Monday, December 24, 2012

Santa vs. God

8 pb&j sandwiches, lots of raisins, a box of cheez-its and a bottle of milk later we are done with lunch and have the 3 babies are down for a nap. What better joy to have 3 foster kiddos over on Christmas eve! And cuddles with a 5mo old is a dream come true! Now, don't think that I am this super happy-all-the-time, smiley wonder woman. I often need proding from my Father to serve others. I am often ashamed of my begrudging attitude towards helping others when God reveals late...
r that through serving He is meeting my needs! How is it that God knows our every need? How is it that He blesses us regardless of our behavior? How is it that He doesn't withold His love and compassion when I don't deserve it?

That is what makes God different than Santa Claus. Santa says that "he's making a list and checking it twice, he's gonna find out who's naughty and be good for goodness sake." God says He has already found out who is naughty (all have sinned Romans 3:23) and nice (none are righteous Romans 3:10). Santa says we MUST be good. God says we cannot be good. Blessings from Santa come from working hard to be good. Blessings from God come from no work we can do on our own. Santa requires. God gives freely. God knew there was no way to do enough good to earn His favor. God knew that every lie, every lust, every selfish thought, every crime we commited would require a payment that couldn't be paid by receiving coal. God knew that we couldn't be good, but He planned to give us a gift anyway. He sent His perfect Son to pay the price of our crimes, to die in our place so that we can live eternally in heaven with our giving Father.

Our family doesn't celebrate Santa, it is too hard to earn his favor. Our family celebrates Jesus this season, one who earned the favor of God in a way we never could, and allows God's blessings to flow regardless of our behavior. St. Nicholas knew this as he served this Jesus, leading him to sell all he owned so that the poor and needy would receive a gift on Christmas, just as he did 2000 years ago. The true gift, the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.

Posted by Shannon

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Is Joseph Jesus' REAL father?

Last night I was filled with so many emotions as the 7 of us cuddled close to watch the Nativity Story for family movie night. My husband who I treasure and my 5 blessings who point me more to God's grace everyday, a warm kitty purring and two dogs at our feet. I was filled with great sadness everytime Mary or Elizabeth gasped with joy and touched the life growing inside their belly. I couldn't he...lp but wonder, God will you ever allow me to know the joy of feeling a small life kick or hiccup inside me? This thought was fleeting as I looked around the room God reminded me of His great love. He reminded me that while He may not have chosen me to love and carry a child like Mary there is a different way to love a child, like Joseph.

Joseph is not Jesus' birth father, he would never look at this baby and see his own facial features, he is just a man who made a commitment to love this child as his own. But God showed me through the Christmas story how that commitment means just as much that a child is "yours" as a physical birth does. Jesus was to be born from the "seed of David", well it is by Joseph's heritage that Jesus gains His lineage from King David. It is through adoption by Joseph that God ties Jesus to a royal family, while Joseph is not Jesus' birth father, he is certainly His REAL father. God shows us His absolute love for adoption by knitting it into the story of the birth of His very own son, knitting it even into our own stories as orphans adopted by an amazingly good and gracious heavenly Father!

How good the God I serve is, how He can turn my barrenness and sorrow into a joy and love more kindred to His own heart, a heart who knows the beauty and realness of adoption!

"How deep a Father's love for us,
how vast beyond all measure,
that He should send His only son,
to make a wretch His treasure."

Posted by Shannon

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Instant Family!

This is a 4 minute video our family made for a contest. It is of our journey into fostercare!
Posted by Shannon

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Stuck in a Rut

I feel like I haven't posted from the heart in a while. I have kinda been in a little rut of the day in day out, cooking of 3 meals, making 8 bottles and changing the daily 10+ diapers. 


Yesterday I got to talk with an amazing couple and when telling our story said things out loud that
I needed to remind myself of. Like how far our kids have come! We have only been their parents for a year. Only ...their adoptive parents for a month. It has been a journey and a half, would I do it over again? In a heartbeat! I would jump into parenthood faster now being able to see the amazing and quick results! I am starting to feel less like a lump of shapeless clay being squeezed and painfully molded and more like the beginning stage of a molded vessel. Who knows what I will look like next year!? I can tell you I have a hope that truly does not disappoint!


Romans 5:3-5 "And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

Posted by Shannon

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I love because I have been loved

While cleaning and organizing today I re-read my mother's day card from Yukehily. I thought I would share as it meant a lot to me today, now that my heart is restored. (I was kind of emotionally unstable on Mother's Day if you read my post). Envelope, "To: My Beautiful mom who Adopted, From: Yukehily who you are adopting. I love you!" Inside 1: "You've cared for me and loved me so I love you. Happ...y Mother's Day!!" Inside 2: "Dear mommy, I love you so much you can't even imagen how much. You've loved me alot."

It is true. I have loved her A LOT. I commited to love her before she came, regardless of her behavior. I loved Yukehily when she ran away....3 times. I loved Yukehily when she screamed strong, cruel language and obscenities at me. I loved Yukehily when she told me she would never love me and make my life awful unless she got to go back with her real mom. I loved Yukehily when she hit me. Now, Yukehily loves me because I first loved her. Thank you God for teaching me how to love, not based on merits, but because You do.

