Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Home for the Holidays

Hubby is gone, the kids are in bed early tonight and I sit in my living room as my three children are sleeping in the only bed, in the only home, with the only parents they have ever known. When I sat down to fold laundry, I scrolled through the guide channel to find something to make my monotonous task a little more fun. I happened upon a title that caught my attention, "The 11th Annual Home for the Holidays." As I read the words describing the program "Now in its 11th year, the special will feature Faith Hill and include performances by Shakira, Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood. Nia Vardolos and Jenna Elfman are among the celebrities who will present inspirational stories of extraordinary families formed through foster care adoption," my heart was compelled to watch.

Three minutes into the show tears were streaming down my face. Adoption is something that has become close to our hearts, as we stood along side our best friends Ben and Rebekah, as they adopted their sweet baby boy, Ty. The show was depicting just as the description says, inspirational stories of families brought together through foster care adoption. People who opened their home to children young and old, to raise them as their own. Children who do/did not have the same privilege as ours...sleeping in the same bed every night, attending the same school for a whole year, having parents to call their own.

My eyes and heart were glued to the TV watching lives that have been changed. Being a teacher, I have had foster children in and out of my classroom throughout the years. Even before having children of my own, my hearts desire, as their little faces crossed my path was to scoop them up and bring them home. This is all it was, a thought that was never acted upon. Watching our friends go through the adoption process, although it was not through foster care, has had an incredible impact on me. My heart was stirred again tonight. I believe that a day will come when this will not be a thought that is not acted upon, but a reality for our family. Chris and I had a conversation with Ben and Rebekah last month about this very thing. Although it is not something that I believe we will do today, tomorrow, or even a year from now, I believe in my heart it is for our family. It is something I will continue to seek the Lord about.

The presentation tonight was put on by the Dave Thomas (the founder of Wendy's) Foundation. He himself was adopted as a young boy. During the presentation a phone number and website was flashed across the bottom of the screen... During a commercial, I went to the site and began reading facts and statistics of foster care adoption. The following statement pierced my heart...

"Nearly 40 percent of American adults, or 81.5 million people, have considered adopting a child, according to the National Adoption Attitudes Survey. If just one in 500 of these adults adopted, every waiting child in foster care would have a permanent family."

Am I one of the 40 percent? Are you?

I don't pretend to think it is an easy path, but I am ready to sacrifice. I am sure Chris will read this and think I have gone off the deep end (he did approve this before I posted), but together we will decide and seek the Lord on what He has for our family. Again, I am not saying it is something we are going to run out and do tomorrow. I am saying that it was a seed, that years ago, was planted in my heart as a faint idea, and through the years has grown into one that will one day, I believe, become a reality for our family.

My children are blessed to have a home for the holidays...there are thousands that don't. Adoption may not be for you, but can I challenge you in something? Go to the website, make yourself aware, and if nothing else pray for the children that are waiting for homes.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a JOY filled new year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

4 generations and toes

This weekend we celebrated Christmas with Chris's moms family in Sturgis, MI. While there we were able to get a four generation picture. It was the end of a no nap day, so getting them all to look with smiles was near impossible, but this is a precious picture anyway.
Last month before my dads parents left for Florida, we took this shot of my grandma and her nine great grand kids.
And in other news...Parker LOVES his toes...
they can keep him occupied for hours during the day.
taking a break to look at mommy and wondering why the flash keep going off interrupting his toe time...could he be more precious...

back at it...with the feet

and yes he is wearing a disposable diaper today...we had extra from the trip :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

10 Years

Ten years ago today, Chris and I were married in a large, beautiful church. The church that we attend was in a small building, so we had to find a church the could accommodate our guests. I remember it like it was yesterday. Chris, 23 and I, 22 stood in front of just under 200 people to exchange our vows. It was a beautiful ceremony, with so many special memories. My great-grandmother passed away just months before. She is my namesake (middle name) and her wedding band was passed from her to my mom and then to me. Engraved, on the inside of the band are her initials and year of marriage (1920), as well as my mom's and mine. Melia who carries on the middle name, will receive the ring on her wedding day. During the ceremony our parents joined us at the alter, and we gave them back our purity rings, a vow we made to them as well as each other when we were dating. We spent a few moments in worship to the Lord, shared of vows, and then took part in communion together. Our youth pastor and Chris's Uncle both officiated our special day. We have been together for sixteen years, as we dated for 6 years through high school and college years.

