family, foster, fostertoadopt, healing, prayer, Uncategorized

The Last Goodbye

It is gut wrenchingly heartbreaking looking into the eyes of a child knowing that it is the last time you’ll see them. A child that has finally let their guard down and learned to trust you. Trying to soak up the moment where they are unaware that their world is about to be turned upside down, again. Begging your mind to not forget this moment. The moment of security.

The feeling of goodbye. I won’t miss that feeling.

The clinging to you because they aren’t ready to go. I won’t miss that feeling either.

Them looking at you in wonderment of why you aren’t going with them. I won’t miss that feeling.

You’re voice being in an endless sea of opinions. I won’t miss that feeling either.

I’ll miss first words. I’ll miss hearing their laughs. I’ll miss their hugs. I’ll miss hearing them singing their “Jesus songs”.

Seven years. 7. Twenty six children. 26. Twenty-six birthdays. Twenty six faces. Twenty six stories.

All coming to us broken with their own stories in need of redemption. In need of a healing season.

Twenty four taking a piece of my heart. A piece of my life, when they left and a piece of theirs stayed with us. Two that hold forever with us.

Forever changing us, and a hope that we were used to forever change them.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” -Matthew 19:14

christ, forgivness, jesus, prayer, Uncategorized

Washing away the dirt of Betrayal

She knocked on a door she didn’t recognize. It was answered by a woman she deeply loved. No words were exchanged, but she made her way into the unfamiliar house. She quickly stated her reasoning for coming and asked if she could wash her friends feet. With a blank stare her dear friend led her into the bathroom where a bath was being drawn. As the woman took out her little towel to begin washing her friends feet, her friend grabbed her and started pushing her head repeatedly below the water. With every breath she could grab she called out to Jesus for help. She cried out… What name do you come in? Do you say Jesus Christ has come in the flesh? She then bound out evilness in the name and bloodshed of Jesus. The chaos immediately stopped. There was a bed near by and her friend laid down. Soaking wet, she pulled herself out of the tub and went to her friends feet. Washing the feet of the woman she loved. Praising God for her next breath. Singing victory over death. Praying blessings on her dear friend. Once she was finished they both got up. Questions were asked… “Do you know why Jesus washed his disciples feet?” “Do you know why I have washed your feet?” No answers. Only blank stares. She continued to speak… The reason I have washed your feet, my dearest friend… is because I love you. I forgive you. I release you.

At the last supper Jesus washed the feet of his closest 12 disciples. He was deeply troubled because he already knew that one would betray him. The one sitting closest to him. Fully knowing that Judas Iscariot had already plotted against him, he still washed his feet. He still loved him. Once he was done washing his disciples feet, he asked them. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” “Now that I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you should also wash one another’s feet. I have set the example that you would do as I have done for you.” (From the book of John chapter 13.)

The enemy had thought he had won, by using Judas, Jesus’ close friend, to betray him. However, what the enemy meant for harm, God turned it for good. Jesus had to endure being betrayed, to bring about the change God needed to use him for.

For God has said “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” Romans 12:19

“It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.” Deuteronomy 32:35

If you aren’t familiar with the story of what happened to Judas, flip over to Matthew chapter 27. “When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse.” “I have sinned….For I have betrayed innocent blood.” “Then he went away and hanged himself.”

Is there someone in your life that has betrayed you? Someone that you never thought would? May we take Jesus example and choose peace over chaos. Forgiveness over vindictiveness. God will take care of the rest. Our job is to keep our own heart right with the Lord.

foster, fostertoadopt, hope, jesus, Uncategorized

Season of Grief (1)


She sits still, frozen in time, as the lump forms in her throat and she wills her tears to retreat, but they well up in her eyes without regard to her surroundings. She knows grace will cover her, but at this moment her grief is turned to inward anger. Shouldn’t she be more seasoned and put together in this “stage of the game”. She “knew what she was getting into” by saying yes to the call to take this child, but she was blindsided none the less. Allowing her heart and mind to go “there”. Ya know, the place of the future. Answering the what ifs with when’s. A dangerous disposition to be in with something that isn’t promised. Then she quickly remembers that nothing is promised. No day in the future is promised, but she grasps at the faint string of hope, none the less. Feeling alone in a crowded room is something she’s grown accustom to. Screaming on the inside. Tied together with a smile.

It’s in the stillness. In the brokenness. In the desperation that she whispers the only name that can save her. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Over and over his name passes through her lips. Her eyes close and she wills for the day to be over. To be done. She seeks the coolness of her pillow on her cheek and blanket to cover up her weak body that has been going through the motions.  Maybe she could hide there. Away from the reality of what she “signed up for.”

