July 26, 2016

An Answer.

Truth, today has been an emotional day.
Truth, God is still good.

When you're walking through the adoption process, your heart is being stretched. Each step, each family's experience, is completely different, and yet so beautifully similar.  See adoptive families choose love. They are making the choice to love children that haven't experinced, or need to learn again what love is. "Every adoption is a miracle. After all, it is God working things out so that a hurting orphan finds his or her way into a family with open arms. It is the building of families in a way that allows God's plans to play out in a very real way" (A Treasury of Adoption Miracles).

Every adoption is a miracle.

This last week we asked you to pray. To pray a simple prayer. We prayed too. God answered; although He didn't answer perhaps in the way our hearts were hoping. Today we learned that a little girl will be placed in her forever home, just that, that home is not ours. Forever. We learned today that two twin boys will be going home to live with their older siblings, who have been previsouly adopted. They will be in a new forever home, but will grow up with some of their siblings. Forever.

That's beautiful.
That hurts.
But, that's God's plan.

We can totally see that. Although our hearts and home were ready and waiting for a, "You have been chosen," we believe that God answered our prayers, and the prayers of so many of you. 
These children are going home. 


They are too young to comprehend their loss, but they will grow to learn all that they are gaining: security, love, family, siblings and hope. Because some couples chose to love, these little ones will now know what love is for the rest of their lives. So thankful for that.

They are too young to comprehend their loss, 
but they will grow to learn all that they are gaining...

After sharing this news with our parents, my dad reminded me that, "...you WERE selected twice before..." So amazengly true. Our hearts are waiting to welcome new children, but we are ever thankful for the sweet blessings of our children we get to shower with love each day. Our boys have taught us what it means to love, reguardless of how we feel physically or emotionally. We were chosen to be their parents, and for that we are so grateful. 

Truth, today has been an emotional day.
Truth, God is still good.

A Treasury of Adoption Miracles by Karen Kingsbury

July 22, 2016

join in simple prayer >>>

"Not much happens in three years, and then I'm calling you a couple times in one week..."

Those were the words our case worker spoke this last week over the phone. These could be potentially life changing words. Amazing words.

You see this last week, we have felt, and witnessed the power of prayer. Just a couple weeks ago we had recieved an email that made adoption seem like a dream that would have to wait for awhile. We started to pray, "God, Please move in a mighty way. Make something happen, so we know You are in this." He has done that. Within days of writing and praying about our situtation, and where our hearts were, crazy things have taken place. 
Crazy to us that is.

"The fewer words, the better prayer." -Martin Luther

Prayer is powerful. Prayer is mighty even when we don't really know what to pray. After getting off the phone, all my mind and heart could pray was, "Dear God, Ok You have got this. Help."

That simple prayer has been re-prayed over and over since then. And I am totally okay with that, beause I know that it's good enough. 

Help. Help us make the choices we need to this next week. Help by praying.

Although we can't share those choices that are pending right now, we ask that you would join us in simple prayer. We are confident that God is moving in a powerful and mighty way. He is bringing beauty out of broken lives, and we get to witness it firsthand reguardless of the outcome. 

Little kiddo's storys' are moving forward; and for that we are so thankful.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 4:6-7

July 13, 2016

Surrender. Let Go. Be Held.

Let Go.
Be Held.

Have you ever gotten one of those emails? You know the ones that once you finish reading, your mind is blank, and all there is, is a giant question mark. We recieved one of those a couple weeks ago.

"...traditional adoption thought is that it's not best practice to place children for adoption in families with children close in age...I believe you have a lot to offer a child..."


There it was in black and white. Something we'd actually already been wondering about. Were we not being concidered because we already had children? Yes. My heart already knew that was the answer from some comments we'd heard previously, but to see it written was a shock. Our two sweet boys have walked this adoption journey the past two years with us. They haven't been a hidden part of our family, and they are valued members. Shock.

Then it hit me. This was not a shock to the Lord. The Daddy of all orphans, mommy's and daddy's; the Lord that is in control of each step that we take, He knew; He knows.

Surrender. Let Go. Be Held.

Those were the immediate words that flooded my mind; surrender, let go and be held. Even as the tears flowed, this adoption journey has not ever been ours, but always been His. This journey has been one that we have the privilege of riding because we said, and are still continuting to say yes.

"...this adoption journey has not ever neen ours, 
but always been His..."

So, then the question of, "What now?" of course came.

Here is what we do know...

* "Rest in the Lord, wait PATIENTLY for Him..." Psalm 37:7
* He is a God, larger than these held onto beliefs, so we are keeping the door open to adopt through DHS.
* Truth: Private adoption is expensive. Even for local, domestic adoption it's around $24,000 give or take.
* He is a God, larger than money, larger than cost.

