There’s something about 10

I love a good look-back.  Can you believe it has been 10 months since this “yes” turned my life upside down?

zoo girls
Baby Girl has a little “captain” in her 😉

Here’s a quick look at what the past 10 months have looked like as 3 little girls raised this “momma”.

We have seen a total of 1 movie in the theaters in the past 10 months.  Well, two if you count the one where we took twin 3 year olds and had to go to the bathroom 3 times, each, and finally just decided to leave since the sprite was making them run literal circles in the hallway.  I learned that lesson fast.

We’ve learned how to walk, how to ride bikes, how to swim and how to sing… all these things are cause for celebration.  Some of the bigger people have learned how to cook, how to change diapers, how to bathe a baby and how to smile while walking through the door to daycare with a kicking, screaming child who barely has clothes on.  We’re all learning.

I’m one of those moms, the one that says no to sodas, cakes and sweets except in controlled environment, carefully monitored, almost like a rat in a test-lab.   I repent to all parents whose kids I have previously given sodas, cookies and candies countless times.  Specifically the first two Fripp kids and all the Sumlars.  I am sorry.  Please do not repay my sins.

For 9 of our 10 months we had major bedtime battles.  Breakthrough came in the ninth hour and now we sing songs of joy.  Bananas are like magic.  They help little people sleep through the night.  This is one of the valuable things I found on pinterest. Yes, I said it, there is something good that can come from pinterest.  Since all you have to do is peel it, it’s pretty easy to make this one happen just like the picture.

Amazon Prime, Zulilly, Pizza, JinJin98 and anything else that can deliver – these are my best friends.  If I need something and can have it show up at my door with the click of a mouse, please give me more.

When we realized that 2 girls would soon be 3 we had to buy a new car.  How many toddlers do you know that have their own car?  That’s how we do it around here.  The girls have one car equipped with 3 carseats… whoever has the girls has the car.   And as Sissy said, “our car has a TV in it, because that’s just the way God made it.”  yes, dear, God was definitely behind that idea. 😉

I know the movies Frozen and Tangled by heart.  I thank God for the Despicable Me movies that came around and saved me from the others.

We have a two-hour maximum time for road trips.  When it’s time to go to Texas, I estimate it will take us 6 days and 45 bathroom breaks.  Fortunately, Nanna & PaPa’s houses fall within our 2 hour limit.  I swear these girls can say “mommy” at least 1,000 times in 2 hours.

Last week, I got stuck on a plane that couldn’t leave, and the row nearby had a sweet little girl that got sick all over herself, her sister, her seat and the floor.  I am convinced the past 10 months helped prepare me for this very moment where all I wanted to do was scream and run.  But I held it together, for the most part.  After the sick little girl stood in the aisle with her little germy hand on my arm-rest I went digging in my purse for a sanitizing wipe – which I had just taken out that morning because why would I need one? I was leaving my kids at home. – lesson learned.  After taking a deep breath, annointing myself with oils and praying for grace for me and that poor mother with two girls, the heavens opened up and they let me off that plane.  Oh heavens, thank you.

Remember when this little girl was my only princess?

tinihammockPoor little Tini.  Her life has changed more than mine. As I pulled macaroni out of her fur three days after the night we had macaroni, I thanked her for not leaving me.  She may look sad when you see her, but trust me… she is the number one benefactor of a baby girl’s food that is thrown on the floor at every meal.

And last but not least, look at these two babies…

weddingThis week we wrap up year 11 and look forward to what the next ones hold.  If you had told me on this day what year 11 would look like I would never have believed you.  We went from zero to three kids in the blink of an eye.  God has a sneaky way of surprising us.  We’ll take some time to celebrate, just the two of us, and remember how easy life was 10 months and 2 weeks ago 😉  Then we’ll jump back in to this craziness we call life… loving almost every minute of it.

Since you’ve stuck around this long…. I guess I should tell you…. after 10 weeks of waiting we finally got the word we were praying for.   We have just moved one giant leap forward towards forever.   Nothing is certain yet so please continue praying for protection, favor and God’s purposes to be worked out.  We are grateful for your willingness to walk with us.

Much Love!


Pray for McDonalds!

Yep.  We do it every day.  Well, every weekday.

On our way to daycare each morning we pray for our day.  Also on our way to daycare we pass McDonald’s.  So every day when it’s time to pray, without fail I hear from the way back seat, “don’t forget to pray for Mitchdonald’s!”  So that is what I do.  I hope those people know they are covered in prayer!

We pray a lot around here.  Every bump, bruise and stuffed animal is covered in prayer.  And bigger things, like do we say yes to a new child?  Some days I have crazy ideas, like, let’s move to a bigger house so we can say yes when they call.  Fortunately, we take things to the Lord in prayer before we make major decisions.

Last week when I had that wild hair to make a move, I spent some time asking God, what are you looking for from us?  What does it look like to stay in a place of “yes” when we want to do more but we are limited by many things.  We’ve bought land and hope to build a bigger home, but these things take time… and money.  Our heart is to allow sibling groups to stay together, but our current place doesn’t give us any room to do such things.

