teenagers and a lesson from Jacob.

I come to you humbly asking for prayer. Especially for my three oldest daughters, and for wisdom for me! All mommas know it: teenagers are hard. Three teenage girls are harder. Three teenage girls from different tribes and cultures and pasts trying to live together in one bedroom are harder still.

In an effort to be real, I want to tell you. Adoption is wonderful and beautiful and the greatest blessing I have ever experienced. Adoption is also HARD and painful. Adoption of older children is a beautiful picture of redemption. It is the GOSPEL in my living room. And some times, it just stinks.

As a parent, it stinks to not know when your daughter took her first steps or what her first word was or what she looked like in Kindergarten. It stinks not to know where she slept and whose shoulder she cried on and what the scar on her eyebrow is from. It stinks to know that for ten years of her precious life you were NOT the shoulder she cried on or the Mommy she hugged.

As a child, it stinks to remember your biological parents’ death, not matter how much you love your new Mom. It stinks to have your mom be a different color than you because, inevitably, people are going to ask why. It stinks that your Mom wasn’t there for all the times you had no dinner and all the times you were sick and all the times you needed help with your homework. It stinks when you have to make up your birthday. It skinks when you can’t understand the concept of being a family forever because your first family wasn’t forever.

And every single day, it is worth it. Because ADOPTION IS GOD’S HEART. He sets the lonely in families. Adoption is the reason that I can come before God’s throne and beg Him for mercy, because He predestined me to be adopted as His child through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

My family, adopting these children, it is not optional. It is not my good deed for the day, it is not what I am doing to “help these poor kids out.” I adopt because God commands me to care for the orphans and the widows in their distress. I adopt because to whom much has been given, much will be demanded. I adopt because whoever finds his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for HIS sake will find it.

Some days, my friends, it is not easy. Today, it is not easy. The HURT in my daughters’ hearts is big and real and as their mother, I want to fix it and know that I CAN’T. So I lay it at the feet of my Father and rejoice to know that if we are children, then we are heirs – of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings – in order that we may also share in His glory. And I call out to the Holy Spirit knowing that He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for us.

A sweet friend pointed me yesterday to Genesis Chapter 33. Esau and Jacob are meeting for the first time in a long time. As Jacob approaches Esau, with his many children following close behind, Esau asks, “ And who are these with you?”

Jacob’s reply: “These are the children that the Lord saw fit to bless me with.”

We get all the questions. “Why do you do it?” “Why so many?” “How in the world…” “Why these specific girls?” “Why the number 14?” “Do you think its ok to adopt as a single Mother? Don’t they need a father too?” “Do you think they will have issues since you are not the same race?” We also get the compliments. “I don’t know how you do it!” “Good job!” “You must be so responsible!” “Your girls must be so well behaved.” We get crazy stares and huge smiles and every look in between.

Adoption is beautiful. Adoption is hard. Adoption is the Gospel of Christ and the promise of God’s love and redemption lived out in our lives. So I ask for your prayers. Prayers for understanding and peace and trust and the power of God that is more than all I can ask or imagine. And to the questions and the comments and the compliments, this is my reply: “These are the children that the Lord saw fit to bless me with.”

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09699590377921825708 Cara

    Your heart blesses me. Praise the Lord for your obedience.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17247824698674815568 Mom to 9 Blessings!

    AMEN! I have been wanting to write this exact post for weeks. Thank you for putting my thoughts to words so beautifully!Praying with you – I understand!Lots of love,Jill

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07996994078621643193 From a full heart…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17507398940287994539 Mandie Joy

    As a 20-something who has had the same experience of being the adopted mother of teenage girls, I beg Jesus for mercy over you and your girls. He promises to give wisdom generously to those who ask him. May today be especially harmonious, may communication be clear, and may they know Jesus's love through you in a way that softens the deepest lingering hurts, known and unknown.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Village2VillageProject Laurie Kroll

    Beautiful, Katie. As an adoptive mom, I couldn't agree more.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11726257782589480323 pam

    My Dearest Katie,Thank you for your insight. God has truly blessed you with these wonderful girls. When people ask you the questions, just reply Matthew 19:26, …with God all things are possible. My prayers are with you and your wonderful family. Love, Pam

  • http://www.pensieve.me Robin ~ PENSIEVE

    "It stinks when you have to make up your birthday."Why did THAT line sting me so sharply? As I read the rest of your post, it lingered and it almost made me mad that, in the midst of your heart bleeding out loud, THAT is what pierced my own.All of us who walk alongside your journey, especially those of us who know you only in "this space", are a part of your life for a reason. Of this, I'm sure. To pray with and for you and your girls? For our own lives to be changed as a result of the Holy Spirit speaking through your story? I don't know. I guess it's different for each one.This I know, too…. You haven't crept into my life for no reason; it was Divine appointment. I have three teens (my daughter, almost 18 & 2 sons, 13 & 16). God is using them to shape ME as a mom, believer, wife, friend, just as much as he's shaping them! To God be the Glory… :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10719534060309826843 Connie

