Monday, April 30, 2012

Life Update

It is hard to believe that 6 months have gone by since I have taken time to write my thoughts here!  I have missed it but also know that I just do not have a lot of consistant free time to pull togather coherent thoughts.  Sparadic is the best I can hope for but I will try to do better than once every six months.  Alot of things going on in our family life so I thought I would give everyone an update.

On September 13, 2011 I wrote a blog updating everyone on the proccess of fostering and adopting that we were in.  Almost 7 months later I am happy to report that we are only weeks away from finalizing!  The files were sent to our lawyer last week and we should have a court date for finalization this next week.  It has been 16 months since we brought this little amazing gift into our home.   In some ways the proccess takes so long and is so fustrating and yet how quickly these months have flown by. I can't wait to post pictures of our littlest gift!

In March, we moved from our home of 18 years to a house three times the size in the town where my husbands business is located.  We now are just five blocks from his work.  We are loving the space and loving the community.  It was very emotional for us to leave the our home but I am hopefully, that this will become the home of all of our hearts and am very thankful that our dear oldest daughter was here to participate in the move and is able to live in the new house for several months. I wanted this to feel like her home, not the home her family moved to!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

All and Everything

One of the things that has begun to bother me more and more the older I get is the idea that ALL children should be straight A students, attend college, and excel at EVERYTHING they take their hand to. In order to make this happen parents spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and even more hours pursuing the ALL and EVERYTHING dream. Once upon a time a student could pursue career goals outside of college in fields such as woodworking, car mechanics, and other trades during his high school years. Most of those programs are now defunked so that dollars could be extended to academic subjects. The only thing superseding the academics is the athletic department where every child is being trained for the Olympics, NFL, and NBA.

Schools are overwhelmed with the needs of its students so parents have begun outsourcing. When they realize that their student is not performing at grade level they hire tutors and spend endless evening hours agonizing over home work. When those efforts do not produce the desired grades, they will mortgage their house to a private company to perform tests and fix the problem. The same outsourcing has occurred in sports. While playing sports for your school is great, you will still need to spend hundreds of dollars on private trainers and camps. As parents we believe that if we just spend enough money and time then our child can and will have ALL and EVERYTHING. This is not reserve for the public school and secular peoples however, it is more and more the view of home schooling parents.

When the home school movement began it was based on a desire for families to raise Godly children with solid Christian world views. They felt called by God to home school and HE was the center of their home school. There were many criticisms of the home school movement. Children would not be socialized. How could a mother with out a teaching degree possibly educate her children at home? As it turns out, the proof was indeed in the pudding and today we find that neither of the issues were valid concerns. Home school children are more likely to serve their communities, be involved in politics and their churches than there public school peers. Home school students win national spelling bees, get accepted to Harvard, and generally out perform their peers on standardized tests. The focus was so intent on proving society wrong that while we have won that battle, we have caved into and bought the worldly standard for education and outside activities. The pressure is immense, not just on us as moms who home school but on our children as well.

The reality is that not all kids are wired to be a superstar valedictorians. Some kids are wired to be average. When did average become bad? Have we forgotten who wired our children in the first place? Why are we not seeking God's face for our children's future instead of running from one thing to the next trying to be "good" enough. The ALL and EVERYTHING for our children should be JESUS! HE certainly did not meet the worldly standard for a King of Kings!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dreams Coming True

Dear friends are close to being able to finalize the adoption of two children who have been in their home for over a year! It is an amazing, wonderful thing to watch and experience as God knits a family together out of brokenness into a place of joy. In many ways we have walked through our journey of adoptions together. There have been numerous text messages and phone calls with every up and down of the process. We understand that even "good" news is emotionally difficult to process. The reality that we live with is that our joy is the result of another family disintegrating to the point that their legal rights are terminated. We learned from another friend last night that after almost 2 years of being in process there will be termination hearings this month. Their journey has had many stops, starts, and changes in direction but they will hopefully be adopting the three little ones that they have grown to love.

It is not an easy journey. It is not for the faint of heart. It is a journey that is close to God's own heart and it has made all of our faith deeper and stronger. "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families. I have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ I have been set into the family of God. I have been adopted and made a child of God (John 1:12). I am an heir in grace (Romans 8:17) . I am a fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household Ephesians 2:19). When we pursue adoption we are mirroring to the world God's plan for mankind, to adopt each of us into HIS family.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

An Update On Our Adoption

Almost nine months ago, I had the incredible experience of driving to the hospital with my husband and an empty car seat, only to return home with a newborn baby girl we call Lilly. We have poured our souls into this precious child and wondered at the future. Will she stay or will she be able to be reunited with her birth parents? From day to day, my emotions rock me. I can't imagine her not being here and being part of our family.

