My Story

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I’m convinced that God has a incredible sense of humor. After all, look at me. He took this lover of all things pink, clean and quiet and gave me 5 chaotic, dirty, noisy, gross and disgusting little boys. My life, as disgusting as it is, I wouldn’t change a thing. Scratch that…carcasses. I would definitely change carcasses found in little boys pockets.

My experience with carcasses and all things gross, has led me to pen my very own definition of boy…
“BOY: Dirt covered, carcasses hiding, lover of holes; Gross and disgusting creator of poop.”

My married life started as the typical story book story. I married the guy of my dreams. A few years later baby boy #1 appeared followed two and a half years later by baby boy #2. The perfect American family of four.

I can honestly say that I was perfectly content with our micro-family…
It was easy to travel…If Dave said “let’s go” I could be ready and in the car (not minivan) in less than 5 minutes. I could drop what I was doing and go. Not so anymore. 5 minutes has turned into half a day depending on meltdowns, spilled milk, or poop. It never fails. There is always poop. (Please refer to my definition of boy.)
One pizza filled us up…
We could all fit into a Honda Civic…
We only needed one hotel room…
We could afford admission to museums and water parks…
We would get invited to people’s houses…
We could go into a restaurant without making a scene…
Disney trips were a yearly affair…
Airline travel was doable…
Water did not have to be the beverage of choice…
Camping was not considered a form of torture…

Looking back, I don’t know how we ended up where we are today. The micro-family of 4 has evolved into a mega-family of boys by the incredible orchestration of the creator of the universe. Oh how I am so very grateful for that sense of humor! This lover of pink has embraced the chaos, as I cannot imagine my life without these hole hunting, butt streaking, height leaping, yard peeing, helmet forgetting, ball throwing, milk spilling, poop creating, grass-stain making, silly sweet, melt your heart boys. My gross and disgusting, sweet, beautiful boys!

I may not know how we got were we are today, but I do remember the leading of God, completely and perfectly, as Dave and I, little by little, surrendered our desires to God’s direction…

January 2011, started out like most self employed years. A landscapers life is cold, dark and hungry in January. For some reason, this year was greeted with anticipation; not the usual winter dread. Dave had just finished the only scheduled work for the winter yet we looked expectantly for God’s provision. The previous July, we had attended our county’s MAPP class for potential foster and adoptive parents, but no commitment was made on our part. In August, Dave and I made the decision to no longer homeschool 7th grade A.J. and 4th grade Josh, and so the stage was set for change.

During this time of change, we were without a church home and I happened across a Tuesday morning ladies bible study a few towns away. I’ll never forget that Tuesday morning…

January 18, 2011 The Beth Moore study,
“A Heart Like His” began with prayer requests. This group of loving women, welcomed this wandering church skeptic with open arms. I asked the ladies to pray for me as I looked for “something to do” in my empty, un-homeschooling days…I was thinking about contributing to the family’s economy, yet I’m sure that God was chuckling as he knew what lay in wait.

I remember so vividly the bible study that Tuesday morning…King David had been called before the Lord and had been given a glimpse of the story that God had written for him. The King was so filled with emotion that he dropped to his knees and cried these words…

“Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family that you have brought us this far?…For the sake of your word, and according to your will, you have done this great thing. How great you are!”
2 Samuel 7:18-22.

The study continued with a word study on 2 names…Saul and Samuel. Both of these men had been “asked for”…giving these names their meaning.

Wednesday, morning, January 19 started with a phone call from DSS. I remember listening to the social worker as he told me about a little boy that needed a family. The conversation didn’t last long as I ended the call saying that I would get back with him after I talked with Dave. I honestly thought that Dave would logically explain to me that this was not a “good” time. I was sure that he would remind me that it was “January.” I convinced myself that he would tell me that he didn’t know how we would “make it through the winter as it was.” As my mind defined the coming conversation, I told Dave about the phone call and he responded by saying that he would pray about it and we went our separate ways in the house, each of us calling out for direction. My prayer had barely been whispered when Dave came back into the room and said to call the social worker and tell him that “we would take all that they would give us.” Over the next few minutes, as the call was placed and the phone tree answered, I was reminded of a scripture that I had read a few days before…

Isaiah 43:19 settled peace over my soul.
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

The call was made. Later that day we met our little buddy with his foster family and we caught a glimpse of the “new thing,” as the 5 of us fell instantly in love.

