Saturday, November 18, 2017

In the Darkness of Medication Came Light






I am not sure how to talk/write about medication when it comes to my kids. It is not because I am embarrassed, ashamed, or not confidant in our decision. I really think its because you want to protect your child from an already cruel and judging world. I do not want you to see medication before seeing my child. Or even have thoughts "must be a day they need to up the meds..." Medication and mental illness do NOT define our children or our family. We are the Tanners, we stand firm in our solid foundation in Jesus, and this is our journey, not our identity.  Therefor, medication and the topic of diagnosis is a touchy one. One we desperately need to shine the light on, but also one you have to be so cautious with. Each word I ever write is prayed over, He gives me permission and releases things I didn't even know could exist. 

I do know I have yet to meet a parent that is excited and happy to put their child on any type of stimulant, anxiety pill, or antidepressants. There are not happy dances and praise hands the day your doctor says "its time." No. There are fears, and sadness...there is concern and the unknown of the future can leave you frozen unable to put one foot in front of the other.... 

There is also thankfulness, yes. Hopefulness, yes. Even relief, sweet relief...but happy, joyful, excitement? No, not terms I hear from parents that are walking this very hard and challenging road.  People ask when we knew it was time for medication, my response is always the same "You just know..." it is really that simple. Every other thing fails you and you are left so desperate and so low you are not sure which way is up...its in that moment you can't wait another day. Relief is desperate. You are screaming for anything to help you and your child. You see them drifting and somehow someway today is worst then yesterday which was worst then the day before.

You find yourself googling, looking for anything that could possibly help. You feel like the most contradicting inconsistent parent on the planet. What worked yesterday made things worse today. You try hard not to stir up any battles or wake the sleeping anger that lays beneath your sons sweet demeanor. So eggshells is your life, you walk lightly, talk sweetly, take so many deep breaths you feel light headed. You find yourself losing your cool on every other child and living creature that crosses you wrong. Your exhaustion is beyond anything you could type on a blog.  You look like a parent who doesn't discipline because you put up with attitude and sharp comments and big fat "NOs!" and its not because you agree with the behavior, its because you know where and what it could do. Desperation is probably not even the right word.

You find yourself crying to anyone who will give you a moment to speak, you find yourself sobbing into the phone leaving your dad a message of total brokenness. You are unsure how you will face tomorrow or if tomorrow can even be faced. You are lost. You have prayed the name of Jesus in every room of the house, anointed with oil, crawled to the foot of his bed while he sleeps and make your desperate pleads to the One who Knows all and is All. And yet....silence. The next day is worst then the day before and it feels as though your prayers just made everything worse.

You finally hit the roof after weeks of walking on eggshells and all your pent up anger comes rolling out of you like Niagara Falls and there is nothing to stop it.  And 5 min later when your voice is horse from all the yelling you are broken once again because you feel like you just lost everything you had maybe gained. You are done. And you see the brokenness on his face. How did it get to this place?

You know....You go to the doctors with your beloved son and you lay it all out. You are done, he is done, we are done, everyone is done. By golly, the dogs are done. You know... It is time. And although there is no happy dance there is hope.

One week later post "vitamins" which is what these medications are referred to in this home, you see glimpses of your son. You see a smile return, a skip to his walk, a sweet hug and a kind word...oh my heavens, then the happy dance starts. Your heart could leap...

Two weeks later and there are no broken pencils, no thrown objects, there is a calmness and peacefulness that returns to your home...Oh Jesus. Thank you.

One month later. I have no words. We are thankful for the reprieve and although we know in two months we might be back to the drawing board with a growing and changing boy we know that medication is needed in this family. We see the change. And when the doctor asks how it is going and he says "I feel better..." you want to squeal and hug every single person in that doctors office. All of the sudden the dark, scary, awful, medication becomes the light, answers, peace, joy, thankful medication...

Now it is just a part of the day. No one even blinks an eye. .3 seconds it takes to take and our world aligns and peace come.

See, desperation always brings us to solutions and cry for help. If I didn't experience the desperation I wouldn't of been willing to go this route, and Jesus knew we needed this medication...he needed this medication, but we had to walk the dark and scary road to see those things.

I don't know where you are on in your journey. But you are not alone. Coming to the decision to put your child on medication is one of the hardest and scariest path a parent has to walk...see its brokenness in this world and its not suppose to be this way. Neither is cancer, or disease...but we live in a broken fallen world desperate for Jesus. Desperation broke us, and in that brokenness we were able to find the healing we all needed.

If you are a parent who has never had to face this journey with your child, I am thankful, this community of parents who are facing it would never wish this for anyone. No one. Be thankful, but be sensitive, be quiet, we don't need words or answers we need prayers and grace. Don't be quick to judge that parent with a child who is out of control in the middle of Walmart...you don't know what their journey is or what they are facing that day.

