Monday, December 29, 2014

Hitting the Pause Button

I am a terrible blogger, which would make you think I am an AWESOME mommy during Christmas Break {She's not blogging, she MUST be doing fun stuff w/ her kids!!!}...but really, I am content if I have laundry done & kids fed most days. Sorry if that disappoints you.

I know some of you picture me having the kids sitting around in a circle singing Kumbaya first thing in the morning, followed by age appropriate crafts w/ each of them, and then fixing them lunches that resemble something off Pinterest, all while wearing perfect makeup and smiling.

Reality is, if I don't have a photo shoot that day, I'm probably still wearing pajamas when Matt walks in the door. The only sunshine I get (IF the sun is even out) is when I step out back for a breather to keep from raising my voice at the kids.

My kids have been sick off & on most of December, and I think I have only been to church once this entire month. There was one week that I was home all day EVERY day for a full 7 days. Matt kept insisting he could run to the store for me and I thought I was going to start crying when I demanded that I go because I hadn't stepped out of the house in 7 days.  Poor guy, he didn't sign up for this hot mess of a wife!

Life is good. It is full. There is joy in the midst of the chaos. There are toddler giggles, teen fits of laughter, singing, silly dancing, movie DAYS, treats and just overall happiness. But it isn't how I imagined it would be. There are battles we are fighting. It's like slaying dragons I never even imagined would taunt our family. MY family.

Some days, the force of it all almost takes my breath away. I am more emotional than ever before in my life...not like psycho lady emotional, but like weepy-what-the-heck-was-I-thinking-lady. It hit me a couple of months ago. And I can't seem to shake it.  Wait, maybe that DOES make me Psycho Lady?

So all this to say...we are hitting the pause button on adding additional children to our family right now. I've had a few people ask me. I love their curiosity. I am thankful I have made the topic THAT approachable. We do want another child. A chocolate skinned one, hopefully.

But first, we need to help our kiddos continue to heal.

And Mommy needs to figure out how to handle this load. OR get on hormone replacement. Or something...

You know how one of the moms from back in the day (can't remember who, but she had a boat load of children & one of those kids ended up becoming a VIP) used to hide under the table to have her Quiet Times? Well, I wish I had more of her desire to be creative in finding ways to spend time w/ the Lord. And I think that is where my main problem is. I am so spent after each day from just trying to meet the daily needs of this precious family, that I have forgotten to make time for Jesus.

Would humbly appreciate your prayers.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday | Personal | Adoption

Amy Belle's Gotcha Day
Wordless Wednesday

Photography by Michelle Leach of Magnolia Adams Photography

Blog post coming later this week.

And if you're finding this Wordless Wednesday through a link, just want you to know that I shoot adoptions too! :)  Happy Wednesday!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Dearest Sunshine Girl

Dearest Sunshine Girl,
     Tomorrow you become a Morrow. If someone had told me at the beginning of this year that I would be adopting a 16 year old...I would have laughed at the silliness of that statement.  Now, if anyone were to question why I was adopting a 16 year old, I would probably punch them in the nose.
     You were born into unfair circumstances. But you WERE BORN.  You didn't have the best start in life.  But you have made the most out of your young life. You are a fierce fighter. A mighty warrior princess. At times you have had to kick & scream to be heard. But God has heard your cries. YOU.ARE.A.SURVIVOR and I stand in awe of how the Lord has brought you into our family and molded you perfectly to fit into our family.
      We are SO excited for you to officially have our last name. So excited to no longer have to explain to receptionists that you're my Foster Daughter when they ask what our relation is. So excited to no longer have to blob your face out of pictures on Facebook and the blog. So excited that tomorrow, on the day that we celebrate your 16th Birthday, the day you were born, we will also be celebrating the day you are being born into our family and becoming a Morrow.
     Love you precious girl!  See you in the morning!  :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wordless Wednesday | Noah's Adoption | Personal

Wordless Wednesday
Noah's Gotcha Day
Photography by: Michelle Leach of Magnolia Adams Photography

