I haven't written in two months. no wait. more (i started this post a long time ago...) I didn't die. I didn't change residences. Lots has happened, and I have taken lots of great pictures, but my computer REALLY sucks, and I cannot upload pictures to my blog anymore. but that's ok, cause I am now in this strange place in my life where I can't take a ton of pictures and share them. have we re-entered the witness protection program? no. we have embarked on this very strange and wonderful and painful journey, and I want to invite you on this journey with us. but again- there will be no pictures. just lots of words. lots and lots of words. and some feelings. and probably a good amount of whining.
but before I tell you where we are going together, let me tell you how we got here:
a few years ago during the holidays I read a ton of annoying articles about these annoying families that wouldn't celebrate thanksgiving in the traditional way of gorging themselves and then going black Friday shopping (one of my favorite holidays!) instead, these crazy families would wake up at the buttcrack of dawn and make like a million sandwiches and vats of hot chocolate and then distribute them to the homeless and downtrodden of their city. and I read an absurd number of heart-breaking/warming articles about kids who had battled (and beat!) cancer and other life-threatening diseases and so they spent the bulk of their holidays in hospitals blessing other kids and families. but what was i to do? our family is healthy and i had too many little kids to be considering feeding AND fellowshiping with the homeless. so i prayed for God to give our family a mission. not for us to go to africa, but to make a difference in our community, and something that would help my kids to see how privileged and downright LUCKY they are, as well as to have an opportunity to serve alongside Chris and i.
fast forward a bunch of months. maybe even a year. no wait. i think it was about a year exactly cause i started reading those articles before thanksgiving and we had this epiphany right before thanksgiving... anyway, we decided to grow our family. i did not want to have another baby for the longest time, but Mia was already one (i guess for normal folks, contemplating having another baby when your baby turns 1 is not a LONG time, but remember i got pregnant with Topher when Lily was FOUR MONTHS OLD!!!) and she was such a FANTASTICAL little chubby baby. i felt prepared to try to recreate some of that magic! but God's sense of humor took over, and instead of preparing us to have one of our own babies, He was preparing us to have one of His babies. no, not like that. as in a ward of the state, aka a foster kid.
oh man, you should have seen me try to back pedal out of this corner!:
"what Lord? i don't want any more kids. yes Lord, i love you and would do anything for you. but not that. and still don't send me to africa. i did ask for a mission for my whole family to be involved in, but 'how bout we revisit that serving sandwiches on thanksgiving option again? i'll even do it twice a year!!! Lord? Lord????''
Chris felt CALLED. he was the driving force behind this train(wreck). we went to a 1 hour orientation, which lead to a 6 hour saturday all-day orientation type thing, which lead to us picking an agency (Christian Family Care Agency- and we ADORE them), which lead to 10 3-hour long thursday evening classes, which lead to more mandatory (and necessary) hoop-jumping, which led us to get licensed in June. whew.
the 10 week classes were actually pretty enjoyable because we had the two best instructors in the universe. they both work for our agency and one is an adoption specialist who has a foster-turned adopted grandson, and the other was the sweetest lady who had fostered for about 15 years and had over 30 kids live in her home over that period of time. their wealth of knowledge and experience was incredible. one thing that the adoption specialist said that stuck with me was this: "some of you are called to just foster. some of you are called to just adopt. some of you are called to foster and then adopt. and some of you are called to none of the above." (admittedly i hoped i was in the last category! fingers crossed...) but then he continued: "but you are all here, and i want you to make it through the whole ten weeks and see what God is calling you to do, and even if it isn't to do any of the three situations, EVERYONE has a role in the foster syster." oh man. by the end of the 10 weeks i, along with Chris, felt an overwhelming burden to become foster parents.
the reason i am blogging about this is cause we need your help. we need you to pray for us. often. and twice on sundays.
tomorrow is our three month anniversary of non-stop having a ward of the state living with us. we started off providing respite for another foster family by watching their little 2 year old boy for 5 days, which actually over-lapped with our watching our cousins' 6 year old foster daughter for 8 days by 2 days, and then we got our little girl, J, who is now 20 months old; we got her on a monday, and our cousins' foster daughter left the following day, so there were three days altogether when we had two foster kids living in our house! it was amazing madness! there are lots of moments of GREATNESS and wonder and unspeakable joy. chris and i feel such peace knowing we are right in the middle of where God wants us to be right now. BUT there are also LOTS of moments of tears and sadness and madness and loneliness and insanity. we are blessed, but man, we are also tired.
so, dear friend, when you think about it, please pray for us. we have a pretty phenomenal group of people who have helped us out SO VERY VERY VERY much over the last three months (no wait, longer than that.) but if God puts it on your heart to join our group- let me know! you want to watch the kids? great! you want to bring me a coffee? do it! you want to tell me that you prayed for me once and plan on doing it again- bring it on! there's room for you here at crazy town :)