Tuesday, November 30, 2010

As promised.... birthday photos

I mentioned little G had a birthday when I went missing from blogland.
November 24th she turned 5 years old.

Incredible cake made by her big sister.

It was beautiful.
Lots of family.
not too many gifts.....

Just the way I like it.
God had it orchestrated so that my whole family was there.
just right.
These are all the pictures I took. I cant wait to see the ones taken by my sisters with their new cameras.

I know this one is HORRIBLY blurry. But I just had to try to get a picture of her sleeping after such a BIG day. Without a flash...... I just cant hold still for the camera to gather enough light without a tripod.

Monday, November 29, 2010

in the meantime.......

I am working on some adoption follow up stuff, have a post to get together with Pics for Thanksgiving and little G's birthday. Was so sick last week..... and all the family came to celebrate with my grandpa. So we ended up having a beautiful birthday celebration. It was quite overwhelming for the birthday girl but she handled it rather well.......

In the meantime please go take a peek at Connie Wenks photo book at her blog. Make sure you enable the music player. ( I had never visited a blog set up like this, it took me awhile to figure out that you click on the boxes to get to each little category...... ha ha!) Please go take a peek. It was just marvelous......

I know we have so so much to be thankful for......
it was wonderful to pause......
and give God the Thanks he is due.....
I am so glad he is so close.....

Under His wings,

Friday, November 19, 2010

Where oh where has the week gone?

Im just saying.....
If Ive promised to call you.
Or wanted to meet you at the park.
Talked about going to the theatre together.
Talked about doing lunch "next week".
You are not the only one that I have flaked out on.
"new to mothering a 4 year old".
Being sick.
I am just treading water.

My grandpa called ysterday about Thanksgiving plans and the first words out of his mouth were,"I thought you were going to come visit me over a week ago."

I have a girlfriend that has been so so good to me over the years. Her daughter was my sons first love....... I told her I would stop by, never showed up, didnt call. Two weeks later she calls and is so so sweet and offered grace and mercy.
I just keep flaking out.

But with this cold,
and a toddler....
learned new signs and songs this week,
Ive read new books before bedtime,
and cooked supper from scratch every night but last night....
Ive played play dough,
and played with Mega blocks,
baby dolls,
drew with glowing markers,
Took G on a leaf- hunt
Reorganized Gs closet (again),
steam cleaned Sons old rooms carpets,
been on the phone with it seems like EVERYONE trying to figure out what we are going to do about Thanksgiving,(dont ask)
Gone to an airshow Thursday night......

(and watched little G as she tried to sing God bless America during the fireworks)

husbands powerlifting meet all day Saturday- he set 2 APA records!!!!

Held her while she signed "Jesus" at church with the music......
scrubbed the dining room floors twice,(dont ask.......)
Handcleaned the wool rugs by the couch,
bleached some whites in the sink,
Took down curtains to shake out the dust and wash.
took the blinds in the backroom down but they are still in the tub (ugh, waiting)......
Knit a baby hat.... well come to think of it I knit two this week to go with baby sweaters I knit....
Read a book to review....
Homeschooled E in Language arts during Gs naptime each afternoon...
Started knitting a baby cocoon ....
Stayed up till 2 am coughing 3 nights in a row......
Woke up this rning when the alarm went off only to realize that we had to leave the house in 20 mins to get to G's first OT appt. and I HAD to shower first.(I did it but it wasnt pretty)

Im just treading water people......
As I look at the list I can see that even tho I FEEL like Im not getting anything done.
I am.
I feel so human.
SO imperfect.....
If Ive neglected you,
I am so so sorry.....
really I am.....

Under His wings,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

just this one thing.........

I have been following other blogs out there and just love reading what other people are thinking and feeling. What they are sewing, and knitting, the sales, and coupon deals..... I got a sweet e-mail this morning about my post on "being real" and then I read a post on another blog and it brought up something that I havent been talking about......
Something that I really dont want to think about.

Mind if I ramble along a bit?

There is this dream.
There is this thought......
But as soon as my heart feels it.
As soon as my brain thinks it.
I shut down.
There is NO WAY I should think this thought.
This shouldnt be on the radar.
Stop thinking about this.
Dont start this merry-go -round.
You cannot dream this dream and think this thought.

Imagine what it must feel like to have a gift, a talent,and each time you think about writing, or painting...... being creative. Someone yells loudly,

"NOOOOOoooooo!!! You cant paint(or insert hobby here) any more.

Then the list in your head starts why this cant be a reality.(heres my pretend list)
You never went to art school. You have three grown children that need you. What about little G!? She has only been home a few months and she has down syndrome you know. She needs you. If you get out the brushes and paint you wont be able to give her all the attention she needs. You know once you start a painting how distrated you get. You surely wont have time to knit, or do fun girl things with your daughter...... the list gets longer and longer.House isnt clean enough, you havent lost weight...... you know what Im talking about dont you.

