Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Summer

I read something today that brought me to tears. We have 18 summers with our kids. Some a little more but they're ours for 18 summers. Ryan and Christian have already moved past that. Kaden has 5 more.  Case, (oh, thank you Jesus) has 15. I can't even imagine what I will do with myself when I don't my children at home. 


This summer is already so full. Kaden is with his grandfather this week, he will be home for 2, 1 of which I will be gone, then he's off to church camp for a week. He will be home for another 2 weeks and then he's gone for 2 at band camp. That will be the longest he's ever been away from us and to say that I am nervous would be an understatement. I am over the moon excited for him but not sure I am ready for him to be away that long. When he does get back, summer band starts soon after. His summers are going to fly by.

I am hopeful that we will get to go to Disney for his Case's 4th birthday. I have a conference the week after in Orlando and if all things go as planned he will go with me! 

I hope that we have done a great job of making great summer memories with these boys and that we will have stories to tell for many years after. 



Monday, June 6, 2016

Glad Yesterday Day is Done

What started out as a fairly good Sunday turned into a day I couldn't wait to get into bed and finish it as fast as I could. Church was nice, lunch was good. 

We had family pictures scheduled with my mom, sister and her family for 5:45. My oldest niece was running late which put my older boys behind. My brother-in-law was late coming in from work and so as anyone can imagine... we're running pretty behind. We got some pretty good shots in of my family, some of the whole family and then was just about to start on the cousin shots when the photographer stumbled/fell of the step stool she was standing with an audible crack. Before it was all said and done, there was an ambulance with an incredibly nervous EMT, lots of screams of pain and panic on the faces of the kids. My sister did her best to soothe the photographer (their friends) while the rest of us stood around and did our best to keep it together. Pretty traumatic.
She's had 1 surgery this morning with 2 more to go from what we've been told. 

Remind me to never break another bone... tail bones are enough for me to know I don't want to ever do it again. 

It's really a sad deal. We aren't really sure how to proceed with the pictures, we want to be patient but at the same time, these kids are growing kids and certainly don't want to waste any time and them grown out of the clothes they were wearing! Here's just a snap shot I took and edited myself...




Moving on...
Now for the worst part of my day. Case has recently found a love for hot dogs. Not really sure why, he loves chili dogs. He typically pulls them apart before eating but loves them none the less. Until last night. As far as I am concerned, he'll never eat a hot dog again, at least not til he is 30. He was full on choking so much so that I had to pick him up and turn him with his head down and beat on his back. Finally he started to cry and I was able to get him to spit it out. Let me tell you, I would honestly rather break both legs than do that again. Worst possible feeling ever. I was afraid to fall asleep, I expected nightmares and a lousy nights sleep. Thankfully that didn't happen. He slept great and was his sweet little self this morning. Thank you God! Many prayers of thanksgiving.

God had blessed me immensely, and I pray that I never forget that or take it for granted. I am currently re-reading\listening to The Shack. The beginning is so hard to listen to. I hate that part of the story. I am anxious to get into the relationship part though. I don't remember much as I wasn't in a great place or really open to the story the first time. I feel like I am in a much better place emotionally now.

1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Friday Fri-yay

I couldn't be happier that today is Friday, although having said that I've been in a pretty crummy mood most of the day. I'm not generally a facebook ranty person but I came really close today. Chik-fil-a was not on their game and it just struck me really wrong and I've had a hard time letting go... anyways, moving on!

It was a rather crazy week, between a long weekend, overnight meeting in Houston and physical therapy, I'm pretty exhausted emotionally and physically. It's all good. I think I am happiest when I am busy. It gives me less time to think about things which may or may not be a good thing. I'm working on praying a lot more, so some days its hard to find time when I can focus just on the words I want to say to him. Thankfully he hears me even if its rushed and sometimes scattered all over my messy brain. Speaking of messy brain, I dreamed last night I was having brain surgery and there were people all over the operating room, and they let me up to go to the bathroom right in the middle of getting prepped.  Super weird. 

