Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013

End of the year.

I hope all of you had a great 2013. We had a very good year, stressful at times but the kids have come a long way and are doing well. Melanie and myself are doing well too,(but it would be better if we didn't have these sinus colds).
I hope all of you have a great 2014 and remember to right that on your checks:)


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Thoughts

Sharing our annual Christmas letter with you below. I pray that you enjoy the holidays with those you love and that you spend time remembering the babe who was born thousands of years ago in a manger in Bethlehem. "O come, let us adore Him!"

 As the holidays approached this year, I mentally began to write my Christmas letter. You know the one… similar to what you get from many people. Travel news, bragging about the kids, all the exciting things happening in life, etc. But as I contemplated what to share, the content of my letter began to change. So for those of you looking for a newsy, what’s happening in our world kind of update, you may want to stop now. If I’ve piqued your curiosity, read on. This really just comes from my heart as I read related posts on Facebook, had conversations with friends about the topic, and listened to an amazing speaker earlier this fall.

 How often do we think about the image we portray in our public lives? Reading social networking posts, blogs - even just listening to other’s stories can set up such unrealistic expectations for our own lives. We tend to only hear the positive news, the great accomplishments, how wonderful everything is and we begin to compare. We compare our mundane, oh-so-imperfect realities with the brief glimpses into others’ “perfect” lives and come up feeling like we are missing out on something. That “if only xyz” would happen, life would be better or we would be happier. But, the truth of that matter is that no one’s life is perfect. Those imperfections just may not be as visible to us. There is no winning the comparison game. The truth is that there will always be someone who has more, does more, gives more…

So this Christmas, instead of the letter with all the good news, I’m choosing to be real about our life. The year has been filled with ups and downs – laughter and tears. There have been blessings beyond measure. Mark and the kids were able to travel with me as I attended work related conferences. We moved to the country and have room for the kids to run. With the larger space, we were able to fill our home with friends and family at Thanksgiving. But, there have been challenges as well. We’ve grieved the fact that Maia has not regained all she lost with last year’s illness, including her speech. Matthew continues to heal from the hurts of his life before joining our family. Mark and I struggle to balance the demands of work/home, raising kids with special needs, and our relationship. The house is usually a mess, the “to-do” list never finished. Some days, the best scenario is to muddle through, climb into bed at night and pray for strength to start again the next morning

More and more, I am reminded that life isn’t about how many fabulous vacations we’ve taken or our kids’ amazing accomplishments. It isn’t about the showcase home or the expensive gift from our spouse. There is always going to be someone who is able to boast something better, someone whose life seems “more perfect”.

 God doesn’t ask us to be flawless. The worldly treasures we value so highly are of no importance to Him. He sent His son to be born in a stable and laid in a manger – it doesn’t get much more imperfect and humble than that. But, that is just part of what makes Him so real and accessible to us. Christ’s gifts are love and grace, redemption, and the promise of eternity to those who believe. They are not dependent on what we possess or accomplish in life. With God, we never have to worry about how we compare or measure up. 

My challenge to you is this. Make a choice to be real, let your guard down a bit; quit trying to keep up that image of having it all together. Extend grace to others. Allow them to be imperfect. Perhaps in doing so, we can create a world where there is more peace, kindness, and compassion. 

And my holiday prayer is that you find strength when your heart is weary, peace when you feel unsettled, a sense of contentment with where your life is right now, security in knowing that God loves you with a perfect love, and joy in celebrating the birth of the Christ Child.

 Blessings to you and yours this Christmas and throughout 2014!

Friday, December 13, 2013

A day to celebrate!

Three years ago today, we became parents of this sweet Ukranian princess! What a blessing she is and how much she has grown! 
Happy adoption day, Maia - we love you!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Praying that your holiday was filled with love, laughter, and many blessings! Our home was filled with loved ones and what a wonderful gift it was to have this time together. So much to be thankful for each and every day, sometimes I have to remind myself of that. But, it is true.

Monday, November 18, 2013


We took a small trip to Branson, Mo. We had a good time, Melanie had a conference there. When we drove in the driveway Melanie asked me if I had keys to the house. My car keys where in the house (We took Melanies car). So my answer was no. She left her keys in the house too. So I had to break intro the house.  
Pictures coming soon.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Three years ago today

We received the call that we had been eagerly waiting for... The one telling us that we had an appointment in Kyiv on November 29. Gosh, the emotions of those days are so easy to recall. Ukraine has been heavy on my heart lately. I love going back and reading our posts, remembering our journey.

