Monday, November 11, 2013


This blog post has been brewing for quite a while now. God has rocked my world in ways that at first I was hesitant, fearful, and anxious.

You see we started this adoption process because we wanted to grow our family through adoption.

We wanted to give a child a home that needed one. But at the same time, we wanted to do what felt safe. What wasn't scary.

Ethiopia's wait has continued to increase, and as I posted before we had began our paper work with DHS to pursue kids that we already knew and loved. Those children are no longer an option for us to pursue. So we continued with our DHS application and continue to become an approved DHS home for foster and adoption.

To be honest, we felt God tugging us to Ethiopia because of how great need there was. And because of friends of ours that had adopted Internationally. But we also knew he was calling us to DHS. But to me, DHS has always been scary because of the horror stories you hear. So I avoided it at all costs, until God brought those precious kiddos into our lives to challenge that fear and show us its not as scary as I had made it.

We have told our DHS worker that right now, we wanted to be considered an adoptive home until later on when we feel "ready" to foster. You see, it was heartbreaking losing the kids, we didn't want to loose another child/ren right now. We only wanted to do what was "safe" and continue being only adoptive. And then foster later on once we had adopted and completed "our plans".

Well, once again... God has challenged my "safe" thinking. You see, I'm learning how he works. He breaks my heart and challenges me to harder things.

I volunteer at the local emergency shelter, well... I fell in love with a 7 year old boy, he broke my heart and made me want nothing more than to get him out! So.... we are now stepping out and asking if we can foster this little man to get him out of the shelter and provide the love and support that he needs. When I look at this precious boy I can see that all he needs is someone in his corner, someone to tell him he is loved and good. I want to be that person. Whether I am that person to him for 1 week, 2 years, or the remainder of his life. Regardless of how much it hurts and how painful it is to let go when that time comes. Love without limitations!

God spoke to me..... ITS NOT ABOUT ME. I keep wanting to do what is safe and easy - what will hurt the least, what I am "ready" for. But he has continued to remind me how our job isn't to judge what is going to be best for us - we called to do what is NEEDED not WANTED, regardless of the hurt or pain it causes. These children weren't "ready" to be uprooted from all they know and stuck in a shelter, if I don't step up who will??? If I continue to insist on getting what I want, what about these kids??? Is this what they wanted??? Is this what they asked for???? As Christians, God calls us to be selfless, to die to ourselves daily. So here we are, jumping in! Letting go of our wants and desires and being open to meeting the needs of those in front of us, whether its fostering or adoption. We are leaving it in God's hands to work out. He's got us in his hands...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Wilderness

As our adoption journey continues, and we keep pressing on. I keep going back to Exodus and the Israelites trek through the wilderness.

I keep going back and studying and studying trying to grasp what God is trying to show me. I keep feeling like we are there, walking in this wilderness.... having no idea when we will finally reach our destination. And having to completely trust God to provide all of our needs.

Then it clicked.

As I read of their time in the wilderness, I continue to see the many times they question God and worry that he isn't going to take care of them. First they were worried about water, then food, then water again. And every single time God proved that he had them in his hands the entire time.

Reading this from an outsiders view - I was like HELLO people! Don't you know he will take care of you, aren't you aware of all the amazing things he has done to provide in the past???

I read this when searching different studies on the wilderness online:
"Somehow, no matter how many times the Lord comes through for the Israelites, they are inclined to doubt God’s immediate presence and ability. After the plagues, the parting of the sea, the provision of water, bread, and quail, why would Israel not be absolutely confident whenever they encounter difficulty? Yet the slightest adversity throws them."

As I look back on our journey, I can see where every stumbling block, another increased wait time, or a denial of adopting kids that your heart just aches to be their parents.... every single time - we go back to God and whine and wonder where he's at in it all. If he's going to make it happen, if he is going to bring children into our home, if he will finally deliver and provide our hearts calling and desire. And every single time we are reminded of what he has done. We are reminded of his faithfulness and reminded of his promises. We by no means doubt God or doubt that adoption is something he has called us to... but we question his timing, we question the journey, and we question the hurts. Not much difference in us and the Israelites.

Why do we question when we know he has always been faithful? We can look back and very very evidently see Gods provision in ALL of it. We can see his provision in the hurts, in the set backs, in all the frustrations of waiting. He is there in all of it. Every part of our journey has led us to something better, and closer to our destination and yet we continue to question whether or not he is there in the wilderness with us.

Where are you at? Are you stuck in the wilderness questioning God's faithfulness? Look back and see all the things he has provided and been faithful in and remind yourself... there is no reason to doubt his presence, even in the wilderness.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

God knows :)

If you would have asked Daniel and I one year and a half ago where we would be at in our lives right now. It definitely wouldn't have looked like this.

We were talking the other day, we thought we would have a referral from Ethiopia by now. We had this plan for our lives, and guess what - it didn't happen :) We think we know what our lives will be and how things will end up but the reality is - it is totally out of our hands and we have no clue. Only God does. He is the only one who knows what our lives will look like or where our journeys will take us.

