Thursday, July 28, 2011

Movin' on Up!

We got our new numbers from our agency today! 

On the Infant List!


On the Sibling Group List! 

Monday, July 25, 2011


It's one of those concepts that rarely has gone according my plans. 

I had a nice, neat timeline planned out for my life upon graduating from high school. 

  • College in four years. 
  • Teach elementary school for the rest of my life. 
  • Get married at around 26 or 27.   Preferably to a professional athlete.  Definitely NOT to anyone in ministry.
  • Kids by late 20's.  And just two of them. 

Instead, what I got was...

  • College in 3 1/2 years. (just call me an overachiever.  Or a nerd.  whatever.)
  • Taught fifth grade for 5 years and got burned out. 
  • In and and out of long term relationships.
  • Went into full time supported ministry as a single girl.
  • Got married at 32  
  • Still no kids. 
  • A big, hairy dog that eats most inanimate objects my house. 

Not my timing.  Not my plan.  

As I look back, I can honestly say that I am so grateful for the way it has played out.  My life has looked nothing like I planned, yet it's been everything that I needed. 

But for a lot of my twenties, there were many questions, heartache, and doubt. 

The story wasn't playing out the way I had written it. 

I had questioned whether God had forgotten about me.  Why it seemed like everyone else kept having new chapters written in their lives and mine stayed on the same page. 

And as I have had the chance to spend some quality time with some my best girlfriends from all over the country this past month, it seems like this concept of timing is a rough one for a lot of us women. 

Many of the women in my life, in varying age ranges and stages, are sitting in lives where their dreams have been unmet, or shattered, or abandoned. 


Married and hurting.




Just, plain lonely. 

A fellow adopting mom shared this statement on one of the yahoo groups I'm a part of and I loved it: 

"Where we see time.  God's sees timing." 

God's timing never matches our own.  His perspective is so much wider, deeper, and full of more wisdom then we can ever grasp. 

When I look at timing in my own small brain and hands, I always, always, always jump to what I don't have, what I haven't achieved, and how far "behind" I am than everyone else around me. 

Even as some dreams have been answered, I can still focus instead on the dreams deferred. 

However, when I choose to trust that each word, each page, and each chapter of the course of my life has happened in God's perfect and loving timing, then I am at peace.  Only then. 

"You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." 
 John 13:7. 

What a sweet and loving promise to cling to when our current circumstances are not what we dreamed them to be. 

A post for my girls that are hurting and lonely, and who need a gentle, loving reminder that they have not been forgotten by the One who holds time in His hands. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's Not About You.

That's what a foster mom kindly, but directly, said to me as I gave her the reasons why my husband and I could never foster.

"I could never give them back. We'd get too attached."  I compassionately proclaimed to her.

And all she said was, "It's not about you."

And there you have it.

I didn't take offense to her comment. Because she was right.

There are hundreds of innocent children in our city alone that do not get to make the decisions where they will live.  They have been pulled from their families for safety reasons, but they don't get an opinion as to where to go next.  They have no voice.

But I do.  And I use it a lot.

Unfortunately, it's too often for my own self-promotion.

What if instead of giving excuses as to why foster care isn't for our family, I started advocating for the child who doesn't have a family?

The bible is clear in it's mandate: To be a voice for the orphan.

Foster children are orphans. Whether for a few days, months, or years, they are without their biological family.

There are some great ways to care us to for them. 

1.  Through Foster Care, where children are placed with your family for the short or long term until their family is stable enough to get them back or until they are available to be adopted. 

2. Through Respite Care, where you receive the foster care training and then take children into your home for short periods of time.  (i.e. overnight, the weekend, or a week)  Alabama DHR confirmed they are in great need of Respite Care families as well as foster families.

3. Adopt from the foster care system.  There are over 300 children currently available for adoption in foster care in the state of Alabama. 

Children placed in foster care may not have a voice.  But we do.  

Even greater, we have the ability to give them the structure and love that they desperately need.

Foster care is not a walk in the park.  It can be messy and hard.

But it is also part of the adventure that God calls us to as believers- to care for the orphan.

For our family, long-term foster care while waiting for a referral is not the best mix.  However, we are excited about the potential of becoming respite care foster parents!

We'd love for you to join us tomorrow night: 

 July 20th at Frazer UMC in Room 7202 at 6pm to learn more about Foster Care from our panel of Foster Parents.  

Ask questions and hear about their experiences as foster families. 

Hope to see you there. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Small Towns and Surprises

I grew up in a small town.

And I don't mean farmland and cattle.

I'm a Jersey girl, people.

I grew up in a town that is two-square miles.

So small that we didn't have school buses.

But we did manage to fit four elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, three fire stations, a bazillion churches and a downtown where I learned to parallel park in those two-square miles.

Then add 10,000 people.

It's a close-knit community.

One of the things I love about it, especially now that I've been away from it for so long, are the traditions.  The fourth of July is one of the town's big events.

The parade is quintessential small-town.

Residents put their chairs out two or three days in advance to reserve their spot to watch the parade.

These chairs were put out the night before.  Small town awesomeness. 

My sweet pea niece and her pop-pop

Never bother a boy and his breakfast sandwich.

Sisters.  And no, we didn't plan the shirts. 

A parade full of marching bands in full uniform, beauty queens on mustang convertibles, sparkling clean fire trucks.

Everyone stands when the flag or the military goes by.

Seeing your former kindergarten teachers, the parents of your high school friends, and kids you used to babysit who are now legally adults.

Yup, I'm old.

My very southern husband got the full Fourth of July package this past weekend, including a trip to the Jersey Shore.

And I am glad to report that NO ONE resembled Snooki.

 He and the rest of the southern United States are convinced that 99% of the population of NJ is made up of versions of Jersey Shore cast members.

Take a look at the picture.  I rest my case: normal humans reside in NJ.  For the most part.

I've been blessed with a good man.  A few months ago, when we were planning this NJ trip, and this girl was pretty lonely and missing her friends and family in many different states, he started concocting a plan.

One of the days in NJ, he surprised me with a trip to NYC to see the Lion King.  Highly recommended!

Then... we went to dinner.  And I walked in the restaurant to find my three best friends from college waiting for me.  After college, the four of us got together twice a year to reconnect.  Then marriages and kids happened and it got hard to plan getaways.  Our last time together was over three years ago.

My husband had been emailing and texting with them over the past three months to bring them in to the city for a reunion.

That's a good man.

So grateful for family, small towns, and best friends!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


As you may know, (due to my shameless promoting of it), we had an adoption fundraiser at Chick-fil-a last week.

They graciously gave us three hours, from 5:30-8:30pm, to earn 20% of their profits toward our adoption.

Our Montgomery friends and family came out in droves to support us.


For three hours, we got to catch up with friends, talk about adoption, and take one step closer to bring our kids home.

So many came.

Friends from church.


Fellow adoptive families in Montgomery.

Friends from other churches.

People we had never met, but heard about it and wanted to support our event.


It was so busy that the restaurant was calling more managers and workers to come in and help because they were swamped.  

At the end of the night the manager told us it was the busiest fundraiser event they had ever had.


In three hours we raised $730.  We were told that it was the most ever raised for a fundraiser event.

Clearly, we have some pretty amazing friends and support in this town.


And if you noticed above, I alluded that we'd be bringing our "kids" home.  Plural.

After talking with our agency this weekend, we learned that we are pretty far down on the list for an infant but a lot closer for a sibling group of two.


The bad news is that it looks like the wait will still be longer than we thought.  Potentially six more months for a referral.

It very well could be that God knows we need a little more time to wrap our heads around the potential of TWO more Words!