The day I got married, one of my closest friends looked me in the eye and said "God has many wild and wonderful things ahead for you and Jeremy."

Being called mom by 7 kids is definitely wild. Each day I look for the wonder in it all...and give thanks.

Partnering with my husband in life, parenting, work and serving is definitely wonderful. He is my favorite.



Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Lessons from my East African Sister

I found this draft that I had started in April 2018 on my blog. I don't know why I never posted it--probably just got interrupted by the daily busyness and never got back to it. This was written when we shared our home with a family of 7 for 11 months...

I don't know what it's like to be black

I called a friend to ask for prayer and catch up. When I asked her "how are you?" Her answer came slowly and cautiously, "It's been rough the past few weeks." 

Pause.

I waited and then urged her to tell me more. Throughout the rest of our call and the rest of the day I realized...

I don’t know what it’s like to be black. I don’t know what it feels like for race, discrimination and biases to be a huge part of my life. I don’t know what it’s like to experience hurtful comments and emotional injuries to my personhood in every aspect of my life—my neighborhood, my church, my job, my school, my ministry, my travel--because of the color of my skin. I don’t know what it is like to navigate this with my black children.

I know there are many injustices, but I don’t know what it feels like, as a black woman, when racial injustice gets lumped together with all the other sins and nothing changes, nothing is dealt with, and it is dismissed.

I don’t know what it feels like to live uncomfortable. To be on edge and afraid to travel--especially at night. I don’t know what it is like to ignore, to look past it, and fix my face when comments are made and looks are given because I am black. I don't know what it's like to tell one of my kids to "fix your face" when someone has just hurt them.

I don’t know what it’s like to be black.

My friend does. She shared these things. This is just one small glimpse into her world. This may not be every black person's story, but it is hers. And I am undone. She is my friend and I had no idea. I'm so sorry for that.

 

I look at the news and I know I cannot change the world and make all of these painful things go away. So I turn to my friend and ask her, how can I love you?

Reach out, check in, be normal, be a friend.

Talk and ask questions.

Be willing to be uncomfortable.

That’s a start.


Friday, April 17, 2020

Quarantine Week 4


We are at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic week 4 quarantine. My emotions have swung from being grateful everyone has more time at home to grouchy that everyone has more time at home. I have moments of grace—I look for those moments in each day when I wake up and recall what the day before held.


But seconds after I write down what I remember and before I finish my coffee, I am already disgruntled by the big, hard things going on…like dreading school work, hoping to get some office work done before kids show up at my desk, while not knowing what to do with all the other perplexing thoughts crowding my mind. 

It’s the latter that gets me the most.

A few days ago I texted a friend that I was praying God would use this time to help us all work through what we all needed to work through….that we didn’t miss it. The day after that text, all Hell broke loose. Or Heaven? Is this how God was going to answer my prayer?

I believe sometimes it does feel like Hell when God is doing His most important work on us. Uncomfortable. Uncertain. Unlikely. un Un UN! It’s NOT fun!

I am uncomfortable with no control. I am uncomfortable not knowing.
I am uncertain I’ll see change…ever.
If God is answering my prayer, He is choosing an unlikely path. A path I would not have chosen.

So what do I do in the meantime?
Pray.
Meditate on Scripture.
(this week I’ve been staring at Psalm 91)
Take it one day at a time.
And change the ending of those UN words.

I will not underestimate the God who loves me and who daily displays his mercy, power, and grace on us.
I will ask for understanding for myself and those around me where things are unclear.
And I will trust that God is working in a million untold ways to draw us to Himself, make us more like Him, and to remind us He is with us in the trouble.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Another launch

A lot has changed since I wrote this post. And even more has changed since we took this picture...

Dear Wesley,
You have become a person I really like. You know I have always loved you with my whole heart, but now you are a person that I like...a whole lot.  You are a person I really enjoy being with. I love how you make people laugh. I love how you can dance with friends, old ladies, pre-schoolers, or just by yourself and you have fun with it no matter who is around.



When these pictures were taken, you were able to climb out of your little bed and make your way to a cozy place between mom and dad every night. We would wake up to take you back to your room some nights and eventually we would just wake up to the alarm and find you in between us. We thought you would never grow out of it....but you did.





I love how you love adventure. I love how you love experiences. I love how you love your quiet spaces too. Many times I have found drawings or letters written during those quiet times showing what you care about, what you think about, what you wish for. 


I love your patriotic spirit. I love that you care about our Country and the people who serve to keep us free. I love that your passion and interests will grow and take more shape as you go to a school that shares the same values.
9 months
Age 10
Age 14
Age 16
Age 17

almost 18

At this point in your life, at age 18, you are the most delightful person. I was kinda joking kinda not when I told you the first 17 years were just okay, but this year has been so fun. So fun to see you grow and mature. So fun to see you making choices that honor God. So fun to have you home a little longer and have you come and talk to us about your disappointments and hopes.

As you leave, things change. You will hardly be home in 2020 and you will be missed by all of us here. But I am so excited for you. I am so looking forward to the new adventure, new friends, new lessons you will learn. 

