by Mary Faith Yoder

When we were growing up, I was the one who was independent while she was very dependent! It was good when I moved over a thousand miles away to teach school because she had to learn to take care of herself. 🙂 She was steady and dependable. Mom used to say if she wanted something done fast, she got me to do it. If she wanted it done right she had Joy do it. It was hard to understand when I, the independent one, got married at 21 and had to learn to become dependent, and she went year after year having to learn to be independent. But God had a marvelous purpose in it all and at the age of almost 32, she married a wonderful man.

   She didn’t sit around twiddling her thumbs while she was “waiting” on God. She had the very fulfilling job of keeping foster babies. Most of them were drug babies, so that added an extra challenge to her work. She ended up adopting one of her babies and he is now a handsome young man of nearly 12 years. She did a work that I could not have done. To become attached to a child only to have them leave when they were scarcely two years old would be too hard for me. It was hard for her, too, but she saw it as a ministry.

Here is a tribute I wrote for her on her birthday.

We grew up together, 11 months apart, but just like twins.

We didn’t have a choice but to be best friends!

I remember the time  we first chose not to have look-alike dresses.

We were Mom’s twins.

You also had the brains in school

And I had to work hard to stay ahead of you!

Together we played… Worked… Slept… Argued…

Cried… Laughed… Dreamed… Dieted… Shopped…

It was so special when Travis, the first grandchild and nephew,

Was born on your birthday.

You didn’t get married young, like I did

But you were faithful in the work God called you to do.

You made a difference in the lives of many babies

By your sacrifice, love, and dedication to foster care.

Now God has blessed you with a wonderful husband,

Three handsome sons, and a beautiful little girl.

So many miles separate us now, and I miss you like crazy

But I’m so glad those miles will never separate our hearts.

I love you! 

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