Friday, May 27, 2011

Remeber sweet Anika (post a few down)

The baby girl needing a family. SHE HAS ONE!! I am blown away by how God did this. Okay nothing surprises me by HIM, but please read this about her new family and go read her story here.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I want to adopt BUT..What If I don't love the adopted child like my biological child?

My second son A man at one month old
Great question. Really it is. This was a GINORMOUS fear of mine. I had three biological sons. We lost one at three months old Hudson Sawyer, you can see his sweet face on the side bar. I was afraid that love could not grow in my heart again. More concerned when we were tossing around the idea of adoption. I nursed my babies, I am fully bonded with them. I would take a bullet for them any day. I can turn into a mama bear for them within seconds. Was this feeling just through biology? Would I share the same heart with a child not from my womb? Can it ever be? Its is a fear that even if we don't say out loud so many of us adoptive parents have shared. If you have biological children then you may remember the same feeling having your second child. Could I love this second child when ALL my love is for my first? How is this even going to work? You have your baby in your arms and you even feel silly at the idea you had about dividing your love, because now you realize your love has the capacity to multiply.
How so with a baby that was not formed inside of you, that spent 9 months getting to know your voice your?
Here is an honest confession. When my babies were placed in my arms my biological babies. Although I knew I would love them, I felt a bit stoic. As if there was to much emotion to even understand what exactly I was feeling. So hours later for sure I am sobbing at the awe of how many fingers and toes they had, the small details of their face and in LOVE.
Fast forward with little Roo placed in my arms at three months old. The exact age of when our son died in our arms. I watched the video with her the other day. I had the same feeling of love and compassion, but it was different. Not in a bad way different not at all. I was shocked at how I could bond this easy with my newly Ethiopian daughter. It was a piece of cake!
Our second adoption I was completely fearful. I was picking up a 4 year old and 8 year old. I had no expectations of this kind of love. I was an instant mom when we said yes to them. I became a mama bear, and was defensive for them and willing to take a bullet for them too! This feeling did not remain the same when we meet for the first time. I hate to break it to you, perhaps I am the minority in this. BUT, I felt that these kids that I loved in a photo, were strangers in my home. My son 4, bonding became very easy with him. It took weeks, but no doubt. I love him just the same! I wish I WISH I could have said the same for my older daughter. Our bonding was not instant in anyways. She was an injured soul. She did everything imaginable to push me away from loving her. Love hurt her, why would she want it? I went through major guilt. How could I feel this way, how can I not have compassion like I do with the others for her?
I can tell you this. The Lord took me (is taking me) through much of the darkness of my own heart through this. It was easy loving a baby. A baby needed me, I needed to be a mama to those babies. This big one, was a bigger baby in another sense. Even though I Love her to pieces now, even though I have my times where I struggle and I know she struggles. I WOULD DO IT AGAIN. NO REGRETS. Because even though the love was not instant for me nor for her to me, the Love I have for her and I am having for her as time goes on, is creating a bond with us forever.
So there you have it folks. Its not a Cinderella happy every after story. We have a ton of growth to go a ton of healing ahead of us. Just the same way I can not answer which one of my kids I love the most, I can not answer if I love the bio ones more because they are all equal for me in love in there own time. If you are really honest with yourself there is always one or a couple of kids you are really liking right now and some or one not so much right? Yet you love them all always. Its kinda the same in this stage in our lives. Love grows. Its always growing.
DO not let this overwhelm your heart. Your mama or pappa heart will expand to fit more and more kiddos. Have you ever heard someone say I love my kids but really I wish I stopped at the last two, because Oh my word, I have no love left for them!!! Gee I hope you have not either. You can LOVE a child that is not from your womb, You WILL love a child not from your womb, You will GRIEVE the days they were not with you, as you watch (ed) the things with your bio kids, first steps, first teeth, etc. especially when the growing force behind your lack of ability to is from our Abba daddy!
Praying for you, please let this not keep you from following something you know the Lord has placed in your heart. You will look back at this and think it was a silly idea to not go forward. I promise!

