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Sunday, October 4, 2015


I know, I know...I dropped off the advocacy bandwagon. I will tell you (or maybe show you) exactly why:

I would see a waiting child that would tear at my heart and I would advocate and beg for a family for him/her.  Often times they got families! (Augustin, Sadie, Chad...) Sometimes they only just got to meet their earthly family before going to Heaven.  Sometimes they never found a family or comfort on earth.  It's heart wrenching and emotionally draining.  So I got busy, excuse, excuse, blah, blah, blah...and quit even looking. Until last week when God starting pulling at me again and I LOOKED, once again I looked. Looked at the children, the souls, the lives, that were (ARE) hurting and broken.

I asked -
Why not adopt?
Why not advocate?
Why not sponsor?
Why not?!

Because "our plate is full" (I have to get up around 6 or 7 a.m and love and tend to children all day and often in the night...i.e they give me kisses and hugs, tell me they love me, and for those that can't they smile and cuddle my shoulder)  Hmm...maybe I should have a second plate! ;)
Because we have no money (Sure, we have internet, a computer, clothes that are clean and fit, new shoes, a running car that is safe, food in the refrigerator and pantry, and a home...oh and did I mention clean water, indoor plumbing, electricity...?)
Because we already adopted 2!  (All I can say here is that I am SOOO grateful that God didn't stop at Adam and Eve and say His work was done because He had saved 2)
Because our other children might not want to. (This is a legitimately good reason! Unless, of course, you've talked to your children and they have told you that they would happily donate their prized possessions if it would help bring another child home)
Because people will think I'm crazy! (They probably already do! But even if that's a new development, do I care enough about what a stranger or acquaintance is going to think about me enough to sacrifice a child's life?)
Because my husband says no. (Well, that IS a deal breaker - in adoption you both have to be ok with the decision because without that support it's impossibly hard for EVERYONE!)

When all else fails go to the Bible, right?  What does God say about it?

  • Proverbs 31:8-9(NIV)

8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.9 Speak up and judge fairly;defend the rights of the poor and needy.

  • Matthew 18:1-5 (NIV)

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
    • James 1:27 (NIV)

    27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

      Now, I looked and I see THIS child: Al

    Al is  TEN years old and about the size Lance was when we brought him home almost 2 years ago.
    This was Lance at THREE years old

    PLEASE ask yourself the tough questions and decide what you can do to help children like Al.

    Saturday, April 25, 2015

    The other side of the coin

      Alright, so a few years ago I started to really delve into the big wide world of adoption.  I made lots of Facebook friends and started following lots of adoption journeys, both before, during, and post "Gotcha!"  About 6 months in to our commitment to adopt a child with severe neglect and obvious physical needs I started reading all of these blog posts about families who had adopted once, twice, three times or more... These families brought home children from the US, children from foster care, children from orphanages, and some from mental institutions.  They homeschooled their children, some of them cloth diapered, and they would post pictures of a humble home that was essentially spotless. I would sit back at the end of the day, look around my 1500 square foot house that we were renting for our family of 5 and think about the all of the laundry that did NOT get done, do the second or third vinegar rinse of MY cloth diapers for the day, and just wonder HOW?! How on earth do these people do it...and with 3 times as many kids as I have!  
      Well, let me fast forward to today.  We are renting a larger house, but yes - still renting.  I actually, miracle of all miracles, only have one load of laundry left and it is just going through the spin cycle, and my house is clean! (Well, my NEW version of clean)  My daughter is only a week behind where I want her to be in Math, everyone is fed, diapered, bathed, massaged, and have had their second round of range of motion exercises for the day.  I am sitting here with my make up on, hair done, and... yes, still in my pajamas. (It's 3:25 on a Saturday afternoon :/)


    I don't generally stop and take pictures of me shampooing pee out of the carpet, or one of my kids after they threw up all over. I didn't take a picture of the FIRST bath where someone pooped in the tub right after I finished washing their hair (we'll call that a practice round), and I certainly didn't announce on Facebook that I had a temper tantrum and grounded one of my kids. Why not? Because that's not the side I want YOU to see!  I want you to be on my side and think only good things of me and my kids and my family.  I want you to see rainbows and sunshine...not the clouds and the storms that come first.

    Sooo...why am I doing exactly that right now?  BECAUSE YOU NEED TO KNOW! 6 months after your beautiful child comes home, everyone will be busy living THEIR lives, YOU will be living yours and there will be lots of rainy days...days without umbrellas, days without someone patting you on the back or gushing over your beautiful child who may never walk.  You will not have 500 facebook friends offering to sit on your couch for you while your child screams for the second hour in a row for reasons even he does not understand.  You will realize that you probably aren't going to be invited to the same things you used to be because it's just not as "easy" to have your family over to someone else's house.

