playing outside.

My kids love to play in the driveway much more than they like to play in the back yard.  I think they like to ride their scooters and such so a couple of times a week I get a chair, a good book and maybe a diet coke and enjoy the sounds of my kids playing.

 

Last week I took some pictures of them playing:

 

Cayden insisted on wearing Deacon’s Buzz suit from when Deacon was 2!  Yeah, Cayden is almost 6!

 

 

 

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I’m bringing Mac N Cheese to Thanksgiving. You?

Where did November go? I always feel so old when I say that, but seriously it seems as though just yesterday it was October and now Thanksgiving is a week away. Wow! Story turns TWO next Tuesday. I can’t believe that either. She’s the last of the November birthday’s in our family!

I love Thanksgiving. I think I love it because I love my Mimi’s dressing. I mean seriously i could eat that thing out of the pan for days with nothing else. Just that. Oh I can already taste it. I have made it for the past two Thanksgiving’s and mine is just okay. Mimi’s is fabulous.

This year for Thanksgiving I’m contributing mac n’ cheese at both family’s houses. Sounds simple and easy, right. Well this mac n cheese is not simple or easy. Well, actually I take that back. For me this mac n’ cheese is VERY simple. But for Molly who’s making it, not so much. Yeap I’m ordering food to take to my family’s house for Thanksgiving. Does that make me weird or very smart? Someone brought this mac n’ cheese to us after we brought Story home and we all loved it. Even Aaron!

If I was thinking about making anything else I might head on over to the CHEAP HEALTHY GOOD blog to get lots of great ideas.

If I was even nicer I would head on over to the A YEAR OF SLOWCOOKING blog and get great recipes that are gluten free since my mom has celiac.

But I’ll stick to my mac n cheese made by a professional and just maybe I’ll get mom of the year by making these with my kids: RICE KRISPY TURKEYS – who knows though b/c I saved this originally to do last year and it didn’t happen.

What are you making for Thanksgiving?

*Oh and Cayden informed me today that we are not to call them Indians, but National Americans. I think he meant Native Americans! My grandpa would be so proud! He’s second from the right!

Amos lost a tooth.

During one of my pouting sessions while waiting on my kids to come home I happened to talk to my friend Lori.  She has been so great for me during this whole process.  She has 3 children that were adopted from Haiti and that is always such a comfort to talk to someone who has been there done that.

 

In one of our conversations she told me that when Story came home I would find myself thinking about Amos less.  She didn’t mean I would forget about my son, she meant I wouldn’t be crying over my salad at lunch, I wouldn’t cry ever time I saw a four year old little boy and I wouldn’t be sitting on the couch every night crying my eyes out.  I thought she was crazy and that I wouldn’t even be able to be happy after Story came home.  I thought I would be so sappy over Amos not being here that I would be a bad mom to my three kids that were home.

 

Fast forward a few weeks and here I am at home with only one of my kids from Haiti.  Story’s home.  Amos is not.  It’s been 25 days and I have to admit that Lori was right.  There’s a part of me that hates that she was right, but there’s another part of me that is glad she was right.  You see I’m giving my WHOLE self and heart to Story.  I thought I wouldn’t be able to do that if Amos wasn’t here, but I’m proving that I can.  I’m trying to live in the moment of my life right now.  To not live in sadness b/c Amos isn’t here, but live in joy b/c Story IS here.  Thanks to God I am doing it.

 

Tonight will be my first time to have those moments of complete sadness and yearning for my child to be home.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Amos, but honestly most of my energy & thoughts these days go to loving on THREE kids.  Our home is adjusting to another person, another child and another personality.  We are consumed with our family and loving every minute of it.

 

Today I learned that Amos lost his first tooth.  I called Aaron immediately to tell him the good news and also to express my sadness in all the “firsts” that we are missing with him.  I said to Aaron, “what’s left?”  I started to feel like every day, week, month and year that goes by we lose more and more “firsts” with our son.  I mean for the love he just lost his first tooth and his momma and papa weren’t there to cheer him on and talk about the tooth fairy.  His first tooth is out.  My son just lost his first tooth and I wasn’t there.  Gosh, this whole wait just sucks.

