Monday, February 23, 2015

Fun Saturday

We spent a funfilled day on Saturday in Tuscaloosa with our friends, the Moons.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Feeling Special

Every day is a good day to be special.  Yesterday was Logan's 1/2 birthday.  Since he has a summer birthday they celebrate his 1/2 birthday at school.  He brought in doughnuts.  I figured why not continue the celebration at home.  We had some friends over after school, ate pizza and some yummy brownies.  He also received a couple of presents. He enjoyed his day very much.  I think we may make 1/2 birthday celebrations a tradition. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Photo update

Karis and Logan in the hurricane tunnel at McWane
Logan and Jonathan in the hurricane tunnel
Sebastian and Logan enjoying ice cream at Edgewood Creamery
Karis enjoying her ice cream
Nathan and Owen enjoyed sharing a large frozen yogurt together
Logan and his friend, Luke motorcycle riding after enjoying a movie at the theater
Welcoming Dad home from Ecuador
Nathan and I jumping on the trampoline
Logan's free doughnuts from his all A report card
Nathan enjoying his first doughnut.  We learned he loves Dunkin Doughnuts but does not like Krispy Kreeme

greatest blessings

I am so blessed to be a part of my amazing family.  I am so glad that God has chosen to write this story for me, because it is not one I would have written myself.  I believe God has drawn me so much closer to Him, to a dependence I never knew possible, because of the circumstances He places in our family.  I have the most amazing husband, the most incredible self-less eight year old son, two amazing 5 year old boys that hold more joy in them...a joy that I wished could live that deeply in me and an eight year old daughter that is teaching me so much about unconditional love and brokenness.  There is so much more to all of their stories and I am just in awe that God would give me a front seat into their lives.  He is doing amazing things in and through them, things I never could do!

I consider it one of my greatest blessings to be able to rely on God so much.  Nothing is richer than to walk in fellowship with Him.  I have been trying to write a post on this for a while, but can never figure out just how to express my thoughts.  This morning during worship, I decided it was best to express them through a worship song.  Worship song resinate in my soul so deeply that every word has power and I cling to every word as I sing it to the Lord.

Healer by Kari Jobe

You hold my very moment - God literally hold me every moment because without Him I could not handle, nor would I want to, most of my daily moments.
You calm my raging seas - He is there when it is pouring rain outside but He stops it for 10 minutes just so I can get all of the kids and the boys equipment out of the car and we can make it into our appointment dry, He is there as Owen begins to speak again showing us that Owen still is all mentally here just not as verbal but he is making progress, He is here as Logan shows so much love and compassion for his brothers wanting to feed them, encourage them to walk and get them out of bed, He is there in the moments when Karis decides to smile at us, He is there...
You walk with me through fire - He is there during Karis's rages of anger, He is there when Owen's muscles hurt so bad he cries, He is there when Logan is so tired of the chaos that has been brought in to our house, He is there when Nathan is so exhausted from hearing that he throws his cochlear implants off, He is there for the insurance red tape and massive medical bills, He is there when we have to remove part of Owen's chair because he cries from the physical hurt it causes him to sit in it, He is there as we all jump on the trampoline and my arms are so exhausted from jumping holding Nathan and Owen but He gives me the strength to just keep going, He is there when I think about Mia's death and all that I am missing out on in this life with her, He is there....
And heal all my disease - He has shown me that He heals our diseases in the ways that are most beautiful and meaningful to Him and not always the way we would plan
I trust in You, I trust in You - I must trust in the Lord to live this life journey He has placed in front of me.

I believe You're my healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe - God is my Healer, Strength, Joy and ALL I NEED

And I believe You're my portion - and it is my greatest portion
I believe You're more than enough for me - God is way more than enough for me, way more than what I deserve
Jesus You're all I need - truly ALL I NEED to a make it through the moment, day, week, month, year, lifetime is JESUS

The song repeats

Nothing is impossible for You - the way You choose to share the story you have written for our lives so far and the story You are writing for our future
Nothing is impossible - the way You decided to use Nathan and Owen with or without physical advancement
Nothing is impossible for You - the way you will use Logan to grow into a servant of Yours
You hold my world in Your hands - my entire world is in Your hands

Nothing is impossible for You - mission opportunities our family has around the world
Nothing is impossible - for Karis to learn how to love and be a real emotionally invested part of our family
Nothing is impossible for You - for our family to continue to stand strong as Your people
You hold my world in Your hands - my entire world is in Your hands

The song repeats

You're my healer - The ultimate Healer: emotionally, spiritually and physically

Friday, January 16, 2015

Learning so much

Over the past week I am devouring books.  For years I convinced myself that I was too busy to read, but guess what...I am not.  An extra 30 minutes at night, sitting in the carpool line, while holding my daughter...I have plenty of time to read.  In this past week I have read almost 300 pages...and an intense 300 pages.  I have gained so much wisdom on adoption and hurting children from professionals and those who walk before me.  I am seeing God's perfect hand writing our new family story.  It is intense at times but also beautiful.  