*Sunshine Girl's face is blurred because DHS won't allow us to post her face until we adopt her*

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tiny's Birthday

The boys are napping and my husband just left w/ our daughters. They are going to the Health Food Center, and to pick up raw milk from our Dairy Farmer in Blanchard.  In this family, daddy does the grocery shopping and momma catches up on editing while he's gone!  This, by the way, is one of the main reasons he's a Superman to momma. This momma ABHORS grocery shopping!!!  I actually had a panic attack once because I was so overwhelmed with all the groceries, smells & people. Dead serious. I called my mom in the midst of my freak out mode. She said the same thing has happened to her before and so MY DAD does her shopping.
Creative people are weird ya'll. Just weird.

Today has been a very special day in our family. Our "Tiny's" First Birthday is today.  Matt's parents and his brother and his family joined in the celebration. Kimber, just so happens to be one of my dearest friends and we haven't had time to hang out in months, so it was just a blessing in that respect too! Also we rarely get to see Matt's parents out of church so it was a blessing to see them loving on our crew. Family is a blessing. Too often, we take them for granted.

Where was I? Oh yes, Tiny's First Birthday!!!
I am forever going to be indebted to all of our foster and adopted children's biological moms. They chose to give them life. They could have chosen the other alternative and most of America would've been okay w/that too. Tiny's mom chose life. And she chose to give up her rights and requested we become his forever family. And because of that, baby boy #2 is now a part of our family. And because of that, she has been on my mind all day today.  What does a biological mom do on each of her children's birthdays? I know she remembers his birthday. I know she remembers the pangs of her womb as she labored for hours to give him life. I know she remembers. And I hurt for her, because rather than she being the one celebrating with him today, it's the Morrows.

Foster Care and Adoption is a web of beauty and pain, loss and redemption. We're only 3 years into boys haven't started asking the hard questions yet. But when they do, I hope and pray that I can lovingly help them honor their birth parents for the fact that they chose to give them life. Our Sunshine Girl has been through a lot. She rarely mentions her family. But today she has. Because birthdays are meant to be celebrated with family. This is hard ya'll. This new "us" is so confusing at times, even to me and I'm an adult. We just ask that you please pray for us as we navigate the beautiful messiness of adoption.

Tiny's Mom, if you have somehow stumbled upon this blog. Please know that Tiny and I (we were the first ones up!) prayed out loud for you and we thanked Jesus for you this morning. Thank you for giving him the gift of life. You are a super woman to us! And we asked Jesus to draw you close to Him so He could give you such an awesome future, that you can't even imagine right now.  Your son is beautiful and joyful. He took his first steps about 2 weeks ago. He's walking now. He loves to play with Josiah and daddy the most. He loves food. Not picky at all. And he enjoys hearing his own voice. He met his full brother about a month ago. They look EXACTLY alike. I promise to keep him in contact with all his siblings. Thank you for the gift of G.E.H. Love, Mary

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sunshine Girl's Paper on Nomads and Foster Care

Sunshine Girl has been studying Nomads and was assigned a paper. She couldn't think of how to write it so she did a little twist on it and compared it to Foster Care.  She's given me permission to post this. She would love to hear your thoughts.  Thanks!

Living like a Nomad

When I was a foster child I was like a Nomad. I always traveled alone like some Nomads did.  I've always traveled from place to place like Nomads did too. The word nomad means “one who wanders for pasture”. For me wandering for pasture means wandering for a home.

It was never fun moving all the time. It was always like “been there done that” all the time. Nomads look for the perfect place for their herd. Like me I've always have been looking for the perfect place for myself.  

For me and the world it's been like a journey and I think I can speak for Nomads also. Even though when I was in foster care and I was always looking for a place, I never gave up. But a lot of times I felt like giving up. I don't really know if Nomads ever gave up or even felt like giving up but I believe that they did not give up on finding a place. 

Because they always look for that one place for their herd. And that one place to call home. I don't know if you ever felt like this but when you're moving it doesn't just stop, it keeps going on and on. And it always seems like forever is never going to quit. 

