"So promise me you'll never forget...that you aren't an accident or an incident...you are a gift to the world, a divine work of art, signed by God. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on this earth...Flooded by emotion, overcome by pride, the Starmaker turns to us, one by one, and says, 'You are my child. I love you dearly.'" Max Lucado, God Thinks You're Wonderful

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oh my **EDITED**

So yesterday I got an email from Representative Nelson. He sent me the agenda for the next meeting....and I am on it!
Part of me is thrilled to pieces, but most of me is SCARED to death. If you know me, you know I do not like speaking in front of people. I can handle a small group of people that I know, but beyond that...whoa. My belly hurts just typing this! But then when I get to thinking about why I am nervous its because I am making this about me (you know, that I will look like an idiot up there). But this is not about me.

I am telling you this to ask for prayer on October 15th at 1:30. Please pray that minds will be open (including mine) and emotions will be set aside for a great discussion of this highly sensitive subject of Cooper's Law. Please pray that I will not have an agenda, but that God will use me as according to His plan. As the author of adoption, I do believe He cares about this subject. I cannot say enough that I do not want this to happen if it is not right.
**I just got another email from Representative Nelson asking if I would bring Cooper's birth mother with me!!!! I called her and she was so excited to be a part of this. How incredible is God for working all of this out?!?! Thanks for all of your wonderful notes and encouragement!**
Thank you all for emailing Rep. Nelson and Senator Russell. Thank you for all of your support up until this point! Keep the prayers coming!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Random pictures of the week

We've all had a bit of a cold this week, so we've been laying low.
Just wanted to share some pictures and say thanks for all of the prayers and support with Cooper's Law.

We are making some great progress. If you know any senators or representatives, this would be a great time to contact them and explain Cooper's Law. If they can contact Representative Nelson or Senator Russell, that would be incredible help!
Owen and Josee on the rhino at the zoo! Today we had our monthy Kaleidoscope Kids playgroup! So much fun to hang out with families that match us!!!
The funny thing about this shirt...as much as I love it, I feel like I just labeled my child when he wears it. I hate when people introduce my children as adopted. I don't care if people know, or if it comes up in conversation...but it's completely different when someone says, "This is Molly and her adopted son Owen." Do you get my drift? They are my children, and they happen to be adopted. It does not identify them, it's just a part of their story. Anywho, the first time he wore this shirt out in public it hit me that many will not get the meaning behind Adopt(ed) and will assume I am announcing that I adopted my kids. Oops!
Sadie being sassy with her boots on! Man, I love having a daughter and all of the fun stuff that goes comes with girls!
Making malts with daddy! We actually haven't made malts in quite some time and thought we better before it gets too cold! The kids loved it!Think we need a bigger stroller? Or maybe we should suggest the big guy start carrying his own weight!
Notice Cooper handing out the goldfish...I love those little things you catch them doing. So cute! We took a family trip to the zoo on Sunday morning! Our church started Saturday night service, which is when Chosen (adoption ministry) meets, so Sundays are totally free now and we love it!
Sadie getting frustrated that she can't get the drawer open for a sippie cup. How can you resist that face? We were getting ready to go to church...I don't dress her like this for playtime, I swear!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Funnel cake and corn dogs

Oh man. Something about having kids has made Blake and I state fair people.
We get excited to go now, and could have cared less before kids. There's something about watching them in awe of the lights and animals and rides. It's priceless.

So yesterday Blake got finished early with work, joined me at the Adoption Task Force meeting and then took us all to the state fair!

Here are some pictures from the fair! We had a blast!!!

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Transracial Parenting Workshop #2

On Saturday our agency offered another transracial parenting workshop.

It was INCREDIBLE! If you are new here, you can catch the discussion that followed from the first workshop here. Also, these workshops are open to anyone, not just those who've adopted through our agency. I highly encourage any family to come to these (post-placement) as I have learned so much!
There was a panel of people touched by transracial adoption. A couple who adopted their 4 children 15 years ago, 3 of whom are biracial, and two adults (Sarah and Patrick) who were adopted transracially 30 some years ago. There was also a woman who has a transracial family (through an inter-racial marriage, not adoption) on the panel. Don't you love all this lingo???

It was so good to hear from families that have been through what we are going through. It was wonderful to see these two incredible adults THRIVE out of transracial adoption. Seriously, if our kids turn out like these two...we'd do cartwheels! They are such neat people that really embraced what their parents told them growing up....race is a part of who they are, but it is not who they are.

