Thursday, December 5, 2013

Laugh or cry...this is "having it all together?"

What does it mean to "have it all together?"  I have had people tell me they are jealous of me because I always seem to have it all together.  I have had people tell me they feel intimidated by me because I always seem to have it all together.  I have had people tell me they just don't get how I can have so many kids and still have it all together.

I laugh.

I never, ever, ever try to make others think I have it all together.

I don't think pretending to have it all together is very Titus 2-ish.  I think it is so important to be real! Why would I try to set up this perfect expectation that tries to tell other young moms that motherhood is glamorous?  It's not!  I cleaned up puke this morning!!!  Puke is NOT glamorous!

Yes, I can see how people can look at me and think I have it all together.  When they see me out with the kids who are typically well-behaved, everyone looks nice, I don't look harried, or sleep-deprived, or dumpy, and we are often laughing, or dancing...  But, not every moment looks like that!  Come spend a day with me!

There are moments when I have to choose whether to laugh, or to cry.  So, for those of you who think I have it all together...this is what it looked like yesterday:

The kids got up and worked really hard to get their school work done, so they could spend the afternoon outside.  Yes, I have it all together.
The kids proceed to "play school" and the older two try to teach the next two grammar and math.  Yes, I have amazing kids who make me look like I have it all together. 
The kids leave a sharpie out in the year old finds sharpie and colors on carpet and his face. Well, maybe I don't have it so much all together.
I sat down for a while because I wasn't feeling well, and let the little ones play upstairs.  Play?  Not so much. It's more like destruction.  They took a mattress off one of the beds.  They took the covers off most of the other beds and put them in Ligon's crib.  When I saw the mess, all I could think was...this is going to take forever to put everything back in its place.  Yeah, not feeling so much like I have it all together.
It was beautiful yesterday, so I took all of the kids outside to play and decided to give all 5 boys a haircut. Wow!  You cut your boy's hair, too?!  You must really have it all together!  While cutting the boys hair Bethany dumped sand all over Ligon's head and down his shirt, which then proceeded to seep into his diaper.  Again, not feeling so much all together.
After cutting hair I brought the kids inside, so I could start on dinner.  While getting dinner on the table the 2 year old decided to go potty, and then left the door open.  An open bathroom door to the 1 year old means IT'S TIME TO GO SWIMMING!  Into the toilet he goes with his shoes and clothes on.  Yes, the toilet...which had not been flushed.  I didn't know he was playing in the toilet until I was putting him in his chair to eat, and saw that the bottom of his pants and shoes were soaked.  Ummmm...what was I saying about having it all together?  
Ligon ate with soaked shoes, and as soon as dinner was over I took the four youngest upstairs to the bathtub.  Three of them had face paint that I could not get off, and Ligon still had black sharpie on his face that seemed impossible to get off.  Ligon nearly climbed into the bathtub fully dressed while I was getting everyone else stripped down for the tub.  I believe I caught him by his pee-soaked sneakers!  While getting him stripped down all of the sand from his diaper and clothes were dumped all over the bathroom floor.  I finally got all of them in the tub and clean...including face paint and sharpie!  I got Bethany out first and got her dried off and hair brushed.  Next, was a screaming Ligon because he wasn't ready to get out yet.  While drying him off, Bethany said she needed to go potty.  I leave him to wipe Bethany and then turn around to find him back in the tub.  I get him back out, screaming, again and proceed to dry him off.  I turn around to get Ian out of the tub while Bethany fills her hand with baby soap and wipes it all over Ligon's hair.  I get Ian dry, wrap Ligon in a towel, and hold his head in the sink to get the soap out of his hair.  I told Miles to get out of the tub and dry off while I take Ligon and Bethany to the bedroom to put on diapers and pajamas, and direct Ian to go put on a pull-up and pajamas.  While putting lotion on Bethany I look over at Ligon and see him start to pee on one of Bethany's costumes and the carpet.  I shout, "Noooooo," as if in slow motion, and he stops peeing, midstream.  I start to get up to get him and he starts peeing again, so once again, I say, "Nooooo," again, as if in slow motion, and he stops peeing again.  I scoop him up and rush to the bathroom to see if he will finish going in the toilet.  I sit him on the toilet backwards, as I have done while potty training my other boys, and before I know it he has his foot in the nasty pee water!  I scoop him up again and wash his foot and leg in the sink before going back to the room to finish putting on diapers and pajamas.