 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  (GOD)

Did you know that the yellow daffodil has a meaning of hope?

It has been almost a year since I wrote those short paragraphs above. Since I chose that picture for this post. The post I never made public, until now.  I remember all too well how hot tears of anger and sorrow blurred my eyes as my fingers flew over the keyboard in desperation to make sense of what was going on. To find closure. To find an outlet for the pain in my heart. The words of my heart and my head typed out for all to see. A rawness and truth that I did not have it all together and saying goodbye to this child was much harder than I let anyone believe.  What I believed to the depths of my soul and what I knew from working through past heart breaking goodbyes, as a foster parent, were deeply conflicting.  It truly is the hardest thing to say goodbye to a child that you have loved as your own. Knowing that more likely than not, you will never see that child or hear of them again.  It matters not if that were for one day or a year or more. Oddly enough, despite the traumatizing heartache, I will never regret fostering. I have learned more about the character of God (in the almost 5 years) since we have joined the fostering community than I have the majority of the rest of my life, thus far. My absolute favorite thing is watching and partaking in the healing process.  However, in order to make beauty from ashes, there must be ashes. Brokenness before restoration. Pain before healing.

Through that particular season of grief God showed me more about trusting him and his plan for my life. Not my plan, but HIS. We had to trust him with our hearts because he knew the future and had good plans. Plans that would bring hope and healing. Restoration and beauty.

I remember the day that marked day 45 since my precious boy had left and I still found myself including him in the head count for dinner and when getting suckers at the bank. (Among everything else.) It was December 21st when the verse John 14:18 came to my mind ….. I had been specifically praying for the son that had left our home… when I reached that verse in my bible I was immediately filled with peace as chills went all over me. Joyful tears flowed.  …. The verse says….

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

I didn’t know when that promise would be fulfilled, but I had that string of hope that seemed less faint then before…..

Days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months and yet….

Looking back it was when the daffodils were in full bloom that this promise started to concretely come to fruition. The beginning of the season that this promise would come to be fulfilled.  It happened on a beautiful cool spring day. A day that I will never forget.

I received a phone call that brought me to my knees….



Chapter 35

It started like any other ordinary morning. A deep breath in before opening my eyes. Thanking God for the gift of today.

My thoughts were interrupted by the giggles and clamoring coming from the kitchen. I wasn’t allowed to leave my room, yet, but the sweet smell of something reached my nose before their words “surprise!” ever did.

Back to my thoughts… I realize, more days than not, that if it wasn’t for HIS grace and love that made the sun come up today, then darkness would still be engulfing the day.

A little tattered along the edges, but still whole enough. Full enough. ENOUGH.

I made it. Feeling more alive and loved than previously know. It took me almost 35 years, this long to know, myself. To truly accept the uniqueness God created. To laugh at my own jokes. My own mishaps. To love myself. To hold myself worthy. To enjoy the adventure of life. My life. To see the world as a piece of life and not it as an entirety.

The land of the living, or is it?

I could speak of just how many hell seasons I’ve been through in my 35 years, but equally as many “heaven” seasons too. There will always be worst things that could have happened, as well as better things.

I could have memories of childhood that didn’t hold bruises. I could have had relationships that weren’t full of mental, emotional and physical abuse. I could have had a friendship that wasn’t years filled with narcissistic lies, manipulation and ending in betrayal. I could have had all full pregnancies without loss. I could have done without sickness and financial stress. I could have done without farm animal loss upon loss. Those are just a few snippets and not the complete painful details of how I’ve walked through fire seasons, but never alone. My savior has been with me every step of the way, and My God has been so gracious to gift me with a husband that has been a life changing key to aide in my healing. HE also gifted me with true God fearing friends in each season, to remind me to look up.

However, without all of those LIFE seasons, then I wouldn’t learn about the need for forgiveness. Forgiving others is the easy part. Forgiving myself was the hard part. We live in a broken world. I have learned the need to be dependent on the one that created my innermost being. Crafted my soul in such a way that HE knows me better than I know myself.

Loving myself more was the choice I finally had to make. It was the key to becoming fully alive and present in the moment.

Life is a growing journey. A changing journey.

We can let situations mold us to becoming better. To choose to gain wisdom and not bitterness.

Life has taught me many things.

