Friday, February 20, 2015

Without my better half

 So these are all pictures from earlier this month.  We got Busch Gardens tickets and tried out the new Falcon's fury!  It is an amazing ride that takes you up 328 feet.  Flips you on your stomach so to speak so you are staring at the ground, and then drops you.  Just as you near the bottom it swings you back out so you are sitting up again. 
 Fun Life Hack- peel an orange so the pith is still connected in the middle.  Fill with any kind of veggie oil (we used olive) make sure to wet the pith with the oil.  Then light it on fire.  They actually burn for quite a while. 
 Another project a friend of mine had done with her kiddos.  You take a cup- has to be #6 I think it is (think red solo cup, but ours were not name brand).  Write on it- the bottom of the cup will be what shows the most.  The sides will end up squishing so to speak....
 Preheat the oven to 275F (Yes I was doing this at 10pm experimenting... because if it went wrong I wouldn't have done it with kids. 
 Imagine a clean oven door- not this one because well you know that is just not on my radar most of the time.  Being real! 
 It literally all of a sudden "drops" and when they become almost totally flat as a pancake- I think ours took maybe 4-5 minutes (this may vary a little)- you take them out of the oven and you can flatten even more with an oven mitt. 
 LOOK!!! I DID A CRAFT WITH THE KIDS!!!  Write this down in the record books!!! 
 The boys putting together our second shoe cabinet from IKEA.  Our last shoe cabinets final bit the dust after 11 years!!!  Which I happen to think is pretty good.  Actually if we could have found one more part- we could have just repaired them.  IKEA does have spare parts to furniture- so it is always worth asking even if it is an older product! 
 Michael looking especially cute!!!  I can't believe he turns 5 next week!  How is that even possible?  STOP GROWING! 
 Kiddos playing candy story.  And if you play candy store you have to dress up.
Good thing their smiles are cute they wanted to charge me $14 dollars for some candy.  :)

So Jason left this past Monday... and can I just say I have a whole new respect for single moms, or those whose husbands have to be gone for extended times for work.  I am not good at being on my own.  I pretty much stink at it because I am an extreme extrovert (henceforth the 9 kids)!  Today depression hit... and it stinks.  I know he will be home, but I just don't like not being with him.  This is the longest I think we have been apart since his grandmother died after we were first married (and I didn't have any kiddos then). 

I know this is a trip that he needed.  He is gone back to England for 9 days to visit family and hang out.  There were some specific things he wanted to do.  Managing the cost of a trip like this for all of us is hard- would take a while to save up for.  Going with him seems like it just isn't an option because of the obvious.  Who wants 9 kiddos for 9 days? ;)

It's not the kiddos they have actually been fine.  Well, you know....  It is just me not being good at being alone.  I don't sleep well at all- even with being tired and having oils (which hello I didn't even try until last night).  I feel easily defeated and then this crazy weather. 

Now you have permission to laugh because as I am writing this I am chuckling at myself.  I mean come on I was born and raised in Iowa (30 years) for goodness sake!  We cancelled our trip to go to Busch because it was too cold yesterday.  Ridiculous for Florida!  The start of the day it was in the high 20's low 30's.  I couldn't bear the thought of riding a roller coaster and having the wind be that cold.  So we stayed home which sent me on this pathetic place of sadness. 

122 hours and counting..... please hurry up!!!  I can't stand it!!!  Next Wednesday better hurry up!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Story- shared at Created For Care February 2015

My Story….. by Dawn Wright

My story starts with an 8 year old child on vacation.  Who all of a sudden feels pain and has to be swept off to the nearest hospital.  With concern and obvious fear on her parents faces we are told the words that no one wants to hear- ever.  Your daughter has cancer.  Stunned and taken back we head back to our home state for immediate surgery that took 7 doctors 14 hours.  There were no answers or real hope as this kind of cancer usually only strikes women over 40. 
For months afterward our family is torn apart with brothers at home with grandparents rotating in our lives, my dad on the road truck driving, and my mom and I waiting….. waiting for the next appointment, for the next treatment, for the doctors, for my counts to be high enough for my next treatment again, for hope of the words everyone wants to hear- YOU ARE HEALED!  For more than a year we battled with sickness, healing, low counts, and much more.  Finally 10 years later at my 18th birthday I was declared HEALED!!

Because of having a total hysterectomy there was a lot more to my story…. What happens when my prince comes?  Will he love me even though we will never have biological children?  Will he join me on the path to adoption whatever that looks like?  While working at a Christian Summer camp for the bazillionth year in a row after I had already started my career as a music teacher- my prince came and he definitely was meant for me, along for my journey that became our journey!  Thank you Jesus!

Next waiting the 4 years, that back then you had to wait, in order to start the adoption process….. then for some crazy reason through friends started the classes to do foster care.  Through that same friend we had a connection to a possible placement of a 14 month old girl.  Over the next several months she would stay with us.  After passing the grueling preadoption interview along with other families we were chosen.  

Next came her 2 brothers who also joined our family eventually in the coming 2 years and we had a great family right- 3 children 1 girl 2 boys Abigail, Andrew, and Matthew….and we were done right?  Then a move to minister at another Christian Camp in Louisiana …and signing on to do foster care all over again.  This time not really to adopt a child necessarily, but just to help out some families.  Well, 3 years after we took in a placement of a sibling group of 2 - ages 3 and 1 and then added a baby sister- we finalized Joshua, Sarah, and Elizabeth’s adoption.  

Knowing that we were maxing out our numbers for foster care and that something had to be “easier” we decided to do international adoption joining the AGCI Ethiopia program.  I mean if you have 6 kiddos might as well have more, and by this time we loved our chaos.  So we rushed through paperwork to bring home our miracle child who was born with scoliosis and spina bifida- Hannah Grace.  

In a trial of grief that no one should ever have to go through we had to let our Hannah go as she went home to be with Jesus.  There is nothing that prepares you for that loss…..  we took some time and prayed and thought God has a child for us still and we brought home our toddler Jonathan.  Months later we signed on with AGCI to do another Ethiopian adoption- matched with a special needs toddler girl.  This time being told by USCIS that our ministry income wasn’t enough to bring her home (long story, but we had free housing and utilities, but arguing with government isn’t easy).  We were devastated for another loss of our Naomi- God….. please…. We don’t understand – another loss!!! 
That is when we found out about domestic adoption- would anyone really want a family with 7 children?  Within a week we were holding our daughter in our arms and she was legally ours!  A whirlwind of grace and healing of our wounded hearts!

After a couple of years, a move, and a few job changes we brought our Michael home through a special needs program at age 2.  A beautiful match with our family- he amazes us every day what he can do despite the millions of odds against him in his short life.  Being HIV positive which in his case had become devastating to his body with high counts it caused so much brain damage and CP.

Our lives are hard.  Parenting is hard.  Most of you know parenting an adopted or foster child is harder!  It isn’t flowers and unicorns, but it is beautiful as well.  Beautifully broken together.  God’s mercies are new every morning……