Yesterday was the 8th Birthday of my sweet niece, Jaidyn. How in the world is she already 8?
“JJ” as all the cousins call her, was the first little one of my four siblings that grew up in our house. The baby was having a baby! We had older siblings that had children in Waco, but we were young ourselves when it happened. We became Aunts and Uncles before we were even 15 years old. Jaidyn was extra special. Not only because she was the first, but because she was the light in so much darkness in 2010. I will never forget the call from my dad that my grandfather, “Daddy Bob” had died. I remember throwing the phone across the room with an intensity and anger that my husband had never seen in me before. Following with uncontrollable sobbing and hyperventilation. I couldn’t breathe. My hero was gone and I didn’t even get to say goodbye. The man that carried a peace about him that no one else to this day has ever had. My sweet Daddy Bob had been changing a light bulb on the front porch of their Houston home and had fallen off the ladder and died instantly. Heartbreak. I believe that we always thought my Granny would be the first of the two to go. She had been battling health issues for years and my Daddy Bob was always clean on his health bills. How in the world did this happen? The days and weeks that followed were that of extreme sadness and exhaustion. My grandmother no longer had the love of her life and the man that took care of her every need. She was in shock and heartbroken along with the rest of us. I went to stay with her and then my step mom did also, but she just wasn’t the same after he died. Her will to live wasn’t there as it was before. She was transported to San Antonio via ambulance to be admitted into a rehab facility and was closer to all of us. It was good to have her physically near us, but she was never the same. She was able to make my sisters baby shower and was excited for this sweet little Blessing to come earth side. A week before my sister was to give birth to Jaidyn, Granny made her way up to heaven into the loving arms of her precious husband. Sadness again filled the family as we had officially lost the heads of our family within months of each other.
The day of Jaidyn’s birth was a happy one. The entire family was there and waiting as the birth had been a scheduled c-section. Even though the recent grief, we were all ready to meet this little miracle that God had given my sister. There were a few things they wanted to look at on her once she was born and it took what seemed like forever for her mama to hold her for the first time. And for all of us to finally meet her. She was the most beautiful baby girl I had ever laid my eyes on. A tiny little thing at 5.3oz and just perfection. I will never forget that my uncle Eddie refused to leave until he got to see her and hold her. He absolutely loved children. He was so excited to have a baby in the family finally! Once he held her he told our Nana & Papa that they could go home. Uncle Eddie had special needs and was truly a gift from God. He wasn’t supposed to live past 3 and with my Nana’s strong will and Eddie’s determination he beat all the odds! Leaving the hospital we were all so excited and happy. My other siblings and our spouses all went to our parents house to celebrate the arrival of this precious baby girl who had changed our family. Then the call came… My Nana. Hysterical. She had gone upstairs and found my uncle Eddie unresponsive. Heart Attack. He was gone. On one of the happiest days in a very long time, it was also the darkest. On the day Jaidyn was born, Eddie died. An extreme roller coaster of emotions that were almost too much to bear for all of us.
Every year on her Birthday I think back to the months that preceded and followed Jaidyn’s birth. I remember my Grandparents, my uncle and thank God for the Blessing that is my niece. It is a reminder to me that even during the darkest of times, there is light. Even if you have to struggle to find the light, it is always there. It may not be in the form of a beautiful baby girl, but God will show up. He always does. 2010 was one of the hardest years of my life to date, but I don’t wish that it never happened. I keep thinking of the sermon that I heard at church last week on the book of Judges. God sometimes has to weaken us before He uses us. (Judges 7:1-7) At the ripe age of 29 I had seen more death happen than I had ever experienced before. I learned how short life is and also what a great God we have. Even when the days seem hard, you feel like that you can’t seem to get out of “the yuck” as I call it.. look up. Look to Him and know that once you fully rely on God, the peace that comes is indescribable.
“Consider is pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2-3)
A few days ago I had a conversation with a girlfriend about this stage in our lives. The constant entertaining of a toddler, wiping a behind and all of the other stuff that goes along with keeping a small human alive on a daily basis! Being a stay at home mom is hard on so many levels. I also always have the feeling of “not doing enough.” Either with my business that I help run from our home, keeping the house picked up or keeping up with a girlfriend.