Sarah and Patrick both encouraged us to teach our children not to define themselves by race, but by our faith, personality, humor, intelligence, integrity, etc. It was so cool to hear them talk about some of the struggles they faced growing up, but that's all they were...struggles. Just like all of us face. Patrick talked about how he just didn't give it attention...he didn't have time for it. I love this. We can all decide what we will let affect us, and he chose to not let others opinions matter. He simply decided to shrug it off.
The couple that is currently raising teenagers was sharing some of the issues their kids are facing because of race. It was a good and gentle reminder of how our kids may all handle this differently, but I am SO glad they have each other to walk through this with. There may be things they don't feel they can discuss with us, and that's okay. I praise God for giving them siblings to share this with. That seems to have really helped this family.

Sarah shared about hair care and again it was so much fun to learn new tips from the group! I learned a new word...peppercorn (also known as a beebee?). Those are those little balls at the end of Cooper's and Sadie's hair that are tight tangles. Evidently I need to quit trying to comb them out of Sadie's hair and just cut them off like I did with Cooper's hair recently. We talked about new products and stuff to try. She highly recommended Carol's Daughter products so I am going to have to get some for sissy. We discussed silk wraps and pillow cases, conditioner and eczema...I am telling you it was GOOD STUFF!!!

I left this workshop feeling very encouraged and not as heavy as I did last time. Maybe it's because I prepared myself emotionally for the topic to be hard to hear. I think more than anything it was so good to meet these families and see that this was not going to be an uphill battle and an everyday issue unless we choose for it to be that. This is going to be a balancing act of trying to keep our little world diverse so that our children see people everywhere that are multicultural, but yet not giving race more attention than it deserves.

God keeps reminding me that we are all created in His image. This is what we will focus on in our family, being more like Him. God has given me the most incredible blessings in my family and a love that is so intense that I am constantly on the verge of tears. My children bring me the most amazing joy (see pictures below). I will not let anyone steal that joy. I will not let race issues, which is not of God, steal my joy or take my focus off of Him and His incredible blessings.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pits and Aspen

It's been a busy day...

I will start with my pits.

I got a call this afternoon from Representative Nelson's office asking if there were anyway I could meet with him @ 4 to discuss Cooper's Law!

I jumped at the opportunity and praised God for His timing! I had just come home from dropping the kids off at Blake's parents house for the night! I had the afternoon to myself and had no time to get anxious about this!!! (Well, okay I got anxious wondering why God was having me talk about laws? I am so not qualified.)
Thank you for all of you that prayed for me. Bad news first: I completely pitted out my shirt because I was so nervous! I tried to capture a picture of it because it was quite hilarious, but it just didn't do it justice. Good news: I didn't throw up and...

Praise God for getting this into the right hands. We sat and discussed what some concerns might be and how we should handle that. We discussed why this needed to be changed and what other states already had laws very similar to this. It was such a wonderful meeting and he was so open to my concerns, and he felt this deep need to protect birth mothers. How great is that??? He gets it, from all angles.

He talked about how in trying to protect the adoption process, with this law how it currently stands, we've actually made it harder for birth mothers to place.

He wants to meet our precious Mandy and hear her heart on this law... How incredible is that? That's right Mandy girl, I'll be calling you to chat tomorrow!!!
Keep praying for this to move forward. As much as he supports it, he understands there will be opposition. He does not see this "moving to session" or moving this session??? See I shouldn't be talking about this. Essentially, this won't happen quickly because he felt like it was a big deal, but he said this law NEEDS TO CHANGE. It cannot stand how it currently does. Praise God!!!

On to Aspen...
So, you know how my heart has really been broken about this whole Aspen thing. To some of you this decision might seem so easy, but it has not been for me.
I have really been struggling with so much of this.
To be honest, I was struggling with what I would have to give up to be there for 3 months. Gag. I hate being honest about those shooie feelings. But that's where I have been.
I have been heartbroken about not being with Blake for 3 months and have tried to figure out ways we could cut that down (3 weeks here, 4 weeks there, 4 weeks here). But I had never conceded to the idea of us being there for 3 months.

Again, I know some of you are horribly disappointed in me, but my heart was just struggling and I felt I had good reason to struggle. Yes, I am 3 years old too.

But yesterday someone called me. Her name is Alli. She is a friend from church, a mentor from my MOMs Bible study. We have known each other for a couple years, but only had a few conversations outside of "hi" and "how are you?". She is precious. Recently she asked me about this year and I told her quickly of my struggle with Aspen.

She called yesterday and I missed her call, but called her back this afternoon.
The conversation that followed was clearly orchestrated by God. I struggled to talk fighting back tears. I quickly thanked her with a huge frog in my throat and hung up the phone and bawled.

