Big Changes in the Ward Family

As an MK (missionary kid) I crave change.  If you don’t believe me, just ask my husband.  We have been married now for just under 12 years.  The first year of our marriage we moved from Chattanooga, TN to St. Louis, MO and both started new jobs.  The second year of our marriage we had our first child.  In the third year of our marriage we had our second child.  The next year we bought a house.  Then we got licensed by the state as an adoptive family, and had a pre-adoptive placement for about 6 months.  Then we recovered and got a dog.  Then we got licensed as a private adoptive family and had and lost a placement.  Then we got chickens and built something tangible together as we recovered.  Then we got licensed as a foster placement and had change after change (one time we received a new placement the same day one left).  That’s a lot of change and in the midst of it we have welcomed one more kiddo as a Ward and Lord willing will welcome the other two on a permanent basis soon as well.  We’ve also added and lost cats, added and lost lots of chickens, and added another dog.  I love change but it can also be exhausting and as a family we were ready for a year of just settling in to who our family is now and enjoying a slower pace as we move out of the fostering stage of life and into the “no more adding babies” stage of life.  This year was going to be our year of REST.

God has other plans, plans that we were not looking for or anticipating.  This year will be the year of the biggest change yet.  Moving again.  Kirk and I moved here as a newlywed couple twelve years ago.  This summer we will be packing up our family of seven humans, two dogs, one cat, and seven people worth of stuff (the chickens will be staying behind) and moving them all back to Chattanooga, TN.  I like to joke that we just came to St. Louis to have children.

This change has come as a shock to most people, it was also a shock to us.  Kirk was asked by Chattanooga Christian School to consider applying for their job as a Upper School Band teacher.  Though we’ve never expected to leave St. Louis, we started thinking about it…making our pro and con lists.  Pro…Kirk would be off on weekends and summers.  Con…he hasn’t really taught in type of setting before.  Pro…we have lots of family in and near Chattanooga.  Con…we love our church family in St. Louis.  Pro…CCS has a desire to improve their diversity.  Con…we love The Freedom School and the diversity it is dedicated to.  Pro…all the kids can go to the same school.  Con…we’ll miss our foster support…wait, can we even take our littlest two????!!!!!

This last “con” has been the biggest question mark in our minds.  God seemed to be opening door after door that was leading us to Chattanooga but we knew we wouldn’t leave our youngest two kids behind.  Their case is moving toward adoption but would it move fast enough for us to be able to move this summer.  This is still a question mark in our minds.  It feels like God is testing our trust in Him through it.  The last door to open was the official job offer.  Now the only thing that would hold us back is the St. Louis City court system, not the most efficient or time-sensitive entity in the world.  We have a great team working with us for the permanency of our kiddos but we really have no control over how things will play out.  WE NEED PRAYER!  We need prayer for God to move the “mountain” which is the court system so that we are at a point in their case that we can move them out of the state.  We need prayer for us that we will be able to trust God in whatever the future holds.

The Bible verse sitting on my kitchen window these days is so common that it’s easy to skim past all the wonderful encouragement…Philippians 4:6-7, “DO NOT BE ANXIOUS about anything, but in EVERYTHING by PRAY and supplication with THANKSGIVING let your requests be made know to GOD.  And the PEACE of GOD, which surpasses all understanding, will GUARD your HEARTS and you MINDS in Christ Jesus.”

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