Monday, May 31, 2010

Floodgates are opening wide...
















This Saturday's garage sale was awesome! I had a goal of making half of the 5100 for the tickets to Ghana. We totally made half :-)! Its been amazing to watch how God has moved in the hearts of people with generosity and support, even people that don't know us! Even if no one bought anything they would throw change or a few dollars in the jar and when they didn't they came and gave us good wishes and prayers for our children. My garage was FULL, to the max of items donated by friends. It was amazing! Then my friends stayed with me all day on Thursday to price and organize, and Friday afternoon to get it all done! On Saturday morning the masses came, old friends and new friends. Here are some of the really awesome stories.

1. My friend Amie donated a vintage type writer. I remember my grandmother having the exact kind when I was growing up. When I began my love of writing she allowed me the paper and ink ribbon to give it a go. I would sit in the open air balcony, the type writer sitting on a old mahogany table, the trade winds blowing though the mango, and avocado trees over looking the sea and the sound of the waves crashing as I tapped tapped tapped my heart away. Opening up the type write case all those smells and feelings came to me again. I had to have it. So I marked $45 on it! Yes I so did so no one would buy it. Someone would come to the sale and low ball me I just know it. On Saturday my friend Rebeca took it to my laundry room and wrote me a check for it. She said there...I just bought it for you :)! LOVE.

2. A new friend of mine came to see what she can buy, bought 14 dollars worth of things handed us a check for $386 over..ahh YEAH. FOR REAL!

3. Friends that could not come to the sale...because they live to far, clicked on my pay pal link and donated too :).

I tell you the love.
4. Someone saw my Craig's listing for the adoption garage sale and wrote me a sweet email that they were touched by our efforts to bring our child home. A very nice note.

5. My best neighbor ever decided to (after buying half my garage) make lunch for everyone. She grilled burgers and hot dogs and brought it by. So sweet right!

6. The big advertising FACEBOOK friends did a great job at sharing with others. I got plenty of sales that way from friends that posted to come to our house!
7. Our church leadership donated to our ticket purchase. This was such a huge blessing for us, I think they could have handed me a dollar and said we love you and support you and that would have been enough. Our head pastor has been very supportive and encouraging and that's been very comforting for Frank and I to get!
8. My children were the best sellers ever. J-man the oldest was born selling his umbilical cord. Not kidding, the kid can sell anything. He sold a brown paper trader Joe's bag to a friend of mine for a .25 cents. I thought she would laugh but she really got it! He also sold things he bought at the dollar store going out of business for triple the cost. I know the kid is a genius! ;)
Overall, it was a great time! I love all of you for coming for sharing that we had one for donating your goods, your time, and your love to our family. Soon we will see them and I can't wait to introduce my children to you!
I have tons more of the stories these were my top favorite! The Love surrounding us has been humbling and so amazing, I can't stop smiling :-)!
We do still have a need people have asked and so the need is double what we made it will come. Come on...what God am I serving?! He is so good!

Next Goal: The other half which would be $2400

when do we leave? we are wating for visa pick up dates to buy tickets but soon!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Can I get a WOOT WOOT!

We moved our garage sale to Saturday May 29, we got the call that the labs would have DNA results next Thursday on June 3. I thought if its bad news I will need to cry and I will not want to spend the weekend on June 4-5 thinking all about it. If its good news then I will be needing to plan for my trip and I will not want to worry about a Garage sale. Plus I need the cash to buy our tickets so tomorrow it is ;). I was so worried that I would have all these wonderful friends donating items and then on Thursday ''if'' we got some bad news I would have to tell everyone that I have some money to donate back to their pockets or perhaps for some medication that I will now be needing...just kidding!
I was so concerned that if the DNAs did not match it would be devastation on our whole family. Not to mention to two children that so badly want us and know we want them! Moving the date for the garage sale would be a leap of faith. So we did it we moved the dates. Still worried that I was moving forward with no news yet. Today we go the call that the DNAs were tested and early and it was 99.98% MATCH!! Woot woot.
Next step...oh it better be the visas. Ghana Embassy of Accra if you are reading this PLEASE oh PLEASE grant the visas for our kids next week. No really there should be no more nothing but a visa issue. I am so sure they will issue a visa that I plan on leaving next Friday June 4!
It give the embassy 4 days to give us a visa pick up date right?!
Crazy but I feel this is it. I feel our fight is over. I really do! So, tomorrow we will be needing to make 5180, it was more, but our Westwood church family has donated to our cause. Thank you Lee and the elder board :)! Thank you to all the amazing friend I have to fill I mean FILL my garage with some nice goods, and for two days my house has been filled with friends coming droping things by, staying to help price, staying for a snack and coffee. We feel so overjoyed and supported just by your presense in my house. Now lets see...will tommorow be a miracle..you never know!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Contentment

