Saturday, June 29, 2013

Not all bad...

So... just so ya know life isn't ALL bad.

And the last week or so has been some better. 

And it's really only one that's upset the apple cart... but there were a lot of apples upset! :) Yesterday we had to make the tough choice not to take the family vacation we wanted to because said boy would not make it pleasant for any of us. And frankly that makes me really mad. Cause were were going to visit really awesome people and the boys were going to meet some kids they came home with from ET. So much of our lives have been changed and decisions have had to be made differently because of these behaviors. 

Our other son is doing well. It's not perfect by any stretch, but he interacts, plays with his brothers, cooperates at a normal pre-teen rate (if ya know what I mean) and is generally pleasant and fun to have around. We have moments, we still have a long road of attachment bonding and relationship building, but over all its been much smoother with him. In the beginning we didn't think we had some really bad moments, but those have calmed and we are working through them.

I think the hardest part is the uncertainty... the wondering if we are doing the right thing, the right way. The effect it has on the younger 2 has been icky too... so we want to make sure we are making all the right choices for them. 

Parenting sure ain't for whimps. 

The middles are both going to ESL summer school for several weeks that we think will help them both.  They speak mostly great English but the spelling and reading is still lacking. Which is totally to be expected with only 10 months home. I mean heck, English is HARD Jack!  :)

So there ya have it...not ALL hard. :) 

And having just broken up the 5th boy argument amongst the others... some of it's pretty normal. :)

Be blessed y'all!

Friday, June 28, 2013

On my mind...

So I have started and deleted like 5 posts over the past week.

So much going on... so much on my mind. Yet none that seems to want to come out in a way that would make sense or come out the way I want it to.

Was talking to my supervisor this morning in our usual check-in meeting and said .. I am almost afraid to say it... "There are parts of life that are really good, yet parts that really suck" I am working on trying to find the middle ground.

I want and try to be a glass half full kind of person. I love life... Even just recently got a tattoo that says "Live the life you love, love the life you live" surround the Amharic word for Joyful. It's above my heart in a place I can see it every day and have it be a reminder of the way I want to live.

Then... there's life. The hard parts.

The ones that can't be shared because they are too close... too raw... not public knowledge.

See I am at a loss again. What to share? What not to share?

So let me share that our little E turned EIGHT years old this week!! Can you believe it??!!

My biggest and littlest... WOW! Seeing this pic and knowing the love I feel for them both ... the way my heart knows them BOTH as my children reminds of me of God's redemption and exceedingly good Grace!

I can also share that we are getting ready to gear up and plan another mission team to Ethiopia with the church! Wahoo!!

So this really has nothing to do with the posts I deleted, but it's all I got for now.

More on mission trips... daycares... and boys... soon

Friday, June 14, 2013

Exciting Ventures

There have been some fun things happening behind the scenes here that have me so very excited!!

A little back story...

April/May of last year I was in Ethiopia visiting my boys for our court appointment. Since the boys were still in school I was able to go do some visiting and ministry checking during that time. One of those times I accompanied my 'lil brother' A to Korah while he helped a ministry teach some sponsored families about an income generation project they were starting. While there I met a member of that ministry named T.

It was fascinating watching the families, mainly women listen intently while their children played at their feet or came over to play with me while they sat and listened.

After he was finished A, T and some of the other leaders and I left for lunch. T was telling me about the families and sharing the mother's concerns about the children and what to do with them as they began working. He said they had been asking for a daycare. Well I knew the org that he worked with and said "Wow, that sounds like an awesome opportunity. I will pray for you all."  

I was in no way interested in looking into a Daycare in Korah... I didn't have time for that! I had just agreed to parent 2 new boys, have a full time job, was working in getting a team to come over in a few months and had just agreed to be in the board for Because Every Mother Matters.

I came home and indeed began praying for them to be able to find the funding for the daycare. In the mean time T contacted me and said "You need to be the one to start the daycare." I said thank you but no. He said I needed to pray. So I did. Then someone else contacted me and said... "I hear you are starting a daycare in Korah"... What?! 

So I decided that perhaps I needed to stop saying no and start praying about the fit for our church. We had been praying for something to fit, something we could do long term and meaningful. So I asked the pastor about it. He prayed and said... GO FOR IT! 

Meaning talk to people... see what they think... are there others that would want to step up and step in? I quickly found those people. 

We put together a budget, a plan, a prayer and a presentation for our church leadership ... can I tell you that while I really love our church that was the most painful and difficult meeting. Money and Christians are not a fun mix.

It was approved to support and we had our commitment for the next 5 years to be the sponsors of the Hope for Korah Daycare under the organization Hope for Korah and Great Hope Charities run by a church in Korah. 

So thankful for this opportunity! So blessed to see this coming to fruition! Finding a compound to fit our needs has been a challenge. But it's been all in God's hands and He's directing the steps. I look back at God's vision to see momma's kept healthy and families staying together and I see that happening here. Families staying together, having hope, seeing a vision for their lives become one of promise. It's a gift! Between BEMM and the daycare literally hundreds of children will never have to have the label orphan. Thank you Jesus! 

If you would like to help support the daycare please message me... and go to the Hope for Korah Daycare FB page and 'like' it!  

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hanging On...and Some Happiness

So our world fell to pieces again after my last post. And since I am working on finding the happy medium of sharing... plus it's just too raw to share publicly...I thought I would spare you.

So just pray for us, we have several hard decisions to make and resources to find for one of our boys.

On the happy scale we have S home for the summer! She came home in April. She's back at working at the parking lot at the ocean front. Pretty brainless and pays well... and it's at the beach. :) She made Dean's List to finish out her year.

Z is doing awesome in his job, completing his license to be a Mortgage Loan Officer! He's looking at a move with the company to another location, but we don't know where yet.

