We Have Gotcha…and We Will Never Let You Go!

Happy Gotcha Day!!

We Have Gotcha and We Will Never Let You Go!

You didn’t grow under my heart. You grew in it!

(A letter I wrote but never mailed to her biological mother) 

Dear Bio mom,

She was your child first…and we are sorry that you were unable to care for her. We really are.  I know that you love her.  There is no possible way that you couldn’t. She is amazing!  She is one of our greatest joys!  The Love you had for her just wasn’t enough. It didn’t keep her safe, nurture her and provide for her needs.

She has your eyes and your nose.  She does some things just like her siblings.  And her dance moves are especially like her oldest sister.  We will always remember the love and time spent with all three of your girls in our home.  It was hard because the visitations became damaging, caused confusing and went on way too long…

Your oldest daughter really wanted to be with you.  It was so strange the devotion and obligation she had towards you. (You, the one who hurt her) Separation and attachment disorders are so crazy.  She didn’t even know how to attach to anyone but you, because of it.  So, when the courts ruled, we really struggled with the decision they made for us to transition her back to you. Nineteen months in our home and then it was like a bomb went off in our hearts…And you got another chance to parent.  Not all five of your children…but just one.  And the struggle was and is…still real for you.   

Your actions and your choices, completely rocked their entire worlds.  They were so innocent…so young…so helpless.  It was scary for them. What were you thinking when you left them hungry, dirty and in danger?  Who did you think would keep them safe when you left them in vehicles and motels alone?  Or in stranger’s homes?  You made them learn to fend for themselves.  They all knew many survival techniques when they were removed.  They had no choice but to learn on their own…how to survive…while you lived.  So selfishly. 

She was sickly and confused then.  She has struggled in so many ways since we opened our home and heart to her EIGHT years ago.  She was a frail and extremely tiny 18 months old. You had rocked her world…over and over again.

We rocked her world too!  Every night…before bed…for over two years…as we held her and sat with her into the night. We rocked her. We comforted her. We stayed awake through the tremors and the sleepless nights. We put her back in her bed over and over again…and avoided stepping on her wherever she lay in the night. We still have “all night drifting parties” often.  I wonder, will she ever sleep well? But I know by God’s grace she will… 

We wished we could have kept some of the doors open with you. But we knew what was best for her, and this just wasn’t an option. We were open to keeping connections with her other 3 siblings. They make her light up when she sees them. It make our hearts happy too.  After all, it isn’t their fault they were separated.  They did nothing to deserve what they received.  We may live forever having to change that thought process in her mind.  But we will do whatever it takes!  

We were never here to take her away from you. We were a part of a system to help you get yourself together.  We offered a safe and loving environment for 3 of your children in order for you to do so. We always work towards reunification and we will never really understand why you never accomplished that.  But we forgive you. I hope and pray you learn to forgive yourself… 

Our role as Foster Parents was to care for your child while you worked hard toward goals placed upon you by the court. We were here to support you and we encouraged you to reach them. Time kept slipping away…court date after court date…You never took any steps towards achieving the goals placed before you.  Not even for your children. 

I had felt sorry for you, because she never asked about you. But now, as she has gotten older and we have talked about you many times…I am thankful she didn’t ask more when she was younger. It seems harsh, but it is best that her memory of you is so vague. She understands it was your choices that were bad and not anything bad that she did. She also knows, accepts and understands that God has worked things out for her. She has such a forgiving and kind heart. It saddens me that you may never know her beautiful heart. One that prays for you and others.

We are thankful God spared her from even more hurt. He has worked in her favor and on her behalf many times. She is His child first…and she didn’t go through an experience of great loss.  We are all she knows and remembers….and His plan has been perfectly unfolding for her all along.

I need you to know that nothing that I could have said or done would have ever helped you get your children back. The choices that you made determined her future. A future that ended up with us as her parents. It is a future of…love, family, assurance, comfort, encouragement, care, persistence, safety, devotion and hope. The greater Hope that she has is eternal. She knows who’s she is! 

I want you to know I am deeply sorry that you were ever in this situation to begin with.  I know you still struggle.  So, we will continue to pray for you. You can still do right, make good choices and get your life together. The same Eternal Hope that she possesses is obtainable for you too through Jesus.   

You chose to give Birth!  That is definitely something to be proud of!  You chose life for your babies!  We will forever be grateful for your decision to do so.  Life is always…always a gift!  And one of the lives you birthed became our precious Gift! 

