Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Project

This has been my project for awhile as I am not computer savy! Enjoy!!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: My Beauties
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Today I'm Thankful!

Many of you don't know the struggle of raising our son Alex. Not the adoption nightmare I have already wrote about but our daily struggles with him. Due to Alex's birth history, he has obstacles to overcome as he grows. This last year has been has been a painful year as we watch our son try to cope with day to day life. When you watch your child not be able to control impulses and lead a "normal" toddler life, you realize how much you feel their pain and just want to "make them better".

But it's not that easy. I have cried many days, and just want to scream in frustration!

It came to a point that we needed professional help and we are working hard at helping our precious son. It has not been easy and it is definately a trial and error sort of thing BUT......Today I am thankful for THIS!!!!

He sleeps! Yes, he sleeps! This week has been one of those hard weeks with him and nap time has taken hours if any at all to achieve. Not today, he sleeps, and quickly I might add! It gives me hope that we may be on the right track. It gives me hope that he may be able to lead a "normal" life and play with his siblings! It's a small step and tomorrow may be different but I have HOPE today!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Stuggling Thoughts

I have been struggling with many thoughts lately. It's hard to really know what is your desires and what are Gods desires sometimes. I would love to share my many struggles but being that this is public, I digress. Sometimes I try to rationalize all of my reasonings but then I get this "doubt" and think "Is God puting doubt in my mind or is it Satan"??

So I pray, and pray, and pray some more. Still I struggle. I know that the time will come that I have to make my choices and when it's time I hope that the answers are clear. It may not be what "I" wnat but it will be "His" will for me.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I'm Slippin Already!

Yep! Slippin already in my posts! But I have a really good excuse, Arlyn has her first cold!!! YUCK! Poor thing is so stuffy and coughing, it would break your heart to hear her. Of course with her tiny size we worry. We took her to the doc yesterday and she is on antibiotic for hopefully, a speedy recovery. We had to cancel her ABR hearing test on Friday though, as she would be sedated and she is wayyyyyy to stuffy for that. But the amazing part of this is that Arlyn has kept in pretty good spirits, cold and all! She's a trooper and just an amazing little girl! So tonight I dedicate my pictures to a sick but happy baby girl!
She has a new obsession with her tongue!
Hey do you remeber the band...Flock of Seagulls??? "And I ran, I ran so far away"!

Just chillin on mom's lap!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Why do I Rush God's Word??

Now that I have all of my children's journeys written, I would like to reflect on the here and now. I am wondering today, Why Do I Rush God's Word???? Why Is It So Hard To Wait And Let Him Speak???

Now, like I have said, I have zilch for patience but why is that? I so want to be patient. It's just too hard!!! Without revealing too much, we were notified about a boy that was waiting for a family to call his own. The agency was waiting for "US"!!! As honored as we are, this precious guy is VERY SPECIAL NEEDS!!! I mean VERY! So much so that, we just don't have a "peace" about it at this time, So we are going to pass and let this boy go to his "forever family". Don't get me wrong, it is tearing my heart out to do this but it's just not our time yet for this journey.

BUT....I do feel that we have a journey coming, the problem is "what and where"??? I am dying to know and its just not coming to me. I want God to show me and I am rushing Him and straining my ears to hear Him. I know with all things, it will come and be presented to us at the perfect time. I have to not rush. So today I wonder "WHAT'S" the rush??? When I do get that message, I will fill you in.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Birth Of A..... DIVA

Well, this is the last leg of our adoption jouney so far, the adoption of the DIVA, Arlyn. Many of you think I'm exagerating but believe me, I am not! We had taken some time to heal from Alex's adoption and were rather content but did I mention befoe that I hate the word "NO"?? I am not one to take that word lightly and also the word NEVER! If you know me at all, you know how head strong I am (just ask my dear husband)!

Now, I would never adopt just to prove someone wrong but when you know in your heart that you were innocent and that a line was crossed, you tend to get a little irritated. So we started all of the paperwork and got our homestudy redone. That was the first hurdle, then the next was just waiting for God's perfect timing. We had been waiting with our agency about a year and I was getting irritated. Oh yea, I have NO PATIENCE either! When God, in His wisdom decided to teach me a lesson! He nudged us to move to Tennessee.

So off we went to Tennessee. As you may have guessed, we had put all adoption related issues on hold as we had no idea what we were doing at that moment. But..... three weeks after we had made this huge move, we got "the call" well, actually "the text" from our agency that a baby girl had just been born with Ectodactyly (hand deformities) and they had no families. She asked "Are you interested"? Well, of course I was!!! I didn't even bat an eye! I'm impulsive like that! Gets me in alot of trouble!

