Although, I love geeking out to God’s Word, I spend about 80% of my time chasing a toddler, wiping counters and dating my husband. Here’s a day (or two…) in my super, regular, exciting life…
Truth about LifeOn Motherhood and Adoption
Our love story was, in my opinion, what one would call a Meet-Cute. I met my hubby, the first day I was back on campus, my sophomore year of college. While taking my nightly jog, I saw him walking the loop with another guy that could have been his brother, they looked so much alike. At first glance, I thought he was a transfer student, since he looked older than me. I sped up my pace and ran the stairs to try and catch up with them. By the time, I caught up- I realized that I had overdone it… and would need to walk a lap. I ran to my room, grabbed my water bottle and headed back up to the loop to start cooling down.
When I busted through the dorm lobby door, laughing and yelling back at some friends in the lobby, I literally turned my head just enough that I ran SMACK into him. This was not planned… yes, I had planned on catching up with him. No- I didn’t plan on running forcefully into him.
And when those faded blue eyes turned to me, that smile hit me square in my heart, I knew I was done for. This man was going to be my husband. Little did I know that marrying this man would lead to three rambunctious boys and our adopted daughter. In the past 17 years of marriage, we’ve moved to five different states, been in ministry in four different churches, one of those we planted.
Over the years, we’ve fostered several children, adopted multiple dogs and cats, and bought a farmhouse on several acres. My hubby, after living in our new place for a month and claiming our front porch swing where he would read his Bible and drink his coffee in the morning, pulled me aside and said, “It’s like living on a constant vacation out here. So peaceful.” He’s turning into a farm boy more, every day.
God started whispering to us about adoption immediately following the birth of our firstborn son. I had always been curious about adoption, as I saw it modeled in the lives of my aunts and uncles on my father’s side. But Michael never quite understood my fascination with it until our first date night away from our newborn. We were dirt poor and surviving on WIC checks and Medicaid insurance for myself and our son, as our first ministry. My mom had sent us away to a MercyMe concert featuring Steven Curtis Chapman while she snuggled her firstborn grandson for the evening.
After MercyMe had performed, Steven Curtis Chapman took the stage. After performing, he broke into his story of the adoption of their 3 youngest daughters. He spoke of God’s heart for adoption, and when I turned to Michael, he had tears on his cheeks, and he whispered to me, “I get it now.”
Fast forward five years- We took a ministry in Indiana, and I was privileged to work alongside a team of women who led our MOPS team. During that time, I met countless families who were fostering or had adopted through the foster care system. One little girl with curls and a big smile always got to me. She was such a happy child, and her family ADORED her. I began to see advertisements and billboards and meet countless foster parents… all the while feeling God whisper, “Get ready. You’re going to foster someday.” I never mentioned it to Michael… as I knew that I would need for him to bring it up if it was God’s will.
We moved to Arkansas in 2011, leaving our wonderful church family behind to pursue a job that Michael felt led to… in corporate America. It was a confusing time for us, as we had planned to always be in ministry. Now, looking back, I realize that God was preparing us, as He always does, for what would come next.
In 2015, we suddenly felt the weight of the amount of blessing that God had bestowed on us. God had grown a thriving church, Michael’s business was booming, and our boys kept asking for a sister. My last pregnancy had been high-risk… and so we had made the hard decision that our family of 3 boys would be all we would be bringing into the world, biologically. One day, Michael mentioned foster care as our area was in desperate need of foster families. We prayed about it, talked with the boys, friends and family… and made the plunge in foster care.
With all the planning, training, and preparation, we were not ready for the deep toll it would take on our boys and ourselves. Our first placement was a sibling group, and it wrecked our hearts. This was the worst-case situation… and for some reason, God brought them to us. We LOVED these kids… and through the months that they stayed with us, we were able to bring the darkness of their lives into the light and move them into therapeutic foster homes that would be able to focus on each individual kiddo. Over the two years, we fostered temporary placements… but around July of 2017, I suddenly had the urge to begin to furnish our extra bedroom as a nursery.
Michael and I had talked and prayed that if we received a placement call for a female under the age of 2, that we would take her. And on February 1, 2018, when Michael was travelling on business on the coast of California, I received that call.
Within 30 minutes, a big-brown eyed baby dressed in hot pink footie pajamas, sat looking up at me from her car seat, a huge smile on her face. My boys FELL FAST. They were immediately fawning all over her, trying to find a binky and emptying the diaper bag that she had come with. I called my sister-in-law, Tiffany, when I realized that- yes- I had band practice for our church in less than an hour– and so we loaded up the Tahoe, and drove with a screaming baby all the way to the church, picking up a binky on the way.
I had no idea, in that moment, that within 18 months, she would be our forever daughter. I had no idea in those moments that she would be diagnosed as a “container baby” (baby who was rarely taken out of her carseat- and therefore had no core strength… leading to years of physical and occupational therapy.) I had no idea that this little girl would be the endcap to our family… that she would have a heart of gold and a personality of fierceness. I had no idea that she would initially be terrified of Michael’s beard… and would scream at him when he would look at her. I had no idea that when she turned 3, she would be conflicted when she realized that I was married to the man she thought she would marry someday. Ha, ha!
What I did know, was that God knew this all before. He knew the hour that our future daughter would be dropped in our laps. He knew that before we had children that we would already have her name picked out. He knew that people would tell me that she looked like me- that she would have the same high check dimple that I do- and that she would confuse “mushrooms” with “marshmallows” just as I did as a child. He knew.
And, I’m so glad He did.
Let’s walk back in time for a second. Picture this: It’s 26 A.D in Nazareth (Israel). You’ve spent the week as a stonemason and your arms ache from the back-breaking work you do, day in and day out. This Sabbath morning, you’re sitting in the synagogue listening to...
June 1, 2020 This is not okay. Not even in the slightest. To begin- let me first say- I don't know if my voice on this really even matters. I've really had to process the last week- even the last couple of month's... scratch that... the last couple of years, over the...
I remember it vividly. A well-known and loved professor screaming at the top of his lungs, “CONTEXT IS KING!” At first, I had no idea what he was talking about. I felt out of the loop, like he had this private club that I didn't have the key to. But the more I learn...
Thoughts about Life from the Farm Girl
Check out my most recent thoughts on life, motherhood, and adoption!
I sat, criss-cross applesauce, amidst other 1st graders, at our non-denominational church in the chilly basement in Small Town, Nebraska. The other kids whispered quietly to each other, while my good friend, Michael, joked loudly with his cousin, Nick. I stared at my...
It’s not the same… we can’t meet together collectively. It’s not normal… we aren’t allowed to worship together in the same room anymore. It’s not even similar… we are spending church virtually instead of spending next to flesh and blood.
I am not perfect. Ha!! The fact that I even have to write this sentence down- for some reason just makes me laugh. I think it's hilarious that many people assume that because I am married to a minister that I've got my act together. So FUNNY! I do not- and don't...