Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Life on PAUSE



Can not even begin to explain the crazy in my world today. My life at the moment seems paused. We are still in the same home rental that the landlord has been graceful with us and merciful with our sporadic plans and events. 3/4 of our items still remain in boxes. We are eating on paper plates and every day I unseal one more box. Mostly because we have no idea where we will go and what will happen. Contract is up late October so we must find a place or come to that grueling decisions of state changes once again. Meanwhile Kids are at school and the big boys just started Karate classes every day, courtesy of the grandparents. Those suckers are expensive!
We have the opportunity for our kids to attend an AMAZING school. I can not even stress how amazing the school is. The teachers and staff LOVE our kids. Gs last year teacher wanted to hang with us during summer. What teacher does that?! They know our kids they have the ability to provide many resources for them, more than the last school they were at. There are opportunities we have never had. Its seriously awesome. My folks are involved in the kids every day life. Really they take the kids to karate for me, some days my folks just come and bring us dinner. They treat us out, and treat the kids out always. Our church has some pretty cool people. They love Jesus and our pastor Brent's message is one you will not sleep to friends, he has passion for Christ and his face turns red and he sweets when he is lovingly sharing the message. AND our church meets in the gym of our kids school. I just things its awesome to be worshiping King Jesus in the same building my kids are being educated in.
Why the freak do you want to leave Natalie? I get this one a ton. Let me say that when we were brought here there were some promises or assumptions made to my husband about a certain company he represents. There were also untruths told to him regarding salary etc. We found this out a month into our stay. We found out many things. We are deflated. We feel stuck, we begin to feel hopeless. We signed a lease with the prospects of those hopes. It was looking not good, its still looking not good.
BUT we began to see the Lord move into other things. Our son who has some serious learning issues begins to read, the therapy we start him on begins to see vast improvement. Our children s education take a leap with the help of a different curriculum and resources. We see the benefits of being near my folks.
YET, the plans we had which were to suffer for just a bit to reap the benefits of career changes seemed futile. We began to accept it doesn't seem like it will change. Hopelessness sank in again. Dear Lord, I have never been on my knees this much in my life. For our situation for our Lord to come conqueror and bring Justice. Set what is wrong, right. Nothing seemed fair, everything was against us..did I say WAS because nothing in our situation has really changed. Oh and remember the IRS issues, they finally came up with a refund to us...ready for it. $147 dollars, as in the 147 orphans now they mock me!!!
BUT God in His infinite wisdom, draws us to his feet, with utter despair to seek His face.
If I could wave my magic wand, I would have my hubby right back into the position he was before. Right back into our old 70s house and into the neighborhood my kids ran bare-feet in. BUT we do not regret our move. I know crazy.. right. We have learned so much through this journey. We have relied on not our own strengths, we have no power and nothing to rely on but HIM, and the end of the rope magically gives way to more threading. We have more compassion for people. Its so easy to sit on Easy street and judge others downfalls from one perspective a different situation when you are in it elbows deep. We have learned how much we love our parents. Both sets, even if we have had our bumps in the road, they LOVE US, and want the best for ALL of us. That is priceless. Our children KNOW their grandparents. Not just a couple weeks a year or so, They KNOW them.

I guess what I miss is my old life. My own house. My old town, My buddies, the crisp air.Extra cash to do extra things with. The Starbucks spluge when I wanted, the new top I can buy. The fun Teabo Tuesdays I once planned. The stocked pantry (some days this was not so) but for the most part. It was a TON easier than this. We did make sacrifices to add more kids to the broad, but income to kids if we stuck to a budget and got rid of dept we could do it. Now a days, a different story.
So here is the prayer request:!
1. I need a job. next week all the kids will be in school until 2:30 first time in 11 years I will be alone...may I add that for 10 months I have been applying. The end.
2. Chief, to have another position so that instead of having to work I can have a little dream come true and go to school!
3. The Lord would provide a home for us to be in our school district and at our budget.
4. If he wanted us to move back home chief needs his position back.
5. Both our hearts in the situation its been truly exhausting to say the least!
If you find yourself in a challegning situation like us, If you find it utterly impossible to even begin to hope because its seems like there is no use. I promise He is WITH YOU. He has NOT LEFT you. If you are in the situation of not knowing where your next meal will come from, how you will get your child a new pair of gym shoes when yours even has holes, how the heck you will pay those stack of medical bills on the computer table next to you. You are not alone. I PROMISE there are others going through the same situation or worse. How do I know this. I am there, I am still breathing, you will make it. Do not give up the little glimpse of hope in Christ you have. HE HAS NOT FORGOTTEN YOU. If you need a friend to vent to when your life seems on PAUSE shoot me an email. I can offer you prayer and the best I can is encourage you and maybe give you some ideas in your situation.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Plans Change

