bullet points

– We spent last week Wednesday to Sunday in Silver Bay, MN for my sister Taryn’s wedding.  It was beautiful (the wedding and the scenery).  Pictures soon.

– I am out of practice in the photography department.  Fortunately, I got to warm up with a fun family shoot and anniversary session, and even got to do bridals of Taryn when she was in town.  Maybe I’ll actually post some pictures at the KLP site.  One of these days.  Because I’m also out of practice in the editing and blogging department.

– It is starting to really sink in that having two children is quite different than having one.  As someone mentioned to us over the weekend: one is one; two is ten.  I felt a bit of that stress this weekend, feeling the pull between my sister-getting-married and my husband-dealing-with-screaming-baby-and-talking-four-year-old.  (Is that too many hyphens?  I admit I’m starting to go a little overboard with them.  I’ll pull it back. :))  Fortunately, family is gracious, husband is wonderful, and it somehow managed to be a pretty fun little family vacation.  Pictures to follow.

– Since two is ten, maybe I should mention that we are well into the process of becoming a licensed foster home.  We are terrified and excited with each step closer to having additional children in our home.

I’ve been wanting to write about this process for awhile, so maybe I’ll expand on this bullet point. 🙂  We actually filed the initial paperwork in November, so it’s been a slow process.  It came about after I read Russel Moore’s, Adopted for Life (a must-read for all, in my opinion).  I told Jordan something along the lines of, “Pictures are just a hobby.  A job that paid the bills.  But adoption – now that’s something that get’s me passionate.”  We spent some time talking about how we wished that the Church would pick up the slack – how there shouldn’t even be orphans if all of us who proclaim Christ truly understood our adoption in him.  And we wrestled with our role in the process.  Do we immediately pursue private adoption?  Domestically?  Internationally?  Give financially to those who are?

When Jordan and I were dating, we both agreed that we hoped to add to our family both biologically and through adoption.  We just didn’t know the when and how.

We decided to look into foster care.  Knowing that we don’t feel it necessary to adopt a child as an infant, we wanted to step in and care for the overlooked and forgotten children.  Not that private adoptions are not wonderful and necessary; we may pursue that at some point and we are happy to do what we can to contribute to those, but we started to get excited about pursuing foster care with the hope of adoption.

As we pondered the possibilities, I came across 1 John 3 in my Bible reading plan.  I was struck by these words:

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
(1 John 3:16-18 ESV)

We had been leery of the uncertainty which kept us from moving forward.  But compelled by the reality of what Christ has done for us, it was time to put action to our passions.  So we pulled the plug on Kendra Love Photography and we filed our initial paperwork.  (As an aside, this is one of the many things I love about the Bible reading plan I’ve been doing – I came across those words once again yesterday morning, the day after our orientation/home study, and experienced a renewed affirmation of the steps we are taking.  Also timely as I approach wedding season and wonder just a little if giving up a flourishing business was (and still is) wise.  (It is.))

We still are leery.  The in-and-out nature of foster care is scary, especially in wanting to care for Hadley and Adrienne’s hearts as they experience that instability and uncertainty.  One thing was clear after our orientation this week – there will mostly be unknowns.  When we’re called with a possible placement, we won’t know if that child will one day be eligible for adoption.  We don’t know if they will be with us for a day or a month or a year.  We will only know that they need a safe, loving home for right now.

But we are excited.  We don’t know how it will go, how long we’ll be able to do it, what children will enter our home, or how long they’ll stay.  But we know that we serve a God who is The Everlasting Rock.  And we pray that the children who enter our home will experience the steadfastness and security that can only be found in Him.  We pray that God will use our meager efforts to bring Himself much glory.  That our home can be a glorious picture of the way we have been adopted by Him, through Christ.  And we pray that, Lord-willing, our family will grow through this process.

Just in case you’re wondering, we don’t have an unrealistic picture of this being pie-in-the-sky easy.  We know that adoptions are messy.  Especially adoptions of older children. But we also know that God is good, that He is faithful, and that we want to be obedient.

If you’re interested in specifics, we have completed a few trainings (a car seat class and a couple of online things), filled out a bajillion pages of paperwork, went through a home safety check and a one-on-one orientation with our licensor.  Now we need to replace a window, put up some railings, do some child-proofing, pass a fire marshall inspection, and vaccinate our kittens, and we will officially be licensed.  We don’t know how long it will take to complete all of those projects, but we’re hopeful that the end is in sight!

– In case you’re also wondering about the whole two-is-ten thing and how the heck I’m going to have the capacity to care for more children, your concern may be warranted.  These months post-baby have not exactly been easy and I am challenged daily by feelings of exhaustion and irritability and a lack of motivation.  But did I mention that God is so, so good?  That He takes what little I have and makes it enough?  He doesn’t tell me how it’s going to work, He just calls me to trust and obey.  He’s proven Himself faithful, so I step forward, knowing that He will make level paths for my feet and supply the grace and energy I need and He will use the scary, messy process for His glory and my good.

– I should also mention once again how wonderful my husband is, and that I am in no way embarking on this journey alone.

– Adrienne and I are heading to Orlando in a couple of weeks for The Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Conference and I am PUMPED.  I would be more pumped if she didn’t recently decide to become fussy and unpredictable.  Well, I guess she’s always been unpredictable, and the fussiness is by no means anything terrible – my lack of patience is what’s truly terrible.  But still.  Flying across the country and spending all day all weekend in a conference could potentially be miserable if the fussing continues.  So I’m praying for grace and for a quiet, happy baby, and in the event that I spend the entire day with a screaming baby in our hotel room, at least my sister Alisa will be there soaking it all in and can give me a full report.  With her at seven months pregnant, I’m sure the three of us will be quite the sight roaming through the airport. 🙂

– Hadley has recently taken to playing “garage sale.”  I’ll let you guess how we’ve been spending our Friday afternoons.

– I’ve been obsessed with Leeland as of late.  So in light of the discussion of foster care, here’s a current favorite.  Sadly, I couldn’t find a live version, so you can stare at the album cover:

3 Responses

  1. Kendra–I loved reading about this. I want to tell you that after you’ve had two kids, adding another really isn’t as big a deal as you might think. If two is ten, then three is only eleven. You’ll adjust quickly.

    Keep us posted on everything! Ryan and I have talked about fostering–I think we’ll both know when the time is right.

    -Starr

  2. Peter Amico

    That is great that you guys are looking into fostering. We are also in the process of getting licensed by the state to foster-to-adopt. I agree that it is something tangible that the church can do. By the way, I am going to be in Orlando for a conference June 22-26th; maybe we should meet up if our schedules work out.

  3. I appreciate your heart for older children. Please feel free to use me as a resource if you wish. I have read dozens of books on children and trauma (all children in foster care have experienced at least some trauma). I know you are a reader, and books have blessed me immensely in the area of parenting trauma kids. Next time you and your husband are in town, let me know. Brian and I would be happy to visit and pray with you. Regardless, I will be praying for your family. Adopting older children is not an easy calling. It has challenged me and broke me in ways I never imagined it could, but adoption has also taught me love without judgement. I needed to learn that so badly.
    Here is an article I really liked about adoption:
    http://sisterhaiti.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/4434/?shareadraft=4fbb94fe85bcb&fb_source=message
    Blessings be upon you,
    Lisa