Adoption Day Letter for Our Twins

Landry, Everly, and Jude,
We cannot believe that adoption day has finally come! And while your place in our hearts has never changed, we are so glad to finally call you “little augusties!”
So, our sweet little augusties, today our sons and daughter forever, we promise that we will always work for your good, we will always be there when you fall. When the days are dark, we will be right by your side, reminding you of who you are. When the days are bright, we will be dancing with you.
In this adoption world, people like to say how lucky you are, but we know the truth, we are the lucky ones.
Landry Kent,
We’ll be your strength and give you hope. We will hold you in our arms, right where you belong.
We promise to help you find the adventure inside you. We promise to be the quiet to your loud and your safe place to crash. We promise to nurture the gentle and sweet boy you are because we know who you are and we know how amazing that boy is. We promise to never stop seeing you, truly seeing you.
Everly Jean,
Our little girl, you have stolen our hearts and made them your own.
We will never stop trying to show you how to love with no fear. We promise to always remind you of the strong and powerful, soft and delicate girl that you are and to help you find the black girl magic inside of you. We promise to never stop seeing you, truly seeing you.
Jude William,
While this is not your adoption, 2 years ago on this day, it was your adoption and that makes this day all the sweeter.
We have never had any doubt that this is where you belong.
When the world seems heavy on your shoulders, we promise to remind you of the light that shines inside of you and oh, does it shine so brightly. We promise to never stop dreaming with you and believing in you. And one day, when you are an astronaut blasting off into space, we will wave from earth (and Mama will probably cry). We promise to never stop seeing you, truly seeing you.
Happy Adoption Day little augusties, January 23rd is forever the best day ever.
We will love you forever
We will like you for always
As long as we’re living,
Our babies you’ll be.



I have always wanted to adopt and the thought of it still makes me cry from the beauty of it all but recently, I have been hit with a lot of information that feels more anti-adoption. My vision blurred for a minute but I think I’m back to a good place with it all.

We have been told not to involve God in our children’s adoption stories, not to celebrate with “gotcha” days or announce excitedly with photos. We have been told not to change names because these children have already lost so much in the process. All of these are valid points but I don’t think they are a blanket statements. In my opinion, there are conversations to be had with your children regarding these things based on their age but ours are all too young to understand.

I am not ignorant to the fact that adoption brings its own set of pain and when the time comes, we will grieve with our babies. We will sit in terribly uncomfortable places with them, swallow any threatened feelings and support whatever they need to process and understand their stories. I know dark days are in our future but I refuse to let that steal our joy. I refuse to not celebrate our children.

No, I never got to take maternity photos or send out pregnancy announcements and so, it is entirely possible that this comes from a very selfish place but I my hope is that my children look back at these photos and know how desperately we wanted them, how ecstatic we were and how celebrated they were. Adoption Day and Adoption Day anniversaries are as big a deal as birthdays around here and with those same sentiments, I will continue to celebrate. I want my children to never question how much we want them and how much we love them.

I certainly cannot deny the presence of God in their adoption stories. I believe in my soul that they were meant to be ours before they were formed in their mother’s wombs. I understand that this means that they may question why God intended for them to hurt and be in hard situations before coming here, I understand this will give them an element of things to wrestle with in their faith. But, I don’t want my children to think that our God is a God of  happiness and comfort, because he is not. I want my children to know God deeply and surely, to follow him through heart wrenching pain because that is when you truly get to know God. I want them to question and search, I don’t want a blind faith for them. So, I cannot leave God out of their stories. If the day comes where they do not agree with me and do not believe these things, I will let them live in their truth and will not force this upon them but unless and until that day comes – I will tell them of a God who brought them to me, who called them little augusties before they were born.

I believe adoption is good. I believe it is beautiful. I believe it has always been the plan for us and for our children. Neither one of us is second best or plan b for the other. However, I will never disown or not acknowledge the fact that hard things lead to adoption and that pain will almost certainly come for my children. I will not hesitate to acknowledge this pain and sit with them in it but it will not keep me from celebrating them and celebrating our family.




Advocacy and Special Needs

The last few weeks have been quite the learning curve for us. I am getting a crash course in how to advocate for my kids, one in particular, and at the same time learning all about what special needs looks like. Of course, if you have a child with special needs then you know that you must advocate for your child.

I struggle with advocacy. Well, that’s not entirely true, I struggle with advocating when it comes to doctors – I have no qualms about going up against social workers and advocating for what is best for the children in my home in relation to their needs and permanency. However, advocating and going up against doctors and specialists is so hard for me. I know a lot about my children’s emotional needs and what’s best for them but who I am to say there is something physically wrong, when the doctor is saying there isn’t? I feel incompetent in the face of doctors and like I have no ground to stand on even when my gut is screaming that they are wrong. But that’s just it, I’ve undervalued my gut in all of this. It’s time to disagree with doctors and find new ones until I get better answers, it’s time to listen to my gut. No matter how uncomfortable it makes me, no matter how stupid I feel, not matter how red my cheeks get or how sweaty my palms, I will fight these doctors because something is wrong.

I’m learning so much about special needs. The hoops you have to jump through just to get someone to sit down and talk with you, to evaluate your kid. Then, the most ridiculous part, your kids has to be significantly delayed, just a little bit isn’t enough to get them help. So, here comes advocacy, you keep going back or to different organizations until someone helps your child that so desperately needs it.

Currently, we are in the midst of new doctors and evaluations. In the meantime, our life is changing. Social events that were once some of our favorite activities and so much more, are just not an option. Giving up going out to eat is a huge sacrifice for these foodies but we aren’t giving it up because everyone stares (because special needs is always visible in a physical trait so we look like awful parents) but because its what best for our kiddo. I believe we are getting ready for a new normal and our new normal will mean looking ahead and seeing what is going to be too much and being proactive about avoiding situations that are too much for our child – just a little more advocacy.

I’m actually excited as I listen to other foster mama’s teach me about how to advocate for my child. After all, I am a mama llama who adores my children and will fight hard for them and really advocating for them is just another way of loving them. Pray for us on this new part of our journey and pray that we find help and answers for our little one.

Termination of Parental Rights

Sometimes, things don’t go the way we want. I believe in families and in foster care, this is at the core of my heart, but what happens when the case doesn’t go that direction? Sometimes, its that the rights of the parent get terminated.

It is  when a case hits this point that my heart breaks in a new way. I won’t lie to you, there is a very small and very selfish part of me that feels like we won but here’s the truth – there is no winning in foster care. There is a larger part of me that is mourning for a mother who officially lost her baby today, mourning for a family that is no longer that and mourning for all the brokenness in all the lives that this termination will cause. In one legal decision, a child is free to become mine but is never again to be their mother’s.

This hits especially hard for me because we facilitate visits with the parents. For the last year, I have gotten to know them. We have talked about childhoods and other children. We have found similarities and even laughed a few times. We have bonded and yes, even envied each other over the loved we both have for this precious child.  While these relationships with parents are never easy and can even be tumultuous, they are still a human, an image bearer and the parent – and thus a piece of this child I love so fiercely. So, it is not easy to think of them on this day and know that they are beyond devastated. You can say all of the clichés about how they should have worked harder but today, I don’t want to hear that. Today, they are going through one of the hardest things imaginable and their heart is utterly broken. Today, I want to mourn with them the best I can and pray for their broken hearts and their futures.

In a way, I am so thankful that the child is not old enough to understand the conversation that would need to take place if they were. This adds an entirely new heartbreak, on e that can’t be easy given any circumstances. To have to look a child in the eye and tell them they are not going back home when that’s what everyone has been working at for so long is gut wrenching and crippling.

In essence, termination of parental rights is one of the hardest pieces of foster care. My heart aches for the woman whom I’ve come to know because, whether you want to believe it or not, she loves her child deeply and today all hope is being stripped from her. Termination of parental rights is one of the most conflicting, confusing and painful parts of adoption from foster care.


My Mama wrote this poem about our foster babies. It’s been so beautiful for me to watch her heart and many other’s hearts grow as we go further into foster care. Where there was guarding and holding back before there is now deep and reckless love.

I know you will love this poem as much as I do!

“From the moment I met you
Laid my eyes upon yours
Fate had it written
There’s no keeping score
With reckless abandon
No matter the cost
I adore you and love you
My heart has been lost.
I look to the future
And I know you may leave
I will hold with honor
The time that we had
And pray you come back around
Not feeling too bad.
I will hold you right here
Near my reckless heart
And hope our paths cross
Cause my soul honors yours.
Life keep you and love you
Grant you safe passage through
And if they should fall
We will always catch you.”


