Monday, June 25, 2012

Some days.....

 are meant for playing in the sunlight.
 Exploring the simple wonders of your yard...
 in your favorite twirly dress and dancing until your heart sings!!
 Some days I wonder if a lot of my stress and frustrations wouldn't just dissolve if I followed in my daughters footsteps.
 I may try an experiment and when I feel the pressure starting to build....
 join my daughter to dance in the sunlight!
 And if I feel like it isn't quite enough I will take insight from her and dance with  friend!
 Pretty sure God delights in seeing His children dancing in the light!!
 Sweet sisters!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Sad Truth

We had  a weekend away at Sharp's cabin last weekend followed by four nights of sports camp for our oldest four as well as doctor's appointments, following the Sandusky trial, tending to the garden and any number of other tasks so I have been a bit absent from my blog.  My heart is incredibly heavy this morning for this town, the victims who have been so valiant to share their stories, the Sandusky family, etc.  Things become harder to hear and deal with when you know people who have been friends of the Sandusky's for years.  Makes it more personal and less distant.  Any way you look at it so many lives have been devastated.  Such a good reminder once again to stop and evaluate life.  How we choose to live our life, the decisions we make affect far more than just ourselves.  May we be less apt to point the finger at those who have committed more horrific sins and quicker to look inward at the pride that alienates us from those who need His redemptive work in their lives!
 I love this picture of my friend Katie's kids and two of my girls.  Three beautiful African children all representing different countries from that glorious continent!  Uganda, Central African Republic and Ethiopia.  Pretty sure the two blond beauties can hold their own when mixed in with the others.  Such sweet children!
 In addition to sports camp this week which Eden absolutely loved she got a bit of pampering at the salon.  She was in desperate need of a trim again and this time she had a shampoo and a bit of a style as well.  What a beautiful, radiant little girl! 
And Naomi got her darling little mop of Mr. T hair shaved off.  I was tired of the comments and after having my friend Krista check with her Kenyan friends decided to just give her the traditional African head shave.  Her favorite way to fall asleep is in my arms with her ear directly over my heart!  I am her momma in every way! 

Now, on to the sad truth.  I had a friend ask me this week why we got Naomi out of hundreds of waiting parents.  Why us and not them?  Here is why:  there are very few couples/families waiting who are willing to adopt a child who is bi-racial or African American.  The agency we used with Naomi only had one other family who was willing to consider a child of color.  One!  I read recently on another blog that when they adopted their African American son from LA county that they were the only couple willing!!  There is a huge need here for people to step forward and adopt these beautiful children.  Most adoption agencies have them classified as special needs simply because of their skin color.  When we started talking about pursuing another adoption we contacted the agency who did our homestudy for Eden.  I asked a few questions about domestic adoption and that is when I heard some of these truths for the first time.  I remember getting off the phone and thinking, "How awful for a mother who is making the decision to give her baby up for adoption to only have one profile to look at."

I will be honest:  I had moments early on in Naomi's arrival that I would think of true orphans who still wait and wondered why God had given us a child who had a loving birth mother.  Slowly I realized that just because there is a living birth parent does not mean that she wasn't in less need of a loving family than Eden.  People get hung up on international vs domestic, true orphan vs situations that compel a child to be orphaned, etc.  The details surrounding the placement of a child are typically irrelevant.  The glaringly obvious most desperate need is a stable, loving family!  Can you offer a loving home?  It doesn't have to be perfect because that just isn't reality.  It takes one person to make a difference in the life of one child!  Don't feel like you can adopt or foster?  What about being a big brother/big sister?  What about having a fresh air child for a week? 

Let's look for every opportunity to speak into the life of a child!! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Boy and His Chicks

 We have been busy taking care of the newest residents at our little "farm." We added 8 laying hens to our place as well as 10 little meat birds.  I think we may be in trouble since the kids have been naming the cute little chicks that one day will be on our table. 
 Tristan has really taken to caring for the littlest ones.  He even named his chick "little pecker."  Mark and I are so mature that we ask him questions just to hear him say "little pecker."  So funny!!
Judah and Eden lounging in the grass while playing with the chicks!  It seems crazy to me that these chicks will be ready to meet their demise within another 8 weeks.  In the meantime we love watching them run around!  With the kids in hot pursuit!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Favorite Moments Over The Past Month

