Saturday, April 27, 2013

Shhhhh! I have to tell somebody - before I burst!

We're doing it again.  We're having another baby.  We are so so excited!  Not all of the family knows just yet.  In particular, one soon to be 11 year old is about to get the surprise of her life.  She's begged and pleaded for this baby.  She has promised that if we do have another baby, she will help take care of her, feed her and more.  After much time and prayers - we've decided it's the perfect time to give her some added responsibility and decided - what the heck, let's do this thing while we're still young enough!

So ... after much research and time, we received a message about 6 weeks ago that she had been born and a few precious referral pictures.  Though none of the photos are of the highest quality - they never are.   We could still tell she was adorable.  After looking through her information and staring at her sweet face - we decided to say YES ... oh my gosh - you would have too if you had seen that sweet newborn nose!

Yesterday, I got an update picture on her.  She is adorable.  She's supposed to be home ... get this ... just in time for Dakota's 11th BIRTHDAY in a few weeks!  Go God!

Would you like to see a peek.  PLEASE PLEASE don't tell anyone ... especially my blonde, blue eyed girl.  We are about to blow her socks off and give her an 11th birthday surprise she'll never forget!


HAHAHAHAHAHA!  Did you really think I was crazy worthy enough to add another child?  I mean, I adore those two little pistols blessings born of my heart - BUT - this time, we've decided to go a whole new adoption direction.
My parent preparation has been researching crate training, bell training, potty training, heart worm meds, and x-pens.  And, here's the best part.  I hear, that when you love on a puppy ... THEY LOVE YOU BACK!  I. AM. SO. EXCITED!  Seriously!

Coming Soon to a Home near You.  (Surprise - this is your gift pics - are surely to come!)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Where did you see Him this week?

What a crazy week it has been in the world!  First, the horrific bombing in Boston.  In a place where hard work and perseverance is celebrated with a finish line of victory and triumph, the enemy misplaced all of that with choas, destruction and loss.  Surely, however, he didn't think about how the spirit of Love is always bigger.  The stories of beauty and the kindness of strangers has prevailed in the news.  God always gets the glory!  His Love always wins!

Next, the tragic blast in West, Texas.  This one hit way too close to home for me.  In college, I may or may not have dated someone who is from that very small sleepy town and spent more than my desired weekends looking at cotton fields, checking for aphids and riding around in a red pick up truck with a few stops at the Czech bakery just for fun.  Of course, those weekends wouldn't be complete without the softball tournaments at the Knights of Columbus Hall that included their fare share of Keg's - followed up by Sunday Mass to forgive all those sins.  Small towns are funny places I learned - places that are like today's version of "Cheers" ... where everyone really does know your name.  In any case, this week was a week of wondering over many people who touched my life during that time including that gentleman who now is married, with children and still calls West/Abbott home.  Since I don't make it a point to keep up with old flames, I can only pray that the Lord protected he and his family, extended family and the many friends that I once called mine.  But, alas, once again - in the midst of such tragedy, the beauty of God's goodness has been seen in the stories that are continuing to unfold.  Even in the loss ... He is there.
Love always wins!

Add to my week, I was down with the most awful stomach bug.  Literally, that little booger took me out of the game.  Stuck right between those two events ... what made for one depressing week.
My little highlight, my amazing husband who took care of my kids, fed everyone, did laundry and made sure I got what I needed.  He even went to the store for chicken noodle soup ... bless his heart.    The store ... Not his favorite chore.   God is too sweet to give me such a love.  See!! Love always wins!

As I drove down the highway of 281 today, I couldn't help but be overwhelmed by the beauty of bright yellow wild flowers that overtook the median of the road.  Literally a burst of color that only could be created and perfectly displayed by a God who knows that in the ugliness of the world ... he still wants us to know of his beauty.
I so wanted to stop and take a picture of those flowers, but the image in my mind has gotten me to think of the other beautiful images he has given me throughout this week.

Indeed, love always does win!  I have so much beauty around me.  Here's just a few of some sweet and beautiful moments of my week.  What about you?   Where did you see his fingerprints and beautiful displays by his hand?

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end.  Ecclesiastes 3:11

Monday, April 15, 2013

The secret to a Waltz

Over the past 9 years, I have met some amazing people in the adoption journey.  Each of them has a story to tell that is a living and breathing testimony to God's grace, mercy and never ending love!  Each family has been brought to adoption through different circumstances.  Some out of the desire to be a Mom and Dad (infertility), some out of obedience and some because "they had room" (Do you know how many children lack a home and family?)  Each of them, however, hope to have the same ending to their story ... a "Happily Ever After".

