Baby girl was reunited with her mom the first week of August. It was bittersweet; we were happy for the reunification in a way but also sad to see her go. Esther certainly misses her playmate and sister. The week after the reunification baby girl's family came to church with us. When Esther saw her sissy, she was crawling over the seats to get to her! She couldn't climb fast enough. It was so precious to see, and a reminder of how much Esther loves her sister.
We have gotten one call so far for a possible next placement, but we ended up saying no because it was one girl and not a sibling set like we had asked for. As of yet we are still waiting for a call on a possible next foster care placement, despite the fact that there is currently a crisis shortage of foster homes in LA county. Will you please stop and pray for a minute that God would raise up more Christians to step up and love these children in our county? Pray that God will make his love known through the love of the army of Christian foster parents he will raise up.
In my free time (since we are down to one kiddo again) I have been doing quite a bit of sewing. This month I have sewed 3 dresses and 4 pillow covers and I am going to start working on a purse/bag for Esther soon (it will be a birthday present for her). I love sewing but don't often have time for it (plus baby girl's crib is in our bedroom which is where my sewing machine is, so I couldn't sew during nap time while she was with us), so it has been fun to get back into it. I just wish I had a wider set of skills, but I'm sure that will come with time.
And on the 29th of this month, we celebrated our five year anniversary. What a crazy ride our marriage has been! I'm sure we have gone through more in our first five years of marriage than most couples go through in 20. We've had to trust God like crazy and I am happy to say that it has made our marriage stronger. In the past five years we have moved three times (one move was cross-country). We have had five foster children and one biological. We have had to stand together as we were persecuted and then Alex was "let go" from a ministry we worked for because of our theological convictions. We have sacrificed and learned to live on one income in super-expensive California even while being criticized for our convictions about mothers focusing on the home.
When we got married, both of us would probably have guessed that we would be living overseas by now, doing missions work. We had also planned to adopt by now, but that also hasn't happened. But God has other plans for us. In fact, he seems to continually change our plans without our permission :) And in the midst of it all God is growing us and our marriage, and has given us other blessings in the process.
I am thankful to say that five years into our marriage, our marriage is stronger, we have learned a lot, we have sacrificed ourselves in serving God and are on our way to deeper and wider ministry, by the grace of God. Even if the externals haven't been what we planned, we couldn't have asked to be in a better place than we are. And I am so thankful that I have gotten to walk these past five years beside my love Alex. :)