So today…..

Eight years ago exactly…(at 2:00 pm)

The court saw it in was in your child’s best interest to have all parental rights terminated! It was a sad day for you. I know it had to be. My heart broke for you.

But it was a beautiful day for all of us…and with a broken heart, I also rejoiced!

                            It became her very first Gotcha Day…

                                                                   And one of many more to come!

Forever grateful,

The Adoptive Mom

SW

A Neon Orange Moment of Mine

If you have ever wanted to Sponsor a Child or give to an Organization that is truly impacting children around the Globe and making miracles happen every day….

Then World Help is the one you’ve been looking for….world help

I experienced a heart moving opportunity hearing Noel Yeatts speak at a few Leading and Loving it Conferences that I have attended. She shared beautiful stories of her Dad (Vernon Brewer) and their entire family’s passion with World Help. Amazing missions have been and are taking place all over the Globe. Every day, somewhere, they are making a difference!

And then came my neon orange (highlighted) moment for me. I got to meet with her. We talked…about our families…our love for the Lord…and both of our service to Him. Then we talked about the upcoming Operation Baby Rescue Mission that was fast approaching in Guatemala. Only briefly into our conversation my mouth spoke directly from my heart….and Yikes.not only had I spoken it out loud, but directly to her. I was now going to be accountable. Not by her, but by God!  I told her of my hearts desire to one day be a part of…to make a difference…to help change the world…and be on a Baby Rescue Mission Team!  And then I thought….Oh my, what had I just spoken???!  How?   When?

Well, only God knows the exact day and time. The seed was actually planted in my soul…by God himself, not her. He just chose to use her to give me the opportunity. As she spoke of how World Help shares the message of Hope in our desperate and Hopeless World, I couldn’t stop thinking of the children. The children I could see on the screen that she shared stories of, and all of them that are yet to be found. After that initial seed was planted, it has since been watered…several times!

I know God gives us the desires of our hearts. And It’s a deep desire of mine. One that I think of often. I find myself reading about the missions that have already happened and also of those that are yet to take place. I often pray for the teams that are sacrificing everyday to share the message of Hope and Life in Jesus.  I find myself praying for those sweet babies to just hold on…one more day…until they too can be rescued. You see, that planted seed, has been growing within me.

My oldest son Wesley, has also had the privileged to personally speak to Noel Yeatts. (they even took a picture together and she quickly text it to my Uncle saying….Guess who I’m with right now?) My Uncle has been on the board for World Help for years. Wesley met her at one of the heart moving presentations held at Liberty University while he was attending. They share with the students there at convocation often. They are always planting seeds.

World Helps offices are located in Lynchburg, VA and in the same community as Liberty, so their presence is known there and supported greatly by the University. Wesley was excited to share with me after he met and talked with her…and YES I was secretly jealous. LOL  I can honestly say, that both of us having the opportunity to meet with her was an honor. She took the time…because she genuinely loves people. And God uses her to touch others lives.

She has such a sweet, genuine spirit. The way she lights up when sharing the stories of all the lives being changed all over the World by this God sent Organization her family founded….You just can’t help but want to be a part of something so wonderful! It makes your heart move…your gut ache…and awakens a desire within you To Do More! Hearing the devastating needs and then the miraculous stories of how the Lord has met those needs through team after team, person after person….It just can’t help but light a fire under you!  Or well, It lit mine!

I have been blessed to hear first hand of some of the amazing trips that my Aunt Betsy and Uncle Cotton (Ronald) have taken over the years with World Help. They’ve also been blessed by a visit in their home from a girl they met in India on one of those trips. They live in California and he has served on the Board, along with many other men and women that are helping to change the World through this Organization.

God has been using World help to impact children Worldwide. For years they have been furthering Gods Kingdom one Mission, one Rescue, one Village, one Child at a time. They have already impacted over 72 million lives in 68 countries. Amazing!

Their approach is this:  World Help is a faith-based humanitarian organization that exists to serve the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world. Our strategy is based on the belief that true transformation is only possible when the needs of the body and soul are addressed simultaneously.

This holistic approach of HELP and HOPE shows people that they matter to God both now and for eternity. We are committed to purposeful investment through sustainable programs, enabling individuals and communities to thrive—body, mind, and soul—and building lasting change for generations to come.

If you’d like to learn more or be part of a Mission team, Sponsor a child, or Give, please take the time to read more. You can go to any of the links on this blog.

