Friday, May 28, 2010

One year!

Monday marks one year. One year ago that a scared, angry little three year old boy walked through our door and pierced my heart forever. One year ago that a smiling, looking for approval little two year bounced into my arms and right into my heart. One year ago.


(this is where they spent much of the first two weeks completely terrified of Wally)

I looked back on my entry from then and laughed at my naivety. I thought it might be a few weeks until we were a forever family...a few months tops. All in God's time. For one year I have loved these children as if they were my own. They have called me Mommy and I call them my children. For one year now, I have never really been sure if they would legally become mine. On June 7th, it is my prayer that they will. One year later. Some people try for years to become pregnant and have a child. Some people wait years trying to adopt. We are blessed.

I would not change a day of the past year. I have learned so much from them. I have tried to gather the intricacies of this experience and soak out the fruit from them. I have tried to trust God and love big and be selfless and praise Him in the anyhows. Somedays I have failed. Somedays I believe I have honored God and somedays we have just survived. I have tried to be Jesus with skin on to their first mom....even though she is not able to trust or believe or do. I have tried. At times in the past year, I have hoped for a fairy tale ending when she comes back fully healthy and able to love them so that they don't hurt for her like they do. At times I have selfishly wanted to never hear from her again so that these two children I have fallen hopelessly in love with will be ours. And everyday. Every. Single.Day. I have realized they are neither of ours. They our God's children and He has entrusted them to us. He has trusted me with their hopes and hearts and it is not something I will ever take lightly.

I cannot believe how much they have changed.

L has become an inquisitive child that laughs openly and often and is affectionate and determined. He has worked hard to catch up on some developmental delays and will start pre-school in the Fall.


P has quit climbing into every ones laps and realizes I am her mommy and there is no need to attach to everyone we see! She is super smart and sassy and makes us laugh all the time. She is sensitive like her brother and they both want to please. They have taken this family by storm. They have given of themselves and let us in and they have worked so hard to trust us. I am forever grateful for their resiliency and fight. I cannot remember what life was like before them and I cannot wait until the fear of finding out is a distant memory.

I am beyond proud of the originals, of their heart for the fatherless. Once a week one of them asks if we can adopt more. I believe fully that God called our entire family to this and our three have answered with a resounding yes.

It's a different thing, this loving someone elses child. It's been a bit of a tightrope act at times and a roller coaster of emotions. But it is exactly what God has asked us to do and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else with anyone else. I cannot wait until this feeling of being up in the air is behind us and the legal definition of our family matches what has been in our hearts for one year.

My heart is full. Full with five beautiful babies. Full of God's grace and mercy. Full of His abundant blessings upon our family. Full of a father that leads this home and shows our children daily what a daddy looks like. Full of friends and family that have opened their hearts and homes to these two children alongside us and offered us every support imaginable. Full of thanks.

One year ago. One year ago my life changed forever. Thank you, God.

It's the little things...

I am hearing that alot lately; It's the little things. And it's true. Many many times it is the little things. And sometimes, just sometimes, it is the big things. The very generous, blow-you-out-your-mind kind of big things. The kind of blessing that makes you feel completely humbled and speechless and so very very thankful. Here it is. The finished gift from Aunt Ally and Uncle Ted for our family. There aren't enough thank yous.






Do you know how many hours this crew will log on this thing?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'm getting creative.

Runner, writer, artist? Okay that last one will never happen. I am not crafty. I enjoy crafty people. I like crafty projects that others assemble all the parts too and have written instrusctions for but I am not crafty. I am not organized or focused enough to be. I am too easily distracted by the random come-upings of life.

