Love Does, My Story

When Heaven Moves Earth

“yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so”

I hear the sweetest little voice singing these words from under the table.  This is my favorite.  My heart skips a beat at the sound of her voice singing the words I long for her to know in the depths of her being… Yes, Jesus loves you!

Adoption is in the air… the anticipation is almost more than I can bear.  Every little thing tugs at my heart-strings.  It’s not just our story, but yours as well.  The very day we found out that we were cleared for adoption, 4 houses down from us a tiny baby girl was born into her adopted family that had waited and prayed for this child.  I met this tiny one last night and the peace that envelopes her is surreal… I can’t help but wonder, “will you ever understand how heaven moved to get you here?”

One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is found in Matthew 7:11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” 

I have often said, my dad makes God look good.  When I have thought of this scripture I have known that there is nothing on earth my dad would not do for me… how much more so my heavenly father?

There have been many times in the past 21 months that I have looked at my circumstances and talked back to God saying, “my dad would have done something by now!”  I’m sure there were some feet stomping and tear shedding to go along with my tantrum.

I may not fully see in this lifetime how heaven has moved on my behalf… but I know it has.

When I look back on our story, the past 21 months, and all that God has done to bring to fruition the dream he placed in our heart I want my girls to know one thing, He is a good good father. 

It’s hard some days for me to wrap my head around adoption.  For adoption to be necessary something has broken, a plan or a dream,  something is not what it should be… but in God’s grace, he provides a path of redemption, a saving of the story.

Here we are, literally counting down the days until adoption, practicing new names and beaming with excitement like expectant parents.  I have prayed that God would guard this season, for the first time we get to truly be excited and let the anticipation build up for this one big day… almost like a wedding!

We’re riding down the road in the car, “Raise your hand if you wanna be adopted!”  or shouting out new names like we know who we’re talking to.  Y’all, it’s just too much!

We had never discussed adoption before last week… honestly… the girls haven’t even known that they needed to be adopted, life has just been life for them.  So we took them out to dinner and it went something like this:

“Girls, mommy and daddy want to talk to you about something.”  – me
“What!?!?!?”   – all the little girlie voices
“Well, want to know if it would be okay if we adopted all of you so we can be your mommy and daddy forever?!”  –  obviously me
a twin’s head hangs down and she softly says, “but I wanted a new mommy and daddy…”
……………….    [I am sitting there stunned….]
“I’m just kidding!  I want you to be my mommy and daddy forever and ever and ever!” – said twin

What the hell was that!?!?!  Seriously! That is some high level sarcasm there.  Not what you would expect from a four-year-old!  I almost told her I changed my mind!  But honestly, I can’t blame her… Daniel and I are two of the most sarcastic people you will ever meet.  I can’t say I deserved that… but I can certainly see where I contributed to it. 😉

I told my dad the other day I’m a little worried that once we finalize adoption I’m not going to have anything to write about…. after spending a couple of days around us he assured me there will still be things to write!  Maybe, just maybe, you’ll get to see our fun side again.

Until then… I will be reading everything I can about What to Expect When You’re Expecting – 3 Toddlers… oh wait, no one in their right mind would put something like that in print.  I’ll keep on potty-training, planning a celebration and seeking to capture this story that God has given us.  Thank you for being there through every step!

I mentioned last week that there were a bunch of legal hoops that needed to be jumped through, and I just have to say, our case-worker was on point… and God has moved in incredible ways.  We have been approved and will be moving into our final stage of adoption, exactly ONE day before our home-study expires.  Yeah, let that sink in.

God is kind-of a show-off.

This morning as I sat, somewhat anxiously, considering where we are and what still needs to happen I came across a new-to-me song that just met the state of my heart…

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night
And you tell me that you’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

You’re a Good, Good Father
It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

– excerpt from Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin feat. Pat Barrett & Anthony Brown

My heart can’t stop singing this morning of His goodness.


Joy comes in the morning  Grab a tissue and sit down for a minute.  Life is getting real.

My heart has gone up and down all week.  I feel like all I have done is cry. Don’t worry, it ends well.

It all started with Mother’s Day weekend…I was feeling so tender already with my conflicting emotions about Mother’s Day and knowing that what is meant to be celebratory can also be such a painful day for many women.  I was keenly aware of how blessed I am to both celebrate and be celebrated.  I was especially honored by my older brother who offered to help Daniel watch all of our kids so the Moms could have a girls night out.  It was such a treat and the men did a great job keeping all the little people alive.

