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Life Update: Pregnancy (20 weeks), Foster Care, Christmas Fun

Welcome to my weekly life update where I share about my pregnancy & give you a peek into our life this past week. If you want to follow a lot more behind-the-scenes and real-time updates every week, be sure to follow my stories and posts on Instagram.

20 weeks!! Halfway there, baby!

And what a week it was! Not only did we have the big anatomy scan, but we also have had a temporary foster care placement this week of a 3-sibling group (13, 11, and 3).

There have been so many beautiful moments and so many emotionally exhausting moments, but it’s been a gift and we’ve been so grateful to get the opportunity to love on and pour into these three precious kids for this week.

HIGHLIGHTS

My anatomy scan went so well. I’ll admit that I was apprehensive going in — I’ve just struggled with a whole lot more fear all around this pregnancy. And then add on top the fact that I’ve never had an anatomy scan before (my midwives in my previous pregnancies didn’t have me do them) and all the stories I’ve heard of people getting really devastating news at these… and well, I was anxious about it and really had to mentally process and pray through it for peace.

Everything ended up checking out perfectly. Baby is very healthy, from what they can tell, and my doctor is just so happy with how healthy I am in this pregnancy. I’m so grateful to God!

NOTABLE

Kathrynne and Jesse got to come to the scan and it was so fun to get to share it with them!! The kids just cannot wait for this baby to get here!

Also notable, we had hoped to confirm that the gender from the NIPS test was accurate, but Baby was not having that. The entire time their legs were crossed and or tucked under so the tech couldn’t see anything. Oh well! I guess it’s good we didn’t have a big gender reveal party planned!

CRAVINGS

Granola/yogurt, raspberries, sourdough toast, eggs/avocados, and salad. Baby is making it pretty easy to eat healthfully this pregnancy! (I’ve noticed my appetite has definitely increased this week and I basically have to eat at least six times a day or I’m really, really famished/nauseous.)

Weight gain: 12 pounds

A Peek Into Our Week

We did lots of fun Christmas-related things this past week to make special Christmas memories (plus just other fun memories) with the three kids staying with us — including a hot cocoa bar one night, looking at Christmas lights, having a family game night, watching a Christmas movie, going to see Frozen II (they were SO excited about this as they loved the first movie), taking them to hibachi and sushi (their favorite food), and taking them to our youth group Christmas party.

Look who got new glasses this week! He looks so grown up!

We introduced them to one of our favorite games, Dutch Blitz.

Jesse and I are both small group leaders in our youth group, so we had fun at the youth group Christmas party. I laughed so hard and it was fun to see all six kids enjoying themselves!

Here’s Jesse and one of the boys in his group participating in the Candy Cane stack ’em game.

Sadness in the Midst of Joy

Tuesday was a very sad day at our house. We said goodbye to our pet hedgehog, Quill.

He had been diagnosed with Wobbly Hedgehog Disease a few weeks ago. Hedgehogs can often live for quite awhile with it, but unfortunately, his body shut down really quickly.

I’m not typically a pet person OR a crier, so I was surprised how much this has hit me emotionally. Some of it has to do with it tearing your heart up to see your child grieve the loss of something that was so special to them.

Some of it also has to do with the fact that Quill came into our home during a really difficult season and ended up being a big healing piece for our family. It’s amazing the impact a tiny little creature can have!

By the way, thank you to all of who have been praying for our kids this week as we’re navigating a lot of new emotions with the foster care roller coaster we’re on plus the emotion of losing a pet.

God has given us so many opportunities for us to have really special one-on-one times and conversations with each child and I’m so grateful. It hasn’t been easy for any of them, but they’ve all been so truthful about their feelings and have showed such deep love, open hearts, healthy emotions, and honesty.

We are so proud of them and I think watching them sacrifice and love big this week in the middle of a lot of unknowns and upheaval has been one of the most beautiful blessings of all of this. ❤️

Lessons I’m Learning as a Brand-New Foster Mom

I wanted to close by sharing this short post I wrote for Instagram earlier this week:

I tucked her into bed that first night here. She’s just three years old and has experienced so much upheaval and uncertainty in her short life.

I saw the fear in her eyes. It was yet another unfamiliar house to stay in, unfamiliar bed to sleep in, and unfamiliar person who was putting her to bed.

She kept looking at me… her big brown eyes wide. I stroked her hair and prayed with her. I sang to her about Jesus.

And I kept reassuring her that I was there and she was so brave and beautiful.

She would lay there for a minute and then she’d look over to see that I was still there. Every time she looked at me, her fearful expression would vanish and a smile would replace it.

I sat there with her in her room thinking of how this is such a picture of how Jesus is with us. In the middle of our fear, in the middle of insecurity, in the middle of our doubt, He is there. And when we look at Him, He can bring such peace to our heart.

It doesn’t take away the scary, hard, or difficult things, but looking at His face can remind us that we are seen, we are loved, and He’s right there with us.

No matter what you are going through, what you are facing, or how your heart is breaking today, I want you to know this: You are seen. You are loved. You are not forgotten.