But a fellow blogger did the coolest project awhile back that I just may have to do. You can see hers here: http://tatertotsandjello.blogspot.com/2009/09/mod-podge-mania-family-rules-canvas.html and another here: http://www.facebook.com/l/ef08c;amycornwell.blogspot.com/2010/03/create-cornwell-family-rules-canvas.html and here: http://www.facebook.com/l/ef08c;amycornwell.blogspot.com/2010/03/siebert-friends-family-rules-canvas.html (sorry I can't get the links to work so you'll have to copy and paste)

Don't you love it!! These are totally crafty people and I may be biting off more than I can chew. I've been thinking about my rules, our rules. I came up with two lists. One I will really hang in my house and one for those days where you feel like the minutes have doubled in a day and it will never end. Heres' the fake list:

Don't pick your nose. It's gross.
Bodily functions are not dinner conversation.
No whining. No tattling. No screaming.
Unless it's bleeding, I don't want to hear about it.
A choke hold does not count as a hug.
You are only allowed five questions a day. Make 'em count!
No musical instruments before 7a.m. Your voice counts as an instrument.
No tooting in my bed.
Bored just means you're not being creative enough to find something to do.

Wouldn't that look great on a canvas?! LOL I am excited to go pick out my paper and canvas and see how this turns out. What is wrong with me? Running, crafting?
Anyway, this is a work in progress but here is a rough draft of the real set of rules. I'll post pics when I'm done. Which depending on how much life throws at me could be a week or a month from now.

Put God first.
Encourage with your words.
Hands are not for hurting. They are for holding and helping.
Serve others.
Laugh alot. Sing silly songs. Dance like crazy. Dream big.
Give second chances. Forgive.
Flush. Wash your hands.
Love one another big time.
Celebrate in each other's joys.
Be honest. Always.
Be thankful, be generous. Pray.

What are your rules?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'm a runner...

I'm a runner. Well, okay that might be a stretch. I am on week three of the Couch to 5K running program. (http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml) It takes a non-runner in eight weeks ready for a 3 mile run. A group of friends are all doing it together so the accountability is great as is the motivation to be as skinny as that group running in front of me:)

I should start by saying that I hate all things running. I get hot. I don't like sweating. It hurts. I'm chubby and could start a fire with my thighs. The first week I did well but I felt like my stomach was actually clapping for me and my butt kept running into me everytime I stopped....but other than that it was okay. Second week was good. Some shin splints and my face stays bright red for about three hours after my run. My internal body temp must take forever to cool down and it's not even Summer yet. And at the beginning of the third week something crazy has happened. I have only lost three pounds but my clothes are fitting differently, things are jiggling less and at the end of a loud stressful day I actually am ready for my run. I know, I know, insane. There must be something about the unrythmic sound of my novice running form, the gasps for air and the feel of sweat running down my back that I actually find calming.

I'm sticking it out....at least for the eight weeks. So,much like I call myself a writer in my own head (afterall, I blog!) I have taken to calling myself a runner.
Run like the wind.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

P & L's MOM called Safe Families this week to see if they had seen or heard from the kids and how they were. She asked for pictures and talked alot about an attorney that she says she's getting for the hearing in June. Our old caseworker seems to think it's just talk and she won't show but I would be lying if I said it wasn't a bit unnerving. I emailed her some pics. Made sure they were of L before his haircut:) I told her we hoped she was doing well and would be praying for her on Mother's Day and thanking God for the role she had in the kid's lives. I'm sure it will be a hard day for her. She doesn't have a mother to celebrate and she no longer has children to celebrate with her. I am not surprised we heard from her now. The timing kind of fits her M.O.

This Mother's Day is different from the rest for me. I always think of my own mother, whom if you've read any of my blog at all you know was the best. I always think of my beautiful and selfless mother-in-law whom I will only know in Heaven. She has been home with Jesus now for almost fifteen years and was by all accounts an angel on this earth. I always think of her and how thankful I am for the man she made my husband into. I always feel thankful to my children for making me a mamma. But this year, I am thinking about another mother who I think this world failed. A mother that lost her children because she was never shown what it takes to be one. It makes me think of all the countless mothers throughout the world that don't have enough money or resources to care for their children...of the mothers that are sick or dying and of the mothers that just don't get the full responsibility that being a mother calls one to. I think of the women I know that long to be a mom and for whatever reason have not been able to. I think of the new moms and the moms that never thought they would be one and how special this day will be for them. I don't take this thing lately, this motherhood. God entrusted His children to me. He handpicked these five precious souls for me to guide and I take nothing more seriously. I am thankful and humbled.

