Thursday, March 27, 2014


Our case worker visited, today. She couldn't believe the change in Little Miss. It's only been two weeks since she was, here, last. "She's just so happy...I wish (foster mom) could see this..."

(As a matter of fact, foster mom is coming to spend the day with us in two weeks!)

Before bed, I took Little Miss to her room to rock. We turned on Pandora worship to drown out the boys. She laid on my chest for an hour before falling asleep.

She just looked at me, with her chubby hand on my cheek. Cooing along with my singing.

My heart swelled at the progress; at our love.

My baby girl knows she's home...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Conflicted. That's how I feel.

It's been a very strange two weeks.

We have had a lot of great moments with the kids where I have thought, "We really can do this!" But we're also drawing more and more out of Sweet Boy that ensures a long road ahead.

When I met their mom a couple of weeks ago, I had such genuine compassion in my heart for her. The day after our meeting, I was out with two girlfriends and I cried through the events of the day. I was so tore up with the weight of it all.

Then, of course, last Tuesday was horrendous. The protective mama in me was so angry that she didn't show up for the visit, I think I could have, physically, harmed her had she been within reach.

Then today. Tuesdays are the day I wait in the balance to see what my day will hold.

She didn't show up. Again.

I don't know why I can't believe it...but I can't.

As a mother, I don't understand. Showing up to see your kids is supposed to be the easy part. Her daughter is so little she changes, dramatically, with every week that passes. Does she care...but just not enough? Was she high? drunk? or just indifferent?

Sweet Boy is none the wiser and had a great day...but I couldn't stop stewing.

I'm not sure why I care so much.

It's better for all of us if she doesn't participate. It brings the end closer.

But, I do care.

I'm so bothered by it.

I think it's because I love her.

I want what's best for her.

Next week is probably her last shot. We have one more Tuesday before our pre-trial and suspending visits is on the list for petition (again). If she doesn't show up, next week, I don't think the judge will think twice about approving the request.

And that makes me sad. Really sad.

It's conflicting to feel such warmth for a woman who has/is wreaking havoc on her son - who is really my son - and his emotions. But, the connector in me wants to help make it help make her whole.

It's too complicated to peel back the layers of what I'm feeling, so, for now, I'm leaving it all alone. Our case worker has been very honest with her about what to expect at termination and has encouraged her to spare the embarrassment and sign over her rights, voluntarily.

My heart has already I'm trying not to go there, yet.

Mom loses in both scenarios...and that makes the win hard to bear.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Letting Go

It's been five weeks and I feel like we're starting to see breakthrough.  

It's funny to me that "Let it Go" has taken the world by storm, as it parallels the emotions were experiencing inside our home. Sweet Boy's version of letting go comes through various degrees of tears that surface every few minutes...but at least he's feeling...and starting to let us in. His road to recovery is going to be much longer than his sister's and I don't believe it will, fully, start until we can tell him our plans/ask if he will let us adopt him.

Getting Little Miss to "let go" has been curious because I can't, directly, put my finger on what has changed, other than her attitude toward us.

It's amazing to me that even at her young age, she feels and expresses life-altering change. We didn't do anything different this week, than we did the first four weeks, but something clicked. She's still a firecracker and only knows how to scream when she's not happy, but most of the time...she's happy.

And our complete non-snuggler let us rock her almost every night, this weekend.  

She lost her rigidness and instead, buries her head into my neck when she wants love. And she started giving those ever-precious open-mouthed kisses!

Every time I lay her down to sleep, I've made a practice of leaning in to kiss her cheek, whispering, "Mama loves you...". She giggled every time I did it, this weekend.

I can't believe the transformation.

It's as if she let her guard down to say, "Ok, I feel, I can just be a baby."

We've embraced the change and are soaking in those cuddles! We got out the Baby Bjorn and started wearing her around the house to help bond and encourage security. 

Here is Ben wearing her, yesterday, during family cleaning.

I am so grateful for this glimmer of hope for better things to come. We have such a long way to go with Sweet Boy, but this encourages my heart that we can do it -- that what we're doing matters.

