Monday, April 14, 2014

Taking a Moment

Taking a moment in England to pose for a family photo with cousins and an Aunt and Uncle who love us!

Taking a moment to share a picnic on the lawn with friends!

To enjoy the good things of life!

To find the hidden penny in Grandpa's hand.

To run in the sun!

Taking a moment for joy and laughter and family and freinds. Taking a moment for thankfulness for blessings overflowing! and there are SO many moments!!!!

Taking snapshots of the healing, the joy, the family, the unity, the joy!! It is important to do these shots because it reminds us to take shot of the balance..there are many many more bright days than cloudy!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Two years later....

Adoption is a beautiful, glorious, joyful, loving and happy event... sometimes. It is also harrowing, painfilled and traumatic... sometimes. Each element does not equal or erradicate the other. They don't balance out. They just are..they exist in the same moment sometimes and we learn to embrace them both.. it all. The joy the grief. The healing the wounds. The connection the rejection. We weren't prepared for it, neither were the children we adopted, or our friends and families and communities who surrounded us. But we have been honed by it and strengthened and humbled. 

There is a reason that some of us don't blog after the airport. After that homecoming moment of joy and that feeling of completiton and having finished. For me it was because I was instantly thrown into a world of busy new momness. Even with six children already at home, my two new sons needed full on attentiopn. Hospital visits, medicine for stomach and bowel issues that came home with them. Two babies in diapers was a challenge :0) and children who had never stood on a carpet before, seen the wind blow leaves, been up close and personal with dogs and cats. Children who needed infant care despite being nearly two years old. There were many moments of sheer terror displayed by screaming that went to a place none of us had ever seen before (not even having been foster parents) A stuffed owl resulted in three hours of unconsolable screaming, writhing, hold me, leave me.. grief that literally made me sick to watch and helpless to know how to handle. 

In those first six months (which included a non voluntary move to another home in the same military community) we laughed, loved, wept and hung on for dear life. I had read many many books, listened attentively to the training and been an adoptive parent before. I was not ready! But we have become resiliant and ready! I am SO thankful for friends who brought food, took my teens and older children for pizza and games nights and tolerated the melt down screaming without judging us :0) or at least not letting us know they judged us. 

Let's talk about those melt downs.. they could come because the food wasn't fast enough.. a nano second really is to long to wait! :0) or because they saw a cat, or a stuffed animal was left out.. or even a Santa hat came too close! They came because a nap was too short or too long. Because a request was made clear and the answer was yes.. we once had an hour screaming fit because one little boy asked if he could sit down on a chair and he was told "yes, that is a great idea!" We held them close to start with but that escalated the fear screaming.. so we put them down and that didn't help. We practiced breathing for our own sakes and theirs. Walking helped until they developed the dead drop toddler skill. Then that had to be put on hold because walking in public with a screaming, dead drop feet out from under neath them toddler you can not bend over to pick up became an ordeal. Waiting it out seemed like the only thing that did work but that feeling of helplessness, the feeling you should just be able to do the exact right thing to stop the process, the idea that what worked before can work again.. but doesn't.. that is one reaon why it's been hard to blog. I want to read blogs from people who have it all perfectly together. The folks who get invited to give seminars to the rest of us who, feel like if we can just get the exact right formula we will be free to enjoy the joy more and not dread a beautiful moment for it's potential for trauma triggers. I wanted to be able to ned my adoption journey blog with the beautiful picture of family blending seamlessly and effortlessly into one unit. 

The truth is we DID have those moments. LOTS of them. Loads of joy and fun and abounding love. The type of moments you video and put on facebook :0) They have steadily increased over the past two years. Now each day is better. I realised this morning that I look forward every day to my children. The feeling of dread, of incompentance has gone. Yes we still have moments. And yes that screaming does trigger all kinds of anxiety that it won't stop! but it does. Now with a word or a look my little guy will take his deep breath and blow it out.. if I can stay calm and safe!

A lot of the changes have come with me. I have had to let go of the vision and embrace the now. I've had to look hard at the rock face right in front of me, rather than seeing  the panaramic view from a hovering helocopter taking spectator shots. I am the athlete on the field, playing each play as it unfolds with out the  Ibenefit of the commentators views. I play the game as I see it from in the fray. Sometimes I throw the right play.. other times I'm out of bounds of intercepted. It's OK though! Because I am IN THE GAME! 

I'm going to try to start blogging again. Answering some of the questions I've been asked. Please know though that all my answers come from the place I am in now. The mountain top! Seeing the climb from this perspective. Forgetting the hard moments but remembering the challenge of the climb. I can describe some of the more difficult ledges and moments. The times when I lost my grip and had the heart rendering experience of a moment of free fall before the rope snapped taught and brought me back to the rock face. But each hand position? Each foot choice? The memory of those moments are fleeting and gone. The joy of the challenge and the anticipation of the next one is where I am now.

And where we are now is a fabulous place! Still the joy and the pain combine, but we are family completely and wholly. I am Mummy and all these children are mine. On loan from God but enjoyed every second by imperfect me :0) 


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Now I understand!!!!