Some morning's I would wake up and dream that I was at the place where I always dreamed of in my head, then I would go out of the room and it was a natural disaster. I wander if that's how Nomads ever felt? I've never had some one to say “I love you” to me at night and in the morning or even during the day. And I bet you $10,000 that the Nomads that traveled alone, like me, didn’t have anyone to do that to them also.

In school I always felt like a loner. Never getting any attention, never getting that one teacher to help me properly. I bet the nomads felt like loner's too. Now that I see how much Nomads are like me I guess you can call us “God's special one's”.

I can't believe it but I actually found that one place for me though. I'm sure that at least some Nomads got to find that one place for their herds. If not I just wish that they could have. It would have been wonderful.

It was wonderful for me to find out that I have a family interested in me. And that they wanted me to be part of their family. In conclusion, Nomads and foster care children will always have at least one thing in common with each other - not having a home to settle down in, or anything.

You will never been alone because God always has a plan for you. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Morrow Update | Life

It took me a few days to write this little post because life is busy and needs are many. I'd love for you to take a break and sit down with me. Go ahead. I give you permission to grab a coffee or a tea and sit down with me!  *pats seat next to self*  There's much to catch up on and we don't have much time before the kids start hollering that they're hungry!

Life has been surprisingly calm the last few weeks. It has been such a blessing. 
We started school 4 weeks ago, the first week was a shell shock to me, the mother hen and teacher of this coop!  I knew school would take more time, but I hadn't anticipated the length of time nor the mental exhaustion I would be hit with every day.  The second week was a little smoother, by the third week, I realized that this was just the new season I was in. School is going to take longer. Period. I can either choose to be frustrated that I have even less free time than I did before, or I can embrace the fact that school just takes longer and deal w/ it rather than being a whiney mommy!

We planted a garden this Summer. It was a late garden because we were waiting to borrow a tiller from my in-laws.  The squash was doing terrific until squash bugs came and ate one of the plants completely before I even realized what was going on! I was able to salvage the other plant but it didn't produce much more squash.  I don't even know what happened to the kale, but it died w/out any critters attacking it.  We were able to harvest 2 kales out of the batch. The watermelon plant was doing phenomenal and we were able to harvest 3 sweet watermelons until the dumb squash bugs attacked it as well... and then the 2 baby watermelons that sprung up out of nowhere were gleefully picked by Josiah before they poor things had a chance to grow bigger than a golf ball! Our tomato plants have been the biggest blessing. They are going haywire even though some bugs tried attacking them!  We also have 6 corn plants that have survived all the chaos, but I think they still have another month of growing before they are ready to be picked.  All in all, it's been an exhaustingly great experience for us. Next year our plan is to double the garden size and to have a separate strawberry patch because our strawberries didn't do well in the garden w/ all the bugs and other stuff competing for nutrition.  Can I just say that having a garden is hard work, but it wasn't as hard as I had anticipated. Josiah helped me w/ the watering and we gave up pulling weeds about one month into gardening. LOL!!!  A special thank you to Rhonda's friend who texted me gardening tips just about every other day when a new bug would start feasting on our crops!

Can I share a secret with you?  Come close. Are you ready for this? *takes a deep breath as she prepares to share a dream with you*  I would really like land...then I can have an entire acre of garden goods to share w/ friends and then I can learn to "can"!  :)  And we found out this Summer through asking on FB that 3 of my girls are highly allergic to something they put in the water to make it safe for really, we need Well Water in order for them to be rid of this allergy.  And chickens would be sooo wonderful!  We go through 4-5 dozen grassfed chicken eggs every single week. Having our own chickens would save us a pretty penny!  And a few cows, those would be nice. Grassfed beef for Josiah's grain intolerance is super expensive.  So yeah, we need to live in the country and we need land. :) *happy sigh, thank you for letting me dream with you!*