So, in reality, that's what having it all together officially looks like!!!  On this particular evening...I chose to laugh.  It's doesn't always end that way.  Ask my sweet husband!

I don't display every mishap in our lives because, honestly, it would probably scare some people out of becoming parents!  My life truly feels like a circus sometimes!  I don't want to paint a bad picture of what it looks like to have a home full of children.  Yes, it's busy!  But, it's a lot of fun, too!  There is so much love in our home!  I want people to see the good...and the not so good!  There are moments when things seem to go smoothly, but for the most part...not so much!

I think having it all together is more about how you respond to the situation.  If you can laugh, more than cry, during those tough days then maybe...just will sometimes feel like you a very small way...and moment by moment...might just a little some odd sort of way....have it all together.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spiritual growth in children

Ian is 4.  He is so cute!  He talks, and talks, and talks.  It doesn't annoy, or bother me because the things he says are so cute and funny.  He says whatever comes in his mind, which often leads into very sporadic stories that don't go together, and don't even make sense!  Still, I love to hear all of the things that are going through his mind.

Last week we were outside playing and he had a lot on his mind.  It caught me off-guard when he told me he had been praying for his friend, Tali. I don't remember what he said he was praying about for her, but it amazed me that a four year old would pray for a friend...on his own...when he thinks about it...and without being told to do so.

Lauren, Franklin, and I went grocery shopping last night.  It takes us 35 minutes to get to the store, so we had plenty of time to talk on the way.  Our conversations were about a wide range of topics.  I love having only a few kids with me at a time because it really gives them a chance to talk to me about anything they want to talk about, without being interrupted.

It was Lauren's conversation last night that caught me off-guard.  She told me that she had been really afraid a few weeks ago when she was home with her grandma and aunt when Roger and I went out of town for a few days.  She said she had become afraid of the dark, and afraid that someone would break into our house, and then she started hearing noises in the night.  You know the feeling, right?  We can really freak ourselves out!  Anyway, she said that she picked up my Kindle and opened it to my Bible app and began to read where I was in the Bible at that time.  She said that she was amazed because the first verse she read really comforted her and showed her that God would protect her.  I have no idea what verse she read, but what an amazing God to show Himself to my little girl just when she needed Him.

My most fervent prayer for my children is that God would show Himself and bring them to Him at a young age, and that they would grow up with a passion for knowing and serving God.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Death never comes at a good time

A few months ago my good friend, Meredith, died at the young age of 45.  It was one day before his 2 month anniversary.  It was a strange twist of events...from chest pains the previous May, which was caused from blood clots, which was found through scans, which also showed a growth at the tail of his pancreas, which led to surgery, which led to more blood clots, which led to another surgery...where he died.

I see his emails that I got just a few days before he died.  I see his text messages, which I cannot bear to delete from my phone.  And I wonder...what if he had never had surgery?  He didn't feel any complications from the mass on his pancreas.  It wasn't cancer.  What if it had been left alone? 

In the days after Meredith died I couldn't help, but think, "This just isn't fair!"  Meredith had waited his entire life to be married.  He did his best to be content with singleness, but he always wanted to get married.  Then, he meets his wife, who had also never been married...and then God takes him.

My mind goes back and forth.  I think it is great that Meredith got to experience marriage.  I had never seen a bigger smile on his face before he met his beautiful wife!  But then I think, "Why only two months, God?!"  And then I think about his wife.  She waited her entire life to get another country...and now she is in the US...alone...

It wasn't a good time for him to die.  He needed to be married longer.  He was so young.

Yesterday I found out that another young friend died.  Stephanie was only 37.  She was married.  She has two little girls.  She was sweet.  She was kind.  If you ask anyone who knew her to tell you what she was like they would say this...she always had a smile on her face.  Even in the last 2 years when she struggled with brain cancer...she smiled.  Wow!  What a way to be remembered?

And still...I don't get it.  When I told my husband about it last night and told him about her young girls he said, "That's really sad.  What a tough time for those girls to lose their mom?"

I had known Stephanie through high school in our church youth group.  We didn't stay in regular contact, but I kept up with her through facebook.  I grieve for her family.  Her husband.  Her two little girls.  Her mom and dad.  Her two sisters.  They know she is in Heaven, but oh how they will miss her.

