Monday, November 30, 2009

4 years old...gotcha day....

Saturday was Josiah's 4th birthday. It was also Samara's "gotcha" day. We have had them for three years now. The day we got Samara, the worker said, "She has a brother...will you take him?" Well, how could I say no? She asked for him all day long. So, 2 1/2 weeks later (and thanks to a fabulous judge who told DHS that 6 children in a home was not a law and court ordered them to stay in my home) Josiah joined our family.

He was the saddest thing I had ever seen. Josiah had been in DHS custody for 8 weeks and when I got him, I was his 5th placement in that time. 2 1/2 years later, I learned that we were actually his 7th placement in 8 weeks. Josiah cried for hours on end. He did not want to be held. He would bang his head on the tile multiple times a was a terrible sound. He was the angriest baby I have ever known. Fast forward 1 1/2 years and he is diagnosed with RAD, after trying to strangle me...twice.

I say all of this because I want you to know what a work God has done in Josiah's life. (There is SO much more I could tell you that happened with Josiah...but that would probably require a blog of it's own!) Josiah is a NORMAL 4 year old boy. He has an imagination that won't quit. He says everything that passes through his little head. He has all of my friends who know him in stitches, all the time.

For example...last week I went to pick him up from Sunday School. His regular teachers were not in there, it was an older couple. I get to the door and he is the only one left. I smile and they say "is he yours?" I say yes and I hear them say "Russell, your mom is here." RUSSELL??? I laughed a little and said, "His name is Josiah." They said, "Oh, well, he lost his name tag and told us his name was Russell." What a dork!!! The whole month before that, if someone said "Hi Josiah", he would say, "My name is Monk!" I had no idea who Russell was until my kids reminded me that Josiah had watched the movie "UP" over the weekend! The really funny thing is the next day, I said, "Hey Russell" and he said, "What??" UGH!!

So, I am thankful for Josiah (or Monk, or Russell). I am thankful that God chose to heal this child so that he could one day bring glory to God. Josiah has an amazing story, although he is too young to know it just yet.

This is a video of his birthday cake. The candles I used were leftovers from another party. Evidently they were "sparkler" candles, but they didn't work the first time we used them.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Complete the ministry God has given you....

I haven't been posting as much as I would like to. I haven't been sleeping, so by the time I am alone for the day where I could post, I am just too tired. Plus, all my "good stuff" comes to me while I'm driving or at the grocery store! Maybe I should have one of my slaves start taking notes for me.

So, for those of you who have read ANY of my blog, you know that I despise DHS. Right? And with good reason...right? I mean, seriously...who tells someone who just lost their child to a tragic accident that it was because there were too many children in the home? Who does that??? And then in the same breath tell you that the whole time that said child was alive, DHS was losing money because we had "one too many children". I told them many times that I didn't want their money...but they won't place a child with you unless they can control you and how do you control someone??? With money. How convenient.

With that being said, I have felt like God was leading us to adopt again. Not through a private adoption, but through DHS! WHAT??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? "God, You of all beings know what these people did to our family. Yes, I know we got three wonderful blessings from all the drama, but seriously??? Again????? UGH!!!!"

Have you ever fought God on something?? I know we all have, but this was one of those stomping my feet "I'm not doing this" kind of fights! I had all the paperwork that needed to be filled out laying on my chair. I just kept ignoring it. And then I got this verse in my Bible study...

"But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don't be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at bringing others to Christ. Complete the ministry God has given you." 2 Timothy 4:5

Complete the ministry God has given you....DHS was/is our ministry. I threw my hands up in the air as any good, obedient Christian would do, and said, "FINE, GOD...I'll do it!" (Well, after a few more words with the Master!)

So, we turned in our paperwork about a month ago. This means we will probably not be adopting a newborn, and maybe not even a girl. But God has been working with me on this area, too. I asked God 4 years ago to enlarge my family...give me babies. He did. He even gave me a tiny chocolate baby girl named "Emma Claire"...even if only for 5 days...I had her. The name on her birth certificate is "Emma Claire".

So, we are waiting again. There are a couple of situations that have been presented to us, but we are waiting for God to intervene. Please be in prayer that we will not step in front of God. And when I say "we", I mean "me"! I know God's plan is so much better than mine. And I gave my plan up to Him recently and am allowing Him to do what HE has planned for our family. I know...big of me!

