Monday, January 14, 2013

Big Days for a Big Boy!

It has been a whirlwind week and to update you on the post from "Surrender" ... our little Z tested at the school campus less than 20 hours after I first stepped into the school to ask questions and we received word in - oh - about less than 1 hour after that test that he qualified for the pre-K program up at the school.  They wanted him the very next day.  Ahhh --- what!  Well, for one, this Momma needed a few days to prepare my heart AND as it turns out, he needed a few more immunizations we weren't yet caught up on.  All that being said, today - ONE WEEK - from the first time I put out there in FB land that I needed help and what should I do with Z for language acquisition etc - we have answers and a plan!  Yeah, apparently, when you say "I surrender" the Lord breathes a fresh breathe of air and is so thankful that you have finally given over your control - that he MOVES!

This morning, he went off for his first day.  I'll admit, I had to choke back some tears and the lump in my throat to say good bye left me short on words.   Cristie - short on words?  This never happens!  All in all, it was another beautiful little sign that the Lord is working on that big ol' ugly word in the adoption world called - attachment.  As I drove away from school, my eyes filled with tears again.  I think I can say from the pit of my gut and the bottom of my heart - I love that darn little kid to pieces!  He's stolen my heart and has grown his own precious place there.  I think I'll keep him.  HAHA.

But, not to be overshadowed by the first day of Pre-K was the very first birthday party!  Oh yes we did celebrate the big FIVE on Sunday before we started this school adventure.  His birthday was actually the Thursday before but seeing as how we're a big, crazy and busy family - we couldn't do a party that night.  Unlike the other kids, if we did a small celebration Thursday, Z wouldn't understand when we did a party on Sunday what was going on.  I mean - do we celebrate two days for our birthdays and WHAT is a birthday anyways?  I think not.  We ordered all the kids into a swearing of silence on Thursday and mentioned nothing within an ears shot of Z that it was indeed his big day.  To be honest, we don't know if that was the actual day of his birth anyways since his birth Momma only knows the "season" and timeframe of his arrival and not the calendar day.  Sunday?  Thursday?  Whatever ... it was celebrated!  He asked when he saw this presents if he could open "Christmas".  Um, he might be a tad bit confused.  I mean, we did say Christmas was a birthday ....
Here's the proof!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I surrender

"I surrender"!  That's me, waving my white flag.  When I say that, I swear I hear Chris Tomlin singing "White flag" in the background

We raise our white flag, we surrender all to you - all for you ...

laying your body down, you took our rightful place
This freedom song is marching on
We raise our white flag, we surrender all to you - all for you

New Years has arrived.  2013 has set in and my TV, friends FB statuses and commercials all speak of resolutions and making them.  BUT - for me - I don't really believe in resolutions.  Most people (including myself) will resolve to change something about ourselves - a decision based upon what we don't like or what "we" think we should do/be better at and then, working through our own will power to change a sin or pattern,  end up defeated again.   The next January - it starts all over.   Miserable!

No - I believe instead on waiting to see what the Lord begins to work out in me.  It never fails, each year or stage of life, he has something for me to learn - a way of edifying and sharpening me.   The lessons are never easy, but they are defined by Him and that means, only through Him are they worked out.   While I will never be a "finished" product, his work on me is always more fruitful than what I can dream up and do on my own.

This year - the phrase that has been running over and over in my heart is "I surrender".

It started on Christmas Eve.  Totally overwhelmed with my to do's, I broke down in tears and begged for help from my husband.  As he asked what he could do, I literally gave over my control, surrendered my need to have everything *perfect* and sent him to the store for all the Christmas food/preparation shopping to be done.  What's big about that ... did I mention my need to control and that he is a man - at a store - shopping for the biggest day of the year?  surrender

New Years Eve day arrived and I woke up sick sick sick.  For 3 days, I surrendered every single thing about my house, my kids, what they wore, what they did, and what they ate.  I laid on a couch and let Doug do it all.  I Surrendered!

