Tuesday, March 30, 2010

no other choice

Today I have had to make yet another hard decision. Well, it seemed almost made FOR me, but I still had to take action on it. I had to email our international agency and tell them to please put the girls back on the waiting lists. We are unable to continue. We had only asked for photos and the usual medical update type of information, and in a year and a half, their country has not given this. They then made so many demands and requests for information on our homestudy, that it took a YEAR! Then, we see they want us to sign over power of attorney to the lawyer there. His words last week about stabbed me in the heart. "the girls are available for adoption, and we are ready to begin this process." But they wanted us to show we were serious(um, by sending money I suppose?) While WE wanted them to prove the girls exist and So both failed adoptions in a single week. This has me feeling pretty down to say the least. I still am waiting to see how God fills the void and blesses obedience. I hope to see some good really soon.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

the kid in the middle

This is an oldie... but a favorite. The baby is my little baby brother, Joe. The pretty lady would be my mom, the sweet sunshiney girl in the middle would be, oh! That would be ME! Then the oh so funny, rabbit ear making big brother is Paul. My older brother. I was the kid in the middle. The only girl child left at home.What are some things a girl learns when sandwiched betweeen a couple of determined guys like these?? She learns to always watch her back, guard her stuff and stay out of their way when they are trying something stupid.
My older brother taught me that there are some things in life you should NEVER try. Like smoking in the hay barn, riding your bike off the garage, and trying to pack three kids on a two kid sled.(in case you don't know what will happen-- the smallest kid on front WILL fall off and then the sled WILL glide over her and she MAY break a few teeth!) My little brother taught me to change diapers, fold cloth ones, and to love something smaller than myself.
They taught me to laugh, love and live. They were rough, rowdy and crazy, but they are also such loving amazing people. They are the absolute MOST amazing brothers! Yay for brothers and ode to the issue of being the kid in the middle.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Showing God's love

This morning early, Dan took the kids out for Elijah's baseball practice. I was left home in quiet peaceful bliss.(ok aside from the fact the house looks like mom went on a week long holiday) I was praying, Lord, I need to SEE some good. I need to know what good so far has come from Jackson being returned to his birthmom. I need to see it desperately. I KNOW your perspective is higher and better and eternity based, and mine is right here right now and filled with my own selfish hurts. So SHOW me. please?
Because, from my perspective, I see my baby went to an unstable woman. I see an unstable woman was given a huge new responsibility, and of course MY family is missing our baby.
He said, "she needed love. She needed to SEE MY love, she needed to be able to GIVE something love. And She needed to see the heart of the Lord out loud, up close and personal. She needed to see that I sacrificed MY only son for HER, and I would have done it even if she were the only one."
How can I say it wasn't for a good reason? I mean how do you talk to God and say, but you KNOW, I um, gave up a baby boy.... yeah, you just can't.

I now feel like a birth mom. I want pictures and updates. I feel like I placed a child. To any who think birthmoms jobs are easy, you are wrong. It is a painful decision. It was painful not to fight this or beg for legal action on my behalf. It was so hard to hear Him say, "build trust, show love, give back."

I have always wanted to be an advocate for adoption. To guide and lead young women to be able to make the choice to keep or to place. Now I can see clearer both sides. I have taken the Job way of dealing with this loss. When you have nothing else you CAN do, you fall on the ground and worship. You let God into the places that are filled with pain. You see that what HE says is true, regardless of the way things look or feel. He WILL restore-- my heart, my hope, my home. I will lie under the mushroom cloud of exploding emotions and just worship, wait and see. All the while listening for His voice.And waiting to see what I know he will do-- Big time Bless my obedience. HE never fails to do that.

Friday, March 26, 2010

a new day and crazy love

My sweet bloggy friend Linny has been an inspiration to me in so many ways!
her blog is here : www.aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com
(sorry I can't get my make it a link button to work!)
This is an amazing family with such meek and humble hearts and a desire to help orphans like I have never seen before. She is having a Crazy love party. She is talking about giving above and beyond the tithe.

