Write so you won't forget...
In April of 2014, something happened that changed my heart.
I was spending a great deal of time in prayer searching out God's Will for my life. I had left my teaching career to be home with my boys. I spent my days serving my family and God when and where He needed me too. Sometimes it feels like there is more I should be doing... Sometimes when you least expect it God gives you a vision you can not deny.
God spoke one day...I will not forget calling a few close girl friends with a beating heart and telling them that in 9 months I would have a daughter....no I wasn't pregnant. I didn't know why 9 months was significant but I figured January was the month things would change. I had no idea how He would show up the following January
So, James and I talked and we started putting into motion the process of private adoption because we thought that was what we should do. We just knew we needed to do something.
The first place we called was a local adoption agency, but it didn't feel right. The other place we looked into seemed hopeful so we started the paper work but something stopped us. It became harder and harder to take the next steps.
Then, that August on a road trip my husband said...I think fostering a child is what we are meant to do. I was surprised. I never thought of that and I certainly didn't think I'd hear it from him. I have to admit I wasn't for it, I had reservations just like anyone has.
So, since August we had been praying and letting Jesus take the wheel.
9 months came and we ushered in a new year with much prayer on what we were supposed to do.
On my prayer list that I started I wrote down
"Family: land & adoption"
These are two things we have had on our hearts, buying land and adoption. We didn't know what God would have us do so we prayed over them and watched for His answers.
We do know where we will find land, we have our heart set on 5 or so acres for our children to play on and we won't have to worry. But God laid it on our hearts that we will buy it and pay for it in full before we make a move. That we know! (Update on our land purchase coming soon.)
Adoption? Why is this so strong on our hearts. I have prayed and prayed over this since our babies were little. It's been on our hearts for years and only grew stronger. I asked God to take the desire away if it were not of Him. I didn't want it to be something I had in my own head. The desire never left...it grew.
On a cold Thursday morning, I was on a run in my home town. I decided to make my run a little longer so I turned down a different street. I ran past a little building in my home town that I have seen for years and years. It is right behind the playschool my kids attended. I found myself standing in the street looking at this building...a light house. I snapped a picture and sent it to my husband.
He said..."call them". I did one better, I went back and walked through their door.
I was greeted by a tall man named Eric.
He and I talked for awhile.
So many things he randomly said impacted me.
They couldn't be a coincidence.
Could it be that every fear I had was removed before walking out....every fear was removed.
God does not give us a spirit of fear.
I still walked around wondering if this was the thing we were meant to do. Not really wondering if but how it would all play out. We had been invited to attend an orientation on the following Tuesday at Lighthouse Therapeutic Foster Agency. Only problem was, we had prior commitments.
Orientation Day Came
My eyes popped open at 5:30. I got up. There was a light on. My boys were asleep together and the lamp was on. I turned it off and went back to bed and tossed and turned. I wrestled with the urge to go to my office to pray. I had the feeling that the day wouldn't start soon enough.
I saw a video on Facebook after the kids went out the door for school and it was about fostering to adopt. It made me cry. I shared it.
Then, I went upstairs to my office. Pulled out my Bible and started my Proverbs study for today. I looked at my prayer list and felt bad I didn't pray over it the day before.
Then God interrupted my life!
I received this message on my phone. Clearly Daddy God had interrupted someone else's life too. These were her exact words.
So, I just saw 2 posts on your Facebook page and it confirmed God wants me to tell you something. I've been up since 5:30, my eyes popped open and I've been struggling ever since and then I see another post from you. What if I told you that coming home to your boys was only part of your purpose with AdvoCare? What if I told you God has said loud and clear you need a baby girl?? I feel the urge to vomit because the is so strong I can't deny it and I can't speak to you because I will sob. You are meant to have a daughter. You are the best mother to your boys and such a nurturer that I know God needs you to take care of His fragile and weak. I know this because my dream was so strong last night, I know I was there. I was there in your kitchen as you sobbed with doubts and fears and the unknown and your door bell rang. It's so weird Aimee but it was God and He hand delivered me your baby girl. I can hear you cry out to Him with every post. You were meant to have a baby girl. Look into it. God will lead the way. I love you to the moon and back! You are a constant encourager to me and such an inspiration to so many. If this is crazy to you then ignore it....I just needed to tell you. ;)
I read this and found myself on my knees curled up sobbing into my night gown. Like a messy dripping, someone grab a towel for these tears sobbing.
Thank you God for the obedience of others.
This girl does NOT know the story. She did NOT know what has been on my heart. She did not know what we had been praying for. God did, however.
God recently put her closer to me. I thought to encourage her. Clearly that was only a small part. He knew He could use her to send me a message.
I talked to her a little later. She said she was so scared to send me that message. She typed it and walked away from it so many times. She said, "I had an open argument over it with God in the shower. God had just put you back in my life and I didn't want you to think I was crazy and run from me."
