Friday, May 22, 2015

Special Thinking!

Special needs does not require special families but it does sometimes require special thinking.

When you first start exploring and learning about special needs adoption, one of the big questions is...

“What needs can we realistically handle?”

Looking back on that question now that the girls are home, makes me chuckle a little.

If we had known then, what we know now, would we have signed up for all of this?

I think the Lord would have had to drag us, kicking and screaming, but I know in my heart that He would have gotten us there, one way or another.

It was His plan for us and that knowledge has sustained us throughout all the hard and has helped us to better recognize true blessings, cause y'all, the "pre-adoptive" us...

didn't have a clue!

Except for her clubfoot, I was very familiar with Lizzie's need, Amniotic Banding.

Growing up with my amazing brother, I had a good idea of what she could accomplish which was...


anything she put her mind to! 


With Maggie and Lucy, it was harder, less clear and definitely a leap of faith.

Cerebral Palsy affects kiddos in so many different ways.

We researched and tried to learn as much about the girls and their needs as we could...


 but in the end, it came down to trusting that the Lord had brought them to us and that He would equip us to handle their own unique challenges...

and He has, but it has taken time...

a lot of time...

and trust...

a lot of trust.

At first, I could go from feeling totally equipped to feeling totally overwhelmed all in the span of about 10 minutes or so, and I still do some days but those overwhelmed moments are fewer and farther between and a bit expected with 7 kiddos and 4 dogs and two crazy cats!

Side note: I can't determine if our cats are crazy when they find us or if we make them crazy once here!


Ha!

Anyway, I have learned to take His equipping as it comes and it always comes just when I need it...

not necessarily when I want it but always when I need it.

It usually comes along with an attitude adjustment (ahem) and a new way of thinking, of planning.

For both girls, mobility is a big issue and while Lucy is not in a wheelchair (anymore) and Maggie does not have to wear her knee pads all the time (anymore)...

getting around is still hard and some days...

long distances require lots of patience and lots of pre-planning.

We can't just jump in the car at the last minute and get to where we need to be on time anymore...

cause we were always on time before (wink)

bwhahaha

We can't rush to get anywhere anymore cause Maggie and Lucy just don't “rush” and when they do...


it typically does not end well!

*grin*

So, on the good days when we are feeling all organized and so like...

“I got this”...

You know – smug

Hehe

we plan and it works.

However, on those days when we are not feeling quite as smug organized...

when the kids are not feeling quite as cooperative...

when real life just kind of gets - real...

it is harder but it can still work...

cause you learn a new way of thinking, of improvising and you trust that with each new hurdle and each new solution...

Yep, that is Lucy riding on the cooler!
you are better equipped for the next time and you know that no matter what life throws at you, no matter what may seem like limitations, no matter what you have to re-think... 


it works and it works because the Lord has brought you to it and He is walking you through it!

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

We now have our brand new plate...


strollers for the girls have arrived...

pink for Maggie...


and orange for Lucy...


It has taken over a year and a half to begin to understand their needs...

and ours...

but we are learning and He is providing and while it feels as if some hard fought battles have been won...

there will be more to come...

but God doesn't call the equipped, right?

He equips those He calls and I am learning that on a daily basis.

I am just a Mom and we are just a family and it is through His grace alone that we survive and thrive with 7 kids, 4 dogs, 2 crazy cats and 35 appointments just in 2 months alone..

Yes, parenting precious ones with special needs is hard but it is not impossible and I am definitely not Supermom...

trust me!

It doesn't take a Supermom to choose to parent a child with special needs...

(just ask my kids)

all it takes is a burdened, willing heart and a desire to answer the Lord's plea for these children, following the very special path that He has called you to...

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27

cause in the end, it is you who is blessed, it is you who is grown, it is you who learns about love and mercy and hope and grace...

it is you who is transformed.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

We are learning what it is to love the broken and it is in that place...

that we are learning what it is to be loved in our brokenness.   

Come join us in this place of love, mercy, grace, hope and healing.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

So NOT a Cheerleader Today!

So Lucy's Field Day at school was today.

I have always loved Field Day.
 
The kids get to go outside, run around, play games and just have fun...

and unlike field trips...

parents with siblings are welcome!

So, when I was told that Lucy was going to be a great "cheerleader" at Field Day...

this parent, with siblings showed up...


so that Lucy could be cheered on...


not just cheer for!

Was it hot?


yep
 
video
 
 Was it hard?

video

yep

video

Was it worth it?


 oh yeah...

 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

Between the end of soccer and the end of the school year and our seemingly endless appointments...

Tensions here, have been higher than usual.

We are a bit battle weary, doctor weary and just "real life" weary and it shows...
 
and while our "real life" gets weary, I am also constantly burdened for those who have no mothers to celebrate today...
 
and that reality has been hard for me lately, as I watch more and more precious ones wait.

