Friday, February 17, 2017

our adoption update----Now that our home study is complete and our profile book ready, we are getting this fundraiser going once again! After losing Charlotte, my doctor was so hopeful that we could get pregnant again. However, I feel so called to adopt. To me adoption is a beautiful picture of the Lord’s relentless and sacrificial pursuit of us. If you feel compelled to engage in the orphan crisis through our particular adoption there are three ways to be apart. 1)Prayer, 2)financial support- We have an active Puzzle fundraiser going on. Buy a piece of the puzzle for $25 and your name will be written on the back of this little one's "journey home" mounted puzzle! (YouCaring page link attached for donations), and 3)helping us spread the word by sharing this on 5 of your friends walls that we may not know. I recently heard that 50% of domestic adoptions come through word of mouth (a friend of a friend, etc). So please keep your ears open for a potential situation! We are trusting the Lord to write a beautiful redemption story and we are eager to see how he uses the community to do this!

His plan, not ours

His plans, not ours…Although we have been aggressively pursuing adoption through filling out mounds of agency and grant applications, the Lord surprised us greatly in late October with the blessing of another child. Despite what we were told due to my fertility issues, the Lord performed a miracle and we were thrilled to learn I was pregnant. These pictures were taken Sunday and we were excited to share with the world this precious gift we had been given. However, we went in today for my 11 week check and were devastated to discover we recently lost the baby. While we are beyond sad, we are still very thankful and want to celebrate this precious life we were given, even if it was only for such a brief time. “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future.” Jer 29:11

Foster care-

Throughout this process we have had the blessing of being able to care for a child that is not our own. This has been a gift and privelege. I will included more thoughts on this later- but heres a glimpse... Even though this little man really needs to be asleep, these early morning and sometimes late night snuggles are becoming so dear to my heart ❤️. God teaches so much to my heart as I hold him in my arms . #fostercare #whataprivelege #heartofthefather

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Orphan care

Several have asked, so here’s our reality of orphan care so far. We started officially pursuing adoption and orphan care in fall 2014. We are now licensed foster parents and have had 5 potential placements at this point. Some we said no to for various reasons. Some we said yes but something fell through with them or they had already been placed by DHR. We pray and wrestle each and every time with each and every case, considering the unique details and the potential impacts on our family. Thinking through the medical concerns, contagious diseases, sexual abuse, and exposure of our children. Each time I am afraid. I have heard some say they admire us for what we are doing. We are not heroic or abnormally courageous. I am not any less afraid than any of you; in fact I am probably more afraid. I am honestly terrified. Afraid of being out of control, afraid of having zero details on what is about to walk through my door, of how long they may be here, of how attached we may become before they are ripped out of our arms, of how attached my children may become and of watching their little hearts break when they leave, of how much they will sleep/not sleep/have disruptive behavior, ect. I am afraid of failing miserably. I am afraid of not being able to handle it. And I am even credentialed, which adds more pressure in my mind. I have a Masters in Counseling, and have been equipped with resources on sexual abuse, trauma, attachment, and the like. The lie is “I should be able to handle this” (even though I coach my clients to throw all ought’s and should’s out the window, the battle to do that is real people;). The truth is, I “should” be on my knees in utter dependency. Faith cannot be exercised apart from risk, and God often puts his people in situations where they absolutely cannot make it unless he comes through. Maybe it’s the leap into the unknown that’s so scary. Maybe it’s the fact that my longing continues to sit gaping like a freshly opened wound that burns with each breath of possibility…. But the reality is as difficult as this has already been, and whatever challenges it continues to bring, I know that it is immensely more difficult for the children being placed into care. My heart breaks at night when I think of the specific cases we have been called on and their environments or how they must feel being taken from all they have ever know. They know a terror I do not know. The call is not a call free of fear or pain or cost. Faith is not devoid of fear, it is trusting in the midst of it. Trusting in the fact that I can’t do it, but I can be dependent on one who can. Perfect love cast out fear. God’s perfect love calms my anxieties when I pause and focus and surrender. And I pray that His love will be on display and calm whatever child he brings to us as well.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Infertility


Infertility is hard. It is painful (literally and physically). It is expensive. It strikes at the core of every women, and impedes on our ability to carry out the very mandate we were created to fulfill; "Be fruitful and multiply…" Sometimes I can look at the way the Lord has written our story and be thankful for what he has given. I can see how he has used many of the painful things in my life and brought good from them, turning the purpose evil had intended on its head. But many times I am not thankful, and I feel the accuser attacking my God and my faith. The blessing of children is one that test my faith because it is something ONLY the Lord can do, and feels as though he blesses many, but is withholding from me. My heart yearns to understand, and longs for core longings to be fulfilled. The last time I went down the road of testing and treatment, I didn't share much with others. Keeping private was a way to protect myself from greater pain when/if nothing happened. However, this time I have decided to share the journey with those who desire to read it. I am sharing because I believe in the power of vulnerability and community. Because I know that my own heart begins to breath when I hear/see others struggling with the same thing. Because I know that healing does not necessarily come in receiving whatever it is we feel we need, instead it comes in living authentically with those who choose to enter into the mess with you to hurt when you hurt and rejoice when you rejoice. In that place of surrender and vulnerability is a gift of intimacy and tranquility I have found no other place. This too is a unique blessing, which only God can give.

Longing are dangerous...

