"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

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

This is gonna be random, but I want to post some stuff.

This came in the mail today! Wahoo! I ordered this last week and was sure I had waited entirely too late for Mother's Day for our sweet Momma G. I can't wait to give it to her!

We have had some Duke's of Hazards moments lately. It's been fun all the looks we get when this happens at school, the store, etc. Some things I just think are not worth making a fuss about. They are kids and this IS fun. I would do it if it were socially acceptable.

Sadie bug has been a bit under the weather. Bwess her wittle heart. This girl has no extra pounds to spare, so it's been sad how much she has puked over the last week. I am just glad she was up and and running with the boys this morning. She spotted a bird and is chasing it!

Tomorrow is the birth mother retreat that our agency does so please keep the 13 moms in your prayers that will be attending. We pray they can feel as loved and cherished as they are!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Perfect Weekend

Oh man. This has been the perfect weekend for our family. Just what my heart needed when I was feeling all funky.

God is so good to us. And it's not like I didn't know that last week...it's just that there are so many more things going on right now than I can explain here...and they all seemed to hit at once. Mercy!

Blake had this weekend off after the kids had hardly seen him but 10 minutes Monday-Friday. So it's been absolutely wonderful! I've hardly cleaned the house all weekend, so it's messy round here...but I'd rather spend down time hanging out with Blake than cleaning.

We worked in the yard for hours on Saturday, then came in and cleaned up just in time for church. Luckily, our kids are at an age where they still think yard work is fun and going to Lowe's is super cool. Sunday we went to the zoo then did more yard work while the kids napped. The weather has been great!

As poopy as my heart felt last week, I feel that much more wonderful today. It allows me to soak up moments with Owen, Cooper and Sadie that I think I might have missed otherwise. Its those little things that I seem to take for granted when life is going just as planned. Tragedy seems to jerk me awake enough to realize all that we do have and savor it that much more. Bedtime routine that can became ordinary, now seems to hold so much more significance. Not only do I realize more now about their miraculous stories, but I thank God again and again for orchestrating all of it so that they could be ours. When I look at KK's story and see how many things "went wrong" (I use quotes because I know this is God's perfect plan, it just wasn't mine) I realize all the more what it took for our pumpkins to be ours.
It's amazing what 2 days of bliss will do for your heart!

Some of our favorite friends and neighbors! They give us candy and let us jump on their trampoline!!!Owen was acting like a monkey when Sadie saw him and joined in on the fun! So cute!

She LOVES the trampoline. Looks like she's having some deep thoughts!

Coop, you make my heart smile! There are so many things you do in a day that I can't help but just burst with joy and thankgiving.

So sweet how Cooper is taking her down the slide. He was trying to slow them down by holding on to the side, but then in an attempt to hold onto her he is choking her. Sweet brother.

Love, love, love this picture. It's hard to describe how much fun we have at the zoo...but pictures like this help me capture the memories.

One of the few pictures of my O-man.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm A Mess...well not really

I will just admit it. I have been in such a funk this week. It's made me mad. I am a happy girl. I love to giggle and be giddy. And it's hit me hard this week, the loss of Kennedy.

Funny, huh? That it took two weeks to set in. I think part of it is that I've been in denial. That awful thing that cycles through my brain about "what if he changes his mind". This has to be the hardest part about failed placements. There is no end to the wondering of how your child is. Yes, you place them in God's hands and trust that He will protect them. But this is a fallen world and people make choices and mistakes and children all too often deal with the consequences of that. If you've read Shack, you clearly understand that God doesn't always intervene to protect us, even children. I mean, we all know that, but that book just taught me so much more about what we are going through. And I know that I read it in January because God knew I would need those thoughts ever so fresh on my mind today.

God wants me to feel His deep and endless love for my family and for Kennedy. The David Crowder Band song How He Loves just keeps coming to my mind over and over...I love thinking about these words:
"And oh, how He loves us so
Oh how He loves us
How He loves us all
Yeah, He loves us"

He wants me to find deeper relationship with Him in this. I have been frustrated with my allowing sad thoughts to capture my mind in the quiet. Because truly things have been incredible...how could they not be? Chin.up.girl!

