Thursday, March 21, 2013

For the Love

If you've guys been around here very long, you've heard me talk about how Hard the adoption journey is.

There are so many tools we have to carry around with us -all the time- as adoptive parents...ready to whip them out at a moment's notice.

Tools for healing and helping our kiddos navigate feelings.

Tools for diffusing situations.

Tools for building attachment.

Tools for food issues, sleep issues, ownership issues...

The list goes on and on and on....

My friends in the adoption-world often joke about kidnapping taking Dr. Purvis home with us from one of her conferences so she can just do it for us... She's really good, ya'll. {and it's exhausting.}

But while all of those tools are needed and incredibly useful in helping bring our children healing.

They are no substitute for Love.

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear" 1 John 4:18(a)

Now, I don't claim to have perfect love. I get annoyed and frustrated  and angry. And I yell more than I mean to and apologize more than I wish I had to.

But...there are times when I can see how my love for Marvel is the vessel God is using to blanket him in perfect Perfect Love.

We took a lot of pictures of Marvel sleeping when he got home. Partly because we were doting first-time parents who took pictures of every remotely cute thing he did (in-turn, we created a monster, ha!)

But partly? because sleep did not come easy for our sweet Marvel. It was a time of vulnerabilty and an opportunity for fear to come roaring out. Awake and asleep.  It was here when fear was its strongest that I saw the power of Love.

Many nights, in the early season of Marvel sleeping in our room, he would wake up overwhelmed with fear and I would reach down and rub his back or hold his hand. As he gripped my hand in his and slowly drifted back into desperately-needed rest, I saw that Love. Perfect Love that only our Heavenly Father can pour out. Was more powerful than even the deepest, most rooted fears.

"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8

You see...Love doesn't erase the sins. It doesn't get rid of the hard stuff or make any of those things disappear, the way we might want it to.

But. It does release us from the power those things have over us. Deep Love, Perfect Love. brings us the strength we need to walk through the hard things without being overtaken by them.

It covers us. It empowers us. It heals us.

Today I am linking up over at:

Stuff and Things

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

{Spotlight Series} The Wallace Family

I'm so excited to continue with the Fundraising Family Spotlight Series and to introduce my new friend Lindsy and her beautiful family!

The Wallaces are the featured family this week in the Give1Save1 campaign and I'm so excited to share with the world their amazing story and help them raise the $$ they need! Please consider joining with us by supporting the Wallaces this week over at Give1Save1 where each $1 makes a difference! You can read all about their adoption journey Here and while you're there please check out their store and all the other cool ways you can become part of their village!!

The Wallace Family - Adoption Story from William H. Wallace II on Vimeo.

Oh, and while you're here...please watch this amazing video they've made about their adoption story!! Best video ever! :-)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Dear Friday

Here you are....
boasting of sunshine and spring weather that will surely pass quickly by returning us to weekend chill.

You bring with you anticipation and dancing dreams of sleeping in. Of relaxation. Of rest.

And yet, looking forward beyond your horizon to soccer games. tball practices. birthday parties.

I know that {in all reality} you lead us into the busiest and most hectic hours of our week.

Yet I long for the days that you usher in with you.

Days when we are together, enjoying life. bracing the weather.

When fun and family rule the hours and sleep and cuddles abound as effortlessly as the laundry.

And so, while your dancing sugarplum fairies are nothing more than illusions on the horizon...I'm okay with that.

Our reality is pretty good, too.

Thank you Friday. Welcome.

Linking up with Traded Dreams today for the Open Letter Campaign
Open Letter Campaign

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Hard.

Today I am linking up with my friend, Tiffany! Go check out all the other beautiful posts on adoption, foster, and orphan care!!

Stuff and Things
First, I should warn you that I just returned from Created for Care and I am processing a Lot of stuff these days... That said, proceed at your own risk ;-)


Adoption is a picture of redemption. True.

And adoption puts children into forever families. True.

And for us, as the adoptive parents, I think the picture of the journey to our children is often filled with waiting, pursuit, longing, waiting, paperwork, waiting lists, more paperwork and more waiting.

All True.

And there comes a point when, after all that anguish, we are able to put the journey behind us and declare it all worth it in the end.  True.

But there is more to the story. There is so much more to the process and to the journey than our "yes".

There is hard, too.

Because while we were journeying and paperchasing and waiting and waiting and waiting?

Our children were walking through rejection, abandonment, shame, loss, hurt, longing, relinquishment, lonliness, abuse, trauma, neglect, malnourishment, sadness and grief.

Yes. Adoption is restoration and it is redemptive and it can bring beauty to brokenness.

But. BUT. It is also hurt. and loss. and more loss.....

It can be too easy, in my experience, to see the finish line and declare ourselves victorious without considering the hidden things. the broken things. the layers upon layers of hurt that we must carefully help our children peel back to bring true and complete healing.

We must be willing to walk through the hard, too, parents.  We must be willing to acknowledge that those early hurts deeply affected our children. And we must be ready to grieve with them. To talk about the hard things. To be honest and trustworthy with our childrens stories. To love them through the anger--which will undoubtedly be directed at us-- and to sit and wait as our children examine deeper and deeper inside their protected little hearts for the things they most want to be rid of....