You know that feeling you have when you get a perfect cup of java and sweet young birds singing and spring has sprung with its beautiful bright flowers the sunshine is warming your skin through the window and your kids are even being nice. That feeling called happiness. Now take away the latte, bring on the rain and have the kids bicker back and forth until you feel like you will totally loose it. Your a mom and you know the feeling I am talking about utter chaos! Contentment is the feeling you have when you are okay with the latter, when being not necessarily latte giddy but just okay is contentment. You don't need to be happy with it, you don't need to be little Miss Sunshine, just okay.
Its a word I struggle with because I see it so often misused to mean that if you are not happy in the situation you are in, you are not content. Some of us face really hard and difficult situations every single day. Perhaps your husband has left your nest, perhaps your child has walked away from a faith life, or perhaps your bills are more than the income you bring home. No one expects for you to be happy go lucky and peppy when all of life is crumbling along side you.
Philippians 4:12 tells us
'I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.''
Contentment means to be satisfied to have ease of mind. It the feeling you get when you are not too full and not to hungry the middle the satisfied. That's it.
Its a hard thing. I struggled with this one so much years ago the need to have more and need more. Honestly its old head still tries to creep up on me.
There is a worship song that goes like this ... by Chris Tomlin
''All of You is more than enough for all of me For every thirst and every need You satisfy me with Your love And all I have in You is more than enough You are my supply My breath of life And still more awesome than I know You are my reward worth living for And still more awesome than I know All of You is more than enough for all of me For every thirst and every need You satisfy me with Your love And all I have in You is more than enough You re my sacrifice Of greatest price And still more awesome than I know You re the coming King You are everything And still more awesome than I know More than all I want More than all I need You are more than enough for me More than all I know More than all I can say You are more than enough for me''

In all honestly sometimes I seek for contentment in other things to satisfy me. Sometimes its friendship's and then I get so burnt when seasons have changed and friendships just change because its life, God reminds me very well, that I can not seek it there. Then I seek it in my children and even though there is so much love there, my children are human and they disappoint sometimes as I do to them. Sometimes my husband and I am satisfied with my husband but when I become a gimme gimme need more romance need more time with you suffocating maniac guess what I do the opposite of what I want.
contentment can only be found with God's help and understand that He is more than enough for me and more than enough for you! Praying that if you find yourself in a situation where you are looking for contentment outside of Him that you will be reminded that that lead to a long road of hurts and loss. He is so close waiting by to fill ya up again :)!

Natalie

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Floodgates Open Wide...oh Please!


My friend Erica who is fundraising for the adoption of her daughter in Ethiopia wrote a blog post today about a comment she received concerning someones negative view of her fundraising. I have had many people ask my where my donate button is on my blog because I have taken it down, for the same fear in my own heart, of what people would say if I am asking for money for our adoption.

Erica, you have put your words up on your blog concerning what fundraising for adoption really is We are raising a ransom for our children! Erica has eloquently posted how vulnerable it is to take the step and ask for help. Its scary to put yourself out there to be criticized, or invite comments that even though are valuable they can still hurt. The one comment I have heard concerning our and other adoptions is .. why are you adopting if you can not afford it? Hmmm...well to begin to answer this question you need to ask yourself what you think rich is? Because the standard will seem so different to so many people. There is a story of Bill Gates visiting a rural and poverty stricken village in India. A reporter sat down with Gates and this woman as Gates was asking her questions. Gates left the woman's small house and the reporter asked her ''Did you know one of the richest men in all the world was sitting in your house?'' The woman replied ''Everyone from the west is Rich!'' There you have it a standard we will never understand as Americans. We are rich. We have very little compared to many Americans, but very much compared to the whole world. I suppose the answer to that question is How can I afford not to? You will be amazed to see God move they way he does through adoptive families, because as believers we are called to this its not an option its a command to care for the orphans. So, there is an opportunity to do so with so many options out there and even in families adopting as well.

We are still in need for tickets to go to Ghana and yes we have done some major cutting back so we can add to the funds ourselves, and will continue to. However the tickets were a small fortune before and now going into summer they are even more! I know God will provide there is no question to me that he wont. My final attempt is a garage sale

so if you have any items you would like to donate to our sale. Look through your closets and see if there are anything you would like to part with, some of my friends has asked their children to look at their things to see what they can give away for G and E to come home.

