Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Snapshot

Sibling Love... and staying as far away from the crawdad as possible!

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Ni Hao Yall
Monday, May 21, 2012


I laugh now, sometimes, at the mere thought of how I went about searching for "that" adoption program, the "one" we were meant to be a part of to bring our fourth little one into our family.  As a single, full time working, mom of three, travel was one of the biggest factors, and still is.  I just can't be gone for many, multiple, weeks or months as some programs require.  How I wish it wasn't that way, that those countries would have different travel requirements, though I completely understand why they do, or that I would have the flexibility to travel and fit my work or non work around those plans (maybe I should actually enter the lottery instead of just dreaming about winning!?).  But I admit... another thing I thought about was speed.  How quickly, although still a process and a wait, could a little one join us?

In foster care, there is no "wait."  Not with a placement anyway.  With Braeden I was called one fine Monday morning at work, told he was born over the weekend and they needed a placement, would I accept?  I had to cram in three weeks of lesson plans FAST.  They had planned to bring him at the end of the day Monday, but it became Tuesday morning when he arrived due to paperwork delays.  With Olivia, I had been notified the week or two prior that there was a possibility they were going to move her from her current foster placement and would need a new one, would I be interested?  YES of course!  The time for placement was a phone call one day telling me they were going to get them and would need the placement, did I for sure want to say yes?  And she was dropped off a few hours later. And with Liam he was dropped off for a visit at the agency by his current foster mom, with all his stuff, and told that she was done.  I was called while teaching at school and he was dropped off a few hours later, at school, where I was conducting parent teacher conferences.  There is wait time when you wait for a placement maybe, but not a wait for the actual placement.  It's crisis time and it's quick.

So waiting is not something I wanted for a LONG time.  And Hong Kong seemed to fit the bill on all respects.  Though a small program, it seemed stable, there were so many special needs kids needing placements, mostly Down Syndrome, which I had a heart for, and travel was a short 5-7 days. 

That process began exactly two years ago.  I bypassed programs that were 2+ years, thinking I can't imagine life waiting THAT long.  And here we are.  Two years gone.  Hong Kong gone.  And finally last week officially approved to switch to Haiti.


When I think back over the past two years.  I can't imagine adding a little one during those times.  The last two years have been two of the hardest, worst, most emotional, years of my life.  So much has happened.  So much has shaped me, shaped us as a family.  And I believe we are even stronger having come through it all.

I pray for our continued journey. 
I thank GOD for carrying me, carrying us, through the past two years.
And I look forward to the journey still to come.


An amazing visit! We arrived at our designated location to find that not only were Liam's bio brother and Grandma there, but so were his Great Grandma, Aunt, and two cousins. I was nervous to say the least! But I needn't have been. At. All. Liam and his brother were inseparable. And when Liam stopped playing a bit to eat (not sure if they had already eaten or were planning dinner somewhere else), his brother was very upset and they let him get the exact same meal as Liam which put him right back into a good mood.

My experience was unlike any I thought it would be.  I admit I must have "judged" them and their reactions based on what I knew of his birth mom.  I couldn't have been farther from the truth, and learned another very valuable lesson on what is and what you may think something is.  God likes to teach me things like that I think!

His Great Grandma was so welcoming and kind to me.  She thanked me many times for "taking him in" and I was humbled.

Liam's Aunt and Grandma were no different.  So nice and welcoming.  They raved about how great he looked and what a wonderful job I was doing with him.  They too thanked me and talked to me about how glad they are that he is with me.  HUMBLING.

I count them as extended family.  And I hope, now that I have met them and somewhat know them, to continue our relationship through letters and maybe more.  I am glad Liam has this positive extension of his family tree.  And I am once again humbled that God would allow me to parent such an amazing little soul.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Tomorrow is a day I'm pretty excited about. Though I have to say I'm not really holding my breath that it will happen until it does.

Ever have moments like that?

We have a somewhat open relationship with Liam's birth mom. We share letters and pictures through a post office box and set up visits when she asks. I've always let her lead. I knew that if possible I wanted to keep that connection there for him. It's gone so much better than I ever could have planned.

The first year we heard from her often and set visits every two to three months. Since then it's become more sporadic, and there have been two years where we didn't hear from her, then we would get a letter and would set a visit and go on again. Last week was one of those. We hadn't seen her in quite a while, but set a visit and it went well. At the visit she said her mom, and her other son (Liam's brother) who is 8 were going to be coming up in July or August and she wanted us to visit with them if possible. I said I was all for it and she proceeded to call for Liam to talk to "Grandma" - I always have to explain to him it's not the Grandma he knows because that's who he thinks it is.

