That We Might Have Joy: Cathy's Story

God's Plan for Us

God works in His own time and in His own way. A friend from church posted on facebook:

As we grow up we dream of how wonderful our lives will be. We dream of the perfect husband and how we are going to be the perfect parents and how many perfect children we want to have. Our husbands will have the perfect job and me as the perfect wife will be a stay at home wife and mother. I will create the perfect meals and keep the perfect house, and I WILL NEVER EVER RAISE MY VOICE! We grow up watching these fairy tale stories where all we have to do is find our perfect prince, and then we live happily ever after. SO SIMPLE!


Our lives can go somewhat how we dreamed.  However, there has to be adversity in all things. DARN IT! There are so many factors that we have no control over. Our husband’s jobs have their ups and downs, many women have to work, the car will break down when we need it most, time gets the best of us and we fall behind on this or that, our kids have agency and they are allowed to have thoughts and make decisions for themselves, and our dreams for the future turn into a reality where we pray (PLEAD) for the best and least painful path God can give us.

I have always loved kids.  I grew up in a large family and just knew that God had a plan for me to have a large family. I was married young and had no plans of even waiting to have children. From the time that I met my to-be husband, I wanted to have a baby as soon as possible.  Shortly after I was married, I started having symptoms of being pregnant. I was very tired all of the sudden. Within a month, my tummy had started to grow. I thought, “Wow!  I did not know my tummy would grow this fast, but okay,” but then I spiked a high temperature. I told Dave that a fever is not a symptom of pregnancy, so maybe there was something else wrong. We had some money from the wedding that we decided we could use, so we decided to take me to the doctor. We found out I was not pregnant, but I had Mono so bad that I was on my death bed. The fatigue was so bad and the mono and the swollen tummy was my liver and spleen that where ready to rupture. I had always been so healthy besides the 3 month kidney infection I had while I was engaged. The Mono took me over a year to rest and recover, and it seemed to have left me unable to have children. We went to several doctors over the years and that was the only vague thing they could come up with. There was really nothing wrong with me, but the doctor's attempts to help us have a baby all failed. I had gained weight during the recovery, mostly because I had been so active before and I had slept from a year recovering, which was an extreme change in routine.

I had known forever that I was to be a mother, and the few times I was sure I was pregnant, I would lose the baby before I could confirm anything. My hormones over the next many years were all over the place and so was my weight. After 3 years of this, I was finally able to talk my husband into adopting. We started the process of foster care, and 6 months later, we had our first placement. After watching my parents, aunt, and grandparents do foster care, it just seemed that it was the right thing to do. I knew that foster kids had problems and that they were difficult, but I was a strong women, and I could handle it, and this could give me a child now…

Anna, age 2 ½, was our first placement and was so medically complex that I learned that I was even stronger than I ever knew. Anna suffered from internal bleeding and some paralysis. She was not able to walk, mostly unable to talk, and required medical intervention just to feed her. God’s plan for me was never ever what I had thought.

We then took on a sibling group that was to be an adoption placement. However, the mom did the little that was asked and a return goal was put in place. After the kids had been with us for a year, the kids were too attached, and the state removed them from our home. I DISCOVERED I WAS NOT AS STRONG AS I THOUGHT!

At this time, we did get to adopt Anna. Anna, in this year in a half, had learned to walk and talk and eat without help, and she was a stinker. She would tease and tease and tease.  It was that personality that made her so strong. It was also that personality that taught me everything I know as a mom.  Her disabilities were now epilepsy, autistic tendencies, and some behavioral problems.

Then we had a one year old placed with us. Ben had been burned in a bathtub from his waist down. We had intensive medical treatments and exercises that we had to do so that he would not lose the use of his lower legs. Ben was placed with us primarily because of the work I had done with Anna, and Ben’s care was very demanding. His bio mother was six months from having a baby so Ben’s placement was also going to result in another placement shortly thereafter. I was so excited-- A BABY! However, even though this looked like an adoption placement, the bio mom did the little the state asked, and the state started talking about the boys going back. My heart just cried. I could not bear this. Luckily with some divine intervention, the bio mom surrendered her rights to Ben, but at 11 months, I lost the baby to the bio dad. With my family dynamic going up and down all of the time, it was so hard to understand God’s plans for me. It was so hard to understand why these kids needed to go through such pain, not to mention me….

