Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January Numbers

Our January Numbers:

Boy: 46
Girl: 63
Siblings: 25

All weekend when someone would ask my numbers I said "46, 64 and 24."  When I was first asked those numbers 'sounded' right... at least I was close [smile]. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

This weekend.

This weekend was amazing.

I am processing everything.  Everything I learned.  Everything I felt.  Everything I received. 

I laughed (a lot), cried (a lot) and met some of the women I hold closest in my heart.  For the first time.  Yes it was little weird to see some one's face, glance at their name tag and then immediately throw your arms around them.  Weird, but the best kind of weird imaginable.

I came home rested, refreshed and rejuvenated. 

Learning, connecting and basking in God's presence filled my time away.

I came home to my sweet son who only snubbed me briefly and my wonderful husband who somehow knows exactly what I need and supports my time away even if it means a lot more work for him. 

More to come once I'm done processing.  I'm a slow processor and am just reveling in the goodness Created for Care brought me. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

1st Bicycle Ride

Monday Gabe rode a bicycle for the first time.  Pride filled my heart and tears pricked my eyes as he rode proudly out of therapy.  I am continually amazed by the miraculous ways Gabe continues to do his thing and show the world everything he's made of.  Perseverance, drive and the ability to do the impossible are just a few of the ways Gabriel shines... he can teach us all a lesson about never giving up or giving in.  

I'm awed by this sweet little boy that somehow, I've been given the privilege of calling mine.

Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”
Dean Karnazes

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kings and Queens

I used to love Audio Adrenaline when I was younger; they even played at Winterfest one year and my friends and I were so excited.

I hadn't heard anything new from them in a while when I pulled into the driveway one day and saw their name pop-up on the display of our radio.  Gabe and I sat in the car while I listened to their new (to me, at least) song. 

"And of course, tears pricked my eyes.  Especially at these words:
Little hands, shoeless feet, lonely eyes looking back at me
Will we leave behind the innocent too brief
On their own, on the run when their lives have only begun
These could be our daughters and our sons
And just like a drum I can hear their hearts beating
I know my God won’t let them be defeated
Every child has a dream to belong and be loved"
Watch it if you dare.  Have a tissue at hand. 

I love this song.  I am excited that God is using another musician to spread his mandate to love the orphan.

I'm also super excited that this evening I'll be meeting up with some of the most amazing women who are being his hands and feet and loving the 'least' of these.

Created for Care here I come!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It happened at Les Mis

 A few weeks back some last minute plans landed me sitting in a darkened theater tears silently running down my cheeks while I watched Les Miserables.   If you haven't seen Les Mis (the musical or the movie) it is a beautiful story of redemption.  Love and revolution, adoption and loss; the plot is just beautiful.  I read the play in high school and have loved it ever since.
Nearly 3 hours later the finale came.  And it had me in pieces.  Fantine (who is dead and welcoming Valjean into the afterlife) and Jean Valjean (who is dying) sing together:

"Take my hand
And lead me to salvation
Take my love
For love is everlasting
And remember
The truth that once was spoken
To love another person
Is to see the face of God."

It was the lyrics at the end, the words "To love another person is to see the face of God" that turned the steady stream of tears into still silent (hopefully) sobs.  As I processed the words, for the first time in over a month I felt a small glimmer of peace.  Not the peace that passes understanding but the peace that allows you to take a deep breath and relax your shoulders a little bit. 

There are some things I will never understand.  Certain questions continue to haunt me.  Why did we lose our referral?  How could our agency go to bat for another family but not ours?  Will there be a Christmas that is tainted by waiting, loss or both? 

I don't know the answers to those questions (and more) but I'm making my way at finding peace.  Some of that peace is found in my usual spot of delving into scripture but other parts of that peace appear where I least expect it; at the end of a musical turned movie, watching Toy Story cuddled with Gabe, peeking at Matt and Gabe from around the corner or just quick texts with friends. 

Peace.  Grief.  It's a little bit bittersweet, a little bit ugly and remarkably, a little bit beautiful as well.

**photos from google images.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Little Rewind Part 2

Christmas day dawned early and bright. After our traditional reading of Jesus' birth in Luke and breakfast, we started to open presents.  I say started because Gabe still does not like opening presents. And that's an understatement.  I opened one gift for him that I knew he'd love and we left the rest for when his cousins visited.  They loved opening up presents for Gabriel.

And I was right.  Gabe loved Cranky the Crane. 
 This Christmas brought another round of "waiting for you" photographs.  Although I wanted to take them to document our journey to our next little one, seeing and holding our "waiting for you" sign ignited the rawness of the feelings that hadn't quite had the chance to quell yet.

 Shortly before lunch, everyone arrived!   As always, Gabe was thrilled to spend the day with his cousins.

The aftermath.

 After a delicious dinner of ham and potatoes, lasagna and all the accompanying fixings, it was time for the annual cousin Christmas photo.

Samuel (7), Jacob (8), Ethan (10), Gabriel (3) and Caleb (15)

Gabe trying to escape.

After lunch, we headed over to Matt's mom and grandma's house for dessert.  It's not Christmas without wrestling.  This time Uncle Tony fell under Gabe's wrath [smile].

Gabe actually took the initiative to open a present with Grandma Donna.  It was so fun to watch him actually enjoy opening a gift and seeing what was inside.  Inside was a set of 100 blocks.  Those blocks went right to work while playing with Uncle Chris and have seen some building action every single day since.
December brought snow to Ohio and Gabe's first chance to play in it.  Last year when we were here visiting there wasn't any snow and the past two years before Gabe was too little to play out in the snow.  We have brought snow into him to play with in the house but there is nothing like playing outside in the snow.

Papo and Gabe made snow angels.

Snow Basketball

 Gabe had what was his worst temper tantrum ever when it was time to come in.  All of the snow has melted now but surely there will be more snow (c'mon, it's Ohio) and more time to play outside in it. 

Shortly before all the snow melted away Gabe had some more visitors.  Grandma and Gigi came to spend the afternoon with him!

Grandma and Gabe playing with the heater, letting the warm air blow their hair all crazy. 

Gigi, Gabe and Grandma
Another favorite activity:  flipping the camera around on my phone and using it to see ourselves.  Gabe loves to watch himself yell.  This days fun took place in Gabe's tent.  Watching yourself yell in a tent?  Could life get any better?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Not Empty

I found this on pintrest:

Pintrest can be a very bad thing when I stay up late pinning... but very good when you find something encouraging.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thankful Thursday Volume 6

One week from today I will be arriving in Atlanta where I will meet some of my dearest friends for the first time!  Sounds irrational that I'm meeting dear friends for the first time but that is the blessing of the Internet and adoption networking. 
I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to go to this conference; to learn how to be a better mama to my little one(s), to refresh my spirit with worship and moments with God and to connect with other adoption loving, orphan advocating, God fearing women.  I'm not sure if I'll laugh, cry or both when I meet some of these amazing women. 

Matt will be taking Friday off work and spend the weekend answering to the boss man, I mean, Gabe [smile].   I'm a little anxious about leaving Gabe, but so thankful that I won't have to worry about him for the weekend.  Matt is an awesome daddy and I'm certain Gabe is going to request I leave more often after all the fun he'll have on his "boys only" weekend. 

Excited.  Thankful.  Blessed.  That just about sums it up.