Monday night when we were getting ready for bed we realized that our beloved dog Mojo was on his last leg.  Now this dog… man… he’s been through a lot in the (almost) 12 years we have had him.  I even named him Mojo fully expecting he wouldn’t last long in our life and I could say, “we lost our mojo”.  I know, I’m crazy.

I had hoped we would catch his decline in quality of life early enough that we could intervene and save him from suffering.  By midnight I realized we were probably not going to make it through the night.  Daniel found me cuddled in his dog bed, petting his formerly-golden-now-just-grey coat as he struggled to breathe.  I wanted him to know he wasn’t alone, he has been a great dog and I forgive him for peeing in my shoes two weeks ago.  He didn’t seem to be in pain, just confused as to why moving and breathing was so hard.  I could feel his body relax as we spoke gently to him of our love and all the fun times we had together.  I have never seen a dog love a man as much as Mojo loved my husband.  His heart beat stronger just with Daniel near.  And I felt it as his heart gave up and his breath stopped.  I cried as if he was a child…. because let’s be honest… that is what he has been to us.  He was our first child and I had to let him go.


I was so incredibly grateful that we were able to be with him in those last moments, to share our love and comfort him in what I can only imagine was a scary stage.  He died so peacefully and he looked beautiful.  And for the first time in his life, he was still.  To be honest, I always expected him to go in some dramatic  blaze of glory… but it was so peaceful, like he knew there was nothing left to be said.  Just our “I love you” was enough. It was over.


Since I am clearly unstable, you can only imagine how much crying we did.  In the middle of waiting as Daniel was digging a really big hole on Tuesday morning, I received a text that our sweet blue-eyed girl would be moving the next day.  Seriously?  Do you know my dog just died?

What’s a girl to do?

Well, I did what I signed up for.  I washed what little bit of clothes she came with, I packed up her things and prepared to let another piece of my heart go.  When we picked the girls up from school we explained again where Mojo went.  We let them put flowers on his grave and waited to see him “fly to heaven”.  Because… all dogs go to heaven.  And then we talked about miss blue-eyes and that she would be leaving tomorrow.  We wanted to have a fun night together and savor the time we had left with our sweet girl.

This morning we woke up, got dressed and took the sisters to school.  I let little miss blue-eyes say goodbye to her sweet teachers and hug all the sisters.  She and I had a breakfast date at Chick-fil-A where she gave three random strangers hugs.  She lights up a room with her smile and her eyes are just the icing on the cake.  Her ringlet curls are to be envied and her sweet spirit will be missed.  I struggle with not knowing what her future will hold, but I rest in knowing the One who holds her future.  As I took her to meet her family my heart couldn’t help but be excited when I saw her feet break out in a happy dance at the sight of her brother and grandmother… it was priceless… and I could let go knowing I had loved her well.

Driving home through the island I marveled at the beauty around me.  It is a stunningly beautiful day.  I thought about the date, May 11th; five years ago we put our roots down in this place.  Five years to the day, we bought our house and said I wonder what God has in store for us here.  It didn’t seem real.  Why would God move us here?

I reflected on our journey in foster care.  This was the first time I gave a child back and felt like this is what was supposed to happen.  This is what foster care is supposed to be.  Loving with open hands and trusting God with the rest.  Then I thought about our girls and their story… and how God perfectly aligned us for this season, this place to be open and receiving of them.  How different our lives were five years ago.  How creative God is in his story.  You can’t even make this up.

Through it all I have such a sense of God’s tender care for me.  From Mother’s Day weekend, to being able to love Mojo through his last breath and letting go of my sweet blue-eyed girl – seeing her excitement as she goes home.  Through it all he has gently met me in the joy and in the tears.  Such a loving Father.

As I stepped into the busyness of my workday I received a text… not just any text… but the text I have been waiting for.  Eight weeks of waiting…



This story of a girl is about to get real!

What we’ve been waiting on… what we have been praying for… it has been cleared.  We are moving into adoption as fast as we possibly can.  Now friend, there are still things we cannot control and timing is one of them.  But let’s just take a moment and scream!

Happy dance. Wipe your tears. Happy dance again.

