Be carful what you ask for…

Standing in God’s will looks different for each of us, depending on where He places us. Ben and I are in a season full of blessings and love, but also sleepless nights, crazy tantrums and a open house full of social workers and therapist. We feel so called and yet somedays so inadequate to withstand the calling placed within our hearts. As I am up so often every night comforting our baby that because of her start in this world, sleep has never been a big part of her life, another that is often up crying for reason that right now only God knows why, and an immune system that seems to have forgotten how to work, I question if I am enough for these children, if my body can keep this up. If others not walking this path would even understand if I talked to them about it. We are normal folks, we love sleep, lazy days, date nights and all those simple things, but this season is different for us, it’s hard at times and I find it can be a lonely road because, talking with most people I find myself wanting to explain so much in hopes that they will see a glimpse of the reality in which I am describing.
Last night after I tucked in one of our littles who is a sweet, bossy and very independent little person, I found God working on my heart to see her as He see her and to have the kind of patients for her as He has for me. This was a few hours before I walked into her room and found her not wanting to sleep but, instead wanting to play. “Funny God, I get it. I wanted more patience, so you gave me a beautiful opportunity at 1:30 in the morning to practice using this gift I asked for.” This was all while we were still up with a very fussy baby that didn’t want to sleep, which isn’t unusual at all but after the patience test, i had to laugh in order to not cry. Shortly later I found myself laying in bed with our beautiful 9 month old princess, who was breathing very heavy while squirming with what seemed like pain on my chest. I hummed softly in her ear and that’s when she did it, when she reminded me how crazy love is, she laid her arm across me and patted my chest until she finally feel asleep early this morning. Even though I was dead tired, I laid there in that exhausted moment and thanked God for this kind of love and humbleness in my life. I don’t always like the dirty parts, but I will never be caught saying, that I don’t love this season because, Ben and I, even though today are completely dead tired, have still caught moments of looking in each other’s eyes and both saying the same thing with a look, “we are so thankful for all of these children that are teaching us more about love and getting out of our own wants than any other thing has ever done. Oh, and that we should take turns getting a nap in today.” 😉
I was guiltily once upon a time of thinking people that were walking this path were just being to hard, to strict and that all they had to do was give a little more love. Love does win and it will cover a multitude of sins, but it isn’t all that is needed in putting very broken children back together. They are fragile, they have sharp pieces of glass that can cut and hurt us all over them. They are younger mentally then their age and yet know so much more then their tiny amount of years should know. I was wrong for thinking I got it, I was wrong for doing anything more then being a good friend with two open ears. I was wrong to say, love is all you need. We need patience, endurance, Jesus and a few good friend that even if they don’t get it, understand enough of what a phone call or text of encouragement will do for a very tired soul. Thank you to my few that some days are what God uses to carry us through. ❤

Bent low

This quote is beautiful and couldn’t be more truer than true. We are tired and stretched thin, but we are happy and closer to His face than ever before. If being bent low puts us in the dirt with the KING of kings, than there is no other place I would rather be. If you are a parent today to one child or fifteen children, remember, what you are doing matters and it is the hard work that one day will make all the difference in the world. So as you bend low today remember you are in the trenches with greatness. IMG_2308

Stolen Voices

We have six children in our home, three of which are under three years of age, as you can guess, life can get crazy busy and hectic around here at times. Sometimes we feel as though we just don’t have enough time to follow through, to go the extra step or always be consistent, but we don’t have that option, at least not with some of our kiddos. Our two toddlers come from horrendous abuse, neglect and because of this, the results are, they don’t communicate well, they shut down, they hide, they run, they have melt downs for what seems like no reason at all, to the unknowing eyes. As the parent, we will ask a simple question, in which we get a blank stare that is often filled with fear. It goes something like this, “Hey sweet heart, do you have to use the restroom?” In which, we get two glossy eyes starring back at us and usually an accident to follow, because of the fear an adult talking to them will do. One of our littles is an amazing talker, she sings every word to every Frozen song there is, she talks and talks the ears off to our children, but the moment an adult, whether Ben or I or her preschool teachers speak to her directly, she shut down, instantly. It can be so frustrating to say the least, but not at the children as much as the horrible adults that caused these pains in these babies. I often wonder if these adults could see the day to day horrific pain they have caused, would they get it? Would they weep with remorse, would they give up the fight and let these babies go to a better home? The external scars on these babies have all healed up, but the day to day fight by us, of being constant, being present, working tirelessly to connect and restore has just begun. Everything isn’t better the day they are removed from the care of their abuser, to me, it seems that’s the day the pain really begins. These children are use to the chaos, neglect and abuse, so bring them into a home with rules, love, boundaries and little, to no chaos and they will fight it, they will crave it, they will demand it to return, so they can feel normal and at peace again. So what do we do? We resist, we love, we fight them and we stay constant, day after day and night after night, until one day it starts to click. We say, “I love you” several times a day to our children and one of our littles response is always the same, she turns her head, says, “no” and walks away, until last night, she looked at my daughter and said the words back to her. Maybe she has never heard those words before, maybe those words were always attached to pain, there are a million maybes of why they do what they do and maybe we will never know, but today my heart is frustrated, broken and determined to give these babies back their voice. I hate what they have gone through and I hate that so many abusers get so many chances at the cost of children, but right now, they are here and while they are, if all they ever receive from us is to know what love feels like and find their voice, I will know we have done our job. #lovewins

