Sunday, August 29, 2010

Prying my eyes open

I just filled out my new calender and guess what?  Christmas season is coming.  I generally begin to get that little mixed up feeling in my gut when the calender flips to September 1st.  You know, the excitement, the wishing it wasn't 100degrees outside, the fun and planning.  Yet that panicky feeling of spending so much money(when you have 4 kids Christmas is expensive!) for something that is so fleeting and over in minutes and remembering the driving bazillion miles to different events?  To help me keep things in perspective, I'm making my eyes remain open to the truth about children suffering in the world. 

Here is a quote from Radical, Taking Your Faith Back From the American Dream by David Platt
"More than twenty-six thousand children today will breathe their last breath due to starvation or preventable disease.  To put it in persepective for the church I pastor, if this were happening among the children in my community, then every child eighteen years or younger in our county would be dead within the next two days."

These are some of the faces of the suffering children that I had the privelage of meeting when I was in Haiti.

This baby was 10months old and weighed about 7 pounds--starving to death.

Maybe Santa will bring  one less video game and we can go serve at a homeless shelter in our city and maybe even send money to Compassion Int, World Vision, orphanCare Int, Samaratin's Purse, Food for the Poor or any number of worthy organizations helping children.  Yes, Christmas season is coming soon and I'm prying my eyes open!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Abby's birthday day

Well, a little anticlimactic for sure.  She went to school.  Fortunately, the lunch ladies embarrassed her to death by making her stand on a chair and they sang Happy Birthday.  Thursday night she and Mike made Rice Krispie treats to share with her classmates.  The teacher took some pictures for me to see.  We headed straight for Carter's football game after school.  I'd packed lots of food to eat while driving.  The game was the longest game in history of football.  The small school we played had a nice field, but that was it.  No chairs, no stands no nothing!  Hudson and Dillon played with other kids in a nice dirt and rock pile.  Their shoes had about 5inches of caked mud on them.  We finally left at 8:30pm and headed for a promised restaurant meal.  She wanted Olive Garden.  After driving around for an hour, we stopped to eat our dinner at Olive Garden.  Mind you, Dillon and I are dead asleep by 9:00pm each night!  Hudson--frat boy is what we've nicknamed him was trucking strong.  He is a party dude.  Oh, don't forget that the boys were barefoot due to aforementioned mud.  We ordered our food.  It was freezing in there.  I used one of Abby's gift(a pink terry cloth swim coverup) to wrap around my shoulders.  Abby used a few cloth green napkins as blankets.  Dillon kept saying "where our food" and inhaled his salad.  Then his eyelids began drooping and it was a battle of the will for him to stay awake.  Hudson--crazy.  He slurped his entire drink, burped out loud, grinned and said "Scuse me, buuuurrrrrp"!!  As usual, our family excudes class everywhere we go.  There was a cute young couple behind us who had left their 2yr old at home for a date.  I could hear it.....the giggles, the "did you see that?"....what they were really thinking was "Man, I hope our family will become just as refined as that one!" ;)

We asked Abby what was her very best experience or memory in her 10yrs.  She was sure it was our trip to Cancun 2yrs ago.  Hhhhm, thanks George W for that stimulus check that allowed us to go.  My daughter had the time of her life!!

As for her growing up, wow, 10yrs old is big.  We have been talking a lot about the growing up stuff that mommas and girls must talk about.  We are using American Girl's "The Growing and Keeping of You."  Bless her sweet heart, when talking about some really BIG girl issues, she covered her face with her hands and asked "Does this mean I'm not a little girl anymore?"    Well, sweetie, you may not be little anymore but you will always be our little girl.  Our sweet, compliant, non-dramatic, practical, pinny-pinching, intelligent, quiet, artistic, beautiful Kongju(Korean princess).

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy 10th Birthday

The big double digits!  Happy Birthday Abigail JooMee.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Higher or lower?

When you have a child with special needs, how do you know if you should have higher or lower expectations?  Seriously, I would looooove to hear suggestions, been there done that type of tips from parents of kids with various types of challenges.  Our annual ARD meeting is coming up and I just don't know what to ask for.  Dillon has done great the last 2 days at school.  He's happy and likes his teacher.  Right now, his IEP has him in a typical developing classroom with pullout to the Resource room for 90 minutes a day.  There they help him one on one with his work.  It is working out well(he did that last year too).  My big dilemna is at home.  He is so tired and won't do homework without a struggle.  He gets frustrated and acts like it is killing him!  I realize a lot of this is him being manipulative and such.  But, the flip side is that the work is hard for him and I don't want to frustrate him.  School must be difficult enough for kids like Dillon and I don't want him to feel inadequate at home too.  Do you push and push to make them reach harder or do you realize that they are different and relax, let it slide??  Very confusing.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to school and getting normal

The kids are officially back in school.  Abby and Carter started last Wednesday.  Carter began 9th grade and Abby 4th grade.