I recently heard some exciting news, a friend of mine who is also heart deep into the orphan\foster\adopt feelings is planning to go to an informational meeting. This is huge for her and her husband as it will allow them to really look into whats best for them and their sweet little family. I am so pleased for her and I know that she is too. I know God is at work! I've read so many things on fostering and adoption, and about 80% of the time one parent is on the fence while the other is ready to jump in with both feet. I would say to anyone who asks that an informational meeting is just that, information. A place to ask questions and learn about the process. If your heart is in it even a little bit I would urge to at least check out an informational meeting

 Something that I haven't mentioned before is respite care. From what I understand is that respite care providers take over for foster parents when they need to be gone for more than a few hours. This is actually something Chris had said he would be interested in doing. I guess I need to look into it again. 

Today is the last day of school for Kaden. He will officially be an 8th grader in the fall. eek is all I can say about that. Yay for official Summertime. 

I'll leave you on this note... a very cute one for sure.This is what summertime looks like at our house!

Friday, May 27, 2016

4 Day Weekend and Foster Care Awareness Month End

A 4 day weekend is in my future and I couldn't be more excited... well except for the part about starting physical therapy for my old lady knees. Cause who in their right mind would be excited about that. Well I guess I should be thankful for pt over surgery. Been there, done that and frankly that was not fun. not in the least. 

I have 2 nieces graduating this month. *imagine big wide eyes emoji here* What the What. For Real. I keep thinking about how proud my brother would be seeing his beloved baby girl walking across the stage. Cue the tears because well who am I kidding. I AM A CRY BABY. Anyone who knows me already knows that and well if you don't know me... you're missing out cause I am pretty cool. Both of these girls have grown into pretty awesome young ladies and I can't wait to celebrate them!

May 31st marks the end of Foster Care Awareness Month. I probably share way to many posts and way to much with anyone who will listen about how this makes me feel. I am so sad for these kids who don't have families. Many of these kids will also graduate in the coming days. How heartbreaking that they may not have anyone in the audience to yell and scream for them or to be proud of them. The one's who don't have parents to whisk them off to college in a few months. Statistics show that many of them will not go to college and many of them will end up with children who will also need foster care. WHY? Because they were never really taught how to love much less be loved. This world needs foster parents and adoptive parents to love and care for these kids SO SO BADLY. If I can reach just one person that is willing to step out of their comfort zone and help a child in need then it will be worth it, even if has meant losing friends on fb or them unfollowing me. So what. I unfollow people regularly! So there! Facebook seems to be a great avenue to shout to the rooftops this giant need. Lord knows there is enough political and craziness to go around already. Might as well add some realness too. 

I find that I've found a renewed love for blogging. Maybe because I've needed an outlet for a while and just resisted the urge to spit it out somehow, especially this insane pull on my heart. Sometimes I can't even find the words to talk to God about how I feel. Thankfully he already knows. I wish it were that simple in other relationships. God listening. He knows. He's even recently brought a new friend into my life that is also feeling the tug. Maybe together we do great things. Even if it just means supporting each other in what God has in store for us. I'll just leave it with this. Cause just wow. Perfectly said. Lauren Daigle- Trust in you. 


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Teenagers- BOY Teenagers

This year we lose a teenager but gain another. Christian turns 20 and Kaden just turned 13 which just makes me old. Like seriously. I feel like my body has officially realized its over 40 and is just done! Well my knees at least, buts that a whole other blog post.

Seriously though, first off I've never been a teenage boy... I know your all surprised. But apparently boys brains just go to mush. Like there's not a care left in there for anything more than video games and phone apps. Eh, maybe its different cares for each teenager. For Christian at 13/14 he was all about smelling good, looking good and GIRLS. For Kaden, he literally couldn't care less about how he looks or smells. He's interested in girls but it doesn't seem to motivate him. This kid is so smart and I know I am biased but he's really handsome. Seriously. But how do you motivate an unmotivated teenager. I wish I had a video monitor into his head. On second thought... No, No I don't. 