So over the next few days, we exchange phone calls and emails. trying to figure out what paperwork needed updating and where to do this. About the third day, my social worker called me to tell me that this baby girl had more special needs than just her hands she had a "syndrome". Corneila DeLange Syndrome! Ahhhhhh! Well then, this was an interesting turn of events and I knew right then that God was just smiling down at me and my expression at this moment.
See, the other child that we were trying to adopt when we were adopting Alex had Cornelia DeLange Syndrome. Which led me to do all of the research and make the connections that one would have to make in order to parent a child with this syndrome. Yep, Gods work, don't ya think??? We knew what the challenges would be and the issues that we would more than likely face with this precious baby so we were committed. In fact, we were the ONLY ones committed.

A week or so later we traveled to meet our new princess, it was just picture perfect! She was so tiny and fragile. Just a perfect vision to us. I couldn't think of a more perfect baby for us. Arlyn had a ways to go before being discharged from the NICU so it ripped our hearts out to have to leave her but we did. We lived 5 hours away and just could not stay near her for the next month. But when that day came to bring her home, what a glorious day it was.

Here's where the DIVA status comes into play. Little Miss Arlyn started to develope quite to personality and for a 1 month old she could tell you her likes and dislikes very clearly. She had to be fed a certain way, changed a certain way, held a certain way, put to sleep a certain way, and so on and so on. Yes she was the royal princess and we were her servants. But you know what....I didn't mind at all! She deserved all of it and she still does. She has taught us so much in her short 9 months. Parenting Arlyn is very humbling, you just really appreciate the "little" things in life and in her development. My precious baby brings tears to my eyes everyday. I cannot imagine life without her. She is truely A blessing from God and we are truely blessed to have the honor of being her mommy and daddy.

Our First Meeting

Coming Home
Long Live The Queen
My favorite Picture

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Fight of Our Lives: Alex

Alex's adoption tested our faith in God and even though I was not even a very religous person at that time but it was the hand of God that lead me through the battlefield.

When we got "the call" for Alex, the social worker said "There is an expectant mom due soon
but its a boy are you interested"? (oh yeah, I wanted a girl) But I said "yes" and I meant it! I was thrilled! Then the next words out of her mouth is "Well he was born today"!! "I wanted to test you to see if you were genuine about adopting a boy"! The next day I was on my way to Columbus to meet Alex's birthmom and to meet hopefully, our new son. The meeting went really well, and "M" was just like an old frien, we just clicked. I got the pleasure of having that first visit all to myself as Jamie had to work and it was blissful!

Seven days later we brought our son home. Alex was a true blessing and our first newborn adoption. As he grew, we cherished every moment. Then, the most aweful thing of all things happend. Someone called our adoption agency and told the most hideous of lies. Now let me backtrack just a tad. We were pursuing another adoption while in the process of adopting Alex. There were a few people that were not thrilled with this idea(ex friends) so they took it upon themselves to try to stop the other adoption. But they inadvertantly put Alex's adoption in jeopardy. We spent the next several months fighting all of the accusation and proving our innocense.

We were told by social workers "You will NEVER adopt Alex"! "We are going to make sure he is taken from you"! Your family will NEVER adopt again"!! I have to say that when you hear these comments coming from people that DO have the power to take your children from you, it shakes you to the core! Everyday I just watched my son play and laugh and do amazing baby cutesy things and think "How can they take him away"? "If they were here right now, they would see how much we love him"! Jamie and I cried everyday for about 5 months as we fought for our son. The only thing I had left to cling onto was God! I just felt in my gut that he could never do this to us! He knew we were innocent! He knew that we loved our son! He knew how we cherished all of our children!

The day finally came for our court date to finalize Alex's adoption and we were terrified that the judge would not allow it to happen. But God showed Himself that day and touched hearts in that courtroom and we finalized our son! FINALLY, WE COULD BREATH!!!!!!!! He was ours forever! No one could take him! Alex is now almost 4 and he is the most animated, caring, funny little guy you will ever meet! I do believe he is related to the Tazmanian Devil! Hyper active is not the word! I really don't know what is, Cyclone comes to mind! Enjoy our Alex!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

And Then Came Lelah!

Now, onto our adoption journeys. As Jamie and I were raising our 2 children, a friend of mine shared something with me that took us on our next journey in life. My friend's sister was in jeopardy of losing her 5 kids to children services. She told us that no one in her family could take them in and that the family was so worried where they might end up. This information just touched my heart and right away I said "We will take them in"!! It was just that instant and just came from my heart. I ran home that night just so ready to hit the door running as I tried to sputter out the words to my dear, unsuspecting husband. Of course like I knew he would, he embraced the idea and we both just felt so sure of our decision.

