Sunday, June 8, 2014

Mother's day victories and defeats:)

Hard to believe it has been a full month since I doubled the fun of motherhood! The first week I found myself on the verge of hyperventilation...and that was the calm part of my days! To be honest I was scared to death I had made a crazed horrid mistake and jumped in way over my comfort level....and I had. At least the part about the comfort level. I felt backed into a corner and scared to death.  No one was happy during week one.  I was putting out little fires of unhappiness all over the place.  I had many conversations with God about His voice...and had I done the right thing? Had I heard him correctly? THIS IS REALLY HARD! I groaned.  He said even His own best kids acted up sometimes and He knew how I felt. arguing with God was going to make this better.  But praying did.  And each day has had it's share of victories....and defeats.  Bentley hits Marina....Evan is irritated by Lindsey....Lindsey and Bentley hit each other....Marina and Evan are fighting over the door to his room being shut....or open. Bentley is still in pull ups and seriously I think diapers would be cheaper he goes through these things so fast! We are bribing him silly just to poop in the potty. (sorry, this is a real life story).   But each day gets a little better.  Evan has taken a huge interest in his little brother.  I think it had to do with the fact that the kids told us they had never been to a movie we took them on friday night to see the Lego Movie--which was awesome! (everything is awesome...if you have seen it you get the pun....). I will admit it is difficult to sit through a movie with a kid who has adhd...but we did great and it was a great family journey.  Bentley got up the next morning asking if we could go to the movies again:).

They love church--both churches...and Lindsey said her first "grace" for dinner tonight! She was so excited to have done it! These are not "firsts" you think you will share with someone....but the firsts are surprising.  Lindsey and Marina get the giggles and fall out laughing all over the place some days, and most nights.  But to see Evan give Bentley the name " King Jr.." is really something sweet.  Of course Evan is King Epic or some such thing, and I call Lindsey "Rapunzel", which she thinks is "Brupunzel" and we are often all trying to figure out what Marina is saying though I always tell her in russian that she is beautiful...and she is. They all are.  I cannot believe they are my children.  I am stunned by their beauty and complexity.

 We have two swimming pools now- one small one for the nonswimmers and one big one for those who can swim...and we have a garden that has the cutest fence around it.  It is so cute it qualifies as a pinterest post! The yard is fun, and so inviting! There are two things that level the playing field for this brood--one is the pools and going crazy outside....the other is listening to the Newsboys on the radio about as loud as we can enjoy it. I don't have a lot of time to blog because I am still gripping this big blue ball of earth by my fingernails and keeping a smile on when I can remember.  Adoption is NOTHING like birthing a is infinitely more difficult.  And this is my mother's day:)  Off & Running!

Life can be beautifully messy!

