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Faith in Business, Foster Care

The Day We Became TV Celebrities

Just Kidding. We got to share our foster care experience in a five minute interview. But I still want to share it with you.

I had never been asked to be on TV before this time.

Other than a few community events and local Cable TV interviews and Facebook Lives where I panicked and froze and got anxiety and all the things.

I would rather not.

I mean, a part of me wants to sing from the rooftops to the world and share my heart and life to help and encourage others.

But the other part of me is scared beyond belief to say something the wrong way, offend someone with something I accidentally said, and put myself out there for all the comments, criticism and trolls.

But something in me burst with excitement when I got the phone call to do the interview. I had gotten to such a place in our life and in foster care that I didn’t care any more what the cost was to me, I just wanted to share with as many people as I could what the need is out there in foster care, and how they could help.

I was still really hesitant.

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“Tara,” our case manager said over the phone. “You always tell me you want to do what God wants you to do. Maybe this is an opportunity for you to do that very thing?”

How could I argue with that logic?

I was both parts excited and petrified.

Tim was just plain chill and excited. I don’t know how he does that, but I so admired him for that. I’m all analyzing and prepping and practicing breathing, and he’s just asking where we’re going to go for lunch afterwards.

Well, we survived.

We did it, and it was fun.

I am so proud of the interview, and what we were able to share.

I want to do more of that.

But do you want to know a behind-the-scenes secret?

The very same morning of the interview, my baby sister was in the hospital delivering her second baby in to this world.

The day before her water had broken, and she called me to tell me she was headed to the hospital.

She had been so faithful to be with me for every one of my babies, driving 600 miles to make me laugh through my tears, make fun of me in my weakness, and help my other kids and home as much as possible.

I was doing everything I could to be there for her every time.

“Oh Tara,” she told me over the phone as she cleaned the house and got ready to shower before heading to the hospital. “You just do what you need to do; I will be just fine.”

I knew she would be just fine. She had an awesome husband in hand, my mother in town, and my other sister nearby. She didn’t NEED me.

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Sort of.

We tossed around plans, she insisted I keep the interview on schedule, and I planned on leaving for New York right after the interview was over.

When I went to bed that night, I knew she was in a slow, painful labor, and I was irritable and crabby as I packed my stuff, my heart torn in two.

Tim had no problem letting me go, and he said he would make anything work. (Brenna is also the one who always takes his side in arguments and says I am the one being unreasonable.) Abby asked if she could come, but with our foster babies at home and an intense schedule at work, I sadly explained she needed to stay.

She understood, but man did I hang in that balance as I went to bed that night.

It was a tough line, trying to live so completely in two different worlds.

I wanted to be up there, and I wanted to be at home.

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I was still irritable when I got to work, trying to rush through everything I had to do so I could be free to leave for awhile. I didn’t know how long, but I knew I had to get stuff done.

Then I got the worst text message of my life.

My Dad messaged both me and my sister that things were going wrong in delivery, to please pray.

I had never, NEVER imagined anything going wrong in delivery. We had ten babies between all three of us girls, and not once was there any trouble other than some preeclampsia symptoms when I was a full forty weeks. My older sister had triplets for heaven’s sake, and carried them until 33 weeks and busted out of the NICU faster than any one had ever seen.

Oh my God, the things I took for granted.

Over the next two hours, I went into auto pilot mode to survive. Through scattered, awful messages 600 miles away, my sister and her baby were fighting for their lives, and I was helpless to be there.

But God.

And the interview? That was scheduled for 1:00pm.

How could I possibly get through this interview on TV for foster care when my heart was breaking open and I was losing my world 600 miles away?

But God.

I would do it. I would do the thing. I knew it’s what Brenna wanted. It’s what she told me to do, just the day before. Before we knew anything. Before life changed forever. It was an opportunity to shine light in a place I had worked so hard to make better, to share life and help others in this random opportunity.

She knew that, I knew that (if I was honest), and there was nothing I could do to help any of them.

But God.

Tim and I drove separately to the interview so I could leave straight from there, my suitcase that I had packed so irritated the night before in the rental he got for me to take.

The things I was irritated about seemed so foolish now.

The things I thought I were important seemed so stupid now.

We ate lunch together with small talk, me trying to fake a nice goodbye lunch, Tim trying to be brave for my sake, both of us wondering what I was about to head in to.

We went to the interview, did the thing, and went back to the parking lot to say goodbye.

We hugged and prayed and he kissed me goodbye through my tears and sent me off on the 600 mile trip, neither of us really knowing what I was headed in to.

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I don’t remember much of the ten hour drive. I do remember stopping for fuel and tea, and not recognizing my face in the bathroom mirror at the gas station, my eyes so red from crying, my face so strained from my heartache.

I didn’t care. I just knew I had to get there.

I just kept cranking the praise and worship music on YouTube, gripping the steering wheel and forcing myself to sing the praises of God in the middle of the worst reports and photos and messages I have ever gotten.

You can read more about Everly’s story and also follow Brenna’s journey at http://domesticatedhonesty.com/ .

But I just wanted to share that background with you to set the stage for that day.

Because you know what?

Before I even returned home from New York, that video had been viewed and shared over 10,000 times.

In my heartache and pain and confusion and hurt, I knew I had obeyed the Still, Small Voice and done the thing He required of me. It was up to Him to do the rest.

He took my loaves and fishes and made it do something for His glory.

I got calls and messages and comments like crazy, thanking us for the information, and people asking how they can help locally.

And you know what?

God is taking care of Everly, and He is taking care of my sister.

And He is doing it way better than I ever could have.

And He is using that for His glory, too.

It is not the way I would have wanted, or the way I would have chosen, but He is doing the thing, and I’m so grateful to be a witness to it all.

For any of you facing a situation where you are afraid to be obedient because of what you think you might lose, please remember, obedience wins every time. God can do it every time. And anything you think you might lose along the way will be redeemed by the only One who can make miracles happen.

But He needs your obedience to win it for you.

Let Him win it for you.

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