Book to be Released Soon!

28 True Post-Adoption Stories to Comfort and Encourage

Hope for the Adoption Journey, compiled by Katherine Piper, features the heartrending stories of twenty-eight women from very different circumstances who have personal experience with adopting and fostering children, both domestic and international, of various ages and backgrounds, with a wide range of needs—and who have endured to share their joy.

Are you a mother facing the chaos of adoption in your family?

Do you feel alone and overwhelmed with the struggle of adoption?

Or are you considering adoption and wondering if you can do it?

  
“Adoption can make your heart ache and your head spin, and it can turn things in your family upside down for a while. But the blessings do outweigh the chaos, and every struggle and disappointment too. Remember, you are not alone in this endeavor. There are many others who have been or are in the trenches with you. And God will never leave your side…
Love fiercely as He loves you.”
—Mother of adopted & foster children
(Susan Woodward)

All profits will be used to help prospective adoptive parents bring their children home.

Will be available on Amazon and Kindle, August 2018.

Book

 

Adoption Story One -sneak peek

 

Austin disney

Austin Celebrating his adoption at Disney World when it became final.

Austin –

Two years old.

He was our third gift.

He was born into our hearts differently, but perfectly.

The gift of Austin in our lives came eleven years after the birth of our biological daughter and thirteen after the birth of our biological son. He opened our family’s eyes to the tremendous needs that were literally right around us. He grew each of our hearts in an instant. They would never be the same again.

Austin was our first placement call from our local Department of Social Services. The call came on a sunny day in July. My husband Kent and the kids and I were enjoying the outdoors. When I answered the phone, it was immediately different than what I had expected our first placement call to be like. We realized later, it was also very different for the Case Worker on the other end of the phone. This child would not be able to return home. This child was going to be available for adoption. We knew immediately that God was in all of it.

I was just as terrified as I was excited when I hung up the phone. My husband Kent’s reaction complimented my own. We were both ready and agreed to move forward. Neither of us knew exactly what “forward” entailed, but we knew our answer to that call would be yes. We didn’t hesitate, we had already been praying for months. God had given us clarity. We agreed to be obedient to whatever he called us to do. In 5 minutes all of our lives changed forever. We didn’t understand the magnitude of the blessings in that decision. But today, the blessings continue to unfold.

We felt pretty confident about fostering prior to that first placement call. Our confidence was shaken several times in the years to follow.  Austin became the first of many children God placed with us through the Department of Social Services. Our plans initially were to help one child at a time and work towards reunification with their parents. But, Gods plan for us is often different than our own. We now have many stories. With each of them there is a common factor. We trusted God. We knew that he would guide our steps in all of the unknowns we were to face. And he has proven faithful.

My mind was racing even more than my heart on the 5 minute drive to Social Services to meet Austin for the first time. We were casually introduced. He sat on the floor of a quiet room in the Department of Social Services. His only belongings were next to him in a small white bag. He held onto a small McDonalds Happy Meal toy and looked up to see who had entered the room. No matter how I have tried, I cannot find the words to describe when I looked at his sweet, expressionless face and our eyes locked for the first time. I instantly experienced something within me.  It was as if God birthed him deeply into my heart. I longed to hold him close and never let him go. I knew then, without a bit of uncertainty, God was giving us another one of his precious gifts. God has reminded me of that moment many times in the midst of life’s chaos.

This is just a sneak peek of Austins story.

I could have written an entire book about each of our adoptions. Maybe someday i’ll fullfil that dream as well.  Right now, I am just thankful for the opportunity that was given to me to share pieces of our stories in the chapter written for the book being published to help Adopted children.

Stay tuned for other sneak peeks to come…

Read another Sneak Peek here:   Telling our story…sneak peek!

 

Whats your kind of Resolution?

I’m not really a “resolution kind of girl.” Maybe it’s because in years past I didn’t end up keeping them. They were either too farfetched, I changed them mid-year, or I never really meant them to begin with.

