It’s been a few months since I’ve posted anything, so I thought I’d reach out and give you all 5 quick updates!
2. Gabby and I went to Honduras over spring break. We had a wonderful time there. I see that week as such a special gift from God. We served at La Providencia, and I was so impressed with this organization. They have a campus with a large bilingual school, a health clinic, and homes for Honduran couples who adopt orphans to be raised there and developed into leaders. Only 1% of the Honduran population graduates from high school, so La Providencia is working to not only care for orphans, but to develop leaders who will eventually help transform the nation. I plan to keep in touch with this organization. Their website is providencworld.com if you want to check it out.
In Honduras, our group helped build drainage ditches for the dirt roads on the campus. Our group also put on a VBS at a local church in the community. Gabby worked really hard on the ditches everyday, and she loved playing with the kids at the VBS. I was extremely proud of her. I heard Gabby tell someone that one thing she will remember from the trip is that other kids don’t have as much as she has.
At the end of the week in Honduras, we zip lined over a waterfall. If you know me well, you know that I am deathly afraid of heights. The only reason I zip lined is because Gabby was there, and I knew if I chickened out, she would remind me of that every time in the future when I try to challenge her to do something new. But zip lining over the waterfall ended up being not only scary, but also beautiful—there was a huge rainbow over the water, and it was a sight I will always remember.
We also took a guided tour behind the waterfall. Words cannot explain how terrifying, intense, and amazing this was! The force of the waterfall sprayed water in our eyes the whole time so we had to stick close to each other as we treaded (and sometimes swam) to get to the landing behind the waterfall. There was a rope that we had to hang onto at one point, and Gabby accidentally let go. The guide picked her up. Gabby was still disoriented and couldn’t see because of the water. I was behind her, and Pastor Taylor was in front of her, so Gabby climbed onto his back, which caught him by surprise as he was just trying to survive himself. We still laugh about that. :)
3. We adopted a cat from the animal shelter. I never wanted an inside cat, but Gabby has begged me forever to get one. I finally gave in…especially since my coworkers Kari and Beth love their cats and joined Gabby in convincing me to get one. The girls named him Buja Waka Waka, which is a funny name, I know, but it fits him perfectly. Anna cuddles with him on the couch sometimes, but unfortunately he usually runs away from her. But this silly cat LOVES me, even though I do not want his affection. He follows me around everywhere. Gabby is the one who feeds him, but he still favors me. And I’m like, “Dude, go love Gabby and Anna—not me.”
4. A few weeks ago, Gabby pulled out a gray hair from the back of my head. This hair was pure white, and I about died. I’ve never had any gray hair before. Gabby thought it was funny and showed it to everyone who was at the office with us that day. She even wrote on the white board in the office, “Mary got her first gray hair.” Lol She is a riot. I didn’t feel bad telling her that she’s probably the reason I was stressed enough to get a gray hair.
5. This spring I’ve been meeting once a week with other foster parents at my church. We studied the book The Beauty and Brokenness of Foster Care by Jason Johnson. Some of my friends in this group have adopted; some of them have taken in toddlers short-term, and some have taken in older kids long-term. I’m so inspired by these folks’ stories and their love and perseverance for kids. We were able to share what it feels like to reach out to our kids’ biological family members and how it feels to trust God with our kids’ futures. I see that God is stirring in us a compassion to keep advocating for foster kids in our community.
Mary works at Brookville Road Community Church, where she leads children's ministry and women's ministry. She is the author of She Won't Shrink Back: A Story of Building & Believing.