Thursday morning, a call to the social worker, claimed the fateful words…”Yes we want him. We will take all that you will give us.” Over the next 30 hours, friends and family came to our rescue with a crib, car seat and a few other necessities.

Friday afternoon, January 20th, found us at DSS. A social worker handed us our “asked for” son and said, “Congratulations. Here is your 19 pound bouncing baby boy.”

For two months we transitioned from a family of 4 to a family of 5 and over those days, I realized that the Lord had heard my prayer that Tuesday morning. He had given me exactly what I wanted. Though given the name Joshua by his birth parents, we lovingly changed his name to Samuel because I had been given exactly what I had asked for.

As change continued, March 8th brought a new job for Dave as he spent the spring and summer working 609 miles away and I readied our house to be sold as we waited for Sam’s adoption to become final. We were separated for an eternity that lasted 6 months. August brought him back to us as our house never sold.

September 15th, 2011 the phone rang again. A two week old baby boy needed a temporary home…”Yes, we will take him. I’m on my way.” Forever etched on this Momma’s heart is the first glimpse of our beautiful Joe as a dear friend and social worker laid him in my arms. Boy #4 made us a family of 6 and my shiny white Malibu was traded for a gold Mazda minivan.

October 25th, 2013 the loved but dreaded “UNKNOWN” caller I.D. Flashed over the line…”Yes, of course…only for 2 weeks?…We can do that…I’ll be right there…” And 6 became 7.

I’ve shared with you a story of hope, love and life. It’s a story filled with grace, justice, mercy, kindness, victory and freedom. I’ve claimed it as my story, but really it’s God’s story as he tells it through my family.

Though I’ve not told of it today, my story is etched with failures, tragedy, loss and regrets. There are ugly parts wished to be forgotten, still even in my brokenness and shame, this story was penned by a faithful, merciful, gracious and forgiving God that never once left my side.

So will we really take all that they will give us? Yes we will…and I’ll tell you why…before God ever wrote on our hearts the names of these little boys, He adopted US! He chose US! He gathered us into His family even though we came to Him with nothing but brokenness, shame, ugliness, and regret and He purchased us with a redeeming price as He showered us with His grace and mercy. He sees a family resemblance in us and He calls us His sons and daughters!

As brothers and sisters in Christ’s family, my story is really no different than yours. Our Father dipped His pen in the blood of His Beloved Son and has written across the top of our adoption papers…”You are mine. I have bought you with a redeeming price and I will never, ever leave.” He has marked those papers with His official seal as he nailed them to a wooden cross.

Hope, love, life, grace, justice, mercy, kindness, victory, and freedom are what bind us together as family. They are the essence of our story. Without them our life is just a blank sheet of paper. As believers, our story is the same, we each just tell it a bit differently.

So my story had not ended. The Heavenly Father has not allowed me to read the final chapters, but my heart is full of gratitude as He has allowed me to see that my story is really His story.

As I read the words etched in blood across the top of each page, my arms will remain open until He ever so gently closes them. In the mean time, I look forward to where he will lead my family as His story becomes ours.

4 thoughts on “My Story

  1. Dena April 8, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Oh Tammy … I just finished this blog post and there are tears in my eyes. God’s “puzzle-piecing all things together” is amazing.

    • Tammy April 8, 2016 at 9:41 am

      Thank you Dena! Isn’t it amazing how He works out every little detail for our good and His glory!

  2. Donna Hughes April 11, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Beautifully written. You can feel the love in your words. A beautiful family. So proud of you and Dave.

    • Tammy April 11, 2016 at 10:34 am

      Thank you Donna! Your encouragement means so much!

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