I've always wondered why the adoption blogs I've read always come to a grinding halt once the adoption is finalised and the children home. NOW I understand!!!!
How can you blog on upside down and inside out? I challenge anyone to go to the nearest roller coaster, and try to blog. You might get a few thoughts down on the gentle ride up but after that first drop..forget about it :0)

You will notice that my last post was.. a month ago!!! So I'll try to recap:

June 5th we arrived in Haiti, stopped by the office to say thank-you for all the hard work the workers there have put into our adoption. I actually wrote out the cards and the little "thank-you" speech in Creole and folks were very kind and didn't laugh adn fall on the floor in hilarity as I read it. I have made particular friends with Smith and to my amazement was able to understand a lot of what he said..I was also able to ruin his native tongue by trying to answer back..creole in an English accent..not nearly as rich and beautiful as when natively spoken :0)

Next we were on our way to the Guest house and for our final reunion with our sons. No more leaving without them, no more tearful returns to the cresche! It felt sureal and it didn't real hit me how real it was until I was tucking them in to bed about two weeks later!! home.

The rest of the day was spent settling in, eating the excellent meals at the guest house and generally starting our life with our boys calmly and well cared for.

We have come to know several of the folks at Bethel well over the past couple of years we've visited. Spendig time with our sons and re-connecting with friends perfected the end of this long journey to home coming!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Home in Haiti

We are here at last, woke up this morning for the first day of normal for the rest of our lives. So far Wadley isn't totally buying into the whole "we are not leaving" routine..but he is loving the attention and we are working on the rest. we picked up passprts and visas yesterday.. WOW.. really have them here i our hands and our babies in our arms!! I've pinched myself many times and it ooks like this might be truly real. ANother sureal moment as we got through the airport yesterday with zero problems!!!! Even managed to avoid paying half way down the walkway and got our bags taken all the way to the car with NO fussing!!!! Surreal moment number 3,00004 :0) Had a great visit with new life staff and even managed to speak some creole (well I think that is what I was speaking! ) I do know I understood mush more than I could speak. Breakfast this morning.. Leah's oatmeal... a sign of Haiti for me, I know the children will be jealous when they read ths! A visit to the cresche this morning to get as many photos as video as I can to bring home with me for the parents waiting. I'll be back later because the babies were sleeping when I went down. Talking of sleep, we all slept well last night despite having a few midnight diappers to deal with..and 2 a.m. and 6 a,m..... my new normal. I don't have the ability to up load pictures here so those will have to wait.. I'll hurry home as fat as I can! Wendy

Dallas Airport

Well despite the fog I was in this morning.. we made it! Made it to take off day :0) So here we are in the Dallas Airport, I'm drinking a smoothie and people watching and Steve is finding missions to conquer. So far he has procurred support pillos for my back, a smoothie to make up for the lettuce contaminated sandwich I got at the last airport. (I am allergic to lettuce.. I know.. crazy, but I digress.) He has just returned from having hunted down and captured dual headphones so we can watch a movie as we wait :0) I think he might be ready to sit a while! We have executed this first section of the journey like a military unit on the march... a forced march! Thankfully Steve firmly endorses the "No wife left behind" moto and relieved me of my pack... pull along.. so I could pick up the pace. we have agreed that I can be lead scout on the way home. It seems sureal.. each take off is one huge step closer to our destination. I am exhausted from a very late night trying to tie up the many loose ends. Steve is back from his final mission.. skin the packaging off the headphones .. having got to the meat.. the actual ear phones we are now ready to wtch a movie.. just minutes before boarding!'

Monday, June 4, 2012

Today Miami..tomorrow Haiti..Saturday the Rest of our lives..

The bags are packed, the house cleaned, the meals for this week made and in the fridge and freezer.
The medical power of attorney is signed "just in case" my mother in law and sister in law have to use them. The prayers are said asking the Lord to watch over them so they won't have to use them!

I've packed my bag more times than I can count, the last time because I had forgotten to put in MY clothes :0)

The photo albums to leave with those left behind are all made and the conversation I think I'm going to have all practiced in Creole.

The list of children to take photos and video of is printed and put safely in my bag.

The... I could go on and on.. it seems that now we are down to the wire there are 101 things I didn't think of that need to be done.

But it is all going to fade away in 24 hours when I'm sitting on the swing holding my sons in my arms!!
They getting used to their new normal and me to mine. I have to learn how to not live in the intensity of the adoption journey... I have to learn how to rest in this green pasture,,, and I am ready.

Friends surrounded us today and showered us with baby clothes and books and more importantly with great love. I am so blessed to be right here, right now with people who are as excited about the end of the drama and the start of loving and life as we are!

In two and half hours I have to be up to start my day.. I can not sleep :0) It's like all my Christmas Eve's from childhood pasts have collided in one event and sleep seems beyond elusive.

I have wondered for so long now how this would feel.. and when I get to grips with how it feels I will be sure to let you know :0) Right now I am just too excited, nervous, tired to process it :0)

Love Wendy

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A week today!

One week today (Saturday) and my sons will be home, the air condioning will have been turned way down if not off and we will all be sweating through our first tropically simulated night with the boys!!!!

My Mother in Law and Sister in Law are going to be staying with the children and a frantic house clean/organise has been being done.

Tomorrow I re-pack my bags for the last time so I'm ready to go to the airport on MONDAY!!!!!

My brain is scrmbled with all the thoughtsw and emotions rusing through it so I'll try to put them in order adn share tomorrow.. but for tonight.. LESS THAN ONE WEEK!!!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday May 27th

Today was B's Birthday!!
Tomorrow we celebrate memorial day with our military family.
Friday my Mother in law arrives.
Sunday my Sister in law arrives.
Monday week Steve adn I fly to Miami.
Tuesday week we arrive in Haiti!
Friday week we fly back to Miami.
Saturday week we fly back to OK.

SO in other words TWO Weeks TODAY my sons will have gone to bed in their own bed for the second night running!

13 days!!!