It's been the little things. We got her insurance card in the mail the other day. Her name looks so stinking cute all printed out with our last name. Ugh. I finally took the embroidering off her diaper bag and duffle bag. I am glad I did it, but whoa!!! It took hours of me just staring at her sweet name...just thinking about and praying for her.

But I know that this is a corner that needs to be passed, and with time and pursuing God in these moments...our hearts will continue to heal. C has asked some wonderful questions about our faith and beliefs. She is keeping in touch with us through text and it is SO good for my heart. She is beyond precious and she wants the best for us and is praying for us. How incredible is that? See...why am I sittin in this pit?

The rough spots have been passing, and honestly most of the time I am chipper and not faking it. We've been getting out to the zoo and science museum so that's helped a ton!
They all LOVE this water table!

You gotta love a place that lets kids get on the exhibits! Notice how long our "baby" is? Mercy!

Notice how much she loves the puppet I am showing her, and then below how quickly she gets made because she can't get the thing off the stick to play with it! She is one committed little girl! Sadie found her sweet face in the mirror and she loved painting it!
She is smiling because I was telling her not to drink the water!

Oh man...I love that smile! He cracks me up!

This week I even took Sadie and Cooper to their well child visits we missed when we were in Aspen. Aren't these cute pics? They are SO cute together and like besties when O is not there. It's funny how dynamics change when one is away! Sadie got shots and actually kicked the nurse after she let her up! I was embarrassed but laughing at the same time. This little girl is a pistol!!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Birth Mothers Day

Oh this is such a wonderful time of year as Mother's Day approaches I think about all of the mamas out there. Those that are moms for the first time will be filled with so much pride and thanksgiving on this day. Then there are those that are struggling with the loss of a child on this day...oh what they wouldn't give to just hold their baby/child one last time. There are those that are waiting for a placement to happen...they might have been waiting just weeks, or months, or maybe even years....this day will be filled with ache and wonder if their hope for a child will always be void.
But the Saturday before Mother's Day, May 8th this year, is dedicated to those that have placed a child for adoption. It's Birth Mother's Day. No, I still haven't found this to be a priority for Hallmark...but I have figured out ways to make our own cards for these precious moms in our life. I wanted to share a couple of things we have done in years past for Mother's Day for our birth mamas. And I was hoping that you could share yours. I am always searching for cool ideas for our birth moms and thought this would be a great way to come up with new ideas.
  • Memory Book

  • Family Picture framed in recordable frame-record kids saying "I love you Mandy"

  • Mark Schultz's song "Everything to Me" typed out with handprints/footprints of child framed

  • Piggies and Paws

  • Adoption Jewelry-You can't really see this, but it's to die for cute. It says, "Forever in My Heart" and then we put Skielar on the other tag...Sadie's birth name. I got this on Etsy from The R House. (The cutie patootie baby w/ onesie above is from them too!)

  • Max Lucado's Gift Book-God Thinks You're Wonderful
  • Gift card if they like to shop (and what girl doesn't?)
Our incredible agency, Deaconess Pregnancy & Adoption Services, has put on a Birth Mom Retreat for the last 3 years for it's birth mothers over Birth Mother's Day. I love that they do this...especially as an adoptive mother to know that these women are cherished, pampered, and nurtured over this special weekend.
Please remember all of these women in your prayers over the next few weeks and especially in your church over Mother's Day. It is such an incredible day, but for so many women, it comes with deep pain and it may make all the difference in their world if someone remembers their loss and void on this day.
Any other gift ideas??? Please share!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Adoption Etiquette

I often think of the silly things that are said in public around my kids.

Most of the time I can shrug them off and move on, but some need to be shared here. I also want to talk about them because I know several of you have adopted and can share your stories (and your clever responses). One of my friend's brother is starting this process and is using these etiquette posts to educate her family on what is okay to say. You might pull up some of the other posts using the adoption etiquette label, because I think the first one had some good thoughts too.

"Where did you get them?" I politely inform them of the agency we used and the city they were born in.

"Are they foster kids?" No, but even if they were that's not right to ask. If we had foster children, pointing that out only reminds the child of the situation with their first family. They need to feel loved and chosen, and not reminded all of the time they are only here for a little while. They aren't my adopted kids either...they are my children! They just happen to join our family through adoption. It's not a label, just a part of their story.

