Sunday, September 29, 2013

One Month!


We have been home one month already!!!


As with all things, in some ways it seems like just yesterday that we met Lucy and Maggie for the first time...

in other ways, it seems like a lifetime ago.

I can tell ya that right now, by the end of each and everyday, I feel like I have lived a lifetime!

Yep, as hard as all that adoption paperwork is, the sleeves are now rolled up and the real work has begun.

I think most of you all could tell that our trip was rough at times .  

The girls' mobility issues and emotional scars were a tough reality in China but couple that with their devastating reality that our hearts were broken by and you have got yourself one, long trip that was both emotionally and physically draining...
 and I was angry y'all.

I was angry at what we saw, the conditions these precious children lived in, knowing that this, compared to some parts of the world, this was the Ritz!


I was angry and I didn't quite know who to be angry with.

I saw the effects these conditions had on our girls and it broke me, and again, I was angry but this time, honestly, I think I was mostly angry with the Lord because I could not understand why I did not feel totally and completely equipped...

I could not understand why He hadn't just waved his magic wand and fully equipped me for their needs, both physical and emotional, equipped me for the things He revealed to us, the knowledge of what our girls (esp little Lucy) had lived pre-us...

and I was angry.

It took me a while to understand that I was being equipped...

day by day...

step by step...

struggle by struggle and...

joy by joy.

I was scared and did not want to be.

I was exhausted and did not want to be.

I was out of my comfort zone and did not want to be...

but in this place, I had to rely on Him...
In this place, He could be glorified... 

As I look back over the last month, I am in awe of how He has continued to equip and to bless us and yet, I still had to work through my anger, my fear, my flesh.

This is hard, but not as nearly as hard as it could be and that reality is now, finally, settling in.

Yep, I am exhausted and don't have much time for anything (like posting on my blog - hehe) but just when I think I am done, the Lord equips me and right now, I think I am right where I am supposed to be...

in daily dependance on Him!

So, even though you are not hearing from me very often these days, please know that we are tired but good!

Really good!

Lucy and Maggie have had such wonderful transitions.  I mean truthfully, my transition from 5 to 7 kiddos without Hubby here during the week has been harder than their transitions into our loud and crazy family!

They are happy and although we have had some squabbles and some tears, they are mostly just happy and make everyone who meets them, smile!

Wouldn't you smile too???

They are not speaking much English yet but will say "Hello, how are you?" and "potty" and "gentle" and "sorry" and "hungry" and my fav, "Love you Momma!"

They like to eat and love to laugh.

They love to cheer their siblings on in Cross Country and Soccer.

They love to play dress up and barbies and baby dolls.

They love to do "school work" and are making slow but steady progress.

Maggie can sing her ABC's and count to 10 well.  Sweet little Lucy has a hard time even following a dotted line much less counting but she actually drew lines to match shapes this week and that was HUGE for her!

They love to color and have me hang their pics on the fridge.

What must be going through their precious minds??

They LOVE to be tucked in at night!  I swear I think that is their favorite part of the whole day!

There is such joy and contentment on their beautiful faces as I am kissing them goodnight.

How this fills my heart and breaks it all at the same time!

They think their siblings are funny and loud and sweet and they love them dearly and miss them when they are at school!

Our other kids' hearts have just welcomed without question and loved without hesitation!

I learn so much from their precious hearts.

Most of all, Maggie and Lucy are loving their new family and are always up for the next Ham Fam adventure and while my work load has increased significantly since they came home, as my sweet, amazing Lizzie told me... 
"Mom, it has been a lot busier since Maggie and Lucy came home but there has been a lot more love too. That is Jesus, right Momma?"
Right baby girl - that is Jesus!
More to come, promise!  Hang in there with me!

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Ones Left Behind

So I posted this video last night... 
and today found out some amazing news and some heartbreaking news. 
The orphanage has agreed to get 6 of these precious children file ready!! Praise the Lord! 
Sweet Kitty (halleluiah), 
precious Luke, 
adorable Carissa, 
sweet Charlie, 
wonderful Cherie 
and amazing Ethaneal 
will hopefully all have files done in about 4 months!!! 
Praise the Lord for this incredible news! 
However, I was also told that sweet, precious Zeb had passed away. 
Oh my heart, only 7 months old... This sweet child died without truly knowing the love of a family. I have to keep reminding myself that he is no longer without love and is in the arms of our heavenly Father, an orphan no more. 
Please pray that these beautiful children will find the love of a family and that these orphanages will begin to understand that each and every child is worthy.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Images of China

While I am still not quite ready to put into words all that we were shown, all that we experienced, I thought that perhaps I might post some pictures...

images of beauty and of the hardness that surrounds it...

images of orphans.

