Monday, June 21, 2010

Memorial Monday

Remembering the God's amazing acts. That was something the Isrealites did well. And sometimes not so well. They built alters and memorials at some places where wonderful things happened. When God proved Himself a faithful Father, they would DO something tangible to remember. Then came the wandering in the wilderness.... I would like to NOT be a part of that, thank you. I would, however, like to remember the GOOD things and be grateful for the good God has done.
There are times when a certain little boy in our home gets to be extremely difficult. There are times when I think I need the nap or the time out. He can show all the worst human traits at the same time it seems. The bottom line though, is that God loves him, and we love him. Our Isaiah came to us as the first adoption. I had a 5 yr old boy, 3 yr old boy and an 18 month old little girl when I began dreaming of adoption. I was literally DREAMING all the time about babies on my doorstep and women passing a baby to me in a busy crowd. Odd dreams. But the weird thing was, I had WANTED another child so badly, that the idea of adoption gave me hope. Still, when a woman with 3 kids and a previous medical condition AND no extra cash lying around decides to adopt, how WILL that work? I had heard horror stories of, "it is so expensive," and "people stay on waiting lists forever!" So, over time, I put it out of my head, but never out of my heart. Not a week after the MOST realistic dream yet, my dear friend for years called me crying. Her niece was expecting. We had all three had our girls at the same time. This niece was not 18, but a 23 yr old single mom trying to finish school. I cried with her for a bit and felt hopeless FOR M for a while. Then I said, "you know K, there are SO many families waiting for babies! M could find a family if she were really overwhelmed by the thought of raising another baby. I know this last year has been so hard for her and going to school is difficult already with J. But if she could do it, that would be a way to bless others and for HER to be able to finish school and get the career she is working toward." K said, "oh, I don't KNOW. Maybe she could..." We talked a bit more and then I had to go get everyone lunch. (meaning the PBS show they were watching was over!) While I was feeding the kids, I got another call. From M!! She was crying, I said, "OH! I am so sorry this has happened." She said, "would you and Dan adopt my baby? I COULD do it if it were you guys! I know that I could." I was crying and shakey and trying to get out an answer, I had to say, "I will call him and call you back." God had given me notice of the scripture in Isaiah spread wide your tent stakes, you will not be ashamed... I had the feeling we should but didn't know if Dan would agree. Three little kids under 6 was already an armload. Then the money. The house was too small(we had already talked about needing a bigger house) But when he came home for lunch we talked more. He agreed!
Then January 31st, my baby boy was born. We snagged Aunt Ash to come with us as nanny duty. We stayed in an awesome cabin with two bedrooms. When we got to the hospital, the nurses gave ME a room to be with our little guy. M handed him over and I took care of him. Everyone was in new territory. There were tears and awkward moments all around. The birth family had to have had their mixed feelings. WE had to look like the last group that needed a new baby with all our litter in tow. But the instant I held him. Dan looked over my shoulder. The little boy was splotchy, red, had dry scaly skin from being overdue. He was skinney and wrinkly. But his silky golden hair and big blue eyes were disarming. Dan said, "oh, isn't he beautiful?"(now my previous description was true!) I said, "oh,I just LOVE him!" On checkout of the hospital, we had an entrustment ceremony, where the birthmom had a pastor pray over him, and she said her goodbyes and handed him to us for the last time. We proceeded to finish up the world's fastest, most inexpensive and easiest adoption in our century probably. Driving home felt like I had kidknapped someone's little boy! It just felt ODD to be coming home with a new baby that I did not labor to deliver. But it was lovely. We stopped for cloth diapers on the way home and some other things.(he was a spitter upper deluxe) Then we made a brief stop at Aunt Ks(who really became a bio auntie that day too). The birth great grandparents were in for a quick visit too. So they all got to meet the new little guy. His name was Isaiah Luke Joseph. We only stopped for snacks and restroom break and letting the family quickly see the new baby. Then we were off again for the other half of the home trip.
Since then, we have had with our boy-- 4 ER trips, countless Dr visits, shotsstepping on rusty nail, bee sting, bug bites,spider handling, time outs, spankings, kisses, hugs, snuggles and songs...
Lately, he has asked me "will you sing me baby songs while I fall asleep?" He told me at church yesterday that he found the girl he was gonna marry. He recently informed me that he had spent 6 yrs with me and now he would like to spend 6 with M(we have an open adoption btw) I said, "well, buddy, that isn't the way it goes. I am your mama forever and always, and M is your special friend and the lady who birthed you. We can make a trip to see her this summer maybe? I am sure she is wanting to see you too!" He was satisfied with texting her a picture of him with his new tooth gap. There are moments of chaos that seems to be all at his hands. There are moments of bliss that seem to flow straight from his heart. There are moments of in between. There are odd words spoken you could never have prepared for. But in all of it, I am oh so grateful that God said, "spread wide your tent, you will not be ashamed." I love him. He has the funniest sense of seeing the world. His blue eyes wide. His mope of golden hair and his gap toothed grin are adorable and irresistable. I am thankful that God chose ME to be his mama even though he was born of another. I am grateful that she could make such a descision to give. I am grateful we have family on BOTH sides that love us and him. I am grateful to be a mother. The only thing I ever wanted to be I have gotten. I don't care to be rich and famous(though more money... well), I don't want to drive new cars. I don't want a huge fancy house. (just a clean one!) I don't want new furniture or expensive toys. I just want a peaceful, simple home and to be the joyful mother of many.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Widow's mite pendant

