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Friday, May 11, 2018

Motherhood to me.

Motherhood- it's a word that encompasses so many feelings, emotions and actions. It's a word that stirs a deep love within my soul.

Motherhood is praying for a child, not knowing when he or she might arrive. 

Motherhood is holding your first daughter in your arms, literally amazed at her beauty, amazed that your body actually birthed this human being. It's realizing at that moment that she means everything to you. 

Motherhood is praying for 2 years for a child. It's not giving up when the prayers are unanswered. It's waiting  - waiting for someone one else to give birth. It's jumping everytime the phone rang, thinking your child had been born. It's answering those calls and realizing you have to wait again.

Motherhood is holding your child at 3 days old, not at the moment of his birth. It's holding your son for the first time, and experiencing a sense of calmness that is supernatural. It's in that moment that your mind wonders to God and you know this child was meant to be.

Motherhood is seeing your 3rd child and meeting him for the first time via text message. It's holding him for the first time, only to have your heart break with pain for him as you see him suffering. It's holding a child in the dark NICU for days on end, wondering when he'll stop crying or start eating.

Motherhood is realizing that some of my children are loved by someone else just as much as I love them. It's remembering that someone else birthed them and love them in their own way. It's remembering to honor and love that other mother always, in actions and words.

Motherhood is sleepless nights. Far too many sleepless nights. It's getting up just to "check on them" one more time.

Motherhood is loving your child so fiercely that you never understood the concept of "Mama Bear" till it was put to the test.

Motherhood is being humbled to realize that God placed each one of my children into my arms and allows me to love them and guide them to understand the greatness and beauty of Christ.

Motherhood is fighting hard for your child, when people look at you and judge you silently. It's not caring what the looks means. It menns having a backbone stronger than your child's and being the best advocate you can be for them. It's being their voice when they don't have one.

Motherhood is a place I call home.

Friday, February 9, 2018

A year ago today, our world turned upside down.

We say often that the day we got the call about Josiah was probably the darkest day of our adoption journey to date. I remember it as if it was yesterday. I write about it today because my blog is a journey of my kids, a journal of adoption. And while Josiah's story is filled with alot of tears before he came, those ended the night he was born.

Tomorrow my son turns 1. But it was a Friday night last year that he as born. It goes like this:

After two failed matches in the time frame of 32 days, we were literally at our end. The tears, the uncertainty, the fear of moving forward - we didn't know how much more we could do. The emotions of that day still are very real to me - I could relive that moment still, it's still so fresh.

Rick had come home early, just spent from emotions. He found me sitting in the front room, on the couch, in tears. I had placed a call to the director of the agency we were with, hoping she might have some words to encourage our hearts. Even in the pain and hurt, we still trusted God that somewhere, some how there as a child for us.

As Rick and I starting talking, we were both crying, we were both angry at life, we were both just exhausted from the emotional journey our adoption had take us. We were literally decompressing everything in tears, wondering how much longer we could go on and how much longer our two kids could keep watching us.

And then my phone buzzes. I almost ignored it, but just quickly glanced down. Our old case worker with our old agency that had closed it doors had sent me a PM via FB. All it said was "Hi Amy. I need to call you. What's your number?"

I literally screamed and jumped up. I knew in that instant that this was the call for our child. There was no other reason. I hadn't talked to this gal in over a year.

She called me. It was 5:30pm. The call was simple: "A baby boy is being born as we speak. Would you like to adopt him?"

Within minutes, we said yes. Shocked was an UNDERSTATEMENT of the moment. Going from sheer sadness to extreme joy was weird. Going from being matched to two different girls to now being told we were having a son was weird. Weird is the best word to describe everything happening around us in a whirlwind.

We got a text as Josiah's birth mom was pushing and I remember sitting in Lucas' room with Rick and Ella and Lucas and seeing the first picture of our son when he as less than a minute old. Our first look at him.

On Sunday, Josiah will be dedicated to the Lord. I told Rick his dedication verse needs to be a verse that strongly emphasizes that Josiah was meant to be. That he was meant to be loved. That he was meant for our family after so many losses. That God had it all.