For Linny's blog party, those with needs are supposed to enter a post of their need. I am a far better giver than receiver so this is humbling and hard.
Dan and I have been married for 14 years. We have three bio kids and have two who have been blessed to our family through the gift of adoption. We recently(in case you are new here) adopted a third newborn. Within three days, his birthmom requested him back. It has been a challenge. A heartbreaking one!! The odd thing was, we were in the middle of an international adoption of two girls, 8 and 13. When the baby boy was born and needed a family immediately.
We have always gone to our interdenominational church "Victory life". It is an awesome body of believers that has several locations. (A huge and loving family of Godly people)
When we first got married, it was only a year before we found out we were expecting our first boy! Dan made not very much money, and it seemed our tithe was so much of the paycheck. But we had been taught, "you cannot afford NOT to tithe, do it and see God move" Be faithful with the little and he will make you rulers over much. Dan has been blessed with raises and promotions and Godly favor. He makes great money for our area, but due to circumstances (medical issues and such) we have no extra money really. It all has a place. We have been saving for the girls adoption, but just used a huge portion of that for bringing home a little one we did not get to keep. So now we are staring at nearly empty accts and wondering what do we do, and how do we do it. And that is just the money part! My emotions are shot. These two girls still are waiting for us, but their lawyer has just now said, "let's begin" We have been at this for 1 1/2 yrs!! I have no idea what to do. When God brought them up to me, I was so determined and so ready! When I said, what about the costs? HE said "freely you have given, and freely it shall be returned to you, pressed down, shaken together. . . . " We have had blessings(a great and cheap 12 passenger van! Clothes for girls! etc) But we are feeling so depressed we have about lost heart. I keep hearing "don't be weary in well-doing." But when we gave little Jackson back to his birthmom, we felt it was right, it was the meek, humble and selfless thing to do. But I also felt like, but Lord, what now?? We have always tithed, always given above and beyond to every need we could! Now I just feel as though MY heart has been pulled right out of my chest. We are looking to God for answers, direction, comfort and money. But we just have no idea what HE will do. I keep singing the Barlow girl song, "I believe in the sun even when it's not shining, I believe in love, even when I don't feel it, I believe in God, even when He is silent" So we are in wait and see mode. Listening and watching for His guidance and blessings and peace to show us where to go. If we receive any gifts of money they will go into that adoption acct. We are still hoping to get our girls home. We would like to hope That the little guys birthmom might change her mind, but not sure if it is selfishness or what on that one.
Our email address is
so funny she has called this crazy love. I have been asked most often in our adoption journeys. "Are you out of your MIND?" hmm. Maybe so. Crazy loving is not such a bad thing when it gives a parent-less child a home though. Have a day filled with some crazy, chaotic, sweet loving!

googling grief

So, I google everything. Cause I am a nerd like that. And because I need to know stuff fast. I wanted to see how to help the kids move along those steps of grief as fluidly as possible. AND according to the 7 stages of grief... I don't know where the heck I am still. I thought maybe I was doing well because I can look at his crib without sobbing, I can see a picture of him and feel only slightly mushy and faint. I smelled the kids shampoo that I had used on him without falling in a heap. But then I have the slight hope she will change her mind again. So that probably means I am still not accepting it, so THAT means I am not trucking through the stupid stages of grief. Whatever. Stupid stages anyway, right?I do know that I have fully accepted the horrible feelings. I have let them wash over me like tidal waves and felt myself falling over and over. I do know I have tried to get us into a semi normal routine, even though what I WANT to do is hide under the covers. The hubster has gone back to work. I have immersed myself in kid-care and the house and laundry.