I want to adopt BUT...Series

Lucky for me Blogger now has a stats tab. You can find what post over the year, months or days have the most hits. I am not surprised to find that this one took the win by hundreds, its about wanting to adopt when your husband does not share the same sentiment. Not surprising becuase I know there are so many of you that want to adopt. You spend countless hours reading posts and filling your key board with tears ;) you want to so bad. So I thought it would be really cool to set up a Series. I call it the I want to adopt BUT series. I would love to hear you share your fears, your aversion or your reason of what is stopping you from following this desire in your heart. DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT feel that everyone needs to adopt this series is mainly for others that have the desire yet something is keeping them from perusing it further.

Seriously I would love to post your input. Unanimously if you need it to be. I am so sure that you just like I carried (carry) tons of fears, worries, true concern. I also feel knowledge can be powerful. If you want you can be the first one email me here Natalie if you want to share in the I want to adopt BUT, series. Please share especially if this was a fear you had and are now walking your way through it by jumping in with both feet. OR, if you are in have this question and want to ask others genuinely for their input. I can't wait to hear from you. I want at least two emails by sundown. ;0 GO!

To start I will go first. I want to adopt, BUT...What If I wont love the adopted child like my Biological child?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Have issues with measuring Just me?

Ever feel under a grand amount of pressure to measure up to a standard you make up for yourself? Sure there are plenty of people in our lives hinting us or boldly sharing the expected standards, some are but not limited to the media, your family, a mother in law or mother, your husband, the perfect room mom, your church, your friends, a friendenmy (those faux friends!)

Indeed we carry these miscomprehended and unattainable standards. They become weights on our ankles and we fail ourselves when we do not meet them. We become slaves to them they guilt us, they overwhelm us, they paralyze us. It becomes a ball and chain and when a new ''should be" comes along we add the chink to the link and it becomes a heaver load. Its a constan battle for me.
I am going to be honest and share with you my "should be's". I wonder if you share the same
1. I should be homeschooling my children.
2. I should be baking all my bread at home
3. I should be cutting every single coupon
4. I should be volunteering more
5. I should be sewing projects at home and making my children's clothing or something
6. I should be having a super clean house every single day
7. I should have behaved children ALL THE TIME
8. I should be teaching my kids more about Jesus
9. I should be giving back to my community
10. I should be I should be I should be Doing, Making, Being, Acting,
The list can go on and on. I SHOULD write more. <-----SEE!
The point is. I never measure up to this standard of the Superwoman I want to be or think I ''should'' be. OR what I think what people think I should be....I know I am a mess! I am reminded by how much I am not by the people around me trying to meet the standard of greatness set before them as well. Never ending cycle of drama, and unmet standards of cosmic crazyiness. I also end up in nervous breakdowns because of not being able to attain not even a fraction on the list.
As a matter of fact just in the last few years I have had a couple nervous breakdowns. A few before we moved ,it is painful, and I thought I was going to die! As much as chief would tell me not to worry about it I was stressed out because I could not stop worrying and they worry about it made me stress out that I was not taking his advice!
Here is what I have learned and am learning about this. ITS NOT FROM GOD! No, sir. This is not from the heart of Jesus for me. The root of this is fear. Perfect Love cast out ALL FEAR.
Fear leads to worry and anxiety. Clearly he speaks in Matthew 6 about not worrying about tomorrow. In 1 Peter he speaks about casting all anxiety on him, you know cause he cares for us!
Why then is it so hard to take the shackles off our feet so we can dance? Psalm 2:3 I get freed and then sell my freedom very fast at the sight of another up and coming new aspiration. Again and again. Aspire, fail to the standard set before by myself.
I can not attain all of those in one person, I am just me. Laundry never seeing the bottom of the laundry basket, loosing my keys, receipts always falling out of my wallet, forgetting to pull the meat out to defrost, going to the grocery store without my list, saying a curse words when I stub my toe ME. I am a mess.
Lord, Jesus help me and all of us, the woman (and MEN) that get boggled down with a standard set before us that is not of you or for your Glory. Break the shackles off our feet so that we may be able to dance in the freedom you set before us. Restore the image that you want us to be that is in your word and help us to be wise and discerning for the falsehood that so quickly come and destroy what you have already shown.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Little Treasure sweet baby girl Anika