We must understand that that finish line we celebrated? Was the starting line. We had simply arrived at the race.

And intentionally. purposefully. honestly. We must walk through the hard stuff with our children. We must cover shame with His grace and love. We must acknowledge unfairness and grieve hurts and losses and unanswered questions. We must be fully present. constant. never failing in our love and consistency.


Never forgetting that for us to be their forever family...

they have to have lost their first family.

"Adoptive parents and families are not always aware of how being relinquished has deeply impacted their adopted child. They are just so thankful to have that child in their life. But, all the while adoptive parents are rejoicing and celebrating, their adopted child is grieving the missing parts of his or her life before living with their family. Their adopted child has lost a part of his or her history, his or her DNA, his or her life –- and no one is available to talk about it." 
-Carissa Woodwyk

Love Big.

This past weekend I was blessed to  attend Created for Care with my dear friend Randee!

Since re-uniting with reality...
(for real, ya'll ...there was chocolate and coffee EVERYWHERE!)

I've tried to gather my thoughts.

Process some stuff.

Re-evaluate motives. actions. Opportunities.

And mostly I've tried to remind myself that I chose to walk this path of Intentional Parenting.

I chose not to depend on the 'norm' to correct, connect with and help my children heal.

I knowingly entered into this world of brokenness and beauty and loss and redemption and grief and restoration.

And His Grace has so abounded....

As I think about all I gained this weekend, I truly don't know if it's possible to express how much my heart was filled as I sat listening to the Voice of the Adoptee as she walked through the " adoption process" from our children's view.
"Children from hard places often deal with immense shame related to the earliest rejections, abandonments, losses... Guilt is in direct relationship to actions...but Shame? Shame speaks to someone's very Goodness"   Oh. The power of those words as we walk next to our children on their road to healing...

Or how refreshed and renewed and released I was in my date with God....
I came feeling like I was in a good place. With adoption. With life. But, oh my...when given the chance to truly release the weight.. I was surprised by how much I needed the embrace of my Father. How much I desired to just be a child in the safety of her Father's arms again without the burdens of this life....

But I know that I needed it. And so did 899 other mommas who traveled to Created for Care for the January and March retreats.

Those amazing mommas who planned and organized and orchestrated all of this... what can be said in gratitude to the women who gave us the chance to sit in a room and look around and think "These are my people" and tell stories and discuss struggles that we so carefully protect in our everyday lives?

It seems so inadequate for all that was poured out on our behalf...

You see, I'm not necessarily the best at making friends...but at C4C I truly believed I was in a room with true friends.

We cried together. OMG. Did we cry together (have I mentioned yet my inability to cry pretty?).

We laughed and cheered and renewed our spirits together.

We worshiped together.

And together we left. Ready to go home. To get back to the very basics of all we know about parenting our kiddos from hard places. To be fully present in their needs and desires and sorrows.

To Love Big.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday {Two Week Edition}

Silly Hat Day at school. Nailed it.
New shoes. Best reaction ever.  Just, stop it already! :-)

Finally got our certificate of foreign birth!!

On my way to C4C (more on that soon!)
View from the Legacy Lodge at Created for Care! Beautiful scenery!
Check out that form! Anyone see that Volkswagon commercial?!?! ;-)
Shut the front door! We have a reader, folks!! :-)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Gluten, You Great Deceiver.

Dear Gluten.

You with your tender pastries and your soft bread.

With your warm, buttery croissants that call to me from the bakery shelf only to melt in my mouth.

With your moist and delicious cupcakes packed with creamy filling.

You have hidden behind a veil of secrecy and covered the truth with delicate pastries and desserts and warm fresh breads for far too long.

I would have never discovered your deception had I not begun looking for a cure to chronic headaches.

I never would have become wise to your ploys and your influence.

I would have continued living in my wheat-filled, headache stuper, none the wiser..

But, alas, the veil has been torn down and the truth has set me free.

Don't get me wrong, I know you aren't necessarily bad for everyone. I know that you, when eaten well, are in fact a perfectly healthy part of a diet....

But I didn't know how common it was to be gluten-sensitive.

I didn't know that-- thanks to the way you make our lives so easy-- I was funneling more processed and less real food into my family's mouths.

I didn't know that I had alternatives like almond flour and coconut flour.

I had no idea that quinoa and amaranth were sufficient replacements as whole grains.

I didn't know that Real Food was the answer.

Okay, so maybe that is my own fault, but I was deceived, I tell ya!

Really, Dearest Gluten, I should Thank You.

It's because of you that I first began researching all your lying friends, like high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.

It's because of you, I started asking myself if there were alternatives to foods covered in toxic pesticides and injected with man-made antibiotics and horomones.

It's because of you that I committed myself to doing the very best for my family.

It's because of you that I have more energy and fewer headaches and wake up without feeling like I'm in a fog.

It's because of you that my family has traded the ultra-processed, packaged fare for the real thing.

It's all because of you.

So thank you, you lying, cheating, Siren of Baked Goods.

Thank you.

Today I am linking up over at The Open Letter Campaign!
Go check it out and join in the fun!

Open Letter Campaign