Father and Son

Father and Son
Their first walk together.

Both T's at the pasture gate

Both T's at the pasture gate
T2 isn't sure about the goats. They look a little scary.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A "Quiet" Evening at Home

N had surgery this morning. He is doing great.

We are all in the den. The older two girls are playing a new game with T1, C and L, our Czech friend. N and K are determined to be included. They are sitting in laps and occasionally reach out for game pieces. F is in Grandma's lap. She is happy as long as she is being held. I think she needs to have some food before bedtime; maybe green peas or squash. Dennis is holding 2 kids, baby goats. We bring them inside shortly after they are born to get them acclimated to people. I had to take a short break. One of the little goats needed to go outside for a minute. While I was up, I gave N his meds and put drops in his ears. T1 took the goats back to their mom. The scene in my den reminds me of Christmas. The kids are sprawled in the floor. Dennis is lying on the couch with N sitting on his chest playing with a little truck. Grandma is in her chair holding F, who is squealing. The dog is asleep in front of the fireplace. If there was a fire in said fireplace, the scene would be picture perfect.

The dog found K's shoes that she took off outside and chewed them. They were nice shoes. She will have to wait until after the 16th to get another pair. Her next pair will probably be sandals.

A friend has come over to visit with L. I need to get off and be social.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Praises to God

Every morning I thank the Lord for all of my wonderful children. Then I praise Him because He hasn't sent me any more!!

I love my children. Each is very unique.

M calls every morning on her way to work. She matured into a very levelheaded young woman. She has actually learned to keep a clean house. Her calling is with children. She handles every situation calmly; a must with kids.

C attacks each day like it is an adventure. She still isn't sure what she wants to be. She hops from one thing to the next, never staying with anything long. She has seen more places and done more things than the rest of the family. Her to do list gets longer all the time. She is talented in almost everything she tries.

T1 is my laid back country girl who loves her animals immensely. She'd rather be in the barn surrounded by goats. She does have one little offshoot to her personality: She loves to dance; ballet and lyrical are the 2 she is working on right now. Most evenings she can be found at the dance studio, teaching or taking lessons.

L, my Czech daughter (I explain more later), reminds me of Crys. She works with children all day and always seems to have energy leftover. She is able to handle most situations when it comes to kids. She smiles constantly. Her presence fills the room with happiness. I smile myself when thinking about her. I'm going to miss her so much when she goes home to Czech.

B is still confused. She craves our approval, attention and love. But when she has them she is skeptical. Inside she is a small child; outwardly, she tries to be in charge. She smiles and giggles and has a great personality until things don't go as she plans then she becomes stubborn and pouts. Her biggest concern is food: will she get it and how much can she have? She is having to learn to play the role of child.

T2 is loving and attention seeking. The most important thing to her is that she has every one's undivided attention. An impossible feat in a house with 4 other children. She lives with us and plays with her siblings, but really she has a world that is totally her own. One we aren't invited into. She is often confused, but rarely angry.

K is conniving. She has the most beautiful smile, but behind her smile is a little mind plotting her next adventure. She has finally decided that we are her family. Her smiles and giggles are worth all the two year old tantrums she can throw. Believe me when I say she throws them well.

N is ...well, a boy. He loves anything with wheels: trucks, cars, scooters, strollers, wheel chairs and school buses! He is a big flirt. No matter where we go, he manages to gains all of the ladies' attention. He know just how to tilt his head, bat his eyes and flash an adorable little smile. He is headed toward being a 2 yr old! Already he drops to the floor and whines when he doesn't get his way. Some people think it is cute; not me! I see it as the precursor to full-blown tantrums. So, I hurt his feelings every time it happens.

F is demanding little girl. She wants lots of attention. If she is the center of the attention, she smiles, coos, squeals and jabbers. If she isn't, she screams until she is. I can't wait to see what her personality is going to be.

We are blessed 9 times over. I only hope they are half as blessed for having us as parents.

