Tuesday, October 28, 2014
I haven't known what to write or say.
Heck I haven't known what to think.
I still don't. But I know this has been good therapy for me time and time again.

I've said goodbye to baby E and I will never be the same.

How can someone they say is capable of so little already accomplish so much in her little life?
We are a week out. And this has hurt so bad I can't breathe.

She was MY baby. For lack of all other words.

This week has been so strange, I hadn't realized everything that had been let go of to love her and care for her. We are finding we have so much time we don't even know what to do, without her. For now we will fill in the gaps with all our emotions, with comforting weepy kids, with crying in the bathroom. With staring at photos. With bike rides with our big kids. With making mental declarations, like I am over and done with all this. All this heartache.

I also find Im pleading with the Lord to draw me in, extract the bitter, because its grown there. Maybe even fermented throughout all the goodbyes. So many goodbyes. And oh I want to surrender to him without barrier.

I've drawn close to my husband and didn't realize how much I've missed him. Or how pulled in opposite directions we've been. Half living at the hospital or therapy, or drs. Half trying to meet the needs of the big kids.

I don't know that I will ever understand the process of the last year until I face the Lord. And Im ok with that  I think.

A couple days before she left we took family pictures with her. I hadn't cut my hair in almost a year. She rolled into our life 100 miles an hour and started screaming from the get go, and we ran from there. My hair had gotten long, really long, half dead on the bottom from all the wet messy buns. Scraggly, worn. The way I felt. I walked into a cheap solution strip mall style. I asked her just to cut off all the dead. And she started, and I wept. All six inches worth. Awkwardly. All this dead was so much of the heaviness I felt caring for El. Navigating feeding tubes, mobility, healthy, infection. Not caring for anything else. To everyone detriment. And it was/is worth it. But that poor unknowing hair cutter, she had no idea how desperately I wanted to keep my split ends. It was brutal, and the next few days kept going like that. The quality of OUR life improving, eating hot meals as a family, having time with Nick, going on family bike rides, , but without her, nothing felt right. We had taken such ownership over her. She was/is our family. And we all verbalize that daily.

The beauty from ashes are everywhere. All good things, but the cost, the cost is brutal. The cost is too much.

Its hard to write here, to honor her story and privacy and not tell my own. So hard. But know we are here breaking life down bit by bit.

At the dinner table I asked the kids, what do you need more of, now that we have "more"?
Rylan- more family time, games bike rides, books
Cade - more Mario Kart (shocking hes six)
Nick - more of Mommy
Leslie -more routine and healthy rhythym to our days.. The days have been survival.

Its funny that we can feel like we have more, when we feel such loss.
I have no nice and tidy wrap up.
No resolution.
Just some words on this is where we are.
I pray one day I can look back and see some of this.
Stones of remembrance what the Lord pulled us through.
I pray.

Thursday, July 31, 2014
This week we ran away and while we were driving to our escape I cried out to Jesus.
I confessed sin.
I looked hard at my own ugly heart.
I saw beauty and thanked him for it.

Winding up the roads, in the dark of night.
Still driving.
There were no kids crying, so it was easier to feel close to Jesus.
Song playing. My heart lining up.
Man music does this for me so easily.

David Crowder an old song. Busting through old playlists to survive the drive.

And this is all that I can say right now, i know it's not much.
But this is all that I can give, yeah that's my everything.
This is all that I can say right now [right now], i know it's not much.
But this is all that I can give, yeah that's my everything.

I didn't notice You were standing here
I didn't know that
That was You holding me
I didn't notice You were cry'n too
I didn't know that
That was You washing my feet

And so I envisioned that, Him washing my feet. 
Despite all that I am right now. 
How bitter I am for this place. 
This lack of privilege and this place of burden. 
And Hes washing my feet. 

