A Few of My Favorite Things

  • God and all that goes with Him
  • Time Spent With Family
  • Bedtime Prayers
  • Family/Group Hugs
  • The Beach
  • Good Friends
  • Good Music
  • Laughter

Saturday, May 14, 2011

An Open Adoption

Yesterday was a very special day at our house;actually,every May 13th is special. It's Samuel's Gotcha Day. It's a day we celebrate as a family because we recognize that but by God's grace, this very special little man, would have never become a part of our family. I've been telling my baby his story since we first brought him home. It was harder for me to tell back then, I would get all choked up and hardly be able to speak. Love his little heart, as long as I kept the rocking chair rocking, he'd look up into my face with his big, sweet, brown eyes and coo and make all the sweet little sounds babies make as long as I kept talking. I told him about how badly we wanted a baby and how we prayed for him, of begining the adoption process, the phone call that came asking us if we'd like to meet our birthmother, pacing the waiting room in the hospital the day of his birth, getting to see him and touch his little hands after delivery, the 2 days his birthmother wanted with him all to herself,the weeping the nurses listened to the night before his birthmother would make him ours, seeing and holding him for the first time, and then the day the judge officially made him a part of our forever family.
He's had the priveldge of meeting his birthmother and he talks with her on the phone and even chats with her on-line. I look in his face when she tells him she loves him and mises him and the joy there is priceless. This year for Mother's Day, he asked to call her. We didn't get through to her on Sunday, but did get her on Monday. I wish I had my camera out when the phone rang and he knew it was her calling. He wished her a belated Happy Mother's day, and I got that big knot in the back of my throat,worked hard not to cry (he was sitting beside me and watching my face so intently), and I smiled. It's the first time he'd ever told his birthmother Happy Mother's Day. I remember just how precious it was to hear him say the first time and every time, and I could only begin to imagine how much it meant to her. I'm so thankful we chose an open adoption. My sweet boy knows that he's loved beyond measure, and I've learned that I can share that love and receive so much back in return. His birthmother is a special part of our forever family, too.I love knowing that she carries a picture of him in her wallet, and that we can share the pride and pleasure of our little man's accomplishments.
So anyway, yesterday I took my baby out to lunch and we celebrated his Gotcha Day. He'd brought along an army of Lego Clone Troopers and they ate with us as well. I've noticed that when something is close to his heart, he makes sure he has playthings with him. We talked and laughed about the Force, and he educated me on the different jobs of each trooper, and I told him the first words he ever heard me say...God loves you, Jesus loves you, and Mama and Daddy love you. These were the first words I ever heard :)They are precious to me, and he played and moved those Lego Troopers around while I talked (he was listening and it was important to him,so important that he had to keep those hands busy while he listened). We talked about his day in court, and the laughter and joy in the waiting room as we visited with both sets of grandparents, and the social workers. He'd just started cruising the furniture at home, and he toddled from one person to the next soaking up all that attention.
I'm so thankful,I have his story to tell him, and I'm thankful that I've now told it so often that I can tell it with all the joy and no tears. I'm thankful that his birthmother wanted an open adoption and that when Samuel was ready to meet her, she was willing to fulfill that need. Isn't it wonderful how God brings families together. It is truly AWESOME, whether it's done in the traditional way and family welcomes that new tiny baby into the world right from the begining, or through other means, the joy is beautiful. And many times that joy is found through the tears of sorrow and healing of broken hearts. May God bless ya'll, and may he pour out a special blessing on all those special ladies out there who make the choice to chose life for their baby and adoption when they themselves aren't ready to fill the role of mama.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I happen to love Mother's Day and Father's Day. It's a time to honor our own parents, and a time to celebrate the blessings that have come with the children God has placed in our life. How blessed I am! I can't ever really remember a time when I didn't want to be a mama. I toted around my baby dolls and purses filled with their stuff for as far back as I can remember. There's something extra special about sweet little chubby cheeks, elbows, and knees.
I have to say that the first time, I had the overwhelming desire to be a mama was when I was in college and my Fridays were very often spent with a very precious little guy who's grandmother and pawpaw were raising him. I'd go by his house on Friday morning, have something to keep his hands busy while I worked on assignments for school, and then our fun would begin. We'd get lunch, head to the park and play, and then head to pick up Rich from work. He probably has no idea how much joy he brought us, and love his heart, we learned a little about parenting with him. One of my most precious memories is when we were sitting in the car waiting for Rich to get off work, he turned to me and said, "Samanfer,you look like a mama to me." From that day forward,he's been the son of my heart and I happily shared a part of his love along with grandmother,one of his Aunts, and his birthmother. I don't know if he even realizes how much he's loved and how much of my heart he still holds to this day. We came into his life just after grandmother and pawpaw adopted him, and we met him at church. It filled my heart with joy,when that little guy would jump up off the pew in front us and reach his sweet little toddler arms up to be held after the final Amen. He's grown now and though life's circumstances moved us away from him right after high school graduation. I've kept up with him. I'm proud of him and the young man he has become. To this day, I have that little booger to thank for teaching me how important words of love and encouragement are to a child. We worked with some part-time foster children during that time, and one of my favorite family pictures has all my boys in it (we had 4 part-time pre-teen boys and my first little man and my sweetheart). I love that picture and I love the memories that come with it. I've been on bear hunts and tried to outrun the moon, when he was little. So I'm thankful God gave me the chance to feel a mother's love for a child long before I had one who was officially my own.
His grandmother taught me so many wonderful things. She taught me how to love my husband, how to drive a car, and when to use a switch on little legs to help him learn to obey. Like many of you tomorrow, I'll be making phone calls :) I'll call Mama, Grandmother, and very possibly I'll talk to my little man's birthmother. These three women have helped to shape my adult life in so many ways that my cup runs over and I'll drink from the saucer of love.
My little man is getting so big and I love to hear him pray and talk about his love for God. Every night he prays for the headache to go away, and his prayers are sounding like those of a big boy now. So once again, I'll drink from the saucer because my cup overflows.
So Happy Mother's Day everyone. I hope your's is filled with love and joy as you count the blessings you've received as a son/daughter and the many blessings that come with being a Mama. God bless you richly!