It is important to know the truth because it is the truth that anchors our faith. I have to remind myself, sometimes hourly, that as much as I love this child, she is loved infinitely more by her heavenly father. He has a plan for her life. She is not being tossed to and fro on man made waves. I also have to believe that although that plan may not include us in the future it has included and blessed us greatly in the last nine months. To be honest this has been an incredible struggle for me and while I type these words with complete faith today, I may very well be on my knees tomorrow wanting my own desires to be met.

There was an initial permanency hearing where termination was requested for one parent but an extension was given for the other parent. The social worker did not even have the courtesy to call and tell us what he had planned. Despite reassurances from the GAL offices just the week before that they would be requesting termination. A new permanency hearing was scheduled for four months later. Many things can change in four months. In our case the parent who was granted the extension went to jail. Unfortunately the wheels of bureaucracy turn slow and while they are now going to request termination from both parents they are not changing the court date. This will push the adoption finalization into sometime next summer. It seems so far away and the months between now and finalization filled with uncertainty. We are trusting God each day to finish the work that he has begun in our lives and in her life.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Little Red School House

The little red school house officially began the 2011-2012 school year on September 6th. Enrolled 1 Junior, 1 freshman, 1 preschooler, 1 toddler, and one very cute baby. Our graduate has moved home and is living with us full time for the first time in five years. We are so enjoying having her here!

Junior is taking; Notgrass Economics, Abeka English 11, Math U See geometry, Rossetta Stone Italian Level 2, Harp, and Art. For science we are writing our own curriculum as we go which we are calling A Year In The Garden.

Freshman is taking; Notgrass American History, Abeka 9 English, Saxon Algebra 1, Rossetta Stone Italian Level 2, Apolgia Biology, continuing piano and playing football for a local Christian school.

Preschooler: We are following theme weeks. For example September was scarecrows, the harvest, apples and autumn. We will be going on a field trip to an apple orchard after the apple unit. I am also using Little Hands to Heaven and The Preschool Calender. Toddler is participating with preschooler as much as she can. Can I just say that I love preschool! Its so easy and the kids enjoy it so much!

Without co-op, without my nieces to babysit, and without an April travel schedule this year I was able to plan in flex days. If we don't use them we get a weeks vacation every four weeks. Of course we used our first one the second day of school to take a field trip to a living history museum.

"Adoption is Redemption"

“My friends, adoption is redemption. It’s costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him. And when He redeems us, we can’t even really appreciate or comprehend it.” From Praying through adoption by Michele C. Scott.

I can testify to the truth of this statement on several levels. First as a redeemed sinner for whom Christ died. The magnitude of the sacrifice He made for me is unfathomable. Because of his sacrifice I have been adopted into the family of God. Secondly as an adoptive mother. The process has been and is costly. It has cost us time as we deal with many doctors, social services, visits with birth parents, therapists, court appearances and constantly fluxing and changing schedules. It has cost us sleep as we stayed up well into the night praying over children who had severe nightmares and traumas that took months to work through. It has cost us relationships and activities. It has been exhausting physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It has been expensive and it has been outrageous at times. The process is filled with uncertainty and no guarantees. Every day it seems there are highs and lows as we ride the roller coaster. We are now in the process of our third adoption and the hills remain steep. We are trusting God for his will to be done, his glory to be shown and his timing to be the perfect timing even when we can not see how it will be accomplished.

It continues to be costly, exhausting, expensive and outrageous as we learn to parent our two adopted children whose needs and issues from their earliest living situation have left them with scars that will need much time to heal. It continues to be all of those things as our three oldest children adjust and continue to adjust to having much younger siblings. Our family looks radically different than it did two years ago. Our home is radically different. Praise God! Without this experience, we would not have grown as deep in our walk with Christ. Our faith would be smaller than it is now. I am thankful everyday for the blessings that adding these three little lives to our home has brought to our family.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Monday May 9, 2011

Outside my window: it is going to be a sunny and warm day. I am looking forward to getting out into the sunshine today!

From the learning room: Its back to the books.

From the kitchen:

Friday: Pizza



Monday: grilled chicken and rice


Wednesday: camp fire supper

Thursday Walking taco's

I am reading: CJ Mahony The Cross Centered Life

I am hearing: pancakes cooking and children eating.

I am praying for an important foster care meeting on Wednesday.

One of my favorite things: Home school camp! We are really looking forward to going this week. I am not looking forward to packing up the troops!

A few plans from the rest of the week: pack, pack, organize, shop, pack and go to home school camp! So excited for three days of FUN at camp! Then its unpack, wash, wash, wash, wash!