It wasn't a good time for her to die.  She was a young wife.  A young mom.  She was so young.

As I lay in bed last night thinking about Stephanie, and praying for her family I thought over and over about the timing of death.  Death never comes at a good time.  It is easier to accept for someone who is older.  My grandmother was 97, but it still wasn't a good time because I always thought she would make it to 100.  It is easier for Christians to accept when they believe that the person they have lost is in Heaven.  But, it is still hard.  "To be absent from the body and present with the Lord" is truly a blessing, but I think about how much I miss those who don't live around me, and missing them for the rest of my life if they passed would be devastating.  Goodness, I miss Roger just when he is gone for the day at work!  I cannot imagine missing him the rest of my life.

When a young person dies it is usually more devastating.  We think about the life they will never experience.  We think about their children growing up without them.  Or, if they are a child we think about the fact that they will never have children of their own.  We think about the parents grieving the loss of a child.  Or the husband grieving the loss of his young wife, and thinking about the years he must now face alone.  We think about the siblings who will not be able to pick up the phone just to say hi to a sister.  It makes my heart hurt.

Death is a reality we must all face.  It is one of those questions in life that we will never understand.  The timing will never be good.  Whether they are lost in the womb, or at 100, they will still be missed terribly.

Our days are numbered.  Life is a vapor...and then there is eternity.  I wish I could grasp that concept more fully.  I will have eternity with Meredith and Stephanie, and the babies I have lost, and family that have already passed.  But I still miss them here.  On the other hand...I am happy for them.

It is okay to grieve.  I think everyone needs to really think about that.  I get frustrated when people say...

Heaven gained an angel...
     That just simply isn't true.  People do not become angels.  If they are in Heaven they become worshippers with the angels.

She/he is in a better place...
   That may be true, but it isn't necessarily comforting when someone just needs to grieve for a while.  Let them think about their loved one in Heaven...later.  Let them grieve for now.

All things work together for good...
     Yes, the Bible does say this...but it doesn't feel very good to lose someone.  Again, let them grieve. 

What should you say?
I am so sorry.  I am praying for you.  I love you.  I am here if you want to talk, or cry, or if you just need to sit with someone. 

Our "words of encourgement" typically have the opposite effect.  I have often found that it is best to say the very least.  A hug speaks volumes...without saying a word!

Let.them.grieve...for death never comes at a good time...


Monday, February 25, 2013

Pop our outside the box

We live in a proverbial bubble.  My husband goes to work each day.  I stay home and teach our children, and take care of our children and home.  My husband comes home.  We spend time together in the evening.  We get up the next day and do it all over again.

Our daily lives are generic.  We don't really do anything outside the norm.  Each day is pretty much the same.

There is nothing wrong with living a "normal" life.  Typically, I desire "normal."  I don't like it when things happen that throw our schedule out of sync, or turn our lives upside down.  I'm not a big fan of change.

For months now, I have felt that God is asking more of us.  More from Roger and me.  More from our family.

I don't know what God's plans are for us, but I think He wants to "pop our bubble."  I think he wants to change our bubble lives into something more extraordinary.

I believe God is taking us down a road that will cause us to live outside the box.  I don't think He wants us to be normal.

Two things that keep popping up in conversations between Roger and me...

1)  Adoption.  We are open to adopting.  We continue having this feeling that someone knows someone who knows someone...who knows of parents who cannot take care of their children...and our home needs to be an open door.

2)  Being the interim family to an unwed mother.  We are open to sharing our home, our family, and our hearts with a young mom who, for whatever reason, needs somewhere to go while she is pregnant, regardless of her choice to keep her baby, or choose adoption.  Pregnancy is certainly not a time for a young woman to be stressed about where she will live while she is pregnant.

 Who? What? When? Where? How? We have no idea! We are open to God popping this bubble that only includes our little family, and choosing to live outside the box, even if it draws us away from our comfort zone.  I believe it is God bringing us to this place.  I'm excited to see what He has for us!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Looking year...

When I found out I was pregnant with Ligon, Bethany was only 4 months old.  It was quite a shock, and one that didn't wear off until I was about 8 months pregnant!  My due date was February 28th.  It was Leap Year, so my doctor put the pressure on to induce on the 29th.  He wanted me to have a Leap Year baby.  Me?  Not so much!  I hated the thought of having a baby on a "weird day!" 
When would we celebrate his birthday?
Me:  Well, on the 28th, of course!  His birthday is the last day of the month.
Roger: No, on March 1st!  The 28th isn't his birthday.
Yeah, having a baby on the 29th really wasn't good for anyone!

