Jahleel Is Wonderfully Made // Interview

Hello! My name is Kallie, and I have been married to my wonderful husband, David, for nine and a half years. We have lived in five states since our wedding, and currently live out in the Pacific Northwest region, where David serves as a pastor. We have been the deeply blessed parents of our son, Jahleel, for just over two years. We adopted him from Hong Kong in 2014, and are in the process of adopting our second child, a little boy waiting in China. 

Jahleel has a number of ongoing medical issues, most of which fall under the umbrella of his main diagnosis of a paternal 15q11.2-14 genetic deletion, sometimes known as “expanded Prader-Willi syndrome.” He is one of just a few known cases in the world with this genetic deletion. He is non-ambulatory, non-verbal, and can only be fed via g-tube. Jahleel uses a bipap machine overnight and for naps due to severe obstructive sleep apnea, and wears braces on his hands and feet. My little boy sees 12 doctors in 14 different medical specialties, and goes to therapy six times per week with four different therapists. He has a charming smile and a social, laid-back personality!

What has God taught you through Jahleel's special needs?

God has used this special needs parenting journey to teach me many important things! When you have a child with a disability, the challenges are unique. I have really seen how His strength is made perfect in my weaknesses. Because of the unique challenges we have faced, I have a much deeper level of compassion and respect for others. Also, seeing Jahleel’s excitement at simple joys in life has made me more thankful for our many blessings.

This could probably be its own post, but I have truly seen that God provides – whether through financial provision with the medical bills, a calm attitude when Jahleel is in pain, the energy to get through another long day of medical and therapy appointments, tube feeds, medications, and lifting my 32-lb. child. The Lord has given us the resolve and mental toughness of hearing hard diagnoses, having one good cry, and moving on. He has put some dear, wonderful friends in my life who are also moms through special needs adoptions.

Most importantly, having a child with special needs helps fix my eyes on heaven. It would be so easy to get caught up in constantly wondering if my son will ever walk, talk, or eat by mouth. Because of my faith, I can remind myself daily that my son is baptized, he hears God’s Word, and that nothing else truly matters in this life.

 

What kind of struggles does Jahleel have because of his disability?

With Jahleel’s severe low muscle tone, many ordinary tasks are really hard for him. Movement is an enormous challenge for him; he is currently limited to rolling. He is not able to eat anything by mouth. His throat muscles are so weak that he cannot swallow safely and will aspirate. Sleeping is not simple for him. He is a great sleeper, but he must wear a bipap to keep his airway from obstructing itself. Jahleel tires quite easily because it takes much more effort for his to use move body than it does for a person with normal muscle tone.

Communicating is also tough for Jahleel. He currently doesn’t have any words at all and attempts to tell us things with gestures. Try as we may, we often just can’t understand what he wants or needs.

He also endures a fair amount of pain on a very regular basis. Jahleel needs blood draws every few months. He certainly gets sore from all his hard work at therapy. We have to give him a daily hormone shot every night. I change out his g-tube button every few months, which is painful for him. He’s had about a dozen surgeries. Anesthesia tends to give him emergence delirium, and he has night terrors for days or weeks afterward. We’ve been told it’s the toddler version of PTSD.

 

What are your Jahleel’s strengths?  What does he enjoy doing?

Jahleel’s greatest strength is his happy personality! He is a joyful little boy and very laid-back, with one of the most charming smiles I’ve ever seen. He loves being out and around other people. I describe him as a “music and movement” kid. Music can instantly calm him if he’s upset. (He particularly loves Adele’s voice). As Jahleel slowly learns how to use his voice, he is trying to sing. It is adorable! He loves watching moving scenery while riding in the car or his stroller. Other things he enjoys are water (baths and swimming), the hair dryer, church and Sunday school, swinging, lights, Wheel of Fortune, playing “ball” (rolling it back and forth) and Baby Einstein videos.

Jahleel is also tough. He doesn’t cry at all for shots, blood draws, or IV starts anymore. He is very cooperative with all the appointments he has to go to. I am very proud of his bravery and how he makes the best of his circumstances.


