Tomorrow is a big day. We’ve waited for over 1100 days (little more than 3 years) to officially adopt our children. After so many days, weeks, months, years of trying not to “get our hopes up”, it is almost difficult to take a deep breath and know the thing you’d longed for, has finally come. Yet tomorrow, March 2nd, 2021 — we can breath that sigh of relief.

There are so many thoughts I wish I could wrestle out of my mind, feelings that I wish I could describe, but I really can’t. Because tomorrow, unless I wake up and this was a dream, our kids will legally be little Maloy’s — in the eyes of the state, they are forever Home. I am a fan of hyperbole, but this truly is one of the biggest days for us, for our kids, for our family.

So Clara & I have been doing a Bible Study on the Book of Joshua — and a common theme, over and over again, is “remember”. The study is recounting the story of the Israelites coming into the Promised Land. A theme that’s hitting me more than in previous times I’ve read Joshua, God’s Faithfulness. Over and over again, there are calls to be “strong and courageous”, and there are commands to remember God’s faithfulness. Stories of old are reflected on, taught to their children and point to God’s faithfulness in the past to help them trust God now, and in the future. It sounds trite to say it’s awesome — but it really is. Remember — remember God’s faithfulness.

The last few weeks, especially the last week, every time someone asks me about the pending Adoption and how excited and relieved we are, the theme of God’s faithfulness keeps coming out in my reflecting on the goodness of this whole season of our lives. Faithfulness has really been a theme of this 3 years. Faithfulness of our family, of our friends, our co-workers, our church, our schools (we’re both teachers), faithfulness of God through a lot of scary moments. Through everything — the really hard stuff, the scary stuff, the uncertainty, the anxious moments, the good moments, the joyous moments — we have been blessed.

Recently we have had a lot of lasts. Today was the last day I dropped my foster kids off at school. Tonight was the last night we put our foster kids to bed. Last week we had our last official visit with our caseworker and DJO, there were tears, because we truly love them. They are part of our families story. They are part of knitting us together, used by God to create something new from something broken. Honestly, we have tried so hard for so long to not get excited about the hope of adoption, that I never really realized we’d have a lot of lasts. But here is the beauty of all those lasts, they are really just the beginning of something “officially” new. They are the coming together of this new thing God has been weaving together for 3+ years. I’ve said it before, and I’ll likely never get tired of saying it — God is making things new.

God has been faithful to us, again and again. Like the story of the Israelites in Joshua, we are called to remember and proclaim God’s goodness and God’s faithfulness. Like I said, I am not really good at nailing down my thoughts tonight, they are racing and bouncing around all over — but I know in these moments, the eve of adoption, I want to remember God’s faithfulness.

I know I will have more thoughts soon, as I reflect on the events this week — and I will try hard to treasure them all, but for now thank you. Thank you for loving our family. Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for showering us with support, encouragement & blessing us every day.

Restoring Brokenness

I could be foolishly optimistic, in fact, I am certain I have been accused of being a bit too much like “Buddy the Elf” at times (not kidding, literally today, in a meeting after school). But nevertheless, I could be too optimistic. That said, I truly believe that most people want to fix things that are broken. Sure, something may get in the way. It could be money, time, health, family, job, choices, etc., that get in the way. Still, in the quiet moments, the calm instances that stir our thoughts, ours hearts, even our souls — we want to make things right. We long for things to be redeemed, to be as they were. There is an overwhelming amount of brokenness in the world. It takes minuscule time on social media, TV, newspapers, you name it, to be overcome by the angst, sadness, devastation, and yes, brokenness.

If you’ll indulge me, at school (I teach High School Business Classes) we start off in the business introduction course looking at the world as it was. We look at Genesis (the beginning of the Bible) — we start there “In the Beginning”, and we try to get a grasp on “what was”. We look at Creation and see how things were — our relationship with God, our relationship with Others, our relationships with Ourselves (knowledge of self), and relationship with Creation. We dig into that story (Genesis 1-2) and try to chase after that beauty of what was. We catch a glimpse, if even momentary, of the thing we long for — things being right, as they were meant to be.