I Know I will be a part of an Operation Baby Rescue myself one day!  God knows exactly when….But I have learned in my years of serving Him, that His timing is not only best for me, but It is always Perfect!

I have since planted the seed in my oldest daughter….

Sharing…..Evelyn’s Story!

Just a quick blog post to share with you another fellow Christian blogger….I came in contact with her blog through one of my assignments and instantly loved her heart and her beautiful message.

Evelyn’s Story ~is shared in full if you click on the link and pay her blog a visit. I’ll just tell you that she is a 21 year old college student studying Communication. I connected with her and her heart felt writings on several different levels. I read through her blogs and checked out her website and thought it would be great to share her love of the Lord with others. I actually couldn’t wait to share her here with you!

I too am an ordinary person serving an extraordinary God! I too can relate to the Lords ability to use your gifts and talents in ways you may have never imagined. There is no measure in what He can do with us….if we choose to let Him work!

Most importantly… I also write to encourage people to fully surrender to Jesus. That they may live significantly and abundantly in His embrace forever!  Writing about Truth.Love.Service is my passion and heart! I read many things in her blogs that made me believe she also shares truth, love and service. I hope she blesses you as she did me.

So friends, (young ladies especially)….follow along with her blog. Her latest series written called Warning: Guard YOUR heart is worth a quick coffee break. So go ahead…enjoy a sweet neighbor’s (classmates) blog!


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My passion comes alive right here!

This blog was an assignment…YES I am taking a class and am truly learning a lot! After all, I created this site and made my own business cards etc. months ago just after finishing my first book (still in the publishing works) and I did it all on my own.  NO WAY is That True!!!! I have truly been guided and directed by God alone as He has moved me forward in ways and areas that were once very frightening to me! The saying old dogs can learn new tricks…well, It’s true! LOL Young or old, we can all persevere with our dreams and make them realities! Have faith! God uses each and every Gift and Talent…and Person!

 So since you’ve been reading or following me….please give some much appreciated feedback. Would you rather all my blogs stay on one topic?  I write now according to what ever the Lord has placed on my heart. And because my life is all about Truth, Love and Service… these are the things I love to share about.

BUT….Is there a particular subject you’d like me to write about? Or is there anything about my blog that you feel would greatly improve it? Questions, Comments, Insights etc. are always welcomed here.

THANK you friends on social media…..You have my heart!   

Go Ahead, Take a Trip Into Your Past…. but No Parking!

We all have a past. Some of them are much prettier than others. Some peoples pasts may bring feelings of great love and of very few mistakes. They might be loaded with life lessons and good circumstances and you have no problem taking trips and reflecting there often. It may be easy for some people to look back and smile at the life you’ve had.

While other people may look into their past and only see moments wished to be forgotten. Life’s circumstances and or situations have never seemed in your favor or ideal. Decisions that you, or those around you have made, have greatly affected your life and maybe even how you are living now. You may have gone back and “parked in your past” and just can’t seem to move forward…

I myself, have many things in my past that I wish I could go back awrongnd erase, or at least try to do over now that I am much wiser. I have learned to accept the fact that I can’t do them over. I have also since forgiven myself from all of the poor choices I made.  

You see…As a child of God we have to let go of what we have already done or what others have done to us. The day we become His, He chooses to forget all of our past. Every sin and every detour that we have created in our walk with Him…He forgives! He accepts us just as we are. At the very moment we let Him enter our hearts, ALL things are made NEW.

I was deeply flawed, and full of sin. I will always be thankful for My New Beginning. I am also thankful that God doesn’t take trips back into our pasts. He doesn’t see the need to bring our flaws up and remind us of them. He only looks into our wiped clean futures…and He sees our futures full of beautiful promises.

It’s OK to take a trip and remind ourselves of where we were. It allows us as Christians to see the glory of Gods amazing work. As He changes our hearts, transforms or minds and penetrates into our souls.  Seeing the “where we were without God” and “where God has us now” is testimonial to ourselves and an example to others as well.  It motivates us to keep moving forward into “what God has in store for us”.  

no parking So, go ahead….Take a trip into your past…..but No Parking!          

Don’t let your past define you. And whatever you do, please do not create or place a label on yourself, or soak in your own self-pity of wrong doing.  Looking back (trips into our pasts) can be healthy if they remind us that God was there all along (He will never leave us or forsake us! Deuteronomy 31:6 ) Short trips can allow us to see the greatness of His divine plan in our lives as things have unfolded. They allow us to see how far we’ve come. They can help us build our faith in Him too, as we learn to trust Him with every part of our future.

