Thursday, August 25, 2011

Love Looks Like This

This is from our dear friends blog The Cottle's.Those are ALL their kids. I love it! They are the one's we are starting the non-profit with. Our non profit is appropriately name Love Looks Like This. All this post said was "I think Love Looks Like This". I agree. Proud, happy, humbled and blessed to walk with these folks. Go subscribe to the blog here.

Embarassment of Riches

I woke up at 3:45am here on the dawn of my 30th birthday with a deep feeling of nostalgia and a rush of thankfulness. I started thinking back on the things. Things I have had and the things I haven't had.The things that I have done and the things that I haven't done. You know reflecting on what,where, and who I thought I'd be by this point.We all kinda of have those things so I ran through my list. Married to my love, my best friend, my ride or die chick (or maybe I am his I can't ever remember) for almost 10 years.He is a great husband, father, friend, hand rubber, cook, dancer, djembe player, and all around stand up dude. We have fallen apart and be rebuilt at least a dozen times it seems like. But we are still here learning how to be Mr and Mrs and there is still big love and a lot of laughs and no one else I would rather do it with. I have gotten to go a lot of the places I have dreamed of. I had a six week dream trip right out of the chute of college, and have seen a lot of places since then. I have had lots of jobs that I loved and a few I didn't.I have effectively left a career that I loved to do something that I love more (and that is a hell of a lot harder). I have learned and learned and learned about love, loss, healing,humans, over coming, and the power of the spirit. I have had 7 kids!!! In two years! 7 kids! In two years! Are you kidding!? That is loony. And one stuck and forever and for that my heart burst daily. I have an amazing albeit dysfunctional family that have given me the kind of love that is foundational and carries you when things get shaky. Here is the kicker of it all...the One who gave me all of it loves me in an drastic, ridiculous, unending,soul swallowing, crushing, heart aching kind of way; and I am starting to believe it more daily. He walks with me and carries me, he goes before me and has my back. I am learning to hear and trust his voice more every day. And thirty years ago after something crazy like 37 hours of labor when my stubborn ass finally made my appearance He smiled and knew that thirty years later I would be weeping at my computer at 4:00 am overwhelmed by His love and the fact that my life is what they call an embarrassment of riches.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Foster care is inconvient

It's true. Things in "the system" are slow and done poorly. It is frustrating. You feel like you are always swimming up stream. Picking up someone else's slack. Cleaning up someone else's mess.

I have had a ton of experiences this week that have been so frustrating my head could explode. I have regretted my choice to continue foster care. I have questioned my sanity. I have been sleep-deprived and stressed out. I have been afraid and frustrated and anxious. I have said out loud "Why do we do this?" (not in front of the kids, to clarify). Matt says: "We say yes to kids". That is true, that is part of it. In the quiet moments, God says to my spirit: "Because I asked you to...and you say yes to ME."

It is true - a couple of years ago, I asked a friend: what if I stepped out of the game of chasing the house, the 2.5 kids, the new appliances, and started asking God what He wanted me to do, and then try to do it? Well, I have tried to do that ever since. Clarification: this is not because I am a good person. I am selfish, short-tempered; I like money, new clothes, my own agenda; I am prideful and judgy, just to name a few. This life is so hard sometimes. I hate living paycheck-to-paycheck. I like sleep. I HATE dealing with the system. I hate having no control. Trust me, this is not the plan I had...but I am so thankful for it.Because I know myself well enough to know that comfort is bad for my spirit. Sometimes it is easy for me to try to shirk the calling. I think: this isn't my job. This is not MY problem, not my kid. Then the Holy Spirit speaks to me and says "What you do for these kids, you do for Jesus." And my eyes well up with tears convicted, humbled, and grateful that Jesus would ask me for a glass of milk. That He would want me to read Him a book. That he would want to cuddle on my lap.