"Do they have the same parents?"- Yes, my husband and I are their parents. No, they do not all share biological parents. And why does that matter anyway? Questions about birth families are generally off limits. I will tell you what I want you to know. That is very private information and very intimate to my child. I want them to understand their story first before everyone else does. I could not say that enough...be very sensitive to the subject of birth families.

"Do you have any of your own?" - I really don't like this one. What makes a child more my own than these three? Please use the right words: biological children. And no, we don't have any of those, we chose not to. This wasn't our plan B.

"Do they call you mom?" No lie, I got this one yesterday. Lady...come on. Have you never known a child in an open adoption? Yes, I am their mom and they call me that. This one was almost laughable. But so many people have questions about open adoption. We often talk about how our kids have 2 moms that love them very much. We know less about their birth fathers, so we don't talk a ton about them except for in very quiet moments.

"How do they feel about open adoption?" First, we never say that "open adoption". They just know adoption and they know their story and it's very natural for them. They have no weirdness that adults put on kids about having relationships with their birth parents. That's all bunk in my opinion. That's adoptive parents making excuses for why they don't embrace birth families. Kids pick up on how parents feel about their birth parents. They will be weird about it if you are...and I seriously believe it will become an issue down the road. They will embrace it if you do, and your closeness with your child will deepen because you are loving and accepting ALL of who they are.

But some of the worst things are not questions at all, but what people think are compliments. These make me want to gag.

"They are so blessed to have you." Are you kidding? We are BEYOND blessed to have THEM!!! I mean, I think we are good parents, but every family is blessed to be together.

"You are doing the ultimate mission for God." NO! This is not a mission, these are my children. I didn't save them. Yuck. That's awful for a child to hear that someones sees them at "outreach" or a good deed. Please don't adopt children because you feel this way. Can you imagine what it must feel like for a child to be brought up feeling this from home?

"I just couldn't do it. I couldn't handle losing a child." Well, life is not about you. How come I have never heard someone say that of marriage? One in every 2 marriages fails, and yet no one says I just couldn't get married because chances are we'd be divorced. No one could walk into this wanting to lose a child, but it's well worth the risk. Being with Kennedy for 8 days was worth the loss of her. I'd do it a million times over. We are not super heroes, we are parents and we have to take that risk because it's a part of the journey. Don't act like we don't have feelings and intense bonding and deep love for every child placed with us. God carries us through, it's not by our own strength.

One of my sisters wanted to know what IS okay to say. She sees families like ours in public and wants to show her love and support. Yes, we have a need to talk to everyone in our family! Here are things I love hearing and we actually get a lot of these:

Your family is beautiful! Sorry but we just couldn't keep from staring.

Your family looks just like my family. I love seeing that!

Your children are gorgeous. They behave like angels too (just kidding, just wanted to see if you were still paying attention!)

Your kids are beautiful. We have always talked about adopting, do you mind if I ask questions?

Your family makes me smile.

Okay, hope this was read how my heart meant it to come out. I never want to offend anyone in writing this stuff.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

So proud

Well, I couldn't be more proud of my hubs this week. He has worked so hard for his education and training, and at the same time, he's sacrificed putting more time and effort into it than some because he constantly chooses us. He has an amazing ability to balance his work with his family time and devotion to us.
Thank you babe for making us feel more important than your job. Thank you for choosing to be with us when you could be doing research papers. Thank you for choosing us when you could be working you booty off to impress others around you. Thank you for wrestling with the boys, shooting hoops, taking me on dates, or tickling Sadie when you could be studying for test after test. And more than this, thank you for really WANTING to be with us, and not treating us like you've sacrificed something to be with us. I know that God has blessed your work because of your choices and it was neat to see those blessings unfold yesterday.
So, yesterday we found out that Blake matched for his fellowship in Sports Medicine surgery. We are going to be moving to Atlanta, GA next year so that he can do his fellowship @ Emory. We could not be more thrilled and like I said above...we are just so proud!!! This has been his dream since we met in high school almost 15 years ago...so proud seems like an understatement of what my heart feels for this man.
We had fun decorating a sign for him! The boys can't quit talking about the move. They'll be a little sad when they realize they can't take their friends and family with them!
We made cookies for Blake to celebrate, but I am pretty sure they were almost gone when he got home. Sadie ate 3 herself! This is her sneaking another...notice how sly her face looks?