 

How do you keep fed spiritually?

It took me awhile to figure out that reading Scripture before bed like I used to just wasn’t working anymore. I was too exhausted at the end of the day, yet my mind was still going a million miles a minute! I eventually figured out that listening to Bible readings or devotions is a much better fit for me now. The WELS mobile app has daily Bible readings and devotions that you can either listen to, or read. I use those often. Also, the ESV Bible has a “listen” option which is also a great Spiritual tool for me. We also frequently listen to hymns in the car.

 

How does Jahleel receive spiritual enrichment?

Jahleel was baptized on his “Gotcha Day,” in spring of 2014, which created his saving faith. (read David's guest blog post here). His faith continues to be fed whenever he hears God’s Word. Daily, we read a Bible story to him before bed and say prayers. He is often at my side when I listen to Scripture readings. We attend church regularly. Let me tell you, we could all learn a lesson from Jahleel – he LOVES church! He gets so excited to be there. He will even cry if we happen to drive by church and don’t pull in! He also gets to attend Sunday School, and is always excited about that.

How has your church family actively been a help to you? 

I can think of a few specific ways that our church has helped our family.

The first is by their willingness to include Jahleel in Sunday School. I would completely understand if they were uncomfortable with his feeding tube and lack of mobility, but they love having him, and he loves his class! It is also a blessing for me to be able to attend Bible study.

The second was the kindness of a dear friend (a church member) after Jahleel had surgery earlier this year and had to spend the night in the pediatric ICU afterward. Jahleel had night terrors all night long, and I didn’t sleep at all. My friend texted me the next morning, offered to run to the store for anything we needed, and brought us dinner that night. It was such a relief to not have to worry about cooking that night, or leaving the house for the next few days!

 

What are some other ways can we support families of children with special needs? 

In general, there are many ways that friends can support families of children with special needs:

  • First and foremost is to pray for them.
    The special needs parenting life is rich in blessings, but also full of very unique challenges. Loneliness comes by easily in our world, and the challenges to our faith are abundant.
     
  • The second is to understand that scheduling is hard for us.

    My son’s schedule is busier than that of many adults, and it wears us all out. It’s hard for us to leave our son – we only have a few baby-sitters who know his care well enough. Day trips away from home require much packing and planning with tube feeds and medications, and we are limited to activities that are wheelchair-accessible. All too often, things just don’t work out. But please keep inviting us, because we truly do need a break sometimes!
     
  • Practically speaking, I would advise to just ask how you can help (especially when a child is hospitalized or has a sudden ER trip).

Special needs moms are all different. Some moms would love a helper to come to doctor’s appointments, some would love a volunteer to do a quick grocery run so we don’t have to deal with transfers, wheelchairs, and packing medical equipment; some of us are looking for people willing to be trained to baby-sit our children with medical needs, and some of us maybe want to go out for coffee and talk about anything not medical for a couple hours!

  • Finally, I would ask that people please choose their words wisely.

It is a dagger to our hearts to hear things like, “What’s wrong with him?” or, “I bet if you fed him ice cream, he would eat,” and, “Must be nice to ride in that thing [medical stroller] all day long.”

Instead, positively-worded questions and comments such as, “Tell me about your son!” “He is looking so healthy and happy today,” and “Look how much he’s moving his upper body! That is great!” are appreciated.


Kallie, thank you so much for sharing Jahleel's story with us. Having a glimpse into your every day helps us know how we can better support families with special needs.

Being informed removes ignorance and we as a church family need to take more responsibility and be proactive in this area.

Research shows that special needs children and their families aren't getting the spiritual support they need and they need encouragement all the more! 

Thank you for sharing specific ways that your church family has been a blessing to you. That is such a blessing. 

