Eleven Years Later
Adoption Grace & Life
by Shannon
1w ago
Recently, an old “note” that I’d written on social media about choosing single motherhood resurfaced, and I decided it was time for a remix.  You can read the original here, but without further ado, here is What I want you to know… eleven years later. I want you to know that almost exactly one year after I wrote this, the tiniest baby entered our family bringing with him layers of nuanced birth family relationships that would expand my heart in ways I could never have imagined.  Fostering him broke me open, challenged everything I thought I knew about what was best for kids, and brou ..read more
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Choosing Single Motherhood
Adoption Grace & Life
by Shannon
1w ago
I am a single mother by choice.  I adopted my daughter from foster care and I’m hoping to bring another child into our family in the next few years.  What do I want you to know? I want you to know that I don’t need your adulation.  I didn’t adopt to solve the orphan crisis, put feet to my pro-life convictions or make any kind of political or religious statement.  I didn’t adopt because I don’t think enough married couples are doing it.  I am not a hero and my daughter is not “lucky to have me.” I want you to know that I don’t need your pity.  I didn’t adopt becaus ..read more
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Level ground
Adoption Grace & Life
by Shannon
11M ago
Four neat lines. We file forward singing about the Father’s deep love for us even as we hear our own voice scoffing. Here the ground is level. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how you vote. All are welcome. The table is wide. The body and the blood are for us. Paul and Silas had followed the Holy Spirit to Philippi. God was preparing to build the church there. An influential woman. An exploited demon-possessed slave girl delivered in the name of Jesus.  A suicidal jailer and his family. This is the start of the church in Philippi (Acts 16). Hardly an auspicious beginning. But isn’t th ..read more
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Doors
Adoption Grace & Life
by Shannon
11M ago
I’ve been thinking a lot about the Holy Spirit lately. About the same power that raised Jesus living inside of his people. Walking around in our homes. In our communities. In our schools and churches. Ready to unleash his power when we call on him. Ready to comfort, to speak wisdom, to advocate, to bear witness to the truth of the gospel. And sometimes to keep us from heading where we think we’re supposed to go. Wait, what? Yep. Paul and Silas had their bags packed and they were ready to go.  But the Holy Spirit kept them from preaching the word in the province of Asia. So, they gave it a ..read more
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On Mothering
Adoption Grace & Life
by Shannon
1y ago
I grew up with the best mom ever. The mom who put on her swimsuit and took her kids out to play in the rain. The mom who hauled giant snowballs up apartment steps so we could have a snowman on our deck. The mom who hatched chicks on our kitchen floor and baked a cake when I got a D in calculus because I was always too hard on myself anyway. The mom who took her church girls to sit at the bedside of a friend dying of AIDS because this too is love. This too is part of life. The mom who told me a million times that I was beautiful and strong and smart and could do anything in this world that I ch ..read more
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On triggers and grief
Adoption Grace & Life
by Shannon
1y ago
Mama, come! His words sound urgent, but they always do. His mind is in constant motion, so I have no idea what he wants to show me today. All I know is that we are awake before the sun. Lights flash outside the window of his newly painted room. An ambulance. Mama, it’s Ms. Emma!* My boy has just watched our neighbor be wheeled out of her house on a stretcher. We’ve been worried about her for a while… trying not to be nosy as we watched her go from feisty independence to the whatever comes next that comes along with hanging around on earth for a long time. And, for a moment, I cannot anymore. I ..read more
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Hard
Adoption Grace & Life
by Shannon
1y ago
The wind outside is howling and I cannot catch my breath. My eyes are leaking as I try not to wake my babies, asleep in the other room. Well, one at least. The other one has such finely tuned intuition that she is probably already awake, worrying about me. My fingers snatch my prayer shawl, gifted in love and solidarity, as I try to wrestle some comfort from the prayers of this great cloud of witnesses. I smother myself with the pillow made from my dad’s shirt, willing myself to smell him one more time. I imagine walking into a room, sitting down and just announcing, This is all really hard. B ..read more
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Anticipation
Adoption Grace & Life
by Shannon
1y ago
I’ve been feeling lately like something is brewing. Like God’s people are hungry. Seeking. And ready to step hard into Jesus’ power and calling on our lives. I look around and believe that ears are being opened and hearts are being inclined to know the love and hear the truth of Jesus.  I’m trying to wrap my mind around the idea that the same power that resurrected Jesus rests on my life. On our lives. My heart is beating loud to bring freedom to captives and recovery of sight to the blind. To release the oppressed and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. I learned recently that Jeho ..read more
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A Little Prayer Circle
Adoption Grace & Life
by Shannon
1y ago
Y’all, I love small group prayer. It’s a little weird, I think. Because icebreakers and small talk make me want to run. But give me a little prayer circle (even with people I don’t know well) where we are talking to Jesus instead of each other, and it’s a different story. And so it is that I find myself plugging my kid into technology after grabbing him from his class so that I can spend fifteen minutes praying with virtual strangers (plus my pastor– he’s cool). I lap them up like water, these moments. I cannot get enough. Tucked into this little circle, I am reminded today of Romans 4:2. It’s ..read more
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It matters
Adoption Grace & Life
by Shannon
1y ago
Out of the depths I cry to You In darkest places I will call It sounds cliche, I think. To say that a pillar of my life crumbled when my dad died. The world kept spinning and I emerged, exhausted, into the dusty disorientation of grief. For as long as I can remember, I’ve known a few things for sure. And one of them is that the fight for justice is a holy one. That devoting myself to working for God’s kingdom to come on earth matters. And so, the questions were hard. Not really “Why would God let this happen?” But “Does this work still matter when everything feels so unfair?” I yelled at God a ..read more
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