Remember when I told you I want to be where God wants me to be and I will be okay where ever he plants me. I lied. Because on Thursday chief and I had to make a HARD decision based on our circumstances. I am not one to make a decision based on circumstances I loath the cliche "when God closes a door, that was not his Will!" Simply because if that is the case, the minute any biblical hero came to a closed door, or a difficult circumstance it would have been easy to say "I suppose that's not the Lord" and walk the other way. Time and time again in scripture we are encouraged that the Lord is with us through those hard trails. That when we doubt ourselves or others point to us and say "what the heck, are you doing!?" He is there to Hold strong the course with us. If you know me, you know I never see a closed door as a NO from the Lord, but rather a challenge to stretch my faith strong.

This one has me dragging my feet. I said my good byes I was ready to reunite with my old friends and my old house. I was there, emotionally. So, when we were hit with the news of the IRS changing their mind for the fifth time we had to change course to "maybe" we can't move. I was okay with that one because I KNEW if God wanted me there, He would totally get my back on this one. We had to make a decision all of a sudden that really made me want to throw a tantrum. All the reasons of why we were moving became stronger in my mind, and one of them was the stinking humidity so I didn't even want to walk outside. That was just me. Then I had to share the news with the big boys.
Our big boys are Northwesterns BIG time. Big A asked me the other day "when is it going to rain, I am so tired of the sun!" J-man "I want to skip fall and go right into winter!"
I didn't want to make this decision.
We both called in the big greys ...okay if our parents read this there would be a smack down ;) BUT both our parents have lived journeys before us, and have wise words. Sometimes we take them, some times we don't and sometimes they were wrong ;)...most time they are right. Both sets, shared with us some wisdom. Hard to hear, but one the same token, if felt awesome to have parents who can give sound advice! Then chief made the call. We need to stay put ...for now. There are so many uncertainties with moving back. Chief does not have a job, there are no certainties that he will get something secured. There are situations with our home in Oly, to much to even share here. There are no certainties with that. I could be in the PNW without my husband and struggling to make ends meet for a Looonng time before we are united. Right now, its not wise for our preteen boy to be without a dad, and not right for our new kids to have dad not be present. Many old feelings will arise for them.
My heart HURTS. I want to be home. To be honest I don't want this to be home.
I want things to go back like they were. I want Him to tell me, just another few months Nat, just hold strong. Nothing.
Chief says focus on the positives. So I need to write them out.
1. MY FAMILY
2. KIDS LOVE THE SCHOOL
3. GREAT EDUCATION and RESOURCES
4. AMAZING CHURCH!
5. SUPER COOL FRIENDS (I need to work harder on plugging in there!)
6. DOUBLE COUPONS (I know the dumbest thing to maybe you, but here they double coupons!)
7. SUNSHINE
Not sure when the "doors" will be opened to go back home. I pray one day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

UNKNOWN with the I*romeo*S


Oh Nelly. Let me tell you its been a week. If you are an adoptive parent that is battling with the I*romeo*S (coded so they don't come after me!) and are awaiting on the lllllllloooooooooonnnnnngggggg Refund dear one I feel your pain. I filed our taxes in Feburary followed by what would be a plethora of correspondence back and forth ,back and forth sometimes more us than them. MOST times more us than them. Every letter that came in the mail changed the last status. Need more documents, send more proof, we lost the documents you sent twice already would you resend them., send a locket of their hair and DNA too! Oh yeah right on it. For SIX MONTHS. My favorite part is this one. SO, I made a mistake on one of our new kids Social I added a 5 instead of an 8 and do you know what happens when you do this? When you mess with the socials...YOU get penalized. Yes sir a whopping $1678 penalty because they have to go in and change the dang number. So I don't bore you I will skip to the #2345 letter and phone call. Were we got an advocate to join our side and help us. She notified us a few weeks ago that the I ROMEO S will grant us our refund and waive the penalty. We were so happy because thats what our move money will come from. moving across the county is no small fee. We needed to have the money at least on its way before we took of.