I love when weekends end on a high note!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sick & Broken

Around three in the morning, I heard Sweet Boy's voice next to my ear.

"Mom, I'm really scared. Can I lay next to Dad?"

We are strict "no kids in bed before morning" people, but this is the second time I let Sweet Boy climb in. He gets a free pass on a lot of things, right now.

Around four, I drug myself downstairs to pacify the baby.

I was in her room, when I heard Ben yell for help. Sweet Boy was sick.

He threw up all over himself and our bed.

It took us about an hour to strip and wash him and the bed. I've never had to do the kid-throw-up-thing and I had to concentrate hard on not gagging. Before heading to the couch for the last few minutes of sleep, I peaked in on Sweet Boy.

He lay shaking in his bed with huge eyes.

"How are you feeling, sweetheart?"

"I'm just tired."

My heart aches for him. He's not a good sleeper. We think it's because there are no distractions at night time - it's just him and his thoughts. And he can't rest. It takes him a long time to fall asleep and we go in just about every night to soothe him when he yells that he's scared. I felt so sorry for him, laying there. Sick in a strange home with a strange mom, in a bed that's not yours.

I do my best to snuggle and show him love, but he has me locked out. He's not interested in connecting beyond his general needs.

By morning time, he looked much better and was hungry for breakfast. I made him stick with two saltine crackers and a few sips of water. Just to be sure.

I went back and forth on what to do, but ended up sticking to the day's plans.

Doctor appointment for Little Miss and visit with mom at the agency.

Turns out, last week was not the first/last meeting. Given the information that came a few days after our encounter, I would say God was strategic in when he placed compassion in my heart for this woman.

The judge overruled our case worker's request to suspend visits because he did not find substantiating evidence that the visits have been/are harmful to the kids. I was annoyed, but I understood his point and took the information in stride.

Mom made a couple other moves, this week, that furthered my annoyance, but I was determined to keep an open heart toward her.

Back to this morning.

Because we followed the same routine, last week, doctor appointment - agency visit, there was no way Sweet Boy was going to gloss over the details of our day. When I explained to him that we needed to take little sister to the doctor's, he immediately asked if we were going to visit his mom.

"Yes, honey, we'll visit with your first mom, after sister gets her shots."

He cried and begged to stay home. "Please, please, please mom. Can we just stay home?"

It's so difficult to navigate our relationship. I love him so much and feel this tremendous desire to bond and connect, but he's not ready. And then. We have moments like this, where I could connect with him and show him that his emotions matter...and I can't.

We spent part of our long car ride talking about how important first moms are and the time we get with them. I tried to distract him by telling him about the things I had packed him to do. He settled in and didn't say much through the doctor's appointment.

We were a few minutes ahead of schedule, so we sat outside the agency, letting Little Miss take a cat nap. Then I got the call.

Mom was a no-show.

I looked back at Sweet Boy and bit back anger. I had just spent half a car ride defending her worth to her son and that's how she was repaying me?

"Okay, buddy, it looks like we can just go home, like you wanted to. I think we should get you back on the couch, watching cartoons, to make sure your body gets enough rest."

"But, what about my mom?"

"Buddy...she didn't come, today." My voice caught in my throat.

"She didn't come?" Long pause. "My mom didn't come?"

As realization set in, I searched his eyes and wanted to hunt her down. I wanted to drag her by the hair and force her to the agency, myself. How could she be so selfish.

He must have repeated, "My mom didn't come," a dozen times in the first several minutes back on the road. I was furious.

Her son deserves more. MY son deserves more.

We weren't far into the drive when Sweet Boy started throwing-up, EVERYwhere.

If I wasn't feeling sheer panic, I would  have started crying with him.

There was nothing to do, but console him and then drive home, soaked in vomit.

"Buddy, I am so sorry. I am going to get us home and I will take care of you...okay?"

"Mom...will you drive as fast as you can? I just want to go home."

I couldn't even enjoy the reference to home, I was so broken over my broken boy.

We spent the rest of the day on the couch.

Every time I looked over, I saw hollow eyes and my insides wept.