This blog is super personal and more about me than foster care but I wanted to get it out there. Perhaps it will help others or perhaps I’m just here processing my own emotions. Regardless, here it is – raw like always.

I have always desired a big family with lots of children. I used to dream of the joys and wonders of pregnancy and always planned on fostering and adopting. When I met my husband, before I could admit that I was in love with him, he would talk about wanting a village of children and I would swoon. The plan was always to birth some, adopt some and foster some. Plans change.

We struggled conceiving but were still hopeful when we took our first foster placement. However, this is when my heart started changing. The pull to love those who are not my own has always been strong but when my home was filled with the love of my now son and then foster son, the pull to love those who are not my own overcame the pull for birth children. The day we adopted Jude, I knew that if I never conceived, I would be more than okay. How could a love for a child be more than what I felt then and feel now when I look at my babies?

This was all a huge blessing in beautiful timing. My health has not been great this year and I will be having a hysterectomy next month. Two years ago, this news would have devastated me but that’s not even close to the emotions I’m feeling. I feel no loss because our home and my heart are full.

Friends, God is so incredibly good. I want to share this to say, if you have any fears about being able to love a child that is not yours as your own then please take comfort in knowing that for me, it came easier than breathing. I love all of my children, temporary or permanent, with an all consuming and complete love that would rival any birth parent. These are my children. God has heard my prayers and my desires and has given me children and is continuing to build my family.


Laying Down My Life…

We have been going back and forth a lot lately about what our future in foster care looks like. By no means, is either of us done but we are both looking at, thinking about and praying about redefining. We are weighing what continuing to just foster looks like versus becoming a flex family (meaning we are looking to adopt) until we feel we have our family sort of “established.”

There has been so much pain with one of our current placements that, honestly, I want to run from it and never feel it again. But this, this is my selfishness. Every time I really think about becoming a flex family, I know it’s not what we are called to. I know that easier isn’t the answer here.

Resoundingly, I know that I am called to lay down my life. I know that it’s not about my visions and dreams of what my family looks like and who is in it. It’s not about how comfortable or uncomfortable I am. It’s not about my heart and how much my heart can endure. It’s not about how many nights I will stay up worrying when they go home. It’s not about me at all.

None of the above things matter in light of the cross. None of the above things matter when there are so many children who need a safe and loving home.  Providing this home will be my deepest joy, greatest privilege and maybe even my most excruciating pain. I will lay down my life, my heart, my comfort and my fears and pick up my sweet children and love them fiercely and I will continue to love them no matter where they are.


Knowing them…

“I don’t know who is going to kiss you when I’m gone so I’m going to love you now, like it’s all I have…”


Last night, we were all piled on Jude’s bed reading books and as I was looking at my babies, I knew it would be one of those moments I would treasure forever. Honestly, I have a lot of those moments as a mom and even more, I think, as a foster mom. I don’t want to miss a single thing and I know that tomorrow is not guaranteed with these precious souls, so I purposefully take in and store moments like this.

Of course, this got me thinking. This big, scary, never guaranteed life we live is also immeasurably blessed. In two years as a parent, I have gotten two know four beautiful, unique souls. God has brought to me four souls that he intricately, delicately and purposefully created and designed and He trusted me with them. I have gotten four different perspectives and views of the heart of my Father. The beauty and the value in that brings me to tears. I have gotten to journey with, pray over, nurture, love and cherish little pieces of God. How incredibly amazing is that?!

Sometimes, I get so caught up in how hard this is and I forget about the calling and the blessings in the calling. When I reset my mind, when I focus on getting to know these souls and treasuring them then I feel immense pride that God has chosen me for this. I am the one He decided should get to know these specific aspects of his character.  He called them by name before they were born and destined them to this home, to my heart. I’m honestly blown away by this and cannot deny the beauty and the splendor in it all.

So, in-between mother or forever mother, I am going to cherish, treasure and relish in the joy of getting to know my children, their precious souls and the unique traits God has purposefully given them. Yes, the joy of foster parenting is truly in getting to know them.

