2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

Monday, March 26, 2012

What A Week!

I think we have lived through one of the strangest weeks we've had in this family in quite a long time!

Last Sunday started off great.... we went to Sunday School and church as a family, attended a mission trip meeting, and then ran some errands.  I was able to upgrade my phone to a smartphone (that actually works!  I had a horrible experience with my first smartphone a year ago) and I was enjoying my pretty new phone.  We came home with just enough time to grab something to eat before the kids and I headed back to church and my husband headed off to work. 

He was suppose to work 6pm-midnight but if I've learned nothing else these years, I've learned there's no such think as "suppose to".  He got home from work at 3am.

Monday was interesting too.  I started my morning by spilling some coffee on my laptop, causing it to completely shut off.  We tried drying it out and it still wouldn't turn on.  Unfortunately, my "tech" guy (my wonderful husband) was working a weird shift, noon-midnight, so he didn't have a chance to take a look at it.  So, I could check email and Facebook on my pretty new phone and I was happy.

Tuesday was normal enough.... We had an early dinner (1:30pm) and my husband headed to work at 3pm, hoping to be home by 3am.  Around 8:30pm, I got the phone call.  He had hit a deer.  He was fine, but the deer was dead.  So, he ended up coming home around 12:45am to unload all of the important stuff out of his car so he could bring it in to be repaired.  I thought it would be fun, since I was awake anyway, to go outside in the middle of the night to take a look at the damage.  Busted headlight, cracked bumper and a bunch of deer hair was able to be seen.... Nice... Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep until 3:45am when my husband was home and ready to sleep.

Wednesday was a blurr.  I don't remember much, which probably means nothing too bad happened.

Thursday was my husband's day off from work and he had plans to go to a friend's house to help with some stuff.  Instead, he ended up in a work meeting for a few hours that afternoon.  The kids and I decided to go and help instead.  Later that evening, we had dinner at the house of some longtime friends of ours.  My husband and I didn't realize until around 12:45am that we had full caffeine coffee after 9pm that night and sleep wasn't happening for us just yet!  Two nights in one week to get to sleep after 1am is tough when you're our age!

Friday is one of my favorite days of the week.  The kids and I were able to go to a nearby park with our Homeschool group to pass out water bottles with some Easter related Scripture attached to it.  Who would've thought that park would've been so crowded!  It took me 30 minutes to find a parking space, but the group was able to pass out over 100 water bottles, planting a seed in these people's lives in telling them who Jesus is.  My husband spent the entire day helping our friends with fixing up their house.  It was great to see the progress they've been making! Later that evening, that family came over for dinner..... Six energetic kids and 4 tired parents still end up having lots of laughs and fun!

Saturday was yet another interesting day.  We left the house around 9am and headed to the Zoo to meet up with "the boy" and we were able to spend a few hours walking around the park, eating a $54 not too tasty lunch and finishing up our time with him with some ice cream and milkshakes at Chick Fil A.  We got home in just enough time to change clothes and head out to a mission trip potluck dinner with the rest of the team and we got back home just after 9pm.

I consider us normally pretty normal people, with fairly uneventful lives.  We don't try to cram too much excitement into one day or one week.  It just seems that is how this past week worked out for us.  Boy, did we have fun!  We sure worked hard!  And we spent time with a bunch of wonderful people!

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Visit

Our family had an exciting and busy 36 hours this week as we traveled a few hours away to visit with the boy we are hoping to adopt.

Details will be few on this blog as we are still fairly early in this visitation process and we're not permitted to tell much.  

We had 3 separate visits over the 36 hours we were there.  We first went to a park nearby his house and kicked the soccer ball around, talked a little and played on the playground.  In all, it was about 2 hours together.  We then made plans to come back after dinner and take him swimming at the indoor pool at our hotel.  We ended up spending close to another 2 hours together that evening.

We were told he had some anxiety overnight, which was to be expected.  He was also very excited to see us.  We would ask him if we could visit again and he said yes each time.  So, the next day we took him to another park where we kicked the football and soccer ball around for a little and then played on a pretty cool playground for a few minutes.  It was getting hot and close to lunch so we decided to go to Chick Fil A to eat.  Then we headed indoors to a local museum.  We ended up spending about 4 hours with him that day.

He was much more quiet the second day than the first, but he seemed to have a good time from what we all could tell.  I know he's so conflicted.  He's having fun visiting with us but he loves his foster family.  We will have several more visits with him over the next few months but I still anticipate the transition will be difficult when that time comes.

I still have my moments of scared and overwhelmed.  Am I prepared to parent a child with special needs, even with him being high functioning?  When I find my mind racing with that thought, I tell myself several things.....

First, God called us to adopt and this is the child for us!  There was great interest in this little boy and we were the family that was chosen and that was not by mistake or chance.

Second, if one of my children was in an accident tomorrow and as a result had some intellectual disabilities, would I love them any less or decide not to parent them through adulthood if necessary?  NO, of course not!  So it is no different with this young boy.

And finally, I ask myself what my definition of "success" is for my children.  Would I only consider them successful if they went to a top college and had a successful career?  If so, I might want to rethink my definition.  How sad it would truly be if my child had worldly success but poor character.  So, ultimately, my idea of success for my children is that they follow after God with their whole hearts, doing what HE leads in their life!  Remembering that, it makes parenting a special needs child just as hard as it ever was, but gives that job a new meaning.

