Unexpected Journey: Part 2 Doubts


As I hit send, I fully expected to get  “you’ve got to be kidding me, we can’t get you approved in time” or “Whoops, you weren’t supposed to get that email”.

Instead we received a list of things we needed to do and Mark and I rolled up our sleeves.

That day we completed our application, turned in reference letters, had background checks done and started our training.

That evening we welcomed 6 of our nieces and nephews into our home for the weekend.

On Friday we reveled in the blessing of having 17 children under our roof and worked on getting our home child-proof for kids who wouldn’t know any of our house rules. We also continued training.

By Friday night we had a placement date (Tuesday) and were working on a time to complete the home study requirements.

After all of closed doors and the Lord saying ‘no’ or perhaps ‘not yet’, we were overwhelmed with how quickly we would be getting these children. We requested more information about their situation.

We would be hosting siblings, a 4 year old boy and 3 year old girl for about a month.

Our hearts broke for the children and their mother. We prayed.

On Saturday morning we sent out an email to some of the folks in our Christian ‘family’ here in Knoxville asking if anyone had extra toddler beds that we could use (we needed two). In about half an hour we had two toddler beds with mattresses and bedding, plus multiple offers of clothing, car seats and other toddler items. It’s amazing to be part of the family of God.

That rainy Saturday afternoon we hosted a cook-out with two other couples and our combined 28 children and got the home study/home inspection scheduled for Monday afternoon.

On Monday the doubts really set in.

Why do I think I can do this? I’m impatient with my own kids. I’m already behind on laundry.

I am not that person who loves unconditionally. I have friends who are like that. I’m amazed by their patience and compassion and wish I could be like them, but that’s not me. I’m the one who is self-centered and lazy.

These children will be losing nearly everything. Their family, community, home, possessions, how can we possibly even begin to fill that gap.

I’m already completely exhausted at the end of every day, where am I going to find more?

I prayed, but fear gripped me. I’m just not that person.

There is NO WAY I can do this!

 To be continued….

Part 1: The Call
Part 2: Doubts **you are here**
Part 3 (surprising interlude)
Part 4: Confirmation
Part 5: Happily Ever After

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24 Responses to Unexpected Journey: Part 2 Doubts
  1. Laurke
    May 3, 2013 | 8:25 am

    I’m not that person either but God is. His grace will cover you! I’m amazed at what all you do daily! I have 4 boys in total and there are days it’s overwhelming!


  2. Katie
    May 3, 2013 | 8:47 am

    Love your honesty. God is using you not only in the lives of these ones you take in and care for, but also in your children, in your church, in your readers, and who knows who else. YOur humble, honesty shows us we can all do anything if God is in it. Thank you.


    Blair Reply:

    Just Amening Katie’s comment!


  3. michelle
    May 3, 2013 | 10:02 am

    oh i cant wait to hear the rest of the story, as i type our case worker is in a meeting seeing if we will have a sibling set placed with us. we are doing fostering and foster to adopt, I’ve given it all to Him as His plan is sssooo much better than any plan we can make. It breaks my heart that your loving family is completely shut out of fostering or foster to adopt because of its size. i mean seriously it doesn’t matter if we have one (that’s us) or 11 (y’all) our HEARTS are where they need to be. wanting to give a child(ren) a safe and loving home that they can have forever! the gov’t systems are sometimes really messed up. and unfortunately the children are the ones that pay the price. i’m glad He showed a way for your family to be used. i’m still praying that there will be a way for adoption – i wish i had known about this a couple months ago. there was a FB group i belong to that has a very large family (thru adoption) and they just passed info along abt a child needing a home! and it is scary! not matter your personality or whatnot, it’s someone else looking in on your life, ways and views.


  4. Jenn
    May 3, 2013 | 10:40 am

    Thank you for your candid honesty in this post. So often it seems as if “blogging moms” have it all together and can do it all -with a smile on their face and a song in their heart. We are parents to five precious kiddos and are in the process of adopting internationally. As we prepare for our own home study my fears are also rising and I find myself searching over and over to be sure this is God’s will because it seems a little crazy from man’s point of view, which is good but the fear also threatens to take too much control -especially in the roughest moments of the day and when I lie awake at night. Thanks again for sharing -it’s encouraging to know that others experience fear and failures but press on to follow humbly where God leads.
    Thanks also for opening your home and hearts to God’s kids -we need more Christ followers to do the same!
    I’ll be praying for you on this new adventure as the Holy Spirit brings you to mind.


  5. Vickie
    May 3, 2013 | 10:43 am

    We are an adoptive family (did some foster care early on too) and as I hear God’s calling for us to adopt again, the days I’m extra impatient, frustrated, or tired…I wonder why God would call us again to adopt more kids. I think there is no way! But when I pray about it, I am reminded that satan likes to attack and put self-doubts in our minds. He did this to Eve and still continues today. So we need to trust God in everything and He’ll never give us more than we can handle and He’ll help us handle all that He gives us.