    So true: adoption is the gospel in your living room! Keep anchored in Christ dear Katie…we are praying for you as you live out the mixture of beautiful and hard. May God give you special wisdom regarding your older girls as you help them day by day to enter womanhood for the glory of God.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10674278855865751383 Chantelle

    Here's a ((((hug)))) for being REAL. I've been striving to be more transparent about our adoptions as well. I will say extra prayers for you and your teens. I relate. We adopted two unrelated 13/14 year olds 5 years ago. God bless you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16513814407957112451 Sarah Brewer

    I'm praying, Katie.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00977220750000378492 Ashley

    Katie, thanks so much for sharing your heart concerning the trials and rewards of adoption. I think it's SO important for people to hear things like what you have said. I work with kids through the Department of Children's services, and too often we have foster parents who "give back" their foster kids because the kids have problems adjusting or unforeseen issues that come up. Truly, it is not just a "good deed" of the day–it is a lifestyle. Praise God for people like you who answer the Lord's pleading to set the lonely into families. I will be praying for you!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03043514769654113653 Julie

    I am praying for your daughters' sweet hearts and yours this morning.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00107870813326451507 Jill

    Praying for you! I can't help but when I see you and all you do, think of David, so my nickname for you "Katie David" instead of Katie Davis (a woman after God's own heart)and my prayer for you is that your Goliath(s) are defeated. I love adoption too, it the most physical picture of the love of Christ that we have here on earth. What helps me is to dwell on my own adoption through Christ and I thank God for not giving up on me on the many occasions that I fall. I pray that He gives you the strength to take care of the precious ones He has entrusted and will entrust to you through the path of adoption. Love you sister. Love your heart. Praying for supernatural strength.

  • http://lifeisabowlofwedgies.blogspot.com/2010/01/abortion.html Melody

    Praying for your family this morning. Be encouraged that He sees you fit to be their earthly mother and will provide you with the strength to wait while He works his purpose in their life. Our own adoptive children will join us in prayer on your behalf this morning.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04229884725653230844 Jarka

    I DO pray for you all the time :) and now I will pray even more :) good luck and God bless you and your beautiful family :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07331950560886642055 Gpa

    I will pray with you. Your post reminds me of the paradoxes of ministry Paul experienced and reflects on in 2 Cor.6:8-10: "We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live;…as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; AS POOR, YET MAKING MANY RICH; AS HAVING NOTHING , YET POSSESSING EVERYTHING." (emphasis mine)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07331950560886642055 Gpa

    I will pray for you. Your post reminds me of the paradoxes of ministry that Paul experienced and mentions in 2 Cor.6:8-10 (emphasis mine): "We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live…as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; AS POOR, YET MAKING MANY RICH; AS HAVING NOTHING, YET POSSESSING EVERYTHING.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Katie, my name is Brooke and I am a 15 year old girl. I read your blog every time you post and every time you amaze me with the lessons you learn. I am so glad I am able to read your blog you have opened my eyes to the orphans of Africa, and I just want to tell you that I pray for you everyday. May the Lord bless yo and keep you, may the lord shine his face upon you and be gracious to you, may he lift up his continence upon you and peace be with you! Love to you and your family, Brooke~

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11758706105039484000 Robin

    you are beautiful, katie, and an inspiration to me every single day. someday, they will write books about you, that the whole world may be equally inspired and blessed. praying for you today.

  • Sara Olson

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post, Katie! Such a huge encouragement to me for so many reasons. Thank you for sharing your heart, for in doing so, you help mine find its voice too!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13794963391034730901 Bryan and Chelsey

    This is a beautiful post that brought tears to my eyes! My husband and I are just starting the adoption process and your words are ones we won't soon forget!Praying for you and your beautiful family.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07331950560886642055 Gpa

    I will pray with you. Your post reminded me of Paul's reflection on the paradoxes of his own ministry in 2 Cor.6:10 "as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything."

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17946903135252874458 Dawn – “Are These Kids All Yours?”

    PRAYING! Because we know it is not an option…just a fun experiment….it is life…it is real…it is hard. We have no idea how you feel, but we know the blessings and challenges of being different- sticking out- and loving following God! PRAYING for healing of your daughters. Praying for a peace of God and strength to keep going. Praying for LOVE to cover your HOME. Praying for your journey as a family as you continue following God!!!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11716840701917741674 A Simple Country Girl

    Oh miss Katie, we hold you and our Amazima girl close to our hearts each day. And we lift you, your family, her, her family, and all of your children up to our Father God…Blessings.