Ian and I have birthdays in February, and everyone else is in different months, so we thought it would be great to have a March baby.  We planned to induce one week after my due date, on March 5th.  I have never gone into labor on my own, so we always plan to induce at some point.

Early in February we found out that Roger would be out of town the weekend following the 5th and I just couldn't see how coming home from the hospital and him leaving a few days later would be a good thing.

I didn't want to go more than a week overdue.  Anytime I have been more than a week overdue there has been meconium.  Bethany was only one day overdue, and there was meconium, but I attributed that to a stomach virus I had the day before I had her.

So, we decided to induce almost a week early...on the 22nd.  It's a great date...2/22/12!

I went into the hospital the night before.  (We passed 22 deer in a field on the way to the hospital!)  I was dilated 2-3 cm.  The doctor ordered cytotec to help soften my cervix.  I really thought it would put me in labor, but it didn't.  The next morning the doctor came early and broke my water and I started on Pitocin.

From the moment the doctor broke my water, Ligon began having problems with labor.  There was A LOT of thick meconium.  We were not expecting this!  A week early, and thick meconium?!  We suddenly saw that it was a blessing that we induced early.  Ligon would have either been very, very sick if we had gone past the due date, or more than likely...would not have survived.  We can certainly see how God ordered our steps!

For hours, Ligon's heartrate was up and down.  Nurses were running in my room at least every 10 minutes telling me to turn to my other side.  They were having a hard time getting him stable.  "C-section" was thrown around several times.  I was so worried about him that I considered asking for a c-section a few times.

 Finally, his heartrate seemed to settle, but he was no longer moving.  They came in to tell me that they needed him to wake up and move around.  They told me it was not normal for him to be so still during contractions.  More fear and worry.  They talked to the doctor and decided to give me sugar water through my iv.  It worked!  The poor little guy needed some food!

With Lauren, our first baby, I got an epidural, but had several complications.  So, with the next 5 babies, I delivered naturally...with no medication.  I had been told by an anesthesiologist that I would probably have the same complications with future epidurals because of scar tissue from a past back surgery.

I decided to meet with an anesthesiologist during my pregnancy with Ligon to get a second opinion.  He was willing to try an epidural, and believed he could get it to work.  He offered to be on-call for me, so he could be there to do the epidural.  He even rearranged his schedule, so he would be at my hospital the day I delivered!

In the afternoon, I decided to try an epidural.  I was so scared!  The complications I had before were awful, and I couldn't imagine doing that again.  The doctor came in and prepped me.  He got it in...and he did it fast!  I couldn't believe it!  It wasn't until he was done that he told me how nervous he was to do this for me, and he has done this procedure thousands of times!  He figured out quickly that my spinal space is more shallow than normal, so he was able to get it in without puncturing through.

The epidural was a blessing in many ways.  As soon as I got the epidural Ligon seemed to handle labor much better, my labor got into a good pattern, and I was pain-free!  The relief was amazing!

A few hours after I got the epidural I began feeling the contractions on one side.  Ouch!  It was really painful, but such a relief not to feel the pain all over.  It was helpful because I knew when I needed to push, and it helped to push through the pain.  Thankfully, the epidural worked, so that I didn't have to feel him while he was coming out.  That was the biggest relief of all!

After pushing through two contractions Ligon was born!!!  Because of the thick Meconium there was a large team of doctor's, nurses, and respiratory therapists in the room when he was born.  I didn't get to hold him, or see him for the first 25 minutes.  He was still in my room, but the team was working on him, trying to make sure he was suctioned well, and monitoring whether he had aspirated meconium into his lungs, which would have made him very sick.  After 25 minutes they declared that he was healthy, meconium-free, and ready for his mommy and daddy to see him and hold him.

And here we year later! 
I am so glad this little guy is in our family.  He is so much fun!  He is happy, content, cuddly at times, very ticklish, a good eater...and very loved!  We all adore him.  Bethany is his little mother hen.  She hasn't been jealous of him at all...she just wants to take care of him.  She is constantly in his face saying, ""  I think the two littles will grow up to have a great relationship.

Happy Birthday, lil' Lig!