And how fitting that Jahleel's name carries this message:
"Waiting for"
"Beseeching"
"Hope in God"  

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
— Romans 8:18-25

Getting Started in Foster Care

Many of us are familiar with news stories of starving children orphaned in Africa, special needs children in China or the poverty and danger for children in places like India. But in addition to these needs there is an entire group of children on our own doorsteps. They are the thousands of children trapped in foster care in our very own country. They are the kids that are easy to write off. Their needs are not always as obvious, but their desire for love and security are just as real. In Wisconsin alone, there are an average of 8,000 children in foster care each day. I know that when God first put a call in our hearts to adoption we were two of these people; we wrote off foster care. We only knew of the bad stigma it has been given. We had young kids. It's a messy process. We were convinced that wasn't the way God was calling us to adopt. We were so wrong. Foster care is exactly where God brought us. And what a humbling experience it has been. In some ways our preconceived judgments were true: Yes, it can be a messy process. Yes, there is the risk of getting your heart broken. Yes, many of the children are hurting and emotionally broken. But God really convicted us that his church isn't meant to run away from messy, broken things. Broken and hurting people are exactly who Jesus searched out and they are exactly who we, his followers should be focused on as well.

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Since we began our journey over two years ago, we've had many people ask us questions about how foster care works. I thought I would answer some of the most common ones for you today.

How can I find out more about foster care?

You can do a great deal of research on the internet, but we found the best way to find out more was to go to an informational meeting. You can find these through your local Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) in your county. These meetings give a good overview of what foster care is, what the different types of foster care are and what the next step in the process would be. The nice thing about these meetings is they are filled with other people just like you, with no idea what to expect and lots of questions. The meetings in no way commit you to foster care but they allow you to talk with people about the questions you may have.

What is the process to become a foster or adoptive home?

Once you go to an informational meeting, the next step is to fill out the initial application. This will include everything from your basic information to where you work to why you want to be a foster parent. After the agency processes your initial application, you will be assigned a licensing worker whose job is to get you ready to become a foster home. Over the next months they will come by your home numerous times. There will be oodles of paperwork for things like: your income, your mental health, your marriage, your family life, your hobbies, etc. (It's true, but don't let it scare you away). There will also be interviews with your licensing worker, getting fingerprinted, background checks, 3 classes and making sure your home is up to foster care "code". This sounds so overwhelming but it happens slowly over months and your worker will walk you through the whole process. Once everything is completed, you will be given your license and able to accept a child or children into your home.

How long does the licensing process take?

For us is took about 5 months to get our license. We went to an informational meeting in June, sent in our initial application in July and were a licensed foster home the beginning of November.

Can the agency place anyone in your home or do you get to have a say in it?

You as the foster family get a great deal of say in what children can be placed in your home. During the licensing process you and your spouse will fill out a VERY LONG form asking what types of special needs you are comfortable handling in your home. For example: How comfortable would you be with a child who has a physical disability like epilepsy, food allergies or blindness? Do you feel comfortable with a child who has a learning disability, mental health concerns or is a young woman who is pregnant? While one does not go into foster care to find the one "perfect" child in the system, the agency does want you to be honest with what things you can and cannot handle. The best thing for a child is to be placed in a home where they can be loved and their needs and even special needs can be met. They want the child to thrive and the family they are placed with to thrive as well.

You will also have a say in what age(s) and gender(s) you are willing to have in your home.

Finally, before any child is placed with you, you will receive a call from your agency and they will give you as much information on the child as possible before you and your spouse make the decision whether or not to welcome that child into your home.

Can I just adopt or do I have to foster first?

This is another thing you will discuss during the licensing process. You will have the option to become one of three things:

  • A foster home: You home becomes a temporary one until the child is either returned to their parents or moved to an adoptive home.
  • A duel license home: One can foster and also adopt without having to go through more paperwork (this is what we have).
  • An adoptive home: You will still have a duel license but only children that are VERY likely to be eligible for adoption will be placed in your home (often children beyond one year of age). If you are an adoptive only home, it can take much longer to have a child placed with you. If you looking for a guaranteed infant adoption, this is not the route to take.

While God may not call everyone down the path of foster care and adoption, he calls all of us to care about these broken kids (Matthew 25:34-36). If we as pro-life Christians believe a child is worthy of life, then those same children are just as precious with drugs in their system at birth, with behavioral issues at 8 or pregnant and alone at 13 (Mark 9:37).