But the big one came yesterday.  I finally surrendered and said I needed Help - that I couldn't do this thing called parenting an adopted child - alone.  I finally had to admit that my son was sinking in his language skills and that I had nothing left in me to help him.  I raised my white flag when I boldly shared on Facebook (mine as well been the world - haha) my need for help and direction.   The Lord graciously answered through beautiful private messages and comments.  Surrendering felt good.

Today - I followed through with those answers.  I put on my big girl panties and walked myself into a school and said "I surrender".  I am not enough - Zebene needs more than I can give!  Help me!

As I type, I am awaiting a phone call that is supposed to give me an appointment to get my little boy tested at that very school TOMORROW!  How big is our God that when I took that step and finally surrendered my pride enough, he paved the way - quickly - for me to talk with a counselor AND be told they will test him right away!  Surrendering not only feels good - it produces freedom!  Did you hear that song playing again ... "This freedom song, is marching on - We raise our white flag and surrender all to you, all for you!"

I surrender!

I have a feeling I have a lot more to surrender this year.  But, to tell you what that might look like - is also to be more vulnerable than I am ready to admit.   I think I'm off to a good start today and if anything, only 8 days into the year and I know exactly where the Lord is going to concentrate on me.  The next 357 days could get painful.

What about you?  Is the Lord giving you a word or phrase for the year?  Maybe you did set a resolution.  If so, how will you rely on Him to keep it?  I'd love to hear?  Do share!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

It's a Wrap!

Watching a Baby's First Christmas ... at just days away from 5 years old is perhaps one of the biggest blessings of adopting an older child.  I mean, seriously, every first through a child's eyes is incredible - but when those eyes are old enough to not remembering having it before - it will blow your socks off.

For weeks we had so many questions that I wanted to poke my eyes out question after question about Christmas.   Spotting the first tree "inside" that he thought was "on fire" at Costco should have given me a clue that we would have many laughs and much confusion of all the lights, decorations and Jesus's "birfday" to come.

I still don't think he "Gets it".  I mean, the day AFTER Christmas he awoke asking if it was time again to "open presents".  Did I mention that Zebene is the modern day version of Pavlov's Dog - only you don't have to keep repeating the whistle - after only one time - it's time to repeat.   That would be great if it worked for peeing in the toilet, putting away his toys or listening to instruction.  I don't know why Pavlov seems to be so selective.  Anyways ....

As I stood in the shower on Christmas Eve, it dawned on me that my boy had NEVER opened a gift.  We had talked of presents and gifts and he had seen me put colorful wrapped things under the tree,  but he had not one clue that inside each of those brightly wrapped packages was a toy or something fun to be discovered.  So as the water washed over my face - panic began to break out.  We were heading to Christmas Eve at Nana's ... the chaos of all mega chaos after our church service.  6 nephews and nieces and too many adults smashed together in one living room with presents and paper flying everywhere was not my idea of seeing my brand new son open his first gift.  And well - selfishly - I also didn't want to share that moment.  Hhhh mmm ... I am totally selfish like that.   Too bad.  I jumped out of the shower and peeked my half naked body out the door (outside door I might add) to let my hubby and kids know that it was time to come in and get this show on the road.  We were opening a gift BEFORE we left AND we'd also be making time for a few pictures by the trees.  Insert here the roll of their eyes and a big yawn reply.  Too bad again, call it my Christmas gift to me!  Anyways, I succeeded in getting a few shots of that first unwrapping of the gift and a few pictures of my kids all dressed up.  Unfortunately, the hubbs didn't realize that you have to focus the lens when he attempted to get one of me with my kids ... see what I mean.

Did I just make you feel like you needed new glasses?

Oh well - so much for the pic with Momma and her babes.  At least I got a few of the babes.

