Maggie Paulus

Maggie Paulus | 03.30.12
Twitter: @MaggiePaulus


When I was just a little girl, like a wee little thing, I had a different mom and dad. And they were kind to me, but they had hurts and they had addictions and they didn't know how to take care of themselves, much less a wee girl and her little brother.

I mean, they tried. They hung on to us for several years, but things kept slipping and they kept falling and failing and they mustered up what strength they could, but they just couldn't make it work and they couldn't make it right. And so the policemen came over and over again, and took us away and my mama cried in the back of that police car, hands cuffed, and she told me that she loved me. And I knew in my little heart, as I looked up at her, tears streaming and mascara running, I knew that she really did love me. She just couldn't make it work.

And I still remember my daddy's face, another time, when the police finally caught up with him, and took his drugs and took his booze and took us kids. And even though I was just a little thing, legs not even long enough to dangle from the seat, I knew deep inside that he was in trouble and that he couldn't make it right. 

And I cried for them because every little girl wants her mommy and needs her daddy, but they were gone, again, and I felt lost. And the social workers took us to some foster homes, lots of times they took us, but we were never safe. (Did you know bad guys can live in foster homes?) I lay in bed at night wishing they would go away. And I was just a little thing.

But, one day something beautiful happened. Something strange. The social workers came and got us and put our stuff in a brown paper bag and we met a different mom and dad. And they said they wanted us. Like, forever. And we could live with them and never go away. And I really liked the idea, but I didn't know what it really meant to trust, so deep inside I didn't believe them. Not yet

So, we came to our new home, and I had a big brother and a big sister and from the get-go they loved us and they never made us feel afraid. And my mom and dad told me how they had prayed for us, because God had put it on their heart to, and so they asked Him to show them where we were and what to do. And one day my mama walked into that government office, saw our picture and knew right away. And she told that social worker that we were her kids. And the lady disagreed and tried to protest and said it wasn't possible, but my mama knew about the God of all the impossibles, and so it wasn't long before we came home. For good. And time passed and no one ever took us away, so I believed. 

And as days have turned to months which have turned to years, I still believe. I believe in that God of all the impossibles. And I've come to find that He's the One who rescues and He redeems, but He uses our hands and our feet. And He whispers His rescue plan into our hearts and hopes that we'll obey.

And this same God has healed those wounds from a mama and a daddy who just couldn't make it work and couldn't make it right. Because He gave me another mama and daddy who didn't have it altogether, but who depended on the only One who does. And people say that time heals all wounds, but I think it's love. 

And every day I'm thankful that I've been rescued and that my life has been redeemed by the God who can make beauty from a mess. And I'm thankful for a family who became His hands and feet to reach out with a love that healsreached out to the likes of me. When I was just a little thing.

(Thank you, Ma and Paa million times, and with tears, thank you.)

And thank You, Jesus, for always coming for me, for scooping me up and bringing me home. And thank You for how you take the bad and the ugly and the messed up in this world and You make it beautiful. You are good. You are so good. Amen.


  1. Thank you for sharing your story of God's grace and mercy in rescuing you the first time. I'm sure there is much more to your walk with the Lord. This blessed me today, thank you!
    posted by Julie
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 7:02 am
  2. Oh my .... What is there to say? Amidst the tears, I am thankful for how God intervened in your life.

    But now I have more tears for those who are still 'waiting' for that intervention....
    posted by Homeschool on the Croft
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 7:13 am
  3. Maggie, are you in touch with your birth parents?
    posted by Anita @ Dreaming Beneath the Spires
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 7:29 am
  4. Maggie,

