Thursday, May 10, 2018

When life isn't all cupcakes and rainbows

"Will you love this child as your own, as if you birthed them?"

That question was asked of us when we adopted each of our two daughters.  And my answer was a resounding "YES!"!!! Of course I would! Why wouldn't I? I would be her Mama until the day God called me to eternity.

Now fast forward 7 years....and I asked myself "Will I love these children as my own?" What if they don't love me back? What if I can't break through the hard exterior that's protecting their wounded heart? What if they leave and never remember me? What if it hurts? What if I'm not their mama until the day I die? What if...? What if...?

If everyone waited for their "what if" questions to be answered before doing anything, nothing would get done. If we let the unknown hold us in fear, we become paralyzed and unable to even move one step.  I have an uncle who plans our for every possible scenario when planning events or making plans. He takes every possible worst case scenario, every "what if" into through as he moves forward with planning.  He doesn't let the "what if" possibilities keep him for moving forward, but plans possibilities of what they might look like.

Planning for the unknown (which seems like an oxymoron) is kinda like this: you're on a road trip in your car but you don't know where you're going or how to get there. Who does that??? A lot of us actually, often without realizing it.  I often describe to the young women I mentor that trying to follow God's will for us is like this road trip. (Disclaimer: this is not my own analogy, I think I heard it years ago) So when you're driving through life and you come to a split in the road, and you have to make a decision, what do you do? Both ways could be wonderful, both could glorify God, both could bear much fruit, both are honorable, both you could do so much good along. So now what? Do you park your car and wait for the Almighty to light up the path you're to go along? Do you flip a coin? Do you wait for God to pick your car up and set in the direction you're to go? All these options are considered when you have put your car in park. Can a parked car be moved? NO! It must be in gear, even in neutral it can at least be rolled.  If we have faith as small as a mustard seed, then to choose either way in faith IS following God.  Don't we believe that God's so powerful that even if we choose a path that's not what He wants us on, He can redirect us! Even if we don't know exactly what we're getting ourselves into, at least going forward is choosing to have faith. It's much easier to redirect a moving car than a parked one. :) (yes there are many holes in this, but it makes sense as I process)

So now fast forward those 7 years I mentioned earlier... Will I love the children that come and go through our home? Our answer was "YES". Not because we knew we could, not because we thought we could fix them, not because we thought we are these amazing people/parents, not because of anything other than God asked us to.  Does it hurt? YES. Does it wreck our hearts? YES, daily. Does it frustrate us when we see just how broken the system is? Yes. But if we let fear (of some very real things) paralyze us and keep us from opening up our home to these children, we aren't trusting God that He's powerful enough to mend our hearts, bind up our wounds, and carry us through heartache. If we make a difference in even one child's life then it's all worth it.

Not every child has a heartbreaking story. We've had some really positive outcomes with some, and that's been amazing to be part of! And that helps carry us through the pain of others.

Monday we are going to be letting go of one of our littles that is moving on from our home. We've loved him so so so much, made memories with him over these past 7 months. But his social workers have decided that a different home is best for him so he can be with his older sibling. We knew this was a possibility when older sister moved on to a better placement.

Ever child that comes through our home will be here for a time that God has determined. We don't know how long that is, and we have chosen to love anyway. Ugh! I read a blog another foster mom wrote around the time we received our first placement. She titled it "Foster care will wreck you". Yeah, I knew in theory it could. Little did I know just how true that statement is, how daily it wrecks me. Each child comes with their own story, their own trauma, their own joys and sorrows. And with each child I open my heart up to love I am wrecked all over again.

Jesus never once said that following Him would be cupcakes and rainbows (by the way, that movie stole my line I've said for years!!), he never promised it would even be easy! But two promises that remains true no matter how many times my heart is wrecked are these:

Deuteronomy 31:6  "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Malachi 3:6 “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed."

So from these two promises I can have confidence that no matter how many times my heart is wrecked, heartache will not break me completely.

And so...I'll eat cupcakes and I'll look for rainbows.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

