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No Goodbyes

A week ago God settled something in my heart that had long been boiling in the corner. 11 years long to be exact.

“No more.” He told me sternly, kindly. Words wrapped in the complexity of a father’s command.

But what if I cannot.

“You will. You can.”

* * * *




“Por eso se llama exillo. That is why they call it exile. You belong everywhere and nowhere at all.” ~ I Lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosin

If ever there was a word that describes this torment inside of my heart it is exile. Except there are so many reasons why this word should not be mine. Like the obvious. I am not nor have I been in exile.

Yet as I remove the literal definition of exile and allow my brain to toss it around I identify with it. My heart lives in the memories of Zach and my heart lives in the promise of today, of tomorrow. My heart fiercely protects Iowa as my home state yet I simultaneously feel like Iowa not my home at all. I look casually over my shoulder and see clearly that it is grief that is the event that removed me from my home and placed me in a new home.

Exile. Belonging everywhere and nowhere. Living here… loving here… knowing Heaven is forever home.

Exile. You are a child and removed from your home and placed in the home of another. You belong everywhere and nowhere.

Suddenly the fog has lifted.

I see.

My children share this confusion with me. Fiercely loving each other and yet wrestling with the longing of home. The longing is authentic and real. It is hard. They miss the before while loving the now.

Just when I think we have so little in common I see how tightly bound we are. I see how carefully God planned this journey. How Zach was the catalyst into foster care for all the right reasons. For God’s reasons.

I stand a little taller. My doubts are not as truthful as they seem.

People often encourage me to not change the system. They are right. I won’t change the system. System are business functions that we need to keep order and move forward. They exist to corral the average. There is dysfunction as much as there is great success in systems. All systems.

But I will impact lives. I will honor my heart’s path of exile and honor the exiles I know and love.

To my foster children now and in the future… you will always belong in my everywhere and nowhere. You have changed my life, you have made it better. You.

Happy Birthday Steady!

I call her Steady in this internet world. Steady because she is. She has stood strong in the face of adversity. She is nearly unshakable. Trust me! Sometimes I really try to rattle her to be sure her foundation is strong 🙂

She brings joy to everyone around her. People often tell us how fun she is and how sweet she is and we couldn’t agree more. She has made our view of teenage years favorable, enjoyable! She has a fun enjoyable personality emerging. Sometimes snarky which is sometimes spot on and other times mom wants to roll her eyes!

I think this age and stage can best be defined by this graphic we share a laugh over:


Steady is a survivor. A pioneer. She puts forth her best effort all the time. She balances the freedom of being a kid with the desires of her little girl heart to be connected to her family. I am proud to be her mom. I am sure her mom is proud of her too!

I don’t tell her enough. I want to do better.

Steady if you are reading this…  you are more than enough. You are beautiful in deepest corners of your heart. Mom gave you that gift. You are doing so well, working so hard. We are so proud. We love you to the moon and back! Forever!

~ This Mom

PS – Nope. Still not really ready to have you driving me around but we will awkwardly figure it out together. Cold hands, happy, messy tears together. 😉

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