Children don't come with instructions tattooed to their rear ends. So, daily we pray that the Lord will give us the wisdom to handle things the right way. He knows what we need and gives us instructions to follow. Our prayer every morning is that God will lead us through the day, helping us make the right choices for ourselves and our children. We do our best, but often we fail. That is when God steps in and takes over. Praise to the Lord for He is good. he handles the things we can't. We are forever in His debt. Praise to the Lord for He is our salvation. I pray that all of my children will one day have a personal relationship with Christ. Praise to the Lord for He is merciful. Everyday I fail and He loves me still! Praise to the Lord. He sent us all these wonderful gifts of love. He entrusted us with them. It is our responsibility to raise them to follow Him.

Proverbs 22:6 -Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Ephesians 6:1-4 - 1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2"Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3"that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." 4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Damp and Foggy

God has blessed us with another rainy day. Maybe our drought is finally broken.

N is waiting at the front door for the school bus to bring his sister, T2, home. K and T1 are playing in my room. We planted seeds in egg crates this morning. It is always fun to play in the dirt.

The dog is back again. I think she is going to stay here.

Yesterday, B brought home a "book" for me. The front had a picture of her with the caption "I'm A Mommy's Girl." I believe that is her way of apologizing for her recent behavior. She struggles so hard. She doesn't come right out and ask but she wants to be reassured about our love for her. I have started washing clothes, and already I am behind for the day. This blasted computer has been acting up. I have spent most of my morning trying to make it work! My schedule for the week has been officially thrown out the window.

Dennis' Explorer should be ready today. He has been patiently waiting for over a week. We really could have used it yesterday when we bought groceries. We had to pack everything into the back of the Suburban because of the rain. By the way, the freezer looks nice packed with food again. I hope to go to Sam's Club today and finish my shopping. I need to get back to the clothes now. I have procrastinated long enough.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Well, we found the new owners of the dog. It had not traveled the 30+ miles from the farm we had sold it to. They had sold it to a family about a mile from our house. They picked her up Monday morning and she came back yesterday. I don't think this is going to work. She wants to be here. We may have to buy her back. What a Bummer!

We finally have babies in the barn. Three of our does delivered on the same day. We have 4 boys and 1 girl. Not too good odds. hey, it could be worse. They could all be boys!

We are through the honeymoon period with B. She has tried everything to see if we still will love her. My nerves are shot. She looks me in the face and lies. If I hadn't seen it with my only beady little eyes I would believe her. She starts the other children then tells on them.

Monday, B rushed in the backdoor and announced that K was playing in water. This translated "drinking from the goat trough." I scolded K. Later B again announced that K was playing in water. K stood wide eyed with water in one of her toys and the front of her shirt and pants were soaked.. She had to sit in timeout. I made sure there was no accessible water in the play area. A very short time later, I witnessed B scooping water out of a previously empty container into a rusty coffee can (one we used in the barn of storing things.) She proceeded to hand it to K, who drank it. I called them all to the backdoor. B denied everything. I sent them to their room to put on PJs and go to bed. No more outdoor play. B had turned on the water faucet and filled a bucket.

Tuesday, everything was great until bedtime. Last night, my youngest bio daughter put T2 and K, the 4 and 2 year old, to bed. B was doing school work. She announced as her sisters went to bed that T2 had on her shirt. T1 explained that it was an accident and after T2 took it off in the morning, we would wash it and put it in the right drawer. An hour later with her sisters already asleep, B slipped upstairs to brush her teeth and dress for bed. She came running back downstairs to get water wearing the shirt in question. It seems that she had woke her sister and made her remove the shirt. I sent her back upstairs and ordered her to return the shirt. She screamed and stomped her feet. The commotion woke my husband. I told B that I was disappointed in the way she acted and that she would have to get up with her daddy this morning so she would better appreciate why he didn't want to be awakened at 9 o'clock. He gets up at 4am. B reluctantly got up at 4. She studied for her Social Studies test until Dennis left for work. In her defense, she never complained. The bus doesn't come by here until 6:45. Usually she gets up at 6:25.

On the down side of life, the doctor told my mom that he was calling in Hospice to help with the pain. Just the word upset me. After trying to analyze everything, I decided to give it over to God. He isn't worried about it. I am going to go see Mother this morning as soon as the bus brings T2 back home. It is usually here by 10:40. That gives me time to feed everyone and get them dressed.

