Questions were asked…so here’s the answer!

My blog is not strictly about fostering and adoption but I received many questions after my last blog. I thought I’d give some of you a little more insight about us.

My husband and I have fostered 22 beautiful children and have had the amazing opportunity to adopt three. We’ve done everything from respite and emergency removals to transitioning children into other adoptive homes. We have also helped with a reunification of a child back to her biological parents. I’ve worked closely with DSS in our county and the counties that surround us. I have been apart of leading Foster Parent Pride training and doing some Home Studies for prospective Foster Parents. I have not always seen eye to eye on things within the Department of Social Services, but I have always been committed to the hurting children involved in the system. Recruiting, training and mentoring parents quickly became my passion.

Our families lives forever changed when we made the decision to forever change a child’s. We have never been the same since our first call ten years ago. It is something none of us will ever forget. It was our first child placement. With that call came our first opportunity and decision to adopt. Every child that was placed with us over the years was from a different situation and each have had their own struggles. But they have ALL given us the same rewards. Rewards to great to describe….

My husband and I totally believe we were created with a purpose to love those who may seem unlovable to others. We seek guidance from the Lord for every decision and with meeting every child’s specific needs. With every difficulty we have faced we have been greatly blessed! And go figure, we do it to bless the children!  But that’s how our God works! He blesses us ten time more when we are obedient and choose to bless others!

It has never been an easy task. Parenting is difficult no matter what. Adopting doesn’t solve all the problems the child has encountered from his/her circumstances. They have almost always dealt with neglect, abuse or trauma.  But adoption does give “new hope” to a child that is in need of a forever family and home. It is only the beginning. There are many hurdles to overcome no matter what. The separation and loss that they experience is real and needs time to heal.  I believe in being their voice (because they haven’t had one) and not only do they deserve one, but they NEED one.

If you are interested in knowing more about fostering or adoption through your local Department of Social Services, have any questions, or would like me to be praying for you specifically, please go to my FB page (there is a link on this web page) and message me.  

For those of you who are already fostering or have adopted, I would encourage you to seek any available resource to help you parent. I also believe it’s imperative to utilize every resource available to meet the needs of the children you’ve been entrusted to love and care for. 

For encouragement—Some people will never understand your heart and you cannot let negative (about you or the children placed with you) to settle in your mind. Not even for a second. You don’t need their approvals. God has your back. He sees your struggles and he knows your heart. He will never leave you or forsake you.  Keep keeping on. Love and keep loving. And as you do you’ll continue to make the world a better place. 

It may be complicated, but its precious!

Kent and I enjoyed dinner and a movie with McKenzie and Hannah. I couldn’t help but keep smiling at Kent. We were both just soaking up the girls. Without having to say a word to him, I knew his heart was just as warm as mine. They talked about boys, school, music and silly girl things. They giggled, smiled, shared their food and gazed at one another. Hannah is McKenzie’s best friend/sister/like cousin. Their relationship status is best described by saying…it’s complicated, but it’s precious!

They are sister’s by birth and they became “like cousins” at the age of 3 & 5 by the courts decisions to separate them and their 3 other siblings forever. Until their removal they lived in the midst of a storm that was too great for any of them to have thrived. We didn’t understand Gods plan to separate them back then. (it’s been 7 years ago) But we trusted him! We didn’t see how he could possible mend our broken hearts when Hannah (and their oldest sister Crystal) left our home. We thought the loss the siblings would encounter would be to great for them to heal.  But we knew he was faithful! We didn’t fully understand the special role we would have as “Uncle Kent” and “Aunt Sue” to Hannah, after she was adopted by one of our very closest friends. But we still chose to be obedient to him!

The two of them have experienced a true blessing to remain closely connected. They see each other weekly, attend the same church, have regular sleepover’s and spend all holidays and life events together.  They know their story, they embrace their story and they have learned to love their story. I know they will someday use their story for Gods glory! Their lives are precious! The Girls relationship has been beautiful to watch unfold as they’ve grown!  Their bond is just as unique as each of their personalities. They are similar in many ways and also complement one another with their differences. They are both strong, respectful, kind, silly, determined, compassionate girls who are also both true overcomers!

I may be “Mom” to Kenzie and “Aunt Sue” to Hannah, but God made me so much more than that the day he placed them in our lives at the ages of 2 and 4. I have been their advocate, their cheerleader, their prayer warrior, their encourager, their comforter and it’s been super fun to also be known as their clown. We have laughed until we cried and cried until we laughed together. God knew we’d have these moments. He knew that when the courts chose to separate them physically, he would be working on their behalf to keep them together. He makes all things new!

I’ve learned so much about myself through the years of their placement, transition, and adoptions. With it came mending, healing, struggles and still so much more. But we have never faced any of it alone. I’ve also learned that through obedience comes such sweet rewards. Through the “complicated parts” I became stronger, my faith was increased, my passion for hurting children was renewed and it has kept my eyes heaven bound!

I’m thankful for every special moment. Through the giggles at dinner, the shared spoonfuls of ice cream and the sweet talks before bed… when I look at them, I am reminded of what I’ve always known to be true. Every life…is precious! And it’s so precious…to be a part of others lives!