Category Archives: home

elk grove, my family, awkward high school memories, los angeles and other things i associate with california.

walking barefoot

a couple weeks ago i went home to california to visit my family. every time i go home is different, because my family is growing and changing all the time. my siblings are getting older and becoming their own people in new, exciting and challenging ways. that i can’t be there to see every step of the journey is an ache deep in my soul, but i treasure the moments i do get with them. this visit, i had moments with each of the kids that can be described as nothing short of holy. they were simple, and maybe could have gone unnoticed, but even as they happened i had the distinct feeling that the moment was significant. i wont share the details of each experience, for they are my own to treasure, but i did learn something significant about each of my siblings.

my oldest little sister is so smart. she has a little trouble with math, but who can blame her? she was asked to apply for a program that would challenge her academically and allow her to develop her leadership skills. she would be so great at this! she has so much to offer the world, and i hope that she finds the confidence to step into these opportunities, and find the ones that will give her life.

my oldest younger brother is so considerate. despite the deep hurts and the long road of healing that i know he has ahead of him, he is sweet and kind and thoughtful. when it is just us, he is an absolute gentleman, opening doors, offering to carry things for me and buying me ice cream. i had never seen this side of him, and it gives me so much hope for his future.

my youngest sister is so creative. she has attitude and is clever and funny. she is so excited to be in a class this year that lets her do some acting and video editing. i can see her being an actress or telling stories in some way, if she learns how to channel that creative energy positively. she is always fun to interact with, because she can banter with the best of them.

my youngest brother has the fullest heart. he is fearless and ready to try anything. if it turns out badly, he tries something different. he knows who he is (at the ripe old age of 8) and he’s not afraid of judgment or ridicule. he loves, and he’s not afraid to show it. i think deep down he believes that if he sits on my lap long enough, i wont leave california for seattle. and it breaks my heart every time.

i am so thankful for these kids, and i love them with my whole self. i am glad that i know them, and that each time i see them i learn more about who they are.

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introducing…

ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, i would like to finally introduce you to my family and our latest additions.




in march 2010, my parents invited four children into their home. as of december 7, 2010 they are officially (legally) a part of the delavan-turner family.

Angelica Marie Suzanne Turner – 11
Michael Jay Turner – 9
Marissa Anne Turner – 7
David Brian Turner, Jr (Junior for short) – 6

i am so proud to have them in my family. i am excited to be a big sister again (my younger brother tim is amazing, who wouldn’t want to do it again?!). i am eagerly anticipating birthdays, christmases, graduations, weddings, nieces and nephews, and so much more.

despite the distance that is between us at this point in time, i have had the pleasure of getting to go home and meet these little creatures, gotten to know their personalities, and fallen in love. we are sincerely blessed.

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haiti, round 2

so i’m back from a second trip to haiti, and here’s what i’ve got.

this trip was very different from my trip in january, but was no less special or transformative. the team of people this time around was great. we had several generations with very diverse skills, and it ended up being a great time.

some of the highlights for me include:

-getting to see the gentlemen on our team who are engineers have such a great time interacting with bruce, with haiti in general, and finding ways to help and serve.

-getting to spend more time with the children at the school we worked on in foison. it is definitely cool to have names and faces of the kids that will be benefitting from the school we are working on.

-spending quality time with bruce and deb, getting to see more of their ministry, learn more about their experiences, and both give and receive encouragement.

the week that we were there, bruce and deb decided to take us through a devotional book called the red sea rules. they are taken from the story in exodus where God leads the israelites out of egypt across the red sea. bruce and deb started with the first one on the first night we got there, and let me tell you it was a huge answer to prayer. let me start with the rules, and then i’ll tell you what i’m taking home from the trip.

1. realize that God means for you to be where you are.
2. be more concerned for God’s glory than your own relief.
3. acknowledge the enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord.
4. pray.
5. stay calm and confident and give God time to work.
6. when unsure just take the next logical step by faith.
7. envision God’s enveloping presence.
8. trust God to deliver in his own unique way.
9. view your current crisis as a faith builder for the future.
10. don’t forget to praise him.

tell me these things aren’t legit. literally every night i’d sit there on the porch dumbfounded, because God was speaking right to my heart.

take homes:

-there was a moment while we were eating lunch in foison when a haitian man told us that it was great that we were spending time with the kids because they didn’t really know how to handle all of the stuff that’s happened because of the earthquake. this helped to provide a little clarity of vision for me. one of my biggest hopes in this trip was that God would provide a bit more discernment as far as how i can keep moving forward toward what he has called me to. i think i got that. i’ve had a picture in my mind of what this “vision” is for my life, and i feel like every once in a while something happens that brings a little piece of it into a bit more focus. i love kids, and i love walking with people through tough things and helping them to find healing and redemption. now, i am definitely not an engineer who could bring people fresh water or teach them how to build solid buildings. but i can definitely encourage, provide hope and skills to maintain mental and spiritual health, and work with kids to help them to grow up to make positive changes in their country and redeem situations from their past.

so, i’m looking into counseling, child/adolescent development, something along those lines. i haven’t made any decisions on schooling, but my perspective has widened a bit, so there’s more to look at and take into consideration.

