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Dare I write it, 2017 was a little rough around here. I've been thinking about all that happened with our house and the case and the kids. Wonderful, exciting, and great things sprinkled throughout the year--oh yes! For sure. But also lots of crazy.
We started the year still living with Bryce's parents--4 months total. In early February, we moved into our Tree House fixer-upper, still very much in the middle of a major home renovation. Lots of projects to complete after we moved in: build the kitchen pantry and floating shelves, paint the bookshelves, install light fixtures, get a new water heater, complete major septic work and tons of outside projects . . . just to name a few.
Throughout it all, life with five kids under the age of six is not for the faint of heart, let's just say that. Sometimes it felt like constant refereeing, constant training, constant wiping of bottoms and noses. Two still needed to be potty-trained. Started home schooling two kindergartners. To boil it down: life is lively with five!
Our foster-to-adopt case ramped up significantly in May--July and then again in November--December, bringing significant stress and worry. Total in 2017, we went to court hearings 11 times. That's two hours of travel each time, essentially half a day blocked out and quite the build-up of stress for me each time. Caseworkers and therapists and the guardian ad litem (CASA) came to visit 55 times throughout the year. We went to other important meetings, including ones with our attorney, 10 times. Court hearings or other important meetings were cancelled last minute 5 times (horribly frustrating).
|(our children in summer 2017....look at how little they were!)|
But do you know what is just as true but hard to quantify? The constant faithfulness of God and of our wonderful friends throughout the year: those who stepped in to help watch our kids, brought meals when my post-court pounding headaches were too much to handle, prayed fervent prayers on our behalf, helped us with house projects, loved on our kiddos, and the list goes on. We were blessed by 3 prayer meetings for the case. Such a deep encouragement to Bryce and I--definitely a highlight of the year for us. Also, within one week in the summer, God brought in the money for our personal attorney fees--and we didn't tell a single person that we were preparing to file. Just incredible.
It is God's quiet and steady hand of faithfulness that is so evident to me as I think about last year. Sometimes we can see Him best when we look back. Maybe that's why the Bible tells us to remember, to recount, to retell. So here I am reminiscing about 2017 and choosing to remember most His goodness and love despite the turmoil. There were two or three points in 2017 that we thought our children might be taken from us at any moment and our world turned upside down. But here we are, halfway through 2018: the kids are still with us and we're more settled in our home and all five are thriving and God is so very faithful. True, the case is still in limbo . . . but also true / more true is the faithfulness of God and I choose to focus in on that part. Friends, just look at what He has done.
Thanks for taking a little look-back with me at 2017.
I think I'm just going to call it The Year of Quiet Faithfulness.