So as with all things I share… this comes with a disclaimer.  We are not aware of any other hurdles between us and forever, however I have absolutely no control over my life these days… so for today, we celebrate!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your prayers.  We are reaping the fruit of your faithfulness.  I truly hope you know what a huge part of our lives you are.  Please don’t stop praying, we still have those legal hoops to jump through.

Sorry I had to put you through an emotional roller coaster before we got to this point, but hey, if I had to ride it the least you can do is read it 😉





Confessions of Mother’s Day

I found myself lying awake at 4:30 in the morning, Baby Girl couldn’t find her Sassy in her big bed, just one of the 3 times I have been up this night –  once to comfort and pray with Sissy after her scary dream and another just in response to mid-night cries.

I never dreamed this would be my life. If I’m honest, I don’t think I ever dreamed at all.  Sure I had plans, and they involved not having children… so I can’t help but think back to how I got here, awake at 4:30 in the morning on Mother’s Day weekend.

This wasn’t ever my dream.

I remember that special day when mothers are invited to stand and we honor the women that have poured into our lives, made sacrifices day after day and been the one cheering us on every step of the way.  I adore my mom and it has been a joy to celebrate her every year.

As I think about this Mother’s Day my heart feels such a tension that in some ways I wish we could skip this day.  I am all for honoring what is honorable, don’t get me wrong.  And Mothers, you are worth honoring.  But I can’t help but feel all the pain that comes with this day.

To the friends that have longed to be called mommy, have prayed for the positive pregnancy test or wept over the life that was lost…. I see you.  Your heart is good.  Your desires are right.  I wish there were words I could type that could touch that pain of desire not yet met.   It’s ok if you don’t want to come out today.  It’s ok for you to be disappointed, life isn’t fair. Your pain is real.

To you friend, who lost your own mom, even with all her imperfections, you still feel the deep loss.  I see you.  I long for you to experience comfort and peace this day as we honor our mothers.  I pray you are able to remember the good things and celebrate her life.  There is no softening your loss.  Your pain is real.

To the friends that never experienced what a mother should be, loving, nurturing, protecting and fighting for you… I pray God touches that deep place in your heart that longed for what was rightfully yours… but was stolen for whatever reason.  Your pain is real.

To the first mommy of my little girls, I see you.  I see you every day when I look in their deep brown eyes.  I see you in the passion they have for life and fierceness in their fight.  I hear you in their laughter that comes from the bottom of their belly – that you can’t help but join because it is so contagious.  This is you mommy.  You are all over them.  And some days, I feel guilty.

I know I shouldn’t feel guilty.  But I do.  I feel guilty for getting to adore these beautiful girls, watching every new milestone, tucking them in at night and breathing a sigh of relief when they fall into sleep.  This wasn’t my dream.

It is everything I never knew I ever wanted.


They are stunning. Even on the messy days, they take my breath away.  We are covered with attention everywhere we go.  I often feel like I need to admit they aren’t even mine.  We’re the lucky ones here.  I don’t know what I did to deserve this… they call me mommy.

When people ask me if I have children, I always say, “sort-of”.  I am stepping in to more confidence that I can say yes… but there’s always an explanation that follows.  I can’t fully own this glory that doesn’t feel like mine to own.

I have to be honest with you when I say, Mother’s Day is hard for me… it doesn’t feel fair.  It was much easier when I just got to celebrate all the wonderful mothers around me.  When I think of myself as a mother I think of all the things I don’t get right… the nights I have regretted what I spoke, or how I reacted.  I think of all the other people that could do a better job than me.  I feel so undeserving of the honor of mother.

But I imagine there are very few of us that wake up thinking “I’ve got this mother thing down!” I have to give myself grace.  Maybe Mother’s Day is not about honoring perfection but honoring the women that haven’t given up.  The ones that get up day after day and start over and face this life that we’ve chosen, or been given or are waiting to experience.  The key is showing up.

Show up for whatever season God has you in.  Never stop showing up.

That’s what I’m doing.  I don’t know how long God is giving me to be called mommy by these sweet girls, but I will keep showing up.  In the middle of the night, at the end of the day, when they wake up way before I’m ready…. I’ll be there.

He’s giving me dreams.  I dream of being mommy forever, and maybe one day I’ll stand up on Mother’s Day, fully owning that honor.  For you friends that struggle with this day, I feel your pain… and it’s ok.    Just don’t stop showing up.  And if you need to wait til Monday…. I’m ok with that.