In our home schooling, we have used Sonlight for the last 2 years.
We received our first Sonlight core two years ago. Our first order came with the Widows mite pendant gift. I was so touched by that! The note that came with it brought tears to my eyes. I wore it nearly every day for a long time. We began an international adoption. Sadly, the country we were working with could not allow us to continue. So even after praying for nearly two years for our "two new sisters," we were not able to bring them home. Then this March, we were asked if we were interested in a new baby boy domestically --in state!! We had three days to get ready!! We had friends bring clothes, crib, everything while WE drove to get him! We met him first. He was beautiful!! A sweet baby boy with brown skin dark eyes and lots of black hair. I was instantly smitten with him. In the photo(of our first meeting), I was wearing the necklace. We met his birthmom and spent a lot of the 24 hrs with her. She held him and we took turnd caring for him. The hospital gave us a room right next door to hers. After she signed her parental waiver, he roomed with us. We kept our door open to her though.
The day we were leaving, my husband had to go out for a few extra things for the long trip home. I had a feeling I was supposed to give her my necklace. I had to pray. It sounded so odd. It was USED!(well-used) I said, "Lord if I am supposed to give this to her tell me FAST! (she had stepped out to pack her things. We were all being discharged. I heard Him say "yes!" so, when she stepped in, I had taken it off. I was holding it and said," I have something to give YOU. It seems like not much when compared to a baby. Sorry, but it is a 'widows mite' necklace.(she was not a Christian, so I explained the story from the Bibe briefly) I felt God take over and speak FOR me. "This is to remind you to give all that you can and for all the right reasons. AND remember that you are worth everything God has to offer you!" She took it and mumbeled "thank you". Then stepped out. I sat and cried for a moment wondering if I had done the right thing or not. I felt silly, and I was emotional about the rush and flurry of adoption. We a were released not long after that. We took our little guy home and spent the next two days falling MADLY in love. Our other 5 children were in awe of him. We called the first day home the "auntie parade." Aunts, Nonnie, and friends poured in to see him and hold him. On the third day, we were blissfuly alone. My husband had gone back to work. The kids were back into the school routine. The baby was so easily adaptable-- he was in the bouncy seat on the table while we did school! Or in the sling while I was up working with kids. That morning, our social worker called with devastating news. The birthmom wanted him back. There are 72 hours in which the birthmom has every legal right to request the baby back. I sobbed. I felt like my world was closing in and that I was having a full scale emotional breakdown. I called my husband who rushed home. I called my niece and close friend. They both came instantly. My friend said, "we can fight this-- it is so close! the papers were being filed today!" I had asked God what should we do. He said so very clearly,"Give back, show love, build trust." He said "she needs to see that I gave MY only son for HER. She needs somone to love and someone to love HER" Someone very close to me in our family, had placed her baby for adoption decades ago. She got her back when she was a few mos old. I called her. She said, "If I could have found who she was with(the baby had been placed in foster care as a legal risk adoption I assume), I would have gotten her back on the second day. You are doing the right thing to give back." I knew it was right. That didn't make it easier. We packed his little things. We made sure he had the outfits she had bought. We sent diapers and formula. We packed him a bottle for the trip. Then after he left, we left town to visit dear friends. My husband had a conference three hrs away and we decided to go with him the next day so we wouldnt be home missing the baby.
The next day, I found her on F*cebook. We had talked about that at the hospital. I wanted to know she had him and all was well with him. She sent me messages back. Pictures and all. Then she opened the door for something more when she said, "I have been thinking about my life needing to be very different with him in it. I have been asking a counselor about becoming a Christian."
I told her what God had told me about her needing to see that pain of giving up a son, and that HE had done that for HER. We messaged back and forth for days, then she asked again, "what does my necklace mean exactly?" I was able to share the full story with her. Later that week, she said, "I am going to become a Christian. I need a few days to think and pray-I have been PRAYING! AND I know he hears me!! I want it to be a real life change.
I had asked the Lord to show me the good in our situation. He did. I wish that I could say that I am okay with it still. I know what an awesome thing it is to have contributed to the salvation and change of his mother and giving hope to his life. I am human though. And the pain is still very fresh. It has only been a few months since his birth. In that time we have gotten rid of every baby thing we had. It was just too hard to live with it here. I gave it all to people who needed it, or gave borrowed things back to their owners. We miss him so greatly. We had two failed adoptions at the same time. It coincided then, with the reordering of school books because we are at the end of our year. I placed my order and saw at the end, that I may choose a free gift. As you can imagine, I WANTED a widows mite pendant(I miss that too), but I was actually afraid of it being too painful to wear. I asked God though. He said, "get it. you need to be reminded that YOU have given ALL you could for ALL the right reasons." And so, I got our order, I opened the pendant. It was very differnt from the first.(they are all unique) I am hoping today to get a new silver chain so I can start wearing it. I think it may end up being instead of a reminder of pain, a reminder of Hope. A reminder of His love for ME too. And above all it is a reminder that I still hear His voice and I am still on the right path No matter what storm or tornado or fire seems to hit (even if they feel like they are all hitting at once) He is there. HE has not forsaken.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

