Back from Hiatus

My family and I went on a little adventure last week and it was pretty impossible to keep up on here as we didn’t bring computers along.

My kids had their first memorable airplane rides, went to a wedding and also the adoption day of my niece.  We saw lots of family we don’t get to see very often which is always a good thing.  🙂  On the down side, there were quite a few travel mishaps with plane delays, sitting on runways for an hour for 2 flights, lack of sleep and hotel mistakes.  With all the craziness the kids really were troopers.  A couple weepy times from lack of sleep but mostly on track the whole time…that makes travelling for parents much nicer!

Some trip fun facts:

  • sometimes it is easier to pull 2 roller suitcases with a child riding on each than it is to carry the non-roller huge bear of a suitcase
  • everywhere should have a free community splash pad where the kids can run around in their swimsuits and squirt each other and slide down mini water slides…no fear of drowning, but small chance of slipping and falling.
  • Chick Fil A lemonade is dye free but there is yellow dye in their vanilla ice cream.  😦
  • when given the choice to laugh or cry always laugh

And Then It Hits You…

There are moments that strike you when you love people.  Moments that tug at your heart, break your heart and bring tears to your eyes.  These moments could occur when you love the living, the healthy and whole, the sick, or those who go before you.  Each moment is precious.  This post is going to be about those moments with my children.

My adopted son…it was such a journey to bring him to our home.  There were MANY MANY heartaches along the way…including a little boy who didn’t make it to our home, but whom we still hold in prayer along with his family.  I look at my adopted son often while we are on adventures…days at the lake, days at the amusement park, camping…I think of where he could be if not with us.  It brings me joy to see him experiencing great things and even the “small things” like cuddling on the couch for movie night.  These things he may not have known if God hadn’t brought Him to us.  And where would we be without his smile, his laugh and his crazy energy?  How richly God has blessed us!  We had multitudes of people praying for him and God answered with His perfect plan.

My daughter who we feared would never come…not because she had health issues, but because we had already experienced a loss of a child and my pregnancy with her was a bit stressful.   She is all grace…she is sweet and caring and the moments that strike me are when she tells us of how she wants to please Jesus.  She approaches His feet with genuine requests and full belief.  She came a bit early and the doctors weren’t sure her lungs would be developed when she was born.  It makes me chuckle as I recall having those same multitudes pray for her lungs and she was THE LOUDEST baby I have ever heard.  😉

My youngest.  We had some scares with him.  The doctors were pretty convinced that he would be born with Trisomy or Down’s Syndrome or a heart defect.  He had all the warning signs.  We prayed and again asked all our family members and friends to pray for a miracle and he was healed…we believe he was healed.  Up until the last ultrasound (and there were a lot) the signs were still there for one of those issues and he was born perfectly healthy.  Those memories come back to me in a flash when I see him enjoying life, learning, running and laughing.  Those memories also flood me when I see others in the same place whose news did not turn out the same as ours.

I think God gave me these moments so I would not take them for granted…and I am afraid I still do at times.  But each smile and hug and laugh is precious and bring about more moments and memories.

Finally, my Joshua.  Joshua means The Lord is Salvation.  We prayed for his name and God gave us that name in a very unique way…it came in the mail.  True…very true.  Anyway, I am blessed to know that is the name He chose for my baby boy who went on before me.  So many moments remind me of him.  Of course, just like my other children, I think of him daily.  I don’t cry everyday, but there are still days that I cry for him or my heart breaks for him.  The typical days that bring a flood of memories include his birthday and holidays.  Certain songs will be a trigger as well.  Sometimes beautiful days, good family days and happy times trigger a twinge of sadness also, because I wonder what he would be like or how he would add to our family.  Yesterday was pregnancy and infant loss awareness day…I pray for all who have lost children for any reason at any age.

Despite the ups and downs, the joys and heartbreaks, and even the times when we fell apart…we are richly blessed.  God has given us joy in each of our children.  Each and every one is precious and brings special and sacred memories.  Sometimes going through the days these memories just hit me and I know I have been blessed and that my Lord and Savior holds these children in the palm of His hand.

 

Good Reads

My friend is in a book club and has passed on some great books recently.

