Oh my heart.
You haven’t heard from me for some time.
Well–you can trust when I don’t write, it’s NOT because I’m being quiet…because if you know me–quiet is one thing I’ve never been. When I’ve been gone too long, it’s just because our hands are full…and so are our hearts.
Some of you might recall a beautiful story we lived through where the Lord led us to an Ukrainian orphan over 3 years ago. If you missed that…oh my gracious–y’all God writes THE BEST stories…so put down that fiction piece and read what God did that summer right here. It will BLOW your mind reading from start to finish. But you must start in the beginning…before we had fallen in love–when we were just available and following Jesus by just saying, “Okay. If you want us to–we are will open our home and trust you.” The rest of the story is MIND-BLOWING. It left me emotionally spent…not because it doesn’t turn out miraculous…well–because it DOES! We were spent because we went in not expecting to fall in love. And–well we did! We actually became so invested that when we realized God wasn’t calling us to adopt that we actually contemplated moving to Ukraine if we had to in order to keep her safe. Only He didn’t. Instead–He did the miraculous unimaginable. (Who would have ever guessed that 3 years later we would be celebrating EVERY holiday with this princess of a girl in our home…or us in her home with her and her most amazing family whom we adore to the moon and back! Only God can write stories like these! What an honor that we get to be a part of them if we just open our hands and say yes when He calls!)
After that–I was on my knees. Thankful. In awe. And amazed that we got to be a part of something so beautiful. And just with our yes…to simply be available FOR A TIME. BUT had we not said yes–I’m quite sure someone else would have. Because God has a plan and purpose for each person. Psalms says NOTHING can thwart God’s plans. If we hadn’t followed, we would have simply missed getting to see Him work and getting to be on the front lines of a miracle. The one thing I did ask God after that was this: “Please just never ask us to do that again Lord. Falling in love with a precious child…and then not being called–instead being called to be the BRIDGE…the ones used in a miracle to link where they are supposed to be to their final destination…oh Lord–use US Lord for the final destination!!! The bridge is beautiful–YES, but the bridge is hard when you have a momma’s heart! So, Lord–thank you for this beautiful journey that I will forgive hold sacred and treasure–but just please not again. I want THIS STORY to be my ONE sacred “bridge” miracle that I hold on to forever. Thank you and Amen.”
So here we find ourselves again–sort of. Only this time we have fallen in love with not one–but a handful of amazing kids. The story is long–and too sacred to blog…but just as amazing and powerful as the one we were a part of before. Once again we have gotten to be a voice for the voiceless–then to SEE voice actually given and heard…and now for one sweet sweet before the big move–my home is full of these children waiting…to move into their forever family’s home THIS weekend.
Our children have played together for over a year at our church, but this summer is when everything really changed in their story. Their precious, single mom in the Hispanic community our church community pours into turned for the worse with cancer–and it quickly became evident that a plan should be in place. Months later we were brought into the plan and asked to potentially open our home forever to some of these children if they couldn’t all be together. So much happened and has happened that is just too holy and precious to share–but as we said yes in our spirits…the Lord spoke clear to my heart about what He has joined together. We quickly realized God was asking us to advocate for all 5 children to be together–and as we fell in love with them…we were open to them coming here…but He was asking for more…together. Once again, we felt God was asking us to again–be a BRIDGE. His voice was clear. And I confess–my heart didn’t want to hear that part at first–JUST BE A BRIDGE.
I’m not a very good middle mom or “bridge”. Standing at the end of the driveway being the one waving good-bye…no I’m not good at that. Who is good at that…right? What a calling to be the mom behind the wheel driving to adventure–but no matter how simple it might feel let’s also not forget how holy to get to be the bridge too.
So bridge it was–and we prayed. We made ONE phone call. ONE. God placed one family on my heart to call..not thinking THEY were “the family” that would jump right up and say yes–to bringing home 5. After all, they also have 5 littles ones already in their home. I called them because they are the family I always call when I know a little one who needs a home. They lead one of the largest foster and adoption support networks in Georgia–and I think the world of them and know how well connected they are to other adoption families with great big hearts for children. We called—we shared. Then they called back. And to our surprise–God was calling THEM.
