Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Navigating This New World

Driving from Orlando to Atlanta today, with four children who were EXTRA amazing!  (And I can NOT always say that!) gave way to many hours of thinking.   I alluded to another struggle from our trip in my last post about Christmas. While I'm still not sure any of my thoughts are going to come out in a coherent bundle, I'm going to try.

It seems we're beginning to live in a new world.  A world I'm not at all ready to become a part of.  A world that I as a parent am struggling to comprehend.  A world where hypervigilance becomes commonplace and suspicion has tendency to reign.

But I don't WANT to live in this world.

On Friday, December 25 we went as a family to Downtown Disney (ok, so it's Disney Springs now... but it's going to be Downtown Disney to me for a LONG time to come.)  When we go to places like this, we usually go right when they open.  We do this not because I want to be early everywhere, but because it's the time when there are usually the least amount of people, which helps tremendously when you have kids with anxiety.  Also, we can get a parking space without searching forever, and close enough that we don't have to walk far.   But, on Christmas day, we were not rushing through gifts.  We planned to go to a movie at Downtown Disney, but we didn't plan a time, it was more of a "wait and see when we're done."  So we didn't get there when they opened, or when the first showing of Star Wars began.  Instead we arrived at 1:00 for the 2:15pm show.  My mom waited in line while the kids and I went to a few of the new stores.  I was looking forward to checking out the new Ganachery they opened! 

We were able to go to the Marvel and Star Wars stores (so fun!) and saw the Ganachery.  But, as the shop is quite small, they only allow about 6 patrons at a time and there was a line outside.  No time for that with kids, some of whom were on the verge with their anxiety with the heat and crowd already!  So we headed back and found out that our 2:15 show was sold out.  Grandma had gotten tickets for the 6:00 show but since we were already struggling, we returned the tickets and went to another theater which was not packed.  (side note - we LOVED Star Wars!!!)

That night, after Liam and Macy were asleep, Olivia and I went back to Downtown Disney.  We hoped to get to the Ganachery and a few other places before going back the next day with the family.  Grandma had given the kids Disney money and they were planning on going to the other side to hit up the toy stores.  (I did not know at the time that with all the construction the only way in currently is where we came in for the movies.  We had planned to park at the other side near those stores.)

We walked and stopped at a shop where I found some new sandals and then FINALLY got to the Ganachery!  Such an amazing place!!!  Just after that our night completely changed.

There was a cute kiosk outside between the Ganachery and TRex and I stopped to look at some picture frames.  As Olivia and I were in the store, I noticed a man call sternly to each of his three daughters.  They seemed very perplexed as to why he was calling them out, but I didn't understand what he said since it was in a different language.   I turned and saw a few other families acting similarly.  I still didn't know what was happening.  All of a sudden things were happening quickly.  I heard someone say "shots fired",  I saw people hurrying away from the way we had come, my pulse quickened, my fear spiked.  Looking back I think one of the worst parts was that this was not a surprise.  It wasn't something I or others dismissed.  It was pure fear immediately that this. was. happening.  And we knew "what" it was... whether an act of terrorism or someone with unbridled rage, it was a shooter situation and we needed to take action.  Never a question.

I took Olivia and started toward TRex.  She still didn't understand but was growing more and more scared as she saw others.  We went in the front portion of TRex to get out of the path.  Downtown Disney is honestly a perfect place for something like this to happen.  It's one main path, MANY MANY people (way more than were there at 1 this afternoon), and with all the construction there are very few exits.

Inside TRex others were standing around wondering what was happening as we were.  It was still somewhat calm, subdued.  All of a sudden people were RUNNING full on as a mob into TRex where we were.  The group we were in all went in and around the corner to go out into a front section of the restaurant.  We were starting to panic.  Olivia and I were crouched against the front wall of the restaurant with a "wall" of maybe six or seven people deep in front of us all crouching down and trying to hide.  People were crying, praying, holding their families.  My thoughts were that we were either getting shot or watching others get shot and with all the people in front of us I thought gruesomely that we would most likely be ok but those in front of us would not.  It was not even a question, I thought it was happening.

