Monday, March 28, 2011

He gets that from...

God sure knew what he was doing when he decided to create our sweet boy.  When he placed Owen in the womb of another woman...oh about 2 years ago...he really did get super crafty.  He made this little boy...who takes after his so many ways.
He made Owen super determined...SO very determined like his Mommy.  I should see this kid with a pair of shoes...he WILL get them on his feet.  And no determination and being stubborn are NOT the same.  :)
He made Owen a caregiver like his sister.  He is the best little "Daddy Mommy" there could be.  Holds the babies, rocks the babies, changes the babies, puts the babies in time out...
He made Owen GOOFY like his Daddy.  I mean GOOFY.  Like the kind of goofy that makes you sit back and think...WHAT ON EARTH???  Those of you who know Josh, know that this is a special kind of goofy...and lets just say that Owen has it.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  I think he gets his good looks from his Daddy too...for what it's worth.
He made Owen special in so many ways.  Such a little overcomer, laugher, grower...  I haven't met a friend (or stranger really) who doesn't fall in love with him.  There is just something about him.  I kinda feel almost...spoiled...that I get to be Mommy to both Gracie AND Owen.  I mean...I think most Moms feel this very blessed...but I often find myself just thinking...and thanking God for HOW blessed I am.
In the midst of the yelling and bickering and toys being heaved across the living room...the books to read, songs to sing, dressing, brushing, lotioning (is that a word?)...the doctor's visits, medicines, messes to clean up, and the such...I find myself thinking (at times...b/c there isn't much space in my head for thinking)...geeeeezzzzzeeee...I am just SO BLESSED.
There are times where I really have to STOP and appreciate it.  Because I am finding that time is FLYING by so quickly.  Before I know it...the whole day is gone and I forgot to really soak it in and appreciate ALL of it.  Which makes me think...their childhoods will fly by too.  And one day I will be a Mommy to a grown up Gracie and Owen.
What?!?!  That is going to happen???  I am SO excited that I get a front row seat!!!  God has big plans for these two.  For YOU too.  I truly believe it.
For now, I am going to give it all I've got - be there and be present.  And appreciate ALL of this!!!
 Our little baseball pro
 Our little baseball pro who can't play yet and doesn't like that...but makes the best of it...
Yes...they sing together...a lot...very loudly...

To our sweet Owen,
You are awesome.  You are growing SO much.  You weigh 3 pounds less than your sister.  Your feet have grown 3 sizes and your taller and taller every day.  You have a very healthy appetite for food and pretty much life.  You are so tough.  Yet sensitive at the same time.  You make me see life differently...and I thank you for it.  
I love you more,

Saturday, March 19, 2011

For I know the plans I have for you...

This past week was so much fun.  We went to DISNEY WORLD!!!  It was princesses.  Rides.  Swimming.  Lots of firsts.  There was laughing.  And singing.  And dancing.  There was LOTS of good times for all 4 generations there.  There wasn't any stress.  There wasn't even any stress of the financial burden for us...because we didn't pay for it.  Sure, there was a bit of exhaustion...but the good kind.  The kind where you lay down in bed after a long day and just think about how much you enjoyed what you did.  I got to watch both of my kids smile more than I have seen..pretty much ever.
I don't think it could have come at a better time.  We really kinda needed some time away - the past few months have been tough at times.  They have really showed us what it means to have happiness in the midst of trials.  We have been SO happy, but it hasn't been easy.  And we were just SO thankful to have this time together to just enjoy each other.  No cleaning.  No stressing about mealtime.  Just good times!  Exciting times!!!  Just what we needed!
We got home late last night and I spent the day unpacking while Josh spent it working.  The kiddos played with their new Disney toys and before I knew it - it was evening time.  And that means it was a time that I have really been dreading.  Really.
It is time for Gracie's first injection of methotrexate.  When we got Gracie's juvenile arthritis diagnosis late last year, I comforted myself by thinking "at least they didn't put her on methotrexate"...because that is what my Mom takes and I have been covering her in prayer so she would be safe from it's possible side effects.  When we went back for an injection of cortisone, and it was a big procedure that I wasn't prepared for...I got a little more stressed...and felt a little more out of control.  Then, when a week later, it didn't work anymore...I started to get worried.  I was nervous about going back to the doc to hear what they had to say about the progression.  When they said "up to 5 joints"...I was REALLY stressed.  And when they said what they wanted to put her on...I kinda freaked out.  On the inside, of course.  I smiled at the doctor and told her that I understood.  And when she left, my Mom and grandmother reassured me that this is just another opportunity to trust God.  I know that they are I told myself not to freak out.  That it will all be OK.  And I know that it will.  We have the MOST amazing doctor.  God has really blessed us with her - we really are confident in her knowledge...and that is easy to do since she is the best of the best.
The more I think about it...the more I think about what God did for me.  HE GAVE HIS SON UP for me.  I'm pretty sure he was sad when he looked down and saw Jesus on that cross.  I know that God knew the plan and that his son would rise again, but I know that God knows what I'm feeling.  He loves Gracie even more than I do.
I know that remission is on the horizon.  I don't know when that will come.  But, I know it is there.   Will you please join me in prayer until that day comes?  Please pray that this medicine has NO negative effect on her immune system...or any system for that matter.   That she will be healthy.  That if she does get sick, we will be aware of it and will know whether or not to give her the injection.  Also, please pray that Gracie's anxiety and fear of needles goes away.  She put up quite a fight this evening and that just makes it even harder.
I heard this song on the radio tonight.  I just love how he reassures us.  Maybe this song will help you out too.  It is pretty awesome!!!