Posted by Shannon

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Fail

I wish I could say that today was magical, that I am floating on cloud 9, completely smitten with motherhood and overflowing with love. I cannot. The world has failed me, it has pumped me full of dreams of magic and romance on Mother's day where my kids float around serving my every whim and desire and fill me with a joy unsurpassable. I was let down, and I sinned. I built up this golden idol of m...other's day in my heart and worshipped it. It came crashing down around me and I cried....a lot. Then I crawled back to my Father in Heaven to be reminded again of where my true joy comes from. Today, God tore down a major idol taking up space in my heart and pulled me that much closer to Him.

This whole mom thing is HARD. I often feel inadequate when it doesn't come as easy as I thought it would. Or like a failure when I make a mistake. Or guilty when my kids don't bring me complete happiness as the world says they should. Most days, I wake up wondering "Why did you choose me God? What merits do I have, what qualities do I possess that it was me you wanted for this task of motherhood?" I am not PATIENT, organized, slow to anger, bubbley, well educated or trained, touchy-feely, or energetic. In fact I am a young, opinionated, sarcastic, stubborn, anal-retentive idol worshipper who despises a messy house and likes to be alone. Me being a mom with all my inadequacies is living proof that "with God, all things are possible".

Last year the tugging on my heart wasn't "God I want to be further sanctified and conformed to Your image". No. It was "God I WAAAAAAANT KIDS!" Little did I know God would use what I so desperately wanted to lead me further down the road of sanctification. In His goodness, He even slips in bits of joy and encouragement along the way. My little sanctifiers are here to change and mold me in all the ways God knows I need. No matter how hard my kids are, I would give myself up for them, in a heartbeat, just as Christ did for me.

Posted by Shannon

Monday, March 12, 2012

I am attached.

*Warning: Venting in progress*=Compliments 101: When giving a compliment please refrain from telling that person how they are doing something SO great, then proceed to tell them what quality or trait it is that you have a larger supply of, thus disqualifying you from ever taking part in the great thing they are doing.

This is the one I hear ALL the time: "WOW. What you are doing for those kids, a foster parent, is SO great! I could never do what you do, I would get attached!"

"Yea, I lack the necessary skill as a mother to attach or bond in any way with children. It makes me a perfect foster parent. They need someone who won't bond with them at all, someone who will always have one foot out the door. That is why I am perfect!"

I hear it from most people everywhere I go, and I know they mean well, but I can't help the sarcastic remarks fly through my head while my mouth smiles and says "thank you". *Deep breath, venting complete*

I DO get attached, just like you! I DO bond! I absolutely LOVE my kids and would be heartbroken if they left. The thought of a possibility of not seeing Hailey turn 2 years old is enough to make tears well and my stomach churn. The thought of not hearing Kylin's laugh makes me hug him tighter when I hold him. The thought of a removed birth parent showing up to "claim" Uribe, Yukehily or Ludian makes me burn with enough fire to up and move to Canada the moment we sign the adoption papers.

 After leaving with Hailey each time she visits with her birth father I cringe at the meer thought of one day leaving without her. I compare it to loving a terminally ill child. Watching them grow and loving them, then getting the news that they "don't have much longer" with you. At least if she was terminally ill I would rest assured she would be joining her perfect father in heaven.

 The crazy thing about foster parents is we sign up to love and attach to a child knowing they may not be with us for longer than 6 month or a year. I look at it this way: If God came to you while you were pregnant and said this baby will be a joyous blessing for 1 year then I will take her home, would you still have the baby, would you still attach!?! YES!!! I hug Hailey longer, let playtime linger, and melt at the sound of her laugh. God is the giver and taker of life. He orchestrates our paths. He is sovreign over all joy and sorrow. He works works all to good to those who love Him. If Hailey leaves our family, I will grieve, and I will lean completely the trust I have in God, her father, to protect her here on earth when I cannot.

 I am attached.

Posted by Shannon

Friday, January 20, 2012

Why me, God?

With all the kids quietly to bed on time and hubby away, it is quiet just listening to the dryer tumbling. I find myself often, in the busy, loud moments of life with kids, thinking "What am I doing?", "Did I choose this?", "WHY ME, GOD?" so many verses resonate with me in those moments.
He did not choose me because of my extreme patience....that is definitely lacking!
Not because of my endless up...lifting attitude and demeanor....I usually cannot find it!
Not because of my limitless and amazing knowledge of being a parent....completely non-existent!
He chose me because I don't have those qualities! He chose me because I am WEAK!!!
He chose me because when I succeed He gets the glory! He chose me, lucky me, so that I could learn to rely so heavily on a father who is smitten with me in my failure! He loved me so much that He sent His one and only son to give up His birthright, so the I could be adopted into His family, His kingdom, given His birthright! Thank you God for choosing me! Help me rely on Your patience, grace and humility as I parent Your children!

 "For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong." 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 and
"Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:10
"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods." Galatians 4:4-8

Posted by Shannon