After thinking thought those things, and resting in the truth, we are, once again, stepping out in faith. Last week, we opened a savings account titled: Adoption

Money was deposited, and will continue to be placed into that account, specifically, and only for adopting our future son or daughter. This is an account that we believe God will use to glorify Him through bringing an adopted child into our home, family and arms. There is no specific timeline, there never really has been one, but some new steps have been taken. No doors have been shut, but perhaps a new one has been opened. Perhaps, it will be the door that we've been waiting for, the one that will help us continue our adoption journey as a family.

Surrendering all; all for His glory.


"...we are, once again, stepping out in faith..."

June 20, 2016

Face-to-Face with Grace.

There seem to be countless moments in each day that you have the choice to shower someone with grace, or cover them with pain. Many of these moments are small and fleeting, but some, depending on your choice, may have a lifelong impact.  The thing is, this impact can be negative, but it can also be overwhelmingly, and powerfully positive.

Young lives are shaped by the grace that's shown them. They watch how the adults in their lives react towards each other. They learn how they should respond; even when the learned responses are wrong. The thing is adults make mistakes. The problem comes, when those mistakes effect the people around them. For thousands of innocent children, their lives will forever be changed due to the choices made by the very parents that were suppose to love them.

This is the hard reality when it comes to foster care and adoption. In order for a child to be removed from their birthparents, somewhere pain had to happen. Somehow, that child's view of grace was shattered or skewed. They've had to learn how to survive. In some cases, that can result in seeking love from anyone, while in other instances, it means a complete blocking of letting people in.

There is hope. True grace, God's grace, is mightier than sin, it's stronger than any pain. It doesn't erase it, but it covers it; it can make someone new. I've seen it happen. It is amazing. See, true grace can be played out in people.

People can display grace to others. 

I saw this in the life of three year old Katie*. Sweet Katie was placed into a foster home. Her mommy and daddy weren't there, and now there were these new people. These people whispered in her ear that she's be safe, that they would be there always. But, even at the young age of three, Katie had already put up walls to protect herself. Those sweet words, were just words, and needed to be backed up with actions. I'm sure she must of had thoughts about if they would still be there if she misbehaved. Would they still say they loved her if she threw her food or wet the bed? Would they rock her to sleep, and hold her gently, or would she have to be so careful and quiet so no physical pain would come to her?

I met Katie at a Foster Parent Night Out, after she was placed in this new foster home. This home that would love her reguardless of her faults. That would teach her, and shower her with grace. That would attempt to break down those walls she had needed to construct, and show her unconditional God's love. Over the months, I watched as this quiet little girl learned to trust. She began to make eye contact; she began to smile.

On our final evening of the year, she was sitting on my lap, with her big brown eyes staring into mine. She grabbed my hand, smiled and just held on. As I looked into her eyes, I realized that I was face-to-face with grace. It had been played out right in front of me:

 "And after you have suffered a little while, 
the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, 
will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you."
1 Peter 5:10

Restore. Confirm. Strengthen. Establish.

These are the steps that this foster family took. These are the steps that freed this little girl, and prepared her to trust again. These are the steps that transformed her into a different little girl, a little girl who won't stop talking, who smiles and who loves. These are the steps that will now help her to transition from being this family's foster daughter, to someone's adopted daughter. 


So thankful for this lesson I learned. I already am thoughtfully practing showing grace to my own children, and look forward to the day that we can shower this same grace and love on the child we adopt. 

*Her name was changed to protect her.

May 03, 2016

While we're waiting...

"every good and
perfect gift,
is from above..."
James 1:17
Last year, 11,238 children spent at least one day in some kind of foster care in Oregon (2015).

An average of 7,570 children were in foster care on a daily basis.

56.1% of these children were reunited with their families.

A total of 814 children had adoptions finalized in 2015.

Information From: 2015 Child Welfare Data Book
"...to look after
orphans...in their distress..."
James 1:27
These are the numbers, these are the truths, these are children.

These are the children that we have been praying for specifically. Praying that one of them would come out of their brokenness, brokenness they did not ask for or seek, and find a new family through adoption. We have submitted our family for a handful of little lives, and have fervently prayed that regardless if they end up with us, that they would end up in a forever home.
The last two years, we've had the privilege of serving foster families, and foster kids through the programs, 'Foster Parent Night Out.' Once a month, we spend four hours on a Saturday evening, pouring love into the lives of foster kids local to the area. Their foster parents then get some time to spend together. It's a beautiful thing to witness each month. We've seen kids grow, change and become part of a family, due to living in a stable environment, some for the first time in their young lives.  Perhaps the most encouraging thing we've witnessed getting to serve in this way, is the change in our own hearts.
We always knew we loved these sweet children. We don't view them as broken, their lives might be, but they are beautiful. We have the desire to adopt. 

