Thursday, June 28, 2012

One of the best days ever

This day has been chalk FULL of wonderful blessings and to be honest some REALLY hard moments too but i am going to ignore them today. From the beginning of our day to the end of my day there were....AMAZING blessings!!! Instead of going in order of importance, i will try to go in order of our day.
This morning, BECKY CAME HOME!!!  Becky is our PCA who was in Ghana on a missions trip for five weeks.  She was even twenty minutes early so we got her here even longer!  She got to hear Sophina yell in delight,  "....Ecky!!!!!"  SO wonderful!  THEN the door was opened again and there stood a man in our church with a bag of homemade donuts in his hands! It was SO good to see him again.  Just SO thoughtful!!!  Then i took the girls to VBS and came back...being able to let Ethan sleep...he has NEVER slept so late as he did this morning AND i didn't have to worry about it since Becky was here!  SO, i got to drop off our kiddos and the neighbors' son without having to wake up Ethan! THEN, the door was opened AGAIN!!!!!  When it rains blessings it tends to happen all in one day for us :)  THIS time it was ANOTHER man...letting me know that he was here to mow our lawn (which was literally going to seed in back).  This is another man from our church who has a selfless heart and wanted to help!  His wife is just as selfless and has been a HUGE part of our VBS for many years!  THEN, Becky and i went on my morning walk with the was VERY late AND i, for only the second time, decided to add on some extra 'footage' to our walk and went to the cemetery. IF we would not have gone there and NOT been late THEN i would NOT have ran into my former boss whom i haven't seen in many months WHO was driving by at that exact moment that we got onto the MAIN road by our house!  OH! It was so fun to see him and him to see the kids!
Here is a random paragraph of great blessings!!!  Today, I got SOME groceries that i finally just HAD to take the time to get and DID!  Woohoo!  My hubby has a job that pays for those groceries!!!  One of my favorite people in the world found out that they got their court SO that means a date should be coming soon!!!!  I got to talk out a hurt that i had been feeling and got it taken care of with a person that i love and care about!  WOW!  That felt good and healthy!
Ethan signed that he was sorry BEFORE we had to show him to sign it!!!  He also 'said' it too!  He also did that yesterday to me!  I got to talk to my mother today for a few minutes.  I got to talk to our eldest daughter today for a few minutes. I got to talk to my husband for a big chunk of my walk with just the two kiddos tonight (i am sure that people were wondering why i was talking about such deep topics with two little three year olds as i had to have Scott on speaker phone! HA HA!)  Sophina has done a 'better job' at eating this past week....she has been struggling as i have been adding 'texture' to her meals by crumbling up Club whole wheat crackers or Graham Crackers into her breakfast...she HATES that BUT she is hardly ever gagging this week and THAT is HUGE!!!
The finisher is just amazing and i think that it will actually make some of you cry!  Just! blew! my! mind!!!  When we were putting the oils onto Ethan tonight, like i have done since we have brought him back to the hotel in his country's capitol, he was not 'crazy and wild' acting....he was wonderfully close to almost calm!  It was not the entire time rather only toward the end but it was the closest to us ever having the body massage be a bonding time instead of just a way to get his body calmed down so he could go to sleep!!!  The 'calmness' has never been WHILE i have been doing the massage.  THEN Catherine carried him up to the doorway of the room (like we always have the kids of them carries him up just to the doorway while i get his bed situated and his blankets ready THEN i take him from them at the doorway where they say 'goodnight') and i then did my get-ready-routine.  I took Ethan and sat into the rocking chair like i always do and we heard Catherine say her goodnight like always....what is NOT like always was Ethan's response.....HE IMMEDIATELY and SWEETLY SAID, "nigh night"!!!  Catherine was SO excited and did the natural response.... "Aaaaawwwww" and left but that wasn't even the best part!!!  Then, he was COMPLETELY calm while i sang.  Almost as soon as i started, HE started singing WITH ME!!!  Oh my goodness!  It wasn't his 'typical screamo song' but rather it was melodic and beautiful!  THEN, i went to pray and USUALLY when i say, "Ok, it is time to pray" and then fold my hands...he gets agitated.  I was waiting for that response BUT was wondering if it would be different tonight AND. IT. WAS!!!!!  GET THIS!!!  He folded his hands over mine!!!  He would take it away BUT he would bring it back until i was done!  Oh my goodness....just about made me feel like i WAS in heaven!!!  NOT. DONE. YET!!!!!  CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS!?!?!?!?
I usually rub his hands as i put oils on them and he tends to like it.  (thanks to Karri i am now taking more time to THINK about using that more as massage than just rubbing his hands)  When i finished rubbing his hands he made a smacking sound with his lips and put his left hand onto my lips!  i kissed it and he took down his left hand and sweetly put it against his right hand and his left hand came right back up to my lips as he made the 'smack' sound....i did it again trying hard not to giggle in delight, he put his hand to his other hand again and repeated this one more time THEN he CHANGED HANDS!!!  He put his right hand up to my lips and had me kiss it!  He did it a couple of times and then it was done!  BUT HE WAS NOT DONE MAKING MY NIGHT AMAZING!!!!  Oh i can hardly stand it i am so excited that i get to tell you all about this night!
SO, i thought that i would take a risk and for the final songs see if i could have him cradled in my arms.  At first, for only a few seconds, he whined and wiggled and then....he just cuddled and stayed in this 'new calm' that i was in awe of!  I have no idea what or if i did anything differently but MAN, i wish that i would know what happened!!!  SO, i sang to him looking him right into his eyes (in the dark) and he responded with the same tenderness and sweetness...singing sweetly with me.  THEN, i sang my final i made up, "Jesus, DaddT, Mama....Jesus, DaddT, Mama....we love Ethan"  and as i sang....HE SANG little bits of the words with great detail on the "Mama" word!!!  HE WAS SINGING WITH ME!!!!!  LITERALLY!!!
MY NIGHT WAS OUTSTANDINGLY AMAZING!!!!!!  I am ALWAYS BLESSED but today....oh my word....i was over the top EXCESSIVELY blessed!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Update....God IS amazing!!!!

