Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday nights

When I was a kid we watched the wonderful world of Disney. I think it was Sunday nights. We sat in front of the TV eating pizza. Well we started doing this thing at our house about 2 years ago. Friday nights are the movie night. We take turns picking a movie (thanks to my aunt Avis who gave us a pile of VHS movies). We also have about 50 DVDs for the kids too. Most of the time the kids pick a Disney VHS tape to watch while having pizza. Matthew looks forward to this all week. Tonight we watched Pinocchio on vintage VHS.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Well, I have definitely been missing in action lately, but God has reminded me that being thankful in ALL things is important. So, I can't let another Thursday pass without acknowledging some of the many blessings in my life.

- Even though spring has been slow in arriving, I love hearing the birds outside our living room window!

- Matthew and Mark built a birdhouse which is hanging in one of the trees in our front yard. A bird has made her nest in it and it just warms my heart to think of her in there! And Matthew is thrilled about this!

- Slowly, we are getting things packed. A long way to go, but there is progress.

- Loving reading stories of families who are bringing home their new little ones from other parts of the world right now.

- This may seem a bit random, but I am thankful for the time that we spent in Ukraine. I hope that we will be able to return again to the country that gave us our children.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Is it Thursday again already? Gosh, the days fly by. I'm having one of those "out of sorts" kind of days so it seems pretty important to stop and consider what I am thankful for!
  • We are one step closer to our new home. Met with the mortgage loan officer and have a locked in interest rate. The closing date (May 24) seems so far away, but I know it will be here before we know it!
  • I'm not great at taking the time to reflect on how far the kids have come, but this week we had a kindergarten round-up meeting for Matthew (since he will start next fall). The principal was talking about sharing time (show and tell) for the kids and it occurred to me. Last year, Matthew had a very difficult time with this. I remember his teachers saying that he was not able to clearly communicate with his peers due to his limited English vocabulary. Although he still struggles with word finding at times, Matthew has come so far. To think about how much English he has gained... WOW! He will be able to participate fully in sharing time. I'm excited that he will be a kindergartner in a few months (and a bit sad, too)! Here's to the class of 2026!
  • And Maia... she LOVES trotting (her attempt at running) in any open space she can find. Nine months ago, we were worried about cortical blindness and that she might never set up on her own again, (along with many other issues). It is wonderful to see her go! 
  • Thankful that our new home has lots of yard space for both kiddos to run and explore, they will have so much fun!
  • Last Saturday, we had the opportunity to be part of the filming of a music video which honors parents of children with special needs. It was humbling to be in a group of over 100 families and their children. And to make it even more wonderful? I got to share this experience with my friend Amy, her daughter Nicole, and their family! More to come on the video this fall!
  • Thankful for the gentle reminders God gives me to keep my eyes focused on Him, instead of the chaotic world around me. I struggle with this on a daily basis, but He is faithful and constant.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"Awww" moment

On Sunday, Matthew was helping me pack some things in the family room. Each of the kids has a matroyshka nesting doll which we bought for them in Ukraine. Matthew's is a Christmas nativity set, similar to this.
Image detail for -Nativity Matryoshka Nesting Doll

I asked him to bring me his matroyshkas and we carefully took them apart, looking at each one. Matthew then put them back together as I explained how Mark and I had chose this specifically for him so that when he was older, he would have that as a remembrance of where he was born. Matthew was quiet for a few minutes and then he came to me, put his arms around me and said, Mom... I love you SO much!!" He repeated this two more times. Not sure what was going on in his head and he wasn't able to tell me, but I reassured him that we never wanted him to forget about Ukraine because that was a very important place in his life story. Sometimes, I would like to be able to crawl inside that brain and get a glimpse of what his thoughts are.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

His voice

Lately, I've been talking to God about feeling far away from Him. Not hearing His voice as clearly as I want to. I think most of us go through those phases in our lives. And I recognize that this is not because of God. It's because of me, my human ways and sinful nature. He is always close to us, we are the ones who chose to move. Sometimes, it's a conscious decision - sometimes, it's a gradual slide down that slippery slope away from Him. And all of a sudden, we (I) wonder how I have come to that place where He seems far away.

Over the past few days, I have been working on returning to my Heavenly Father, asking Him to reveal himself to me. And He has been so faithful! Today, I read a fellow adoptive mom's blog and knew that God was saying something that I needed to hear. I will be honest... it wasn't a warm, fuzzy message. And that's ok. The words weren't angry or hateful, they didn't cause me to feel shame. But, they did reach right into my heart and say, "Melanie... I am talking to you. I see your heart. You may try to hide your feelings from me, but I made you. I know you inside and out, you have no secrets from me. And the things you are trying to control right now?? Well, they aren't yours to control!! The tomorrows that you are worrying about? Well, they aren't yours to fret over. Do you trust me or not? You say that you do, but is that just lip service?"

Oh, my... I hear you, Lord! I am reminded that my plan is not His plan. It is only when I can give up that control, that He is able to work fully in my life. How I struggle with this! I am one of those people who overanalyzes everything, who wants to know all the minute details, who wants my kids to be well behaved at.all.times. By trying to maintain this insane race, all I do is distance myself from not only those around me - but also from my Heavenly Father. I set up unrealistic expectations and feel like an utter failure when I can not achieve them. For what purpose?

The bottom line is that I have to relinquish my control to God and ask Him to align my will with His. To trust that He knows far better than I do what is good for me and for those I love. I am so thankful that I have been able to hear His voice above all the clamoring that goes on in my head. Thankful for a God who wants nothing more than to make His presence known in my life, a God who wants nothing more than for me to serve Him. Thankful for the words of wisdom that come from others who walk life's paths and share similar struggles.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thankful Thursday

- Spring is coming! A few rain drops this morning to help wash away some of the winter grime, bright sunshine this afternoon, temps warm enough that I didn't need a coat (keep in mind that in Minnesota, that could be 45 degrees - lol!)...Glorious!
- Those moments when my hubby "gets it." In many ways we think alike, but there are areas when we are miles apart because of our gender perspectives. While I'm excited about our new home, I have some sadness about moving, too. Many things factor into that... anyway yesterday, Mark and I were talking. He said something that made me realize he understood how I'm feeling and has similar emotions. It was nice to hear that we're on the same page.
- Reminders that EVERYTHING I need can be found in God. I don't have to have it all together, I don't have to have all the answers. I do have to trust and look to Him for strength, direction, wisdom. His grace is sufficient for my needs. And there is a difference between wants and needs.
- For the exciting news that one of the families we met while adopting Maia (and who returned to Ukraine for their second adoption at the same time we were adopting Matthew) has started the process for a third adoption and will be bringing home their first daughter with DS. I told Jill I was a bit envious that she will be heading back to U. Praying that God will bless their journey!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Feeling a bit overwhelmed

Matthew and I were looking at an ABC book tonight before bed. I was so discouraged by how little recognition he had of letters and the fact that he does not know the ABCs. Over the past few weeks, FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder) has been mentioned to us several times. To be honest, I've kind of been an ostrich and buried my head in the sand - not wanting to acknowledge the possibility (even though deep down I know it's true).
Many years ago, I wrote a paper about fetal alcohol syndrome. That was back when it was just starting to be recognized. My recollection of the information I learned has long since faded. So after Matthew went to bed, I decided to do a bit of searching. The first article I read described my son perfectly. It broke my heart and also brought me to my knees. Although there was no spiritual reference (it was a medical article), I was reminded that I am so in need of God's help to be the parent that Matthew needs me to be. Praying for His strength and guidance.