  • Kirby Ong

    Learning from your heart, as a teenager myself. I pray that God protects you, guides you and gives you strength. Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. (Psalm 62:5)We're with you in Spirit!God bless!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06019772434632140742 The Straight’s

    And what a wonderful job you are doing with them!! Keep your head up and keep going strong for your girls. You are an amazing mom :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06052212900897499724 Lisa

    We have the same sweet friend and what an encouragement he is to me! We are committed to praying for your family. Here is a verse I am memorizing this week:"Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light." I often feel I am sitting in the darkness is terms of what to do as a mom, but God illuminates.He changes hearts and heal wounds. Love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of problems (I Peter 4:18)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13552751640928061480 Valerie

    What a beautiful post – real and raw and filled with so much wisdom. I am one of the ones that would make the comments of how amazing you are, that's for sure, but I love seeing this very real glimpse into your reality and what you are learning from the Lord. My husband and I have a son from Guatemala, and we are taking the plunge (starting Saturday with training) into domestic adoption through the state, most likely with older kids who have seen their fair share of heartache. Your post gives me hope, encouragement, and the reassurance that we are doing what God has called us to do. Thanks for this post.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13251699587621835032 Jim and April

    praying for you katie!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01498117822753652794 Brittany Lindley

    Oh Katie, I don't know much about teenagers, seeing as I'm not a mom, I'm barely an adult myself. We went to the same high school, I was a couple grades below you. I just wanted to say how much of an inspiration you are to me. I read the article about you in the paper that one time. I can't believe you are a mom to 14 beautiful girls. They are so lucky to have you as their mother. God is doing great things in your life as well as your daughters. I so much enjoy getting to read your blog and see pictures of you and your daughters, as well as the other people you are with, on facebook. All I can say is that you have been such a blessing to these girls, everyone there, everyone here, and everyone who will get the chance to know you. You are a shining star!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11120099039644529628 RaVae Erickson

    Katie,There is really nothing I can say to this post, except, I WILL pray for all you have asked. God has blessed you with so much, regardless of how hard it is. You have a sound mind (God Himself has given it to you 2 Tim 1:7). You see the truth, no matter how it looks to everyone else. And, although it doesn't make it easier, gets you through. My prayers are with you every day. Many, Many, Many Blessings!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17254078171507355879 Kerry

    Wow! Thank you so much for being so transparent. As an adoptive parent of an African American little girl (my husband and I are caucasian) I know the stares and the questions. I know that someday soon she will begin to ask the same questions. But I also know that this is God's will for my life and for her's. I know it's not easy but I wouldn't trade it for the world and I know you wouldn't either. I am praying.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09086179213614605103 ThyHandHathProvided

    I will be praying. For you, for adopted children and for those who've adopted them. May God bless you and walk with you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17898216116010442643 Mr T

    We stand in the throne room as the bride completely consumed in the love of our Father. thank you for sharing, I will pray.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00726415110309137301 Shauna

    Praying for you and the treasures God has entrusted you with!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15955682726148579441 Christie

    Amen, amen, amen!!!Blessing and prayers for you and all of your children.Christie

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11580849302049323984 Gretchen

    Amen….:*)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12851102512995073379 Wendi and Benjamin Wood

    Katie,I love your blog!!!! So very well spoken. I especially love the scripture, “These are the children that the Lord saw fit to bless me with.” Thank you. Thank you for being obedient and sharing your testimony.The Lord hears the cries of the oppressed. May He send His comforter to your daughters and to you during this time. God bless you, Woman!!!Wendi, AP from Mississippi

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13644030244507143684 John and Sarah

    I love you and your family and am praying for you. God Bless you. My husband and I cannot wait to start adopting once we move to Guatemala.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15675479534320416766 shaneandmalia

    Oh Katie, we will be praying for you and your precious girls. My youngest is from Haiti and we get similar questions, and I love that verse, it is now going to be my answer too. Tell Agnes, Malia with the tall hair said hello and that I am praying for her and her smile has never left my heart.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14485406690863800462 Ria Thurston

    Once again, a total inspiration! You go for it and your heart for the Lord is IMPOSSIBLE to miss. I see it all over your words, pictures, blog, everything! Praying for you!

  • Anonymous

    Thank-you for your life's testimony. I've been saved for 18 years and in so many sad ways, still a baby Christian. God has been maturing my heart this summer in many ways, one being through your blog. He is showing me that truly, my life is to share the Gospel and love. He's building courage in my heart and my family's to walk by faith into His world. Thank-you for going before and showing the way. You are truly blessed with all your baby girls. Thank-you for your open heart and transparency with which you write. May God bless your family this day…kellie.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18432811268594217122 Stephanie

    I will definitely be praying. Thank you for so often writing the words of my heart. Thank you for being used as a tool of God to point me to what He has for me & to awaken dreams that He placed in me long ago.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07626592961702989120 Amy

    I appreciate how real you are on this blog. As a Christian and an adoptive momma, sometimes I am overwhelmed, both by the pain and by the grace. Thank you for speaking to both here.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17253303288242135440 Mama D.’s Dozen

    Amen! Beautiful! I'd love to share this on my blog.I have 2 daughters from Ghana (added to my 10 bio. children). My daughter's birth certificates say they are 8 and 11. In reality, they are probably 10 and 13. We have our good days; and we have our really hard days. I can relate to so very many of the challenges you wrote about.Thanks for being honest. Thanks for being real. While adoption is wonderful and amazing; people need to understand that it isn't always a fairytale … these children don't always miraculously heal from all of their trauma, and become perfectly healthy children who bond immediately with their new families. There can be challenges … very serious challenges.You are in my thoughts and prayers, as you walk the journey that the Lord has called you to.Laurel :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12233008737335260511 Shauna