On a side note, Maia had a busy day of appointments. Nothing urgent... I will try to update soon.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Today, I am thankful for those two kiddos of mine! They had fun trick or treating. I forgot to take pictures, but we had a Halloween themed dinner with mummy dogs, green eyeballs, Frankenstein's fingers, and mud/dirt/worm dessert. 

Oh, let me also add that black food coloring does not easily wash off -lol!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Ah, those precious moments!

This morning, I was having my quiet time before starting the day. I had finished reading my devotions and was writing in my prayer journal when Matthew came in. He was carrying the daily devotions book that we read at bedtime. Matthew asked if I would read a devotion to him and when I said "yes," asked if he could choose the "story." It was about being happy and trusting God even when bad things happen. When we were finished, Matthew commented about a drawing of a little boy who looked like someone in his class. This other little boy is not very nice to Matthew. So, I used the story I had just read to talk about God wanting us to be kind to others even if they are mean to us. We talked about how hard that is, but that it was the right thing to do. My sweet boy was so quiet and serious as we had that discussion. At the end, he said, "yes, mom it is hard. But, I will try." Oh, I tear up just thinking about it. My son has had so many "bad" things happen in his life. :-( but today, I had hope that perhaps we (with God's help) are starting to make a difference in that heart that has been so hurt. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Thursday again. This was an easy post.

- I think I have mentioned that our family has been able to be part of filming of a video honoring parents and caregivers of special needs children. There were over 600 families that participated. We had no expectations that we would be part of the video. It was just a privilege to be part of this amazing project! Last Sunday, we were able to attend the "premiere" party to see the final version of "Angel Child" by Michael Boylan. He is the father of a special needs child himself. Anyway, imagine our surprise and delight when our whole family was in one of the first clips! And then, Matthew and I were in another clip! www.reachformenetwork.com

- I don't know if I will be able to get the pics added in the right order, but so thankful for this face! Good thing that sweet corn season ended before the second tooth came out.

- Tonight, I told Miss Maia to take off her shoes and socks. Here's what I found... AMAZING!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Just a quick brag!

We had Matthew's first parent-teacher conference today. For some silly reason, I was nervous. Worried that we would find out he is really struggling. I walked in and sat down in the teeny, tiny kindergarten chair (someone should have had a picture of that -lol!) and his teacher started by saying, "Matthew is doing great! He is such a sweet kid and I love having him in our class." Oh, this Mama's heart was proud! Mrs. K said that Matthew is very polite and tries very hard. Although he is behind his peers in some skills and the effects of his medical issues impact his learning, he is making progress. Woohoo! You keep going, sweet boy - I know God has great plans for you!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thankful Thursday

So much to be thankful for this week! 

- We put our old house on the market last Wednesday. Such a good feeling to have it ready. God surpassed my hopes and answered our prayers when we received an offer Monday! If all goes as planned, we will close on November 15!
- Another prayer of thanks to God for time with friends. I was able to get together with my friend Erica, whose son is adopted from the same orphanage as our kiddos. It is totally a blessing to visit with her and talk about the challenges and blessings of raising these children.
- An amazingly breathtaking sunrise this morning as Matthew and I walked out to wait for the bus. I had to run (which I'm sure was a hilarious sight) back to get my camera. What a reminder of God's gifts to us when we stop to notice.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What's to be thankful for?

Well, let's see...

- Our old house is officially on the market! We signed the paperwork on Tuesday and it is listed. Such a good feeling. I am praying that God will lead the right people to it and that it will sell quickly.

- I am really glad that tomorrow is Friday. It's been a week of poor sleep (between the kids being up at night and a rotten cold). I don't handle fatigue well (just ask my family) and I am looking forward to a bit of recuperation this weekend.

- Quiet time with God. I've been making it a priority to have time by myself every morning. I read my devotion for the day, and the Bible verses that go along with it, pray, journal a short message to my Heavenly Father... It makes such a difference in my ability to handle the rest of the day. I can always tell the difference when I haven't started my day with Him. 