This was taken mothers day of this year:) Bentley and Evan are my super heroes and Lindsey and Marina are my damsels in distress:) The little ones arrived on April 10th and it has been crazy since that day.  They are beautiful and funny and annoying and crazy....usually before breakfast. One is over the top medicated and we are working hard to bring that down to a minimum if not completely eliminate it from the existance plan. I do not like to think that a 2 1/2 year old was diagnosed with ADD and never given the chance to heal before the symptoms became masked behind amphetamines and heart medication (the adderall is a jack up med and the other two are a bring ya down med--hoping to break even so focus will come's a sad commentary on how the government is involved in fixing "their" kids and someone should spend some jail time for it in my opinion considering that kids age and circumstances.) The chaos is real and the hurt runs deep for both of them.  Bentley can't walk by Marina without smacking her but his apologies are so sweet--it is a crummy cycle and she no longer accepts his apologies.  Lindsey and Evan annoy the crap out of each other.... on purpose.  I assume jealousy? Or maybe she is looking for a new way to manipulate her circumstances.  I am astounded at how these two precious children have learned to manipulate their world like professionals.  And every bit of it is based in survival instincts.  It will take time to build trust and create a safe haven. There are no short cuts for that.  Marina gets to go to camp next week for 5 days at a special needs camp and she is sooo excited! I saw the pictures and it is too bad I can't go:) It looks wonderful! Evan will go to camp in late July and he is starting to look forward to it once I convinced him people don't spend that kind of money on "punishment"--He thought I was sending him away! I am sending him to save his sanity:) We spend a great deal of time at Lantern Ridge pool and Evan and Marina are on the swim team there.  The little ones LOVE the little pool while the older ones practice twice a day so most days are taken up with that. For now it is the best thing we could have done to keep busy and balanced for now.  Bentley will attend child development center in the fall and Lindsey will attend school with the other two as she enters as a kindergardener.  I look at their coloring and their art work and they are definitely delayed.  Bentley falls down constantly and I really think his eye hand coordination never had a chance to take root--he never bonded with anyone as a baby when developing that black and white initial motion and facial recongnition since he spent most days in a baby seat.  I won't go into much more of their back ground or their current behaviors because that is not what defines them.  Tomorrow defines them.  Hope defines them.  A chance to believe and grow and live and succeed defines them.  Marina was no picnic every day after her arrival either. For that matter Evan has had bad days.  And we won't even talk about mine:) The point is, life is messy and hard.  I have struggled with being overwhelmed with this and with what some would define as post adoption depression.  Some days if I get the dishwasher emptied I am feeling successful!  Other days are easier.  Most days I referee my little heart out trying to put out fires I can't just let burn out--the rage is too intense.  The fact that there is a respite of naptime each day is a flat out gift from God.  And I do love them. My heart hurts for them when I watch them have no idea about going to the movie theater or having a milk shake..  We are settling in and we also have a long way to go.  Maybe the rest of our lives.  Adoption support groups is mandatory when I find one.  Mental re-evaluations are mandatory.  Therapy for all of us will be mandatory as a family.  Play therapy is on the horizon.  Scott is helping me every one of his waking moments but he has long 4 day work weeks so I am solo for several days.  We parent different and each kid needs different parenting styles so we have to work through that as well.  Following the voice of God is not for the ones looking for an easy life.  People in general are an inconvenience when they don't "act right" or exist in the same circle of behavior as we would like.  That is often the biggest problem in the life of most "christians" because helping others is without question "inconvenient".  But the rewards are great! In big ways and in small ways... these little lives will be changed forever and they WILL have a chance. Just look at Marina in 3 and a half years....she is a success at school and has more friends than I will probably ever have.  She can swim like a fish and she is funny...and annoying.  She still can't talk worth a hoot but we figure it out most of the time.  Right now she is sitting at my feet giggling her silly head off trying to get my attention....all of which beats sitting medicated and drooling in the corner of an adult mental institution in a war torn country right now. Remember the other path she was on?That was her reality until God broke my heart for what breaks His. I was on a different path along time ago too.  God adopted me and stuck with me when I was messy.  He is still sticking with me...and I still need Him...Every day of my life.  In exchange I get bigger dreams and wilder fields of living and the colors are brighter and we always 4 wheel every where we go:() I am still messy but in a good way.  I still get to be me, but by sticking within His set of boundaries, I get to live I am trying to teach my little ones.  Live by the rules of the House.  Enjoy life to the fullest.  I will honestly say, it is not easy, but it is exciting and worth it. I do NOT have the answers to every question...even the ones like why is the sky grey? why is it raining? what is rain? did you know it is raining mom? is it going to rain today later? is it going to rain tomorrow? are we going to walmart? Coz we need an umbrella:) mama, can I stay here with you? can I stay forever? How about 8 years?  Well, some questions I have the answer to. Yes, you can stay here forever, even for 8 years:) Take a chance on something big before you lose that window.  Life is a one time offer, use it well.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Much change, fresh starts