Monday, January 14, 2013

The week the Flu came for a visit

Roger began feeling sick in the middle of last week.  By Thursday, he.was.sick!  He left work Thursday morning, came home and went straight to bed, and then got up to go to the doctor where he was diagnosed with the flu.  He came home, went back to bed, and stayed there for the next two days.  Thankfully, the doctor gave him a prescription for Tamiflu, so he got better more quickly than he would have without the medication.

Saturday, Ian didn't act like he felt well.  I told him he needed to take a nap after lunch, but when I was putting him in bed he was shivering and feverish.  So, I came downstairs and called our pediatrician's office only to find out they had already closed for the day.  I took him to a walk-in clinic at a local Walmart.  He was swabbed for the flu and it was positive.  We filled a script for Tamiflu, got him some gatorade and anything else he said he would eat and came home.

Sunday, Bethany was grumpy, but did not have a fever.  Ligon was fine until he awoke from his nap in the afternoon with a fever.  So, back to the clinic we went, but this time we decided to get Bethany tested, too, and possibly Lauren, and we were going to beg for a preventative script of Tamiflu for Franklin since he is going out of town with his dad this weekend.  We got there at 5:30 and we're told they had just accepted their last patient for the day (even though their office hours say they are open until 6!).  We drove to the other clinic in town, which was also supposed to be open until 6, and they had already turned out the lights and locked the doors even though it was only 5:40.  With tears, I got back in my van and drove 35 minutes back home.

Today, Lauren, Bethany, and Ligon woke up with fevers.  Back for another try at the clinic.
This is what today looked like...

10:00 Left the house
10:40 Arrived at walk-in clinic
11:50 "I'm sorry, but we can't see your baby here.  He's too young.  We'll see the other two and then you can go to the clinic at the hospital for the baby.  But don't worry, we'll go ahead and sign him in over there now."  And, I couldn't have been told this an hour ago???
12:15  Walk out of clinic and over to pharmacy for scripts for Tamiflu for Lauren and Bethany. "I'm sorry, but we are out of Tamiflu."
12:20 Load everyone up and head over to the other clinic for Ligon.
1:20 "You can come on back, but we don't have a room big enough for your family, and you need the bigger room anyway for the baby scale, but I'll go ahead and put you in a smaller room anyway."  ummmmm...ooooookay...
2:30 "The FDA recommends we do a flu test on infants less than one year."
3:00 "Ligon tested negative for the flu, but he has an ear infection, so we'll start him on antibiotics." 
At this point no one had eaten anything since 8:30 in the morning, except for Ligon who ate a jar of baby food.  We left, went to Rite Aid where we were told, "I'm sorry, but we are out of Tamiflu."  We got FOOD!  We went to another pharmacy who could fill Ligon's script and Lauren's and Bethany's, but didn't have enough for Miles who now has the chills, or preventative for Ari and Franklin.  So, on to Kroger who could fill it for one, but not the last two, but when I came back to get one they told me they could compound it, so I waited another 45 minutes.
And at 6:15 we finally got home.
And now Franklin is starting to feel dizzy, so it looks like "preventative" just turned into something else!

Yes, it was a tough day.  For everyone.  It was a very long day for children who already don't feel well, and would rather be lying on the sofa watching a movie than anything else.  I am glad that everyone is safely in their beds, and pray that they each sleep well and feel better when they awake.

I could complain and complain about how hard the past several days have been, and how trying the past two days have been, but I would rather think about this...

-On my facebook there were a number of people who told me they were praying.  And, I believe they were!  This day could have been worse.  The kids were very well behaved, considering how much time we spent in doctor's offices today.

-A friend from church, Evelyn, called this morning to ask how she could help.  If you have ever lived in a place with no family then you know what a BIG deal this is.  She knew I was taking the kids to the doctor for the flu, and yet she volunteered to meet me at the clinic and hang out with the healthy ones...even though she knew she would be exposed.  This...this act of what life is about... it is about being the hands and feet of Jesus.  Although, I refused her help because I didn't want her to get sick, the fact that she called and offered...completely made my day!!!  What an amazing example of God's love!

-My friend, Kristy, has offered to get me anything I need and drop it off.  What a blessing?!  I may need to take her up on her offer before this stuff is over!  And, she told me she loves me.  That is medicine to my soul at the moment.

-My dear husband sent me many texts throughout my ordeal today.  He is so loving and encouraging.  His words gave me the boost I needed...just when I needed it.  I love this man!!!

