Monday, March 17, 2014

february photo dump

what we did in february. 

our first family valentines day was celebrated with chocolate chip pancakes. auntie andy & auntie vic sent mama and birdie tulips, our favorite. birdie squealed with delight as soon as we opened the package. to think, someones treasured her enough to send her fresh flowers just because. boy this child is a sucker for the holiday. the morning of i woke her and the first sentences from her mouth were all about valentines day and the parties and cards, on and on she squeaked with excitement. i remember as a child my ma would set out special v-day treats for us girls on the kitchen table the night before. in the morning seeing the table set with gifts and chocolates always made me feel an extra boost of love and appreciation. naturally i feel inclined to recreate the happy experience and tradition with our littles. twas a hit. 

also while walking the treadmill v-day morning i impulsively decided to pierce my nose. and by impulsively i mean ponder about it for a long while before quickly pulling the trigger at random timing. ten years is a good amount of time to think over this decision. no? perhaps i'm going through a mom life crisis. or maybe not. i like it. i'm glad i did it. no regrets. 

birdie became a full fledged ballerina. in all her years she has wanted to be a ballet dancer and in her words "i can't believe i'm finally a ballerina! i've been dreaming of this forever!"  also, i can't believe i have a daughter in dance! the dance studio was my second home growing up. i always imagined my future children doing the same. now that day is hear and its both totally awesome and kinda weird.
the littles had dentist appointments. pike had his first visit ever where he wooed all hygienists but gave his heart solely to the red balloon. oh that child with balls and balloons! brooks is growing like a weed!! cooing, smiling and holding hands are currently his favorite. 
although our winter was unseasonably warm (grrrrrr) we got slammed with the traditional ills. everyone of us got the nastiness.

our ninth wedding anniversary brought us our second house!!! i awoke february 26th to a very pleasant email alerting me that our documents were ready to sign to make it officially ours. we had to wait a couple weeks before we could move in but now we've got it and we're tearing it apart.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

thoughts after january court

*this is, i'm sure, out of context to the current theme of our days. we've turned a corner and details of our case are very positive and in our favor. even still i didn't want this essay, written one day after a january court hearing, to get lost. i'd like it to be here to serve as a reminder of how dark some days got during this journey. 

june 25th i became a mother then again on july 17th and once more on december 3rd in the year 2013. within six months we went from no kids to busting at the seams. this ride of motherhood has been all the good i imagined and all the bad i didn't. our children came to us through the state, foster care, and with them has come all the heartache traditionally attached to the system. although our littles have been shielded from some of the horrific specifics so many children in care have come to know as their own, they are not without their scars and sadness. 

we've spent the better part of seven months in family seclusion {w/ the exception instagram} to gel as a unit and build stability for ourselves and our children. its true, stability and foster care are antonyms. we find our groove as a family; building assurance and familiarity for all of us only to be disturbed by the chaos that is "the system" every month. court hearings and meetings with case workers. all are doing the best they can at their jobs and fighting for whats best for these babies. yet it doesn't change the truth that life stops when these events take place and all in our home wrestle through the pain and disturbance long after the meetings have ended. the reality of the nastiness someone else made for these children and subsequently us, is undeniable during these moments. guarding our hearts and the hearts of our loves is such a mighty task. theory told me it would be, but standing in the mess that is somebody elses ugly and committing to bring about beauty is tiering and exhausts my soul. my faith and trust in the God that led us here have been challenged far too many times to count.

my children are the only thing lovely in all the wreckage. looking upon their innocent countenances is the only thing that brings me back to the knowledge that God truly is good, that He is in all of this, and that He will see all of us through to the finish. 

despite what we were led to believe not all is tied up and done with our middle son for adoption. dramatic court hearings have been dragging on in an attempt to close things up properly. there are uncertainties there that have me worried and our youngest son is at the beginning of the long emotionally messy journey that is the legal hassle of being "in care". yesterday gave us one of the most shocking hearings we've had since being with our children. because specifics were left undone what we were told would most likely happen will not. at least not yet? so here we are about to begin another tumultuous journey of uncertainty with him and i am hurting. my gut, my soul, my heart ache more than i've previously been familiar with. lord it feels like i'm in the eye of a storm, harmful debris flying about threatening to cause harm. i'm ducking for cover and shouting out at the darkness but it's not responding to my commands to cease. i am helpless and small and i am stuck. my heart aches, my soul is weary and i want to be rescued but i see no signs of the calm that comes after the storm. i trust that its on its way but i can not see it, there is no evidence of the light, the dark feels too dark. ...this is all too familiar, i've been here before. i've been this helpless and afraid and help did come, i was rescued. God has rescued before and he'll do it again i know He will.