The thought hit me like a ton of bricks. My kids will only be kids for a short amount of time. In just a few months my son, my baby, will start attending a 2 day a week Mother’s Day Out. Granted that is only a few days a week, but time is moving fast. I will not beat myself up over helping in our business, having all the laundry folded or being MIA on friends. God has entrusted me with a beautiful family that I have the honor or loving and leading. At this point in my life that is all that matters. So today and everyday after this one I will be more aware of being present in the moment and enjoy this stage of parenting and soak it all in. Everything else can wait.
Hard to believe that on this day three years ago my midwife transferred me to the hospital because of high blood pressure. I remember the anxiety I had that morning. Not only because my birth plan was officially shot and I would no longer be giving birth at the Birth Center, but the anticipation of being a first time parent. What would this journey hold for us? Could we do it? Our little angel didn’t end up being born for two more days. I was two days shy of being 42 weeks pregnant! No joke this kids personality shows her stubbornness. She is extremely bright, but try to tell her something that she does not want to do and watch out!
Here we are three years later and I am weeks away from having my THIRD child! Seriously insane. I still can’t even believe it. I say that it is insane because for over 4 years I was labeled an “infertile.” No amount of fertility drugs or treatments helped us and we were left in a state of despair at not being able to have children. It was such a dark time for us both. We relied on God and knew that the promise in our heart would come to fruition someday. We just had no idea it would happen so quickly!
“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end- it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.’
Fast forward to now our third sweet little miracle (A BOY!) and I am grateful, yet terrified. How did this happen? Ok… Ok… I know what you are thinking. I know HOW it happened… 😉 After all that we had gone though with having our first child, when I was nursing Addy I honestly didn’t even think it was possible for me to get pregnant so quickly with our second.
When our first daughter was 9 months old, I found out I was pregnant with our second beautiful daughter. We were both shocked and grateful for God’s Blessings upon us. He knew the desires of our heart and even though it was a little sooner than we would have liked, we were given another miracle. I was overwhelmed with two kids under two, but honestly felt that all of those years of waiting, praying and hoping for children helped get me though the first few months of craziness with the girls. Then it happened. Again. Evie was 9 months old, I was nursing her one day and said oh no…. sure enough, pregnant!
This time I am sad to admit that tears were my first reaction. This was absolutely NOT my plan. We had been careful. This third pregnancy has been accompanied with a roller coaster of emotions. First of all how will we ever survive THREE children 3 and under?? My days now are spent as more of a referee as the 2 and 1 year old constantly fight over things. This afternoon both of them wanted to have snuggles from mom.. at the same time. Which is challenging when I am also carrying a large basketball in my belly. There is some relief knowing that once I am not pregnant anymore the physical part of having small children will get easier for me. Even though I am still working out, I still find these stages with the girls hard being in my third trimester with our son.
Today I was talking to one of my dear friends about how I have massive fear about our third child. With the second I had the thoughts of “Will I ever love this little girl like the first?”, “How will our marriage change with two children?” “Will I ever sleep, etc. etc.” With my son my thoughts have been of disbelief, fear and honestly I catch myself being ungrateful for this sweet Blessing because I am just so overwhelmed already. This motherhood thing is hard and no joke. Especially being a stay at home mom.
She reminded me that fear is not something given by God. And gave me this scripture that I plan on writing out and posting.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self- control”
2 Timothy 1:7
Ahhhh… the word is so refreshing. That was exactly what I needed. I have such an amazing group of women in my tribe and am so grateful for each of them. <3
This is my current view. I am so Blessed. The Lord knows what we can handle and I know that even on the tough days, which I am sure will be plenty, He will equip me. I have an absolutely incredible husband and two beautiful daughters. Somehow this little man of ours will fit in to our family and make it complete. I encourage anyone that may be waiting for something… a baby, a husband, a job, anything.. to hold the faith. God always has perfect timing and as my life is a testimony, he can work miracles!!
On a daily basis I a reminded of how hard marriage really is. Sharing your life with someone is just plain work.
When I was married over 7 years ago I went into it with realistic expectations. As a child of not one, but two divorces I knew the journey ahead would not be easy. Since I knew what divorce was and what it did to children caught in the crossfire, I was going to work my butt off to make my marriage work. There would be NO easy way out. Divorce would never be an option. Ever.
Fast forward 7 years and two children and I now understand. I totally get how people can throw up their hands and move on to something “better.” Or just give up and divorce. This stuff is hard! And you have to work on the relationship DAILY!
