Friday, July 25, 2014

Sweet Words

The morning led to a discussion about how God speaks to us.  The night brought beauty.

Bekah: Mommy, you know God has talked to us kids?
Me: Really? How did He talk to you?
Bekah: He told us you were our parents.

(Mommy's heart be still)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Benjamin Turns Eleven~Update

It's hard to believe our son has been home a year, let alone just turned eleven!

It's been kinda of a roller coaster of a week (low lows and exhilarating highs!).  Today was a bit of both.  It brought news that was discouraging, but I know we asked for clarity and I believe God is giving us just that.  It also brought another high...our Ben.

Ben has come a long way from this little guy..

To this one....

From living in a hot shed during the days to learning what it was like to live in a family.  For the next month Ben has a twin.  Though there is a little size difference, these brothers love each other!

Our two eleven year olds, Max and Ben.

I thought today would be a good time to update on our Benjamin.

Ben is our son and we LOVE and CHERISH him (Smile).  He is precious....but (to be expected) he is not always easy.  After all the neglect, drugging, and the like that Ben experienced, our son is like a puzzle that we are gradually putting together.  There are many broken pieces...some broken on purpose and some because the overwhelming number of orphans and lack of being able to get training.

He's perfectly imperfect!

Though Ben loves us, most people think his attachment is complete and celebrate his hugs and climbing up them as adjustment.  Truthfully, except with family, we usually try to head that off.  It's not a good thing.  He spent so long without family, that he is still learning so being that attention from everybody is not what we seek.  Another is that WE are his safe place, and people mistake his confidence and affection as security in his family.  It's not.

He learned in the institution that nothing is permanent and to just "go along with it".

Think of it this way.  When he was little he was in the hospital for months, then one day just moved to a baby room in an orphanage.  After a few years he was moved again to another group where he may not have known anyone and was just left in a crib.  One day around seven he was moved to an adult mental institution which was a very scary place for him....unfamiliar...grown men.  He doesn't 100% trust he's not going to be moved again.  That happened over ten years and he has been home only one.

Many, if not most children, having gone through what he has (for that long) will hold back a part of themselves, not wanting to trust.  If they do, they will just be hurt when they are passed to the next person.

We are in this for the long haul, not a short term fix.  He spent almost ten years in the institution and it may take that long to get attachment where we want (and hope/pray) for it to be (it may take longer).  Our reality is that it is all worth it and attachment is NOT automatic, but work.

Ben has made progress though!  When he arrived home he was cognitively around a two to three year old level.  He now averages somewhere between a three and four year level.  One year equaling one year of progress? Awesome!  His coordination has improved drastically.  The longer he was off drugs, the better he has done.  He also signs several words and tries to mimic a few words vocally.  His fine motor skills?  They have increased by a 100% easily!

Our biggest struggles? Behavioral.  For ten years he was taught that the only way to get attention was negative attention were the other boys.  The teeth mark scars on his body testified to that.  He still doesn't play with toys for more than 3-5 minutes, so he then (if not being worked with) will negative attention seek.  If he discovers you don't like something he will increase it.  We have learned the trick of the "blank face".  If you say "no" with a blank face behaviors don't seem to increase.  If you show any negative emotion he will smile and laugh about half the time (this has decreased).  The hard part is we NEED to show him proper emotion.  He's a puzzle within a maze.

Don't judge him for this.  It's learned behavior in an adult mental institution.  We ARE seeing improvement in appropriate emotion.  Ben has a sweet soul, but when the only thing that was written on his "blank slate" was laughter at injury and such...we have to rewrite his experiences and erase them at the same time.  It's not easy, but BEAUTIFUL and full of redemption.  Oh, no where near God's, but an echo.

He's also a little of a puzzle medically.  It doesn't seem to be anything serious, but...

I guess you could say he keeps us on our toes!

It may have been a year, but Ben has had us growing in ways we didn't know was possible.  He's challenged our parental thinking, taught us compassion, and generally made us think even more outside the box.

He IS a blessing!  We are thankful for this eleven year old boy of ours.  Happy Birthday Little Dude!  We thank God we were allowed to be your family!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Journey~Running Legs

I'm sitting here sleepy (and very hungry tonight....shrug), yet satisfied.

After a roller coaster week, today we hit a high.  Today Jael had her first fitting for her running legs.

Our antsy little girl was ready to get them on as quickly as possible.

Seriously, how cute can one child get?!

PVC pipe walking aids...which (btw) she doesn't need tonight.