We cannot wait to go on this adventure together. This OK girl is finally leaving the state (and yes he could only get me outta here for a year!). We both can't wait for this time for our family and know it will be so wonderful for a million different reasons, but we WILL be moving back home in 2012. And by "home" we mean Oklahoma...this verdict is still out as to what city we will live in. We are just praying for a good job opportunity to come our way! I know we will love Atlanta, but not only is our family here...we've got lots of birth mamas here to see and we simply can't leave them.
There's not a lot else going on besides that fabulous news. God continues to heal and hold our hearts together from our loss of Kennedy. We still keep in touch with C and that brings us great peace. I found a neat box to put some of her stuff in and to keep her pictures together. For the most part, we really have been amazed at the amount of peace we fill in the midst of this chaos. This morning my heart was especially heavy, so I am not sure what that was, but it made me thankful it's been a passing thought, and not a state of mind. Does that make sense?
We had a fun morning at the zoo yesterday!

There is no way that I can stare Owen, Cooper and Sadie in the eyes and wonder if God was at work in Kennedy's life. I know He has great things planned for her, it's just not what I had planned for her, so it takes a bit to shift those thoughts. Each time I see Sadie's big toothy grin and hear her belly laugh I think about how she came to us. If we hadn't lost the baby before her, we wouldn't have Sadie. It's healing to savor that thought.

Our neighbors got a trampoline so they are letting us use this one for a bit! The kids LOVE it!Gigi reading bedtime stories! Do you think they adore her?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

So Thankful

I cannot begin to write out the ways that God has blessed us these last few days.

We could not be more thankful for the relationships we have around us and how so many people are checking in on us. It leaves me speechless...and we all know that doesn't happen much.

Early last week a precious friend from the church I grew up in sent me a message on facebook. She wanted to bless us as we faced this loss. She works with a company called Piggies and Paws and she wanted to do a piece for us of Kennedy. So, on Wednesday before we had to take Kennedy back to the agency, she left Tulsa early and met me (yep God worked it out so that she was supposed to be in OKC that day) at a park and took K's hand print and footprint in the back of her car. She is taking it home to make art out of it. I couldn't help but just cry when seeing those sweet prints and knowing how much it would bless us for years to come to have that to treasure.
Yesterday one of my besties from high school and college came into town to hang out and spend the night. Can I tell you how fun that is? And even more cool because we have no extra space for adults to sleep in our house...but she could have cared less. Thank you Lord for blessing me with incredible friendships and thank you Robin for choosing to come hang out!

Tonight we have church and Chosen and I can't tell you how much both of these things bless my heart and heal my hurts. We have so much going on with Chosen, and I feel like I never talk about it on here! We are starting a new group for Waiting Moms this week. If you are interested in joining us please comment and leave me your email address. We are also working hard on developing our birth moms section and can't wait to see what happens there.

We've been enjoying the sunshine and doing everything we can to keep our chin up right now. Not that I don't have my breakdown moments, but they are becoming few and far between. The first days when I was finding her clothes that still smelled like her it was unbearable. I still haven't washed several of them (yea, I know, it may be weird, I haven't decided yet). I am gathering special things from her time with us to keep in a Life box for when I want to think about her and remember that special time. I just don't ever want to forget this. I can't wait to get her pictures back from Becca. She took 250 pics of her and got lots of shots of her toes and fingers. See what I mean...so many people are blessing us and walking in the trenches with us.

And then there is our agency. Where would we be without them? They were just as devastated as us in the events of this last week. And not because they just wanted us to adopt this pumpkin, but because they love and adore C too. It's so hard to watch this process unfold when it's done with love, respect and dignity for all. They make such a ministry out of it and truly lives are changed. They have called and sent emails and messages daily telling us that they are praying for our family. Wow...so incredible to have an agency like that.
Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Have you heard this song by Phil Whikham?