The Ugly Part of Me…

We just had a really difficult conversation with the social worker for one of our current placements. The conversation was a few weeks in the making and the events that led up to it were all a little bit traumatizing and, at the same time, very revealing.

We are no longer able to supervise visits. It feels like a failure on my part. It feels heavy on my shoulders and thick in my heart. I don’t think the social worker would see it this way but she hasn’t seen my thoughts and my heart in the midst of all of this. It has been really ugly over here. I have learned, in the past six weeks, that at my worst I am jealous, hateful and incredibly petty. The thoughts I have had have not been pretty. You may say that this is normal and to be expected considering the way I have been treated, the situation, etc but this is not who I want to be and it is not helpful to the foster care process.

Here’s the ugly truth: I want the baby. Me. I want to be the baby’s mother. I have been consumed with this. I have had horrible thoughts about all the things I have done for the baby and things I’ve been there for that she has not. I have let myself make keeping the baby my primary mission and that has led me down some dark paths. Deep down, at the root of this, I know this is a representation of a core issue in not trusting God with him. I know this and I know how horrible I have been and yet, I sit paralyzed. I know it’s not okay. I don’t want to be this person but the only solution I can find is to decide not to behave this way again, not let my thoughts get the better of me ever again and stuff away this person inside me that I hate. However, I know this won’t work. Temporarily, sure, I can go back to believing I’m a decent human being who has conquered her pettiness but deep down I know she will pop back up and I will back in this spot again.

It’s time to really conquer this. I have no idea what that looks like but I do know that I never want be here again. Pray for me as I come face to face with the ugly part of me.

Parenting Hacks…

I’m a little hesitant to write this, it benefits me and I won’t deny that. But, if I have a trick or secret that is AMAZING, it’s not really nice to you or loving you to keep it from you. So, I’m writing it. Hear me out!

Oils have completely changed the way we parent and work with new placements. This time around was so different. This sleep regression was so different. We have so many little bottles of tools that help us deal with all the emotional things that being a foster kid and a foster parent bring with them.

Baby boy, our newest placement, was not a super awesome night sleeper when we first got him. Conditions had to be just so and even then he would wake. I don’t know why, but I seem to get all of the sleep fighters, maybe because I don’t sleep well myself. Now, the condition for baby boy to sleep is Cedarwood, Lavender and Stress Away in the diffuser. Seriously, he’s out like a light. No fighting, no rocking him to sleep for 40 minutes, nothing. Same for my son, those three are the winning combo! We even put some on his big toe with a little coconut oil!

During this last sleep regression, it seemed that wasn’t enough for my son. He is strong-willed just like his Mama. When I’m all worked up and going through something, the only oil that works for me is Surrender. So I put a little Surrender on him and that was the end of that. He has been going to sleep and staying asleep just like he was before the regression started. So, instead of weeks, me losing my mind, feeling like an awful parent and a failure, him not sleeping for weeks, etc. we had it handled in 3 days! Sooner, if I would have thought it through!

That’s not even all of it! Don’t get me started on the tummy problems foster kids and babies naturally have – handled, naturally, done -no worry of side effects. Teething, handled – no worries about my child having seizures from the so-called “natural option.” Allergies – normally, if our kids are under 2 they are left to suffer with little relief, not in this house.

Beyond all of that, there is SO MUCH to the emotional well-being of these children. Given that we take younger ones, they are unable to express or verbally work through all of it. Which then leads to us, the foster parents, being traumatized by it all. This has been my biggest struggle. How to help my son on his trauma-versary, on the days and nights he was working through so much. If you are a foster parent, you know what I’m talking about. Release has been my personal favorite for all of this. I like to put some in my sons bath or diffuse it for the baby after visits. There are multiple others that have helped so incredibly much, too! Before, I was left to sit, baffled by whatever my son was working through with him not allowing me to hold or comfort him. It hurt both of us. Now, we have a release bath and we cuddle. Amazing.

I take release baths often as well! Let’s be real. I’m not perfect and there’s a lot to work through with bio-parents, social workers, etc. – a lot to release because I have no control, no say and I am so invested. But, I get out of that bath feeling better and with enough hope and strength to pick up my baby and give him what he needs without holding back because of pain. That is the winning ticket in foster care.

Leave a comment if you are interested or want to try oils. I’m not pushing you into trying these but they have changed everything for us and it’s selfish to keep that to myself.