Alas the phone call that really rattled me. The phone call came and this one will shock you...maybe...it did take me for a spin! The grand I*Romeo* S made a mistake. The 6th yes, its been examined SIX times said they are not going to give us what we asked, they are also not going to remove the penalty. And this week, the week that we are to get our truck in on Friday I fly next week Wen. BUT this all can change with one phone call that says. We will get nill, zero, nada. WHICH changes the game plan in a BIG way.
We would be moving in with my parents...and staying in Georgia if thats the case. We will just make things work till we get a new place.
The crazy thing is, the thing that boggles my mind. Is I have an immense peace, I can not understand but to say that this is God just giving me a peace that He will place is where he wants us no matter what. I have come to realize this is for His Glory not mine. Ruth 1:16 "Where you GO I GO!" If its here in Northwest Georgia, or far North in Pacific Northwest Washington. My contentment is in HIM, not where he places me. WOW, if you know me, thats a HUGE undertaking. Is God not amazing!!
SO...tick tock awaiting for the call. ..they have up till tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Ideas for the old space

SO thankful for Pintrest, its a site that lets you make up your own pinbords of things you like, things you want to make, want to cook. For people with borderline ADHD, its a mess! It has helped me "Pin" (pun intended totally) down my style, so I can PiNp my house! OF COURSE I will have to do plenty of this little by little when the pennies are saved. sigh.Here is whats on my Pinboard looks like as of late. You may look at more of my board here.
Scroll bellow for how the old pad looks
I want to paint a wall this chalkboard color and make it a wall of Goodness. Have Psalm 23: 6 "Surely Goodness and Mercy will follow me all the days of my life" then in small computer font add statements of how good God has been to our family thus far. I may need a BIG wall ;)
Inspiration Jones Design

Pillow Love:


The walls will be this color wheat/grey. Inspiration Emily from Jones Design
I will attempt to do this painted wall paper...don't laugh. I will try!

Have I told you I love scripture? I EAT it sing it, can't live without it. I love the way my bible smells and nothing is more calming than the pages that turn. Why not have it all over my house?!
Say Hello to this couch grey, tufted love!
Alas the ottoman I will attempt to do own my own!

PINTEREST: and Old space

Like I need a new hobby while packing...but I admit I am excited to get into my own walls so I can repaint the walls, and make it "home". I have changed my decor taste, seriously I think this happens to people every five years! My old house looks like this. There is a combo of Cottage beach and French. Don't ask it just happened. This is a 70s house we redid the floors and trimming still needs a ton of work!! But here it is.
The Kitchen CLEARLY needs updating, but until I can come up with 32,000 it will have to do! Do you see the classroom cabinets, come on...right?


This fireplace is begging for a re-do and a mantle. Should I paint that paneling white? would you?






I can do the chepo chango like painting and just change up a few things right?


Go ahead give me Ideas I need them!!!



Busy days-2 week count down



We pack, we take down, we repack, we find loose change, we find lost toys, we toss the lost toys. We find the lost toys in the garbage that certain say individuals take out. We rummage through the goodwill pile to find possessions we forgot about that all of a sudden because valuable.

Its been crazy emotions round these here parts. <------ take note of the Southern.
We are crazy sad to be leaving awesome family. When I say awesome that in itself is an understatement. My little cousin Oscar takes the prize for best ever. He takes the kids to fun places the other day Jman lost his free ticket he earned with a reading program to Wild Waves. Oscar purchased his ticket and they ventured out together all day. He comes over on his days off to just hang, watches alien series with us. I want a little Oscar is Washington ;(

Excited to see Washington family, excited to get reconnected, excited to have them get to really know the new kiddos. Excited to see old friends and make new ones.

This is torture for me. Horribly terribly most definitely desperately sad that my hubby will have to leave again. Wanting a miracle to happen in the job situation. When you think of it pray for us will you. Tonight he did two things I would not be able to figure out myself. I am not a dummy. This babe has brains, but, Cell phones, and the sound of the HD system...well I can't figure them.

I cry just a little each time, I wake to morning fresh brew.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

One year and counting



Our new kids have been home from Accra Ghana for one year and a month. I am not sure how to word the last year. Its been a journey. A testing of faith a testing of self.
Our daughter came with much fight in her. She is a survivor what her little 8 year old heart has endured is nothing short of a miracle that she just didn't crawl into a corner and die. She was a wild child when she entered into our doors. Orphanage learned behavior. Fight for what you want, lie when you want it, self- sufficient and self persevering. She was a three year old stuck inside of a 8 year old body. Fight, was (is) her survival instinct. She wanted to show me why she was unworthy of love. When I loved her I was telling her that she was a lier because she was (in her mind) unworthy. I have never parented a child like this. I was failing and it was in my face multiple times a day. I was weary from the war scares left by other people on this girl, it was not even my fault but every day it became my fault. I was the one that wanted to love and so I was the wrong in the automatic wrong. So how did we cope?

