Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday Little J!

Today our sweet boy turns 2. This day has created emotions I was not expecting. It's hard not knowing what this day was like 2 years ago. 

Did she have a long labor? What time was he born? How much did he weigh? Did he cry a long time? Was his first cry soft or loud? Was it rainy? Cold? Were the nurses kind to her or impatient? When she held him for the first time and looked into those massive brown eyes was there a moment of thankfulness? A moment where she considered keeping him? Did she really "get" the blessing that she held? Did she try and feed him? Was she lonely or did she have any friends by her side supporting her? Is she thinking about him today? Did she secretly name him? Does she miss him?  I have found myself angry at her for a long time but today I feel sad for her. Is she feeling the same longing that I felt while waiting for this child? This is not an easy process to work through. I know every single detail of my other two's birthday. Down to the seconds they were born and what their first cry sounded like. This is a completely different feeling. So proud to be his mom!!! But left with a heaviness that I believe will never get better. And then on the other side, what about him? 

The other one who helped create this sweet boy? Does he know he had a son that day? Does he know she gave him up? Does he even care? Is he the one Josiah got his humor from? Or is his most handsome face a reflection of that man? Is that where his love of water comes from? Or his short temper? Could he even in a million years guess that this child found a home in the panhandle of Texas with a white American family? Does he even think about the child he helped create? Yes, many questions and emotions.

Today I think I will hold him a little tighter, kiss him a little more and tell him I love him a million times and pray that God will give us peace. The one who went through the labor and pain to get him in the world and the one who is lucky enough to be called "mommy". Two women who will forever be connected. Two women that may never meet face to face but have a mutual love for a very special boy. Only by the grace of God are any of these moments with him possible. And only by His grace do I 'slightly' understand His love for us. 

Now, off the snuggle some more! :) 

Friday, January 31, 2014


I have been on the fence about whether or not to keep blogging. I'm obviously not very consistent. But here I am, sitting at my computer and needing to air out some thoughts I've been having. Warning...this could get wordy. 

Let me begin by saying I have always wanted to be very honest about our adoption journey and the ups and downs, the good, bad and ugliness. But there comes a time when I have to decide when too much is too much. I won't go into every detail but I do want to share where I've been the last few weeks and where I believe I'm going. 

The holidays sucked. There I said it. Don't get me wrong, did I enjoy seeing our families, sharing in the laughter and making memories? Absolutely. But dragging a child that has only been in this family, scratch that, this country only a few months, from house to house, completely off his schedule, and being beyond sleep deprived just plain sucked. He was AMAZING during the family gatherings. He smiled and charmed and played just like he had known all these people his entire life. We only had (a few) meltdowns. It was what happened behind closed doors that made things difficult. Once we left the busyness and went into the quiet, that's when things unraveled. He had a very hard time de-stimulating, relaxing and resting. There were several nights we literally didn't sleep more than a few hours and nothing we did helped. It was heart-breaking to see him struggle. We've had sleep issues since he got home but this went into a whole new level. Add to that the fact that we've dealt with tummy issues since coming home and he tried an abundance of new foods, and you've got a baby that just isn't at ease. 

After wrapping up the holidays, Little Man's basketball season went into full swing and we found ourselves on the road every weekend for a tournament. Again, do I enjoy watching him play? Does Little J enjoy watching him play? Absolutely!! I LOVE watching him play and even though they don't win much, his effort and heart make up for the scoreboard. I would travel wherever I needed to watch him and we will be doing just that later this month (another blog post). Little J has started dribbling any ball he gets his hands on and plays "defense" with his big brother. He wants to be just like him and I love it. But all this travelling didn't help our routine or schedule and things were just not getting any better. He still wasn't sleeping and we were still having major tummy issues. Lack of sleep made for a clingy, unhappy, fussy baby during the day and I was beginning to feel stuck. 

I felt as though I was losing a little of myself everyday and everyone in my family was being affected by it. I don't know if it's depression or exhaustion, but I didn't like where things were headed. I wanted help but I didn't know how to even start. I cried a lot and found myself going into zombie mode where everything started feeling numb. NOT how you want to feel toward a child that you ached for, yearned for, prayed for and loved so deeply it hurt. But I couldn't shake it and felt like I was suffocating in the unknowns. Plus, I don't deal well on little sleep and I was more tired than I ever knew I could be. I wished I knew why he wasn't sleeping and how to help him. We've tried everything under the sun and nothing seemed to work. He was still up 4-5 times a night and at times, would be wide awake for several hours at a time. So after a very serious discussion, Jerod and I decided to start from the inside out. We are determined to find the cause of Little J's discomfort and pain and began seeking answers for his intestinal problems. 

