Thursday, August 25, 2011

Some updates....

It's funny how in my last post, I was looking forward to school has been completely insane! The 3 oldest kids go to a charter school that is K-8, and they are building a new building, as they have been in a small church. Well the building isn't ready and they are having to split up the school K-2 at the old location and 3-7 (they won't have 8th till next year) at a new church. So, of course, we have kids in both schools, but they really aren't that close to each other, so the reality of getting 5 kids (we are bringing a neighbor) to 3 different locations(Kody is in preschool) within an hour is absolutely nuts! I had signed up for bus service last year, but hadn't heard anything till 2 days before school started and then found out their morning pick-up would be at 7:02-I don't think so! So I recruited my amazing husband to bring Kristyn and I would bring everyone else (which helped us not have to leave so early). Well, my van was having some strange issues on the first day of school, so Kevin came home early, we took it to a shop, and it is still there-but we still don't even know what is wrong. They think it is a problem with the main computer, but are still trying to diagnose for sure. So yesterday Kevin stayed home from work, but today after all of the crazy drop offs I took him to work. I was in the car 2 and a half hours this morning. Such a waste of time, but not much I can do about it. The new building is supposed to be ready in 1-3 weeks, I am really praying for it's completion!
So, some better news is that there is an "informal" match meeting on Sept. 1st for M and us-yay! A match meeting is the official matching of a child and a family, by all parties involved (except M and us, ha ha). This is more informal because of the mentoring route we are going, but it still needs to be done. If that is a success, we will then have a disclosure meeting, where we will learn a little more info about M (we do get to go to that one).
As crazy as things are here, I find myself thinking of him, wondering how his first few days of school have been, what classes he's taking, what his friends are like-I just can't wait to get to know him! I even had a dream about him the other night. I dreamt I was snuggling with him, just like I do with the other kids(even though he's a lot bigger than them), and I put my hand on him and I was noticing the contrast in our skin colors, and thought to myself how amazing it was that I was his mother despite not having birthed him, and not looking anything alike, but that I loved him just as much as my other children. Then Kody jumped on his back(in the dream) and I woke up after that. It was such a short, sweet dream, and I had such a wonderful feeling when I woke up. I'm probably crazy and I hope I am not disapointed too much, although I do know there is a great possibility, but I have to put myself out there for his sake, so he will know he is loved-even if he isn't able to return that love. I'll keep you updated!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

No news is good news....sort of

Finally some news from adoption land! If you remember we have been waiting to hear from M's case worker to see if he is interested in us as a family at all. M was at camp, and our adoption worker wasn't able to get in contact with his case worker since he's been back. I was begining to lose hope. We have felt this strange connection to M since the day we heard about him, which is why we haven't given up and moved on. God had orchestrated too much at this point to just give up. I prayed last night that God would make something happen, I just needed some sort of news....and what do you know, at 9:30 am I got an email from Lindsay asking if she could call later to discuss what's going on with M! What a mighty God we serve, always faithful to us! So anyway, M's cw talked to him about us, and although he isn't ready to jump into adoption, he is willing to let us be his "mentor family". Basically, it's a way to get to know each other without having the comittment of "adoption". He's scared and I understand, we are too, so this seems like a great way to get to know each other. He, or we, can back out at any point if we feel like this may not be a good match. Either way, I think both he and our family will benefit from getting to know each other. I'm just so glad he's willing to give us a shot! I have been praying that if it is God's will, that He open M's heart to us, and he has -so yay! Now I hope we don't scare him away-we are kind of weird-in a good way though!
I just want to ask for prayers for our new friends the Wrights, the family with 8 kids, as they are trying to close on a new house and running into some stumbling blocks. Please pray for a smooth closing and move and that all would go as planned.
Also, prayers for friends that are new foster parents, have their first placement, and it's a little rough. Just prayers for their family and the little boy-they are all going through some adjustments and could use a little extra grace right now. 
Can you believe school starts in one week? It's bitter sweet-I love being with my kids, but sick of the bickering. I will miss them, but it's time to get back into a routine! I think we're all ready!
I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Casting Away

