Friday, May 25, 2012

Big Ol' Fat tears

I just sat in my office and cried ... cried because I'm tired, cried because there isn't enough of me, cried because I can't do it all, cried because I'm tired of cleaning this darn house and being "show ready", cried because I want the Lord to just do it already (you name it ... isn't there always something more we want to know from him), cried because my Kindergartner is a first grader, cried because it's summer - and I know in a matter of days that fun will turn into the "Dog Days of Summer", cried because I'm a woman ... and well, that's what I do.  But in the end ... all those tears really came back to One. Single. Thing.

My sweet baby boy who made me a mother can no longer be considered "little".    Today ended those elementary years for my precious baby boy.  Words can never describe the joy he brings to this family.  Words can never describe how often I tell the Lord - his plan was so so much better!  My Canyon - our surprise - Our enormous blessing -  is officially a MIDDLE SCHOOLER!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Never to late to celebrate

May 20th was my blue eyed beauties 10th birthday.  It is so hard to believe that a decade has past since my whimsical and feisty girl made her way into this world.   It was such a beautiful moment.
I can remember so vividly that last and final push when my amazing Dr. asked me to reach my hands down.  She grabbed my two hands, placed them under the arms of my baby girl and together ... we brought that beauty right into this world and straight to my chest.  Big ol' fat tears!  Scream ... oh yeah, she screamed all right.  And it didn't stop.  All. Night. Long.  It didn't take long for that sweet baby to find her two fingers to suck (that pointer and middle that you have always loved).  I know you are growing up when I no longer find you "silking" your blanket with those special treasures.  sniff sniff.  My girl definitely came into this world with an opinion ... and not much has changed.  Even so, I wouldn't change one single morsel of who God is creating her to be.   I know he has a great plan for her!  Dakota has definitely made my world more colorful and .... crafty!

Dakota, you are 10!  You are growing up and right before my eyes becoming a young lady.  We have just started talking about all those changes that are around your corner ... hormones, physical, emotional and more.  It's completely overwhelming to you and while some of the girls around you show interest in "growing up" - I love that you just want to remain a little girl.  I also love that you approach it with such humor.  You probably wouldn't want me telling the world all the funny things you have said ... but let me just say, our special date nights curled up in your bed and "chatting" are becoming the highlight of my days.  You make me giggle and I am so blessed that I get to be the one to hear your questions and answer your concerns.

Your beauty leaves me breathless ... and I know one thing,  I am so glad your Daddy owns big guns.  I think we'll need them one day.

Happy Birthday - belated announcement -  I hope you enjoyed every moment!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Choose another fruit ...

I might just totally shock you when I let you in on a secret ... my kids argue, bicker and often lack patience with one another.  *gasp*  They are as far from perfect as you can get ... and unfortunately, they have one Momma who is leading them in that pack.   *sigh*  We all need some fine tuning around here.

So a little over a week ago, over dinner, Doug set out on a mission to start implementing some lessons on each of the Fruits of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness and self control with our kids.   Realizing that most of our issues are simply issues of the heart, we have realized that we can discipline the behavior all we want - but the only thing that will really change it is that which is within them.  We had a great visit with the kids that if the holy spirit is living in us ... then just as He tells us in Galations 5, we are to live by the Spirit that is in us.  That by doing so, we will not gratify the desires of our sinful nature but will instead shows fruits of his presence.  It tells us that those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature and now have the spirit within us ... so we are to live by it!  We should be baring these fruits.  *should*

We are a work in progress

Uh hum - Did I mention that I was and am always the first to fail the lesson on patience!  Geez Doug, why in the world did you have to pick that one first.  I mean, give a girl a break and at least choose something like goodness or kindness.  I can usually pulls these off.  But patience, on week one - bluck!  Didn't you know when you pray for patience, you get opportunities to practice it!  I told you so!

Well, as we closed out our night Doug told the kids to go look for opportunities to tell him about times where they either had/didn't have patience.  He also said to watch others ... teachers, friends, parents .. yada yada.   What a way to set me  us up for failure.

Well ... since we began our lesson, we have had our car broken into, the AC in the car go out, multiple showings on our home, 2 sets of great feedback (nothing to come of them) 3 Doctors visits before someone finally said our boy was heading down the wrong direction ... and was hospital bound.  3 days and 2 nights in the hospital with a little boy in a 12 X 12 room - confined, jailed and not feeling "sick" at all.  Can you imagine?  Yeah, that lesson alone was a doozy on us all.  He was literally climbing the walls!  To added to that a baseball tournament, Dakota's 10th birthday, and last night we got an offer on our house.  THRILLED we were!  But of course, as our lesson goes ... after telling us they needed an answer by last night ... they left us until morning with no response to our counter offer.  THEN ... informed us that they "didn't know what they are going to do" since a builder of a spec home they liked came back and were going to give them their right and left arms on a house they liked.

Patience ... what lesson?  Whose watching?  Hmmmm ... what did you say?

At this point, we are home from the hospital and our boy is good.  I'm pretty sure that that buyer is long gone ... as well as our excitement about getting to take the next step *sigh*.  Our AC is still broken, my garmin is gone (yeah, those thieves got that one), and well ... I'm still no better at being patient.

*Will I ever learn*  

I say this week, we pick up with kindness and let the Lord test someone else on that *other one*
I raise my white flag .... you win Jesus!