Yesterday we spent the whole day with dear friends. She is like a sister to me. We both have 5 kids, they have one who came by adoption as well, so we have that in common too. But we have been friends for 15 years. We have been at each others birth and we met them at the airport when they brought Sara home from South America. They asked us to stay the night that night! We are very close. Our kids dearest friends are their corresponding Reids. We hung out and the kids ran over the many acres in the cold windy sunshiney day. There were 10 puppies and 10 kids! Les gave me hugs, hot coffee and a box of kleenex. Then when the hubster got there.(mine) he brought kites and all the kids went to fly them. I will add pics when I get coffee flowing and can remember where the cord and batteries are. I have to say, it was very nice to get out of the house. It was SO good to have friends to go see. It was so good to see the kids so happy. The freedom of flying a kite was kind of nice too. So throw away the seven stages of grief thing, we know what has happened. We are dealing with it, but we also know we need to still see fun and life and friends. So we can't be too bad off.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

living truth

True grace is letting God be strong when we are weak. True faith is trusting Him when we don't understand the reasons. I sure God's hand holds us, but it is so hard to tell that to my head. My heart FEELS His presence, but my head cries out for "fairness" and my own selfish way. True life is feeling the roller coaster of the ups and downs, the waves of pain then the swirls of joy. But right now, I would just like to rest for a moment in His utmost peace. That one He talks about that passes all understanding. I know it, I have felt it before, and even today, I have had moments of it.

Lord grant us your Peace.Help us feel your presence and may your Comforter keep us. May my children not feel that the pain of love makes it an unbearable act. Help them to see the truth of You even in their pain.

sad news

We could desperately use your prayers. our baby's birthmom changed her mind. The social worker just left with him. She did this in the 72 hr time frame and it is legal. We are grieving, but the hard part is knowing I would have done the same thing. My kids are grieving really hard here. That is a really big part of MY frustration and anger. It is such a shocker, she had not given us nor the social worker any signs of changing her mind. She was stoic and fully determined. Outwardly anyway. But we are entrusting Jackson into God's care. We do know we gave him all the possible love and affection and prayers posible for the little guy in his first few days. We know he is in HIS hands. And so are our hearts. But please pray. I have so much to box up and take apart. I have crying kids. I am a sobbing mess. Even the hubster is really broken. But I also know God works ALL things together for our good. He can make good of any thing at all. Thanks for all your prayers that I know you will send up on our behalf.

Jackson and family


Elijah thinks he is so tiny.

Isaiah and Jackson.

Moriah loves that "my new baby has hair just yike MINE!"

Riley sure is loving his new brother.


(Olivia is in love)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jackson is HOME!

We are home! I am trying to figure out how downloading the pics from my phone goes. lol But for now, this is the picture Dan took of our first meeting. We had a lovely 3 second photo session and then Jackson threw up on me.Hee hee. He is a little laundry maker. He is peeing on everything no matter how well guarded I think we are, he spits up after you finally think the burp session is over. We are learning. I have all his clothes in the dryer now. He slept 5 hrs his first night and 4 hrs last night. He is a really sweet baby and puts up with the noise and chaos here so that is awesome. More later. I really need to find some coffee... maybe I will be more eloquent then. maybe not.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Baby number six!

oh um ,yeah so I did gasp a little. Cause six sounds like a big number . Lol i am in the hospital. The baby had to have his hearing screening. In the middle of the night?? He is a truly beautiful baby. Yeah I fall for the short,dark and handsome type. He is calm and alert. I can't post pics yet--some stupid law! Whatever! But I am thinking when we check out I will be posting from the hubsters I phone. The papers are signed. We are hoping they will do his procedures early!!! Then we can go home. And his name... Jackson Paul... Have I mentioned he is adorable?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

baby boy arrived

Our lil' fella has arrived. While we were snug in our beds, at 5:15 am. He is 6 lbs 1 oz. Birth mom still says come. We are now looking at traveling. Trying to figure out the how to get there part. It is only a few hrs drive normally, but the roads are all slick.(MAY I JUST SCREAM!!! IT IS SPRING!!!! I have A BABY to pick up!!!!!)

