Monday, January 31, 2011

To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate

The last couple of weeks I've been weighing the decision on whether or not we should make a big deal of Ty's official adoption day, coming up on February 9th.  I don't know why it even weighed on my mind because in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter? I don't think so.

I was leaning toward acknowledging it as a great day, but not getting all crazy special about it. Mostly, because we've been loving and praying for this boy the day we found out about him, in Rebekah's womb. The fact that he legally became a part of our family on the ninth seems irrelevant.

If you read back to that post, you'll find that finalization was more of a rainbow day for me, as God reminded me of our journey together and the sign of promise he delivered through sweet Ty.

When I thought about our future family, however, I realized that adoption days will become much more significant. For a minutes-old baby that knows me as mom from the start, an adoption day is formality at best. But, for a 10 year old girl who's never experienced God's version of family, adoption day is a big deal.

I, recently, met a woman who was adopted from foster care at age 12. Her story is so appalling, yet, compelling that God used her to rev the engines of my heart.

We are needed in this God-desperate, people forsaken arena called foster care.

As I thought through the many scenarios and faces that will one day sit around our dinner table, I decided that adoption day is a day of proclamation. A day to rejoice in the goodness of God and the uniqueness of each thread that is woven through our family tapestry. 

What a joy this little thread has been to our family. We gladly celebrate his life and adoption, next week. God is good!

Friday, January 21, 2011


Time is flying.

My MBA is kicking my backside. Big time. I know that I am a college "kid," but nothing makes me feel like one more than multiple nights of 2am studying and paper writing. In one of my over-exhausted, writing binges I remember thinking about my first week home with Ty. I mean, home-home, not the out-of-state home we made do with for weeks on end.

We were home two weeks before my first MBA course started. I remember thinking, then, that it was suicide...but I gave myself the appropriate pep talk. Two years seemed forever in the future, especially when functioning on 4 hour chunks of sleep, but Ben would remind me that two years would be gone in a blink...and that I was either going to turn 30 with a master's degree or turn 30 without one. Either way I was going to turn 30.

And here we are. Nearly, two years later.

In six or so months, Ty will turn two. I will turn thirty. My first post-graduate degree will be done.

Wow. It feels good.

Although I've had moments of drowning, the part I feel most accomplished by is the mother I've been for Ty. With few exceptions, all of my homework was done during my lunch hour at work, nap times at home, and sleep times for the rest of humanity. That feels real good.

Ty is growing and changing so fast, I'm trying to savor each moment. Whether they come again through another little boy or girl doesn't matter...they won't come again for Tyrus. I'm quickly losing my baby to boyhood.

The paci is gone and Ty hardly batted an eye. We just cut it cold turkey and told him big boy's didn't need one. He never asked for it again.

The monkey in him is starting to climb and a big boy bed may be in our near future.

For weeks, the kid has been saying, "Poo Poo, Muma" right before he does it! He's starting to sit on the potty, now.

My favorite change was the introduction of Mom-E. Ty's sweet Mumas have melted my heart for so long, but the Mom-E takes me right to my thank-you-Jesus place. He's starting to put many syllable words together, now, and the pride that spreads across his face is evident.

Just tonight, Ben said to me, "You know he says one Dad-E for every six Mom-Es, right?"

"I do. I sure waited a long time to hear them. It's like he knows."

Thank you for continuing to follow our story and love on our family. God is doing so much in us and new chapters are on the brink of release. For the next few months my nose will continue to be in the book-grind, but thankfully the end is near!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Good for Disaster

Today was one of those days that leaves you grateful for everything God has done in your life.

I was the lucky recipient of two different virus strains that had me throwing up and nursing a horrendous head cold. How does that even happen? After gracing the bathroom for a major part of the night, I finally fell asleep around seven this morning. An hour later I heard Ty's sweet singing, clean-up, clean-up...[Not sure if it's nature or nurture, but that boy is shaping to be like me in more ways than one!]

Ben swiftly got up, closed our bedroom door quietly, and the next time I rolled over it was past noon.

My boys waited on me, hand and foot, while I curled on the couch for the rest of the afternoon. Ty is such a tender heart and kept coming over to rub my head or pat my back. At one point Ben was reading Snuggle Puppy to him on the adjacent couch and at the mention of kisses, he promptly slid from his daddy's lap and headed my way. He started in for a kiss, but quickly switched it up and honked my nose instead. We all had a good laugh and Ty went back for more snuggle time with Ben.

