Sunday, March 24, 2013

Who am I?

Sometimes parenting seems like a Science that even if I had taken a lot more science classes, I would still be such an amateur at!  I've said before that we do a lot of 'live and learn'.  We learned quickly that not doing homework right after school turned into an evening nightmare.  So Day 2, we changed the routine and now we're good.  
But sitting in the car after physical therapy with a teenager that is really unhappy with their selected treatment.....isn't quite as easy as perfecting our routine.  I mean, how do I know what is best for a 15 year old in this situation?  I'm not a Doctor or a Physical Therapist.  Or even a mom who has been here before. So as he tears up, I find myself arguing the Doctor's case.  They're PT's recommended by the best of the best in Kansas City, blah blah.  I blindly trust them.  But he doesn't.  And I get that.  So over the days, I too start to question....How do I know what's best?  Who am I?  

Then a day later, we have a minor lost-in-translation moment that makes all 5 kids look at me like I had betrayed them.  You want to shout "I have told you every day this week what was going to be happening!! "  It's as simple as You are and We are.  Or Before and After.   One word can make you feel like a parenting failure!  And those faces are horrendous! 

I don't really have a nice, pretty bow to tie up these situations with.  I still don't know what to do about PT or if my son is going to hate me until he is 30.  And we will still have lost in translation moments. I feel like we try to communicate so well, so specifically.  But we will still have them.  So we just keep walking.  And fortunately, we recover quickly.  We laugh with and at each other.  We enjoy lazy Saturdays and now a snowed in Sunday.  And we learn the dance of communicating with each other.  And parenting 7 very different kids.  Who am I is the best question I can ask.  Because it isn't about me.  And if I don't pray that God would love on, teach, direct, comfort, and speak to my kids, then that's the biggest failure I can make.  Because I am not enough for them.  I do not know all the answers.  But our God knows what He's doing.  Phew!  Good thing!  'Cause sometimes I don't have a clue! 

"For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God, not a result of works so that no one can boast."
Ephesians 2:8-9

I'm so grateful...for the gift for me and for my kids.  Ultimately, I have to lead them to Him.  The rest is His to deal with.  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Answers Part 1

I didn't get a ton of questions or comments to the post regarding our process and the questions it creates.   But I got enough that I feel a responsibility to answer.  I'll answer them separately so today is Question 1:
How did we know we were doing the right thing when the door kept getting closed at the beginning?

For us, we are big about discernment.  We are careful not to make big decisions without pretty clear discernment.  And are super careful not to call something what "God said" unless we're are pretty stinkin' sure He said it.
That being said, I felt called to our 5 kids before my husband did.  If you've read the history posts, I don't want to bore anyone.  But I was pretty wrecked after a trip to Guatemala and had a burning desire to do something substantial.  Over time, I started talking about our kids and felt more and more at peace.
My husband on the other hand had more of an "intercom" moment with God.  Logan and I were already on board when God told Scott to quit worrying about the kids.  "I didn't ask you about the kids, I asked if you were willing".  And we were.

Over the year and a half process, we hit many roadblocks.  We were told no early on while we were still very zealous.  So at that point, you fight because you have fresh energy to do so.  You know that God asked us to defend the cause of the fatherless and we were going to do that until God said otherwise.  By the last no, the unexpected, most heartbreaking one.....we were fighting for our kids.  Because we were fighting rules and authorities that were required to have rules and ridiculous procedures.  Sometimes someone would present a next step for Scott and I to try.  Sometimes, our agency or attorneys would just start the next step on their own.  

More than all of that though, we were standing on what God had said.  Much like a comment from Mandy Feichner said, it wasn't God closing the doors.  And each time we hit a block, we took a few steps back (after crying and grieving, don't get me wrong) and asked God what He was doing and what He wanted from us.  And each time, we kept walking even when it felt like in mud.  With boots up to our thighs.  Uphill.  We kept walking.

For us, it was never really a no.  It was just a crazy process.  For others, it may not look like ours.  But God is still the same.  When it's yes or when it's no.  When it's so different than we would have designed.  And in the craziest moments, THAT is what I had to stand on.  With all my weight.  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Keepin' it in Perspective

Yesterday was not one of my favorite days on the planet.  I woke up and got 5 kids off to school.  Annnnd one very late college student up to go to work.  Just me and Laney and I heard a loud popping sound.  I tiptoed to the laundry room, half covering my face because I thought something might blow up.  How sad if my new dryer was about to explode!?!  Instead, I found water dripping from multiple points in the ceiling, loudly hitting the sink in the laundry room and water flowing down the wall in 2 places.  I'm not sure how long it had been doing this but long enough to bubble up the dry wall and warp the window frame.  I started to panic!  Turned water off and waited for the plumber.  Yikes!
Only $75 later and a drying wall that maybe doesn't need to be replaced, I feel somewhat better!  

