Wednesday, February 12, 2014

C4C: My Take Away

This picture is my Mom (in the center, grey shirt) and my siblings, their spouses and kids. One of my brothers, his wife & 2 girls are missing from this photo.

I'm not a stranger to adoption. Not even close. Of my 7 siblings, 5 of us are adopted. Each one of our stories are so drastically different - but, in spite of that, together we're a family.

My mother has never hidden the fact that I was adopted from me. Any time I had a question, or needed to know something - she would always answer me in a very honest, but age appropriate, way. I think the most common question I asked her, and it wasn't often, was, "Why?" She always answered in a way that led me to have compassion for my birth mom. I never had a negative view of her. I can't honestly say that I loved her, but I certainly was not angry with her, or upset by her actions.

I think that the compassion that my mother tried to instill in me gave me a tangible hope for my birth mom.  I realize now how silly this sounds, but in my child-mind, I had hoped that the experience of losing a child to an addiction would have spurred some kind of emotion in her that would cause her to seek help. I had hoped that loss would have been enough to push her to overcome it. Growing up, when I pictured her in my mind... she was sober. She wasn't an addict. She had a family and a neighborhood and a life that she could be proud of.  I took some small ownership of this made up new life I imagined for her because I knew that it was there because something hard (losing me) helped her to get there. Something inside of me knew that wasn't a reality, but it was my child-mind dream of her, nonetheless.

It was a cool Fall afternoon in South Alabama when I got a phone call that I will never forget. I was 14 years old... I had just made cheerleader that year. It was the day before our first football game and I was pumped. In fact, I was at a friend's house going over some routines that I was behind on when it happened. My mom called and said she was on her way to pick me up. She said "We would talk about it when we got home;" no one likes to hear that.

My bio Mom was in a terrible car accident in a town about 12 hours away from where we lived & doctors didn't think she was going to make it. The only number in her purse when the medics came to the scene was my Momma's.

My Momma. My sweet, sweet Momma that always knows more than I know, said that we were going to the hospital where she was. I was NOT happy about it - pitched the fit of the century - but like all good Mommas do, she made me go anyway.  Looking back now, I can't imagine what my Mom must have been feeling. She probably held her breath for the entire 12 hours. I wish I could go back and be nicer on that car ride. If she was worried, I didn't take the time to notice - but if I knew then what I know now,  I would have done something besides sit in the back seat with my arms crossed, whining about how I was going to MISS THE GAME! Heaven. Forbid. I. Miss. The. GAME!

When we got to the hospital, we learned that they had determined that she would live. I was glad. However, I can't even describe to you the way I felt as I watched, in what seemed like slow motion, every dream that I had ever dreamed for my biological mother literally dissolve in front of me. Three of my younger siblings (that I didn't know about... that all lived in different homes) were sitting in the waiting room. Their foster parents had brought them there & the stories that their foster parents were telling about how my siblings ended up in their homes didn't sound anything like the life of happiness born from tragedy that I just knew my  biological mother was living.

I can't recall a time in my teenage years that I was more heartbroken, confused, hurt, and ANGRY than I was that day. I had spent my entire life thinking the best of her. All of my life I had been told that I was smart, but for the first time in my life I felt like a fool. How could she? Why would she? Didn't she know that she could do better?

The reality is this:
I don't think that that she believed she could do better. She still doesn't.
I don't understand.

I know now that there are some things in life that I will never understand. It has taken me a long time to get here,  but I'm finally okay with not understanding.

I say ALL of that to tell you THIS:

At my dinner table at Created for Care I was seated at a table with several other women that are foster mothers or have adopted children from foster care. We were safe to discuss things there at that table that we can't normally discuss with our everyday people. I can't even explain to you how nice that was.

It's no secret to the general public that when the state removes a child from a parent permanently, some serious things have happened before the situation got to that point.

Because I love my boys, I pray ALL the time for their first Mom. I'm thankful for her. Without her, I wouldn't have them. I desperately want her to overcome the demons that she battles so that one day my boys don't live through what I did & that one day in heaven the Lord can redeem all this time that she has missed out on in the lives of our boys.

