My husband and I met in college-in a bar.
There was nothing magical about our moment. No fireworks. No crazy sparks. It wasn’t love at first sight. not on my end, at least. I did think he was pretty darn handsome and I came to find out that he looked smashing in a baseball uniform. We fumbled through dating mishaps and broke each others hearts a few times.
We dated for almost four years before he finally popped the question. We made a choice to love each other through good times and bad even though we had NO EARTHLY IDEA what that even meant. It sounded good and all the other couples were saying it, so we followed suit.
We were just two normal people choosing to spend our lives serving Jesus and attempting to love one another.
Our timeline for a family and other events didn’t exactly go as planned. Just after the wedding, we moved to a new city where I worked as an ER nurse while Zach started his doctorate studies in physical therapy. Eight months later, two pink lines popped up on a stick and we were having a baby. Ummm. What? okay. breathe. We can do this. Seven months after her arrival, repeat the aforementioned.
God called us into orphan care just after our return from Haiti in 2010. The dream of adoption was planted in my heart in childhood. My husband wasn’t opposed to the idea but had never given it a momentary thought.
God stirred. We stepped out into the dimly lit path. It wasn’t black, but it wasn’t bright. We could barely see the next step, but it was there. We had heard a sermon from our pastor about walking to the edge of your light. Its a phrase we use often in our family now. So we did. We walked to the edge of our light.
…then we got pregnant. Again.
We knew God was calling but couldn’t wrap our minds around how we could adopt or foster in 1,000 square feet sharing two bedrooms between five people. So, we did what every potential adoptive family would do and we got creative.
We moved our bedroom downstairs to the living room. Sleeping on a futon last about 12 hours.
Nevermind. That was obviously not going to work.
Through a series of incredible events, we rented out our tiny townhouse and purchased a new home across town. It had plenty of rooms and we were excited for what the future held.
I quit my job as a nurse to stay home with our kids. The licensing process started with several hiccups including the installment of a $3,000 radon mitigation. Really folks. The next few months were met with mounds of paperwork and background checks and blah blah blah. There were many times that we would wonder why anyone would “do this for the money” as some are accused of doing.
We don’t have degrees in psychology or social work. I graduated from college with an average GPA. In fact, my quote in the nursing yearbook was “C=RN”. Made my parents proud, surely. My husband is the product of a divorced family. He has said things to me that have left me offended. Our marriage is sometimes a struggle. Our eyes sometimes stray to the glitter and shiny objects the world offers as a cheap alternative to the truth. We get frustrated with our kids, forget to take out the trash, say things we shouldn’t, get speeding tickets and we run late. very late. okay. The last two things do not apply to my husband. just me.
We are ordinary people being used by an extraordinary God to do good works and change lives for eternity. The moments of this journey are not completed in our strength or ability. We offer our nothing and he does immeasurably more. And if you believe its about us, you have missed the gospel message in its entirety.
Fast forward to present day. We have loved eight broken babies as our own. Our eyes have been pried open to the raw reality of brokenness and sorrow. To the pain and hardships of so many families in our own backyard. We are not experts in any area of pain or suffering. We only have the experiences of real life encounters with hurting people.
One of my dearest friends, Melissa, prayed over us last week. She referred to Acts 4:13, which says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
This is US.
Kristy and Zach are Peter and John. We are ordinary men.
And so are you. Like us, you have the ability to encounter the Living God that can transform you into his likeness. People will look at your life and take note. They will be astonished at the miracles that are done and his greatness will be apparent to all.
He can use your nothing for his everything.