I know God will make this good; I know the rejoicing will come. But man...we are in the trenches, right now, and it is far from comfortable.

Please pray for us.

Monday, March 17, 2014

"I have a first mom."

Ben and I were talking, this weekend, about how much we love LJ.

So much of what we're feeling, right now, about the new guys, we've felt before. That helps normalize the experience.

LJ's absentmindedness, focus, and emotional challenges drive us absolutely crazy, sometimes, but the love we feel for him is so great it must parallel the Father's. I am so proud of the little man he's becoming. SO full of life and passion and love. I've never met a boy with a bigger heart.

We have been shocked by how well he's handled all of the changes. Truly.

Obviously, adoption is a huge part of our family's culture and it's something we talk about all the time. It's everyday. It's normal.

We introduced Sweet Boy and Little Miss, for the first time, at a party full of friends, yesterday. One of the six year olds asked, "Where did you get those kids?" I realized, later, how strange the appearance of a 4 year old and 6 month old in our family would be to a child outside our family.

When it comes to each boy's specific story, we've always let the conversations happen, organically. They each know (and LOVE) their first meeting and coming home stories. And they know that their first moms loved them very much. Apart from those basics, we don't share information until it comes in the form of questions. And, thankfully, at this point, the questions have been simple and easy to answer - "Did my mom eat pizza when I was in her belly?" or "Was I born in an aiplane flying high in the sky?"

Ty is, extremely, curious, and has asked many such questions over the years that have given him a pretty good foundation for his story. Being able to interact with Rebekah helps cultivate that.

LJ, on the other hand, has never asked a question. And we don't push him.

But, when Sweet Boy came home, he definitely opened a window to LJ's thoughts. We have had countless conversations about first moms, foster moms, last moms (so many moms!), and "going to court", as Ty calls it, for adoption finalization.

Sweet Boy is, terribly, confused, so those topics come up, daily, right now.

All of his questions have triggered LJ to start asking questions.

The other day we sat around the dinner table (the environment for most of our meaningful talks - I pray this remains the pattern for years to come) and LJ said, "I have a first mom, but we don't know her name. We've never met."

It was matter-of-fact.

Sweet Boy jumped in that he didn't know his first mom's name either and then, of course, Ty launched into everything he knows about his first mom. I didn't interrupt the flow of conversation, but I realized that it's time to pull LJ aside. We've never really talked much about his first mom because there is nothing positive in his file. In fact, many of the words he may want to read one day, he'll find harmful. Her willingness to walk away without a fight; Her care for his siblings.

I can't tell him much. But, I can tell him her name. I can show him a handful of pictures that I pulled from her Facebook page when we first brought him home. I have one picture of them together; he's about 18 months. It's the only baby picture we have. I can tell him that they share the same squishy nose and that she loved him so much that she kept him warm in her tummy for many months.

It may not be enough, but I hope it's a start.

Out of nowhere, today, he said, "Mom, can we visit my G-Mama's house?" That was the name he used for his former foster mom. He only lived with her for five months, but it's the only other home/mom he has ever referred to. For a long time after we brought him home, he would romanticize her and insert her name into conversations that weren't relevant. We never corrected him, but would listen for memories to surface.

I made every effort to stay in contact. We send a Christmas card every year and have invited her to his last two birthday parties.

She never responded.

Ben asked LJ what he remembered about his G-Mama and he said, "She has skin just like me."

He is right. She does.

I wish I could erase all the history for him and just make life work the way it's supposed to for well-loved four year old boys....but that's not our story. Walking through difficult memories and future realities is part of growing a family, inorganically. It's not a part we can escape.

We do our best to lay a framework of love, now, so that when it comes time to deal with the fullness of their stories, the pain of abandonment will be dulled.

They may always hear the whisper of an orphan...but their spirits will not be defeated.

They won't lose hope because the ROAR of family will deafen the quiet rumblings.

I watch the way my boys love and I know it's special.

God has opened their eyes to dark parts of the world and given their souls an overwhelming shine.

Their friendship is enough to love without measure; their brotherhood will change the world.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Love Makes Things Complicated

This post started Sunday.

