Let me just first say, Elise only agreed to these pictures on the blog under one condition~~ that I also show the picture of the "real" her too! If you ask me~~this is the real her, ha ha!! However, she was referring to the 3rd picture~~the normal looking Elise!
This is what happens when you have teenagers in the house who use your camera for goofy pictures! You never know if they'll show up on the blog or not :) Let that be a lesson to you girls!
Like this one?! Soooo dramatic at times! Perhaps she should be an actress, huh?! Shawna is just as dramatic~only she'd never be caught on camera doing such things! Any wonders where the Forever Home girls may get their silliness? They have the perfect examples right in front of them :)
According to Elise, this is the "normal" her!
I have to tell you that our girls are really something special. While I don't often brag on them, I am today! They are so dedicated and loving! Most people do not know just how much these girls give of themselves! Not once in awhile, but EVERY SINGLE DAY! We live with these older orphan girls and naturally that involves them in nearly every aspect of their lives. They are always helping them~~and they do it so willingly. If they aren't painting their nails, making cookies, or cotton candy, it's brushing teeth, or helping getting dressed and ready for school~~or the so many other tasks that need being done to help mom and dad get 8 girls where they need to be on time. Side by side they work along with us each and every day.
They truly love these girls and while it isn't always easy, they also wouldn't have it any other way. How would we know that? When specifically asked again last summer when looking to move if they'd rather our family have our own apartment and the Forever Home girls another separate one~~their unanimous decision was way easy for them~~NO WAY! They didn't even have to think about it~~they just couldn't imagine their lives without these girls!
We always try to be sensitive to their needs and never wanted to force our work upon them. Naturally, if we live with these girls, they wouldn't have much choice in the matter~which is why we again asked them what THEY wanted to do.
I don't often feature them on our blog posts for several reasons. The biggest one being that they are your typical teenagers who really don't like their pictures taken and think mom doing blog posts of them is silly and embarrassing. Why, it's hard to just get a few pictures of them! Then usually if I do, they are telling me they don't want them posted on the blog :)
They freely give love to these girls out of their precious hearts. We laugh together, rejoice at victories together, and we cry together when one of them leave us. I think it's the hardest job we've ever had, but at the same time, it is also the most rewarding job. We are so blessed when one of these girls find their very own forever family and we know in our hearts that we've done our very best to help each one grow, learn and transition into these loving homes! When they leave us, though we are happy, well......we are also heart broken for awhile for the loss we feel. Sometimes the pain seems unbearable and I sometimes wonder if we can possibly do this again~knowingly opening up ourselves to the pain we know we'll surely endure all over again. But the answer to that~no matter how much it hurts~is very easy.....ABSOLUTELY! If an orphan needs a home, we'd never turn them down! Love compels us to press on no matter the cost! You see, we know~without a doubt~that this is what we are called to do. So it is in Him we place our trust to continue on, loving these girls unconditionally just as He also loves us unconditionally.
I say all that to say: We couldn't be prouder of our daughters (Elise, Shawna, and Elizabeth) and appreciate~more than words could ever say~just how much they do for us and these precious orphans as we continue to work side by side!!