- Most nights when I put Matthew to bed, I take a few moments and give him a back rub or massage his face (his favorite), arms, or legs. Sometimes while I am doing this, I will pray over him. Usually asking God to fill Matthew's heart with peace and assurance that we love him, that our divine Healer will fill those gaping wounds from my precious boy's previous life, that Matthew will grow in His relationship with God, and that he will be filled with a desire to serve Him with all his heart. Matthew doesn't have much reaction to this and I have often wondered what he thinks. One night last week as we were walking to his room, Matthew asked, "Mom, will you talk to Jesus about me tonight?" Oh, my heart was filled with happiness as I responded "of course, kiddo. I love talking to Jesus about you." In the midst of daily challenges, those are the moments to treasure!

What's on your list this Thursday?

Saturday, September 28, 2013


Friends are so important, aren't they? They lift us up, they make us feel valued, they give us encouragement, laughter...friends are a precious gift from God and good for our soul!

The last five years have truly been a whirlwind in my life. In 2008, I started my master's program. Between school and work, I was so busy that time with friends was non-existent. Even emailing friends that I had previously "talked" to every single day became a thing of the past. I promised myself that as soon as I finished school, I would renew my commitment to the friends I had neglected during the previous two years.

The day after I took my last exam and the same day as commencement, I had surgery. And two weeks after that, we got the email that would change our life forever. Before I even started my new job as an NP, Mark and I had begun the paper chase to bring our Miss Maia home. We did everything we could to expedite the process. All of those friendships I intended to refresh? Put on the back burner.

We got home with Maia and before we even acclimated to being a family of three, the race began to get Matthew home before he was transferred from the detsky dom. And all of a sudden, we were a family of four.

I had been away from my new job for about 16 weeks in the first year. As soon as we got back from our second trip to Ukraine, I returned to work. Between adjusting to being a mom of two and a completely new nursing role, I was lucky to get matching shoes on in the morning. Time for friends? Ummm... not so much!

About the time I was finally starting to feel like life was calming down and maybe, just maybe I could catch up with those beautiful women that God had brought in to my life, Maia got sick. And again, I was barely able to breathe as we adjusted to a new "normal."

Unfortunately, these crazy past five years have taken a toll on many of my friendships. It saddens me greatly that many wonderful relationships have went by the wayside. My circle of friends has become smaller.

Yet this week, I am so thankful for friends who are good for my soul! An email from a dear friend Mary Ann reminded me of the importance of friendship as we travel along this journey. God has blessed me with a few friends who just totally understand where I'm at. They continue to hang in there with me even though, more often than not, they are the ones on the giving end. They help remind me that I don't have to "have it all together." Even though I am never going to make "mom (or wife) of the year," it doesn't mean that I am a rotten mom (wife), either. They strengthen me and they are a priceless gift - one I do not take lightly. And ladies, one of these days I may finally figure out how to balance life a bit better. In the meantime, know that I do not take you for granted and you are often in my prayers! Thank you for blessing my life with your friendship!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thankful for the reminder

These pictures were taken at our local pumpkin patch. The first was two years ago, the second this year. How my kiddos have grown!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

thankful thursday

Today is about Matthew. He started young athletes, a program at the Jr. college for students to work with young kids at the gym. Matthew likes this a lot and we get to burn off some of his ENERGY.

I'm thankful this program is here for him because he is also learning to follow directions better.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Here it is... Another Thursday. Two weeks since my last post. Ugh! Intention and action are two different things, aren't they? But, I here and I am thankful.
- School is in session. The kids are enjoying being back in the routine. Matthew is attending kindergarten in the morning every day and "Kindergarten plus" four afternoons/week. This session builds upon the skills learned in the morning, using different methods (play, activities, etc.). He is eager to get on the bus every morning! Maia is attending Early Childhood Special Ed again this year four mornings/week. One afternoon/week, she attends a typical preschool class with her peers. Today was her first day there. Hoping that this will be a positive experience for her.
- Since school is in session and Matthew is attending full days 4x/wk, this means that Mark gets a bit of a break when both kids are gone. He deserves it! 
- Actually, Mark hasn't had much of a break yet. So far, he has been using the time to work on our old house. We are almost ready to put it on the market and I am thankful for that. Praying for a quick sale!
- Finally, thankful as always for God's reminders and reassurance that he walks each step of this journey with me. Some days, I feel stretched beyond what I think I can possibly handle. And I remember that He never claimed the road would be easy. But, His ways are perfect!