My heart longs for them to one day be proud of her!

I have prayed SO HARD for her to be an overcomer! I've begged the Lord to pull her out of her pit.  But, if I am really honest, I was praying prayers that were full of doubt. I've thought things like, "people just don't come back from this" right in the middle of my prayers (lies swirling around in my head).

As if the Lord can't do anything about it. Oh, me, of little faith.

We were talking about this at dinner on Friday night. I wish you could have seen the surprise/shock/astonishment (what ever word you want to pick) on my face when a beautiful, put-together, happy-go-lucky woman at my table told me to not give up on my prayer because she, too,  had fought those SAME demons that my boys' mom is fighting for seven years!

SEVEN YEARS. Seven years fighting a demon that usually wins.

But NOW... NOW!!!!!!!! This new life-long friend is an overcomer!! Healed! A Believer! A child of the Lord!! My sister in Christ!!! She has been REDEEMED!!!!

I left that meal with a tear stained face, a brand new confident prayer and HOPE.

It just sealed that on my heart even more when I heard Beth (our main speaker) talk about her daughter who had come to Lord by the power of intercessory prayer from a woman that she had never met.... but had only only seen her daughter's picture. Just like me. Also, when Beth told the story of Mark 5, where the Lord crossed the sea to cast demons out of ONE SPECIFIC PERSON, I knew she was talking to me. I know now, after that dinner at C4C, there's hope where I thought there was none.

It was like the Lord whispered those words right into my very soul when I needed them the most. He knows what you need & he is always on time.

Additionally, on Saturday night there was a panel of women from all different adoption journeys. One of them (Amber, who just happens to be my high school band director's niece - cue the music for It's a Small World After All) was speaking from a domestic adoption standpoint where she knows her children's birth family. I loved so much when she read Jesus' lineage in Matthew 1. This was so good for me to hear, only because I don't think I had ever paid any attention to that before - when you get some time, click on that link and read the people in the lineage of OUR MESSIAH. I guarantee that you will recognize the names of some people that are very broken by the standards of the world.

I heard 2 things from her reading that passage:
  • The Lord can take anything that is broken and use it to make something beautiful.
  • I am not a product of my biology. Neither are my boys.

Tears fell down my face onto my shirt as she read those names. When it was over, I felt like a weight that I didn't even know was there was gone. I took a deep breath - the kind where all of your lungs are full of air. I sighed & praised the Lord for that revelation. Y'all. He knew I needed to hear that, even if I didn't know I needed it.

Like I said, he is always on time.

Attending Created for Care was incredibly outside of my box - but, I am so thankful that I went. I'll definitely be back next year.

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly" Matthew 11:28-30

Monday, February 3, 2014

Jesus Loves ME, this I know.

Let me take you back to something that happened to me in 2011.

It was a cold(ish) Fall Day in South Georgia & I was having a moment. Ladies, I know that you know what I'm talking about. Those moments where NOTHING in your world is going your way. Specifically, at this moment... nothing in my CLOSET was going my way. I know.. first world problem, right?

So, I did what any girl would do. I may have said to my sweet husband.. "I'm not going! I don't have anything to wear!" (I can't even remember what the plan was anymore)... but I Didn't go... and I stayed home & cleaned out my closet. I mean CLEANED it OUT! I pulled garbage bag after garbage bag out of there. Shameful. I mean it. Why I had that many clothes in my house, not being worn, was ridiculous.

Then, I called a friend that wore around the same size I did & I said COME AND GET THESE CLOTHES. TONIGHT. Get them out of here! So, she did.

After we carried them to her car we were casually talking about our day & she mentioned that she was excited about her "new" clothes. I told her to enjoy them, that I really loved most of those clothes & that I was more unhappy with the way that I looked, personally, than I was with any of those clothes. I said it so casually, because it was true, that I didn't even think about it.

That's when it happened.

She just looked at me, kind of flabbergasted, and said "I never would have guessed that. You always seem so confident & put together."

