This month I am using my social media to feature individuals who are stepping up and choosing to sacrifice their own comfort in order to bring more love into our world.
For the blog today I am so happy to introduce you to Halley Rossler.
Here she is, in her own words...
1. Tell us a little bit about your regular life, outside of your called to love story…
My name is Halley Rossler and I have been married to my husband Paul for 5 years. We have two little boys who are 6 and 10, and I have a step daughter who is 22 and a step son who is 24. All together we have 4 kids ranging in age from 6-24 and a little rescue dog, LJ
I am a former Early Childhood Special Education Teacher turned District Special Education Coordinator for a local school district here in Oklahoma. I was also a Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) trainer for 8 years while working as a district coordinator. In my role as a coordinator and CPI trainer, I supported many teams and students all over the district in how to support students and deescalate behavior.
2. When / How were you first prompted to step out of your comfort zone to begin this story?
A year after Paul and I were married we knew that we wanted to adopt but we were not sure when or how. Honestly, we truly had no idea what we were doing or why we were being called to do it, but we did it. In the fall of 2014 we started the process for an adoption home study and that home study was completed on December 31, 2014 and we were considered “paper pregnant”. At that moment in time we were clearly following the traditional adoption process, but little did we know God had something very different in store for our future.
Three weeks after our home study for adoption was completed my husband and I were granted temporary guardianship of our nephews who were 2 and 6 at the time. On December 1, 2017 after three years of guardianship, we adopted our nephews, Lincoln and Jackson, who are now 6 and 10. When I look back and reflect on the events that have taken place from fall of 2014 to now, I can clearly see God’s hand in every single detail. God knew all along that when we moved forward with that adoption home study back in the fall of 2014, it was for our nephews and not for what we thought we were doing.
3. What is your life like today, and how are you making a difference by loving others?
Oh wow! Our lives are different in so many ways.
January 23, 2015, Paul and I went from two newlyweds hoping to adopt a child... to parents to a 2 year old and a 6 year old, overnight. That day was the beginning of may changes that have taken place in our lives the past several years including my career and my personal growth and passion areas.
When I suddenly became a mom my life completely changed including how I viewed my career path. I knew that changes were inevitably ahead, but I wasn’t quite sure what that looked like yet. I never would have dreamed in a million years that I would one day leave my beloved career, but that is exactly what happened once we realized that God was calling me away to better serve my family during this season of our lives.
We suddenly had two little boys who had to walk through some horrific trauma in their little lives and I quickly realized that our boys needed more than I could give them with my career. That change did not happen overnight, but was initiated in the fall of 2015 when my friend introduced me to Young Living because we were desperate to find help for our boys in the area of emotional regulation and sleep support. I had no idea that I would end up leaving my career to run a Young Living business from home, but that is exactly what happened and it has been the biggest gift to our lives. Young Living has brought incredible health and wellness into our lives and it has brought incredible freedom by allowing me to stay home with my family.
When I look back on my life and my career in education, I truly believe it was all for this call to love ...right here today. I have been able to take all of the knowledge and skills I gained in my career and bring them into my home to support our boys.
Is it easy? No. It is actually one of the hardest things I have ever done and will continue to do, but definitely worth it!
I have also been able to be a more informed advocate for my boys in their schools. My passion and love for kids and trauma informed care and the importance of supporting all students right where they are is at an entirely different level now that I’m a mom.
I have an incredible desire to continue sharing and advocating for the need to equip schools and communities in understanding trauma and the impact it can have on a child’s developing brain and the behaviors that result from it. I want schools, churches, parent groups, PTAs, friends, family and everyone from A - Z to know that we have to make changes and we have to love and serve others in order to be a solution to the many needs of children. I know that there are many people and systems out there that will not understand trauma and/or understand what families are going through on a daily basis, but that is never going to stop me from continuing to share my heart about trauma informed care and how to support all kids from all backgrounds. Maybe, just maybe, I'll plant enough seeds that some of them will eventually start to bloom and grow.
4. What would be your advice to someone thinking about taking a risk and changing their lifestyle to be less comfortable & more loving?
I would start by telling that person to make sure that you are fully prepared to love and accept any child who walks through their door. I would tell them to try to remember that child did not choose the yucky life events that they have had to walk through and to please know that the child's behavior is never a personal attack on them. I would encourage anyone wanting to move forward in this journey to make sure their heart is in the right place and ready to give fully to that child.
Once you make that decision and God places beautiful child and/or children in your home, never look back and hang on for the ride because it is beautiful and bumpy. It is the best ride that you will ever take and if and when you have moments when you want to get off, reflect on how far you have come and keep going and loving with all that you have in your heart.
Give yourself grace. Give others grace. Give your children grace. Show grace and model grace. Do not give up! Please be reflective and willing to accept that you will get it wrong and it is okay. The important thing is to recognize when you get it wrong, repair the moment, and do everything you can to get it right the next time. When you mess up again (and you will mess up many times) make sure you reflect on what happened and make those repairs with your child. Remember that the only person you can control is yourself. You do not control your children, your spouse, or the neighbor next door. Focus on your actions and figure out what you need to do to support your children and help them to grow and learn and become all that they are meant to be in this world.
Do not stop growing personally either through learning from books, classes, conferences, support groups, etc. Make sure you seek out support and find friends who understand what it is like because if you haven't walked through it, you do not understand and it is difficult for others to relate to your reality which includes the good and the not so great. I can promise you that the call the love is the greatest gift that you will ever give yourself so take that step with confidence and go love as big as you can.
5. How is your life better since you decided to answer the call to love others?
I’m forever changed for the better on many levels. There are definitely some really tough days, but I can promise you that I have been stretched and forced to grow as a person beyond what I could have ever imagined and I am forever changed for the better because of it. Our life is richer and more fulfilled because of this incredible journey of being called to love.
Our call to love story is not over and we think we have just brushed the surface. We are building a home that we hope will be finished by fall of 2019 and we have specifically designed our home to be able to support more lives in our future. We are not sure yet what that will look like or the direction we will take either through foster care or emergency foster care, but we know that God is not finished with our call to love story.
Or follow her on Instagram @faithfoily_devoted