titles and boxes

There is this thing that just stabs me in the gut. I HATE being misunderstood. I HATE being labeled. (I do have a OCD style problem with labeling STUFF but that is a different post completely) I HATE being put into boxes. Sometimes it feels as if women are the worst about this. We need to put the other moms in groups for our own comfort's sake. Are you a Christian? Oh, well, then I know ____ about you already. Are you a home schooling mom? Ahhh, that makes so much MORE sense. Did you do home birth.... ummm yeah, now I see where we are heading. Do you stay home all day with 5 kids and you actually LIKE it? OK right, you are a bohemian, hippie Christian crazy person. See?? They think they have me pegged in one conversation. But I am more than any of those. So much more. I have this need to NOT be stuffed into those boxes because it limits your friends, it limits your connections and relationships and it limits your life. I want to glean and learn from people from all walks of life. From women who are different from me, but then relax sometimes with those who are similar. There will be those that are like sisters. Those you can be yourself with. There should be those that you feel challenged to be with. They challenge your thinking and your beliefs because they are different from you. I have been great friends with two different women who are atheists. Then I have a friend who has been bi sexual. I have one who is homosexual. I have ex alcoholic friends, I have friends who are or used to be involved in drugs. I have friends who drink and cuss. I have friends who are of different faiths. And each one of them are amazing awesome people with so so much to offer. I went to a church once that had a "prostitute ministry." It had a better name, I can't remember what it was called, but they went out on the streets and ministered to the girls and women. I think it is awesome. That is the heart of Christ. Reach people WHERE they are and love them! Meet their needs and draw them to Him. Not draw them to church, not make them look like you, not put them in your "Christian box" and set them in a pew. Go out to them. Meet them. Love them. Spend time with them. And whatever you do, do not discourage them or kick them while they are down about living life that is different from what YOU believe to be right.
A favorite quote of mine--
"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ" Ghandi
While this MAY seem like a slap in the face of Christians, it should be more of a wake up call. We should wake up, come alive and get involved. Each person getting involved where they FEEL the burden of love and life(for me it is kids). When every Christian does that-- they will be so busy DOING and BEING there won't be time for petty attacks and pecking and fighting between us. And no more people who think the title of Christian is a bad thing.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

the new pool

We have come to a solution on a pool... It has taken YEARS to figure this out! We ave joint ownership on a pool that will be in my neice's yard! She is only 7 yrs younger than I so we are more like sisters. We have kids simlimar ages. (ok she has 2 and I have 5, but my youngest two are close to hers) Anyway, our yard is currently needing work and being over run with itchy plants and irritating dogs. But our kids need a place to play and it is so darned hot we NEED water!!!
So I got this brilliant plan. We buy a pool that will live in their yard. Voila! I went with the kids and we helped set up the pool. It was a lot longer out in the sun than I guess I noticed, because by the time Nikki said, um you are looking kind of red... it was bad. I always get worse after I go inside. It becomes redder and redder. Now I am lobster red, I have a permanent white tank top. I hurt. I am greasy with cocoa butter. The pool is filling at a rate of about 1 inch per two hrs. So since we got a sort of big one, we may get to swim sometime next week with it fully filled. And here is the stupidest(is that a word?) part: I had sunscreen in my bag in her house. I just never got it ON me! duh. My sweet friend Stephanie reminded me, it is sunscreen BEFORE you go out. OK I will add myself to the dingbat list, because I ended up with cocoa butter AFTER. I now look like a freshly buttered lobster. hmm, I am hungry...