Unfortunately Genesis 3 happens — “the Fall”, and everything promptly unravels. We live after that moment. We live in a world full of unraveled brokenness. I can’t fix every problem in the world, gosh, none on my own I suppose. Yet here our family is, the midst of Foster Care, on the cusp of Adoption. You aren’t here on my couch, watching me clack away on my keyboard, but this isn’t easy to write. It isn’t easy to try and wrestle through thoughts, try to put words to things you know, think & feel, balance them with the truth and make sense of it all. Truthfully, I don’t know what I am doing. I don’t have the answers. But I know that I cannot, will not, see brokenness in the world — and do nothing. I know there are really big problems in the world, ones I don’t truly understand. But something I can do, is take steps. I can look into the darkness, into the brokenness and start chipping away.

Our kids, they are precious. They are wild ninja superhero preschoolers of course, but they are made in the image of God. They are fearfully and wonderfully made. And raising them up in The Lord, redeeming the brokenness in their lives (let’s be honest, I do NOT like to think about it, but there had to be profound brokenness, sadness, even devastation for them to end up in our home) — but starting to restore that brokenness is a small step toward making things right in the world. Even if it is just making things right in our corner of the world, our little cul-de-sac — it’s still pushing back on the darkness. It is still redeeming brokenness, one day, one nap time, one snack time, one meltdown, one lost fox stuffed animal, one matchbox car thrown at Dad’s head on accident.

I don’t have the answers, but I know this — God is doing something incredible and unexplainable in our home, in our family. He is writing a story that is beautiful, imperfect yet perfect, and sacred. And I can’t tell you how amazing it is, to be in the middle of God redeeming something so wonderful and simple — and to be able to sit here catching glimpses of it unfolding. It’s a gift.

965 Days.

Parenting is hard. Literally just saying those 3 words will get 95% of people (made up statistic, just in case) to shout a hardy, “yep” or “amen”. It is because it’s true. Parenting is hard.

That said, as a Foster Parent you are confronted with so many challenging scenarios that you tend to forget how tough being a “normal” parent can be. I will spare you the icky details. Nevertheless Foster Parenting confronts you with some realities that all parents face, yet they are often magnified by Foster Care.

An example — So little is truly certain for anyone in life. We aren’t promised tomorrow, we can’t be sure a loved one won’t fall ill, we cannot predict the outcome of jobs, education, etc. We strive in life to reduce risk to the best of our ability. But so little is truly certain. Foster Care magnifies this to a level I’d never previously experienced. I can get a text/email/call from a caseworker, court officer, etc., (even one I know and trust) and still my heart skips. Because you literally never know what new thing you may find out. Often it’s nothing, yet sometimes everything changes again. Then you’re faced with the only option, soldier on. Naturally this is not different than any parent, it’s just tremendous how much this is in. your. face. every. moment.

So before you assume all doom and gloom, there is light and beauty in this. It has forced surrender in my life. It has forced me to trust God more deeply. I have no other option. I have really been wrestling with this lately (my apologies if someone has caught me deep in thought lately and I seemed frazzled). And as I have wrestled with this I remembered something I prayed for, daily, for probably years. I (foolishly, kidding. sort of…) prayed that God would give me big faith. I prayed God would make me “steadfast”, unshakable, resolute, unhesitating. I wanted to be a man who would not be swayed easily. I wanted to trust God more completely. I wanted to surrender with absolute certainty, over and over each day. I wanted to really learn to “Abide in Christ”. I hope you are seeing where this is going. I am certainly a long way from where I’d hoped I’d be by now, but I see glimpses of this. I see moments where God has grown me deeply. This journey, the 965 days that my beautiful children have been in our home, has wrecked me. It has wrecked me repeatedly. And thank God it has. I still want to be “in control” and “over-prepared” too much. I need to be wrecked.