I dont share the yearning
to pick up the brushes,
or sit at the computer and write....
whatever that yearning,
that dream is.

I just dont like not even being able to be true with myself.

Whats the point
in being an artist
if I cant create?
Why would God give me the talent without the ability.......

Im just saying,
Whats the point of me rambling on and on about being real,
when I dont even know how to be real with myself.
On just this one thing.
Dont ask me to talk about it when I cant even think it.

I remain,
Under His wings,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Most recent read, "Amy Inspired"

A review, "Amy Inspired" written by Bethany Pierce
How many of us had goals and dreams in childhood
that seemed to get lost in the shuffle?
One day
stops you
dead in your tracks
and leaves you to wonder,
"How did I get here?"
Where has all the time gone????
I thought by (insert age here) Id have it all figured out.

The dream of becoming an artist
now lodged between
being a wife,
Where does the dream fit?

I enjoyed reading Amy's story.

She gave up her career to go back to school and do what she delighted in... only the dream and the reality didnt match. (I can completely comprehend!)Amy was also figuring out where her faith fit in the reality. What does being a christian, follower of Christ, require of me in these situations.

Amy, waiting for "Mr right" while her brother announces his plans of getting married- To struggle
for things that on the outside
look like they come easily in others lives ...
her brother finding
and a career
that has prestige at the end of the path instead of waking up mid-class wondering how she got there.... and add her friend's published works.
Isnt that whow we all feel?
Watching others' lives taking on this air of perfection while we make lists that taunt us
make us feel more worthy????

I found my own life connecing with Amy's on so many levels even though they are drastically different.
At the core,
when all the other stuff is stripped away
we are all on the same path
in one stage
or another.
I loved how Amy's mother would get quotes and -isms confused. Where words are a part of who Amy IS, and her work.... they almost seem foriegn to her own mother. Dont we all have that someone in our life that cant comprehend what we are trying to say?(adopt a child when yours are practically gorwn? A child with special needs?) They cant understand our dream? The one that cant love us in the way we need to be loved????
The words on the pages were like music ringing true in my ears,
flowing from one page to the next effortlessly.
How long has it been that I ve read a book where the characters and their lives rang so true?
Not just words on a page blending together to make a story...
But real thoughts and feelings,
like they were wearing skin.
You know, the good the bad and the ugly of life? She included drug usage,physical abuse and the havoc it wreaks on a family. Amy, taking a pledge to remain sexually pure and how that fit into reality for a now almost 30 year old woman....
Amy learned to stay true to her values in situations that many of us might have failed. I believe, to be considered a christian novel..... this is a huge step. Not painting perfect characters with maybe a trial or two but nothing deep and real. Amy didnt have to go around quoting scripture on every page to be a Christian. In her "acting out" of her faith she too was changed.
I have found this to be true in my own lfe.
Sometimes its not just about the end result,
its the process.
All those rejected manuscripts
leading to a place of inspiration......
it wasnt all about her.....
(and maybe its not about me....)

I hope you enjoy reading my review.
(you can also read reviews or purchase the book on Amazon.)
I also hope you dont mind wandering along the rabbit trails in my head and heart as I meander along the way......

I remain,
Under His wings,

Monday, November 8, 2010

Remember the Orphans

If you have been to an orphanage like our family has, you will know firsthand what I am talking about. It seems so small just to share the word about how many orphans are out there. Just talking or typing doesnt seem to do much in the big scheme of things. But I am praying that talking about it just might be the impetus for change. That others that have a heart for children will stop dreaming and start doing. If you bear with me, at the end of this post you will see a way YOU can help make a difference in an orphans life... yes you!!!!!

Yesterday was remember the orphan Sunday. Ive been trying to commit to no computer on weekends so yesterdays post is a day late.
Here it is:
I have been struggling with feelings and thoughts since returning home from Ecuador. I was so thankful that our adoption agency director called to check on us last week. I had some unanswered questions. I have this deep desire to know our daughter before she was ours.
I think its like when you are falling in love.
You want to know all you can about this special someone-your sweetheart.
Their childhood, their family and their dreams for the future........
remember those phone converstations that went on for hours.....
She is my daughter.
She has my middle and last name.
But I cannot ask her these questions.
We are gradually teaching her our language.
Giving her a way to share with us.
But for now.
I am just groping around in the dark.
I wish I could understand how she got here....
I am trying to put the puzzle together
that is a hard task......

