Wednesday, June 27, 2012

We had the best weekend we've had yet, as a family of four, this past weekend.

We took the boys camping with a group of our closest friends and celebrated the boys' birthdays. LJ doesn't turn three until August, but we decided on one joint party and then separate family celebrations on each of the boys' actual birthdays.

It was a blast.

We are the tent-camping type which sometimes seems like more hassle than it's worth...but watching the boys drink in every moment confirms the importance of the memories we're creating.

With all the wide open space available for jumping and running, endless activities, and a more relaxed schedule, we hardly had any behavior issues all weekend.

My favorite memory is from our first morning. Ty had already come to snuggle in bed with Ben and me (he is an extremely early riser when sleeping outdoors!), when I heard LJ stir, I whispered his name. He was buried in his sleeping bag, up on his cot, and it took him a few seconds to escape it. When he finally did, he flipped over the covers and giggled with an ear-to-ear grin, saying, "Hi mom!"

He got a huge kick out of sleeping outside and having us so close.

I love to watch him interact with our friends and their kids. His life is dramatically different from what it was three months ago and I continuously stand in awe of what God is doing in him - and me. My heart overflows at LJ's transformation. He is starting to eat like us and talk like us and love like us...

In the last few weeks a light switch flipped and my very unaware-of-the-surrounding-world child started to ask, "why?"

I praise God for LJ's inquisition as it marks a good level of progress and gives me hope for his future.

This boy wins over bigger pieces of my heart each day and I am so, eternally, grateful for the privilege to mother him.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Being Barren

Although the ugly barren monster hasn’t threatened to steal my joy, peace, or contentment since Ty’s birth, his gnarly claws do show themselves in unexpected moments. I had a dream a few weeks ago that we were pregnant. When I woke up to realize my dream was just that, I laid in bed for a few extra moments to revel in the fantasy and excitement of what it would be like to have a working uterus. What it would be like to have a special secret…what it would be like to tell Ben…and friends and family. I imagined how wonderful it would feel to cradle and protect my baby in my belly. I thought about how easy the process would be compared to adoption and how little we all would have to sacrifice in bringing our next little one home.

Then the boys called, my day started, and I walked away, leaving my blissful dream under rumpled sheets and thick covers.

A week later, my errands included baby-buying gifts for two women due in July. When my mind started to wonder, I turned my thoughts and pressed beyond the grasp of the monster’s nail.

Then I got the news.

Glorious, exciting, the-day-we-prayed-for news. A young couple we had  been praying for got pregnant after much heartache and trial. The insides of my heart beamed with joy, but after a few minutes, the depths of my heart surfaced and I nearly suffocated with the heaviness of what I felt.

Another club member left me for a more exclusive, wanted, and sought-after mommy-by-birth membership. 

And I felt alone.

I want to write this post so that you know the reality of what I face and feel, but I hate myself for the honesty in it. I don’t want to feel this way… I don’t want there to be conditions and limitations of my joy and support of others because of my own inward battles. But, wrangling the head of my barren beast is a war I’m so often too tired to fight.

The weird part is that it’s never about the carrying, birthing, or feeding of a Ben and Rebekah formed child. It is always about the ease of process, timing, and raising (a baby from birth). Here we are, three years into adoption, and I’m still begging God for an easy button.

Some days I just want to close up shop, clap my hands, and move on with life as a permanent family of four. But that is, truly, not what God has put in my heart.

Because I’m confident that babies will not birth from my belly, I’m asking God to settle my heart and whisper encouragement…while also easing us into number three with extra grace and patience, as the measure we have is wearing very thin...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


LJ has had so much blog time because...well...he's taken over our life! I wanted to spend a few moments giving you an update on my firstborn.

I love that word.

Sure he was born of another woman - and fifth born at that - but to me he's first. We've shared so much time, there is just this common "knowing". He is so tender and sweet and easy to please. When I ask him to do something his most common response is "Sure, I will, Mom!"

He is so much like me in his particularities and organization and his soft heart and compassion are so much like Ben's. Do you know who else he is like? Rebekah... They both share a contagious joy that just bubbles over their hearts.

I am so proud of this boy. I try to tell him every day.

Sure, I overhear him saying things like, "LJ, are you stomping your feet? What have I told you about that? Do you WANT to sit in time-out, again?" and I, routinely, have to remind him that mommy and daddy are the only parents in the house...but Ty loves his brother like no one else.

He is LJ's constant cheerleader - "You just went potty on the big potty? Good job, buddy! I'm so proud of you!" or "Mom! LJ just got his shoes on all by himself! Isn't that awesome?" Today, we were at the park and I overheard a mom telling another mom, "Did you see those boys kissing over there? So cute!" I turned, immediately, knowing they had to be talking about my boys. I smiled at Ty and said, "What are you guys doing?" Ty's response was, "Mom, LJ just needed a little kissy to cheer him up."

Sweetness drips like honey from my little Ty.

I had some quiet time with him after lunch and while we were playing, Ty, randomly said, "Mom. I love your green eyes."

God has given him a mind that never stops thinking, storing, and inquiring about the world around him. He notices EVERYTHING.

He is such an absolute gift and joy in our life and I'm not sure we would have survived the transition to four without him. I am in endless gratitude to God and Rebekah for not only giving this boy life, but for choosing us to be such a huge part of it.

Friday, June 1, 2012


Can I tell you how much I love this kid?

He has presented more challenges than I was ever prepared to deal with, but he is the most giving, accepting, loving kid I've ever met.

Just recently, I started reading the boys a story from the Bible and laying hands on them before bed time, each night. We've been doing it for about a week. Because I want them to take our time seriously, I'm teaching them about reverence. They have a tendency to sneak peeks at each other, through squinted eyes, and giggle while praying.

I think I finally got through to them because, tonight, when I laid my hands on LJ's head, he was extremely earnest. Our time went something like this:

Father, I thank you for this mighty, mighty man of God.

LJ: "mighty man of God"

I thank you for bringing him to our family.

LJ: "family"

Father, I pray that you would help LJ focus during the day, so that he can be a very good boy and obey mommy and daddy. 

LJ: "help me, Jesus"


We praise you for the blessings you give us and the gift that LJ is to our life. Make him strong, and wise, and passionate for you. Ignite his heart with love for people and may words never fall from his lips. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

LJ: "A-AAAAMen. Thank you, Mama."

God has redeemed this precious boy and my life is better because of him. I'm in awe of what God is doing before my eyes, in HIS son. I'm so thankful that we said, yes...