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Well, our case worker has said we wait until tomorrow. They are waiting to see if she will really have it. No progress so far. SO we are packed and ready. AND, My sweet niece and her family will come here and stay with the kids. So we can go alone! Just us!! We will be able to focus and sign papers and snuggle the baby alone for a bit before bringing him home to our loud, crazy family. lol POor lil' guy, hope he is a sound sleeper. I have two little kids who are whining, "but I wanted a baby brudder today!!!" Moriah asked, "can we make it a GIRL baby??" lol, um, nope sorry.
OK while we wait, I am taking name suggestions from anyone. Even your KIDS can get in on it. seriously we are desperate. We are having fun with it here.
I think his middle name will be Paul after my oldest brother. So something that goes well with that would be great.

My younger brother has suggested Shooter, Wayne, and Roscoe.Then nicely suggested Graham as a real option.
The kids are all begging for Jacob or Jake.
The hubster loves Isaac(but we already have an Isaiah!!)and Jacob
I like Judah(Jude?), Matthew(means gift of the Lord), Emmett, Bennett(means blessed little one!)Jack,Wyatt,
My mom has suggested Whit
alrighty.... share your options and we will let you know what we think he looks like when we see him. I am hoping and praying roads clear up a bit tomorrow! Thanks for all your prayers and kind words. They really have helped!


OK Um, BIRTHMOM IN LABOR!!!!!!! We have a few hrs drive and it is really horrible weather. Snow and ice. Pray for us? I have five backpacks to pack, plus me and hubby need bags. Our crib was not put together yet... lol my nest was not quite feathered. But I guess loving arms and excited siblings and a home are the important things. lol I will keep you posted!!!!!!

going to bat

OK I am just throwing this out there into cyberspace. I have to vent and have no other safe spot to do it other than my blog. I am crying now and have been off and on for the last 24 hrs. I have had to inform people of our new baby news, and understandably they are surprised. I get that. I am surprised. I would expect nothing LESS. What I am shattered by, though, is the quick judgments and harsh words and critical things that have been hurled at me IN surprise. It is so hard to deal with those who love you the most sometimes. When you all of a sudden think differently than they thought you did. I am just going to throw this out there-- WE love kids! We know there are kids who need homes. We KNOW we can't save them all. We KNOW it cost money to raise children. WE KNOW we are not perfect, rich or always stable and consistent. I do NOT see children from outside my genepool as "a gamble", a "blank check" or somehow less than me. And neither does God.
BUT that said.... We are aware of our imperfections. Please for heaven's sake do NOT point them out to us now.
I am so broken right now because the hardest thing for me ever is to feel misunderstood. I feel like people just think I go off and do crazy things without ever thinking them through. I DO!! I analyze things to death.
I don't expect everyone to adopt children. I know not everyone is called to that. And I don't judge others for NOT doing that. I would appreciate the same respect. It breaks my heart that I see a need that God has placed practically IN my lap, and gird up for filling that need, then get slapped around and questioned by people whom I trust with my heart. (um, no not the hubster by the way. lol he is fully in agreement with me on this)
I feel so frustrated that people say "there are so many people waiting for new baby's you shouldn't take him, let someone else." There IS NO ONE ELSE standing up to do it! This is HOW kids get families, someone stands up with papers in hand and says, I will do it!
I feel like we are in a game of life and there are moments when we all have to step up to the plate. So, here we are doing that. With our imperfect selves, our imperfect bank accounts, our less than organized home.... etc etc etc. But we step up and say, WE will go to bat for this one. Why is it so hard for them to understand that? I have no idea.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Today we have had so much going on as you can imagine. But I am amazed! I have had people calling and texting me all day about things they have for us to use! We have been promised a crib, changing table, some clothes,a sling, play pen. . . I am so grateful for such an outpouring of generosity!! I will probably spend most of tomorrow, getting the baby things and setting up crib and all. I bought just a bumper pad and crib sheet and car seat base tonight that we needed. I am anxious. WE are all nervous! The kids keep making name suggestions. Really funny by the way what a 4 yr old girl can decide for a new baby brother! I am having a very humbling day. But oh so thankful.