I've been fighting God for months with this, and I seemingly had no clue. Because my concerns seemed 0h-so valid. Ugh.
Bottom line...I've not been setting out to serve my husband in this.
I've not been setting out to serve my children here.
This has been about me.
Gulp, sniff, bawl like a baby.
My goodness. God put my name on the heart of sweet Alli yesterday and she couldn't shake it. So she found my number and called me. She thought she was calling to see if we needed help finding housing (you know, 'cause that's what I have been blaming this on).
But I told her that last night we got an email from Colorado saying they secured a 2 bedroom apartment for us and it was close to everything.
She replied, "Well I thought you would have told me you were set then, you were going!" But I didn't. I was still struggling.
The conversation that followed is what made me so emotional. Blake needed me there. My kids needed Blake with them. Three months is long to these kids. Three months is a long time for a marriage!!! Why was I not doing this?
I know, to all of you, it's a "duh" decision. But for me, it's heart wrenching to admit that I wasn't choosing to serve my husband, but choosing what seemed easier for me. I wasn't choosing what would be best for my children and serving them...I was being fearful and not looking to God.

So, tonight I know one thing...we are ALL going to Aspen together. Our precious daddy who chooses to serve us with a job that is trying, needs our faces to come home to everyday. I have no idea how any of this is going to work out, but I choose to trust my God with each and every detail.

Thanks for the prayers and constant encouragement. Thanks for hanging in there with a low picture post!!!!

A Little Joy in our Day

We've had a visitor...looking at Sadie's face you can tell what she thought about this little pumpkin!

Oh my, she was SO excited!!!! I gotta kick out of watching her LOVE on this baby! This is her gasping!

We had the pleasure of playing with Joy on Thursday while the boys were at school.

Sadie is beyond excited about her new friend. Seriously, she was gasping with JOY for an hour yesterday! She could not believe this new baby could move and it tickled her pink everytime Joy squirmed!

Her mommy is just as excited about Joy! We've been praying for her for a year now. Our precious friends Michael and Ursula just adopted her and we could not be more ecstatic for their family!

I couldn't quit kissing her. Sadie loved kissing her head and touching her soft STRAIGHT hair. Sadie was very into that straight hair of hers!!!

What a wonderful treat! She is SO tiny. It's amazing how quickly you forget how small they are!

She was such a snuggle bug and I simply couldn't put her down! So we napped together on the couch.

I mean, come on. How often do you get a chance to snuggle your friends babies for hours on end?

I loaded up Joy and Sadie to go pick the boys up from school and didn't know what the boys would say about her (of if they would think she was ours!). I wish you could have seen Sadie's surprised face in the car when she realized this baby could cry too! She was shocked someone would steal her glory in the car. Sister hates the car, and it seems she met her match. It was priceless!

The boys were smitten when they laid eyes on her. They both asked if they could touch her and hold her immediately. Owen got out his blanket from school and started covering her up (even though it was 85 degrees out). Then they fought over who should make her a bottle. It was adorable!

Sadie stood by her carrier and rocked her, no lie. I was laughing because it looked like she knew what she was doing. Granny rocking her new baby. I think we are all in love!
(Side note: For those of you that don't know, we call Sadie "Granny" lots because of the sweet way she walks like an 80 year old lady. It's even funnier when she pushes her stroller because it looks like Granny with a walker. She's gonna kill me one day for calling her that!)

Needless to say, we had a blast and I realized that I can do 4 kids and have fun doing it! Blake's sweating bullets now!

Thank you to her mommy and daddy for trusting her to us for a couple of hours! Welcome home sweet Joy! We praise God for creating you especially for your family and bringing you into their lives in such a miraculous way. We are so glad you are finally home!!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Best Husband Ever

That's right.

I simply have the best husband ever.

For the last 4 years my mom has taken my sisters and I on a "hunting" shopping trip. Let me explain. Our husbands all go with my dad to hunt every year and us girls were repeatedly being left behind with all of the kids. After about 4 years of this, we finally decided we needed a hunting trip of our own. And we would hunt for bargains, not animals.

So, we load up with Christmas lists in tow and shop our little hearts out.

It's become a wonderful tradition and loads of fun to wrap Christmas presents in September.

And I have to say it's wonderful to get shopping done early.

So this past Friday, I loaded myself up and headed to the rest of the girls while Blake had the kids all weekend. And he was excited about it.

He cooked and CLEANED. He even took pictures and dressed the kids so that they all matched for the OU game. He took them to the science museum twice and to the park. He packed the bag full of snacks, diapers and wipes. He had to manage all 3 while changing poopy diapers at the museum. They wrestled and played football all weekend. Blake even said that Sadie was getting in on the tackling! AND, they all got baths. Seriously! I was so impressed. When you don't do this daily, it really is overwhelming, and yet he remembered it all and enjoyed it!

He also took off Sadie's toe nail polish and attempted to repaint them. He said it was a complete mess, so he took it off again. But I have to say that is the cutest thing I have ever heard!

