Tuesday, January 31, 2012

{this is how we do it}

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I have been wanting to sit down and write so many times over these past two weeks but life has taken over and every second of my time has been consumed.  If anyone ever says to you that adoption is easy -- it's a lie.  Adoption is an emotional game of cards -- you win, you loose -- you wait for your turn and hope for the best.  This process has been very draining. I often hesitate complaining of any sorts when it comes to our kids we choose to adopt -- I often feel people would just think that we choose this life and have no reason to complain.  I guess that's so silly and it really paints this perfect picture of this kind of life, which just wouldn't be the truth.  Yes, we choose this life, because it's what we were made for -- our talents, our abilities and our touch of insanity.  But in no way does it make is any easier, as if because I didn't carry my two youngest ones in my belly, I don't have the same feelings as ever other human mother. My heart still is filled with the same joy and this life is also filled with the same challenges.

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These days have been difficult.  We are tired. We even feel a bit overwhelmed with all the crazy travel only to start it again the next day.  But I am so happy to say we are nearing the end and if all goes as planned we will get a call on Monday saying we can go pick up our little boy and bring him home forever.  So excited. Beyond excited!

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Moving on -- you know those crazy people who call the radio station trying to win cash prizes by answering random questions about pop culture?  That's my husband.  And he didn't get the answers right so they gave him a consolation prize of tickets to the River Rink in Philadelphia.  This past weekend we took the kids and did what we do best -- living life to the fullest and letting nothing hold our little ones back!

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As you can see from the photos we rocked that rink.  We'll actually, everyone but me.  I was in charge of  trying to take both video on my phone and take photos with my massive camera.  The River Rink staff were amazing.  At first they said that they could not allow the KidWalk on the rink but after a little pleading and puppy dog eyes they said ok.  They escorted both Angela and Jayden around, clearing the way to make sure everyone was safe.  So we put on their skates and let them have fun!

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This was Madison's first time on the ice and she did great. I'm sure she will be asking to go again.  Angela seemed to think she was queen of the rink.  Her face was filled with so much pride, as if she felt like she had been doing this for years -- just look at her face in these photos!

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We have found that the KidWalk is working really good for Jayden.  While he doesn't need all the support it gives, he does however benefit from the safety the KidWalk provides.  He is fast in that thing and really enjoys being able to run around and we enjoy knowing that he is safe and that little head of his is protected from further harm.

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Life is amazing.  Embracing life is so invigorating -- redefining what normal is, bending the norm -- we love it all. Thanks so much for your prayers over these past months.  They have been felt and much appreciated!


**As a reminder, we cannot show Jayden's face until adoption is finalized, which takes about six months.  Trust me -- he's very handsome!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

{Eight Years of Amazing}

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Today Adam and I celebrate eight years of amazing marriage -- Ok, well that's actually a big fat lie.  But before everyone starts sending me emails of concern let me explain myself.  Adam and I have a conversation that seems to keep repeating its self -- people often have this crazy perception of our family, like somehow we deify all odds and live a perfect happy life overcoming each and every obstacle that comes our way.  People often view our spiritual lives as something they would love to attain -- and although we are flattered, this often makes us both chuckle on a frequent basis.

During these past eight years we have both dealt with our fair share of issues.  We have gone to bed without speaking, at times let other things come before each other and we have fought -- pretty darn hard.   During our time with Gavin, long hospital stays forced us to live in different worlds -- I at the hospital and Adam left to make sure Madison's needs were met as well as try to give our family financial stability.  We both sat by Gavin's side and watched him endure a slow death and then came home and needed to be a strong mommie and daddy for Madison, still pay the bills and all the while deal with our heavy grief.

So I often ask myself -- how did we make it?  How eight years later can I sit here and tell you without a shadow of doubt that Adam is the most amazing man and partner I could ever ask for.  How did we make it through the other side when so many other families fall apart.

God seriously has had His hand on our lives.

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Love is amazing.  It's even more amazing when you choose to form a partnership with the understanding that it is for life.  Love transforms.  Not only does it transform people lives but after these past eight years I'm convinced it also transforms situations -- gives us a new way to view and look at things.  Love is healing.  Adam's love for me gives me the ability to be broken, knowing that when I'm crushed to the floor in a million pieces he still loves me and is willing to stay close as God puts me back together -- and the same goes for him.  Love waits.  Even during a time where it feels impossible to love back, love waits it out and is willing to stay strong even when our hearts feels very week.  Love is honest and willing to admit that we are flawed, that we will never understand some things yet still continues to press on. Love is beautiful, even when we are covered in flilth and are down right ugly it still shines on.