These 965 days have humbled me, daily humbled me. I remember I don’t have it all together. I can’t save as much money as I’d like. I don’t have the energy I wish I did. I can’t sit and rest 1/4 of as much as I’d like. I have obligations. I have responsibilities. I have dreams. I have hopes. And because these 965 days have broken me over and over — I can see more of the incredible story God is unfolding and how He is showing His grace, His mercy & His love. And thank God that He keeps destroying the parts of me that war against Truth, war against Beauty, and war against restoration.

A good friend, who since has moved away and I don’t get to catch up with him as often as I wish I could, told me something many years ago. We were in a deep discussion about some very difficult circumstances and somehow I brought up the idea of “fight or flight”. I told him that I wasn’t 100% sure, but I liked to think I was of the “fight” camp. He quietly asked why, I made my poorly thought out case, and he replied with, “no”. He told me he thought there was a third option. He believed there were those who neither ran (took flight), nor fought (fight), but a third group who was able to stand resolute, unwavering & steadfast in the midst of turmoil & trouble. He very kindly told me that he believed me to be one of those rare folks in the third category, who stood fast, no deep desire to fight or flee. In my foolish pride, I quickly dismissed his words as too kind, and didn’t really make much of it. But over the years, that conversation has come to mind a couple times. And tonight while sitting on the back porch praying about tomorrow and thinking back over the past 965 days, that conversation with my friend came to mind. And I realized the gravity of his compliment. I still don’t feel worthy of such an accolade, but I am coming to realize his wisdom. I am not someone who needlessly fights, and I am certainly not someone who flees from trouble. Foster Care has shown me the truth in what he said to me that night. Thank God that my friend saw that in me, and thank God that He blessed me with that trait. And thankfully God has reminded me of that conversation a few times when I needed to hear it again.

I suppose I shared that story with you about my good friend & his kind words somewhat out of “processing” it myself and realizing it more deeply tonight than before. And out of thankfulness that God saw fit to use Clara and I to love these kids. I am thankful God used us to stand steadfast for them.

I am probably rambling and need to wrap it up… brevity is something I love, and fail at miserably. I have found myself telling the story of what God is unfolding before us more often lately in conversations. That in our kids lives, they have experienced brokenness and the effects of sin and evil that I wish never had to be part of their story. But for all the potential hurt, pain, sadness & brokenness in the world (and there is plenty more) — God is making something amazing, beautiful and sacred. God is redeeming the brokenness in their lives, giving them a home, a Mom & Dad who love them beyond measure, a family, a safe place to thrive and flourish, a place to belong. Their story, is a story of incredible beauty. Beauty that my words just don’t do justice.

It’s beautiful because it is the Gospel. It is the story of our brokenness too. And a tangible embodiment of the love God has for us. And how God is redeeming and restoring the lives of those who love Him.

There is so much brokenness in the world. There is so much to be in doubt of, fear of, frustration over, you name it. But there is even more hope. And thank God for that.


In light of the bizarre impact Coronavirus has had on the entire world. I have been reflecting about how trapped, frustrated & helpless so many people feel. In a weird way, it’s really not a foreign feeling for Foster Parents. It’s a daily reality, now it just has the added “joy” of a virus to make it more complex and widespread for everyone else.

Something I have become more and more convinced of the longer we’ve remained in the Foster Care system is this — the system sworn to protect and cherish children, that system itself causes trauma. It causes trauma for the children, the foster families, parents, everyone. Let me clarify, it is different trauma (likely) than what caused the move into Foster Care initially — but trauma nonetheless.

My initial reaction is to blame the system, condemn it & use it as the scapegoat for my frustrations when they arise. But the calmed down retrospective part of me knows that isn’t the answer. That said, the system is flawed, broken, slow, bogged down, bloated & wastes money. The system is not great. But on the other side, the system is a result of the brokenness in the world that it was created to handle. It (the system) is dealing with heartbreaking situations, problems & brokenness no one would ever want to wish upon their worst enemy. And as a result, because every situation, child, family & case is different — there is this unnecessary, yet unavoidable, tension between common sense and following every protocol.

