My life has been full, with many hills and valleys, but through it all, I've known the love of God toward me and mine in wonderful and marvelous ways.
I am the oldest of three. I have a brother and a sister with whom I am very close. My mother was the head of a large maternity hospital in Portland until she had her family. After we were college age, she went back to nursing part time. My Dad was a gourmet food salesman. We had a close knit family and extended family. Our mother made sure we celebrated everything!! She and Dad were examples of hospitality with a capital "H". We always had company dinner on Sundays and often kept visiting missionaries in our home. Our Dad stepped suddenly into the presence of the Lord one morning when he was 75. "instant death, instant glory!" We were privleged to have our sweet Mom until she was 96. Eight years ago she greeted the multitudes who had gone before her to Heaven. (Eventually I hope to do a blog on each of them individually as they were wonderful people with wonderful lives!)
My college years were spent at Westmont College with graduation from Lewis and Clark College. My graduate work was done through Portland State University.
My first profession was that of a medical social worker at the U of O Medical School here in Portland. I was two years into that profession, when my cousin, Jim Elliot, along with four young men, was killed in Equador. At that time, I completely surrendered my heart to the Lord and He led me to become a Resident Social Worker in a Christian Children's Home in Colorado. Those were wonderful years of dependance upon the Lord as the Home was run like the George Muellur orphanges in London in the early 1900's. I could write a book about my years with those wonderful kids!!
In 1965 I was the sixth single person in Oregon to be allowed to adopt. At that time only two states allowed legal adoptions for single people...of course now all states allow singles to adopt. (Writing about my kids is a whole other blog!)
When I knew that I was going to adopt, I went into teaching as I felt the hours were so much better for a Mommie who would have to work. (The fact that I had to work is still one of the deepest hurts of my heart, as I know that it affected my children in some ways) I so admire the mothers who can and do chose to stay home and raise their own babies in place of child care.
Counting my adopted kiddos and foster children, there were 25 children in and out of my home over the years. They were hard years in many ways, but they were blessed years also. Only Heaven will reveal the fruit of the labor with the foster children. I am in contact with a number of them on a regular basis and am thankful for their lives. The children are all long grown and have developed their own lives and families. I have two granchildren from Jonathan, my son. I am "Grandma Joan" to a number of other children who are precious to me.
Having retired in 1990, I am enjoying these years so much. As I find myself in the "winter" of my life, my heart's desire is that I will go out on the "cutting edge" for Christ. At 75, I am so immature in the Lord and fall short daily. I strive, with the Lord's help, to please Him in all that I do, but alas, there is still much room for growth. I praise the Lord for His infinite and unending patience with me in everything. I am so very thankful that He has walked beside me in this journey called Life, for over 75 years!!
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