It was in that moment that I knew I had been successful in something that I wasn't even trying to do. Something I didn't WANT to do. Something that I had judged other people (in my head, of course) for doing... thinking to myself things like "faker" or "no one is that happy all the time" --- and then BAM. There it was. I was one of those people.

Her comment, that I know she didn't even think about, made such an impact on me that I can still remember it vividly. I think about it when I get dressed sometimes. I think about it when I am trying to hush my children in a store or quiet them in a restaurant. I think about it when I post something on social networking. I think about it when I am putting on makeup before running into a store for a minute. I think about it almost daily.

I don't want to be that person. I don't want anyone to think that about me.

If you don't know ANYTHING else about me, know these things:

I don't have it all together.
I'm not perfect.
I'm not confident in very many things.
I question almost everything I do.
I struggle.
I obsess over stupid things.

If there is something that I do and do it correctly - it's because the Lord willed it to be so. I'm a mess without him, y'all.

Like, a BIG mess.

People tell me all the time "I don't know how you do it! Four little boys!!" --- Well, I know exactly how I do...  I don't do it! The Lord does.

If we make it through the day with no injuries & no major melts... it's because the day started with a "Help me make it through this day, Lord" prayer!

I'm so thankful that Jesus Loves Me --- EVEN the mess. Even the chaos. Even the ugly.

Jesus loves ME. The real me.

At the end of the day - no matter how long the day was... I KNOW that to be true.

& I am thankful for that. Not always thankful enough. But thankful, nonetheless.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Children.

Here's the thing about blogs...

You have to remember they exist. You have to remember how important they are to tell the story of your life. You have to ACTUALLY write posts and post them...  Sometimes I feel like my words aren't fancy or adequate enough to say the things I need to say, so I tend to not say anything at all over here.

I'm sorry for my absence. I don't mean to neglect this blog. Honestly, I don't.

But, these littles, they're just so easy to get wrapped up in & this blog sometimes takes a backburner to football games, and carpool, and school plays, and work, and church, and road trips & life!

My boys have been home about 4 days shy of 8 months. I know that it sounds so cliche' to say this - but I don't really remember how life was before them. It's true - I must have had so much time on my hands this time last year.  People ask me pretty regularly "how we do it"... well, Mornings start early around here - usually around sunrise & days end when the sun goes down. We lay out outfits at the beginning of the week & never leave home without a plan. We buy things in sets of 4 & inevitably if we leave home without extra clothes, we will need them. I don't know how we would live without uncrustables & pre-sliced apples - those are staples around here. Judge away... but I thank the Lord for pre-packaged food & each and every one of these children.

It wasn't that long ago that I remember a sweet friend of mine praying and praying for the Lord to bless her with children. After years of praying, the Lord sent her twins. When the twins were born, I remember reading her blog where she documented special times in the lives of "her babies" --- she praised them with no shame. In every post. She never passed up a moment to talk about how much she loved them -- how beautiful, smart, talented, funny, charming they were. When the twins were 3 years old, my sweet friend passed away so very unexpectedly during what should have been a quick procedure. I thank God for every single compliment she paid them on the pages of her blog. Speaking as the daughter of a deceased parent, I know that they will treasure those words from her forever. So please forgive me if I relentlessly praise my children. For her, for my sweet friend Susan, b/c I know she would approve... I won't apologize for very openly loving everything about them.
My girl

My girl... She's SO smart. Effortlessly smart. She kind of  blows my mind smart... in a good way. She never misses anything! I love her heart - her compassionate, generous, loving nature. She is her great grandmother made over. Her free spirit that causes her feet to tap to the beat of every song makes my heart swoon. Her inner music lover makes me smile. I could listen to her sing for hours.... and that is a good thing, because she will totally let me. She's completely unaware of how beautiful she is - inside or out. Her humbleness shocks me. I could go on and on - I would never wish her life away, because her childhood is moving by so quickly. too, too quickly. --- but I  dream sometimes about her being an adult because I know that she & I will be the best of friends one day.

