Thursday, March 28, 2013

Three years in

I think there are choices in all our lives that at some point we questioned if we have made the "right" choice. When pieces seem to be missing or all the hard work just feels like wheels are spinning and no forward momentum is happening. When our original passion is replaced by fear. Questions start bombarding. We can get so overwhelmed with wanting to know if the future will be better than today that we forget to live in today.

Here's the thing. I have realized that when I ask that question, "did I make the right choice?" rarely is it a yes or no answer that I am looking for. I am seeing the things in my life that force me through discomfort are also the things that cause growth, change my world perspective and push me harder towards an intentional life. Things that seem the most risky and unknown cause me to do that hard inner work that on the other side seem the most worth the effort. When I keep pushing through the discomfort and beg fear to leave, slowly I realize that I am gaining a life that I would never trade. Difficulty, uncertainty and learning to give more than I may have wanted, have given me glimpses of a life more alive than I could imagine.

I am thankful for my children. The way our lives have come together and the life they bring. Even when the unknown seems like good reason to fear, they give me every hope that love is the greater answer and will win every time I stands up to fear.

To three beautiful children, on my third year into this life as their mother.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

So I can sleep...

Each year, this night opens a gate of emotions that have been held back. On this night, I let myself go "there". On my side in the hospital bed, watching the snow fall out my window. The street lamps 5 floors down were just enough to illuminate the soft dropping of snow. Yellow and calm. The monitor doing its job behind me and David laying in the extra bed in front of me.  My tears were falling about as fast as the snow outside. Begging Jesus. Please. Please. Please. The room was dark. We were supposed to be resting for what was ahead the next morning. Twice in the middle of the night two different nurses came to my bedside, they must have known I wouldn't be sleeping, they came to hug me because their shift was over and they were going home. Looking back, they must have thought we were we just babies ourselves. Their kindness still overcomes me. That night I tried to imagine the next day, and then I would try to push those thoughts as far as I could. We had been trying to stop labor for days, but tomorrow, we were letting nature take her course.

The difference between that night four years ago, and tonight is this;

Even though I still don't know what tomorrow holds, I know that each day that I have breathed, life has filled me. Even then, the pain, loss and devastation touched me. Yes, it hurt, so bad. And even now my body can ache for what we lost, but through our loss we found so much more. Or maybe, so much more found us.

And tonight I tucked 3 sweet, over sugared little babies in their beds.

Tonight I wished I could time travel back and whisper to my grieving self back then that it will all be beautiful. Not easy, but good. It hurts to remember myself so broken and sad. But I believe I had to learn to see beauty in a new way. I believe I am still learning.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Go Outside

Today I left the mess, the piles of laundry, neglected dinner planning, forgot about nap schedules. Chose not to mow the lawn or catch up on emails. I didn't even comb my hair. Even though I am now seeing everything I didn't do today, life was beautifully spent. We drove through gorgeous shades of fall deep into the mountains to play in fresh river water. Climbed rocks, ate pbj and dirt and froze our toes numb. Our autumns are short and precious here. And I feel the first snow coming. Needing to see the green, yellow and blue hues before they are quietly resting under their winter blanket of white, the mountains needed to be visited.

We had no plan of a destination or trail to hike. We just went to play, to be. It is wonderful to see children playing, without toys. Engaged, explorative and for the most part content. And honestly, I take them out largely because I too, need to play outside. Homes, hot dinners, beautiful flowers and nice lawns are wonderful gifts in adulthood, but if not placed in the right priority, we too miss out on the fun in life, the adventure.

We invited our neighbors to go with us today, so the two of us moms managed to keep 7 littles safe, not clean...just safe, and we had a great time!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Running away, and returning home...

Today was hard. The end. 

Okay, even though I wanted that to be the end, I couldn't. I don't think there's much worse than going to bed with that kind of mind-set. Sure, there are days that we don't want to revisit in life, but today was just a mediocre, dull, long sort of day. And I hate it when those kind of days win. They win when they end that way. 

Long story short, I think today (and yesterday for that matter) were hard to keep anyones attention. I was feeling less than creative and short on sleep, and patience. The kids were like herding kittens, or more like fussy, mean, feral kittens that throw all the nice meals you make them on the floor. I wanted to pack a little nap sack and run away, then come back at dinner or whenever I missed home. But instead I stuck it out with a grumpy, sleepy mood.

 I was about to shuffle, defeated, to bed. I went to do one more round down the hall to check on my now peaceful kittens when I saw my camera out. I remembered I had sat on the grass tonight and snapped photos of the kids. So I loaded the pictures on the computer and somehow the camera only remembered the sweet moments of tonight. 

Sweet life. A good life. No matter how hard today was, this is what I will think about when I drift into  precious sleep... and I will have won.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer, Oh Summer

Every year summer comes with much anticipation. And this year it is screaming by at a rate I've never experienced. We've had some great times, tiring times, and times we will never forget!

I've been lazy about taking my camera along since I love how easy and packable my trusty iPhone camera is. So this weekend I left my phone at home (on accident) but it turned out to be the best accident. I picked up my SLR and captured the fun, beauty and and crankiness of tent camping with three babes.

I hope you enjoy some of our summer outings and home activities in the next few weeks!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Let me tell you a story...