    You are walking in obedience, and you are highly esteemed because of it. What you are doing is not easy, but the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ will sustain you. We are praying for you here, just across the lake in Kenya. Thank you for such transparency. This is how we spur each other on to fight the good fight! Carry on, Good Servant! You are not alone in your journey!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01080036401167775659 Sara

    I will pray for you and your family!"For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07925051292044417756 **Heidi**

    I always look forward to when you find the time to blog. You are an inspiration through the good times and bad! Your honesty about the hard times is wonderful as some people choose only to tell the wonderful side of adoption. I hope sooner rather than later to adopt. Currently we are foster parents and some weeks it feels as if there are more bad days then good days but it is all worth it when you see the positive influence you can have in a child's life by loving them and showing them the way. Thank you for your inspiration. Much love and prayers to you, your girls and all those whom you care for.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00869879155913072248 Tracy B

    Sweet Katie~You don't know me. I'm just another mom who prays for you on a regular basis. Thanks for letting us know about this latest specific prayer request for your older girls. I will be earnestly praying for you and all your precious daughters. I'm also praying that my teenage daughter (also Katie) and I will one day be able to meet you face to face.With grace and love,Tracy B.Atanta, GA

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12332220347018136072 coffeemom

    amen. That sums it all up. perfectly.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10333320970798407597 Jessica

    Blessings to you Katie. You will surely be in prayer.With His love,-JB

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06240696987027358314 Flower Patch Farmgirl

    One million, bajillion times YES.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13686312589100042480 uncle steve

    ameena Auntie.James 2:15 says "Suppose a brother is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?".i've been thinking a lot lately about how Christ commands us to respond to the orphans/widows and how most of us will do that on our terms or when helping a brother out is convenient for us. but i see consistently through the life of Christ and through his words that responding to the orphans/widows/comfortless is our responsibility, not one of our options. i see this in your testimony Katie, and i will be one of the many that commend you for your response to the Gospel. "freely you have received, freely give." – Jesusthank you for giving freely to your sons and daughters.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01357013035463182728 Nancy

    Katie, I consider God leading me to your link as one of the biggest blessings in my life. You are an encouragement, a living testimony to God's love and an example to me to be all that I am called to be by Him and for Him. Thank you for allowing God to use you and thank you for sharing His love with the world. In Christ, Nancy M.

  • Anonymous

    " The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save;He will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing!" Zeph. 3:17

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08992935896063335405 Hale Family

    I am praying for you and your girls. For God's peace and understanding, healing, power.Noël

  • Anonymous

    The Gospel of James is following me… sermon at church yesterday, friend's facebook status this morning, and now here. I think God is trying to tell me to get to work! :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18363455244282351552 phogue

    Katie, your love for these girls is pure and faultless. The world may not understand it, but as a follower of Jesus Christ, I see God's very heart shining through you! You and your girls will be in my prayers!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18363455244282351552 phogue

    Katie, your love for these girls is pure and faultless. The world my not understand it, but as a follower of Jesus Christ, I can see God's heart shining through you! You and all of your precious girls will stay in my prayers.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18237869062573215728 Jenny

    Wow… thank you Katie for this post! Prayers going up right now for you and your girls. We will be praying for you and your girls every night this week as a family!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12660127117105285467 dayangers

    Praying for you. As one just embarking on the adoption journey, I just want to let you know that you are an inspiration and encouragement. Will be praying for you, Katie.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16613094077105591471 Mo

    Well said! God Bless you and yours!

  • Anonymous

    Last spring my husband and I completed our foster care license. Within 2 weeks we were blessed to care for an amazing 10mnth old little boy who suffered from severe neglect and with many medical issues. To our surprise only a few months later his birth mom delivered premature twin girls who also came to stay with us, both with their own set of medical issues. Sometime this next spring they will be legally ours. I understand how hard adoption is…it is amazing that even with them being so small there is so much heartache right along side so much blessing and joy. I know that there will only be more joy and heartache as they grow. We pray for you every night at our house. God's love heals so much.With Love,Sarah K.

  • Beth S

    Katie, that is so right on, thank you for your honesty and transparency. We are dealing with the same things with our adopted kiddos. You are right though, these are the kids God saw fit to bless me with, Lord, please help us to help our children as best we can. And help us to lay the rest down at your feet. Thank you that you are more than we are.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13308551343668366979 daniRED

    Amen!! I'm a new follower of your blog & I think its amazing what your doing.Erica

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02476178270999437374 debi

    I am praying for you. I need to do more. What can I do? You are such an example of what a good christian should be.

  • Anonymous

    Praying for you my sister in Christ!God called our daughter, Amanda, home to be with Him July 29, 2004 at the age of 22 years old. We were privileged to adopt her at birth. She left behind two precious boys who are now 11 and 6.We are raising Austin, age 11, and have adopted him as our son, his brother Blake lives with his DAD.I have taught my son that he is ours by love and by law…Also know, God is bigger than all that we do not "have", so those questions may stink right now for your girls, but there will be a day when all shall be revealed and we will say, "It was worth it"! Blessings,Susan Harris

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00984946345145279521 Erica

    Praying for you precious Katie. Praying for you girls. Thankful for your example, your walk, and your love for our King.

