Day 3: OUR STORY

As I was telling you yesterday, we began talking about foster care towards the end of our journey through infertility. You can read more about that HERE. But this isn’t where our journey began. God knit this into our beings. We may not have always known this would be our journey but He knew and He makes beauty from brokenness.
We began the licensing process quickly after our first phone call to our Foster Family Agency. Anyone that knows me knows patience is not my virtue.  Our FFA was about to discover just what I meant by this statement.
We had our licensing packet complete within 2 weeks, had all our classes scheduled and completed in a month and were licensed within a week of our last class. Partially because I “checked up” quite a bit on our licensing worker and partially because we made our schedules work with theirs rather than visa versa. We were just SO ready!
During our licensing we got a call for a sibling set of four. We weren’t able to take them because we had too much to still complete. The day before our license was complete we got a call for a baby girl born the day before. We said YES! Timing was perfect… our license came on Friday at 5pm and Baby A was at our door 4 hours later.
What happened to those 4 kiddos you ask? Exactly a month after Baby A came home we said yes to a sibling set of 2 – a 1 ½ yr old boy and a 2 ½ yr old girl. They had actually called us 6 times for this sib set. We had said no because of location of the visits, etc. Finally we decided this call must be for us and said yes. The little girl was only with us for a very short time but Baby J was here for quite a while (and will be in our lives for a lifetime but that’s a story for another time). A few months later we found out these two babies were the two youngest of that sibling set! Crazy how the timing works out sometimes! Why we had to go through what we did with J is a mystery to me but what I do know is he made a permanent mark on all our hearts and his smile will be in the sweetest of my dreams forever.

If you know our story, you know that we now have 2 beautiful baby girls. We don’t know what God has planned for their precious lives but I’m honored and humbled He has entrusted us with their lives even if for only a short time. I guess you’ll have to stick around to find out how their story unfolds.




#knittogetherbyadoption

Did you know May is Foster Care Awareness Month? I’m joining in with #knittogetherbyadoption to help raise awareness for kids in foster care. Obviously foster care is very near and dear to our hearts. Aside from being actual foster parents there are SO many avenues to help kids in foster care. If ever you’d like to get involved but don’t know where to start please reach out… I’d be happy to help you along the way!
I’m mixing 2 days in on since I wasn’t able to get on yesterday. However, I am on track on Instagram so feel free to follow me along there @peachesandpaisleys. 


Day 1: An Introduction
I’m Kate, married to my handsome hubs Ryan. We are foster and hopeful adoptive parents. At the moment we have 2 beautiful baby girls who are 10 months apart under the age of 14 months. Yes! Our hands and hearts are very full and we LOVE it!
Both girls were placed with us in February of this year, a week apart from each other. They are our 4th and 5thbabies. We didn’t think we would be an emergency placement home but God has uniquely opened the door for each of these sweet babies to join our family although our hearts still pray for a baby to stay.

Day 2: How did you first learn of foster care?
We always knew we wanted to adopt but we wanted to get pregnant before we talked about that adoption. We had been walking the road of infertility for quite some time. We briefly talked about private adoption during our time in fertility. One morning I had a heart to heart with Jesus. I knew I couldn’t keep doing fertility treatments but desperately wanted a family. Some sweet friends of ours had recently been licensed to foster babies. I felt God opening this door but NEVER thought Ryan would go for it.
Over the next few days I couldn’t stop thinking this is where we were meant to be. I told God if He wanted this for us He needed to open Ryan’s heart. I wasn’t going to try to convince him. Sure enough we sat down to talk about it and I didn’t even finish the first sentence of what I though would be a long conversation and Ryan said he felt this was our next move as well (WHAT?!?!). Our very close family friends founded our Foster Family Agency so I called and we were licensed shortly after.

Side story: my impatience came to full show as we were getting licensed. Apparently we are the fastest family to have ever been licensed through our agency and we were formally placed with our first baby 20 minutes after our licensed was signed.