So remember….NO PARKING in your Old Life!  If you do Park…it could very well keep you from Gods ultimate plan.  Let your NEW LIFE show you the Goodness and Mercy of God, teach you of His Amazing Grace and allow you to experience His unconditional Love! trip to pastIf you find yourself struggling with your past…ask the Lord to help you keep from anything in your Old Life that is unpleasing to Him. He will guide and protect you from the things that can hinder your future! Enjoy your New Life in Him, even if it’s one day or one moment at a time. You were created with purpose and your life (every detail about it) matters to Him! Press on. Keep moving forward.     

Acts 13:38 Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed for you. 

Ephesians 8-10 ~  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

A Week of Camp That Never Ended

What Royal Family Kids Camp is to me…(And became to our family)

It’s more than a safe, loving environment for a group of Foster Kids to enjoy a week away from their less than deserving life situations.  It’s more than a fun filled, organized camp setting, suited for their many special needs. It’s more than the decorations, props and or perfectly thought out themes. It’s more than the hands on crafts, activities, pool time and fishing. It’s more than the Birthday party, talent show and fun events. It’s even more than the opportunity to overcome fears and trust unknown adults. It’s more than the laughter and tears. It’s more than the songs sung, skits watched and stories shared. It’s more than the new bibles, prayers, praise and encouragement each child receives. It’s just so much more…….

This camp is more than what any of its directors, counselors, therapists, nurses, and activity, music and service leaders could ever accomplish on their own.  God has chosen the people and the campers that come. Each team member and camper is handpicked and a part of Gods amazing work and plan.  Over and over again I have seen Him use team members to minister directly into a child’s life. They offer Hope, Trust and Love! God’s amazing Love that heals, ministers and transforms lives for His glory and His purpose!  These things are so evident, freely welcomed, and embraced by everyone at camp. No one can escape the presence of the Lord and the Love that shines straight from the creator of all things good. It’s Gods camp!

It takes obedience from each team member as they take the first step in wanting to participate and make a difference. It takes sacrifice. Sacrifice of time, income from their jobs, and separation from family. It takes a heart willing to render to unknowns. It takes a willingness to step out of comfort zones. It takes surrendering to agenda’s and expectations. It takes an openness to allow the Lord to work however He sees fit. Team members from different walks, backgrounds and with various personalities. Yet each and every one of them is prayerfully and then carefully placed by God. As the days go by, a week at camp becomes a masterpiece that unfolds in the lives of everyone! A beautiful one designed by the hand of God. This masterpiece, and the precious moments in creating it, are engraved on everyone’s hearts forever!

Over ten years ago it became even bigger than the “one week at camp” for me and my family.  It prayerfully, and out of complete obedience, became the beginning steps for my husband and I to forever step out of our comfort zones and into many unknowns. By the grace of God we made decisions that quickly became our “new lifestyle.”  It has since been a daily decision and sometimes a difficult one, to change children’s lives forever. It took just one phone call to our area Department of Social Service Department. That one call made our “Beyond Royal Family” begin and it has changed our lives forever! 

I guess you could say….In a way….We have daily been living a kind of “Royal Family Kids Camp.”  Over and over again we have welcomed a new “Royal Family Kid” in our home, in our lives, and in our hearts forever. With every short and long term placement, every transition of a child, every emergency removal and or respite call, (Respite is an overnight break for another foster family) and with all three of our adoptions we have “lived camp”.  It’s “Gods camp” in our family too!

Camp is full of many “firsts” for the kids. And believe me…we too have had many things occur for the “first time” with children in our home. God has perfectly placed children with us and given us everything we have needed in caring for and loving them. I can’t imagine life without every one of our precious Gifts! I call their names out in prayer often, and I know God is always fighting for them! He sees their needs and is working things out for them according to His plan. His plan does not include harm and is perfect for every child.   Plans

I am so thankful He chose us to be a part of so many beautiful lives….I will forever be grateful for my very first week at Royal Family Kids Camp over ten years ago.  I will forever be grateful for the way it changed my families lives forever! It is a week that has never ended for us 🙂

I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone. If the Lord moves you….Go with Him! Do it prayerfully and in obedience to what the Lord is asking of you. It will always be right when it is done following after Him! Trust Him and the power of His anointing on you…You too can forever make a difference in a child’s life (and or) in others lives!