Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Jessie!

Do you know how blessed I am by you? Did you know that the older we get the more I love you, the more I like you :), the more I depend on you. When we were little I never saw you becoming the woman you are today, the care taker, the one who loves her family enough to stay near them no matter what, the hard worker who is so good at her job. You grew up and became a woman that I greatly admire, someone who I know I can count on when I need someone to talk to, someone to take care of my baby girl, someone to make sure Mom and Dad are doing well.

If you weren't my sister I would still want to be your friend, but I feel a great sense of pride that indeed you are My sister. You are part of that core of who I am, someone who knows me as I am, not the woman I've decided to be today only but how I got here. You will know me from my birth to my death and in that I find a great relief. Someone I can call and start the conversation in the middle, no need to explain what's going on, why I have the insecruities I do. You know me, because my life has always been a part of your life.

And I know you. I thank God everyday for you, that I get to be your sister, to know you, to watch you live your life, to listen to your stories that you can tell like no other, and to smile and laugh so hard I feel like I might just throw up again (you know the story, you tell it so well).

I love you, Jessie.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The family she made

There's nothing like hard times to either bring people together or tear them apart. The past few days have been used by God to remind me just how blessed I am to be a part of my family. There are a lot of blessings that we don't give God full credit for because we think we had a role in acquiring them (even without realizing we're doing that). But family, that is easy to see was all God, I could no more control what family I was born into than I could cause the sun to rise. Thanks be to God for this great blessing in my life, my family.

My grandma is in the hospital, she broke her leg and needed surgery. It's scary, I walk around the house with butterflies waiting for my phone to ring to get the latest update. But God has blessed me with His peace, when I let Him and decide to trust. The good part of it all has been that I've talked to my family several time a day for three days now. I usually only talk to them once every few weeks or once a month, so this constant talking has been nice. It has been wonderful to know that we're all pulling together to get through this, everyone willing to sacrifice and help out in anyway needed, checking in on each other to make sure we're doing all right. We are a very close family and we all love my grandma dearly, so we'll be stressed for a while as the treatment continues but I know we'll get through this and end up closer for having gone through it together. Because that's what we do, this is the family she made.

Please pray for my grandma her name is Lila, that God will protect her from infection and pneumonia, heal her leg, and fully recover from the side effects of the drugs and trauma. Thank you from my whole family who knows we are the family we are today because of her.

To read a previous post on my grandma click here.

Here's a video of my grandma.

And here's a video I hope makes her smile.

"I've read the last page of the Bible. It's all going to turn out all right." Billy Graham

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Adventures in Potty Training

If talk of poo-poo offends you, then please do not read this post, because it would be more accurately titled, "Adventures in poo-poo training."

We are in week three of potty training and Kylynn is doing a great job..mostly. She gets the peeing just fine and goes a whole week without an accident. We even drove to Decatur and home without any accidents. The problem, and it's a big one, is that she has decided that something about pooping in the potty is scary. And if that wasn't bad enough, it somehow evolved into pooping in general being scary.

So this is a typical day with my two year old. After breakfast, "Mommy my belly is hurting", me "Yes, honey, you need to go poo-poo, let's go sit on the potty", her "no mommy I don't need to go poo-poo". This repeats up to 10 times until she has held it in long enough that the moment passes. Then we usually have a time where she says, "Mommy, I'm going poo-poo now!" So we rush to the potty, when the poop doesn't come out in 5 seconds, she hops up and says I don't need to go! (in a very angry, unhappy voice). We then repeat that around 10 times. Then she takes a nap, if she doesn't poop during her nap the afternoons are the absolute worst! She is a totally different person, crying 90% of the time, everything is drama, everything upsets her. She continues to tell me that her belly hurts, I continue to try to get her to poop on the potty and the cycle continues, until...she poops in her underwear, which is horrible to clean and I think adds to her fear of pooping.