Today I am thankful. Last year I was not so much. Last year at Thanksgiving, I was still in shock. But 15 months later, I can say that God has been faithful to our family. He has been faithful to me. While I still long for Heaven and those skinny chocolate arms around my neck, I am thankful today that I still have the rest of my family and that God's purpose for me is not over. There is much to be done.

"For the Lord does not abandon anyone forever. Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion according to the greatness of his unfailing love."

"But I called on your name, Lord, from deep within the well, and you heard me! You listened to my pleading; you heard my weeping! Yes, you came at my despairing cry and told me, Do not fear!"

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's like a giant rat maze

I have lots to say, but then again, I have nothing to say. The past 2 1/2 months since the anniversary of Jacob's death have been extremely difficult. God is still good, and because I can say that and mean it, I believe I am on the way out of the valley...for now. So, I will post something meaningful and easy to read...later.

I am also trying to get past this headache which just might be an aneurism, so this will be short. I'm kidding about the aneurism. Maybe. It's on both sides of my head and sometimes goes in circles. My brilliant 14 year old daughter explained to me, because her spiritual gift is sarcasm, that if I did indeed have a "moving aneurism" that the doctors were really going to want to have a looksy!

I have been wanting to update, but after reading my last two posts and having nothing better to say, I decided "if I can't say anything nice, then I won't say anything at all."

But, I was thinking in the tub...which is where all my good stuff comes from...and God reminded me of a time when He answered a prayer of mine in a mighty way. I believe I am supposed to share this with you all.

In March of 2008, Samara had her tonsils and adenoids removed, and tubes placed in her ears. We had her surgery at OU Children's Hospital. If any of you locals have been there, you know too well what a rat maze that place is.

Patrick used to work at Children's, when Ashlee was about 2 (she was young enough to still call the elevator an "alligator" and she was an only child!). We would go up and meet Daddy for lunch occasionally and I remember him giving me directions to his office...which I found...but getting out of that place, well, that's a different story. Let's just say that after that, Patrick walked me to my car!!

Anyway, Samara and I had to be at the hospital at the butt-crack of dawn for her surgery. For those of you who know me in real life, well, there wasn't enough Pepsi in that hospital to help me!! I parked and got Samara and myself where we needed to be. Surgery went fine. I prepared myself to carry this drugged, heavy duty 4 year old down the rat maze of halls and alligators to the parking garage where we had parked the dark...during construction.

Thirty minutes later,after what should have been a "follow this hall to that sign, turn left, take the alligator down one floor, turn right and out you go", I found myself literally crying out to God to help me find my car. I had no idea where I was. For awhile, I was convinced that we were no longer at OU, but now we were at Mercy! So I prayed. And I found another elevator that I KNEW I had not seen before, nor could it take me to my car...because remember...I hadn't seen it before!! Plus, I am not even in Oklahoma anymore!! But, I got on and I said, "God, when I get off this elevator, I need my truck to be right in front of me. I am lost and I don't know what else to do."

The elevator door opened. I picked Samara and all of her stuff up, looked out the door, and there was my beautiful, red truck, right in front of me, just where I am pretty sure I had NOT left it. I cried a little. I thanked God out loud and scared Samara a little.

Was this an emergency? No. Was I in danger? No. Did Samara care? No...she was on drugs. I was just tired. That's all. I could have walked around the hospital again, asked for more help, or many other things to find my truck. But I asked God for His help, and He gave it to me. Why? Because He loves me. He loves me in the big things and He loves me in the little things.

Jacob was/is a BIG thing. Finding my car because I was tired was very small. But God did not care for me or meet my needs any differently. He LOVES me. Bottom line. That's it.

As I was typing this post, the following song came to's by Mark Schultz:

Father, let the world just fade away
Let me feel Your presence in this place
Lord, I've never been so weary
How I need to know You're near me
Father, let the world just fade away

Til I'm on my knees
Til my heart can sing

He is
He was
He always will be

Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
He is

Father, let Your Holy Spirit sing
Let it calm the storm inside of me
As I stand amazed
Lift my hands and say

He is
He was
He always will be

Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
Be still, and know
Be still, my soul

He is!