    I LOVE my life, I ADORE my family, I wouldn't change one minute.  They are my life, they are amazing, smart, creative, precious, maddening, frustrating, mess-making.  They are BEAUTIFUL.  This is the other side of all of those makeovers...yes! They have grown. Yes! They have made incredible improvements. Yes! I LOVE them and at the end of the day, I will not have a perfectly clean house, the laundry will never be ironed, the garage will smell of dirty diapers, and their may be dirty dishes in the sink.  I WILL get up the next day and do it all over again and thank God for giving me this life. 


    Wednesday, April 15, 2015

    Mom shopping - Nope, sorry, that doesn't mean mom's just get to go shopping.

     Have you ever been around a kid that you've never met or seen before and they just want to hug you or kiss you or sit on your lap or hold your hand?  People always gush over how sweet this kid is and love that affection. I know because I always did too.
      In kids coming from broken pasts this is NOT a "good" thing.  It's called "Mom shopping", they are looking for something to heal their broken hearts.  They are looking for a "mom."   What about when they are adopted and have a mom?  They quit shopping, right? WRONG!  Sometimes just the opposite is true.
      Let me paint you a very real picture.  Baby is born - Mom gives up baby - baby goes to an orphanage - orphanage worker 1 feeds baby and moves on - orphanage worker 2 changes baby and moves on - orphanage worker 3 feeds baby - orphanage worker 4 bathes baby - orphanage worker 5 changes baby....seeing where this is going yet?  By the time baby is 5 years old how many orphanage workers or foster moms/dads/siblings have had contact with him? Too many to even remember.  How many stuck around? ZERO, a really easy number to remember.  At some point one of them might have been especially kind and loving and made baby feel special, but what happened to that caretaker? They "left" - maybe not because they didn't care anymore, but for a million different reasons they are no longer there. 
      Now,  in walks adoptive mom and dad. YAY!! Baby is sooo happy - he finally has a family, right?! Again, nope. Baby doesn't know what a family is.  He doesn't know or understand or believe that moms and dads DONT LEAVE.  He doesn't know that they will love you always - no matter what.  To him, this is just another caretaker and he has built big STRONG brick walls.  These walls are special to him because he has worked very hard to lay them brick by brick.  They keep his little heart safe from everything that comes to try to hurt it.
    You get the picture.   Did you know that touch is a basic NEED just like water and air? People NEED touch to survive.  Without it our brains develop differently.  So kids without even knowing it are working to get that NEED of touch met.  Kids who come from hurt get this need met by strangers because their hearts are not at risk by hugging a stranger.  Why?  Because they KNOW that stranger is going to walk away.  They expect it so it won't hurt them.  When they become adopted and MOM and DAD give them hugs and kisses it's SCARY!  Not at first, at first they are happy to get and give affection because they don't care if you leave - they are expecting it. As you become more and more of a permanent fixture in their lives this changes.   Suddenly they start to realize that "when" you leave them it WILL hurt.  Add another brick to their wall.
       This is seen when they have a really good week or month, or maybe just a day with mom or dad.  They feel loved - that's SCARY!! Add a brick
      This is seen when they fall and mom rushes to hug and comfort them. SCARY! Add a brick
      This is seen when mom sits down at the end of the day to just rock them and say "I love you".  Add a brick.
      They start to pull away and sometimes act out - becoming harsh or aggressive.  They don't want to hug you, they don't want you to be nice to them....THEY ARE PROTECTING THEIR LITTLE SHATTERED HEARTS!

      BUT what about that basic need for touch?  They still need it, but not from someone who can hurt them! So they see a stranger who smiles at them and they go get a hug - basic need met = don't need mom = heart is safe.
      Here is the good news!!! Elliott has been home about 16 months.  He loves everyone and everyone loves him.  Seriously, people stop in the middle of the mall to talk to him.  The staff at doctors offices know him and look forward to seeing him. He is an amazing and special kid.... who has a HUGE basic need for touch.  Seriously  LOVES touch.  So for 16 months I've been telling him "We only hug family."   Last Sunday he went up to a lady at church, who for some reason reminds him of his grandma in North Dakota.  He called her grandma excitedly and she wrapped her arm around him and kissed the top of his head. (Queue mental palm to forehead moment for mom) BUT Imagine how excited I was when, after 16 months of "Only hug family" comments, he ran from "grandma" TO MOM and yelled "ONLY HUG FAMILY!!"  YEP!! Those little shattered hearts CAN heal! I'm not naive enough to believe that that's the end of those "mom shopping" days, but it is a HUGE - GINORMOUS step in that direction!!
      Keep going moms!! Our little shoppers CAN and WILL get there.