When this space gets quiet for a prolonged period of time you can bet it’s because elsewhere in my life has been anything but that. February has been a flurry of other writing assignments, speaking engagements, and traveling. I thought I’d share some of the fun things we’ve been up to in a quick recap…

RR  We appeared on the Rachael Ray Show!! Remember that post I wrote back in December about my special experience with an employee at Trader Joe’s? Well it went viral and kind of exploded beyond anything I could have ever imagined or expected. Shortly after the Today Show picked up the story I got an email from a producer at the Rachael Ray Show asking us to come to NYC and film a segment for their show. It was a whirlwind trip in January to do the pre-filming and studio taping. The kids were troopers but we were more than ready to get back to our home when it was over. I got to see Joann (the beautiful TJ employee) again and give her a big hug. We exchanged numbers so now we keep in touch and I can’t wait for our next visit. This was such a crazy experience for our little family!! You can watch the segment online here.

 

M  The Mighty occasionally throws some questions out on their facebook page for parents or individuals with special needs. When they asked if there was ever a time your significant other said something that helped make a hard day better I knew I wanted to contribute. John is an amazing father and husband and doesn’t get nearly enough credit for how well he loves us. The words in the image to the left are all things he says to me on a regular basis. When he encourages me as a mother it gives me an extra boost of strength to keep going on the tough days. You can find the entire post here with all sorts of quotes from caring partners.

 

 

c4c  I got to share my heart and my story at Created for Care in Georgia last weekend. I love being a part of the C4C team to put on two annual retreats for adoptive and foster mothers. It’s such a huge need and I leave each weekend feeling encouraged, educated, equipped, and motivated. It’s been an enormous honor to be able to speak at each event over the last few years. I’m thankful for the chance to learn with so many incredible women and to also have the chance to be heard and know that my story, our story, matters.

 

 

wdydd  I contributed a piece for a series about Mothers and Daughters on What Do You Do Dear’s blog. Mary Evelyn recently had a baby girl and as a part of her blog “maternity leave” she asked several writers to share something related to that topic. I chose to write a list of things I want my daughter to know. I could have done on endlessly, but I had to stop somewhere. So my post is 25 things I want Arsema to know deep down in her heart. From how amazing her hair is, to choosing forgiveness… these are the things I want to model for her and have ingrained firmly in her mind and heart at an early age. And, come to think of it, these are all things I want my son to know too! You can read my list here.

 

sa  Yesterday I had a blast recording a podcast to accompany my friend Sarah Ann’s new book Oh, Take Heart! We chatted for nearly 2 hours, and I think about an hour of it was recorded. Thank goodness for editing, though, because we had several cute interruptions of the four year old variety! Her book releases next week and the podcasts are an audio accompaniment that you can purchase separately or with the book at a bundle rate. It was so special to share about my own dark seasons and what helped me through those, how God worked in my life in the darkness, and what I’ve learned since then. I talk a lot about infertility, loss, and even navigated life after an unexpected diagnosis. Check back at Sarah Ann’s blog next week to pick up the book and the audio!

 

Untitled-1  I contributed an essay to Autism Speaks today after being asked to write something for Valentine’s Day. My essay is about three ways that Mareto teaches me about love, even though I could have written so much more. “Loving Mareto has stretched me in the best possible ways. Loving him has, at times, been sacrificial and selfless, but it has felt very selfish. Because he has loved me back with the most pure, innocent, uninhibited, and beautiful kind of love. Mareto has not taken from my life, he has only added to it. He has taught me about love simply by being himself and loving better than anyone I’ve ever met.” You can read the entire post here.

So that’s where I’ve been for the last few weeks. Thank you so much for coming back here, reading my stories and thoughts, and encouraging me and my family. It’s such a gift to be able to do what I love (write!) and share life with others. Even with different backgrounds, life circumstances, stories, and beliefs — we need each other. If you’re not already part of the growing community on my facebook page, I hope you’ll join us! I give away free things on Saturdays…;)

Last night I ran into Walmart to grab a few things for our dinner while John and the kids waited in the car. After zipping through the aisles I breezed through the self checkout. As I was loading my bags back into my cart I heard soft voices just a few feet away. Turning to look I found two little boys hovered over the candy display. They were turning the bags over in their hands and talking to one another about it – their faces an inch apart. Something about the back of their heads was just so familiar so I stood there watching for a moment.