So I guess the point in writing this is to ask myself a question. What is the Christlike response to feeling trapped, backed into a corner, helpless? If we Christians want to redeem & restore the brokenness in the world, as we are called to do, what does that look like in a messy & frustrating system (that we may or may not agree with)? What does it look like to not force our agenda, our will, our preferences — but to balance that with common sense and truly act in the BEST interest of others (including Foster Children)?

I keep asking myself this question because as a Foster Parent, I have never felt more powerless, hopeless and backed into a corner over the last few years. Now before you panic and question my faith in God’s sovereignty and faithfulness — remember, feelings aren’t always truth. Feelings can mislead, can be sinful & flawed. But regardless, we are emotional beings, and feelings are unavoidable. The trouble comes in how we react, how we process them and the actions we take. I want to react well in the face of feeling powerless, pushed around & trapped. I want to stand up with gracious boldness to face the uncertain, the unnecessary & the unfairness.

So, whether it’s questioning the brokenness of the system, or evaluating my response to the feeling of powerless waiting — what is the response that will help point to Christ, the response that can help restore brokenness, the response that minimizes the “trauma” of the Foster-world? What is the response that helps redeem the ugly broken world that our kids have no choice in floating through?

What does it look like to exist in and simultaneously seek to redeem a broken world? I pray about this a lot — and tonight while watching/singing songs with the kids, we listened to an old favorite, and it reminded me of an important place to rest in. Below is part of the Andrew Peterson’s song, “Dancing in the Minefields”:

“At the end of all my faith, till the end of my days
When I forget my name, remind me.
‘Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man,
So there’s nothing left to fear.
So I’ll walk with you in the shadowlands,
Till the shadows disappear.
‘Cause He promised not to leave us,
And his promises are true.”

It’s curious, but this too reminds me that in this world we will be uncertain of much, there is plenty to fear, we can always find something in which to be anxious about — but that’s ok. We bear the light of the Son of Man (Jesus), and we won’t have every answer, but we can keep walking and trusting — because the promises ARE true.

p.s. nothing horrible has happened, please don’t panic — just processing the realities of Foster Care and seeing the weird emotional similarities to COVID world. Even when life is beautiful, the kids are wonderful & life is full of blessing — Foster Care is hard & our goal in sharing our journey is to just share what families go through. So no need to worry or panic 🙂

2 years.

Two years. Two years ago you made me a Dad.

You weren’t what I was expecting. But, you were perfect. You are perfect. I was scared, excited, anxious, hopeful, joyful & broken. But you were there — and I loved you from the moment you came home. Your Mom and I still catch ourselves weeping, momentarily unaware that we love you so much, and we are overcome by the feeling. You are home. Because of you, my children, I have learned more deeply than ever before what it means to be home.

I remember the morning you came — I was taking a shower, like normal — and singing in the shower, which I can’t do now (because you’ll wake up). And for whatever reason, the song I was singing caused me to tear up — now I know — my heart was being broken because you were coming home. And I needed to be broken of pride, self-confidence & perhaps self-reliance. God (in His infinite wisdom & providence) knew you were coming home, for the first time. And God knew that it would be the most wonderful & challenging season of life thus far. And any attempt to lean on my own wisdom, knowledge, cunning & pride would be my downfall —

Certainly I was in over my head. Which is why I believe God was preparing my heart that morning. Knowing that I MUST lean on God to be a good Dad, to lead our home well, to take on the seemingly crazy challenge of a baby & a toddler, only to have another baby come within a few months. To deal with the unexpected, terrifying & beautiful things to come.

But now we are here — 2 years later. You make me crazy, I am tired, money is less, house is a disaster — and I love every single moment. Every crazy night, unexplainable meltdown, cleaning food all over the floor, stepping on cars in the dark — worth it.

There is an Andrew Peterson song, Family Man (I’ve mentioned it before), and he has a line that goes, “And I don’t remember anymore, who I even was before…” — it’s simple, but it sums up the last 2 years. And I love it.