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Full Heart

It always surprises me just how quickly the month of May sneaks up on me. When I was teaching school full time, it meant the crazziness of finishing the school year was at hand. It also meant trying to find the perfect Mother's Day card for Mama and Mom. (LOL, As I unpack boxes you wouldn't believe just how many cards I've found that never got mailed; then again some of you know very well that I don't get things in the mail like I should. :)It's also a time when, I look back with great joy over Samuel's Gotcha Day. The fact that it followed my first Mother's Day made it all the more poignant.
I am blessed, I have to say that again, I am blessed. The pain that we've dealt with as a family with my headache since Christmas has called me to question that statement, and I'd really like to lay all the blame at the feet of the meds and how crazy they can sometimes make me feel. I have to admit that I have spent some time since Christmas contemplating if I'm really serving a purpose here or if the world would be better off without me. I am thankful to say, that my Mama and Daddy, and my Sweetheart have over the years helped me deal with these feelings. My faith in God and His promise to give us no more than we can bear came through with loud alarms,too. I will say if you want to see your doctor get moving to admit you in the hospital, share the above thoughts with him. Needless to say, he listened closer to what the pain was doing and made sure I didn't come home too early. We then spent 6 weeks trying to adjust to a med that worked great in a high IV dose in the hospital, but came home and the depression began to roll in, and this time I had a harder time dealing with it. We knew that it might cause those types of feelings temporarily so we waited. But it got to be too much for all of us as a family to deal with so we spent two weeks trying to get the doctor to call us back. I'm now off that particular med, we made a fast trip to Skokie, IL(suburb of Chicago), and tomorrow marks exactly a week since they did the injections in my neck. Today, I have finally begun to feel better. The pain that has been staying wrapped around my left eye has eased up, the injection sites aren't as sore, and I actually feel a little more like myself. So once again, I am blessed. Iam blessed with a husband, who is patient with the fact that the house is NOT clean, he does the grocery shopping, and gets my little man out of the house and into the sunshine. He works his schedule to take care of me, and love his heart, I can look at his sweet face when he gets home from work and see just how tired he is. (He did all the driving and our total miles round trip was 1700 miles) The first half he drove in one day, and the trip home was spread over 3 days, and when we got in he unloaded the car, and went to meet Mama and Daddy who'd been keeping little man for us. He's tired, and while occassionally he may growl like an old grizzly,he doesn't complain, he just keeps on going. So once again, I am blessed.
I titled this entry a full heart because my heart is full on so many levels. I look at the pictures of the destruction from the storms last week and it breaks your heart. I have friends who've lost people and my heart aches with the grief for them. My little man has been such a big helper this week and been on his best behavior (found out grandmama told him to take care of me since I'm not allowed to bend over or pick up anything for a few more days). His concern and love fill my heart as well.
My heart is also filled with joy because another of my precious red heads has obeyed the gospel, and now I can call her sister and niece. I wish our Jenny could have been here to see it. But I know she's rejoicing in heaven with us. It's funny how, the precious moments that we want to pull close and store up can fill our hearts so full and make us wish that those who have gone before us could still be here to enjoy the celebrations, but that is selfishness on my part.
My heart is also full because we are quickly approaching a day when two special friends laid to rest their sweet little one, and the memories of watching them cope, their strength through the pain, and a sweet big sissy trying to wrapp her little mind around why little brother would never grow up. My heart is full to overflowing.
I'm so thankful for God's grace and mercy. He intends for us to have full hearts. Hearts full of love for one another, hearts so full of love for the lost that we can't not mention His precious name to those we come in contact with. The Greatest commandment is this to love one another as I have loved you.
I can only imagine just how full Peter's heart was in John 21, when Jesus asked him, Peter do you love me? And Peter responded Yes, Lord. Then Jesus told him to feed His lambs. Two more times Christ asked Peter this question, and we're told it grieved Peter (can you only imagine Peter thinking about denying Christ 3 times and now he's been asked 3 times, Do you love me?) Peter's response the last time was Yes Lord you know I do, you know all things. And Christ responded. "feed My Sheep". So when our hearts become full are we carrying on the job Christ gave Peter, are we tending the lambs and feeding the sheep. Perhaps if our hearts are so full with doing God's will, then when the storms and trials come to rock our world (and we know they will),then Lord willing our faith will have such an anchor that it can't be pulled off course, even if the winds toss us around. So, I hope you can look in your life and see just how blessed you are, and I'm happy to say I see just how blessed I am.