Monday, July 14, 2014

My thoughts

This has been a strange summer for us.  We are working on our regular school schedule, hoping that all of the children will 'work ahead' about 6 months worth of time so that we can take the time off after our adoption is finalized.

That means that we are fitting all of the extra animal work with puppies, turkeys and chickens into our routine.  We are working in the basement around our 'regularly scheduled activities'.  We are still doing our normal real alouds, starting our day with the Bible, reading history, science, and biographies together.

We are working on potty training Judah, and keeping things going with our littles...

Though I have let therapy continue to slip, and we really do need to get back to it, once I am finished with downstairs and the painting upstairs, and installing the railing, and possibly finishing our chicken yard, we will get back to therapy for Callie.

Not being very involved with the fair is a big change this year.  As is not taking the time to do a whole lot in the way of day trips...instead, we are working hard.  Pressing through.  We are taking the time to play here and there, like with an ice cream party, and a fire in our fire pit.  We had friends over last Saturday...

It has been a good summer, just a very busy one!  We are getting a lot of things done, and are working hard!

I also wanted to clarify my adoption thoughts...it is not that I am not looking forward to this, because I am!  I am very excited to be adopting!  It is something I have really seriously wanted to do for almost 9 years...and we are finally at a place where it could really happen!

I just had a moment of wondering if I could really handle it...adding children who are, well, basically, like ME.  I know all too well what loss, abandonment, neglect and abuse do to a child...because I was that child.  I am that adult, who still sees the effects of that kind of a childhood in my life.

But God is bigger!  He has brought me from a place where it was basically expected that I would do nothing, to a place where I am His child, and seek to act as a citizen of Heaven, because of what He has done for me.  God will sustain us as we walk through this process.  God will guide us as we follow Him.  We keep praying that God would prepare our hearts for our adopted children, and that He would also prepare their hearts for us.

And now, it is time for me to go hang some sheet rock, as I continue to pray for our children, both those here with us now, and those who will become part of our family.  And I praise God that He already knows who He has for us!

Hard At Work

Last year really burned me out on the fair...dogs at the fair was really too much for us!

This year, the girls are all on their own for fair projects because we are kind of busy getting ready for the home study and with our adoption education items.


Here the girls are working on their ed displays for the fair, and they look awesome!  What a blessing it really is to see what the girls can pull together on their own!  I was amazed when I read their reports and saw their displays!  I will post more pics of their final entries as we get them ready for the fair.

The twins especially have made goals for themselves, with deadlines, and are reading all of the requirements for the fair entries on their own.

They certainly will not have the number of entries they have had in the past, but they will have a few.

Face Painting Fun

Grandma came home with face painting paints and a book of how to do it...and here is the first attempt at it.

I thought it turned out amazing!




It is hard to see here, but Ashley is a bunny, and her finger is painted like a carrot!

Ashley painted Brianna's butterfly.

Happy Birthday Boys!

Justice's birthday was June 21st, and on that day, we had the Ashley and Brianna's birthday celebration.  Judah's birthday was July 7th...so it was high time that we had a family party for both of the boys!







Puppies getting bigger!

The puppies are starting to eat solid food!

When I put their food in, Maple jumps right in, and the puppies immediately start to nurse...but quickly move from nursing to eating!

 

They are also going outside a little bit and enjoying some play time in the grass!


Forte really enjoys playing with the puppies!






I think Maple would, too, but when she gets close, they want to nurse, lol!

Nappers

Most days, I am now down to just 2 nappers...I only have 2 children under 5 after all!

But some days, like last Friday, I have more.

I was able to finish the flooring on Friday, in part because I have FIVE nappers!  The heat and outdoor activities seem to be exhausting my children.

 




There is just nothing like the peacefulness of sleeping children!

I thank and praise God for all of my children, and the blessing that they are in my life!

Basement Project

With the downstairs under construction, it is tough to keep things clean enough to be somewhat safe...each day when we work, we end up with it looking like this:


Another challenge has been allowing the children to help...we end up with things like this, which ultimately create more work, lol!


The work is coming along, slowly but surely, it is coming!

I was able to finish the floors last Friday.




And the children are now able to play in the playroom!  something they have really enjoyed and taken advantage of with the current heat wave!