What a blessing, huh? I got some incredible sister/mom time full of lots of giggles and Mexican food, got my shopping done, AND came home to a clean house full of happy kids!

Thanks babe for understanding that I need time for myself! You are the best!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Sweet Sadie!

Sadie Skielar turned one early this morning!

It is so hard to believe that we didn't even know about her this time last year.

I have been thinking about what all Momma G had been going through on this day last year.

She contacted our agency and was shown profile books or Life Books of families waiting for little chocolate bundles of love.

She chose us later on that day and asked if she could meet us before she was discharged.

This time last year, I was here having no idea that my prayers had been answered so specifically.

In the last year, I have been able to trust God on a much deeper level because of Sadie's story.

It's amazing how with each adoption my faith has been strengthened so much and I see the world in a completely different way.

With Sadie, I realized that God wanted to give her to us to remind us how much He loves daily. I already had to perfect little boys who Blake and I adore more than life itself. How could I ask for more?

I think all children are to remind us of God's deep love for us, but I guess it took Sadie for me to understand that. I think it was only because I had the perfect family already (with the 4 of us) so to ask Him for more blessings seemed insane.

But we did. And look what He blessed us with!

Hope you enjoyed the video. Sorry it's long, but you know me and my pictures! How do you choose? Sadie wants to give a shout out to her Uncle Brent who she shares her birthday with!

Happy Birthday Sadie and Brent! Love you guys!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My goodness

There is a lot going on around here.
I am one of those girls that likes life simple and slow. So this morning as I was loading up the boys I noticed that I was short with Owen and that just kills me.
Lord help me to be available to be used by you, but also remind me that when I try and do things myself it exhausts me. When you use me, I am energized and not short with my family.
So here's a rundown of stuff I have mentioned lately and not followed up on...

The adoption ministry is going, going, going! We have only had three meetings, but we've accomplished a TON! We are starting community groups as a part of this ministry. If anyone you know has a need for support or a passion for adoption, foster care and orphan care please let them know we'd love to have them join us! We can't wait to see what all is going to happen not only in our church but in our city. Click on the "Chosen" button to the right!
Adoption task force meeting... Cooper's Law is one of those things I need to let go of. I need to just lay it at the feet of my Savior and let Him do this. I have heard nothing back from the Senator or Representative that we've been contacting. Maybe I am being impatient, I don't know. I realize they have a lot on their plates. They were planning on asking families to share at the September 18th meeting, so we'll know before too long if that is going to happen. I am tired...I know, I lose steam quickly...I would make a poopy politician, huh?

When I was asking you to spread the word about Cooper's Law I shared some pictures from the day we lost Cooper. I forget that some of you reading this don't know us and know our story. I still think that there are 4 people reading this, and they are my immediate family members!!!! So, two LONG days after we lost our pumpkin, we got a phone call from his precious birth mother telling us to come pick up our son. We BUSTED it to Edmond to the maternity home to get our precious Cooper. I think I loaded his car seat back into the car in 20 seconds flat.

There are a dozen incredible miracles that happened through our journey with Cooper, but one of the things that I cherish was the way it changed Blake and I. The world just wasn't the same. We have a new appreciation for everyday and we have a new tolerance for things that used to drive us batty. One of the things that is most dear to us was our appreciation for birth mothers and what they go through in the process of placing a child. It's something that we experienced to some extent when we lost Cooper... So, 5 days before Christmas 2006, we got the most wonderful gift of our son...again! Now you know the rest of the story!

Aspen...Oh man, we don't know anything more about Aspen and I am getting cold feet. Just being honest. I am nervous about either option-being gone from all that we get to enjoy here, and even worse being away from our precious daddy and husband. Lord help guide us on what is best for our family.

Kaleidoscope Kids is our transracial adoption playgroup. If you have adopted transracially, please join us as we get together with our kids so that they can be around other families that resemble their own. In September we'll be going to the zoo! Email me and I will add you to the group! mollykshockley@hotmail.com

**Notice Sadie's puff ball-pig tails??? Oh man, I LOVE these mini-baby-puffs. Yum!**

And most importantly...these munchkins of mine are constantly making me stop and take time to thank God for making me their mommy and Blake their daddy. Not an hour goes by that I don't think about how incredibly blessed I am to parent them. Not a day goes by that I don't praise God for creating their birth moms and leading them to us (and then agreeing to have open adoptions with this kooky clan of ours). Last week we got to see Sadie's birth mom and it was complete joy. It's so wonderful to have a relationship with her and for Sadie to KNOW her, not just know of her. Have I told you how much I love open adoption?

See ya Thursday for Sadie's birthday. I feel like the more I say it, maybe I will actually believe our baby is turning one! And yes, you don't have to ask...I have the baby bug....again!