I know how I want to parent. I know what kind of wife I want to be and what to accept from my husband. I know what kind of friend I want to have and want to be. I know how precious children are and how they are a blessing, even in the mundane chaos. I know the price of health and the daily choices needed. I would rather pay for health care instead of sick care. Our bodies are made amazingly and this earth was made with amazing plants and minerals to help heal us, in our daily life. I know the hardworking value of a dollar means more when we have went without.

Yet, through every season God has not left my side.

Sometimes the mundane moments are what make life. We spend more times in the valleys working towards the mountaintop, than on the actual mountain top itself.

And perhaps that is it. This life is a journey. An adventure. Let’s enjoy the ride.

Worthy. Abide.

The words that God sent to saturate my mind this past year.

I am worthy of love. I am worthy of truth. I am worthy of happiness. I am worthy.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John 15:4

God has always taken care of us, provided for us. Answered prayers before they even left our lips. May we never forget to abide in him, for our every need.

Let us not settle in seasons that strip us of our known worthiness. Of our know ability to abide in our creator.

Life may try to rob you and make you feel worthless, BUT in Christ ALONE shall we Abide and find our worthiness. For HE is worthy and knows just how much worth he put into our souls.

So happy 35th chapter of life, to me. I’m ready for this next trip around the sun. For the author of life has written the greatest adventure for me, and I can’t wait to soak up the daily pages he has gifted to me, as long as he keeps writing, I’ll keep taking a deep breath in, before opening my eyes and thanking him for another gift of the day.


Genuinely Fake

How do we have discernment and wisdom about what is real? Who is genuine?

For the past 8 months I’ve been praying for deeper wisdom and discernment on who and what I let captivate my time and energy. I prayed that whatever was not of God, or from God would be removed from my life. Be careful what you pray for. I fully believe God allows circumstances to teach us, discipline us and prune us to become the person he has desired us to be. We must be obedient to what and where he leads us. Which got me to thinking….

People are a lot like diamonds.

Cubic zirconium versus genuine diamond.

How can we tell the difference?

We would have to take it to a trained jeweler for extensive examination. To be certain they would have to look at the inside. The composite. The internals to determine the value. While the CZ is beautiful and mimics the real deal, it will never be the genuine, while it’s composite is made up of zirconium dioxide. Synthesized. Chemically made. Not natural. Genuine Diamonds are mainly composited of carbon. A natural occurring substance.

A genuine diamond is formed under high pressure and high heat. It’s made naturally.

Oh sweet friends, the CZ is made to look beautiful. Made to deceive its onlookers to think “diamond”. Although, it’s cheaply made. It’s synthetic.

Just like our very real enemy. satan prowls around LIKE a lion. He wants to deceive people to think he’s the real deal, but on the inside he will never be THE Lion. Only Jesus Christ is the true Lion of Judah. (That’s biblical talk for Jesus Christ is the ONLY true King.)

We must remember that people can be easily deceived, ourselves included, when we don’t use the Holy Spirit, our own personal “Jeweler”, if you will, for those of us that have accepted God as the Lord of our life’s. The Holy Spirit can teach us what is true and genuine.

We must examine our own hearts. We must ask for wisdom and discernment. We must realize if there is any synthetic parts and prune them out. Which we need the Holy Spirit to be able to understand. Remember, a genuine diamond is formed under high heat and pressure. So maybe that valley walking season is just heating you up to reveal your diamond self.

“We must alter our lives in order to alter our hearts, for it is impossible to live one way and pray another.” – William Law

“As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects man.” -Proverbs 27:19


“You can’t have roots and wings, babe.”

Her grandmothers words were filled with love and years of wisdom. Coming from her lips slowly, like honey from a glass jar.

The woman she has looked up to her whole life. Words that seep deep into the crevices of a broken heart. Replayed in her mind, many times throughout her life.

She remembers being 5 years old and running across the road, meeting her grandma outside and going in for vanilla milk.

Long walks to the highway, on the dirt road.

Sneaking in her grandparents bed, but only on her grandmothers side, so it wouldn’t wake grandpa.

Shelling peas on the back porch until her fingers were stained purple.

Hanging clean sheets on the line. Smelling the freshness of the country air.

Running barefoot through the corn field. Feeling the coolness of the dirt between her toes.

All these memories and more. That’s where her roots are from. That’s where her farm girl seeds were sown. It only took 20+ years before those seeds started taking root in her heart. Now reaping the seeds that were sown into her life, years earlier. A lifetime ago.

Sometimes we find what we want and need when we aren’t even looking. We desperately try to hold on to the feeling of belonging, while grasping emotionally at the straws far beyond our feeble grasp.

