Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Introspection and Remembering 2013 (Part 1)

Today I've been introspective.  I am so used to being very focused this time of year....in an adoption process, paperwork and interviews piled up around my ears driving me slightly batty.

In January 2010 we were full steam ahead in bringing our Gabe and Rachel into our arms from Ethiopia. 

January 2011 had us surrounded in paperwork as we sped toward China, our Heavenly Father leading us to our precious 3 1/2 year old Jael.

The beginning of January 2012 had us in China.  Jael arrived in the States on January 5th.

2013 had us on the journey of our lifetime...to Jonathan...and then to Benjamin who were waiting in the "U". 

We didn't plan to find ourselves in back to back adoptions, but when God leads you to your children you celebrate and dig through the world to get to them.

Here we are now in 2014 and this year I feel a little like we are recovering.  Oh, we aren't recovering from adoptions (though sometimes grueling), but from the hardest year in our memory.

We get asked if we will adopt again.  I hope so someday (the kids have asked already), but 100% truthfully, I don't know.  It isn't up to us, or any government agency.  It's up to God.  He has put a giant spotlight, the sunlight filtering through the storm clouds like a finger of our Father, on each of our children.  We've heard the echo in our heart, "This is your son.  This is your daughter."  It's up to God.

So this January I'm seeking God in a new way (at least different than the last few years).  I'm introspective...asking God for a Word.  Last year he gave me one.  This year I am praying the same.

I'm pondering how or what I can do for God.  Yes, I know we have nine amazing kids we are raising. For this, for me, I view this as an inward focus.  Our kids are such a part of my husband and I.  I also dream of an outward focus.  I have a couple of thoughts (scary, isn't it?! Me? Thoughts?!), but I'm not quite ready to share yet.

So that's where I am....pondering, introspective, contemplating.  Since these are all three syllables or more you know it's serious (laughing).

Until then, since Christmas cards didn't go out...since family news letters for 2013 remained in my brain...here I am.  Welcome to my review of 2013 (albeit fairly basic).

2013

A flood of paperwork for Jonathan's adoption began this year....NO JOKE.  The "U" paperwork was harder than even our dossier for Russia.  Every time we arrived over one hurdle, there was another in our path.  We even needed the kids to do psychological interviews for this adoption.  Yah, they were diagnosed as crazy (wink).  We all knew it though.

Paperwork, Paperwork, and More Paperwork

In the midst of all of this, we prepared for another big event.  We prepared for our oldest to be the first to graduate through home school.  His graduating class (and beautiful graduation) had forty something seniors. (Do you actually think my brain will retain a number that long? You're funny!)  It's amazing what the senior year requires in planning. 



Tom, our oldest, graduated May 18th of this year.  Our guitar loving, God loving, insane oldest with a secret identity started Junior College (after a huge circus with financial aid...picture juggling clowns and dancing unicorns) and turned nineteen in October.  He's still not quite sure what direction he's heading, Music or Criminal Justice...both seem to draw him.


Sarah enjoyed her junior prom (along with Tom's senior) in May.  It's beautiful and BIG.  People come from all over (even different states) to go to this home school prom.  She and her best friend Lexi enjoyed Prom together.  We're not big on dances, but this one was no pressure with so much to actually do that they all came home saying it was a blast!



A group was performing and Tom was able to join the on stage.


 She is now a senior that turned seventeen in September and holds her straight A average.  (I say this because there is NO WAY I could've done that.  I was a tad bit of a socialite.)  There's always a few classes now that she takes at a Co-op.  I'm not insane.  Ok, I am insane, but not enough to attempt Calculus and Physics.  Sarah is slightly more academically inclined than I was...slightly (silently mouthing "A LOT").  She also, no joke, is crazy funny...and crazy talented with a pencil. 

I tell her to be goofy and this is what I get.

Anna is now 13 (as of December).  She's in the 7th/8th grade.  Ya, it's a home school thing (lol).  They accelerate or slow down whenever needed. Anna is now up to...ummm...seven lizards and about a million lizard books.  She could teach a class, no joke.  I say "no" to more lizards only because of space.  She takes wonderful care of them, it's educational, and pays for all their necessities.  She's now hoping for baby lizards (head on desk).