Our longings are dangerous… Anytime we open ourselves up to embrace the depth of our desires, we are in danger of feeling the agonizing pain of never seeing those desires come to fruition. As men and women, we have specific desires woven into the fabric of our being from the beginning of time. Good desires, one's that spring out of our dignity, not our depravity. But when those desires are met with a sin stained world, they are often either silenced out of fear, or idolized and demanded. To maintain the balance of remaining open to our longings without idolizing them, trusting and hoping in what may be to come while continuing to grieve what is not had, is an extremely difficult task. So difficult, in fact, that it cannot be articulated with words. It is far easier to silence desire and protect myself from the ache that never really seems to go away, than to fully face my desire and thus choose to feel painful daily reminders of what I do not have. Often, at least for me, this causes a cyclical oscillation from hope to despair and then back again. It can seem as though the waves of the journey, of allowing myself to lean into little glimmers of hope only then to be dashed again by another major hurdle, will suck so much life out of me that my heart won't survive it. It feels like pieces of me die…but maybe that's a part of the process. That though there is death, there will also be new life on the other side.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

He sees Me...

In an attempt to not catch up my blog at all, I wanted to share how the Lord has been showing up in my life lately. I have felt the frustration of the inadequacy of words to capture life- life that is full of images, emotions, moments, and details and thus have hesitant to blog. I was encouraged by a friend to pray for God to “surprise” me with the way He moves in my heart. The last few months have been difficult and dark, as I have wrestled with the apparent silence of God in my past and sometimes in my present. He has taken me on the most magnificent journey as He walks me into deep and hidden crevices of my heart, painful places that have been locked up for years and years. Sometimes that pain and the realities of my story have been absolutely excruciating, threatening to undo me. God is not satisfied with merely breaking us- a broken piece of pottery, though it is shattered, is still very hard. Instead, He has been melting me- leaving me completely surrendered and dependent-and forming me into a clearer reflection of Him. He has put people in my life that have been His face for me- that reflect a picture of His character and of His heart that He is using to soften and mold me.
This week particularly I was longing for the Lord to bring healing to my heart and several friends were praying for me as well. Those prayers were answered in the most incredible ways. However, the most significant moment of my week was an encounter with a woman at my church. This woman has suffered significant injustice and pain, which has led to psychological issues, physical disability, and emotional distress. Many love her out of duty, tolerating the outward displays of her brokenness in the name of Christ. Unfortunately, this has been my response to her as well. Choosing to love because that’s what we are called to do. However, this time I was broken over her story as she shared with me and I believed in her and for her with an unbridled passion. I saw the courage it took for her to continue to live. She often feels hopeless and that her efforts are meaningless, but I saw her God-given dignity. And God gave me the most significant love for her. So much so that I was overwhelmed by the brokenness of her story and despair she often feels. It was in my moment of entering her pain, that I recognized Christ response in me. I would not have seen her before, had it not been for the pain God has allowed in my life. I could identify with her, I knew what it felt like to be overwhelmed by lies, and darkness, and I was flooded with compassion. He is giving me sweet glimpses of redemption as I walk through my story in giving me faith to believe for those who need it. The irony in it is not that He sent me to her, rather He sent her to me. She blessed my heart more than she can imagine, I’m so encouraged by her struggle to believe in a God that sees her, and loves her.
This song captures well my heart this week….(Excuse the brief introduction)
Kari Jobe- You are For Me
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbSMfL5LuSo&feature=fvsr

Monday, October 3, 2011

Surgery 1 Update

The first surgery is complete and for that we are thankful. Unfortunately, it didn't go quite as well as we had hoped. Not only was there significant bone re-absorption in her root, her body had overcompensated to correct the deterioration and her bone had actually grown around and attached to the root itself. This made for a very difficult extraction and the loss of a lot of bone in the process. Her osteoporosis medication may or may not have attributed to that. Our prayer now is that the bone graft will take (especially since they had to do more than expected) and that her pain will become more managable. It has been nearly incapacitating over the last 5 days and she is going back in tommorrow to see if there is infection in the surgical site or a broken piece of bone.

Thanks,
Ben

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall Update and surgery

Our 2nd fall at covenant seminary has begun. Even though we technically moved here last July, life was so crazy that we don’t count it until August ;) I predicted it would take us about a year to feel settled and I can honestly say that’s true. We have really plugged into our church and feel as though we are truly apart of the community. I’ve been serving on the worship team since Feb and also have the privilege of serving on the women’s ministry team. We are both learning a ton. School is mentally challenging, yet spiritually refreshing. Our marriage has been strengthened as we continue to learn to communicate and value one another better. We have learned some of our pitfalls and we are fighting hard to prevent them. We are truly engaging with our hearts – delighting in the joys of life and embracing better the sorrows. The kids are at such a fun age. They turned 2 on May 1st and they are such a delight to us right now. Their vocabulary expands every day and it’s so fun to see them relate to each other and to others. They have such a special relationship. I’m so thankful the Lord gave them to us. Ben and I read “To Train up a Child” and “Creative Family Times” this summer and both books were so helpful in our approach to them. We have noticed that the more consistent we are, the happier they are. I’m taking them through some character training this semester and we are focusing on one quality a week. We have short training times each day where I am role playing and teaching them to be obedient, kind, ect. when we are NOT in the moment of disobedience. I use a few simple sheets I ordered that have a character quality with a corresponding bible verse. I tweek it a lot but it helps to keep me sharing God’s word with them.
As we sense the Lord’s presence and protection in our lives, we are also keenly aware of Fall and it’s effects on our relationships and our lives. My health has been an ongoing battle for me, and this summer my dentist found some bone reabsorption in an area of my mouth where I had knocked out 3 teeth due to an accident in high school. I will be having oral surgery in a few days and this is a significant due to my osteoporosis. It is a pretty intensive procedure where they will be doing a complete extraction of my previous dental work, bone grafting, and later a metal implant. Their will be a series of surgeries- each a few months apart to allow time for healing- concluding in about a year. There is concern that the bone graft won’t take because of one of the side effects of an osteoporosis medication that I took. Also, this will be a major financial strain for us. I am quite nervous and your prayers would be greatly appreciated.