My Real Children

One of the questions that annoys me {and many other adoptive parents. I'm sure} is "are you her real mother?" Or, even better, "are they real brothers?" Really? They share the same parents and the same last name, what do you think? For the record, real moms come in a variety of packages.  Some carry their babies for nine months, only to make the brave choice that the best way they can parent is to let someone else parent their child.  Some travel thousands of miles to the other side of the world to bring home a child from an impoverished, desperate situation and literally love them to life.  Still others provide homes for children temporarily, until the child's parents begin to make better choices or an adoptive family is found.  Many feel called to parent older children, about to … [Read more...]

When you learn something from Pretty Little Liars

Yes, I watch the overly-dramatic, somewhat predictable ABC Family show, Pretty Little Liars, on Tuesday evenings with my daughter. It is our special time since the males in this family aren't the slightest bit interested.  Shayla started a new job (so proud of her) so now we watch on DVR, but it is still precious time together. I did not anticipate learning something useful to my life from the show.  Last week's episode, however, reminded me about a psychological theory that struck a chord in my heart; the concept of ambiguous loss. I'm not sure why it never occurred to me that I could suffer from something I so easily recognize in others.  Working in healthcare, particularly with the elderly, I see families walk through this valley of uncertainty when their loved one is living with … [Read more...]

Sneak Peek

It has been a while since I've done an Insta-Friday post. Heck, its been a while since I've written any type of post.  I have been writing, just not here.  God has me focused on a book {which I will probably publish as an ebook in the fall} and all my writing time {which is limited since I returned to working a traditional job} is spent on that pen to paper writing that I truly enjoy. I do think of this space often, and wrote a series the week of Mother's Day that you can read here, here and here. I hope y'all can forgive me for the sporadic posting and stick with me.  I pray for each of you, even though I probably don't know the majority of you {leave a comment and tell me about yourselves}. Anyways, here is my life in iPhone pictures from the last two weeks: She is getting so big.  … [Read more...]

Safe at Home

We traveled 942 miles each way last week to Fort Leonard Wood, MO. Jason graduated as a military police officer for the US Army and this mama breathed a sigh of relief as we loaded his {very heavy} bags to bring him home. Is there any other place we, as mama's, would rather have our children than safe at home? It has been a wonderful weekend of family time, movies, snacks, laughing, and re-acclimating. On Mother's Day, my family and I will walk to raise awareness for children in the foster care system. Children that don't know what it is like to be safe at home. I was that child. Jason was that child before he came to us. Shayla was that child. The value of a safe and loving home is never taken for granted in my heart.  Millions of children around the world and in your own … [Read more...]

Peeking In

I tend to be quiet here when I am going through something{s}. Really, I have a lot to say but need to say it in real life before I can go blabbing about it on my blog. Plus, I am sick.  After a night in the ER with two bags of fluids, a really strong pain killer and a nurse that seemed to enjoy digging around to start an IV, I am feeling {slightly} better.  The doctor told me today, at a follow-up appointment, that my sample {I will leave what they sampled to your imagination} is growing a pathogen and that Monday he will have results to let me know what antibiotic I need to start.  Basically, I have bad bacteria in my gut? Who knew. So, in an attempt to keep you updated on my oh-so-glamorous life {ha!} here are some pics from my phone this week: Sitting at the DMV on a Saturday was … [Read more...]

33 Things I’ve Learned about Life

Today is my birthday {it is Elvis' birthday too, in case you care}. I have had a wonderful day full of love, laughs and family.   Feeling retrospective I decided to chronicle thirty three things I have learned about life {not in any particular order} Polka dots and hot pink make me smile. There are few sounds that bring as much joy as a baby belly laughing. Marriage is hard work, but oh so worth it. There is a huge difference between a job, a career and a calling. When people say "enjoy these moments because they grow up so fast" they are not exaggerating one bit.  Kids literally grow up in the blink of an eye. Having a near death experience will remove most fear from your life and replace it with a sense of urgency to live EVERY minute fully. Chocolate makes everything most … [Read more...]

Battling Perfectionism

{an edited post from the archives as I spend Christmas break with my family} The imperfections of a man, his frailties, his faults, are just as important as his virtues.  You can't separate them.  They're wedded.  ~Henry Miller I remember well the days that perfectionism consumed my life. I suppose I came by the desire quite naturally.  A father who demanded more than the best.  Raised by grandparents whose accomplishments lined the walls.  Perpetuating the "family hedge"...that no matter what was truly going on, we put our "best face" forward to the world. Every mistake I made was punctuated by the fact that I was, yet again, incapable of grasping the elusive perfection that seemed to come so easily for others. I carried this knee buckling burden into adulthood for many … [Read more...]

He is There

Sometimes the pain in this world leaves my heart heavy. Hope seems lost in the flames of house fires, hard to find for the friends that lost their job and face homelessness at the time of year when home means the most, hidden from friends who discover the sex of the heart beating in the womb and discover his health is in question at the same moment. Children who may die before finding their forever family. Where are You, God? I have asked this question at many different times in my life. Thankfully, the whisper of doubt does not turn Him away. He is there. You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me....If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. ~Psalm 139: 5, … [Read more...]

You have been warned

I am guest posting at Scary Mommy today about the challenges of parenting teenagers {in a tongue-in-cheek way}.  Did y'all know I can be funny when I want to be? Sometimes I surprise myself!   The big announcement is that my site, In Be'tween Moms, for those parenting between double digits and the empty nest has launched today!  I am so excited to talk about the good, the bad and the necessary when it comes to parenting older kids.  This site is a place for encouragement, support and information.  I am blessed to have awesome Mentor Moms contributing their insights as well!  The site is a work in progress but please stop by there today and enter in a giveaway to win the book, Why Christian Kids Rebel by Dr. Tim Kimmel. Have a blessed day!     … [Read more...]

The Privilege of Now

I am not always thankful. I had even considered skipping this post this week, to be completely transparent. A rough week in physical therapy, emotions on edge over some family drama, preparing for family vacation, graduation for Jason, etc, etc, etc. and I have felt overwhelmed and at times, downright ungrateful. I look at my to-do list and cringe. I think about my upcoming surgery and I have nightmares. I consider the van ride to Florida with four teenagers, a 9 month old and a dog and I want to hide in a suitcase. Then, I read articles like this and I am broken before Him.  I was the foster kid, Miss S. was the foster kid, my Jason could have been a foster kid. How can I not be thankful for the gift of living this crazy life? The laughter, the tears, the problems, the fears are … [Read more...]

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