Every fear that I carry about this chapter of our lives has been wiped away. How my family will react...doesn't matter. How my boys will handle it...doesn't matter. Not because I don't love them or think it should matter, but because what God needs us to do matters just as much, more. So, now I know I can completely trust Him with my family's hearts. Complete trust in God's plan for us is what is happening to my heart now.
I laid in bed a few nights ago and said to my husband...
"All I ever wanted in life was to be a momma. I can't imagine that God is done with that part of me yet."
I've known since having Jake that my next child would not come from my husband and myself but would be a girl that God needs us to raise up as His child. I have known since my oldest was very small that my children are not my own. They are His, they are His souls to care for. I am just their caretaker.
Pray with me please.
I told my husband...for a baby to come into our lives means that baby is going through something. If someone took our children and did harm to them, it would kill us. We'd never forgive ourselves for letting it happen. That's the feeling I have at this very moment. That our daughter is out there and it is not good for her. Please, please pray. I have prayed for her the last 9 months. I started praying 9 months ago for the mother. I prayed because I knew she was making decisions then that would ultimately change the fate of the baby she had.
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me," Matt 18:5
Blogging went straight to the bottom of the priority pole on November 19, 2015. Not because it wasn't important to me, but because a life changing event took place and I'm proud to finally sit down and start sharing what our family has been going through for the last 4 1/2 months....
I won't go into detail about the babies case or their life at all prior to crossing the threshold of our home. Out of respect for these babies who didn't choose this life I will wait and let them tell their own story one day if they so wish. What I would love to share is how it has shaped our family, our home, our friendships, and our faith.
I would love to walk you through our journey as it continues to unfold. My goal in blogging about this is simply to encourage other families to open their hearts and homes to fostering or fostering to adopt. It's not easy, it's not pretty, and it's not smooth sailing. If it's in Gods Will it isn't even guaranteed to be sunshine and rainbows but you know it is safe.
Let me back up and start from the beginning...
Prior to receiving the call for the two babies we now have we received two calls previously. Both calls were for sibling sets of 3 and we were approved for only 2 children. It absolutely broke my heart to say "no" However, it was necessary. Having 3 kids of our own we nearly have a full house as it is. The thought of 3 more was not frightening, it was a matter of overcoming several important obstacles. It broke my heart to say no. I wanted to make it work. I wanted to say yes but we couldn't. I started a private prayer group after the second call because I felt these 6 children needed prayers. See, we had been approved to be foster parents in July and had not received a call until November. I knew God was moving and something was about to change.
On a Tuesday evening my husband and 2 sons sat in bleachers and cheered on my middle sons football team. We were sad they didn't win their last game to go on to the championship but we were relieved it was over. Wednesday I washed and put away all the football uniforms and practice equipment and breathed for a minute. It had been a crazy football season and I felt I was traveling alone from game to game and practice to practice many nights and weekends. It was hard but fun while it lasted.
Thursday morning dawned and the boys headed off to school as they were approaching Thanksgiving break. I was home alone cleaning house when my phone rang. I couldn't get to it in time. It was in my office and I was is down the hall. There was a message. I didn't bother to listen, I called right back. Our agency was calling. It took several tries but they finally answered as they had been leaving us a detailed message. After talking to my husband previously about what to say if it came up I knew this time our answer was "YES!" We were always only expecting 1 child but we were told there would be 2, a newborn and her older brother.
I called my husband and let him know a little guy would be arriving that evening and his sister would soon follow. I casually made the comment on Facebook that I was glad I had a crockpot going because there would be no cooking on my part, we were about to be Larsen Party of 7.
I made a few phone calls to my closest friends and received a few as well. We were only prepared for 1 child...we needed a bed, high chair, clothing, EVERYTHING! Like always, God comes through and people you haven't seen in years show up with gifts in arms. I was nervous, the kids cleaned, I cleaned, we all cleaned and waited. It wasn't long before our door bell rang and a caseworker was standing at our door, holding something small, precious, and scared.
This little guy immediately took to my boys and once the caseworker left after giving me a few details about the case, we knew what to do first...eat! I stood in the kitchen with our new arrival sitting in his chair. I watched him. He watched me. I took pictures. He was wide eyed. He shook his head "no" at everyone but he ate.
Next was a bath...that was a huge challenge.
The dynamic of our house was one of excitement. We had a visitor or two bring by gifts for him as he had come with nothing he could use. Clothing,, sippy cup, snacks, and soft things arrived for him. We sat in awe and watched him. We tried to introduce him to new toys and we really wanted to hug and hold him but he really just wanted to explore.
My husband came home from work to meet our little fellow. That was a sweet moment.
We eventually got him to sleep and we laid in bed that night in silence for awhile but when the silence broke we had so many questions and concerns. If we weren't ready, too bad. It was time. The next day would be a whirlwind...
I can't wait to share with you the arrival of Sister.
In the mean time I want to leave you with this... God's plan is real and bigger than we can imagine. When you need proof that you are doing what you were called to do, he takes the time to show you that you are. If you're not, don't fight it when you realize you're on the wrong path. As for guidance because something extraordinary is waiting.