    God’s blessings be with you and your family as you embark on this journey, new season in life.


  6. Chris
    May 3, 2013 | 11:40 am

    Kimberly, You are certainly keeping me on the edge of my seat on this on. I am very inspired by your journey and it will certainly cause you to lean into God even more. Just think if these two precious children feel even one day (or a month) of Christ’s love through you and your family that will be a day longer than they felt before. Not to mention all the prayers and scripture you can expose them to in that month’s time. I pray the Holy Spirit would walk with you and guide you every moment as you walk this journey. Thanks for being an inspiration and for following God’s journey.


  7. Ronnie
    May 3, 2013 | 1:37 pm

    I’ve seen enough of your beautiful blog to know that those children will be richly blessed during the time they are in your home. Keep looking to God for strength!


  8. Janet Kiessling
    May 3, 2013 | 3:20 pm

    Hi there, My name is Janet Kiessling. My husband & I are the proud parents of 6 blessings. We are sdoptive parents & we also have 3 that are grown from his previous marriage that he was a widow to. I have been praying for you & your family through this journey & adventure….:) It will be a fun adventure. You all can do this. In our family, we have had some as young as newborns right from the hospital & as old as 6 & 7 join our family. We were also foster parents to 14 babies in California. You will have challenges. But with God All things are possible! I looked at the website that you all are going through – it looks amazing! You will be surprised at how much you all will get attached and the kids will make new friends forever. We live in Nevada now & we are hoping that we can start doing foster care & adopt again…:) Please if you have any questions – you can feel fre to email me – our oldest is 16!..:) – you have that up there! Have a blessed day! And keep us updated!..:)


  9. Cheryl
    May 4, 2013 | 12:42 am

    Congratulations & I will remember to pray for your family in this time and transition.
    You mentioned your family’s rules, and it made me wonder if you would be willing to post those sometime? Michelle Duggar shared their family guidelines online, and it was helpful to get an idea of how to be more concrete with behavior we’re expecting/not expecting, rather than just general. I’m wondering specifically if you have any rules for your boys on rough-housing, and when it crosses over into being a little too agressive with their brothers (in our case, older being too rough with younger). Sometimes it’s hard to know whether or not to discipline for it, or if it was just a case of the older not realizing the younger ones are not the same age. Would love your thoughts, if you have time (sometime!) to share your family’s rules and how you deal with boy siblings. 🙂


  10. Theresa
    May 4, 2013 | 9:16 pm

    You are killing me with the parts divided! ARG! We have been fostering for a couple years now and it is such a hard journey to be the ones that have yet to adopted. While we know it is God’s plan for us to add through fostering, it is a painful road to walk alongside a child who is continually mourning & grieving their loss. I would not trade it for the world and as your family will begin to see, it is incredibly worth it. I used to ask many questions about why WE are called to this when I am so unworthy, impatient, and jaded by the system (I used to work in case management). YET, when I list all my unqualifications to the Lord, it is so comforting to hear Him say….. It is not because you are prepared for this but because you are obedient to say YES when the world tells you “NO, don’t do it”. A quote I saw on facebook recently said “I am in the greatest danger before God when I know clearly what He wants me to do, but willfully and defiantly refuse to do it.” This is where God is calling your family and each child received into your home will be blessed by the seeds being planted. We have a lot of family meetings as a result of our journey to make sure the kids are doing well as this really does tear at their hearts sometimes even more than ours. Many times it is their faith, love and desire to take on more that encourages us more than anything else! Can’t wait to hear more!


  11. Aneesah
    May 5, 2013 | 12:15 am

    Hi. My name is Aneesah and I have no biological children at 40 years old and have never been married. But I felt that God had a plan. As He revealed it to me I was anxious and scared and excited all at the same time. I became a foster parent in December 2010 and got my first girl in January 2011. My plan was to have only girls ages 5-10. Not God’s plan. Since then I have had 28 children come through my home. I currently have a 5 yo boy, 3 yo boy, 2 yo girl, and a 1 yo girl. I know it is God’s plan that I adopt each of them and I can’t tell you what a blessing it is. There are times though that I wonder why God allowed me to have this task because I don’t always have the most patience and I get frustrated sometimes because when I was single with no kids I had so much freedom. But when I look in those faces – I know I am blessed. I am excited about your journey and can’t wait to hear the rest of the story. I know all the babies that come through your house will be blessed and will know the love of God.


    Janet Kiessling Reply:

    May the Lord Bless you – as He already has! What a wonderful ministry! 28 little gifts…….thats amazing…..:)! We hope & Pray that you continue to provide this outreach for these children for a lifetime as long as you can….:)


  12. Kimberley
    May 5, 2013 | 7:26 pm

    Yay! I am so glad you found Safe Families. They are an awesome organization! Amazing how quickly things can go when you get the government out of the way. And yes I think Satan has a really good grip on the whole field of adoption and works very hard at closing as many doors as possible. And don’t even get me started on UNICEF and all the kids stuck in orphanages due to their policies. We will go through safe families ourselves to help children in crises as soon as our impending move is over. So happy for this latest blessing!


