Over a year ago I was walking through my parents neighborhood looking at all the gorgeous homes and property surrounding the homes. We had just begun the fostering paperwork process and I was anxious to help as many children as possible. Our home only enabled us to take in two, and our car only one. God handled the car. I began praying that if God wanted us to take in more kiddos He'd have to be the one to pretty much give us a bigger house.
I didn't doubt that God could do such a thing. I just didn't believe that He wanted to do such a thing.
I WAS WRONG.
About six months ago my parents approached Sean and I with the gift of their home. They'd been trying to sell their Bed & Breakfast, home, and cabins for nearly three years now. With many prospective buyers, none of them were able to purchase all the properties or even just the business. I guess my parents just felt pressed by God to gift us their house! Crazy right?! Essentially we'd be getting our inheritance early. They'd move into the Lodge and make that their home while we would be their neighbors in my mom's dream house she'd built twelve years ago.
You'd think we'd jump on the offer and immediately say yes to being given a house. However, it took us about five months to say yes. We had just recently gotten our two other daughters and were learning all about being parents to three kids and learning the system of fostering as well. After a lot of discussions and fine-tuning a deal with family, we said yes! God directly answered my prayers in giving us a bigger house. I so LOVE how my God works like that. I get to see Him tangibly through His servants everyday. I get to see how He provides for His kids when they walk in His will.
We really are pretty terrified of moving to a house where we could easily take in two more kids fairly soon, and with an extra seat in our van we could take in three more. Being a mommy of three has been pretty exhausting. And being a mommy of three very needy children is even more tasking physically and emotionally. But how can you say no to our God? How can you say no to bringing a child from an abusive and neglectful home to a home of crazy love chaos?
I have been so encouraged by reading Katie Davis' book Kisses From Katie and her journey of adopting 13 children in Uganda, as a single woman, of 22! She talks about how people so often tell her God will never give her more than she can handle. But God will most certainly give you more than you can handle so that He is the only possible reason you can get through the situation He put you in.
That is the type of situation Sean and I feel like we are about to enter into. My two oldest are about to start a new school, in a new home, in a new city, with new friends they have yet to meet, and I am nervous for them. Transitions are so difficult for children from hard places. And there are a lot of transitions they're going to have to go through because what God told us we could do. But it makes this mama's heart nervous!
And I know I can't handle more kids, but I also feel as though that is exactly what God wants us to handle. We do have a few months or so before we can actually take more kiddos, but will I be ready for more kids by then? No. But do I know God is ready for more kids through me-yes. I love how I can look back over the past seven months and see God's fingerprints all over these three girls. Truly, the days have been long but the months and years have been short. If we can get more kids and see God's fingerprints all over them, then it will all be worth it-no sleep and all.
I wish I could say I've entered into this house agreement with total grace and gratefulness without letting my flesh get in the way. That is not the case. I've belittled my parents and my spouse. Been annoyed at God and my children. And we've practically begrudgingly accepted this gift. My heart is so terrified of what God wants me to do that I feel like I'll do it but not without some kicking and screaming and whining on the way. I'm sorry Mom and Dad for that. I'm sorry Sean for not being your encourager. And I'm sorry girls for taking that frustration out on you. I feel as though I am now at the point to let the Lord do His work in my heart to become joyous and gracious for this gift-it's just taken six months to get there.
Our God is such an awesome God, and the fact that He lets me be used is so humbling. It truly brings tears to my eyes that He looks so favorably on Sean and I to use us at all! Thank you, Lord, for letting us be your light to a dark world. Thank you for using us despite our flesh and our sins. Thank you for even giving us the opportunity to house more of your children. And thank you for giving us a family, even beyond blood, that will let us be used by you.
Here's to more car washing experiences at our new home :-)
P.S. If YOU want to be involved in helping orphans or foster children just like our girls, consider supporting our agency, Hope and Home. Every year they do a fundraising event to raise money to help provide more and more for foster children. You can participate by praying for us, walking with us, or donating financially here.