"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

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Kiddie post & plea

 So if anyone is reading at all you've caught on that I have been horrible at posting about these sweet lil lovies these past few months.  So I wanted to give some updates on them!!!  They are the whole reason I started blogging in the first place :/   Here is Sadie this summer being her crazy self...she is SO strong and can do the monkey bars all by herself.  She has some serious upper body muscles.  She is FAST and can nearly out run me.  She is constantly smiling and giggling and mothering.  She loves everything and will make it her baby to love on and take care of.  She talks to babies, grown adults, dogs, bugs, balls, dolls, etc like they are her very best friend.  Its super sweet most times, but awfully scary when she grabs adult men by the hands to play with her.  Perhaps we need to cover stranger danger again! 
 Owen is an incredible young man.  He is a wonderful leader at school and a huge help to his teacher.  He is very active and loves playing basketball, riding scooters, playing football, soccer, golf and tennis.  He is sure having fun with a backyard, we missed that when living in an apartment last year.  He loves to read and often stays up with a flashlight reading past his bedtime.  He too is a fast runner, but it's not his favorite thing to do.  He is a great listener, master negotiator, & is sensitive to others needs.  Tonight as I walked in to scratch the boys backs Owen started singing a song we had sung in church...but he never sings during praise so I didn't know he was listening...he sung it perfectly pausing just as the song is written, "My heart will si-ing...no other na-ame...Jesus...Jesus" over and over.  Oh love, there couldn't be a sweeter sound for a mama to hear, and even more so for our Father to hear!  This year he turned 7!  I don't know how we have a 7 year old!
 Emery, who we usually call Emme, is at such a fun age...most of the time.  She is particularly frustrated when everyone else has someone to pick on and she does not :(  So we are working on talking about our frustrations rather than hitting them out.  Whoops.  Her favorite things to say right now are: I gonna tewl mommy!, I no wan to, I tootie, No Sadie pfthtttt (we have a minor spitting problem), Aw we goin?, Aw da guys? and I do it!!!!!  She still loves to cuddle, is left handed and is our best sleeper!  She is TALL and skinny.  Most people mistake her for being 3 and older, and she just turned 2.5 this month!  She talks really well, still loves to sing and knows a lot of songs and she loves to pray, even for large groups of people.  Be still my heart!
 Cooper!  Coop turned 6 in November and got a bouncy house of all things.  Have you ever checked out purchasing one of those boogers instead of buying one?  No?  You should.  Google it!  We just had a few grands chip in and vwa-la, we got to keep the dang thing UNTIL IT POPS!!!  It has been endless fun and can hold up to 500 lbs so that means that occasionally we have a mom that hops in and plays monster tickler.  Fun times.  It's even more fun when you have no furniture and can inflate it in room and just leave it out during the winter.  Cooper is another blessing of a kid.  He is bursting with passion, compassion, ambition, skills (he has wonderful penmanship as well as one heck of an arm) and love.  He often comes home from school and has drawn pictures of the crucifixion and resurrection during his brain break at school.  Just like with everyone of our kids, I cannot wait to see how this guy follows God through life. 
 One thing I have hesitated to share about our Sadie is that we have "lost" her birth mom.  I haven't wanted to share it for several reasons.  First, so many people don't get open adoption and quite frankly don't need another reason to not understand it.  Second, so many people don't try and understand birth parents, and I don't want people to judge these precious precious family members.  They are our family, so please understand how intimate and personal we hold them in our hearts.  But it's been nearly 2 years since we've seen Gerlisha, and we miss her terribly.  Sadie prays for her daily.  She cries for her.  She draws pictures of her.  She is only 4, so I am not sure what memories she has or if its just because we talk about her so much and tell her stories and look at pictures.  Whatever it is, it's real and it's painful.  I know adoption is layered and bittersweet, and we have been educated and counseled on how to walk through this with our loves.  I don't know where I would be without our adoption agency and their support.  But they don't know where she is either.  So this is me asking for prayer and only prayer.  Please do not judge our choices or Gerlisha's.  My hope is that she might follow the blog and see how desperately we need her, and that's why I am finally sharing this.  I am so thankful that I ALWAYS take pictures when we see our first families because we never want to take a day for granted. 

 Emery right before turning 2
 Cooper found a worm...he is such a boy loving dirt and bugs and all things boy!
 Priceless picture of me telling Owen thank you for smiling for the pictures...he HATES taking pictures so we bribed the kids with QT if they smiled!
 The girls had pajama day at school and watched Polar Express
 Owen's holiday party at school!  We had so much fun at his party and stole the idea to MOB the Neighborhood with love and give the holiday away.  It was cheap and helped the kids focus on OTHERS during the holiday instead of giving them a bunch of silly dinky knick-knacks.
 This was the girls party at school, even though we don't do Santa they got a kick out of seeing our pastor dress up and read a story. 
 Cooper's class party.  Isn't he such a handsome stud with that too cool smile? 

 I think since we never talk about Santa she was fascinated with him.  Ha!
Emery was just excited to get herself some candy!  This girl LOVES sweets! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Gloriously Ruined

So my reading has continued and has pushed me deeper into discomfort, disguist and frustration with the culture in which America lives. I have become gloriously ruined. This current book, "Dangerous Surrender" by Kay Warren has given great words to the state I have found in my heart. This alone has brought me comfort in hearing her describe her feelings as she came home from Africa back to her affluent Orange County, California... Kay says, "Everything looked different; everyone seemed strange. I looked at my possessions differently. Suddenly a full refrigerator was an insult. The crowded grocery store shelves were excessive. The displays of fashion at the mall were trivial. Television was disgusting and moronic. Politics made me sick. Church was superficial. I was a mess."

 Funniest Christmas picture EVER!  Look at Sadie!

 Just like a man to fall asleep during decorating the tree!  He could not believe he missed it!

Gloriously ruined is a term Warren and her friends have coined about how they have felt in their own discovery of the evil and unjust world around us..."I was ruined for life as I had known it before, but gloriously ruined!"

I can no longer see our way of life in Oklahoma the same, everything has a new slant on it...people are dying, starving to death, without water and without hope.  While I am broken for the fact that I have been aware and chose to look away, I also have more freedom in Him than I ever have...this is a closeness I have never experienced.  I am only halfway through this book and it's amazing and inspiring as well as gives me answer to what exactly did Jesus mean "take up your cross and follow me." 

Last week we finished Advent Conspiracy: Can Christmas Still Change the World?  What a book!  3 pastors started this in 2006 with a bold decision to cut back all excess that didn't focus on Jesus during the season and celebrate His birth.  What a novel idea, huh?  A year after they started THOUSANDS of churches joined in.  Lives were changed both within the church, and those looking from the outside.  Get this: they saw something different in those churches at Christmas time.  Numerous lives have been saved because these churches brought their money saved and gave it to building wells where people did not have access to clean water.  If we could all boldly follow the example of the sheperds and wisemen, share the good news and give gifts to Jesus, not to the blessed, but to the least of these...that's when we are giving to Him.  I highly recommend this book anytime of year, but especially now!  They also have an awesome website. 

As an update on us, we have finished all our trainging hours and are waiting on our homestudy write up to be complete and get our CPR training and we'll be open.  We are still hoping it will be before Christmas!