Ahh, to be in 4th grade--how fun!
I never worry about Abby and Carter starting school.  They are happy and love being there.  With Dillon, I worry.  He doesn't handle changes well.  I worry about him having troubles at school and not being able to communicate clearly.  I worry about kids being mean to him.  I worry that he is unhappy and feeling frustrated because he can't do the work.  Basically, I worry!  We were fairly certain he'd have the same teacher again this year as she moved up to first grade.  Surprise!  We don't have her.  We have a sweet new teacher and bless Dillon's heart, her name is Rivera.  Can you imagine having an articulation disorder and trying to say the name Rivera?!!!  She sure seems sweet though.

Hudson wants to go to school.  A bus passed us this morning and he said "I ride that bus!"  No doubt, he will run into school and never look back when it is his time.  Hudson and I had a good morning.  I decided that with all the crap I've been through lately, I deserve a little shopping therapy.  I went to Old Navy and got a few sale items, including cute bronze sandals that Hudson said were "Cute!"  As for my body, I'm feeling half way normal today and look forward to being as normal as I get ;)

And a thanks to my sweet friend Jessica for cheering me up with these

Saturday, August 21, 2010

all is going well(long!)

It is over.  We got home about 5:30 yesterday afternoon from the hospital.  As far as having a terribly sad procedure and being in a hospital for several hours, it was the best experience it could be.  I must say, I'm super proud of my great big city hospital.  Every single person was super friendly, compassionate and professional.  What a weird feeling to go from being the nurse to the patient.  It was rather awkward being wheeled to the pre-op area in a gown and passing by the people in the halls who I work with all the time. 

My precious ob/gyn Doctor(who is an international adoptive mom too) told me that if I didn't want general anesthesia, then to  push to not have it.  So, I did.  I was very nervous and almost changed my mind.  The iv sedation and regional block worked really well and I didn't have to be intubated(as an icu nurse-that was my biggest fear). When I woke up from sedation, my first inclination was to start crying.  I think it hit me, it is offically over.  The worst few weeks I've ever gone through were done.  Our baby was certainly dead and not in me anymore.  That feeling left fairly quickly as I became more lucid.   I feel a little fuzzy but am not hurting and I'm eating well(it's 4:50am and I had to have a snack--but thank God, not because I'm nauseated--I'm hungry!). 

My mother picked up Hudson and Dillon yesterday.  I think they are leaving a tornado of destruction in their paths ;)  She took them to see my 94yr old grandparents and they ended up playing guns with both of their canes!  Then, Dillon slipped Hudson a ball point pen while mom was driving.  Hudson left his mark on mom's light colored leather seats!!!  Oh dear, those 2 are little monsters some time.

I want to address one thing to make sure people don't think I'm a heart-less, ungrateful person.  I've told some people that Mike and I are taking measures to make sure this never ever happens again.  My ob/gyn asked if we were sure we didn't want to be able to try for a biological child.  Our resounding answer is NO!  Now, there are those of you who don't get that.  You think we don't value getting pregnant or having a baby, like we were unhappy that we got pregnant in the first place.  Let me be clear here.  We value life.  God creates life.   In 17yrs of  marriage, we've had 3 positive pregnancy tests.  The first is our miracle sweety, Carter.  No doubt we treasure that boy!  The 2nd was an ectopic that landed me in the hospital and the 3rd was this one.   I  do  not ever ever ever want to go through what I've gone through these last 2 times. Period.    Now, the other point is that we value life already here on the earth---145million orphaned children needing a home!  If we are called to add a 5th child to our family, our huge preference is to adopt a waiting child that is considered hard to place(like Hudson), from a country that lacks the ability to give that child a promising life and future.  So, there you have the clarification.  It really doesn't matter what anyone out there in cyberspace thinks about our choices, I just felt that needed to be addressed.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Facts on the sick sex industry

So, it's 3:45 am.  This seems to be my new norm--get up between 1 and 3 for a snack due to nausea.  After today's procedure, that should end.  Since I'm up, I thought I'd do a little eye opening.  You guys know how the Lord has gotten my family a bit more educated and involved in human trafficking.  I get a newsletter from Destiny Child Rescue.
Did you know that every 26 seconds a new child is forced into the sex industry?
click HERE to read about what Destiny Child Rescue is doing to stop this.
It is easy to read this, be disgusted and then go on with our cushy lives.  What if that was your daughter, your neice, your grandchild?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ready for it to be over

