The Family Moore

The Family Moore

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Time to say Goodbye...

God answers prayers.

We, not one of us, are privy to His purpose and will.  We follow Him blindly in faith that He is working all things for our good.

He promises to lead us through the valley, not around it.  This means He is with us when we are with Him.

It is with a heavy heart that we tell you that L is no longer living with us.

There has been much sadness, anger, and crying over this decision, and it did not come lightly.  We came to our decision after much talking and counseling about what was best for L and what was best for us.

We will miss him.

There is a family for him somewhere.

Our prayers are that his time with us left an impression on him that will grow.  What a family is like.  What putting God first is like.  What being vulnerable is like.

The night before he left, Mike, not knowing he was leaving the next day, spent quite some time with him, one on one, talking with him about some of his struggles.  Mike told him that Christ is the one true way.  He told L that he needed to work on his relationship with Christ, to seek Him out in all things and ask himself "Is what I am about to do going to honor Christ?"

We both held and prayed over him at the kitchen table that night, not knowing that it was the last time we would get the chance.  We prayed that he would open his heart to Christ's leadership and that God would make Himself so visible to L that he could not help but seek him out.

Looking back, we have questioned our faith in this matter.  We have asked "Were we following God's will in this or our own desire?"  After a lot of tears and prayer we believe we were.  Mike, and others in our support network, suggested that God's purpose in this may not have been for him to be a permanent part of our family.  That, perhaps, God's will for L in our life had been fulfilled.

We may never know.

But Mike has never prayed as fervently for and over someone as he did for L at the kitchen table that last night.

Please pray for L.  And for healing for all of us.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

What A Month!!

Well, it has been a little over a month since our last post and it has been BUSY!

L started summer workouts with the high school football team and has really enjoyed getting to meet some of his new classmates.  Along the way he has made some new friends.

The big thing, no, the HUGE thing we did was all five of us flew out to Denver for Kerri's sister's wedding.  Stephanie married Dave.  On top of a mountain.  At sunset.  It was beautiful. 

Mike got to walk the mother of the bride to her seat and Kerri sang (Surprise!!) during the seating of the family and while the wedding party came in.

We flew into Denver International on a Wednesday.  Our first mission was lunch at Sam's #3 in Glendale.  If you ever go to Denver, you MUST eat there.  It is a sort of a deli/Mexican/breakfast food place that gives HUGE portions for a VERY reasonable price.  We ate there three times during the week we were there.  (Thanks for the tip Michael!)

As we were leaving lunch and on our way to the hotel, an accident happened near the restaurant about a minute before we got to that intersection and emergency responders closed the road.  Our GPS didn't really know what to do next and so, what should have been a 15 minute ride, took about an hour as we rode all over the place.


Thursday we went to Roxborough Canyon State Park just south of Denver.  As the pictures show, it is a beautiful spot and we had a nice time walking the 2+ mile loop through the canyon.

This rock outcropping is called the Washington rock.  Can you tell why?  (Hint: take out a quarter)

Friday we went to the Buffalo Bill Museum and Gravesite in Golden, Colo. (pretty cool, actually) and then we took the highest paved road in North America to the top of Mount Evans at 14,100 feet.  Mike, Kerri and L hiked the remaining 100 feet to the summit.

And, of course, the obligatory selfie...

During the 28 mile ride to the top, the temperature dropped about 40° from 76° to 39°.  Add to that a steady wind of about 20 mph and the "feels like" temperature was about 29°.  Wow!!

On Saturday we went to Winter Springs, Colo. and rode an alpine slide as many times as we could during the four hours we were there.

If you don't know, an alpine slide is a concrete half-pipe running down the side of a mountain.  You get on a cart with no helmet or seat belt and just a brake and see how fast you can go down the mountain. 

The slide in Winter Springs is the longest in Colorado and is over 3000 feet long and drops 610 feet along the way.  The top speed for the season so far when we were there was 37 mph.  Yes, that's you, in a cart, with no safety equipment, hurtling down a hill at 30+ mph.

Accidents happen.  And they did.

We are pleased to announce that Mike and Sean were the only members of the family that did NOT bust it while going down the slide!  The bruise on Kerri's arm nicely complemented the color of her dress for the wedding on Monday night.

The following Tuesday we went with family to the Denver Zoo.  We are sure it is a nice place to go but by this time we were about worn out from our adventures.

When we got home we found that one of our kitties, the oldest (Hannah - 11) had disappeared and was, presumably, killed by a coyote.  So, we now have two new kittens, Biscuit and Pepper.

To round out the month, L got braces yesterday!

Pray for us.  We need it!!  :o)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Signing Day

Today is Getcha Day!

We call it that because today we "get him!"

Today L's DHR workers came from there county to our home to meet with us and our social worker, Sarah, and we signed all the paperwork finalizing our wishes to adopt him.

We signed the adoption placement paperwork. 


This starts a 90-day period where we are visited by our worker and L's worker to make sure everything is going well.  At the end of the 90-day period we can ask for consent to finalize the adoption.

This means that on August 22 we can ask for that consent.