The sale is at my house on Saturday June 5...I hope to be on a plane the following week to Ghana. Also my button will go back up, I wont limit God not for my own fear. If you are local and have things you would like to donate or if you don't and want to come help sell on that day...I will supply coffee and would love to have you old friends and new ;)!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Little Rubers is 3

Ethiopia August 2007





This sweet angel turned three on Monday and went on a mommy date to get Hot coco and went shopping to Mommy's favorite toy store Wind up Here toys. Its one of those classical toy store you don't find most of these toys at Toys R Us. Guess what she picked out (with a little help ;) a ballerina jewelery box, you know they kind we all had as growing girls they one you wind up in the back and open up to a magical place of melody and your own treasure and imagination? Its bliss. She plays it about a gazillion times a day. As soon and she opens it up her eyes are set on the dancing ballerina figure that spins round and round and then she begins to imitate her.
Its so precious raising a girl. Moms and dads of girls I bet you agree (sometimes not!) My little miss is my buddy that LOVES to shop, LOVES to try things on and LOVES all things that sparkle. BUT, she can also play superman and unfortunately has learned to make gun sounds and bomb noises like her brothers, my favorite is she has made toot sounds too, that's classic little sister. What do you do!
She is the kinda girl you can go anywhere with because you know she wont make you feel uneasy meeting new people. She introduces me to EVERYONE she meets. YES, she meets people all the time. It always starts out with ''Hi, whats your name" in a very peppy and cute little voice ever. Then she will say "Hi...so and so my name is Ruby and my mom she is Nalie"
C*U*T*E! I don't see her as the kinda gal to have any kinda of drama or confrontation at all....I LOVE THAT part!
Happy Birthday sweet Pea, WE ADORE YOU!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Oh my heart.



Last night as I tucked my sweet boy A in, I usually lay with all my kids and talk about the day with them so does dad. It takes like an hour to do all the kids but its so worth it. Sometimes it doesnt happen so don't give kudos just yet. We have been gluten-free and dairy free for a week and a half, except I have snuck some bread and dairy for myself..shh...don't tell!

The only thing I have noticed is that A is a little more clear headed. He is able to hold a conversation with me more. Last night shocked me to the core. I am still as I write this heartbroken.

I laid next to him and said how much I love to be able to do this..just hold him. Then he said to me ''Mom..me too, I am glad you are lying down next to me, I love this too!'' WHAT?!! A usually would giggle and say something funny he does not share fuzzy emotions that easily. That shocked me, then here it is. He asked me if he could talk to me about something. Again floored, but I say of course, anytime. Then he very quietly asks ''Mom why did God make me like this*retarded*"... I am not kidding. Those were his words as quickly as they came out tears flowed from my face. He had never really touched on the fact on how different he was. Then he continued ''He made me fat, I just want to be skinny, I hate being me!''

I tell you these words cut like a knife to my heart. I try to gain control of myself to answer a very knowledgeable and loving answer and the words did not form too well in my mind. ''A...You are exactly the way you are to be, Your size and your personality is What God loves of you. I understand what its like to be different to not like the body you are given to not like to skin you are in, I am so sorry you feel this way my son...but look into my eyes. You are Loved just as you are''...tears flowing from both our faces now. Then he says '' Mom...I can't stop the eating I hide the food because I am always hunger. And people have called me fat. He used names of the children that say these words, he does not forget. I just want to not worry about having boobs (this one crushed me) and I want to not worry about how my pants fit. But I can't stop eating, because I am always hungry''. He continued "The other thing I can't stop using bad words, I fall down and I have to say it, I tried I really tried to not say them mom, but it comes right out of my mouth and I have to yell the D word, the B-word, mom even the F-word, I need you to give me something to help me. Not blood draws just a pill that would take it all away. This is a six year old, my six year old saying these words to me. HE has never used words like this to express his deep pain.EVER.

Being his mom I could tell that he is hurting when I hear that other kids called him fat, which make me really have a hard time because really we need to teach our children to be tolerant and loving with other people. Focusing on the shape of people bodies does no good, and to call another child ''fat'' can be so harmful.

I see the hurt in his eyes, when he can't control in anger. I know he wants to not do it, he just can't control himself. To hear him say these words oh my heart, my baby boy.
After I loved on the sweet thing and prayed with him and thanked him for using his words and sharing his hurts with me. I chatted about our plan of action with him, we were working on helping him, A magic pill may or may not take this away, but we were hoping that other things would help first. I had a pow wow meeting with dad, and brother and shared his pain. Both of them had tears in their eyes, and my oldest son said ''Permission to clobber anyone that makes fun of him?" By Clobber I am assuming you put in place respectfully first then yes! CLOBBER THEM! :) We talked about how our words can hurt even if its done in a funny way. We talked about how sometimes people feel pain and they don't really know how to share it so it comes out very angry. We talked about how we are changing things in our family to help all of us and I don't want anyone blaming the changed on A. I will clobber them!

He is a bigger kid, he is very tall and his charts numbers are way above and beyond the average six year old. We don't eat junk at my house, I am very wise on what goes into our family's pantry, no preservative junk here. So its not like we give our kids soda and Cheetos in lunch. We know he was born to be just a tad bigger by the time he came home from the hospital he was 10 pounds, and ate like a champ! There are things going on his body, we are seeking and will find an answer hopefully.