I did jump on the bandwagon for The Hunger Games.  I must say I was hooked.  However, as quickly as I read through the 2nd and 3rd books in the series, neither was as good as the 1st.  I think The Hunger Games was written very well, but would most likely preferred to stop there and come up with my own ending in my head.  It didn’t help that I was Team Gale, but that does not comprise my whole opinion.

I recently read Unbroken, which I have already posted about.  Love it!  Amazing man, amazing testimony, amazing amazing amazing!

I borrowed Like Dandelion Dust from the library along with the movie.  Unlike myself, I watched the movie first and could not bring myself to read the book.  I got a little fired up when a little boy would potentially be ripped out of a life he lived for 6 years with his adoptive parents, the only parents he knew, to live with his birthparents and perhaps never see his adoptive parents again.  I am sure it was beautifully written, I think I am too close to the situation to be able to handle it though.  So, that is just me, nothing against the author.

I am desperately waiting (for another year and a half) for the 3rd book in the Divergent series.  I equally liked the first and second book in this series and am glad Veronica Roth is taking her time for the 3rd book, though I can’t wait!  She is a talented author…very good books.  The second one started a bit slower than the first, but soon proved quite readworthy.

Because of Unbroken, I am currently reading Seabiscuit by the same author, Laura Hillenbrand.  I am enjoying learning history in an entertaining, yet true, fashion.  I have just started this book and like it so far.

Has anyone else been reading anything especially good this summer?

Birthday Boy

Happy Birthday to my little man!

It is birthday time around our house…my son will soon be one year older.  The time flies!  I know that is cliche, but it is cliche for a reason.  The time flies!

We did not have him for his first birthday and it broke my heart.  I moved as fast as humanly possible getting his paperwork done.  The adoption agency even told me they never had anyone get things done as fast.  I could not wait to hold him in my arms.  We had already lost our first son, we also had become attached to pictures and videos of another little guy we were supposed to adopt, which didn’t work out.    We were feeling pretty heartbroken and vulnerable, but still wanted to adopt, knowing that this little boy we would love for him, his unique persona, not as a “replacement” for anyone.  No child replaces another, each are loved fully and deeply.

So…loving him so fully and deeply before we even met him, I wanted to bring him home sooner rather than later.  We were told we would have him by the time he was 6 months old at the latest…he came to us just shy of 16 months.  I won’t go into the roller coaster of emotions and trials we went through, but we fought hard to get him home.

His first night he hugged us all.  The next morning he happily greeted us in bed.  He was full of joy and still is.  He has a great big heart, lots of love and of course, some older brother ornery-ness as well.

It is amazing how the time to adopt him took so long and the time he has been with us has gone so fast!  I want him to have the best birthday!  He is my awesome birthday boy!

A Unique Family

Our family is unique, just as any in the world.  We have a child in Heaven, one adopted from another country, and two born to us biologically.  All our God’s…He just gives us the opportunity to be blessed by them.  And we are!  Despite Joshua leaving too soon, he remains a forever part of our family and is a continual blessing.  The smiles and hugs I get from my children here on earth are cherished.  As my blog-journey continues, more and more information will be shared about each of my children…none of them came to us easily in our eyes, but the whole time God was working.

We have known many who have lost children at some stage or age.  In the past month and a half we have been given news of 3 born still.  It certainly strikes deep and hits hard, but we know that part of Joshua’s purpose during his short life was to help others going through similar pain, so we embrace them and their stories.  We keep them in heart and prayer.  And we remember.  We remember Joshua, but we also remember God’s promise to never leave us.

Death, especially of a child (regardless of age), is one of life’s hardest trials, in my humble opinion.  God never promised us an easy road, but He does walk all of our rocky roads with us. The days I miss my sweet boy the most I still rejoice, for I know it is selfish of me to wish him with me when he is in The Perfect Place. There are no answers for the pain on this side of Heaven, but we know God is good all the time and His ways are higher than ours.

Each person has trials in this life…they can’t be escaped.  But God is unchanging…He and His ways are perfect.  We need to cling to Him in trials, maybe most especially in trials we don’t understand.