Wednesday, June 29, 2011

5 months as HER family



5 months 
of 
loving, 
laughing, 
and enjoying 
the beauty
 in god's direction.
blessed
beyond
words.


Monday, June 27, 2011

t-shirts for baby Ghana


sporting our shirts in muscat, oman!!!

 i've been waiting for god's sign.......his direction as to where my left-over t-shirts could help.  i had it in my head from the first day that i wanted to help someone else the way that we had been blessed throughout our adoption.  well, a couple of weeks ago we attended a ugandan children's choir at a local church.  when it was over, the gal sitting in front of us turned around and asked if we had adopted aregash.  when i answered she said that they were waiting for their baby boy from ghana, africa to come home.  we talked for quite awhile and i felt an instant connection.  we even talked about the financial aspect and i suspected that this was it.  i had been feeling like the family i could help would be someone local who i could have a lasting friendship with and our kids would be friends.  i offered my shirts and she accepted with a few tears.  i can see a blossoming friendship.  if you'd like to follow their story you can visit her blog here.  and if you'd like to purchase a shirt to help their little man come home you can just purchase them on my blog page and all of the proceeds will go back to them.  you can even see a picture of this sweet boy on her page (very different from ethiopian adoptions where the child cannot be shown until the embassy appt is over).  they also have a "chip in" button if you just want to donate monies. :0)

front of shirt

back of shirt
the remaining sizes ad colors are listed on the right side of this page......this is all that is available at this time.  
let's do this friends!!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What would you do to help 3 boys come home to their family????

There are ALWAYS things we can do to help our friends.....ALWAYS.  It's just a matter of being creative and motivated.  I have made a friend...never met her in person, but through blogging (it's such an amazing thing). You can read more about their story HERE  
The Mama bought one of my t-shirts for our fundraiser when we were working on bringing Aregash home.  I felt the need to reply and ask her how she came upon our shirts.....and a lovely friendship began.  We have emailed back and forth about our stories/struggles in the adoption process and she has been a sounding board when I needed it.  

there are 3 light-colored necklaces and 1 dark left

beautiful work by the people of Uganda, Africa

I had already promised my left-over shirts to a local family to help with their fundraiser, and I was having a hard time coming up with an idea since we live soo far away from each other.  Soooooo.....I remembered I still have 4 Ugandan necklaces left and I am going to give the proceeds to them.  If you would like to purchase one to help their family you can click the "Add to Cart" button on the right side of this page and select the dark or light beads. 


AND I am on my way to my friend Melanie's house to try to sell some furniture (and a computer) at her rummage sale....this too will help my friend and her family bring their 3,4, & 5 year old boys home to their new family.  This is AMAZING stuff people!!  These little boys are soooo excited to meet their new mommy and daddy and all of their siblings!  I can't wait to see them all united!  This happened really fast and there is a big-time fee of $20,000 that needs to be paid right away.  I know what it's like and so do many of you.  But we all know that He will provide what they need and I am soo humbled to help, even if it's only a little bit.
If you feel the desire to help this beautiful family you can go to their blog page and purchase a t-shirt or just donate.  

Monday, June 20, 2011

content in cuteness......


so far our summer has consisted of baseball, baseball, and more baseball.

at storybook island.....our childhood past-time

 and this is what what we resort to for nap-time.  a good piece of shade.....next to a garbage can at (you guessed it!) the baseball game.

she's not really sleeping


after-game happiness--yep, we won at the last minute

and in the few moments we get between games and  rainy days we work on this a little bit

our beautiful walkway in our backyard

and then we stop for a pose

in the strawberry patch



and sometimes we just find one.......a strawberry

but why are they soo tiny?  the strawberries, i mean.
feeling soo happy and content and grateful this particular monday.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Progression in Transition

those of you who know me know i'm not the silent type.
i haven't been quiet about about my adoption struggles.
i'm not afraid to tell how it's been hard, like really hard for me.
i shared early on how the beginning transition period was stressful and what we were doing to get through it all.....read some here
i always keep in mind that people may be disappointed in me and my feelings.
but i think it's necessary and totally helpful for other families to know the things that other adoptive/adopting families go through....so we all know 
we 
aren't 
alone.


she wasn't an infant when we brought her home (not to say that that is easy either).
she was almost three by the time she came to be a part of our family.
she has a story....she has memories....she has a personality.
when she first came home she tested the waters to see where she fit, if she fit, what she could get away with.
would we still love her even if she chose something else to wear? if she had a meltdown over being told NO? when she pushed her food away?
i'm sure she was wondering, "what will my new family be capable of providing for me?".  