I can't remember if I shared with ya'll, but this late Spring we had the wonderful opportunity of speaking at New Life Church in Blanchard about Foster Care. There were about 15 people there. This church chose to adopt our family for 6 months. They have been such a source of encouragement to our family in more ways than I can even explain.  Foster Care has been such a life changing experience for our family. It has also been a pretty lonely one. As we have chosen to put these kids before our own needs and poured ourselves into them in order to bring healing to their lives, we have fallen out of touch w/ our local community of friends and pretty much our previous life.  Being adopted by this small body of believers was the Lord's way of whispering to us "I see you. You matter. You are changing lives. You are NOT alone." They may be a small church, but they made a HUGE impact on our family and our kids' lives. We believe that one of the reasons many foster homes shut down so quickly after they open is due to a lack of support. New Life Church in Blanchard has been that support for us the last 5 months and we are so thankful to them. They walked alongside us as we dealt w/ some pretty tough stuff with one of our kids. Thank you New Life!
If your church would like to hear us speak, you can get in contact with us by emailing my husband, Matt, at togodalonetheglory at yahoo dot com.  He's the speaker. I'm the child wrangler :).  

Last week we received some fabulous news... Tiny's adoption is getting VERY close!  We have our Disclosure in 2 days and then the Court Date is set for September 22nd.  Sunshine girl's adoption is going to try to be finalized the first week of November.  The Lord has been good to us!

Thanks for sitting awhile with me. If you have any questions about foster care or adoption feel free to email me, my address is tomorrows_memories at sbcglobal dot net.  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Life Peek

There are joyously great seasons in life..they stand out like brilliant sun rays.
There are equally difficult seasons...even years down the road, they can take your breath away, it hurts so bad.
We're in the middle of one of these seasons right now.
I can't share info, but the case worker says when they really start to act out is when real healing can begin.
So if you could lift us up, we would greatly appreciate it.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Emergency Foster Care | A peek into our family's weekend

It started w/ a text that said something along the lines of "you're going to think I'm crazy, but we cannot find a home for this little guy. I know you already have your hands full, but can you take him?" I ran outside to talk to Superman who was planting grass seeds because our lawn guy did just as requested, he got rid of our weeds...but apparently, our yard was ONLY weeds cause all we have is dirt now. Superman contemplated. But w/in a few minutes he said "yes". I texted back "yes". We only knew he was close to a 1 yr old. No details. We said "yes" regardless.

Taking in a foster child for just a few days is known as "Emergency Foster Care".  It's a VERY short term commitment to be everything that little precious angel needs until a more permanent foster home can be found.
He was delivered to our door a few hours later.
He was smiling.
Ready to play w/ the smiling strangers in front of him.
And play we did!
He just needed a safe place for a couple of days until a foster home could be found for him.
He needed a temporary family to provide him w/ hugs & kisses, a full belly, clean diapers, tickles, more hugs & kisses and a few age appropriate toys.
(His favorite toy we had were the little toy rings that you attach toys to.)
Silly baby!

Our whole family pitched in.
Sunshine girl attached to him right away since they come from similar backgrounds.
It was beautiful to see the Lord do more healing in her heart as she loved on Smiley.

Saturday bedtime rolled around and we were a little worried.  We didn't know his bedtime routine.  All babies are a little different and have their own quirks about how to best fall asleep.  So I prayed like crazy. I applied Cedarwood oil to his feet mixed w/ coconut oil, and then I added some to a diffuser cause I'm a crazy oil lady. I prayed over him. And then I just started rocking him. And he was fast asleep in less than 15 minutes.

Our entire weekend went like normal, but w/ an extra baby.  We worked on the garden. We had family time. My brother came from out of town to visit on Sunday, we all sat in the living room and played w/ the babies.  We just loved seeing Smiley play w/ Tiny & enjoy himself.  My sister-in-law helped watch them while I helped Matt prep dinner.  Sunday night bedtime rolled around and since everything worked the night before, we repeated it again..and he was fast asleep again. Praise the Lord! Ya'll know what I'm talkin' about right?  If momma can get some sleep, she can tackle just about anything the next day!

He woke up around 8am in the morning, had a good breakfast, played happily, took a 45 min nap about 3 hours later, had a good lunch, took a 45 minute nap about 3 hours later, played, giggled, chewed on things, let me have a photo op, drooled and baby talked.