After that we petition the court for a hearing to finalize the adoption.  We hope to finish all this by the end of November for another early Christmas gift.

L is really excited as are we and Zach and Sean. 

It's going to be a busy summer.  Keep praying for us.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Coming Home

Well it's been almost a month since L first spent the weekend with us.  He has spent every weekend since then with us as well.

Waiting for the school year to finish has been tough on all of us but the good news is...

L is coming home to stay this Friday, May 16, 2014!!

We are all so excited. 

Zach and Sean have really enjoyed their time getting to know L.  He is older, bigger and stronger than they are so things can get rough pretty quick but they don't seem to slow down.

It has been really good for them to have a big brother.  That's not something we had initially considered but it has turned into such a blessing.

We are very much looking forward to not having to take him back every Sunday.  It has been a real bummer.  As the time approached each Sunday afternoon, L got a little quieter and withdrawn.

He told us this week that it was okay - this was the last time and he could get through it!

It is going to be quite a change when the temporary nature of our relationship suddenly becomes permanent.  Tolerance that the boys have for each other because they know there will be a break will most likely dissipate and bickering begin.

But, that's what a family does.

This summer L is going to work out with the football team and wants to play in the fall.  Sean will start cross-country practice and training (this week) and will be continuing that throughout the summer.  Zach will have band camp in July and has already started running regularly (he can run two miles non-stop - if he wants to) to get him in better shape for marching band in the fall.  And on top of all that, all three will have activities with the church throughout the summer.  It's going to be a very busy couple of months!

But, that's what family does.

If L makes the football team, we will have football games on Mondays and Fridays and Cross Country meets on Saturdays.  Mike lamented that there won't be hardly any down time.

And Kerri pointed out, that's what family does.

That's what it comes down to.  We are expanding our family.  God made us that family and we will do everything we can to treasure every moment, to explore every opportunity, and participate in as many things we can to bond as one.

A family that plays together is a strong one.  It won't be easy but something of value rarely is.  God has guided us to this point and we know he will continue to do so.

Pray for all of us.  We need it!

Monday, April 21, 2014


On Good Friday, Mike picked up L from his foster placement and brought him to Montgomery for his first weekend visit.  It truly was a good Friday.  And a good weekend.

It's a long drive, and the two of them had a good amount of time to talk about many things.

On Friday night we were supposed to have a Sunday School class social and Easter egg hunt but, having rained for 24 hours, the yard was a pond and that was postponed.  Instead, we cooked steaks to welcome L home.

Saturday we took him to see Captain America 2 (GREAT flick!!) and took him shopping for some clothes and for some items so he could finish a school project.  Yes, on his first visit, he had homework to do.

That night, we had the long-awaited talk with him and told him we loved him.  Mike told him we wanted him to be part of our family, our son and a brother to Zach and Sean.  His response was "You're gonna make me cry..."

He said yes.

He told us that he feels a peace with us and at our home - now his home, too.  We told him that God made us a family - even before we knew each other!

Easter Sunday was great.  L got to meet a lot of our friends, and he went with Zach to youth Sunday school and met the Youth Pastor and Youth Intern.  Mike talked to both of the youth leaders and asked them if they could identify a couple great 9th grade boys to take L under their wing and guide him through a new church.

After the church service we took him to meet Pastor Jay and a friend of ours, Tanya Birchfield, got to meet him and she took our Easter picture.  Here is (almost) what it looked like:

(picture removed) 

The inevitable time came to take him back and, as we expected, things got a little sad.

We loaded up the van and set out as a family to take L back.  Everything was pretty good until we got him there and we all had a hard time saying goodbye.  We reassured him that it was just a week at a time and that we were expecting to pick him up for a weekend visit every weekend until school was out.

We've said this before but the hard part is the separation.  We want him here and he wants to be here.

He told Mike Saturday, after we had bought him several things, that we should not have spent so much money on him (it really wasn't that much).  Mike pointed out that's what parents are for, to make sure their child has what they need, no matter the cost.  It is a concept he could not understand because it's something he has never experienced.

He talked about how he wasn't going to have room in his new bedroom for all his stereo equipment and other stuff.  Mike pointed out that, until now, his room was his haven.  He now has an entire house and family to spend time with and that he would not be spending that much time in his room anyway.  He looked a bit perplexed at the idea.

Zach and Sean have really taken to him - he is a natural big brother.  They are eating up his attention!

We, and L, have a long road ahead of us.  Mike talked to him about the need for him to let go and let us BE his parents.  That he needed to let himself be vulnerable and trust that we "had his back."  He admitted that was going to take time.  Mike told him there wasn't a time limit.

Please pray that this next month goes smoothly.  And quickly.  Try imagining having to take your own child and leave him with someone else during the week.

L is our son.  He is our child.  We want him at home.  Pray that we will be able to be for him what he needs, and that he will feel God's love as these walls come down.  L will have a really hard time being vulnerable - pray that we have patience.  Pray for L that he can understand and accept our love for him - we are blowing his mind at the moment with our profession of love and care for him.  He doesn't understand why we would want him - what a perfect opportunity to share God's grace and love!  Thank you for praying for our family!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Saturday, in the Park...