I can't take it anymore.  The constant nausea, the anger,  the irritability, the waiting and worrying, did I mention the anger.......
I'm having a Dand C on Friday.  You guys who stop by often know I'm always open and honest.  I'm not a super Christian, super woman, not perfect, not always giddy and joyful, but real.  The real truth is that being 9 weeks pregnant with all the symptoms but with a dead baby is completely ridiculous!  I'm scared of the procedure.  I know it is simple and minor.  But, I'm still scared.  It is time to move on with our full and busy lives and boy am I ready for normal!  To add insult to inury, I pre-registered with the most chipper young woman who told me my "deposit is 852.00 and how would I like to pay that today?"  Ummmm, excuse me?  I've worked for the hospital system where I'm having the procedure for 13 years!  Can somebody pass some healthcare reform please?

Have I mentioned I'm feeling really angry?????

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

No more brace face

Look out ladies, Carter got his braces off and looks fabulous!

Monday, August 16, 2010

So, how are you?

     It's a weird question isn't it?  First off, thank you so much to the kind friends who left encouraging comments, for the emails, the facebook messages, the texts, the calls---we appreciate it so much!
I think I can speak for anyone whose gone through something similar that emotions and thoughts are pretty mixed up right now!  For example, I don't want a bunch of hoopla, I don't want to talk about it, and I don't want a bunch of people calling to talk about it.  But, on the flip side, if I see someone who I know knows, and they don't say a word--just act like life is hunky dory, then it makes me feel like they don't care!  I know, Im a lose- lose situation kind of person, huh?
     Really, it is the most ridiculous experience.  At least with  my ectopic pregnancy, once it was over, it was over!  I'll spare you the details, but basically, nothing is  happening.  My body continues to think it is pregnant and thus, I'm up suffering with morning sickness, all the while knowing I'm carrying a tiny baby that is no longer alive.  Ohhh, I don't want to have a D and C.  I'm praying to begin to pass this very soon.
      As far as grieving, after the  initial news at the doctor, I haven't grieved much.  This is typical for me.  I view things clinically and practically until about 2 weeks after the event and then process it.  Also, this may sound quite callous to some but it is truth, Mike and I were fortunate to not have really bonded to the idea of a baby yet.  We were so shocked and overwhelmed with it all that we had not moved over to pure joy and excitement--I'm thankful for that!
     I belive this will be the last post about this experience.  I'd like to move on to the adoption mythbusters, quote more Radical by David Platt, of course I need to post about school starting, I've got some special needs children issues I'd like to address. 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Choosing to bless

A huge shock came to us 1month ago .  I found out I was pregnant!!!!  My sweet friends finding out on here:  please accept my apologies, we didn't want to tell just yet.
NO, we had not been trying for a biological child.  No, we didn't plan on another child, no we didn't think it was possible for us to have another biological child, and finally, no, we weren't exactly thrilled with the surprise.  I was super stressed out at the thought of caring for 5 children.  I was so worried that people would be all excited about the pregnancy and cause Abby, Dillon, and Hudson to feel like they were not wanted as badly--you know, people might say "after all these years, you are having one of your own".  We are very happy and content with our adoption plans.  Speaking of Hudson, he hasn't even been home a year yet.  We are still working through attachment and getting comfortable together, some days are tougher than others.  Would he resent us forever?  How would we afford another child?  How would I go back to work?  Nobody wants to babysit 5 kids(well, Carter doesn't need a sitter).  What about Carter?  He'd be 15yrs old when this baby is born????  ICK for him!  And, to top things off, I'm not exactly a spring chicken.  Let's just say I was overwhelmed with everything.  There were days I'd feel my belly and realize what a huge miracle God had given us.  Abby was praying every night for a baby sister.  I was planning on a "redo" with this newborn and just sitting in a rocker staring at the baby and nursing whenever it wanted. There were days I was so tired I couldn't take care of the kids, they took care of themselves.  Deep down, I had a worry that went beyond how we'd handle this new baby.  Deep down, I didn't think the pregnancy would make it far.  Nearly 6 years ago was my ectopic.  To make sure it wasn't in the tube again, we had a sonogram last week.  The little booger was in the right spot and had a heartbeat.  Sure, it was smaller than my dates showed it should be, but it looked good.  The very next dayI had a weird feeling.  I can't explain it, but I knew in my heart things weren't right.  Yesterday we met with the doctor.   The sonogram showed the baby hadn't grown a bit since the first sonogram and there was no longer a heartbeat.  Tears flowed and I was surprised by my saddness.  Just because I wasn't thrilled at the prospect of having another child doesn't make it any less a death of our tiny baby.  As Christians, we believe life begins at conception.