God choose an amazing family. With open hands I always laugh during this saying, if anything were to happen to me–I’d trust that Martha to raise all my babies. She walks closely with Jesus–and so does her husband Andy. I never thought in a million years that was why God had placed THEM on my heart my heart to call. But I’m so thankful I listened to that little nudge–and even more thankful to watch these precious ones go live with a family we are really getting to know well now and who we think the world of.
It’s funny now to think back…how at first my hands wanted to hold on–my fingers wanted to hold tight. And still–my heart wants this time of being the bridge to stretch out–oh it’s been SO sweet! On Friday we get to back bags, pray for great big things in their futures and once again–how sweet of God to choose a family we know…so we will get to continue to be a part of their lives. I’m once again so grateful. What are the chances you get to be in the middle not once but twice in your life…I guess it’s just a simple yes–and being available. I’m so thankful we listened.
Created for Care prepared me to be this bridge…a piece of the puzzle I’m so honored to get to be…and kind of like fostering one that I didn’t realize my heart was created with the capacity to just love more and more and more and more. This journey again…now leaves me saying…“Jesus, thank you for using me. You know if you would have said GO to us–we would have. You know we wanted to. Thank you for giving us strength and direction to be still and be a voice for You. How precious this has been. Here are our hands. You can bring more and do this again if it’s Your will. The bridge–we embrace that role…how beautiful it is to be.”
The last few months have once again changed us…and our children. Our hearts are softer, our marriage more committed and our hearts are fuller. We have walked with other families in this and watched them open their homes and love deep and wide–willing to do anything for these kids–and our church community has been strengthened–it takes a village…and we have seen the body of Christ in beautiful ways. We have been friends to these littles–and now a bridge–and I’m excited to get to be a part of watching them now thrive together in a family. Every one in the village has played a different part–each such a special part. Each yes from each person has been blessed–taken risks–and it’s been hard, but good–with His hand over it all. And I am thankful.
We have shared hearts and listened a lot–and played more football in the front yard than you can imagine. We have broken bread and carved pumpkins and worshipped side by side. AND THIS WEEKEND—this bridge is meeting the other side–and passing the torch to the greatest adventure of all…family forever.
If you would like to follow the rest of their story and be a part of supporting the most amazing kids in history as they being a new life…you can read my precious friend’s blog with such great faith here.
We aren’t all called to foster or adopt, but maybe the Lord might call you to surround this family and be a part of their village as they double their numbers. Can you imagine?! Some times the people that touch us most when we are on the receiving end are most blessed as people who they don’t even know come around to support and serve them…so never underestimate how God might want to use you if you feel the nudge to ever say yes to blessing or supporting a family who is saying yes in a different way–maybe like doubling their family. There are a million ways you can support this amazing family–from praying for them, grocery gift cards (10 kids can eat!) or just giving whatever the Lord might place on your heart.
It’s amazing now to see their community surround and support them–and I’m once again over the moon that we will get to continue to be a part of their lives after they are home! I love seeing the excitement and momentum build in their community before they have ever even met these awesome kids–and being on “the other side” you see the ashes of loss…you walked with them in them after…so reading the excitement in blogs or posts from their community of those who haven’t met them but are so excited to meet them is super exciting and filled with such newness and hope. JOY COMES IN THE MORNING.
How beautiful it is to have walked together and to have been called even into the ashes of loss. As an adoptive parent and being in the community where many kids come to us after loss–we also know what hope is ahead…how one day there will be dancing again. And our YES’s. No matter what God calls us to–He will do BIG things in! I think some times we think for God to use us it has to be the BIG things…like adopting or being the one driving away with the car full. The little things–are really some times big things. When you say yes to Jesus–you walk in willing for anything–and you walk out amazed that you just had a piece…no matter how big or small…a beautiful piece for a time. This was our prayer for a family for all 5 children–and how thankful we are that they have said yes with joy, love and excitement to God’s call for them. As they trust the Lord with raising 10 children, will you pray for them? Will you pray if He might use you to support or encourage them in some way?
Maybe He wants to use YOU as a bridge in some way—right now. You’re small yes to whatever He is asking may be more life-changing than you can imagine. I challenge you to just say yes when He calls and if it’s being a bridge–stand sound and firm while those who need a place to cross can be sheltered and lifted up as they cross. Ask Him to be your strength and trust Him in the calling He has just for you. Truly God writes the best stories…and there’s more beauty to share around the corner with this one! So much beauty ahead!!!