So yeah, I changed the blog up a little. If you know me, you'll know I love change-so it was time.
No news on the adoption front.....sorry to say, but I'll let you know as I find out.
I'm writing cause I feel like there is something the Lord wanted me to share with you. I've been listening to a sermon series called Cast Away. It's a reminder of how, with God, we can cast away all of our burdens. He gave us His son to carry those burdens for us, so we don't need to hold on to them anymore. But, as the years go by, we sometimes either forget to give things to God, or we feel like we can handle them ourselves and we become burdened once again. In fact, it's a contious cycle.......we end up with things that burden us....guilt, fear, shame, anger, resentment, our past mistakes, our failures, and we sometimes let them pile up and that weighs us down and keeps us separated from God. But then we "have a moment" are able to give them to God and we are free again, for a while-till we get burdened again. It would be great if I could give my burdens to God the moment I notice them-but I don't know, I forget or something. And I guess because I have so many responsibilities here, I feel like I should be able to handle these things on my own. But really the opposite is true, because I have so many responsibilities don't I need someone to look out for me? You betcha-big time! So the Lord revealed a burden to me that I didn't really realize I've carried for 15 years now, and I think He wants me to share, as a way to help me heal I guess. So......
When I was 19, and newly engaged to the love of my life, after a missed period and a pregnancy test, I found out I was pregnant. I was surprised, but not really, I do know how that happens and Kevin and I were intimate before marriage. I wasn't sure what to do, but I remember I wasn't freaking out. Well, I was advised by someone close to me, who loved and cared about me, that an abortion would be the best thing. The reasoning was, that I was so young and had my whole life ahead of me, and a child would "mess that up".
That seemed logical to me and I trusted this person to give me good advice, so I made an appointment. Kevin was wonderful, he just told me to do whatever I thought was best, and he took a day off of work and took me to the clinic. I was unsure that this was the right thing to do, but no one close to me seemed to think it was wrong so I proceeded to the clinic. We signed in, got a stack of stuff to read over about the procedure and recovery, and found a seat in the very crowded waiting area. I looked around just to see what kinds of other people were going through this too, and there were couples, girls with their parents, girls with what looked like their friends. No one seemed sad, unsure, or scared....they just sat having conversations. I saw a couple of girls come out of where I assumed they did the procedure and they looked ok too. So I thought, this must be ok, everyone else is ok. Well I started to read these papers describing the procedure, with details of what they would be doing and I started getting dizzy. I just thought I was getting a little nervous, that was normal. I continued reading and began realizing this was a life inside of me, not something to just remove and discard like trash. I began feeling nauseous and began to wonder, what do they do with these babies that they are killing? The thought of a bunch of tiny, bloody babies in a garbage can was too much. I told Kevin I had to get out of there and literally ran out. I told him I couldn't do that, we would just have to figure out what to do, but I wasn't killing this baby. He called his mother, who really helped me feel better, and feel like I was doing the right thing by leaving. And we left. A few weeks later I miscarried, probably from the stress, and was just terrified. I went to an OB/GYN for the first time and was told I would be fine. And I guess I was. But what the Lord showed me is that all of these years I have felt guilt and shame over wanting to kill that baby. I think I felt that somehow I miscarried because the baby knew and God knew that I didn't want that baby. I think abortion is a horrible tragedy, for babies, moms, and for the God who created them both. If I felt so horribly because I came close to getting an abortion, how do those women and girls feel who actually go through with it? I can't imagine! So this is me letting go of that guilt, shame, and pride that kept this burden so close to me. I am giving the whole situation to the God who creates life and takes it away. I know He was with me the entire time, and that the Holy Spirit is what made me leave that clinic. I realize the entire situation was a consequence of my sin, intimacy before marriage. I knew it was wrong, but to be honest in my family there was this unspoken rule......if you don't talk about it it didn't happen or will go away. Thank the Lord I have learned that is not true! Kevin and I are constantly talking with our kids about all kinds of difficult situations, so that they don't have to figure out what is right if they find themselves in an awful situation. I had no idea what an abortion was until I saw "Dirty Dancing", and although I didn't understand completely, I knew then it was not a good thing. I am so thankful there are wonderful places like LifeCare of Brandon, to help guide young women, and hopefully prevent them from going through what I went through. Thanks for reading and being a part of my healing, I pray that you can give your burdens up too. There is a great song by Dara Maclean called "Suitcases" that has encouraged me, and I'm sure it will encourage you too......


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Missing my girl

Well, our oldest, Bailey, left last Friday for Austin, TX for a mission trip. There was a group of 40 something teens and adults from our church going. They won't be back till Sunday-a whole 10 days away from home! This is her first mission trip, hopefully of many to come. We have talked to her everyday, but I'm really starting to miss her! Kristyn keeps asking when she'll be home-I'm sure she's sick of being stuck with the boys! But Bailey did tell us they are working with kids who have Downs Syndrome. Which is really a God thing-that was totally for Bailey!
She was in a class a few months ago with a little girl with Downs. This girl sat right next to her and was constantly distracting Bailey, singing, rummaging through her purse and applying various items to Bailey (without her permission)-one of which was a perfume that really irritated her skin. Bailey wasn't able to hear or focus on the teachers and did not want to go back to this class because of this girl. To be honest, this child should not have been in the class without someone one on one with her, but here she was next to Bailey. Now, you must know, Bailey is very patient and motherly-at school her they call her the class mom. So this had to be pretty aggravating if it bothered her so much. We had to explain that this girl was mentally handicapped, which she knew, but we told her it was kind of like having Kody in the class (he's 4)-she understood that, she knew he would behave the same way in this class. We told her to just be patient and kind until something else could be worked out for this girl. She was kind, but that experience gave her a "stereotype" kind of thinking about kids with Downs and it was a negative thought process. So see, God gave her this mission experience to get a new perspective on kids with Downs, and hopefully a more positive one. She admitted she was a little scared when she heard that they would be working with kids with Downs, because of her past experience, but she did say she had a great first day. I have not yet seen God working in the lives of my kids so clearly as this! It is such a great experience and expression of his faithfulness to us!
So, what else? We gave the baby squirrels to a local vets office that cares for wildlife, I feel they are in better hands there and they were becoming a little too "squirrely" for me. They both had their eyes open, and were eating well and growing, so I'm sure they'll be fine. Tomorrow is Bryson's 9th birthday-I can't believe he's 9! We plan on just going to Chuck E Cheese's, and hanging out at home-can't afford a whole lot. I feel like he always gets ripped off, since his birthday is the end of summer, but I guess it can't be any worse than my Christmas-time babies!
We are going to try to do the Glazer's Children's Museum for $2 Tuesday-I hope it's not crazy. We're going to do the fountains at the park after so hopefully the weather holds up. I went to the museum once for a field trip with Kristyn, but wasn't really impressed. It will be something to do today, though.
Have I mentioned I am ready for school to start? Summer is too long! I love being with them, but they get bored and sick of each other after 2 months, and that gets frustrating for me!  Well, 3 weeks from today!