Monday, September 10, 2012

Join me in saying a prayer & praising God!

I know! 2 posts in 2 days! I think that's a new record for this year! But it's all for a good reason! I'm asking all my prayer warriors (I know that there might not be so many of you left reading here anymore!) to pray for a dear family that is near & dear to our hearts! They have been in a long, long (too long) battle to get their 2 kids home from Guatemala! There have been many tears along the
7 years to get R & J home and many ups & downs. The bottom line through all of this is that these 2 NEED to come home! They NEED to come home now! I am so proud to call this family friends of ours & I am so amazed at their committment to their children, here and far. Please join me in flooding the gates of heaven to pray these 2 home . There is hope & I truly believe that these 2 will come home! I know it will be a joyful celebration when these 2 finally make it to their forever home & be welcomed into their church family here!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Yeah...things are pretty busy

I can't even begin to describe how busy things have been around here. School has started, projects have been going on, and football is in full swing. I've enjoyed getting into a routine but it hasn't come without it's challenges. Here's a short update on each of the kids!

Alexa is taking some colleges classes and dance is also in full swing so she's been pretty busy. I almost have no idea when she's coming or going. I guess I'm getting a glimpse of what life will be like with her next year after high school. She was chosen at a dance camp in June to able to perform at 2 bowl games and the Macy's Thanksgiving parade. After much hard work to raise the money, she has chosen to dance at the Capital One Bowl in Orlando on January 1. I will be going with her & this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for her.

Emma is in the 6th grade and of course as social as ever! She is still taking piano and has been practicing before school for Opus auditions(singing). She has those tryouts later this week. She is also going to run in her first cross country meet next week.

Wyatt is in 3rd grade already. He started football in August & has played his first game. This boy has been anxiously waiting to be able to play for a long time so this has been so much fun for him. He has played several positions but mainly plays quarterback. That has also been a dream for him so he was so excited when he got to do that. He has also started playing cello this year.

Jackson just started preschool this past week and is just loving it!! He has really grown up in the past few months and we hope preschool will be good for him. He goes 3 mornings a week when I'm at work so I still get my little boy home with me on my days off. Of course this little boy still makes us laugh all the time!

Charlie is just shy of 18 months and growing up so quickly! He is starting to really talk up a storm & his personality is just really starting to blossom. He has been missing his older siblings though. He seems to be quite a bit more clingy & wants to be held more often. He really loves his Emma right now and much to my sadness, he has at times chosen her over me! :( I need to do something about that, I think!

Well, that's a condensed version of stuff that's been going on here. There is much, much more but this post would get WAY too long if I put everything in here! Oh! And we got family pictures done so I got to change our blog photo! I know I may be biased but I think we have 5 amazingly beautiful children!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Feelings on Open Adoption

First off, I'm adding the disclaimer right at the beginning that most of these feelings and opinions come from what I've experienced and what I've talked with others about. I know that nothing about adoption or open adoption is ever the same and that you will not have a cookie cutter situation. I also know that not every situation can or should be open and that most of the time you have to just "wing it".

I honestly have to say that from the beginning of the adoption process, I had the secret feeling that everything would be easier if we would get a phone call from an agency that a baby had been left at the hospital & there was no interest in an open adoption. This baby would just be ours & ours only & I didn't have the desire to "share" our child with his/her first family. We said that we would keep our options open but still secretly hoped for only contact through the agency and thought that meeting any potential birth family was just too nerve wracking. Man! Did God do a major 360 degree turn on my heart during our process!  I started doing research on open adoptions and what some of the pros & cons were. Yes there were times where I'd find stories that would scare me or make me leery of opening ourselves up to more heartache.

But what I found more & more was that given the right situation & circumstances, it could be a huge blessing to not only the birth families but also to the child. Some question whether or not it would be confusing to the child on who the parents are. Some have also questioned whether it would just be too hard for the birth families to see the child, either in person or in pictures and therefore make the grieving process harder. Others have even said that because a birth parent places a child for adoption, that it means they don't love the child and shouldn't be allowed to know anything about how the child is doing.

The fact is, adoption has changed dramatically in the last 15-20 years. Research has shown that relationships with birth parents have given adopted children that "missing piece" to their heritage and questions that adopted children have about their birth families can be answered. Open adoption can also be helpful in giving birth families reassurance in their decision when they see the child they placed happy and loved. Questions about birth families health also can be answered.

But most of the time, success in an open adoption is communication between birth and adoptive families and knowing where the boundaries are. I know that sometimes this can be very tricky and that problems have occurred. Either party can be guilty of not doing what they said they would do or changes to that agreement need to be made. Whatever the circumstance, the most important person to consider is ALWAYS the child & if this relationship would be in his/her best interests. It certainly isn't always the case.

