In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happenings and Feelings

 Yesterday was my birthday - JD and I went to dinner and the movies (October Baby - so, so good) on Friday and then yesterday we cooked out and a group of girls and I played Spoons. All in all, it wasn't too traumatic for turning a year older. The last few weeks have been pretty rough, however, due to the reality that I have a few children that seem to cycle between me feeling complete despair at their behavior and other times when I feel we are making progress and I feel hopeful. Honestly, I have no idea what causes these fluctuations, but the day to day dealing with their current behavior and the anticipation of bringing new children home has me feeling rather desperate.

Alei got me this card for my birthday yesterday - I thought I'd share - 

While I found this card humorous, at the same time it tends to be true. It seems at 100 different moments of the day, someone is fighting with someone over something (usually something stupid that isn't worth a fight.) I have a few huge tattle-tales and others who would not tell if the house was burning around them. One that baffles me to no end is a child that talks back to almost everything I say, yet will immediately, and without question, do anything that another child tells him to (even if it's the wrong thing and will get him in trouble!) At times I feel we could baffle an entire team of child psychologists. 

I have been down this road many times before and the major crisis of my feelings is that I have two new children that are coming home that, fair enough, will have immediate major needs. Looking at my current life and demands, I'm not seeing how they are going to fit. I want to have everything arranged here (including my current children's behavior) so that I feel I'm in a place to handle new challenges and my current children are not helping me out by being cooperative. This makes me seriously question my own logic and reasoning in thinking that I'm capable of parenting two additional little girls. I do have some ideas of things that I'm going to do to lighten the crisis load around here and I'll be sharing some of those over the next few days. 

I'll end with my thought that parenting can cause the greatest emotions on each end of the spectrum. Only my spouse and children can produce the greatest of joy I've ever had and also the latter once and a while the worst feelings of hopelessness. 

I'm hoping that my little "sharing" only helps people know that we aren't adopting because we are feeling so successful with the children that we currently have. We are only adopting because we are willing! Although the road is hard, very hard some days, and I often feel completely beat down by the same little people that also bring such joy, we are confident that we are a way better family than no family at all. I also have to remind myself daily that I am not the one who determines who my children are, neither am I the one responsible for every decision they make. Unfortunately, they have all been proven sinners, just as I am, and my job is only to teach, train and God will take it from there. In the natural, I tend to feel responsible for each short-coming I see and blame myself for their mistakes; I'm afraid God knew that it would not be easy to teach me that lesson, so he gave me many people to reinforce it daily. 

Here's my little Buddy in Gabriel's jacket from years ago. Gabriel was always very impressed with police officers and he collected several patches from the police chief in Norfolk that we used to go to church with. Elijah is equally thrilled with police officers and was pretty excited to see and try on the jacket. Elijah is also wearing Gabriel's first cleats that he played soccer in at five; they are way too big on Elijah but he wears them frequently anyway. 

Here's my little darling, being a little less darling - 


  1. My mom's dealing with the same spectrum of emotions. The talking-back child is the one that's draining her the most. The bickering among the younger tribe is also so so draining. She has health problems and has very little stamina to keep up. This is with much fewer kids than yours, but know that you're not alone! Despair can quite easily slip in. Cyber hug!! Jesus knows!

  2. ha ha... need to find that card for my mom!

  3. Thank you. This post is so encouraging today. I love how you keep it real and share the struggles and down emotions as well as the positive ones. The Lord is showing me my "growth areas" through raising kids and this is the toughest job ever! I pray to someday follow in your footsteps with adoption and you inspire me to greater depend on Jesus Christ with my kids. The Lord's mercies are new EVERY morning! Grace and peace,

  4. Thanks for sharing this today!! I really needed to hear it. I have 4 kids of my own, 1 by adoption. As well as numerous foster children. There are days I want to pull out all my hair and just scream. Then there are amazing days. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels that way.