Monday, January 28, 2013

Leprechauns and Encouragement

Passion: a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept

This one way that Webster defines passion.  Everyone is passionate about something and they choose to express their passion in different ways.  My cousin is passionate about Notre Dame.  Just look at the way he showed up for the National Championship game.

One thing that Bryan and I have become very passionate about is finding forever families for waiting foster children.  We made that leap in 2008 and our lives have never been the same.  There were struggles through the legal process and struggles now as we battle the effects of the hand he was dealt prenatally.  But just like anything in life, if it is worth having it is worth fighting for.  (It's funny how this applies to both of our children though in completely different ways.)

Several months ago Bryan and I were asked to share that passion by writing a letter showing our support and our churches support of an event coming to the upstate.  This event is called Wait No More and it's goal is to find families for waiting kids.  In SC we currently have 550 foster children waiting to be placed in their forever families.  These children have been through the legal process and are ready to be adopted.   

As exciting as the thought of this event is, what was even more exciting was a little unexpected.  We were invited to a Wait No More informational luncheon for church leaders by the Edens family.  We were connected with them a couple of years ago through an adoption ministry that they coordinate at their church.  They too are adoptive parents and currently our boys are playing on a basketball team together.  We joined the Edens at their table along with two other couples.  Who would have ever guessed that those families ,whom I had never seen before, would bless me so much in the hour and a half that we sat together.  

The family to my left were from the Edens' church (in Pickens) and the family to my right were from a church in Greenville.  The family from Pickens has adopted two bi-racial children.  When they mentioned that their children were bi-racial my heart smiled.  It is so important to us for Reese to be friends with other children that look like him.  Before meeting this family the only other bi-racial children he knew were my dear friend Beth's children and they now live in Germany.  Just when I thought that this would be a great family to be friends with, the deal got even sweeter.  

This family was aware of Brinkley's condition and had been praying for us.  People I didn't even know!  The husband is one of the pastors at the church they attend and said that he had driven through our church parking lot a few Sundays ago and stopped there to pray for our service that day.  You can not imagine how powerful that was to us.  We serve in an area where churches do not work together.  Everyone is afraid that someone else is going to take their people or do something bigger and better.  People are just as serious about their church affiliation as they are about whether they are a Tiger or a Gamecock.  

As if it weren't enough to have met this couple, we started talking to the family on my right and found out that they have a 29 year old special needs daughter.  It was such a blessing to hear their wonderful stories about their lives with Joy.  The wife told me how she has had to fight for Joy her whole life, but how worth it every step has been.  She and her husband encouraged us and gave us their contact information.  She asked that I keep in touch with her so that she could help me or just be a listening ear.  

We never expected that we would walk out of this luncheon about foster children with two new sets of friends/support along with a renewed passion for getting the word out about these awesome kids.  

*If you or your church leader would like information about Wait No More, please contact me by email at

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