    This is just beautiful! We have been praying about if we should do foster care. Thank you for sharing your story about God's redemption.
    posted by Jamie
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 8:26 am
  5. Beautiful writing of a beautiful story. Can I give you a Mother's Day gift idea? Go to Shutterfly and put the text of this into a book with lots of pictures. If I were your mama, I would cherish these words forever.
    posted by Nichole
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 9:10 am
  6. You told your story beautifully. May God touch many more hearts to rescue little ones.
    posted by Kisti
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 9:15 am
  7. Beautiful writing of a beautiful story. Can I give you a Mother's Day gift idea? Go to Shutterfly and put the text of this into a book with lots of pictures. If I were your mama, I would cherish these words forever.
    posted by Nichole
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 9:43 am
  8. this story make us have faith and remember us that we have the God of the impossible.
    Thanks for sharing your story.
    posted by sandra
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 9:53 am
  9. What a sweet awesome story of God's redeeming power!
    posted by gagirl
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 9:56 am
  10. Just beautiful!
    posted by Shana
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 10:08 am
  11. Beautiful Story ! I was end tears the minute I begin to read it ! There are so many moms and dads that need help for so many reasons !
    posted by audrey
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 10:08 am
  12. Maggie this is beautiful!! thank you for sharing. I reposted it on my facebook wall. It's such a blessing to hear the story from someone who has been adopted. If God opens the doors for my family to adopt, I'm ready to go!!
    posted by Stephanie Smithson
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 10:41 am
  13. Maggie, what a wonderful story. I would love to talk to you more. We have an adopted son and I would love to talk to you about what you have gone through with your birth parents etc. So thankful for God bringing hurting children into our lives to love. May God continue to bless you and your family!
    posted by Nicole
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 10:57 am
  14. Maggie! Thank you so much for sharing this... definitely brought tears to my eyes. What a picture of redemption... Jesus in you is so beautiful! :)
    posted by Melody Keener
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 11:15 am
  15. Wow!! I hope my daughter will fill and talk about me the same way you do. Its been a roller coster from battling with the Family Department for not transfering her with all the legal documnents to my care (didn't have a name, birth certificate or SS and needed intensive medical care, she was a 26 weeks preme BG), then with her biologocal mother's family and with the minor mom.
    Took me 3 long years to become her adoptive mother. But it was worthed....She's 11 years old
    posted by H. Cintron
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 11:26 am
  16. This is beautiful and 'the brown paper bag' reminds me of my niece and sister who started a 'group' who makes duffel bags sort of like a big pillow out of colorful fabric that is JUST for little kids and it becomes 'their bag' and instead of their possessions in a brown 'bag' they get a new whimsical 'fun' bag to keep forever. They make many of them and donate them to the departments who 'pick' children up. This is JUST something to think about for your community and children.
    posted by Sharon O
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 11:43 am
  17. Wow! Thank you so much for this. I am going through an emotional phase with my son(step) and was feeling hurt, betrayed. I asked God to help set me straight and guide my thoughts and I was lead to this article. Thank u.
    posted by Nosipho
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm
  18. Beautifully written Maggie. I know your Ma and Pa (know her sisters better) and I remember when they brought you guys home and some of the struggles you all went though. It's good to see that things really do have a way of working out.
    posted by Jim Johnson
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm
  19. Thank you so much for writing this. My husband and I are currently foster parents to two children we're trying to was the first half of termination proceedings. Birthfather has signed a consent to adopt, because he thinks it's for the best that the children be adopted into our home, but birthmother continues to fight. I would, too, in her shoes. Everyone seems to love telling their adoption horror stories, so I have often feared about the future, particularly for my daughter, who remembers more than her younger brother. Thank you, thank you, thank you for encouraging this mom-in-hope with your story.
    posted by Need to remain confidential
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 6:04 pm
  20. Praise the Lord, Maggie. Psalm 27:10 says, "When my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take care of me." Our Jesus worked this promise out in your life, and He has worked it out in my life, though my song is different. God makes a beautiful melody!
    posted by Amanda Hedrick
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 6:36 pm
  21. Thank you dear Maggie for sharing your story. I love the beautiful picture of redemption. You and your precious family are living evidence of our gracious redeeming God. Keep loving those little ones and keep writing for His glory.

    Blessings friend,
    posted by Kimberly Wagner
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 7:09 pm
  22. Beautiful!
    posted by Stephanie
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 7:11 pm
  23. oh wow.
    didn't know I was in for an ugly cry when my friend passed me this link, but ugly cry I did.
    My heart is so entrenched in adoption via foster care right now, and your story was simply beautiful. I love your care for birth parents and adoptive parents in the post too. It's so true that some birth parents love their kids deeply but just can't make it work.
    your post was beautiful and I hope it's part of our story sometime soon.
    posted by Emily Morrice
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 9:07 pm
  24. Thank you, from a foster mom praying for Jesus to heal the heart of our new little girl. You story is very encouraging.
    posted by D. Berry
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 10:16 pm
  25. We have been talking of fostering for some time now. This beautiful account just makes me want to melt into a little puddle of love, and drown every hurting child into the depths of my resolve that every every EVERY little man or woman needs me to open my arms and say TASTE AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS GOOD.