This morning, it was Vica, Catia, Ethan, Sophina and i trying to be ready for our first REAL church service. Remember, our first service we went to was where we had Ethan dedicated on Mother's Day within twelve hours of coming home and so we went in the back door to the 'green room' and stayed there until it was time for us to come out. Scott was there and it was amazing! SO VERY glad that we did it that day! ANYWAY, so today was the first time we went through the REAL doors of the church and we got to see the Emerson's!!! Mark even took a few pictures! Hmmmm... let's just say that by try number four i was laughing due to the fact that if Mark could get one of the twin's attention then he couldn't get the other! THEN who do i see right inside the door??? OH MY! Could it be? Yep, it was Dawn....a dear friend whom i love immensely! I SO wanted to hand Ethan right on over to one of the girls so i could have a full blown hug but wisely decided to try to get as close as we could WITH Ethan in my arms! THEN i got to see a HUGE prayer warrior for our Ethan and our family...Jay! Again, wanting to hug and let him know how much his prayers have meant but i really tried to keep Ethan in as low of emotions as possible. THEN, i could hear that we really hadn't been early as i had thought as i heard our friend, Desmond... probably rapping! SO, we got up to the balcony while the music had ended...i think, actually didn't hear a thing as i was trying to get us all a spot that was out of the way of people yet allowed US to be able to see.

THEN, i WAS there COMPLETELY! The music was absolutely amazing! Yes, all the way from the rap that was LOADED with deep and powerful words (another one) to Great is Thy Faithfulness to chorus'....ALL of the music was SO powerful that i was NOT wanting it to end! OH HOW GOOD IT IS to be WITH the other wasn't even being able to talk to another adult, as it had just been the not deep kind of talking, it was the singing at the top of my lungs as if i was the only one there with the Lord and having Ethan in my arms and singing the words.....OH how the Lord IS faithful! His mercies ARE new every morning! Even Ethan had been singing throughout it and the girls made me open my eyes to let me see that Sophina and not only Sophina but Ethan had their arms up toward heaven praising the Lord with us!

