• 30 days to a better me

    Date: 2013.06.13 | Category: Adoption, Elijah, Evangeline Faith, Jasmine (Shuang Shuang), Lainey Rae, Thoughts to ponder | Tags:

    Hard times and deep truths often come together. If you want the latter, you must be willing to make it through the former.  – unknown

    30 days ago today, our family went from 10 to 14.  30 days ago today, I thought I had been through hard and could handle anything.   30 days ago, I thought I had it all figured out.  30 days ago, I thought my faith was secure. 30 days ago, I knew what God was asking of me and I was ready to proceed with this grand adventure. 30 days ago I was so sure that I could handle anything.  30 days ago – oh man, was I was clueless!

    We showed up the day after Mother’s Day, ready to receive three more blessings.  My blessings would then total 12.  My childhood dream of having 12 children was about to come true.  I was happy. I was nervous. I was feeling so blessed.  I knew two of these blessings had complex heart defects.  I knew Lainey had PKU and there was bound to be issues with her feedings.   We were prepared as we could be….at least that is what I thought.

    But 24 hours later, I was questioning everything.  How could God bring me to this.  This was not  just hard, but realllllyyyyyyy hard?  I was already doing my best with a life that was hard at home.  Not so much hard, but complicated.   I have children with complex medical conditions.  I have a busy household already.  I do g.t. feedings and oral feedings, medications, and lots of appointments, on top of homeschooling and all my usual mommy chores.  How in the world were we going to do any of this?

    All I could see in that first 24 hours was the hard. The fits, the crying, the whining, the refusing to eat, the not sleeping, the more complex diagnoses and the fear. Fear was a very real emotion during those first few days.  How were we going to handle this?  Before we traveled, I was so sure that we could handle it.  But now I doubted everything.

    Well not everything, I still believed with all my heart that God brought me to these children.  These were my children.  But I doubted me.  Maybe that is why this happened.  I mother pretty well.  I mother people who don’t want to be mothered.  I have been known to mother my grown children’s friends.  It’s just in my genetic code.  It is who I am.  When others dreamed of being doctors, nurses, and teachers, I dreamed of being a mom.  I have always believed in my ability to mother.  I don’t do everything right, but I have what I believe to be the most important aspects of mothering and I do those to the best of my abilities.  I believe God brought me, once again, to that place of being so overwhelmed that I knew there was no way in the world I could do this, which placed all that we were doing, even more so, at the base of the throne of my Lord.  Only through Him would we ever be able to do this.  Only with Him would I be able to survive.

    So 30 days later, I praise a God with a plan that is so much bigger and better than mine.  I give all glory to Him and the previous year that brought us to our blessings.  Our wonderful, unbelievable blessings that have made so much progress in just 30 days.

    Evie’s prognosis may not have been what we had hoped, but we have not given up hope.  In 30 days, this little girl has gone from not being able to sit by herself to crawling across the floor at lightning speed.  She is so happy and so loving. She is so very beautiful with her big brown eyes.  She is very blue still with O2 sats in the mid 50’s and low 60’s,but she has already put on four pounds.  This is what a little love and a little food will do for you.


    30 days later, and this handsome little guy has become Mr. Charming.  He was withdrawn, whiny, and refused to eat for days, but now he is so sweet and loving and there isn’t a food he doesn’t like. He is thoughtful and takes care of his sisters.  He is the perfect little guy to end our family.  (Although, Gracie did tell me last night that she wished she could hypnotize me so I would forget how many children we had so we could adopt again.)   🙂


    Shuang Shuang’s smile lights up our house throughout the day.  She laughs, and teases, and is the best big sister.  She holds the kids.  They climb all over her wheelchair.  She even reads to them.  She has been so trusting from day one.   We have been so moved by all the people who have had their lives touched by her.  We have received letters and e-mails.  She received an American Girl doll with a wheelchair from her new pen pals.   She received a birthday present from Spain from a family that had sponsored her while she was in the orphanage.   It has been so moving and we have made new friends.  Her diagnosis was not what we had planned on and her future won’t contain the healing surgery we hoped for, but we are blessed to have had her join our family.

    min 9

    min 10

    Which brings us to little Lainey, she was so very sad those first 48 hours.  She broke my heart and I wondered if I would ever be able to reach her.  Would she ever be happy?  Would she always be in her own little world?  Would this angry, crying, temper tantrum throwing be all that there was?   30 days later and we see a girl who smiles most of the day.  She runs up to all her siblings and loves to chase Codey.  She loves to climb up in your lap and sit.  She plays and she laughs and she is truly happy.  There are still a few outbursts, but they are few and far between and most of them involve wanting her bottle.  She is not magically cured and she still spends a lot of time in her own little world, but there are moments of eye contact with meaning. There is purposeful play.  She runs up and hugs people and kisses them.  She loves to cuddle on your shoulder.

    China 2013 037

    30 days have brought so many changes to our family.  I thought there was no way that I would be able to do any of the usual things that I did with the kids, but….

    This is what we look like going shopping.


    This is what we look like swimming.


    This is what we look like hanging at home.

    new normal

    This is what we look like in our car.

    5 in the car

    We can’t all fit in one or even two of our cars, which is why we had to buy a bus….

    mei bus

    Which made Benjamin very, very happy!

    ben bus

    30 days later and although my house is messier and I am definitely more tired, I have had the privilege of watching little ones bloom.  What a miracle to get to be a part of.  30 days later and I trust God even more.  30 days later and I realize that I set my goals too small.  I believe that I can’t when God knows that I can with His help.  We are still getting used to our new normal.  We are still trying to figure out how to run our days as smoothly as we can.  But 30 days later, I have been kissed more, hugged more and loved more than I ever believed possible.  I have heard more laughter and have had more love showered on me than any mama deserves.  30 days later is a very good place to be.