Saturday, September 20, 2014

One Year Home

WOW!

A little over a year ago, we met this precious one...


 and one week later, this joyful one...


and little did we know how our lives were about to change.


The realities the Lord revealed to us on that trip...


and the realities that were revealed to us once home...


threatened to consume us.

Our new daughters' past realities forever changed us...

and the journey that had begun with Lizzie...


got kicked into high gear and it was hard...


really hard...  *grin*

and it was wonderful... 


really wonderful...


and it was scary...


and it was amazing...


all at the same time!


I am not going to try and cover the last year in one blog post as it is just so much...


so much emotion...


so much heartache and...


so much heart healing...


so many fears shared...


so many dreams born...


so much progress made...

video

 and in some areas, so much more to be made...


but always working and pushing and challenging...

video

 for all of us...

video

 It has been a year of great highs, as I have watched my newest daughters experience the world for the first time and as I have watched my other kiddos experience the way in which Jesus loves...


 and as I have watched as the Lord refines Hubby and myself.

 Clearly, we are learning just as much, if not more than our newest daughters are.

Yes, we are teaching them how to love, how to play, how to learn, how to appreciate the Lord's blessings and how to interact in a family...

but they are also teaching us how to love even when it is hard and how to appreciate the Lord's blessings and how to learn and how to interact in this family, our new family.


Somehow I am not surprised!

Pieces of ourselves are being revealed to us that are not so pretty and just when we begin to lose hope in our ability to stay the course, He shows us pieces, good pieces, strong pieces that we never knew we had!!

The one verse that keeps coming up for me in some pretty amazing ways is 1 Corinthians 13:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I know that we hear this verse a lot at weddings but there is just so much more to these words and right now, we are living this out...

Word by word, line by line, verse by verse, and sometimes we get it right and sometimes – we – just – don't.

There have been many times this past year that we have had to fully trust that we are right where we know He wants us to be.

There have been times that have tested our commitment to living out His plan...

not ours...

and not society's...

but His and lemme tell ya...

that ain't always a bed of roses and that's ok too cause it is just not about this life or our comfort while we are here.

Uncomfortableness...

not something that most people are “comfortable” with but something that can be used to reveal all that the Lord has planned for you.


I can only imagine how “uncomfortable” it must have been for my girls to leave everything and everyone they had ever known, no matter how hard their circumstances were.

They were leaving with a family of strangers, trusting that they would finally be loved, that they would finally be taken care of and that they would finally know what it felt like to belong...


and in their “uncomfortableness” they found love and provision and a sense of belonging.


Sound familiar??

We are all adopted and through some “uncomfortableness”, we have found love and provision and a sense of finally belonging.

It is no wonder that the orphan is never far from the Lord's heart.

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.  Jeremiah 1:27

These precious girls are showing us how it should be done.



The past year has not been as hard as I know it could have been but it has not been as easy as I had hoped it would be.

Maggie and Lucy have worked so hard and come so far...

video

 but our sweet girls still have a long road ahead.

We are still unsure of their ages and still unsure of what their future might look like but one thing we are certain of...

Maggie and Lucy are gifts from God...


beautiful, treasured gifts from God who have survived circumstances, conditions and life experiences that would emotionally cripple most adults.

They have come from hard places and yet they love and they have joy and they teach us what it is to trust...

even when the very ground beneath our feet is shifting.

Lord, thank you for the past year, for Lucy and Maggie and for the beautiful, broken, redeeming journey that we find ourselves called to.

video

I know we have forever changed our girls' lives but the way in which they have changed ours is far greater.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

Saturday, September 6, 2014

One Down and One to Go!

It has been five weeks y'all


Five weeks!

Five loooong weeks...
 
 
 since my brave girl had surgery...
 
 
 and 2 casts that were almost as big as she is!
 
 
 It has been five weeks of Lizzie in a non-weight bearing cast and in a wheelchair!


Um, yeah, Lizzie + wheelchair = frustration and then determination!


After an initial rough period of adjustment, Lizzie made peace with her new "norm" (most days) and just figured it all out - like how to play soccer while sitting on the floor!


She amazes me and yesterday...


the arm cast came off and her fingers look just as amazing as she is and the best news of all...


she was able to change her full, non weight bearing leg cast for a partial, weight bearing, bright yellow cast!


We were all very excited and after only 5 hours out, this is what our Lizzie was able to do....
 
video
 
 Told ya!


 Auh-mazing!!!!!
 