Here is the boarder that Ashley, Brianna and Anna painted.


We hope to finish the dry wall hanging today...if we could get it hung, I will move the girls to their new room and will mud, tape, prime and paint around the beds...after those items are done, we will move their dressers into their new room!

Moving the girls downstairs will allow me to paint in their upstairs room, which is just way too full for me to get in there and work at the moment!

Justice is also wondering when it will be time to work on HIS room...and that is certainly coming!

Our home study home visit is set for August 9th, and I think, Lord willing, we will be ready!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Adoption Progress and Updates

I will not be making many adoption updates until this blog is private/protected for the sake of confidentiality.  I thought that I would take a moment though and talk about adoption and what I have gone through personally through this process.

We decided to to pursue an adoption after much prayer and discussion.  It is something we have felt on our hearts for years, and now seems to be the right time for us to do it!

We signed up with a wonderful agency, and have begun our home study process.

We started our (40 hours of) adoption education.

As we started the education, it became even more clear that we are looking into adopting children with deep seated struggles.  Children who have faced tragedy, loss, sorrow, and have learned some inappropriate behaviors and attitudes in the name of self preservation.  In short, we are adopting someone exactly like I was.  As I listen to the stories, I see myself.  As I hear how an adopted child might feel, I can relate all too well.  As I listen to some of the situation that some of these children have come out of...well, I know it all too well.  The uncertainty that they describe, the need to care for and protect younger siblings, the need to horde food, the need for them to find ways to express themselves that do not injure themselves or others...

I went through the first 4 1/2 hours of the training, and felt optimistic.  I felt empowered on some of the ways they offered to deal with some of the issues that parents might face.  I felt that some of it was a bit off...like not allowing an oldest of a sibling group to have any 'responsibility for younger siblings' (for me, to take this away is stripping them of their identity...who they are, and while you have to curb the excess of this, it needs to be done gently).

Then I listened to the last of the free online seminars...A panel of 4 parents (2 moms, and 2 dads, each from a different family), describe their experience of adopting an older child and how some of these issues have played out in their families, I had a moment of fear...no, terror.  I felt a knot form deep within me.  I asked Christopher to watch the same training seminar that I had seen.

I prayed about it.  We talked about it.  We processed it.  Ultimately, we decided that we are making the same commitment to a child (or children), that God made to us.  To take us as we are and help us to be molded and shaped into the image of His Son.  To take us in our filth, our sin, our depravity, and bring us to a place of being a beloved child.  We are making a life long commitment to love a sibling group when it may not be easy, when it may not go smoothly, when it may challenge us in ways that we cannot even fathom or imagine...but through Christ, we will take it one step at a time.

I now feel like my feet have been firmly planted, and that I am ready to begin this journey, right now, today, as a serious prayer warrior for both our biological children and the adopted children that God has for us.  May God be glorified as we proceed in this endeavor with His guidance.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

basement progress

Work continues on the basement.


Sheet rock is going up.


Flooring is going down.


Lighting is done.


Everything is coming together nicely.


Tonight, I actually finished laying most of the flooring in the playroom...more pics in the next update!


We started with 22 boxes of flooring and now have 5 1/2 boxes remaining.


The girls are getting very excited about their new room. I look forward to updating about their move to their new room!

garage sale

Our first fund raiser for the adoption was a garage sale last week.

We had lots of donations, and lots of traffic through he 4 days of our sale.


We even had people come shop, go home then come back to bring us some donations for the sale!


God blessed the entire process. 


We made $1000! 

10% of which will go to the Lifeline (un)adopted program, where the funds will be uses to teach children about Christ, teach them vocational skills, clothe, house and feed them.


At the end of 4 long hard days, we took the last of what was left to Goodwill.


We are so excited to have our garage and patio cleaned off!

boys riding bikes




Friday, July 4, 2014

Turkey Update

I thought that I would showcase the building I got free from Craigslist.

Chris amazing dad was willing to go get it for me - even though everyone else was busy that day - so he went to get it by himself!  (and I certainly owe him big time for this one!)



And as for the turkeys themselves...well, let's just say they are not cute little chicks anymore, lol!



Thursday, July 3, 2014