These past eight years, while filled with some of the most difficult experiences I hope to ever encounter, have also been the best years of my life.  Adam has given so much, loved me unconditionally and has been my biggest fan.

Adam, I love you with a deep love I never thought possible. You are my soul mate and I'm excited to walk with you until the end!


Monday, January 9, 2012

{Finding Freedom}

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This past week we have been on a roller coaster of emotions concerning Jayden's adoption.  Last week we were under the impression that he was coming home very soon -- as in this week.  We were very excited but guarded, the reason we didn't share any dates publicly.  Well this week, as we kinda feared, the date for him to move in was once again moved.  Ugh.  We were so disappointed beyond words.  It's so complicated and lots of stuff I can't share but It all is just about paperwork and court orders and timing.  

We left Jayden last Friday so tired and frustrated.  It's so hard when you love a child so much to not be able to being him home just because of loose ends and paper work.  The facility where he is living has been so amazing in helping us progress through our training fast and effectively. To be fully trained and ready and still not be able to bring him home is frustrating.  We are now, however, able to take home for the day and will do so several times a week until he is able to officially move home. This Saturday he came home for the first time and we all had an amazing time.  He was a totally different kid.  He was looking all around, very in control and so happy, giving us lots of smiles. He's always a happy boy but you could tell he knew he was somewhere special.

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Life is filled with so many moments that we as humans can not possibly understand.  After we left on Friday we just questioned why God felt this week was not the time for Jayden to come home. I know there is a reason and we are choosing to trust in God's perfect timing.  To be honest we could sit for hours running through scenarios in our mind trying to figure out the answer to all this, but one thing we have learned through out journey with Gavin, and are continuing to learn is that sitting questioning why, only brings intense turmoil and such an unsettled feeling.  By choosing to simply say we don't get it -- we don't like it -- but we are going to choose to believe that there is greater purpose and reason we may or may not one day understand -- amazing freedom comes.

Letting go and choosing to wave the white flag is both one of the hardest and easiest decisions to make. 

This Tuesday we get to bring Jayden home over night as our last step in our training.  A nurse from the facility will come with us and observe to make sure we are able to handle all his care though out the night by ourselves.  We are very excited to have him for the night but also bummed since this will be the only overnight visit until he comes home which looks like will be another month away.

Once day closer right?  





Monday, January 2, 2012

{We're Gonna Rock This Year}

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2011 was an amazing year.  We welcomed Angela into our family and mastered being a family of five -- four of us here on earth and our little boy in heaven.  We watched Angela change into a different child over these past 12 months.  I remember when Angela first was placed in our home we kept saying -- I wonder what she will be like one year from now.  Well I think we can say without a doubt that her little mind and body has found some major healing this past year.  She is different little girl -- she is focused and social and most of all she has this crazy joy that just flows from her little soul.

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We watched Madison grow up in so many ways.  She has grown into a beautiful little lady who really makes us so proud.  She has shown us that she is "ok" in many unspoken ways - you would never know the trauma that she experienced her first four years of life.  She is very typical is lots of ways which brings a smile to my face -- but also filled with compassion many adults have yet to master, which brings a huge smile to my heart.

Our family has transformed over this past year and now we are excited beyond words to once again change and being our life as a family of six. This adoption process with Jayden has been nothing short of divinely planned and orchestrated by God.  Even people who choose not to see God in this process still can not deny how things has just fallen in our favor.  I'm excited to take on this new year -- to deify the odds and claim healing and blessing over my children's lives. 

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Adam had mentioned on his own blog a few weeks ago how in each of our children's rooms we have the phrase "You have always been loved; You have always been wanted" on their walls.  This year, my mommie heart and soul aches for my children to know and understand the power and truth of this statement.  We want both Madison and our adopted children to know that we truly longed for them before they even existed.  And for Angela and Jayden who endured the unthinkable -- even during the time when they were labeled unwanted -- we wanted them so bad and fought long and hard to claim them as our own.

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Adoption is amazing for so many reasons, but the most powerful thing is that adoption is what we as Christians are all about. Not one of us deserves the grace and love that God pours out on us, but yet he chose to give us all second chances -- a new name -- a new life.  How crazy is it that we get to do the same for these beautiful children.  So cool.

We are seriously gonna rock this year.  I can't wait for the first time we all get to take our first trip out into public -- Adam and I as crazy proud parents ready to show off our beautiful kids -- but more than that -- I'm so excited to show off the amazing story and new chapter of restoration and hope God has written through our family.