Then he turned around.

The air sucked out of my lungs and my heart pounded in my chest as I felt a mixture of elation and searing pain. I was staring at the face of one of our foster sons. I hadn’t seen that precious face for nearly seven years but it was the same little face, just on a much taller body. I stood there frozen, memorizing everything about him and then his twin brother turned around. My heart could have burst in that moment. There they were, the sons I have loved every single day for seven years, standing less than five feet from me. I was breathless. And then their gaze met mine.

I smiled softly and silently begged them to recognize me as I looked into their eyes. Two blank stares met my gaze. Nothing. My heart broke a little as I realized they didn’t know me anymore. How could they, though? They were 2 1/2 when they left my arms…  they will turn nine next week. Still, I had hoped. These were the boys I had rocked to sleep every night for 87 nights. I had kissed their boo-boos and wiped their tears. When they got sick I wrapped them in blankets and held them close. We laughed and splashed at bath time, we picnicked in the mountains. I was there when they first saw the ocean. Now I am a stranger in Walmart.

Their father finished checking out behind me and called to the boys. They quickly dropped the candy bags and followed their dad. I grabbed my cart and hurried behind them. Once outside, I stood and watched as they half skipped/ half trotted down the sidewalk to the other side of the parking lot. The joy I felt at seeing them quickly melted into grief as they faded from view. It was over in a blink – one minute they were there and the next they were gone. Again.

As they rounded the corner I was transported back to seven years ago. Two little boys wearing two little back packs, half skipping/half trotting to the social services van. Through my tears I buckled them in when one looked up at me and said, “It’s okay! Jesus with me when I go bye-bye car.” The van pulled away while we stood weeping in the front yard. That had been the last moment I saw them.

As they disappeared from view once more I stood outside Walmart with tears streaming down my cheeks, whispering to myself his sweet little words, “It’s okay. Jesus with me when I go bye-bye…” And I will do what I have done for the last seven years. I will love them and miss them and hold them in my heart forever. Because life isn’t always wrapped up in a pretty little bow and some hurts do last forever. I would do it all over again, though. Because they are infinitely worth the love and the blinks of joy.

boys

 

  • Sarah - Oh my goodness. I can’t imagine how you felt in that moment. Lots of love <3ReplyCancel

    • Jeanie - I have so much respect for you and your husband and what you do. My children were in foster care for 2 and a half years and we were blessed that she had a heart of gold as you two seem to have as well. Thankfully, we all still keep in touch and we still refer to her as “Mama Wendi”. It was a difficult time for my family, but I had to realize that she was just as much an important fixture in there life as I am. I would never take that away from them. Thank you for everything you do. I see God is blessing you and will continue to do so.ReplyCancel

  • Patricia - From Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem ‘In Memoriam’ ~ 1850:

    I hold it true, whate’er befall,
    I feel it, when I sorrow most,
    ‘Tis better to have loved and lost
    Than never to have loved at all.

    Hold fast to those 87 nights. And know they are a part of who they are, even now.

    XoXReplyCancel

  • Andrea Hougland - I am in tears thinking of the beautiful courage and strength of this woman – may God continue to Bless and keep her. I pray that some day they think of her and look for her. She gave them something precious in knowing everything is ok…they take Jesus with them. I have no doubt God allowed them to cross her path for her peace of mind.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - Oh my how my heart broke when I read this! I too have loved and lost. I also have seen their sweet faces in the store not recognizing me. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It has given me a moment to pause and pray for each of the tiny little faces I have cared for over the years;)ReplyCancel

  • jules - Bless you for the obvious loving care & joy you brought into their lives for the 87 days you had them… it carried them through a Valley, and they’ve obviously turned into beautiful, well-adjusted {little} young men.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - I needed that today. I am a foster parent to a 19 month old that I have had since he was 5 months. I work with the mom for her re-unification but struggle inside because this little one is mine in my heart. Struggle daily…if mom fails he will be mine. If mom fails…how tragic for her. My joy becomes her grief and yet another failure in life….quite the conundrum.ReplyCancel