But, what do we do while we wait?

That is where the change came about. It's not about us. It's not about our feelings. It's truly about the children. That being said, starting in June, we are going to begin fostering children.  More specifically, young children.  We will be fostering children that have a higher potential to become adoptable. 

There are no guarantees. 
Yes, it will be hard.
But, it will be so worth it.

What we can guarantee, is that whether a child is in our home for one day, six months, or forever, they will know they are loved, they will know they are safe. Even though it may be hard, what these children have endured is far worse, and they won't have to endure it on their own. It will be worth it, not for what we can offer, or what we will gain, but because we will see little lives change for the better. It will be worth it because this might be how we meet our next child. What a blessing it would be to meet them, care for them and love them from the moment they come into care, from the moment they come into our home. 
Regardless if we meet our next child through foster care to eventual adoption, or through adoption, we know this is the path we need to take for our family. It might seem scary to some, maybe even crazy, but honestly it used to seem that way to me too when I would see another family fostering. But it doesn't anymore. Which is why we are so confident in this choice. We aren't sure on how long, what it will look like or what children we will have, but we do know this is right where we are suppose to be.

January 15, 2016

in the wait.

Nope, just wait.
Just wait, I've got this...
We've all been there; in the wait. It's especially hard to wait when you're waiting for something good, something you can't do on your own. We are in the wait for our third child...and what a beautifully painful wait it is to wade through adoption.


This past fall, we were selected to go to committee for a sweet, little, baby boy. Shortly after the committee met, we found out we were the family placed in second position. Second.  Second is a hard place to be, when you could so easily picture what it would have been like if the decision had gone the other way.

Our hearts are overjoyed to know that this little one has a new forever home.


We couldn't have known the pain that would come though, from those words, "almost."
The tears came, and just flowed. It was confusing because their was pain, mixed with joy for this boy we had prayed would find his family. That prayer was answered. Praise God!

"Mom, I want you to put your tears away."

Crazy thing is, this loss to us, of what could have been, means we are closer to finding our child. 
We are closer to meeting them. 
We are closer to bringing them home. 
We are closer; and we will continue the wait.

adoption : the act or process of beginning 
to use something new or different

October 16, 2015

Waiting...if not us then who?

"Cause I hear a voice and it calls me redeemed,
when other's say I'll never be enough.
And greater is the One living inside of me,
than he who is living in the world.
I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble now
Thought, how’d we ever get so far down
How’s it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said...
I'd love like I'm not scared
Give when it's not fair
Live life for another
Take time for a brother
Fight for the weak ones
Speak out for freedom...
If not us then who..."
This post has been stirring in my mind, and my heart for a couple months.
I just didn't know how to put it into words.
Summed up: It. Is. Hard. Waiting.
Even as I sit here and write that simple thought, it's all I can write to summarize what my heart feels. I knew the emotions would come, and that they would be different than being pregnant.  Goodness me, they are incredibly different. Maybe it's the fact that I'm "expecting" a child, but no one can physically see it. Or perhaps it's that, when I am asked, I don't have much news to share; or the amount of time to share exactly how I'm feeling. I think though, it boils down to the fact that I can't stop thinking. I can't stop wondering. I can't stop praying.
All while we're waiting. 
It hurts to know there are so many children waiting for homes; and my home is waiting for a child. It also hurts that waiting is something that can feel so lonely at times, even when you're surrounded by people.  Sometimes the very people that you thought would support you, are nowhere to be found, while surprise others seem to come alongside without your even needing to ask. Giving grace...taking grace...being thankful for grace.
The following pictures are me...I'm "expecting." Can't you see? Looking at it brings tears to my eyes because what you can't see is the growth of love for this child I don't even know yet. What you can't see are the hours of classes; the time spent preparing for our unknown future.  What you can't see are the prayers for a child.  A child who might feel alone, may be in an unsafe environment, who doesn't know that there is a safe home, a mommy and daddy, brothers who are waiting for them to come home.  What you also don't know is, these pictures were taken months apart...
We are fine waiting, but sometimes it's hard to wait for something so good. It's hard to watch other families also waiting to adopt, waiting to meet the child that God has specifically chosen for their family. Adoption is all about waiting.
What I am so thankful for, is even in my impatience, I am being taught patience by a God is eternally patient with me each day.  I am so thankful that it is not up to me to force the adoption process to proceed, because I know there is a God who already has it all figured out. I am thankful for the gift of adoption. That He chose me to be His, and that He doesn't judge my past, but only asks that I love Him and live for Him.
I am waiting, but I am oh, so thankful.
"There's hope in front of me
There's a light, I still see it..."
2015 K-Love Fan Awards Song of the Year (by Anthem Lights)