A Little Introduction
I have been very happily married to the same wonderful man for 25 years. We currently have a total of 6 children through birth, adoption, foster care, and marriage, ranging from one year old to 24. Yes, we have many life stages in our home all at once. When the youngest of our first three children was nearing the end of high school I remember thinking, when everyone left me at home by myself for a week, "This house is WAY too quiet! I'm not done yet." Actually, that was just a confirmation of the desire I shared with my husband of wanting to add to our family through adoption several years earlier. Wait! What?? (you're probably thinking) Yes, we were "almost done raising our children"... physically, yes. Emotionally and spiritually, no. Our timing and plans are not the same as God's, as you will hear me say throughout my blog.
I am a survivor, THRIVER; conquering the effects of childhood abuse. It's an ongoing process. God blessed me with THE husband who would stick with me through that healing process. Over the years He has also provided Christian friends, mentors, counseling, resources, time, and environments for me to learn to work through triggers and difficult circumstances.
I believe "that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 God has instilled in me (and my husband) a deep love for children and a strong desire to protect them from harm. During a particularly difficult time in our marriage we helped to start a non-profit organization through our church to help educate the public about child sexual abuse, and to provide support to survivors through our partnership with Voices for Children Advocacy center. We also got involved with Darkness to Light and became Authorized Facilitators to train adults to prevent, recognize signs and symptoms, and respond responsibly to childhood sexual abuse.
Since we began our journey as foster parents in 2016, there hasn't been time for me to dedicate to outside organizations. Children who come from foster care have many losses to work through and typically require much more attention than children who are raised in a loving and safe environment by their biological parents. In addition to growing a bond with these children, there are often many additional services that consume the time, such as occupational and speech therapy, trauma therapy, caseworker visits, Early On, Early Headstart, doctor and dentist appointments, and "fun" activities like gymnastics, other sports, and play groups. My favorite things to do WITH my kids is to read stories with lots of animation in my voice so they ask me to read it again, and to sing to and with them during play activities at home, and before sleep. In order to de-stress and relax when our little ones are asleep in the afternoon I hide away in my room to pray, read and write. In the spring and summer, my favorite place is outside caring for my garden while listening to the birds and my chimes in the breeze. At night I enjoy time with my hubby while sipping tea and occasionally watching a movie while crocheting lovies and other stuffed animals for babies and children.
As I continue into my late 40's I am often amazed at the energy I am able to muster to get through each day. It is certainly not as easy to raise little ones as it was when I was in my 20's. I believe it must be because the Lord "... gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:29-31