In recent conversations with friends, my hubby and through the overwhelming response I have received from this post,  I am learning that while our circumstances and stories are all very different, we all went into the process believing and hoping for the same ending results.  When you add a child to your family, you think of that child loving you as much as you love them in return.  Adopting families seek out, pursue and dream of their child-to-be,  already full of a love that most outsiders cannot understand.  That hefty pile of paperwork and home study might just look like "paper" to the outsider, but to an adopting family, it represents a child and a dream that is growing in our hearts with each cross of a T, dot of an "i" and fingerprint smudge.  We love them before we even know their faces ... and truthfully, we also have expectations for them and the place they will fill in our lives, even before we know their names.

There is one problem.  They don't have the same dream!

Then ... they come home.  Then ... life begins.  Then ... we are crushed, disheartened and frustrated.  Life begins and the "hard" of the adoption process becomes real.   We begin to realize, often, that our children don't appreciate us, don't want or don't know how to love us and they fail every. single. expectation we had set for them.

We grieve the loss of our dream.  With all the "hard" of the adoption process, the hardest part is the one we secretly would never ever share ... they don't live up to what we had imagined.  This doesn't "feel" or "look" like we thought it would.   You might be thinking we were ill prepared.  We weren't.  You might be thinking, we went in with rose colored glasses - perhaps.  But what we did do is - we read, studied and learned and took all the classes we could about all that "attachment stuff" and "adoption parenting".  It was only after we got home did we realize that some things just can't be taught.  There is one thing missing in all that "education".  The reality of the heart.  Things only become personal and real when their is a cost.  This time, the cost is our heart and that hurts.   We set out with a dream and a desire to love and be loved.  We learn all about what "behaviors" our children might come to us with prepared for the battle ahead - but no one ever tells you about the one place where the armor of education can't reach and protect - the heart.   Truthfully, you can't teach hurt and you can't "teach" what the heart will feel in the process of redemption.

In our own grief and struggle over a lost dream, we often fail to remember that our children are grieving something even greater ... the loss of a family!  As much as we might want to turn our heads, our "blessing" of adoption was the result of our child's greatest tragedy!

Maybe the problem isn't our kids .... maybe it's time we re-set OUR expectations for them!

As I stood visiting with a new friend on Easter, we immediately began conversing over the one thing that was very obvious we had in common - adoption.  Her son, who came to her at birth, was a beautiful little 3.5 year old little boy.   She swooned over him and gushed in the amount of love she had for her son.  In our conversation, she shared that they were in the process to add more children to their family ... this time, through the foster/adoption system.   She shared her one fear of that process... That "these kids will remember their families and I don't know if I can handle sharing the role of Mommy".  That's what she said ... but this is what she really meant

 ... "I'm scared they won't love me the way I need (or expect) them to love me".

This precious woman also began to share that her first born was adopted at "birth" and therefore, "she didn't have any of these concerns with him because we are the only family he will ever remember.

That's when it really hit me!  That's when the truth of all of this stared at me right before my eyes.  In those moments, the Lord used that new friend to speak to my heart and I believe, for me to speak to hers.

This is my message to her heart:

Didn't you say you wanted more than one child?  If that is the case, then you are believing that the Lord has given you enough room in your heart to love more than one child.
The same is true of our children.  I believe, the Lord can give them enough room in their hearts for more than one Mommy.  Whether their story and that Mommy is a good, bad, or an ugly one ... that is their Mommy.  We cannot and should not ever want to take that away from our child.  In fact, our children should not only be given permission but encouraged to love them!  That Momma, gave them life!  Whether adopted at birth or at 10 ... that sweet Momma is very much a part of their story!  If we fail to recognize how important this is ... then we fail to love them in the fullness of who they are!

And this is what the Lord spoke into MY heart.

He used her worries and fears of rejection to show me that where I was struggling most ... was with my own rejection.  I had, unknowingly set expectations for Z that he could not and would not ever fulfill.   Oh, for sure, he is struggling and acting out all sorts of attachment behaviors (expected).  But the truth is, while some of those behaviors are painfully annoying at times, it's actually the result of those behaviors that I am struggling with.  Yep, rejection hurts.  Rejection makes room for us to build up our own walls.  And what I am learning is, that same rejection makes it difficult for us to attach to them!

unrealistic expectations = my rejection = my broken heart = me building up walls to not get hurt more = me not attaching to Z = him not attaching to me.

Remember that "Attachment Dance" ... I now know who is leading.

The expectations of my heart!   I'm re-setting my expectations in hopes that we can move from dancing with two left feet, into a Waltz that finds a newer and smoother rhythm.

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