Friday, March 30, 2012

I won!! and other crazy stuff....

 OK so I WON!!!  YEA!!  I won these :)  WAHOOO!!!!  Actually I won them a bit ago, but you know - LIFE happens, but I wanted to share!
 You see I won for simply giving a little - praying a lot - and sharing about this wonderful family that is bringing....not 1, not 2, not 3..........
 BUT 4 children HOME!!!!  YEA!!!!!!!  So BLESSED to be praying with them on their journey!!!  GO READ ALL ABOUT THIS FAMILY :)  They have another giveaway going on right now!  And they have plenty of fun tshirts as well!!  THANK YOU Kim for the fun gifts, and sooo EXCITED to see God working on your journey to being BLESSED with 6 CHILDREN :)!!!
 So reality check?  He he may live in this family if this is what you do for fun?  (Stand back ladies he is all mine!)
 And you may live in this family if your children beg with you and plead with you to do the same!  (so please no nasty emails they wanted to do it- thanks ;) 
 Tooooo  funny!!!
 Awww....look at those sweet lips...
 he he he he he
 Awww....Michael....don't worry there is ALWAYS a family member to give you hugs- all day long that is!!! 
 And since when did this stinker learn how to use a cup?
Told you she was a stinker......a VERY VERY VERY VERY CUTE STINKER! 

So wow.....crazy week.  Monday we took Sarah to the doctor because she had this random rash thing that we had no clue about.....that all of a sudden spread to her arm.  NO IDEA what it was even stumped the doctor. 

Then Monday night Jason started feeling bad.  UGH!!!  Tuesday morning he couldn't even get in the only time he got up to sit up or get out of bed for the last 3 WHOLE DAYS was to use the facilities and to go to the doctor!  YIKES!!!  He has vertigo, and yes he has done the exercises :).  Today....a bit better, but still not the greatest.  Thankful that he is at least up, and working from home.  I didn't want him driving that is for sure!!!  Vertigo makes you extremely off kilter as in very very very dizzy. 

So that was my fun and crazy week :)  Glad it is over and glad it is the weekend!  Glad my hubby is feeling better and for rest time!!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I'm Just.........

 So wow....I have been out of the loop.  I think we are in a place where we are making some small changes in our home.  We are facing some challenges.  We are dealing with insurances.  We are leading the foster care/adoptive life group.  We are doing life.  And know- it happens!  So the below are pictures of the kiddos playing with my Aunt Jane and my cousins kiddos at the local "tree park".  We love getting together with them and having a picnic and plenty of fresh air!!!!
 So I don't know about you but sometimes I almost hear people sigh when they say I'm just doing this.  Or I'm just a housewife.  Or I'm just adopting.  Or I'm just cleaning.  Or I'm just relaxing.  Or I'm just beginning.  Or I'm just leaving.  Or I'm just going to work.  Or I'm just.............(fill in the blank with anything!!!) 
 I guess I was thinking about this because there is this silly whimsical movie called Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium.  In the movie the toy store- is a magical store where the toys are "active and alive".  There is an accountant who is hired to help the magical toy store to get right with their taxes etc.  This accountant has lost touch with imagination and playing.  Like a lot of adults I know.

When the young lady employed by the store is talking to him she says you are a "just that" kind of person (or something along that line).  Meaning that he was a grumpy person who refused to have fun in life.  One who didn't want to "play along" because he lived life by the rules.  He was a grown up.  He was too serious for childish things. 
 When I hear people say I'm Just- what comes to mind is that scene.  People will say- I'm just running to the grocery store.  In reality ALL THAT WE DO WE SHOULD DO FOR THE LORD!

Colossians 3:23 “Whatsoever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
 What if instead of  "JUST DOING ........"?  We really lived our lives FULLY FOR THE LORD?  Allowing God to really fill us with JOY!  Allowing God to bring our lives to LIFE through HIM!!!
 What if we played as hard or harder than our kids?  What if we said we don't want to be "just this" anymore?
 What if we believed in God the way a young child believes in pink bunnies and a magic toy store?  What if we believed that God really does work miracles- TODAY?  What if we believed what GOD SAID IN THE BIBLE WAS TRUE? 
 What if we really allowed God to CHANGE OUR WORLD to be what HE SEES IN US?
 I am just wondering.........
 Would it look a LOT MORE LIKE THIS?
 Or this?
 I truly think it would!!!  I think we would have a lot more time for things.  Be a lot less irritated by things.  Be a lot more caring towards strangers and friends.  We would be able to share more!  We would want to give to those around us without question.  We would desire to spend more time with God!  We would enjoy life a lot more....realizing that we are doing EVERYTHING FOR GOD!!!
 These are our friends that Castros.....a wonderful family from our church.  They were taken with Michael :)  And well- what's not to LOVE?? are too cute- look at those eyes looking to daddy!
 Yep, plastic bottles are a toy for all ages. know Michael just eats up all the attention!!!  I love it!!!!  I LOVE SPOILING HIM WITH AS MUCH ATTENTION AS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So what would serving the Lord in EVERYTHING you do look like?