Oh... And now, I am thankful that my sweet hubby just reminded me that it's only Wednesday. So... You are getting this a day early. Sigh... I guess that's better than my usual tardiness - lol! I will try to post some pics soon!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thankful Thursday

This week, a couple of things stand out for me...
- I have the week off from work. And though we aren't doing anything exciting, I am home with the kids so that Mark is able to spend some time trying to get our old house ready to go on the market. 
- Sending the week at home just doing routine things reminds me of how thankful I am for my hubby. All I can say is that he does a great job!
- Matthew "graduated" from speech therapy today. He will continue to work with the school speech therapist, but has met the goals from our outpatient therapist!
- Date night!
- And the main thing I am thankful for is the strength that God provides when I feel like I have none. He has reminded me "Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9. I've been pretty discouraged lately, but He is faithful and He sustains me. So thankful for His love!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Matthew moment

This afternoon, Matthew and I were playing a game where he would "go away" and I would "cry" and say how sad I was until he "came back." One leaving episode went like this.

Me: "Matthew's going away and I am going to miss him so much. I will be so sad without my Matthew because I love him better than any other boy in our house."
Matthew: (touches my cheek with a very serious look on his face) "oh, sweetie (a phrase I sometimes use with him)... It's ok. I will come back and when I do, I will bring you a present."

It was all I could do not to burst out laughing. And then, he went upstairs and came back down with a note he had "written" which said how much he loved me. He also brought me his piggy bank. Now if that isn't an "awww" moment, I am not sure what is.

Maia update

Happy to report and thanking God that there are no issues with Miss Maia's shunt. In fact, the head CT showed less fluid build-up in Maia's ventricles than at last check which is wonderful news! White blood count mildly elevated, consistent with the urinary tract infection they found. 7days of antibiotics. The ED staff were terrific! They took our concerns very seriously and I am so thankful for that!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Emergency room again

Maia is not acting like herself today, a little tired and clinging to mom. We are just making sure the shunt is working ok. It could be just a cold.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thankful Thursday

We have been doing a poor job of posting for awhile. Our lives have been very hectic. You all know we have a new house, What you don't know is I (Mark) have been spending time painting the inside of our old house and moving all our stuff to the new house. While still bringing the kids to see the Doctor, T-ball games and horse riding, oh and don't let me forget summer school. Now to update you on the kids. They're fine.

Melanie just told me you need more info than "they're fine". So here it is. Matthew is done with T-ball and loves riding the horses. Last time they had the kids ride sitting backwards like Dudley Doright. I wish you could have been there to hear him laugh. Maia likes ringing the bells they have hanging from the trees and galloping. Dad on the other hand who is very over weight and old, and needs to run beside the horse when she gallops is not such a big fan of the galloping. But I am thankful they are doing fine.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thankful Thursday

The pictures say it all.
The kids started therapeutic horseback riding this week and loved it!
Thankful for this opportunity for them!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Happy Gotcha Day!

Two years ago on July 7, we were in this building in Sevastopol in front of a judge asking her to grant our petition to adopt a boy who had captured our hearts.
 And on July 19, 2011, this scared little boy left the orphanage
for the last time and became part of a forever family.
Home one year
Oh, he makes us laugh!

Happy Gotcha Day, Matthew! You have grown so much and we love you!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Miss Maia has held the cup to drink by herself for two days in a row. WOOHOO! Nuff said!

Happy boy - again, Nuff Said!

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Today, I am thankful...
- that I can make a conscious choice to love, even when it is difficult and fought against. Hmmm, much like we often act towards our Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally.
- for my blog friends who have encouraged me with your responses to my recent post. I love you ladies, yes you. Jane, Pat, Jacqueline. God has blessed me by bringing you into my life!
- for the Mosquitos that find me so appealing. Ok, not really. But, spending time with them this evening did result in these blessings from our yard!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

And this is how my morning started out

Minus one toenail! It's not as painful as I anticipated, but I definitely feel it. Doctor said I had the highest pain tolerance of any patient he has treated.
I looked pretty funny at work with one regular shoe on and one flip flop carefully placed on my other foot - lol!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Truth Be Told

This past year has been a tough one for me. Well, the reality is that it's been a tough one for our family. I've shared some of those challenges here and some I've kept to myself. The blog has suffered. That saddens me, as I really do enjoy writing, opening my heart, philosophizing a bit, and just keeping things updated.