There was some suggestions made about getting him tested for gifted and talented. I am interested in doing that. Maybe even some sort of testing to see what we can do motivate him. We have tried everything. Well except for selling him on the black market... but I kinda love him. Don't really want to part with him just some of his habits or lack there of.

My goal this summer is to get us both on an exercise plan and get him in shape and hopefully he can walk into 8th grade a new kid.  It would be awesome to build his self confidence along with spending quality time with him. He's hilarious and has so much to say!
He's got a pretty busy summer. Band camp for 2 weeks as well as church camp for 1. 

One of my favorite scriptures and one I need to be better at remembering not just for me but for him also. God has a plan, and a great one. 

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Feeling Better... Or Maybe I'm Just Not Done Venting!

I'm feeling a little lighter, I'm wondering if pouring out my heart in my last post somehow helped... maybe. maybe not. But on the slight chance that it is the reason I am not as down as I was... maybe this blogger wanna be is making a comeback!

I really just wanna talk about fostering and adoption. The truth is that it's on my mind ALL THE TIME. I wish so much it was on Chris' mind. It weighs so heavy on me. Its ridiculous to me that our world is so consumed about transgender, homosexuality and reality TV when there are so many more pressing things to worry about. I'm not saying that those things don't matter but there really are more important things than that, at least to me. I am in no way condemning/judging people so please don't take it that way.  Homelessness is huge and it's sad but an even more sad reality is that there are so many kids who are parent-less. Orphans. 

When I heard the word orphan, my brain use to go to the kids in other countries, probably because of TV ads. As a kid, one of my favorite movies was Little Orphan Annie, but I don't really think I connected the dots to the reality of it all. I also don't think I connected orphans to kids whose parent's rights had been terminated. I think in my head, I connected the term orphan to kids whose parents had died. It wasn't until a couple years ago that it occurred to me that there are literally thousands of orphan kids in the US. People, that is heart wrenching. Its so overwhelming to me. How on earth is that possible and it not be national headlines. Like for real. 

The Bible calls us as Christians to care for the widows and the orphans. I am incredibly thankful for the missionaries and the ministries that care for kids overseas. It's beautiful that we care so much for those kids and those ministries. My family sponsors a beautiful little girl in Haiti. And that's great. But what about the kids here in the US What about the kids right here in Texas or better yet, right here in the Permian Basin? Is it just that we don't know. That we are so flooded with pointless and just plain junk that the real life crisis of local orphan children isn't important? 

I became a CASA (court appointed special advocate) to feel like I am making a difference. And I am. But is it enough? Is it really all that God is asking of me?  I am 100% sure that being involved with fostered/orphaned children is part of my call from God. I'm just not sure what exactly the extent of it is, mostly because Chris doesn't feel it. Somehow we have to get on the same page. 

Here's the real deal for me. There are kids right here in my town, my county that are in need of not just a safe place to land but mommies and daddies to love them and protect them. Protect them from some really bad and scary situations. Fostering, and fostering to adopt are absolutely the most needed in our county but I understand that not everyone feels the call/ache to do that. But there are so many other ways to get involved. Volunteer. CASA is in real need of volunteers. I love being a casa. These kids need a voice and to be heard. High Sky Childrens Ranch is a great place to volunteer and interact with kids. If interacting isn't for you but you want to help, Together We Rise does something that is just amazing. This is something I want to do, just haven't taken the time. But... if adoption calls to you in any way shape or form, get educated, learn the facts. Understand what it actually means. Don't listen to the stereotypical stories. Really get educated. These kids are not scary or messed up, they're just mostly unloved, unwanted and misunderstood. Truth is there are probably more happy endings than sad ones, its just the sad and scary ones that get told. Some places I would encourage you to check out would be High Sky AdoptionsPermian Basin Heart Gallery and Addy's Hope. (I am in no way affiliated with these groups, just ones I have had some experience with or know of) I'll leave you with this. 

