Monday, February 20, 2012

good thoughts

I have come across some great quotes/thoughts lately, and wanted to get them down here. They are about adoption and parenting, and have been so encouraging for me.

This blog post was SO good. About asking the Lord to help you see your child the way He sees them, past all their behaviors, to who they truly are (

Love this quote,

“If your kid came home from an orphanage they are a SURVIVOR. Praise God for their life & help them heal. -- Karyn Purvis

This is something I wish I would have read before we got home with Hope, or a couple of days after. It's written by Melissa Faye Green who wrote the book, There is No Me Without You, about Ethiopian adoption. She had several things listed on her blog about what to do when you get home with your child, and these were a couple of them,

"Put Feelings on a back-burner. This is not the time for Feelings. Live a material life instead: wake, dress, eat, walk. Let your hands and words mother the new child, don't pause to look back, to reflect, or to experience emotions. "Shut up, Emotions," you'll say. "I'll check back with you in six months to see if you've pulled yourselves together. But no whining meanwhile!"


"Let yourself off the hook. This is not your fault. You’ve done a grand thing—you’ve gone out into the world in search of a child and, despite every obstacle over tens of thousands of miles, you’ve brought the child home. It's all going to work out in time. Meanwhile, you’re exhausted. This is all really hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it. You’re doing fine. Just rest up, find something to laugh about, and give Feelings the month off."

And this wasn't about adoption, but parenting. This is SO easy for me to fall into, spending my day picking up messes and keeping up with chores instead of being intentional with my kids.

"Sin is what happens when our love gets disordered. And it’s never worth disordering the heart to get a right-ordered house.

How is my love ordered? Towards a Better Homes and Gardens House? Or a better, holy, godly heart?

A right-ordered house isn’t virtuous like a right-ordered heart.

It’s true: I could close my eyes to the magma of mess. But the thing is: Love isn’t blind. Love is the holy sight.

Love has the long, real sight, that sees what won’t burn up. Love’s priorities are things unseen. " Ann Voscamp

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I really need to think of better titles for my posts! Oh well, an update is what it is. :) We have now been with Hope 8 weeks, 7 weeks home. I really can't imagine life without her here, it seems so strange that just a little over 2 months ago she was in Ethiopia, we were here, and she was not a physical part of our lives.

We are adjusting, slowly but surely, some days better than others, but we are adjusting. She is sleeping better, only waking a couple times at night and not needing much to get her back to sleep. She is not hitting nearly as much, the boys or us, and her tantrums have also decreased. She is still not talking, but her sounds are changing, and she looks like she is really trying to talk. The look in her eyes is more earnest, like she is wanting us to know what she means. She is understanding so much more, and will follow simple commands. She is really starting to like her brothers and dad, and smiles at them and follows them everywhere. She has mastered going up the stairs, and is quite sneaky and fast which is slightly terrifying at times! Her eye contact is better, she will hold my gaze and meet my gaze from across the room. She has started giving hugs and kisses willingly again. And she and Isaac have had some sweet moments this last week. It's still hard for him at times, but he has asked her to play with him now once or twice, and has shown more love toward her.

Things for me have been...okay. We have been staying home a lot more which is so good for both her and Isaac really, but harder for me. I feel pretty disconnected from friends, church, etc., and I know it's temporary and truly better for my family, but lonely too at times. And I have still been struggling with fear and doubt. I did realize today however, that no matter what we go through, no matter what the future holds for us, or how many hard days we have ahead, He will be with us. He knows the path our family will take, and not only will He lead us there, He will walk with us through it. I have struggled with feeling like we are doing the right thing in how we are parenting her, and being so worried about going backwards in our progress. I'm afraid of going back to the days right when we brought her home when everything was so hard, and her responses affected my responses, and I was not the mom I wanted or thought I would be. Attachment takes work, it's not always very natural, and sometimes that feels discouraging to me. But the truth is, we are not and never were alone in this process. He will give us wisdom, strength, joy and peace.

This girl, with the deepest eyes and sweetest smiles, is my daughter. She is a blessing, a gift, and when we connect with each other, my heart just can't get enough. I am thankful beyond measure for her, for her place in our family, and for what our family is becoming because of her. She is truly changing us for the better.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

valentine's day 2012

*Eli spilled his sparkling grape juice which is funny because he is the kid who always manages to spill his drink and get wet.

*Hope really was here too! She was just running around everywhere. :)

We had a great Valentine's Day! For some reason, I just felt like celebrating it more this year, so I tried to plan a little bit more in advance to try and make it special. And I think it was, I certainly went to bed feeling loved and so thankful for the ones in my house I am blessed to love.

I found this valentine e-book online that you could download for free with fun ideas and recipes. The first thing that caught my eye, was homemade red velvet donuts. They were baked instead of fried, and I could substitute some ingredients to make them at least a little more healthy. :) I made them for breakfast and decorated our table a little. Isaac and I had also made these crayon stained glass hearts to hang up the day before. And my mom had left star wars valentines for the boys when they were here over the weekend, so I put those out too. The boys were excited when they came down for breakfast, and it was a fun start to the day.

I helped out with Micah's valentine's party at school, and on our way home we picked up a heart pizza from Papa Murphy's for supper. Aaron's suggestion was chocolate fondue, so I made that for our dessert. I tried to make the table a little fancier (candles, special glasses, placemats), and put the boys valentine's gifts from us on our plates (what they call "comfy pants", but just athletic pants), and love letters that I had written them. Then we ate! And I read them their letters. That was just as good for me to do I think. To write what I love about them, what makes them special, and then read it to them. Aaron had some little games we played after supper, and then we all watched a little bit of our wedding video. Aaron and I actually got engaged on Valentine's Day 10 years ago. :)

It really turned out to be a fun day. Sometimes when I have expectations for special days, they turn out nothing like I hoped they would. Thankfully this time they did, at least for the most part. :) When we were putting the boys to bed that night Micah asked, "So, when is St. Patrick's Day?" Let's just say we are always up for a party around here!

And in true fashion, I have no pictures of all of my valentine's together. And you should have seen Hope, she was the cutest little valentine ever. I took some of the decorations and food, but not my own children, seriously not sure what my deal is. Actually, I think part of it is that food and decorations don't move, it's easy to take their picture! But, I am definitely going to try and take more pictures, easy or not. :)