He was picked up by a Worker this evening and delivered to his permanent foster home.

And that's a peek into our family's experience w/ Emergency Foster Care.
Why am I sharing this w/ you?
Because maybe you want to be involved in Foster Care, but don't feel like you can commit months/years...what if you just took in Emergency Foster kiddos once or twice a month?
There's always a way to help, if you really want to!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sick babies...

He's sick.
So is Josiah.
And it seems there is no rest for the weary...
The girls are going to stay up to watch the Eclipse & Blood Moon.
We've been studying the moon in Science.
Guess I'll join in that fun too.
Sleep is overrated anyway!

...quietly sobs because she is beyond tired!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Answered Prayer Request! {Full Size Van}

Hey everyone!
I just finished editing a session whilst white noise plays in the background & wanted to give you a quick update between holding 2 sick babies to let you know that we were blessed with a full size van today!
As you all know, this has been a HUGE prayer request.  Bigger vehicle means we can all drive together as a family again.  A couple of months ago, a bigger vehicle was going to give us the opportunity to take in another foster child.  We decided to quit caring about the vehicle space & said YES to a foster child who we have fallen madly in love with, even though we DID NOT have enough vehicle space. However, we have trusted that the Lord would provide our larger vehicle in His perfect timing!
Matt & I had a Date Night this past Thursday (thank you RR!!!). So we went to Diffee  in El Reno. They are a Christian based car dealership that cares about orphan care.

We found out SUV's are not big enough for our family. Period. They aren't very wide inside. You cannot fit 3 teenagers & a 10 year old in them along w/ 2 car seats. Humanly impossible unless said children are stick children. Our children are NOT stick children. Even though sometimes when life is unbearably unfair, I wish I had stick children since I hear they don't talk back.  And I am SO thankful for that!

We are now the proud owners of a white full size van. You know, the kind that churches drive, or ax murderers, but ax murderer vans don't have windows and ours has nice BIG windows. The kids are THRILLED. Apparently all of them were hoping for a church van vehicle as opposed to an SUV. Who knew?!?!?!

Oh THANK YOU JESUS for our new van!!!

I could NEVER have imagined 2 years ago, that on this Saturday, April 12th, just 2 weeks before my birthday, that I would be humbly thanking my Provider for a large white van.
I also never thought my weekly grocery bill would be $300. So we are working on reducing that in order to pay for our new van payment! LOL!!! We are also accepting financial donations, grass-fed beef or organic produce!  :p  I kid, I kid!

Thank you to those who continue on this wonderfully wild journey with us! We are now praying for Sunshine's Bubba...
Pray with us?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Quick Prayer Request

Could ya'll please pray we find a larger vehicle that runs excellent and that we can afford?Thank you!

It needs to, at the very minimum, fit 8 people and have trunk space for a double stroller.
It needs to run excellent...Matt is not handy w/ cars.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fostering a Teen, Week 3

Week 1:
Everyone is deliriously happy w/ the decision to say yes to God to take in another child.
Everyone IS genuinely enjoying the bonding time.  Every day revolves around BONDING, BONDING, BONDING, FUN, FUN, FUN, JESUS, FAMILY, JESUS, FAMILY TIME.

Week 2:
Ditto week 1, but towards the end of the week, exhaustion is starting to set in.
Mama saves all her chores & editing for AFTER kids are in bed and a mama can only go on little sleep before she hits a wall!

Week 3:
Slap those happy faces on kids!

So thankful we are on Spring Break!!!  We need major down time w/ NO school!!!

Our Sunshine girl is such an immense delight!  But the I'm-going-out-of-my-way-to-give-her-the-best-of-myself attitude that one of the kids had, is GONE.  And said little person has requested we have a mommy-daughter date, just the two of us.  That's scheduled for TONIGHT folks!

Everyone else (the mature ones) are still totally digging this and we can't believe how un-hard it is, except for the house being a little less quiet, which means less reading time for the Readers in the house.