Sweet C
My sweet C... Precious boy. Handsome boy. My sweet little love. The one that always brings me flowers. The one that never wants to see anyone sad. The one that longs to please everyone. The one that always. always. always smiles. The one that always gives 100% and then some. He's everything that anyone could ever dream of in a child. I'm not exaggerating. He's got more heart than any adult I know. He's meant for GREAT things in this world - I am so humbled that I get to be his mother that I can't even write this without tears streaming down my face. He's a walking, talking, breathing and loving VISUAL IMAGE of God's restoration and redemption and I will spend the rest of my life thanking God for every accomplishment in his life because I know that HE will be where they all stream from.

Precious T

My precious T... He's the soft spot in my heart. He's my timid one. My shy one. The one that takes the longest to warm up to people. But T... He's so precious.. and I mean that literally. By definition, precious means "not to be wasted: rare or unique and therefore to be used sparingly or treated with care" --- in his short little life, he has seen so much wasted time & very little care. If I'm honest, I  know that I can't ever give him that time back & if I could have just ONE wish, it would be for him to be confident that he is loved. His precious smile and his gentle spirit can literally make my saddest moments happy again. He gives the best hugs. He's my care-giver - the one that brings us all blankets when we watch TV, even if there isn't one for him. He loves music and dancing. His laugh is unavoidably contagious & He gets to my heart in a way that no one else ever has --- I can't even put words around it. 5 minutes alone with him & you would get it, too.

Wild R
My wild R... This kid. He's going need a microphone one day b/c he already has so much to say! He loves to make people smile & usually he won't quit until he does. He loves people whole-heartedly. he can pray prayers at 3 years old that would bring you to your knees. He's always full speed ahead, but never too busy for hugs or kisses. He can't stand to see someone else in trouble or hurt - and will always come to their rescue... usually in fireman attire. He's definitely a defender of the weak. He's my light sleeper, which I don't mind b/c that gives us one on one time while his brothers are napping. He loves to sing & make up songs. He's witty & charming --- which at this age is a very cute combination. He's always making up games to play & he doesn't like to be alone. He's the best snuggler in the bunch & I mean it when I say that if the Lord hadn't sent him to me 3 years ago, I don't know that I could have ever been a momma to 4 boys. He paved the way & I love him so.

Baby J
My baby J... my baby that never really had a chance to be a baby. He is strong willed, determined to make a way for himself. He can do everything himself and only lets you help him if you trick him into it. It's sad in a way, but it's also what I love the most about him. He's never going to let anyone run over him, he'll always be a front-runner - At 2 years old, he's the leader of our pack. He loves fearlessly. He's so brave. He's not afraid to go after what he wants. He's assertive. He's quick to forgive. He's SO handsome. He has eyelashes that some women would pay thousands of dollars for. He thinks that his Daddy hung the moon in the sky just for him. He's got rhythm that makes me a little bit jealous. When he slows down long enough for snuggles, he's quick to run his fingers through your hair and say I love you. He has to win the "I love you MORE" argument. I usually let him win... even though I really love him more. 

All of my children are so different. SO incredibly opposite from one another --- but yet, still mine. They were all sent to me from the Lord - in different ways, yes... but still sent to me.

This line from a poem that I read years ago rings in my ears even now:

"Not flesh of my flesh or bone of my bone, but still miraculously my own."

My own.

All 5 of them. just the same. My own. On loan from the Lord... to me. Not one more-so than the others. Not one less than the others. Just the same. My own.

So, tonight, here I am with a full home & a full heart...  baffled by these very words. Stumbling to put words around those words.

From someone who has been adopted & now, someone who has adopted children - to hear someone else say "children of my own" has a weird effect on me - it always has. I wonder if my face is a giveaway when I hear people say it - I try really hard to keep my face straight, but everyone who knows me says that they can always tell what I am thinking by the look on my face... I wonder if they can tell that those words are so uncomfortable to me.

Like... really, really, really uncomfortable.

Maybe it's just my sensitive nature - but I don't think I'm alone on this. Don't get me wrong, I know that that no real harm is meant or intended by the person saying them. I know that in my heart.

