Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful

As a stay at home mom, I often am careful not to sit down in the evenings too soon, because I know once I sit down I'll realize just how tired I am and will not be able to get back up. After chasing around a three year old and an one year old all day, I am tired. I am physically, mentally, and emotionally tired. I am behind on a thousand projects and only a small section of my home is ever clean at the same time.

But here's the thing, I am happy. My joy is complete and my cup runneth over. The exhaustion I feel, feels well earned, a job well done. There is a realization, although certainly in the back of my mind, that I am doing my life's work. God has entrusted two of his children into Kyle and I's care, and I get to use my time to raise these children well. My job is hard and it's exhausting and even frustrating, but it is satisfying.

When I have the hard days, the ones where I wonder if I will ever teach Kylynn to obey a rule or if Jack will ever stop throwing all his food on the ground in a fit, I remember that indeed I have never loved my life like I love it now. Being a mom is one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me and I am today and everyday thankful.

I am thankful...

*For Kylynn, for the way she needs to tell me she loves me around 10 times a day.
*For Jack, for the way he says "uh-oh", even if what just happened caused a mess.
*For Kylynn, for the way she loves the Lord, and desires to please Him.
*For Jack, for his smile, his beautiful smile, and contagious laugh.
*For Kylynn, for the colorful outfits she picks out every day, that perfectly match her personality *For Jack, for the way he looks when he's holding his blanket.

*For my sweet husband, if it weren't for him, nothing I've said would be true. He makes my crazy days sane, my good days better, and inspires me to love the kids better, be more paitent, and enjoy them more. I am happy at the end of the day mainly because he is my partner in this amazing call of raising children. After my salvation, he is the greatest gift God has ever given me.

*For my family, for the safety and the laughter I find with them. For the relief I feel when I come into their presence, I can leave any other personas at the door and just be me. A me, that only they fully understand because they know the whole story. To know that there are people in the world who will never stop loving me, it causes me to believe that indeed I can do anything.

*For my spot in this world. To live in this great country, this great state, this great town, our great home. Whenever I am away, I am reminded how blessed I am and cannot wait to return to our home. It is no small thing to have assurance you are exactly where God wants you to be.

*For my God. You are making me more aware of just how much I need you. How I cannot take my next breath without your help. You are making me more aware of just how much you love me, that I can trust you fully, and embrace the good gifts you are giving me. You are teaching me to be willing to abandon all my dreams and follow yours and in that is such freedom. Why you choose to adopt me into your family, to save this sinner, I will never understand, but there is nothing I am more thankful for.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Adoption Song

There is a local Christian artist, Ross King, whose music I love. His latest CD, Perhaps I've said too much, is one of my favorite CDs. Everytime I listen to it I get something else out of it and my favorite song on the CD is constantly changing.

Each time I hear it I am blessed by what I call the adoption song, it's actually called "Home". Ross and his wife have adopted their three children and what he has to say about it is beautiful. If you've adopted, are adopting, may someday adopt, or just love great music you've got to get this CD (or MP3s as you prefer).
You can buy "Perhaps I've said too much" at Ross King Music. You can also google "Perhaps I've said too much" and there are several websites where you can download the songs, including Amazon.

"Not flesh of my flesh, not blood of her blood. You are heart of her heart and soul of my soul. Mother and I we were broken inside, then you came and made us whole"-Ross King

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Good morning to you too!

Kylynn: "Good morning Mommy!" as she climbs up on my bed and lays on me.
Me: "good morning.."
Kylynn: "You smell like poo-poo"
Me: "What? Why would you say that to me?!?"
Kylynn: "Because you do"

I started to say, well I took a shower, but then realized I don't have to justify myself to my three year old, right? I mean surely she just said that because she's three and does things to drive me crazy, right? Right? :)

We remember


So many lives were changed ten years ago, when they woke up on the morning of November 18th, 1999, to the news that Bonfire had fallen and people might have been hurt. That moment is frozen in perfect clarity in my mind, but the week that followed when we learned that in fact twelve Aggies had died and we mourned them is such a blur.

I did not know a single person who died in the Bonfire collapse personally, but I understand a huge part of who they were, because I understand what it means to love Texas A&M.

I'm somewhat surprised that it is still such a painful memory for me. I cannot watch the news footage or read an article about that day, about those twelve, without crying. Maybe it's because all of us who were there that day, who saw those logs, who stood and prayed, who walked around a campus that has never been so quiet again, were forever changed. We went to sleep as kids who thought that nothing bad could ever happen to us and awoke to find that indeed the greatest of tragedies could come without warning and steal away members of our family and with it our innocence.

To the families of the twelve, to the survivors of the accident, to the friends and loved ones, I am praying for you today, for a peace that passes understanding to accompany you today and everyday. The sacrifice that you made on that day ten years ago you should not have had to make, but know that you are supported by the Aggie family, and your children will always be remembered by us.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A favorite

I think my favorite post I've ever written on adoption was almost one year ago on December 5th 2008, we were about to fly out to Korea to go get Jack and I sat down at my computer one afternoon and this is what came out.

"Dear Jack"

I hope that someday I'll be able to express to you the way you were anticipated, prayed for, and celebrated. I hope that in the times you find life to be hard or you perhaps try to think no one loves you, the number of people who called and wrote me crying and praising God for you yesterday will carry you through. I hope that you will be strong enough to be just who you are, your story is unique but I hope you take pride in that. I hope you stand tall that the Lord has such plans for you that He would give you three mothers who love you, two countries to call your own, and to have God worked miracle after miracle in your short 9 months.

Someday I'll understand this miracle of adoption better, right now I'm just walking in obedience and love and anticipation. It is only by faith that I know what I'm doing, practically speaking I have no idea how to raise a son, how to deal with the issues of being an "interracial family", how to help you through the certain hurts of not knowing your birth mother or father. But I promise you to always pray over my decisions for you, to walk in faith, to trust God's plan for your life, to parent you by the only Book that gives me true answers, the Bible, and to say I'm sorry when I mess up.

I've missed you for a long time, I cannot wait to meet you. Your big sister is so excited. Yesterday she gave me a long list of all the things she's going to do for you. Today she said, I'm ready for my baby brother to come home! We all are and this is going to be the best Christmas ever. I love you baby boy and if I'd go to the ends of the earth to get you once, I'll do it again, don't forget that.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fear



When people find out that we adopted our son, if they have any connection to adoption, they will share that with me. I always enjoy this, getting to hear that friends of mine were also adopted or that they have friends or family who have adopted from Korea as well, I feel connected to them on another level.

I also hear quite often, "We have a heart for adoption too, but..." or "We really want to adopt a baby, but..." Those "but"s could mostly be summed up as "but we're afraid". They never say that of course but that is what they mean. I feel a connection to these people too, when we were discussing whether to adopt and many times during the process of adopting, I was afraid.

I heard it said once that only 2% of people who ever want to adopt actually do. I'm sure there are several things going on there, but I wager that most of them stop because of one or more fears.

"What if I can't love a child that I didn't give birth to as much as I love my birth children?"
"What if we can't find the money, or in finding the money we have to greatly alter our lifestyle?"
"What if I adopt a child of another race and our family is no longer accepted?"
"What if the child we adopt grows up and is angry that he didn't get to know his birth parents?"
"What if the birth mother changes her mind and the child gets taken away from us?"
"What if the child we adopt ends up have special needs?"
"What if he asks me hard questions and I don't know how to answer them?"
"What if, What if, What if....."

I could give you some reassurance in all the questions above, but if you are going to let fear stop you from adopting then you'll come up more "What ifs". And really the answer to any of those questions is not the point. The point is that being afraid is normal, you are always afraid of big changes like adding a child to your family, regardless of how that comes about. Don't allow fear to stop you from obeying a longing the Lord has placed on your heart. The God we serve is bigger than any "What if" you can come up with.

For me when we began this process, I was afraid, so I checked back with God, is this really what you want us to do. He said yes, then it became a matter of obedience and I was more afraid of not living out God's will in my life than I was of all my "What ifs". It was my experience, that the process of adoption is about so much more than just adding a child to your life. So as you go down the path and God begins to work on you, on your ability to trust, on your understand of who God really is and how great his love actually is, on letting go of your dreams and goals in exchange for His, you will experience pain and you will experience fear. But if you can just cling to God's promises and keep on going, you will be forever changed, made more like Christ, and know a joy that you've never experienced before.

If God asks you to adopt, just do it. Take one step at a time, trusting that He will provide for whatever you need in that moment. He will provide, the trust, the patience, the money, the support system, the resources, the changed hearts. Remember we serve a Big Big God, He's got this under control.

"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Buy the shoes!

Once again I will send y'all over to Sit a Spell for this great post! This is one about buying shoes (what woman doesn't love that!) and at the same time giving women in Uganda a brand new future. Go on, click here, you've got to have these shoes!

Little Miss piggy



Kylynn has come down with "swine" flu. She's doing fine and we got her on tamiflu less than 24 hours after her first symptoms so she should be healthy again in only two to three days, the doctor said.

Please pray that it doesn't spread around our household.

More adoption posts coming soon, but right now I'm pooped from all the running around to doctors and pharmacists.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Favorite Quote of the week

Kylynn, while pretending to be sick:

"Mommy don't come near me or I'll get you a headache"

Truer words were never spoken, my dear.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A great adoption story

Here's a great story of a local family that ran in The Eagle last month. I have a theory that adopting is addictive, it's such an awesome experience you just can't imagine not doing it again, this family that has adopted 9 kids, would agree I think.

Alan Reese proudly wears the label of family man.

The Bryan man and his wife, Beverly, are raising nine adopted children.

But almost anyone who knows him feels like family, his friends and co-workers said.

Reese is greeted with high-fives and hugs from students he knows by name in the halls at Jane Long Middle School, where he's worked as a janitor for 11 years.

Reese said he and his wife decided to adopt kids when they realized they couldn't have children of their own. Reese's kids range in ages from 4 to 17. The couple first adopted in 2000, and the most recent adoption was finalized last month.

The first four children adopted are biological siblings, as were the last four. The only child adopted without siblings, Angel Reese, was four days old when the couple got her in 2001.

By adopting children who otherwise wouldn't be in stable environments, he's able to offer them something he never had, Reese said.

"Here's the thing with me," he said. "I didn't have a dad. I'm giving something back I didn't get."

The Reeses don't have plans to adopt more children, but that could change, Reese said.

The couple gets assistance from the state in helping to care for the adopted children.

Taylor Reese, the oldest of the nine children, said it was hard to truly appreciate being adopted when she was younger.

"Sometimes you wonder why you get taken away from your parents. But when you get older, you start to understand why," she said. "It was fun getting adopted into a new family and to start a new life."

Beverly Reese said she was not looking for a husband when the two met while working at a nursing home together.

"All the residents loved him, so he caught my attention," she said. "He's so humble. He's honest. He's not pretentious, none of that."

Lindsey Harris, Jane Long principal, said she appreciates the attitude Alan Reese brings to school.

"I adore him as a man and an employee," she said. "He really sends the message he doesn't come here because he has to. He chooses to be here, and that's important for the kids to see."

Former Jane Long student Benjamin Roberts, 21, said he met Alan Reese when he was about 12 years old and still keeps in contact with him.

"I used to talk to him every day at lunch," he said. "He was just really cool and I could talk to him about anything. He always gave good advice."

Students are drawn to Alan Reese because they trust him, said Beverly Davis, technology specialist at Jane Long.

"What I appreciate so much is the relationship he develops with kids," she said. "Students come to him when they don't come to other adults."

Friday, November 6, 2009

First Friday tonight

If you live in town, I wanted to remind you that tonight is First Friday in downtown Bryan. They are going to be showing "Rudy", such a great movie, at dark thirty. If you've never been and want to read more about it you can read my post about it here. You can go to First Friday's official website here.

Hope to see you there!

It's that time of year again



It's November which means a lot of things to me, but these days the first thing that pops into my head is, Adoption Awareness month. I hope to use this month to keep this blog focused on adoption and all that goes along with it, sharing our story, encouraging others who are on the same path, and making others aware of the role that they can play.

I thought it would be nice if we could use this month to focus on praying for orphans in need of a family and the families trying to adopt a child. Please consider taking a few minutes every day or every week during this month to lift up children around the world who are waiting for their mom and dad in the way God leads you.

Here is a guideline of ways you can pray, should you feel so led.

1. God would care for the orphans all over the world, providing for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
2. Every orphan would someday have a family of his very own.
3. God would speak into the hearts of families he would like to adopt waiting children and they would be bold to obey.
4. God would provide the financial assistance to families involved in the adoption process.
5. Processes would be put in place that are easier, quicker, and yet still safe for future adoptions.
6. God would comfort and draw near to Himself those mothers and fathers who are grieving after placing their child with an adoptive family.
7. People involved in adoption (children, birth parents, adoptive parents, agencies) will see God in this miracle and be drawn into a relationship with Him.
8. God would provide the strength and patience needed for those who work in orphanages around the world.
9. Children in orphanages would be cared for well, somebody will pick them up to hold them out of love at least once a day.
10. God would bless waiting parents with peace, patience, and a good support network.

These are taken from my post on Adoption Awareness month last year, and reading over them it is so awesome to remember the ways that God has answered those prayers in our lives. Your prayers are powerful and they accomplish much, it is no small thing to pray, God will use your prayers and answer in mighty ways.

"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father." John 14:13

*I have added a link to this post on the left hand side titled, Pray for Orphans, if you would like to get back to these prayer guidelines throughout the month*

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween in pictures

Friday, trick or treating at Kyle's office.
Kylynn getting her face painted at the Grace Bible's country fair video
Jack loved (I mean LOVED!) the band (at the country fair), here's a video of him dancing, he danced for most of the night.


Kylynn taking all the seeds out, she thought it was great this year.Here's the pumpkin Kyle carved for us, such a great kitty!



Halloween night, Kylynn's a princess.

Jack after his first house trick or treating, he's a sheriff. He will not take that hat off! :)