April 28, 2014

being a boy mom

So, this happened this weekend.

Notice anything missing??  As in, a good chunk of Isaac's tooth?

There was no big traumatic event.  No blood.  No scratching or bruising.  A simple fall on just the right spot on his tooth, and off it broke.  This tiny baby chipped tooth has been taking up all of my brain space since yesterday when it happened.  I'm not sure why, but I'm seriously grieving his whole-toothed smile.

I took him to the pediatric dentist this morning, and he basically gave us two options.  We can leave it.  Or they can fill it in and "fix" it, which involves him being sedated, probably traumatized, because he'd be taken back into a room without me and having strangers poking at his mouth, and only then, just for cosmetic reasons.  And for a "filler" that has a decent chance of falling off because, well, he's a boy.

I feel like this must be some sort of rite of passage being a boy mom.  And as easily as this happened, I'm shocked any of my kids have any teeth at all.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do about this hole-y grin.  I'm far to emotional about it right now to make any decisions.  So, I'm sitting on it for a couple weeks and then we'll decide.

In the meantime, I just spent the day googling "baby chipped tooth" and "boy broken tooth" and I'm comforted by the fact that this is a common thing.  Especially with boys... who have brothers... apparently.  So, maybe it'll just show the neighborhood kids that he's tough stuff (which he is) and perhaps I'll even miss the dang thing when he actually loses it in 5 years.  We'll see.

*sigh*  I feel like this is only the beginning.

April 25, 2014

life just means we keep walking

Just a quick note.  I can't even begin to express how much all of your encouragement and prayers means to us.  I was blown away by the excitement and support with which our friends responded to our adoption news.

This is all still very very new to us.  But, it hasn't taken long to learn that things keep moving swiftly along.  Our application is being transferred from this person to that person and now we need this form completed, and that form notarized, and on and on.  Not to mention, the prospect of the largest bill we have ever seen.  Unfortunately, unlike giving birth, there is not health insurance to cover the costs associated with bringing this baby home.

There are many things that could scare us away.  By the world's standards, there are many things we should fear.  But I'm continually seeking to choose to surrender my mind to the Lord instead of to fear.  Emotionally, there are times when I feel like WHAT are we doing?!  because the unknown of it all feels like too much (and I know I haven't seen anything yet).  But in the end, it is a decision that we make.  Choosing to take the next step and to trust.  That God will provide.  WE are nothing special.  The sweet girl that will (Lord willing) be a member of our family, however, is something spectacular and fierce.  I know it already.  But, right now, we are just making the decision to keep walking.
I'm studying Galatians right now with my Monday morning ladies, and the timing couldn't be more appropriate.  I completed it on my own only weeks before starting this study, so it is being hammered in my head, and rightfully so.  I am FREE in Christ.  How many things in my life have I let bind me? How many things in my life have I tried to make my Savior?  Far too many.  Works.  Comfort.  Approval of my friends.  

I've been reading a study guide by Tim Keller, and while studying Chapter 3, he made the observation that we tend to create our own functional saviors out of comfort, control, or approval.  It just kind of stopped me in my tracks, making me examine my own heart.  In my moments of anger, of fear, insecurity, or any emotion that is contradictory to what the Lord has instilled in me, what am I seeking more than Him?
Approval of other people?

I've written those three words in my journal to continually check if there is an area in my heart that is trying to make a savior out of one of those.  Because these so-called functional "saviors" are not saviors at all.  There is no saving being done.  Only bondage to whatever it is you serve.  I know it well.

It seems that no matter what is head of us, each day is just putting one foot in front of the other.  Trusting the Lord and asking Him to mold us into what He needs us to be.  Daily surrender.  I wish it were more easy.

How's that for a few thoughts for a Friday night?

April 21, 2014

on baby #3...

It is not every day you get to do something that you know is going to dramatically change your life.  And someone else's.  Yet, today is that day.

{don't worry... old photo... there is no longer snow on the ground!}  

Today is the day we submitted our adoption application.

You read that right.  Our family is growing!  I have been getting the questions concerning baby #3 for months now.  Which is about right, considering Isaac will be TWO in two months (which seems simply impossible).  I have baby fever in the worst way.  Everything about me feels like it is time to grow our family.  And I feel a nervous excitement as we begin this journey.