Sunshine girl claimed to not really like little kids when she first arrived...which made us laugh because she had 2 little kids she would need to start liking pretty soon!  Now she is madly in love w/ The Littles and jumps in to play & join in the giggles.  :)

We're still trying to figure out meals we can all agree upon, but this was the case before her arrival.  The other kids in our home all have different ideas of what a good, balanced meal is and Miss Sunshine's most recent foster home had a mom who cooked amazing southern meals, fried fish & all.  We don't eat like that... but we HAVE cooked several of her requests already including sunny side up eggs on top of pancakes. Apparently, I didn't make the pancakes large enough. But I got an E for effort!  :)-

Still can't believe this is my life. I can't believe I have been blessed with such a beautiful family. Their hearts are so pure, so loving, so giving, selfless, gentle and kind.  This includes Sunshine girl. I kid you not, she is already a Morrow!  The Lord takes my breath away by how He TOTALLY does put the lonely in families...the PERFECT family for them!

And how is Matt, really?
AH-MAZING.  But would you really expect anything else?  When a man fully surrenders himself to the Lord in EVERY SINGLE ASPECT...he yearns for nothing more than to live fully for the Lord & to bring Him glory in every area of his life, including parenting...especially parenting.  We are raising the future, right now, one day at a time, with smiles, hugs, "I believe in YOU!", "we all make mistakes & it's okay!", worship times, family time, dinners - together, silliness, I love you's, quick WalMart trips w/ 3 teens & buying chocolate...
That's my Matt.
He takes my breath away.
I NEVER imagined I would get this lucky.

Adoption & Fostering has brought a new depth of immense joy to our marriage & family.  We are getting to take part in something HUGE for His glory.  And I am daily humbled we get to be a part of this.

This life wasn't meant to be lived selfishly for ourselves, to store up treasures for our own happiness. This life is a gift from the Lord, to be shared with others, to make His Name known among those who don't know Him.

When we die and we stand before God, all that's going to matter is what we did with what He gave us, with our life (did we surrender it to Him?), with our children (did we teach them about Him?), with our talents (did we use them for His glory?), with our finances (did we allow Him to lead us in how to use them?).

We can't take the new game system with us to heaven, or the sweet, new SUV you just financed, we can't even take our pretty shoe collection to heaven, even if it does sparkle.  Where are YOUR priorities?  Maybe it's time to re-evaluate?  I know He has definitely had our family re-evaluate what we're living for over the last few years and continues to do so, daily.

Ps. I won't get to blog much after this week. My Home School load has increased w/ our Sunshine girl, almost doubled. When a child is bounced around from home to home, district to district, they fall behind on school.  Different teachers teach out of textbooks differently. Some chapters aren't done in order. Some chapters are skipped. A child that moves several times a year from schools doesn't have time to catch up. It's not rocket science, it would happen to any of us. So we are working diligently to get her as caught up as possible before next school year. Yes, we get to do Summer School. Sobs.  Thankful she has one on one help now. :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thankful Thursday | Personal

Today I'm thankful for... too many things, but here's a few things that will bless you :).

  • beginning the adoption process of "Tiny"
  • seeing him learn to scoot during tummy time
  • welcoming another daughter into our home
  • and seeing the rest of our crew welcome her with open arms & hearts
  • and feeling like my heart is going to burst
  • having the faith to know sometimes we have to obey, before the Lord provides... so we wait on our larger vehicle and a few other things that He knows we need & we trust 
  • piano lessons for our new sunshine girl
  • ukelele lessons for Sara
  • continued violin lessons for Gabi
  • Freezer Swap Group
  • a surprise meal for my SIL & our kids while Matt & I were away at a Foster Care Marriage Conference
  • God is good, all the time!
Night, night!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I'm a mom, again...

Just wanted ya'll to know that I'm a mom, again...
My hands are wonderfully full.  My heart constantly feels like it may burst with joy.  Tears well up at the oddest times, because of a smile shared.  And boy am I EXHAUSTED.


Our newest addition is older & beautiful.
The rest of our crew has embraced her and made her a Morrow instantly.