 

So, tonight I’m retreating to my old self.  Thinking of my child in Haiti and crying and begging God to hurry this up.  The difference in my thoughts and cries tonight is that my trust has increased by enormous amounts in the past few weeks.  I have seen God bring my daughter home in PERFECT TIMING.  I used to tell God all the time that I did not like his timing and thought he didn’t know what was right.  I’ve eaten all those words and have told God numerous times in these past 25 days that his perfect timing has blown me away.  That his plan is best.  That he truly does know what he’s doing!  Just saying that makes me smile.  I’m 31, love Jesus with all my heart, soul and mind and am STILL learning that he knows what he’s doing!  🙂

 

So, tonight as I cry over my son’s first tooth coming out I am also remembering the goodness that God has shown me in the past month.  The valley that we had to go through, and are still going through,  was and is for a purpose.  God has a purpose for Amos.  He has a purpose for Amos’ mommy.  I’m clinging to my God through this.  He is all I have.

 

Kim leaving Frankie behind

Adoption is hard. Leaving your kids in Haiti is hard. Days, weeks, months and years go by while you visit and the kids stay in Haiti. You always go home. They always stay.

Then one day. You get to take them home. It is very hard to imagine this ever happening during those visits, but let me tell you I’m living it. My baby girl is home. But yet my baby boy is not. I’m still living this nightmare of leaving a child when I visit.

My friend Kim just visited her son Frankie for the second time and her husband met HIS SON for the first time. Oh I love hearing these stories.

Please go to HER BLOG and read her thoughts on leaving Frankie. It will tear your heart out. Be prepared. Her words are raw and you will get a small insight into the world of loving a child that you don’t get to bring home. It is heart wrenching. Thanks for sharing Kim.

 

Here’s a picture of us with Frankie last December:

 

 

 

Deacon’s birthday pics!

I have found the perfect birthday spot. Oh my word you are going to want to do this! We don’t like to spend a lot of money on birthday parties, so I was in search of something cheap and fun. I really didn’t want to clean my house and have everyone over, and sometimes the kids think it’s more fun to go and play somewhere new. We don’t have a ton of toys, so when you get a ton of kids here it can get crazy. Okay back to my party search. I called jump houses, bowling alley’s, Chuck E Cheese and they were all over what I wanted to spend. We even went to the local fire station to ask if they do birthday parties there. (Someone had told me they had their sons party at one, so that’s why i asked!) Then last Wed we were doing our usual shopping at the Farmer’s Market and we asked Deacon if he wanted to have his party there and he went for it!!! He said YES!

So, we had Deacon’s fourth birthday party at the Farmer’s Market at the Triangle. We go every week and the kids have so much fun just running around in the big open field that we knew it would be fun. I bought a cake and some drinks and plates and napkins and we were good to go! Friends started showing up and the kids just ran and ran and ran. It was so much fun! Also at the Farmer’s Market they have face painting so all the kids got their faces painted!! What a bonus!

It was the easiest birthday party ever. Parents were able to stand around and talk. People could come and go as they needed to & the weather was PERFECT!  Deacon had a blast! The whole party costs me $50. Oh my it doesn’t get any better than that!!!

Enjoy the birthday pics!

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The Stewart’s, Ivey’s and Bush’s – love these families and their sweet kids!

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Deacon and his super cool batman cupcake cake from Target!

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Deacon and his buddy Matt Carter – when I was asking him who he wanted to invite to his party one of his requests was Matt Carter – and yes he says first and last name for him. It’s super cute.

 

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Let me just say that Story was a huge fan of the cake and especially the icing!

 

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Look at these sweet girls!  I hope they become friends!!

 

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Cayden and Deacon and their lady friends!

 

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I know it’s kinda blurry, but here are my girls!

 

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Deacon sweeping Paige off her feet!  He’s a charmer!

 

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Some serious bat man faces!

Deacon’s first mom

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There is never a birthday that will go by for my sweet boy Deacon that I won’t think of his first mom. The mom he had for 9 months before I was ever in his life. The mom that carried him to term and gave him life. The mom that still loves him today.

When we began a domestic adoption Aaron and I were both a little scared of the crazy birth mom that would probably come back and steal our child on their first day of kindergarten. We thought we would surely always have an unlisted number and freak if anyone looked too much like Deacon at the grocery store. Okay those are kinda extreme and surely we didn’t really have those thoughts, but in all honesty the birth parent issue was a scary one for us. We just weren’t sure what to do. We had never met anyone that was adopted. We had never met anyone that adopted domestically and talked about their childs birth parents or as crazy as it sounds saw them after the child was born. We were just new and scared and overwhelmed.

The more I started to read about birth parents the more I started to let my guard down and see things from her eyes and not just mine. I started noticing that birth moms really do love their children. Most of them are not on drugs, super young or uneducated. Many of them are in college, come from good families and not a drug in their system. Yes there are exceptions, but there always are in any situation. For me this was mind blowing, b/c I had given every birth mom the stereotype that you see on Lifetime movies. I was uneducated. I also was only looking at this adoption through my eyes and not through hers.