It's been a year and 3 months since my last update. I took off from writing after I came home from a writer's conference and much change occurred the week after that. It was a time I didn't want to write about because I was learning my way by walking out faith through a grey time. Tully and I separated the week after my return... And we learned a new way of life. In many ways it was learning to breathe again because the very air surrounding us changed. I worked 7 days a week and Evan was no longer home schooled. As we were able to maintain, we learned how to work together and bond together as a working unit. A single mom status comes with a sense of being judged and expectations to be everything. I have a whole new perspective of what I see when I hear I am in the company of a single mom....A warrior princess who has no idea how to hang on to the planet some days. As time went on the kids grades rose. They are on honor rolls and Evan has been on the honor roll for the last year. He has worked so hard to overcome the baggage of losing his dad, though still with a long way to go. Marina rolls with things:) her answer to change is "ok". And she means it!

I am so proud of who they are becoming. Evan was accepted into Art Visions gifted program just yesterday. Marina can write and identify so many words now, it is exciting to see her really learning to read.

I came into being single with the attitude that I was devoted to being MOM but no more relationships. It would be too messy and I was done with messy grown ups. The chuckle from God was audible. I came into agreement that if someone came along to help with the kids I could welcome that.... It seemed a safe agreement at the time. A week later a man I work with came up and said he would be happy to help anytime I needed assistance with the kids or if Evan needed a male companion for any events. He was unmarried and had a back ground in Christian camp counseling from his earlier years. I knew he had gone to Bob Jones and was seeking a relationship but I knew his standards were through the roof- and I was not his type but had been his friend for several years.

Anybody else see where this is heading? I sure didn't! Sometimes God leaves us in our cloak of unawareness for our own sake just to complete his plan without arguments from us. But Scott persevered and committed to his offer to a time I realized I was flat out exhausted. I loved working with him at my house to keep it from disrepair and we laugh a lot. He talks to me and coaches me and encourages me in faith and in life.  He is a non smoker, non drinker, non cusser. He is stable and loyal and has a beautiful heart. He thinks I am great:) it's amazing. The kids are growing to count on him for things I cannot do. We are in a safe place and a good place.

After my divorce was final I immediately updated my home study for adoption. I KNEW it was something I was supposed to do.  It was finished and put out nationwide to introduce me as the eligible mom looking for a boy and a girl....something for everyone haha! Evan has always wanted us to have more kids around. His request was that they speak English:) and he wanted a brother for him
and a sister for Rina. Seemed easy enough... And unlike Marina's journey this one was fast and painless...from start til two days we welcome Lindsey and Bentley into our home and lives. She is 5 and he is 4.  Their birthdays flank Marina's birthday by two days on either side....Dec 27, 29, and 31!they are small from what I hear so as a side note if you are spring cleaning, yes I will take your size 3 and 4 boys and 4/5 girls wear :) we are all so excited we can hardly stand it! Life will be another sharp shift towards fun...and I have convinced myself they will play together like kittens.. The more there are the busier they will be in their own world... I attribute this to how much fun everyone has when they are together with cousins and how easy it can be. Ya"ll can quit laughing at me know...

It was amazing how the new little ones just came at the right time and the adoption board that was in charge of them decided I was a great was all done in three and a half months, and really a month and a half since I saw their little faces. It only takes one picture sometimes. it's all it took me to fall in love with Marina! And I pursued her halfway across the world. What a worthy trip that was...and besides God had the whole journey in the palm of his hand. It's comforting to use the rear view mirror when traveling with is amazing to see where He has taken you and how He opened gates left and right just exactly on time.   Always what the enemy has planned to thwart us God ends up shining through...I have lived through that enough to see it a way more than His promise ( For I know the plans I have for you says The Lord...plans to prosper you and not to harm you!) this is His personality in action.

So all is alive and well and sooo exciting! We welcome prayers during this next phase for sure....that the littles would arrive prepared for a new life and unafraid. And that Evan would embrace his new leadership position with honor....and Marina would NOT boss them to pieces :) and pray for Scott that he isn't overwhelmed....I am still holding him to his original help offer:)
I will begin to document their arrival with photos and periodic updates as I can. Thanks for hanging in there with us! It's never boring:)