Tuesday, April 17, 2018

CP SUCKS

Cerebral Palsy just sucks...

and sometimes no matter what we say or try to do...

it just sucks...

not because God somehow messed up but because it is a fallen world where there is pain and hardship and...

disappointment...

Ever since Lucy has been home, she has watched her siblings play soccer.


For years, she has cheered them on and for years...


she has wanted to play soccer, just like 3 of her brothers...


and 2 of her sisters.



At half time, she heads out to the field with her willing siblings and tries so hard to make those legs work, to keep her balance and to run...


sometimes I think that is Lucy's greatest desire...

to be like everyone else and just run.

It can be hard to watch but I have also watched in awe as Lucy's determination inspires those who didn't even realize that they needed inspiring.

We talk about that a lot.

She knows that one day, she will be totally and completely healed in heaven, that she will run into the arms of Jesus when her time in this life is done.

She knows that God is good and that she is "fearfully and wonderfully made" and that the Lord will use all of this for His purposes and His glory.

She knows that He could heal her right now, right here in this life, but she also knows that He may not...

She knows that there is a job for her, a purpose and that the Lord has provided her the strength and courage to be His hands and feet, to inspire others through her joy and her determination.  

She knows that every time she falls down - and - gets - back - up...


she is fulfilling a purpose and showing others what it means to love Jesus and to find her joy in that unimaginable love.

She is also, however, 9 years old and while all these things are tucked away in her heart...

there are times when she just wants to be 9 years old and do "normal" 9 year old stuff...

and soccer was part of the picture of "normal" for her.

Surely as soon as she had a team...

surely as soon as she had a jersey...

surely as soon as she had cleats and shin guards...

surely as soon as she stepped on to that field...

she would be "normal"... just like everyone else... just like her siblings.

So, after a couple of years of searching and even trying to start something ourselves, we found a team.

Lucy was so excited.

I was nervous.

I wanted it to be wonderful, to be everything she had been dreaming of...

but sometimes dreams don't come true, not the way we want them to or think they should.

It was an awesome program.  


Those who were leading it were wonderful and so excited to share what they were doing with Lucy...


but it just wasn't the "normal" she was longing for.


It was a good program but it didn't "fix" her legs.


It was a good program but she still fell down.


It was a good program but her walker got in the way.


It was a good program but she still could not run.


It was a good program but she still had cerebral palsy....


We will go back and she will play again cause that is just Lucy.

This precious child, who only 5 years ago had never heard the name of Jesus, loves Him so completely and so fully that she will continue to get - back - up, with a smile on her face that so beautifully reflects that love.  

Yep, CP sucks and this is hard.  

There is so much emotion and energy poured out onto my kiddos, every single day and there are some days that I look at those around me and I too long for "normal".

I imagine the athlete Lucy would have been.

I imagine the songs Maggie would sing.

I imagine the sights that Will would see.

I imagine healed wounds for Lizzie.

I imagine the family vacations that never were, the earthly possessions that were never purchased and the retirement account that would never have been drained.

Yep, this is hard but it is within those moments of longing that the Lord ministers to me.

What a gift this is.  It is raw and it hurts but what a gift.

So many people don't get to feel this.  So many people have "normal" but they have become numb.

The Lord takes those moments of longing for "normal" and transforms them into moments of longing for Him.  It is within the moments of pain and hurt and struggle and disappointments that God's love for us is the clearest.

So we - keep - getting - up... 

and Lucy inspires us to keep smiling and loving and trusting that one day she will run and Maggie will sing and Will will see and Lizzie will be healed and we will no longer long.

Keep fighting baby girl.

CP sucks but you are not defined by the limitations if your body.

Love this from Joni Erickson Tada


God is working in you and through you sweet one...

Monday, April 16, 2018

Update Complete

Back to our regularly scheduled life!

*grin*

Thank you for your indulgence as I have attempted to update here as it was just too difficult to update during our trip and newly home.

Will continued to amaze us with the ease of his transition.

Not that it has been entirely easy but it has been entirely blessed.

It also doesn't hurt that Will is number 8 kiddo and number 4 adoption.

We have BTDT and have learned to just release it all to the One who knows the beginning, the middle and the end!

In other words, we are much more "chillaxled" this time around, because He has prepared the way and we are resting in that!

New updates to come.

Back to "Normal"

Posted on February 12th



Yeah, not sure Will fully understands just what he has gotten himself into! Bwhahahaha!


We are still doing pretty good! 


Will had a few teary moments yesterday, which is totally expected and understandable. We have been waiting and watching for it. 


I told him that it was ok to feel sad and that he had been through a lot of changes. He went to his room for about 5 minutes, came back down, asked if he could have some potato chips and that was the end of it.


Chips and chocolate were English words learned very quickly in China!


We know more will follow and are ready but for now, we are just thankful for the laughs... 


and the bonding and the ease with which Will lives life.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Welcome Home Will

Posted on February 3rd



Home with the newest US citizen!!! 


15 hour flight with no throwing up! 


Thank you all so much for supporting, donating and praying us there and back!

So many emotions swirling in my heart but so exhausted!

Our boys and some of our precious church family surprised us with the sweetest welcome home at the airport, while Grandmothers and Maggie and Lucy waited at home.





More once I am rested and feelings are processed but I can tell you that Maggie has not left his side!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Goodbye China

Posted on February 2nd.



Here I am asking for prayer again! We are getting ready to leave China! I have such mixed emotions about leaving this time. Will is getting ready to leave the only life he has ever known and I just can't stop thinking about how it should have been for him. He seems so ready but it has to be hard.


Please pray for his transition home and please pray for the 15 hour flight we are getting ready to endure, with no Google translate! Our flight leaves at 1:30 am. Please keep us in your prayers as we fly home! Can't wait to see my kiddos at home and my puppies and my kitties!


These pics are from dinner last night. We found an Irish Pub and it was awesome!




From Lizzie - they have soccer on tv

From Em - they have chicken tenders

From Me - they have salt

From Chris - they have Irish Beer

From Will - they have spaghetti

So ready for home but not ready to say good bye to China.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

800...

Posted on February 2nd after Lizzie's orphanage visit



Thank you all so much! Lizzie and I had a long talk last night. 

So much for her heart to take in.




So much I want to tell you all about that visit, like the amazing art work some of the aged out kiddos had done... 






and the beautiful gift they gave her at lunch... 


and the precious faces of those who had been there too long and those who had just arrived...

Both without hope...

They have a pet goat that they have raised from a baby...


their own veggie garden...


and a wonderful program in which their aged out kiddos can work...


 and create...


 and feel productive.


We were actually able to purchase some of the ceramic pieces!



Will was a trooper, laughing and talking with all of the nannies! 

He is such a flirt! 

We are gonna have to watch this one! 

*grin*

In the end though, as beautiful as their buildings were and as amazing as their therapy rooms were... 


it is still an institution and there are 800 children there y'all! 

800!!

Please, if any of this has stirred your heart and you think the Lord may be leading you toward one of the precious ones who wait, please just ask!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Ten Years Ago...

Posted on February 1st


Ok so it is all too fresh. There are no words right now. Only emotion, real and very raw.


Did her bio Mom think of her today?



She would not have known the daughter she could not raise was...

10 years later...  so close.




Two of her nannies were still there...



along with 800 children...



We saw only a small portion of those precious, waiting ones...













It was a good day, a healing day but a hard day and one day soon, I know the words will come...


but not today.


Thank you for your prayers. They were felt and felt very deeply.