    I hope that God so ordains this path for us. What an encouragement you have been for me tonight!
    posted by Michelle
    on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 11:06 pm
  26. Deeply moved by this. The Lord surely does make beautiful things out of us. Thank you Maggie!
    posted by Joy Hynes
    on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 7:12 am
  27. You shared that so beautifully...thankyou. We have 4 adopted children...3 of them as young babies, and a little girl that was 3 days from conception (snowflake). We love them so, so much and it is so encouraging to hear your story.
    posted by phil
    on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 8:07 am
  28. Thankyou so much for sharing your story. It is beautifully written. As a mom of bio kids, foster kids and working on two made me cry. My heart breaks for all the mommies and Daddies who couldn't make it work, and for all the little ones caught in the mess. I love how you described how God put it on your mom's heart to pray that He would show her where you were, and that she just knew...and wouldn't let anything stand in her way. We're in the process of fighting for a child we've only seen in pictures right now!
    posted by Carla B
    on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 9:34 am
  29. Maggie, my husband and I have been foster parents for just over six months. We have a two year old and a six month old in our home right now.
    Some days are very hard as we navigate the issues and behaviors in the two year old who has never known stability. We know that God is powerful and He can use us to impact these little lives. We are weak but He is strong!
    Thank you for sharing your story.
    posted by Elaine
    on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 10:38 am
  30. I just stumbled upon this post via another friend posting it, THANK-YOU!! My husband and I are beginning our journey through the foster/adoption route and have had it laid on our hearts that there are some special children just waiting for a forever family and we're that family. Thank-you so much for posting what your ma and pa did for you. Your post is a blessing to me and is even now ministering to my heart. Praise God!!
    posted by Nancy
    on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 6:04 pm
  31. What a beautiful story! I have an adopted daughter. I pray that she will have such a positive outlook on her life's story! I appreciate the honesty that no one in the story is perfect, but all tried as much as they could. I definitely don't measure up to Maggie's forever-parents, but I'm praying that with God's grace and much prayer, He will make it all beautiful in His time.
    posted by DeAnn Schlatter
    on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 9:57 pm
  32. Thank you so much for having the courage to post this. My husband and I are just starting our journey to foster to adopt and this was heart-breaking to read, but also represents EXACTLY what we hope will happen. That we will be able to take a broken little girl and love her with our imperfect love and show her God's perfect love. Thank you.
    posted by Sarah Anderson
    on Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 7:48 pm
  33. thankyou! how encouraging to hear this as an adoptive mama! You are right - it is LOVE, His love, that makes it right.
    posted by Jen
    on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 1:48 am
  34. I kind of took it for granted that Mom & Dad would always take care of us. I made many mistakes in the way I tried to raise my children, but I never gave up on them. I've struggled with addictions and obsessive behavior my whole life. Thank God for my wife and children's love. I've always known that I wasn't the best Dad and it breaks my heart to see them "leaving the nest". If I think about it very long, I cry. Please God, don't allow my mistakes to thwart your plan for my children's lives. Thank You for the wonderful young women that you gave my wife and I the privledge of raising. I hope they never forget us and will raise their children up in Your ways.
    posted by darren crabtree
    on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 10:33 pm
  35. Hi, kind people! Thank you for your sweet words and encouraging comments. I prayed for you just now. May the Lord bless and keep each of you, cause His face to shine bright, bright on you, and bless you and your families with so much peace.

    And for the lady who was wondering about my birth parents--no, I don't have any contact with them. But, I vividly remember them and I do pray for them from time to time. The Lord has blessed me with a sweet peace regarding them.
    posted by Maggie Paulus
    on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 11:01 am
  36. Paragraph 6 is unclear.

    Who do you end up with? The first family that loved you. A new lady who walked into social services and got you? Your mom demanded you back? (the rest of your article answers that but..)

    Not sure why no one else asked. It isn't clear at all. You get adopted, that's clear.

    I have a similar story. Glad God sent you some reprieve from your beginnings, I hope that people of that class are not now people you avoid. Though I am now very well off financially, it still sickens me to see people like myself who've 'come up' in life only making nice with the well to do-ers and leaving those with 'hopeless' pasts, there.

    I am not in touch with my Dad only because I have no idea where he is. I haven't left my very abusive mother behind, for only prayer. But have minimal contact, each time trying to encourage her toward Christ. She hasn't become untouchable because of her tendency to verbally abuse, the Lord has helped me to allow her to know what I will and won't accept, and make it clear that I love her and will honor her no matter what her lifestyle.

    Please do not take this as 'judgment'. I do not know your whole situation. However, I know that luxury and 'faith' sometimes help people to excuse their birth beginnings. Please re-consider how you approach her. God may use you, you never know. A letter or a phone call from an unlisted phone may just be the thing that opens her eyes to Christ like sympathy and then salvation.
    posted by Changed
    on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 2:54 pm
  37. Dear "Changed,"

    Thank you for taking the time to tell me your thoughts and perspective. I take them to heart. Big time.

    I'm sorry the story was confusing. Here's the deal--the lady who walked into the social workers office is the mom I have now. I don't have any contact with my birth family. At least, not yet.

    And I so get what you're saying about not forgetting our birth beginnings. My birth beginnings are stamped on me for life. I wouldn't change one detail. I still very much love my birth family and pray for them often. And am even asking God if I should ever try to contact them and so your words of encouragement there go a long way.

    My early relationship with my birth parents and faith in Jesus has only made me more compassionate for those who haven't been rescued yet. For the down and out. For the ones that are still stuck in that lifestyle. Because really? That's my roots. I know where I've come from and I won't forget. I can't.

    Prayed for you and your family just now.

    And again, thank you.
    posted by Maggie Paulus
    on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm

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