  • Anonymous

    I think you are an amazing young woman. You have been blessed with such precious children and they are blessed to have you. I love reading your post, you are my inspiration.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07799698677074756334 Amanda

    Katie, we are praying for you weekly. God has appointed and chosen you and His grace is sufficient and promised. We love you!

  • http://aaroncoury.com Aaron

    I love your heart. Someone recently turned me onto your blog. Thank you for being a living example of how Jesus lived. Thank you for writing this blog and encouraging countless people. I'm praying for you and with you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04983321369466110725 Peamama

    Will be praying for you! I never thought about how hard it would be to not know their pasts and to wonder where a scar came from, etc. That would be heartbreaking! I bet they are so thankful to have you there with them, loving them and helping them grow up in God's love.

  • Nancy

    Amen! You are doing a beautiful thing, Katie. I cannot begin to imagine taking on all that you have. You're amazing and, yes, very blessed indeed. Praying that God's grace carries you through the tough times. You're an inspiration, to say the least.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11586669636129219626 Wendy

    I was just posting on Facebook today that while adoption has always been on my heart since I was a teenager, it really has shown me how much MORE it's really God's dream. Knowing and experiencing that by going through this process are two totally different things! And now that we're waiting for a referral, it's really humbling to see how He (not ME!) is putting all the pieces together… truly amazing…

  • Anonymous

    Lovely – thank you. This post resonates for me, as we are in the process of (hopefully) adopting teens – mostly feeling so much anticipation, and at times also wondering, with a bit of trepidation, what the future may hold. Praying for you and your girls.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14378058508016240527 Susan A

    Hi Katie, this is my first time leaving a comment in your blog after I found it some months ago.Praying for wisdom, peace and direction for you from our Saviour :) Also, praying that you will be able to help your children to give thanks to Him in all things, even their past, to trust Him. This will give them peace and to move on instead of being sorrowful and dwelling in the past.I thought you might be interested to read Summer's blog, her's is http://fromglory2glory.blogspot.com/ In some of her older posts she shared about training her children in the Word daily. She lives in Uganda and has adoped many children. (If you aren't already familiar with her posts) :) Thought to share in case it is helpful.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12826271371136998634 Roger Bachman

    I do and will continue to pray for you. I hope you get to read these comments. Let the Lord encourage you and give you strength as many people around the world pray for you and support the ministry God has invited you to join Him in. You really are a special one, I don't think I could do what your doing. (though I want to say I could) I have a heart for orphans and am still praying what the Lord is going to do with it. I am doing what I can now, and would like to visit with V.O. we will see what our Father has planned. Be encouraged sister in the Lord.

  • Anonymous

    I will pray. Tee

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13530390639802271400 Christy O

    Wonderful and exactly put! A mom to the great eight, three through birth and five through adoption, different races and colors, continents and languages, all kids between ten and fifteen, and so very wonderful!!!http://mommyturtle.blogspot.com(Check out my blog post for a photo that puts it all in perspective – four kids in orange soccer jerseys!)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08550069273602384504 Alysa

    I am in the middle of countless hours of adoption paperwork here in the US. While we are not planning on teenagers, we are planning on adopting older children. And so I have and will have many of the same questions and curiosities about my own childrens' pasts and will face many of the same challenges such as questions as to why I my kids don't look like me. I will pray for you and your children as I pray for mine whose names I do not yet know.

  • http://beingniceisfree.com Lisa

    Seriously the way I see it is that what you are doing is all all all good. Before you are done, there will be far more than 14 I suspect. The trikle down effect from your good works Katie will go on for generations. More than anything, you have demonstrated to them that God IS real… Teenagers are hard – my oldest is one now with three to follow him, but what is the same from race to race and continent to continent is that even when they don't appear to be watching us – they are watching us. Will they love them through it or reject them? And the more we love them through it, the more they can love themselves and value themselves and then love others. I will pray for all of you – and esp the teenagers, but you are on the right track. Keep the faith sister – which I have no doubt you will do!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07877682982361449979 Becca

    Going to pray for you and your sweet girls right now. Thank you for sharing!

  • Anonymous

    I am blessed by your words as we consider our next adoption. I feel as you wrote this for me. Thank you!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15887793549770593022 Dionna

    God has clearly called you. Not only are you gifted at flourishing in another country, adopting children, etc but you are a gifted writer. You can get your point across in a non-condescending way.You ARE blessed. With that said, I'm still sorry it's so hard sometimes. For you and your children.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13101330975829168592 Daveana

    Praying for you and your Girls!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12372228068864440179 sunny-d

    thanks for sharing, k. father, give these girls hearts of flesh, thank you for sharpening them to be launched into the future as spiritual arrows, thank you the creation of Eve and all of her wondrous and mysterious ways. Her beauty and her radiance and her passion in all of us. Thank you for the steady peace that you promise and please pour out more. speak specifically to your household of daughters and cause your Spirit to dwell there in full measure. open our minds to see you even in the shaping of these mighty warriors as they practice their journey under the safe guidance of your hand through their mother. amen