Ethan immediately screamed as soon as the "last song" was done and i knew that i would NOT be able to stay as his scream is VERY LOUD! SO i left for a time but then as soon as i got down and then out of the main sanctuary i saw that they were going to sing again SO i went back inside to sing even longer! That time i wasn't going to belt it out but... i couldn't help it as it was another incredible song! This time it was about being at Christ's table in heaven....BEING WITH HIM... and the glory that that will be -oh my! WHY did we have to stop singing!? OH how i wanted to sing with my friend who was running one of the boards right in front of me...Pam has an AMAZING voice and how i yearned to blend our voices together on that song!

OH MY GOODNESS!!! God is SO VERY amazing! Guess who the speaker was? Guess what he spoke on? Guess who the sermon was for? OH MY! Ok....Ok....the speaker was the very one who was the final straw in our adopting (of MANY straws)....his last sermon was on THE DAY that i decided to say YES! to what the Lord had been leading us to for months! BECAUSE of THAT sermon, i wept with conviction as to how long i had been fighting with the Lord and saying, "NO" more giving excuses! He is our youth director for our youth group! You will want to remember this name because whenever you see his will want to listen....HE PREACHES the TRUTH! He preaches it with such heart, compassion and conviction and you can tell that his sermons are COMPLETELY covered in prayer...a humble prayer of knowing that he cannot do it without the Lord...he believes that! His name is Josh Johnson! I WILL try my very hardest to make sure that when it goes onto the put it on here! i have NO DOUBT that you will want to hear it! It was as if it was a part two to his first sermon all those MANY months ago!!! It was WAY over a year!

To say that i heard the entire sermon would be a lie as i was also at the workout center throughout the whole the large foyer! Ha ha is called Ethan's Workout Chamber!!! Ethan did NOT want to stay in my arms of course BUT i do not want him thinking that the sermon is the time to run and play SO i was trying to teach him that there is a time for sitting still in Mommy's arms. (it is NOT the first time that we have tried to teach him this....we have done it MANY MANY MANY times...trying to read a book with him, or watching a Signing TImes video) SO he DID do pretty well but MOMMY definitely should probably have worn more of a workout outfit instead of a dress church outfit. By the time the sermon was done....i was literally out of breath as in seriously, breathing hard and....SWEATING! i HAD let him down for several different times with one time of MAYBE five minutes -letting him run with me right there but the rest of the time was Mommy holding him....rather, my ATTEMPTING to hold him!

Oh see a young man that i have loved since he was a little boy come very late through those church doors! Oh how i would have loved to have handed Ethan to him as Ethan would have GLADLY gone...Jimmy has a beard and LOTS of hair! I was thrilled that i at least got to tell him how AMAZING God is in allowing ME to be at that spot at that time hearing what i was hearing! OH how GOOD God is!!! As soon as the sermon was done i asked Jimmy to help me with Ethan's bag and i carried Ethan and his little bag back up to the balcony! We got to sing again! SO, i was ready to hand Ethan to one of the girls and as i did they let me know that i needed to hold Sophina as she had not done well either! HA! Sophina is heavier than Ethan BUT she at least wasn't wriggling. It was VERY short lived as Ethan was pretty much DONE! Sophina went to Catia and Ethan was mine as we tried to get out of there QUICKLY! They dismissed us and i told the girls...we have to get HOME!

We were on our way out when i saw another dear friend!!! Oh how i have missed her too! I grabbed her for a quick hug! We were able to TRY to talk but Ethan was all over me at this point! It was DEFINITELY a GOD THING as Holly and her family were in the PERFECT spot for me to at least say hi and let them know that i miss them and love them and THEN we were off! (In the middle of that i got to see Lizzie sneak Sophina away and we got to smile at each other!) I got the family back together and we hurried on our way! (You KNOW that Ethan was needing to get out, as our family was leaving at least thirty minutes earlier than our typical time! (ok...more like 45 minutes earlier than our norm))

