Sunday, January 25, 2009

Being Dedicated

Last night at church (we go to church on Sat. evenings) we had our Madeline, Anna and Gideon dedicated to the Lord.  We do not believe in baptizing babies, but we do believe in publicly committing ourselves to raising our children to love the Lord.  We recognize that each of our kids have their own free will and ultimately it will be their decision to choose God or not.  Ryan and I though, will do everything in our power to raise our children to know God and to have a personal relationship with him.  Prayerfully, they will desire God and will accept Him into their hearts and then at some point being baptized will come into play.  But, that will also be their own decision.

Now that our little theology lesson is over, last night was really a nice time.  We go to the same church Ryan's family goes to.  His siblings also had some of their children dedicated.  So, we had all four of the siblings on stage with 8 out of the 12 grandkids up there.  We also all had some family there, so we were quite a large group.  We all went out to eat afterwards, which was a little chaotic, but still fun.  The food was really yummy and all in all it was a good time.  I left the evening feeling grateful for family and friends, but mostly I felt a deep sense of joy for our five beautiful blessings that God has entrusted us with.  May we do him proud!


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Finally some pictures!

Opening presents...

The kids in Leah's bed getting ready to come downstairs Christmas morning.
Gee and Papa from Christmas Eve.

Gee, he's the cheesiest!

This is what happens when a bad hair twist habit gets out of hand.

The kids pretending to sleep on the stairs.

This is daddy's version of a bath.

From now on we will just have to a little matching game when it comes to what picture goes with what saying. That is fun, huh?.
Also, I will add Florida pics later because this post has gotten crazy long!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So much more...

You know I have been thinking a lot lately about our adoptions.  We first looked in to adopting in 2003.  At that point we were experiencing secondary infertility and we really wanted to grow our family.  We felt blessed to have experienced to two great pregnancies and births and we were ready to embark on a new journey to complete our family.  At that point it was a means to an end. Sure, we liked the idea of giving a child a home that did not have one, but honestly, we just wanted more kids.  Over the last 5 to 6 years though, adoption has become much more to me than that.

From a practical standpoint, it was our means to complete our family.  From an emotional standpoint, well, words can't even describe the beauty of the experience.  We have been through a lot to get our family to where it is today.  All five of my kids are a beautiful gift from God and I deeply treasure the way each of them came into our lives.  That being said, on an emotional level, our adoption experience has far exceeded my expectations.  I knew Ryan and I would love and accept any adopted child as our own, but to actually watch that process happen is amazing. 
Every day I witness 3 little ones playing together and loving one another as if it had always been.  I see two big kids melt when Anna cries or Gee falls down.  I see a little boy completely enamored  with a daddy that I have no doubt he thinks the world revolves around.  I see all these beautiful things and I then I think, a year and a half ago we were nothing to these two children. Now they are our lives, we are their lives.  It truly overwhelms me.

Over time a new aspect of adoption has sprung in me and that is the spiritual aspect.  Of course it is a good thing to take in an orphan, but I never really paid attention to how much the Bible really says about orphans.  Over and over again God calls us to be instruments of justice for orphans and to care for them.  Isaiah tells us to "Learn to do right, seek justice, encouraged the oppressed.  Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow."  This is just one of many verses I found.  I don't mean to sound preachy, but I really feel like part of God's heart is caring for orphans.  I guess I just feel so blessed to be able to love and raise two of those fatherless that God cares so much about.  And really it affects me more than that.  I think adoption is something I am pretty passionate about now.  Not for us to necessarily go out and adopt more kids, but I think a seed has been planted in me.  It is hard to explain, but I am hopeful that at some point in my life I can use this passion in a way that will please God.

You know, as I sit and type this post, I am just amazed at what God has done in our lives over the past few years.  This time, almost 4 years ago, was probably about the lowest point in my life.  We had just gotten back from Russia without our twins and my heart was broken.  It had been a rough couple years before that, but that was a pretty severe blow.  Soon after we got home we did some high tech infertility treatments and were able to get pregnant.  By early March we were told that our new found pregnancy would end in miscarriage.  To be honest, at this point I thought God had completely forgotten I existed (there's some weak faith for you).  I was so bitter with him.  Well, that miscarriage became our little Madeline and when she was a year old we found our Anna and Gee and you know the rest.  I still have no clue why God allowed us to experience the losses we endured, but I am finally to a place where I don't have to know.  God never abandoned me and I can honestly say I am a stronger and better person having been through those struggles.  Praise God for allowing me to see this side and praise Him even more for bringing me through this with a newfound passion.