    • Sarah - Stephanie, I share in your conundrum! I have a 13 month old that we’ve had since she was 2 months. I feel like she’s my own, and I love her like she is! I can’t fathom the day she leaves us, but I know it may happen. I want the best for her mom and her family, but it is so hard. This is the struggle that is Foster Care.ReplyCancel

    • Crystal - How do you do it? How do you give 110% of your heart away with no certainty? ‘ll never understand your kind of love. I only wish I did.ReplyCancel

      • Stephanie - Crystal – I don’t have all the answers and I struggle every day. What I cling to is that while these children are in my care they are shown what it is to be love unconditionally and without exception. When I agreed to do this, I did not do it for me…I have to remember that I do it for them. It is definitely easier to write than it is to do. Real love is doing without the expectation of getting anything in return. Faith keeps me focused on the bigger picture…easy to say…tough to do.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren Swinson - Lauren, I could never understand the pain of holding those two little boys for such a brief time, then having to let them go. Jesus will be with those sweet boys, and I know He will be with you too. :) Some blessings don’t come until heaven, but they will come!ReplyCancel

  • Sherri - beautiful story. Thank you for being a Godly woman who took these two boys in and loved them when they had no one.ReplyCancel

  • Heidi - My heart resonates. I had twin foster boys for 1 year and 4 days. They came to me when they were 9months old. We have had 9 other fosters but none have I loved like my twins. I am grateful every day for my year with them and that their grandma is willing to email pictures and chat once on a while on the phone. They will always be my boys, just growing up in another home. My best friend just gave birth to twin boys last week. Its a bitter sweet salve on my heart. May the Lord bring hope and life through your grief.ReplyCancel

  • Mimi - Oh, friend! I’m sure it was such a relief to see them and know that they are okay and well. But I just hurt for you. Praying you feel His arms around you today as you just miss those two like crazy.

    Mimi
    http://thisdomesticateddiva.comReplyCancel

  • Suz @ 2 cats & chloe - Oh girl, I’m in tears. I can’t imagine the roller coaster of emotions you felt in that moment. You have such a wonderful heart!ReplyCancel

  • Joy - Oh how I know this same story. I search for two at every store. I wonder if I will know them when I see them, and I know they won’t know me. It’s hard letting them go, even years later.ReplyCancel

  • Judy Patterson - Oh dear me, I so know this grief! We had two precious special needs twin brothers! One was blind, one had CP very bad, we tried to adopt!! We knew they were meant to be ours in Gods eyes but, God gives everyone freedom of choice and it was not to be. Three years later we saw them out in public and the blind twin got seperated from his “family” We stood watch and protected him for 21 minutes until they realized they had lost him!! Oh the pain, the grief, the elation at seeing them both and yet having to let go again!! Hugs from a mom who is still missing her boys!! BTW, God filled our void with a precious daughter who is a ball of energy and who helps with the loss!!! Thank God that He is the Great One!!!ReplyCancel