  • Konni

    AMEN!!! I know the Lord blesses me and teaches me so much through our now 13-yr-old daughter who joined our family two years ago. She is my hardest one, but also the one God uses the most to refine my character. She belongs to the Lord and is a wonderful gift. Continuing to keep you and your daughters in prayer. Praise the Lord Almighty for the glorious work He is doing in and through your life! Keep your focus on Him alone . . . His comments are the only ones that matter. :)

  • Anonymous

    Katie, thanks for communicating with such honesty, precision, and tenderness. I have been a mom of teenagers for 12 years now….and without any of the additional challenges you've mentioned. It has been so much harder than ALL of the younger years. God's grace has become more precious to me every day. I will be praying for you, Katie, and for your dear teenagers.Gratefully His,Joanie

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16404674696272732669 Rachelle

    If there was a "like" button here I would click on it. Well put. Sincerely, Rachellewww.bethebodyfor1.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous

    I will be praying Katie.May God's grace and Christ's peace fill your heart and home!-P

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the info Katie. I recently have been considering bringing one of my UG kids to USA. I have emailed many sources for info with no response. But alas, I have been led to your blog and now I know the passport is the first step! Then a visa appt. My little Denise has been sick and unable to attend classes and even though I have always thought it better she stay there with her family, I now think the time has come for a different course of action. Sending you my prayers for your Motherhood adventure!Renee Whitney

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09790032381626423763 James 1:27 Family

    From one Ugandan mama to another…. I feel your heartache. My precious daughter endured moments that I cannot even imagine. I don't even know what they are but her condition when she came home speaks miles.I wonder what I'll tell her when she gets a little older.We can tell our girls that their past is not a mystery to Jesus. He knows each day, each hurt, each moment. He's holding all of the tears in His hands and he's waiting for them in Glory. When they were weeping, He was weeping. When they felt alone, they weren't, He was there with them. One day, in His perfect timing, they will join Him and He'll tell them everything and they'll see how He used it all for His glory and His Kingdom. And one day, sweet mama Katie, you and I will go there too and we'll know all the details of these precious ones and all the hurts will have melted away.We are not long for this world. It is just a snapshot of eternity. Pain is temporary. Heaven will be forever and we will live with our Savior in sweet redemption forever.Praying for peace and comfort for your wonderful family. Praying that all of the girls feel the Hands of their Father holding them always.Love in Jesus,Amy

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00970125519547790967 Kim

    Obedience to the Lord's commands is not easy – but is so worth it! Thank you for sharing a piece of 'real' life. I know better how to pray! Praying for peace and glimpses of heaven as you 'every' day. Praying too you are filled with Holy Spirit – that is the only way to parent!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02554655932686954090 sarah

    I will keep you in my prayers. All the compliments you listed is exactly what I wanted to say lol. But the one that stood out the most to me is the one about "you must be so responsible!" I myself am a single mother and I at times feel so overwhelmed by the responsibilities that come with parenting, but I carry them alone. I do not have a spouse. But I really don't carry them alone…I have Him. I wouldn't survive without the Holy Spirit at my side. So to watch you, with your beautiful children, do it with Him as well is an absolute inspiration and a bit of peace because if He is taking care of you, this beautiful woman of God living out her destiny and shaping the lives of the children God gave you, then why do I ever get stressed? lol Seriously! I know in my heart He always provides everything we need and then some, but sometimes my thoughts allow the enemy to enter my mind and do a number on me lol. Its something I am working on, and I have no doubt its something you battle to keep out of your head, the lies of the enemy. So anyways, bless you and thank you for blogging your adventures and your faith stories! I hope to meet you one day when you visit home, I'm not too far from your hometown!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11161725763167211947 Tracy

    I love how you put my heart into words!! Thank you for all you do Katie! Next time I get the stares, statements, and questions, I'll be quoting your blog!God bless you!Tracy

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18009496700187917507 Cristie

    Oh Katie … so well written. We are an adoptive family and anxiously paper chase again for a child the Lord has called us to in Ethiopia. Your words ring true in my ears and I love your words. You are so right … adoption is HARD! I think often we are hesitant to say that. We wonder what the "world" and others will say if we do. As I have learned from you … obedience isn't easy. I love the story of Jacob and Essau. I will remember that. I pray for you, and all your children. Thank you for your transparency!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06595382580637488950 Bear Creek Mama

    Could I really be the first to comment on this? :-) We adopted three 'older children' from Ethiopia last year. I knew it would be hard – I had NO IDEA what that 'hard' would really be like. Thank you for articulating so clearly all the mixed feelings and emotions that come with knowing you're doing just what you are called to do, yet in our flesh it is SO HARD! The daily struggles can overwhelm your faith. And so I pray. I pray for you (and for me) that you hold steadfast to Him and strive, as we are commanded to do, to live each moment by the power of His Spirit.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01115205139178012167 Katie

    This is so very well written. I'm in tears. I freakin' love it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03428089609112907484 Debi

