Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Birthdays!

So... I'm a slacker. Not really. Actually, the reason I haven't posted about the birthday from September and the one from the beginning of October is the lack of slacking that I have been doing. We have decided to try to sell our house and buy a house (or houses) with my folks on some land. Getting a house ready for sale after an adoption, the sale of one of our business locations, an adoption finalization, and melting together as a family isn't as easy as I thought. Silly me.

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Trinity turned 13!!

I have a teenager. Which is impossible. I can't be that old. 


A reader. A dancer. A baker. A teacher. A daughter of the Most High.


Her Daddy would carry her anywhere... even if she is almost is tall as her Mama now!

  

 Trinity is a hard worker. Up early to fix breakfast. 
Always willing to help a sibling get their room cleaned up and organized.


 Her hands are consistently reaching out to help another... or reaching out for a dance partner. Have I mentioned the girl can dance?!?
 
"

 "I've been picking before. Let my brothers enjoy it this time." 
Real quote. It's just who she is. She's a little momma already and that is what she hopes to be!


 The smile on her face is a reflection of the joy she has in her heart thanks to her Heavenly Father.
Her name points to the Trinity as does her life.


 I am so proud of you sweet girl! You are a born leader with a kind heart.
God truly blessed me when He gave you to me.


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James turned 10!

That was quick! No. Seriously. 


 A goofball. A climber. A fighter. A "helicopter" pilot. A music man.


James is willing to pull his weight during times of hard work. 
He is also ready to cuddle a little one that needs an extra hug.
 

He loves funny movies and any excuse to laugh.
Just ask him about the Minions or the Croods!!


He has a very serious side and is a deep thinker. 
The conversations about the Bible and life I've had with him have blown me away.
 

Thankfully, the grown up side and the kid side of him live happily together making our lives with him in it so very enjoyable. James really does brighten up our day!
 

He has two names. His "baba" gave him the name Isaac which means laughter.
He lives up to that name for sure!!! The name he chose after coming home with us was James. It's his Daddy's name. James means supplanter or "one who takes the place of another." 
Jesus did that for him. His daddy did that for his "baba." He did that as he became the oldest son in our family.


 I am so blessed to have been chosen by God to be your second momma! Your compassion for all, your prayers, and your love for the Lord amaze me. 


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Many thoughts


It's well past midnight. The date is now October 5th. I sat in the chair for hours with an empty page opened on my laptop. Now, I type on my cell phone while laying in bed. Sleep eludes me.

My emotions have been all over the place lately. The adoption has been final for a week!! We are all Williams :) The kids are all doing well... Except on the days that they aren't. I've come to terms with the fact that my children, especially the ones who have had past trauma, will act years younger than their age or years older than their age and these two behaviors may only be moments apart. I'm not much different than them. Mine is more internalized.

I think about today and I am struggling with emotions on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. I want to have complete joy and I want to be focused on the celebration of James' Tenth Birthday and first birthday with us! I really am so thankful for the fun we've had fellowshipping, playing, and pumpkin picking with friends as we celebrate our sweet boy this weekend. The struggle comes as I think about the moment coming as I wake in the morning. In fact, it's why I'm struggling to fall asleep. When I wake, my Time hop App is going to tell me what was happening each year for the last five years on this date in my life. I don't need it to tell me one year ago. It was one of the hardest moments in my life.

A simple email requesting me to call the director of our adoption agency became a conversation about our three children going home to their village. My heart broke. My logical mind took over and said all the right things. My well trained spiritual brain began to fall back on verses and sermons and statements from people of faith who I've witnessed go through struggle. My eyes hurt from all the tears. My heart ached for my husband and my bios and me. This day in our family history. This day. It hurts. I can hear the words. I feel them flowing painfully out of my mouth as I share the news. It still feels fresh... Though I know it's not. In my heart, I'm a mom of nine. I pray for those sweet ones. For their future. For their safety. For them to feel His love.

I pray tonight as I fall asleep for joy in the morning. One year ago today was James' 9th birthday. He and John were in the orphanage. They had no idea it was his birthday. They had no clue that their photos were being opened by the family that would bring them home. Last year on this very day, Azriel stated boldly that the boys in that photo were her brothers... She was right. James says he got a family for his birthday last year. He's right. I hear that though and remember that first he had to lose everything to be my son. As I put him to bed, I prayed with him and over him and for him and thanked God for his momma and his whole family and I stood there in the doorway of his room wanting to go over and hold him and cry over his loss and tell him how much I love his momma and his baba and his brothers for the impact they made on his life. I want to sit with him in the pain of his loss, but at that moment even after praying out loud and thanking God for his family in Uganda and thanking God for his mom, he smiled up at me from his bed just seconds after my amen and said, "Goodnight, Mommy... I love you!" Such joy in our story! God's fingerprints all over this page in our family history.

I know God meant for these boys to be ours. I trust Him. I know His ways are better. Does it lessen the pain of the loss to know the facts. No. Not in the least for me. It does make it pain with a purpose... And for those that know me that is how I describe the pain of natural birth with each of my four bios. It hurts. Pain with a purpose though. This day last year was one of many painful contractions during my labor for James and John. I can close my eyes and remember this pain with the same peace as I remember the pain from my first four.

In the morning when I rise, I will be thankful for this day that my sweet Lord and savior has made. I will rejoice. I will ask for an extra dose of His presence for our family as we celebrate and as we give thanks for the sweet story He has written with bitter ink.

The full soul loathes an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet. Proverbs 27:7

Monday, July 28, 2014

Can I find the words?

I type this up and delete it. I type it up with different wording and delete it again.

