Love Fosters Hope Run 2016
Was one of the best mornings of my life. Why you ask? ... This blogpost will give you the answer.
But first, For those of you who do not know yet, we found out Oct. 19th that we are on track to adopt Little L! We have had her exactly half of her life (we got her at 14 months, and now she's 28 months). Kalen and I were shocked because this process has been so unpredictable and such a roller coaster. But I could not help but cry with joy when sharing the news via FaceTime with family! Everyone says it's not official until the papers are signed, so we still aren't 100%, but is life ever predictable?...We are just thankful we are headed in a good direction!
I want to share more about how trial went, but I will wait until after I post about this beautiful morning.
So why, why was this such an amazing morning? Why am I still sort of soaking in the moments before/after the run? Because it stands as a type of spiritual symbolism that is hard to put into words... but I will try!
Foster care has felt like SUCH a race of endurance to me. In my darkest times I wanted to give up, throw in the towel and just let go. I've seen the ugliest parts of me in foster care. I didn't think I was fit to be a mom; learning the ropes of motherhood + loving someone else's children was such a battle for me, especially trying to keep within the mercy Christ has offered to me. It felt like a tug of war and a race, that I would never finish. Never complete. Never see victory. God had given me such a love and compassion for both our foster children's mom's so I was at constant battle with my desires and the desires of the bio mom. I knew the only safe place to land was pray with all my heart for healing and restoration for bio mom, but yet pray for justice, vindication and L's best. Such a tug of war, and then dealing with my own desires, can you imagine!? Lol.
One of the ways I dealt with my stress during the tough season was going on a run. I literally became faster and stronger this past year than my two prior years of running. Needless to say I was running off steam and running on a prayer. God spoke encouragement to me on my runs during the hard parts of foster care. He spoke conviction and truth too. I would always come back from my run renewed in spirit and mind, ready to love well like Jesus has loved me.
So running throughout all of our season of foster care was already a sense of relief for me; symbolic to the season of learning endurance and perseverance I was in.
Around 2 months ago, I heard about the annual Love Fosters Hope run raising awareness for foster children. I was so excited just thinking about it; running for my foster babies! Yay! It motivated me to push even harder during my daily runs- and I trained really hard after signing up for the 10K race. This would be my FIRST race to run, and my first 6 mile one at that! I was going all in!
In the midst of all this training and excitement, we had 4 different set trials for L's case. Yes. 4. I will not get into all that right at this moment but all I knew was that by the day of the Love Fosters Hope run we were either going to have L in our arms heading toward adoption, or packing her bags to send her somewhere else. I was leaning on the scripture in proverbs 3:5-6 "trust in the Lord with all your heart and LEAN not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." So I was going to run that race no matter what... for my babies... because nothing is wasted!
So the day gets here with the news that it's headed toward adoption! Yay! By Saturday (the race day) I still felt like I was shocked though, uncertain in a sense. Foster care teaches you many things. 1. That you are not in control. 2. You cannot rest your heart on any outcome because situations / circumstances change daily! So, I did not know where to rest my heart because it's been so tossed and turned, feeling scared about what's ahead. With the possibility of an appeal happening, we were just not sure if L was going to be really ours. But my heart just longed to know. That gut feeling... That God maybe would just give me a heart glimpse....
And... He did...
When I crossed that finish line after running 6 miles at a 7:40 min. Pace on the beautiful crisp morning of October 22nd... All I wanted to see was my L. When I found her I embraced her and at that moment I knew she was my baby. I knew in my heart that God had sovereignly given her to us, moved mountains, made miracles happen, covered us... and gave me the desire of my heart, to be a mom in the most unpredictable way possible.
I crossed the finish line guys. I ran the race with endurance by God's amazing grace. Jesus got me through and gave me strength IN my weakness. I crossed the finish line not only in victory but with a huge blessing to hold afterward. Of course I do not know the future, but something spiritual happened in this moment crossing the finish line and there aren't many words to describe it.
Foster care is spiritual warfare. Adoption is spiritual warfare. But if Jesus got us through this foster care process, He will get us through the adoption process.
Here are some pictures of the morning with my sweet family:
I ended up getting 1st place in the women's category for my age group - 20-29! It was such a miracle and testimony to God's faithfulness!
After the race, my parents took L to a birthday party and I got to go into the woods with Kalen and just literally spend some sweet time with God... Praising Him for the heart glimpse He gave me for L. Praising Him for the struggle. Praising Him that even in my fleshly, selfish prayers He still had His sovereign way! His steadfast love is GREAT above the heavens and His faithfulness reaches to the clouds!
My seat while Kalen was hunting. 👌🏽
Even in the darkness of the season, God's light has dawned - GOD is merciful, gracious and righteous!
It was such a sweet, special morning + day and we look forward to what God has in store for our family this next year! Thank you to all who have been praying for L and our family! Many blessings to you!