    I truly loved your honesty and message in your blog post. I have written a blog post on my blog about it. If you have time, take a look. I will be praying for you! http://jenkinsethiopiaadoption.blogspot.com/2010/08/teenagers-and-lesson-from-jacob.html

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14043677672931768639 Tammy On the Go

    just beautifully said.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01632202038546420119 Cassie

    I am most certainly praying for you Katie. Yes its hard and yes your an inspiration. Thank you. God bless!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04455698547207302964 David and Sarah

    Praying for you! With just one teenage adopted daughter I know that some days are just really, really hard. So, I can imagine that with three it would be even harder! But, we have a really big God, with an incredible heart of love. He will do a mighty work in your duaghter's lives (certainly He has already). Praising Him for what He is doing and will continue to do. So glad that you are loving on these precious girls.Blessings,Sarah

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08562044773061891423 ASH

    Could not be worded any better.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16181609714639957493 SarahJarnagin

    Praying for wisdom in the situations you are facing with your teens.

  • Anonymous

    Katie,I anxiously check your blog each and every day hoping to find new words from your heart and am thrilled each time I see a new post. Your writing speaks to me and pierces my heart like nothing else ever has and has caused great change in my heart over the past 8 months. I am truly not the same person I used to be because of you and the way God is using you. I will lift your family up in prayer tonight, just as I do so many nights, knowing that He will answer our calls!In His name, Jenn

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13150144883345686275 Melissa May

    Thank you so much… I saw your button on the (in)courage site and am so grateful to God I came over. This post and the last one are so encouraging, especially as I'm waiting and praying for God to move some mountains that need to move soon as my husband and I leave suburbia for missionary training Sept. 1. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding me of God's incredible faithfulness!!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11307908288718286706 abandon4christ

    I'm praying. You are such an inspiration. Thank you for not sticking to the status quo of America. It's a blessing reading your blog, everytime.

  • http://www.mojuproject.com Jessica Smith

    Thanks for sharing your heart and being vulnerable and real.I will pray for you.Your heart is such a pure reflection of the Father's.

  • Susan

    May God bless you and these wonderful young ladies. You are such an inspiration and you put this in such beautiful text. life is not always going to be roses but if we humble ourselves to HIM he will see us through. I have always wanted to adopt and if it is God's will then he will change my situation. Praying!!!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06101132263339427001 Southern Gal

    You are right. It is so hard to be a mom when we want to take the hurt away from our children. But God tells us to give it to Him, to lay it at His feet. Praying for you and your family, Katie.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13963931911436397173 mary

    beautiful words and post.You are blessed to have these girls, but it will be a challange. Just remember God gave them to you and he will see you through. Will be praying for you and the girls.Blessings in the name of Yahshua.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12558072394031712868 Kim

    Oh how I love your heart and am hearing and feeling every bit of everything you're writing on your page. As I'm reading at all the Glory of the Lord and what he has done I realize the verse you're talking about it hanging in my very kitchen and I look at it wondering all time as I have said yes to God's calling to ADOPTION, what other children does he have for me out there?!!! Praying,praying,praying for you and your family!Kim

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15788221913872827958 ~Stacy

    Thank you for this post. Yesterday the "biological" brothers we brought home from Ethiopia a year ago informed us that they did not know each other before the orphanage and that they were told that they would be brothers, and our youngest evidently had another brother and sister who he said "are in heaven". It doesn't match any of the paperwork… and it stinks not knowing. But faith doesn't have to know first… it just trusts the one who holds everything in His hands. I am trusting that regardless of what I don't know… these are the boys who God sees fit to bless us with. Thank you for sharing your heart, it encouraged me today.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02208970923255053284 AK

    I so wish things were easier in these parts of the world. I am so excited for what you are doing, and so very much wishing there was more that I could do from here :(

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06091232102936751058 The Ferrill’s

    Praise God Praise God Praise GodOh Katie, we pray for you DAILY. Thank you for running the race to the finish….you are a LIGHT!I read this morning that light can only shine when it's surrounded by darkness…many times it is when we are amidst suffering, evil, darkness, that our light shines for Him.Love,Laine

  • http://www.greatandmarvelousthings.blogspot.com Linda

    I do not have any adopted children. We have 5 natural daughters and another one on the way and people still ask, "why so many?" Being a mom is just plain hard sometimes. There are lots of joys and lots of heart breaks. It helps to know we are not alone. I enjoy reading your blog. I always find it uplifting, even when you are sad because you always give God the glory. May God bless your heart, and continue to give you His strength, joy and discernment. ~Linda

  • Anonymous

    Amen! And prayers for you all, too.

  • http://www.pattilacy.com/blog patti

    A key bit of advice on the raising of teenagers:This too will pass!Blessings, dear one.Pattiwww.pattilacy.com/blog

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18234324593027826036 Sandee

    Oh, me too, me too. I will pray for you…and me too, begging for God for the brokenness of my four children. You said it so truthfully, adoption is of God and IT IS HARD…so is single parenting!