Do you feel that you have the ability to welcome another child into your home? Are you an empty-nester wondering what purpose God has for you now that your children are grown? Has God been burdening your heart with how blessed you are and how people so close can be in such need? While opening up your home to a child from a broken place is a challenging road, there is great joy and blessing in living out Christ's calling and seeing his redeeming work in the life of your foster child and your entire family as well.

When God started calling us to foster care we were overwhelmed and intimidated, but we felt that God couldn't give us red or green lights if we were sitting in the parking lot. So, after much prayer, we chose to take one step and continued to pray for guidance. It was incredible how clear God was with us and how at each new step he continued to confirm that this was where he wanted us. Feeling his presence and his guidance continued to give us the confidence to keep moving forward not only as we went through the licensing process but through the ups and downs of our foster care journey as well. I have great confidence he will do that same for you!

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. - Proverbs 16:9

*** If you have more specific questions please feel free to ask in the comments!***

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tunnel_ When I first starting writing on my personal blog years ago, I was a swirl of emotions.

Flying high because my hubby and I were starting on a path to becoming parents through adoption. Thankful to have moved passed those three+ years of infertility hurts and disappointments. Excited to have a little corner of the internet to write and share the details of our adoption process with our friends and family.

I was also scared.

Scared because I was typing out feelings and stories that I had kept bottled up for so very long. Scared because sharing my heart meant exposing the hurt and the ugly and the mess that was in me when we were up to our necks in our struggle. For the first time, I was allowing others to get a glimpse into the pain. I felt the door was wide open for others to hand out pity or judgement or advice I did not want.

That open door was hard for the girl who had always worn a smile. I was the queen of I'm doing just fine! Everything is going great with us! I'd wear that mask around all day until I got home where it was safe. I'd whip that awful mask across the room and watch it shatter into pieces as I gasped for breath. Because I was not fine. I was lonely and heartbroken and sad. I thought I was fooling everyone with that smile and all that fine so I put it on each day.

That wasn't all of my story, though. During that time God was working on my heart overtime. He was drawing me closer to Him. He used those years to shape me.

He was my Hope. He was Grace and Comfort and Light.

He held me together and broke me apart all at once.

So give a girl a blog and she will write. It became my safe place. It felt right to type out the highs and the lows, hit publish and see the beauty God was cookin' up. So many lovely people, dear friends and family and new friends, were showing up and offering me handfuls of love and support, not pity. They were our cheerleaders and our encouragers. They were our prayer warriors.

They made me realize that I should have been sharing my heart all along.

Writing helped me let go. It helped me heal.

Maybe you have a story to tell, too?

A chapter in your life that could be shared?

Maybe it's about cancer. Or infertility or miscarriage. Maybe it's one of redemption. Maybe it's an addiction or a loss or an abuse. Maybe it's a fear. Maybe you are adopting. Maybe you placed a baby for adoption. Maybe your child or spouse or parent  is ill. Maybe you are following God's lead into the unknown. Or maybe you are feeling lost and don't know where to turn.

Each story is unique and it can be so scary or uncomfortable to talk about it, but when you do share it, others have the opportunity to witness God's hand in your life. To see His fingerprints all over your journey. They maybe can even see themselves reflected back. And you know what happens then. Instantly there's a bond. A connection is made. I guarantee you'll want to hand out hugs and high fives and me toos. There will be tears and maybe some laughs, too. At least I hope so, because everyone needs a shot of joy in between bouts of pain. I know all of this to be true. Women with similar journeys to mine have became my soul sisters. I love them something fierce.

There is something to be said about walking through the hard hand in hand with another who gets it or with the people in your life that love you. The pain and the mess don't magically disappear, but it sure makes for a less lonely journey. What a comfort and joy to have others come alongside you, support you, and pray for you.

So please, dears, offer up your story. Share where your Hope is because only He can bring true, long-lasting, precious, desperately needed heart healing. Write about it or talk about it or even sing about it. There's so much healing and freedom in the sharing. For you and for those who are longing to hear it.

