I don’t recall the exact day or moment, but many years ago I developed a certainty that I would one day birth a children’s home on foreign soil.
If you know me, you know that I love kids. More than loving kids, I’m great with kids. Typically I’m not one to even accept a compliment let alone brag, but I am an unparalleled type of great with kids. I’ve also spent some time on foreign soil and happened to love it. I remember being in the Dominican Republic at seventeen and eighteen doing humanitarian work in the name of Jesus and pondering ideas on how I would break the news to my mother that I was moving out and moving overseas. Apparently no idea ever seemed good enough, and I never went.
I actually searched for a bunch of opportunities overseas after I turned eighteen and none of them seemed feasible. It was either that, or I just chickened out.
Oh, how we grow and change in our years, and like most young people, I was about to do a lot of that in the years to follow.
So I enrolled in a community college. I tried college and thought I would pursue music for a while. I had pursued singing and playing keys in bands and for different events all through high school and loved it, so I pursued a Contemporary Christian Music degree. A vocal injury later came which had a huge impact on my future as a singer. I did attempt singing over my injuries for a while (until my vocal cords couldn’t keep up with me) and started doing music with this great gal. This gal happened to be enrolled in a local beauty school, and she was so inspiring that I decided to give it a try.
Next thing I know I was in beauty school. I didn’t love it, but I had already paid for it and wanted to finish what I started. A new idea began to birth in my head that I would stick with the beauty school thing with the intention of later working at some hourly salon so that I could work my way through med school. It was then that I decided I would become an otolaryngologist and help singers who suffer from vocal injuries. I later realized that I only ever came up with the med school idea out of pride. I wanted to prove to myself (and probably to the mom of this guy I dated for a long time) that I was smart enough. Thankfully that pride died, and I didn’t waste years of time and money on a career I didn’t actually want at all.
Well, one thing led to another and it turned out I was decent at doing hair. It was a creative outlet for me, and I love art! Since I can’t just be decent at anything, I decided I would give it all I had and make it to the top. (There’s that pride creeping in again…) I got an awesome job out of school, apprenticed under some super talented women and started my career. Let’s just say I was pretty good at what I did. I was motivated and always exceeded my personal goals and the business goals my mentor wanted me to achieve. My skills as a stylist and my natural knack as a business woman blossomed quickly. My clientele was based completely off of referrals, and it grew so quickly that my numbers were growing faster than anyone who had ever worked at that salon . My retail percentage was so impressive that I won my first trip to New York to train under Nica Rojo, and I was asked to become an education ambassador for a hair product line leading the industry. This would involve me traveling all over the state to teach in salons, and I had in mind to move up with the company and become a platform artist. Meanwhile, my awesome mentor was secretly going crazy and ended up letting go of more than half of her staff, including me. Needless to say, I lost all drive to do hair. Not only did I have a bad case of broken pride, but I was super, super disappointed. This began a downward spiral for me, and I kind of went into identity-crisis mode.
Several months later, I moved to Colorado on a whim and met Bear. The man brought out the best in me (and continues to), and I found that my goals quickly shifted, resembling the dreams I once had as a young college student. We talked constantly about rescuing children from sex trafficking or ministering to broken women. We discussed this certainty I had developed years prior about birthing a children’s home on foreign soil. It felt great to talk about our dreams and discussing what it would take to become doers instead of dreamers.
After we were married a decision had to be made about renting an apartment or buying a house. We firmly believed that owning a home and building community as a young couple was the best option, and that’s exactly what we pursued. I remember a few days before we closed on our home, Bear asked me, “Are you sure you want to buy a house? Because I don’t want you to regret it a year from now wishing we were overseas.” I told him I did want to be overseas, but I wanted to build community first. He wanted the same thing so we bought a house.
Next thing we knew we were sleeping on a full-size mattress in our empty 2400 sq. ft. house. The house was much bigger than what we needed, but we had plans to fill it with lots of children. Along with the certainty that I would one day birth this children’s home came a desire to love on local orphans. I pictured myself as one of those moms with eight to ten adopted children, some from here and some from all over the rest of the world. Bear was totally on board with this. A year after we were married we started the process to become foster parents. This was where we decided we would begin loving on orphans, and after a year of paperwork and appointments, we were loving on our first little guy.
We never intended to stop fostering. We thought we would continue fostering even after we had finalized a few adoptions, but broken hearts tend to stray from more pain; and broken hearts are what we had… and broken hearts are what we are still healing from. (To the community that supported us with love and prayers, from then until now: you just have no idea how much you mean to us).
Last August I was really down. I had reached the lowest of lows with the depression that undoubtedly comes to those who go through circumstances like ours. I decided it was time for me to dive into a career again. More so than wanting a career, I think I wanted a distraction from the pain. Anyway, I had been working at this small salon out in the boonies. It was a sweet place with a sweet woman who owned it, but it wasn’t fulfilling. If I wasn’t going to be a mom at the time, I wanted to keep myself busy. I began looking for a salon that resembled the first one I worked at but with a little less crazy. I wanted a place that was obsessed with education, products that didn’t enslave people overseas, and a community of stylists who cared about their city. I found all of that and more at this great place in Boulder. I told myself that if they accepted me to join their team, I would make the switch; and if they didn’t accept me, I would carry on with my small town business. Well, they accepted me, and within a month I had made the transition to this lovely salon.
And can I just say – oh!- it’s been a delight to work with these women! They are beautiful, inside and out. Each of them is unique in their own way. Not a single one of them are perfect, but that works out well because neither am I. They’re all talented beyond measure, and I consider myself blessed to be their coworker. It was safe to say I’d be here for a while!
But oh how funny! God* is when He has unexpected things in store.
[*Note: You do not have to believe in God or in His “Grand Plan” to read my posts. You can go ahead and attribute my stories to fate. You can find me naive or silly if you so desire. That’s your perogative. I, however, would not fully be representing the core of who I am if I did not talk about God and what I believe He is doing in my life. Thanks for respecting that.]