  • Anonymous

    WOW!I am amazed by the Lord and how much He loves you and these children. Father, bless Katie. Provide all her needs for her Father.Give her peace and understanding. May she feel Your presence through out her days. Guide her and direct her steps. May these children know you fully and completely. You long to be their all in all. Thank you Lord for Katie and the mighty work You're doing in Uganda! In Jesus' name,Amen!

  • trinoatad

    So thoughtful- Thank you for your obedience.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09814283809752056975 gretchen

    Wow! I love this post. Several years ago my husband and I were trying to have children… God eventually… in HIS TIME.. blessed us with 2 boys – now 6 and 3- with help from medication… but from that time I always had a heart for adoption… just recently we learned that I am pregnant with another boy. My heart is still for adoption… for exactly the reasons you listed… it is God's heart… how HE redeemed us. What a perfect example of His love. Thank you for your faithfulness. I pray that the hard time has subsided. May our Lord continue to bless your family and your mission – His mission.Much love-Gretchen

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04921272728612409653 The Boisverts

    thank you for your sweet heart and for your words that always point to Him. I'll join the leagues of other believers who will be lifting you and your sweet daughters up in prayer.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08374488130910988205 Lisa

    Amen!!! Being adopted myself, though under very different circumstances, you bless my heart. Thanking God for your obedience. Lisa Q

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15585094451818676763 Molly

    This brought tears to my eyes – I can't even begin to explain how YOUR words touched my heart when I needed it. God is good – he ALWAYS "speaks" to us when we need it most.I hope you don't mind, but I posted about you on my blod today. http://lappegaardfamily.blogspot.com/2010/08/quote-friday-81310.htmlYou are a shining example of an obedient heart! Prayers for each day to you Katie!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13970169548408200082 Snapshots Of Faith

    Thanks You! God has been using many tools in my life to 'get my attention' and I wanted to let you know that you were one of them. My wife and I are now 'stepping out in faith' by not only adopting from Ethiopia (with 5 children now, we also get a lot of 'looks and questions') but by setting up an org. with friends to care for the orphans there and (Praise be to GOD) around the world. I just wanted to tell you THANK YOU and we will be praying for your family and HIS work through you.

  • http://www.toonin.com Jim Bures

    Katie, you are simply an awesome work in the Lord. I really enjoy your blog.Love, Jim Bures

  • Treena Davis

    Your life has inspired me and challenged me to be a better person. God bless you and your girls.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16089751546796278944 KELLY W

    Katie, I will be praying for you and your daughters. This is a wonderful post. You are truly living the way God wants us all to live. My desire is to do more for children in poverty. I sponsor a child through Compassion International, but have a burning desire to do more. You are a gift from God and a beautiful woman.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15008835660518360884 Mamita J

    Thank you, Katie, for that. It is so true…beautiful and hard. Praying for you today.In Christ,Julie

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Katie, for being honest and sharing. You have such a beautiful story.Abigailhttp://www.atime2write.com/blog/

  • Anonymous

    yes, praise the Lord for your obedience & for your encouragement for us all as well!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15113948361890808780 Janna

    Adoption is beautiful, and adoption is hard. We praise God with you for the children He has seen fit to bless you with.

  • Anonymous

    As a dad getting ready to travel to China next week to bring home a little girl and early next year traveling to Ethiopia to bring home another little girl – Thank you Katie. You are a blessing to me and to our family. Thank you for being the Hands and Feet of Christ and in the process inspiring me to do more.Bless you and your family.MJR

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01869035712787452427 Jason

    Katie, my wife and our church prays for you consistently. He will supply all of your needs. We are all challenged by your devotion to the Lord.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03905820657758570265 ENHA

    Good Morning Katie,Sitting at our breakfast table in Nashville TN. pouring out our prayers for you and your children. HE is the great provider; your kids are blessed to have such a soldier, for a Mom! MAy His peace , love and joy be showered upon you and your home. MAy He lift you up when you are weak, and "prop you up on every leaning side".Be well.Shalom, Shalom~emil, jo and emily jo justian

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07435610404573468047 Williamsfamily

    We are leaving in just a short time to adopt our newest daughter from Ethiopia – and we are also white. My biological and Ukrainian adopted sons have prayed over what to tell people if they ask if our new daughter is their sister… "This is the sister God chose to bless us with." We pray for you regularly.

  • Anonymous

    That is seriously such a beautiful post. PRAISE GOD for all he has done, and for providing these girls such a wonderful mother. May we all learn to be so selfless.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13085892071251122697 Shellie R. Warren

    I just wanted to drop a seed in response to the many you have planted. You are in my prayers, Katie. Truly. Madly. Deeply.http://onfirefastmovement.blogspot.com/2010/09/on-fire-kisses-from-katie.html

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01636396081757443727 Lori, paNASH Style

    Praying for you and your children.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Katie, you don't know me but a good friend sent me your link. Although this is an old post, I found it very encouraging and inspiring!! I also have adopted children… 3. Two boys and a girl, 5, 2, and 1! Life is crazy. A good crazy! These kids are truly amazing and have a God given ability to little fighters. Hang in there and God bless!!Jen :)

  • Anonymous

    …. to BE little fighters ! :)


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