What an adventurous year it has been! God has done some pretty incredible things this year, and it is hard to know where to begin. Will and I started the year as newlyweds and enjoyed spending time together whenever we could. He was working hard recruiting mission teams, and I was teaching an incredible group of kiddos at Spanishburg. In our free time we watched ALOT of movies and didn’t do much of anything productive.
During this time we both were in several situations where we got to build relationships with kids who weren’t in the best situations. We felt burdened for them and started praying about how we could make a difference. It was during the beginning of the year when God called us to start the journey of foster parenting. We spent months doing all of the paperwork and praying we could be a safe haven for someone who needed it. During this time we were also house hunting since the house we were renting started falling apart. (leaky roof, collapsing porch… yikes!) We found our DREAM first home in May. We couldn’t believe it when we found it after months of searching. We love our beautiful gazebo and have enjoyed filling it with all of our friends and family.
In June, while both Will and I were spending all hours of the day working at the Wade Center, we found out we were approved to be foster parents. We were thrilled, but also very anxious while waiting for the call. I will never forget standing outside of The Wade Center talking to our home finder, Ruth, about this five year old girl who needed a home. She was a mess, and had never had security. After hearing all of the problems she was having, we spent a few minutes praying over her and very quickly felt peace about telling Ruth we would welcome her into our home. Even after we called Ruth back and she said, “I’ve told you all of the behavior problems, doesn’t that scare you?” Will simply replied, “Oh, pretty much everything about this scares us to death, but that is not going to stop us.” 24 hours later, we opened our door to this bundle of energy. As soon as she walked through the door I was “Mama”. We chased her around the house, laughing and thinking: “what in the world have we gotten into?” Especially when she said “I have to pee!” and then got distracted six different times while I was guiding her to the bathroom!
The rest of the summer months were quite the adventure. She was the youngest one in the Wade Center program, and she was a handful, to say the least. But even through all of the stress and tears, she always managed to make us laugh. Like when she walked around the house asking “is this mines?” about everything she saw or when someone asked if English was her first language and she replied, “uh, penguins!” Fast-forward to first few weeks of school… I was teaching a rambunctious group of 3rd graders; I say rambunctious because there are thirteen boys and only three girls! We got another call about a little girl I knew from school, saying she needed a home. We immediately said no. (This was two weeks after I’d begged Will to let us take home a beagle from the pound… and he said yes!) We had our hands full with our bundle of energy and a wild dog! But then she remained heavy on our hearts, and God had a different plan.
Since then we have gotten to celebrate birthdays and Christmas with both of these precious girls and have gotten to pour out so much love onto them. They have taught me so much about grace, and God’s redemption story has been exemplified through them. How great He is to bring them into our lives. We don’t know where God will lead us in this coming year, but we do know we have been immensely blessed this year. In addition to all of this, I decided a few months ago to start a photography business. While I love teaching, I also LOVE being a mom, and I would love to be able to spend more time at home. Photography has been kind of a haven for me; something for me to do to get away from all of the stress of motherhood. I am so excited to see where God leads me with this new venture in 2018! Will is also pursuing a new career path… so stay tuned to see where God leads him as well!