The truth of the matter is that many of us have dry or barren periods in our lives. And that's how I can best describe what this last year has looked like for me. When Maia was acutely ill, people commented on how strong my faith was and how I seemed to have such a sense of peace about me. In those moments, I felt strong in my relationship with God (and my dependence on Him). I felt His peace envelop me and sustain me.

But after we got home and began to live our daily lives, the "aftermath" set in. In the beginning, I eagerly anticipated Maia's miracle. I had my expectations of how it should look. We would have our girl back, exactly the way that she was "before." Our family would return to the way it was "before." I waited... and I waited... and I prayed... and I waited... and I prayed...and it didn't happen the way I wanted it to.  Our family dynamics changed significantly because of Maia's care needs. There has been a toll on each person. Certainly, Maia lost the most, but none of us have escaped from this unscathed. And the reality is that Matthew has suffered greatly as well, which adds to more stress.

So over the past year, I have struggled. Looking back, I came to a point (not that long ago) that I can only describe as absolutely barren and desolate. Full of grief and loss... for Maia, for our family, for myself. I came across a quote on a friend of a friend's blog that seems so appropriate for what I have been feeling. This family lost a daughter to a brain tumor at age 12. Jen (the mom) wrote, "I have come to grips with the fact that 'carefree' will probably never apply to me again.  My life will always have the before, and from here on out, I will live in the after."

I was in tears as I read those words. I have the "before/after" of my first husband's death, although as time has passed, my "after" life has taken away much of the sting of that. And now, I have the "before/after" of Maia's illness. Even though it's been over a year, those feelings are still pretty raw. I miss the old Maia, I miss her every single day. I'm starting to see how my grief (and the stress/strain of the past year) has affected my interactions with my family and the world in general. It's not been pretty.

But, God reminds me that He has not left me in this journey. Even when I have not felt Him, He has been right there by my side. And He is slowly teaching me that I need to trust that He is enough. To let go of my expectations. To stop looking at the "before" and to quit worrying about the future, but to start making a difference today. I can manage baby steps and that's enough.

With that being said, I am looking forward to some regular blogging again now that I feel like coming out of my "pit" and back to the world. No promises, but that's my hope! :-)

Thursday, July 4, 2013


For all those who sacrificed so that we can enjoy the tremendous freedoms that we have today!

And of course, for these two precious kiddos who now enjoy freedom from a life that held no future, no independence, no love, no family.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thankful Thursday

- Today, I am thankful for the sun that shines behind the clouds in life.
- I am thankful for blue tongues!
- Thankful for apples to come, looking forward to enjoying them this fall.
- I am thankful for friends and family.
- Amazed by the beauty of our yard and in awe of God's creation!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

One year ago

One year ago today, we brought our sweet girl home after six weeks in the hospital. She couldn't sit unassisted, vomited regularly, and we weren't sure that she even remembered our house when we arrived home. I recall how overwhelmed I felt, scared that she would never progress from that point, and asking God to give me peace as we dealt with so much uncertainty.
So here we are, one year later. Miss Maia has come so far. Physically, she has regained her strength and probably about 75% of her function. Cognitively, Maia has made progress as well. She definitely knows home, family, and friends who adore her. She's finishing up her first session of summer school and will have another session in July. We can tell that Maia comprehends much of what we tell her. And her stubborn and mischievous streaks often shine! :-) She is beginning to participate in very simple tasks, like carrying dirty clothes to the laundry or putting silverware in the sink. It brings joy to our hearts to see these small steps forward!
Our ongoing prayer is for Miss Maia's speech to return. She is babbling and beginning to make some sounds that we (and her teachers) think are words. We hope that these are the first steps in finding her voice again, we can tell Maia has a lot to say - lol!
And we praise God for his faithfulness over the past year as he has slowly healed (and continues to heal) our sweet girl!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thankful Thursday

I know... I keep saying that I will be better about posting and yet, I've been a slacker lately. There are a couple of things that are big on my praise list for today, though.
- Maia is beginning to make an effort to get food on her spoon and fork! We still have to do hand over hand and guide her, but this is huge! Maia, you GO girl!
- Two years ago today, we arrived in Kyiv, eager to get to our son! Thankful for answered prayers and God's wisdom in creating families. Matthew, we love you!
- So thankful for the opportunities the kids have this summer. Maia is finishing up her first week of summer school and doing awesome. Matthew has had 4 days of day camp and loves it!
- I am immensely thankful for our beautiful home. I will be honest, I wasn't very excited about it because there were so many things I had on my list for our next home. This house only had one, a formal dining room. Now a few weeks after living here, I think I love it more than anyone else! Just looking out the window every morning during my devotion time reminds me of God's presence and the beauty of His creation!