C and Lenny are awake and have fed F. It is so great having Lenny here. I wish she could just stay, but I know she gets bored hanging around the house with a bunch of kids. She is used to keeping busy. Life here is a the slow track.

T1 has to gt up and milk the goats. It is raining and the stands are outside. This should be fun.

Well, I smell dirty diapers. N is crying for breakfast. My phone is ringing in the other room. There is no way I can answer it in time. The day has begun!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lassie, Come Home!?

We sold 2 of our guard dogs to a farm about 30 miles away because we didn't have enough room for them. They have been gone for several weeks. This morning one of them showed up at our back door. She was very excited to see us. We are going to have to figure something out. This can't work.

Listening to His Word

John 15:16-17 (New Living Translation)16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Isn't it beautiful? He chose us even though He knew what we were going to be and do. His grace is inexhaustible. Such a simple command; so hard to do.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It is quiet this morning. I am alone! C got up early to iron B's hair. Then T1 volunteered to take B to school. The others are still asleep. Finally, F is sleeping through the night. Hopefully this trend will continue.

Our Czech friend, Lenny, arrived last night. It is great to have her back home.

I think I overbooked my day. My mom is taking radiation treatments, and I have a phone interview with SS. To top everything the foster CW is coming some time day to visit with us. Oh dear, what should I do? I can't be at 2 places at one time.

Monday, March 16, 2009

More on Our Story

After visiting with the children on Friday, they came to visit us on Saturday, 24th. Again, the visit was much to short. It seemed that they were only here a few minutes.

We had hoped to play in the backyard with the children and show them the goats. The weather was too cool and windy to stay outside very long. Besides the girls were very afraid of all the animals. N followed Dennis around the yard. B and T2 tried to be brave and look at the goats, while F and K soaked up attention from everyone.

On Monday, the 26th, Toyia went and officially told one of the foster moms that we were getting the children. She waived her 10 days. However the other mom wouldn't. So, we would have to wait 10 more days before they could come to stay.

On Friday, Jan. 30th, Tiffany and I drove 2 1/2 hours to somewhere way below Saluda to meet Toyia. On the way Shirley, my sister, called to say that her husband was in the hospital; he had a stroke. I wished I could be with her and also that he would be able to see the children one day. We met on a long lonely stretch of road and piled all the children into our suburban. At first they were very quiet. Then as we got to Saluda they announced they were hungry. With no money or debit card, the only choice I had was to go into a drugstore and buy food with a check. I left T1 in the car with all the kids. When I got back to the car and opened the door, I was nearly knocked off my feet. The smell was terrible. Sweet little F had given us a present. T needed to go to the potty. Oh, so did B. So, we bundled everyone and went for our first adventure. It was crazy. We didn't have diapers for N, who really needed a change. I stayed with the children at the bathrooms, and T1 bought diapers. I changed diapers assembly style. Finally we were back on the road.

At Greenwood, I called and ordered pizza from a place in Abbeville. I went in with only F to get it. I was only gone a few minutes but T1 said it felt like hours. While there I was asked by a 9 year old if F was my baby. When I told her yes, she looked at me and said,"I thought your babies were supposed to come out white." I couldn't help but laugh. Before I could answer her mom told her that color didn't matter. We were all the same on the inside, in our hearts, where God looked at us.

We ate pizza and then went to bed. The rest of the weekend was spent at the emergency room. Several of the children had RSV. Cindy came to my rescue and helped me at the hospital. Because they were sick, the children stayed an extra two days. Dennis and I took them back down and met Toyia.

On Feb. 6, Toyia, called to say she and Vanessa were onthe way with the children. There was only one small glitch. They had lost B. No one knew exactly where she was. My mind went wild. After it took a brief hiatus, I recomposed and prayed that they would find her. Her class was going on a field trip to Columbia. She wasn't supposed to go, but some way she got on the bus.The day was half over before the school got in touch with a teacher, who located her. Because she wasn't supposed to be there, she didn't pack a lunch. She didn't have anything to eat. Dennis and T1 drove like crazy to get to her. It took 4 hours one way. I called her at the daycare after school and reassured her that we were coming. She thought that we had decided she wasn't coming to stay with us. She thought we didn't want her. When Dennis and T1 got there, she still hadn't had anything to eat. They had fast food on the way home. I waited at the backdoor. She looked so little when she came in.