So our adoption agency director said that I was remembering G in Ecuador correctly. Busy busy busy..... She was grinding her teeth all the time and the only vocalizations were gutteral noises she made way down in her throat.
that is the G I remember.
I remember that first day....
I was scared.
How much could she learn?
How could I help her?

But that started changing quickly. We started watching sign language videos on the laptop and playing and loving each other. We started playing little games such as pat-a-cake and eensy weensy spider..... and it seemed like she started calming down. The grinding teeth noises were replaced by quietness..... slowly but surely she was mastering signs. I found myself wondering if she was just randomly signing or did she know what she was saying with her hands??? Every now and again God would let me have a small glimpse into little G's world.
she was in there,
she really could learn.

Fast forward to now....
exactly five months from that first day......
June 7th
we loaded the plane....
flew from Atlanta to Ecuador.
We woke up early on the 8th-with very little sleep I might add
to get to the orphanage and meet her for the first time.
All this playing and learninng,
all the "love therapy".....
its paying off with HUGE dividends.
I am so glad that I didnt let my worries keep us from this journey.
Money is just money......
Yes I would be starting over again....
but motherhood at 40-something is so different than 20-something.(and its not all bad!)

THere are so many ways that you can remember the orphans.
If your family isnt in the position to adopt.
Pray, help financially,be the arms and legs of Christ.
One way you can help is go read this post and leave a comment.
That is so easy! List it on your FB or your blog. Sixseedstv will donate $2 for each comment!!!! If everyone that you know reads and comments....... we could make a HUGE difference for this family.....
you could make the difference in an orphans life TODAY!!!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Words of Wisdom

I read this post here.
Some of them, and the comments, were so so true.
(and funny)
I am thankful I have Gods word to shed light on any subject, any topic.....
I am glad he offers forgiveness for my imperfections.
And that I said I was sorry.....
and I love you,
Im proud of you.
I wasnt perfect.
I have failed many many times.....
One thing that I can know for sure is that I was real with my children.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

letting go......

Ive mentioned that we are helping son move out today.
My heart is so heavy.
I KNOW its time.
I want him to spread his wings.
The head knowledge just isnt helping my heart right now.
I have found comfort with him coming and going from here.
now that room is so empty.....

He has always been the one that has had to teach me how to mother a boy/man.
I grew up with girls and each stage he went through was a new learning experience for me.
I know he is only going to be a short drive from our house.
But I also know that this wont be home for him
This is a natural process........

I remain,
Under His wings,

Monday, November 1, 2010

A good read????

A fellow blogger is hosting a giveaway here. The book she is giving away is title "Wrestling with an angel". I think it would speak to so many people I know so I wanted to give you the opportunity to go enter yourself and take a peek at Greg Lucas' blog. (plus allow me to have my name entered in the drawing twice! Im shameless I admit.) He is the author of the book and it was a compilation of his blog posts.
That is such an inspiring idea isnt it?
I have a few people asking if I will do that with little G's adoption story.
I would love to put it all together
to share the road of faith our family has walked on.....
But I like having it all to myself.
Its still a little fresh and private.
(I know.... its on the internet for ANYONE to read.)
but still.....

We all have a journey.....
We all have a beautiful story.....
hidden within the Author has created each one of us....
destined to make our mark.....
Created to reveal and reflect He who is in us....

I had some girl time with a dear friend on Friday. She is the kind of friend that I love to talk with, and be quiet with. She says such profound things at times that really provoke seep thought. I wish I had that in me. She made a comment about our waiting to bring little G home. It had something to do with being glad that I learned to qiet my spirit. Learning to love the quiet.... this process that helps me decompress. This cocooning we have been doing would have been so so hard if I wouldnt have first learned how to be home ALOT and actually enjoy it wouldnt it?

What a fun weekend- three days posts in one!

I enjoyed family time this weekend.
I am working on helping my son getting ready to move.
Its a hard topic for me.
I am choosing to be happy for him. I know he needs to be a man...