See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us his children, and that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

Monday, February 24, 2014

Full Size Van

There are 7 ppl in our family right now.  Our girls have weekend sleepovers frequently.
I drive a Nissan Quest.  It only fits 7.  This means we have to take 2 vehicles if we go anywhere w/ sleepover guests.  Also, the Lord is pricking our hearts to be open to another child.
We NEED a larger vehicle. It needs to fit 10-12 ppl. SUV's only fit 8. And they get horrible gas mileage.  This means we're in the market for a full size van.

This is what I'm envisioning in my daydreamer head:
2013 NV Passenger Van

This is what we're probably going to end up with:
Ugly Van

We'll be thankful for whatever the Lord blesses us with!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday | My Boys

“How much time do I have, Little One?”

I met you just today…what excitement and what pleasure! This little outfit that you wear will become a special treasure. I don’t know what you’ve endured in your short little life, Or what haunting memories flood your mind when you close your eyes at night. But let me assure you, Little One, you are completely loved and adored. You will learn to trust and feel secure each day, more and more. “How long will you stay with me?”, I ponder as I rock you.I haven’t known you long, but I feel I can’t live without you! How long will I kiss your tear-filled eyes and scraped-up little knees? Each boo-boo gives me a purpose because mommy is who you need. How long will I make your meals and serve your favorite foods? It’s such a joy to hear you pray and thank Him for all the good. I hate to say “good-bye” to you when you leave for weekly visits, But I pack your bag with love, give you kisses, and pray for you every minute. I know this all confuses you. It doesn’t seem to make a bit of sense. But know I am ready to hold you in my arms when you are on the defense. I love you, oh so much, more than words could ever say. Time passes much too quickly, and decisions about your future must be made. How much time do I have, Little One? I really do not know. But I am thankful for the time we are given, and oh, I love you so!- by Andrea Chambers

I guess adding this poem takes away the "Wordless" part of Wednesday... oh well.  :)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Foster Care, the need is GREAT!

In December 2013, there were 14,028 in the Foster Care system in Oklahoma alone.  In my county, there were 4,073 children "in the system".  I don't know WHAT THE HECK is wrong with this State that SO many parents are failing their children.  Isn't this supposed to be the Bible Belt?

And yet, the numbers are there and there's no denying it.  There are children that need more of you to open your cozy, warm, SAFE homes to them.  If you are an angry person, don't foster.  Most of these kids have had enough of that in their lives. But if you have ever even simply "thought" about fostering, you should seriously start your paperwork. It takes a good while (6 months at the least) for everything to be finalized.

A few weeks ago our Social Worker texted me asking if we could take in a sibling group. By American standards we don't have "enough room" for them...however, we could move all 3 of my girls into one large room and have an extra room for a sibling group.  I know that's not what society would deem appropriate "what, you would actually cram all your girls into one room?"  Yes, yes I do believe I could do that as long as THEY were ok with it. Because there are far more eternal things that matter to me than simply caring what society thinks is appropriate.  There are little lives at stake.  There are young girls who have never known "safe" love.  There are souls simply waiting for someone to love them like Jesus, to teach them about Him, to show them that they MATTER and that they have a purpose.

Then last week, we were asked if we could take in a 5 year old boy.  And again, we were willing, if we had a larger vehicle, but we don't.

And I have daughters who are willing, as long as we can homeschool the newbies and as long as the Lord provides us with a larger vehicle.

My husband is amazing.  3 years ago, he answered God's call to adoption.  And now he's willing to take in a 2nd foster child because he sees how great the need is.

And my daughters, the ones who have an opinion about bedroom space - to be WILLING to give it up so that another child doesn't end up in a shelter.

Thank You Lord. Thank you for changing hearts and opening their little eyes to see that you love sacrificially, deeply, radically!

How about you?  Maybe 2014 is the year for your family to love radically?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wordless Wednesday | Tiny & Josiah

Wordless Wednesday
Tiny & Josiah
{disclaimer - I didn't realize he was wearing the same jammies last week for Wordless Wednesday!}