If you had told me when I was younger, that I would someday be a stay-at-home mom of several children, I wouldn’t have believed you. In fact, when I was newly married I had it all planned out. I would have 2.5 children (actually just 2) a boy and a girl, a cute little house, vacations at least 1-2 times a year and live happily ever after….
Things didn’t go quite as I had planned. This young girl from California, the baby of the family. A tad spoiled, a little vain, & at times high maintenance, would be stretched and tested more in the next 2 decades than she had bargained for.
My husband & I met when we were teenagers, married at 20 & 21 and we both had a lot to learn. After years of trials, tests, and some pretty tumultuous times here we are, 21 kids and 7 years later. Wait! I got that mixed up… It’s actually 21 years and 7 kids later, but who’s counting?
We have 5 biological children, and just gained legal custody of our 2 McNewbies. (Our last name is McNew) see what I did there?
No we aren’t “amazing” “extra patient” “really organized” some days we are on the brink of insanity, exhausted, & not very patient at all. What we are is obedient. That’s all. God told us, through a series of events and confirmation that He wanted us to take this journey. I remember when my husband told me He felt the Lord prompting him. He said we needed to start looking into foster care. I was sitting on the couch nursing a 5 month old! Our 5th and last child! (Or so I thought) I asked him if he had been smoking something. He hadn’t been, thank the Lord! The Lord began to work on my heart and eventually I began babysitting a dear friends grandchildren (her adoptive daughter’s children) We went to dinner one night and she said she needed a sitter for them. I blurted out “I’ll watch them!” And then thought to myself… Did I just say that out loud?!! I honestly don’t like to babysit, but I knew God wanted me to do it. I would cry when the kids came over. Sometimes because it was very early in the morning and I needed more coffee. But mostly because the Lord had given me a burden and a love for them. I couldn’t explain what I was feeling, but I knew it was God.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t this beautiful hallmark channel movie. It was hard!!! At one point, my hair began falling out from the stress I was feeling. I was trying to take care of 7 children and 2 of them required lots of extra attention and had some behavioral issues that I (we) didn’t feel equipped to handle. Some of our family and friends, I’m sure their intentions were good, were telling us we were crazy for doing this and that it can’t be from God because it’s causing so much stress. I respectfully disagree. Life is not easy, obedience is not easy! Being on the front lines can get messy! When you are following God’s calling and caring for the orphan, you are in the line of fire. This is the heart of God! We are all adopted. Grafted into the vine(Romans 11:17)… Rescued from darkness and brought into His marvelous light. If we think the enemy is going to sit back and watch this beautiful hallmark movie unfold, we are in for a rude awakening! So maybe you are thinking… Thanks a lot Michelle, I’m so encouraged now! But thankfully, that’s not where the story ends! In fact it’s just the beginning. The beginning of a new season, the beginning of a deeper more intimate walk with God. The thing is, when you are on this journey you will need Him more than ever!! And HE WILL be there! He will not leave you alone in this! You may feel alone at times, but He is right there beside you. Cheering you on, one step at a time. One day at a time, one year at a time….. When you cross the finish line you may have a little more gray than you had hoped for and some possible hair loss. Hey! I figure if I cross the finish line with a few hair extensions, but I have ALL of our children by my side…it will be worth it all! ❤ frOlic- Michelle McNew
“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10
**If you are interested in becoming a respite care provider or foster/adoptive parent, you go to cherishkids.org!