Monday Mornings! Ugh!

Hooray! K didn't cry today when we left her at her class while we were in church. This is a major accomplishment. The new children's section of the church looks fabulous.

My heart still hurts, and I want to cry every time I think about church. We expected support from the people there. Instead, we have met opposition from several close friends. Each one has a different excuse for their "helpful" comments. I don't think they realize how hurtful their words are. I'm not sure they actually know the basis for their concerns. None of them were concerned until we brought our 5 very brown children with us to church.

For the record, we followed Perry's teaching. We didn't just step out of our comfort zone; we jumped. It wasn't an easy decision. There was many times I quit. And just as many times God called me out on it. Doing God's will isn't always easy, but it is much better than being miserable doing my own thing. Satan couldn't stop us with fear, so he is trying to undermine God's plan with His own people, a few of the leaders of our church. GET BEHIND US SATAN! Oh well, they will come around one day. In the meantime, we are basking in the love and kind words of the hundreds of well-wishers that are in the church.

After church yesterday, M, C and T1 kept the kids and let Dennis and I go on a much needed lunch date. We had a blast. After just 2 hours to ourselves, we came home refreshed.

Last night I took the children to visit my mom. Taking 5 small children to visit at a nursing facility is not for the faint of heart, no it is for the weak minded! We stopped at the drug store next to the home and bought juice and pretzels to ward off hunger. The first thing that happened was that juice "just spilted by itself." I cleaned the floor. Mother held the baby and fed her. Then we laid her on the bed and watched her try to crawl. The aids came in and raved about the kids. Of course, that gave the older girls a reason to act silly. Then if I didn't think I had been punished enough for my nice lunch, I took them food shopping. They were very good: I had bribed them with the promise of candy.

We came home changed into nightclothes and went to bed.

Friday, March 13, 2009

School is out today. There is more conflict with B. She simply refuses to submit to authority. The honeymoon is over! I am going to have to dig in my heels. This morning there was fighting and nasty talk upstairs. Of course everyone except B did it. Strange how none of that goes on when B isn't here. She is an instigator.

Nap time is another issue with B here. I don't think she does anything; however, the other two girls try to talk to her and want to get into her bed. B doesn't have to nap. She just has to sit quietly and not keep the others awake. Disobeying that results in having to bring her pillow downstairs and sleep in an empty corner. Needless to say she doesn't usually bother the others during nap. ...She just managed to make a liar out of me. She has been down the stairs 3 times in the last two minutes. I need nap time. It allows me to put myself back together. With everyone quiet, I can read, clean house, wash clothes, or visit my computer. Today I chose the computer.

It is T1's birthday. She is 18! Last week I was pushing her in the stroller and carrying around an apnea monitor. May how time flies. Tonight we go to my oldest child's,M, house. She and my SIL are planning a little party. We are having hot dogs, cake and ice cream. M has to work late so looks like I will be picking up the goodies. The rest of my day is wasted. After nap, we'll have to hurry and dress. Then I'll go to the store for items for the party. Next, we will go pick up Mother if she feels like going to the party. She doesn't drive any longer because her arm is useless and she is always in pain.

Just for the record, there are 3 little girls with their pillows laying in three separate corners of downstairs. Two of them are asleep.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Somedays are like that!

Things have been hectic around here.

Yesterday one of our case workers came for a visit. The weather has been warm, so the children wanted to play outdoors. She came during nap time. The distance she has to travel makes it difficult for her to get here earlier, and she can't get her much later because she has to pick up her own children. She stopped by the school and picked up B about 40 minutes before school was over. We woke the children before she arrived and explained her visit. They get very upset if she arrives unannounced, because they are afraid she is taking them away. B wants to write to her bio mom and ask her some pointed questions. I can't wait to hear the lies! C had been working on T2's hair. Toyia sat down and finished it. She explained the right way to do the little twists. She insisted that C had done a good job. Regardless, the ones she did looks the best. She even redid a few of C's. She stayed and watched the kids play for several hours. I always enjoy her. However, K decided to test the water while she was here. She pushed me several times and ended up sitting in time-out, twice. Toyia didn't seem to mind my discipline method. I refuse to be pushed around by a bossy two year old.

