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I don't even know how to begin.

We found out this morning that our son's birth mom passed away. So many thoughts have ran through my mind this morning I don't even know how to sort them all.

As I think back on our fostering journey over the past 6 years, I think of all the birth moms I have had the opportunity to meet! What a blessing to be able to sit with, hold hands with, pray with & cry with these mothers! So often, in those moments, it feels that Jesus is closer to me than he ever has been! Many people don't understand why I love these moms so much!

I have people say, "You are so special for loving people the way you do!"

I am NOT special. I just pray for God's eyes for ALL people and I choose to love them regardless of their actions. That doesn't make me special. It just makes me obedient to Jesus! Anybody can be obedient to Jesus! They just have to choose it.

The real problem is when we see that we are different from these people... in God's eyes! Sometimes I think we can minimize the sin in our own lives thinking that our sins are somehow better than their sins. But sin is sin! ALL sin is being disobedient to God! Whether it be drug addiction, gluttony, sexual sin, pornography, selfishness, anger, etc. Whatever the sin may be, it's sin! We cannot measure one sin against the other.

As I think about the passing of my 1st foster son's birth mom, now adopted son's birth mom, I cannot help but feel regret. Regret that I didn't do more!

God puts people in our circle of influence and the DAY my son was welcomed into our home is the DAY his birth mom was also brought into my circle! I have had the opportunity many times to reach out, to share Christ, to build some form of a relationship with her and I hesitated. I backed away!

When we view foster care as a mission field, not only do the children need the hope of Jesus Christ but the birth parents often need that same exact hope just as much.

Why do we back away from the very thing God has called us to do? Why do we worry about what others will say or think or even about our safety when God himself wasn't concerned with those things? God was concerned with people dying and going to hell! Why aren't we?

As I think about this precious soul that is no longer here, I think about the selfless love she showed me! I think of the selfless love she showed to her son by giving him the life he deserved! Did this birth mom make good choices? No, not always. But neither do we! So, while I could probably make a long list of ways this mom didn't do right by her son.... I am going to choose to see her like Jesus sees her!

I see a woman who was loved.

I see a woman who was selfless.

I see a woman who knew her struggles and chose better for her son.

I see a woman who was kind.

I see a woman who did love her son.

While I wish (more than anything) I would have tried harder and taken more opportunities to show this precious woman Jesus, I want to chose to do better! I want to chose to love the other moms around me and in my circle because their children are being raised in my home! Their children call me mom! Their children deserve to know that I fought for their birth parents! That I made an effort to love them!

My purpose in writing this is out of my own convictions! But I hope that through my own convictions, God would use it to soften your hearts. My prayer is that we would love people, period. Regardless of what they struggle with and what choices they make in their lives! God commands us to "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation (Mark 16:15)". Maybe the whole world right now in this season of your life is right in your back yard. Maybe it's a phone call away. Or maybe it's a 2 hour drive. Maybe it's across the world. Wherever it is, GO! GO into all the world and proclaim the gospel because we are NOT promised tomorrow and we don't want to have regrets!

At the end of my life, I want to know that I made decisions out of the strength that God puts in me, not the fear that Satan tries to put in me!

Ashley, I know you will never read this. But I am thankful for you! I am thankful you chose life for Isaiah! I am thankful you chose life by choosing to give birth to him even though you were battling sickness and addiction & that you also chose life for him by signing over your rights to us! I will be grateful to you forever and Isaiah already knows you by name at 5 years old! He will grow up and want to know more and more about you and while I know you struggled with many things in your life, I feel joy knowing I can tell him that you loved him so much and chose to give him life!

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