Two weekends ago, Chris and I were able to get away for the weekend to celebrate. I planned a trip to a mystery location that was revealed to Chris once we got to security at the airport. We had an incredible time. Just as with our wedding day, so many little details made the getaway so special. We spent so much time talking, reminiscing, and just enjoying each other. We spent time reflecting on the last ten years and all the accomplishments, a few disappointments, and highlights from each year. The first night we went to dinner, I wore the pearls that I wore on our wedding day, and that night I wore the same lingerie that I wore on your wedding night (I was shocked it still fit).

We went to Hilton Head Island. Neither of us had been there before and we both enjoy golf, so it seemed like a great spot. I wanted to be able to fly there quickly since it would be a quick trip. It was chilly and overcast when we arrived, but we made the best of our time. We rented a tandem bike and rode on the beach. We collected sand dollars....I've never seen so many. That night we had an incredible dinner. As I was getting ready for dinner Chris asked me if I wanted to where these...

WOW!!! These were a complete surprise, something I was secretly hoping to get one day, as they match the diamond in my ring. I was beaming with glee. Who needs other earrings when you have those. We walk in from dinner and as I am changing, Chris set up, his MP3 player and a small set of speakers (that I was unaware got packed) with the song that we danced to at our wedding and another one of our favorites from our dating years, and we stood in the middle of our hotel room and danced cheek to cheek (I had my tall shoes on :). What an incredible man I have. I love you are the best...could not ask for a better, husband, father to our children, or friend. We have been together (dating and married time) half of my life. I look froward to many more incredible years with you. I love you more today than I did the day I walked down the aisle into your arms (did not know that was possible). Our love runs deep. When I think about marriage today, 10 years is a long time. I had someone say to me at 7 years, "Wow, that is a long time". I remember thinking, "really it does not seem that long". But, thinking about marriage in the eyes of the world, 7 years is a long time. It is relatively easy to become "unmarried" these days. A covenant that is incredibly sacred in our eyes, is not taken lightly, and is one that is entered into for a lifetime. I would not want to spend my life with anyone else. Two houses, three kids, 10 could not get any better.

Look at how handsome my guy is...

Madly in love...

The view from our room...
Our room...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

6 Months

Parker turned 6 months old last week. I can't believe it. I feel like I write that every month, but I really can't get over the fact that he has been with us that long. He is a growing boy...that's for sure. He is weighing in at 18.5 pounds and 27 inches long. WOW. He is in 6-9 month clothes, but does fit in some 9-12 month already. He is laughing and smiling all the time. He is not rolling over yet, but he is sitting up all by himself. Can't figure that one out. We put the boppy behind him, as he still falls over when he gets to excited. He puts everything in his mouth these days, and as you can see from the last picture is drooling ALOT. He is sleeping 12 hours at night and takes two naps a day 11/2-2 hours each (unless it is at Ms. Teri's, then it's 20 min :). He is eating cereal with fruits and veggies 2 times a day. He is nursing four times a day. He has had carrots, avacado, apples, and pears. He will have green beans and mango this week. I also bought an eggplant, but not sure what to do with it yet...He loves his excersaucer and Chris got the Jhonny Jumper out this month and he loves it. He had a few fruit puffs the other night. He was not so sure about them, but did manage to eat them. His sisters love, love, love him...too much sometimes. Melia wants to hold and pick him up all the time. Looking forward to his first Christmas in a few weeks. Could not have asked for a better gift this year.

He is easy going and hardly ever cries. He loves to play, look around, and be sung too. He makes our life so much better. We love you baby boy...

oh and I almost forgot his newest trick is blowing raspberries with his lips...he thinks he is so funny when he does it...i am trying to get it on video, but he seems to stop every time I pull it out.

Running after the heart of the Father. Seeking His face in All things. Walking His will out in my life. These are the desires of my heart. Along the way I am a wife and mom who wants to capture memories that will last a life time.