I truly feel like it’s ages since I blogged.
I know, time stamps say it really hasn’t been that long. But life with a seven year old moves fast. God is moving fast.
I’m opting for a pictorial catch up sesh today: It’s Spring Break, so it’s probably my only opportunity to do this for a while, what with the end-of-school year blitz that will commence Monday and well, life’s general craziness!
Our Sunday school class got together with all our kiddos to bake, decorate, and deliver cookies to some of our church “shut-ins” just to remind them that they are not forgotten. A great experience! Not only did she see the church as a family, she saw ministry in action. :)
Our church family also gave us an adoption shower to help us finally get those much needed things that Moms/kids need. It was super thoughtful.
Jake and I both got bit of a night out when our church had the annual Parade of Tables event. It’s a huge (like $23,000!) fundraiser for our church’s mission readiness fund- which makes it possible for members to go on trips to places like Honduras, Romania, Canada, and areas in need stateside through the NC Baptist Men. Our table was themed “Phantom of the Opera” and our friends Heather & Joy outdid themselves. Great food, great fun, great people, and a great cause. I look forward to this each year!
We celebrated my birthday in March, and then Jake’s in April. We each felt this year was so much more special. Hearing your baby sing you happy birthday makes you just smile in the deepest part of your heart.
Easter came! My favorite day! It was amazing to share with her the resurrection story. We went to an Easter brunch the Saturday before, attended two egg hunts, and spent the whole weekend with family and friends rejoicing that He’s risen. :) Mak got her very first Easter basket, and had a great, great day.
Now that Spring Break has finally arrived (and now, much to my dismay is already slipping through my fingers), we’ve had time to take our first vacation as a family, albeit short. We spent the first half of the week down on Pawleys, visiting Whitney and the Georgetown crew, catching up and spending quality time together. It was Mak’s first EVER beach trip, and her expression below pretty much sums up her reaction. Amazement! She had the time of her life and we all made memories to cherish.
Loving every moment
Reunited and it feels so good!
Casie and her baby, Ellie, were in town, and so we got the chance to spend the day together and take this picture, which would normally be quite hard to do, since I’m in NC, Whit is in SC, and now Casie is in Mississippi. But it goes to show you, life may throw you curves… things change over time, you grow apart both in distance and circumstance, but friendship that is true endures even the most challenging situations. It was a blessing to be together, even if for a short time. It’s always great to know you can pick up where you left off.
She even got to see the stars… an old tradition from those Spring Breaks during college. It felt so good to be with such awesome friends in such a beautiful place, and letting her experience that too. I felt like she got to see us in our entirety, you know. And I loved that she got to bond with my friends, and they with her. <3
Family photo op before departure.
On the way home, we stopped at a strawberry farm and Mak got to pick berries for the first time. It was great seeing her dirty feet running around and red-stained lips constantly curled up into grin.
As we spend time together and grow, I realize just how much I love my sweet girl's spark, intuition, and creativity. I love her mind- how she learns, imagines, and explores. Last night, she whispered to me as I tucked her in, “you’re the best mommy ever” and I melted. She knows she’s loved. She knows she’s accepted. Today, as we ran errands, a cashier said she had "such personality” (after she announced that they should not have those cigarettes behind the counter because they were bad and hurt people). People smiled at her dancing and singing, laughed at her wittiness everywhere we went. She bubbles over with childhood innocence. We were at lunch before we left Pawleys and sat near another family where the two kids sat silently with their parents the entire time, each of the four of them staring off in separate ways. No conversation, no prayer, no interaction. The glazed over look on the kids’ faces immediately reminded Jake and me of Mak when she first landed in our arms; a sad result of medicating for supposed attention/hyperactivity disorders that exist only through an easily attained diagnosis of exclusivity. They were quiet and well behaved, yes, but as the Mad-Hatter pointed out once to Alice in Wonderland, they were completely lacking any muchness. No spark. No personality. No curiosity. It made me think about how many kids are robbed of their muchness due to adults’ inability or lack of a desire to discipline, shape, and mold children as they learn and explore.
As I brushed her hair tonight, she casually commented that she wished we had her as baby, and while I wish the same, I am thankful for who she is and who she will be regardless of when she became mine. I’m more and more confidant in the fact that she is indeed, my daughter, more and more by her own choice. She knows she belongs with us because we make a family. And, I know more and more that respecting her birth family, stories, and experiences is important because it is apart of her identity. God knew her in her first mother's womb, and had amazing plans for her, and I am so thankful for the chance to help her grow into the magnificent person He has designed her to be, and I am forever blessed by the fact that He included Jake and me in that design. ♥ Times for us will be changing as the legal processes of adoption begin this summer, and as we embark into foster parenting as well as more in depth fertility treatment. Why so much, you ask? Well, we have that burden. We know Mak needs (and often declares she wants) siblings. I know there is room in my heart to choose to be a mother to more, and with 170,000 waiting children in the US alone, there are certainly many in need. It is our intention to make ourselves available and ready, so God can work through us to make a difference for at least one of those children.
My OBGYN, after numerous failed cycles, has referred me to a fertility specialist, a reproductive endocrinologist, at a state-of-the-art office known for it’s incredible success stories. I’m not getting my hopes up, but willingly jumping on for the ride. I want to experience all the elements of motherhood, including the part that slipped away back in the fall when we were pregnant before. I just feel in my heart of hearts, it’s all going to be just fine. On top of it all, I know changes are coming in terms of my career. I am not saying I will stop teaching, but I do anticipate changes. We want to sell the house and move into a bigger place to accommodate the growth of our family, and it all seems so scary and unknown, but miraculously, I am still fearless. God’s got great things in store, and we are ready and waiting for Him to work. We are surrounded by great friends, a supportive church where we are continuously learning, and a loving family. We’re good. He’s got the wheel, and I’m buckled up, ready for the ride.