With Olivia's history of trauma, she reacts physically to major stressors.  This was not an exception.  She was shaking and her legs went paralyzed.  She couldn't feel them or move.  After what felt like a long time but was most likely not long at all people began getting up and moving into the restaurant.  We followed.  Employees shut and locked all doors while we waited to see what was going on.  Olivia and I moved toward the back.  We paid attention to where the back exit was.  We talked about what to do if something else happened.  I worked at calming Olivia down.  I asked for water and the employees were nice enough to get some for Olivia.  I kicked myself for letting my phone battery run so low as I was texting a friend to keep in contact with someone.  Three times I almost texted her my mom's number "just in case" but kept deleting it.  I just couldn't go there.

Finally they opened back up and told us all that there was an all clear.  We slowly got up and ready to leave.  We had to go back the way we came to get to the garage.  Back the way the incident happened.  The whole way I talked to Olivia calmly but also talked about some of the things I learned recently in an article I read about active shooter situations.  About paying attention to exits wherever you are.  About running in a zig zag pattern to get away from anything happening.  As we made our way back we passed a woman throwing up on the side.  A security officer walking by on his walkie talkie.  The section of shops with the Ganachery with all of their fire alarms going off.  Two officers in bullet proof vests with guns drawn and on walkies with the words "shots fired" coming in loud and clear.  Making it to our van we saw officers walking the garage looking for ????  We waited a LONG time before even moving since so many were leaving at once.  The whole way home Olivia jumped at every sound, every light.  She slept that night, and has every night since, with the door open.  She came out after 20 minutes asking me to never leave to go anywhere without letting her know.

How did THIS become our world?

How did we begin thinking of shooter situations as "normal".

And why aren't we more shocked at this.

It looks like, after reading what I could online, that what actually happened was a brawl at a nightspot, shattering glass that sounded like shots, and people who took this sound as fact and ran with it.  As far away from us as this was, I can't imagine what the chaos was like closer to the point of beginning since it was so hard as far away as we were.

I'm so grateful we hadn't brought Braeden with us.  But my girl, with the trauma background, now has more trauma to deal with.

I did go the next day back to Downtown Disney.  But I went by myself with the two boys.  Olivia could NOT go back.  But I needed to go back.  I needed to wrap my head around this and see it by the light of day.  And the boys would have a very hard time not following through with the plan to go and use their gifts.  It was actually harder than I thought it would be parking in the same garage, walking the same paths.  Olivia texted me quite a few times while I was gone asking if all was ok.  Asking when we were coming back. 

It infuriates me that such a night tainted a place that has always been such a happy memory for myself and the kids.

But I also kick myself for not having a stronger faith.  I think if I had been in that situation alone I may have reacted differently, but being there as a parent and working to keep Olivia calm and ok overrode everything else in those moments.  I prayed with Olivia during this time.  I talked to her about God having us and being in control.  But how steadfast was I in this belief?  Why didn't I rely more heavily on Him.  I let emotion take over.  I need to remember that no matter what happens in this world, that He is still the almighty.   Time and again I fail at this.

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding

We are good.  We are safe.  

But since then I have held my kids closer.  I have thought about friends and cherish them just a bit more.  I have planned some letters I hope to send once we're home.

Maybe this was an eye opener for me.  Maybe through this God has planted other seeds.  Maybe it will be used in ways yet to be revealed.


All That Christmas Stuff

Christmas was great this year... as it always is.  One of my favorite seasons for so many reasons and this year was no exception.  It was made especially sweet with it being Macy's first Christmas at home with us.  She had so much fun with all of the hoopla and was one of the loudest singers when we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus!

This year we went to Florida to spend time with Grandma.  Almost everything we did was "free" thanks to Disney reward dollars and getting to go to our home away from home at Give Kids the World Village.  Otherwise it was money for gas and food.  And we all had so much fun!  Don't get me wrong, there were a couple rough spots... like day one which is ALWAYS hard for Braeden as his anxiety over change gets regulated... and day two was better but still off.  But really the rest of our trip went along swimmingly with very few "typical" struggles.