When we began the process to adopt from ET, I was terrified to adopt through DHS. Being from a certain county in Oklahoma that's DHS has a terrible reputation - I was terrified to work with them. I didn't want anything to do with it. I always wanted to adopt through DHS but just knew I did not want to in that county because of all the terrible things I had heard. So that's why we decided to adopt through ET first - plus the fact that we knew we would have to fundraise and do lots of travel we thought doing this with no children would be easier.

Then all in a whirlwind it seemed, we fell in love with children in foster care, moved to my hometown, wait continues to increase for ET, decided to do foster care while we waited on the children in foster care, found out we aren't getting them, and now we are adopting/fostering through DHS - in a different county :) God has a way of making us do things. And I honestly truly believe that everything that happened with the kids has brought us to this point for a purpose. We have no clue what will come next, and honestly after everything listed above I have finally grasped - I need not even try to figure it out or guess. haha. Finally God I have learned I know nothing of what my future holds :)

I just want to encourage everyone that you feel like where your journey has ended up or taken you isn't what you were expecting... just wait. The journey is never ending and you have no clue where it will take you. Yes it will not be easy and it will hurt, but God's plan is so much greater than ours could ever be. And I have to continue to remind myself that God wants good things for me, and has BIG plans for me. I can't wait to see what's next, and am eager for our "next" to be some darn cute kids. haha

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Not the news we were hoping for...

We are not getting the siblings we had been pursuing adopting in foster care.

As hard as it is to accept, we have great peace in it all and know that God's hand is definitely in all of it.

I have not shared much of the situation with the kids, because I don't know how much is too much to share. But all I can say is, the children we were pursuing were part of a large sibling set. Our hearts definitely would want them to be able to stay together if possible. And we had actually been praying that they would be, because we knew what would happen if that wasn't able to happen. But we wanted to be an option to adopt if they were not able to do this.

To sum up the email from the caseworker. We found a home for all of them, they will be moving to another state, it could take a little bit of time to get them there. The end.

My heart sank when I read the email. It was something God had laid on our hearts to pray for at our most recent Foster Care training. We felt that he led us to pray for them to find a family for all of the siblings to stay together. It was hard to pray against what our hearts wanted, but we did it. Haha we even considered taking them ALL to avoid praying for this, don't think that was what God intended. And he answered our prayers. We could not be more happy about that, if you could just see the love these kids have for one another you would understand. But we didn't expect it so fast. And regardless of praying for it, it was still something our hearts were a little shocked to hear. We love these kids so much. We have spent lots of time with them, and it would have been an honor to be their parents, but the fact is... its not happening.

Its been hard how callous some people have been upon hearing the news we weren't getting them. Like oh well, move onto the next kid. I don't think people grasp you have to grieve this vision you had for you future, grieve this family you were ready to start together. We had their middle names all picked out, and how we wanted to decorate their rooms, toys we had purchased. I think one of the hardest parts is grasping the fact that we will never know the people they will become. I desperately would love to know what they make of themselves in this world as they grow. Its so hard even when you tell yourself constantly that its a huge possibility. It still hurts.

The fact is, we're grieving and hurting the loss of our future with these children. But we know very well that God was all up in this whole situation, and I am thankful he let me in on it a bit by laying on my heart to pray for this. I was somewhat more prepared than I would have been had he not. So for that I am grateful.

Do I think our time with these kids was a waste? No!!! I know that God used them to open our eyes to SO MUCH! They blessed us in a mighty way and we will  never forget it. Without them we wouldn't have began the process to Foster, or be open to adopting older children, or be open to adopting siblings.... God has opened our eyes to some things that we will use to press forward and continue our journey with.

To be continued as to what our future holds...... Only the Lord knows haha!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I feel like a slacker...

Lately, I am just unmotivated. I feel like there is nothing to write about or share. We are stuck in the waiting part of our adoption and it seems as though it will continue to be a LONG time.

We received an email from our agency that once again the wait times have increased, it is now 30-36 months for a referral. Honestly, it will continue to increase is what we have been told. Its heartbreaking really. We feel stuck, and have no clue what's next.

With us trying to adopt through foster care - we have been told over and over to move on and forget these kids. Their case worker has told us that its going to take a LONG time because their case is so complex. We love these kids, and we can't just walk away from them. We just don't feel like we can move on until they are in a permanent placement. We are praying for a miracle and praying that God will fight for us and these kids. That he will move mountains for them. Please pray with us.

One thing we have come to the conclusion of, is we are tired of waiting - we are tired of having a calling in our hearts and not being able to see put this calling into action. So we have decided that while we wait on both Ethiopia and the siblings in foster care that we are going to become foster parents. We just want to feel like we are doing something productive and meaningful. Our training starts this Saturday- we are very excited about getting this process started. Please pray for us in this adventure, I know it is going to be so hard to let these kids into our hearts, and then they leave... But pray that God would just protect our hearts and allow us to be the love these children need why they are waiting until their situations are worked out where they are able to go back to their family or while they are waiting for a new one.