We may make plans in our heart, but the Lord determines our steps. The plans he has for us, a hope, a future. Plans no man can thwart.

Twenty years ago I would have never dreamed of the life God has presently blessed me with. However, looking back now, I can see how he was sowing in seeds of passion and desire for his creation, as well as thankfulness to be able to work the land he has blessed me with. From each person God allowed into my path, to help shape me to who I am today. To draw me closer to him.

We must make a choice.

Do we want roots or wings?

Do we want to dig in deep or be able to go at a moments notice?

I choose roots.

Sometimes where we are planted isn’t where we bloom. Sometimes our life may be turned upside down, caught off guard by a storm we didn’t see coming.

However, when we have deep roots, by being guarded in truth…. outwardly, we may look to have shallow roots…. BUT really God may just uproot us and replant us closer to the waters edge. Where our roots can grow deeper. Where we won’t run dry. Where we won’t be scorched or chopped down. Where we can not only grow, but where we can flourish. In the place he had planned for us all along.

christ, faithful, family, forgivness, hope, jesus, Uncategorized

Coming Home

There’s such a sigh of relief, when after you’ve been gone a while, and then you come home. Maybe it’s just turning onto your road. Pulling up in your driveway. Walking through your door. Your body knows you can relax. You can unwind. The chaos from the day can melt away as you enter your threshold. Your safe space.

There is something about coming home.

Have you ever wondered what kind of peace it is to return to the place you belong?

When my oldest son was little we studied about Salmon. Interesting facts about salmon are that after they are spawned, they then leave their first “home”. They can travel thousands of miles. However, when it’s time for them to go back home they swim upstream, doing everything they can to go against the current to make it back to their original home. Some even die trying to find their first home.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22:6

We have a saying here. Be Salmon.

When everything in this world is pulling and tugging and causing chaos. Remember to return home. Where peace should abound. Remember to go upstream from the way the “river” is pushing you.

What happens when we are having chaos in this world? Who or what do we run to?

For those that are believers in Jesus Christ. Do you remember that moment you accepted Jesus as Lord. When the Holy Spirit opened your eyes and you could see more clearly?

That kind of love, forgiveness and acceptance is what we should be running towards. That awe inspiring peace that swallows us up! That gives us strength to go against the pulling and tugging of the world.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. For in this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

We, as humans, may travel many miles in every direction, BUT when we come home. When we return to the one that we came from. The one that made us. The one our souls long for. When we return our hearts to our first love. The one that first loved us. That is when and where peace abounds.


The Orange Dress Promise

She woke up quickly and in a slight panic, as her mind remembered all the details of the vivid dream that had just played out in her mind.

Her tiny precious four year old was happily running to meet her. The sun glistening on her tanned little cheeks and she could hear the pure joy in her laughter, that so easily slipped pass her pink lips. She was running to meet her, with opened arms. Her wild, brown, curly hair and orange dress flowing in the wind as she ran.

How could that be. The child she was down on her knees for, in tears, was only two years old. She didn’t even own an orange dress. She had only been with her about six months.

Would she leave or would she get to stay?

She remembered back to seeing her as a newborn. The moment her eyes saw her tiny frame, God seized her heart to pray for the baby’s future. Unbeknownst to her, at the time, the child wouldn’t have a “normal” start to life.

Throughout those first two years her life would often, “by chance”, intersect with this child’s life. It would remind her to continue to pray for the child’s future. For her well-being and safety. For the people that she would call family, one day. May God prepare their hearts for her. May he prepare her heart for them.

As she recalled every time she had seen this child, throughout the two short years, and all the times God had heavily put this child on her heart… she hoped there was a deeper meaning. She knew that nothing happens, “by chance”, but all a part of a greater design, by the great author of life. Working all the details out, according to his plan. For the good of his children.

Often times we learn the most when we are down on our knees. Eyes closed. Heart opened. Listening to our fathers voice. The voice we have confided in. The voice that should lead our life’s steps. The voice that should be as familiar to us as our own heartbeat.

She sat in silence waiting for an answer. Yet, nothing was said.

“Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him.” Lamentations 3:28

That night she had the most vivid dream. She couldn’t shake it.

One day when she was shopping for her daughters clothing, she randomly came across an orange dress. She stopped in her tracks. She glanced at the age tag…. 4 years. Tears welled in her eyes. A visible, tangible, piece to the promise she was given, months earlier. She had no doubt she would be buying this for her youngest.

So for the next two years she prayed expectedly over the future of the one she called her youngest child.

