Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Catching up(birthdays, school..)

Abigail's 12th bday was yesterday.  We had a combo party with her good friend on Saturday.  It was an 80's themed rollerskating party.  Ohhh, that was such fun!  Mike and I took a great walk down memory lane.  I found original, purple Gloria Vanderbilt jeans that had a waistband up to my neck, or so it seemed, a stretchy belt, and a hideous purple and yellow sweater, topped with my cheer jacket from '87 and gold shrimp earrings.  Mike channelled his inner Miami Vice and sported an awful linen jacket with sleeves pushed up. Abby had the cutest(yes, brand new but looked like Valley Girl) outfit.  Her friends dressed up and were so cute!  Several of us parents dressed up also.  I made an 80's CD complete with Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and some Tears for Fears.  She had enough money to buy herself a brand new iPod touch.  I'm excited because she is going to load it with games and music for our plane ride to S. Korea in October. Instead of gifts, Abby and C. asked their friends to bring large size diapers and pull-ups to be donated to a ministry near here that cares for children removed from neglectful homes.  The party guests brought tons of diapers! Abby never ever mentions her birth and/or adoption story.  We've always been very open and encourage her to talk about it.  On her birthday this year she asked if we knew what time she was born.  I felt like this was a big step.  Thankfully, our referral paperwork does say what time she was born(a 30week, 3 pound preemie--completely amazing that she is perfect!). 

After the party we celebrated my dad's bday.  We had a blast at an old time spring-fed water park.  He thrilled the grandkids by going off the trapeze bar into the deep water.  Uncle Doug tore a bicep :(   It was such a sweet and fun day!
Sunday was wonderful also.  Mike was honored to perform the baptism of the young man that he and Carter led to Christ at VBS in June.

Dillon started 3rd grade yesterday.  He wasn't exactly fired up.  In fact, walking down the hallway he kept his head tucked under my arm.  We were putting up his backpack when his teacher delivered a blow.  Stormie moved!  Stormie has been his best pal for the past 2-3 years.  She tells him where to go, eats lunch with him everyday, shows him what to do.  She was supposed to be in his class again.  I admit I felt a panic.  What would Dillon do without her?  I settled him in and walked out of the class fighting back tears.  NO Fair!  This kid has so many struggles already and now his constant school companion was gone.  I cried in the speech pathologists and diagnosticians arms, admitting my over-protective nature.  They were so precious and assured me this was a good growing experience for him and that they'd watch over him.  After school he was happy and said he'd had a good day. Tonight I put him to bed after a breathing treatment and with red, swollen eyes from allergies.  Every single year, the first week of school and he has asthma/allergy flare ups.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cleaning out

My sisters are on a simplify kick.  I was motivated by one of my sister's recent blog posts to take a peek in my hope chest.  My dad made all us girls a hope chest.  We keep treasures, past and present in them.  Melody's had lots of items that ended up being trashed.  Mine, has a ton of memories inside.  Here is a peek.

First up was my scrapbook/notebook from highschool.  It had handwritten essays and letters. The dried flowers were from my PaPa's grave site.  He died 1 month after I turned 16.  My Brownie troop sash was in there.  I didn't like Brownies and Girl Scouts too much.  I went to Girl Scout camp in Granbury Texas for a few days.  I cried with my face covered by a wash cloth each night.  I plotted ways to cross the river and escape!  Weenie.  Funny to think that it doesn't phase me one bit to fly around the world by myself now.
Remember dot matrix printers?  I'd saved a banner we made in computer class.
The tear-jerker was this Bible and letter.  When Mike and I were in youth ministry, we had a young man who was significantly delayed and had an articulation disorder.  Without divulging any of his personal life, I'll just say his homelife was not a healthy environment.  This young man adored Mike!  Mike taught him to use deoderant, to shave, and gave him love and acceptance.  I'd totally forgotten, but when Carter was born, the young man(he was 18 at the time) gave Carter his own Bible as a gift.  It had a written note tucked in the pocket.  The note told Carter that he was such a lucky boy to have great parents like Mike and Libby.  I couldn't read it aloud...the lump formed and the tears flowed.  What a precious treasure.
Here are stacks of cards.  Some are from Mike's grandfather and are a testimony to his great faith.  Some are sweet sympathy cards from friends who sent them when tragedy struck Mike's family many years ago.  One was a letter Mike wrote me the morning of our wedding.  Sooo precious!
   My parents mailed me the next picture of my youngest sister Katy learning to ride a bicycle while I was away at college.  I missed it!  That was it, I was moving home.  Oh, notice Melody's overalls with only one side clipped--classy 1991!  Also notice the work van.  Our family took trips in dad's work van.  He'd load up foam seats and blankets, no seat-belts or real seats to speak of.  We rolled around the back and had a blast.  In fact, on a trip to Washington DC one time, we all slept in the back of that van in a Denny's parking lot!  Memories!
I did end up trashing a pile of stupid stuff like old mylar balloons and newspapers.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Loss and why?