OH MY GOSH!! I have news!!! I been praying lately about a subject but not sharing(that is why I have been so quiet!! I knew if I got started here I would be begging for prayers and letting the cat out of the bag!) Our home assessment agency asked us a few weeks ago, if we were interested in a newborn baby boy! (in state) We were unsure, HA! I had just said, whew! we have finally gotten every kid potty trained and starting school and we hsve NO BABIES! We were saying, wow, this is kind of nice. lol
So it was the LAST thing on our minds. I mean how often to people in the adoption world get offered a brand new baby? We have already been blessed with two! We never dreamed another would come. So, we said, we could be open to it. Then the b mom decided on another family. We let it go. Then I got an email yesterday from our case worker asking if she could please share our information with the b mom. We prayed and I talked to a few people, and we said yes. She immediately sent back a reply that the b mom says "start the plans." We had a small glitch about home schooling. She wanted the baby to be in private school. I carefully sent back a respectful email that we would not be changing our home schooling. Then we waited until this morning to hear the reply. WE are ON!!! The baby boy is due the 23rd!! THIS TUESDAY!! We havent had a baby in this house for nearly 5 years! I have to gather crib/carseat and everything in the next 24-36 hrs! lol I am flustered, but in a flurry of excitement. I need prayers!! please? and um, maybe baby name ideas?? We have Paul(my brother) as a middle name possibility... I will update you when we have more news!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Husband hunt???

My sweet baboo, who is 8, saw the World's richest men list. I was amazed that the 3rd richest man in the WORLD lives in a home he bought for 31,000 in 1958! I think that is incredible. Well, while I am talking about that, she says oh, there is a whole list of the rich men and their homes! Well, yes, they are not all so frugal. She said, ooooh we can find a rich husband! There is one that lives in FRANCE!! I have always wanted to go to FRANCE!!! I said what?? she says, well, we can marry a rich man and live in a mansion! (probably thinking, fill it up with brothers and sisters and fund any adoption we could find!) Well, small problemo there Sweet thing. YOU are too young, and I am too married. lol So, I wouldn't pack for France any time soon.(poor Daddy huh?) Then I notice it shows his age. The young bachelor in question?? Our prime husband candidate?? He is a mere 70. lol Yes I need to counsel my daughter on the things to look for in a hubby. Where have I gone wrong?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Homeschooling in a nutshell(give or take a few words)

(Olivia memorizing her poem)

(Riley-- he was working so hard)
This week, I was talking with some ladies while waiting for my daughter's dance class to finish up. They asked about home schooling. It sparked a thought that maybe other people want ideas or encouragement about it. I had another mom say, "I like the idea of it, but I just don't think I could do it!
Well, If my crew and I can manage it, I figure anyone could. Of course we could do better in some things. We will be summer schooling to catch up certain subjects. So, we are not perfect, we don't have any genius kids or adults among us. We do get the job done and we (for the most part) enjoy it.
Some may wonder, what do I NEED.
list of basics:
a parent or guardian
library and card
computer and internet access (would be best if at home, but some libraries offer this)
access to printer and copier

With those things you could build your own schooling materials! The internet has so much information and curriculum it is overwhelming. The obvious things to teach are the basics first, reading, writing and math.

*Reading: we used Alphabet Island Phonics for the first three kids and it was wonderful. The 4th kid went through the first book and got NONE of it, but then didnt want to do the same one. I am trying out My Fathers World Kindergarten now for the two younger kids together. But I miss Alphabet Island! I knew how to teach that one. These are both multi sensory learning kits. My Father's world is a Christian focus. www.eagleswingsed.com is where you get Alphabet Island
www.mfwbooks.com is where you get the My Father's world kindergarten.

* writing: There are two types of writing. Handwriting, where one learns the actual formation of the letters and numbers. The BEST is Handwriting without tears! www.hwtears.com The other type of writing is creative writing, or writing for expression. For this, we need to be reading great literature and exposing our kids to lots of different subjects and communicating with them a LOT. I dont even begin this until age ten! I focus on the handwriting and reading to them first.