We exchanged a barely-awake victory five. It was 5am and little Missy hadn't stirred all night. As Ben drifted back to sleep, I laid awake. Something didn't feel right.

I begged God to take the lingering influenza symptoms that had plagued me all week. We were all feeling better, finally.

Within minutes, I was out of bed, hugging the toilet, and heaving, violently. I didn't leave the floor for three hours. Whatever chaos was happening inside, rid itself from every end. Again and again and again. I sobbed in pain.

I curled in a ball, as my stomach lurched and twisted into the most piercing pain I had ever experienced. I moved to our bed and agonized for an hour before going to urgent care. I was sure I had an ulcer from all the stress.

Had you asked the day before, I would have, assuredly, told you my lowest moment in life was years before. Our ten year trek through barrenness has been marked with deep-set valleys...but nothing like this.

Every challenge of the last three weeks crashed in on me. I cried because I had nothing left to give. Nothing. No shower. No comfort. No Ben. I was depleted in every way and my hair smelled like vomit.

I moaned in pain, praying for relief.

I don't remember much from urgent care, but someone said, "We need to send her." I knew they meant the hospital. I was dehydrated and delirious; my pain was sensitive to the lightest touch. I closed my eyes and cried. The only moment that stands still is when I looked at my best friend through tears, and said, "This is too much..."

I spent several hours at the hospital getting hydrated. They gave me anti-nausea medication and morphine for the pain (glorious!!). I slept for nearly a day straight, once home. It turns out, I had a viral stomach flu of an aggressive nature.

What are the odds? Two weeks of back-to-back flus???

I was in and out of sleep all day Monday, wishing for heaven to take me. Then I coughed.

It took me a minute to realize...but, sure enough.

I had pooped my pants.

Yup. There's honesty for you. It was bad. Throw-away-your-clothes-and-take-a-bath BAD.

I laid in the tub and cried out, "Take me, Lord. Take me, now. I've had a good life. Only half of my children would miss me. I'm done. I have been every way."

Needless to say, he didnt comply.

Here we are.

I woke up, this morning, with a stomach of knots ( literally) and no choice on whether or not to take my newest lovies to see their first mom. One of us had to cover Ty and LJ and one of us needed to head to the agency.

It had to be me.

As a mother. As his mother. I needed to be the one waiting for Sweet Boy.

I packed our bags for the hour drive and was thankful that no one asked questions. I didn't want to tell him until I knew for sure she'd show. We had snacks and toys and three sets of extra outfits, as all three of us were CLEARLY capable of filling our underpants.

I felt terrible inside and out, but Isaiah's words ran through my head, "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak (40:29)..."

I was both.

I parked a block from the agency, stopped the car, and got in the back seat.

"Buddy. Remember how we've been talking a lot about first moms and why we call them that?"

He nodded.

"Today, you are going to spend time with your first mom."

"Right now?"

"Yes. But, I want you to know something. Look at my eyes. I am not leaving. I will be sitting right outside the door. If you need me, you come get me any time. And no matter what your first mom says in your visit, you and sissy are coming home with me, today. Home to daddy, Ty, and LJ....okay?"

"But-But-But Mom C [Foster Mom] always left and came back. Are you going to leave and come back?"

"No. I am going to sit outside your door in case you need me. I am not leaving. I will be here the whole time. Okay?"


We walked in and they were all in the lobby waiting. Caseworker. Supervisor. Visitation Supervisor. Mom. 

I looked her in the eye and forced a smile. "Hi, I'm Rebekah," and stuck out my hand (the business woman in me can't help it).

She wasn't unfriendly, but she didn't make eye contact. She didn't make small talk. She took the car seat out of my hand and reached for the diaper bag. Before I could give any instructions, she called Sweet Boy to her and they were behind closed doors.

Having had twelve hours to process that moment, I can now, verbalize what I felt, instantly.


I know it's not true. I know I have a place; I know that "the law" does/would listen to anything I have to say. I can argue every word I am about to say. But. In that moment. I was slapped to reality. I did not matter. I was not the mother. I had no control.