After our ectopic pregnancy, the song "Blessed Be Your Name"  by Tree 63 ministered to me over and over again.  It says

Blessed be your name

In the land that is plentiful
Where the streams of abundance flow
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say...

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

Blessed be your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say...

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, Blessed be your name

I guess the hardest part to understand is WHY?  We weren't looking to get pregnant.  Why in the world did this have to happen?  It is just plain stupid.  It makes no sense in my mind and it hurts.  It has been a month of hell with sickness, rollercoaster of emotions, no energy, worry, joy, guilt and more guilt-like maybe it is my fault, crazy emotions, bloating etc.  All to end so strangely.  The cruel joke on me is that my body still thinks it is pregnant and so I'm really sick feeling.   We are choosing to bless and trust our faithful Sovereign God.  I also have to say that Mike has been my rock.  What an amazing man.  He's held me when I cried, taken care of the children when I had to go to bed, listened to me vent, assured me it would all work out,  brought me crackers and drinks before getting out of bed in the morning.  Thanks honey.

Habbakuk 3:17-19
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Mike's small hometown has an annual Peach and Melon Festival, complete with a great parade, home-made ice cream and gospel singing.  It is like stepping  into a Norman Rockwell painting.  Grandma parks her old pickup along the main street early in the morning to reserve us a spot up front.  We bring drinks, chairs and lots of kids(well, that would be my contribution!).  Here are a few pics of the event

Hudson sitting on the tailgate with PaPa

My neice took Dillon and Abby to the bank's free ice cream stand

My two city nerds waiting for the parade(Mike reading classic English literature, Carter listening to his Ipod)
And just in case you thought we were taking it all easy this summer--you are wrong!  Abby is teaching school to her brothers!!! :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Adoption mythbuster

First off, you all may get tired of me talking about orphans, the poor, adoption and such all the time.  That is really the main purpose of this blog, so, if you stop by often you'll see posts about it often :)

A friend of mine said something that sparked an idea for a few posts.  She was talking about how people always assume that she and her husband are fostering/adopting because of infertility.  That is such a  huge imperception out there. 

Myth 1
    Adoption is for people who are infertile

  Adoption is for any person who feels called to care for children needing a home, regardless of fertility status.  It is a beautiful way to build a family.  Not a Plan B, an escape hatch for those who "can't have their own(dont even get me started on that phrase!!!!!)"

God tells his people in James 1:27  Pure religion is this, to take care of orphans and widows in their distresss.  It doesn't say "pure religion is this, for only infertile people or Angelina Jolie to take care of orphans..." 

In a few days I'll post about another common have to be rich to adopt.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Stark realization

In exactly 4 years from now, we will be driving our eldest son to college!  We have 4 years left with him, that's it.  He starts highschool the 19th.  I remember, in vivid detail, beginning highschool.  I'd worked as a nurse aide all summer at a nursing home and saved money for school clothes.  I bought lots of cool clothes(including red MC Hammer pants!).  The first day of my freshman year I put on a white miniskirt, royal blue shirt, and sandals.  I'd worked hard on getting my doodoo rolls in my hair to curl just right.  I walked a few blocks to meet up with my friend and walked the last 2 blocks to the school.  What a terrifying, yet exhilerating feeling.  It passes so quickly my friends.  Don't wish the time away you young mommas out there.

Friday, August 6, 2010

If you feel any stirring at all....

If your heart is being tugged to speak up for those who can't speak for themselves, I'd like to share a link to my friend's recent post about their little angel baby foster girl.(for the record, I have her permission to share)

Click  Just Do It
and you can see and read why, in the end, it is all worth it

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Date Night

So, you wonder how a classy lady gets ready for a once a year date night with her hubby?

First off, you wear striped pajamas pants, second you head to the finest salon with the most talented stylist.  Third, let the stylist work their magic!

Actually, this was some quality play time in disguise.  Mike and I were going out for our anniversary in a few hours.  I was so sleepy that afternoon.  The kids were bored and I wanted a nap.  So, I let them pamper me while I rested(note my closed eyes!).  Nothing more relaxing than people playing with my hair!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lead Me - Sanctus Real

Scroll down and pause my music player to hear these powerful words!  So thankful my man leads us.