Isa 43:1 is his verse: "Fear not for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name. You are mine."

As Rick and I like to summarize Josiah's arrival into our family:

After two failed matches, a case worker from our old agency which closed our doors, FB's me asking for my number because earlier in the day she had placed another baby boy with another family because she couldn't remember our names, but then she remembers we are friends on Facebook. And then she calls us on the day where Rick and I were at our lowest moment and says, "hey a baby is being born." You just can't make this all up. It's too unreal. It's just God.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Turning 5

He's waited a long time to be one hand and he's super proud of it today!

My sweet son turned a year older today. It was a sweet, relaxing day. He was all smiles, and let's document it folks - he took a NAP today!!!

Ella made a comment to me last night as we were preparing for today. She looked at me in the kitchen and quite matter of factly said,

"So mama - the waiting is over. Lucas has a younger sibling now for celebrating his birthday. You waited a long time for that didn't you?"

And she was right - and to see my three kids celebrate together tonight warmed my heart.

As is tradition for me, I document my kids birthday's on my blog - mainly for me as the years go by.

The last year my sweet boy had grown up ALOT. Probably more than my heart wanted for him to experience and feel. He came to me more than normal today for hugs and to sit in my lap. He knows deep down what today means for him. He knows that P loves him in her own way, although most days he struggles to understand.

My boy, who loves me with the deepest love possible is dear to me. I love you sweetie.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Raw and Real

Raw and real:

Many people assume that adoption is all rainbows and flowers. That once your baby is in your arms everything is perfect. I have to admit to you all - I believed all this once upon a time, naivety at it's finest.

As adoptive children grow up, so does their understanding of their story. They grow into their story - the story of the beginning of them. And as they grow into more information about themselves, the processing of such information can be easy, hard, no big deal or it can rear it's ugly head years later when you least expect it.

Trauma from adoption is real. The trauma of loss first is with a child for life.

Over the last 8 months, we as a family have experienced things that have made our kids feel loss, feel a pain that we were not prepared for. The expectation of two baby girls and then the loss of each of them has lasting impact on my kids. The suddenness of Josiah into our lives and us leaving our kids for 15 days has not come without suffering.

Yes, kids are resilient. I know that. Everyone tells me. What people don't know is that the trauma my kids have felt is now showing itself outwardly and I was not at all prepared for it.

The last 8 months have probably been the most challenging, the most difficult, the most heart wrenching for me. Yes, they have been sweet as well - I assure you. But more often than not, my mama heart is breaking for my kids. It breaks when I see pain and hurt that can't be expressed into words so it's shown in other ways.

I write this to simply say - please pray for us. If we don't come to functions right now, or church, or gatherings, or seem distant - please understand. We have two sweet kiddos right now hurting in their own ways . One is questioning everything we have told him for years. He's questioning why? He's questioning his belonging - he is questioning his life and the woman who gave birth to him.  And we have another sweet child who is watching all this from afar. She is getting pushed to the side more often than not and is observing her brother suffer -

We love our kids and sometimes Mama Bear will come out. I don't apologize for that. It's my calling to be the advocate for my kiddo's, even when people don't understand. If you see my kids "gettign away with things" and I don't correct them, please don't judge me. We are learning to connect with our kids and it looks different for us. I've had to give up ALOT that normally I would never think about, but sometimes, connecting vs. correcting is the best solutions for my kids. If my kids seem to push your kids away, or seem extra clingy to me, please understand and give us and them grace. We are walking a road that is long and some days, frankly, I don't have much more to give.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

2 months

The last two months have been a whirlwind. Some days I still feel like I am drowning though.

The arrival of Josiah was one filled with so much joy, hardship, surprise, laughter, deep nights of tears and alot of other emotions I can't put into words.

Going from deep sadness and sorrow to joy over night was actually quite hard. One minute I was grieving the loss of two baby girls in failed matches, every wondering if I'd ever hold my baby, to a call saying a birthmom was pushing. Talk about a roller coaster of emotions!!!

I've learned day after day after day that God is in every step of Josiah's life. Living in a nicu for 15 days brought me a quiet that I needed, a time to reflect and prepare to bring a little guy home who needs alot of love and care. Those first few days at home were scary. I had relied on monitors and nurses to assure me all was fine. When you come home all that is gone.