The kiddos started giggling, talking about owls who live in trees.
The baby coo'd, which makes us all swoon.
We drove by small town signage which can always be comical. 
The excitement and anticipation of arriving somewhere after a long long drive set in. 
The idea of going somewhere with the purpose to rest set in. 
The day switched to a new one in the middle of the night.
Just like that in the blinking of the clock.
Still winding our way to this mountain village. 

He washed my feet. 
I give Him my sin. 
And Im new. Just like that. 
I still sometimes feel so small before the Lord, and my heart races to be closer to Him. 
I don't want to lose that, I want to magnify it. 
Over and over again.
In the midst of fear and heartbreak. 
In the midst of oh crap moments.
In the midst of doing life for Him. 
I don't want to forget that this is for Him. Not in vain. 

And we went and rested and it was so good. 
We swam and ate and looked for more owls in trees, and sand to Jesus as a family. 
And I just wanted to share that with all of you.
And I don't want to forget it.
Monday, June 09, 2014
So it happened all the diagnosis we were battling were declared.
I've been a numb mama, who flounders with a foot in each camp for Jesus to heal this babies body, and that he created her perfectly right how she is. Its like the North and South pole conflicting, but I trust them both.

I haven't really broken down and processed this. No tears, worried that if I did they wouldn't stop.
And truthfully I went a good 24 hours where I zombie walked the house, without sleeping, without changing out of that green dress. Where I didn't cry, just thrashed.

The only way I can describe this week, is here I am .. thrashing before the Lord. More info, more likely complications down the road, and my body thrashes before the Lord in the water. I take some of it in, in my thrashing. I hate this. All of this. This wasn't a club I signed up (who does?). This wasn't MY plans for this baby, for my life. Im Thrashing in water, not softly, not splashing, THRASHING.

Jesus keeps telling me to put my feet down in this puddle. But still I thrash. And its ugly. Violent. Angry, sad. Still thrashing. My spirit is upside down.

A new language is being spoken around me, they assume this is a club I've been a part of before.. and Im constantly asking for clarification on what these words, terms, insurance codes mean. I dont know them. Im too busy thrashing, don't they know.

Yesterday at church this song happened. And man it was a balm to my spirit.
The fact that I've been so busy with baby blowouts and poetry units to process any of this, to reach down and trust him. Between me thrashing and real life with 2 big kids and 1 high needs baby, whos got time to process?

But these words, man.. if your thrashing... will force your legs to the ground. Will lift your head up to the heavens and just force you to lean into our Father.

I need less thrashing... more trusting....

HE cares for the orphan.
The pressure is off, Im just to be hands. Because he has the weight of this. 
He cares for me.

He gives justice to the weak.
To her and me.

My confidence is in the name of the Lord. Not the healing, not the circumstance... Man....

And to stand there and surrender and just sing hallelujah........
well thrashing subsides.The water calms.
My feet hit (only knee deep, because the thrashing has been ridiculous anyways).

God is so sovereign.

But it will be on repeat this week, when the enemy strikes.......
Thursday, June 05, 2014


To my joy girl,

You are 7 months old today. 7.
You are 14 lbs. You are almost 5 times what you were at birth.
This journey and ride we are on together has been wild and rocky.
But I have news for you. We have fallen in love.

Your a funny personality miss thing, you know what you want.
Your personality is waking from a deep sleep, and you my sweet girl are becoming alive.
And as you become alive, Im waking up from a deep fog. 

You want my face, or daddys voice, or Cades smiles, or Rylans touch. You want us. Your family, You know us. And you know your loved, I believe it in my being. And that is already success in this realm of family building.

Your body wiggles in excitment when daddys voice enters the house, your eyes follow me wherever I go, because Im never far.

Today a therapist tried to feed you as I dealt with brother and sister, but your eyes followed and you growled at her until she handed you back where you belong. Belong.

The world is full unknowns and question marks. I hate to say that the world has you on paper as a question mark. But Jesus does not. He knows you, knows your belonging, knows your limits and laughs, because He knows you deeper than any diagnosis, or medical chart.

