We arrived back at the hotel and got our packets for the weekend. Seats had already been saved for us by my dear friend Hannah. At our table sat 5 moms from Oregon and 5 moms from California and we shared the common bond of wanting to raise our children to love the Lord, and knew our inadequacies without Jesus. And for the next 24 hours we got to glean and be the Titus 2 young women soaking up words of wisdom and encouragement from moms that have walked these steps before us.
We had the chance to share a little bit about ourselves at the tables we sat at.
One of the gals from California started sharing how she has four children, her oldest son was named Josiah and that she has another son and then twin boys to finish her four. Later her sister leaned over after a time of worship and said that I harmonized just like Amanda. As we talked more throughout the weekend we discovered we both had our children enrolled on part time private part time home school education. Then she shared she was running a half marathon the next day, which is again another common bond. By the end of the conference her friends told me they were glad I lived in Oregon or else they would never see her anymore. To which I laughed and said that I would just join their group and hang out with all of them. I noticed that we even had opposite initials. Mine are k.a. and hers are a.k. As we hugged good bye, she smiled and said to me "good bye sister from another mother!"
Truth be told, I found a lot of sisters from another mother this weekend. I have sorely missed this type of fellowship and was so grateful for it this weekend.
I know some have asked me to share about what I learned at the conference. I not sure exactly what to share, other than these things. We need to find those Titus 2 "older women". And we also need to be them. We need to remember unless we are filling ourselves daily in the Word we cannot be pouring into our children and husband the love that they need. We cannot do things on our own strength. Find creative ways to make memories in our homes, and know that God gave us the children we have to parent. He chose me to be a mom to Josiah and Ava and Lena and Mallory. Parenting will look differently in each family, so not to judge one another but to support one another in love. To follow Jesus and pray we can reflect Christ onto them.
To dream again, and dream with my children. I want to start finding out what Josiah and Ava dream and hope for and think about. I love to travel, I hope to someday plan trips for our family to go on and explore new places. Most importantly in that to commit my dreams and hopes to the Lord, asking Him what His dreams for me are and see what He does. I did this in high school and God actually did fulfill every one of those hopes and dreams (including getting to meet Twila Paris after a concert).
I am excited to be able to start seeking God out on the what next for our family.
Last night when the conference was over, Monica and I got a rental car (a fun green Kia Soul)
and drove to Huntington beach. I bought a frivolous pair of red Toms wedges that I love. We meandered through beach clothing shops. Then I faced my fear of the oceans ever since the tsunamis in Japan happened, and we walked out on the dock over the ocean and ate at Ruby's Diner.
These little adventures fill my soul with so much joy.
This morning I woke up once again to beautiful sunshine and enjoyed a run. Then I came back to the hotel and got ready to go to church. Monica and I stopped for breakfast at Corner bakery, then we hopped in our green boxy fun car and headed up the freeway to Paul and Rachel's church.
Words can't explain how I felt when I saw them. But I will try anyways.
I was nervous. I wore my beautiful snowflake necklace they purchased me for Christmas (it only seemed fitting).
Paul and Rachel took the boys up front and shared the story of how God brought them their boys. I cried. We prayed for them as a church congregation. I know they are well loved and supported.
We went out to king's Hawaiian grill for lunch. The boys are beautiful. Paul and Rachel shared how Taylor is more wiggly and the mover. How Aiden snores and how Taylor snorts. They are all so unique. Aiden does have similar features to Mallory, but when he opens his eyes they look very blue. Taylor and Lena have similar cute poochy lips. Meeting Paul's parents was another gift. These little boys are well loved and Paul and Rachel are more than we ever could have dreamed of when we were praying for the right couple to receive these embryos. To play a part on God's big plan on the other end of adoption is truly an honor and to have a couple so willing to embrace us and call us their family in front of their church congregation is... Indescribable.
Thank you for all your prayers and support and encouragement to me in this weekend. I am so beyond filled and ready to get home and love on my beautiful family!
May you truly be blessed, and may God give each of you dreams to entrust Him with and then wait and see what He does!
Getting to hold Aiden James
Paul and Rachel and Paul's parents, Aiden & Taylor's Papa and Mema :)
Start of a NEW Family
Getting to hold Taylor Adam