my children are mine, their hearts are too intertwined with mine to tell me any differently. they are mine & i am theirs. my bones ache for the day that all the legal mess is over and we can all be settled and secure in our unit. our own family. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

to celebrate a birthday

we knew we wanted to celebrate birdie's* birthday with a party but being that it was our first attempt at throwing a child's party and that we were just coming off the Christmas high, we opted for a family only affair. good call. initially we said it would just be the cousins and a few pizzas at momo and papas house. we'd let the kids run around like decapitated chickens and the rents would play card games and chiillllllll. no decorations no fuss. then one trip down the party planning aisle in target changed it all. 

we really have no idea how her birthdays were celebrated before. from our understanding, of her memories, she's never had a big celebration. i don't know if she ever had a party or got to wear party clothes and be the center of attention and have loved ones praise her. we didn't get the first five and a half years of her life. had we ida made sure she did. so six, six we were going to celebrate. 

ben and i decorated the party spot while she stayed away. the minute the guests arrived we opened the back door and watched her countenance say it all. she was speechless and let me tell you this child is never without words, ever. in a moment i saw life and love and acceptance fill her tiny little soul. all of this was for her. just her. gracious i could've stopped right there and all the preparations would've been worth it. theres video to prove it but sadly we can't show it until she's legally all ours so you'll just have to take my word for it.

the whole day i couldn't take my eyes off of her. watching her reactions to everything was addicting. having a daughter to dote on and plan pretty parties for and watch light up is high up there on the list of life's awesomes. and to think i have two other babes to do this for. ahh, i have it good. we ate, we played, we talked, drank some home made strawberry limeades, which were insane,  smashed a few butterflies and tatted up. the guests stayed past the designated party hours, which you know is an indicator that you didn't completely wreck it. it was fun. 

so many memories i've tucked away in my mental scrapbook to reflect on rainy days. out of them all  the top is the balloons. she found such joy in releasing the balloons into the air, "i wanna send some balloons to Jesus mama". after she sent her bunch off to the big guy in the sky, which scattered as they ascended, there were two left. one for her and one for me. we sent them off and snuggled as we watched em fly side by side slowly out of sight. she'd give me kisses on my cheek hug my neck and tell me she loved me and sincerely thanked me for her party. for a minute time was motionless and i thought, this i'll hold onto. this right here is a mama's moment. mama life is chaotic and exhausting and you spend hours pouring out wondering if anything you're offering is worth it or making any difference. then they give you these moments that make your soul sing and you're assured that who you are is all they need and what you're offering is  being received. they give back and its perfect. 

*any names you see representing the children are nicknames. sharing their legal names is not allowed just yet.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

its time

in short our lives have changed and i craved a new place to share it. a name change to the blog, for me, was the motivation to get me to come back to these pages and mark down our lives. i outgrew the old blog. like the tight colored jeans of yesterday, it just didn't look or feel right any longer. to me i felt the old blog fenced me in and my free spirit nature bucks up against any fencing. i needed a name, because to me the name is everything about getting me to visit. i had to be motivated to write and share. 

i tossed and turned over a name for months, nothing clicked. then a few weeks ago, in a moment of motherhood chaos, fussing children surrounded needing my attention, it hit me. no joke, as i poured a bowl of honey nut cheerios and almond milk, as i prayed for a name, inspiration struck and it dawned on me. of course because i'm in it! that's it! i'm finally entering into my "land flowing with milk and honey".  we are in the beginnings of living the life we've prayed for and been promised so many years ago. our children have come and we are entering into our promised land and the future is good and it is bright and there are blessings overflowing in this new land. because God has promised and He has and is delivering. 

i make no commitments here other than to write when inspiration hits and to be honest about us and not allow opinion to taint my intent.

photo credit: leah hope photography