Tuesday, August 28, 2012

{little steps, giant leaps}

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I'm not an athlete -- never have been and never will be.  I'm an average woman of an above average weight and height and I'm about as awkward and clumsy as they come.  What I am is a dream catcher.  I'm the type of person who can see a goal and I will do what ever it takes to achieve it. I see a need and I fill it.  I can see a child with hidden potential deep within and I'll do what ever it takes to pull it out.

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The funny thing is, I haven't always been like this.  I attempted sports when I was younger but I somehow always came up with a random side stitch that would surly make it impossible to run the required mile warm up.  I never used to dream. In fact the life I now live, was never even a thought in my mind.

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Somehow, somewhere along my life's journey this concept clicked -- little steps, giant leaps.  Taking the first little step is always the hardest.  God loves little steps.  In fact, I believe that's all he really requires of us.  Actually, many of the huge life changing decisions we make all begin with one little step -- it usually means simply saying yes or in some cases saying no.  I totally believe and have found that the act of taking little steps makes God smile, because He knows just how hard it is and is always eager to turn our little steps into giant leaps.

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This weekend I participated in and finished a triathlon.  Again, I am not an athlete but I am a dreamer.  After Gavin died I trained for my first triathlon as a relay team, doing the last two legs of the race. The first year, it was a time of healing.  During my training I fought it out with God.  I screamed inside with every pounding down on the treadmill floor. I shed many tears and He began to heal my heart and take my grieving and replace it with hope and joy.  Each year I train to honor and remember my little boy, but it really goes way beyond that. 

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Every step of this race was a symbol -- a symbol of hope, a symbol of healing, a symbol of restoration and proof that God takes little steps and turns them into giant leaps. 

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Gavin taught me so much in his short three and a half years of life.  He was a fighter in every sense of the word.  During my run, the last leg of the race, my body was screaming -- I pushed so hard during the ride my legs were shot. I began to remember Gavin's last fifty-two hours of life, after the life support was removed -- after we all thought he would die.  I remembered the fight. I remembered his labored breathing -- trying to find air with lungs overtaken by fluid. At that last day we cried out and questioned why God would let our little boy endure such a horrific long death.  I look back and I see my little boy smiling inside wanting to teach us one last lesson -- little steps, giant leaps.  During those last few miles I remembered this:

One breath in.  

One breath out. 

That's all it takes. 

One little step and God can do the miraculous.



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

{pouring into her}

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I look at my little girl and at times I panic. I have those moments that I'm sure every parent can relate to where you pause and this cold rush of panic comes over you as you realize that you are in charge of another life -- a real breathing, thinking and feeling human life.  The decisions I make will forever impact her life -- her future depends on my present ability to guide her in the right direction. Can you feel the overwhelming heavy weight that I carry?

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So here's the deal -- I totally get to take off that weight. God doesn't expect me to be perfect and in fact I'm pretty sure he knows that I'm gonna mess up this whole mommie thing -- and probably mess it up bad.  God is all about grace.  Grace is what makes me just the right mommie for my daughter. Grace takes my best effort and fills in the gaps.  What God asks of me, is to passionately chase after Him and this whole parenting thing just falls into place -- He fills my life to the point that I am able to pour into my children.

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I say this all the time, but what the heck, I'm gonna say it again -- she is amazing.  Madison is a unique child with unique gifts and abilities. After Gavin died and we started our adoption journey Adam and I knew that with the adoption of our two youngest came an added responsibility of making sure Madison's needs were not put in the shadows.  We have always been really good about spending alone time with Madison as we see the amazing results of our dedication -- her confidence and her joy.  

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These past few days I had the amazing opportunity to pour into my daughter Madison's life. Madison and I went to Camp! We packed up and headed to Spruce Lake Wilderness camp for a parent child mini week of camp.  It was an amazing time to pour into Madison's life both emotionally and spiritually.  This trip re-reminded me of not only what an important job being a mommie is, but also what an amazing, beautiful and fun filled journey motherhood is. 

