Foster Care Journey

Looking Forward By Looking Back

2020, it was BIG. Chock full of firsts for Pastures of Grace and crew, aka Kids. To see what’s to come in 2021, let’s look back at 2020. I’ll pass on including any comment about the state of our country. I think we can all agree, that’s just no fun!

In April, the kids were asked to do a test run of the M5 Young Entrepreneurs Boot Camp course. Who could have imagined that this one act of generosity would literally propel forward our long-held dreams of marketing the fruits of our labor here on the farm? Just six months later, we were shipping our first dehydrated sourdough and pastured pork meat boxes directly to your doorsteps, while also sharing with you small bits of life in the foster system. You’ve seen a lot of what it’s taken to get us here, but I haven’t always shared the details of just how darn hard some of it was. The emotions, the tears, and the grind are not always appropriate for social media. But, I know you can relate because we’re all walking our own, sometimes very hard, path. Now, being on the other side of all that, I can tell you gratefulness shines through as the overwhelming emotion. Truth be told, it wasn’t just six months of hard work, but twenty-two years finally coming together in His timing.

This past year, like each of the five years in our foster care story, has been like no other. That’s really no surprise. Each case, each child is unique. January began with a bang, with me testifying about the difficult situation in which the twins had arrived and how that was still effecting them a year and a half later. Testifying to the extent of the trauma was surprisingly difficult and freeing. Going into that hearing we had no idea if the twins would sleep another night in our home or if we’d be packing their bags. The uncertainty was a nerve wrecker on all of us. But, twelve months later we stood on the front steps of the courthouse with a village surrounding us as we were gifted the opportunity to adopt the boys. On that day we felt beyond loved and supported. Family and friends drove from all over, some as far as 750 miles, to stand as our village.

In June of 2019 we were given a placement of a ten-day-old infant boy. This placement, I was sure, would only last a month or two. It seemed (my first mistake) straight forward. I can’t, or won’t, share much of this sweet story because really, it’s not all mine to share at this time. What I can share, to the glory of God, is that we continue to have this dear, feisty, eighteen-month-old boy in our lives daily even after he was recently reunified. His mother bypassed the court legalities and chose to adopt herself into the family as our oldest daughter! The honor of being called her mother is one I hold close to my heart and cherish. All the in between parts? Well, they were messy and never quite clear. The highs and lows were extreme. But, Surprise! (Yeah, I know, not really a surprise.) The constant that was always a comfort, was the love, support and prayers of our village along the way. 

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Romans 13:9

For Pastures of Grace, we have one vision for 2021. Romans 13:9 says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  This direction will guide us in 2021 and will determine our “next right” steps. It will be our light in the dark as we deliver pork boxes and dehydrated sourdough to doorsteps while sharing the story of the most vulnerable in our communities.  We will bake more sourdough loaves to share with our neighbors. We’ll share more pork with those families in the foster system because of your purchases of sourdough and pork boxes. We will continue to step forward, ever so imperfectly, towards loving our neighbors as we’ve been asked to do. We’ll continue to share farm life and lots of kiddos. I don’t know if the road leads to more kids here on the farm or if our journey is now just to share the story and support others whose feet are in the battle. I trust time will reveal this. I do know that we will continue to join together as a family to say, “yes” when and where we can. I’m sure we’ll continue to stumble and sometimes fall. But, I’m also sure we’ll continue to get back up and try again, or maybe try something different.  We love that you’ve come along for the journey!

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