The 2 of them went to London for a week at the end of May. A brother sister trip!! Trip of a life time! :) They had a great time, yet were happy to be away from each other when it was over. Too much of a good thing I guess.

N and E are at the end of 2nd and 3rd grades... no longer babies. E is about as tall as N now!! All long legs and arms. They are so much fun!

D's business is going really well. He's working for himself at remodeling homes. He loves it, he's been able to hire S's boyfriend to help with the bigger jobs and hasn't had to advertise yet! It's all been referral. The ultimate advertising I guess though huh? It's called Fourth Day Construction.

I have also started a second work passion. I am now working with Rodan and Fields as an Executive Consultant.

Can't wait to share more about that and the daycare we are opening in Korah and the work we will be doing  with Because Every Mother Matters!

This week D and I celebrate 20 years of marriage and my grandfather's 95th birthday! Exciting week!

See ya soon...

Friday, May 31, 2013

Looking back...

I have spent the last couple of days looking back over my blog at all the ups and downs and ins and outs of our adoption journey to bring home A and B.

I now kind of wish I would have been able to find the words to talk about the process of life since then... but honestly I am not sure what I would have shared. Still trying to figure that out.

It could be that I just don't have the words. We were so excited about bringing them home. Wondered and prayed and begged and fumed and cried. I feel like God knew what he was doing in making us wait... He knew what we would be dealing with and was trying to prepare us... I sort of feel like He was up there looking at us, listening to our pleas saying "really.... just wait... it's not gonna be easy kiddos. TRUST me on this one" then like any good parent He finally gave in and was like "ok... I warned you"

Many of you know Jen Hatmaker and read her blog, cause she's good!! Here is a post at their one year mark

We are still in Stage 2...
"Stage 2: Spaz Out (4-6 Weeks – 3-4 Months)
Who knows what the straw on the camel’s back will be – maybe one more food he hates, maybe one final conversation he can’t decode, a moment of discipline, just a smell might trigger it – but something will happen, and your little one will finally lose it. Honeymoon is over. Once the damn has broken, it will flood for months.
There is screaming, kicking, hysterical hysterics. There is wailing and tantrums and full-out meltdowns. You may chase your beefy 8-year-old down the street where he ran screaming barefoot into traffic, throw him over your shoulder and lug him back home where the two of you hunker down for the next two hours, drenched in sweat, while you hold him tight and whisper love into his ears and he thrashes and yells and finally passes out. It is so helpful that your husband is out of town on this day.

Your sweet one is grieving. This is sorrow and loss and fear and trauma; it is visceral. It is devastating. You and your spouse are haunted, unshowered, unhinged, unmoored. You stare into each other’s eyes, begging the other one to fix this: What have we done? What are we doing? What are we going to do?

The house is a disaster. Your bios are huddled up in the corner, begging grandparents to come rescue them. You can’t talk to anyone. Everyone is still beaming at you, asking: “Isn’t this the best thing?? Is this just the happiest time of your life?” You are starving for truth-tellers in adoption.You scour blogs and Yahoo groups, desperate for one morsel of truth, one brave person to say how hard this in and give you a shred of hope. You only find adorable pictures and cute stories, and you despair. You feel so alone. You’ve ruined your life. You’ve ruined your kids’ lives. Your marriage is doomed. Your adopted child hates you. You want to go back to that person pining away in the Pre-Stage and punch her in the liver."

I do kind of wanna go back and punch me in the liver... 

Some of the trauma things I just can't post. The ways it have manifested in our home I can't share. The way they have left me curled in a ball on my bed sobbing uncontrollably. We have chased down the street, held 13 yr olds as they raged and other things we hadn't truly believed we would have to do. Naive I guess? 

Did we think we would be having all sunshine and rainbows with dancing unicorns? Oh heck no!! Did we know it would be hard? Yes we did. Hard to prepare for the reality. Hard to look back at those sweet smiling faces and remember the joy and excitement we felt. 

Third Day's song Tunnel comes to mind.... praying for a light. 

Knowing that there is one... 

And promising I DO have other good stuff to share ... coming soon!!!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Some good stuff....

So it's not all been hard stuff... :) Here's some super cuteness for your viewing pleasure....

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Where we began... Food

I had to laugh after my last post about people not reading the blog any more :) Cause it's not like I have been very faithful in blogging. So that's y'all that are still hanging around ;)

So we didn't have much of a honeymoon with these guys... not sure if it was because they were already sort of comfortable with me from the visits... or if we were just 'lucky'?

Or biggest issue was food. We didn't prepare ourselves enough ahead of time to be able to accommodate their un-expected American food aversion. They didn't even like the stuff most kids do like McD's or just plain old rice. It was all different and they hated all of it... OR would put berebere (Ethiopian spice) on it ALL so that it basically masked all taste and killed their taste buds.

We were blessed with some Ethiopian friends that were willing to help us with food. Made us injera and some wats so that the boys wouldn't starve because they would literally just not eat instead of try foods.

One more so that the other... one of the guys would try and found that he likes more than the other. Is still that way... A great eater. Will even now eat green vegetables because he is wanting to be healthier.

I think one of the harder parts was having the younger guys watching us work with the older guys yet still having to eat the things they don't like. Ya know, life just isn't fair right?! :)

Trying to find the balance of helping them feel comfortable with the food, stay healthy, and yet not allow them to control the situations was an interesting dance. A lot like the Cha Cha... one step forward 2 steps back.

Happy to say they both eat almost everything we make now, and while we still incorporate Ethiopian foods, we don't quite as often. The boys have both grown like crazy and now have favorite American Fare... and always compliment me on my attempts at Sega and Doro Wat.