When I was a child my Granny made me a large set of furniture for my Barbie house. I posted about it a few years ago and it’s one of my most popular posts. Let me reiterate: I don’t have patterns for this furniture. It was made approximately 20 years ago by my grandmother who is no longer living. I’ve been hanging onto this for years waiting for just the right time and place to pass it down to my daughter. When Alianna got some Lotties for her birthday (our more age appropriate replacement for Barbie), I knew it was the right time. And then when my sister-in-law offered to pass on my niece’s Barbie house, I knew I had the right place to put it.
It’s simultaneously flattering and terrifying that I have a daughter who wants to be just like me. She sees the worst of me, along with the best. My biggest failures are most often toward those who I love the most: my husband and my daughter. I’ve had to ask her forgiveness so many times. She’s always gracious to forgive. She teaches me. When she offends me, I want to be mad; I want her to know that I’m mad. On the contrary, when I’ve lost my temper with her, she responds to my apologies with so much grace. “It’s OK, Mommy. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. You just try again.”
The other day I was heading out to take care of the chickens. She asked, “Mommy, can I follow you?” She hurried to put her shoes on so she could shadow me on my chores. If I’m working, she wants to work. If I’m vacuuming, she wants to vacuum. If I’m cooking, she wants to cook. If I throw a fit when I’m mad, she throws a fit when she’s mad. If I bark commands at her, she barks commands at me (or others). If I sing and dance in worship, she sings and dances in worship. If I feel sick, she feels sick. When I see how much she wants to be like me, I’m humbled. I’m desperate to be more like Jesus so when she emulates me, she’s emulating Him.
Jesus, help me to be like You. Help me to love my daughter well. Help me to be on her side and to model love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
My faith is what motivates my actions. By faith in Jesus Christ, I am adopted into the family of God, a daughter of the most High King, just as if born by blood. By faith I stepped out into the dark, unknown of foster care believing that God would take my feeble, insufficient attempts to make a difference and turn it into something so much greater than I could ever do. I love because He first loved me. I serve as if I’m serving Him:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ … ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:34-36, 40)
Foster care and adoption have stretched me (ouch!) and grown my faith more than anything ever had before. I’ve never had to rely so heavily on faith to get through day-by-day challenges, grief, sorrow and unknowns as I have the past three years. It’s been the hardest thing and the most rewarding thing. For brief moments I’ve had the privilege of feeling the weight of God’s broken heart for His hurting people—it’s a crushing weight and those instances have made me very thankful He carries it for us. My life used to be pretty comfortable and relatively easy. Sometimes I miss those days. But when I look back at how much I’ve learned about the character of God, His heart, His love for His children… I wouldn’t trade that for a trouble-free life. Knowing what I know now, I can never go back.
I wrote this a few months ago for an adoption share on Instagram and I wanted to share it here.
My three year old is getting into the age of Barbies. I have a set of beautiful handmade Barbie furniture that my Granny made for me and with it I found two of my old Barbie dolls. They’re in bad shape…each is missing part of a limb from a puppy incident, each had an unfortunate haircut at some point and they were embarrassingly naked. I could have bought my daughter some new Barbies to go with the furniture but I did a little research and discovered these Lottie dolls are an affordable (comparable price to Barbie), funky, young-girl-friendly alternative.
To quote the top reviewer on Amazon: “In a market flooded with weird looking dolls with impossibly enhanced female figures dressed inappropriately (to put it nicely) with faces painted with makeup, in comes Lottie.”
And straight from the Lottie website: “The key point of difference is that Lottie has a ‘childlike’ body – she doesn’t wear makeup, jewelry or high heels and she can stand on her own two feet (always a useful life skill for all girls, big and small).”