the first 6-8 weeks was really hard because she still wasn't quite sure of her relationship with her daddy (which is beautiful now) and i was more like a single parent at that point--she wouldn't even let him look at her.  i was exhausted from over-thinking everything and trying to give her everything she needed without having to undo everything later when the rules would change.
 resentment began to creep in, i think. and please believe me when i tell you how hard that is to admit.  we waited a grueling year for this blessing of pink that god granted us.  it's pretty much all i thought about, talked about. 
my poor friends.  
this was the biggest step in faith i had ever taken...that dic and i had ever taken together.....and maybe the biggest that our family will ever take as a whole (i hope not).  and somehow i came to the point where it took such an effort for me to find joy.  when dic worked soo hard to play with aregash and show her how fun and loving he was, then our youngest son felt the void.  when i tried to fill his void, she showed jealousy like i have never seen in a child.  
i was torn. 
 and i stayed torn.  
it began to feel like when i was pregnant with my second child and i wasn't sure how i was going to be able to spread the love between two children.
how do i love these four children equally, always having to keep in mind that one came from a hard place?

i talked to friends (especially adopting friends) who have experienced similar things in their lives and it was a comfort.
but it didn't fix what i was feeling.
they would say "it will come......
the love will come".
and i felt despair and shame.
pre-adoption the worry was more about "will she love us?"  "will she attach to us?"
i never once had a concern that my feelings could be different for a child not born of my body.
i don't think there is ever a way to prepare your mind and heart for this.
i mean, how can i not feel "love" for this child that i loved from clear across the world. the child that god placed in my heart years down the road and the child that he knew from the beginning of time would be ours?
please try to understand that i have always loved her...it's just a different kind of love--a learned love.  
i cry now writing this. 
 knowing that many of you who read it will judge and not understand. 
 but then again....how could you?  if you have not been in my shoes?  it's like saying you know about being a parent when you've never done it at all.
i have enough shame and guilt for all of us, believe me.

and this is where i don't get when people don't believe in god. 
 because he is always the answer.
i have prayed for the four months she's been home that god would soften my hardened heart.  
where did this darkness come from?  
why can't i see the joy in something soo apparent....
something soo simple...soo precious?
i have asked for forgiveness.  for the times i was far less than perfect.  for instead of welcoming happiness and love and joy i let fear and frustration and sadness creep in.
it is never what i intended or expected or wanted...i think anyone would know that.
it was what it was.


and through it all she loved me (even though one day she broke my heart when she said she didn't).
she forgave me.  
i have always known to tell my kids i'm sorry when i have hurt their feelings and she is no exception.
even when she didn't understand english yet it seemed as though she truly understood what i was saying and gave me grace.
things have progressively gotten better, as i was assured they would be.
i am feeling the peace that god promised when our journey began and i am so very grateful for that.  the sun is finally shining and the birds are singing and i am happy.
this child of god. my child of god is with us.
i showed her how to fold her hands up when she talks about our family.
to show how we are all intertwined and connected....
together.
i have always said she is the missing piece to our puzzle.
she is.
she is perfect for me.....for our family.
god knew what he was doing when he placed her in our hearts.
this was always the plan.
i was wrong to ever question that, even when things have been soo difficult.
god tells me that i need to stop being soo hard on myself 
(and so do all my friends)....
that it's only been 4 months since she came to us.
nothing can ever prepare our hearts for such a huge transition.
some people handle it with ease, while others struggle more.
he tells me to stop thinking and just to love.
love isn't always easy and it doesn't always come in perfect form, 
but love can heal anything....anyone.

and so we move on with contagious smiles and answered prayers.
hearts are softened and god is glorified.

it took me some time to fill in the blanks.
 saying that it has been emotional is an understatement.

 i don't want to be that person who sits back and waits while others are hurting.
if i can help one more family to get through their trials, 
even if by knowing they aren't alone,
then i will do it.

one of my adoptive mama friends gave some of the best advice.....
just keep holding and loving and praying
and the 
rest 
will 
come.

thank you for your compassion even when it may not be a part of your story.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Dinosaurs

wondering if dinosaurs "come alive" when in the statue-state


The beginning of the week we ventured out for the first time since school got out. 
 We had fun. 
 I plan to have more of these days...
many many more. 
 See here what it looked like.

you can see THAT dinosaur from all over town!


LOVE this one of Zachie--I spent several days here every year of my life.




my mom has pictures of me and my siblings just like this


never too old for  this :0)














flesh-eating dinos!!


he can't keep from smiling while he's being eaten alive!  Good Times!

OBVIOUSLY we went to Dinosaur Park.......
Aregash's first time and she wasn't quite sure if the dinos would move at any given second.  
So we played with this a lot.  
It was fun.  
She had fun.  
We giggled and giggled and she wants to go back and take daddy.
Soo happy summer is finally HERE! 
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