Last week, she held in her poop for two whole days, that's right two whole days of cranky beyond belief two year old. Finally Kyle said, we're getting that poop out of her now! He went inside got her a glass of undiluted apple juice. It worked, of course it worked by her pooping in her underwear three times, but at least she was happy doing it.

Of course this was my prayer request at my Bible study this morning, oh the joys of being a mommy, saying poop in my prayer request! :) But I just am at a complete loss of what to do, she has absolutely stumped me. She is very strong willed, so there is no making her sit on the potty till it comes out, no reasoning with her, no bribing her (I've tried trust me). And I've heard that this is common and can last a very long time...I don't know if I can take it! Pray that I don't lose my mind, and if it doesn't make you uncomfortable to use the word poop in your prayers, pray Kylynn will learn how to poop in the potty!!! :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's not just for boys

We went to the park today for playgroup and eventually Kylynn needed to use the potty. So I walked her over to the bathrooms and they were under construction, as in men walking on the remaining roof dropping wood onto the potties, definitely not an option. So I began to talk up how we were going to get to go pee-pee outside. "Guess what, we're going to pee-pee on the grass, just like Raven does! Isn't that so cool!" Luckily (or so I thought) it worked. She was very excited, so I stripped her from the waist down just to be careful, she peed, and then I put her back together.

I thought that would be the end of it (because I still haven't learned that with my little adventure loving girl, nothing's ever that simple). The other moms and our children were sitting at a picnic table eating lunch, when I heard someone giggle. I looked up and there was Kylynn mooning us! She had pulled down her pants/unders and was peeing on the ground right in the middle of the playground for everyone to see. Luckily she's still young enough that everyone thought it was funny and their kids are still allowed to play with Kylynn :). Of course she did it again before we left as well as at home in our backyard this afternoon. Well at least it will come in handy when we go camping in a couple weeks :).

Monday, October 13, 2008

A book that spoke to me

I recently read the book, Same Kind of Different as Me, by Ron Hall and Denver Moore and I will never be able to look at people the same way again.

Homeless people scare me and so I treat them differently than I treat other people, differently than I know I should. Whenever I pass someone on the street or in a store I look them in the eye and I smile. But when I see a homeless person I avert my gaze, I do not treat them as my equal, I do not have the courage to look them in the eye and smile.

When Kyle and I took the Crown financial class the teaching on this verse was very convicting to us, "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me' Matthew 25:41-45. We felt like giving money to an organization was too easy and not all God was asking of us, so we began to carry water and granola bars in our cars that we would give to them when we saw someone hungry on the streets, but in my heart I continued to not love them the way I know God was asking me to. This book has helped me to see the homeless the way He sees them and has challenged me to love them they way I would love any other person I come in contact with.

It is one of the best books I have ever read and I couldn't recommend it more. It is an amazing true story that you cannot help but be touched by. Despite how it affected my view of homelessness, my favorite thing about the book was watching God work throughout it. I loved reading about the many ways that God spoke to these people, through dreams, prophecy, His word, and wise counsel. It was good for my soul to be reminded that God is always at work and God still speaks to us. It was a good reminder that God wants to use his people in a way that He will receive the glory, it is when we are broken that God can use us best, you don't have to wait till you become a "perfect Christian" to be used by God.

I hope that everyone reads this book, it will stretch you and challenge you and I believe you'll be better for having read it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A week of firsts

A few weeks ago, Kylynn had a big! week. It was filled with first time experiences.

Most importantly, she went to her first Aggie football game!! That's right we are richly blessed (and I mean that literally, the three tickets would have cost us around 270$). Some friends (who we are so thankful for!!) gave us their tickets to the Army game and we had amazing seats! We got dressed up in our Aggie gear and had a blast. The game was at 11:30 so the weather was nice and by half time our seats were in the shade. Kylynn loved seeing "Aggies" and being on "campus". She mainly climbed around on the bleachers during the game, but would say "Aaaaaaa" with me when we were on defense. I hope that this will be the first of many opportunities to enjoy the Aggies with Kylynn and that someday it will mean as much to her as it does to me.