You will learn things that you could not have learned under our roof. And I am confident you will continue to be a person I like. A truly delightful person. A person who cares about others and who is cared about. And no matter what, I will love you with my whole heart. 

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Christmas 2019


In 2019 we have 3 kids in Junior High and 4 kids out of High School!

Do you like rollercoasters? Sometimes life feels like a rollercoaster. Some rollercoasters are fun, I’m sure, but some have hard, quick, painful turns and creak as you take the slow rise up. It’s hard to enjoy the view as you creak upward because you are dreading the next fall. I confess I’m often guilty of worry and dread when I should be grateful for the current view. My Christmas letter each year is a chance for me to breathe and just take in the view.

As 2019 passed, one truth is sure, God has been very close. Close in the waiting. Close in the apprehension. Close in the hopes realized and in the disappointments. And in ALL of it, we can see His bountiful goodness.

Goodness is shown through His people oftentimes. Marian, Katerin and Mom visited Colombia for the first time since our adoption. We planned on a short trip to see birthfamily and enjoy Colombian food. Upon entering the country we were told the girls must have new passports before they would be permitted to leave. We only had 3 days! But a missionary we had barely met ushered us in securing documents miraculously fast that would allow us to come home just two days delayed. (talk about a ROLLERCOASTER)! She also graciously facilitated our first reunions with birthfamily.
Jeanene with Children's Vision International

Emily graduated from the PATHS Program at Texas A&M in May and is living in Bryan with her kitty, Daisy. Like many 20 year olds, she is trying to find a job and figure out what she is supposed to do with her life. She loves her church. Emily is being mentored and enjoys her Life Group and church activities—it’s her biggest motivation to finding a job there.


Wesley learned about College of the Ozarks on New Year’s Day this year, the day after priority applications were accepted. He applied late, and then we discovered he was one of probably 4,000 applicants and C of O only accepts 400 freshmen. Our visit to campus last February only increased our hope and apprehension of Wes not being accepted. In the waiting, God kept introducing us to people connected to the school and with each introduction, more letters of recommendation were sent on his behalf. Wes got a call at the end of July with his Acceptance for January 2020! We are beyond grateful and excited, but pray for us (mom especially) as we head out in a few days to take him to Branson, MO.

Last Spring, another “impossible” event took place in our family….Dad agreed to letting Savannah have 2 indoor cats! Savannah is the best cat mommy to Snowball and Clarabelle and thankfully they are sweet enough for the rest of us to endure the cat hair and cat litter in the back room. I keep hoping the cat hair will motivate the boys to get their clean clothes off the couch and put away. That might be one hope not realized until they move out.


Last March some of you supported Jeremy, Katerin, Marian, and Wesley as they went on a mission trip to Honduras—thank you! They not only used their gifts in speaking Spanish, but they got to share the True Gift, Jesus. Jeremy had the privilege of seeing Marian, Wes, Katerin and all the students partner with the ministry there and serve courageously. What a view! Some of you also generously supported Katerin as she served in Central Asia for 8 weeks this past summer. She shared some reflections from her time there here.  


Omar, Saimon and Savannah are in Junior High together. Do you remember what you loved about Junior High? Me neither! It’s a rollercoaster for sure, but overall I am proud of them for who they are becoming. They face things I never have had to face, and I see them grow stronger and more confident as they handle challenges. I admire them for that.

Recently our family said goodbye to our sweet dog, Maddie--she was the best dog for our family. We wanted to believe she would always be with us. She is missed every day. We are so thankful she chose us and was ours from January 11, 2011 to November 30, 2019.


On this rollercoaster, I am challenged to keep my head up and eyes on our good God, instead of on my white knuckles clinging to the safety bar.  God is so good, it’s not even fair. Do you know Him? He made a way through Jesus. If you haven’t heard, He’s a pretty big deal. He changed everything when He was born in a manger long ago. He changes us. And that’s so good of Him.                                                                                           Merry Christmas from all the Evermons!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

One Summer Update


Dear Family and Friends,
First, I want to start with an apology for taking so long to update you about my summer and what God did during my time overseas. Second, I want to thank you so much for your spiritual and financial support throughout this journey. And finally, I am blessed to have you in my life and the encouragement that you have provided in my faith. This past summer has been one of the most difficult yet most rewarding summers that I have gone through. It was difficult leaving my family and friends here in the States, and even more difficult to leave Colombia and my birthfamily after a few days visit. Yet in the midst of it all, God provided comfort and peace through His word. I went overseas with many different emotions, and I did not know what to expect. During the beginning of my trip, I struggled with the idea that my birthfamily did not know the Lord, and I also missed them as well. Even though I needed to figure out all these emotions, it was important for me to put them aside so I could fully take my summer trip in.

Every international trip that I have taken in the past I have been the leader. I would be the one that knew the spoken language and culture. I was always the one that people leaned on, and I have always loved it. However, when I got to Central Asia, all that changed. I had to become teachable and dependent on others. I had to learn, adapt, and understand a new language, culture, and way of living. It was hard to depend on others, but I was able to learn a lot.