  • Crystal - i saw this on facebook and my heart melted. I was a foster kid in NYC who was lucky enough to have the director of my theater school, mentor and my first adult friend fight to become my foster parent and she won after months of horrible NYC shoving me in shelters, group homes and running away and living on the subway because it was better than the alternatives. I was lucky enough to stay in her home till after I aged out of foster care, she kept me anyway. She never introduced me as anything other than “my other daughter” which was so nice since even when you feel like you belong there is always that voice in your head saying you really aren’t that looks for reasons they don’t want you or that the too good to be true life I stumbled into really is and will fall apart at any minute… But it never did. Most former foster kids I know werent so lucky. They would finally connect with a family only to get shuffled around again for absolutely no reason other than child welfare doesn’t seem to want you to connect. (I hope that’s changed since I aged out in 1998) she stayed my family… They all did until she died a few years ago. She was my best friend, the best mentor and the most understanding human being I ever knew. I came to her beyond messed up emotionally and mentally after what I had survived. (I didn’t get out till I was 15) despite how bad it was and almost a decade of reports of abuse from dozens of people. She stuck by me patient as a saint as I worked through it all. I became an EMT and worked for NYC EMS. I’ll never forget how proud she was, how proud she always was of me… I never made anyone else even close to as proud as she always was of me. Especially when I had my daughters. Instead of being like my parents I had modeled myself as a mother as much as I could after her. Being a foster mother is something I had always wanted to do but unless my chronic illnesses and chronic pain from my hip/back injury caused by 9/11 improve it won’t ever happen, which breaks my heart. I wanted to do for at least one child what was done for me. Now I can only take care of my daughters with help. I have however inspired them to all be foster parents so even if I never can im sure they all will. You are doing such a good thing and even if they don’t remember you, be sure that what you did for them, the love you gave them during that trying time became a huge part of who they have become… Take that from someone who WAS forever changed by my foster family.ReplyCancel

    • Rhonda - Crystal, you touched my heart. God bless you. You have a gift with words. Have you thought about speaking or writing? Praying for you & your girls.ReplyCancel

  • Kate - Catching Up With Kate - This is so beautiful and bittersweet. Not at all the same, but we fell in love with a child on a special needs adoption photolisting – got thru our homestudy, found out she was indeed still available, had some things that needed to be redone in our dossier and in that time she was adopted ‘blind referral’ – we loved and prayed for her from half a world away for 6 months; we know she is loved but I have fantasized about running into her – our journey to her we understand now is what brought us to our daughter; and if we had adopted the first little girl we never would have our littlest – but it doesnt mean I don’t want to run into her at Walmart someday; although reading your story my heart just burst inside…. how you could love them so much and they don’t remember you – and how Jesus is with them then, and you now…. oh. my. heart. – thank you for sharingReplyCancel

  • Jenny - Lauren, I would love to chat with you sometime. We have experienced many similar things. Mindy A. & I actually know each other well. I dream of running into our first foster baby.. He just turned nine :). Thinking of you! JennyReplyCancel

  • Randy Loveless - THANK YOU for sharing this joyous and painful moment. The Church needs to see and hear real-life stories of what it looks like to be a foster parent. If we present it as a feel-good endeavor, people see right through it. Transparency helps people gain some understanding prior to committing. Thank you for allowing them the opportunity for that perspective.ReplyCancel

  • christine - I have often wondered how my heart would respond if this would happen to me. I found some peace in another mom writing, “…some hurts do last forever.”ReplyCancel

  • Candace - My husband and I fostered a boy from birth to one. He went home to be with his mom. Reading your story caused a flood of memories and emotions to well up inside of me. Here I sit waiting to pick up my oldest two from school. I have tears streaming down my cheeks! This pain will be here in some form for the rest of my life. I so miss my little boy, his smile, his laugh. Not one day goes by that I don’t miss him or pray for him. Yes, i hold onto the promise that Jesus has him in his hands!ReplyCancel

  • Christy - What a wonderful blessing God gave you! To know that these little souls that were in your care for a little while are doing well. I’m sure, in part, to the prayers you offer on their behalf.ReplyCancel

  • Jill - Cried over this post. We too lost twins who had been with us from birth to two years. We did not see them for months. Two years later and they are now with us (outside the system) about half time. Always loving and never knowing when the other shoe will drop. But we love them for them and not for us, although their are perks for us. So some days are tears… today, and some days there are smiles. But, the truth is, they are not ours any more. Except they will always be.ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl - Well that made me cry buckets. We have three kids out in the world that were almost our forever kids. Should have been as mom got them back and instantly abandoned them to an aunt who already had 5 kids and a DCS record as well. We had them for 2.5 years. I will never forget how the youngest one begged me to not make him go away. That was roughly 5 years ago and the pain is still horrible. The only good thing is we adopted 5 kids that literally had no family or anyone that wanted them last Aug. If we had adopted our three then this group of five would be who knows where and most definitely would have been split up.ReplyCancel

  • wynne - oh friend, i can’t imagine the hurt and pain you felt. thank you for sharing it with us. love you soReplyCancel

  • Joely Flegler - Your story brought tears to my eyes!! Although they didn’t recognize you, you changed their lives for the better in the amount of time you had them! The world is a better place because of people like you!!

