Monday, August 18, 2014

Guest Blogger: Rachel Ashcraft

Almost a year and a half ago, I dropped Big Sis and Little Sis off at daycare knowing that they would be picked up by the Ashcrafts that afternoon. My brother and sister-in-law were getting married and the Ashcrafts were keeping the girls for the weekend. That was not the only time they kept them... Every few weeks the girls got to go spend time with Mr. Aaron and Mrs. Rachel while I went to meetings at church. They LOVED them... And the feeling was mutual. It was the Ashcrafts that set my mind at ease last summer when we didn't know if the kids would be able to be reunited with family and we knew they needed a home where all three of them could be together. These people hold a special place in my heart. Not just because they're fellow foster parents, but because they invested time and love into my girls. I know that they had a huge impact on the girls' lives and I love them for that. 

Rachel posted something today about their current placement that just spoke to my heart. I thought I would share the beauty of it with you... Happy reading.



Written by Rachel Ashcraft. August 18, 2014. 

365 days with big sis and little bro. A year ago this Thursday (Aug 21, 2013), Aaron picked these sweet souls up and brought them to our home. This past year has been filled with joy, tears, exhaustion, laughter, disappointment, hope. I don’t know the end of the story. I only know that today, and for today, we continue to share life. I never knew what it meant to crawl through a day, wondering if my sanity would last through until tomorrow. I never really knew what it meant to pray just for today because that’s really all I can handle thinking about right now. See, I’m a planner. Everything has an end goal and an action plan to get there. Planning is laughable in foster care. Foster care is filled with unknowns and lots of people telling you to fix the problems that you had nothing to do with causing and that are impossible for anyone but Jesus to fix. Jesus has kind of wrecked my world this year, and I love him all the more for it. We are just beggars that have found the fathers table, and there’s nothing to do but lead other beggars to the table. Honestly, sometimes foster care is really bad for my health and I begin to doubt the whole thing – then I remember that the cross wasn’t good for Jesus’s health either. There are moments in the week that feel like death, but that’s when Jesus seems to meet us and remind us that he actually knows what sacrificial death is. I’m humbled. Again.

The kids have taught me so much this past year. 

--- I’ve learned that God is passionate about these kids. I’ve seen the peace that only Jesus can bring. When a child is crushed by something that’s happened and I hold them and tell them of a time that Jesus experienced that feeling. I see a little face light up to know that Jesus understands even when no one else does. A little voice asks, why don’t more people love me? And, the little one snuggles in to hear that Jesus also wonders why more people don’t love him.

--- I’ve learned that I desperately need support from others. We.Cannot.Do.This.Alone. I’ve found that I have some really amazing people in my life. My mom, “Grandmother from Huntsville” who endlessly supports and loves on these kids. My sister Melissa, who helps me with behavior plans and school meetings. My sister Brooke, who can check out a little heart that’s just heartbroken when there’s no convincing the little one that they don’t have a heart disease. The ways my parents and sisters support us, overwhelms me. My sister in law Kristin, who sends the kids letters. Our church family, who intentionally loves on the kids AND their birth family. Cheryl who brought me dinner once a week (even though she had a newborn) when they moved in and lets me drop the kids off without warning when Grandmom is in the hospital. Casey and Seth who have intentionally loved on the kids and shown them that they have worth. Laura and Melanie who let me cry uncle when the week has been overwhelming and I can’t get everything done for children’s class. Our social worker, who prays for us and the kids, advocates for the kids, and tries to help us find moments of rest. For everyone that prays for these little ones and God to work in their lives. To those mentioned above and others that have supported the kids in ways I can’t even share because it discloses too much of their story. You know who you are, thank you.

---I’ve learned to put aside fear of judgment to walk with these kids and meet them where they are. A daughter that’s significantly older than my marriage - a son who routinely throws tantrums in public. I’m best friends with the school principal. Our intentions and purpose in this walk are often misunderstood. Whatever. Ain’t nobody got time for other people’s opinions.

--- I’ve learned that my husband rocks. He is so patient and loving with these kids. All the children that have come through our home have soaked up all the moments they can get with him. There’s nothing like a loving and patient father to point a little one to THE loving and patient father.

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