Let me explain these tummy issues...literally, on average, we change between 5-6 dirty diapers a day. To have to change his clothes once if not twice in one day is very normal. But we know it's not normal. This has been going on since we came home. 4 months ago. Something is wrong and we know it is more than just waiting for him to adjust to new foods and environment. We can tell he is in pain. A few tests have been done and we were told that nothing is wrong. I said that's fine as long as his doctor wanted to start doing my laundry and pay for our diaper bill! At the beginning of this week I switched to a different probiotic and HALLELUJAH! things are getting better!! I haven't had to change his clothes during the day at all this week. Also, I got a call from his doctor that we've been referred to a pediatric GI specialist. Praise God!! And we don't have to wait forever to get in, it's next week!

Also, through some help of a family member, we are getting a consultation with an adoption attachment counselor next week. They seem to agree that his difficulty sleeping could be as much psychological as physical. While I believe we are attaching wonderfully, I think he still feels insecure. I want to help him in any way I can to learn that I'm not going anywhere and even if I'm gone for a little while, I will always come back for him. I can't even imagine how hard his beginnings were and my desire to help him heal is deep. I love this little boy with every fiber of my being and I believe he is going to do great things one day. But we have some healing to do and I want him to know I'm going to be there every step of the way.

So to go from being completely desperate and feeling slightly crazy to moving forward in helping my son heal physically and psychologically has been refreshing and spiritually fulfilling. Prayers are being answered and I would like to say thank you. If you've prayed for us, thank you. I feel as though I've been able to come up for air. The weight has been lifted and my soul has been restored. My wonderful hubby took night shift most of the week and I've gotten caught up on some sleep. I hear he's slept better and isn't waking up as much. :) We had a date night. I haven't cried once. I'm no longer a zombie. We get a whole weekend home since before Christmas. I have faith that we're going to get the answers we seek and be able to help him in the ways he deserves.

I am better.

 I am unstuck. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

December 4,5,6 and 7

Okay, so I haven't been as consistent as I had hoped but it has been a very busy week. We have still been doing our kindness advent so I'll catch you up. On the 4th, I sent three packages to three very special families. Two families I've never even met in person but they held such an important role in getting Little J home. They prayed for us, sent encouraging notes, and were just there for us when we needed them and still are with just one email or text. The other family we spent such a short time with but formed a bond nonetheless. Adoption is cool like that. It brings people together that would have never met otherwise and allows them to become friends quickly due to the fact that you're on the same journey moving toward the same goal. All four of us have brought our kiddos home in the last few months and I know that if they are anything like us, they haven't been out and about much. So I thought a family movie night was in order. We packed up a child's Christmas movie, popcorn and movie candy for a night of family fun and then two made their way to Missouri and one is going to California. :) 

On December 5, we paid for the person behind us at the drive-thru. We had lots of ice that day and I thought we were going to have to cancel this day's act but we were able to make it. December 6th our act was to buy a gift card at the store and give it to the person behind us. We decided it would be nice to put that toward someones tank of gas. So we bought a gift card and Princess danced around trying to stay warm as we waited on the next customer to show up. It ended up being a mom with her daughter and after Princess gave her the card, she insisted on coming over to meet and thank us. Princess was so proud. Today we did have to pull the plug on our kindness act. We were scheduled to open doors for shoppers but since it never even made it above 19 degrees, I decided that we could do a 2 for 1 tomorrow and not give my kids pneumonia. 

Rudy is still making a daily appearance. :)

He helped Daddy shave one morning...

He was naughty one night...

And last night he went for a high flying adventure. 

The kids are still enjoying looking for him every morning and they even have Little J saying, "UUdy!" They are anxious for me and their daddy to quit thinking of hiding spots so they can get their turn at hiding him. I know I've said it before, but we don't do the traditional elf on the shelf. The kids know we are the hiders and whoever finds it first, gets to hide it next. But there's so many new places in this house, I'm just not ready to give up my turns yet. ;)

So that's what we've been up to this week! I'll try and do better at keeping up to date.