And may the name of Jesus be made known in every word, in every breath, in every stroke of the keyboard, in every tear, in every smile.

To Him be the glory.

Psalm 19:15 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

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Mentor of Faith // Rebecca

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Rebecca Huth was recommended to be a HHH Mentor when a mutual friend shared Rebecca's article "My God Will Never Leave Me" from Forward in Christ, a Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran magazine. In the article, Rebecca tells her story of growing up in India, being adopted by Americans, and overcoming many heart breaks and obstacles of life while being held by God's love and grace for her. After reading the article (I highly recommend!) read her interview below where Rebecca shares lessons from the past, present and her confidence in the future - the LORD. 

Tell us more about yourself, what is a regular day like for you? 

RebeccaBubble "My regular day begins with getting up around 6:30 in morning every day. As soon as I get up I make sure my two boys are getting ready for the day and I feed my baby daughter. Then I get myself ready, feed the boys some breakfast and make sure that my oldest is ready for school. For about 12 weeks, I was taking care of the boys myself because my husband was working in Marshfield and Rhinelander, WI for school.

When my daughter was born, it became very hard for me to get up and keep going with the day before I could take a break. I spend the day feeding the kids, playing with them, and now that it is nice outside I go to the park with them. By the time my husband gets home from work I start making supper. About an hour after supper the kids go to bed. Then my husband and I try to catch up on our day if we have the energy, and we go to bed. My husband is gone before we get out of bed, and he comes home around 4p.m every day. It gets overwhelming at times because of the energy it takes to nurse a baby and make sure the boys are getting my attention."

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How would you describe your unique role as a woman? 

"If I had to describe my role as a woman, I would say that I am very determined and motivated. For 16 months straight I was enrolled in school. I was taking anywhere from 18 to 21 credits a semester. The school gave me two and half years to finish my degree but, I wanted to complete it in a year and half. I was able to accomplish my goal. Now I have more time to pay attention to my children.

When I was in school one of the comments my oldest son said to me was, “Mom, I don’t like it when you do so much at home. It makes me sad because you are not keeping an eye on me!” When I heard this, I was awakened by his comment. He was right that I was not keeping an eye on him. To him, “keeping an eye” is playing, talking, and paying attention to what the boys are doing. I was in the same room as them but I was on the computer writing papers or working on something else. I did not give them my full attention. My unique role is setting goals and completing them right away so I can spend time with my children."

What bible passage is your personal favorite? 

"I have many favorite passages that I use on a regular basis. It is hard for me to pick one that I hold dear to. If I had to choose, it would be this one:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give  you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11

This passage was chosen for my high school graduation verse. It was fitting for me when I lived in India, when I came to America and went off to high school. It is still fitting in every chapter of my life. The passage is my heartbeat; I live by it every day because I do not know what the next day brings to my adventure. I have been married for almost 6 years, every year my husband and I have had to face some sort of challenge. 

First, it was health. I quit college to work full-time but lost my job shortly after. We moved to a place where I did not know a single soul. Following, my second child was born and I lost my nephew to heart defect within seven months. Then we moved again because of my husband’s schooling which required a lot of traveling from Northern Wisconsin to Central Wisconsin. He applied for many residencies and did not get in but now he is applying and still has no job. Graduation is four weeks away and he still has no job offers.

I look to Jeremiah 29:11 more often these days because I do not know what God’s plans are for the next few months. I am confident knowing that God’s plans for my family are far better than I can imagine."

 

Who is your strongest Christian mentor?

"I have two mentors who have touched my life. My first mentor was Pastor Mark Wagner from Grafton, WI. When I shared my story with him way before I had even thought about writing to “Forward in Christ”, he encouraged me to share the story with others because it is a unique story. For two years, I did not take his advice, then one day, I decided that it is about time I should let go of what happened in the past. The only way I could do that was share it to others. Pastor Wagner was happy to hear that I was willing to share my personal story to others. He was encouraging every step of the way and he helped me write the story. 