I just could not do foster care anymore. I just could not put my family through any more of this. We had Anna and Ben.  God had given us two children. There are many families that are very happy with 2 kids.  I would make this work for me….. NOT!!! After a year or two of this, I just felt that there were more children that were meant to join our family. About that time, I was made aware of 2 teenage girls that needed help. We adjusted our foster care licenses and welcomed two seventeen year old girls into our home within a week of each other. One was a crises intervention with no state help, and she was pregnant. The other was a foster care placement that went to a different school district. Both girls would be graduating in a few months, and I needed to help them get ready for adulthood overnight. These placements where short and sweet, and they taught me that I needed to make room for more children in my life, even if it meant dealing with the ups and downs of foster care.

I once again changed my license placement to adoption only, and I just looked for kids up for adoption. In 2005, we had two sets of siblings placed in our home and adopted. We finally had that feeling of complete. Kind of.  At least at this point we said no more foster care.  If God had plans for more children He would have to find another way.

These sibling groups had lots of special needs. There were lots of behavioral problems from the abuse and neglect these kids had suffered. One had in his IEP (Individual Education Plan) that he was unteachable. His only goal in school was to sit in his seat. Another one of these kids was clearly in the autism spectrum, and another had depression and learning delays. The youngest, being nine months, was as cute as ever. The Lord had answered my prayer. I wanted children, I needed children, and he gave me six. Six kids with lots of needs-- emotionally, physically and spiritually. They have been so much work, but I would not change it.

After deciding to no longer do foster care, we tried to lead normal lives. The funny thing is, what is a normal life? I have no idea. I started to homeschool my sister, so she moved in with us. When my job was done there and my sister went back into public school, I took on another high school student to offer academic support. She ended up being more a part of our family than I ever dreamed. I have babysat for those that needed help, including a young boy who was not picked up one night, and we took him into our home until the mother came back 3 months later. I then took on another teen that just started sleeping on my couch. He had woven his way into my heart, too. All this time, I was still praying to have a baby. I had 6 kids that I loved, 6 kids that were mine, and many more that had a placed in my heart as if they were mine.

As I drove home from church one Sunday afternoon, the little boy that stayed with us for 3 months answered that prayer for me. He said, “Mom, I love you”. At that moment, the Spirit spoke to me in a way he never had before. I am a mother in Zion. I am the mother here on this earth to those that need a mother most. God NEEDED me to fill this very important role. I was fulfilling my divine role. At that moment I understood, and I was ok. I was doing as the Lord needed me to do. I was much needed, and I was much loved.

After this moment, I stopped praying to have a baby, and I stopped having miscarriages. I was able to focus all of my needed time and attention on the children God had already gave me and placed in my lap. My husband’s job took us to South Carolina and then to Wyoming. I was content with my life and had happily moved forward. I had found that my life's trials and experiences could help others. I felt that God helped others through me.

Life was content and happy. Then I find out about a few health problems of my own after moving to Wyoming, as well as some of my children’s emotional needs.  These took over my life. Heavenly Father seemed to have slowed down on placing needy children in my path so that I could truly focus on the ones that I had in my home. I have a very close relationship with one of my older foster kids and her children hold a huge place in our lives. It just seemed that life was starting to settle and our hearts to feel content.

In addressing my health, I had to travel to Salt Lake City. I saw so many doctors that changed everything for me. The tumor that they had found had stopped growing. The doctors found me in good health. One doctor recommended a new doctor to oversee things and give her analysis of my situation. Dave and I went to this doctor the next day. She was amazing. At the end of the visit, she looked at Dave and me, and she told us she thought we should have a baby. We were shocked! She said she would like to help us, and with medical advances, it would not cost too much. We asked her how much it would cost, and she told us. Dave had just been given a bonus from work for that same amount. God had held my prayer in His heart and was granting it to me 20 years later.

January 18th, 2016 we gave birth to Julia Rose. I truly felt that God said, “You have done well my good and faithful servant; here is your reward.” Julia has brought so much joy to our whole family. I have the perfect family with all of their special needs and all of the extensions to our family dynamics, and now I have a little cherry on top. God has always loved me, and He continues to do so. He has blessed me and many others through me, and His plan is amazing.

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