Saturday, June 30, 2012

Good Vibrations

Man, I am behind! So much has been going on here. I've had multiple posts I've wanted to work on, but there just hasn't been time. I have so much I want to write about, but time gets away from me and then my thoughts move on. 

So...I'll take the easy road and do a superficial, catch-all, lighthearted post. OK? OK!

Let's see.....

June 15....a big day for my boys. 

Jude turned 2 and we got to celebrate his birthday with him for the first time!

And the same day, Jonah finished 2nd grade! 

I LOVE these 2 guys.

The first official week of our summer was pretty low key, aside from then celebrating Jonah's 8th birthday on the 21st. 

How in the world he is 8 is beyond me. I am pretty sure I forbid him growing up anymore when he turned 5. I'm still working on a punishment for that one....

Then we turned around and had Jude dedicated at church. It was such a special time to rejoice in the perfect placement of him in our family. What an absolute blessing he is. I cannot even begin to explain how much JOY this kiddo brings into our home. Thank you, God for this gift!!

After 2 birthdays and a dedication, we met our cake intake quota for at least the next 6 months. 

We quickly turned around and sent Jonah off to camp for the week. Our church does an AMAZING camp for kids. It was Jonah's first time away without family for the week! To say he loved it would be a massive understatement. He had a blast. We are so blessed by the kids ministry at our church. The people that just pour into our kids are phenomenal. I could not dream up a better camp experience for him. 

We drove about an hour and a half to pick him up on Friday and found out that during the closing program, he wanted to speak in front of everyone! I was so excited and nervous to hear what he would say. 

I was so proud of him...not only was he calm as he spoke, but the words he spoke were perhaps the most awesome thing I've ever heard him say. 

He talked about feeling God for the first time.....and feeling that God, somehow, wanted to use him. He described it as a "vibration" in his chest....which I thought was completely adorable. When we got home, over dinner, he elaborated more. He said that for once, he didn't want to just do things for God out of obligation. He actually wanted to do those things. He wants to be used. He may just be 8 years old, but he's got it down pat. I feel like he matured about 5 years in a week's time. He may have just lapped me spiritually. Sheesh.

In other news, Reagan learned to ride her bike this week!

And Rylie decided to wear her hair like this.

So....birthdays, dedications, finishing school, camp, bike riding, and crazy's that for a hodge-podge post?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A note to my son on the day of his dedication:

Jude -

On March 27 of 2012, through the miracle of adoption, you were grafted into our family and have brought us such an amazing amount of laughter, joy and love.  Today we make a commitment before the Lord to submit your life to our God and promise to raise you in accordance with his word.  The first twenty one months of your life were marked by the things of this world, but know that God has been with you from the moment of your creation.  Although we were on the other side of the earth, he also planted deep within our hearts a love for you that knows no end.  We rejoice that in his wisdom he brought us together at this time and place.

God has adopted each of us as his sons and made us heirs to his kingdom.  In the same way we welcome you into our family and commit you to the Lord.  We promise to teach you and bring you up in his ways.  We promise to raise you in his church and to show you how to love God with all your heart, soul and strength.  We thank God for you, you are a blessing from the Lord.

We love you son.

Dad, Mom, Jonah, Reagan & Rylie

"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.  So now I give him to the LORD.  For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD."  1 Samuel 1:27-28

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Reagan's beloved......

He started out as Jonah's....but she swiped him long ago. And I'm pretty sure he's never going back.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sometimes I forget....

...just how wounded she is.

That deep down, there is a lot of hurt.

A lot of anger.

A lot of confusion.

And I'm just not sure how to be the mom she needs me to be.

Because there are moments where it seems so completely overwhelming. And I feel so completely inadequate.

Like this morning, when a simple request is followed by a refusal from her. And thus, a consequence ensues.

Which is followed by a tantrum. But not just any tantrum.

A tantrum that reaches a whole 'nother level. Different than any tantrum I've ever experienced with other kids.

There is no calming her down. There is no reasoning.

There is only escalation, and screams from the depth of her soul. Followed by more escalation. And thrashing, and contortion, and eyes rolling back in her head.

It's as if for a little while, she's not even there. She's somewhere else.

And then exhaustion comes. And she curls herself up into a fetal position.  

So vulnerable.

So wounded.

And then, the chanting returns. The chants that consistently rang out when we first brought her home. The self-soothing primal chants that make my heart hurt for the life she led. And the scars that bear witness to that time.

And it's then, that I realize how much I love her. And how much I want to fix it, and make it all better. How I desperately wish she did not have to endure what she has in her short life. Where she was provided for...but not loved. Fed...but not nourished. Touched...but without affection. Abandoned. Without a soul in the world to call her own.

So I scoop her up, and love on her. And pray.

Which is really all I can do.

Because she needs a lot more than I, alone, can offer.

She's come so far in the past year and a half. And 99% of the time she looks like a happy, spirited, well-adjusted kid who has learned how to love and play and be silly. And I am thankful.

But that 1% of the time....well, I think that road will be a long one to walk.

Sometimes I forget.

Just because she has a family, doesn't mean she's fine. Just because she's been home for a while, doesn't mean the issues are all gone.

It's not magic. It's not quick in this case.

BUT....adoption is healing. And redemption. And a second chance.

And while some would have me believe that she will never be restored from those hurts from her past, I will choose to believe otherwise.

Because she is CHOSEN. And LOVED.


And really, that's all that matters. 

And that, I can remember.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Girl and Her (Brother's) Hat-(Sunday Snapshot)

Reagan seems to be my favorite subject recently.

She's cooperative (mostly). At least when you bribe her with candy....

She's at an adorable age.....she can follow directions yet still have some off moments and try new things, without being too self-conscious.

It makes taking pictures of her pretty easy.

These might just be my favorite pictures I have ever taken.

Not bad for a spur of the moment thing in our weedy overgrown backyard.

But it does make me on earth did I have anything at all to do making this?

Miracles do exist. ;)

Ni Hao Yall

These were all taken with my Canon Rebel T3 and 50mm lens. The top photo settings were ISO 100, f 1.8 and shutter 1/320. I edited first with Florabella Clean Color, retouched a bit and then finished with CoffeeShop's Buttercream Black and White.