On our way out, God had another bonus...another friend and this time with a bonus! I saw another mommy who would TOTALLY know what our morning was like. She saw me and KNEW! She was delighted to see me! She then gave me an incredible tip.
(back up....) this weekend was hard realizing what this week is going to be like and this morning as i was doing laundry, i thought to myself...."i can do this...I CAN! I can do this for a year....maybe even FIVE years....just like Scott's mom had to. I can do anything for five years!" i was SO excited to let THIS friend know as to WHY THIS sermon was SO significant (as much as one can in two/three sentences) and i was LOVING the music and she said, "Oh, this will give you a boost of energy that will last you...." (i was ready for- "the month", "the week", "the rest of the day") but instead as i stood there with my hair all stringy and messed up by Ethan(it had been up looking nice in a 'covered up sort of way'), the sweat pouring all over me as if i had just run the triathlon in town this morning and completely out of breath and wrestling with Ethan i heard words that let me LITERALLY take a deep relieving breath...."for twenty minutes!" "Connie, you can do ANYTHING for twenty minutes!" WOW! I have definitely been aiming WAY too high! HA ha ha ha!

There is so much more but i will refrain myself! Let's just say that i am ALWAYS BLESSED!!! OK....i HAVE to say this...
PS Better is one day in HIS courts than a thousand elsewhere has been going over and over in my mind...yep, i know that i can be in His courts in my own home BUT oh people...the Lord has 'one another" "each other" "the brethren" and such written because He KNOWS that we are NOT to be ALONE!!! PLEASE reach out to those that you know are needing a hug, a call, a back rub, HELP, an encouraging word!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

a FB post of random thoughts

A LOT has happened since Mother's Day and for some reason i am WAY MORE apt to write on FB than to come on here.  I was never a blogger so i just don't think of it and when i have written this past be honest, a lot of times it was in a lot of emotion and i wasn't planning on writing all that i would end up writing.  WELL, that is what happened again!  I was just going to write a little something but ended up writing a lot of somethings.  You may get the gist of what has happened in this past month...i hope you do.  Let's just say that the transition has been hard but the rewards have been just as amazing.  There is a LOT that has happened and if you follow FB, you have seen the intense story unfold.  If you would like to see all of would be WAY too much to put on here BUT if you do have FB...just message me to be your friend and then you could read all that has happened.  Just know that God has carried us through and many times in these has been just like the Footprints poem where Jesus has had to carry me as i have clung to Him!  He HAS been so faithful!  I have been SO weak!  SO....this is now my intro back to being a blogger and i promise that i will try to write here instead of going to FB first.  I will do it the opposite now! (just don't know if you all will appreciate that or not ;))  Lovingly, Connie

There is just so much to share and it is SO late.  There may be paragraphs or just sentences but i just thought that i would throw out a whole bunch of random things that are growing in my head for things that are happening here.
Our new normal....FEELS normal!

I have ALWAYS been queasy when it comes to 'blow out poopies' that need rinsing and cleaning before washing of clothes.  I have ALWAYS been queasy from throwing up and the like. I have had to take care of both in the last 1 1/2 years and i still don't do well with it but i DO IT! I AM ALWAYS BLESSED :)

I am just about feeling like we can do this and then at the same time, realizing that Ally is leaving in eleven days and i again realize how much i have her help!  How does one put TWO children to bed at the same time!?  I am SO grateful for this daughter that LOVED adoption all the way through to being a part of caring for her brother and sister's needs.  SHE will be missed greatly!!!

I DAILY stand in awe of the women around the world who can do this mothering thing SO MUCH better than i can!

I am amazed that there are single mothers out there who do this EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!

I am amazed at the mothers whose husband's are in the armed forces and they don't get to see them for MONTHS and MONTHS at a time!

I am in awe that God chose me to be a mother of a little boy....a BOY!!!

I am in awe of the privilege of watching our son be transformed SO QUICKLY!!!

Just three weeks ago, i thought that our son had an actual NEED to in....there was something inside of him that just HAD to bite something....ANYTHING!!!  He hasn't even bitten his blanket while i am putting him to bed in MANY MANY days!!!  PRAYER.....NOT KIDDING....PRAYER is the answer on this one! There was no biting toy....except for two or three days and it hardly happened even then.  i am not kidding you - i told someone privately that he was like watching an animal whipping his 'toy' back and forth in his mouth.  He did it to our curtains, his toys, his blankets and to us!  GONE!