Despite all the and the time away from our other kids. adjusting to three has been ok.

I think through all this, one thing I know for certain. God knew. I don't but HE knows why Josiah was the one for our family. I often shake my head, questions God why we had to go through an agency closing, finding a new agency, being matched twice and in the end, get placed with a little guy 2 hrs from our house, through a call from our old agency's case worker who is now an adoption facilitator. One can only say that God truly did have a plan :)

We wait for finalization why should happen late May!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Life after pain and uncertainty in Adoption

In the course of our 10.5 years of marriage, 7 of those years have involved our adoption journey. That's alot. This journey that we are on is not at all what I expected. When we started this journey for baby #3 even after walking a difficult adoption road with Lucas, I still, in my butterfly and rainbow mentality thought it would be a piece of cake.

Was I ever wrong.

I remember the day we got the call about Lucas and I turned to Rick and said "I can never doubt again that God does not answer prayer." That was after a 25 month wait.

I find myself still not doubting that truth. But in the same breath, Satan sneaks into my mind and makes me thing twice. 

One failed match. You think it will never happen. You think you will NEVER be that 3% of families that experience such a sudden loss.

Two failed matches - you literally think that's IMPOSSIBLE.

The potential of a third - it just can't.

But the reality of adoption is this - birth mom and birth dads have every right to change their minds. We think it's not fair, but really, it is. The sad part though is when you know that the circumstances allow for a very difficult life for that baby. That is when you question how can this be - that is when you heart goes out to that birth mom and baby and all you can do it pray.

Adoption is born out of a loss that many will never understand. Loss started the journey of an adopted child's life, but hope is what follows them forever. 

I've been told that we are brave to move forward - that we are so strong. The honest truth is we are none of those things. We simply want our baby home. Simple truth. And while our journey is riddled with so very un-normal ways, it's the way we have chosen.

I'm not brave. I question what we are doing EVERY single day. I think of my two kids EVERY single day and my hearts breaks for them as they have to walk this road of pain as well. 

This is the only truth I can rest in when I feel like I can't take another day of this:

Christ has got this and my good is His desire. Christ has got this and I don't. Jesus knows every single detail that frankly, if I actually knew all of them, I would not be able to handle it. Only Jesus can carry those details for me.

I read this today and it's literally my hearts cry: Psalms 40

I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me,

And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.

He has put a new song in my mouth— Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord. Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us Cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered.

It's scary to move forward. It's scary to face the potential of anther failed match. But fear can't rule my thoughts because of this simple truth:

Moving forward WILL bring my baby home. Period. And so we walk in uncertainty every single day, staring at my phone, waiting for the next phone call. But all with a heart resting in Jesus. Because HE knows!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

4 years - wow!

4 years old.

I don't know how we got here so fast but we did!

Life with a boy has been interesting! He's the one that's gotten into paint, Vaseline, climbed his dresser using the drawers as a ladder, put "stuff" on his walls (you know what I'm talking about!), runs around the house in his underwear only unless we are in public, tests the boundaries everyday of bashing his toys into walls, and the list could go on.

Despite all that, he's honestly the cutest thing around. He's a mama's boy and I'm proud to admit it! I kinda am attached to him as well - we've had this bond since he came home. He understand me, he gets me and he loves me.

Adoption is a path that not all folks understand. Adoption is a road that people have opinions about and adoption is a road that, unless you've walked it, you can't explain. It's beauty and sorrow mixed together that makes parenting and loving a child unique. It's a story of the Lord's grace and love and compassion.

I love my son as if I birthed him. Sometimes I have to remember that I didn't :) The love I have for him is incredible and really blows my mind most days.

Today, I just want my son to know that he is loved and cherished by me. He is loved by "P", even though he doesn't know her. I think about his birthmom every birthday, wondering what she is doing and thinking today. I can only rest in the fact that she loves him in her own way, and while I might not understand, it's not my place to judge. She's beautiful and special in a way that only she can be.

So, to my handsome, beautiful boy, mama loves you and I am SO grateful that you are my son.