In a nutshell, my heart is fully in doing something for these kids. Becoming a CASA was huge for me but I see it only as a stepping stone. Praying daily that God speaks to me about my family's next step.



Friday, May 20, 2016

Worst Blogger Ever Part 2

Hello? *tap- tap* is this thing on?

My last post was the worst blogger ever! Boy is that ever right..

I guess I just haven't been feeling it, the love of sharing about my life. I guess what it comes down to is I'm just in a funk. I don't know what else to call it other than what it is. When I started this blog forever ago it was to chronicle our quest for another baby. I had baby fever, bad. Really it was the longing for a girl. I got my baby, the sweetest little boy in the world. I couldn't love this little crazy, wild child more. Oh how he makes me laugh and oh how he makes my world a better place. He cracks me up on a regular basis and pretty regularly takes me by surprise with the things he says. Could not imagine that journey turning out any different. It was the perfect ending to that journey. 

I really thought the "fever" would go away. I thought I would feel complete and on some levels I do. Complete is such a strange thing for me because I certainly don't want to down play my feelings about my boy filled world. They (all 4 kids and husband) complete me. But I can't help the longing I feel so very deep inside of me for a girl child. There's so many things I will never experience as a boy mom.There will never be mother daughter pedicures, mother daughter laughter at chic flicks, mother daughter bonding over heart breaks, mother daughter bonding over an engagement, wedding and pregnancy.  I know that daughters-in-laws will come along and maybe even granddaughters but none of those will ever be the same. Daughters-in-laws will always choose their moms over me and odds are granddaughters will too, and that's the way it's supposed to be. It's just the design of it all. I know this.

I also know that there is nothing that will ever compare to my little boys saying they want to marry me when they grow up or being the center of their whole worlds when they are little. It truly is the best. I know my boys adore me and they always will. God's design however is for them to leave me and go to their wives. I know this and that's what I want for them. I pray all the time for the wives God has for them and that they will be Jesus girls and that they will love my boys fiercely. I know all of these things and yet the longing is still there. 

I wish I knew if all women, the ones who don't have a daughter, feel this way, if the longing is there. If it is, oh how I hurt for them. I know how it feels when people around us are having girls. Its part envy but its part awe. Awe that they will get to experience beautiful things with this child. Its like my eyes always see the little girls in a crowd. I see them, all ages and sometimes the longing is so strong its all I can do to escape before someone sees it in my face. I'm happy for them but there's still such a sadness about it for me. Only these other non-girl moms will know. Don't get me wrong I know that with all the beautiful girl things come hard things. That's just part of the whole parenting gig. 

I've said all of that just to get to this. I am well aware that my body is done birthing babies. I'm completely good with that. I've made some beautiful boy babies. It was a little bit of a hard realization that I wouldn't have a daughter biologically. OK. bit is a stretch. It was a lot hard. A LOT.

I wish I could remember when the realization hit me that there are kids all over the US that don't have moms and dads. I was young, really young. It broke my heart then and it breaks it now. Having said that, I don't think that adoption occurred to me then. Maybe because it wasn't talked about and when it was it seemed to be discussed as very expensive. Its only been in the last 3-4 years that I've realized it doesn't have to be. Actually way less expensive than birth at a hospital. I guess that's when I started feeling a different kind of tug deep down. The one thing that has played on repeat in my head. What if God's plan for me to get my daughter was through adoption. What if she's already out there longing for the exact thing I am, only hers is for someone to love her only the way a mom who's longing for a daughter can. I've voiced some of this out loud. This is one of the places where Chris and I don't seem to be on the same page. I don't know all of the whys. I just know we aren't in the same place. 

For the last year or so, my prayers go something like this... "God please put Chris and I on the same page. Please let us see things the same way. Please soften a heart. If adoption isn't in your plan for us, please take the longing away or at the very least make it hurt less." Recently I've gotten so tired of saying that prayer and not feeling like it's getting me anywhere, hence the funk. So if you're reading this... please say a prayer for me as I could sure use them!
thanks!
V

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Philippians 4:6