The flip side? My mama bear ROARED to life. I was angry that she didn't ask me questions. That she assumed she knew how to take care of a daughter she hadn't seen in six weeks. That she smothered Sweet Boy with fake words and empty promises, both of which came streaming under the door to my seat. I heard every word.

I took a deep breath and realized in three week's time...I had become their mother. More importantly, I FELT like their mother.

I checked my email to pass time and chatted with case workers as they walked by. When mine walked by she let me know that she would be in court, later this afternoon, requesting that visitation be suspended. My thoughts were smug in victory until she told me that she hadn't told mom, yet.

We finished the conversation with appointment and home study dates.

I sat, quietly, not able to erase her words. Mom didn't know. In this case, what "Mama doesn't know" will hurt her.

This was most likely the last time she would ever see her kids. My anger melted in an instant and God filled my heart with great compassion.

By the time the visit was over, I was wrought with emotion. I overlooked the fact that she had given Sweet Boy a 2 litter of Faygo to guzzle with a bag full of "snacks" that would, surely, leave him sick the rest of the afternoon. She hugged Sweet Boy, tight, and told him, repeatedly, that she loved him. My throat was so tight, I couldn't talk. Quickly, I asked if I could take a picture of the two of them together (I believe this was divine intervention from the Holy Spirit). I snapped three photos and turned my phone to video for a few short seconds, undetected, to capture her stream of "I love yous" and goodbyes.

Again, looking back, 12 hours later, I am SO thankful that I did that. Now, my babies will have one picture and short video to remember their mom by. I wish there was more. They will want more...

When she handed the baby carrier back to me, we locked eyes, and she said, "Thank you."

I had to wait a long time before I could come unglued. But I did.

I will never be able to share the photos I took, but I wish I could. They would break your heart.

I walked into this day emptied of myself and realize that's exactly where God needed me to be. If even a remnant of Rebekah remained, I wouldn't have seen mom the way God sees her. 

I have every right to be angry and bitter at what she's done. The mess she's created; the disaster relief crew I am forced to lead. She has allowed atrocities to take place at her children's sacrifice and seems to have no regret on the lasting effects to their future. She had the nerve to reprimand Sweet Boy for calling me "Mom" and told him to refer to me as "Miss Rebekah." Not an easy conversation to overhear when you're giving energy you don't have and love you don't feel to kids not born to you.

She doesn't deserve my kindness.

But I gave it. I had to. My heart broke for her the way I know the heavenly Father's already did.

I wish I didn't have compassion. I wish I didn't feel this way. It would be easier to think of this woman as a monster...or claim indifference. 

Love makes things complicated. 

Love requires my instincts to be shushed and my tendencies forgotten. Love is not self-seeking or proud or envious. Love demands respect when it isn't deserved and it, certainly, keeps no record of wrongs.

I understand, for the first time, how families can foster children and support reunification.

It was privilege to view this young girl through the lens of heaven. I wondered, all afternoon, if anyone else had bothered? My mama heart bled for her. She never had a chance. 

I know, I know she had plenty of parenting plans and referees and months to prepare. 

What I mean is...she never had a chance at life. Underage and pregnant? Addicted to heroine? Homeless?

I don't care what she's done. 

I don't. 

I care about her kids. I care about her. 

No mother should ever experience their children being ripped from them. It's not natural. It's not God's way. THIS was not the intent for Sweet Boy and Little Miss.

We were not meant to be these children's parents. Their parents were meant to parent. 

We are part of "Plan: Redemption".

I am so thankful for, today, and (oddly) everything that led me to, today. 

I am thankful that mom showed up. I am thankful that I got to witness her genuine affection for her kids. That I got to shake her hand and look her in the eyes. I'm thankful that I took pictures...and that God filled my heart with compassion. For the mother of my children.

When I look back on our adoption journey, I know there is a reason the points connect as they do.
Any other order and we would not have been prepared to love the way God asks us too.

I am humbled by this process and, completely, overcome with emotion.