*Math. ahhh, math..... lol Not my strong point. We tried so many different styles I should get paid to reviews them all. Right now we are loving Teaching Textbooks for big kids. For the littles, I am using simple workbooks from wal-m*art and counting bears, toy money from Meliss* and Doug, and a clock set from Rod and Staff.

*For the other subjects, we love sonlight books and My Fathers world books.I am sort of blending those two!

* For Spelling, we are using All About Spelling, and www.spellingcity.com (AWESOME website!! -- enter their words, and it teaches them, they play games with their words, then it tests them! (if you have headphones for your computer this is great.)

*For readers, I LOVE the McGuffey readers! They are great stories, easy and age appropriate bits of reading. They uphold values and morals we want our kids to know. Lessons our country was originally founded on. Sweet, quaint but real learning.

*For Language, Primary Language lessons, then Intermediate language lessons. Both can be bought from My Father's World.

Art-- Artistic pursuits or Drawing with Children.

* history-- timeline from sonlight!! You enter all important dates you run across on this! It really helps you to see at a glance what things were happening and how the overall picture of history came about.

It doesn't have to cost a fortune to school them. You don't HAVE to get entire packages and sets of things. There are free books online! www.hillbillyhousewife.com has an entire section you should look at for free sites and printables! The main idea is to be with your kids, share the joys of learning, while teaching them how to gather and absorb information. Give them LOTS of experiences and "pegs" to put their information on! Exposure to great books is so key. It really is!! Reading aloud as a family is an awesome thing for building family memories, relationships and developing their minds.
We allow the kids to have an outside subject or activity. One is a baseball nut. Two love drama/theater. Two love Dance. We try to keep this stuff limited. I got in over my head this year trying to get caught up in "socializing" our kids and I am simply running around crazy some days. Know when too much has happened and don't do it again. :-) lesson learned from my own lil' school of hard knocks.

My favorite mom books on the subject:
The Charlotte Mason Companion
The way they learn
For the Children's sake
Dumbing us Down
Honey for a Child's heart
I love to talk about homeschooling! I love talking about BOOKS!!! I love being with my kids and seeing them learn. Home educating can be an awesome thing. (yes daunting too, and overwhelming) This is my first year homeschooling all five. So it is an interesting one so far. :-) I hope though, that we can learn and grow and see even more improvement.
Charlotte Mason said atmosphere is 1/3 of education.(what is our home atmosphere??? lol well, we are working on that)
She said that discipline is 1/3 (habits and training are what she meant mostly, I believe)
then that must mean she meant that only 1/3 was actually the books and teaching!(and even that she broke down-- living books (great literature), school books, art supplies, the outdoors,listening and narrating, music, memorizing, playing, arithmetic... etc.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

silly signs

Okay, we are weird. We know it, but our family thinks it is really funny when signs are out and/or spelled wrong. This was their favorite. Tacky, yes, I know. But my tacky kids and I laughed pretty hard nonetheless. And what is life for if you can't laugh your way through a drive- through every now and then.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Club food

We have now become a part of a club. The S@ms club. The "buy your food in Gi-normous sizes because you have more than two kids" club. We buy peanut butter in what appears to be a a 1 gallon can, and gatorade, and lemonade and nesquick. ALL in the same size cans. If I can figure out how to wash, and decorate those cans.... well, that will be another craft project blog. Anyway, we bought paper towels in a sz that looked like we could throw a fitted sheet and comforter over it as a guest bed! I am not exaggerating here. And of course triplet ketchups and jelly. Orange juice in big 4 can pack. The possibilities of huge food there is endless. But the biggie(yes, pun intended)... Kr@ft MAC n CHEESE. So the next morning, this is what Moriah wanted for breakfast.

I would say, this is the cheeziest please mommy EVER. (again, full of puns today. But yeah, she is cute.( And don't worry I only made her hold that incredibly heavy box for a few seconds. No children were actually harmed in the shooting of this photo and we ARE doling out the heavily processed macaroni over the course of a month and not, say a single week. Just thought you might need to know that.)