I wanted to share an excerpt from Three Mustard Seeds.

Since the beginning of her placement with us things were rocky.  We were on this roller coaster ride where the drops were getting bigger, deeper and the peaks hardly raised up anymore.  The roller coaster left the sunlight behind and we were riding this out of control car in the pitch black.  Gone were the days of dirty looks and stubbornness, oh how we missed those, and we were presently living in a state where urinateing throughout the house was the normal, days where she stopped eating on her own and when we tried to feed her she would open her mouth and let all the food fall into her lap or the floor.  There were days when she would not leave her room or acknowledge the existence of our family.  You see, she was not saying "I hate you, leave me alone".  She was saying, "no one has ever loved me or stuck with me so this time instead of being take away I am leaving on my terms.  I am the one that will make things so hard on you that you push me out the door in my timing."  She had worked hard for weeks and knew she was finally wearing us down.  One morning she laid in bed naked, having refused to put on pajamas the night before.  Her bed was soaked from one side to the other with urine.  She strategically faced herself away from the door to be sure she could not accidentally have eye contact with anyone.  I walked in her room sitting down quietly in her rocking chair.  No response.  I went in again and sat in the rocking chair.  This time I spoke. No response.  A third time, I crawled in bed with her, came face to face.  For a moment she just laid there with her eyes downcast and then she made the decision to look up and smile. She came back around.  God showed me where to meet her at her darkest hour.  He knew exactly where she needed to be met because she is a beautiful, precious child of His.  God is ready and waiting to meet us in our darkest hour.  He is there lying with you in your urinated bed. He is there with you after your weeks and weeks of bad behavior.  All you need to do is look upon Him.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Little Golden Nuggets

God is giving me little golden nuggets.  They come as answers to so many of your prayers.  These prayers are so valuable and we so appreciate them.  Please keep them coming.  The healing process for Karis will take years.

A friend of our family suggested that we read, "Parenting the Hurt Child".  We ordered this book back in September but due to lack of availability it did not arrive to our house until the end of November.  At that time I figured I was too busy to read a book and just set it aside for a later day.  Last week I was sitting down after putting the kids to bed I noticed it on the coffee table.  I decided it was a good time to pick it up and read TRANSLATED - through your prayers God brought it in front of me again as a good resource.  The book is incredible.  It has taught me so much.  I am a little over half way done and am reading it as much as I can.  I have already started implementing some of the strategies and they are working!  They are strategies you would rarely, if ever,  use in your home unless dealing with a severally traumatized child.

We also tapped into another great resource this week, post adoption therapy with Lifeline.  We met with the therapist on Friday and again today.  Karis and I begin our Theraplay sessions Wednesday and Karis and Preston begin theirs on Friday.  This will give us more insight into Karis and equip us with specific ways of handling her unique situation.

Please continue your prayers.  Some days are moment by moment and your prayers are what keeps us all going.  We look forward to the day when Karis is completely restored and able to function well within a family.  Since she was 8 at her time of adoption, she will most likely be 16 or older, when we are close to achieving this goal.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

What happens when the price is too high?

What happens when the price is too high?  We walk away.  We put down our object and walk out of the store or we politely and quickly finish our small part of the big task and run back to our homes, our comfort zone.

What happens when the price is too high and you can't escape it?  When it consumes every moment of your life, even keeping you up til the wee hours of the morning.  What happens when your entire family is consumed and traumatized?  What price is too high in your life?  (Please share it with me because I would love to pray for you and stand beside you through this time.)

There are many times in my life over the past five years when the price felt too high: giving birth to triplets at 24 weeks, death of our daughter Mia, 131 days in the NICU, not able to return to Asia and resume our work, and Nathan and Owen's diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

With God, the price is never too high.  He has already paid the highest price of all by sending His perfect Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sins.  Because He became a man and dwelt among us, He knows our pain and suffering.  He strengthens us and carries us through these though times.  He also created each of us to live in fellowship with each other and pray for one another.  God uses prayer and fellowship as one way He carries us through these though times.

We are now in another season when the price seems too high.  Karis's transition into our family is way more difficult (to put it lightly) than we had expected.  All day, every day right now is met with great difficulty.  (If you are interested in praying in specifics I am glad to share with you individually.) Again, we desperately need your prayers and fellowship.