We continue to ask for your prayers as we visit, plan, prepare and transition over the next few months!

Monday, March 12, 2012

10 Days Passed....

I just realized it's been 10 days since I posted on this blog.....

Apparently my last post, titled "Overwhelmed" was fairly accurate.  Not once during those 10 days did I think of this blog.  I didn't wonder what I should write about and I certainly didn't make time on my calendar to write any posts......

We did get some things done in that 10 days, though.  We (meaning my husband) painted our son's room and then the kids switched rooms.  Now, the boys will have the larger room with the bunk beds and our daughter will have the smaller room and the loft bed.  (It's still strange to say "the boyS" since we haven't yet added that second boy to our family....but soon enough we will!)

I also finished the book I was reading on the Workbox System and am looking forward to incorporating that system with the new addition to our family.  I think it's going to be very helpful for all of us.... There are still lots of details to be worked out as far as finding out the things that work well with him for school, but thankfully we have the entire summer to figure that all out and I've got some wonderful friends in my Homeschool group who are ready to help me out in any way they can.

My husband and I spent 7 (yes, seven) hours running errands together one afternoon last week.  While that DOES count in my mind as a "date", I am still checking (and double checking) the calendar for a dinner date night before he goes on a mission trip with our son later this month.

I've spent time with friends this month too.  We had a young couple over for dinner last week and enjoyed getting to know them better.  The kids and I also spent time with a new friend and her young children over the weekend, enjoying our beautiful weather at a local park.

There are only 2 Sunday evening classes left in the Proverbs 31 class I'm taking with a friend at church.  Having studied this passage a few times before, I am continually surprised at how I think I know enough and yet I am learning more new things this time than the last time.  I'm thankful for our teacher and her in depth, yet practical way of teaching and how she gently challenges us in our roles as wife.

My biggest "issue" to deal with is technically not that big of a deal, yet still something I haven't quite mastered.  You'll probably roll your eyes when you see that I consider this a problem..... But we've reached the point in my husband's rotating shifts where his days off fall during the week.  That means when the kids are doing school, he's off.  When we're off on the weekends, he's working.  I know that's a fairly easy problem to have and I do understand that.  The problem we run into is that both kids are in high school level work and we just can't take off during the week and then make up the work on the weekends.  Sometimes we have the need to do that, but it doesn't work every time.  

So, over this past year that my husband has been back on rotating shifts, we've struggled through figuring out how to manage his part of the shift.  For the most part, we've fallen into a rhythm that is working, as long as I constantly remember to keep my big mouth shut!  I realized three times last week (all three times I realized too late!) that just because I can say something to my husband does not mean I should!  There's a time, a place, and a tone and I failed at all three of those, all three times!

So, just as it is hard for husbands to be gone traveling all week, or on a crazy work schedule, it is just as hard for him to be home for 4 days during the week.  Maybe one day I'll figure that out better.....although God is showing me ways I can improve.

** There should be a big blog post coming early next week with more adoption update information!

Friday, March 2, 2012


It's already March?!

I can't believe time is moving so quickly....I don't know if it's the week I was sick, the fun we've been having with birthdays or what, but these past 2 months have just flown by!

There is SO MUCH to do in March that it's hard to wrap my mind around it.....  Start with regular life (shift work and all that entails) and homeschool, but add in preparing my husband and son for their first foreign mission trip the end of this month, hopefully at least 2 visits with the boy we are hoping to adopt, building a chicken coop (YES, we are hoping to get some chickens!), cleaning out the bonus room and figuring out what to do with it, painting and switching the kids rooms in preparation for a new brother's arrival, getting the garden up and running, and getting ideas for the upcoming homeschool year.

I am also working with a few new friends to support the wives in our husbands' department.  This is very interesting for me, as I fought against this lifestyle for so long.  But now I realize that I can use my experiences of what kind of wife NOT to be to encourage young wives in their marriages.

I realize that VERY soon I will have to make some changes in my schedule.....

  • Getting up earlier (I don't get up too early now, so please don't be thinking I'm going to be up before the crack of dawn!) will give me more time in my day to get things done.  

  • Taking some time to read some good books (I'm in the middle of 3 books right now- "Sue Patrick's Workbox System", "I Love a Cop" and "Authentic Spiritual Mentoring"- yes, a WIDE variety being read at the SAME time!) will help me to keep my focus on the various areas I am involved in. 

  • Continuing with my women's Bible study on Proverbs 31 as well as my daily Bible reading will help me to remember to get my strength from God because I CAN'T do this on my own!

  • Taking time for relationships- with my husband (date nights!), with my kids (even though we spend a LOT of time together, we still need to spend that time deliberately), with my friends (this is actually hard for me, not being a people person) and with my family (road trip? Maybe I can talk a certain sister into that?) is going to be so important.

I have been finding that putting my thoughts on "paper" (online paper, that is) helps me to be accountable.  I will soon blog about more specific plans for my schedule changes so that I can have a chance to actually DO what I say instead of just saying it to myself every day and failing at it again and again!