I went shopping with his girlfriend on Friday evening. We went to one of my favorite restaurants for a bite to eat. Little G knows what it means when we go there. Its one of the few places she has been. Ive never been bombarded like we were that night. I almost couldnt eat because of the nervous energy. I know that they didnt mean to overwhelm me. But I am so new to this. Since weve been home cocooning I am just not out and about with little G much. (It seems whenever I am out with her someone smiles or has something nice to say to us.)But I really do forget that many people take one look at her and see "Down Syndrome". I forget. Shes just ittle G to me..... The family saw right off that she had Down Syndrome and we barely got our order placed. Mostly it was the mother oohing and aahing over her. She loved Gs pink glasses and wanted to know where we purchased them. So I took them off G to get the name of the company for them.... while was trying to order and pay.... really... She said their little one wouldnt keep hers on. her daughter looked about 4 months old but quite possibly was older. The mother had crouched down with me to look at G's glasses and actually went to pick her up!!!! My heart starts beating out of my chest just typing it out.I wonder how she wouldve felt if I wouldve just scooped her little one out of her husbands arms? I know she wasnt thinking since G was WANTING this stranger to pick her up and hold her. Geesh. Come on little G..... cant I take you anywhere???? I firmly told the woman ,"NO, no no. Please dont pick her up. Shes just been adopted and is not supposed to be held by anyone other than family." Then as we went to the table to eat a kind older man approached girlfriend and asked if G had down Syndrome. Yup. He thought so, he has a grandson with Down Syndrome that is nine. He commented on how much more energy she has.( well she was out. She doesnt get out much! ha ha!) Let me just tell you I am giving more consideration for a T-shirt that reads:
I am doing fine with friends.
But complete strangers, no matter how nice they might be?
Not there.... and quite possibly may never be.
So if you are her.
I know you didnt mean to overwhelm me.
But you did.
Dont be offended.... I have been through alot to have this beautiful little one in my life.
Next time ask first.
And be ready for me to say no......
(girl friend wondered what the woman wouldve done if I wouldve tried scooping her ltle one out of husbands arms. Without asking. Or husband for that matter..... Girlfriend also asked if things like that happened all the time with G around.I sure hope not)

We had a laid back Saturday. I was able to buy some luan plywood and get it stained for a piece of artwork for sons apt. I cleaned two end tables. Garage sale finds. Bought the black paint to re-do them. I cant wait to show you some photos of what I am doing for son. I really think once I get done the apt will have a touch of style. Saturday was a great day since I got some artsy time in. P and I watched Benjamin Button after G went to bed. Not sure how I felt about it. I loved the narration and the underlying message of the movie. Just being the melancholy sort..... it left my heart heavy.

Church on Sunday.
I mentioned G's new shoes a few posts ago...... And the fact that I sewed like a crazy woman to get a costume for G. I am glad that after 20-something years of mothering I know how to cut my losses and just walk away. The dress to go with the shoes was turning out HUGE. I guess typical non- Ecuadorian little size 3T people are bigger than G. Next year. I left it undone and will probably be sewing like a crazy woman next year to get it done just in the nick of time. ;) wink wink. Well back to where I was before I started down this rabbit trail......
She has cute red glittery shoes that she just LOVES.
So I pulled out what was probably a Christmas hand-me -down dress.....
of course it was red.
And she was just angelic.
I kept looking at her with tears while she signed her way though church......
I cant believe she is mine.
What a gift.

I have a few things on my mind......
asking the pastor about a Sunday for dedicating her,
either Thanksgiving weekend since she will turn 5 and all our family will be here for the holiday. Or in December when my grandfather celebrates his birthday and we have our traditional family get together.
Im just so timid.
Ive also been wanting to ask the music minister about the songs for each Sunday so that G can learn them in advance?
Maybe just one at a time or something?
I know a word here and there.....
she is trying so hard to sing.
It is sweeter than sweet.
Do you remember your babes learning to pray and sing?
We always said youngest son E would be a preacher because of the long sweet prayers he would pray over meals...... memories.

After Church G had nap time and I painted on my project.
I felt like an artist....
I forget that I can do it.
I forget about my love to create.

Then we loaded up for G's version of trick or treat. We went to visit two older people. A 87 year old woman named Grace that had prayed for our family during our adoption. We had never met her before but felt it was time she met little G.

Then over to my grandfathers house.
She remembered Popee.
It was sweet.
They played and played together.
He said at least four times that he was glad we had come...

Made me sad that I havent visited more.
G's schedule makes it hard..... But I will try.
Another thing he said numerous times," I thnk she likes me."
Of course Popee.
Everyone loves you.
He told me that he had finally found his great great grand fathers grave.(I think I have the right number of greats in there.)
I am so glad that he has gotten the joy of finding it.
Its unkempt and we are hoping that we can get permission to clean it up and have access to it even tho its on private property.
A civil war soldier that found with George Washington.....
Im sure there are alot of families that can say that.
Many families that are even descendants of the same man.
My Grandfather knows now where he is buried thanks to someone thats part of the local historical society.
I wonder how many other graves are hidden, unkempt.
People who fought for our country.....
Its only about an hour and a half from where my parents live.
I cant wait to go see for myself.

Well this is the end of 31 for 21.....
I hope that there is something I have shared along the way that helps carve out some sort of understanding about Down Syndrome. Even if its just the fact that our family isnt so different...... just another family lovin each other and growing our faith together..... we are more alike than different.

I remain,
Under His wings,