A Peek Into the Last Two Weeks

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I took Kaitlynn out for her birthday (after we got home from our trip to Kansas). We went shopping and tried out this new juice place. It was $$, but so good!

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I posted this on Instagram last week:

“Will saying yes cause her trauma?” These are the things you wonder when you say yes to foster care. There are so many things to think about, pray about, and consider.

We both felt such a strong pull to say yes when we got the call about Baby D and we knew we were supposed to say yes — even though we didn’t know so much about his case, how long he’d be in our home, nor what it might entail. But we want to walk in faith instead of live stifled by fear.

Guess what? Not only has Baby D been such a gift to our home, but Kierstyn has loved him so much! She’s like a little mama to him… always making sure he’s okay, trying to help with his feeding pump, comforting him if he’s fussing, and — her new thing — trying to change his diaper!

Instead of him causing her angst and jealously, he’s constantly causing her to laugh and smile and it’s brought out this whole nurturing side that we didn’t know she had. (Her first word was his name! She loves him so much!) And I think, in turn, that she pushes him to work harder to learn new skills because he wants to try to keep up with her.

Saying yes and jumping into the unknown can feel scary, but it could also be the catalyst to some of the greatest (and unexpected!) blessings and growth.

I got to go out to lunch with one friend and out to dinner with another friend. This was my dinner at Uncle Julios — so yummy!

He’s been making a lot of progress in therapy and has such a desire to try to do lots of new things!

Look at him sitting up! This is a new skill we’ve been working on!

Jesse and I went out for a date at The Fainting Goat Coffee. Jesse hadn’t been here before, so I had fun taking him!

We took the younger three kids to a local July 4th celebration.

And we played in the kiddie pool together (Baby D loves it; Kierstyn’s not as much of a fan!)

And had a family afternoon using the Slip N’ Slide.

He loved the feel of grass!

Silas and Jesse have been having many Spike Ball tournaments recently.

She’s really into makeup — if you couldn’t tell. 😉 She got a hold of my lipgloss and tried to put some on.

I’ve been taking her out on a leisurely walk most late afternoons/early evenings. It’s the perfect end to the day. I listen to my audiobook, we stop and look at flowers, we pick up sticks, we talk to neighbors who pass by, and we just enjoy one-on-one time together.

I took Kaitlynn out for celebratory drinks because she had just had her first job interview. Right after she turned 14, she started researching local places that hire 14-year-olds and then applied to some and ended up getting a job at a retail store — which is a perfect fit for her!

Speaking of Kaitlynn, she also had testing for figure skating. She has some big goals when it comes to skating and one of those is to pass a number of levels over the next year.

She got this ice skating dress online. I gave her a budget and she looked and looked until she found one she loved that was also in her budget (it had been worn a few times and had a tiny hole in it, so it was half the price of paying new!)

She passed her Moves in the Field test for the next level. Here she is with one of her coaches on the day of testing.

They both wanted me to hold them as soon as they got up — which is pretty common! I don’t know that I’ll be able to hold both of them at the same time much longer, but I’m cherishing these moments and days!

Silas had a baseball tournament this past Saturday and Sunday. We’ve seen so much improvement in his pitching, hitting, and running the past few months and it’s fun to get to watch him do what he’s so passionate about.

This happened at the end of one of the games and it was beautiful! More than the baseball skills, we are grateful for the friendships and character Silas is developing through baseball.

And this was probably one of the best highlights of the last two weeks — we got to have Champ come over one afternoon/evening!

Words cannot express how deeply we love this sweet boy!

When he got out of the car at our house, he and Kierstyn ran hollering to each other and hugged over and over. (See a video of their hug here.)

We are so grateful that he is thriving with his mama! And we are also profoundly thankful she wants us to continue to be in his life on a regular basis. Her kindness toward us moves us deeply. (Also: you know one of the most heartwarming things?? He squeals when he sees us every time he comes to visit and he squeals when he sees his mama when she picks him up at the end of the visit!)

(By the way, if you are new here: Champ is the sweet baby we brought home from the NICU and fostered for 8 months last year. Kierstyn was born 4 weeks after we brought him home and the two of them have a really close relationship. He reunified with his mama at the beginning of December. Saying goodbye to him was one of the hardest things we’ve ever done as a family, but we would do it all over again in a heartbeat for the gift of getting to love him. His life has forever changed our lives and we are so honored to be part of his story!)

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