This is the eye that got us admitted.  Not responding to antibiotics at home and growing worse called for IV antibiotics  and CT scans to rule out it being behind the eye.  Septal Cellulitis (or something to that manner).  

Getting an IV always calls for a "paw-sickle"

How do you entertain yourself in a 12 X 12 room with a very wired kid - Apple products.  Thank you Steve Jobs!  

Found out we are getting out of here ... WOO HOO!

It was also Dakota's 10th birthday this weekend.  She enjoyed the day with her bestie and her Mommy.  That girl had waited 10 years to get her ears pierced.  She had literally counted down those years.  Hmmm - maybe she wins the patience award after all.  As she got them done she said "I can't believe I've waited 10 whole years for this day".   Pedicures, a movie, lunch, ear piercing, swimming, looking at puppy's at PetSmart, a visit to the hospital to see her baby brother and a sleep over.  I'd say it was a good day!

Post piercing.  One happy girl!

Lunch!  Pretty girls!

They chose this one as their party prize.  HAHA

Getting her first Pedicure.  


Bestie necklaces and rings

Visiting little bro.

I do know one thing ... we may need some work on Patience, but I would have to say - given all that has been going on, we can give ourselves a pat on our back for finding *JOY* somewhere in it all!  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Can I pray?

In recent weeks, Zebene asks at every bedtime and nap time "Ken I pay" (can I pray?).  And of course, his request is always fulfilled.  Initially, however, I assumed he meant for me to pray for him and over him.  I do.  He rests easy and light and those moments I can literally feel his little body soften and relax.  Ah, Jesus, you are so welcome in that space!

But .... in the past few days, he has stopped and asked "Zebene pay, o.k.?".  And he does.

I cannot understand one word he says when he prays.  At first, I even wondered if he was speaking any real words.  At first I thought that perhaps, he was just mimicking me and filling his prayer time with babble.  But today, as he prayed, I listened carefully and heard these things mixed in ... "Mommy, Daddy, Jesus, Amen".   And as I listened to those words closer that I couldn't understand before, I realized that indeed ... they were the same sounds and words he had said yesterday and the day before and the day before that.

So I asked "Zebene, did you pray in Ethiopia"?  He smiled and with the most animated eyes and grin he said "Des, Zebene pay, Eee-tee-opia... Mommy, Daddy, Jesus, Amen"!

Melt my heart.  My sweet boy is praying the prayer each day that he was praying with his Auntie's and his friends.  That prayer included praying for a Mommy and a Daddy.  Of course it did!  Every single one of those children in that transitional home await that same answer.

163 million actually await the answer to that prayer.

Sweet Zebene, I pray that your prayer (though I don't know what you are saying) has turned to praise.  The Lord answered you, my little one.  He gave you the desires of your heart ... and he did so in bigger ways than you could have imagined when he also gave you a sister, another sister and a brother.  AMEN!

And in the words of Zebene "Tank you, Jesus"!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I left my sweet boy for the first time this past week.  I did it!  I got on a plane and flew far far away for FOUR entire days at the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit and Visiting Orphans Board Meeting.  Before leaving I told Z that Mommy would be going on a airplane.  He winced his little face and told me "No, Mommy hel-a-coter".  I then told him Mommy would come back.  He smiled and said "Mommy back".

I wondered for four days how my arrival home would be received.  Would he punish me by avoiding me?  Would he not make eye contact, seek only Daddy, test me?  I expected all those things and then some ...

But the Lord is faithful!  The Lord allowed me to see a window into the fruits of our labor.  The Lord gave me a small confirmation that my journey of attachment and bonding - our work - our one on one days - our rocking at bedtime and nap time is working!  Instead of all those things mentioned, I received this ...

Upon coming out of the airport and being greeted by my parents who had all the kids with exception to Canyon (who was with his Daddy at his baseball game), I spied Zebene through the car window.  I spied a smile, the little wave of his hand and nod of chin indicating "Come Mommy".  I got in and he seemed pleased that Mommy had indeed come back!  A kiss and hug and we were off to a great start.

That evening I rocked him before bed he looked up at me and said "No Mommy hel-a-coter, Mommy stay at Yebene's house OK"?   (P.S.  No matter the correction - airplanes are helicopters in Zebene's world).  Looking down at my sweet boy, my heart leapt.  He missed me!!  Smiling I told him, "Mommy's back and Mommy missed Zebene".  My heart was full!  Even better, I missed him as much.  The journey of attachment isn't just for our child.  The journey of attachment is also for us - the Mommy - who is learning to love the child the Lord chose for our family!

The next morning, I went to get my little guy out of his bed.  Opening the door to a sweet boy reading books, I was greeted with his reminder

"Mommy stay at Yebene's house, Mommy no hel-a-coter" (all the while, shaking his little finger no at me).

I heard this phrase multiple times yesterday.  "No hel-a-coter, Mommy".  Mommy would always respond, "Not today, Zebene .. Not today - but,  Mommy always comes back"!

I have either wounded my child forever or I have imprinted on his little heart that Mommy is a keeper.  If he was questioning if I would return ... I got to show him I do.  Whatever the true result of my four days away, I am choosing to believe that my absence indeed make a heart grow fonder - for us both!

Zebene Levi Martine, Mommy always comes back to you!!  Mommy chooses YOU!
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