Why?

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Tonight as I was putting Brielle to sleep, I was telling her how amazing, beautiful, and such a blessing she was to me.  I wanted her to just know that I am so happy that God allows us each and every day to raise her and be her parents.  I think we get so caught up in our every day lives, that we just forget to tell our kids how precious of a gift and amazing they are.

After I was telling Brielle how amazing she was, she looked and me and said “I’m sad”, (and then I knew right then and there that her mind was racing and her heart was digging so deep) so of course I asked why and she stated to me “I am sad because God took my brother and my sister and I want to know why.”  This just stumped me, because I am amazed at the fact that my three year old comprehends so much at her age.  I told her that we are all God’s children to begin with, so he doesn’t take any of them from us, he just simply has a differently calling for their life.  I went on to say that they are very much alive and happy and probably running around as we speak. She then states “I just want to know why God allowed my brother and sister to be born sick,” well..that was a tough one because it just hit me so deep.  That is exactly what I used to ask Him all the time when I was told that I was carrying a terminally ill baby.  But the best response that I could come up with is that God makes every single one of us differently and some of us are more unique than others and are born sick, but that it doesn’t make any of us less special, just more unique. She was satisfied at this point and just said “I just want to give you a really tight hug right now” and so she did, and proceeded to go to sleep.

Let me tell you, I learn SO much from her, and I know I don’t always have the best answers to her questions,and I will definitely let her know if it is something that I need some time to think about and get back to her. Knowing at just three years old that she can really understand where her siblings are, and grasp the fact that they are both different than her is so so precious and special in our hearts and our family.  Shane and I definitely know that we are doing something right raising her.

I just felt like this needed to be shared, and I wanted it documented so that I would never forget this precious little conversation, with my precious little girl.

©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved

 

5 ways our foster daughter has changed Brielle

(This is Brielle giving baby girl a belly kiss and making her laugh SO very hard!)

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There are definitely some things in life that you just cannot change. You can’t change the fact that Brielle had to experience the unthinkable.. losing her sister when she was just 19 months old,or the fact that she had to learn more about Jesus and God and where her sister and brother are, in Heaven.

But one thing that we have learned about Brielle, is that she is resilient. She absorbs everything God has given her, and more.  She has such an amazing understanding of life and her knowledge at just 3 1/2 years old is out of this world.

God called my husband and I to open our doors and our hearts in January of 2016, to help other children in need of love, hope, and understanding.  At the time, we were just praying that Brielle would transition well and open her heart and her mind into accepting new friends and love them as much as we would!

One day we got a phone call, from a 4 month baby girl getting released from the NICU, born to exposure to drugs, and weighing in at just 1lb 8oz. at birth.  Let me tell you, we didn’t hesitate to tell the case worker YES! Shane and I knew what to expect with the possibility of another special needs baby, and what that would do to our life and our family as a whole, but we said yes immediately and made our way to San Antonio to meet her the next day!!

Brielle immediately clicked with her.  Her big sister switch flipped to “on” and she has been taking care of her ever since.

I just wanted to share with y’all a few ways that our foster child has actually helped our biological child.

  1. She will get Brielle out of bad mood, or a tantrum real quick, by reaching for her and smiling.
  2. She showed Brielle what trust fully is, by giving her everything she has.  She will literally let Brielle re-position her about 100 times, without even crying.  THAT is trust!
  3. She taught Brielle how to be joyful and happy again.  After losing her sister, Brielle kind of just became a different child–A very angry, and very cautious child, who had lost a lot of her joy.
  4. She shows Brielle that she is wanted and needed in providing every day care for her, and so she allows Brielle to help with the many daily tasks that allows Brielle to be wanted/needed.
  5. She is helping Brielle find beauty in the ashes.  It’s so amazingly beautiful to see.

I love the relationship they have developed over the last almost 8 months, and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for the both of them.  The likelihood that baby girl will have return back to her parents is high at this time, but we know that every moment we have with baby girl is something to cherish and we definitely don’t take any amount of time for granted.

BTW I am linking up with some pretty amazing ladies this Friday, who just updated their button, so don’t hesitate to stop on by their blogs and show them some love as well!

©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved

Haven of Hope Retreat 2016

This was such an amazing weekend, and tomorrow I leave for this years retreat!

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This years Haven of Hope retreat was very different for me, than last year was. I had just lost Rochelle two months before going on this retreat for the first time (for grieving mothers who have lost children) and I wasn’t fully prepared to embrace the entire weekend. I took so much away from it last year (which you can see here), but I also went in a downward spiral of depression, anger, and have had to learn how to cope with my grief of this past year.

Friday night was filled with getting settled into our room  (and meeting our roommates) and having dinner at 6pm.  This year they sat us down at the table next to someone, and during/after dinner we got to know them and share their story with the rest of the group.  It is always so sad hearing the loss of other women’s child(ren)…

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February family day=beachin’ it!

So it’s been so long since I have been on a roll with blogging and I just feel so rejuvenated and inspired lately (it might have to do with the fact that my parents watched my 3 littles–3 years and under for a couple of days).

In February, we celebrated one of our middle children, turning 6! We wanted to do something extra special since he hasn’t really ever gotten a proper birthday party, and he loveeees the water, so we thought taking a trip to Corpus Christi, Texas was a must!

All of the kids had a blast playing in the ocean the first day we got there..  I wish I were brave enough to capture the sweet moments of true happiness while they were playing, but I was not too brave to take my camera out around all that sand.

The next day, we packed up ALL of the kids (even picked up my niece and nephew since it feels like it had been forever since we had seen them) and made our way over to the aquarium for the day!

It was SO much fun to see all the kids explore all around the aquarium and touch stingrays, see an amazing dolphin show, see a huge crocodile up close and personal, and an amazing bird show (plus so much more!) I was so glad we got some new updated family photos as well because they will ever be this small again, and our journey is definitely something worth documenting!

Enough typing already, I will just let the pictures do all of the talking, and I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!♥♥

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©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved