Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The God of the small

Chloe.  My mind needs to be thinking about grocery lists and chores and the two children that already live in my home, but it won't listen, it keeps being pulled back, one name repeated throughout the day, Chloe.

For the first six months of her life, I didn't know yet that she was mine, I didn't know to worry about how much she was eating and sleeping, I didn't know to pray for her to somehow, someway know who I am when I come to get her.

And it is not time to come and get her, is it, yet?  It has been a mere handful of days and already I cannot stand the time ticking away, day one, day ten, she is still not here.

Making a future for her here in her home in her family consumes me.  I have lists for everything that needs to be done in order for my perfect plan to work out.  Christmas lists, the shopping must be done early.  Shopping lists, I will need bottles and formula, and diapers, and something that is only hers.  To-do lists, I need to get her big brother out of her crib and decide what pieces of furniture go where, buy some new pieces to complete the sets, buys some gifts for her second mama, cleaning that won't get done once I am (really) a mommy to three.

My mind spins so I began to walk in little circles, I see something to be done in this room, oh no something bigger to be done in this room, then a child pulls me another direction, and I feel overwhelmed.

I stop and and I pray and I tell Him the truth, the truth is all I have the energy for these days.  I want her home now and it hurts deep down that she is mine and I am not the one to rock her to sleep each night and I am impatient and anxious and doing everything all wrong.

He sends me outside to enjoy the beautiful day, to read a book that will take me far away, he reminds me that He is the God of not just the big but also the God of the small, for it is all the same to Him.  He tells me that He can even handle baby clothes and walls to be built, He will handle papers to be processed and reprocessed when necessary, He will lay out the plan for my life and isn't that what I've been asking for all along.

Then finally I look up at the sky, so blue that it is only of the Creator that I can think, and I breathe in deep and I hear Him.  "Your ways are not My ways, declares the Lord...My word will not return empty, but will accomplish what I desire...instead of a thornbrush, a pine, instead of briers the myrtle will grow."

The hole inside of me is filled with what it was hungry for all along, my mind is stilled, and for now I am able to trust again, in His plan, in His timing, in His goodness.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The ballots have been counted

So I have gotten my first award for blogging, okay it's really more of a shout out from a fellow blogger, but it still made me happy.  It especially made me happy because my new blog friend Elizabeth gave it to me.  Elizabeth blogs over at Romans 8:15 and she has one biological son and one son that joined their family through (Korean) adoption.  So we've got that in common, but we've got even bigger things in common, like how I wouldn't have to explain to her how Edward Cullen caused me to be a neglectful mom for the two weeks I spent reading the Twilight series.  She has adorable kids, a haircut I wish I could pull off, and most of all she is real.  Every time I click over to her blog, I feel like I've had one of those really good talks with a girlfriend, you know the ones where you finally tear down the walls and just tell the truth, Elizabeth tells the truth about her experience with adoption, about how hard it can be and then just as quickly how wonderful it can the next minute.

Here are the guidelines:
  • Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Pass the award along to 7 other bloggers who you recently discovered and think are fabulous

7 things about Jenny:

1. I believe on beautiful days, like today, where the temperature finally catches up with the calendar, in throwing open every window.  I believe firmly that those windows should stay open through the night, even if it gets into the 50s, so that you can finally use your comforter again.  I believe on these days that every possible activity should be done outside.

2. I coupon.  I am not a master-couponer but I understand how they do it.  I do match sales and coupons, but only on those things I will use, I do plan my meals around what is on sale to a point, and I do stock pile things that I can get for free or near free when I get the chance.  I manage to save around 25 to 30% off of my bill every week doing these things.  If  you live in a big city and don't use your coupons, I would LOVE to have them, send them to me!

3. The grass is always greener when it comes to my hair.  I seem to constantly go from this hair cut:

to this hair cut:

and back again.  I always like my hair more when it is short, but for some reason seem to forget that and see how beautiful celebrities' long hair looks and grow it out for a year, then sure enough as soon as it's long again, I can't wait to chop it all off.  I have issues.

4.  When I was 5 and graduating from pre-school I wore knee-socks on my hands.  Yes, you read that right.  You see I had a thing about Miss Piggy.  I thought she was beautiful and I especially loved the clothes that she wore.  Here purple ball gown, with the elbow length purple gloves, and pearls was my favorite.  So when it came time for a major event in my life like pre-school graduation, I thought something similar to Miss Piggy's ball gown was in order.  My mom wouldn't get me elbow gloves, she's normal like that, so I snuck some knee-socks in my back pack, and the rest is history.  

5. When I was in high school I had a thing for Elvis.  I really cannot explain this, it seems very odd to me now, but I thought he was "hot" (the young Elvis, not the old one) and I liked his music.  Of course millions of women agree with me, it's just that most of them actually lived while Elvis was alive, where I was born the year after he died (as I know from one of my many Elvis posters, I had hanging on my walls).

6. I have a degree in Sociology, I loved every minute of earning that degree, the classes I took made me want to get to keep learning for the rest of my life.  The problem is I don't want to do the things that one might do with a sociology degree.  It is only now in my 30s that I think I know what career(s) I could enjoy and I wonder how anyone can at the age of 18 decide well what they are to do for the rest of their lives.

7. I don't watch much TV, but every show that I watch (save one) is a reality show.  Some people feel this is something to be ashamed of, but I really couldn't care less.  These shows are like little documentaries (ok not really) which I also love and I really, really love watching and learning about people (see #6 above).  We don't have cable so these are the network ones that are relatively clean and watching them are some of the highlights of my week.

7 bloggers I would like to give the Versatile blogger award to (okay I only can think of 5, so 5 it is):
  • Charissa over at Highs and Ludlows, who writes about her life raising three girls (including one set of twins).  She loves me in real life and her blogs always make laugh, she is the craftiest person I know and she makes it all look easy.
  • Shannan over at Flower Patch Farmgirl, who writes about her life in the country, their journey God has called them to to simplify their life, and her three adorable children.  I cannot tell you enough how much you will enjoy her blog, she is the real deal when it comes to writing, her pictures will make you want to go stay with her, and her style is enviable.  She also is a fellow adoptive mother and right now is doing a series on Tuesdays to tell their story, such good stuff!
  • Pioneer Woman.  Ok, I know, everyone already knows who Pioneer Woman is and she would never know that I have bestowed this award on her seeing how she gets around 50,000 comments per post, but I love her, love her cooking, love her pictures, love her humor.
  • Heather over at Sit a Spell, who writes about their new journey living and serving in Haiti, her passion for fair trade, living on less, healthy living, and serving God in every area of their lives.  Check her out she will challenge you in a good way.
  • Emily over at in the hush of the moon, who writes beautiful, beautiful words everyday.  Her style always leaves me transported away to whatever place and time she is telling us about today.  She also started imperfect prose on Thursdays, check it out if you want to link up.
Ok so I think that does it, check some of these ladies out, many of them have become part of a community for me where I can be encouraged and lifted up, when I share a little back and forth with these women I remember that there are other people out there who are making these same life choices God has placed on my heart.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The problem with the phone

When we moved to this house last year and were not able to take our phone number with us, a phone number that had been mine for nine long years, that seemed to belong to me, like the numbers that make up my birthday or my social security number, it was decided we would be cell phone only people.  After all it would save us 250 dollars a year and we are if nothing else, frugal.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, most people know my cell phone number, or at least the ones I'd care to talk to.  Now of course it would require me to turn it on from time to time, keep it charged, and know where I put it.  But when it is your only means of communication with the outside world, those skills are easily acquired.

The problem it turns out with our grand plan, is not me, but the phone.  Or maybe I should say, it's not me, or the phone, it's the house, but since the house is not changeable, we'll go back to blaming it on the phone.  You see, the phone doesn't work in my house.  Yes, that's right my only phone in my house where I reside with a 4 year old, 2 year old, and soon an infant, doesn't like my house.

When I'm out and about it works great, gives me no trouble, but here in my house it requires a strange dance of me trying to locate a sliver of space where it will receive service.  I have located two reliable places, now let me say, those places are very small, as in I lean to the left or right and I start to hear the, "hello...hello"s.

So are you getting the picture, someone calls me, I walk to my one spot where the phone works where the children are still in view and I stand very still.  Kylynn starts playing with things she's not suppossed to be touching, Jack starts screaming just for the fun of it, they turn into little monsters, because somewhere in their subconcious, they've noticed when Mommy's on the phone in this house, she cannot move.  We can be as bad as we want because apparently talking on her phone makes her feet become glued to the floor, they don't know why, but they know it works to their advantage.

The worst part is, besides the crazed children, is that I cannot get anything done while I'm on the phone now, which means I always feel like I need to get off asap.  Previously I would love talking on the phone because I had the ability to get a couple chores crossed off my list, while never fully realizing I was doing them.  Unfortunately now I'm always fully present while I magic eraser my walls or dust my furniture, which probably explains why I put it off for so long.

So maybe we need to go back to the drawing board on the whole idea of only have cell phones, but until then, if I miss your call or take a while to call you back, don't think it's because I don't want to talk to you, it's just that sometimes it takes my phone a few days to tell me I've missed a call, seriously.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I've gotten some good questions about Chloe over the past few days as the news has spread and I thought I'd share those answers in case you've got questions of your own.

*How old is she?  Sorry about that y'all, I can't believe I forgot to include that in the first post, she is 6 months old this week.

*Is she cute?  No, she is beautiful.  She is perhaps the cutest little baby I've ever seen, ok tied with two other babies.

*Are you nervous?  So far I wouldn't describe any of my emotions as anxiety.  I am eager, excited, surprised, and emotional, but not nervous.  Strange as this sounds, this path feels smooth to me, if I was pregnant with a child I would be a thousand times more nervous.

*Why Chloe?  Her name has taken me a whole week to get used to, I love her name very much, but it was never a name that I would have come up with for naming my child, but when I looked at her Korean  name, God told me that her name was to be Chloe, which was very close to part of her Korean name.

*What about her middle name?  Chloe will keep her Korean name as her middle name, as Jack did.

*Where will she sleep?  We have a loft bedroom upstairs that is connected to our bedroom, we are having the open wall built in, so that it can be a nursery.

*Since you got a referral quickly, does it mean this next stage will go quickly?  No, unfortunately the two stages are not related, we got a baby quickly because there were a lot of babies at this moment in need of families and not a lot of families.  The time it takes to bring Chloe home depends on paperwork getting approved/not getting lost when it goes through the Korean government.  The average wait time is 4 to 6 months, we're praying it will take less than 3 and we'll have her home by Christmas.

*Will you go and pick her up?  Yes.  We traveled to pick up Jack and we fell in love with Korea, we cannot wait to go back there again, to buy some things we should have bought the first time around, and to begin the bonding process with Chloe as soon as we can.

*What does Jack and Kylynn think?  I wish I would have video taped, Kylynn's response when we told her she was getting a sister.  She put her hands over her face and said Oh my!  She wasn't just excited, she seemed overwhelmed by the news, she looked like a mini-adult.  She is, as she was with Jack, very happy to add another child to our family, she is looking forward to having another sibling to boss around.  Jack seems to understand completely to the extent that a two year old can understand this.  When his friend came over to play yesterday, he came and asked for Chloe's pictures and took them over to show his friend.  He is very proud of having Chloe for a sister and understands that she will be coming home soon, but is in Korea right now, just like he once was.  Her arrival will rock his little world I know, but he already loves her.

*Do you need help with anything?  We're doing really well, the thing we need most is your prayers.  When it gets close to crunch time I'm sure I'll need some help watching my kiddos while I get things done.

If I missed a question, ask away, I may not answer you, but you're always welcome to ask.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Meet Chloe*

We found out this week that we have been assigned a baby.  I pretty much thought that the social worker on the other end of the line was making some kind of mistake, because we've only been waiting 2 months and when we started this whole process they said the wait time would be 18 months and though that number has slowly trickled down to smaller and smaller numbers, two months is just impossible.  So I prayed she wouldn't realize her mistake until it was too late and said, "that's great!"

Then she said the words that took all the things I knew to be certain and turned them upside down.  "She's a beautiful baby girl."**  Can I tell you that my responses both times I've received a child assignment and the one time I received the okay to travel call, sound so different in my head than they do out loud.  I said something like, "Okay, that's great, please send me the information."  When inside my head I was screaming, "Oh my, I can't believe this, this isn't supposed to happen, we're not allowed to get a girl, I'm so excited, what's going on!"

When I saw her picture for the first time I cried and praised God and my first thought was, so you've got something planned for Kylynn, huh?  If you remember that little one refused to put God in the box that I had been telling her to, the "adoption agency says we just don't qualify for a girl" box.  She just went right on praying for the sister she wanted, she remember what somehow I had forgotten, God is bigger than our agency and can give us the children He has for us, anyway He wants.  Even if that's being given a perfect baby girl after just two months of waiting.

I am really still in shock, there was no room in my head for it being a girl, I had all the details of having two boys decided in my head and I'm having to start all over again.

Something really neat happened to me again this time around.  I had never dreamed of Jack until the night before I got the call that we could travel to pick him up, my defenses are that good and the waiting for your baby during this phase is painful.  But the night before we were told we were free to bring him home I had the most wonderful dream about holding him and feeding him and being his mommy.  Well the night before I got the phone call that we had been assigned Chloe, I dreamed for the first time of having our new baby home but in my dream it was a girl.  When I woke up I thought that was odd, but really didn't think anything of it of course until I got that phone call a few hours later.

If you're the praying kind, please pray that God would prepare our hearts and our home (literally we're building in her room) for baby Chloe.  Please also join us in praying that God would bring her home by Christmas, as He did with Jack.

*We haven't decided yet whether to spell it Chloe or Khloe
**I'm sorry there are no pictures...our agency asks us not to post too much information online, I will post pictures once I get her in my arms, I promise.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Today my family got to skype with my parents and sisters and brother-in-law in San Antonio.  I've known about the existence of skype for some time but for some reason had always thought it was 1. something that is hard to get set up and 2. for people who live thousands of miles from their family and never get to see them, like a solider away at war.

One of my friends had mentioned to me that she skypes with her family all the time even though they see each other once a month or so and live in the same state.  That got me thinking we needed to give this skyping thing a try.

Turns out it was ridiculously easy to set up, as in Kyle didn't need to help me (much).  And it was really fun, I could see everyone really well and it was so nice to be able to see and not just talk to them.  I'm not sure what it is but it was nourishing for me to see the face of my family, to see their expressions, their smiles, and the way they cheered when we gave them the news.

Kylynn showed everyone her shell from the beach and pictures she made in school.  Jack showed them his blanket and doggie (that they are very familiar with) and his cowboy hat (also very familiar with).  I think it was especially fun for the kids to have an audience to talk to and show off to, although Kylynn did choose to go back and watch her movie before the conversation is over, but at this stage in her life, getting to watch a movie trumps pretty much anything else.

Oh...something just occurred to me, above I said, "they cheered when we gave them the news" but I didn't say what the news was.  I'll tell you what, check back tomorrow and I'll devote a whole post to the news, because the news deserves it's own post.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I've begun running.  Well, kind of running/walking with a little more walking than running, okay a lot more walking than running.  But it's getting easier everyday and I love it.

So far I have not dropped a single pound or morphed into one of those runners that I always look at with such admiration.  You know the ones who are tall and thin and can run mile after mile looking like they're out for a leisurely stroll.  No I am quite the opposite, one of those runners who people look at and can tell that this is very hard for me.  I'm sure my form is all wrong, it makes me jiggle in places those real runners never jiggle, and I am breathing like air is about to exit this planet and I need to take in as much as possible before it's all gone.

My friend was doing the couch potato to 5k program and invited me to come along, it makes me get up at the crack of dawn, something that is nearly impossible for me without the accountability.  This program is great, my friend has it on her iphone and it talks to us and tells us when to walk and when to run.  I would like to say however the name is a little misleading, and it should be changed to "relatively healthy and at least moderately active to 5k."  I am no couch potato, I rarely find the time to sit and watch TV but this program is kicking my butt.

It's about time that I let my butt get kicked though.  I've become to satisfied with the status quo since having children, not taking the time to do much of anything to feel good about my health or the way I look.  I somewhere along the line decided that if I couldn't find enough time to get everything done, I would cut out any time I spent on myself to fit in all the time that the kiddos, the house, the handyman hubby, and anyone else needed.

God is trying to teach me some things about discipline right now and I'm finally ready to learn.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back from the beach

We just got home from a trip to the beach.  I didn't tell you we were leaving, I know, I just lean towards the  camp of, sharing too much information on line can lead to negative consequences, so just in case one of my lovely readers also happens to rob homes in their spare time, I kept that bit of information to myself, until now.

It was one of those typical beach trips, every morning we got up, got ready and went the beach.  We headed back after a couple of hours for a lunch of sandwiches and chips, then naps, then dinner out.  We repeated this everyday, with a few variations of going to the pool after the beach, going to the beach and the pool twice a day, and eating lunch out and dinner in.

It was so nice to reconnect with Kyle and the kids and get to spend so many days together just having fun with no distractions, nothing more important to do but be together and enjoy our family.  Both of the kids thrived on all the attention and loved the beach.

We made it over to the Texas State Aquarium on Monday and all of us had a lot of fun seeing all the fish and other animals.  It is pricey, but I would say it's worth the cost if you're ever in Corpus.

Enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Goodbye Summer, Hello School

School started today for my kiddos, which for me is the official end of summer.  Heres a recap in pictures of what we've been up to this last week of summer and the important first day of school shot.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Growing up

This baby girl is growing up way to fast.  Let's put aside for a moment her picking out her own clothes for the past two years (and what interesting clothes they are), that her favorite sentence is, "I know Mom!", and that she is known to talk in adult speak, even if it is some other adult speak (her favorite topic right now is how we should just "chill and hang out").

Tonight she put herself to bed, all by herself.  We had home church here this evening and the one other family that brings their children didn't make it so we told her she could go play in her room for a little while and then we'd come up later and tuck her in.  Both of us forgot about it, and when we went up to check on her, she was sound asleep, having tucked herself in bed, turned on her fan, and turned off her lights.

There are a lot of things that I want my children to grow up and do for themselves, like occasionally remember to pick up a toy or two.  But I hope I get to tuck them in, read to them, and pray with them for many, many years to come.  And I hope she'll call me, mommy for a while longer, even if it is proceeded with "I know!"

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's the small victories

It's the small victories that really make my day.  Today was a pretty blah day, I have a cold, school still hasn't started, it's hot, you get the idea.

Then this afternoon, Jack went peepee in the potty.  I know it's probably not the start of a new trend, but it made me so happy.  We had a little party, candy for everyone and I told him how proud of him I was so many times that he started ignoring me.

Now, if dinner would just make itself, the day would move over to the perfect column.  No, it's not happening, so I'm off, to make something that will feed us in my cold haze.