There were two HUGE struggles that we did maneuver through in the midst however, but luckily they were overshadowed.  On the way to Florida, we had stopped in Atlanta an extra day with the idea of using our Six Flags season passes.  During the first night Macy began running high fevers and when she was still spiking them, on meds, the next day and I was about to take her to an urgent care location, Olivia began having trouble with her chest where she couldn't even get out of bed.  I had no choice but to call the ambulance.  At the same time because of all of this, Braeden's anxiety took over and Liam began having a panic attack.  He stalled in walking across the room and just shook, saying "What is happening to me?  I don't know what is happening?!!!"  It was a LOW to say the least and I struggled big time through it all just trying to hold everyone together.  (Texting a couple of special friends has been the glue to hold me together especially in these rough times of late!!!)

The ambulance deposited the girls in the ER waiting room where we waited quite a while to be seen.  Olivia began feeling better and Macy was finally diagnosed with a double ear infection and given a prescription for antibiotics.  They ran an EKG and XRay on Olivia but her heart and chest looked good.  They said they attributed her pain to growing.  I was emailing with her doctor in Chicago and they don't agree.  We will look into it more at her next appointment in January.  (The second struggle I am processing and will hopefully complete a second post about it.)

But as I said... the struggles were definitely overshadowed by the great trip we had!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


It must be the holidays. I'm not sure what else it could be at this point. What brings about some major hard feelings and incredible vulnerability.

If you're in the adoption community, if you've adopted or have friends who have adopted maybe you know what holidays sometimes bring in our kids from hard places.  We don't always view a lot of that around here, or at least haven't for a while, and for that I'm glad. But when it cones it hits hard and fast. And coming the two nights following the night I had Monday with Macy's revelation... Man, I'm ready for a break. Of every kind. 

I joke with friends about how there should be an ice cream truck that comes around after kids are in bed. For adults only. Maybe it will have a special frequency that is picked up by just our cell phones so children don't wake from their slumber!! How amazing!!! I think I would've gained fifty pounds though these three nights. 

Last night my 14 year old and I had a huge falling out. Huge. To the point where we were both a mess. She went to bed highly upset, I could barely sleep, and I felt myself slipping over the abyss of not being good enough. I was believing a lot of the ugly she spewed at me. I was not in a good place and I'm sure she wasn't either.

This morning we were pleasant, even nice and the day got off ok. Tonight... I can't even describe it. And I won't share details because it's her story and not mine. Suffice it to say we had an amazing conversation. First about last night. Then about so much more. So very much more. 

She shared things with me that I had no clue of. Things she's never spoken of before. Things from before she came to live with me - details I had not before heard. Things you wouldn't believe. Things she deals with to this day that she's never mentioned. Daily thoughts, fears, where a lot of her anxiety comes from, and so much more. 

I treasure this. I'm blessed she opened up to me. Isn't this how things often happen. We go through rough patches, come out on the other side and are stronger for it. The lows of last night have given way to clarity.

A clarity I wish wasn't needed. 
I wish beyond all, that my children never had to go through what they have, and that I could take all the hurt from them. 
I wish I could 'make it all better.' 

But I can listen. 
I can be there to hear it: the good, the bad, the downright ugly, the confessions, the celebrations. 
And that's where I need to focus.

My heart grieves all she's lost.
But where last night I wallowed in self doubt, tonight I grieve for my child.

She is so very strong. I look up to her more than any other person I know. 
All she's endured. And yet her faith is solid. Her morals unwavering. I fall short of who she herself strives to be. She will do mighty things in her lifetime.
Monday, December 14, 2015

The Hard

Tonight was a hard night. Not hard the way some nights are hard, with high anxiety running rampant in one of my kiddos causing extreme stress and impulsive anger and frustration. Not hard with children having horrible, scary, unexplained seizures. Not hard like finding your child unconscious on the floor of their room, though those and more have and will continue to happen. 

Hard. As in adoptive family heartbreak hard. Hard enough to break a heart into a million shattered pieces. Where you as the parent, the stable force you are supposed to be, have to fight to keep your composure. And try in any way possible not to break in front of them. 

Macy continues to be an amazing force in our lives. She pushes five year old boundaries and knows where her brothers' buttons are weakest. But beyond this, these normal mile markers of youth, she is thriving. She remains 'all in' in every way. Macy's infectious smile permeates the day.  

As we were listening to music on my phone this evening in the kitchen while working on dinner, a song I listened to often during her adoption came on. 