 Hard to believe that another school year is done.  I will have a kindergartner, a 1st grader, a 4th grader and 6th grader next year!!  What?!  A few days before school was finished I hauled the younger ones in to watch the boys perform in their spring concert as well as receive awards from their teachers! 
 Shane got to play the recorder this year and Judah got to beat on a large drum.  I wasn't able to get a picture of Judah since his back was to us.  And if I would have gotten up to sneak a picture I would have had 3 children scrambling behind me so we would have created quite a scene.  I opted to stay sitting and just listen.
 And I can never get good pictures of the boys since my camera doesn't seem to like the lighting in the room where they perform.  So proud of both of them!!
 Someone had a birthday!!  And she was pleased!  We spent the day celebrating her life and the milestone of turning 5! 
 She is such a beauty!  I walked behind her as she skipped out the driveway yesterday and I couldn't help but wonder what her life would have been like had her birthmom lived.  I think it was just the classic moment of her skipping in barefeet, her legs all dusty that transported me to Ethiopia in a split second!  I hope her birthmom somehow had peace as she passed from this world that her baby girl would be ok!  She would be so proud of the beautiful little girl she is becoming!  So helpful with Naomi, so affectionate, so full of spunk, a in a million!
 An impromptu moment of them trying to create a worship team.  Eden said a brief prayer and they broke out into a spontaneous round of Alvin and the Chipmunks "Christmas Time is Here".  It was lovely!!  And moving!  I may have even had tears. 
 Last day of school as Judah and his classmates got to do "the walk of fame."  A tunnel was created by teachers and younger students and they walked the length of it getting high fives!  I cried.  How can my oldest boy be going into 6th grade and heading to middle school.  I'll be honest - I am terrified! 
 One last huddle with his classmates and wonderful teacher.  There were many tears, hugs, more tears and more hugs before students started staggering out of the room. 
We feel incredibly thankful that our boys had such wonderful, caring and compassionate teachers again this year!  It is a tribut to the teachers when neither of our boys wanted the year to be over.

Highlight of the last day of school was watching Judah and Shane as they opened their report cards and realized they both made distinguished honor roll!  We have yet to celebrate that accomplishment but celebrate we will!  We couldn't be more proud of how well you applied yourselves, the character you have exhibited and the young men you are becoming! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sweet Girl

 This sweet girl has been a bit miserable as of late.  She has had chronic ear problems almost from the moment I quite nursing her.  February of last year she had a set of tubes put into her ears and we were problem free for 11 months! At that point one of the tubes fell out and instant ear infections began.  Since the amount of ear infections and fluid seemed to initially affect her speech we went ahead and had the second set of tubes put in on leap day of this year!  (the day we found out about Naomi)
By mid-April one of the tubes was already blocked and commence crabby, cantankerous Heidi once again.  She will always deny that her ear hurts which means she either doesn't want someone bothering her or she is just used to the discomfort.  Two weeks ago when I took her in to make sure infection number one had cleared her ear drum was bulging and it was badly infected.  Either way, she has had 2 ear infections in less than 2 months with fluid building up yet again.  And the once blocked tube is now out of place and not working at all which means round 3 of tubes this week.  We are pretty ready to have our happy girl back and are hoping this time the tubes last long enough for her to outgrow the chronic infections. 

In the meantime I think I figured in the month of June alone we will have at least 8 doctor appointments!  I was feeling quite annoyed last week with the amount of time spent at different doctors until I started listing things I was grateful for.  Some people may think, "What is the big deal with chronic ear infections?"  We have dear friends who adopted one of their daughters from China at the age of 13.  Shortly after she came into their home (the story is pretty miraculous) at a routine doctor's appointment the pediatrician said her ears looked strange.  She got into a specialist in Danville where they realized her inner ear bones were no longer there and she would need to have multiple surgeries to rebuild her ears.  When you have chronic ear infections that are left untreated it has the potential to destroy your hearing.  It was nothing short of a miracle that she had any ability to hear and is now on her way to having highly functioning ears due to the surgeries she has received.  So today I am thankful we have doctors that are able to prevent Heidi from having permanent damage to her ears and hearing!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Our Saturday

 It is simply amazing how creative children are when you eliminate all electronic distractions from them.  We don't give our children unlimited time playing computer or watching movies but even a little bit of entertainment seems to drain all creativity from their bodies.  So, commence very, very limited electronic time and watch the transformation begin in your child!  As each day passes they become more content, less whining, less squabbles and more interesting play and conversations! 
 Tristan of course has to incorporate numbers if it all possible so he has spent almost the entire day so far doing dot-to-dots.
 Give Heidi a scissors and a piece of paper and she will be occupied for a very long time!
 Taking a break from paper airplane making to eat a grilled cheese.
 They of course have to destroy their sandwiches before eating them.  So far today Judah has helped eliminate a hand full of chipmunks from our yard and gardens.  Apparently I owe him money now for his good deed of the day.
 Naomi is oblivious to all the noise and confusion!  If only I could tune out all the commotion and go about my day without noticing the mess everywhere!
Just a few of the paper airplanes that have been made and now litter the yard.  Such fun!

What is your Saturday looking like?