We are working hard to find out what and why he has to eat to feel full all the time. There are some blood works right now being done for some conditions they are looking into that can help us learn about his body. In the meantime we continue this diet, it has allowed my son to think clearly enough to share his true heart with me.

Anyone have tips on how to help build a child's self esteem. I get it starts at home. I am fighting guilt for not knowing how to help and build him up, but here it is in the raw. I am need some ideas.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Challenge....I laugh at you!

( this is me walking our son Hudson unto heart surgery before he passed away back in 2006)


I am that kinda gal who has a high pain tolerance. The one that can probably be one of the last ones voted off in Survivor, God just gave me that kind of personality to where I can handle the hard stuff without loosing my mind. Or maybe I already have and that's why I can handle stuff well?! Or Maybe because my faith in Christ that leads me to Him when I try to handle them myself has been a lesson taught over and over in my life.. one I keep having to re-learn again and gain.


Not sure. For some reason, I usually get the short end of the stick with challenges that are faced my way. The hardship that I have come out through my Savior has been nothing short of a miracle. Seriously.


We have faced the death of a child, two children at home one with mild special needs one with much more severe special needs and more to come our way. There are days when it seems overwhelming, and days when I know I am just surviving on a string. Lately its been the string!


We took our oldest out of school to home school him for a few months while we figured out what was going on with him. Now we have figured it out with some help of Psychologist and we have gotten together with his teacher, school psychologist and principal to come up with a plan on how he can get back to school. Many home school activist think the best place for my children are at home. I BEGG to differ. I LOVE being with my kids, its something I truly long for. However, my kids will Not get the best of me while I am trying to help them with their emotionally needs as well as educational needs. I have read tons of books on home school, and thinks its great! However for our family, for right now its not the best. He is back at school has been for three weeks and is loving friendships and doing so well. His issue was not academically its was through relationships and now that he has a few tricks he can pull out of the bag for social situations, he is handling it pretty well. I am so proud of that guy!
I am very good now at knowing what I can do great at and what will go to the back burner and all the stuff we are going through now is very good to have them with a constant schedule, something I DO NOT thrive on.
Our six year old A, is going through so much at this time. Tantrums have been in down right outrage, bathroom accidents in the actual bathroom are everyday, the words that he chooses to come out of his mouth when he is angry or even in any situation is truly jaw dropping. We have tried every I mean EVERY consequence in the book. All of them in a consistent manner, and nothing faces this little guy. We can tell He can not even handle his own emotions from his body, to see him loose it and not be happy with it is so hurtful for us to see. Or to watch the siblings get tense when he walks into the room, I know he knows, and its heartbreaking.

People on the outside are very quick to give opinions or solutions when they have no idea what is going on with this little dude. I wont lie, some days I get tense when I know he will ask a question and I have to say no.
There is a reason God gave me children with special needs, He must have know that this mama wont stand down and will fight for them. I want them to be successful to have solid relationships and feel good about the people that God is making them to be. I want them to know they are loved and they are not that different when they really look around, all have our really awkward and strange things. Normal is really strange I think!

The next thing God gave them was an awesome dad! Who loves them just as they are.
It reminds me of our Abba, he doesn't wait for us to get over a tantrum to love us, or waits for us to thinking normally to love us. He loves us exactly the way we are.

Its comical when people say God does not give you more than you can handle, really find that one is scripture friend. Its not there. Its a paraphrase from 1 Corinthians 10:13 that deals with temptation a better paraphrase would be .God would not lead you in a situation where sin is the only way out. It has nothing to do with giving you something beyond your own ability becuase why else would we even need a Savior? He does give us promises to walk with us and to carry us when our legs have given up the walk. What better way to teach us about His charcter while building ours?

Challenging life....You have meet your match because I laugh in your face. I come from a very Strong gene of strong women before me. Best of all the women before me have taught me how to bow my knees in prayer to ask for Help when we know it would be impossible to go on, to go on full on face prayer when I want to throw in the towel, to even laugh in the midst of trials.
Dios is podereso, el puede haecer todo lo que pedas. Thats my grandma's wisdom is spanish ''God is poweful, He can do anything I ask in His name!
You picked the wrong gal to deal with becuase by the Grace of Jesus I am DEALING!
So how about you are there times when you feel like you can't handle the challenges anymore? That they are too strong to even lift your head up even one more day. Friend, you were not meant to bear that cross on your own. Its not yours to carry. My Jesus is PROMSING to help you. Its his Specialty. So come all you who are heavey burned, there is rest for you! Mat:11:28
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Pray for sweet Abby Riggs!!