I told Macy how I listened to that song a lot while we waited for her to come live with us. That we thought about her and prayed for her, that we missed and loved her, that it was so hard to wait sometimes. 

She smiled and said "It was a long time!" I said yes and thought we were having a great conversation and then she says... "I didn't want to come here." I said, "You didn't?" She said no and I was thinking... ok you didn't, you were scared, that's normal. 

Then I asked are you glad you're here now? Do you want to be here now? She said no. Nope, she doesn't want to be here, as she's smiling. And don't think she doesn't know what I was asking. She did. She does. She said she wants to live with her house mom.

Believe me, I get it. I do. I'm incredibly grateful she was so well loved. She owes me nothing. I pulled her out of a loving home. The one she has always known, always loved, always counted on. I know she loves us. I know. But my heart is hurting.  My heart has loved her longer than she ever even knew of us. We have been with her six months this week. Such a short time in her five years.  And hearts are incredibly weak aren't they? Easily broken. With long memories. They like to loop conversations such as these over and over in your head.

So so hard.  

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Trauma and Holidays

Holidays can be oh so hard sometimes for our kids from hard places.  Sometimes they come and go with those normal everyday expectations that most families have for those days:  food, fun, family, pleasant conversation, gifts, etc.  And sometimes when you least expect it, when things have been going along smoothly, a giant crocodile lunges full force out of that smooth flowing stream, churning it to rapids, and sending you coursing through rocks and rapids at breakneck speed as you gasp for a breath.

Today is one of those.

And it's 10:20 am.

But I can see it turning around.  I can glimpse the other side of the crocodile's wake.  We are pulling for shore.  Resting our boat.  Trying to start over.  It's been a long 3 and a half hours.  But we are coming to the calm.  I pray it's so.  I hope it isn't an illusion.


I obviously have so very very much to be 
for this year.
First and foremost...
Macy finally came HOME.

She is THRIVING more than I ever 
could have dared to hope or imagine.

 She jumps into each and every new experience head first.
No holding back.
And loving every minute of it.

She has started kindergarten,
and gymnastics.

Experienced Halloween

And costumes.

  She loves unconditionally.

And wakes with a HUGE smile each and every day.

She's now been home for FIVE MONTHS.
just unbelievable.

Snow was scary at first but she quickly took to it in full form.

And hot cocoa is her new favorite drink!

We've braved many health issues this year, 
and God saw us through with the help of many friends.

There were many ups and downs prior to Macy's arrival,
especially in the last few months awaiting that day.

But we are oh so Thankful,
knowing so many more have challenges 
we couldn't fathom. 

 Have a BLESSED Thanksgiving!
Monday, October 26, 2015

Positively Passionate for Purple!!!

I mentioned in another post how I had stumbled upon this amazing pencil sharpener to use in my classroom. It's touted as the "sharpener that all the teachers are talking about" and I know why!  It's so easy to use and works a million times better than any other large sharpener I've tried!

People spoke and through multiple requests the company has granted their hope - this great sharpener is now available in purple!!!!

We love it even on Pajama Day!!!

** I did receive a free sharpener for doing this review, but all review ideas and information are mine for the sharing!**
Monday, October 19, 2015

Four Months

I say this constantly, but I really don't know where all the time goes!  Macy's been home for four months now.  She is growing like crazy.  Physically she's gone from size three to a five.  She has completely switched over to English (sadly I'm not sure how much Creole she even remembers). 

Macy is loving school and learning so much.  She spells and writes both Macy and Mom with ease and sounds out almost anything you can think to ask.  She gets very confused with Liam's name... because where is the 'e'??? :)  Macy went to her first Amusement park and is going to be another dare devil just like her sister!  She does get in trouble from time to time but usually it's because she and Liam "fight" over their place in the family.  They are both vying for the same spot it seems. :(  So we're working on it.  And it's making progress. :)  It's all very 'typical' five year old behavior, nothing more.

Macy loves unconditionally, grieves over her friends back in Haiti, goes all out for fun, gets upset when I have to say no to her millionth request for ice cream, and is just all out having a blast fitting in and figuring things out.  She amazes me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Moms Fail Sometimes

...but it's hard to not beat yourself up over it isn't it???