I do want to share this - I had the blessing of getting to attend a Tim Timmons worship service along with All Sons and Daughters. I was SO blessed by his music - if you've never heard of him - please go check him out! I wanted to share one of his songs that just meets me where I've been the last couple months.

"Great Reward"

I trust in You for every heartbeat
As long as I'm alive
Your love endures when I wake
And when I close my eyes

Help me to know You are God, I am not
Remind my soul You're in control

Praise to the Father
With every breath I take
In joy and sorrow
All for Your kingdom's sake
Be Thou my vision
Be Thou my hope restored
Now and forever
You are my great reward

I won't demand to know the reasons
For my suffering
These open hands will trust Your wisdom
Beyond what I see

Help me to know You are God, I am not
Remind my soul You're in control

Praise to the Father
With every breath I take
In joy and sorrow
All for Your kingdom's sake
Be Thou my vision
Be Thou my hope restored
Now and forever
You are my great reward
Oh Lord, my great reward

I know this is dangerous
Daring just to pray this
I will trust You Lord
The rock throughout the ages
You make me courageous
I will trust You Lord
I will trust You Lord


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Our secret...

We have been keeping a secret for a few months... Due to the wait times for Ethiopia continuing to increase... We are actually pursuing adopting two kids that are currently in foster care. We know these kids and already have a relationship with them. We have been fearful of sharing bc it has been a very messy process and lots of back and forth stuff and we keep getting different information. So we in fear decided to not share bc we weren't 100% of it happening.

Today we decided, why be in fear and hiding this from everyone when we could just share it with everyone and ask for prayers for us in this journey as well.

We are continuing to wait on Ethiopia, but will be adopting these two while we wait. There is just such a great need in America and in Ethiopia, and everywhere really. And we cant just continue to sit and wait while there are kids here now that need us.

So please keep our family in your prayers as well as these two children. Pray that Dhs moves soon, and make a decision in the children's best interest.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Been awhile....

Sorry, I know, I know.... I've been a slacker. Mostly because I'm just at a loss I guess for what to say and share.
We are 11 months DTE June 6th. Its hard for me to see that number I guess. 1 year ago, we thought by this point we would be about to receive a referral. Its all changed.

When we began the process in February of 2012, the approx wait time by then was 12-14 months. Now we are looking at a possibility of 5 years. Breaks my heart to type that.
We are currently #63 on the unofficial waiting list for our agency. That number has not changed for about 2-3 months. Its depressing. We started out as #89, and that is all we have moved in nearly one year :/
Not depressing because of my own selfish desires by any means... but depressing because there are still children waiting too, just like we are but on the other end. Its not fair. Families ready, kiddos needing homes.... but red tape.

Unadoption related updates:

Daniel and I have had lots of change lately. We moved. New jobs. New church. A lot is different.

But for me, some things are still very much the same. You see, I did everything in power to avoid moving back to my hometown. I always swore when I left this place I would be GONE, and would not be coming back. When offered a job in my hometown, it was very hard to refuse. Great opportunity pay wise, and great benefits. BUT I still would not be living there. We searched and searched for houses in other towns about 30 minutes away. I am pretty positive we looked at 20+ houses trying to stay away. Every door was slammed in our face. ugh. So then, we decided to look there.... my hometown. And the exact day we went with our realtor to look at houses there, a PERFECT house popped up on the site. And it was just as gorgeous in person as in the photos. We could not turn down a great house, at a much better price than all the houses we had been looking at elsewhere. So here I am. Back in my hometown.

To be honest, I didn't get it. I did not understand why God led us here. Even in the midst of my swearing I wouldn't come back. EVER.
About a week or two of living here.... he showed me.
You see, in my previous posts I talk about my Senior year, and how it was such a hard year for me with my grandpa passing away.
I know, you're wondering what that has to do with it... Well you see, I was running away. trying to forget. I did not like driving by the places I used to see my grandpa every day, like the Donut Shop every morning. I hated driving by the High school and thinking of him bringing me lunch on occasion, or going to the wrestling tournaments or basketball games with him. It was too hard. I didnt want to remember. I didnt want to see it all.
But God has shown me, there is peace in those memories. They were the good times. They were the things I loved to remember. And my hurt and anger had made them bad... Grief does that I guess, ruins the good stuff. I thought I was done with all that, thought I had let go of it all. But the truth was, I had in a way.... but I needed to get back to the good things, and not keep trying to push it ALL away - instead of just the hard stuff. Its okay to remember now... I like remembering. I miss him in a happy sense I guess. Its no longer a sad way of missing him.
I guess I just needed to get back here to heal. I needed to remember the good. Not just with my grandpa... God is actually making me face a lot of my past that I was running from lately. But its good. Im growing and healing!It has been very interesting to be challenged in such a weird way? Nothing that I would have expected. But my heart has changed, and its so awesome. :)