Friday, June 7, 2013

First Friday Pizza Night

We had our first pizza/movie night in our new house. The Rescu*rs Down Under was the feature film. :-) Here's a picture to capture the evening and also a pic of the view from our front step. Finally, some sun! I will share more soon.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thankful Thursday

The blog has been severely neglected lately and I really hope to get back to regular posts again soon. It's way past my bedtime, but just want to mention a couple reasons for gratitude before the day ends.
We got the big stuff moved to our new house last weekend and have been officially inhabiting the house since Saturday. This would not have been possible without the help of wonderful friends! So thankful for Guy, Jo and Tony, Tim and Jon, and Kari. Thanks also to Brad!
Monday was Matthew's birthday and I am thankful for this firecracker who keeps me on my toes! He celebratEd with many of his favorite people and had a great time. I love you kiddo!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

It's ours!

Closing went without a hitch... Well, except for Mark forgetting his driver's license. ;-) today, we stripped wallpaper in the master bedroom and got one bathroom painted. Goal for tomorrow is to get the master bedroom and bath painted. Then, we can start moving stuff in. So incredibly thankful for the help of Mark's parents and sister Betsy today! Here are a couple of pics. Matthew is loving all the space!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Tomorrow, we close on our new home. I am thankful that God has blessed us in this way and know that this is going to be a wonderful place for our kiddos!

I will just share a funny story, too. As we were house hunting, we often shared that one of the reasons we wanted to move was so that Matthew had more room to "burn off some of his energy." Well, sometimes I make energy bars as a quick breakfast or snack. On Tuesday, we had our final walk through at the house. The kids were going with us and Matthew asked if he could have an energy bar before we left. Why? "Mom, I need to have lots of energy at our new house so if I eat an energy bar, then I can burn it off." Oh, he made me giggle!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

"But you chose this."

Quite a while ago, I posted about how frustrating it was to me when people ask how things are going, but tell me that I "asked for this" when I am honest about some of the challenges we face as parents of children with special needs. I had commented that yes, we did choose to adopt but did so not anticipating the issues that we deal with on a regular basis because of our children's background.
Well, I would like to add to my previous response a little bit and also thank a fellow adoptive mom (Hope Ann) for making a comment recently that helps me to state my perspective much better.
Why am I revisiting the topic? Well, probably more for my sake than anyone else's. But, here goes.
Yes, we did choose adoption. Mark and I talked a lot about whether we should take that path when we came to that "fork in the road." We had a pretty carefree life. We could travel, do what we wanted, when we wanted with little planning. Our responsibilities were few, we were the envy of many of our friends. We knew that having children would change all of that. And we chose to pursue parenthood, expecting it to come easily. But, it didn't.
So then, we talked about adoption vs fertility treatment. What made the most sense and again, how far did we want to go to pursue parenthood. When we started the domestic adoption process, we were confident and hopeful that a birth mother would see our profile and immediately choose us as parents for her child. It quickly became apparent that this would not be the case.
Then, Mark and I began to talk about international adoption, special needs adoption - how that would look, how it would affect our lives. We talked about what we felt we could handle as far as special needs. We had a clear idea of what we wanted, a dream for our family and what it would look like.
Two and a half years later, reality looks far different than we imagined. Harder? Sometimes. Easier? Sometimes. Stressful? More than I could have imagined. Rewarding? Absolutely! The long and short of it is this.
Did we choose this? Yes, the fact is that we chose to adopt two children with special needs. But the truth is also that God chose us to adopt Maia and Matthew, specifically. He could have placed them in other forever families. Yet, He asked us to step out in faith to bring our children home. He allowed us the freedom to say "yes" or "no." We can only claim that we were obedient to His call. We chose this because God chose us.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful that our little Maia is doing so well. Last year at this time we didn't know if she would make it. Keep praying for her so that she will start to talk soon. I am also thankful that Matthew is doing well. He has been doing great at school and has some good friends that he talks about often.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

And thank you to the two women who gave me the gift of motherhood!