Thursday, September 12, 2013


In the past couple years we have heard a lot about "the one percent."  Today I want to talk about a different number: the 8%.

I'll get to that in a minute. Lately Facebook has been exploding with baby/pregnancy posts. It seems like everyone we know (well not everyone but I'd say over half) is either pregnant or had a kid in the last year.  Which is great and we are super happy for our friends and family, but it leads us to question: why aren't we part of that group? Ry asked me that the other night. It is hard wanting to be a parent and not being able to especially after spending several months as a parent. I want to be mommy again. So why not us? My answer to Ry (and I don't know where it came from) was, "Maybe we aren't parents yet because we haven't met our kids yet." Over the course of the past five years of trying we have talked a lot about adoption. We've read books and done research. We were even foster parents. We want to adopt whether God allows us to conceive some day or not.

A statistic I read the other day blew me away. I have been reading Kisses From Katie (amazing book). In it Katie Davis writes,

"The truth is that the 143 million orphaned children and the 11 million who starve to death or die from preventable diseases and the 8.5 million child slaves, prostitutes, or under other horrific conditions and the 2.3 million who live which HIV add up to 164.8 million needy children. And though at first glance that looks like a big number, 2.1 billion people on this earth proclaim to be Christians. The truth is that if only 8% of Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left." 1

Whoa. Let that sink in for a minute. All it would take is 8% of us. And that is just 1 child. What if some of us took in multiple children. I know not everyone is capable of adopting or supporting another child. But what if the other 92% got behind the 8% and pitch in to help make it possible. There are churches that are doing just that and I think it is amazing. Anyone who adopts- you are amazing. Ry and I hope and pray to join you. We are going to Africa with the door to our home and hearts open. My prayer is that we can foster/ adopt multiple children. When I think of the children and the impact we could make I get really excited for Africa.

Not going to lie, our fertility struggle has been rough. But it will all be worth it if we can make a difference for a needy child. I don't know what is in store for us but I have hope.  We can make a difference. :) Jesus tells his disciples that others will know they are disciples by their love. That is something we (myself included) don't always get right. Most non-Christians think of the church as "judging." So let's change that. Go love someone today. God is the one who changes the world but we are blessed that sometimes He uses us.

1 Davis, K. (2011) Kisses From Katie Howard Books, NY p. 121-122.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Mission Alaska: Life Lesson From Our Near Arctic Adventure

As I sit here trying to put into words what I am feeling right now, I am worried I won't get it right. I have so much going on in my heart and mind and am unsure words can do it justice. But I am going to try. Forgive me if I fail.

Okay now that I have got that out there I have to decide where to even begin. See in reality I am probably talking about 2 years of our life but its more than that. I think its a culmination of everything that has happened in my life at all. We recently moved from Alaska. Two years ago God rocked my world and opened the door for us to go to Alaska. At the time I was hesitant. Alaska is cold and far away. Not for me. But I obeyed. See He dangled the chance of Ryan's dream being fulfilled. It was too much for a good wife to say no to. For those that don't know we left for Ry to become a military pilot. He had interviewed that Spring and got denied. The panel suggested he would do better next year if we made the leap and moved. So that was the mission. Move so Ry can be in the military. Or so we thought.

We got to Alaska and even with a record breaking year of snow- I fell in love. Alaska became home. Spring came and Ry interviewed. He got the call that he was selected to pilot a C130. We were ecstatic. We felt all our lives had led up to that moment. Ry had dreamed of being a military pilot FOREVER. He went to mechanic and flight school for that purpose. We met amazing professors that gave him great recommendations- for that purpose. It was the dream and it was becoming real. Things were going well and then we started hitting hurdles. Weeks turned to months and a year later we still hadn't gone anywhere. We started questioning. There was a range of emotions from anger to fear to depression. Then one day Ry told me I think I want to apply to Africa. I was floored. WHAT! NO! That is not the mission. That's what I thought but I said okay. Maybe it would make him feel better. It wasn't the plan so it was not going to happen.

We waited a few more months with no word from anyone. That was a tough time for us. But I have to rewind a little. We became foster parents while we waited on the military. I've wanted to be a mom FOREVER. That is my dream. It wasn't happening naturally. We sought God a year before about foster care. He said no then. That summer, not long after we started the military process, God gave us the green light. We had 2 kids. These kids had it rough. Their stories are heartbreaking. They came into our home and became our kids. We were a family. Well we were for a time. God took little girl away first. She went with family. Oh how that broke my heart. Then around the time we started seeking God about Africa we noticed a change in our boy. It was like a switch went off in him. He went from calling me mom (not to my face- just to his friends and teachers) to intense hatred toward me. Things spiraled and he left us too.

Right after he left we got the calls. With in an hour God opened the Africa door and closed the military. Shock cannot begin to describe what I felt. But it was God's plan not mine that wins out. I know we are supposed to go to Africa and I am excited to go now. What happened? I cannot fully explain it but I'll try.

Today I got closure about our foster kids. For months I have heard from friends "You did the best you could." "You did your job." "God is proud of you for taking care of those kids." Those words were encouraging but I still had that doubting voice in my head. Did I really do the right thing for those kids? I was a far from perfect mother. Maybe someone else could've done better. Today I heard from a friend who saw our boy and said he was doing well. When I heard that I felt closure. I felt mission complete. That got me thinking about our whole time in Alaska. We thought we were there for the military but we were so WRONG! The military wasn't our mission. Our mission was to be there at that time for those kids. I know God sent us there for other reasons too and we'll never know the full impact we had. But I believe even if it was just for them- God would have sent us. The Bible says that God is the father to the fatherless. Their heavenly father loved those kids enough to send 2 crazy young adults 4,000 miles from home to take care of them for half a year. That is insane. Talk about love. And God loves us all with that intensity. Sorry I am just overwhelmed right now with joy and love. It is so hard to explain. I hope I'm not messing this up.

So how does Africa tie into this? Africa is our new mission. I don't know exactly what it will look like. We got Alaska TOTALLY wrong so I am scared to make any predictions. I just know its something. Something that I will hopefully 2 years from now be overwhelmed trying to explain when we come back to visit. All I know is we have closed the door on our Mission Alaska and are proceeding in faith toward Mission Africa. God has a plan and I can't wait to see it unfold. Maybe we will see people get saved. Maybe Ry will love it and never want to leave. Maybe we'll get to impact kids or even have our own kids. Maybe I'll open an orphanage (FYI- I'd love that). Who knows? All I know is I want to complete whatever mission God has for us there. Big or small. We want to make a difference. God has us in the place we are, for the time we are, for a reason. Are you ready for your Mission?

2 years ago when we first got to Alaska
Leaving Alaska