The power was off again yesterday, so we didn't have BBQ last night. It has to cook all day in my crock pot. Instead, I fixed the kids their favorite meal - PBJ sandwiches. After they had eaten, D and I made tacos from leftover taco meat. You should have heard the outcry. I laughed and remind them that they refused to have leftovers earlier. They insisted on PBJ. When will they learn?No power meant that we pickuped and dusted and wiped down the bathrooms. We didn't wash clothes or dishes. No one got baths. The floors didn't get vacuumed. Still, a lot was accomplished.

We keep checking on our goats, especially Cherry, her due date is tomorrow. She doesn't look like she plans to freshen any time soon. She is a prankster. She will look perfectly normal but less than an hour later she will be in full labor and in trouble. She tends to skip all of the pre-labor things we see in most goats and jump straight into the real thing.

N and I were up several times last night with his asthma. B was almost late because I couldn't drag myself out of the bed. I fixed breakfast then realized I hadn't put the roast in the frig to thaw. No BBQ again tonight. But wait! I raced to the store and found a few items I wanted including a Boston butt roast. I had it in the crock pot and cooking by 9:30.

Everyone had to be ready to leave the house by 11:00. T2 had a doctor's appointment and I had forgotten it. Before you say anything, it was on my calendar. But what good is a calendar if you don't read it? T1 had class and no car, so I had to drop her off. It is 15 miles on the other side of town. I had to go to the doctor's office a second time without backup. The first time I only took 2 children. This time I had all 5. It was interesting.

B is having a few issues. She continually analyzes everything I say or do. She tries to point out how unfair things are. For instance, " They already got to go to T1's class and see all her friend's, if they go in today then that will be 2 times." "So, why does that matter?" "Well I will have only been in 1 time. Can't they stay in the car?" Another time it was about the things she wanted: Candy from the $.75 gumball machine, the toy just inside the store entrance, some kind of lotion or beauty product in a neat looking package, a case of Slimfast, a movie, something (anything) Hannah Montana, a ball, a bicycle, a swimming pool toy, a very necessary Barbie, a bright colored outfit, a ball cap, some hair bows, cookies, chips, and some other junk food. Her question was "Why won't you buy me the ONE thing I ask for? Is it because you don't love me?" I wanted to answer, "No, I do love you, however, right now I'd love to choke you." I didn't say that of course. I answered that I didn't have a lot of extra money for all the things she had been asking for. I tried to explain that I was saving extra money for a swing set so everyone would have something nice to play on. That didn't work so I told her that it was my money and I could and would spend it the way I felt was best. Children who continually asked for things didn't usually get anything! She wanted to know why she didn't have her own money. Simple "You don't work!" Just making it through the store was exhausting.

Then home for supper. I had to finish the BBQ, cook the fries, and set the table. Our cousin came to eat with us. Again K tried to dominate the situation by throwing a fit and again she got to sit in timeout. We had ice cream for dessert, every one's fave. I think I crashed after supper. I can't remember much. I hid for a short while then put everyone to bed. I tried sleeping myself. I ended up here, on my computer. I am getting sleepy now. Maybe I can rest.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Meeting the Gang

Well, it is after everyone's bedtime and I am having a hard time winding down for the night. So, I'll tell a little more of my story.

As I had said the children were younger and greater in number than we were expecting. That fact meant that we had to buy beds, car seats and an array of supplies. I began to scour the classified ads. I had to have 3 toddler car seats, an infant car seat, and a booster seat that was rated for larger children. Once I found all the car seats, I had to find beds. We had a twin bed, but we definitely didn't have baby beds. I bought 5 different cribs before I got 2 that would work. We actually ended up with an extra toddler bed. Total bed count is 1 twin, 3 toddler, and 2 cribs. We are storing the extra toddler bed for N. The list of supplies seemed endless. I bought, begged and bartered until I thought I had everything.

