Friday, July 25, 2014

Earrings, Hound Dogs and New Friends

Lily got new ear tubes today. 
We've been through many, many surgeries with her cleft lip and palate. 
This is one of many sets of ear tubes. 
We are so grateful the fluid is gone and she can hear well again. 
This might well be her favorite surgery ever. 
Her very sweet ENT surgeon offered to pierce her ears while she was asleep. 
She was too scared to do it before. 
She's very proud of her new earrings.
Lauren had a big week. 
The 4 oldest had camp this week so she got some rare 1:1 time with momma. 
She got to have a friend over to play, her first sleep over birthday party alone with no siblings, 
a haircut at a girly place. 
She is almost 6 and seems so big all of a sudden. 
So much fun doing big girl stuff.

The true heat heat has arrived in south Texas. 
(Anything under 95 and we don't even break a sweat anymore...
and if it is under 75 we need a sweatshirt.) 
We have been swimming and enjoying playing in the hose to keep cool. 

Highlight of the last few weeks was getting to meet my dearest breast cancer friend Holly. 
She's a friend of my friend Angel. 
She walked the road I am walking a few years before and also has young kids. 
You know those people you meet and you feel like you've know forever. 
That is Holly for me. 
She has been such a rock and a blessing in this journey. 
She understands all the unspoken parts of this journey and will be a forever friend. 
God wove us together so beautifully through Angel and the adoption blog world. 
I met Angel 7 years ago through the blog world and 
last year we ended up being real life Texas neighbors. 
This all happened just in time for my diagnosis and for her to introduce me to Holly. 
I actually got my second pathology results in Angel's dining room. 
When I told her she said...I have a friend Holly and that's exactly her diagnosis. 
Only God.
 Love, love, love Holly and Angel. 
I will forever be grateful to God for weaving this part of my story.

This is Daisy sleeping on the patio with her ear covering her eye. 
She is a sweet dog that  brings us all joy every day. 
She's a total hoot!
I'm doing ok. 
Energy is getting better and I am continuing to get stronger. 
The heat has been hard and my healing nerves do not like it. 
It has caused electric like pain up my back and sides which has not been fun. 
I'm pretty well way beyond being sick of pain.
I'm grateful too though for the blessing of health.

I am enjoying my CASA work. 
As with all of our work with adoption it is never what it first appears. 
Once you meet the parents, foster parents and 
children the picture is not the same as it appears from the outside. 
It all becomes personal. 
That said, I am so glad to have this opportunity to use my experience, 
knowledge and skills in this way. 
I have no doubt it is exactly where God wants me to be.
I am so grateful to be able to serve.

There are a few more weeks of camp for the kids,
 swimming and fun before we hit the books again. 
Yeah summer!
It has gone way too quickly.

Hope your summer is fun too!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

I'm a CASA!

My heart is strongly called to adoption and foster care. 
Once you meet (and have as your child) the children
 behind the pictures or stories you are forever changed. 
I'm very excited to have finished my training and 
have been sworn in as a CASA 
(Court Appointed Special Advocate) today.

We take cases of children in foster care and
 we are their advocate and voice to the judge. 
We represent them for the life of their case which many times
 means that we are the most consistent adult
 in their lives over many years. 
I'm very excited to get to use all my knowledge and skills in this role.

One of the most amazing things is that Lily's crib mate from China's Grandma 
is also a CASA in the same county! 
If you missed Lily and Mei Mei's story here it is again. 
It is an incredible story of God weaving lives together 
from across the ocean and across the country.
So sweet of Gwen to support me in this role and come to the swearing in today. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The View From Here

Summer is well on its way here in Texas. 
While we continue to do school, we are also taking time for fun. 
We had swimming lessons and have been to the pools.

All my hibiscus died in the cold last winter. 
My new ones are blooming now.
The ice cream man has thrilled the kids by stopping by.
We continue to adore Daisy. 
She has a sweet disposition and loves playing soccer with the kids. 
She's a good buddy to me too.
One of my summer projects is switching and painting the kids rooms. 
Here's the girls new "big girl" room. 
All three wanted to be together. 
I am so happy they are good friends. 

I continue to heal. 
Nerve pain is slowly getting better and my stamina is improving. 
I started back at the Y on the elliptical. 
Slowly but surely we're finding our new normal. 

Hope you are having a good summer too!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Preparing for the Journey

Adoption is a journey. 

Like any journey, it's appropriate to think ahead, to plan and to prepare for what is come. Along the way we'll realize that it isn't all what we may have thought or expected. There are unplanned events and struggles, along with unexpected joys and surprises.

Join us as we walk down a few different paths of the adoption journey and discuss some key resources as you look ahead in preparation of bringing a child into your forever family.

Many of you may have already walked this journey. Some of seen friends or close family struggle through the path. Maybe you are just starting to "pack your bag" for your first adoption. No matter the traveler or the progress, here are a few helpful tidbits for anyone who is considering adoption (for the first, second or third time!).

3 Ways to Prepare for the Journey...
  1. Pray. Fast. Read. Most importantly, seek God's direction and plan for your family. Spend significant time praying, fasting and reading His Word together for guidance, wisdom and peace. God does not call everyone to adopt, but He may be calling your family to be involved in caring for the orphan in some way. Sit and listen to the Father, He will prepare your feet for the path He has for you (Psalm 18:33).
  2. Educate Yourself (With Trusted Materials). With some of the best Christian material on adoption, Empowered to Connect provides books, videos, trainings and other resources to help foster and adoptive families parent children from hard places. Prepare and receive realistic expectations ahead of time by reading books like The Connected Child or attending an Empowered to Connect Conference.  See resources & upcoming Empowered to Connect Conferences >>
  3. Take a Pre-Adoption Assessment. Striving to make the adoption process less complicated and overwhelming, our friends at Loving Shepherd Ministries have helped guide over 6,000 couples in their early stages of adoption. Through their Adoption Assessment Form, their staff gives your family adoption options you are eligible to pursue, along with lists of agencies, home study providers in your area and more! Best yet, they offer this as a free service to prospective adoptive families. Learn more & fill out their Adoption Assessment Form today >>
There is wisdom in preparation, but don't forget to keep in mind that we have a Father who knows the beginning and the end. An Almighty God who is writing and arranging your family's story behind the scenes. When things don't make sense, wait on Him. His way is always best!