Our Journey

With my husband’s permission, I have decided to share our journey as foster-to-adopt parents. 💑
We are anxiously beginning the journey full of doubts and hesitation and I want to share all of it in real time, warts and all.

It took a long time to get here and we can list 100 reasons why it’s a terrible idea. We’ve had family members be outspoken against it which has made it difficult to share publicly. Unfortunately, we don’t have everyone’s support or approval of this decision, and we have to be ok with that.

The decision to become a foster/adoptive family was (is) scary. We’ve never struggled with fertility. We have healthy children – a girl and boy! We already have the “perfect” nuclear family 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦. So what made us decide to make our lives really uncomfortable? We are “doing it scared” because of 1 important reason:

We are pro-life.

I may have just lost a few followers for that politically unpopular statement, but it’s part of our story. We have 100 reasons not to start this journey, but just 1 that makes us dismiss them all. We believe being pro-life doesn’t just mean “pro-fetus.” We believe it comes with the enormous burden of being pro-mother, pro-baby, pro-child, and pro-humanity. We believe being pro-life means being part of the solution.

I recently watched the movie “Instant Family” where Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne adopt 3 foster kids. Wahlberg’s character, Russ, says:
“People who take in foster kids are really special. The kind of people who volunteer when it’s not even a holiday. We don’t even volunteer on a holiday.”

I think a lot of us have this misconception that we don’t have what it takes to do this type of work. If you were to attend one of these training classes and hear some of the dumb questions being asked, you would feel qualified! 😳

Our Pastor often says “God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.” The truth is, we are ALL called to serve the orphans and widows among us (James 1:27). We can all serve in one way or another. Maybe foster parenting isn’t your calling, but don’t miss out on your calling, whatever that is! We all have one!

I look forward to sharing more about our journey with you over the next several months. I will be relying heavily on your support and encouragement along the way! Thank you for being my people!! I’m going to need you. 👊

#fosterparents #instantfamily #fosterlove #adopt #adoptionstory #foster #prolife #focusonthefamily #family #blendedfamily #realtalk #parenting #fostermom #fosterdad #motherhood #fatherhood #growth #growthmindset #passion #leadership #purpose #presence #selfactualization #empathy #compassion #selfawareness #empowerment #inclusion #equity #diversity

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💕LOVE STORY 💕

Patrick’s Senior Prom (Our First Date): May 2000

Everyone loves a good love story, right? 🥰 Here’s mine in a nutshell…

I was only 15 when I met my husband and if you would have told me then that I would end up married to that awkward, skinny, 17-year-old boy I would never have believed it! Needless to say, it was not love at first sight. And that ended up being the secret to our success.

My best friend, Krystal, brokered the deal for me to be his prom date in Y2K. She reminded me recently that I made her tell him NOT to expect any physical contact on this date. I was always good at managing expectations. 😆

Although there were no fireworks on that date, the fact that we weren’t trying to impress one another is what eventually made us click. Looking back, I’ve never been more unapologetically myself with anyone than I was with that boy. I didn’t care about impressing him and we proceeded to date other people and give each other dating advice in the years that followed. In hindsight, it was a lot of TMI if I’d known I would marry this dude. 🤐

For me, the turning point happened when I went on a family vacation. I had a boyfriend back home who I didn’t miss at all, and I was calling my best friend, Patrick, every day while I was gone. I knew what I had to do when I got home….and I was pretty sure he had been patiently waiting for me to arrive at this conclusion on my own. 💑

There was a lot that happened in the years that followed…to save time, you can refer to the plot of The Notebook. We loved each other fiercely and we believed in one another fiercely. Those early years were SO difficult. It’s hard to pursue your own dreams and fulfill the needs of someone else at the same time. Maybe impossible. Choosing to grow together, rather than as individuals was our biggest struggle. 🌳

The fact that we have persisted for almost 20 years is a testament to our mutual stubbornness and the grace of God. Patrick told me yesterday that his favorite thing about me is my grit. When I decide to do something, come hell or high water, I won’t give up. Similarly, my favorite thing about Patrick is that he will do absolutely anything to be successful. He works so hard to be proficient at whatever he does and he works hard at being a good husband and father. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

We were married 10 years ago and learned how to navigate adulthood, careers, and parenting together. We are still unapologetically ourselves. We can’t be any other way because we showed all of our cards early on. We know the worst about each other but choose to believe the best – day after day. We respect each other and we are still best friends after all these years. We are so different from those awkward, superficial teens setup for a prom date, but we choose one another every day, year after year. 👰🏻🤵🏻

Love is not a feeling, it’s a commitment. The best marriages involve 2 people in competition to out-serve one another. They require mutual respect, admiration, and a determination to be the best partner you can be. It’s not a natural response. It’s a choice. And it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. 💞

The Grass is Greener Where You Water It

🌱The Grass is Greener Where You Water It 🌦

We all know the agony of comparison – in friendships, in parenting, and in our marriages. Social media has multiplied this feeling exponentially. Everyone else’s marriage looks easy breezy on Facebook, so why don’t I have that? 📸

The truth is, ALL of our relationships have their challenges. Chances are, if you could see the secret struggles of the relationships behind the picture perfect filters, you’d probably RUN back to your spouse and be grateful for the small problems you are faced with in comparison. 🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻‍♀️

All of our relationships have seasons that are hard. We are individuals driven to seek our own happiness, yet relationships require the selflessness to put someone else’s needs above you own. It’s unnatural to us, which is why we have to be intentional in connecting with one another. 💑

Think about what first attracted you to your spouse. Of all the people in the world, you CHOSE this person! That’s a really BIG DEAL!

Take some time to reflect on the qualities that made you choose your husband/wife. These are the foundations of your marriage and I bet they are still true!
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Now go share these qualities with him/her! Here’s a little script to get you started:
“When we first met, I fell in love with you because ________. I knew I wanted to marry you because _________. I really appreciate that you still ________. Thank you for __________.”

We are all looking for affirmation and confidence that we are ENOUGH and we are seen and valued. Practice giving that to your spouse, and chances are, you will receive it back in return.