We got the children's sizes, but were told that they might not be right. I didn't want to spend money on something that might not fit. So, we waited.

The presentation meeting wasn't until after Christmas. We had to drive 2 1/2 hours for the meeting. The dynamics of the meeting is hard to describe. Four different groups were represented. Of course, the prospective parents were there, D and I. The other 3 were part of DSS. We live in one region of our state and the children were from a different region, so case workers from both regions were there. Since they were in foster care the foster care case workers showed as well. Regardless of what we had been told. We were not all wanting the same thing. The CWs from our region were jealous and very negative about everything. The foster CWs were evasive and of little help. They wanted to place the children back with their bio mom. The only ones trying to get us to accept the children were the CWs for their region. The 3 groups growled and postured the entire meeting. We went into the meeting knowing that unless we found out something horrible about the kids, we were taking them. We left with a bad taste in our mouths: not from the kids, from DSS.

We gave them our answer the next morning. Even though they didn't make a good presentation, we felt the children were the ones we had been called to take. Strange, they didn't fit what we thought we wanted. They weren't even free to be adopted. That was a big issue. In the end, we realized that God send these children to us for how ever long they need us. I hope that they can stay forever, but I can't see God's plan so I have to trust that He is in control. We plan to love them while they are here.

The foster CW, Vanessa, and the permanent placement CW, Toyia, couldn't get together on when we got to see the children. Finally, I convinced Toyia to let us see at least the 3 that were in the same foster home. On Tuesday, Jan. 20th we,D, C, Tf, and I, drove 4 hours to visit for 2 hours with only 2 of our 5 children. The foster mom was having problems releasing N. She falsified info to make it appear that he wasn't able to leave her home to come visit with us at the library. We played in a dull, boring meeting room of the county library. They were gorgeous. T immediately called us Momma and Daddy. F smiled and slept. She won our hearts. We went to McD for lunch, no playground, anyway it was snowing and cold, not weather for outside play.

We went home excited and a little sad. We left T crying. She wanted to go with us. The time was too short. Most importantly, we only got to see 2 of the 5 children.

Friday, Jan. 23rd, we drove back again to a different McD. with a playground. There we met B and K. They were as beautiful as their sisters. Both were a bit shy, but C and Tf broke the ice by suggesting they go together to the playground. A short time later, Toyia brought T, N and F. N took to D. N would snuggle into D's shoulder and grin. All 4 of the older girls laughed and played. Too soon our visit was over. There were more tears. This time it was almost impossible to leave them. I worried about how we would manage until we saw them again. I also worried that N's foster mom would try to prevent us from taking him. She could make waves. Enough waves to be a problem. So I prayed for peace.

Time Change Blues

Okay, I get to gripe! Daylight savings time stinks or at least the changing of the clocks does. B wanted an alarm clock so she could get herself up for school. It worked for the last 2 weeks. This morning she was late for school. I forgot about it when I was changing the clocks.

Yesterday, F got up on her knees and pushed her way across the floor. This was a big accomplishment, because when she came to us she didn't move at all.

N just beat up my 21 yr old, C. She was trying to take an ink pen away from him. He hit her with it across the knuckles. She almost cried.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Second Beginning

In August of 2007, I was surfing the net, looking for something about heart disease help in SC. I came across a website called SC Heart Gallery. It was pics of children. After a few minutes I figured out that the pics were of high risk adoptable kids in SC. Dennis came through the house and looked over my shoulder. He pointed to a family of 3 kids and said they were the ones he wanted.That was all I needed. For years I have wanted to adopt, but Dennis had always said no. I had finally given up on the idea. Now, my dream could come true.

Over the next 10 months, we went to classes and filled out papers: lots of papers. There were background checks, home visits, home inspections, and dozens of other things we had to do. By the time we were finished DSS knew more about us than we did. Then we had to wait for DSS to do their paperwork. To say that I am not very patient would be an understatement. Waiting was very difficult. In September 2008, we got our approval. Finally we could be considered as parents for a family of children. We had decided that we wanted a sibling group of 2 or 3 older kids. Once we were approved there was more waiting for someone to decide we fit a family.