James and I were quick to call DCFS and started feverishly on the paperwork and all of the hoopla that one has to go thru to become a foster parent. It took us 9 months but we managed to finally become a liscensed foster home. Now in the meantime, my friend's sister did not get her kids removed but hey, it was those precious kiddos that got us on the right path!

I am proud to say that we fostered 4 beautiful children in about a year and got them home to their parents safe and sound. BUT....in that time we knew that we wanted to adopt and I had learned of an agency that specialized in Liberian, West African adoptions. The information I gathered would rip anyones heart out of your chest! These suffering children in a war torn country, it was a very big wake up call to us. Our hearts lay heavy but we knew what our mission was....to adopt a child from Liberia!!! James and I started gathering our dossier and trying to figure out what the heck to do as we never had embarked on such a mission of this magnitude. We were just a few weeks into our journey and we got "the call". A 5 yr old little girl just came to the U.S. two weeks ago and needs a home. The lady that adopted her wanted to disrupt. Oh My! This was the exact gender and age we were looking to adopt in the first place.

Two weeks later we were in P.A. picking Lelah up and taking her to her forever home. It was a whirlwind, to say the least. Just mind boggling how God orchestrated His timing. Lelah has been home now for 5 years. It has been a pure joy yet a frustrating time as we all know. Lelah has grown so much and we love her dearly. She has a ways to go but don't we all in some aspect. Sometimes our kids just come with "baggage" and I don't think that it ever completely goes away. But with God's Grace, he can lead them down the right path in life and it's Gods Grace that teaches us as parents that we have to have FAITH!

Lelah before she left Africa

Lelah Today

Why Never Say Never?

Why should you say never say never??? Have you ever said "My child would NEVER act that way!" Or "You will NEVER see me doing that!" This one is the kicker! "We are done having kids, I will NEVER do that again!"

Sure enough, as we say these things, God has His Plan For Us! It's His will! We thought we were done with having kids with one, our daughter, Kierstyn. As I just thought, how could I ever love another child as much as I love her?? But....God had a plan! I became pregnant when Kierstyn was 2 and it was a BIG SURPRISE!! But a good one! At 12 weeks along, I lost the baby and we were devastated. I mean, I carried Kierstyn with no problems, it was a beautiful pregnancy actually. But for whatever reason, God had a plan for us. So months later, as we were now trying to get pregnant (because I hate the fact that I am not in control and hate to be told the word "NO") I became pregnant again and this time I didn't even know it! I micarried before I even knew about the pregnancy. By now, I'm thinking "What Gives?" We were at a loss as to what was going on. But life went on and we tried again. It wasn't long til I had that" plus" sign in the window of yet another pregnancy test. We were terrified, but thrilled.

This pregnancy was different, I "felt" pregnant but started spotting on had alot of pain that would come and go. It went on for a few weeks, until one night I woke in severe pain. We rushed to the ER just knowing that we had lost another baby. We were told "yes" we did in fact. They sent me home, but only to be rushed back that night. A few tests later and I found out that my pregnancy was ectopic! After an emergency surgery and losing my baby, and a fallopian tube, I was numb! I just couldn't even feel a loss at this point. Everyone around me grieved but me. I just couldn't do it. After a week of recooperation, my OBGYN told me to "Go for it"!!! Try again! HUH???? Is this man nuts???? I knew that my fate was doomed, I would NEVER carry another child! It just wasn't in the cards for me.

So we started looking into adoption. We went to an informational meeting and really fell in love with the idea. Jamie and I spent the next few weeks planning on adoptiong a child but as it came down to starting a homestudy we just weren't ready for some reason. We decided to wait and yet again, try one more time! Within a month from that date, I was pregnant! Of course we were walking on eggshells for the first few weeks. BUT....to our surprise, WE HAD A HEARTBEAT!!!! Oh the joy of that moment! Jamie and I hadn't seen one of those since Kierstyn! My pregnancy was for the most part uneventful and low and behold, Kaden was born ! Perfect in every way! We were extatic to say the least!

So see, God taught me to "NEVER SAY NEVER"! If I would have given up on trying to concieve, I wouldn't have Kaden. And as devatating as my losses were, if my pregnancies would have progressed, I wouldn't have Kaden. God is good, even in those darkest hours. Just look at my beauties!

Kierstyn age 5 and Kaden newborn. July 10, 2001

Monday, May 10, 2010

Finally Starting A Blog!

Well, after reading many blogs about adoption and all of the beautiful families out there. I have decided to give it a try. We have 5 beautiful children, 2 by birth and 3 by adoption. God has blessed us beyond belief! All of our kids have a story, whether about their birth or about their adoption. It is truely amazing how God's hand has been involved in everyone of their journeys.

I hope to give hope, faith and alot of humor to all who ready our story.