    Sincerely,
    JoelyReplyCancel

  • Rebekah - What beautifully, genuine words. Just last night, our pillow talk centered around the time we’ve had to pour into our Little Miss. It will never be a waste and God will never fail her. I often wonder how my heart will heal if I have to hand her to a father she does not know.

    Your words, here, confirm what my mama heart understands.

    Thank you for saying yes and loving without borders.ReplyCancel

  • Ella Walton - How your letter brought back memories as I too gave back 42 foster babies. A piece of my heart went with each one. I miss them every day and we have such wonderful memories of them. The 2 oldest ones are now 27.ReplyCancel

    • Gma WaWa - Ella (and Joanna below), I want to be like you. We are currently in the process to become foster parents. Our goal is to take infants. We have raised our children and want to help others in a small way. I hope I am as strong as I think I am when it comes to giving them up. We have thought about this for 10 years, and look forward to starting this new adventure as soon as I retire in 6 months.
      Lauren and every one of you who have commented are an inspiration to us.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - What a bittersweet story! Thank you for sharing about the joys and pains of fostering children. Never doubt that you made a difference in their lives, even if just for a short amount of time.

    “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”-Galatians 6:9ReplyCancel

  • heather - I am lost for words,still can’t stop the tears from falling down my face and I can’t even say that I know what you’re going through & this is a really touchy subject for me I have had 4 miscarriages and I don’t believe I can have any children have & never known the touch of a newborn baby of my own or rocking them to sleep or wiping their tears other than my nieces and nephew and friends children which I am truly blessed by!
    I am truly sorry for your heart ache and my heart is breaking for you & I could only wish that one day they will Think back and remember the warm embrace and the tears that you would wiped from their face I remember what a good mother you were to them for what little time you got to hold them in your arms !
    sincerely heather aka heartbrokenReplyCancel

  • heather - I am lost for words,still can’t stop the tears from falling down my face and I can’t even say that I know what you’re going through & this is a really touchy subject for me I have had 4 miscarriages and I don’t believe I can have any children have & never known the touch of a newborn baby of my own or rocking them to sleep or wiping their tears other than my nieces and nephew and friends children which I am truly blessed by!
    I am truly sorry for your heart ache and my heart is breaking for you & I could only wish that one day they will Think back and remember the warm embrace and the tears that you would wiped from their face I remember what a good mother you were to them for what little time you got to hold them in your arms !
    sincerely heather aka heartbrokenReplyCancel

  • Joanna - ive had 31 of these amazing kids! Ranging in age from 1 week to 11 yrs! More boys than girls but Each one will always have a piece of my heart. The last time I ran into one of my former foster kids was two weeks ago Saturday! I got a hug and picture with him. He left me at 3 and is now 9. There r many I never get to hold and touch again but they always will b apart of me. I know the heartbreak loneliness and grief that comes with fostering nurturing and loving these kids just to have to say goodbye or not when the child is moved without notice for family reasons. Many of my former foster kids r adopted now and I adopted myself in 2013. I pray for all of us who give our heart away each day! God bless you all!
    PPPReplyCancel

  • Jamie Christian - I know this feeling. My former foster son recognized me, but was in a horrible situation when I saw him. My heart broke. I breaks every time I think of him and where he might be today. Thanks from that family for taking care of their precious sons. Although they might not have recognized you, Jesus did go with them when they left. I am praying it is enough for my former foster son, and for your boys, too.ReplyCancel

  • diane steele - That just shows how loving and caring a person you are as a foster mom . Its hard to let go.they obviously were in a good home with the adopted parents or they wouldnt be smiling. I give praise to the foster moms that care that deeply . you kept them safe until they had a good perminant family. you deserve all the credit for them being good kids now.God bless you.ReplyCancel