My second mentor would have to be Pastor Henke from Appleton, WI. He is constantly helping me and encouraging me to be a mature young Christian woman. I have hit some rough patches in the last year that Pastor Henke is willing to work with me and constantly teach me how to be a fearful young Christian woman. I have learned a lot from these two pastors. 

I moved to Grafton without knowing anyone in the area. As I met more members and got to know the pastor; I was able to open up and share my story to Pastor Wagner. For me, it took a lot of courage to share my experiences with someone I had only known for a year. When I moved to Appleton I did not share my story with Pastor Henke and was going through depression. Instead of seeking help from friends and family, I began to take my anger and regret on those around me which affected my marriage greatly. Pastor Henke was concerned for me and my marriage and asked to help me. I never thought that someone cared that much about me or cared enough to help me save my marriage and mature to be a God-fearing Christian young woman.

I do have to say that God sends people in our lives when we least expect it. I never thought these two pastors would make such an impact in my life, but they have. I am so grateful for them. I have learned so much from these two pastors, whether it is through sermons, bible studies, or counseling." 

Can you share any advice to encourage a husband in his faith and role? 

"I am not the best person to ask for advice on how to encourage a husband in his faith and role in marriage. I have a husband who is constantly encouraging me in my faith and my role in the marriage. If I had to give advice, it would be that a husband should always involve Christ in the decisions he makes whether it is with his family or for himself. Before I married my husband, I told him right away that having Christ at the center of my marriage is very important to me. My husband agreed. We both knew that the third strand in our marriage is very important, because “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12b). Husbands should love their wives in the way “Christ loved the church”. 

When I was a newlywed, my husband and I used to read devotions together in the morning and at night. We would take turns every night saying a bedtime prayer. When we had children, our schedules got so busy that we both would pray and have devotions with the kids. When I moved to Grafton, I attended a class with my husband called “God’s Way”. It was good for us. We both did our assignments together and attended the class once a week.

As the years went by, we drifted away from our personal devotions we used to have. I can say this confidently that I am going to be starting up this again. It is a shame that we fell away from this bonding we both had in the word. It is very important to study God’s word not only with the children but also as a couple. Nothing is more precious than studying God’s word together.

When husbands and wives do this, their children will see and learn from it too. Children learn from what they see and hear, therefore it is important for them to see how important God’s word is and they will learn to grow in the word like their parents."

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Is there anything specific from Titus 2:3-5, our blog's mission, that you would like to comment on to encourage women? 

"Titus 2:3-5 is a great passage to have as a mission statement for a blog. It is true that older women should set an example for the younger women. I have heard multiple times that children learn from what they see and hear. I believe that if older women do not teach the younger ones to be good and modest women in the church and community, the younger women will not learn how to be one unless they are taught. I will use my mother-in law as an example. She is a hard-working wife and mother. Living at home, she has all three sons, a daughter-in-law, three grandchildren and her husband is retired. You can only imagine how difficult this might seem from time to time. In the last year that I have spent living her, I have learned how to be a good wife, daughter, and mother. She does not directly teach me or tell me how to be a wife and mother to my children and husband, but I can see and learn from her example. She comes home without complaining, willingly starts supper, and takes care of whatever house work that needs to be done a regular basis.

When my daughter was born, I chose to take on more responsibility. I chose to have supper started and take care of the things that I know how to and make sure that I am taking care of my children. As I began to do this more and more, I learned that being a wife and a mother is such a wonderful blessing God has given me. Now that I have a daughter, I can teach the things that I am learning from the example my mother-in-law has set for her family. My mother-in-law may not hear it from me or her sons, but I am SO BLESSED to have her in my life. She is such a wonderful person to be around. I can confidently say that my mother-in-law is the “wife of a noble character” from the book of Proverbs 31. This is the kind of wife and mother I want to be every day. Therefore, every woman should leave this kind of example for the younger women so that they know how to treat their husband and children."

 

What do you feel is a threat to a woman's faithfulness in her home?

