A bit about us

Photo by Pirtle Photography
Our family – John, Nici, Sydney, Syliva and Amanda.

Hi and welcome my website/blog! This is new for me. I’ve had a personal blog for years, but it was mostly a scrapbook of our lives for my family.

This is different.

First, I want to start by telling you a little bit about myself. My name is Amanda, and I’ve been married to John for nearly 10 years. We have three daughters, Sylvia, 14, Nici, 13, and Sydney, 8. However, Sydney came to our family first. When John and I got married we were told we would have a very difficult chance of having our own children. We were pleasantly surprised when we found out we were expecting Sydney. She arrived early and very tiny, but so mighty. We were and are so thankful for that miracle we call Sydney.

After a few years, we hadn’t gotten another miracle. We decided to look into adopting a small child through foster care. We went to a few classes, but the timing wasn’t great. I was not feeling well, but we didn’t know why. My mom was also in poor health. Later we found out I had a huge kidney stone, which was the cause of my health issues. My mom’s diagnosis wasn’t so simple. She had Stage 4 kidney cancer. She died about six weeks after the diagnosis. Not only was that a huge blow to our family, but my dad was disabled and required much care. The thought of more children was no longer even an issue. When my dad died 17 months after my mom, it was the first time in a while we could focus on ourselves. We enjoyed the time. We went on a couple of trips and just really enjoyed one another.

That fall things shifted. I feel like the word “called” is so overused and abused, but that’s truly what it was. The leader of a local chapter of National Angels made a presentation at our small group from church. She was talking about the need for support for foster families. When she started to talk about the statistics for older kids aging out of foster care, there was a strong pull at my heart. The one that got me the most was that within a year of aging out of the system, 66% of children will be incarcerated, trafficked, homeless or dead. That devastated me. It made me think that if we were to attempt to adopt through the foster care system, maybe an older child would be best.

That thought kept occurring to me. It was brought up time and time again through various avenues. It just felt to be a consistent message in my life. I finally got up the courage to ask my husband about it. We were sitting in the car and I told him I wanted to adopt through foster care and I wanted it to be a girl who was over 10 and who would most likely age out of foster care if she was not adopted. I just knew he’d think I was crazy. He simply looked at me and said “I know that’s what you want. I’ve just been waiting for you to ask me. Yes, let’s do it.”

Over the course of the next few months, we worked with a placement agency to get our foster license. It seemed to take so long. Those periods of simply waiting were the most difficult. When there were no more classes to take or forms to submit or anything to actively do, it was hard. During that time “Wreckless Love” by Cory Asbury was new. It was a popular song at our church. My dear, dear friend, who also happens to be our church worship pastor, would sing it with such conviction. She knew our hopes and our burdens. I’d listen to her, feel the Holy Spirit on my heart and uncontrollably cry. I’d think about all I had come through in my life and how God always brought me through. I thought about our possible future daughter and how much she must have endured. I thought about how maybe she was waiting for a forever family, scared that she may never get one. That song was my foundation for many months.

Then, it happened. Our agency knew of two girls – sisters ages 12 and 13. While two wasn’t the original plan, we’d recently decided that a sibling set might be best for us. We met them a week later. After a few weeks of hanging out with them, together and individually, they spent the night at our house a few times. They moved in a month after our original meeting.

There will be plenty of time for me to fill in all of the details, but for now I’ll keep it brief. We got two more miracles! The girls were adopted about 5 months later. It wasn’t always easy. In fact there were times it wasn’t remotely easy. However, it was right. It was more than right. They are ours and we are theirs. We now have three miracles, although not in the way we originally planned. God’s way was better, as it always is.

We are now a family of five! We have issues as any family would, but we are so grateful to have one another. In many ways it feels as if we’ve always been together. We all know we were a family designed by God. When I hear “Reckless Love” on the radio, I can’t help but feel such gratitude and love. God knew what we needed – every single one of us. He led and way and we were obedient. His reckless love took over our lives and made us new.

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