Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom

Y'all, my sweet Momma turned 80 years old yesterday and I think you will agree... 
 
 
 that she does not look 80!


She also does not act 80 and just loves her grandchildren


Her greatest desire is to see one of her grands walk down the aisle and because this guy...


is her oldest grandchild and because at 15 years of age, he is not ready to take that walk...


I know in my heart that she will be here 10 years from now, when he may be ready!

My sweet momma is not just beautiful on the outside but oh so beautiful on the inside as well.
 
 
She taught me so much about how to love and to nurture and to have compassion.

She taught me how to be a mom and I wonder if she sometimes thinks that she may have taught me too well.  
 
You see how I am blaming it all on you, Mom!

Hehe!

More on that later!

Anyway, when I see my children loving on my Mom, it just melts me.  Their great love for her is never forced and always given with such joy and that is simply because she is awesome and loving and fun and caring and interested in who they are and what they are interested in and that is such a gift for them and for me!

Happy 80th 21st birthday Mom.
 
You are one of the main reasons I am who I am and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the Mom that you were and still are. 
 
I love you so much and don't tell you nearly enough how important you are to me, so...

I LOVE YOU MOM

and I hope that your 90th birthday will be just as fun as your 80th, just with even more "grand" love to go around!
 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Thoughts...

There is one thought that the Lord has placed on my heart recently and it has been reinforced over and over again the closer we get to Easter...


I want to live a life, worthy of His death.


Step by step He is showing us how - His path for us and step by step we are following.  More on this, hopefully soon.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Any Guesses...

as to what this might mean for us???


YEP!!!

WE ARE OFFICIALLY LID!

PRAISE THE LORD!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

An Orphan

An orphan

That is a term that I use sparingly when talking about a child

A term that I never use for Lucy because she is our daughter, however, at this moment in time, the reality is...


she is an orphan and the other day, her reality came crashing down on me like a ton of bricks.

Through a wonderful contact, a God given contact, the Lord is preparing my heart and giving me a glimpse into Lucy's reality...


an orphan's reality.

We received some pictures and video of our precious girl a few weeks back and as grateful as I am to have them, these particular glimpses broke my heart and the reality that is our daughter's life right now, as well as so many other precious children, just took my breath away.

In every single picture and all throughout the 2 videos they sent, my sweet Lucy was sad and in tears.


Now, I know that she could have just been feeling sick or tired (we were told she wanted to go to bed) or wasn't allowed to do something she wanted to do (like go to bed), or, or, or – but the hopelessness that was so evident on her beautiful face spoke to me in a way that looking at hundreds of files of waiting children, watching their videos and reading of their struggles, could not...

Lucy's pictures and videos shone a glaring light on the reality of so many “orphans”

It was so hard to sit here and stare at those pictures, watch those video and listen to her cry and Lucy's reality slowly began to seep into every inch of this Momma's heart.

I mean this is what I do - every - single - day...

I read files, I watch videos, I look at pictures - of - orphans and their reality is never far from my heart.

I remember one night, after reading several heart breaking files and praying over several sweet, precious faces, I reviewed a video before I posted it to my site and there in that video was the cutest little 4 year old boy.

As I read his file and watched his adorable video, one of the very few shows I watch on t.v. - H*use H*nters happened to come on.

As I watched this incredible little boy who, despite his circumstances was full of joy, this child whose special need will make him wait longer than he should, who was smiling and laughing and waiting, this very nice couple on H*ouse H*unters was trying to find their dream second home in Florida. This very nice couple who, I am certain worked very hard to be able to make this happen was complaining about every single beautiful home they looked at. One didn't have granite counter tops, one didn't have a pool, one didn't have this or that or the other thing and all the while, this precious boy was smiling for the camera, performing for his “hoped for” forever family and the contrast between these two realities was sobering.

I sobbed.

I sobbed for this boy, this orphan.

I sobbed for this couple whom I know nothing at all about, who could very well give lots of their well earned money to charity and make missions trips every summer, but whom, to me, at that moment in time, represented everything in this fallen world that is so altogether backwards, everything that society thinks is important, the symbols of success, the taking care of #1 mentality.

I sobbed for the beautiful aging out girl whom I have been advocating for, for so long, whose file brought me to my knees when, as I was reading it, I realized what they were preparing her for.

It was obvious as I read her update and saw that she was in “school” to learn massage, physical training, computer, hair cut, and labor skills...


that they were preparing her to age out - at 14 - and for her, that is less than one year away.


I sobbed as I considered our Lord's words...


Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.


James 1:27


“look after widows and orphans”


“keep oneself from being polluted by the world”


Pretty clear and powerful words.


I do not think there is anything at all wrong with being financially blessed by the Lord but I do know that the Lord had to bring Hubby and myself to our knees financially to get our attention and I am so incredibly grateful that He did and...


He is not done with us yet.


The Lord is doing a good and mighty work within my dear Hubby's heart and I hope to be able to elaborate a bit more in the coming weeks.


So please pray with me for these precious children, these orphans, for more and more hearts to be moved for their plight, their reality and for our Lucy, soon to be no longer an orphan and for our family as we pray through what the Lord's will is for us right now and stay tuned.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

All "Boxed In"

So once again, our old vacuum was just no match for our full house.

We had to retire ole' Bessie for something that well, actually worked!

When ole' Bessie began to spit the dog hair back out at me, I knew it was time for her to go, so I called up Hubby and asked him to stop and get us a new vacuum, nothing fancy, just one that would suck in, not blow out!

Heh!

