Friday, October 18, 2013

Into the Unknown ~ The Beginning of our Fostering Journey

Months ago (ten to be exact), we decided to pursue foster care. Our intention is to adopt. All of our children are on board. We filled out mountains of paperwork, took hours of classes, worked through dozens of interviews, then filled out more paperwork. We re-arranged rooms then we waited....and waited....and waited. We carried on with our lives and shoved the idea into the back of our minds. Not so far back that we didn't think about it, but enough so that it was no longer an everyday thought. Then we got a call.

With a mixture of excitement and anxiety, I asked the casework what seemed like a million questions. Everything seemed to fit. I didn't commit. When dear hubby came home, we deliberated for hours. What if....What about....How....and CAN WE DO THIS? We went to bed with more questions and no solutions.

The next morning, my husband says, "I have decided that we are going to say yes." I think, "Okay, now what?" He says, "yes," but I am afraid. I can't shake the "what ifs?" I say, "okay, I will call the caseworker."

After talking with the caseworker, I felt better. More questions answered. A reasonable time frame presented.....let's meet next Wednesday for you to meet the little one and the current care provider. Then we can arrange another time for you to meet and play with the little one before you take this little one home. This was do-able for me. Let's ease into this; let it be easier.

Two hours later, I got another call: "Can you take the little one tomorrow?" Uh..... my thoughts whirled through my head...all the questions rising to the surface again. Yet, we say, "yes." That tomorrow is today. This afternoon we will pick up another addition to our family. We are not ashamed to say that we are scared out of our minds. We will be giving our hearts and love to the little one without knowing if this child will ever become ours. I don't know how to hold my heart back; I don't know how to give a little bit of love and reserve some for later....just in case. And I don't want to.

So, we move forward, fully aware that our hearts could be broken....ripped right out. We move forward because there is a greater joy that can replenish a broken heart. There is a greater joy that can fill the questions. We move forward because we trust that peace will invade our home and our hearts as we walk boldly, full of bravery. We are ready to love the next generation, to give of ourselves sacrificially, to honor others before ourselves.

We talk with our children. We prepare them (as best we can) for what might come. They will walk this journey with us. We are a family, and we come alongside one another.They are excited. They remind us that the little one will need a toothbrush.

 My heart races, then calms. I think, "how do I introduce myself to this 17 month old little one?" Then I know, in my heart the answer, "with love." My heart calms, I take a deep breath, and I say, "yes, I am ready for this. I am ready for the journey. I am ready for the hard climbs and the easy slopes. I am ready for the sharp rocks and the rushing rivers. I am ready for whatever the journey offers us. I am ready to love, learn, and grow."

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A video and a contest

We have entered another Video Contest. With a house full of girls who love American Girl dolls and a husband who loves to make videos, what else is there to expect? This was probably the most challenging video we have ever made. We needed to capture our three year old and her "sweet moments" with her Bitty Baby. We were not allowed any music so we got as creative as we could. The night we were finishing this video, Alan's video card kept crashing so he worked for hours cutting and pasting in order to export the video properly. It turned out lovely! It is really fun to capture our children in videos like see another play around with some fun angles...and to watch it over and over again.

The contest part has two phases....right now the contest is in the public voting phase. We would appreciate all your votes. You can vote once per day per email account! So, go to
and vote, vote, vote!!! Thank you all so much.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Summer Travels ~ Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum

The day before we boarded our plane to head home, the older two and Daddy met up with the cousins and my brother at the "coolest museum, Mom!" I stayed back as the younger two are not that interested in museums yet (they will get there). I don't have much to share about this experience because I wasn't there. I do have lots of photos and can tell you that, according to my husband and older two children (ages 10 and 8), this is a must see if you are visiting Oregon. They could have spent another full day exploring. The highlight was definitely the Spruce Goose. What a treat to be able to sit in this plane!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Summer Travels ~ WaterFalls

We cannot take a trip to the Pacific Northwest without visiting one of our favorite places - Multonmah Falls. Maybe it is a favorite because it breaks up the long 8 hour car ride from Idaho back to Washington. Or maybe it is one of our favorites because it is a fairly easy hike with the reward of water at the end. Whatever the reasons, this is one spot that you will not want to miss if you are traveling out West. There can be a lot of people visiting with you (who doesn't want to see one of the biggest waterfalls in the United States). If you appreciate beauty and "awsomeness" (I just made that word up, I think) then you will love this place regardless of all those visiting with you.

Just over a mile, fairly steep, hike brings you to some of the most spectacular views of the Columbia River Gorge and some fiercely falling water. We cannot resist stopping here every time we visit the West Coast. This year, we had wonderful friends hiking with us...making memories that we will share for years to come.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Summer Travels ~ Leaving the City

It takes hours to leave the city. Not because of actual distance but because the roads in Seattle cannot handle the masses of people that travel them everyday. We are boxed in on every side by cars....everyone going somewhere. We are just trying to get out and get to scarcely populated Idaho. I love the change of terrain as we drive. The change from mountains and green to rolling hills and brown.

We arrive in a heat wave. But the heat is bearable. There is no humidity; there are no bugs. The nights stretch on well into the night. We all venture outside when we really should be slipping off to bed.

We visit with family. My grandparents, aunt, uncle, cousins and their kiddos. We talk about "when we were younger." We make memories. The kids swim and play with their new found friends.

We enjoy Idaho life: 4-wheelers, trap shooting (with my 86 year old grandfather), barns, thrift shopping, and just being together.

I love this place. It is familiar, it is welcoming, it is full of pieces of my life. And now pieces of my kiddos' lives. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Summer Travels ~ A Sailing We Will Go

We can't take a trip out West without having a day of sailing. My parents own a beautiful Catalina sailboat, and my children look forward to sailing with them each time we go visit. I look forward to the familiarity of the Puget Sound: the sights, the smells, the gentle sound of the water. I do not look forward to the sea sickness and nausea that creeps into my gut.

While my children are running around investigating every inch of the boat, I am firmly planted with my eyes on the horizon. As long as I stay where I can feel the breeze and see where I am going, then the trip is one full of wonder and delight.

As the children grow, they enjoy the boat more. This year, they were all eager to help "prepare" the boat and close it up when we were all done. The older two enjoyed driving for a bit. They are engaged with what goes on on the boat. They are excited to learn boating terms and rules. They are absorbing the experience.

There is something peaceful about the water and the way people interact with one another (at least in the sailing world). This is one of my favorite parts of our vacation.

I think my son sums it up perfectly, "Grandpa Tom, you can never sell your boat. "