The first week of December on a Wednesday night, I talked with God and told Him that I was ready to move forward in whatever direction He chose. See, I had been trying to make something happen. Dennis and I had talked about the fact that adoption may not have been God's idea for our lives as we had thought. I had felt from the beginning that God had called me to take in a family of adoptive kids. But I had set limits on God. That night in December, I turned loose of my dream and reaffirmed my commitment to God's will. I ask that He show me the direction He wanted me to go. I didn't want to waste time on a project that wasn't in His plan.

The next morning around 10 o'clock, Toyia called to tell me about a 10 year old boy. I wanted a child so bad, it was hard to turn him down. But, I knew what God had orginally told me. We were going to adopt a family, not a single. After listening to my explanation, Toyia ask me a few questions, then said she might have a family we would be interested in. She told me there were 4 children, 3 girls and a boy. They were younger than I had expected; the oldest was 7. Dennis and I talked about them and prayed for clear direction. There were more than we had planned, but both of us felt that God was sending this family to us.

We started planning for our new family. All we knew was their ages and genders. Toyia wanted to place them by Christmas, but the county they were in was slow, very slow. We would found out that slow was the only way that county works. We were given names on December 22nd. I had said that I would know if God wanted me to have the child because I would easily be able to remember my children's names. At first I thought that maybe I shouldn't hold myself to that idea, after all there were 5, not 3.

Oh, number 5, was a newborn that wasn't labeled for adoption because a family member was trying to claim her. We were asked to take her temporarily. Okay, back to the story. I never had any problem with their names. Even though they were a long and unusual. I could even spell them. Wow, God always goes the extra mile.

More later. My morning quiet time is now over. I have to start breakfast for my crew.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Snowballs and Broken Windows

Sunday was another day of firsts. The first funeral, the first time my whole family has met the kids, the first family dinner, the first big accident, the first snow, the first campout/in.

The children had never been to a funeral. The 1 year old, N, wouldn't be quiet so we went outside of the chapel and played. The 6 month old, F, dirtied her diaper and had to have all her clothes changed. The 2 year old, K, the 4 year old, T, and the 7 year old, B, sat quietly. However T had tears rolling down her face through most of the service. At the end during the closing hymn she began to wail and sob uncontrollably. She has such a tender heart.

The kids captured the hearts of my family. Any fears I had about them being accepted vanished. N held his hands up for everyone to take him. His fat cheeks and thighs were squeezed dozens of times. At the end of the day everyone was exhausted from passing him around. F smiled and cooed. A little baby can win even the hardest hearts. K, T, and B played with my nieces and nephews all day.

The children had never seen so much food, and they tried to consumed as much of it as possible. I finally had to put limits on how much of certain things they could eat. I honestly believe they would still be eatting if I hadn't stopped them.

B won the prize for the most surprising thing of the day. She has only been in the family for 3 weeks, and she managed to do something none of the other kids has done. She broke a window. She sat in my brother-in-law's electric chair and played with the lever. The back of the chair reclined right through the window. She was upset, mainly because she had been told the kids weren't allowed to bother the chair, and she sat in it anyway. Noone knew that the chair would recline if it wasn't on. Now we know! The men rushed to replace the pane. Within a few hours everything was back to normal. No big deal. But, I bet B won't forget it any time soon.

It rained all day Saturday and most of Sunday. Sunday had a mix of rain, sleet and snow. Early afternoon it changed over to snow, giant flakes. It snowed so heavy that before dark the kids could have snowball fights and build a snowman. It was very slushy, but they had fun. Our kids along with some of the adults had never seen snow. We had all ages playing in the first yard. Around 6:00, we decided to go home. It was a treacherous ride. My suburban slipped and slid the entire way; about 15 miles and most of it in the country. There was a few times I was afraid we wouldn't make it. I prayed us home. I just couldn't imagine having to walk with 5 small children in the mega storm after dark.

Not long after getting home we lost power. Everyone camped in the floor in front the fireplace, the only warm place in the house. Our campout/in lasted for 48 hours! Bummer!