When he came home with the new and improved "Bessie", I don't know who was happier, me or the kiddos, cause once "Bessie" was out of the box...


this began to happen...


and even at 13...


and 15....


the box is more fun than what's inside...


for them anyway...


for Momma....


nothing is more fun....

than a hair-less house...

 and the dogs are all breathing a sigh of relief cause...

 without a vacuum

 
just sayin!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bookbag Treasures!

Found in precious Lizzie's bookbag


Your family loves you right back my sweet child!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

TOUGH CONVERSATIONS

It has begun...

the tough questions - the “whys” and the “how come” and the “what does she look like” and the unspoken, “what if”. 
 
 
I have always made sure that we talked openly about Lizzie’s birth family. We pray for them at night and ask that the Lord bring them peace. I have always wanted this to be a “safe” conversation for her and up until now, she hasn’t asked too many questions. She hasn’t seemed all that interested, not enough to ask too many questions anyway. 
 
I assume that with the work that I do and with Lucy’s adoption, the questions have begun to take shape in Lizzie’s heart.
 

The kids all pick certain children from my advocacy site to pray for. They have their pictures by their beds and they pray for them until, hopefully, they find a family. They do ask questions about these children and we talk about them and we talk about adoption and we talk about China but Lizzie just has not connected her story with theirs so much... until now, until Chaz...

Months ago, we were talking and praying about my dear friend, Angie, and the fact that one of her waiting son’s had a best friend named Chaz, who, if he didn’t find a family, would age out in the same exact month that Mrs. Angie would bring her son (Chaz’s best friend) home. We prayed for Chaz that night and a few nights after, hoping that a family would step forward for him.

Well, no - one - did and sure enough, wonderful Chaz aged out and aged out 4 days before his best friend leaves to go home with his forever family. We hadn’t really talked a lot about Chaz recently and concentrated more on praying and asking the Lord to provide for Mrs. Angie’s adoptions, which He did! Praise Him!

However, a few days ago as we were praying for their travel, Lizzie said, “Mommie, we need to pray for Chaz cause he is aging out right when Mrs. Angie’s son is getting “dopted.”

Sigh…. Yes, sweet baby girl, yes. 
 
 
Then the questions started and the connections began to be made and the “whys” and the reality of it all - for these waiting children and for my sweet girl.

I don't ever want Lizzie to be ashamed of where she comes from and how she got here and I try to help her to understand but I don't have all the answers and I know the questions will get harder as she gets older. 
 
So, for now, I try to help her to understand what a 6 year old can understand about being abandoned and about being chosen, about how the Lord can take a bad thing and turn it into good. 
 
I want her to feel safe asking questions and to know that she can feel sad or confused or angry or however she feels about it all and that I will always be willing to listen, to wonder with her and to cry with her when she needs it. 
 

This precious child of mine has a deep pocket of sadness within her that we have only just begun to reveal and to heal.
 
 However, she also has a deep capacity to love and a compassion that is so strong, I can see how it hurts. 
 
How do I see it? 
 
I see it because the Lord knew right where Miss Lizzie belonged. 
 
Yep, She and I share very similar hearts and I think we needed each other in a way that only she and I can see and I am so thankful that the Lord chose us to love this precious child.
 
He entrusted Lizzie to us and I trust that He will continue to provide us with the wisdom to parent her as well as the answers that she will need and the opportunities to allow her to grieve and to heal.
 

Lizzie, you are one very special child and I can only imagine what you are going to accomplish with your huge heart and your determination and your desire to help any and all who need help.

The Lord has a wonderfully unique plan for you my love and I feel so blessed to be able to watch it unfold. 


So, bring on those tough questions, let's have those tough conversations and trust that through it all He is readying you, my darling child, preparing you for what He created you for and while I may not always have all the answers...
 
He does!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sunday Snapshot - Happy Birthday Sweet Emmeline!

There she goes again...


Getting another year older....


and just cuter and cuter!


My sweet Em is 7 years old today and even though she won't admit it...


She is such a great mix of girlie girl and tough tomboy!


I guess that's what you get when you cross a princess with 3 older brothers!


I fought the whole girlie girl, princess thing for a long time but...


I have finally yielded to the mightier power!

Those princesses fight dirty y'all!  Heh!

This year my beautiful princess decided that, instead of a party, she would like to go out with me and do a little shopping.

She has wanted an American Girl Doll for a very long time and was finally able to convince Hubby and myself to let her JuJu get one for her!




So, we went out in search of the stuff of princesses and American Girl Dolls accoutrement!

 We found the perfect spot and spent most of our time there just admiring all the sparkly stuff and trying on the tiaras!


 
We finally ended up with matching princess dresses for my sweet princess and her soon to be sidekick, doll!

 
We ended the day with lunch at her most fav, fine dining establishment, W*ndy's, where we enjoyed some fine cuisine and even finer conversation!

 
It was a good day and I will cherish every last second...



cause my girlie girl is another year older and another year closer to not being my "little" girl anymore...

 
however, what a true joy it has been to watch you grow and laugh and love. 

You are tough one minute and nurturing the next.

You love princesses, cartwheels, babies and math and can say things that just take my breath away and I thank the Lord everyday for the chance to know you and to love you! 

 
Happy birthday Princess Em!
To read more Sunday Snapshots, please go to Stefanie's wonderful blog here

Ni Hao Yall
 

Friday, March 1, 2013

So about a month ago, girls had their very first, ever, "go home with a friend from school" play date.


They were So excited and I was excited for them and...


just a little sad for me.


I know how fast the years go and I just want it to sloooooow down.


Lizzie still fits in my lap but my dear Em has legs and arms hanging all over when we snuggle up.


The days of Franklin and Little Bear are fading away and it makes this momma just a teeny bit sad