Chasing Dreams – Chasing Hope

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I am a writer. I have been creating stories and putting them on paper for as long as I can remember. I didn’t call myself a writer, however, until a history professor at Biola University handed me a graded research paper and said, “You know you’re a writer, right?”

Uh . . . yes?

I am a writer. I started writing the novel Chasing Hopein 2005. It was called something else way back then. In fact, the title has changed a few times over the years. It’s the not the first novel I wrote. But it has been through many incarnations over the last twelve years.

What made me decide after all these years to finish this book? Hope. Dreams. Waking up to the reality of turning 41, with countless years “wasted.” I let my dreams wither on the vine while I tended everything but my writing.

But it wasn’t just the writing. It was the dream of being a mom and adopting, too, that languished, too. When I decided to pursue being a foster parent {and independent adoption}, last year, a door opened unintentionally.

I thought I was finally taking a leap in that one area of my life. What I didn’t realize, was that it would change so much. It ignited the hope that had been burning way too low, for way too long. As I started to pursue that one dream, the others came back into view. I started writing again. And as I researched adoption, the cost, though sometimes seemingly daunting, didn’t deter me.

But I needed to find a way to pay for a private/independent adoption, nonetheless. That’s when Kindle Direct’s self-publishing option started to make sense for me. So here I am! My book was live on Kindle June 10th.

Kindle Direct gives authors the option to use a free promotional period so my book is FREE on Kindle until June 15th! FREE! You can click the photo above, or go HERE! If you download Chasing Hope, please leave a review on Good Reads and on Amazon. The downloads and reviews will help me long term as I work towards raising funds for a private adoption.

Overall, this year so far has been about chasing dreams. But more than that, it’s about not letting your calling in life slip through your fingers as you get caught up in day to day adulting. 😉

I know, I know. You’ve got bills to pay. So do I. I know – you have a family that needs and wants your time and attention. Well, I don’t have that, but I do have a demanding job. You have circumstances that get in the way – maybe it’s your health, or maybe it’s people in your life that don’t believe in you.

I get it. I truly do. The time I’ve wasted over the years is evidence of that. But your unique stamp on the world through your writing, art, that business you have always dreamed of starting, etc., won’t write/paint/start itself.

Today is the day. So I’m chasing dreams. I’m chasing hope. I hope you will too!

Foster Care Adventures – Part Two

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October 2015, a little guy hung around at work, for a week or so. On Wednesday of that week, he “helped” me work. He sat on my lap, we hung out with friends, and then he played with my calculator & drew with my pens. He feel asleep there at my desk, in my arms, and I worked around him {not so successfully}. I lost my heart. I think about him all the time. Mostly because he was part of the journey {part one anyway} that I finished tonight as my foster parent training classes came to a close.

He was a reminder of everything I’ve always known about who I am and what I was put on this earth to do. He was the happiest boy. I saw him the following week and he “talked” all about the book he had with him. I will never forget this sweet boy. And I’m grateful for how God used him to remind me of what I’ve always known.

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Throughout the last 11 weeks or so, I’ve grown more confident that though there is more work to be done, there isn’t anything I’d rather do more than provide a loving home for kids.

So with part one complete, I’m on to the next part of this crazy adventure. I don’t know who my first placement will be. I don’t know his or her age, name, or background. But God does and He’s already put me on this path to cross his or her path.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” James 1:27.

Home Sweet Home

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When I last wrote, I was still struggling through the home search process. Why is that so stressful, ya’ll? But I found the house, finished packing, and last Saturday, moved in! So thankful that process is over!

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The new neighborhood is so quiet. I love it. My kitchen, my favorite room in the house, is perfect. It’s huge. This house is everything the last house wasn’t. The biggest bonus of all is definitely the kitchen. I’m in love.

I’ve given my mom a couple of rooms so she can stretch out a little while she works and plans and dreams for her own place. For now, the plan is for one kid’s room. Someday, I may be adding a second kid’s room but for now, mom is using that for her Etsy business and craft stuff. The kiddo room is painted blue and has a crazy planets ceiling fan. It’s pretty boy friendly.

As I think about the kiddo that might stay there, first, I’m contemplating changing the ceiling fan. I’ve spent some time on Etsy looking for gender neutral {all ages friendly} rooms so that may be the first thing to go. But more on that later . . .

Back to the heart of the home. Did I mention I love it?

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I’m looking forward to cooking in it! It was definitely the first room to be unpacked and organized. The other rooms are coming together. But the kitchen has definitely been my focus.

The yard will take a little work. The patio is super small and there’s no shade. But thanks to Pinterest I have some ideas for fixing that, too. But I still love it. It’s awesome to have a privacy fence again after a year with a chain link fence and nosey neighbors and loud dogs.

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IMG_4627 Abby approves. She adores this yard.

After one full week in this house, I can honestly say that all of the stress was worth it. I’m so thankful to be getting settled. I am dreaming and hoping, with joy, at what lies ahead.

My foster parent orientation is on August 3rd – just a few days away. I can’t wait to meet the first child that will call this place home.