When I hear/read those words, I can't help but think that somehow the person that is saying them must sub-consciously assume that I am somehow held in a different regard to my mother because I am not hers biologically... or that somehow I must love my adopted children differently because I never heard their hearts beat from my womb or felt their tiny feet kick inside of my growing belly.

Let me assure you - this is not the case. My dying breath will be spent praising the Lord for every. single. one. of these children.  My own children. All 5 of them.

They have changed me - each in their own way --- all children are a blessing! No matter how they find their way to you. Whether it's through your own womb or through someone else's. 

Wouldn't you agree?

The word tells us this over and over again!

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well." Psalm 139:14

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." James 1:27

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart - I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” Mark 9:37

"For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28

Children - no matter how they come to you - are from the Lord. A blessing. A miracle. A true gift. An honor.

I'm so thankful for my 5 littles - for the blessing that they have been to me. For the way that our lives have changed with the addition of each and every one of them. For each and every wonderful thing that they bring to us daily --- I'm not worthy to be their mother, of this I am sure. But, I am so grateful that the Lord makes me new & gives me just enough of what I need everyday to be the mother that I am to all 5 of my own children that he chose to so graciously bless me with.

Forever and Eternally grateful, I will always be.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cell Phone Picture

If you have been following our family journey, you probably remember me talking about the photo that DFACS originally sent us. If you don't, you can read about it HERE.

When children become available for adoption, the state will make something sort of like a "flyer" with their picture and a small paragraph about them. That flyer then circulates around to different social workers & agencies that know of potential waiting families. This is the photo that was on the flyer for my boys. Those sad eyes & uncertain faces are enough to leave me breathless and in tears every time I look at it and I would like nothing more than to never see it again.

But this picture... This picture is so important. THIS picture is part of their story. It was taken in their last foster home. It says so much to me.

and This --- This is almost 6 months later. THIS is what happens prayers are answered. This is John 14:18. This is what happens when LOVE WINS. I look at these boys and they are a constant reminder to me of the Lord's faithfulness & unfailing love. I will forever be broken by the first picture of my boys --- but I will also forever be grateful for it, because it makes me appreciate this one that much more. God is so good! These smiles & happy eyes are all because of HIM.
From left to right: Joseph (age 2), Caleb (age 5), Timothy (age 3).
 More later, but today - I am enjoying the last 2 days of Summer with my 5!

Friday, March 8, 2013

10 days.

It was around 4:30 on February 26th when I got the call.
You know... THE CALL. The call that went something like this:

Social Worker: "Mrs. Houston, do you remember the 3 little boys that you had your home study (reviewed for)....."
Social Worker: "Well, something fell through with the other family that was chosen for placement and we need to place them tonight... are you still...."
Me: YESS!! YES we are!!!!
Social Worker: "Great! They will be there tonight."

At the time that I got the call one of my dearest friends, Heather, was in the car with me. I was actually picking her family up from their house to take them home with me for the night so I could take them to the airport the next morning. They were moving to Ohio. I was a wee bit emotional bc I did NOT want them leaving me. You see, she's been with me through this whole process. She's listened to me cry... and listened to me vent... and prayed me through the whole thing. Her leaving was not sitting well with me. Heather and I had JUST been talking about when our adoption goes further, that she would be coming back. It's crazy how the Lord works. I'm so grateful that she was there for this phonecall - I'm so thankful to have been able to share that moment with her.

If you know Heather - you know that she is always prepared, always collected, always very level headed. On the other hand, I'm usually the overly excited one, the crier... etc.

After "We" got the call, I was SO excited!!  ...but I didn't cry. I immediately switched into "we have to get ready" mode... and Heather cried FOR me. It was literally like she was having every emotion that I was. That's a friend right there, y'all.  In retrospect, I think it was the Lord that gave us a brief personality switch. I didn't have time to do anything but prepare.

We were told that we had about 3 hours to get our guestroom/studio room transformed into a little boy bedroom. I called a friend that kept her store open long enough for me to get there and buy beds and mattresses while George and Clay (Heather's hubby) disassembled our guestroom & assembled our crib.

I purchased bedding a while back for Raleigh's room, but I never used it since I decided that I liked what he has now. So we had that already.