This post has been swirling around in my head for several weeks. Someone near and dear to me recently suffered a miscarriage after dealing with fertility challenges.  We were all so sad for them. They are handling this pain with great faith and grace. Of course, as any normal human being, watching them made me relive our own loss journies.  The most recent, exactly 2 years ago right now, was the one that kept circulating.  Click  HERE to read that post.  The reason I wanted to write about this is to encourage and support those going through similar experiences.  I have always dealt with our losses(and our loved one's tragedies and painful experiences) with anger.  Probably not the most healthy way of dealing with hard times, but that is how I process hurt. It ticks me off so badly that those hurtful things happen to me and the people I love!!  I'm honest here, I get p... off!  Here is an excerpt from my prayer journal dated 8-17-2010 
"Sick, sick, sick.  Mad. ticked. done. angry, worried, bloated, irritable, you  name it--I'm all the above.  how can you make me walk around with all the signs and symptoms of being 9 weeks pregnat--with a dead baby?  Please God, make me pass it"
Then I move on to praying for others and their needs.  I just had to get it out.  That is what a prayer journal is, open and honest communication with my Heavenly Father.

Now, that doesn't ever diminish my faith in my God.  You see, he can handle my anger and temper tantrum.  I don't doubt his existence and sovereignty, I just want to know WHY?  Doesn't everybody want to know why? 
There is a great by Linda Dillow called Calm My Anxious Heart. Here is an excerpt:
From a human perspective, this answer is frustrating.  We want to know Why.  Surely God should explain Himself to us.  Sometiems He does, but often He does not.  God is God and He doesn't need to explain Himself.  If we could fully comprehend God, He wouldn't be God--He would be like us.  In those instances when God doesn't tell us Why, we will h ave to wait until we're in heaven for our answers.

Go buy the book.  It is a great one. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

3 out of 4 began school

Trinity began classes yesterday.  When I woke up Abby at 7am, she jumped up and said "Yessss!"  Hudson was also excited.  Carter--not so much.  Here is Carter driving away early for Praise Team practice.  2 more years....the time flies!  One of his classes is College Prep.  They learn to take SATs and write resumes.  We also are to visit colleges with him.  What the heck happened?  One minute he was carrying a ragged blanket with silk edges and watching Winnie the Pooh.  Now, college visits???

Abby wouldn't slow down long enough for me to snap but 1picture. She is such a 6th grader ;)   A beauty and full of brains.
Hudson was super excited to begin 5 day a week PreK. He marched in like he owned the place.

I just love the picture below because it shows Dillon's personality.  He was walking along in his usual happy-go-lucky way, marching and snapping his fingers with each step.  Snapping is his newest sensory motion.  Since he was a baby he has always had some sort of motion or posture with his hands to keep him in check.  It is like, if he is snapping, his world is in order.  Stressful situations....faster snapping.  This is a classic sensory integration disorder behavior.

The day went well.  Carter has homework already.  Abby reorganized her locker...again...to make it more efficient!  She loved one of her new teachers(big score on the hiring Mike!). Hudson had a great first day.  Here is what he says about his first day of preK
 "I learned Spanish but Mr. Perez speaks English.....I'm waiting to poop at home.....my shirt untucked itself......I smiled at that little girl and she smiled back" There ya have it. He is stinkin' hilarious! When I woke him up this morning, he did not believe that he had to go back to school 2 days in a row.

Dillon starts school on the 27th.  He and I are having quality time together.

Monday, August 13, 2012

preparing for 6th grade

Abby begins 6th grade in 2 days and 6th grade is such a big deal.  Entering secondary school  and leaving behind the elementary days.  Did you guys know that lockers must be decorated now?  Neither did I.  I'm not a decor afficionado.  Plain, cheap, simple...those are words to describe me.  Abby's locker is so cool, thanks to her daddy and some sweet friends.  It has purple flowered wallpaper, hanging lip glosses and hand sanitizers from Bath and Body Works, magnets, little hanging baskets with pens, and a black rug.  The lockers at our school are huge!  It is really cute, I must admit.  I also admit that I've hard a hard time pretending to care if it is cute.  25,000 children die each die from starvation and contaminated water and my daughter and her friends have lockers with rugs and wallpaper.  When my eyes begin to roll at all this, I make myself remember what it was like to begin 6th grade. It stunk to high heaven.  That was my worst year.  I missed 32 days of school from mysterious illnesses(likely stress related at my large city middle school and I needed to gain some weight--horribly skinny). We didn't have locker art, but the cool kids did wear Keapa tennis shoes that you could switch out the little plastic logo on the side for different colors(it was 1984 people!), and they had wind shorts, and Izod shirts. So, if a bedazzled locker helps her feel at peace entering the tumultous adolescent years, then bring it on.
I've been praying for her to find her self-image in being a daughter of the Creator of the world.  I'm praying for her to have sweet friends who are like the verse in Proverbs about iron sharpening iron.  I pray against any adoption angst that makes her question her worth and that she continues to be proud that she is Korean-American and not wish she was blonde and blue-eyed and skinny.  I pray for her future husband to be pure, kind, sold out in love with Jesus Christ and basically be just like her daddy is.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Awesome Worship Song

