Rob and I (Becky) have been married for 33 years, as of this writing on April 18, 2016. We were tiny babies when we married—well, at least quite young—well, actually 19 years old at the time. 2 weeks after the wedding, Rob was laid off from his job. He did any and all odd jobs to make ends meet, including chicken killing, landscaping, and much more. He landed a great job at a sawmill and worked at that for several years.
After some time passed, Rob decided to go to college. He had a call to be in ministry, and needed more education to accomplish that. He was a baker, a gas station attendant, and more while he was getting through school.
I did farm work on our family farm, and started giving a few piano lessons. Once Rob decided to go to school, we moved into a small town and I gave a LOT of piano lessons, having up to 36 students per week at times. Through the years, the amount of students I have accepted has varied. When I had so many children to care for, I took only a few, but the last few years I have worked on building up my business again as the children grew older, and many are not home anymore. I continued working at the family farm for many years, up until about 10 years ago, when we re-located to our current piece of property out in the country.
In the meanwhile, we wanted children and had always wanted to have some and adopt some. So, we got our first 2 girls when they were 4 and 5, and we were all of 22 and 23 years old. Boy, did we have a lot to learn! First, we didn’t understand that they were not up for adoption, they were still foster children. We figured that one out, were their foster parents and then adopted them when they were actually free. We did foster some other kids during those 2-3 years as well, but it was too heartbreaking when we had to give them back. After that, we went straight for adoption every time, until we had 7 adopted children from the state foster care system. We never did have any biological children.
Through all of those years, we learned a tremendous amount about working with special needs kids, kids whose parents who had abused drugs or alcohol and caused damage to their children, and children who had been through trauma. We were always sure that we were doing the right thing and never regretted having those children, even when times got hard with them. Some of them have been able to grasp the opportunity they were given to live a different lifestyle than their birth parents did, some have not. That caused a lot of heartbreak for us when we had to watch them self-destruct. After 7, we decided we were done, and I went around telling everyone that we were done, unless God sent another child to our door. We were not going out looking for another one.
The joke ended up being on us. About 3 years ago, the state did come knocking on our door. One of our older daughters was not doing well with her child, and they wanted us to take her in. That took a lot of prayer, as this was straight foster care, but we couldn’t say no. Now, we are in the process of adopting one more young lady, who is almost 12 now. I would say that we are totally done at 8 (2 boys and 6 girls), unless God sends another one to our door, but those are dangerous words I think……
We both are 4H leaders and have been for over 20 years. Our children all have been involved in the program and it has been a big part of our lives.
Through all of these years, Rob served at 3 churches. Two were in the early years after college, and were for relatively short periods of time. He was a youth pastor, and then, a children and family pastor. This last job was for almost 19 years. Very unexpectedly, last September, he went to work one day and was let go. I wrote about that in this post. We were crushed, to put it mildly. We are still working through the whole situation.
At this time, Rob is still not working, except for his small business and a few odd jobs. I have been teaching, but am bringing that job to an end at this time. I gave many lessons at the church Rob worked at in recent years, and need to find another venue. We are selling our home and have to be out in 5 weeks, if all goes as planned. We will be moving into our camper for a short time, until another home is purchased. We are going to search hard all summer, and buy the best we can get for the limited amount of cash we will have after the sale is finalized from this house. My sister’s farm will be our home base. I have told Rob that if we are going to be in our camper anyway, we are going camping, so we have reserved quite a few campsites during the summer at various state parks.
Our story is far from over. We are about to embark on a big adventure. This will be the first time I can remember that we do not have very many responsibilities. We will have no house to clean, no house payment, and very few bills. For the last 6 months, God has been faithful and provided for all of our needs. I have faith that He will continue to do that. I am also trusting Him to continue to help us work through the hurt we feel about losing Rob’s ministry and our property and home. By fall, we plan to be re-settled and Rob will hopefully have a job by that time. He does have a small business where he can continue to earn a bit each month. We also have some other work lined up–a little for summer, and more for fall. After we re-settle, I will start up teaching again, although I expect it to take a while to build the business up again. Because we live frugally, we don’t need a lot of money, so that will help. Having no house payment or rent will be a big help as well.
I started this blog because I want to chronicle this journey. I want to be able to look back and see how we’ve been blessed, and taken care of, and loved, during a time when our world has caved in. I am determined to have joy, even in the midst of this storm. I don’t want to lose this time in my life to despair, sadness or worry. I don’t want to lose sight of all of the blessings God is giving me, and how He cares for us. I want to look back and remember the sorrow and hurt, and see how much joy was intertwined with it, and choose to remember the joy, and to grow and change for the better from the hurt. I hope that I can help someone, somewhere with things I have learned from my circumstances. I consider my role as a wife and mother as my most important job, and want to make our home a haven for my family–a place to be safe, nurtured and loved for who they are–whether it is in a big, beautiful home, a camper or something in-between. I want to enjoy the journey as this next adventure unfolds and I hope they can, too.