Monday, December 31, 2007

Back to 7

We transitioned the twins to their permanent foster home on Sat. I knew this day would come. There were times we wondered if we should just keep the twins for the duration of how long they would be in 'the system.' Watching them change and thrive here was amazing. It was hard to let them go.

It was hard to leave them there and come back home knowing my job was done. This is what I signed up for. Emergency shelter care. I love them, clean them up, love them, get them stable and move them to their permanent foster home.

I can't keep them all. I can't do 20 children. The state won't let me. What I can do is hope 20 other wonderful families will each sign up and make a difference in a child's life. Together we can save them all!

I still see all the teenagers in the system that I cannot house yet. It will be 10 more years before our children are old enough to do teens. Maybe we can house one sooner...we are open to the idea. No child will go unconsidered.

House is awfully quiet with just 7.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas 2007

We're raising kids this Christmas! :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Jumping in...

We have jumped into the Oregon foster care system. There are 1,000 children in our county in foster care. These children are the future of our county. These are orphans of the living. We do not need to go to Africa or Russia. We have them all around us. Hungry children. Neglected children. Children born on drugs. Dirty children. Children with lice. Children with special needs. Children who need to know God loves them. God wants to love them through us.

Our first foster son came in October. He was an angry, sad little boy. He would cry every night and ask when his mommy is picking him up from this daycare. I told him it is not a is a family. I would hold him and rock him every night while he cried for his mommy and sometimes I would cry with him.

Fast forward 6 weeks. He is now a happy little boy who knows there is a God who loves him. He walks around the house singing now and thinks he is one of the most special little boys in the world to have so many people who love him. He loves to pray. He is not perfect. But he is beautiful.

Two weeks ago twin five year old girls arrived. They are busy. They have lice. They were not used to being told what to do. Their little bodies were wired and exhausted from too little sleep and too much junk food. They slept 12 hours their first night here. They have nightly bad dreams. They are afraid. They always want to make sure I am staying here when they are in bed. I hold them and they hang on tight. I try not to worry about the lice and think about how Jesus and Mother Theresa would love on them and then do the same.

I am now a professional nit picker (PNP). I have a homemade concoction of lice killer which is the only thing I found that works. God in his mercy has spared us a lice outbreak. The girls are unwinding and do not have bad dreams now. They are responding to the love and patience.

These are just children. Children. Or are they angels? The least of these? It has been some of the hardest days of our lives. We are exhausted. Right now 6 out of the 9 are sick. Some vomiting. Some with high fevers and headaches. Yesss.....I never ask any more..."Can it get any worse?" Because it can...

God is such a great God. He gives us only what we need when we need it. I did not have what I needed to mother 9 children when I only had 7. I do not know how long these children will be in my care. I do not know how I will get through tomorrow...God only gave me what I needed today.

You do not have right now what you need to care for 1 more child. You will get it when the time comes. Would you be willing to open your heart and home? If not the church...who will raise these treasures? Think about the other options here in Eugene...

Just food for thought during this Advent Season.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Thursday, August 30, 2007


The Johnston Family Vacation has arrived! We've been looking forward to this upcoming week in Utah for 9 months! What's in Utah? We don't know... just a 4 bedroom condo (FOUR!), and we're gonna fill it! Whatever else is in Utah will be bonus...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Picnic with Friends

Here we are with the three Chinese exchange students we're hosting...

Thanks to Rod from church for the picture!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

So Proud!

Last night Katie was awarded with the highest award at her band award's ceremony: The Character Award. Not that she's a character, but that she displayed great character throughout the school year.

We are so proud of her!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Annie's Second Adoption

Yesterday was a special day! Our daughter Annie gave her life to Jesus and was baptized at church. She is now an adopted daughter of our Father God. A daughter of the King of Kings! She is a princess. She has an amazing capacity for memorizing God's Word. She has been hiding God's Word in her heart and it is changing her life. We find much joy watching her read her Bible and writing in her Life Journal how God is speaking to her through His Holy Word.

She, who was once an orphan, is now twice adopted. What a neat picture of God's love and grace. We are humbled that God would choose to use us in this little girl's life.

Rejoice! For God is good all the time!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Back Home Again...

This vacation was a much needed time of rest and play with the children. I love the simple life of vacation and am always thinking about how I can carry some of that simplicity home and implement it.

I love having more free time to play with the children here at home. I love to play Boggle and Five Crowns! My children are destined to be game lovers because I am! I love hanging out and shooting basketballs with my team! Their dad has taught them to play 'Bump' so watch out...anytime they are out...neighborhood competition ensues! We just found out another neighbor boy loves to play and is coming to challenge our gang! We like being a safe place the neighbor kiddos can come to and play.

Now about that simple life...more rest has done wonders. Getting up early every morning regardless of the day of the week. Hmmmm. Ben Franklin once said, "Early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." I'm a believer.

He also said, "To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals." But that is a whole 'nother blog!

It's a cool,wet morning here outside. The children are in the living room building a train track. Little budding engineers thinking logically and working together. And not just train engineers. I see mechanical, civil and electrical engineers all in the making! I love homeschooling! Working together as a team with all different ages IS real life. No where will they work with only people their own age. I have yet to see a business only for 28 year olds...Or a grocery store only for 53 year get the picture :) .

Loving life in the Johnston home.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


What you won't see in this slideshow are all the bike rides we took! And yes... we did swim in that pool! (Again, click ON the photo and then select "slideshow")

Vacation @ Eagle Crest

Easter Morning 2007!

Easter Morning!

Here's about half of the pictures we took! (Click ON the photo to see the slideshow...)

He is Risen!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Happy Birthday to our Annie

Tomorrow our sweet Annie turns 8. She has been with us 8 months yet it is like she has always been ours. She is a hoot. At every turn she is reminding us her birthday is tomorrow. She has been reminding us every day for 3 weeks that it is coming! We have a great day planned for her with lots of fun and even a surprise activity. Our flowers bloomed over the weekend and God has chosen to bless the first day of spring with beautiful colors and fragrance. We will tell Annie it is His birthday gift to her! After all, Isaac got snow...

Do not be afraid to open your heart and home to the orphans. It is God who would love to place the lonely in homes. Would you be willing?