Wow, where do I start to tell you about me?
Lori and I have been friends for 20 years now! I met her when my husband and I were dating. We lived in a small town in Missouri, where we went to high school together, along with Lori’s husband. During our 19 years of marriage, we moved to three different states and one foreign country before settling in Washington.
My husband is a huge supporter of my dreams and always encourages me. After we married, I went back to finish my Bachelor’s degree and became a teacher. Teaching had been my dream since 6th grade and I loved teaching middle schoolers! I took a break from teaching when we adopted our first child. I was not able to get pregnant. We discussed options including IVF but we felt that adoption was how we were to grow our family. Our first baby girl came home from foster care when she was seven months old. She was such a blessing to our family! We thought we would adopt all of our children but God had other plans.
We had the opportunity to move to Australia. Our little girl would ask for a baby brother or sister. My answer was always “talk to Jesus” as we weren’t able to adopt living outside the US. Well, she did and He heard! We miraculously had another baby girl!
When we moved back, we landed in Texas. I started a job as a CPS investigator. Incredibly, I got pregnant again, without even trying! Did I say incredible?? We had our youngest, our sweet baby boy.
We had another work opportunity, this time to the Pacific Northwest. We live in Washington, just outside of Portland, Oregon. Before our move here, Lori had shared her story of adopting her children from Sierra Leone and told me she needed me to travel and be part of this with her. She needed my support and I couldn’t fully give it if I didn’t experience where part of her heart and part of her family lived. A few weeks after we arrived in Washington, I was on a plane for my first trip to Sierra Leone.
Can I be honest here and say I was miserable? I wanted to come home early and never go back! The crazy part is that I went back, several times! We fell in love with a boy we sponsored who became our oldest child. He came home two years ago at the age of 13. He made our family complete. God had put on my heart, when I only had one child, when I was unable to conceive, that I would be the mom of four kids. God is funny that way! Things that look truly impossible are possible!
After working several years in foster care adoption, preparing children and families for adoption, this week, I returned to teaching middle school fulltime. The same week my kids have started as a freshman, 8th grader, 3rd grader and 1st grader. It has been a mind-boggling week! Living my dream of teaching, living my dream of having four children! Whew, it’s a lot, it’s wonderful and hard and encouraging and exhausting! I am so thankful for each of you reading, listening and living in the moment with us!