Yesterday I heard words about you, words mamas don't like to hear. Words limiting your future skills. I pray they are wrong, and trust if they aren't. That these words don't become boxes for you to fit into. That you will be strong and fierce and happy. Deeply happy. I pray we prove some things wrong. I pray that you feel that you are fully and wonderfully made. I just pray. Because Im scared, Im sad, Im angry. Its all new. But mamas fight for their babies. So Im doing that. Each day that you are mine. He knows. He knows.

Lets get back to your smile, your ridiculously beautiful smile. Your belly laugh when I gnaw on your belly and the way you even puff it out a little to ask for more of all that loving. The way you finally awoke us cooing the other day instead of crying. The way I actually think your scissored little legs are the darn cutest chicken legs I ever did see.

I pray strength, healing, love, happiness over you. I want to bathe you in it. Speak truth to you every day. Read scriptures, and cling to Jesus harder than ever before. I want you to know.

Yesterday as the Dr.s declared these new words, that I had already researched and knew in my heart. I just kissed you, over and over again, covered you in love. Frantically kissed you as if I could take it all away.
But Im not the healer. He is.

I love you sweet girl.


Tuesday, June 03, 2014

going on a trip

I stuck my feet in the sand the other day.
It was healing.
I would love to say it washed away all the realities of where we are at.
It didn't.
But it was good.

The kids hit the ground running.
Squeals to the max.
Rylan flapped her hands as if she was 2, which is really the sign of pure joy for our girl.
She will stop soon, Im guessing with that gesture.
I'll likely cry the day I realize I haven't seen her hands excitingly flapping in some time.
Baby E girl, well she calmed, the waves working like the biggest and bestest white noise machine around.
Her being calm, calmed Nick and I.
The sand, the waves, the joy.
We had needed to come and be in this place.

It got me thinking about how sometimes
we just have to go be where the joy is.
Physically mentally, whatever it is, but make the point to travel there.
It doesn't sneak up on us like anger or rage, or silliness.
Intruding on our day. 
Its consistent and either we choose to be in it, or we don't.

I sat in a meeting last week one of many, and the man obviously hadn't read the chart well enough
to see that biologically this baby wasn't born from me.
He asked me. Do you feel like you might have post partum?
I actually chuckled at the irony.
Do I feel like it. YES.
Could I possibly. NO.
Excuse me Mr. goverment developmental official.. how would you like me to go about answering this?
I bet you don't have a checkbox for all this crazy.

I need to make choices to travel to the joy more often.
The place where it rests. It is.
Because all the facts are there for joy.
There is a very strong case to defend it.
Even when circumstance isn't.
I may feel happy or... feel sad.
But Joy is something you have. You possess.
When the eye of storm rages around.
I question if I have claimed ownership over it enough.

I haven't made the choice lately to reach into that place.
I have turmoiled with the hows and whys. Wanting Jesus to fill in gaps in the promise.
Wanting Jesus to frankly, explain himself to me.
 How absurd.

Today I will attempt journey to joy.
As I acknowledge facts that might be.
As I feel emotions that may not match.
I will just pack my bags and travel there, because the facts.
The cross,
The love he has for me.
Well its sufficient. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014


My heart is tongue tied. Is that possible?
I've now had my babykins longer than any of our foster babies. Court is approaching and I find Im getting more and more emotional as the days draw near.

Have I mentioned she is painfully hard. Thus the silence around here.
Its hard to go to battle for complicated life, can you imagine the war Jesus raged over for me.
Messy old me.
My heart aches at the injustice of what she is having to overcome still from things inutero. I love her so dearly.
Also colic is not my friend and I miss sleep.

There aren't many details I can share.. but I can share the range of emotions that weigh heavily on me these days.

A lady yesterday stopped me in the store and told me my baby looked just like me, I beamed. My baby.