After our hard talk coming out of nowhere yesterday.  After all the big feelings of hurt, sadness, anger, isolation that it brought out in Braeden.  After blogging about those hard feeling. - and then seeing how Braeden went to bed on his own over an hour early, did not wake up for almost anything this morning and only had ten minutes until the bus was coming, and how extremely agitated he was in those minutes between waking and leaving... I still didn't put two and two together.

I was focused on our morning routine. Focused on getting kids ready and out the door. Focused on my own day that lie ahead.

It was a huge mistake. I should've seen the signs. I should have known he should have stayed home.  But I missed it.

Which created an extra rough day for him at school.
Which meant multiple phone calls in attempts to help him de escalate.
Which then resulted in having to pick him up three hours after school began.

Mom fail. 

We'll try again tomorrow.
Monday, September 14, 2015

A Child's History

When you are parenting children with different backgrounds, you never know when something will come up regarding that background.  You're going along not really thinking about their history, you're driving or looking over homework or spending a day at the zoo, and BAM you're hit with a question or observance of a life that is unknown.  Sometimes these are heartwrenching comments on what might have been or wondering what someone looks like.  Sometimes they are quirky ideas on what their birth parents do as a job (I've heard such things as racecar driver, singer, etc) or where they are originally from (Africa, Ireland, you name it).  Sometimes they just lead to more questions.  Questions that can never really be answered or satisfied.

Every foster and adoptive parent chooses to approach these times differently.  Not necessarily better or worse, right or wrong, but no two people are the same just as no two responses will be the same.  I try to be as honest as I can be, age appropriately, while respecting the fact that the people I discuss are not present to share their side, that no matter what I might feel or think about past events that led my children to need a different family, they are still my children's firsts.  Their first parents.  Their biological ties to this world we live in.  I will not speak harshly of them.  And that's hard at times.  To separate my feelings of anger or disbelief with the fact that my kids will always hold a special place in their heart for them - as well they should.

Today was one of those "out of the blue" days when "stuff" comes up when you're least expecting it.  Olivia had a doctor's appointment in Chicago today.  It was at 2:00 and without knowing what traffic would be like or if we would be in quickly or what tests they may want to run, I decided to take all the kids with instead of trying to find places for them to go after school until I returned.  Driving back toward home, I can't even remember how or why it came up, but Braeden began talking about his story.  He knows more than I had originally planned on telling him until he was older, only because his older biological brother whom we see every now and then told him.  It's not an easy story, and I don't share much negative if I can at all help it when we do talk.  He "misses" them terribly and brings them up from time to time.  More than anything he has a hard time with the void of just not knowing them, not having pictures of them.  We talked a while and I shared a bit more of his story than he had heard before.  He was crying silently and Macy asked why he was sad.  She has become very aware of that in others lately and is growing by leaps and bounds in her vocabulary.  It was sweet, but hard to explain.  I just said he missed someone.  

Liam then wanted to know some of his story.  I told him a little more than has been shared before as well... and he began crying.  Liam is my sensitive guy.  As is Braeden actually.  Liam began crying the other night when Olivia's dog threw up because he didn't want her to be sick.  Then he cried when Macy was in bed watching a movie because we thought she may be sick and again he didn't want her to be.  We quickly took his story from the beginning through to when he joined our family.  He was brought to me by a caseworker while I was working Open House at the middle school I was currently teaching at.  After the Open House we picked up Braeden and Olivia and they ran out and yelled hello to their new "brother".  It was so sweet.  He brightened up as we shared how much we loved and love him and how much he changed in the first few weeks in our home.

Their histories are hard.  They have each been through things, remembered or not, that make them who they are.  Things that many of us can't fathom.  There isn't much sugar coating to do except to share in bits and pieces with as much love as is possible.  I know as Macy gains even more vocabulary that she will share more with us about her past and will have many questions.  The other day I videotaped a conversation she had on her play phone with her former house mom.  It was so bitter sweet to witness.  I taped for 3 and a half minutes before Olivia came upstairs and broke the spell.  I long for the day I can take her back to visit and see the reunion they will have:  Macy and her house mom.  She cared greatly for my girl and I am forever grateful.  It's a positive light in the midst of some not so positive moments.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015


At night we have a 'routine' like many do. My two youngest go to bed first since their bodies need more sleep than their siblings. And although we are working on other arrangements, they both sleep in mom's room currently. Not ideal but it is what it is. But that's another post. :)

When they go to bed I lay with them until they're asleep. Liam on the other side of my bed, and Macy in her toddler bed nearby.  I have a playlist of songs on my phone we listen to as they fall asleep. The first song is from the musical Finding Neverland and it's called Believe.  