Our Rose Garden

Last weekend Ryan and I took our girls into the backyard to do some yard work. Can I be honest with you? Last weekend was not my shining moment. Nothing really happened but you could say I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. All. Weekend. Long. [insert “Poor Ryan” here]
At church on Sunday I prayed for the ugliness to leave my heart. I didn’t want to end the weekend on a bad note and I was sure Ryan and the girls were over my ugly mood. Ryan decided he wanted to get some yard work done and, half ducking, asked if I wanted to join. I, of course deep in my funk, said no but changed my mind a few minutes later. I took Minnie out with me to meet Ryan and JoJo on the side of the house. When I turned the corner of the house, I nearly changed my mind again at the sight of our little rose garden. It was FULL of weeds. My only regret is not getting a “before” picture to share with y’all.
As I started cutting back the rose bushes and untangling the weeds from the beautiful stems, it took my breath away – the peace and irony that filled the moment. Do you ever have those moments when God is speaking to you as clearly as if He were literally standing in front of you talking? This is how I felt in that moment. I could touch the face of Jesus.

For whatever reason, my heart was full of nasty weeds all weekend. Maybe it was from the stress of the crazy week we had previously, or the bitterness of the injustice we can’t seem to get away from with the girls, or maybe its because my body seems to know May is coming and the loss of my mom has stretched on another year. No matter what the reason, I felt like God was using this overgrown garden to teach me a lesson.
The sum up of this garden being a mess is because the people tending to it (Ryan and I) had let it go. The winds here have been bad lately, we haven’t checked the sprinkler system in a while, and you could say this little rose garden was “out of sight, out of mind.” This can so often be the same reason for the ugliness that grows in our hearts. We’re too busy to relax, too stressed to take a break during the day – there aren’t enough hours in the day anyways. I often wonder what my heart would feel like if each day I took 30 minutes to do something mindless that I love – be it taking a bath, painting my nails, crocheting, sewing something for my sweet babies, etc. More importantly, if I found some time each day to spend with my Father. Not the typical, semi distracted time, but full attention, quiet mind time.

Sometimes thinking about finding me time is more stressful than anything. Trying to schedule a time out. This is where priorities come in.
Finding this time IS more important than folding that pile of laundry sitting in the dryer.
It IS more important than unloading the dishwasher.
It IS more important than answering that text, or that email.
This is the time that is making me a better mama, wife, and friend. It’s my time to unwind and renew. Now I know all this but I can’t honestly say I’ve mastered when to fit this time in. I can’t even say I have fit it in everyday since this moment we were cutting back the rose bushes. But what I can tell you is when the weeds were pulled, the dead roses removed, the planters raked and watered, and the branches trimmed of their weight, we were left with a beautiful rose garden. When I first saw the garden I didn’t think there was ANY roses worth saving. It just looked like a big ol mess. But when everything was cleaned up, I was left with TONS of gorgeous roses. I trimmed a bunch and put them throughout the house and there were still TONS of beautiful roses left on the bushes. You just couldn’t tell in the beginning because there was too much distracting you from the beauty of what mattered.
So, as I sit and write this, I’ve also come up with my game plan. I have two options – getting up before the girls and having some time to myself or, when Ryan gets home, taking a half hour after dinner to unwind. I’m not a morning person and would probably grow to resent waking up earlier and Ryan already takes over bath time at night, so for me, this is the perfect time. I would normally try to clean up the toys or do dishes or laundry during bath time, but I’m committing this time to work on my heart. I would have felt guilty about this a while ago – needing time to myself – but its not fair to myself to feel guilty. We have to recharge our batteries. For me, it’s crucial to spend time in the Word without the distractions. It sets me up to be a better wife and mama. Isn’t that enough to make this time worth it? Absolutely.

What are some things you do to recharge your batteries, or tend to your garden? When do you find time to do those things?

“Rejoice always, pray continuously, give thanks in all circumstances.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Home for the Holidays

I can’t believe this year is nearly over! The holidays sure snuck up on us this year. We had a few projects on the “Must Be Done By Christmas” list but our sweet babies had other plans and I think the list has hardly been touched.
A couple things that are getting done are:
1.    The house is being painted next week! If only I can choose a color!
2.    We are putting in new baseboards to at least the bottom story
3.    The fireplace is being redone or refaced!
4.    Wainscoting is going up in the dining room
5.    The drapes are FINALLY going up on the bottom story after it’s painted! I officially have my hands on them!
6.    The hutch is being repainted
I am soo excited to get a few of these things checked off the list now that we’ve somewhat found our groove and routine with the kids. I’m so thankful for this sweet holiday time with them but I sure am excited to make our house more of our home!

This also includes getting our pictures printed for the new “baby wall” we have going on in a hallway upstairs. Our Christmas pictures turned out amazing of the kids and I can’t wait to get that wall started! I’ve come to learn in the last few years of owning a home that the projects are NEVERending! But that’s part of the fun to!