The reality is, shes Jesus' baby and only He knows. And I remind myself He knows. Because my heart feels pinched at the thought of having a baby R sized hole in my heart again. I now know that pain is raw and real. Baby girl never replaced him, and noone else would ever replace her.

I wrestle with Jesus about even the hint of possiblity of having to walk that road.. again.
I wrestle with Jesus about the road and what  it may look like longterm, and developmentally where we sit. The diagnosiss we may have to walk out. And then I stare at her blue eyes and big gummy grin, and well. there it is.... mama love for her. So deep, diagnosis doesn't matter.

We are whirlwind here in this home of life. Life with Rylan and Cade haven't stopped for a moment, falling in love with my husband day by day doesn't ever pause,  and I could shake myself for not updating on them, or on home projects, or yummy meals and sweet moments. But some of it feels phony when I cant be honest and say. I miss simple life. I miss the lack of social workers, I miss not being judged. And everyday right now is not bright and happy. The unknown lingers over the air.

And then that smile again, I adore her. Deeply. I AM HER MOM. I feel it.
And I would pay this price of uncertainty for now... 

So I surrender all these feelings up to my savior, and I replay the promises he told me in the light. 
And I trust Him, again.

And I speak words of life and healing over her body, day by day.
Isn't that what a mama would do?

Would you pray for our home. For the court system, and for the next month of waiting.
And if you see me in public and my eyes are glazed, be tender.

This may be my hardest labor yet.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Somedays I don't know what to make of this

Christmas came and went, I almost missed it if I blinked to long. The whirlwind of getting ready for a new baby that was is in NICU in a moments time, getting settled, adjusting to the kids being in every possible holiday production this side of the Mississippi and then whamo christmas. My heart never settled, I didn't love that. It won't happen again. I hope.

Having her here was sweet she slept and missed it too... but thats allowed at 5lbs.

Shortly after Christmas we reentered the hospital with little ms, and the truth is for several moments I thought she was dying in my arms. She contracted the flu and oh man is it terrifying. We spent several days in PICU with her on CPAP and I never left her side but for 20 minutes of fresh air once. I just couldn't. I couldn't get out of my mind the days on end in NICU without someone. So I was privilged to be her someone. And we bonded there, beautifully, or at least I did.

We survived that somewhat hellish week, we laughed a lot for shear necessity and we slept through the new year too, as it was the first time in days she wasn't desating all over the place. We were happy to snooze through it.

I feel fairly fickle you all must know. Im in love again... I bask with my mouth, when only moments ago I was mumbling over heartache. I still have heartache. Just so your aware. I realize how it sounds...I do. Its embarrasing really. I am so hot and cold these wretched foster days.

I spotted a little boy so similar to baby R the other day, that I confided to my friend I want to rub his hair, and smooch his face. I am now that creepy lady at the park. Local moms, lock up your African boys, or I may just put them in my pocket. I miss him so, and pray for him and hope that his days are filled with joy and nuturing and so much love and lots of fist pumps, because he likes that.

But this little girl. Oh man, I love her too, thats the truth. She is my first little bit that I haven't met her biological family, so I have fully claimed her in my heart without the gentle reminders of what this is. I am trusting him with promises he has given me and so I just surrender her. Surrender me. Surrender my kids, as we are all ... all in right now. This process is never normal. Or right. But its what He has us do.

She is growing steadily despite sickness. She loves to be swaddled, her eyes haven't found us yet. She looks like she was born this morning still. People in public say I look great for having a baby, God bless them. And for not having a baby.... well lets not go there.

I am finding rhythym, nesting, purging, its a new year afterall. Getting caught up on this month of being behind, and sick, horribly sick. Wondering what this year has and holds for me.

In fact the missing of the countdown, didn't set my heart in motion for newness, for change, for hope. I shall countdown tonight.... because, its just good and right, and puts the year in motion on that best foot forward type of way....

Happy Happy New Year to you.


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