More thoughts later. I'm off to a hot bath and a good cry.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

"I'm Scared"

I can't get into the specifics of our case, but we're closing in on termination, quickly. I have not met the kids' birth mom, yet, because she hasn't been to visits in weeks. One day, probably when the trial is behind us, I will sit down and write my thoughts. As angry as I get with the system for the atrocities done to our kids, my heart weeps for the brokenness in people. This birth mom never had a shot. She was never given the tools or equipped with the skills to dig out of the hole created generations before her. It breaks my heart. She needs a mom and dad as much as her children...

We will meet on Tuesday.

I'm not nervous to interact with her. I have been filled in on what will likely occur. How she will respond/react/judge my parenting. I'm okay with that. I am a confident woman that knows who I am and what God asks of me. I've never felt threatened by the incredible number of moms in our life. We all have a place.

I am in prayerful consideration on how to prepare Sweet Boy.

The last week has revealed a number of conflicting thoughts in him. The poor guy is so confused and fumbling around to find his place. He's become quite the chameleon, blending and imitating different people, depending on the scenario. Trying to be what he thinks we all want/require/need.

I've, honestly, been so preoccupied with baby girl that I haven't been very purposeful in trying to connect with him. In the last, few days, since hearing about Tuesday's meeting, I've been praying for guidance.

Tonight, everyone was sleeping, and I heard Sweet Boy ask if he could get up to go potty. When he was done, I called him to me.

"How are you doing, buddy?"

"I'm scared."

I brought him into my lap without asking and hugged him tight. "I know, honey. It must be very scary to have to change homes and families. How many times have you had to do that?"

The stuttering started. "Th-th-three times."

"You are so brave. I know that must be hard. Do you know what is SO cool? God brought you into our family so that you could find a friend in LJ. Do you know that he has lived in lots of homes, too?"

He nodded.

"LJ lived in seven homes before he came to us. He has so many mamas...but our Daddy was his very first dad. Do you know that if you're ever feeling lonely or sad, you could talk to LJ? He understands what you're feeling, honey. He knows how hard it is."

"I-I-I like talking to LJ. We like to talk."

"I'm so glad God gave you a buddy to help make this less scary. What do you like to talk to LJ about?"

"We like to talk about our hair. Do you know that it's the same?"

I smiled. "Yes! I did know that." We talked about all the similarities that exist in our family (we had this conversation A LOT when we first brought LJ home).

"I think I should go back to bed. My feet are cold."

"Okay, honey, but one more thing. Do you know that you don't ever ever EVER have to be afraid."

Big eyes.

"You have so many people with your, right now. Ty and LJ are sleeping in your room. Your sister is right across the hall. Daddy is upstairs...and I'm, right here, in the living room. Do you know who else is with you ALL the time. Even when your family isn't?"

He  shook his head.

"God. He is always with us."

"Doesn't he live up there?" as he points up.

"Yes. Him and Jesus live in heaven...but when Jesus went to be with his daddy, he left us a VERY special gift."

"He did?"

"Yup. His name is the Holy Spirit. God gave him to us to help guide us in our days (so that we make good decisions), to comfort us when we're feeling sad, and to make us feel brave, when we might otherwise be scared. He will NEVER leave you, honey. EVER. He is, right here, in this sweet little heart of yours."

I touched his heart and the most beautiful belly laugh came giggling up his tummy.

"The Holy Spirit also makes you laugh, just like that, when he fills your heart with joy."

He hugged my neck tight. My eyes nearly spilled over.

"I am so glad you came to live with us, buddy. You are very special. Just the kind of guy we needed around, here."

More giggles.

"Is there anything else you want to talk about before going back to bed?"

"Yes...I've been thinking about...pigs."

Needless to say, it was a short conversation...

"I love you, buddy."

"I love everybody." That's always his response. I don't think he understands or maybe has never felt true love. My heart waits in expectation to hear him say, "I love you, too, Mom..."

If we're measuring in baby steps, I count tonight's conversation an adult-sized leap. It opened a door that I will, gently, nudge all week, leading up to Tuesday.