It's ok to cry

Oh sweet girl. Tonight I held you as you cried. You sobbed. As if your heart was breaking, which probably is pretty accurate. my heart hurts for you. For the pain and horrible reasons for why you have to be in our home. We are glad you are; glad we can keep you safe right now. But I'd be scared just like you if id been taken out of the only home I'd know even, even if it was done to keep me safe, from being hurt. Oh sweet girl, how I wish I could take your fear and hurt away. I pray out loud, hoping it might bring peace to the tangled mix of emotions. You can't really express anything verbally except to say "I miss home". What does home mean to you? What about "home" do you miss? I wish I could see what you picture in your mind. Do you see past the pain and imagine it to be what you want it to be instead? Do you push back the pain of feeling unsafe and see the only version of family you've ever known?
You barely know me, but you still cling to me at every turn throughout the day today, never letting me out of your sight. As these sobs wrack your tiny little body, you cling to my neck wanting to be held. I sing to you songs of a savior who loves you. Do you know He does? Do you know that no matter how skewed your idea of a father is, God is the safest father you could ever know.
Oh sweet girl I'm so sorry. Sorry that you weren't protected. Sorry that you at your young age had to already protect your little brother. Sorry that we live in a fallen world and I can't fix it all for you. I'm sorry you're scared. I'm sorry your heart hurts.
It's ok to cry sweet girl. Let all those tears flow. Not one will be wasted. You may not understand now, but I pray one day you will. I pray that you will understand how valuable you are, that you have amazing worth. You are created in God's image. Beautiful and perfect in His sight.
You barely know me, but I love you already.
It's ok to cry. It will help you sleep tonight. You'll become too tired to worry or be scared. Let the tears fall as your eyes give way to sleep. Rest tonight knowing you are safe. No one will hurt you tonight. You are safe in my arms tonight sweet girl.
Tonight you are safe. It's ok to cry.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Counting down to Court!!!!

John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."

Friday we have our court hearing to finalize Ruthie's adoption! Her legal name is already Ruth Joy Kroeker (a very special gift from her wonderful birthmother), but this will mean that legally the state recognizes us as her parents! She's been our daughter from the moment that S placed her in our arms, but this means no figurative looking over the shoulder! 

Before Friday can take place, our lawyer needs to receive a couple certificates & affidavits to verify that we've exhausted all avenues of contacting birth father.  The certificates have all been received, but we're still waiting the affidavit from the independent counsel who's verifying it all.  If it's received by Thursday we are all set for our hearing! 

Prayer requests:

* Please pray that all necessary documents are received by Thursday so we don't have to postpone our court hearing.

* Please continue to pray for S (birthmother) as she has started a new chapter in her life. She's decided it's best for her to have some space for a while, and we're supportive of her in that. Please pray for her as her heart still is going through different emotions at different moments. She's an amazingly strong woman.

Thank you!!! We're so blessed to have you all praying for us!!!

The Kroekers!

Our girl is all smiles!!! She started grinning at us at 6 weeks old! We love it!

Sister love!! Karis just adores being a big sister!

Family time at our favorite type of venue! The zoo!!!

Mother's Day with my girls!

Friday, April 4, 2014

She's here!!!!!

We are proud to announce that our daughter Ruth Joy Kroeker is here!  Ruthie was born Thursday March 27th at 8:08PM!! Labor and delivery went well and birthmom did amazingly!! After 24 hours in the hospital we were able to bring our precious baby girl home! Karis is such a proud big sister & we are thrilled to be parents of two beautiful, happy girls!! We are home and settling into life as a family of 4. Thank you all for all your prayers and encouragement during the past year and half we've been praying for this baby!

Cheyenne, Alison, Karis & Ruthie

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Waiting Still

So, with all the anticipation of an upcoming due date and anticipated baby arrival, we now have to wait again! :)

This week our birthmom had her weekly doctor appointment.  Her OB went over all her sonograms and charts and determined that we've still got a couple more weeks to wait for this baby girl to arrive! Good news is that both S and baby girl are healthy and baby is growing just as she should!

The good news is, birthmom is much less anxious about when this baby is going to be born! She was so worried about going too far past her due date, but now her perspective is that of peace! That in itself is a big praise!!

Please continue to pray for S and baby!!! :)

Good things are worth the wait!!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

And still we wait!

Here we are, just a few days away from our perspective due date and we are daily practicing patience!!! :)

I'm still in daily contact with S and she is about as anxious and ready for this baby girl to be born as we are! She's very uncomfortable and baby is running out of room as she continues to grow!

Much prayer has been covering this entire adoption and all involved. We are so thankful for your prayers. Thank YOU! Some days we are so filled with peace, and other days we NEED your prayers to feel that peace. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Any day now

Our precious little girl is due in 10 days and has already gotten us jumping at a moments notice! :)
We are remaining excited and hopeful that this is the baby that God has picked out for us!

Last weekend we through she was getting ready so we made the drive down to where S lives so we were close! There was a big storm heading our way and we didn't want to get snowed in and not make it just in case!!! Turns out we got a good practice run in and still have to wait!!

But continue waiting we must because baby girl is taking her sweet time!! She's growing and healthy and content in the womb for now!

We're ready and anxious, but trusting that as we wait, God is continuing to prepare our hearts to bring home this precious baby girl and working in our birthmother's heart as she prepares to make a very difficult, brave decisions.

All is going great! I (Alison) am talking and texting with S daily and getting to know more about her. Sharing stories about our kids (she has a couple already), talking about favorite foods, and learning a bit about each other. S says daily that she's confident in her choice of an adoption plan. She wants us super involved and has asked that we be at the hospital when baby is born and care for baby while at the hospital! We are excited! And aren't taking any of this for granted.

Please continue praying for S and baby as time for delivery gets close!