Max is our 11 year old (August).  He's in 5th grade as we start to see those changes of him getting older.  His passion right now, other than his love for God, is his fish.  For Christmas Max received a ten gallon tank (already had a three gallon which he has now dismantled).  Though school is not his very favorite thing right now (smile), he learns quickly and is ALL BOY!!!!


Though Ben is the next in line when it comes to age, his life has been altered so drastically this year.  I need more space to share his journey.  It's coming in this series, but it can't be contained in a short synopsis.


Bekah is now seven, to be fair almost eight (in February).  She is starting second grade and has an amazing servants heart.  She is one of the most thoughtful children I've met.  The depth of her thought process is not always evident and then, BAM, she blows us out of the water.  She worries about others above herself and has a very unique bond with our newest blessing.  She seeks out our little wounded son.  She is a balm to his spirit.


 
Jael had some excitement this year.  She is now five and announces to everyone that "SHE HAS KNEES!!!!".    She flew, as with everything else, and ROCKED her new legs.   She actually made it into the hospital's calendar this year.  Her inspiration just spreads. 


Jael (as with Gabe and Rachel) is in K-4.  We have our own pre-K class here! :)  She is, as always, just a joy.  Oh, she has her own thoughts and if you get her mad...whew! (smile)  She's learning though.  She's learning to express frustration and it deflates her anger like a pricked balloon.  Letting things out can help each and every one of us.

Jael's Readoption for our state (above and below)
 
 
Gabe and Rachel are four.  Four years and changes galore! 


Gabe is the Energizer Bunny.  He bounces off walls and wrestles with the best of them.  He also is an affectionate and funny little guy.  He's the physically smallest now that Jael grew inches with her new legs.  He's not sure he likes it.  Rachel is still a sweet little Mommy who loves sparkles and pink.  Her personality has grown even more this year as she exerts her independence. 

 
Drop and give me twenty!
 
Here's a text from Sarah while she was babysitting. 

OH MY! RACHEL HAS THE "PITY ME I'M WEAK" GIRL FACE DOWN.  She starts telling me, "Gabe won't play White Christmas with me" and I say "He doesn't have to if he doesn't want to." She sits down and folds her hands and manages to look so pathetic that Gabe says quietly, "I was just joking Rachel." My sister...

It didn't end there though.  Days later....

Rachel, with her arms folded and mad, had her back to Gabe.  "Gabe wants to be my doggy and I don't want him to!" She stated firmly. "Honey", I said, "Do you remember how when Sarah was babysitting you wanted to play 'White Christmas' and even though he didn't really want to, he did?" 

"Yessss"

"Don't you think it's nice to sometimes play what others want." I hedged.

"Yessss"

"So what do you think you need to do Rachel?"

Her eyes light up and she jumps smiling!  "Gabe?!!! You want to play 'White Christmas'?!!!!"

Yah, don't think she got that one (laughing).

Gabe leaves us shaking our heads too though.

"Gabe, why do you love the Wiggles so much?"
Looks up, thinks, and says flippantly, "Guitars and girls..."

We are in so much trouble!



Finally, I'll share a little bit of twin love through a Facebook status.

Oh my! The twins were sleep talking....TO EACH OTHER.
Gabe (sound asleep) mumbles:  "You need to check that. I think it's a fish."
Rachel sound asleep: (Picks up head, eyes closed, and sighs) " I already checked the fish."


_______________________


The kids have all flourished this year, but have also mourned in a way that we've never experienced before.

This is why I didn't write this a week ago...because there HAS been joy and growing...but also many many many tears and loss beyond what we've experienced before.

(To be continued)

1 comment:

  1. You have such sweet, adorable kids! I especially love the picture of the three on the couch. What little beams of sunshine!

    ReplyDelete

In the joy of following our Heavenly Father, we sometimes choose to proceed with a whisper, a verse, or a downright shove...no matter how we follow Him, the momentum that follows is like nothing we've ever experienced before.

Join the momentum...it is a beautiful place to be. It's not always easy, but then the best things never are.

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