Let me introduce you to my friend, Jennifer. She is going to share her thoughts and experiences here at One Thankful Mom from time to time. You will be so blessed to know her! If only we could all have coffee together in my kitchen, or maybe go snowshoeing in her Rocky Mountains.
What an honor to be invited to contribute here at One Thankful Mom! I have known Lisa for about eight years now, having adopted our son from AHOPE just a few months after Kalkidan came home. Not long after that, I had the honor of serving alongside her in a small non-profit, resourcing and educating families for medical needs adoptions. And over the years, I’ve been grateful for each bit of time I’ve been able to spend with her.
Those of you who know Lisa in real life and here through her blog know that she exudes welcome, warmth, and real. I have met very few people who are able to share so deeply and honestly about the hard things and yet still carry in their words and their actions true hope and gratitude. Lisa does this.
I have told my husband many, many times that I would move to Idaho just to be able to learn more from her. Because this is what I want too. I want to learn to live out the hard things with hope and gratitude.
Now I should probably tell you a little bit about myself. My husband, Greg, and I just celebrated our 20 year anniversary. We live in Colorado where I am a virtual assistant (meaning I work at home on my computer – very often in my pajamas), and he is a public school educator. We are mom and dad to four kids born in four countries (United States, England, Liberia, and Ethiopia) and occasionally to one or two more through foster care.
Our kids are 17, 15, 13, and 12 and eat more food than can possibly be imagined. To take my mind off of the grocery budget, I try to sneak in a hike or a snowshoe trip as often as possible. This is a new development, as I spent the better part of 18 years wondering why there wasn’t a beach nearby and trying to figure out how to get to one.
In spite of the fact that I have now been mom to 7 children whom I didn’t give birth to, I never would have imagined the road of adoption or foster care for myself. Therapeutic parenting does not come naturally or easily to me, I have many buttons that are all too easily pressed, and I end many days feeling like I have failed miserably at the path God has called me to.
To be honest, the nearly ten years since we began our adoptions and the five years since we became foster parents have felt full of hard things. Hospital stays, surgeries, attachment difficulties, surprise diagnoses, struggling siblings, little ones adapting to our home and family, little ones leaving our home and family – most of our hard things seem to have come through the open door of adoption and foster care.
Yet, I have seen some of the most beautiful things come through as well. Through that door, I have met amazing people, some of my favorite people, the kind of people who are opening their doors to hard things. As heavy as some days feel, I could never even begin to wrap my arms around the gifts that have come my way through this door.
So I am excited to be here with Lisa and with you! I hope that my small contribution here serves to open a door – as we all learn from each other how to live out the hard things with hope and gratitude.
Thank you, Jennifer, for being with us today; come back soon!
Have a wonderful Wednesday, friends.
This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.