back at Tony's office and we realized that Kelli may need a place for the kiddos to stay until they went to Texas.  Both of our hopes soared thinking that maybe, just maybe, we could have them for one glorious weekend.  Oh boy what a weekend we would of made it.  

However, we left town that night empty handed.  There weren't two giggling girls in the back seat.  No catching fireflies, popping popcorn, painting nails, buying them a small gift to take to Texas, swimming, and enjoying our yard.  For some reason I knew that even though our house was going to be the same as when we left that morning, it would seem abnormally quiet.  

You see God let us see something so special that day.  He let us see Himself through those girls.  He put a challenge up to us- these are my precious children, they need you, now what are you going to do about it?  I've seen the orphan before, but God has not revealed Himself to me the way He did that day.  

God looks at us and says, "What will you do now that you've seen me?"  This may be in an orphan, a father in prison, a homeless woman, a teenager caught up in drugs and gangs, a couple going through a nasty divorce, a elderly woman who just needs companionship.  Whomever it may be do you think they deserve enough love to have your heart broken?  God does.