I read a book that altered my perception and pretty much changed our view and thoughts on what we wanted in a relationship with a birth parent. The book was called DEAR BIRTHMOTHER by Kathleen Silber. This book showed me that birth moms care about the kids that they are placing into another family. They want to know how they are, and how their lives are going. They desire to see them grow up either in person or through pictures. Wouldn’t you? When I read this book I had already birthed a child in the last year and so those feelings of pregnancy and birth were fresh on my mind. I kept thinking that if I had placed Cayden for adoption, wouldn’t I just want someone to tell me he was okay. That he loved kindergarten. That he was a fabulous big brother. That he loved pizza and enchiladas and chips and salsa. That he is learning to read and recently told his mom and dad the difference between fiction and non-fiction. Gosh these are things I would want to know. Simple every day things to ease my mind that he is okay. That he is safe and that he is loved.

I started relaying all these thoughts to Aaron and God began to stir in our heart a deep and true love for our childs birth parents. We had know idea who they would be, but we were praying for them and loving them and asking God to protect their body, heart, mind and soul. We were actively pursuing a relationship with this person before we even knew who this person was. God changed our hearts and gave us a peace about our relationship with whoever would be our childs birth parent.

When you are doing a domestic adoption both the adoptive parents and the birth parents can decide on what level of openness they both desire for the relationship. We were very much for a super open adoption. We wanted our child to know where they came from, who they looked like, & where they got their crazy traits from. These things were important to us and we knew that one day they would be even more important to our child.

When we found out we were chosen to be Deacon’s parents by his first mom we were so thrilled, but a little bummed that she wanted no contact with us after the adoption. My heart was broken for me, but more for my sweet son who would never know his history. I cried out to God to do something to ease this for us or to change her heart.

Deacon was born on a Friday and we were told that she still didn’t want to meet us or see him after the birth. Once again I was broken for her and all the pain she must be enduring. On Saturday the social worker came to me and told me that the birth mom wanted to meet me. OH MY WORD. I was so nervous and so alone. Aaron had already flown back to his gig he was at and it would just be me. Just me meeting the woman that just birthed the child that I was hoping would be mine in a few days. I was already in love with this boy. He had stolen my heart. What if she met me and changed her mind? What if I said something really stupid? What do I say to her? Thanks? No, that is is dumb and weird.

We met for about 15 min in her hospital room and I admit it was one of the most awkward moments of my entire life. I mean truly what do you say to a woman that just birthed a child and now wants you to be his mommy? It is humbling and weird all at the same time. It ended up going okay and I left feeling good.

Deacon’s birth mom signed her rights away on a Monday and that Tuesday we spent the entire day with her at the interim care moms house. It was a dream come true. We were with her and she was with us and we were learning about her and her life. At this point I didn’t know if we would ever see her again, so I felt as though I had to soak it all up so that one day I could look at Deacon and tell him about her. I needed to give that to him. He needed that and deserved that.

Four years later we have a great relationship with Deacon’s birth mother. She has been to many of Aaron’s shows and we just had lunch with her a few months ago. Deacon knows that he was in her tummy, but I’m not sure how much he gets of that as a four year old. He knows he was adopted and we will forever tell him the story of our journey to him and how God brought him to our family. He has changed our lives and many lives around him. He is a joy to parent and I’m honored that his first mom chose me to be his mommy!

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My baby boy is FOUR!

I tucked Deacon into bed tonight and told him that when he wakes up in the morning he will be FOUR YEARS OLD.  He giggled and smiled from ear to ear.  He is so excited to be FOUR!  When tomorrow happens I’ll have two four year olds.  That’s crazy to me!

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*This was one of Story’s first times to stand and her big brother Deacon had helped her!

 

 

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Deacon is now not the baby anymore on his birthday.  He is now a middle child.  🙂  i pray and hope that he doesn’t get lost in the middle.  I have a small feeling though that he’ll make his own way and be his own kid in this family!  He is hilarious!  His voice is fabulous!  He has beautiful hair and skin.  His heart is huge.  He shares on his own.  He loves his sister and adores his brother.  He is a good kid that is testing the waters with obedience and always having a happy heart!

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I am honored to be this kids mom.  I pray that he finds a fabulous wife one day that will honor him and cherish him for all that he is.  I pray that he finds God at an early age and clings to him and follows him with his whole heart, mind, body and soul.

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My sweet Deacon, I love you more today than I did the day I first laid eyes on you.  You are my sweet baby boy and I am honored and grateful to be your mommy forever.  You are a joy to my life.

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Here are the last two posts for Deacon’s birthday’:

Turning three

Turning two