Entering into a family DOES NOT make everything go away. The journey is NOT over when the paper chase is done. The Hurt and trauma that took a few years to have will often be a lifetime of healing. Going to Conferences such as this one and this one made me much wiser in what I was dealing with and how to heal heal my daughter and son without losing all the brain cells I once had :)! Joining forums and groups that had similar families have been a life saver. Books written from professionals that deal with kids from traumatic backgrounds like this and this were key. Becoming therapeutic parents was the answer. Trying to escape the books we read for our first kids was difficult all the messages we were given for the first kids WOULD NOT WORK on kids like this. Also being a person that has abuse in her background (NOT FROM MY PARENTS...just to clarify!) and has had some deep pain and nasty scars for years because of it, I feel connected in a way I never would have to my daughter. Watching her unfold even a tiny bit at a time has been therapeutic for me. Watching the rage inside her, reminded me of the rage in my own heart. God used her for me and me for her in ways so profound only a Masters hand can be involved in .

Our boy: OH LORD AL MIGHTY! This one came to us at 4 but really at 24 months emotionally. At night the little man became a baby. Baby talk, wanted to be bottle fed. We did. Wanted to be rocked. We did. Wanted to be swaddled. We did. He is also totally a sensory kid. All over the place wild child. Nothing slows him down. He is destructive even though it has slowed down (the destruction) not the energy its still something that lands him trouble daily. Stinker. We had a better bonding experience with little man. No rages, No crazy emotional roller coaster. He is so comfortable with us. Now he openly tells me how much he misses his birth mother. We allow our children the opportunity for this and never shut it down. I want them to miss their birth mothers. If I was in the same shoe, I would want my biological children to miss me. Plus if we speak about it often the less it will come out as an anger outburst. He shares this with us a few times a month. I have found the more open we are of it, the better they both are. Some days I see someone that reminds me of Birth mom and I say "look who does that remind you of, oh she is so beautiful just like ___!'' Or we are at a store and G or E say birth mom would LOVE that. To which I always say something along the lines of "you are probably right, it would be so nice in her pretty dark skin too!" I never get offended. In fact I think of her as a third parent in our relationship her presence is here as long as it is welcomed by them.

Where are we now? One year later. We have come a long way. We have a super long way to go. Sometimes things regress back to the old days. I am better at gauging the future. Some days its very unpredictable some days I say to Chief "this one will send her for a loop, be prepared!" We are MUCH better at keeping our cool. Some times he more than I sometimes I more than him. Sometimes we BOTH loose it, because it can be very draining. Parenting non-traumatized kids can do it to you to!! For the most part our girl is NO where close to what she looked like entering our doors. There is more confidence in her walk. There is more thought process and she makes a choice. There is some days even some good emotion talk " I am so angry right now, I want to throw something! Good talks. There are plenty things still there. We cope, we help heal, we go back to the books and ask questions. We take breaks to give to our biological children and our baby (who is 4..tear), they need us just as much.

ONLY in Gods Grace. Not at all by my own power is this even possible. I fall short, every time. He has to go before me daily. I have never gone to his Throne like I do now.
One year later, I am a different person.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Tween tails

Our oldest will be 11 in September. We have officially entered into a territory of no return. Mood swings, eye rolling, huff and puffing, withdrawn, and the occasional girl blush. YES. His body is changing...ekk! I am terrified. I do everything wrong at this stage too. I never understand his thoughts, oh and I am way out of the cool loop. I am no longer first. I am no longer the impeccable and perfect mother (I never was, but to this guy I was at one point!) I have flaws and I am reminded by them now several times a day. I know..it hurts.
I get this is a stage, I understand every child will enter a time in life where they question parents, where they question themselves. I think we never really grow from the questioning of ourselves.
The part I don't like is that my boy is questiong his faith. Excuse me while I wipe the tears so I can see the keyboard. .... okay. This is also something we all have to come to, how to see Jesus for our own lives. Not have the faith of our parents, but knowing Jesus from our own experience.
Its something I have prayed for "Jesus be real to Him, not through me, through YOU!'' but when it comes.. it will take you for a spin. Some days I have said the wrong things. Some days my jaw drops to the questions, only because I have raised this boy from baby to love Jesus. You can not teach someone to love someone you simply lead as an example and pray they are catching on pray they are watching.
Even still. The questions come. Even still, the child is building his own faith. We are both having growing pains!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Kisses from Katie.mp4


As someone who calls themselves a Christian it is very apparent that you are to Love the Lord with all your heart and you are to Love your neighbor as yourself, myself doesn't want to be starving so I don't want other people to be starving!" Katie
Its simple.

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Pray for sweet Abby Riggs!!