Tonight as I was laying there, waiting for their bodies and minds to calm, a few lines from this song hit home to me.

A piece of this song says:
It’s so frustrating when no one else sees everything you see
So for now it is just an illusion, confusion
Unless it’s someone who believes

Today was a rough day. 
It was rough this morning when my youngest said and did some mean things to her 9 year old brother. 
It continued when I had a not so great encounter with a coworker. 
It faltered more after lunch when Liam began melting down. His allergy meds were wearing off and he was hot and exhausted. No excuses but all that played into the next two hours of him refusing, crying, and just altogether having a hard afternoon. We are working on the mom/teacher thing but it's not easy.
The day progressed with hearing from Braeden (during school) and later his teacher, concerning the rough day HE was having. Along with the ominous phrase the teacher spoke saying he wasn't sure "what was going to happen from here."  (Just WHAT did THAT mean? - and I couldn't ask questions about the day because Braeden was in my classroom at the time of the phone call which would have escalated him again.)
And... I still had my classroom open house that evening.  Oye Vey!

Three of my four kids today were in places in their hearts and heads that were not their norm. 
They do NOT always act this way. 
They do not always choose this behavior they are actively engaging in. 
Sometimes?  Yes.  They are not angels.  And I am not naive enough to believe that ALL of their behavior is out of their control.  Today was not the norm.

For those who parent kids from hard places, you may be able to look past these behaviors and search for the meaning, try to figure out the cry that is at the root of what is being shown outwardly. For the majority, for many I work with, many who work with my children, many I am friends with, even if I try to explain Braeden's anxiety, Olivia's or Liam's past, Macy's heart, it's all an 'illusion.' They see the behavior as good or bad. As all in that child's control. And that child is then judged accordingly, and myself right along with them because I'm the parent.  And some comments from those I work with, work for, am friends with, don't go unnoticed.

I have a few good friends who see past these behaviors to my kids themselves.  And for that I am grateful.  For others.  For those who work with kids LIKE my own.  I WISH that you could see and know this child.  These children.  
I wish you could see Braeden's generous heart.  His overwhelming sensitivity for others, for those who are put in hard circumstances.  His thoughtfulness.
I wish you could know what my kids have gone through in their short lives.  Things you would cringe over if you heard the descriptions.  Things you wouldn't even know how to respond to.  And yet they are expected to react to stressful situations and circumstances with grace and calm.
I wish you could have the pleasure to see the joy on the face of a 9 year old who has finally grasped the concept of reading after years of work.  
I wish you could see through new eyes the amazement of an automatic bathroom faucet and how water - clean, safe water - comes out at the touch of a button.
I wish you could hear a 14 year old who talks about being thankful for being adopted out of her past circumstances and not knowing where her life would be without that journey.
I wish you could hear my "rough, hard to handle" 11 year old tell you daily how beautiful you are, how much he loves you, how 'not' old you are when you are complaining about your eyesight or health.

It’s so frustrating when no one else sees everything you see
So for now it is just an illusion, confusion
Unless it’s someone who believes

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Week of Firsts

For many this has been a week of firsts...

First days of school...

First time dropping a child off at college, or kindergarten...

First time riding a bus...

First time having their MOM as a teacher...

First time with a classroom of new students...

First time having no children at home, or no children in local school districts...

Or the first time not getting a classroom ready for a gaggle of students...

We've had our fair share as well.

It was Olivia's first day of high school as a Freshman:

Braeden's first day as a sixth grader at a new middle school 
(which has been a bit rough - 
please say a prayer for him and for his mama's heart):

Liam's first day at a new school as a third grader 
in his MOM's class:

(His first piece of work in said class:)
(Maybe his first attempt at brown nosing???)

Macy's first time deciding she's not thrilled with school after all 
and maybe staying home with mom would be better:

And the first time I was messaged from her teacher 
with such a great picture reminder that she's going to be ok after all:

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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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• 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