I don’t really know when I changed. But I did. And it works for me. I stopped setting a “New Year’s resolution.” Well, i no longer put full effort into accomplishing ONE particular thing before the years end. To me, “my kind of resolution” is bigger and last much longer.

Making this personal change has proven to work for me. That doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. Nor do I frown upon any “New Year” positive resolution that’s made. But I challenge you to try it differently. Reaching daily goals and learning to live in each moment has been beneficial to me and my family in so many ways. I accomplish more, and do better on a “short term” (daily) basis, as opposed to setting my goals on a “year’s term”. 

I make goals often. Some of them may seem trivial or even silly to others. God’s word offers me a great source for “self-pep talks” on my way to achieving them. His word encourages me to remain steadfast and determined.

I want to live a life of Joy, Grace and of complete fulfillment in Him. And I want it on a daily and momentarily basis.

Life’s way too short and can change too suddenly. My plans become altered. My goals often shift. Life can have set backs and come at us with many twists and turns. We have all experienced failed attempts and less than great moments, as we strive to achieve our goals or just doing life.

But…Just as suddenly, life can bring great triumphs, unexpected victories, and positive results from our perseverance, and eternal rewards from our experiences and encounters.

So, I face each moment, each day, each test, trial, triumph, and New Year…the same way.

With One focus.

And One goal.

To be better than I was yesterday. To be kinder, wiser, more compassionate, more selfless, more giving. To be a better wife, a better mom and a better person. My “lifetime resolution” is to be more like Christ. Every moment is a lesson I can learn from. Every connection made is a gift to practice being more like Him. Every opportunity given, is an opportunity that I never want to miss…sharing His love. Every breath I take…is a gift.

So, maybe I am a “resolution kind of girl” after all. It’s just that my resolution doesn’t come forth only at the New Year.  I want to live with a resolution (with intention, a plan, a conscious decision, with aim, a commitment, and a promise) Every. Single. Day.

When I fail…and I do. I get back up, I refocus, I stay close to His word and cling to His promises. I choose Joy in the hard times, and claim His strengths in my weaknesses. I thank Him often and praise Him for each day that He’s given. I choose to move forward, when life at times, can seem at a standstill.

No matter your struggle, or your current situation, you can do the saimg_7629-1me. Make a resolution. Maybe, make it differently…

Choose one focus.

Choose one goal.

Choose to live a life as a reflection of Him.

Do it daily!

With this kind of resolution, I have experienced the most success as I have grown in Him.

And I will continue with this kind of intent, as long as I have breath.

Mommy. Mom. Mother. Friend

Mommy,

Thank you for planning and preparing for me so tenderly before you ever even met me.

Thank you for showing me “my first love” starting with my very first breath.

Thank you for letting me be creative, explore the world around me and grow into my own little person.

And thank you for shielding me from things that could have harmed me and for introducing me to Jesus.

Mom,

Thank you for laughing, playing and encouraging me to always look at the positive in a very negative world we live in.

Thank you for teaching me, encouraging me and pointing me in the right direction when things were not always clear.

Thank you for including God in everything and helping me to put Him first in my life.

And thank you for showing me the importance of family, commitments, honesty, and integrity.

Mother,

Thank you for always believing in me, even through the times that I have failed you and I have doubted myself.

Thank you for praying, trusting God and keeping your faith, through your own storms. You have set a wonderful example of perseverance to follow.

Thank you for loving my husband, encouraging my children, and supporting our family like you do.  Your love has beautifully multiplied over the years.    

And thank you for being there for me, (distance isn’t as hard) because you have always made yourself available no matter what.   

My friend,

Thank you for all of the silly, singing, dancing, laughing till we cry, or crying until we laugh moments that we’ve shared. 

Thank you for lifting me up when i’ve fallen,  for speaking wisdom from your heart and for sharing the word of God into my spirit.

Thank you for understanding the importance of “our time” together. Over the years, we have experienced many irreplaceable moments together because of this.

