Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sophie update!

Hello sweet friends! We have been quiet here on the blog as we took our time healing and trying to put our family back together after the boys were removed. The only way I can explain it is to compare it to an explosion. Coming home with the boys and the five months they lived with us was the explosion part. After they were removed was the aftermath- the rubble that once was our lives. So yes, the danger was over, but there was nothing left of our lives afterwards. Things didn't just go back to normal- normal had been obliterated. It's hard to rebuild a life when everything about your old life is now dust. But rebuilding we are, slowly. And yes, it really is making us stronger. I can't say yet that it was all worth it- just being real here- but maybe in time I can look back and see that there was a good reason for it all. Maybe. God doesn't owe me that, though, so I try not to dwell on that too much. I've got enough to keep me busy every day (and night) taking care of miss Sophers and her new baby sister! Yes, in the midst of all of this, we had a baby girl! She has been our "healing baby" and every time I look at her I'm blown away by the magnitude of God's power and love. We didn't struggle with infertility, adoption was our plan A- but we didn't plan on having a baby during the toughest and most stressful year of our lives, that's for sure! Miraculously, my pregnancy went smoothly and with no complications from stress, and our baby girl has been such a happy and sweet baby. And she's obsessed with her big sister, let me tell you! Love's her! I'm sure once she can walk, she'll be fetching all of Sophie's toys she throws across the room all day long :)

And how is Sophers doing? Well...she loves school, she loves toys that play music and have buttons she can push/tap/hit/chew on. She loves her sister as long as she's not crying. She loves being outside in the sunshine. She loves riding in cars as long as the windows are down and she can feel the wind on her face. She is growing super fast and is getting really hard to lift. She has changed my entire lifestyle (I'm homebound if she's home, basically, since it's so hard to lift her into a carseat!) but I'm settling into my new routine and finding that I like being home more often now. I'm getting a lot more writing done (I had to leave my job to care for Soph and the baby, and I'm really loving being a stay at home mom), and I'm getting back into sewing, which is making me very happy. We have an awesome respite family who will take Soph for us for weekend sleepovers sometimes and I really miss her when she's gone, even though it's nice to get a break from the sleepless nights (child thinks sleep is for the weak!) and the diaper blowouts and the mountains of laundry and the constant stimming. Though it's gotten to the point now, after 18 months home, that when she's gone I think it's too quiet at home! I've gotten used to the multiple phone calls a day for medical stuff and a permanently aching back from lifting her (did I mention she is HEAVY?) It's still amazing to me that she attached to us so quickly. She is a miracle and lights up our lives, even though it is hard caring for her. One day I'll write a post about what it's like day to day caring for a kiddo with her level of needs, in case you are wondering about adopting a kiddo like her :) For now, I'm going to guzzle down another cup of coffee (thank goodness for coffee...) and I'll share some photographic evidence of our sweet girly's progress :)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

One year home

What a year it has been.

Thank you all for continuing to pray for us and check in on us! I can’t imagine where we would be right now without the huge support of our family and friends. God has blessed us tremendously through all of you helping us limp through this time.

I have held off from posting since what has happened this year has been so difficult to get through, let alone process into coherent words. I don’t want to go into detail, since I want to protect the boys’ privacy, but I can share that they both had to be removed from our home due to extreme safety concerns. They both ultimately had been through so much trauma in their short lives that they were unable to live safely in our home and rejected us completely. I still love them. But we also have been left with trauma of our own. We are recovering from PTSD like symptoms as we try to move on and put our family back together. 

Happily, there are positives that I’m choosing to focus on instead. The boys formed an attachment with some local friends of ours who were planning on adopting. The boys wanted to move in with them, and they agreed. So far, the boys are managing to behave safely in their home. The family now plans on adopting both boys as soon as they can, and Alden and I are very grateful to God for providing the perfect family for the boys at just the right time.

As traumatic as this year has been for us (and I'm still processing through it and what it all means for us and other adopting families going through similar situations...) God has still blessed us in so many ways. Sophie has been our light through all of this. She is doing so well! She has attached to us, she is growing, she is learning new things and her self harming behaviors have reduced drastically. She loves school and loves life! I can’t imagine our lives without her- as cliché as that sounds it is absolutely true. I’ll try to share some pictures of our princess soon so you can see how much she is changing. We love you all and thank you again for all your support- it has meant the world to us.

Friday, November 14, 2014

3 months in

Hey all! Today marks 3 months home with our kiddos and what a crazy 3 months it has been. I'm not going to lie to you- we weren't prepared at all. We thought we were. We "planned" and "researched" for 3 years before we brought our kids home. We joined adoption groups and took hours of training and read all the books and blogs out there and thought we were ready. We knew it was going to be hard. We thought it would be like trying to swim across the Atlantic with nothing but little floaties on our arms. We were mentally prepared for that long distance swim- trusting that faith would keep us from drowning. We got as ready as possible, put on our floaties, and jumped in feet first. But then we realized it was never an ocean we were going to swim through at all. It was actually an erupting volcano full of lava. And now we were dead. No going back or starting over- dead. Disintegrated by the scorching heat. My thoughts were as follows:

Um...where the heck is the ocean, God? The ocean would have been hard enough! Impossible to cross without you! Where the heck did this lava come from? No one told us about the lava!!!!!! We weren't ready for lava! We didn't choose lava! If we had known it was lava, we would have been too scared and we would have said no! This isn't fair! I don't want to be dead! What are you doing, God? 

 Our first month post volcano can be summed up into one word: Terror. Second month was more like, Freak Out. This past third month? I almost want to say Bearable, but the truth is none of this is bearable. Adoption is not bearable. It's brutal and it kills you. You cannot swim in lava. It's not possible to survive jumping into lava. But at some point in these past 3 months, after we were long dead, I started to notice something strange. None of this was bearable, and I was dead, and yet...somehow...I was still getting up every morning and trying again. And again. And again. Failure, despair, sleep, get up, try again. Failure, despair, sleep, get up, try again. Over and over. And I thought, wait, this isn't possible. It's not possible for a human who is dead to be able to get out of bed every day and keep trying again. Not humanly possible.

And then it clicked. Not humanly possible.

Oh yeah. Hi God, you died when you adopted me, but then you came back to life, didn't you? You are powerful enough for that. You can cause a bush to burn, but not be consumed. It's not humanly possible, but with you all things are possible. 

So, in light of all that, I would have to say this past 3rd month has actually been more like...Hope. Which doesn't make sense to me at all, because I'm dead. Our old life will never be again. The old me will never be again. And yet we have hope? Not humanly possible. Only because of God and his amazing power and mercy.

Adoption is brutal. It's awful. If I had known the truth, I would have been too afraid to say yes. Because I am human and flawed. Thankfully, God knew best for me and my kids. Thankfully, He brought us together. Thankfully, he kept holding on to us as we were dying. Amazingly, He is still getting us through each day and making us into a stronger, brand new family.

To Him be all the glory for this. Because only God could have brought my family back to life.

Maybe someday I'll write more with actual details, but right now I'm sure my kids wouldn't want their business blasted over the internet by their mom ;) As proof that we are seeing glimmers of hope in the darkness, here are some pictures of my amazing, brave, survivor children :)

First camping trip

 some OT shaving cream fun- had to sneak this one ;) 

First football game

Bleary-eyed for first day of school

And then our princess :) First pic is first day of school, about 2 weeks home, second two pics are from just a few weeks after that :) 

We still have a long road of healing to walk down, but if you were to come up to me now and ask me "Was dying worth it?" I can honestly look you in the eye and say, "Because God is who he says he is, yes. Yes it was."