Silver Lining: Making life beautiful: our Jason decision

January 15, 2013

Making life beautiful: our Jason decision

A few months ago, Sam and I found ourselves at a cross-roads. November was full of decisions about teaching and grad school and babies and moving. Nothing felt right, and I had this feeling we hadn't struck on the right answer yet. But what else could the answer be?

And then, one night, driving home through Sardine Pass - it came. The answer just came to me, and it involved an 11-year-old and it was not the path I was expecting, but there it was anyway, and it was like a deep breath in midwinter.

There are many reasons behind our decision to have Jason come live with us. We had talked about it since we first started dating, but we always thought it wouldn't be for a number of years. Some of the reasons are very personal and meaningful, and I won't share them here. There is a real and deep need for Jason's home environment to change. Sam and I made the decision like we make all important decisions - slowly, with counseling from those people whose opinions we respect most, and lots and lots of prayer and fasting. It's the big decisions that need the most consideration.

And this is what I realized - Sam and I would have fulfilling lives either way. We could take him or not take him, and chances are we'd have a successful marriage. We knew taking Jason would mean less money, more stress, more responsibilities, and less time to mold our marriage as a couple with no kids. 

But what I really want, as we look back over the years, is for our life to be beautiful. I don't want it to be conventional or cute or perfect, I want it to be beautiful. Jason is amazing, and having him in our lives will be such a growing and learning process. But more importantly, it will be a beautiful process to have an 11-year-old whom we need as much as he needs us.

So here's to choosing beauty over convention, challenges and change over stability and static, and most of all, to that road trip we're taking this weekend to bring home the 11-year-old who is changing, and saving, our lives.

Thank you, thank you readers, for being so supportive and positive.
It's people like you who inspire me to be better every day. And I mean that.

And on a slightly different note - 
parenting tips?
Pre-teen parenting tips?
Great parenting or "foster parenting" books? (we're not actually foster parents)
I'll take any advice!


  1. i may have a few books about influencing and behavior change, if you are interested, i mean its more about applying it to populations but i can tell you what i learned. haha. however kids tend to hate me, so not sure if thats the best idea. love you guys!


  2. You are incredible brooke! I cant wait to hear about all your adventures :)

  3. This is so amazing and I am so happy for all of you without knowing any of you. My mom (a child development professor) always recommended "How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk."

  4. Hi! I just came over from Dash it All and want to say what a great thing you are doing with your husband's little brother. I obviously don't know the situation that led to this decision, but I know what it's like to A) have a younger sibling live with you and B) what it's like to see a family home life not that great. I recommend this book to almost everyone I know who has kids. It's called Christlike Parenting. I really believe this is how Christ would parent a child. I had bought the book not knowing the author was LDS; that was the cherry on top for me. We don't have kids yet, but have used it else where and we're actually looking forward for the day we can use it on our kids. I hope it helps and good luck!

  5. Brooke, I am in awe of you both! Many blessings as you undertake this new chapter in your lives. Common sense, prayer and fun will see you through. Plus getting Jason involved in everything the church has to offer, scouting, young men when he's old enough, giving talks, camp-outs, all kinds of physical activity (important for this age!), developing friendships with good kids, etc. I love you! Mama O.

  6. That is so awesome. Good for you two. I'm sure Jason will be forever grateful. :)

  7. Brooke this is so incredible, and so inspirational! I love what you say about your plan maybe not being "conventional" but that's the beautiful part, when you realize that everyone leads a differen life, and that's the beauty of it! Best of luck, and lots of happiness!

  8. From the minute I met you I've always been so impressed by you and have had such a deep respect for the person you are, and man my respect for you just keeps growing! You are such a rockstar. Seriously, you make me want to be better.

  9. I think this is amazing Brooke. Good for you for doing taking a harder path that will make all the difference. I have no doubt your life will be beautiful because of it! I have no advice on teenagers, just toddlers :) But I'd just say be clear about rules/expectations and then just be consistent. That seems to be a good standard no matter the child's age. Good luck! You guys will be great parents.
    Plus. Aren't those sudden moments of clarity amazing? They're worth the months of prayer and struggle to figure out what the heck you're supposed to be doing! :)

  10. This is beautiful. I am sure Jason will be so happy and forever grateful for your love. xoxo

  11. this is so beautiful and you are absolutely amazing! i really look up to you for your sacrifice and your faith. this is definitely a harder path but i know you guys will come out so much stronger. thank you for being such a great example to me!


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