Fostering Journey

The Beginning (2012)

God moved. We Followed.

People used to see our “large” family of five children and make comments about how many children we had. They would ask questions like, “Are you done yet?” You know, implying that five is, well, too many.

To this question I would reply, “I don’t know what God has in store for us. Maybe we’ll adopt or foster children. Who knows?”

That went on for years. Somehow, I knew God had something in mind for us. I thought maybe we’d adopt a little girl from India. Never did it occur to me that I would be fostering multiple children and that I would have a house full of twelve children!

How did we get here? Honestly, the only thing I can say is that God moved. In many ways, and especially, He moved us.

It was quick, but it was a result of years of preparation. It was God speaking loudly about things I never sought out on my own. It was Daimeian and I having hearts that had been changing and growing with greater love for our Father and His will for our lives. It was God moving in the hearts of my children. It was the culmination of a huge vision and a big heart moving another woman, someone God put in our path about 12 years ago and then again at the end of 2011. It was God ordaining steps along the way to bring us all together and start a new journey of serving Him through loving and caring for His abused and neglected children.

It is our family serving at this ranch for foster children. A ranch owned not by us, but by an agency. 156 acres of Texas country where we would take in large sibling groups and live wholly different kind of life. It is an adventure unlike anything we could have fathomed.

It is our family serving Him daily and even more. It is our learning to trust and lean on the strength, wisdom, love and peace of our Father in Heaven so that other children can know the of the perfect love of their true Father.

 

Daddy D and I have always felt that God had something planned for us to take on as a couple, and as a family. We wondered for years how that would happen and it didn’t seem like this foreshadowing of a different life was anywhere near in our future as Daimeian continued to plug away at Dell and we continued to lead and be involved in numerous venues of ministry, homeschooling, child-rearing and living as a family in modern America.

There were a few indicators that movement might happen soon. Then, I had a dream. A short quick vision if you will. In this dream/vision, I stood in my kitchen, my very EMPTY kitchen while facing EMPTY walls all around me.

God said, “Go, you’re leaving tomorrow.”  

That’s it.

“That’s really fast, God,” was all that came to mind.

Daddy D and I used to talk about the what if’s of our future as it pertained to possible calls that God might give us. Daimeian would ask, “What if God called us to Africa? Would you go?”  My response was, “Uh…I’m not feeling Africa honey.”  Truth is, I didn’t feel like we were currently called to go overseas anywhere. In my heart, I knew there was something near that we needed to do.

Honestly, I felt like God had something for us in America that would be a way to serve and minister to others and preach the gospel. I also believed that it wouldn’t look like what we were already doing, or what we knew others were doing. It would be something different and something God specifically called us to.

Over the 14 years of our marriage, the thoughts of what this would be came to the forefront of my mind on occasion and I took them as an opportunity to check my heart with God.

“Could I leave everything I know and do something else because God asked me to? Could I trust God to provide financially over a corporate job? Could i act quickly if God wanted me to? Could I trust Him with the details and the provision rather than my own overworked and exhausted brain?”

I had hoped I would when the time came, but I just wasn’t so sure.

Then the call did come, and it truly was fast. I knew in about 10 seconds that my life was going to be forever altered and I couldn’t go back. It was clear that God was telling me to act and if I didn’t, I would be in disobedience to my Father. It was clear instantly to Daimeian as well.

Doors opened everywhere we looked. God was moving all around us and it was clear we were supposed to go. That this was a specific calling for us. He moved in us and He literally moved us out.

Within two months we were trained and moved. Now,  (2012-2013) here we are with currently 11 children in the home.  We have 8 foster children in our care right now and have fostered 3 more who are no longer with us. We have also cared for another teen boy who lived with us for some time. Three of our five children live with us and our oldest is about to move in to be our nanny, because the one we had fell in love with our youth pastor and decided to get married. Only God.

We were maxed out at 12 children in the home a few months ago and had two nannies to assist us through the summer. A summer that was BY FAR AND AWAY the HARDEST summer I have ever experienced.  It was also a summer of seeing my need for God at a deeper level and on a more consistent basis. Not that my need changed, but my ability to see how great that need has changed.

My life is dramatically different than I ever thought it would be, or expected. Why? Because God chose to take me places I hadn’t planned on.

By following in obedience to his leading, I am growing more. I have become more aware of my own selfishness and have seen the blessings of letting go of my desires and trusting them in the hands of my Father. I see His awesomeness more.

God laid His life down for mine. As a result I can enjoy His forgiveness and eternity in heaven. How can I live without laying my life down for others so as to make His glory known and hopefully bring others to heaven with me?

I can no longer listen to songs like, “I Want to Live Like That”, or “Give Me Your Eyes” or “I Will Follow” without giving of myself for the sake of others, for the sake of Jesus.

Each of us is called to serve and to love Him. He desires us to know Him. to love Him and to share Him with others. My heart’s cry is that all would hear the voice of the Father and respond to Him. That we would recognize His voice and that we would trust His leading.

The rewards of a life laid down for Christ cannot be put into words and it overwhelms me with joy and amazement daily.

Friends who follow Christ, do not wonder why things are happening. Wonder what God would have you learn during that time and how we wants you to move in the future.

Seek Him. Draw near to Him. Move when He moves. FOLLOW HIM where he takes you! He is always faithful.

 

 


UPDATE: May 31st of 2013 we moved back to the home I purchased as a single mom back in 1997. We no longer have our foster children near us, but they are always in our hearts.

This journey affected us, changed us, molded us and challenged us like nothing else had before. The Lord was in it. The spiritual battles were real, constant and incredibly numerous, the physical and emotional challenges were depleting.

Our God is a gracious and loving God. He is rebuilding, restoring and redeeming. This fostering season for us was unlike most what most anyone else has or will experience. It will never be forgotten and it will forever affect our future. May God be glorified in all.

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