Today's "Crew"

Waiting as they prepared the prosthetics. She can take them home two weeks before they
finish them with some cool material she chose.

Proof I really was there, though hiding.

Jael and her Prosthetist, Stewart

The twins ready to GO after many hours!

After only twenty minutes in her new legs, Jael was starting to take steps on her own.  
She is now walking around the house in her "running legs".  Not quite running yet, but soon I'm in TROUBLE!!!!

It constantly amazes me that THIS little girl...

Became this little girl....

To learning the love of family....

Grew to this little girl who blew the doctors away after her amputation surgery...

To her first day walking EVER...

To beautiful knees....

And now....and now....BLESSINGS ABOUND.

Thank you all that have joined us in the fantastic journey God has put before our daughter!

Monday, July 21, 2014

My Rant Expanded

Today satan (yes, I refuse to capitalize his name)....was just TICKING ME OFF!!!!

So many of my precious friends are buying into satan's lies and I'm sick of it!  (Not them, but satan!)

You see, satan is enjoying telling everyone they are not worth it.  He is reveling in the words, "You're not good enough!"  Oh, he's getting a good old chuckle over this.

He needs to stop laughing and my friends, we all need to stop listening!!!!


The master of lies may mess with us, but GOD WINS!!!!

He's also a master at making us forget!

*It is NOT what we do that make us worthy.  It is what GOD DID!  Do not diminish the grace of our Heavenly Father!
*Don't forget the men of the Bible!  The men I admire and really look up to them.  Man, they were SINNERS though!  David struggled with sexual sin until he KILLED A MAN!  Paul killed CHRISTIANS!  It's arrogance to think our sin is so much worse than these great men!!!

Today, I sat with these precious children...

 and talked about how God can speak to us.  We came up with six ways....His Word, visions, dreams, the Holy Spirit to our hearts, signs, and through other people.

It's hard to hear Him when satan is sitting there with his fingers in our ears and we are letting him.


I read today John 1:35-41.

Listen to this...

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples.  When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.  Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see."

He's talking to YOU.  Come!
So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).
WE HAVE FOUND THE MESSIAH!  Friends, it's time to find the Messiah and ditch all the lies today.
Yes, my passion is at an all time high.  I hate seeing the havoc of lies.  God is so much bigger and so much better! He loves you! He cherishes you!
If there is just ONE that needs to hear this right now....
each one matters to God.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

"Given Reign To"

Just before we headed to Church an hour away (to answer an invitation to visit)...

I love pictures of sibling love.

We visited a mega Church.  HUGE!

I'm not sure I've ever seen as many motorcycles as I did on our way home! 
They were in front of us as far as we could see and in back of us. 
 We didn't get nervous until they started weaving in and out of traffic 
and doing stunts (standing, wheelies, etc.).  It was one of those things 
that turned from "Kids look! Cool!" to praying we didn't hit anyone.

...something popped up at home.

When I asked one of my children why they made a choice they did, they said,

"I was mad."

Lightening Bolt


Light Bulb

Anger given reign to usually leads to sin.

Yes, righteous anger exists.  Jesus showed righteous anger:

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves,  and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.  And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’ 
Mark 11:15

Most of my anger?  Ya, not righteous and really will serve no purpose or help someone to grow.  Most anger only serves to vent my lack of "taking my thoughts captive".  Righteous anger absolutely exists, but mine is only occasionally that.

I realized that giving a reign to most of our anger is really NOT bringing about the righteous life that God desires.

Shoot!  Yup, He told me this.  I just now got it.

"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires."  James 1:19-20

I never liked anger.  I never did a happy dance when I was angry.  I tried not to get angry.

I also never really thought about what anger leads to.  I made an excuse that I had a "right" to be angry.

 Why? Someone did something that was not right? Oh, I've never done that. (Nose Growing)

Anger that was given reign served what purpose? Did it teach the individual it was directed at? No, about 95% of the time.

I think the key phrase above is "given reign to".  Sometimes we do have a reason, healthy normal emotion, to be angry.  That is not where the sin often lies.  It's when we let anger have reign and takes root.

When anger takes root, often sin blooms.

In teaching my child I had a truth, a lesson I've learned all my life finally solidified.

Finally...I'm a slow learner.

"'In your anger do not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." Ephesians 4:26-27

"Fools give full vent to their rage,
    but the wise bring calm in the end." Proverbs 29:11

"A person’s wisdom yields patience;
    it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense." Proverbs 19:11

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