Heather (who is 8 months pregnant by the way) & I also made several stops around town to buy pictures for the walls, pillows for the cases, stuffed animals for their beds, blankets, lamps, sheets, etc. It's crazy now to think about how fast we pulled that room together! I even upholstered one of those headboards that day.

Please excuse the iphone photo - Also, There's a crib on the left wall that isn't pictured.
It was a whirlwind of an afternoon - but I was peaceful. I knew it was going to come together. It did - It always does. I think the only thing that went wrong was the roast that I forgot was in the oven. But, it wasn't lost - just the potatoes were. :)

Heather and Clay ended up spending the night with my mother-in-law that night after dinner b/c we no longer had anywhere to sleep them & we didn't want to confuse the boys with any more people in the house than necessary.

Around 9:00 I kissed SJ & Raleigh goodnight for the last time as my only children. It was bittersweet.

And then we sat on the couch and waited on our lives to change forever.

It was 10:40 when their car pulled up. We met them in the driveway. They were asleep in the backseat. Three beautiful boys.

Just like that. There they were.

My boys. Ages 4, 3, & 2.

C, T, & J.

I knew the first time I saw their faces that they were my boys. (I wish I could share their sweet names and faces with the internet, but I just can't until the paperwork is final --- probably about 6 months).

When I was e-mailed their picture back in December I set it as the lock screen on my phone. When our home study wasn't chosen as their forever family - I was crushed. But, I was happy to know that they were going to be in a loving forever home - even if it wasn't ours. However, I never took their photo off of my lock screen. I just couldn't. Even when our study was being reviewed for other children. Even after I was told they were on track for adoption with the other family. I Never took it off.  For weeks, George would say "you have GOT to take that photo off of your screen - you are just torturing yourself..." and I never did. In fact, 11 days ago (the Monday before the Tuesday that we got the call) he had said to me "If you don't take that picture off of your screen - I will." - My response was "I just can't take it off. I pray for those boys' happiness every time I look at that picture. Something just won't let me remove it."

Now I know.

"Something" was the Lord. I don't know why I am always so suprised when he works like that.

When we got them out of the car, we brought them inside and sat with them in our living room. We had a few diapers to change & then we moved to the playroom once everyone woke up a bit.

C was very stand-off-ish at first (as to be expected)... but warmed up a bit when he saw that I had tractor toys. He loves tractors.

When C started to talk & play, T & J kinda warmed up too.

They mentioned that they were hungry, so we cut up some fruit while the social workers snuck out. (So thankful for our sweet friends that brought over groceries!!).

During our fruit snack, we (and by "we" I mean, C & me) talked about his favorite color and things that he likes...

When I found out his favorite color was blue, I told him his room had blue in it & he couldn't wait to get up to see it.

He was excited - but still very confused and very sad.

My heart hurts to think about that first night there, compared to now.

After pajamas and a bedtime story we tucked three sleepy boys into bed and they were asleep in no time.

The next morning I put Heather on the plane to Ohio & I was back home before sunrise.

The next day was flooded with question about where they were, how long they had to stay, when they got to go home, etc. It was tough. Tough questions. With no answers that he wanted to hear.

I just responded with "I'm hoping you stay here for a very long time" & "I really like you, I'm so glad you guys are here" etc.

In his last home he thought he was going to stay there forever - so I am very careful to not say that so he doesn't start to think that he is going to have to leave. Instead, we make long term plans... the beach, Disney World, Halloween, Christmas, etc. So hopefully he can put together that we want him here for the long run.

After a few days, the questions stopped & he started referrring to "My house" as "Our house" & "my kid" as his "new brother."

Everyday it gets a little easier.

Earlier this week we had a meeting with the social worker to discuss the details.. Let me tell you! For years I have heard that the waiting is the hardest part. That, my friends, is NOT true. Not even close.

The waiting is hard. HARD. No doubt about that...