Pray for me. Pray that I might have grace and joy to do what has been asked, because without that sent from the Father, I am terrible at this.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Saturday is usually my running day when I do not run. You follow? On Friday night, I go to bed fully intending to run, but by dawn something happens. I am not sure if it is the coffee, or my family, or the fact that usually we are not in a rush to go anywhere, but Saturday is the running day that I don't run.
But, you see, me and rain have this thing. It goes way back.
I have always felt like rain is a forehead kiss from my heavenly Papa. It has always come at the most opportune times. When I am especially high or low. When something especially good or bad is happening. I mean, one could argue that such is life; something especially good or bad is always happening. But it just feel special to me. I remember times it rained when we got placements, lost placements, birthdays, times when we have been struggling, times when we are thriving. It always feels like sweet relief; the muscles in my back loosen and I feel peace and joy. I know it is narcissistic, but it feels like it is especially for me.
I was sitting there in pajamas ready to slowly sip my coffee and listen to music with my family. Every drop was like a call from the Father. So this morning I couldn't help it, I had to go out in it. With Him. I grabbed my running shoes and my iPod and told Matt I was going running and he smiled knowingly. He knows about me and the rain...he is OK with it. I usually listen to rap or pop to run. This morning I had to listen to worship. My heart is so full and I am so glad. Thankful to the Creator. Thankful for what he has done for me in this life and in eternity. I just couldn't resist worshipping Him.
So if you saw me this morning - running soaking wet, arms outstretched, singing and crying, don't worry, I haven't lost it - I was just talking to my Papa.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Please Pray

This will not be an eloquently worded post that will move is just a simple request. We have two new kids coming our way and it is taking a long time because of many things. They are school aged kids and I would love to have some time to get them adjusted to their new home before I throw them into another new enviroment(school). Please pray that we would see movement in this case even today. We believe in prayer. Thank you all for going on this journey with us.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Isaiah Michael Clarke

Early this morning here I sit my iced coffee, my son in his high chair next to me concentrating hard on his cheerios listening to Waterdeep. I just filled out the paperwork for the adoption. The paperwork that in October or November will change his name from Infant/ Baby boy to Isaiah Michael Clarke. Which is just who God intended him to be.I know that as we sit here in the most ordinary of settings, that apart from the hand of God Isaiah wouldn't be here eating dry cheerios at 6:30 in the morning. It is a miracle. Beauty from ashes. Raised up from premature birth in some projects in Houston, from abandonment, to strong, confident, happy, belonging, loved, named. My heart could just burst at the thought of this. Thank you Isaiah my daily reminder that God's love is real and that it intervenes in the most desperate of circumstances. That he still moves in the most broken of systems. That he works these things together for our good. All glory to my Creator who against all odds fulfilled a promise that he made five years ago that you would come. Not just a baby but YOU (read Isaiah's story) A God who at His most perfect timing brought you to me because He knew who you are, and what your name was to be.

Isaiah 62:2-3
You'll get a brand-new name
straight from the mouth of God.
You'll be a stunning crown in the palm of God's hand,
a jeweled gold cup held high in the hand of your God.
No more will anyone call you Rejected,
and your country will no more be called Ruined.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Not Done Yet

Ever since Isaiah arrived, people have been asking: "Are you done now?" "Done with foster care?" "You will just adopt now, right?" "No more in-and-out?" "No more revolving door?" "Just take care of your kids." "You don't need to do that, you have done that already." We have fielded these questions in the last week as we have been informing people that we are not done. The news that there are two kids on the way to our house (albeit SLOWLY) has gotten mixed reviews.
I just want to say this: I have spent a lot of time wrestling with how this may affect my son. I have worried about how he may feel if we have some kids and they leave. I have ached at the thought of his little heart hurting. But God considered that. God loves Isaiah so much more that my broken human self can. He has a plan for Isaiah. A plan for us. His plan is good, and bigger than we can fathom. More than anything, I want Isaiah to grow up to be a man who loves Jesus, a man who loves his people, a man who has a heart for the kingdom of God, a man who will defend the weak, love the poor, and who will spend himself on behalf of the needy in the name of Jesus. I want those things more than Isaiah having his own room, or being the center of attention, or all the toys he wants. I want him to see that a life lived in obedience to his Creator is sacrificial but oh-so-full!
2 Corinthians 9: 8-11 says:
"God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you're ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it,

He throws caution to the winds,
giving to the needy in reckless abandon.
His right-living, right-giving ways
never run out, never wear out.

This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God."

So how many kids will we take in? How many will we adopt? When will we stop?
When God says stop, but not until then.

FREE Adoption and Foster Care Conference in the Area

Adoption Conference

If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about adoption or foster care. This is a FREE conference with FREE lunch and FREE childcare! And you can ride with us we still have room in the van :)