To the one who's dreams are falling all apart
And all you're left with is a tired and broken heart
You will be safe in His arms
'Cause the hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made
He will be with You always
When everything is falling apart
You will be safe in His arms

We have felt so wrapped up in God's goodness today. I won't lie...it's been an excruciatingly painful day. But in the midst of that we have undoubtedly felt the presence of God. He guarded our children's hearts and they handled the transition like a piece of cake.

I was able to keep it together for the most part, and only lost it when leaving the house with my mom and heading for the agency with sweet KK. The meeting at the agency could not have gone better. This pumpkin has so much love around her its unreal. She has 4 parents that love her more than life itself, and two that will be able to parent her through life. I was able to express in my sobs that we only wanted to adopt her if it was what they BOTH wanted and felt was right. We were not in this to convince anyone that we are better than they or more prepared. K deserved to have a loving and graceful transition and she did. It could not have been more peaceful. They were so patient with me as I said goodbye and kissed her chubsy cheeks one last time.

Again, sorry for a lack of details, but its just really not important. If you wanna know more, you can email me @ mollykshockley@hotmail.com

All day I have felt peace and known that God is holding K. Thank you so much for all of the texts, emails, messages, phone calls and cards. You have no idea how much your words soothe this ache in our hearts. When you have adopted 3, you simply can't stay sad at tragedies like this. We know that all 3 of our blessings came to us as miracles, and we know God has got something planned for us. So tonight we rest in His promises and love...

I am here

My manly dude and his pink bag. Only strong men wear pink, right? I love it!

Is that not adorable? This is her first egg hunt and she did great!

My goodness, I still can't believe how big he is!

Whew. There is a reason for the lapse in posts. Not that anyone is waiting on pins and needles to read my rantings.
It's so weird not knowing who reads what and what should and shouldn't be posted, but here I am needing to get this out. I've held back a bit just to protect K and her story, so please excuse my vague-ness.
Last Wednesday we went to the agency and met baby K's birth mom C and took baby home with us. As incredible as it has been, we have known that it was a foster care placement until the details of the adoption worked themselves out.

On Thursday we got more news that pretty much shut the door on the possibility of us adopting her. We know that our God is a God of miracles so we've continued to pray that this would work out and we could adopt this sweet baby. All along we have asked God to show us what was right for K even if it caused us pain and loss.

We were blessed to have her with us over Easter weekend. It was beyond my wildest dreams. Even loading them all in the car has made my heart just jump...how blessed are we?

As Monday rolled around, we began to beg that God give us and her birth mom answers and direction. All 5 of us are deeply in love with this sweet baby, and we knew that with time it would only grow more intense.

We feel so worn out from the roller coaster ride with this placement over the last 6 weeks. She turned one month today and it's seriously been changing day to day. Blake and I talked this morning and we were both pleading that God would show us some direction...the unknown was wearing on us.
We got our answer yesterday; we are taking her to the agency this afternoon so that she can go home.

Mercy. I have only been able to get it together enough while the bigs are awake. They actually handled the news very well. We've told them we were baby sitting her for C. Every night Owen has asked if she is spending the night again, so after naps today I told him that she could only stay one more night. I explained in a cheery voice that she would go home to C tomorrow. He looked at baby and said, "Are you going home to your mama? She's a sweet and beautiful butterfly." Random yes, but I was just glad he was okay with it and not sad at all. He's even been calling me her mom, so I was glad to hear that he does understand they all have more than one mama.
So I sit here snuggling this pumpkin that several times we thought would be ours. I can't bring myself to put her down when I only have a little longer. Please continue to pray for her and the situation, it is beyond complicated. And just in case you are wondering...this is not a typical adoption placement. Our agency has been heart broken to watch it all unfold and they've been covering us all in prayer as we seek what is right here. They have stood next to us clinging to the promises of our Savior, as many of you have.

We have no doubt that God has great purpose in the events over the last 6 weeks. We may never know this side of Heaven what it was all for, but we do not doubt God's presence in this. We have felt him heal our hearts and literally carry us through this. We know He will do it again.

I keep hearing this song from Plumb called Beautiful History and I love this chorus:

“I am here
I’m holding you
You’ll make it through this
I am here
I am here”