This past Saturday, after Sean had played his AYSO soccer game (and won 5-1) we drove to the town where L is living to meet him for a "play date".

We met him at Olive Garden where he was dropped off by his foster parent.  She did not wait around for us to talk to her but that's okay.

After eating our fill of Italian fare, we drove around and he showed us the high school he attends (WOW!) and some of the local sites.  Then we went to a local park to throw and kick a  ball around and give L a chance to run around with Zach and Sean and for us to see them all play together.

Things could not have gone better.  Again.

It was, incredibly, the most natural thing.  L took the lead and set up what they were going to do and both Zach and Sean ate it up.  All three of them really enjoyed themselves.  Mike got hit in the shoulder by a swiftly-kicked soccer ball and Kerri learned she doesn't want to try a catch a football with her chest.

No broken bones or blood on anyone at the end so a success by all measures!

The park has a lake with a jogging path so we walked around for awhile, talked, joked, laughed and had a really good time.  All around the lake there are benches and randomly placed hop-scotch and similar concrete pads to play on.

Mike re-created the scene in "Elf" where Buddy hops across the road in New York on a crosswalk.  A random stranger even gave him applause for his effort.

L couldn't believe he would do that and Kerri explained that's how we roll.  "You'll get used to it!"

We left and went for shakes at Chik-fil-A (yum!), hung out in the AC and just talked some more.

We have to say, this was the most natural family outing you can imagine,  It's like we have been a family for a long time.  L got a little sappy and Mike got right there with him and we all had "a moment", one of many to come.

Thank you Lord.  Thank you that you have ordained this moment.  That you have made us a family.  That you did that even before we knew it.  We know you did because your fingerprints are everywhere.

It was time to take L back to the park to catch his ride.  As usual, everyone got a little quiet.

When we got to the park he saw his foster parent.  We told all three boys to stay in the van while we went and talked to her.

Aha!  A captive audience.

It was a pleasant conversation and it was important to us to have that chance to talk to her and let her get to know us.  Mike came away feeling much better that L was going to be able to stay put until the end of the school year.

L had mentioned that he was a rebellious child and that he had needed someone to stick with him through his bad choices.  He said his current foster parent had provided him that and he was grateful.  Kerri was able to tell her that.

This coming weekend he is coming to Montgomery to spend the weekend with us.  Yeah!!!

We plan to tell him Sunday that we want him to come live with us, join our family and to be our son and a brother to Zach and Sean.

Please keep the prayers coming.  This is a most incredible experience.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Day at the Zoo

When we set up a day and time to meet L and have Zach and Sean meet him for the first time (in person), we had to have a fallback plan.  If the weather cooperated, we were going to the Birmingham Zoo.  If not, it was the McWane Center.

The weather was perfect.

We met about 10:00 Saturday (April 5) but L was texting Mike the whole way there to see where we were.   He and his social worker actually beat us there and so they were waiting at the gate.  We told Zach and Sean they had to RUN up to the gate and meet L in person.

It was a great day.

L was a little nervous at first but as things progressed he was able to relax a bit.  We even had all three boys ride a camel (one at a time).  We rode the train.  We took time for a snack.  All was good.  At one point Mike pulled L to the side and asked him what he thought.  L said he was scared that Zach and Sean wouldn't like him and that this wouldn't work.  Mike told him "this is not a test you have to pass - you've already done that.  This is just a time to get to know each other."  With that, L seemed to relax a bit more.

We left the zoo about 1:00 to go to lunch at P.F. Chang's at The Summit.  It was about here that L started to get a little more quiet and withdrawn.  Our social worker noticed it and mentioned he was beginning to realize the day was nearing an end and we would soon have to go our separate ways.

After lunch we went to a new popsicle place at The Summit called Steel City Pops (thanks Brandy!)  It was different and fun and really delicious.

So the whole day ended about 3:30 and we had to send our boy to his home and head to ours.  We really enjoyed our time with L, the boys said they really liked him and we think he felt all that. He just is ready for a permanent home with a family and it's difficult to deal with all that emotion.

We are going to see him again this coming Saturday, April 12, when we drive to where he lives and take him to lunch.  It will be a short visit but it's hard not to make use of every moment you have until you are together forever.

Mike is picking him up on Good Friday and he will spend that weekend with us.

We have not been able to talk about permanency with him in the past because things have to occur and play out in a certain way.  It makes it difficult when we can't tell him "it will be soon..."

Our biggest concern right now is that the foster home where he is currently living will tell DHR that he needs to go ahead and move (before the end of the school year).  The transition process can be a bot chaotic for a foster home and there are a lot of reasons this could happen in our case but in reality it should NOT happen.  Ever.

We have made contingency plans in case it does happen but it is absolutely not in L's best interest to move before the end of the school year.  We want him and will take him whenever, however and wherever but we also want what's best for him.

Please pray to soften the heart of his foster parent, that she will be kind to L, that she will be blind to the chaos this process causes, that she will supportive of the transition, and that she will not even consider asking for him to leave before the end of the school year.

Please pray for us as we spend the next six weeks waiting for the clock to tick and our son to come home.