Thanks for reading and allowing me to share.


Sharing a praise and update.

Something happened in Florida that I want to publicly praise God for.  We stayed at two different houses while there and they both had pools.  That is very typical for the houses in that area.  So, we spend lots of time by the pool, even if we are not swimming.   I am a weinie about being cold, so when it is 70 something outside, I do not get in.  The kids however would swim if it were in the 50's.  The four oldest do great in the water.  Last summer Madeline and Anna mastered swimming by themselves with just arm swimmies on.  At first I was scared, then I became very proud that at 2 years old they were doing that by themselves.  So the two little girls did lots of swimming with just their swimmies and we just kept a close eye one them.  The pool was not that big, so that was pretty easy.  Well, one day we did not see Anna.  Ryan and I asked each other and neither saw her.  All of the sudden we see Anne flapping her arms with only one swimmie on, swimming to the side of the pool.  It was obvious she had been under (the little ones couldn't touch anywhere in the pool, but the steps) the water and had brought herself back up and swam to the side of the pool with one swimmie.  I got to her just as she was reaching the side.  The poor thing was panicked and I pulled her out and cuddled her.  I was petrified at first, but then I was so proud of her.  She did an amazing job and God really protected her.

In general, the kids are just doing so beautifully.  We still have a few minor issues.  Anna still wakes up 4 or 5 times a month yelling out, like she is having a nightmare.  Gideon is having pretty major bath issues and he has for a few months now.  He hates having the water poured over his head.  He will literally scream and panic every time.  He did better his last bath, but I had to go extremely slow, hold his hand and talk him through every step.  Once his hair is washed he is happy and enjoys the rest of the bath.  It is crazy because he will start to audibly whine when I even mention a bath and he gets real sullen until the hair washing is done.

Speaking of Gideon, he is still very much a daddy's boy.  I know he loves his mama, but when daddy is around he doesn't really care to go to anyone else.  He still pretty much prefers men.  He goes to them more easily.  Gee still is not gaining weight very fast at all.  Way too slowly for my tastes, but the Dr.'s say he is fine, so we will just leave it at that.  He acts healthy, so that's whats important I guess.  His is moody though.  Probably my moodiest kid yet.  If he is tired, he gets very grumpy and irritable.  He is the same way if his feelings get hurt, like if he gets scolded.  He is just funny because sometimes he can be goofy and be ok with people egging him on watching him, but then sometimes he gets all quiet and doesn't want people to pay a bit of attention to him.  It is strange.

I still plan to add pics from Florida, but they need to loaded when Ryan is home off of his laptop.  So maybe this weekend?  Anyways, until later......


Thursday, January 15, 2009

No, we did not drop off the face of the earth!

Oh, I hate that I am not getting to blog as much as I would like.  So, how fast can I type, as we are leaving in like 10 minutes to run and get dinner (no kids, woohoo).

Anyways, here is a very short version of life the last month.  BUSY, BUSY, BUSY.

The End

Ha ha, you know I can't say anything that short.  :)

I was busier than I think I have ever been the two weeks before Christmas.  Like couldn't sleep, out of my wits busy.  I am not sure how things got so out of hand, but they did.  We left for Florida the day after Christmas and we just got back Sunday night.  I have been reclaiming my house this week and I think I am winning.  I think I will be sweeping up pine needles from our very dead tree until next Christmas.

Florida was super great.  It was however very sickly.  We had pink eye, throwing up, a UTI, cough and colds and ear infections, all in one week.  I think I spent over 18 hours in hospitals and pharmacies in the last 3 weeks.  We seriously do not have that much sickness in a year around here.  Yuck!  

Well, my 10 minutes is up (guess I am a slow typer, although I did get the crescents out of the oven!).  I will blog more later with pictures.  I just didn't want you all to think I forgot about you all!