Yep, he is still doing the hair pulling, the pinching, the hitting, etc..... BUT and this is a HUGE BUT.....he is ALSO being WAY MORE INTENTIONALLY gentle!  He is lovingly touching us....our faces with his hands on both sides!!!  He is  stroking our arms!  He is hugging us!  He is kissing us!!!  HE. IS. LEARNING!!!!

I am so utterly shocked as to HOW QUICKLY Ethan is learning gentleness, kindness, and LOVE!!!

Ethan EATS UP being praised!!!  He LOVES hearing "bravo" !!!

My fridge is NOT big enough! :)

My house is hardly clean, my legs are rarely shaved, my hair is rarely all 'put together' like it used to be, and i really don't care....i am with my children and they could care less about my legs or my hair and we all work to have a clean house and it gets messy again when we live in it again :)

This morning, i woke up with a VERY SORE throat and a runny nose.  It was so bad that i actually gargled with salt water...NOT my favorite thing to do.  It did nothing!  I was blowing my nose constantly!  I thought that i should look up in my 'book' as to what to do and it said to put ONE DROP of Theives essential oil into 32 oz of water and to drink it. (it took me an hour to drink that over time)  Within five minutes my throat didn't hurt!!!  I was completely shocked!  It never came back either! (nose stopped running too)

Our son looks amazing!

His "malnourished tummy" that stood out so much is now not looking so BIG and he is growing taller even...i am almost sure that he is now taller than Sophina!!!  His eyes are not so dark underneath his eyes!

His eyes melt me....when he looks straight at me with those dark brown eyes and especially when he is wearing the brown bibs that Bonnie Satterberg made for him....oh my word....i just want to smother him in kisses!

I have NO IDEA how i was chosen to be Ethan's mommy!  Yep, i am saying it again!

I am remembering how i would be walking Sophina at night...when she was SUPER sick and unable to sleep as she struggled to breathe from a horrible cold and her gagging at night....and how i would walk her for even hours and then sleep for a little bit and do it again over and over for a LONG period of time.  I remember praying for the orphans who didn't have a Mommy to do that for them!  It blows my mind that Ethan, for the last two nights, has CLUNG to me when i go to put him into his crib...not wanting me to let him go!  It amazes me when Ethan gets hurt that i am able to comfort him...he LETS ME!!!  I am shocked that the past two days...he is cuddling more and loving us more and letting me be his 'Mommy' who can care for him, love him, cuddle him EVEN!!!!
I can't believe that those tear-filled-prayers of those nights so long ago were fulfilled in our very own orphan is no more...our HOME!!!

Yep, i KNOW!  I KNOW that we will have MANY MANY more days of HARD times!!!  LOTS more poop that will make me sick.  Lots more cleaning that will make me wish i could just throw it away instead of take care of it ;)  (if you have never experienced the kind of stuff that others have verified as being disgusting...well, it IS the worst!) I am NOT one to throw away things BUT i have actually thought of throwing away clothes....more than once!  I have seen pictures of Dads who have clothespins on their noses and plastic gloves on up to their elbows....and thought that they were wooses.....well, no more!!!

I KNOW that there will be MUCH learning on MY part!!! OH MY GOODNESS!  My sinful, selfish, and part of me that needs creeping up often!  Unselfish love is HARD!!!  LOVE that gets ANGER back is HARD!!!  Being spit on with a mouth full of smooshed/half eaten food is HARD!  Being hit HARD is  well, HARD!  Watching your daughters get hurt is HARD!

Watching your young daughters get thrilled when their brother blows them a kiss!  exciting!  Seeing your teenage/almost adult daughter be full of joy over the fact that her brother hugged and kissed her and then pulled her hair!  amazing!  Watching our son take my face in his hands and ON PURPOSE lovingly stroke me....breathtaking!  Seeing your daughter lean over and kiss her brother that does NOT have her trust...shocking!  Being able to see the transformation of not only Ethan but each of us makes me ALWAYS BLESSED!!!!!