Of course I forgot to bring my camera to the game, but here's Kylynn playing with "her" cat

Then Kylynn decided that it was finally time to be a big girl who wears "unders" all the time!! She has been wearing exculisively unders for two weeks now and usually has only one accident a day, she did have one day with no accidents! She also has begun to go poo-poo in the potty (forgive me if you are not a mom to a toddler), this is such a big deal and I am proud of her and completely exhausted from all the potty cleaning, hand washing, laundry from the past two weeks :)

Here she is with her prize for going on the potty all day!

I also took Kylynn to get her hair cut for the first time, she did great and wasn't bothered by it at all, although I'm not sure how she could be bothered. I took her a place that had a kiddie chair, so she was sitting in a race car, eating a lolly pop, watching a movie, all for 9 bucks! Her hair looks pretty much the same, just evened out and less tangly at the bottom.

Pool's closed, no problem she made her own :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

With a little help from my friends...

Did y'all watch The Wonder Years? It is to this day my most favorite show, and the theme song, With a little help from my friends, is one of my favorite songs. So when I was thinking about writing about how much my friends help me through this adoption process I had to include this great song for y'all to listen to.

When you decide to adopt they give you a lot!! of reading material to go through, to help prepare you for what to expect. I really appreciated the reading material (although I could have handled less articles on each individual topic) as it helped me to think through many aspects of International and inter-racial adoption that I hadn't considered. But let me tell you it is possible for the outcome to be different than what they try and tell you in all those articles, meaning you just might have wonderful people in your life who will make everything okay, not difficult.

Maybe I live in Utopia I don't know, but I have only had the most wonderful responses when people find out about our adoption. My friends, my church, and my community have absolutely blown me away. With all the steps along the way I've asked my circle of friends and family to pray and they have! I have had people tell me what they're praying for me and it makes me cry because it's the most wonderful perfect prayer that God laid on their heart and I would never have asked Him for that, even though it's exactly what I need. For example one of my closest friends told me that she was praying that God would sprinkle our scent onto Jack so that he would know our smell and be comfortable with us when we meet him.

People are genuinely interested about how the adoption is going, I get asked questions about it several times a day, and they listen with interest to what is going on. They are invested in this process with me and they go through the ups and downs with me. When we found out who are son was I had a friend come out to me who had learned about it on our blog and hug me with such excitement telling me how she just cried when she found out she was so happy for us. I can't talk to a family member without them wanting to know, when will Jack be home and hearing we've got to get him home soon.

People think of him as my son. This is the ultimate for me. In this training material, you read about people having friends or family who will not accept their child who was adopted and treating them like an outsider, even introducing their family as this is their daughter Kylynn and this is their adopted son, Jack...I would lose my mind, I would be so angry! I never want Jack to be treated like anything other than what he is, my son, regardless of how he joined our family. I have had no one make me feel like they don't accept Jack as my son, they have given me hand me downs, planned a shower for me, and talked about how great it is that he will be the same age as their son.

People want to help. A dear christian man who is mentoring my husband has been a god send on going through all the medical reports with us and translating it into phrases we understand. He is a doctor and has given us great advice not just as a doctor, but as a father, and a man of God. I am still sane today because of him. People have emailed me to ask when they can bring us a meal after Jack's home. One of my closest friends gave me a great book she found called, "Are those children yours?". I don't ever have to worry about how are we going to accomplish this great task ahead of us, I know my support system will be there in more ways than I can think of, carrying the load when it gets to heavy to carry on our own.

With a little help from my friends...okay maybe a lot of help from my friends, I can do this, I can handle all the hoops I have to jump through to bring Jack home, learn what I need to about raising a child with a cleft lip and palate, deal with the emotional issues children can feel about being adopted and a different race from their parents, and even having two kiddos!!!

Thank you to each one of you who have done one of the thousands of things that have blessed my heart during this process. You are a blessing to my family and I will forever be grateful.