Lara broke her rib with a rice crispy treat.
If you think that sounds ridiculous you'd be correct, but it doesn't make that statement less true. She tells this foolish story in her blog post titled, "Giving Purpose to the Past,” which not only details the absurd tumble but also offers a glimpse into her complicated life of trauma and healing. Even while navigating these heavy and complex issues in her life, there is a consistent undercurrent of humor in every story she shares.
Lara is the funniest person you'll ever meet and she’s pretty shameless - whether she’s chasing down a celebrity in an airport, or spontaneously twirling on stage to re-enact one of her crazy stories - she will have you cackling uncontrollably at her hilarity. Somehow, inevitably the next moment you will find yourself punctured by the stories of her life that are soaked in grief. There was abandonment, substance abuse, indiscretion, and even murder. Lara's older brother Adam was shot Halloween night when he was 17-years-old by an irritated neighbor. Adam was a champion athlete, academic, and hero in his community, and he was the ultimate hero to his baby sister.
Decades of harboring Adam's loss were transformed into a kindness campaign called #AdamsActs. This regional movement has spread internationally, and the acts of kindness that Adam would have spent his life doing, are now being completed by thousands of readers in his memory. The transformation displayed in #AdamsActs is just one example of the grace Lara has experienced as a broken follower of Jesus. That grace is especially evident in the family she raises now with her handsome husband, Tom. There miiiiiiiiight have been an unplanned pregnancy in the early part of their relationship, but fifteen years and five kids later they're living out the mercy of forgiveness and the abundance of God's goodness. Those of you who have been faithful followers of Lara's blog can instantly recall stories of when they strolled their daughter around Washington, DC in a sustained pop-a-wheelie because the stroller they bought only came with two wheels, or when she admitted she'd rather have her son pee in her hair than in the car seat, or when their entire family danced the "stanky leg" at a family wedding.
It's because of her early and unexpected start to parenting that Lara has a deep and unwavering heart for unwed mothers. With that sense of compassion in mind, she and Tom chose to adopt their two sons. Adoption is a beautiful example of God's relationship with His children. He chose us. He loves us. He died for us. And we are His forever. End of story. Lara's life requires that endless grace for the day-to-day ability to navigate the complexities of transracial, open-adoption.
Lara has lived a lot of life in a short time, and she has a beautiful way of sharing those stories that leave you walking away exhausted from laughing, yet rejuvenated by love. She invites you into the vulnerable places with her, and while you're together you'll see Jesus more clearly because she is a touchable example of the grace-filled work of her Savior.
Just don't touch her rib 'cause it still might be broken.