Thursday, June 19, 2014

Meet Grace.....

I'd love for you all to meet our sweet baby Grace. She never made it to my arms, but she grew in my heart, and has never left.
She only made it 9 weeks inside of me, but I will never forget her. Her sweet tiny body is now buried under a tree on our land next to my husbands brother. We could see her tiny eyes, heart, hands, FINGERS, legs and TOES! It's amazing how small we start, but have features so perfectly formed.

I was due July 20th. I should have been hugely pregnant with swollen feet and indigestion right now. But I'm not. It's strange to wonder why God allows things like this to happen. But I know He has mighty plans, and loves our sweet Grace more then we do.

Our other 3 pregnancies (2 births and 1 other miscarriage) were all helped along with fertility drugs, so when we found out Grace was in me...we were SHOCKED yet elated! My husband was in Nicaragua on a medical mission trip and I was at the house with our other 5 kids and my mom. I kept feeling exhausted and nauseous. It was weird. I joked to my mom that I could be pregnant. But I knew that wasn't the case because Brian and I had been married over 10 years at the time, and had never been pregnant without months of fertility drugs.

I ran to the store and slyly bought a couple pregnancies tests "just to see". Dodging a few people I knew, so they wouldn't see the tests in my hands. Didn't want any rumors floating around! ;) Fully believing they'd be negative, I purchased them and headed home. I took one and it immediately was positive. I was pretty sure I was going to pass out. What?? What?? My mom was excited and I started to feel excited too!

We quickly found a shirt, of our current little sweetie that said "Little Sister" and crossed out "little" with a sharpie and wrote the word "BIG". How fun to greet my husband at the airport to announce to him that we were going to have to get a 12 passenger van probably.

It was so exciting when he figured out what our little Joie's shirt meant. He was speechless and then kept saying "what?? what??' Our friends at the airport that were welcoming their husbands and dads back from Nicaragua too, were just as ecstatic. It was pure joy!!

I still count her life as pure joy. We had 5 more weeks of knowing she was in there before she met our sweet Jesus.

I love to picture that she got to meet her sibling that went to heaven 7 years ago. I bet they are buddies and play together. I know they are. And my sweet friend Natalie's twin boys. And Amy's precious little girl.

She was real. She had life. She was a person. I kissed her goodbye on earth, but I am excited to meet her and give her a big hug and kiss in heaven one day.

I tend to not do so well after I give birth or miscarriage. I suffer from severe anxiety. It's life changing and frustrating. So if you know me personally and wonder where I've been since December, I'm now back. I only went to selective events and places since then, for fear I would have another full blown panic attack. Not really one of my favorite things in the world. But God heals those that suffer and I fully believe He did. I knew the dark would be coming, but I also knew the light would come back again. And it finally has. I'm ever so grateful!

I think women are ashamed or embarrassed to talk about postpartum events in their minds. It's ok. I promise you are not alone. It comes and goes, but you WILL get back to your regular life again. Hang in there!

Sweet Grace, how I love you. I will see you one day.

Why I need Grace.....

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Birthparents. It's the big question we get when people are asking about fostering and/or adopting. "Aren't they creepy?" "Won't they hunt you down and steal the child back?!"


Birthparents. They are just people who are going through a very broken time in their lives. They truly love their children, but aren't able to take care of them. Or sometimes, would rather their child have a different life then they can provide. When we receive a new child, I always write a letter to the birth parent to tell them we will take good care of their child while they get their lives back together. I don't want to be their enemy. I want to walk beside them while they grow and heal. Several children have left our home. And it is sad. But they are God's children, not mine. He has plans for them that I may never understand. But boy am I thankful, He let us parent the ones he has allowed to stay in our home forever. 

I absolutely adore the relationships we have with the birth families of our adopted children. We have met grandmothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins. It's so sweet to see how many people love these children. God can do some amazing things in these relationships. 

Not all birth parents chose to have such an open relationship with their children and the adoptive family. That breaks my heart. (Sometimes it is a safety issue for a child to continue a relationship with  birth parents. And in that instance, distance is a better choice.) For a child to know who they are and where they come from is so important. 

One of my favorite pictures is below. It shows the love and sacrifice of this whole situation. I sat on the hospital bed with our precious birth mom and hugged and cried with her. My heart was so conflicted. I was aching for her loss that was to happen in that hour, but overjoyed at our precious new baby. It truly was the definition of bittersweet. As we walked out with our new baby, I glanced back once again at this precious young girl in the room. That image is forever burned in my memory.  I wanted to run back and take her home with me too. I love her so much. I spent most of that day praying that God would comfort her heart. 

The Lord is near to those who are broken hearted. And He brings beauty out of ashes. 

I view our birth families as our extended family. We communicate regularly and I strive for our children to have a good relationship with these loved ones. Even our birth children regularly refer to our birth families as if they are a normal part of their lives. Seeing them love on others is so important. Life is hard and emotional. But we can't become comfortable or we would forget what we are striving for in this world. Showing others Jesus, and praying they follow along with us to Heaven. 

Thank you to every brave parent that allows their child to be raised by a different family. You are heroes in my eyes. 
What a sacrifice. What an impact you have made. What love.

Why I need grace....

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Here it is. The blog I've been wanting to start for YEARS! So many people have begged me to blog. And my mind is full of things daily I really want to write down. This blog will give you a glimpse into my life. It's full of children, foster care, healthy eating, homeschooling, my faith, historic home renovation, and my thoughts on life with the grace of the Lord. Because can we live without His grace!

My days are filled with little people with lots of needs, boo-boo's to kiss, diapers to change, books to be read, meals to make, laughter, meals to be made, faith to be shared, meals to be made, silliness and thoughts to listen to....

I love to research healthy eating, homeschooling, and orphan care. I pray my blog creates a document of memories for my children, and some encouragement for those who read. And mostly...glorifies God. 

Why I need grace.....