Ummmmm.....for me that means some big changes!!!  As in - my attitude!  As in remembering this life is a privilege!  As in remembering that my husband and my children are a HUGE GIFT!  I do try to live that way, but you know in the moments you just want 10 seconds of peace.....yea those.  Or when you get interrupted trying to have a 2 minute conversation with your hubby.  And list could go on quite long unfortunately.

What if you made a list of who you are?


Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday to our little surprise package- Joanna Faith Wright!

 Happy 2nd Birthday Joanna Faith Wright!!!!  My baby girl I guarantee you had us wrapped around your finger since we said YES- this is our baby girl!!!!  Our hearts were YOURS and still are FOREVER!!!  Your story still amazes me, and I am still in awe of how God planned to put you in our family.  It is a story ONLY God could write!  Too crazy for a tv show!  Too nuts to try to explain........
 But you can start reading about it here!!!! 
 And keep reading this crazy story here and see pictures too!!!
 And it keeps unraveling in our blog here!!
 Ahhh....but that is not all- you have to go here too!!!  See told you God is blowing us away with HIS STORY!!!
 And finally here!!!!  Oh my....just when you thought it couldn't get any better- IT DOES!!!
 I mean.....I just can't fathom this BEAUTIFUL MIRACLE not being here!!!!!
 Her crazy attitude. 
 And although I would love to say.....this was her story and that is isn't.  You see before this joyous occasion.....before this miracle entered our lives.......there was another story.  It is a story of deep sorrow.  A story that rips the heart physically out of you.  You see.....we waited the 9 months that was required by All God's Children International after we brought our Jonathan home from Ethiopia, and turned in our preapplication immediately!  We were matched with a beautiful baby girl on the waiting list!  We LOVED HER- our Naomi Caroline!!!  We raced through the rest of everything!!!!  We went to England to visit Jason's family with our other 7 kiddos- had fun together, and awaited news that we would pass court in Ethiopia. 

Then we got a letter from US*CIS saying we didn't technically make enough money to adopt from Ethiopia.  Now say that sentence out loud if you want to say an oxymoron.  RIDICULOUS!!!!!  At the time we lived at camp and didn't pay for housing or utilities etc, but that was not good enough for the government.  We tried EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to prove ourselves.  TRUST ME WHEN I SAY TO EVERYONE:  I HAVE NEVER MET ANYONE ELSE THAT HAS EVER BEEN TOLD THIS- NO ONE!!!  And I have many, many, many, many wonderful friends that have adopted from many different countries all over the world!  :)  So don't was our person who worked at US*CIS- trust me! 

OUR HEART SHATTERED INTO A MILLION PIECES!!!  IT WAS AS IF OUR LIVES STOPPED!!  I know we still trusted the Lord, but it just seemed to us as if our lives....the love we shared with our children, the faith we had- was put on hold for a while.  And like a car that tries to start but can't over and over again......that was what our day looked like.  Our Naomi - after all our paperwork, and research didn't help, went home to an amazing family......but it wasn't ours.  We had people actually say to us- maybe this is God's was of saying 7 children is enough.  PEOPLE NEVER LET THE DEVIL ENTER YOUR LIVES THROUGH A LIE- EVER!!!!!!
 When our backs were turned.....when we thought all hope was lost.....when we pleaded with the Lord for another child- which we knew HE would be faithful to provide no matter what it looked like......
 That is when this piece of sunshine entered our lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 She can never replace our Naomi Caroline........that hurt still remains....and being honest I am crying like a baby right now.  Because my heart will always miss her.  BUT I COULD NEVER SAY NO TO THIS FACE!!!!  EVER!!!!!
 I would never have wanted to miss THIS!!!! 
 Friends I want to encourage you right now!!!!  When people say you are CRAZY!  Count it all good!!!!!
 When people say- you are doing the wrong thing- I mean it is time for someone else to fight for the over 160 million orphans of the world- THEY ARE WRONG!  When people say YOU HAVE DONE ENOUGH.........
 NO!  No.....because it matters to THIS ONE!!!  This child God placed in our home and in our hearts!!!
 This one that brought a healing salve to our hearts and a NEW HOPE!!!  A hope that GOD STILL HEARS OUR DESPERATE PLEAS!!!   HE STILL LOVES US!!!  HE STILL WANTS ALL CHILDREN TO HAVE A HOME!!!!!
 People this is NOT ABOUT space in your home, money in your pocket, a perfect mommy or daddy, not about all your inadequacies, not about your fears of all that could happen, not about what if's.......THIS IS ABOUT THE MIRACLE - CALLED LIFE! 
And I couldn't IMAGINE it any other way!!!!!  Because......this special little girl brought us to this special little boy!!!!  Our twins!!!!! heart is full of JOY over seeing miracles THAT ONLY GOD COULD HAVE DONE!!!  There will never be a way to convince me that GOD doesn't do miracles- EVER.  Even in the darkest of days waiting for our children to be ours officially, going through loss, and grieving millions of tears.....GOD IS A GOD OF HOPE! 