-One last thing...I have another friend, Elaine, who wrote on my facebook wall that she wished she were here to help.  She is not "family," but she is family of my heart.  I feel so loved that she would want to help me.

Oh, how I have been blessed with so many wonderful friends...the hands and feet of Jesus. 
I cherish each of you.
I treasure your prayers.

And the final note:
No, we chose not to get flu shots this year.  It may, or may not have helped.  Yes, I am rethinking this decision, but what's done is done.  I am moving on.  A chastisement is not beneficial for this very exhausted mom at the moment.  Now, go drink some orange juice, and get a good night's sleep!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Spirit of fear?

Roger and I took Lauren and Franklin and a friend to a concert a few nights ago.  While it was really fun, I have to admit that I had a fear running through me the entire time.  It was really crowded...over 11,000 people.  The thought that kept entering my mind was...

"What if someone, or some people brought guns into this arena?  No one checked at the door.  It would have been too easy.  What should I do?  Roger could grab and cover Franklin and I would need to get Lauren and Lauren to the floor and cover them.  There is no way we could get out of here in this crowd." 

Ughhh...  When my kids go outside to play, and I am not out with them, I have implemented the buddy system.  No one can play outside alone.  Why?  Not because of snakes, but because of potential kidnappers who have lurked around the past year.  Thankfully, they haven't been successful, but I think they are still out there.  My kids have been told that if a car stops in front of our house they are to answer no questions...just run into the house!

Have you been to a movie lately?  Did you think about the recent shootings in movie theaters?  Did you wonder if that could happen to you?  Did a little fear run through your body?

Have you been to a mall lately?  Did you look around at others more closely?  Do you wonder if the mall where you shop is free of gunmen?

For those of you who send your children to you have a sense of trepidation each day they step onto the bus, or when you watch them walk through the doors of their school?  "Safety" is one of the reasons we chose to homeschool.  I can go into that more in a future post.  I have to admit that I was happier than ever to have my children home with me when I saw the news report about the shootings in Newtown, CT.

The Bible tells us we are not to live in a "spirit of fear," but how is that possible in times such as these?  Did you know that you can still trust God, but realize that fear is real because danger is ever-present?  It is okay to be afraid, but not okay to live with a spirit of all-consuming fear.

Times such as these...

Doesn't that phrase make you sad?  When I was in junior high (yeah, it wasn't "middle school" back then!) I would walk into town with friends after school and get snacks at a small store before going back to school to watch a football, or basketball game.  And now, I won't even let my children go to the bathroom in a public place by themselves.  On top of boys are never allowed to go into the men's bathroom unless they go with their dad.

Gone are the days...

...feeling safe...even in a small town
...carefree days of playing outside without mom and dad's constant supervision...days of real adventure
...sleeping with the windows open...unless the windows are on the second floor, and inaccessible
...leaving the house unlocked, whether you are home, or not
...leaving the car unlocked
...going to a movie without wondering if evil is lurking in the row in front of you
...going to school without wondering if there will be a bomb threat, gunmen, or someone to bully you
...going to the mall without glancing around to make sure you are safe

Of course, there is still good in the world.  It just isn't the carefree world we used to live in.  This is not the world I want for my children.  Thankfully, this world is only temporary.  We are only passing through, biding our time...until Eternity.  I can't wait for Heaven!

What good have YOU seen in the world lately?  Post a comment!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My theme for 2013...He's got this!

Trusting God should be easy.  I mean...he created the world and everything in it, so shouldn't I be able to trust a God who is as big as that?  What about the fact that he knows how many hairs are in my head?  And, what about the realization that He knows all things and He is everywhere?

So, why do I have trouble at times just sitting back and letting Him do the work, rather than pressing on and trying to do it on my own?  In reality, it's because I want things my way and when I want it!  I don't always want to wait for Him to work out the details.

I have wanted to adopt for as long as I can remember.  I don't actually remember when the desire came, or where it come from.  I used to show pictures to Roger of children that were available for adoption and ask, "What do you think of this one?  Don't you think we should adopt her?"  He would shrug his shoulders and say, "I just don't think the time is right."  I would pout, and sometimes cry, and on the inside I was stomping my feet like a toddler.