So... it has been a bit stressful around here lately...

and today began like most Sundays, with the business of trying to get out the door and into Church by 9:00 a.m.!

Something that we just never seem to accomplish.

We always seem to be fashionably late...

but everyone is always so gracious and that very back row is always open and waiting for our tardy crew!

Today was no different...
 
rush, rush, rush...
 
late, late, late...

Except that today was Mother's Day and the Lord gave me a very special Mother's Day's gift.

You see, my eldest decided that he would write me a beautiful poem for this Mother's Day.


He also decided that he would just put it in my purse and wait for me to find it.

So when did I find it??

Yep, right after we skidded to a stop on that very back row at Church.

I found it...

read it...

and lost it!

Yep, right there on that very back row, I cried as sweet Lucy wiped away my tears.

The Lord showed me very clearly, just how blessed I am.

Dear Christian, I hope you understand just how much that sweet poem meant to me and how much the Lord used your beautiful heart to bless me today.
 

 
We went on to spend the rest of the day with my own sweet Momma and the beauty that surrounded me was so very clear...



and vibrant...



and vivid...




and I am once again renewed for another day.

Yep, this Mother's Day as my heart becomes more and more burdened for those who have no mothers, I have been renewed...

as I have pleaded with the Lord for a bit of joy in the midst of this burden...

He heard and He answered...
 
 
and just like Mom's beautiful Day Lilies...


Your mercy and Your grace and Your love is new every single day!

Thank you Lord for this very blessed Mother's Day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

National Honor Society

Meet the newest member of the National Honor Society!


Christian, we are just so proud of you.


Excellent grades don't come naturally for you.

You have to work to get the grades that you do...


so you push yourself and... 

work hard...


and while excellent grades don't come naturally...

your leadership skills sure seem to!


You work hard at school and on the soccer field...


and have earned such respect among your teachers, your peers, your coaches and...


your family!

The Lord has given you a very special gift...

use it wisely and watch as His plan for your life unfolds.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace
1 Peter 4:10

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Ripple Effect

*This is a post I had written almost a year ago and forgot to publish!  It still holds true today!*

Being out at the beach the other day was fun and being in the presence of the beauty that the Lord has surrounded us with always brings me back to a place of peace and trust.


Many times in this fallen world, the doubts creep in and the fear is just below the surface and the days can get hard.


I begin to allow the worry to permeate by thoughts and the expectations of this society override my trust in His plan and in His way...


which is so not the way of the world.


This is usually when the Lord steps in with His awesome reassurance...


and it is many times through my kids.


One question that creeps into those dark places is, "What about our other kids?"


How does this season of struggle and adjustment and lacking affect them?  Adoption is not always easy and our society tells us that we should be able to buy the latest and greatest gadgets out there and with 7 kiddos...

Well you do the math.


Our kids may not get to go to D*sney every year but our kids are doing just fine, thank you.


If you ask my kids if they would like to go to D*sney every year, I am certain they would reply with something like, "Heck yeah!"


If you ask them if they would trade their sisters for a trip to D*sney every year, I am just as certain that they might reply with something like, "Can have both?"


hehe

Seriously though, I know they would not trade the experience of loving their sisters for anything, including a yearly D*sney trip.

Does it make it easy when we have to say no to things that they ask for?

Heck no

*grin*

But these moments help to remind me of what is truly important and that yes, my kids are ok


better than ok


and while they may lack for some of the stuff that the world places value on...

 
the lessons that they are learning are invaluable! 

I love this verse from John 14:27...

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.


Peace!

God's peace!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

High Expectations

Maybe I expected too much...


I know Lucy expected much and was disappointed.


I am certain it will not be the last time and learning how to survive disappointment is good.

This is a good, normal life lesson for our kids.

However...

when the disappointment has everything to do with my beautiful, special daughter's special need...


that makes it a life lesson that I don't think my beautiful, special daughter needs to learn - ever.


We look at our girls as very special indeed...


we do not look at them and see limitations...


so when limitations are forced on them...

it is hard...

when expectations aren't met that could have been...

it breaks my heart.

On this day, she just wanted to fit in...


she just wanted to play with class mates whose friendships were still tender and new...

but that did not happen...

and it could have...

but we are now a society filled with unending, unbending rules and regulations designed to "protect" when in reality it only creates unnecessary boundaries and fear.

A society in which you think it better to spend money on a "special bus" for one child on that child's first ever field trip when that one child's Mom could have driven for free...

and been there to help that child play with her classmates whose friendships were still tender and new.

Sigh...

Lord fill me with grace today as I sort through the anger and pull up my boot straps for the work ahead and while this particular battle is important...

there are bigger battles looming on the horizon...


 and to tell ya the truth, I am a bit battle weary...

but then He gives me this...


and with it the strength to hang in there and trust Him for another day.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. 
Isaiah 40:28-31