One Year

We’re here.

The one year mark as mommy and daddy to this treasure of a child.

I had faith we would get to this point, and here we are. All by God’s grace.

It has been oh so sweet. And oh so difficult.

Three hundred and sixty five days ago Adam and I unpacked our car after a week at the Cape. Sand still between our toes and sunscreen residue on our skin. We ate our Nardelli’s sandwiches, surrounded by beach chairs and suitcases on our kitchen floor. I lifted our empty plates from the table to place in the sink and my phone rang. I knew by the ringtone that it was our case worker. I knew before we even said “hello” that our lives were about to change.

April Swiger - One Year Since our Emergency Foster Placement 5

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Fearless, Faithful, and Countercultural

Fearless, Faithful, and Countercultural

One of my favorite things about our three year old is his affectionately personable nature. You can find him chatting up people of all ages at church on Sundays, wooing the cashier at the grocery store with his questions about the credit card machine, and making friends on every playground he visits. He is a friendly little dude who won’t shy away from asking you every question in the world.

On the other hand, his God-given friendliness could potentially get him into trouble. We’re constantly having conversations about not talking with strangers, building trust, and giving people personal space, especially if mommy or daddy are not right there with him. He’s the type of kid who would grab the hand of any person who offers candy or a shiny new toy.

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“The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad”

Well, that was a very unintended break! Life just happened, I guess. Three year olds have needs. Marriages need to be nurtured. Houses need to be cleaned. Food always needs to be prepared, and with that the dishes never end (one day we’ll have a dishwasher again, oh Lord Jesus let it be quickly).

A day doesn’t go by without my heart and hands desiring to write. This season is one of such unpredictability and yet, at the same time, it’s the everyday mundane tasks that are my priority right now. As I typed that last sentence I could hear “mom, see me!” from a few feet away. The curtains next to me hid the shape of a precious little boy who has captured my heart in ways I could never have imagined. God is so kind.

The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad

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What I Learned from a (possible) *Confirmed* Adoption Scam

What I Learned from a (possible) Adoption Scam

UPDATE 4/22/15: Over the past two weeks we’ve discovered proof of fraud. God has been so kind to allow us clarity on this really awful situation. I’ve been working with a detective on the west coast since this past December, shortly after everything fell through. I knew in my heart of hearts that this situation was fraudulent and I pleaded with the Lord to give us proof.

I was determined to get to the bottom of this. The truth will always prevail. Evil cannot win. It will always be brought out into the light.

This woman kept a lie going for many months, via her blog, and occasional direct contact with me (of which I have not responded to since December). She posted pictures on her public blog and directly emailed me a picture of the supposed baby she gave birth to, implying that this baby girl was still available for adoption.

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7 Ways to Choose Joy at Christmas

7 Ways to Choose Joy at Christmas

Are you currently in a challenging season? Is it difficult to choose joy this Christmas? For many years, choosing joy at Christmas was very difficult for me (and sometimes still is). I’m sharing my experience at The Humbled Homemaker today, along with seven ways to intentionally choose joy at Christmas.

Christmas can be a difficult season for me. I’m more inclined to plug my ears when I hear “it’s a holly jolly Christmas” at the store, than push my cart with a little more pizzaz. Shopping stresses me out (thank you, Amazon), traveling exhausts me, and I’m more than ready to take our tree and decorations down the night of the 25th and get my home back in order (my husband talks me down every year).

My husband is a worship pastor, and with that high calling comes a long list of both blessing and sacrifice. December means extra rehearsals, Christmas parties, and responsibilities on Christmas Eve that take him away from our family. Wives and children of pastors and ministry leaders have a unique calling, and it can be extra difficult this time of year.

When loneliness tugs at your heart, like it often does mine, intentionally choosing joy at Christmas can be a challenge.

Read more at The Humbled Homemaker! Merry Christmas!


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Easy Mint Chocolate Fudge (dairy and gluten free)

Mint Chocolate Fudge (dairy and gluten free)

Looking for a last minute Christmas dessert? I created this mint chocolate fudge recipe recently and it’s absolutely delicious! It’s also really simple to make – so simple that my three year old helped me the whole time. Get the full recipe at The Nourishing Gourmet. Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

Velvety smooth fudge, rich in chocolate, mingled with refreshing peppermint is a must-try this season. This mint chocolate fudge is the perfect way to satisfy a craving, or finish off a hearty meal this holiday season. Even better it’s surprisingly quick to make, and can be boxed up easily to give as a lovely gift.

I am a huge fan of fudge. It’s always my go-to treat during summer vacations at the beach, and my top pick off the Christmas dessert table. The first time I made fudge at home I used Kimi’s recipe for the easiest, healthiest, most scrumptious fudge ever (also see this version using maple syrup). It definitely lived up to its name, and I have made it many times since then to satisfy those pesky little chocolate cravings. I love that her recipe, and the one I created as well, is free from refined sugar, dairy, gluten, and all other kinds of yucky ingredients the more typical fudge recipes have. This version starts with chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder for a more stable fudge for gift giving.

Read more at The Nourishing Gourmet and get the full recipe there too.

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