A few nights ago I was tucking our oldest in bed. Giving him lots of kisses and snuggles as he requested. I don't remember how it came about, I think I may have called him a baby; he replied saying "I grew in your tummy like Nienie (his little sis)." He sat up in bed and pushed his index finger into my stomach and said "Right there!" I didn't expect his words to pain me like they did. Not really for how hard it is to explain the complications of adoption to a three year old, but more for the pain I never want him to feel. I quickly tried to suppress the pain and frankly a little bit of the shock of his statement, it caught me off guard. I said something like "Oh Zach, remember how you got to have two mommies, one where you grew in her tummy and loved you so much she looked for the best family for you, and one mommy that gets to see you every day, and is SOO happy you came to live with her." Ugh, it always sounds so weird, even to me, an adult who understands the complicated process. I tried to tell him how happy daddy and I were that we got to be his mommy and daddy now. I suck at telling him, searching for the best words, and hoping some of my own disappointment in the way a mother could be so wasteful with her precious gift doesn't come out in my tone. We always try to put the birth mom in the best light we can... that she loved him so much she wanted the best for him. It feels like a hard story to tell.

Today we were snuggled up in our bed, WAY too early this morning. David was awake but had his eyes closed, I was sitting up telling a very energetic boy to settle down. He started "Let me tell you a story..." He gets confused. You see, he makes that statement and then nothing follows. We finally figured out he wants US to tell HIM a story. I'm sure he will figure it out soon, I hope. Anyway, I obliged.

"Once upon a time there were a mommy and daddy who searched ALL OVER the State of Oregon looking for the perfect baby boy. They wanted a baby boy to love, so they looked all over. They looked in the mountains, in the city, in the country and by the rivers." A little voice interjected "And at the beep too" (the "beep" means his grandparents loft downtown in a nearby city). "And at the beep too" I echoed. "They looked high and low, far and near, everywhere they knew to look. They wanted a boy who liked to play outside, and in the mountains, and at the parks. A boy who liked garbage trucks and..." I got cut off so he could say ..."tractors and Kubota rides" and in sweet, sweet unison we both said "choo choo trains". He giggled, I laughed and fought tears and Davids eyes smiled. I honestly don't remember much of the next few sentences because that moment felt SO good, so sweet and so real.  I went on to tell him about the phone call that made us laugh and jump and cry because we were so happy our little boy had been found. Our perfect little boy. I told him about the first time we met him and he had a binky in his mouth, he then showed me how he liked to suck a binky. I told him about how he would climb up his little slide and then slide down, over and over and over and over and over... and then every once in a while he would go get a drink of milk. He interrupted again "I really like milk".  Then I told him while everyone wanted to hug and kiss him, Papa Brent just scooped him up and kissed him, and that he really liked it. "I really love Papa Brent" he said with sweet eyes. "I know. He really loves you." He started to look a little bored, so I said "And the very first morning you ever woke up in your new house, you peed on mommy and daddy's bed. Right here." He laughed, oh he laughed!

And then, the story didn't seem that hard to tell...


This was the first photo and the only photo David and I saw for 3 months until we found out we got to be Mommy and Daddy.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

stores and children

It happened. It finally happened. My wildest dream came true. Do you sense some sarcasm?

Before children, I had seen some things that made me say "I would never do X" or "Let my children do X" or "Act like X". You get the picture.

After a few years of having a few children, I have since made some concessions and allowed a little grace to parents that live a little... freer than myself.

Still there are things that I think NEVER! Just to give an example; I keep my iPhone handy at Safeway to capture things that make me laugh or shake my head.

A recent favorite was this experience; We use these carts...ALOT! There are four seat-belts. Need
I  say more? It clearly states not to sit children on top of the car. I thought it made sense and seemed silly even to mention it... I was clearly proved wrong...

This dates back to the early New Year, but still a favorite;
This was actually after I witnessed him standing ON a cake and nearly crushing it to pieces before his mother suggested just standing on the cooler. 

Today we were in Rite-Aid and I was shopping for a few cards for some up coming birthdays and celebrations. While waiting for me to pick out the cards with the perfect words, one of my children spotted a  grand selection of plastic dump trucks. After I finally just grabbed 7 cards for 2 occasions (figuring I could read them better at nap time in my own home) I told the begging child he could pick a pack of stickers or a coloring book. Feeling nice for even suggesting he could make a purchase the begging continued for the plastic toy retailing about $14.00 over its actual value. I said "No." and started to walk away. Then it happened. Blair Witch Project kind of screaming in isle 4, followed by a metal crash and a body hitting the white floor. In sheer horror I turned around to find something like this...

Rolled in the fetal position screaming sounds I would imagine coming from hell itself, I saw my child. The red bike that had previously been occupied by a small body had been abandoned, wheels still slowly moving as it crashed on the floor.  "This isn't happening, this isn't happening" my heart was saying but by the looks of everyone around us, it WAS happening.

I'm happy to report that I stayed calm. Real calm. I tried to hide the embarrassed smirk  on my face, but I couldn't stop laughing, I figured it was better than crying. I paid for the seven cards and walked outside where the screaming continued.

My biggest regret? I wasn't quick enough to get my iPhone out and snap a picture of what was actually  happening to ME. I'm just hoping I don't get a second chance.

***The same child featured in todays story happened to walk by the computer while I was writing and saw the figure sketch of the scene in isle 4. He said "That picture is icky mommy." Yes son, yes it is!***