Here is an awesome worship song written and produced by the uber talented Gateway Worship team.  Speaking of Gateway, have I mentioned recently that Christine Caine will be headline speaker at the ladies' conference next April??!!  Ohh, I love to hear Christine Cain--founder of the A21 Campaign that fights human trafficking.  This women can preach it girl!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

talking to friends about adoption

We had a super sweet dinner tonight with 2 families from  our church.  Both families are at different ages and stages of life, but both are very interested in building their families through adoption(they have biological children already).  Neither know which direction to head just yet and are praying for the Lord to speak to them clearly.  Mike and I have had a lot of these kinds of meals over the past 10 or so years.  This one was really nice. Our friends are kind, warm, and excited(and nervous) to grow their families through an adoption miracle.
I think Mike and I have grown, chilled, and matured a lot.  Truthfully, after Abby came home we(especially me) were adoption dynamos.  I was appalled at the apathy that the majority of Christians had towards adoption and orphans.  If a couple asked a few questions about our adoption process, I'd pounce on them. I think it almost was a way of validating--you know, if they began the adoption process then it made me feel like we'd accomplished the task.  Trouble was, we were disappointed over and over.  Many times Mike and I have had the conversation that begins with "I can't believe they haven't adopted."  Now, we are different.  I love talking to people about adoption and about our journey to build our family.  We openly share the joys, confusing times, the hurdles, the celebrations, the time delays, the mounds of paperwork, the zillions of rude and personal questions people ask us, the financial difficulties, and the wonderfully fun and brilliant experiences we've had being a transcultural family.  However, the personal agenda of convincing people into fostering and/or adopting is gone.  We have to come the place of letting the Holy Spirit speak into people's lives on His own.  Absolutely we cheer and educate followers of Jesus to be involved in fostering, adopting, and orphancare.  But, what they do with the info is their business.  Their lives are their lives and they may not be a family that is called to adopt(heck, there are some who flat out have no business adopting).
 As for Mike and I,our lives are blessed and amazing. The children we have, biological and adopted, add pieces to the puzzle that can never be replaced. We can only trust and obey the one in whom we live and have our being, Jesus Christ.

Friday, August 3, 2012

It should have been me

Does anyone else watch the women's all-around gymnastics and think "I should have been there"? Every 4 years I think that.  Okay, not really, but oh the memories that come up every time the Olympics come around.  I was 11 when Mary Lou did the 2 perfect 10's on vault in 1984. My family didn't have TV until my late childhood so I'm happy we got to watch that historical moment.  I remember it well:  peach and blue floral couch(it was the 80s of course!) and screaming with delight!  I was in gymnastics at that time.  My dad was a self employed sign painter and had painted the signs for a new gymnastics gym in our city.  We didn't have 2 dimes to rub together so they business owners traded:  dad painted the signs and instead of cash to him, they let me take gymnastics.  The owners were Russian.  Vera, Victor, and Nathan supposedly had helped train Olga Korbut and had deflected to the US.  If it was all true, how amazing.  I'm betting some of it was a marketing gig!  I can still hear their harsh sounding inflections and strong accents.  It was about the coolest thing ever to take from "real Russians!" Anyway, I was sure they would launch me to greatness, then my parents would move to Houston for me to train with Karoli.  Problem was, I wasn't that good.  I had long legs, graceful moves, but I was such a chicken!  The strong acrobatics terrified me.  So, no reality in pursuing Olympic gold existed.  I found this picture of me standing on my granparents porch after a meet. 

So last night our fam went to exercise and play in the gym at Mike's school.  There was a tumbling mat on the floor left over from cheer practice.  The old feelings came back.  I just knew I could still do an ariel(no handed cartwheel).  I went for it....didn't make it...pretty sure I ripped my hamstring!  Then, I tried a front walkover...flopped down to the floor...pretty sure I hurt an old rotator cuff injury
I don't have it anymore, my mind has it, my body does not!