Our memory verses we just finished- Romans 12:9-13 "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality."

Yep, about sums it all up!  PRAISE GOD!!!!  THANK YOU FOR OUR DAUGHTER JOANNA!!!!  We love you girl more than you will ever know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Happy Happy Birthday Joanna Faith Wright!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Adoption Day Joshua, Sarah, and Elizabeth!!!

 This marks 4 YEARS that our children have been in our family PERMANENTLY!!!  4 years ago (yesterday) we CELEBRATED THIS SUPER HUGE OCCASION!!!!!!  I am pretty sure I can't make it through blogging today without crying because I can feel the tears well up now. 
 You see......every time you read our blog you see these gorgeous kiddos the Lord has given to us. 
 I see a million miracles all in one person!
 You see the beautiful smiles, and I know the heart ache behind the smiles that God has given them now. 
 You see the wonderful fun and silly things we do together.
 I see the hardest and darkest days of my life- becoming overshadowed by God's victory!
 I see 3 very very very long years.........of unstable lives, hard court days, social workers who hated us, social workers we loved (we had 8 within those 3 years!), a judge who seemed to change his mind with the season and depending on his mood of the day, a struggle to have connections with the birth family that were great.......great until CASA stepped in (court appointed child advocate) and spread lies and rumors about us, times when we were preparing our family that these children would go to live with their biological family- a time we rejoiced in for them, and times when those moments shattered- AGAIN,  a lawyer who saw how obvious the HATE was from our CASA worker (and yes it was prejudice and we even know why- which is a story maybe I will share at some time).  Oh and the list goes on.......pushed back court dates, possible birth fathers who didn't eve know the name of the child!!!  Visits with the biological family that left our children in pieces- that continued weekly- FOR 3 YEARS!  Oh my heart couldn't take it!!!  I think maybe I will be sharing parts of that story as a witness that God does indeed triumph over it! 
 TODAY IS ABOUT JOY!!!!  A JOY THAT CAN NOT BE STOLEN!!!  EVEN IN THE DARKEST MOST HORRIBLE MOMENTS!!!  THIS JOY was HOPE!!!  A HOPE that we were given when we said YES!  A hope we were given when God answered- if you say YES I will watch over you.  I will guide you.  I will give you strength when you don't have ANY left! 
 Seeing my babes playing with their siblings, sharing, laughing, rejoicing, caring, loving, and growing in God- THOSE THINGS ARE FROM GOD ALONE my friends!!!!!!!!  THOSE THINGS NO ONE CAN UNDO!!!!  OUR GOD IS GREATER!!!!!!  I have seen and I believe it!!  I can't erase it from my mind- it is too clear!!!!!
 So *yesterday* as we ate donuts for Elizabeth's cake.  And celebrated this beautiful young girl....
 I saw how amazing she is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 HOW AWESOME our GOD's story for our lives are!!!
 And would I trade this and take all the hard stuff back? NO WAY IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 This baby girl has REAL WINGS!!!!  Her enthusiasm is immeasurable!  She is loving, caring, beautiful, and has a JOY in life that few know!!!!  Elizabeth Anne I love you more than any words can say!!!!
 Oh and This young man- my Joshua are not only soo sinking handsome, but you are my fierce protector.  The "Michael" in the movie Blind Side.  SERIOUSLY!  You are caring in that way.  You will protect your family, love them fiercely, and guard them with all your heart! 
 And that is God at work in you!!!!  A redemption story of life!!!!  I LOVE IT!!!!!  Your smile has always taken me back. 
 Joshua ordered from daddy- carrot cake with cream cheese frosting of course!
 Sarah ordered from daddy a banana cream pie!  YUMMY!!!  Oh sweet are God's great princess!!!  You have the ability to lead and share boldly with anyone!!!  I love seeing that spark in you :)
 **This is also a marker for you- you have officially been permanently with our family - longer than you have not been in our family.  For those who have not adopted- this is a BIG DEAL.  It is sometimes a breaking point for some- in a great way.  We are praying this over you Sarah!  It means God is reclaiming YOU FOR HIM!
 This handsome man and his cake!  Today (yesterday) was a GREAT DAY OF CELEBRATION!!!  Remembering the hard stuff, but also remembering that GOD CARRIED US ALL THROUGH IT and still does.  KNOWING THAT THESE BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN ARE YOURS GOD....and on loan to us for the time we are given.  PRAISING GOD FOR THE GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!