As a society, we have become brave with our words as long as we are hiding behind a screen while sitting on our sofas. We press the keys on keyboard hard and with passion. We use capital letters as we tear apart the idea of someone we've never even met. I'm not immune to the false sense of protection of the digital versus the in the flesh real live conversation. But.

...but today I wrestle with my words.

I want them to be kind and strong. Bold and careful. Loving and straight forward.

I'm going to attempt to share my heart. Can you please attempt to see it as that?

........

I've been asked many questions. I've had many discussions. I've not given the calm well thought out answer to the friend that I'd never want to hurt or offend. I've left conversations mouth shut not sure how to explain without becoming overly passionate or emotional. Most of the conversations start with something like one of these...

"When were you called to adopt?"
"How did you know which one to get?"
"Aren't you concerned for your other children? You don't know those boys."
"Why did you adopt when you already had four kids of your own?"
"You don't think everyone should adopt, do you?"
"I just can't see myself doing that."


I could go on and on and on. (Am I right adoptive mamas and daddies??)

Strangers. Friends. Fellow believers. Family. They all have questions, comments, and looks. I've been trying to come up with answers that are kind, but that convey my heart. Here are the verbal answers and a look in to my thoughts.

1. "When were you called to adopt?"

We knew God was leading us to adopt before we even had Titus. 

I didn't adopt because I couldn't have kids. Adoption has been the plan. It's God's plan for all of us.
 
2. "The boys evened out your family! 3 boys. 3 girls."

Neat how the number is even for now, but that wasn't our goal.

We didn't adopt to fill a void.

3. "I've never felt called to adoption."

"We aren't all called to adopt, but we are commanded to visit the orphan in their time of need!"
 I say it and cringe because I don't believe it with all my heart. I say it because it is what we say.  

I'm not saying you should adopt, but go and love on some kids and see if you don't want to adopt 40. Also, I wasn't "called" to be a mom. God placed that desire in my heart from a young age. I asked my 12 year old if she ever prays to be called to be a mom. She said, "No. I pray for my future husband and that I can be a good wife and mom. I don't think we are called to be moms. God just makes us moms."  EXACTLY! I didn't wonder if being a mom was a calling I was going to have. I knew God wanted that for me. I didn't sit back and say to my husband that we should wait to be called to "be" with one another to conceive, but I did pray for the little one that I hoped to conceive in the same way I prayed for the little one that I knew He'd place in my arms at the orphanage instead of the hospital. Same thing. I know some will disagree, but this is where I am. It is the same. God placed a desire in me to be a mom of many... Not a mom to many biological children that look like me and share a common ancestry. I don't care about a common ancestry. I care that we have a common family now with our adoptive Daddy.... Our Father in heaven! Oh, that each of my children would accept the gift of adoption as sons and daughters of the King!
 
4. "How did you know which one to get?"

We prayed that God would place them in front of us and He did.

They aren't puppies. These are my children. God guided our hearts and the hearts of our children to these boys who are my now my sons.

5. "Did you know you'd love them?"

Of course!!

I didn't ever think about whether I'd love the ones that came to me through biology. Do you think shared DNA equals love? I don't share DNA with my husband! I knew God was giving them to me. Period. I never wondered if I'd love the ones that came to me through adoption. I knew that Christ loved me first and that, in turn, I would love the blessings He placed in my arms.

6. "Aren't you concerned for your other children? You don't know those boys."

We pray for God's protection and His guidance for each of our kids.

Are you kidding me?!? I'm concerned about ALL my children. All six. I didn't know any of them before I met them. My four bios are sinners too you know!

7. "Why did you adopt when you already had four kids of your own?"

I had room in the van. Wink.

Children are a blessing. a heritage. a gift. The more children in my home the more children I get to share the love of Christ with!

8. "You don't think everyone should adopt, do you?"

See answer in number 3 above.

9. "I just can't see myself doing that."

See answer in number 3 above.

10. "Isn't having so many overwhelming?"

Yes, but worth every second. So so so so so very worth it.

Some days I want to pull the covers over my head and pretend it is still night and that I don't have over a dozen eggs and a stack of pancakes to cook. I don't want to say that and you say no to adoption because it is hard so I don't mention this or the late nights kneeling beside the bed of my children until after midnight assuring them that I do love them. I want you to say yes to adoption in spite of it being hard because what's really hard is knowing that there are kids that don't have a mom pulling the covers over their head to hide for five more minutes. What's really hard is hearing stories of my nine year old taking care of his two younger siblings from sun up to sun down while his dad and brothers worked even if he was sick and how scary it was to go to bed before they got home and how he would tell his brother to stop crying so no one would hear they were alone. What's hard is knowing the fear, the hunger, the sadness, the pain, and the lack of hope that millions of sweet boys and girls go to bed with every night. They pull the covers up to hide from the thought of another day alone, another day in an orphanage, another day stuck in a crib with no one around to love on them, another day of crying and no mommy to hold them until the hurt in their heart subsides. THAT is hard. What's hard is that I can see them. I can see their sweet feet in shoes that fit for the first time. I can see their joyful smile as they get a small gift. I hear their voices singing in my head. I feel their hand sneaking in to mine when I'm not even looking. And that is hard. It's hard because I desire to love each one. I desire to sit by their bed and pray for them as they drift off to sleep. I long to give them good morning hugs and kisses. I can imagine filling their plates full of yummy food. I smile at the thought of hearing them join in to "Sing unto the Lord a new song!" like James and Azriel did as they filled waters at dinner yesterday. 

Adopt.

Do for one what you wish you could do for many!
Brothers eating peaches :)