Adoption has been on my heart for years, but, unlike others, it was not something that I always wanted to do.  My vision for my family as I was growing up never included adoption.  I always loved it, and thought it was great... for other people.  In fact, I never had a real vision for my family at all.  I knew I wanted more than two kids, but what that looked like was completely up in the air to me.  It wasn't until Jude was born... and probably about a month old, that the tragedy and beauty of adoption struck me.  I saw how this little person needed me, relied on me, and loved me.  And I remember sitting and watching videos of parent-less boys in India, just in tears, knowing that those most basic needs of love weren't being met for them.

A few months later, I told Jordan that I wanted to pray together about adoption as a way of growing our family.

The very next day I found out I was pregnant with Isaac.  Clearly, a "not now" from God.

During my pregnancy with Isaac, I considered the fact that it may be my last pregnancy.  However, that also is not certain.  I have no idea how God is going to grow our family in the future.  All we know how to do is take one step at a time - one kid at a time.  We have prayed through, and looked at how we want to grow our family from a million different directions, and no matter what, we keep coming back to adopting now.  We feel that baby #3 should be adopted.

We also keep coming back to a specific country.  China.  I cannot say WHY China, except to say that it has completely captured my heart.  Months and months ago, while perusing adoption blogs, I came across a blog with a sweet Chinese girl with a cleft lip and palate.  I'm not sure whose blog, but probably Ashley's or Angie's.  I couldn't get her out of my mind.  This was last fall, and I brought it up to Jordan and wasn't quite met with the same enthusiastic and maybe somewhat hormonal-impulsive decision to jump right in.

My hubby is a slow decision maker, and I am so grateful for that, because so many good things have happened in this season of waiting.  We prayed through it, researched our heart's out about China, orphans, international adoption, the problems with it, the tragedy of it, the risk and potential pain, and also the redemptive beauty of it.  And in the end, came to a resounding YES in both of our hearts.

And so we make the decision to leap, and trust God in this journey.

The best way to describe how I feel is nervous and excited.  And on the verge of tears all the time.  I'm overwhelmed and overjoyed at what this means for our family.  And we desperately covet your prayers as we begin this journey.  A long journey is ahead of us indeed - that will not stop once we have our baby girl in our arms.  We know we are signing up for something that begins with tragedy and pain.  We know this could be very hard.  But we also know that God uses such situations for His glory.  And that is why we are doing this.  Because we feel like, right now, we have the ability and the desire to open our family to someone who did not come from our womb.  And that is such a tragic and beautiful thing when it all comes down to it.

So, in a way, I feel like I'm announcing the longest pregnancy ever.  Baby #3 is on her way!  And sweet girl, we cannot wait to meet you!

April 8, 2014


Three years have passed since I began this parenting gig.

March 28 was the big day.  This birthday has been, by far, the most anticipated one yet.  He asked daily if he was three yet, if he was a BIG BOY yet.  Because that's what we told him.

When you turn three, you're going to be a big boy and are going to have to go potty like a big boy.

Yes.  The dreaded potty training that started and stopped and has started again, once an for all.  And darn it, he'll get it one of these days.

Not long after his birthday, Jude says, almost sadly "I'm still little Mommy!"  Yes, you are little, but you are bigger than you were yesterday!  And then he says, "I'm still growing."  Yes, you are.  

"Are you growing, too, Mommy?"

I almost said no.

But the question jerked my heart in a way I didn't expect.  

Yes, Mommy is still growing too.  Every day.  Just like you.

I remember holding Jude in my arms for the very first time.  Afraid in a way, and absolutely captivated by this little person I had NO IDEA I could love so deeply.  Privileged to have the responsibility of raising this little guy into a man.  And truly... clueless.

I had no idea how parenthood would grow me.

How, even more than marriage, I'd see my own selfishness and pride.  How I'd have to, literally, put my life aside for someone else.  And I had no idea about the blessing that comes with sacrifice.  

I think I used to believe that parents knew what they were doing.  That there was a method to the madness and everyone did what they did and were confident in their decisions.  I now know that this isn't true. Because, no matter how many kids I have, I will always be a first-time parent to Jude.  He will always be my guinea pig, and praise the Lord for anything I have done right.  Because there has been a lot of growing and learning and trial and error.  

As I begin this journey of having a three-nager (such a perfectly descriptive word, am I right?), I am still growing as a Mama.  Every day.  Just like Jude.  I pray that my growing involves patience and kindness and all of the other fruits that I daily lack.  I pray that I grow in dependence on God and confidence in Him and the intuition he gave me as a parent.  

I see how Jude has changed me from the person I was three years ago.  For the better.  So much better.  Not because it was easy.  If anything, it has showed me how, at the very core, we all need Jesus.

Happy THIRD Birthday, my sweet boy Jude!  There is no one else I'd want as my first boy.