There are many things I can't say to him, right now...but I CAN tell him how much I love him, how God created him special, and that no matter what is said to him on Tuesday, I will be waiting on the other side of the door to take him home...home to our family, our house, our love.

I hope that one assurance will be enough, for now....

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Extra Moms

There are so many dynamics at home to navigate, right now.

A couple days in, LJ was having a hard time understanding why every boy, but him, has an extra mom.

A special person to love and call and remember.

Ty has Rebekah, of course, and talks about her often. One of his favorite gifts is a recorded book that she made him years ago. He loves it so much, he chose to bring it to show and tell both this preschool year and last.

When Sweet Boy talks about his mom, he refers to his foster mom. For Valentine's day, she and her husband made him a recorded book, too. One of the special bonding moments between Ty and Sweet Boy was when they realized they both have other moms to love...and special books.

A couple weeks ago, I found LJ in his room, crying. When I asked him why, he told me he didn't have a special book from a special mom.

Talk about heart ripping.

I don't even remember what I said to make it better.

I called my mom that night and told her we were in desperate need of a recorded book.

She mailed it to LJ the next day.

I know not all the pains will be eased so easily, but, for now, I'm grateful that all three of my boys have recorded books from special people.

LJ carries his around the house like a jewel of great worth. It has a special place on the bookshelf and he takes great care in turning the pages.

I snapped, this shot, the other day of him and Sweet Boy sitting with their books...together.

There may be turmoil, but these are the moments I know God is good.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Quick Note

This is just a quick note. The clock is racing, as Little Miss is sleeping...the first five or six hours are solid, but after that she pretty much wakes up every hour.

It's been a challenging week. Everyone but LJ is sick (that kid has an immune system made of iron) and none of us our sleeping well at night due to congestion.

There was a point, tonight, when Ty, Little Miss, and Sweet Boy were crying. I told them all that I understood....I want to cry, too!

I'm not sure how we're surviving...truly...but we are. I keep thinking that one day we'll look back on this time and laugh. That time is not, now.

Despite the exhaustion and piles of tears, I have fallen completely head-over-heels in love with baby girl. I have spent a lot of time sleeping upright with her on my chest, so that we can both breathe better, and it has melded our hearts to one.

When I whisper, "Muma, loves you" in her ear, she responds with heart-melting coos and when she's sitting on my lap, she leans back as far as she can to look at my eyes. I've come to appreciate her fiery spirit and know that we have a lifetime of love ahead.

Ben says it's good that I've fallen in love...because no one else has. It's not true. Ty and LJ are crazy for her (Sweet Boy doesn't acknowledge her existence). It's going to take time for her and Ben. She's great with me and has finally stopped her opinionated screams, but she doesn't want anything to do with Ben. I know it will come in time...

Sweet Boy on the other hand has taken to Ben, very quickly. I love watching the four boys together. So full of life and energy and roughness. The little boys have done, shockingly, well. I am thankful to God that he has given Ty and LJ hearts full of compassion. They have showed little to no animosity in sharing their toys, room, and life with the new guy. I'm amazed.

On the surface we are doing great. We've found our groove and have fallen into a routine. We refer to ourselves as Mom/Dad and Sweet Boy reciprocates the titles. Our dinner conversations are lighthearted and I love watching my family in action.

Below the surface, there are many pools swirling. I feel disconnected from everyone in the family except Little Miss (who knew/remembered that babies were SO much work?!?!) Sweet Boy, desperately, needs family and home re-defined; he is struggling with where he fits. Ben feels overwhelmed all the time and has had very few (if any) moments of joy with our new crew. And we're all struggling with the unnatural process of bonding.

Some days I wake up and think "I had this crazy dream..." but then I remember it's my new reality. It doesn't feel real. It's not fun. Some days I wish it wasn't my life.

But, we've been, here, before. I know it gets better.

I just wish we could skip the challenges. Fast forward to better, healthier, warmer-not-covered-in-snow days.

But where's the beauty in that, right?

Until the bright sunny skies come, we push through. We hold our tired tongues, squeeze out the remaining dribbles of patience, and pray for multiplied sleep.