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans for a hope and a future."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I love how God whispers into our lives.  Sometimes he also shouts loudly.  There are times I hear him...and there are times I don't.  I always want to, but it seems like there is always something keeping me busy so I, unfortunately, fail to catch it.  I am trying SO hard to hear this lately.  And this week, He has told me some things through music.  The following lyrics have really spoken to my heart this week.  I'm not sure of the original composer of all of them, so I will just list the lyrics and hope they speak to you too.

Take me as you find me.
All my fears and failures.
And fill my life again.

Jesus paid it all.
All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

O praise the one who
Paid my debt
And raised this life
up from the dead.

This is the stuff that drives me crazy
This is the stuff that's getting to me lately
In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I'm blessed
But I gotta trust you know exactly what you're doing
It might not be what I would choose
But this is the stuff you use.

I'm not sure if you see a pattern in these...they are kinda jumpy and random...and all over the place.  Kinda like me.  I am happy.  My life is amazing.  Full of blessings...really busting at the seams.  So...why is it that I am overwhelmed?  Why am I stressed?  I know there is a lot going on with Owen, Gracie, Josh's work schedule, our transition, being a stay at home Mom now.  There is A LOT going on. BUT none of that is what matters most.  What matters most is that I have the most amazing savior.  The most amazing friend.  The most amazing healer.  The most amazing father.  The most amazing sustainer. The most amazing God that I CAN TRUST.  All in one...He is all of those things and more.
Tonight's Ash Wednesday service was exactly what I needed.  Clarity...and alone time with HIM.  It felt like there was a moment in there where it was just ME AND HIM...nobody else.  And He knows my heart.  I didn't even have to try to explain it...cause He just knows.  And I felt peace.  And stillness...something I have really been missing.
I am committing to spend an hour with Him - just the two of us - before the rest of my family wakes up.  So we can have our time together.  This is my lent promise.  I guess you could say I am "giving up" my sleep at 5 or 6am in order to be with Him.  May seem like an odd thing to do for lent - shouldn't I be giving up ice cream, chocolate, or processed foods???
This is what I felt He wanted from me.  Do you feel like He wants something from you?

Here are a few pics from our recent trip with family to Dallas Blooms.  GREAT time!  I think the kids really enjoyed it.  The guys weren't really into it until a hawk came down and showed them the circle of life - at the expense of a squirrel.  Then...they thought it was the coolest trip ever.

To our sweet Owen,
I know I keep writing it - but you really do get cuter and cuter.  You scratched your cornea yesterday and I had to take you to Acute Kids to have you checked out.  Who knew having a patch over your eye would make you even cuter than you were without.  You are so tough...such a strong little man.  You also crack me up in the morning lately b/c you keep checking yourself out in the mirror and dancing.  You are quite the bouncer when you dance.  You make me laugh so hard.
Love you more,

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Owen!!!

 Finally!  A birthday song for Owen!
 Notice the spit?  :)
 cheesing with Gab!
 He is a fan of icing!
 Nice sharing!
Who's Owen's hero???

To Our Sweet Owen,
Only you would start this day off at 4am...
Only you would push me to the very edge of my sanity by 5am...
But...only you would melt my heart in the next minute with a sloppy, wet kiss.
Only you would hug my neck at the exact moment I needed it.  
To think that this time last year...we had no idea what an amazing blessing our God had in store for us.  Your first two years of life weren't with us...but the rest of your years will be.  And we will promise to show you every day how much we love you.  How honored we are that God picked us to be your Mommy and Daddy.  We thank Him every day.
Love you more,

Friday, March 4, 2011

A photo is worth...

When we started this journey, we made lots of friends who were also in the process of adopting their own children.  These are friends that I will never forget and they will always have a special place in my heart.  They will forever be a part of this journey and of our lives.  
One of the friends (Abi Q) also happened to be a VERY talented photographer.  I secretly always wanted to be one and had so much fun looking at the pics she took.  She was able to get through some of her photos of Africa and I just had to share a few.  What a gift she has!!!
 This is one of our sweet boy the day we went to Jinja.  I tried to carry him on my back as much as he would let me.  Seeing this reminds me of how much he has grown since we have been home...
 This is Josh and Abi's "husband man", Ryan.  I think this was taken right before Josh was smacked in the face with a low lying tree branch.  Good times!
 This is Abi and I holding our babies.  Both passed smooth out.  Abi's little boy brings new meaning to the word: cute.
And this is one of my favorite pictures of all time.  I can't really explain the emotion that this one stirs up inside of me.  Really.  I don't know the names of the kids...they were just running up to our car as we drove by to visit an orphanage for a friend.  They taught me so much that day that brief moment...This is just what "beautiful" looks like to me.  

To our sweet Owen,
You are helping me grow so much.  And while I am growing on the are growing on both the inside and outside!  Already from a 12 month pant size to a 2T since we have been home.  From a 6 to a 8-9 shoe.  From bald, to a head full of curls.  From an upset little man, to a loving and sweet...and incredibly funny little guy.  Your Daddy, Gracie, and I all love you more than we can say.
Love you more,