One major thing I have learned is communication is key. That and surprises!
Surprises- Now I don’t mean presents per say.. (but I do love presents) 🙂
Just something different from the day to day monotony of life. Sweet notes written with markers on the bathroom mirror, other special notes hidden through out the house for your spouse to find, flowers.. get creative. Money is NOT the primary here, it is the thought.
Communication- Communication sucks. No lie, I was a communication major in college. I can talk to people. I love people! Yet, sometimes telling my husband that I feel neglected in some way or that feel like I need him to help me out more in an area around the house is super hard for me. Honestly it is just easier for me to keep my mouth shut! But is “easier” really going to help this relationship long term? No.
Since we have hit the “7 year itch” mark I have found that we have been going through some major growth in our marriage. We have now been together almost 10 years and we know each other.. well. Yet, as life moves on day to day our “normal” if there was ever one, has changed. And with that becomes some serious work in the two of us. Thankfully, we are not alone and we have the Lord to help guide us and give us direction and support in our marriage.
“But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Mark 10: 6-9)
Powerful. Marriage has been around forever and God smiles upon the sacred vow. Praying and calling out to Him for help or get connected to people of faith to give spiritual advice is key. I don’ t know about you, but I just love the part about “becoming one flesh.” I put this verse on our program at our wedding and it still gets me warm and fuzzy on the inside all of these years later. It is romantic to me… living out the rest of your life with one person who knows you like no one else.
I have not one doubt in my mind that on that fateful Christmas night that Chris and I were supposed to cross paths. I know we were put together to make a difference in not only our children’s lives, but those around us. We want to share our love of God and our passion for quality health for all that will listen. No matter how hard the day to day may seem of sharing my life with my husband, I will do my best everyday to work at us. Because we started with “us” and until my last living breath.. it will end with us.
We have decided that every Sunday night we will have some time for us and our week. Talk about the week ahead, our finances, pray, and hopefully finally start a bible study that we have been talking about for a while now.
I challenge you to do the same! Let’s make 2015 the year that marriages are strengthened, restored and rejuvenated!
A few weeks ago we attended an adoption seminar that ended up fueling our desire to adopt a child into over drive. I remember one of the incredible mothers that spoke who called her adoption process a “paper pregnancy.” Wow. I had never thought of it that way.
Granted, it may be a bit longer than 9 months until we hold his precious body in our arms for the first time, I won’t have all those pesky pregnancy symptoms and I can still have a glass of wine… but just like any other new parents to be, we are now officially preparing for our son to come home. <3
Yesterday afternoon we got the official call that we have been accepted into the adoption agency! How exciting! It really did have the same energy as finding out your pregnant! Praise God! A million things have been making my mind spin. Names, nursery ideas, you name it…my noggin hasn’t slowed a bit 🙂
With this pregnancy we will also have a total shake down! It is strange to think that once we get our paperwork done and sent off that our whole lives will be recorded in a 20 page document that will be sent to Africa. Weird. Yet, so wonderful at the same time. Our trips to Africa will be an adventure for my husband and I, with the second trip bringing home our son 🙂
This adoption process is still very foreign to us, but I am determined to move as quickly as they will let me. When we got the official email yesterday it took me an hour to sign, scan, email back 5 documents and send our first online payment. Think I’m excited?
I have already started to ask God to help me with patience because I am prepared (at least I think I am) for the waiting to be the hardest part. Waiting for the paperwork to clear, waiting on the African Embassy to approve us… waiting to finally bring our son home.
Of course finding the finances will also be interesting, but we know that the Lord will provide. God funds what he favors 🙂 I have already started tossing around a few fundraising ideas these past few days. We have had such an amazing out pour of love and support for this adoption and many people have said they want to be part of bringing our little angel home! Isn’t that amazing?!! Thinking of a raffle, garage sale, t shirts…
Anyone have any great ideas??
This three year journey of becoming parents has taught me about faith and my relationship with Christ. No matter how angry I have become at Him at what we have had to endure to make this dream of being parents a reality, He always seems to draw me closer. I am learning that true faith in God comes in the hard times, the times where you want nothing more than to rebel and try it all on your own.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
We are so excited for this new journey and hope you will follow along as we experience the joy of adoption. And maybe even inspire you or someone you know to do the same 🙂
Have a wonderful weekend friends,