Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me.Carl Sandburg
Hey there! Long time, no see.
For me, it has been a long time since I’ve been able to write—nearly seven months to be exact. Putting words onto the page has been something that could not happen. To say our life has been busy is an understatement. Two babies, a nine-year-old granddaughter to homeschool, work, and travel has pushed us to the limit and beyond some days. We never dreamed this is how our life would look. I often use #isthiswhatretirementissupposedtolooklike when sharing about the path we have been walking because we can hardly believe it.
You see, a few years ago, we took some steps toward moving ourselves into a position to live the retirement life we always dreamed we’d have. We wanted to relocate to the Midwest to be near two of our daughters, so we bought a house in Oklahoma. We had a great time looking around our chosen location. It was a bit like being on Fixer Upper or Home Town. We did worry a little about having two mortgages, but we planned to get our place in California on the market within a short time, and all would be good.
Here is where I start to laugh.
You know the saying, “Man plans, and God laughs.” Our plans to finish some renovations on the house in California to sell it kept getting put off. One thing after another seemed to get in the way. A little over a year after entering the two-mortgage zone, my husband decided to return to work part-time as a consultant. It was the perfect solution to offset the debt that was piling up. We looked forward to having a little more cash in our pockets and hopes of finally getting things moving in the ‘right’ direction to living that life we had planned.
Just two weeks later, we received a call that our granddaughter was about to give birth to our first great-grandchild. Sadly, baby and mama would not be able to stay together. Our granddaughter was living a life that wasn’t a good place for a child. You can read Our Full Life Gets Much Fuller for more details. As many of you already know, we became foster parents in a matter of days and brought our Miss Baby J home from the hospital to live with us. The house in California that we couldn’t seem to get ready to sell would play an essential part in making it all work.
Fast forward a year. COVID-19 hits. Homeschooling begins. Summer arrives. A new great-grand is born, and by August, she will be with us, too. We will start traveling back and forth between our home in California and the one in Oklahoma so that parents and children could see each other regularly.
Is this the life we dreamed we would live in retirement?
Not even for a minute.
Is this the life we are supposed to have?
I do not say that because it has been easy, because it has not. Nor did I ever think we would be raising kids again. I am totally alright with others doing that job. I say it because this is right where we’re supposed to be. As hard as some days are, there is also a blessing in loving and caring for these girls and helping them become adults who will positively impact the world. I pray they learn to love God and to love others deeply. I hope that they are kind and faithful people. People who use their superpowers for good. People who look for joy and wonder in life. I already see some of these traits developing.
So here we are two years into our detour from our plans.
We have had quite a few adventures and anticipate more to come. One highlight was this past December. Baby J became our daughter after a five-minute call with the judge. In June, we will be finishing our school year with our granddaughter, Hero. She will continue to be with us through the summer and then return home in August to begin the next school year. And as for what the future holds for our little June Bug, things are still up in the air. Our granddaughter is currently finishing everything the county has asked her to do to reunite with her daughter. We are so proud of her for doing the hard work to change her life. It will be a win whether June goes back to live with her mom or remains with us to grow up with her sister. That path has not been revealed, but whatever direction, we know it will be better than the very best plan that we could ever dream up.
“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 a hope and a future.”Jeremiah 29:11
Here a few snaps from the past few months. Hope you enjoy them.
Thanks for stopping by.
I know for some of you, this is a recap because you’ve been on this journey with us. For others, you’re new here, and I would like to welcome you. I hope you will make yourself at home. I appreciate you being here.