-there are some doors in my life that i need to close. things that i’ve been indulging in that i need to give up. not bad things, or sinful things, necessarily. but things that are not where God wants me to be spending my time and energy. some of these doors are on people, some of them on time commitments, some are topics that occupy my thoughts. rules number 1, 2, 5, 6, and 8 come into play on these things.

-i like to pretend that i’ve been including God in my life lately, but frankly its just not true. he has plans that i can’t see because i’m off doing my own thing. i am aware of what he wants to be doing, but a lot of what i’m doing isn’t quite on track with that. its time for a radical refocusing.

-tacked onto the end of this trip was a visit home to california to meet four new additions to my family. long story short, they are all beautiful and i’m lucky to be able to count them as brothers and sisters. but this comes with its own set of lessons and areas to grow. being away from my family is not a big struggle i’ve had so far while i’ve lived in seattle. but throwing little kids into the mix is a whole other story. i find myself sad to leave them, and sad that i wont be there for birthdays, and school plays, and all the fun things that come. i also want to be there to facilitate their transition and healing from their past. i want to be able to show them what love really looks like, and that’s harder to do from 1000 miles away. so, i’m thinking on how i can be a great big sister, even though i don’t get to see them very often. (also, the adoption isn’t final, and i probably can’t post pictures until then. but you better believe that as soon as i’m allowed, i’ll be showing off these kids)

this is by no means a comprehensive list of all i did and learned, but these are some things that are high up on the list. i would love to share more with those who want to hear it, and would love input and affirmation and suggestions or comments if you have them.

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haiti, part two

one week from today

i will be on my way back to haiti.

i can’t wait. i am looking forward to: refreshment. being of clear mind. engaging the haitian people more. picking the brains of bruce and deb. learning from my team, and others around us.

after that, i’m headed home, to california. my parents are in the process of adopting four children: two boys, two girls, all between the ages of five and ten. that makes four new siblings for me. i’ve mentally processed what this means, but i am still very disconnected from them and the situation.

i am looking forward to going home, sharing my experiences in haiti, and meeting my new family members. 😀

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changes…big ones

going to haiti changed everything. i learned a ton, and was set free from a lot of expectations i had about my life.

coming home meant that i had to actually start living those new things i learned. at the top of the list was that i hated my job. (i can be really dramatic, and if i’m really honest, i don’t think i hate my job. i definitely don’t have a passion for it, and there are parts that suck, but its not quite hate. i complained a lot, and i appologize to everyone who had to hear it) they made it really easy for me, and i ended up putting in my notice.

i’m starting my last week today, and this time its for real. friday is my last day, and then i am done. that both excites me and terrifies me at the same time. i will be going back to school, but right now the timeline on that is still up in the air, and the finances are equally uncertain. i feel a peace that this was the right thing to do and the right time to do it, but i am still left in a place of insecurity.

on april 7, i’m headed back to haiti, to work with bruce and deb again. i’m looking forward to that for so many reasons, i can’t even express.

also, my parents are in the process of adopting 4 kids out of foster care in the town i grew up in. that means 2 new sisters and 2 new brothers. i’m still processing what that means. it means birthdays, christmases, graduations, weddings, nieces and nephews, etc. for the rest of our lives. crazy. after haiti, i’m flying to california to meet them, and see what its like to be a member of this new family. i’m also really excited about that!

i will finally be returning to seattle on april 22, and then the real fun and uncertainty begins. i have no idea what life will look like when that rolls around.

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home

i made a realization today.

every time i come home i think about all the great things about this place. i glamorize it in my mind and get to the point where i even kind of miss it at times. when it gets really intense i even sometimes wish i could go back.

now, i don’t really feel this way about home. i’m happy to be gone and i’m happy with the life i’ve cultivated for myself. so it can be somewhat disconcerting when i get to the point of missing it.

the realization comes in this: i don’t actually miss this place, nor do i want to come back. the feeling that i get isn’t a desire to have it back at all. it is a feeling of safety and comfort and of familiarity.

that’s what gets me every time.

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think i’m mistaking you for somebody else

i’m writing today having just returned from a short visit home to elk grove. who am i kidding, all my visits to elk grove are short, thank goodness.

anyway, my best friend and a couple good ones drove back to our hometown partially to celebrate a birthday, and partially to reconnect with important things in our past and present lives. overall, the trip was great, and much needed, since i had not been back since christmas, and even then it was a very short visit. i did, however, learn a few things while i was there.

first: i have come a long way from the person that i used to be. it had been almost a year since i’ve spent time with these people, particularly my family, and i’ve had a lot of big experiences and adventures since then. i was able to share some of this with them, and it felt good to be able to invite them to know the person that i feel like i’m well on my way to becoming. it was also encouraging to hear positive statements of affirmation from them, recognizing a change.

second: aside from my family, i have come to realize that the support system, and network of friends that i once held so dear is no longer what it used to be. that is okay. i had fun visiting briefly with the few friends that i got to see. but i’ve come to realize that i’ve developed the community i’ve desired here, in seattle. i had hopes in moving up here, desires, and i’ve seen them come to fruition. that’s a good feeling.

third: i get really irritable when i’m exhausted. sorry for that. 😉

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