I’ve moved beds, rearranged rooms, thought and thought about ways to make our little space bigger… and it just isn’t happening.  But we got a call that same day to take in a child, 12 yrs old who does not hear.  They asked if I know sign language, I said no, but I know someone who does!  So we said yes to an emergency placement that should last 1-2 days.  Five days later, our hearts hurt as we said goodbye and she was placed in a new home.  In the midst of the chaos I see God’s grace towards me.

I realized in these five days that God was graciously answering my question… what are you asking of me?  What he is asking is for us to love these 3 girls with everything we have, being sensitive to the needs around us but focused on this mission…. love well.   I realized when I briefly had a teenager that this is beyond my current capacity… there’s no summer daycare, there’s not much to keep her busy, there’s a limit to what I can do and how we can stretch during this season.  I’m not trying to make excuses, I’m trying to accept our reality.  I asked and God said, just wait.

Sometimes, even when we have the best intentions and our heart is all the way behind it, God still says wait.  Consider what other ways you can support, but for this season be sensitive to what God has called you to.  Friends, I cannot adequately convey the huge need that surrounds us related to orphan care.  There are countless things that can be done, just ask God what He wants from you.  If you are faithful to ask, he is faithful to answer.

Want to know some practical things?  Have a heart for orphans but don’t know where to jump in?  Support those that are in the trenches.  See how you can bless your local department of case-workers or DCF workers.  They are neck-deep in drama every day.   Set up meals for foster families, I assure you they can use the help.  Coffee.  We all live on coffee.  Lots and lots of coffee.   Gift cards for fun activities, restaurants or special treats.   Summer is here and lots of foster parents have full houses and kids that are bored.  Date nights – offer to babysit for a local family – there aren’t a lot of people volunteering to do that.  One time, my mom came over and cleaned my kitchen.  Do you know what a huge blessing that was for me?!?  There are a lot of practical things that can be tremendously helpful.  Just pray, see what ideas God gives you.

And… while you’re praying… don’t forget to pray for McDonald’s!

My Story



Hope is risky business.

After nine weeks of waiting, hoping, praying,  I can honestly say hope is fragile.  I waver from hope to worry like a child on a see-saw.

A facebook post that shakes my certainty.  A blog post that reminds me of others’ experience in the system, losing everything they hoped for in the ninth hour – wondering if their story will be mine.

Another foster parent letting their little one go back to a home that they can only hope will love and protect them as much as they deserve and in the way we would our own.  After one year, two years, pouring out love and investing in a child only to see them move back and know that our role is to celebrate but deep down the pain is real, there is a loss.

I didn’t enter this world blindly, but I couldn’t have imagined the messiness of it all.  I couldn’t fathom our story looking as it does and hoping for a forever I never dreamed of.

When it feels as though everything is shaken, I am reminded of the one who loves deeply – the one who loves through me; the one who sees me with tears in my eyes and knows what it feels like to give up a child.  The ONE who asked HIS son to carry my weight of sin.  I remember that he loves these girls more than I do.  He loves me more than I can understand.  No matter how our story unfolds, He will never forsake me.

I think deep down, I find myself trying to protect God from my own disappointment.  If I’m really honest, when I consider what scares me most, it’s the idea of pain so deep that I can’t find God.  I can get lost in the “what ifs” but those aren’t my biggest fears… it’s wondering if in the darkest hour will I still see grace.

In the midst of all the things I cannot control, I must choose where I place my hope…

Not in a system – but in a Savior.  Not in a process – but in a promise.  Not in my goodness – but in His goodness.

When I determine to set my mind on the truth of who He is, my hope stands renewed.  I can’t say I overflow, but I feel confident that even if the world falls apart I will not walk alone.

In the midst of the waiting and uncertainty, we are seeing small victories.  There have been decisions that have helped us move into stability and allowed the girls to settle a bit more.  For this we are grateful.

Some days I wonder how I got here.  Life was easy before our first yes.  My bubble was quite comfortable.  But I can see how God’s pursuit of my heart through this adventure in fostering has brought me to a greater dependency on him and those around us.  I will never be the same.

I have a greater appreciation for the support and love of our friends and family.  Everyone has stepped up in amazing ways.  We have friends that aren’t even in the family way yet that have openly embraced these girls, played with them, loved them and adapted to what our new life looks like.  It doesn’t just cost our comfort but it costs theirs.  I used to have guest rooms – now I have guest couches… if even that!  But friends still love us… even through crazy bedtime routines.  They patiently wait for us to calm an anxious child, they offer choices and hugs to help them regulate… they love us well by loving them well.  And their rewards come in hugs and kisses.  Adorable love.  That’s all we have.

Thank you friends for loving us well.  Thank you for standing in the gap and praying with us / for us.  Please continue.  Some days we feel weary, but Lord willing, we will never lose hope.