Last Wednesday, I (Hans) was gone for a few days at our area team spiritual retreat, and Lindsay’s parents were finishing up a visit to Houghton when Lindsay got a phone call.
In our six months of being licensed foster parents, we had already gotten four calls about a potential placement, and none of them happened. After a few times, we realized that those initial calls aren’t a clear indicator that we will get a placement.
So this call was nothing out of the ordinary. We prayed, and were ready to accept these two boys if we were the best fit.
I was still out of town on Thursday morning, and Lindsay’s parents were packing up their car to leave when the follow-up call came, confirming a time to bring the boys over. That’s when we realized it it was actually happening!
Lindsay started baby-proofing the house and doing lots of laundry, and when I got home around 3pm, we scrambled to convert our guestroom into a room with two cribs. We had time to eat a quick dinner before we met the boys – both under 1.
Our lives have turned upside down, and we are so grateful for the support we’ve received: friends coming over to bathe and feed the infant, do the dishes and shovel; people loaning or giving us car seats, baby gates, swaddlers, bottles, and many other things; others bringing meals and doing grocery shopping. Oh, and someone gave Lindsay a phone when hers died on Friday morning.
We’re relying on God and our local community, especially in these first weeks as we all adjust. There’s no way we could do this alone!
Our big vacation as a family this summer was a trip to Minnesota, prompted by my cousin’s wedding. We headed to Duluth for the wedding and used the opportunity to stay with Hans’ cousin and family. They have four boys and our boys had a blast playing with their second cousins, which was wonderful since they stayed behind while we went to the wedding! The wedding was nice, other than the thunderstorm that cut power to the area for three hours during the reception… but the party continued and it was a nice wedding. Hans, my brother, and I even played a game by the light of the centerpiece during the reception, which was laughed at by my cousin and her new husband, who are big gamers.
After the wedding festivities were over, we took a few days to stay with our friends in Grand Marais, MN. We had a great time catching up with them and exploring the town. Then we made the two hour trip to Aurora and spent the rest of our trip at my parents’ house. My high school was having an all-class reunion, and we took advantage of the extra family-friendly events in town. Unfortunately the reunion part was disappointing, with really low attendance for the younger classes (I saw two others from my class of 68). But it was great being with family and playing lots and lots of board games.
One thing that is hard for me about living away from the hub of my extended family is being absent for big family get-togethers, so being able to be there for this one was refreshing. It was a little crazy with 10+ people in my parents’ house, but that made it fun, too.
The last few months have gone the way they tend to in the fall… entirely too fast! It is hard to believe that November is here already (especially since the weather this week was in the mid-60s!) and that the fall semester is over half finished.
We’ve been keeping busy – enjoying the beautiful fall weather, spending time with new neighbors, making pear and apple sauce, filling our house with students, hosting Sarah (our planting coach with InterVarsity) for a visit, two fall conferences, garden and yard work, hosting our parents, and seeing our kids grow right in front of our eyes.
With all of the activity, I think a photo update will be more interesting than reading my account of these activities. Enjoy!
Two weeks ago we left for a two-week “vacation”. Most of the two weeks weren’t really vacation (although not having to cook for two weeks made it feel that way) since we spent one week in Madison, WI, for training with InterVarsity and half of the next week visiting supporters (which also felt like vacation… we love getting to spend time with people!). The last part of our trip was spent in northern Ohio, visiting part of Hans’ extended family and attending his cousin’s wedding.
The training we attended was for planting an international InterVarsity chapter* at Michigan Tech. We’ve been trying to get something going for the past few years, and the training we received is going to help make that happen. We were matched with a coach (another InterVarsity staff who has experience planting a chapter) and were brought through several cycles of activities to help us really see how we can grow a student group that multiplies itself.
Our biggest takeaway from the week in Madison?
Students are seeds to be scattered, not sheep to be gathered.