Our open adoption hasn't gone exactly like I thought it would. We had an agreement set at the hospital before Charlie's birthmom was discharged and we really thought that things would go as planned. Well, that hasn't been the case. We didn't hear anything from her like we had talked about but we still held up our end of the agreement. We understood that we really had no idea what she was going through and that if/when the time was right, we would hear from her. We told her this in every update we sent. I did mourn that fact that our relationship wasn't everything that I thought it would be. I prayed & thought about her everyday. Since Charlie's birthday, we've contact with her off and on & I can't even begin to tell you how awesome it is to have that. I've said before just how awesome I think Miss A is and her courage just blows me away. We've been able to work through some things together & I know without a doubt just how much she loves Charlie. I just hope & pray that through knowing us, she understands the love of God & just how much He loves her.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Guess I'm just resorting to posting every so often! But today is a good reason to post! Alexa turned 17 today! I can't believe she is that old already! It seems so odd to me that 17 years ago, I myself, was 17 years old & holding her for the first time. Why does it seem like just like yesterday I was holding this precious little girl & wondering what the future held for both us? I could never have imagined being so blessed to be her mom & seeing what a beautiful young woman she has become. Right now, she is holding down 2 jobs for the summer, just got done with soccer & is already looking forward to being drill team captain for next year. She is also taking several college classes next year so she can get a jump start on her college credits. Also very proud of her for getting a 4.0 GPA this past semester. I still wonder sometimes how she juggles it all but she does! We are so excited to see what God has in store for you this next year, Alexa!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Little TLC

That's what Charlie has been in need of this past week. So much so that he decided that he needed a short stay in the hospital just to get enough of that TLC!! We had Charlie's well-child check on Tuesday afternoon & everything looked great. No worries, no concerns. Wednesday morning his nose was running a ton but he was acting fine. By Wednesday afternoon, I thought he was getting a whopper of a cold so I stayed home with him while the rest of the family did the church night activites. Charlie was up tossing and turning all night and was coughing much more than he had. I gave him a nebulizer treatment that morning and laid him down for an early nap. When he woke up, he was having trouble breathing & I could hear him wheezing. I decided to call the doctor and thought I should just have him looked at but was really thinking they would just tell me it was just a cold. We got there & they listened to his lungs and took his oxygen levels. In 10 minutes they had us over in the ER to get some oxygen and start the tests going to see what was going on. After 2 blood tests, chest x-rays and an RSV test, they decided to admit him for pneumonia. His white cell count was pretty high & his oxygen levels kept dipping down at times. I was so glad that our regular doctor was in the ER that day!! She wanted him on IV antibiotics and fluids since he was also dehydrated. I stayed with him in the hospital while Brian bopped in & out so that he could be with the other kids. By Friday morning, he was doing so much better! He started having smiles for us again & his oxygen levels had stayed up while he slept so we were good to go home. His white cell count wasn't as far down as our doctor had wanted so we did have to do 1 more round of IV antibiotics before we went home & now he is on low dose medicine for the next week. We also have to do his breathing treatments 4 times a day for the next week or so. Charlie was so happy to be home & went right for his toys & started playing. He gave us quite the scare with how fast he got sick in a short amount of time! We are so glad to have our happy Charlie back!! Here's a picture of him on Thursday having 1 of his treatments. Not that I want him in 1 anytime soon but he did look kinda cute in the little hospital gown!

Monday, April 16, 2012

He's Two Wheeling It!

Many of you on Facebook have seen this video again but I'm sharing it here too. Charlie has just taken off with walking & I'm sure he will be running soon! Just what I need! Being outrun by Jackson & Charlie! Oh, and don't mind the saggy diaper! This was right before bedtime & I didn't want to spoil his good mood to change him!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What?!?! People Still Read This?

I really don't know if I have anyone still reading here. It's not because I don't have things to write about but you need something called time to still type and that is few and far between these days. We went straight from AAU volleyball with Emma to soccer season for the 3 oldest kids. These schedules are brutal and there are a couple weeks where we will only have 1 night at home. I guess I better get good at packing sub sandwiches. I also need to build up my arsenal of things to keep the kids occupied during the longer games. Everything is fine if the weather cooperates but we all know that spring weather in Iowa can be unpredictable. I thought movies would do the trick but my older boys were soon trying to play ninjas in the way back of the van before the movie even started playing. Yeah, you are correct......that didn't end well.

About a week before Charlie's birthday, we got the chance to talk with Miss A on the phone!! I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful it was to talk to her. She is just as wonderful as we remember her and we have since talked several times on the phone. She loves Charlie so much and cares very deeply for him. I ask for your prayers on this relationship that we are starting. I can see so much potential for this to be such a blessing on both our ends but we also know that things can be tricky navigating this part of the process. We just pray that God blesses our new relationship and that we can live out a Christ-like example to her.

Well, I know very well that I could be writing this strictly to myself by now but I really do want update more often. All the kids are growing up so fast & I'd love to have some of our life experiences documented here. Until next time!!