Grandma has custody of Liam's brother and they live in a state far south. Liam has only ever met her once that I know of during a visit when very young and I've never met either of them. After she was on the phone a bit it turns out Grandma is coming up next week (this week) and wanted to meet on the 17th. I explained we were still in school, thinking surely they'd want to plan something at a park, etc and spend some TIME. She put me on the phone with her and Grandma said she'd be in town this week and wanted to meet the 17th. I reiterated we were still in school and if so could only meet for an hour, and she was gung ho.

So tomorrow it is. Since bio mom doesn't have my phone number, I'm really hoping they do show since she told Liam they'd be there. I'm anxious to meet them myself and know Liam is very excited to meet his "other brother." :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

To Ruminate On

Today at church we were reading from Psalm 37. The following verses struck a chord with me and I will be meditating on them more and more in the days to come I'm sure.  
Psalm 37 Verses 7 and 8... 
Wait patiently for the LORD! Wait confidently for him! Do not fret over the apparent success of a sinner, a man who carries out wicked schemes! Do not be angry and frustrated! Do not fret! That only leads to trouble!


...was a gorgeous day.

 And we took full advantage!

Some other highlights of the day...

Braeden's poem inside his Mother's Day card...
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I may be a pain
But I love you

Olivia at our Oliv*e Garden lunch ate: three breadsticks, a plate of salad, four pieces of pizza, a pile of garlic mashed potatoes, and a mini chocolate mousse.

And Liam, upon hearing us talk about the chocolate mousse said, "Dead? Real? You ate it?"  Obviously he needs a lesson in Mousse vs. Moose!

But I think the topper was the Mother's Day breakfast in bed which the kids have talked about doing for the past week or so.  They "took my order"... let's go with toast and clementines (no big disasters could happen there right!?)... and when I got my plate... gotta love the two pieces of toast made with the ENDS of the loaves of bread!  Thanks gang! LOL :)

We had a WONDERFUL Mother's Day and I hope you did too!

Mother's Day

I know at least in adoption "world" yesterday was Birth Mother's Day. I haven't really caught on with that and usually use today to really acknowledge these important women in our lives. Three women, two of whom I don't know and have never even met, but yet who each were the reason for my three blessings.

Couldn't imagine my life any different than it is, but yet I know that if we lived in a perfect world, there would be no adoption but that of God adopting us into His family. People wouldn't be addicted beyond the capability to care for their children, people wouldn't be so poor that they can barely feed themselves, let alone a newborn child, children wouldn't die from treatable and preventable causes like drinking dirty water, and people of the world would view one another as family and help and take care of those in sickness and/or need. But it is what it is for now.

And so for today I celebrate the three reasons I'm able to be called "mom, mama, mommy, etc".

(Gotta love 'em, they made me breakfast in bed and used the ENDS of the bread for my toast. I guess cooking lessons are due! :) )
Friday, May 11, 2012

Makeover Time

When we first moved into our cute little house (little being the appropriate word) there was wallpaper border in. every. room. for us me to strip. Maybe you are a wallpaper person and if so I think you're crazy hold nothing against you! Ha! It's just not me, I'm much more a paint person, but I love color! (Have to say some of the newer papers have attracted my attention though!)

Our home has two small bedrooms on the first floor and the second is one huge open room that's carpeted and finished.

Originally I took the upstairs room, put Olivia in the smallest with her new bunk beds and the boys bed and crib in the tiny bit bigger first floor room with Braeden (Liam came later).  The boys room was painted a khaki color and Olivia's had a light apple green, her favorite.  Within the next year Liam came to join Braeden in the boys room and then shortly later Olivia began sleepwalking nightly.  In order to keep a better watch on her, I moved the boys upstairs where I first painted the same khaki color.  I then painted their old room a dark, bright pink and moved Olivia there.  And I took the smallest for myself. (Really, what do I by myself need with a big bedroom?????)  After repainting the other two rooms I didn't want to repaint mine, so I left the green. 

And since it's been that color for over 6 years now, and since I've been in that "nesting" mode, I decided a couple months ago to redo my bedroom.

I found some great color schemes and items and ideas I really liked (where else but Pinterest! - and NO, they DON'T pay me for saying all this... maybe they should!?) so I gathered my ideas and began.

I knew that I didn't want this costing me money when I am trying to put away as much as I can from my budget toward the adoption.  I've already sold so much, but there were quite a few things from my bedroom that I wasn't going to reuse in the new room.  So I sold shelves and curtains and bedding and... you name it!  And I used that money and money from selling a few other things, to cover my redo.  And I found some GREAT, inexpensive deals and ideas.  I have three more projects to complete, but wanted to share the progress thus far.  I still need to hang the light fixture (Found a GREAT one on clearance for $11, down from $99!), make and hang the window treatments (will cost about $10), and make and install a new headboard onto my current bed frame (will cost about $25).  Summer projects!

So... here it is!
I went with a gray and mustard yellow "theme".

Need to hang this picture still but you get the idea.

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website:

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Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition

Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you