 
In 2 weeks we go back and that bright yellow cast (to match her soccer uniform) will change to a brace and then we are in the home stretch...
 
for Lizzie...
 
cause we also heard the results of Lucy's motion study while we were there and found out that our sweet Lucy will also need to have surgery...
 
on both legs and guess what...
 
 
 yep, she will need 2 full leg, non-weight bearing casts for 6 weeks following surgery!!!
 
 Good times y'all!
 
Seriously though, our little one was not happy about this prospect.
 
 
 She has seen what Lizzie has been through.
 
She and Maggie have prayed for Lizzie at bedtime and...
 
 
 she is very upset about not being able to take a shower and feel clean.
 
 Lucy likes to be clean and I know where that is coming from and it breaks my heart!
 
So, right around Christmas, we will be back at Shriners and back at the wheelchair rental place and hopefully not in traction - me that is!
 
Please rejoice with us for our amazing Lizzie and please pray for our Lucy, who is not quite as determined as her sister and a whole lot heavier...
 
If this keeps up, I will never have to workout again!

*grin*

Glass half full...

right!

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

Monday, September 1, 2014

School Days

So the first day of school has come and gone and I am just now sitting down to  post about it!

Yep, that is pretty much how things are going around here these days.

Between this...


and this...


and this...






and doctor appointments and therapy appointments and work and oh yeah, sleep...

there is very little time for this...
bummer

So the first day of school came and went - for everyone...
 including this guy...


hehe

and it was good...

especially for this guy!


Who knew teaching 8th grade Geometry could be so much fun!

Oh wait...

I think I did!

Bwhahahahaha

Sorry, just had to add that!

Yep, apparently Mr. H. is a big hit around the boys' school and I don't think anyone who knows Hubby is shocked by that, except for Hubby himself!

Another teacher shared with him that when asked, every single one of her students said that the best thing that had happened since coming back to school, was their new Geometry teacher, Mr. H.!

They told her that they were actually learning and that he made it fun!

I am so proud of him and so happy to see a purposeful spring in his step again!

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.  Proverbs 3:6

Christian is a Junior this year!


Yikes!

Charlie is a high schooler!!


Double Yikes!

They started back this year with the same old same old except...

their Dad gets to hang with them every single day and talk to their friends and talk to their teachers...

all day, every day!

Seriously cramping their style y'all!

*snicker*

 My sweet Caleb also started back after 3 years of staying home with this...


as his classroom...


and as his first day of Non-Homeschool Middle School approached...

the more worried I got!

Not about Caleb mind you...


but about the dogs and myself!!!!

*grin*

No worries though as my sweet boy left us an inspiration jar to use whenever we started to miss him...


  and what did we pick out that very first day...


 I think the girls took it to heart!


Which brings me to Em and Lizzie and their first day!

With all that sweet Lizzie had going on and Em's desire to escape a continuation of 2nd grade drama...

*sigh*

we decided to keep Em and Lizzie home... 
 

  after all, 3rd grade was when I started with Caleb and I would not trade the time I had with him for anything!

So, I settled on Teaching Textbooks for Math, Growing with Grammar and Spelling/Vocabulary, God's Names for Bible, Our American Heritage for History, Read and Understand Science and Read and Think, along with with some cool little fillers from T*rget's Dollar Bin!


Em and Lizzie settled on the sofa, and following in their big brother's footsteps, snuggled right up to Chewy!



 So far so good with these two girlies and I am looking forward to the precious time that I will get to spend with them as is Chewy!

Maggie has been counting down the days until school started again!


 Lucy not as much but she loves their teacher and this year...
 

they get to be mainstreamed for art, computer and music!

Last year, the school rallied around my girls and I am hoping the same for this year.

A few things have already become a struggle, however but I am trusting that they will get worked out and that this year will be just as great as last year and if not, that the Lord will provide another way for us.

I was so not ready for summer to be done, with the craziness extra craziness of school and soccer but the Lord is providing some time for quiet and rejuvenation.

I get to start my day early, running and chatting with my eldest...

 having only two home during the day is certainly quieter than having all seven home all day long - most days anyway... 

 and the time that I get to spend with Maggie and Lucy after school is much less hectic as I have had Em and Lizzie time and get to concentrate on these two for a while!  

I end my day with the girlies all tucked in early and the boys, including Hubby, filling me in on the events of the day.

So I try to remember to be thankful for the moments of slow and easy as well as the moments of craziness extra craziness as this is the season we are in and this is the season that will eventually fade away and this is the season that we will never get back.

So while I search for the peaceful moments, I am just plain thankful for all the moments that He gives us.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  Thessalonians 5:16-18