After many turns, twists and delays. After many detours and heartbreaks. After many prayers and tears. This precious child was able to bear the name of the ones she called family.

A dream come true. A promise kept.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“The Lord Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, And as I have purposed, so it will stand.” Isaiah 14:24
“Who can speak and have it happen, if the lord has not decreed it?” Lamentations 3:37

“A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” Ecclesiastes 3:4

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Under HIS wings

These ducks are having a great time swimming in the little pond. This little pond is just over the fence line. You see they have no idea about the predators around them. Just swimming around completely oblivious to the Fox den and coyotes that live near by. Like the ducks, we have a fence line, if you will, that God has put in place for us. Sometimes we go outside the lines of what God sets out for us. Sets for our protection. What he desires for us. When we willingly go over the lines our father has put in place for our safety, it opens us up to predators we are not even aware of.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

As we get caught up in our own little world, we move farther from the shepherd and aren’t able to hear his voice as clearly. This can cause us hurt and loss. However, A good Shepherd always goes after his flock.

Many times, since having the farm, I have to go after a wayward chicken, duck or guinea. God always speaks to me in those moments too. That one matters. We all know the safety in numbers, but when someone is isolated, alone and lost… they need someone to come after them. The phrase that all my animals know is, “Here I am.” I repeat it until they know it’s me. Until they are still and I can scoop them up under my arm or some will even come to my voice. How many times does our Heavenly Father say, “Here I am. Come to me. I will give you rest. I will be your safe place.”

“He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” Psalm 91:4

I’m thankful that I know my Good Shepherds voice. That HE willingly scoops me up in the safety of his wings.

How do we recognize the voice of God?

How do we recognize anyone’s voice?

By spending time with them. By listening to them. Then we can be sure we can discern their voice over anyone that even tries to pose as them.

So even if we close our eyes… even if we are stuck in the dark…. all we have to do is follow the voice of the good Shepherd and he will lead us to safety.

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Wilderness Walking

In the place of despair and separation she longed for days filled with laughter and peace.

It had only been 4 years, but it seemed like 40. Was she being disobedient? Disloyal? Why did it seem as though she was walking circles?

She begged for dry bones to come alive again. For rain to fall on her.

Lord, remove everything from me that is not of you. No matter the cost. Prune what needs to be pruned. Let me be thankful for the season I am in. Let me have ears to hear, eyes to see and a heart to feel what you have for me. Draw near to me, do not abandon me. Revive the spirit you have in me Lord. Set it on fire. Let me not be lukewarm!

She knew praying boldly, expectantly, that things would change. It would only be a matter of time.

He said to her, “be of sober mind, for your enemy the devil prowls around like a lion to seek whom he can devour.”

She didn’t understand, because she was among friends, and she told the Lord that.

Stronger than before the spirit inside her said, “be of sober mind, for your enemy the devil prowls around like a lion to seek whom he can devour.”

That was the warning she received one week before her Judas was revealed.

Things were changing. She was changing. She had already walked the Red Sea. Tasted the manna. Drank from the rock. Yet, she still hadn’t made it to the promise land. A little more pruning to do.

No longer were the desires of her heart to do things the world approved of.

No longer could she be silent when being lied to and taken advantage of.

Calling out injustices, finding the voice of self respect, it’s not a way to make friends, or even keep the ones you have, when you’ve previously chosen incorrectly in the friends department.

She realized quickly, unexpectedly, and outside of her control that there was a Judas in her life. How heartbreaking. She was sought after relentlessly in every way, for what? Thirty pieces of silver?Their personal gain? Their personal attention? In the grand scheme of things, only the Lord knows. For he looks into the heart of a person. He knows their motives. For the Lord takes it all into account.

She drew a prayer circle around her family. She stayed still. For the Holy Spirit had grabbed her tongue and said, Be quiet. Be Still, for the Lord shall fight for you. This happened on the 6th day of the 11th month, in the year of the virus.

For faith is grown in the darkness and revealed in the light.

For 6 long months she stayed silent, as the Lord fought for her in many different ways. Ways that weren’t revealed, because it may have shown the heart of Judas to the crowd. It was not yet time for that revelation.

Gods promises were true, nothing that formed against her prospered. Every single fire sent to turn her to ashes, did not prevail. She walked through them, not alone, but with her Abba holding her. Not even the smell of smoke touched her.

The Lord revealed her genuine friends, that walked with her in spirit and truth. Grounded in the One True King.