  • Mechelle Sutton - i cried when I read this. I too had a foster son . I brought him home from the hospital at 5lbs with a severe club foot. He looked like a naked little bird and his chord was so thin from a smoking drugging mother that it fell off in a few days. I called him Pip, because he was named after his druggy father who was in jail at the time. He became part of my heart . He was also positive for opiates when he was born. I loved him for 18 mos. and when the county made me give him back to those parents,I was sick? I had taken him to a specialist hours away every week to have his foot cast and recast to correct his club foot. He wore a heavy brace for three months to seven months. So many many memories. He called us Mommy and Daddy because our kids were calling us that and we couldn’t very well tell him not to when he was learning how to talk. He learned to walk and talk with us and thought we were his family and then one day we gave him away. Lightly fried fish filets heart is still so broken. He will be four in April and I’m pretty sure his parents are not taking care of his medical needs. I’m so so heartbroken. You’re article said lightly fried fish filets all.ReplyCancel

  • Melinda Boyd - I cried reading this–I had a very similar experience with our first foster daughter. You said it so gracefully–thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Sheli Novak - I cried last Wednesday when our foster daughters birth parents signed voluntary termination papers in court. Their daughter is sick,they can’t take care of her,they lack resources,understanding,comprehension.they want the best for her. I cried for them because we are older foster parents and our children are the birth parents age,and my mother’s heart hurt for them. I cried because my husband I have been given such a precious gift. I imagined a scenario much like this only that the birth parents catch a glimpse of what might have been. Jesus does in fact go bye,bye,and it is okay because God never sleeps,His comfort is unending and His arms reach to the ends of the earth and the end of time.ReplyCancel

  • Caroline Bailey - We fostered for four years, and were able to adopt the children we fostered. We never had to let go, but it was something so heavy on hearts until the Judge declared them to be our children. Fostering is a difficult journey often wrought with anxiety and sadness, but also filled with joy, humility, and refreshing of one’s faith. Thank you so much for sharing this.ReplyCancel

  • Erica Layne - Oh my goodness, I sincerely can’t imagine. You are strong.ReplyCancel

  • Galen12 - Praying for you, Lauren, for God’s comfort and peace to pour out on you, and also praying for all of your beloved boys whom you hold close in your heart.ReplyCancel

  • Inspired Week | Heather's Dish - […] When I Saw the Sons Who Were Never Really Mine. You guys know my heart for adoption and orphan care, and this post is so beautifully written. […]ReplyCancel

  • Heather - Oh how I remember that feeling when my first two foster children left, and then a few years later I saw them in public, they didn’t know me. Many years after that, we learned that they had grown up in an unhappy placement with a distant relative in another state. When the girls were over 21 we were able to make contact. I gave them each a scrapbook of baby pictures they’d never seen. They didn’t have a lot of memories of their early childhood, but they knew they were loved unconditionally. That first baby girl will be 30 this year and I love her even more than I did when I first held her as a five month old.ReplyCancel

  • Sherry - I just read your post “when I saw the son’s that were never really mine”. Thank you for taking the time to write this – it described so perfectly the joy and heartbreak that is foster care. We had the amazing privilige of parenting a wild, wonderful baby boy for two years before he was returned to his biological family. Now I am also the stranger at Walmart.. I run into him occasionally ( it is a small town). I love to see him – I devour him with my eyes trying to take it every detail before he slips away again. When we speak, I have to introduce myself.. it is so surreal – when I used to be “mama”. Now I am just another random adult in his little world. My photo albums are filled of pictures of the the first time he saw the ocean. But he is gone. And it hurts so very very much.
    But I know he has a heavenly Father as well as this mixed up combination of foster and biological parents here on earth. It is such a comfort to my heart to be able to claim the privilige of a mother to pray for him daily and place him in the hands of a God who loves him even more than I do. And while I trust Jesus, I still miss my boy. It helps so much to hear from people that understand this. So thank you Lauren – for writing and sharing this piece of your heart.ReplyCancel

  • tricia - every fiber of my heart resonated in your words. I have three that I love that are somewhere out there in the world, but always in my heart.ReplyCancel

