Sunday, November 8, 2015


The first foster baby we ever had turned one today.  He was placed with us just 2 days after his birth, and stole our hearts nearly as quickly.  He became beloved brother, son, grandson, great-grandson, nephew, cousin, and was sweet baby "J" to all our friends.  All who met him fell in love with his big brown eyes, his soft baby curls, his melt-your-heart smile.  He was family.  And then, nearly as quickly as he'd entered our lives, he left.

I tried to be happy for him, but 9 months later it is still a struggle.  We are missing his first steps, first words, first foods.  We don't get to see his personality begin to come out and define who he will be.  We loved him without guard, without abandon.  We loved him like he deserved to be loved, and then we let him go.

Today our church celebrated student ministry Sunday, and I was blessed to see these awesome young men and women stand up in front of our community of believers and lead us in worship, pray with and for us, and share a little glimpse into their lives.  Two of the students were baptized this morning, and as they shared their testimonies, I thought about how proud their parents must be of the path their children are choosing.  What an amazing legacy they are leaving ~ 1 John 1:4 says, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.", and that is absolutely how I feel.  When Maya makes up songs that worship God or Charlotte tells me that her favorite activity is MOVE (children's choir) because "God and Jesus are the best things in the universe" or Milo tells me he was "yeally byave" in the car when he saw a spider because "I knew God was with me", my heart just about explodes.  It breaks my heart that, in most cases, I won't get to experience that with our foster babies, and more than that, that I won't know whether or not they are hearing the Truth.  They are in our lives when they are young, but most of the time will go back home or to family, and with little exception we will never hear from them or about them again.

The tears don't come as frequently now as they did when "J" first left, but they still sneak up on me every now and then.  When people tell me that they could never foster because they would get too attached, I have to just smile because getting too attached is exactly what these kids need.  We are told all the time that we are so great and so special and so amazing for doing what we do, and while I do appreciate the encouragement (believe me, on tough days sometimes that is all I have to go on!), you need to know that we are just average people, doing a hard thing and getting hurt over and over.  But we are also average people who are being blessed by doing exactly what God has called us to do.  This year has been a rollercoaster of high highs and low lows, and I'm thankful for each moment.

Worth It by Francesca Battistelli
Love's not a feeling, love's not convenient
But I know love can change your life
Love takes sacrifice, love cuts like a knife
Sometimes love will make you cry
Love's not easy but it's worth it

(his face is blurred in the pictures for privacy)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


A couple of months ago when we were visiting Michael's mom, we got to take the kids on a picnic to OSU-Newark, where Michael and I had attended classes during our senior year of high school.  The campus is pretty beautiful and the weather was amazing.  After the picnic we hung out at Penny's and Charlotte showed us her monkey side by trying to climb as high as possible in a tree in the backyard.  Maya, being the older sister, is usually the one leading the way for Charlotte.  But, when it comes to tree-climbing, Charlotte is the undisputed leader.

As you can see, Milo is pretty into craisins.

My hottie

Monday, November 2, 2015

How Tall This Fall, 2015 Edition

We made our annual trip to the pumpkin patch a couple of weeks ago.  It is so fun to be able to look back at all the pictures of our kiddos over the years as our family has grown and changed!  This year we got to add two bonus kids to the group, even!  Little 3yo "A" is just about the most photogenic kid I've ever met, and I'm sad that I can't share his picture here because you all would melt into a puddle from his utter adorableness.  Baby sister 20mo "I" is also quite a cutie, though she is full of more spice than sugar and only smiles on her own terms ;-)  Both of the kids have won the hearts of all who have met them, and I'm so thankful to share these traditions with them!

Side-note ~ turns out I didn't blog last year's pumpkin patch pictures!!!  So bonus for my awesome readers, you get to see new pictures from this year AND last year!  The rest you may have seen before ;)

Other side-note ~ I miss Milo's long hair!  Sorry Mama, I'm letting it grow out again!

Previous years:











Oh. My. Goodness.



Maya was approximately 2 weeks old in this picture.