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We hiked, kayaked, zip lined, swam, laughed and prayed together.  So amazing.  An experience we will never forget.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

{throwing back my lemon}

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It's funny how at times we think we have things figured out, particularly Gods everyday directions for our life -- then bam, the outcome we expected doesn't happen, our path takes a different direction.  I mentioned a few weeks ago that our new home fell through after we learned of a very large issue with our current homes septic system. The problem is real big -- like twenty to thirty grand and a year long process to fix big. 

So let just get all the jokes out there -- it's a real crappy situation, it really stinks and it's a huge freakin pain in the a@$. 

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We totally thought we had it all figured out, but it looks like the Owens family is going on a little detour -- we have been handed a big old juicy bitter lemon. So here's the deal. I hate lemons and I really hate lemonade. Why is it that everyone says to make lemonade?  That stuff gives me the chills -- way to sweet and way to sour. 

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So this is my challenge to my self. I'm gonna choose to take that lemon, throw it back and demand an orange. After all, isn't God in the business of making all things new, changing them, making them totally different?  In the Bible God took men and women who were what we would call -- the really bad boys and girls, the big time sinners and not just patched them up, he wouldn't just make their bitter hearts sweeter but he would totally and radically transform their lives -- make something new.  God saved armies that were doomed for failure and not just made their loss a bit less bitter but but gave a whole new unexpected outcome -- a huge victory. 

Why?  

Cause that's what God is all about. He is the makin' things brand spanking new business. He's all about taking a crappy situation and transforming bitterness into pure and beautiful love, taking grief and loss and opening the floodgates and allowing deep joy to pour through. 

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We are so grateful for this life we live -- even with the pain and hardship we have endured.  I always remind myself that without a battles there can be no victories.  God is so faithful and we fully trust him with every aspect of our lives.  

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So there it is. I'm throwing back my lemon life handed me and gladly accepting the orange God is just waiting to place in my hands. 

There will be no lemonade for me. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

{Turning Three}

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Today we are so happy to celebrate Jayden's third birthday. As it was with Angela, the first birthday home with us after adoption is so very special.  This day we celebrate another year of life but also, even deeper, we celebrate a new beginning, a life filled with unconditionally and unwavering love.  

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This week I was cleaning out our medical and adoption files and came across Jayden very first medical records from around 5 weeks of age when his brain trauma and abuse occurred.  Its really hard to swallow.  Even though I know the story and details by heart it still hurts so bad to read the details spelled out on paper.  But somehow the details in that paper work make this day even more exciting.

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Not only do we look at Jayden and see this amazing child full of spunk and energy, but we see a child who beat the odds -- who survived.  I'm not sure if I ever told you this, but Jayden went into full cardiac arrest following the main portion of his trauma, essentially his five week old, tiny body died.  Somehow, this little boy fought his way back and from that point on never stopped fighting.

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Today we celebrate his beautiful life and also thank God for his hand of protection over our sweet little boy.  We thank God for saving Jayden just for us -- for me, his mommie, to love so deeply, watch grow, help overcome and ultimately watch his little mind and body heal and help him find amazing joy in knowing that God loves him so very much and has never once left his side.    

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Happy 3rd Birthday Jayden!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

{Officially and Forever Ours}

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Today we went to court and finalized the adoption of Jayden -- an amazing day that we will forever remember.  Adoption is so amazing.  We really didn't need a judge to tell us that he was forever ours, but hearing him declare Jayden our own, as if born unto us, pretty much takes my breath away.

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The same judge that finalized Angela's adoption also was able to finalize Jayden's.  It was so very beautiful to sit in that courtroom thinking back to last year.  Wow -- our family has grown and changed in amazing ways.  

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Adam and I are daily amazed that God would choose us for this -- to have this opportunity to be mommie and daddy to these four beautiful children, all so very unique and all sent to earth with such deep purpose.  

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With the legal finalization of Jayden's adoption comes the wonderful gift of being able to share him with you -- without having to cover his handsome little face.  Isn't he amazing?  Jayden is such a beautiful little boy with amazing facial expressions.  Jayden often has difficulty expressing his emotions thought facial expressions due to his brain injury -- but when he does he goes big -- real big.  In fact Jayden not only smiles with his mouth but totally smiles with his hands and feet as well.

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Thank you to all of you for supporting us on the new chapter of our families story.  We feel your love and support, and that makes this journey all the more fun!