To all my fellow mommas out there I say, Happy Mother's Day! May your load be lighter and you feel appreciated.

And to the biological MOM of P & L, I pray you are flourishing and getting your life together so that someday when my children want to meet you and know you, that you will be a whole healthy individual that they can feel proud to know. I pray God's peace on your life and healing in your heart. I pray you are able to trust someone that is worthy of trust and you learn what love can be. Thank You for choosing life for P & L because I cannot imagine mine without them.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

unremarkable

Things are going well in our household. I haven't blogged about P and L lately because there hasn't been anything remarkable. But then I was thinking today about how remarkable that is. There is nothing out of the ordinary. No intense struggle going on with them. No emotional outbursts. No acting out of frustrations with their feelings. We have settled into a normalcy around here. I'm sure it doesn't look normal to anyone else but it's normal for us:) They climb, like the rest of our children, into my lap every morning. They climb up my leg throughout the day for a squeeze and a quick 'I love you.' They want my comfort and to please and they are loving and trusting and all feels right with our little world.

It's almost been a year now and this family has found our way, I think. Trevor and I are learning what it takes to parent five children and to keep our relationship above water. To be honest, we swallowed alot of it before we got it right. The children are figuring out how to be a team and to love one another without fear or insecurity. This momma is finding her sanity in support of friends and family and trying hard to take care of herself. This momma is in awe of our God. and so. very. thankful.

for the normalcy.
for the unremarkable.

Monday, May 3, 2010

41 years


My parents have been married for 41 years today. They have survived six children, miscarriages, death of a parent, job loss, cancer twice, many many moves, being in the service, financial issues, parenting issues, being caregivers to terminally ill in-laws, older children moving back in and then back out. They made it through all those big life changing milestones that you hear tears some marriages apart. But the main thing they made it through is the everyday. The everyday madness that raising a family with six kids is. They went to ballgames and plays and lost jobs and got jobs and watched their teenagers go crazy right before their eyes. They changed diapers and stayed up all night with sick kids and took turns rocking and singing. They worried and trusted and disciplined and joked and they loved each other through it all. I don't mean they have made it and are still together for the sake of being together. I mean that they have chosen everyday for 41 years to love. To love when they were too tired or felt crummy or were irritated or angry. To love when they had toddlers hanging off their legs and laundry that needed done. To love when there was no money and the car was broken and six little faces were looking up at them. They chose to love and they taught us to love and for that I am eternally grateful.

They have celebrated first steps and first communions and baptisms and birthdays and marriages and grandbabies and career successes and first baskets and first goals and first teeth lost and proms and theater productions and life. They have taught us unity and loyalty and laughter and love. They have taught us Jesus. They have taught us family. They have taught us to love those around us...ALL of those around us.

Growing up I never saw them fight. Not once. I saw them disagree, sure. They taught me it's okay to not see eye to eye all the time and you compromise and work at it and love anyway. I saw my dad walk up behind my momma cooking dinner and give her that behind the back hug. I watched him playfully pat her on the butt or dance with her in the middle of the kitchen just because he wanted too. I saw him being fully present in his children's lives and not leave it all to my mom. I watched my mom look at my dad when he was acting silly like he was the single greatest thing on earth. I watched my mom support him in his decisions and encourage and lift him up. I watched my mom not try to change him but love him as he is. I watched my momma hold his hand on his way into surgery for cancer. I saw my parents pray together and laugh together and dance together. I saw them kiss and hug and serve others. I saw them lead our family in the love of Christ and it is the single greatest gift I've ever been given.

They were the example to me, to my friends, to their friends. I am sure it hasn't always been easy to write that love letter I've seen them give to each other or to smile and joke your way through something difficult but that is what makes me so proud of them. I know it hasn't been easy. I know they chose love. I know they chose to honor God through their marriage. They honored their family and created a legacy for me to pass onto my own children. They did that. It makes me the richest woman in the world. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad. Thank you, thank you, thank you.