But reading their child life histories is HARDER. (Their child life histories are all of the records that dfacs has) It's gut wrenching hard. I won't ever go into detail about what I read in their studies with anyone, but you should know that it was awful. I knew these boys were really & truly mine when I was reading those and I felt sick. to. my. stomach. Like those things had happened to me. I couldn't stop the tears or my hands from shaking & I knew that very minute that I would spend the rest of my life making sure that no unhealthy harm EVER came to them again. I'm talking guarding these babies with my life, y'all.  They are mine.

The last 10 days have been eventful, to say the least. We've learned so much about these boys & every day we are learning more...

Here are some fun facts:

J ( just turned 2) loves to play ball. ANY kind of ball... but, specifically baseball. He also loves airplanes & helicopters. He has eyelashes that will allow him to get away with anything for the rest of his life. His eyes are blue and gorgeous & his little baby laugh will instantly melt you. That, my friends, is a promise. He loves milk & goes through about a gallon every 2 days. I'm serious. He could care less about television, but loves to scroll through my pictures on my iphone.

T (3 and a half) loves small things that he can hold in his hand (trains, cars, etc). He can eat as much food as a grown man & he will do it on his own schedule. He marches to his own beat. He LOVES the show Super Why. He's a man of few words and only talks when he feels like he needs to. I like that about him. <3 He's got perfect hair - shiny & always falls perfectly. His smile is absolutely beautiful & his big blue eyes will take him very very far in life.

C (4, will be 5 in April) loves tractors, farms, the color blue & animals. He spends the majority of his day playing outside or asking to go outside. He's very inquisitive and asks no less than 400 questions a day. :) He's SUPER smart & never misses anything. He's got dark brown hair & pretty hazel eyes. He's so sweet and affectionate and every time we go outside to play, he makes sure to give me a flower. He always compliments my hair & he loves it when his hair is brushed. He likes his closet full of clothes & he loves to ride "bikes" (tricycles).

I have been blessed beyond measure. I wish I had more words, but honestly I am trying to take it in myself.

Thank you so much for your prayers and to everyone that has been so gracious to our family. We love you all so much & wouldn't even know where to begin to say thankyou!!

Each and every one of your prayers have been felt in this house! Please keep them coming as I know that this transition is far from over.

Pray for healing for their precious little hearts and for the Lord to give them peace that passes their understanding.

Again, thank you to all of my friends for everything! I am such a blessed girl!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


This Song. I tried to pick a few lyrics from it to post, but every single word from this song is where I am today. I can't shake it.

In our last post, you might remember me telling about the children that our home study was being reviewed for -- we found out yesterday that our home study wasn't chosen. again.

If anyone is counting this makes disappointment #FIVE.

When we initially found out that our home study was being reviewed for this little girl I said that I wouldn't get my hopes up, so that if this happened I wouldn't be broken.

...but then I learned her name.

...and then I saw her sweet little face.

And it's almost impossible to not dream about her at night or look at little girl clothes in a store or put things in your cart on for her room (and then take them out bc no one can really afford to decorate a room from there entirely).

It's hard to hear the words "Her case manager went with an African American family because they felt that was in the best interest of the child." Hard y'all. Like really really hard.

Hard to know that my skin color was the main factor that seperated that child from our family. Maybe there was more to it. But if there was, they didn't say so.

Yesterday I was furious - I don't really know why. But, today - today I am sad. Heartbroken, actually.

This ache in my soul is a combination of months and months of disappointment.

And trust me when I say
....and I KNOW that God is faithful.
....and I KNOW that in his time he will send us a child that needs our family.
....and I know that he will never forsake me.
....and I know that all things work together
....and I know that he loves me.
....and I know .... I know... I know...

But it doesn't make it hurt ANY less. And it isn't any less confusing. and It doesn't help me sleep at night.

I don't want any pity parties - really. I don't. Chances are if you see me, I won't want to talk about this at all. It's just how I am. But, please remember my heart in your prayers.

This heartache mixed with one of my best friends moving next week is about to break me down. And in all seriousness--- ain't nobody got time for that.

I'm not discouraged in the process - because I know that this is the road that the Lord has sent us down & like I said - I know that he is faithful & I know that he is good.