I watched Ben and Ty play for hours. Tag, hide-and-seek, catch, basketball, and floor wrestling (can you tell I'm outnumbered by boys?). Ty would go through intervals of concern and say, "Muma. Food?" He is a master chef in the making and really digs all the Melissa & Doug play food he got for Christmas. I would ask for oatmeal and orange juice or a banana and some toast. Sometimes my order was perfect. Other times it included slight variations that only a toddler mind would put together.

When bed time rolled around, Ben let me do the honors since he spent a majority of the day with our boy (bed time rocking and reading is a coveted position). We were on our third installment of itsy-bitsy spider when Ben crashed our party. He said he couldn't stand being apart from the fun. The three of squished in the rocking chair and rocked together. Ty laid his head on my chest. I laid mine on Ben's. Ben told Ty what a good boy he is and how much joy he brings our family.

I told Ben what a good dad he is and that I never want to live life without him.

We had a couple rounds of nose honking (a fond family game...each nose has a unique sound) and paci stealing before we started talking to Ty about adding a brother and/or sister, this summer. Ty just listened to our words and snuggled closer. He laid his hand on my chest and said, "Muma." Then did the same for Ben, "Dadd-ee." And ended on himself, proudly proclaiming, "Ty-Ty."

Ben said, "You're right sonny. What a smart boy you are!"

We enjoyed a few minutes of quiet before, finally, putting Ty to bed.

Ben ran to the grocery store, since we didn't get to it, today, and I was left soaking in the fun memories of the day. Of course, it's no fun to be sick, but sometimes I think God uses our bodies to grab our attention and force us to slow down. It's hard for me to do it, otherwise.

I wouldn't trade, today, in for the world.

I am eternally grateful for all that God has done in our family. Somewhere between the hours of couch and sleep time, God reminded me of Day 165. [No, I didn't remember the number off the top of my head...only the content.]

Jeremiah 29:11-14 and Deuteronomy 30:3-4 are two of my favorite promises, and I view them hand-in-hand. Jeremiah is a little more familiar, but the words never fail me. I know the plans I have for you...They are plans for good and not disaster...If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. Those scriptures also go on to talk about God returning fortune and bringing his people home. Deuteronomy mirrors the same promise: The Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you. Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back.

Those words are so rich and meaningful to me. I remember that place of banishment. I felt scattered and torn and hollow as I walked through the desert of barrenness. I remember writing about this promise on Day 165, hundreds of days before Tyrus lit up our world. The Lord brought it to my memory, today, as I sipped tea and drank in my family.

He gave my heart a small nudge and said, See, daughter. See how I worked good from disaster? See how I gathered you back from distant lands and brought you home? Do you see how my plans, although not yours, are better?

Yes, I see. Oh, how I see! And I know there is so much, yet, to come. This is a shout-it-from-the-rooftops kind of day.

God is good!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I heart January

Being a mom never gets old.

We had the BEST Christmas. It was everything Christmas should be about. I'm not sure restful can describe any days that contain a lively toddler, but I so enjoyed our special time together! You can read more about Ty's excitement and gifts over at Thrifty Heart.  I want to talk, here, about peace that passes understanding.

There is something about the charged-start of a new year that fills me with fresh perspective and hope. I can only pray that the peace that cloaks my heart, now, lasts for months on end. I was pulled in many directions, last year, and at times the pressure was collapsing. After some time of renewal, I realize that so much of the trapping war-tug was tension that I built.

I'm a, wholly, passionate person almost to the point of consumption. I don't know how to do things at half speed and when God plants a promise, I'm not patient. I have such a difficult time not puppeteering my life and it makes me nutsy, sometimes, because I know the control I hunger for is anti-God. I sing Robinson's 1758 words with conviction, Bind my wandering heart to Thee.

God did such a cleansing in me, this January. It's one of my favorite times of year and I appreciate it so much more as I get older. Each new year brings deeper understanding; a brighter wisdom. I'm learning to leave the wrestling matches in the supernatural and that I don't have to live out every dream and passion, right this minute. God has spoken peace into my spirit and even though we're in the midst of some swirling circumstances, my feet are planted. For the first time in a long time, I'm resting in God's love. I'm not singing or talking or praying. I'm not trying to make this happen or that work. I'm just being.

I'm recognizing what my sinful nature is capable of and running all the more toward the Conqueror. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.
It's going to be a good year.