And thank you for being a person without judgement, a friend without drama and a consistent, confidential shoulder to lean on. 

I’m so thankful God made YOU for ME!
Me and MOM

You were first my Mommy,

And then became my Mom,

But forever you will be…

My Mother…and my Friend!   

 

 

 

A letter to my Nieces and Nephews.

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Dear Nieces and Nephews.

Near and far. 

I’m sitting here thinking…reflecting…praying for each one of you. 

I’m thankful for each one of you and who each of you are. Each of you are special in your own unique way.  As I reflect…I can’t help but think of your losses, your goals, your accomplishments, your struggles, your hurts, your gifts and your talents. Some of these things about you I know very well and some of these things I can really only wonder…and pray for you! 

I want you to know you each bring me happiness. You make me laugh and just thinking about you makes me smile. There’s not one thing you could do, that would stop me from wanting the best for you. I love to see you, to hear from you, to catch up, read posts, share pictures and to share life’s moments with you. (the good and the bad)  I am thankful God gave me each of you and I will never hold the title of being your “Aunt” lightly.  It really is a title that brings me great joy!

If there is only one thing that you could learn from me, I hope it would be this…

Nobody…yes NOBODY!! Has or ever will, love you like Jesus. Not your parents, your best friend, your guy or girl friend or even your spouse. Your children that adore you, admire you and look up to you, could never love you like Him. His love is indescribable, unmeasurable, and undeniable! It truly is the greatest love of all…

Life can fail you, friends will hurt you, loss can consume you and pain can be way too real. But…You are never alone! He is greater than all of lifes messes and He will direct you always…as you seek Him. I know too well through my own mistakes and struggles that He is the only answer to life’s problems, and He is the only one to fill an empty void that maybe present. Trust Him.  

And so, I have decided to make this my prayer for each of you…

I pray the Lord blesses you and that each of your lives bring Him glory. That you are a light to others in this dark world and a reflector of His love to all those you meet. I pray you have strength to face each day, because some are much harder than others. That you live life to the fullest, enjoying the people in life, that surround you. I pray you are wise in your choices and a positive influence on the road that you walk. I ask the Lord to protect you daily, provide peace when needed, give courage when necessary and multiply your gifts and talents. May you seek His presence often, live by His truth, grow in your faith and personally experience His saving grace. 

And I pray to be here for you…to the very best of my ability…pointing you to the one… who will never leave you or forsake you and has the perfect plan for your lives!  

I Love You, 

Each One of You, 

Forever ❤️

Aunt Sue 

It is what it is…but it really isn’t!

it is what it is

I have definitely said that at times. And in many cases, it has helped me to process whatever it is that has been presented to me or someone I love…a little better.

The easiest way for me to deal with something out of my control is to think “it is what it is.”   

But guess what?  It really isn’t!

It isn’t what has been presented or what I may see it as.  And it never will be!  

It’s completely fine to think “It is what it is” if in our hearts we can know that “it really isn’t.”

Situations beyond my control become a little more bearable and understandable (I didn’t say they were easier) when I take the next step and fully trust God and cling to His eternal hope.  I have learned to accept that God is the only one who sees what really is.

He is the only one who understands all the details of the masterpiece He is creating with our lives. And God uses every “it is what it is” moment that we face. He uses our every pain and our deepest hurts.

When we look to Him we can make more sense out of something that seems so senseless. We can cling to the promise that His plan is far greater for our lives than we could ever comprehend. We can move forward knowing that everything out of our hands is really in the best hands ever! 

His plan is far too complex for any of our knowledge. It is much too beautiful for our eyes to visualize.  Our broken hearts could never grasp how all the pieces will perfectly be mended together one day. How He works things out for our good will always be far beyond what our minds can understand. 

But He is working!

And what IS really ISN’T.

Learn to trust Him with ALL of lifes moments.

Open your heart, mind and soul to Him.

Remember “It is what it is…but it really isn’t.”