Friends, I want to share with you something. Pace yourself for this one, it may make you fall over with shock. I'm in love with this sweet angel and we as a family, kids, hubby and all involved are advocating on her behalf to find a forever family for this child . Folks meet Anika Is she not the cutest darling you ever did see you know aside from Ruby and all. she is 2.
Let me tell you a little story about how God knocks people off their seat all the time. Chief has had a country on his heart for a few months he had been emailing an organization about a mission trip unannounced to me ;). When he told me about it and mentioned all the countries that he had an option to go to, I already knew which ones I would choose to go to . South Africa and Ethiopia, or Ghana. FOR SURE. duh. Then came the bombshell. He told me he was wanting to go on his own and have me stay home. He wanted to go. Bummed. Then came the other bumming news, I would assume that since our kids are from Africa, it would make sense for him to go to Africa right. Giggle, NO. The country that he said he wanted to go to was not on my radar not ever. I even remember thinking in my heart and mind, I would never ever want to go there. Russia? Russia, what!? Why. Anyways, it bothered me. I know silly, all I could think of was what if a child wanted him to be his or her daddy if he were to end up going, not Russia.
Then I ended up on Recces Rainbow after listening to a friend speak on Down Syndrome adoption and the sweet angel she just brought home. Quick grab a tissue and update your homestudy before going to the site. There are photos and photos of children waiting for a mama, children with special needs and children older like my kids waiting. I scrolled over to a tab and held my heart as I passed the angels on there and then this girl HIT me like a ton of bricks. So hard I sobbed right there on the computer then I clicked on her link, she is from RUSSIA of' course she is!
Our family is in LOVE, no kidding, I have never seen our kids pray for a child so much like they do with little Annika. I so wish I could make her apart of my family, I would in a heart beat, but she is not ours. I wish she was I wish. Frank wants her to be ours. BUT WE CAN MAKE HER OURS in a way.

This is where the awesomeness comes in read from a mom who is taking charge for this child to find her a family.

why does Anika wait?
the real answer is because her family just hasn't found her yet,
but i would guess that 2 other things play into it.
the fact that she is HIV+.
the fact that her adoption will cost a total $33,000.

i couldn't quit thinking about her. i woke up thinking about her.
i fell asleep hearing the gentle whisper that her family was out there...
that she wasn't our daughter, but we could help her home.
i would hug our, secure, loved....& be filled with sadness
for the Anika across the world who might have no concept of what those things mean.

so, i just want to clear up those 2 'barriers' that are keeping her waiting.
first, the fact that she's HIV+.
if you haven't heard the truth about HIV, you have to visit Project Hopeful.
the truth is that there is ZERO risk of transmitting HIV to someone else through casual contact.
this includes: hugging, kissing, biting, sharing food, taking a bath, sharing a toilet seat.
HIV is very manageable & with proper care, people with HIV have a normal life expectancy.
children with HIV need to take medication twice a day & see their
pediatric infectious disease doctor every few months.
that's it.

the second barrier? i understand that adoption is expensive.
the beauty in that is the way it allows others to rally around you
and bless you. so, i believe that Anika has a family out there.
i want to bless them.
i want them to see her sweet, little face & know.
i want them to not have money be an obstacle.
i want to make the difference for one. for Anika.
[and pray that it ripples, ripples, ripples.]

here is where you come in.
don't run. this is so easy. so fun.
i am giddy with excitement to watch this play out.

150 people [you!] have a get together in the month of May.
they invite 9 of their friends to have a night in instead of a night out.
each of those 9 friends [and you!] bring $20 to donate to Anika's adoption fund.
150 parties x 10 people x 20 dollars = $30,000

Anika's life spared from an institution & the hope of being part
of a loving family simply because you shared her story & had
a fun night with your friends in her honor!

Join us would you please. Join us in helping her We are hoping to raise 200+ towards her adoption cost. If you would like to help send me an email, otherwise we are planning a small function very soon this month in May, to see this angel home!
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Pray for sweet Abby Riggs!!