Here are some interesting things that I learned:

Where I visited, two languages were spoken. Neither of them I know. Therefore, the only way that I could communicate at the beginning of the trip was through a smile. Well, that was not effective either. When I smiled at women, they would not smile back, but when I smiled at men, they would take it as flirting. After a week there, I finally realized that I had been flirting with every man in the city. Yay me. I was very shocked when my mentor told me about this because the only way that I had been able to communicate was through a smile, and now that was taken away. Another thing that I learned was that you will always be out of your comfort zone in the mission field. When I was there, I told myself to get out of my comfort zone, but the thing was that I already was. I did not have the control to be in my comfort zone in a place where I did not know the culture or language. Here in the States, we have control of whether or not to get out of our comfort, yet we choose to be in our little bubble. It is something we never think about.

We always talk about the missionaries that are jailed or killed because of their faith, but we never talk about the missionaries that struggle every single day. Here in the States, we think that missionaries are telling every single person about Christ and that many are coming to Christ. That would be nice, but in reality, it takes so much more than sharing Christ. I was able to watch the missionaries during my time overseas and it opened my eyes to missions. They had to adjust to a new culture, language, and beliefs. They built relationships for years, made a living, and did daily things that take more work compared to doing them in the States. Some missionaries are in a place for years and see no one come to Christ. Not only do these missionaries go to a new country, but they leave the people and places that they love behind. During all these things, they carefully share Christ through their actions, words, deeds, and more.

After seeing what I saw overseas, I still want to follow where God is calling me. I know for sure God is calling me to international missions. After seeing how hard it will be, I still want to go. Yes, sometimes I think God is crazy, but He is by my side. All that I am doing is not about me, it is about the One who died for me and I get the opportunity to share His testimony.

God is doing amazing things through my life, and I cannot wait to see what is next. Thank you for your support and for taking the time to read this. If you want more specific stories, please let me know 😊

Please pray for the missionaries, the people, and the governments in Central Asia.
Blessings,
K

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Maddie Madeline

Thanksgiving Day 2019

You chose us January 11, 2011. From the moment I saw you I knew you were ours. You came free. Although Dad would argue you weren’t free with the added fencing we put in the backyard and new vet bill.

Even though we labored to keep you in the backyard when you went outside, your free spirit always found a way to escape. You would run like a deer and we would call your name in hopes to stop you from getting out. You would stop and lock eyes with us for a brief second, and then you would BOLT.

That look was stubborn. 

That look was determined. 

But that look was also like a promise. 

You knew you were ours and you knew you would come back. After a half hour, or sometimes a few worried hours on our part, of freedom and frolicking and exploring, you would always come back. If we had to leave you out, we would come home to find you in the front yard, like you were securing the premises. I compared you to Hank the Cowdog because you acted like you were the Head of Ranch Security. And Ranch Security included our property, the cow field next door, the neighbors’ chicken coop, and Spring Creek Park.

You were a survivor. We thought we lost you more than once. You got hit by a car (actually you ran right into a moving car), bit by a coral snake (as you slung it around by your mouth), and we sure disappointed one young couple that had loaded you up into their jeep until we stopped to ask if they had seen you. 

You were ours. 

One stormy night around 3am, we got a call from the gas station on Hwy 249 more than a mile away. Somehow you had gotten that far during a heavy thunderstorm. I don’t even know how you were gone. But you were ours. And God made sure you came back home that night, shaking, wet and cold in my car at 3am. 

I think we wanted to believe that you would always survive and you would always come back.

I’ve had just a handful of dogs in my life but you were my favorite. You didn’t shed. You didn’t have a tail that could whack a small child off their feet. You would follow me around the house, finding a spot to curl up close by, until I left the room and you had to come with me. You endured the kids’ costumes and headbands they found for you. You gladly slept on their beds as they not so fairly took turns taking you.

You got spoiled to Pawpaw feeding you from his plate these past few months when he lived with us. With Nana and Pawpaw came Memah who was your best dog friend by far. The two of you would get on couches and dig holes in the yard and politely share your food bowls. We wondered how you would get along without each other when Memah moved, but that turned out to be just one week.

You were healthy and active and then you were not. That last night we had you, none of us had any idea. You put your chin on Katerin’s lap at the dinner table. You hung around as we decorated the Christmas tree. You were laying under the table while we played cards above you. You jumped up when Saimon called upon you to scare the cats back to the back. You had learned to behave with the cats. You were a good dog.
Our last night with you


We miss you, Maddie. Finding pictures of you on my phone and seeing all the videos and pics Katerin and Wesley are posting bring tears. We had no idea you would go so quickly. But I’m thankful. I’m thankful that you were ours from January 11, 2011 to November 30, 2019. I’m thankful we did not have to watch you suffer long. I’m thankful all the kids were home and got to tell you goodbye. I’m thankful we were with you when your heart stopped beating….that you felt our love to the end.

Dad said it best when he wrote on your burial box, “Thank you for choosing us!” You will always be missed. I am reminded every time the door is left open and I want to hurry to close it before you get out. But you are no longer to escape. Emily said you have made "your greatest escape."

We will love you forever, Maddie Madeline!