Thursday, September 21, 2017

It's safe to say I never expected to be adopting again so soon.  Actually, I vividly remember standing in a small apartment far away from home, trying to calm/dodge the blows of a headbanging...thrashing....smelly Martina...and saying to Timmy, "I can't do this".

I remember sitting in the shower (there was no bath((which has been my safe place since I was little)) so I blocked the drain and tried to regroup in 2 inches of water...) frantically praying, reading the bible, googling bible studies that deal with fear... and saying over and over again to God, "I can't do this."

Those twelve days were the worst.  Just the worst.  I  was so scared, and lonely, and to be "ugly honest" I was angry.  It was NOT what I had planned.  I should have been better at this- God called me to adoption.


I missed my babies at home (bad), Tina was withdrawing from sedation medication and did not sleep- like at all.  She didn't want to be held- she wouldn't stop slamming her head on things and I felt isolated and trapped in a tiny apartment in a foreign country.

For the record I know this doesn't paint me in the best light.  But it is honest.

And it turns out I was right...I couldn't do it.

 I'm not sure when God spoke into my crazy heart, but He did.  And do you know what He said to my cries of, "I can't do this!"?

He said, "I know."

Martina has been home for ten months.  My little girl who couldn't sit, hated to be touched, and wouldn't look at me when I spoke to her- follows me around the house, reaches to be held, and looks when I say her name.  She is loving, and stubborn, and so full of joy.  I can't imagine my life without her.

And I am thankful each day that even though I can't do it- I have a God who says, "But I can."

The night before we left Bulgaria with Martina- I didn't sleep- shocker.  I was trying so hard to imagine what life would be like once we got home- and I was terrified.  I couldn't focus my mind to pray- words were crashing all around in my sleep deprived brain- but I needed to talk to God.  I needed to affirm what was true and focus on Who was there, right there, in that tiny apartment, in that foreign place, with me.  A good and faithful God.

So I picked up a pen and a scrap of paper and wrote to God.

Today I was sitting at the piano- messing around with a melody for the words I wrote 10 months ago in Bulgaria. Teeny was next to me, adding her notes to mine- and I didn't immediately make the connection.  Then she laid her head on my arm and I choked up.  In Bulgaria I talked with God about His faithfulness when I felt like I was drowning... and now here I am safe on shore playing piano with one of my biggest blessings.

I set my phone up to record us as we played.  This is a hobby of mine and the music is technically awful- but it's not about that.  I planned on just sharing with Timmy, but he and I think it's too sweet of a moment not to share.

He has called Timmy and I, again, to adoption.  He has broken our hearts for Roman, and squished him in there so that we love him already and will work diligently to bring him home.

I'm excited to see where God is leading us- trusting all the while that He is leading us closer to Him.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

We found Roman in pretty much the same way that we found Martina- through Reece's Rainbow's waiting child list.

We know he was born prematurely and he had a shunt placed to treat hydrocephalus.  

We also know Roman is a twin and his (healthy) brother went home with their parents.

That last bit- is some rough information.  It's important to know that Roman is in a different country and children with special needs are often given up for adoption in Eastern Europe.  

We may never know exactly why Roman was placed in an orphanage- but there are many factors in play and I'm sure his birth parents carefully and painfully made the decision. I can't imagine there is a day that passes when they don't look at Roman's brother and wonder...

I can't imagine.

And I am so thankful that my family has access to amazing health and education resources.  

Martina had her first day of pre-K preschool this week.  She is enrolled in a DART classroom- that is conveniently located at South Park Elementary Center-where Dexter and Bea go to school.  

When we made the decision to adopt Roman- one of the things that fell so heavily into the let's do this / it's really not that crazy category- was that we have so much.

Don't get me wrong- we are firmly situated in the middle (probably to lower) class- BUT o my gosh- we have SO much.

All of our kids are well fed and clothed- they all go to school and to the doctor.  Martina has many services provided through the county.  I mean seriously, we take all these things for granted but they are a huge blessing.

Perhaps Disneyland or world or wherever childhood dreams come true- isn't in the cards for our kids.
(Not an attack on Disney goers and lovers!!!  You go- you love!)

But between yesterday and today they rode their bikes, had a late night campfire with the neighborhood kids, visited Mimi and Buppa, played with cousins, had another campfire, had hotdogs, and smores...

And in the past nine months they have seen their sister become part of our family.  They have kissed her and hugged her- pushed her around in wagons and strollers (sometimes big cardboard boxes)- and sometimes they've complained about her therapy sessions and Dr appointments- or been annoyed when we have had to change the way we do things- to include this new sister.

Dexter, Bea, and Simon have made sacrifices- some they recognize- but most they have no idea they're making.

When you have more kids- you don't get more time or more money (although technically you get some nice tax credits- but I wouldn't recommend having a kid for the doesn't break even!).

So there will be school fieldtrips that mom can't go on,  there will be sport commitments/schedules that can't be kept, and there will be trips we can't afford.

As a parent, there is a large part of me that wants to give my kids all of these things.

But there is this other part of me that wants so much more for my kids than the perfect childhood-  My kids will dream of Disney- I have no doubt- and perhaps some day will get to go-

 but will they love full heartedly, sacrificially?  Will they recognize that people should always hold a higher value than things?

I want that for them.  Will they look back on their childhood and remember everything they weren't able to do- or will they remember campfires and bike rides and the magic of bringing a sister and brother home.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hey everyone!  So... here we are adopting again.  I feel a little crazy- so it is perfectly understandable if your reaction to this news is, "O my gosh- are they crazy?!"

We might be. 

We are headed back to Eastern Europe to bring home a little 4(ish) year old boy. 

Yes, this will make five kids for us.  Yes, we know that’s more kids than the average family has.  Again, we think the, “Are they crazy!?” response IS a valid response. 

BUT even though we ourselves have pondered our mental stability- we have come to the conclusion that we are, for the most part, sane. 

We are headed back to Eastern Europe to bring home a little boy.  We are going to bring home a beautifully and wonderfully made little boy.  We will gladly carry the label of crazy- if it means a home, mom and dad, sisters and brothers, for a little boy who has no idea what family is. 

Martina has changed so much since we brought her home.  She is no longer confined to a crib and underfed.  She can crawl- she can walk holding hands- she knows her name- she knows her family- she IS loved unconditionally. 

Martina on pickup trip- 2yrs 3months- couldn't sit up
Teeny 9 months home!

She has come so far and will go further still- but the trauma of her first two and a half years of neglect follow her.  You see it at mealtime in her liquid diet and at bedtime when she rocks.  You see it when she self harms.  She has left the institution but she has not escaped the effects of being institutionalized.  

Nine months ago, I walked out of an orphanage with a child in my arms but I can’t forget the children who are still orphans.  And I don’t think I’m meant to. 

Timmy and I know we can’t be a family  for every orphan but we certainly can be Roman’s family.

We couldn’t have brought Martina home without the love and support of our friends and family- we are hoping you will support us again- as we Race to Roman!