It was only after all 4 of the kids had piled into the car that I realized that hubbs hadn't focused ANY of the pics of me with my kids.  But, alas, their was one last ranger who hadn't yet made it into the safety of the car so I snatched him up for a Momma pic.  Lucky boy - it was my Christmas gift!
It's amazing what that focus will do

Here is a little peak at that first gift unwrapping.  Please note, poor lighting, poor focus again.

Does his eyes look crossed to you??  HAHA

Wait?  What?  That's all - Pajamas?

I know, and all that fuss for a pair of silly PJ's.  Poor kid - he also didn't know that the traditional Christmas Eve gift is a new pair of .... insert drum roll please .... PJ's!

Then came Christmas Eve service - only it was a Monday and Z was sure that we had just been to church the day before.  HAHA.
I love these next pics.  I had taken in my camera to church as I didn't want to leave it in the car during the service - You know, all those thieves at churches - snicker!  As we sang Silent Night and lit our candles, there became this beautiful moment - one I just had to get through the lens.  Me likey!

Then we headed to Nana's for heartburn and headaches a quick bite (because you have to eat quick when 10 kids are pawning after you to open gifts) and unwrapping of gifts.  We also always listen to Papa or one of the Daddy's read the story of Jesus's birth from Luke.  You know, that's the short version - just a few paragraphs too long for the little kids to listen to.  This year, Z told me he didn't have to listen to Uncle John as he said "He not talking Zebene".  Apparently, when amidst a group  the rules of listening don't apply and Z is invisible.   Don't worry, I am praying for his teacher!  We also sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and eat cupcakes that have each been filled with one of the nativity items.  If you get Jesus in your cake - your a winner!  HAHA.  I'm laughing at my own self here, I mean, we seriously put Jesus inside the batter of our cake and everyone digs around their cupcakes to see if they win the dollar that year by getting the gold Jesus in their teeth.  The things you do for kids!  Are we white trash?  This year, Z wasn't so sure about singing Happy Birthday to Jesus.  He was a tad bit confused ....
What in the world are they doing???  This picture CRACKS ME UP!  Yes, we are that crazy in America!

But all is well, he got the ass  Donkey in his cupcake
Seriously, a Christmas miracle.  Nana and Papa and all TEN of their grandkids looking and SMILING at the Camera at ONE time!
Two of my nephews and my cutie son

Then we headed home to put the kids in bed and finish our own Christmas preparations.  Here is my itty bitty tree in my new house.  It looked like a Charlie Brown tree at 6ft tall with our 20 plus foot ceilings.  HAHA.    The night before the chaos of the unwrapping and messes ... and please, someone tell me why it look so yellow?

Christmas morning.

Everyone with their sleepy eyes, with their Christmas PJ's and stockings.

But, really, all Maliah wanted for Christmas was her three  THREE front teeth she lost the week of Christmas.

Everyone got quite a loot between us, my parents and the in-laws.  After 3 Christmas celebrations, Z woke up the next morning and asked if it was time to open presents.  HAHA.  He has asked every day since if it is Christmas.  Poor kid.  

And because we could no longer stomach seeing him dressed up like this ...

He got a big box of dress up clothes for BOYS - including a police man and a Roman Knight!  Whew!!  This is more like it!  

He also LOVES talking about all the animals from "Af-ree-kuh".  So, appropriately he did tell Granny he wanted a Zebra, a Lion, a Giraffe and an Elephant-e for Christmas when asked.   In his stocking did appear his Christmas wish ... Yes, they do come true - even IF you don't know what Christmas IS!  

And here's a few more fun Christmas pics.  I have too many to choose from and too many I love.  I will add a few more just for my own enjoyment.  
Ah, aren't we cute ....
This is more like us!

Aunt Susie - as crazy as my four kids!

My whimsical beauty and her new crazy shoes.

And last but not least .... our Christmas gift!
Oh wait .... maybe Aunt Susie is actually the gift!

That's it folks .... That. Is. A. Wrap!  

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