"I know a lot of single mothers from school. I compliment them because it is hard to go to work, school, and raise a family. I think that single mothers feel like they do not get recognized for the work they do in order raise their families.  I cannot imagine how difficult it can be. Social media can be a threat to them because they feel like they have to live up to other people’s standards. I only say this because I used to feel like that.

It is good from women to remember that they are children of God and whatever they do, do it all to the glory of God. Too many times we feel like we have to live up to others’ standards than praise and thank the God who has blessed us with more than we could ever ask or want.

What we do every day, whether it is getting up in the morning and taking care of our children or getting up and going to work, you do it for HIM who bought you with HIS own PRECIOUS BLOOD."

RebeccaBabyGirl.jpg Can you share an event in your life that was difficult that God strengthened you through? 

"As long as I can remember, life has been difficult for me all around. My mother committed suicide when I was five years old. At age 8, my father could not raise three daughters and a son, so he gave up his three daughters for adoption. When I was about ten and a half years old, I left the only life I had known and came to a country where I did not know anyone, or the culture. I attended high school away from home, which was scary at first, but as I made friends it became easier. Then I went away to college in a different state and got married two and a half years later.

When my first son was born, it was scary to be a mother, because parenting did not come with an instruction manual. I moved back to Wisconsin but lived in a different town. I did not know anyone. But in the four years I lived in Grafton, God blessed me with some great women who have made an imprint in my life. These women will always be remembered in my heart. Now I am waiting patiently for my husband's graduation, my graduation, and for God to bless my husband with a job. These are the events that have impacted my life greatly. The challenges I have faced in the last twenty years of my life have been filled with happiness, sorrow, heartbreak, and trials, but God was with me all along. There was a time where I abandoned my Savior, who still held on to me. When I lost my biological family, I thought I would never have another family again.

Through my journey in life, God has taught me patience, love, and strength. He is my stronghold and my sure defense. He never left my side. Through my experiences God taught me that He alone is in control. Even though the plans I set out for myself were not accomplished, God in his great love for me, showed his plans were far better for me than I could have ever imagined. Through HIS plans, God was always pointing me to HIMSELF, not only for comfort and encouragement, but most of all for his strength to get through the rough patches in my life. Jesus showed me how he is the way. He directed me to a wonderful family in WI, blessed me with a Christian husband who loves me, and three beautiful children who bring such joy to my life every day. Through the events I faced my in life I learned that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life."

 

Is there a moment when God's hand clearly guided or provided for you that you would like to share?

"I clearly saw HIS hand guiding and providing for me in every event of my life. I cannot imagine what would have happened if I did not have a God who loved me so much that not only had HIS Son die for me, but he also guards, protects, guides, and provides for me, even when I deserted him.

I am so uncertain about my husband’s future, but I know that wherever we go God’s hand will always be guiding us. I never have to doubt about his guidance in my life."

 

What's next for you?

"Well, I can say that the end of this chapter in my life is graduation for my husband and I. My husband has been in school for eight years to earn a degree in Pharmacy and I am finishing up my Bachelor’s Degree that I had started back at Bethany Lutheran College. I am completing my degree through an Adult Accelerated program at Concordia University Wisconsin. We are both happy to finish school. 

The next chapter in our life is uncertain right now, because we do not know where we will be moving or where my husband will get a job. However, I will say this confidently, no matter what happens in our life, I know that God has a plan for us even though we uncertain of it. I wait patiently for the Lord to help me start the next chapter in my life."

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Thank you for sharing your story with us, Rebecca. Your favorite bible passage, Jeremiah 19:11, certainly is a suitable one for you as God has strengthened you to live with confidence. Another bible passage that your interview reminds me of is Proverbs 31:25, "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." I am grateful for your courage to use your story to God's glory! Please keep us updated to where God calls your family next. We would love to keep in touch and update our readers! :)

** May 2014 update from Rebecca: "My husband Adam has accepted a job offer with Walgreen Pharmacy .We are looking forward to it. Currently, I am working with a realtor in the area to find a place for us to live. I will be staying home with the kiddos. The boys will be attending a Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod school and church. I am so thankful for this wonderful blessing God has blessed us with."

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