He sent in ahead of her those to prepare a place for her, when she walked out of the wilderness. He set a table before her, even in the presence of her Judah. He started restoring all the years the locust ate up. Double portions. Beauty from ashes. Dead to life.

So great were the storehouses set in front of her, that they were overflowing. For she then realized that as long as she was with Judas, she could never fully be restored. Never walk into the promise land.

Out of the darkness she ran, into the light and love of the creator of the world. The one who allowed her wilderness walking and turned it into an awakening. To captivate her heart. Her soul. Her life. For her gain and his glory.

So once again she prayed, “ Abba Father, saying thank you isn’t enough for all of the wilderness walking, fire featuring, wanderings you’ve carried me through. What the enemy meant for harm, you turned to good. My foot never struck a stone, not even a hair on my head was singed. May my life be a testimony for the goodness you are, the faithfulness you have shown, to me. Your servant, gracefully broken, beautifully bound by you.”


Grief to Joy (2)


Thursday March 16, 2017.

That was the day he came back home. He had been gone for 128.5 days. It was a bittersweet joy when he came back home. Coming back home to us meant that there was brokenness in the plan for him to be with his biological family. The details of that will be up to him to share one day. What I can share is my perspective. It is intimate. It is heartbreaking. It is a journey of beauty from ashes.

I remember exactly where I was the day I received a call that a little 1.5 year old boy needed a foster home. It was January 2015. I was standing in the baby aisle of Target with Dillon and Avery. I was 9 months pregnant. I was set to deliver Ansley any day.  Regrettably I had to tell the case worker no. To this day I still wonder if that was the first call I had for the little boy we now call our son.

In January 2016 I was sitting at work at 1800 and received a call for a 2.5 year old little boy. I immediately knew what my answer was, but called to confirm with Jeremy. Without hesitation Jeremy agreed we should say yes.

A few hours later there was a faint knock on the door. The cutest little boy came barreling into our home, like he owned the place, with a big smile on his face.

Once again, there are details of his story from that year (2016) that are not mine to share, but what I can say is that it was a joy to watch him make progress developmentally and emotionally.

November 7th 2016 was the day we said goodbye. (The featured picture was right before I buckled him in the caseworkers car.) We thought that was the last time we would see him. I wore a brave face and tried not to cry as I finished packing his things. He didn’t understand why I was putting everything he owned into boxes and duffel bags.

Once the case worker came we loaded down her SUV with his belongings. I buckled him in the back seat as I kept trying to smile to keep the tears at bay. I whispered a prayer over him, as I hugged him tight reminding him to say his prayers, and that I loved him so much.

and just like that they drove away……

I didn’t sleep much that night. I am pretty sure he didn’t either.  A thousand questions came to mind that would never get answered. Did he get snuggled in his blanket while rocking before bed? Did he get sung his nighttime song? Did he think we had abandoned him? Did he cry for me to say our bedtime prayers? Did he think I lied when I said “I love you” knowing he was supposed to be leaving my arms forever?

The days turned to weeks then turned to months. Several times during the days his sweet face would flood my mind and I would pray for him. Numerous nights I would wake up in a cold sweat and realize he wasn’t under my roof and would have an urgency to pray for him. Ansley, our youngest, would often talk to his chair as if he were sitting right there. No one else was allowed to sit in that chair without being reprimanded by the almost 2 year old. She would often ask to take his picture off the fridge so she could walk around the house with it. She often would remind us we needed to set a plate out so he wouldn’t be hungry too.

It was the beginning of March when it was confirmed that there was a plan to move him back to us. The anticipation of waiting for March 16th was very surreal and an even more surreal day. I could compare it to being a child waiting for Christmas morning mixed with the first day of school jitters.

Then the time came…… that same familiar SUV, that months earlier had taken a piece of my heart, was back. Only this time it was carrying that piece of my heart back home to me.

He was unbuckled and swinging open the door just as the car was in park. I was standing there, in the exact same spot I had told him goodbye. He leapt into my arms. That was when I realized I had been holding my breath since the day he left. The tears came uncontrollably, but he just hung onto me while smiling his big smile.

Once we walked inside Ansley was so overcome with joy that she cried. She was so excited to give him something to eat and drink that she wanted to feed him herself!

That night he fell asleep in my arms in the rocking chair. I cried, prayed and sang over him the way I did before he left. That time I knew he would not be leaving.

“Not flesh of my flesh or bone of my bone, but still miraculously my own.”




*Really cool side note. March 16th is also the date that I adopted my oldest son, in 2011.  So that day now has two special meanings for our family.