  • Mindy - This is such an amazing story! Lauren, you and john have sucj big hearts and He has blessed you so much! I know that had to be very hard to go through but I know it was reassuring to know that they found a family that loves them and took them in. You made a difference in their lives and they wouldn’t be where they are now if it wasn’t for you and John. I love you guys and live trading what God has been doing in you and your families lives.ReplyCancel

  • Sue Winkle - Lauren you were a good mother to those precious boys!! I could not do what you do take them in and have to eventually one day give them up!! Then to see them in Walmart and they did not know you would just break my heart!! I would have to go up to them and buy them some candy which is breaking all kinds of rules!! God Bless You!!! Thank you for all you do!!ReplyCancel

  • Deanna - Thank you so much for this perspective. I am 436 days into caring for my Little. I’ve had her since she was 22 months old. Right now she knows nothing else, she has no idea that she is in foster care. She thinks I’m her mom, her mom is “another mom” this is her home, that’s her dog, this is her life. I cannot imagine a time when I could run into my girl and her not know me. I do believe with all my heart that the love I give her now is shaping her life, her soul, her future. Bless you and your family and bless your boys. Much love from our family to yours.ReplyCancel

  • Kassia M - I am comforted to know that there are others out there that have lived thru the same situation I have. To read this – it brings to the surface great sadness a foster parent feels when a child leaves – abruptly – forever. It also reminds me that much of the joy we had with her was so worth the pain. I can only hope the right things happened , they were not under my control. All I know is that I made a difference for her when she had nobody to care for her, feed her or love her. I am a better person from it and forever changed.ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - the good Lord gave you a chance to see the boys are healthy and happy and that you did a good job in the short time you had them. Cherish this moment and be blessed with the fact that they were laughing and believe that having them so close to encounter once you could possibly get that chance again.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Bustamante - Thank you,
    for sharing your story, and for giving to those little boys a start to a wonderful life. The love you showed to them, Foster parenting what special people to care for others children with Loving arms.
    and for the Verse, I personally had to get my bible and underline that verse, to remember always that God is a Loving God to give his son, so I could receive Salvation.

    Blessings to you.ReplyCancel

  • Laura - Thank you for giving your “yes” to caring for these children. You are truly a blessing! I know God is just beaming over your selflessness and commitment to caring for those He cares for so much. It breaks my heart to know how many children in such a traumatic time are not met with the love and kindness you have shown. I hope your story inspires others to be that beacon of light in a dark place.ReplyCancel

  • Arlene - I know the story all to well. As I prepare for baby number twelve to leave to a new placement. It hurts so much when you are not sure where they are going and you never get to hear how they are doing. It is the pain and tears when you do see the one that you loved for so long and they do not know you or rather are not allowed to know you. I am confident that i made a difference and each baby was loved fully and unconditionally for the days, weeks, and months I had the honor to help guide the child. Bringing home the tiny baby and then handing him or her off to a stranger is hard. Thanks be to God for the days he allowed.ReplyCancel

  • Nicky - Gracious Lord, You divinely placed those little ones into this beautiful souls life. This meeting was not by chance. You knew that day and moment years before it happened. Father I ask that you comfort Lauren. I also ask that if these precious lambs do not have someone leading them to you, that you would draw them throughout their life. That you would guard them from repeating sins of their fathers. That one day Lord you would reunite them because of the Love Lauren has for them. You are Good and Merciful. Please hear my cry.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy Maxwell - If you have a newsletter that goes out, I’d love to receive it!ReplyCancel

  • Donna - the adopted mom of one of “my” babies sent me this and I totally understand how you feel. I only take newborns, usually I bring them home from the hospital. All are drug babies. Most are placed for adoption due to their parent(s) inability to care for them.. Some do go back to their parent or to a family member. Those are the ones I never here from. But, I am lucky that a lot of “my” adopted babies families keep in touch. I love seeing how they are thriving and in my heart, know I had a small part giving them the love and care they deserved. I’ve had (my) babies for as short as 3 weeks to as long as 9 months but everyone takes a piece of my heart with them and that space is filled with the joy of having them for that period of time.ReplyCancel