Monday, June 21, 2010

The Most Touching Story!

I received an email from a dear friend a couple of months ago about a canvas that she wanted me to for her mom. Her mom is one of the sweetest people I've ever met, but I didn't know how truly special she was until I read this email. I have a totally new respect for this lady and I hope to one day be a fraction of how amazing she is.

"You know my mom.  She is a rare breed.  I'm not sure quite how to tell you what I'm looking for, other than we want to give her a canvas that means something to her. She birthed me and my two sisters.  And 2 years ago, she and my dad adopted Zac.  So, by all common standards, she has 4 children.  She said after they adopted Zac that she always knew that she would have 4 children; she just didn't know this was how she would get her 4th. 

Zac's story in itself is quite special.  Zac came to my mom as a ward of the state.  She keeps new born babies for Volunteers of America and has for over 15 years.  She picks the babies up from the hospital and keeps them until they are placed in adoptive homes.  It's an incredibly heroic charge to care for a baby as if it was your own for months and months, and then simply hand it over to it's new adoptive family.  My mom however, does it with such grace and love that she makes it look easy.  She has said numerous times, "I just give them what they need and love them while I have them."  Zac was a unique case, in which my mom gave him and his birth mother necessary physical needs and loved them both.  Due to choices and consequences, and some unavoidable circumstances, Zac's birth mom was not able to care for Zac.  Our family's life unfolded into what bared a strong resemblance to a tragic Lifetime Movie.  The only difference was, if it had been a movie, I would have changed the channel.  This was happening in our kitchen, and there was no escaping it.  The most dramatic, heart breaking moments left most of us tightly wound in an obnoxious panic.  My mom, however, would just return herself to a state of prayer.  Although, I am sure she was stressed and saddened by the situations, she continued to lean on God for guidance and protection for those that she loved.  The end of the story is such a ‘happily ever after’.  Zac is legally a "Folse "and we’ve never looked back. 

Throughout the years, Mom has loved many babies that have come through her house- over 20!  She is able to keep in touch with most of them, and nearly squeals each time she receives a package of pictures in the mail from some very happy family.  One family refers to Mom as “Nana Kim” and tells their daughter, “Nana Kim loved you until Mommy and Daddy could love you.” 

While all of the baby-lovin’ stories that involve my mom are special, there are a few that stand out as extra-baby-lovin’-special.  Henry is certainly one of those special cases.  My mom picked Henry up from the hospital only to bring him back to the hospital shortly thereafter.  Henry was one very sick baby.  My mom spent weeks in the hospital with Henry in the NICU.  There was a point when Henry was not expected to make it through the night, but my mom just continued to rock him and sing "Jesus Loves You" to an infant that was not hers, but that needed her.  Henry made it through that night, and many more.  He spent 8 months with our family until he was adopted by an awesome local family.  Because of the local adoption, my mom is still very much a part of Henry's life.  She hasn't missed a birthday party yet, and loves it when Henry's mom calls for Henry to come play.  There are more pictures of Henry and his family in our house than there are pictures of all of the rest of us combined.  Henry and his family are definitely part of our family. 
Another stand-out story is the Fuqua's.  The Fuqua's came to my mom as an emergency respite situation.  They were dropped off at our house as a 5, 6, and 7 year old sibling group.  My parents reworked the bedrooms in our house and spent hours in classes to qualify as a temporary foster family so that the Fuqua's would not have to be split up.  My mom said, "We'll make it work, or we'll run to Canada, but I'm not going to let them split these babies up." So, of course we figured out a way to make it work.  The Fuqua's were also adopted by one of our most favorite couples ever.  Ten years later, I don't remember what our life was like before the Fuqua's.  They live down the road from us, call my parents "Aunt Kim" and "Uncle Rocky", and have grown into phenomenal young adults. " 

Needless to say, I cried when I read this... and I cried a few tears (of joy) as I was painting this as well. So if you see a random dark spot on the canvas, it's just some extra lovin' that i didn't want to get rod of. I am always honored when people ask me to paint for them, but I am especially honored to be able to say that I painted this one. God is so good! I just think of amazing people like Mrs. Kim and the fact that she will be hanging this painting up in her home. I hope that this painting is as much of a blessing to her and she is to everyone else.

This painting allowed me to experiment with a new painting technique.... the art of aging. LOL! "Nothing in my mom's house is new.  She built the house to look old.  Her colors are all sort of muted.  Beige and browns.... but then, think very bold golds, reds and greens - muted.  Perhaps they appear muted because of age...  If she buys something new (which is RARE), she'll beat it with a hammer and chains and abuse it with a sander until it looks like it has "character". True.  Sad. But true." I didn't want Mrs. Kim to take a hammer to my painting, so I tried to age it for her. LOL! There are 4 sets of initials on the fleur de lis, representing the 4 Folse children.... the 3 Folse girls and Zac (adopted). Then the 4 green circles represent Henry and the 3 Fuqua children.

I LOVE this painting! I think God did a good job on this one! :)
Have a blesse day!

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