  13. Annie
    May 7, 2013 | 7:04 am

    I want to thank you and your husband for being open to this calling upon your life and for stepping out in faith to take in these children.
    My heart is also for adoption/fostering- so much so that its as though my heart could just burst forth because I long for more children. And we too have met dead ends in the process. But I do not feel The Lord is through with our family yet! So I am just going to continue to pray and trust.
    I am excited to hear about the next part of your story. You may feel overwhelmed and unable to mother these children but The
    Lord is going to use these season in their little lives to impact them in a profound way. And if I can know that when I read about your family through Raising Olives that the Holy Spirit is alive and well in your lives then I know those who enter your home will know it too. I will be praying for your family, Kimberly.


  14. Rhen @Yes, they are all mine
    May 9, 2013 | 12:37 am

    I look forward to hearing about how much God uses both you and Mark in the lives of these sweet blessings, and also how much He reaches out to you through them. Keep writing!


  15. Mary
    May 10, 2013 | 6:54 pm

    Its so great to hear that are some good foster homes. I was in foster for a year and a half in OR. Most of time I lived on the street. One of my foster mom was really mean and hurt me in the face so bad that I had a black eye. My mom said something to the worker and was telled that I was back talking and that was their where to do. I feel that if I had loving foster parents I would of turned out different. maybe I would not of had should of a bad childhood. Some people think that live on the street is fun, but sleeping on the ground or at some weird person house is not that fun. Thank God that my live is a lot better now. But it making happy to see some Godly people out there. Even if your not living next door to me lol.


  16. Sandra
    May 10, 2013 | 6:58 pm

    Thank you for your honesty! We are wanting to foster to adopt, bu our paper wrk continues to it on someone’s desk for weeks now!! It’s very hard to wait! As I wait all the doubts come, because I have three already that I homeschool and struggle with our daily routine. I try to remind myself “I can do all things through Christ who (amazingly) strengthens me!” Look forward to your story! I too have friends that are in SAFE families!


  17. Danielle
    May 23, 2013 | 11:17 pm

    I keep checking back for part 3 !


  18. Valarie
    May 26, 2013 | 12:46 am


    SFFC is an amazing ministry! We have been a host family since January and hosted two families, three children total. One child was for a long weekend, while the mom was hospitalized for an emergency, and the other two children were brothers whose mom was pregnant and ready to deliver and didn’t have anyone to take care of the boys. We had them for 5 weeks. Giving them back to the mom was so hard, but know we are doing what the Lord has called us to do at this time in our life. Being a mom again to an 18 month old & 3yr old, after our youngest is 18yrs old, was a huge sleep deprivation adjustment, but giving those kids love and care was so worth it. Teaching them that the Lord loves them and will never leave them, I believe will stay with them forever.

    May the Lord continue to bless your family and give you the energy, love and comfort needed to serve in this amazing ministry!


  19. Vickie
    May 27, 2013 | 11:54 am

    Still anxiously waiting on part 3 🙂


  20. Tasmanian
    May 31, 2013 | 1:42 am

    Can’t wait for part 3! God bless you and give you all the resources you need. I hope you can ignore the comments from social workers who don’t understand your great God and His great enabling. God is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine.


  21. Katie
    June 2, 2013 | 4:12 pm

    It is so exciting to hear what God’s doing through the incredible Safe Families program. I hadn’t been to this blog for a while and was SO excited to see that the Lord’s moved you into doing Safe Families. Such a life-changing program for those kids and parent(s).

    As a side note, my husband and I used an amazing and Christ-loving adoption consultant that helped us adopt our son. And there are plenty of large families that she’s worked with domestically, helping them connect w/agencies and lawyers in need of families to adopt (many of whom shared the exact same experience you wrote about-road block after road block until they came to Christian Adoption Consultants. There ARE expectant mamas out there who want their baby to be in a big family…sometimes it just takes a little help to connect you with them. If you ever want to hear/learn more about that, feel free to contact Tracie Loux of Christian Adoption Consultants at tracie@christianadoptionconsultants.com and she’d be so delighted to email or chat w/you abt that. (You don’t have to pay anything up front just to ask her questions so it’s kind of a win/win situation!).


  22. Sara
    June 12, 2013 | 10:43 am

    I’d love to hear how this is working out for you! I keep checking back to hear the rest…though I know you must be busy 🙂
    When I was in high school my parent kept two foster children for a year before their parents rights were terminated and they moved on to a permanent adoptive family. Then my parents adopted 4 children, one foreign and 3 from foster care.
    It was difficult for me as I had never dealt with undisciplined children. I wonder how your older children are coping with children that have been raised differently than they have. Thank you for sharing your story!


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