Wednesday, August 6, 2014


This afternoon Annabella fell right on her face in the kitchen and when she stood up, screaming, her mouth was pouring blood. I went into mommy survival mode, checked her teeth, got her cold juice and a wet paper towel and started assessing the damage. Her lip was busted and her frenulum was ripped. I had no idea what to do with a ripped frenulum, so I called Jonathan and then I made a doctor appointment for that evening. (Surprisingly their pediatrician is open until 7:00 on Tuesdays) Jonathan met me there and once we were assured all was well, we left and went to Chick-fil-A for a "feel better dinner."  

After the girls ate, we packed up and went into the play area. They had  Even though the restaurant was packed, there were only two other little girls in the play area. Madelynn has never met a stranger, so she immediately initiated play and conversation with the other two girls. Annabella followed her sister and before I knew it they were all four having the time of their little, precious lives. After a while, one of the mothers came in to get her daughter and while she was letting her have "one more round" she and I started a conversation about pre-k. Immediately we realized we had two things in common: our faith and our plans to homeschool our daughters. She invited me to step outside and speak with her because it was so incredibly loud with the girls squealing. I had the opportunity to invite her to our church and get her phone number to make a play date for the girls. It's RARE for me to be able to speak so openly to someone else and actually have the courage to ask for their information, but this particular mom and I had so much in common and the girls were having so much fun that I knew I had to. She was finally able to get her little girl to leave and as we waved good bye, I went back in to sit with Jonathan. That's when he clued me in that something was going on with the other little girl, Emily.

He told me that while I was gone, she was talking to him had a very sad story. I watched the girls play, squealing and running, playing hide and seek and seeming not to have a care in the world. The lady that was with Emily came to get her for ice cream a little bit later and Jonathan had the chance to tell me what the little girl had told him. She opened up about how her mommy was sick, but she was getting help. So while she was getting help, she was going to live with a foster family, but it was ok because they had a really big pool. And when her mommy got better, she was going to come and get her back. She talked about how she didn't have anything anymore-no clothes, toothbrush, or anything. And the lady she was with was a social worker who was letting her have a fun night tonight because she was going to her foster home the next day. After Chick-fil-A, they were going to go shopping and buy her some new things, including a new bathing suit for the "HUGE pool!"  She was 9. This beautiful, blonde hair, blue eyed, supposed to not have a care in the world little girl had just been taken away from her mom. She had just had her world shattered. But she was there when we were, she felt comfortable talking about it to Jonathan and she enjoyed the company of my 4 and 2 year old little girls like it was one of the happiest play dates she'd ever had. My outgoing, never-met-a-stranger little girl reached out to Emily and allowed her to have a carefree, fun night. Because Annabella fell on her face and ripped her frenulum, we ended up at Chick-fil-A on a Tuesday night which never happens. And to add to the coincidences, how often is the playground not crowded?!  It always has a ton of kids in it. But tonight, it was a small crowd with a loving daddy who had a listening ear and two little girls who invited Emily to play during one of the hardest moments of her life. 

Even though Madelynn is only four, I am brutally honest with her. I want her to know how blessed she is and I need her to understand how others go without the things and people that she has in her life. I explained Emily's situation to her and I asked her to pray for Emily in her prayers. I cried for her while we were in the restaurant and I cried again as I was telling Madsy her story. It breaks my heart to think of the pain that little girl has experienced at such a young age. So put Emily and her mom on your prayer list. They desperately need it. 

Emily's story inspired me to make sure my kids know how much I love them. I don't want them to feel like I take them for granted. I want them to know how much they mean to me by reading to them when they ask, taking a little extra time to patiently answer their never ending questions, teaching them the importance of loving each other and strengthening their faith in God. I want to show my love by spending quality time with them and being more patient with them and dropping everything when all they want is me-just me. And we'll be doing a lot less of buying them gifts that they'll outgrow and forget about. Because whether a child is motherless or sees their mom daily, they all want the same thing: their mom's (and dad's) love and attention. They all need our full attention-not our distracted attention. They need us to intentionally spend quality time with just them, playing their silly games and wearing a fleece blanket as a cape with a crocheted scarf as a hat in the middle of summer. (True story, happened this morning) 

Jonathan was inspired to do some research about how to help kids in the foster care system and I hope that together (and as a family) we'll find an organization that we can volunteer our time and love to. And maybe down the road, even become a foster parent. (Both of us have always wanted to adopt a child.) All of this because Annabella ripped her frenulum. God sure does work in mysterious ways. :)

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