Then, there was Nana.  Oh, she was SO beautiful.  Gorgeous light brown hair.  Huge blue eyes. Two years old.  One of the cutest little girls I had ever seen.  She lived in the Republic of Georgia (That's close to Russia for those who have never heard of it!).  She had an extra chromosome...which resulted in Down Syndrome.  She needed a mom and a dad.  Roger agreed!

We wanted to adopt her, but when the adoption agency asked for more information they were told that she had just been taken by a foster family.  My heart sank.  She would have no special services.  She would never be offered a job.  She would never be accepted in her community.

Then, there was this beatiful little dark haired, brown-eyed little girl...also in R of G. Miriam.  She was four.  She also had Down Syndrome.  We decided to take two weeks to pray about adopting her and prayed, specifically, that God would provide her a family in those two weeks if it were not to be us.  A week later a family had committed to adopt her.  During the process of her adoption the doors were closed to adoption, and as far as I know she was never adopted.

Then, there was Martine.  A sweet little 8 month old baby girl with the prettiest chocolate colored skin and beautiful black, curly hair, and BIG brown eyes.  She also had Down Syndrome.  She needed heart surgery desperately.  She lived in Haiti.  We already had 3 children at the time, so we were refused her adoption.  At that time Haiti had very strict rules on the size of a family adopting.  Even then, our family was too big.  Thankfully, Martine was brought to the USA on a special Visa shortly after we were denied, her pediatric nurse fell in love with her, and she was adopted.

Are you seeing a pattern?  I am!  I pressed on.  I pressed forward.  I wanted to adopt...NOW!  God continued closing the door.

Over the years I have nagged, persuaded, groaned, pouted, and tried to back my husband into a corner.  He isn't against adoption, but it isn't his passion.  I laid many guilt trips on him...or at least tried to.  "God tells us to care for the orphans and we are doing nothing."  "This is a wonderful, godly thing to do...why should we wait when these children are waiting?"

I heard many times..."You can't save them all."  "We need to be careful because we don't know what we are going to get.  We need to think of our other children."  "I don't see how we could ever pay for it."  And, trust me, I had comebacks for every excuse he could come up with!

About a month and a half ago we began discussing adoption again.  It didn't go well.  I pouted for days.  I was frustrated.  I was hurt.  Why couldn't he see things my way?!  Why is he making all of these excuses?

And then, God began to do a big work in me.  The truth hurts when the truth is sin revealed.  I was being so selfish.  I wasn't trusting God about adoption, and I certainly wasn't trusting Roger with this decision.  I was truly backing him into a corner.  I felt like it was my turn to persue my passion!  Goodness, it wreaks of pride and selfishness, doesn't it?

Finally, after all these years (seven, to be exact!) I relented.  Finally, I said, "I get it, God!  You are waiting to bring our children to us...when it is the right time for our family, and the right time for the children who are meant to be loved by will bring them home.  I trust You. Finally.  And, if we never adopt..I will still love You and trust You."  And this was God's response to me..."I've got this."  No, it wasn't an audible voice, but it was His message to me.

Next, I went to Roger and asked his forgiveness for my behavior.  I told him that I trust him because I know he trusts God.  I let him know that I have left this in God's hands, and prayed that God would show him who we are to adopt.  I was so sorry for the way I had treated him.

A few days later, Roger came to me and told me we would go over our budget and find a way to set money aside monthly into an adoption account, so we will have the money available when God brings us our child/ren.  We talked about leaving this in God's hands and being willing when God moved.  He told me to get the word "out there" that we are willing and would like to adopt if anyone knew of any situations that may arise.

Two days later I got a check in the mail for $50.  I thought it was a mistake, so I called my friend and told her it was not necessary to send me the money because it was a gift I had sent her.  She said, "My husband felt very strongly that we should send you the money.  We didn't know why God wanted us to do this until I read your facebook status yesterday about you being willing to adopt. I'm not telling you to use it for adoption, but I wonder if that's why God wanted us to send it."  I could not believe it!  I knew that money was to be our first deposit into our adoption account.

I have no idea what God's plans are for us this year.  Will it include more children in our home?  Possibly.  I kind of hope so!  If not, that is okay, too.  We are open to what God has for us. I hope He finds us to be vessels He can use in some way for His glory.  We have even talked about opening our home to an un-wed mother if needed.  I feel like God has big plans for our future.  Now, I just have to sit back and watch Him work...because...He's got this!  Thankfully so.