But in the midst of the chaos, I started playing the movie forward.  How much it was going to cost to replace the wall and ceiling, how we don't have it right now, how I would much prefer to spend "extra" money (whatever that is) on painting my bedroom that has a stripped border and Kilz stripes decorating it now....etc.  All that does is give a person a migraine!  And it was somewhat unnecessary.  Plumbing is minor.  And didn't cost the fortune I had dreamed up in my mind.  Big picture, we are good.  I love the sound of lots going on.  Kids helping each other with homework.  One doing tricks with his bike outside.  Another helping her sister get her socks on without being asked.  I don't even hate homework time or getting dinner ready anymore.  We have found our groove.  And I'm sure we will have to find it again.  And again and again.  But for now, we are really good.  Scott and I still talk, even amidst 7 kids and 3 jobs. We laugh and still like each other. I have to keep that in perspective, so that next time something is dripping or not working, I don't lose my mind!  
(Do not worry today about tomorrow....each day has enough trouble of it's own! Matt. 6:34) 

Funny sidenote, last night, the kids were saying "Mom the toilet, the toilet!" and I'm like oh my gosh, again!?!  I run downstairs and am pointing to the bathroom trying to figure out what they're saying.  And they were saying "Mom, Twilight, Twilight....." They couldn't get the new movie to work in the DVD player!  Twilight--Toilet.  Same thing. Sheesh!!  Language barrier much??  Just a pronunciation thing! 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Many Questions

We have gotten some incredible opportunities.  Radio stations, tv, and the like have asked us great questions about how we got to our kids, etc.  We have so enjoyed the cool things God has done!  In the midst of our 15 minutes of fame, a lot of questions came out that didn't get asked directly to us.  Comments to news articles.  Questions to other people but not to us.  And some of them are just highly unintelligent.  So I don't want to address those.  None of you have hateful questions like that, I'm sure.  But I thought I should open up the discussion to some questions that are important.  If you are out there and have questions that are keeping you from being obedient to God in some way.  Or even just slowing the process of obedience up.  Let's have a comment discussion board about it.  I'll even give you some question suggestions and if one of your questions is listed here, I'll address it.  If you have others, I'll do my best to answer those too.  Any help from the seasoned adoptive community are welcome! 

How did we know we were doing the right thing when the door kept getting closed at the beginning?

How do we feel our decision to adopt affects our biological kids?  
Did we discuss it with them?
Is it fair to them?

How do you pay for an international adoption?

Why did we adopt internationally when there are so many kids locally that want/need families?

And any others that might help you...even if it isn't necessarily adoption related.  
Ours is a story of faith and listening to God in a big way.  And really about Him talking to us and allowing us to be a part of a bigger story than we could have written for ourselves.  What God is asking you may be different.  I want to help you find out what that is if I can. 

Whole New Level of Crazy

(written yesterday)  Wow!  So many things have gone crazy since I wrote last.  We knew we were moving obviously.  But we moved out a little faster than planned.  Like in about 30 hours.  Psycho.  Moving is supposed to be one of the biggest stressors.  Moving 9 humans in that short amount of time.... I might have needed to be committed.  Don't ask my family.  While people were packing my house for me, another crew was at the new house, furiously peeling wallpaper and painting.  I hope to never move again!  But little by little, it is starting to feel like we are supposed to live there and not just squatting. :)  Between that and snow days, today seems like a very strange Monday.  But it's Thursday which means one of my kids needs to be at PT today...I digress.  I'll be honest, I thought I was going to be Superwoman with this move and crazy life combination.  But after I hit my car on 2 different husband's truck and our new garage....I realized I need to slow down and am not exactly sure how.
Today is feeling much more normal.  People are all at school.  Laney is playing at the McDonald's playplace while I use WiFi because we still don't have it, and dinner is thawing at home.  I think we just might make it!  And while I'd like to be sitting in this chair reading a book every day, maybe someday...

(Ignore the mauve shade; it will be exiting:)