Priorities change as love grows

We have one open bed, meaning, we can, if we chose have one more sweet child come into our home. Six kids is a little scary to me, for three months, awhile back we had six kiddos and it was hard, rewarding and worth it, but, it was still six kids. We are waiting and praying but it seems God keeps tugging at our hearts about bringing another kiddo into our home. So many things cross my mind, we have the whole five kid thing down pretty good, our life works and flows pretty good too, do we really want to change that? Then on the other hand I think how my comfort, sleep and easy flowing life shouldn’t be what keeps us from bring another child into our home. Last week, on just one night, in just one DCS office in Phx. there were over 30 kids sleeping in the office. That means, kids sleeping on floors, next to DCS workers desks, no showers, no real beds, no HOME, all because there is no where for them to go. So, maybe my priorities changed as God has been reveling truth to my heart. Yes, somedays I want life simple and easy but God hasn’t called any of us to a life of leisure, security, or easy. He sent Jesus as the example of what our lives should look like and that is humbling because His whole 33 years on earth was spent serving, loving and giving of all of himself for others. If my life is to even slightly imitate Jesus’ life I can’t be worried if I will sleep 8 hours every night, be able to watch my favorite t.v. show each night or keep my life flowing smoothly. He said “follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” He wants us to follow him, live his life style, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who had no home, dirty feet and sacrificed His life for others. Wow, loving is hard and loving people the way God has asked us too, is crazy hard, but find one person at the end of their life that will say it wasn’t worth it to love another person unselfishly. I dare you, because I don’t think you will find one

                                                           . ad18cf198aa525c6cbc1ab5f699f02be

This might just destroy me..and thats okay

All during our training classes we were asked a few times what the child we hoped to have placed with us would look like. I think they ask this question to see if we have realistic understandings of what is to come. Anyways, I can be passive with my words, so I rambled something like, “A young child who needs a place to feel safe and loved.” Because saying anything else would mean my heart was cold, right? But really, the child that I thought I wanted placed with us was a little African American boy. I don’t have a logical reason for that, he’s just who I saw. He is who showed up in my dreams, who my heart always pictured as part of our family’s journey. He’s who I believed would be the first child to walk through our doors through this process. Why, I haven’t a clue, but it was a face I saw over and over. But, honestly we would and did say yes to any child but that’s just who my heart saw. See that’s the funny thing God didn’t have those plans for us, at least not how I saw them, they were mine. He never saw a boy or an african american child for that matter, He saw two little girls, with a sad little past and giant beautiful hearts that would be the first children to steal our hearts and boy did they steal it. Eventually though this little guy that filled my dreams and other amazing beautiful kids would come into our life, just not exactly how I saw it….But is it ever?
At first, before and during the classes I thought I wanted to protect my heart. I wanted to take children into our home and from the beginning remember and live like it was temporary, because, it just might be. I didn’t want to get too attached. I wanted to love them all well and meet all their needs with love. But I wanted to protect my heart, because they may only be here for a moment. Over the past several months I’ve found my giant brick walls have crumbled away when I see these sweet kiddo’s smile or look at the beauty of their BIG gorgeous eyes or hear their giggles or comb some sweet, crazy hair, I see Jesus’ handy work starring back at me. Why would I want to build a wedge between me and them? These sweet babies are bringing me closer to my savior, causing me to fall harder to my knees in prayers. I said it several times before ‘what if a child comes in to our home and we fully become attached? And if I had to watch them leave….it would absolutely destroy me.’
I still agree, because it did and it will be that way always. How could it not be?
Yes, this is all of me. This is where my fears over power me. This is where my wants are obvious for all to see. This is where my plans for my life seem to be the answers to it all. This is where my time is precious. Where my mind wants to say, stop, because I can’t even think about the heart break if these babies have to leave. This is where the trauma from their pasts causes a giant land slide of emotions to come pouring down on our quite little lives. This is where I scream inside, “I freaking need a time out too!” Where I am tempted to say no, because saying yes will be all of me.
But I am so thankful this is not all of me. This is only where I have no more and where Jesus begin. This is where God’s voice whispers, “It’s not about you.” This is where He answers, “You got this”. This is where my bible isn’t just a good book end. This is where we become aware that our home was provided by Him and it’s not our own. This is where little children can learn the meaning of family. This is where we learn and try to love another family that caused the broken hearts in these babies. This is where our faith is needed and through it all, this is where we fall head over heels, completely, madly in love with children that are not our own.
To these Sweet babies who have captivated our hearts so fully. I’ll love you fully and completely. Even if only for a moment, because YOU are worth it.
If you feel led to love on a child for a moment in time or perhaps forever look into fostering, adopting or mentoring in your area. It will change you forever in the most beautiful ways. I promise!