While none of the following children are file ready, I was promised that they could be made file ready for interested families.

They are considered "unadoptable" 

These beautiful children...

and I am angry...

it is a reality y'all and it stinks.

I know in time, in His time, He will give me the words, the emotions to be able to use what we were shown for His purposes but for now, I just don't have the words or the emotions...

or I have too many.

Here is just a glimpse into Lucy and Maggie's former world, a world that is growing into a memory for them but still very much a day in and day out reality for so many.

I pray that one day, their realities might be forever changed with the love of a family.

Remember, none of these children are file ready but we were told that they could be for an interested family.

These are just a few of the precious ones that we were able to meet.  It broke my heart to have to leave them and while I was completely and utterly overcome, overwhelmed and over-burdened...

I had to try and keep my focus on Lucy and Maggie...

our daughters and orphans no more.

I had to try and keep my focus on the fact that the Lord loves these precious ones and that as burdened as I was and am for them, my burden pales in comparison to the burden they endure, every single day.

Their reality brought me to my knees and I had to take a step back y'all.

I am slowly beginning to get a handle on all of this but have so many thoughts swirling around in my heart and am anxious to see what the Lord is going to do.

Please pray for these beautiful children. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

I am So Sorry!

I never thought I would be that blogger...

you know the one...

the one who posts and posts until...  they get home and then...


Drives me crazy!

and yet here I am - not posting!

So I apologize!

It is not from lack of wanting to post but more from lack of time, energy and the ability to post all the blessings without being able to process all the images that haunt me, all the images that fill my heart every single day.

This trip was hard y'all and I cannot get through a day without thinking about all those precious ones we met and held and loved on...

all those precious ones who are still waiting and many whose wait will never end.

I am still trying to decide how best to use these images, how best to help these precious ones and I am confused and angry and sad and want to just forget, to push these images from my heart because it hurts, it is uncomfortable and hard.

Right now, all I want is to be a mom and just love on my children because it feels safer and doesn't hurt but these images keep flooding my heart and I know that I will have to do something, sometime, when the time is right, when it is His time and His way.

For now, though, I am being a mom and even though "being a mom" is not as easy as it was a month ago, it is what feels right for "right now".

So, we have been home a little over a week and it is amazing the progress we are seeing.

There are still challenges for sure and I know that the challenges will continue but there is progress.

Bringing home 2 older girls with CP is not easy.
We knew that going in, but faced with the day in and day out reality of their needs has been difficult and I have found myself a little angry and disappointed that I don't feel as equipped as I thought I would be, as I thought He promised me I would be.

I am now understanding, however, that He is equipping me day by day, moment by moment and that has been such a lesson for me - daily reliance.  

Tough stuff but I am learning to find the blessings in each moment and not to get lost in the long road ahead - progress!!

OK, I know you don't want me to ramble on when what you really want are pics, so here are just a few pics from our first week.

Coming home!

I cannot describe what it felt like to see all those familiar, beautiful, caring faces when we got off that plane and when I saw our other children...


Learning how to manage going up the stairs

with the help of a pretty cool sister...

who is SO excited about her new sisters.

Discovering our closets...
and picking out the fanciest dresses to wear.
Poor Hubby!!!
 Figuring out how to go back down the stairs

without breaking an arm or leg or Momma's back!

Doing a little OT work...
and a little schooling!

Maggie put all those numbers in order, all by herself!

And finally, we got a little slice of "normal" today.


Christian had a soccer game and I could not wait to go...

to take the girls...

to watch him play and cheer him on and just have it be a "normal" day

and it was and I found my blessing today!

Has this been hard?


Has this been wonderful?


Will I continue to blog?



There is so much going on in my head and in my heart and I just need time.
Oh and no more jet lag please!
Hang in there with me!!