Friday, June 11, 2010

in case you wondered

In case you were wondering why I have removed some pictures from my blog, I have been having to remove comments from someone who uses odd characters in their comments. Then when I click on the website, it is not a good one! I feel I have icky people lurking around my blog and that makes me feel less safe about photos of my kids being up. So sorry if it makes the blog a little boring. But a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stepping up to the plate. again

No, this is not a post on adoption. So sorry. I am going to discuss a bit of motherhood. We have to do LOTS of things as moms. Some we like, some we love, some we HATE. But we do it because it is our job. We take the good with the bad and we love our kids. Last week, I let my 8 yr old practical BABY go ff to summer camp. It was a two day camp and her counselor was a dear friend of mine(who was sweet enough to txt me every night and say how much fun my baby was having). It was HORRIBLE to pack her up and send her off! I missed that kid like my left arm(I am a lefty). Then this week, my 2nd born 10 yr old boy was off to baseball camp for the first time. It involves staying with my parents for days. They have so kindly taken him too and from and packed him lunches and waters and rewashed his 1 pr of baseball pants every night. It has been so much fun for him and he has learned so much already. Today was mom and dad day. Meaning the moms and das go. And they bat. Now, my son did not gain ANY of his sporty ability from me. I wish, but sadly, no. So I spent Tuesday night wondering if there were any other way. Could I hire someone to bat for me? Could I just back out? I had my brothers 4yr old and 6 month old... I DID have kind of a lot of kids. But nope, mom offered her help there too. And she brought a camera.(bless her heart...) So,I talked to my kid the night before, I said, "you know I will likely not hit, right?" He said, "that's ok, mom, you wont be the only one!" I said,"It could be embarrassing." He said, "I won't be embarrassed." So this am, I did the hardest, out of my comfort zone thing in a long long time for the sake of motherhood duty. I will gladly tote along extra kids. I will accept slobbery kisses from any child. I even Accept my nephews darling hugs with hair pulling and squealing in my ear. I will endure the grate of my nieces whine that tends to feel like fingernails on a chalkboard. I will stuanchly time out my 5 and 6 year old without batting an eye for various activities of ill repute. I will even face the changing attitudes of my new teen. But BAT!?? Infront of my home run hitting very talented kid??? Come on....
So again this morning, as they were lining moms up in the dugout, I said, "ok, kid, here is the bottom line question... will it embarrass you more if I try and miss or if I don't try at all?" He said, "if you don't try at all." So, I got in line. I grabbed the first bat I came to. And after that gramma went, I heard "NEXT." I jogged up to the plate. I raised the bat and held my breath. I hit three out of the several he pitched. I heard lots of cheering-- GOOOO MOOOOOOM!! and some extra boy voices screaming "whooooo" that my son must have enlisted to help cheer from the campers. ANd I heard my nieces screechy whiney voice scream "GOOOOOO AUNT HEZRA!!!!!" and then "YAY YOU HIT IT!!!!" lol, and then my moms clicking brought me back to reality. lol, one of the coaches said, "nice cut!" about my hit? hee hee, bless his heart. Sweet guy.
So, today, I stepped up to the plate in a whole new way for me. I totally got ou of my comfort zone. And I hit a few and missed a few. But the kid was happy. I think that is what life is all about.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A teenager

The first teenager in our house! Ry has become a teen. Though he is handsome, funny and smart, it frightens me. I am not sure why. He has anamazing appetite for books of all kinds, he can play drums really well, and he can sing. He is a really fun kid(sometimes). He can make me laugh and he still wants a kiss and hug goodnight every night. I know I am fortunate. (sometimes I think, so is HE)We began this dance of parenthood 13 years ago. I was not a stranger to babies. I had baby-sat for years. We even had a daycare in my home growing up! Somehow though, the job of 24/7 full responsibility was a little frightening. Then the hubster was gone after he was about a week old, for a two week summer A*RMY training. I dont think I slept those two weeks at all. I was terrified of falling asleep and not hearing him cry. We had an apartment the size of a shoebox and I was afraid I wouldn't hear him cry. He was a textbook baby. Funny toddler and sweet big brother. He began schooling early-- 3 yrs. Reading by 5. He went literally from Dick and Jane, to "Journey to the center of the earth." He has patiently born the burden of being big brother many times over. He is crazy enough like me to hope he gets to again. He is currently in the summer children's theater playing the main villian. (He won singer of the week last week!)
"They" say, that teens are like toddlers, they )want to do the independance dance. They want to know you love them and accept them, but they want to know they have freedom. I pray that I may be able to balance that... and I am terrified that I will fail in some way. Because I am human. And a mom. I know there are so so SO many things that could have already gone so badly, but he is truly a great kid. Tonight we did dishes together late and had a long talk. Girls, siblings, and the latest books. He is so fun. Thirteen amazing years and now he is the same height as me. We see literally eye to eye. Only 5 years until adulthood legally hits!?? So glad we have more time.