Sunday, April 20, 2014

James 1:27

This is a story I have never told.  I don't know why.  For some reason I needed to keep it tucked in my heart over the last year.  

Last year on Easter I held Olivia snuggled in the ergo only home a few short weeks. A segment of the "Passion" was shown on the big screen. At that time Olivia turned, pointed at the big screen and said "Jesus".  This tiny girl with no English knew HIM.  If I ever doubted that our Heavenly Father heard my prayers while we waited, I could doubt no longer. He did what he calls all of us to do. "To look after widows and orphans in their distress" James 1:27

What are you doing to live out James 1:27?

Thank you Lord for taking care of our daughter in China and now.  

This story my friends is a story of our Living God. He is Alive and he is Real.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It Clicked

Here's the thing about kids.  They keep you on your toes.  
Here's the thing about kids from hard places.  They keep you jumping from toe to toe minute by minute. 

With Olivia, one day we will be smooth sailing and the next I am analyzing each moment to try to figure out 1: Is this because she is 2? or 2: Is this because she is processing and that darn implicit memory is being triggered and painful feelings of her past are being stirred?

We have had a rough couple of weeks with our girl. She has been clingy, not sleeping and going back to feeling insecure unless she is in my arms.
Finally while sitting in church this morning, all of the emotions we have been seeing in our girl clicked. 

Rewind two days ago.  Brooks, Olivia and I joined some friends for a day trip to the zoo.  We loaded into our friend's van, started talking about the animals we would see.  Olivia was quiet and minutes after we turned onto the highway the waterworks started. My friend Ali knows Liv very well because she watches her while I work. She looked at me and said "I have never seen her like this".  When asked what was wrong, Liv said "teeth hurt" which is her go to when she is upset. We stopped for Motrin as we didn't wan the zoo trip ruined by a teething 2 yr old.  The second the Motrin was in her mouth, the crying stopped.  

As you can see we had a great day at the zoo. 




The next two nights proved to be some of our hardest yet.  Olivia I screamed in terror all night. Sweated through her Jammie's and trembled in fear each time I left the room.  We finally ended up sleeping together and she wouldn't stop tossing and turning until she was cradled in my arms. 

So, as I said, in church it clicked.  Driving to the zoo, in someone else's van, without her daddy and big sister for a very long time, our girl was terrified. You see, a year ago, a very special caregiver put her in a unfamiliar van, drove her three hours and left her.  Although she may not have realized WHY she was scared.  Our girl was petrified. My stopping for Motrin was just letting her know I am meeting her needs for now and for forever. 

That same moment in church I looked at Brad and said, "it's time for a big girl bed. Her crib is bringing up memories".  He agreed and by nap time she had a toddler bed.  



I could look at these pictures all day. This smile.  It's a genuine smile. It is saying "You get me.  You understand me". She has spent the last few days giddy with excitement and full of giggles. 

Don't get me wrong, the girl is two. She doesn't want to go to bed at night but, she is no longer fearful, just feisty. 

Thankful for that Sunday morning revelation. 

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go for to you I entrust my life" Psalm 143:8

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Brad turned 35 this week.  The kids had so much fun celebrating their Daddy. 

At one point during our celebrations, I looked over at Olivia who was showering her daddy with "Happy Durthday" (Oh boy do I love how all of my kids have said "Durthday" when they are little) kisses and said, "Man, things have changed in a year!"

Last year, we came out  of our jet lagged, post adoption fog to muster up enough energy to eat some cake and sing Happy Birthday.  At that point, Olivia still wasn't too fond of her daddy and barely allowed him within five feet of her.

This year, she has fallen completely head over heels in love with her daddy.  Their time together while I was at the Created for Care retreat last month did these two wonders.
This year we were well rested and spent the day taking daddy out to lunch, shopping, baking him a special treat and even enjoyed a pizza and movie night at his request.  It's amazing what a full night's rest allows you.

Happy Birthday to an amazing husband and father.  We love you!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Small Things

Olivia and I spent the morning at the pediatrician's office. Unfortunately due to illness and other priorities she still isn't fully caught up on her vaccines from China. Today was two down and two more to go!

After leaving the doctor we had about twenty minutes to kill before picking Brooks up at school.  I decided to stop at a little park for some play time.  As Olivia ran through the gates, I suddenly realized the last time we had been to that park was two weeks after we got home from China. Kyrie's class was there in a field trip. 

At that time, Olivia was mostly in her ergo or in my arms.  When she did get down, she couldn't even navigate the small toddler slide without help. Today, she ran around like she owned the place.  

It's moments like these that make me realize just how far our little monkey has come.  



Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Great Southern Snow Storm of 2014

Since moving to the Carolina's nine years ago we have never had more than a couple of inches of snow.

 Starting last Tuesday, the snow started and didn't stop until well into Thursday afternoon.  Altogether we had about 10 inches, three and a half snow days off school, three very excited children and two worn out parents.

At 1:00 pm school was called and by the time Kyrie got off the bus their was a nice dusting of snow on the ground.

The kids couldn't get outside to play fast enough.  Brooks and Kyrie were anxious to build a snowman and much to their dismay, Olivia preferred knocking it down.

We made so many memories with hours of sledding, snow man buiding and a huge family snow ball fight.  The were worth every second of "my toes are cold", "I'm bored", "I need a snack" or "when can we go back to school?" that multiple days snowed inside can do to you.

By the end of day 3 the mommas were DONE.  We sent the kids out to sled on their own while we made Snowrita's.  YUM!

Snow Beauty

Kyrie is my only child who doesn't mind having her picture taken.  She and I took advantage of the little ones napping and walked out to the woods behind our house in hopes of capturing some of the first flakes to fall during our crazy Southern Snowstorm of 2014

Love this sweet hearted little girl who finds joy in such simple things as a few snow flakes, her dog, and her mama with a camera.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Created For Care

Many months ago I set my alarm for midnight and along with a handful of adoptive mama friends signed up for the Created for Care Conference.

I went into the weekend excited to get away, spend time with friends and meet friends who I had until then only known through face book.  My expectations were low thinking this would be another opportunity to hear about attachment and the typical adoption topics which truthfully we aren't struggling with at this time.

Boy was I shocked!  God met me right where I needed him. 

The retreat was based on this verse.

It spoke wonders to my soul. 
Quite honestly I went into the retreat feeling a little terrified that I would hear God tell me we were being called to adopt again.  But, I heard the complete opposite.  This is our season of rest.

After two moves, building a house, adopting, transitioning to a family of five, the start of kindergarten, going back to work in a larger capacity than I have in awhile and dealing with a lot of illness, I am gladly seeking rest.

I am choosing to focus on this verse as well as the many lessons that came out of the teachings of Beth with Back2Back Ministries

Every detail was put together perfectly including these table decorations complete with family photos.

My roomie and I.  She guided me so sweetly through our process as she had gone through it a year before.

My local adoptive mama friends.  Don't know how I could have survived the past couple of years without them!  We share the same heart!

Who says you can't have real friend on the internet?  These are all ladies who traveled for their kids around the same time we did.  We "held hands" each step of the way from paper chasing to transition home and beyond.  So happy to finally meet in person.

Over the weekend I kept hearing the same thing as we talked, laughed and cried together.  "It's so nice to now have to explain yourself.  We all just get it".  So very true.

I am so thankful for the volunteer mom's who put on this retreat each year.  What a fabulous ministry it is!  I am already anxious for next year.