Monday, July 29, 2013

Its Been A While

I know its been too long since I have shared the craziness of my life with you all.  But crazy it has been.  The last post was about losing control of everything and being okay with it.  Wow, I did not know when I wrote that just how much control would be lost or that as I was writing it life was changing, life was forming, and life was growing.  You see very quickly, almost immediately after returning home from Uganda, I once again made the mistake of telling God my plan for the next year of my life.  I was going to have an "easy" year; a year of no major life changes.  Once again my God taught me the lesson that my ways are not His ways.  
It was the Tuesday after Memorial Day, I had to take the girls to the local Health Department.  So I ventured out with all four under the age of four at the time.  The appointment was long, two hours in a small room with four crazy kids.  Two hours of making puppets out of tongue depressers, drawing pictures on the paper sheet, and singing songs just loud enough so the staff didn't forget they had put us in that room.  It wore me out, I was exhausted, spent.  On the way home I was thinking wow this jet lag is taking way too long to get over.  I should be back to normal by now, it is taking too much coffee to function everyday.  Then I had a thought just as I was driving by our local Target.  So we stopped at Target, my exhausted self unloaded four kids out of carseats, manipulated two into the cart, and convinced two to walk.  I went to the pharmacy and picked out what I wanted.  I then took the kids down the candy aisle to pick up a sweet for them and for me to munch on to help me stay awake.  They picked out a huge bag of gummy bears, most of which were consumed by me.  Once we got home and unloaded, I had something I had to do.  I put the TV on to entertain the herd and I went into my bathroom.  Where my world changed.
That was they day I learned about number five.  Yes, if you don't personally know me I was pregnant.  We filled the cliche, complete an adoption and get pregnant.  This was hard news for me to process, not because the pregnancy was unwanted just unplanned.  His plans are way bigger than my plans.  I was so overwhelmed by the thought of another child to care for, more laundry ontop of the already enourmous mountain.  I was struggling with four how was I going to do it with five.  It took me a couple of days to come to terms with what a fifth would mean for our family.  It even took a couple more months for us to share the news.  
The thought of a fifth child was overwhelming in more ways the one.  More than just the work, the mouth to feed, and sleepless nights.  It was overwhelming to me because it reminded me of how much my heavenly Father knows my heart and my desires.  And how He works for my good.  
When we chose to become an adopting family we chose to persue God's plan for our family.  To act on a dream.  But with that new dream came the death of an old dream.  I learned to accept the fact that I would not nurse another baby of mine and I would not smell that new baby scent.  Completing the adoption of Hadley and Liana to me meant that I would not know all the joys of a new baby again.  It was hard, but God filled that desire.  He chose to give us another child to disciple in His ways. 
Our little surprise is now 6 months old.  Life is definitely crazy, we are probably very entertaining to watch.  There are kids everywhere.  Our house is full.  Our quiver is full.  Our hands are full.  But more importantly our hearts are full.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Loss of Control

One of the hardest lessons I have learned is the loss of control.  During the past 29 years I have had learned this lesson in small portions of my life at a time but never before in everything.  Never before have I lost total control of all aspects in my life.  Growing up you do not have control over your diet or schedule but I always had my room, my headless Barbie dolls to play with, and my cabbage patch dolls with home haircuts.  I had control over their world.  I remember playing with Barbie and having her go on crazy adventures, she had a jeep and RV, our Barbie went camping a lot.  Part of the appeal of playing dolls was control.  I could control what they did, what they wore, and how they behaved.  I remember thinking as all kids do when I get older I will set the rules, I will be in control.  Wrong.
Africa took all control from me.  While in Uganda I lost control of everything, I was learning that my life is not my own, it is not my own to control.  It is His life and I need to let Him control it.  By letting God control our family decisions our family has taken a path that we could never have planned.  I never could have planned a homemade daughter, Russian son, and two Ugandan daughters, two dogs, eight chickens, and the best husband.
I was looking forward to returning to our home in Tennessee partly to regain control.  I wanted to make the decisions again over what I ate at my meals and when my house got cleaned.  Don’t get me wrong the staff in Uganda was AMAZING but the control freak in my wanted to do these things myself.  Little did I know returning to a house with four little kids running around would mean no control, no organization, and pure craziness.  In fact the pure craziness is far better than I could have ever imagined.  It is wild, the kids have a blast, we have a blast, and life is fun.  They know that mommy and daddy love them and more importantly Jesus.  So if my control for the day is yelling out the door please wear pants if you are going to play in the front yard I will take it and enjoy it.  Our family is learning to find comfort in this loss of control and that only comes from knowing that our Heavenly Father holds it in His hands.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Home At Last

I know this is long overdue and for that I apologize but we are home.  Actually we made it home a few weeks ago.  I am late with this post because coming home after months with four toddlers in the house is crazy and a lot of work.  But I love every bit of it and am bathing in the craziness that is my life.
Coming home came with extra drama as is typical for my family in this adoption process.  During what I thought would be my last day in Uganda I picked up the girls passports with the much desired visas stamped inside them, I packed one suitcase to take home, gave away everything else, visited with the staff at the home, and visited with the orphanage director.  After that we were off, I successfully bathed and fed all four kids and got them ready to go.  I tried to be as prepared as possible because I was to make the trip to Amsterdam with the four kiddos by myself, Chad met us in Amsterdam.  However, after our two hour car ride to the airport in the middle of the night my heart was broken once again.  This was supposed to be a glorious day, a wonderful day, the end and begining of an adventure but once again God had different plans.
  Once we arrived at the airport the airport officials quickly pointed out a typo on the girls visas.  I could not believe it there was a tiny little mistake and we could not get on the plane.  Fortunately the embassy was able to correct the issue the next day and get us on flights the following night.  As I mentioned I had given everything away, our room at the guest house had even been occupied once we left.  Therefore for our last day in Uganda we had to rummage through the donation bin at the house for clothing to wear and slept in a tiny room with a twin bed in it.  It made for one last Ugandan adventure before we came to America.
Once I arrived in Amsterdam I was thrilled, more than excited to see Chad get off of his plane.  We were together all six of us, it did not matter that it was not America yet, all that mattered was that our family was together.  We then quickly learned that our flight from Amsterdam to America was way over booked.  After speaking with the KLM staff we volunteered our family to be bumped from the flight.  We would catch the next flight 24 hours later to America.  This was a true blessing for our family for many reasons; it gave us precious family time, it helped ease the jet lag and the rest of the travel, and the compensation helped pay for our trip home.  So we had a little vacation in Amsterdam, stayed at a nice hotel in the airport, the girls had their first taste of McDonalds Happy Meals, and the kids played for hours in the airport playgrounds.
The following day we continued on with our trip home.  Fortunately the rest of the trip came without drama.  All four kids were great for the flights and were on their best behavior.  We were greated by an overwhelming welcome party when we arrived at the airport.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Last Few Days

Last week we began our countdown of when we would be leaving.  The kids helped make a paper chain and every evening we remove a link.  I can't believe there are only two links left.  We will leave Uganda tomorrow evening and should be arriving in Tennessee on Thursday evening.  See you soon.