So - now - we are back in the waiting process.
Waiting for another child & waiting to send them our home study & waiting for them to review it & waiting for the end result.

Have you picked up on the whole... I don't like to wait... thing? 

Thanks for taking the time to read my sad post & thank you, friends, in advance for your prayers.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Have you been waiting on a blog post?

We've had alot of people ask us lately "Are you guys still adopting"... "How's the adoption process going"and so on. When I started this blog, I made a commitment to follow it through & I haven't done a very good job. So... brace yourselves. This is probably going to be a very long post.

My hope for this year is to update this on a more regular basis!

Since I last posted, we have done ALOT for this whole process. We finished & turned in our IMPACT training paper work. It was literally hundreds of pages of paperwork. They wanted to know (over and over again) our names/personal information, finances, address, etc. In addition to that, the paperwork asked a few questions about why we were wanting to adopt, our discipline practices, the layout of our home and etc. After our training classes, we had 45 days to turn the paperwork in. I'm serious when I say that it took us every bit of 45 days to complete it!

Once that was turned in, it had to be reviewed (to make sure we did everything correctly) & approved. Once it was approved, DFACS scheduled an in depth home study. That sounds easy doesn't it? Welllllll, for us it was a little more complicated since the in depth home study needs to be in the home that the children will be living in. Our house, at the time, had currently just sold & we were in the process of packing/moving. To make a LONG story short, we have some seriously awesome friends that helped us move into our new house (that we didn't even own yet - but had to rent) and completely unpack in 2 days! The man that did our home study came the very next day & he never knew that we were only there for less than 48 hours! ha! :) THAT is how awesome our friends are. That is how awesome the Lord is. The Home study was done in 2 parts & took about 6 hours total. Once he was finished, he wrote a report on what he had seen/heard/observed & submitted it for approval. Our home study was approved shortly there after. Now - we are just waiting on a child. So, the answer to the question is YES - we are definitely still adopting. 

Those are the bare facts. That's where I wish that 2012 ended.

But in the midst of all of that...

There was a baby. and a birth mother. & papers drawn up. & plans made. & then minds changed just weeks before delivery. not our minds. & a baby born in need. and my heart was broken. all of our hearts were. they still are. Every day I wonder if that baby is being held enough & having all of it's needs met. I'm waiting for a day for that baby not to cross my mind. I'm fervently praying for that day.

There also were three little boys that our home study was reviewed for (with DFACS, when children become available for adoption, your home study - along with others- is reviewed and if the child's case manager thinks you are a match, then you can begin the adoption process).  The part I wish I would have paid more attention to was the "along with others" --- our social worker never told us that there were other studies being reviewed and as far as we were concerned, in our hearts those boys were ours. But, the case manager awarded them to a family that has no children. We were sad --- but I know that those sweet boys are being taken care of & will never want for anything. I'm grateful that they will be wanted & adored!

I now spend HOURS scouring & looking at hundreds of faces everyday. When I see children that I think would like our home I call the number and send them our home study. and wait.

We also have gotten a few leads from local case managers that want to review our home study for children in their care. so we are waiting on that, too.

and waiting.

and wwwwaaaaiiiiitttting.

The misconception about dfacs adoptions is that they are quick and easy -- I am here to tell you that they aren't either of those things! But, with that said -- I know that the day is coming where the Lord is going send us the child/children meant just for our home.

It's hard, y'all. It's hard to have a new house that you bought so you could fill it up with children... and walk past empty bedrooms everyday. It's hard to answer your children when they ask "Why does God want this to take so long?". It's hard to pack up things that you bought for children that will never be yours. It's hard to explain the same heartbreaks over and over and over again.

But, nothing worth having ever came easily. Did it?

So there you have it - we're officially in the hard part. The WAITing part. And we have been for a few months now.

This has certainly been no walk in the park... or on the beach. But, it's been a walk, for sure. One where I have had to lean completely on the Lord to guide me because it is completely out of my control. I'm becoming okay with that. Maybe that was the lesson in all of this.

Whatever the lesson is - I am begging him daily to let me learn it.