I know now, but it took desperation and brokenness to know it.

But Jesus, getting glory. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Transparent Glass Door. Honetly..I don't even think I have a door.

Sitting in a Psychologist office with on of your kids is never easy.

I gripped the steering wheel pretty tightly that morning as we drove. I tried to seem as calm and as normal as possible even sipping on my coffee occasionally  although my stomach was in all kind of knots. His sweet profile catching my glimpse every once and awhile as I asked if he was nervous or had any questions. "No." It was a simple answer with no concern, no emotion, no anxiety. Hmmm I wish I could calm my heart to meet my sons. This is the second time I have had to drive to an appointment for one of my boys to see if we could get a glimpse of what was going on in that brain of theirs. I couldn't help but have to fight all the feelings of failure as I drove. I shoved them down deep...again.

People commend me often for being open and writing so freely- it is not a choice, I was born this way. To be silent slowly kills me. Ann Voskamp wrote a post today about transparency and I drank it in and it nourished my dry and weary soul. One of her quotes will be one I will butcher when I say it, but will cling to it for a life time.

"Transparency is the glass door that opens up a house of trust so you get to live in love."

There is zero artistic or poetic beauty in my writing, believe me I know this. But there is a rawness that just comes from my heart that I can't control.   That glass door. My glass house.

We spent three hours in that testing. He did amazing. We will have the final write up of a diagnosis in three weeks but before we left the dr. said without hesitation that he has ADHD.  It was not a surprise, taking on the role of teacher has made it very clear that he struggles with this. Now my Two oldest sons have that diagnosis. How can you not wonder where you went wrong? There will be more diagnosis coming my way, the doctor was also sure of this but he wasn't ready to finalize it until he had gathered all his information from that morning. I wasn't emotional or sad when he told me it, I wasn't really anything honestly. Numb maybe? But really not even that...just okay. It is the reality and I can push up the sleeves on my arms and move forward.  

I had someone say to me "I don't know why my kids are so amazing and so good and don't have struggles..." literally. Said that. WOW. I am so happy for you. Please take this from my post, if you know someone who has a child or children struggling with anything outside the BOX of "normal" please don't go on and on about the struggles your children DON'T have..it is not soothing to an aching heart. Just not.

When I dealt with infertility I was trapped in a world of wanting...it was the most intense and horrific and life changing three years of my life. I would spend hours dreaming of what my children would be like, I would beg Jesus for them, I would grieve over the ones I lost and think about all I was missing because I didn't get to know them...but in those dreams I never imagined having boys that struggle with anxiety, ADHD, depression or disorders. Why would I dream that? Why would anyone dream that? But you know what, each and every day I wake up and I am living my dream. It wasn't what I thought it would look like but there is so much broken beauty in the imperfectness that is my life I couldn't for one second want anything any different.  

A couple of months ago I mentioned I went to a conference that kind of left me spiraling and in some ways more broken then I was before I went. It was suppose to be a "rest" ful retreat but all of the hurting broken adopted moms hearts, threw me into a tornado I wasn't even prepared for.  One of the activities the speaker had us do was write out all the things we had dreamt of that didn't come true and then we took that piece of paper and shredded it. It was a beautiful imagine but it didn't sit well with my heart. I usually love things like this, if I ever had a chance to be a speaker I could so see myself doing something so similar. I was known for things like this while teaching the youth years ago...but the thing is, it was hopeless. It made me focus on things I don't even consider. My kids are my kids, sure I didn't dream of this but they are still my dreams. If we live in a world always looking at ways we thought our life should of been or could of been or we deserved we miss the beauty that is our life RIGHT now.  The broken beauty. Its is not perfect and there is a lot of scary and dark days, but Jesus is writing a pretty epic story through each of the characters on my stage. 

I know that mom meant some kind of well when she spoke those words about how her kids didn't have struggles... I couldn't shake it from my soul- but then I thought, well- Lord my kids are exactly who you created them to be - perfectly and beautifully and wonderfully made- broken and all. And are we not all broken? Heavens. YES. Maybe her kids didn't have the struggles my kids have...but we all have struggles...its why I want to live a life of transparency. Transparency brings love, and healing...

Our life might consist of therapy's and doctor appointments and prescriptions needing to be filled. But it is beautiful, and complicated, and chaotic...and epic...and Transparent. 


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Utterly and Fearfully Exhausted.

Since deciding to homeschool I knew mornings would be cruicial for me. I needed to get up early before the boys to make sure I had a few moments of peace before my day started. Just 30min even to clear my thoughts or have a thought without interruption. Yall. Its as though my kids know this desire and ensuring that they don't miss one second of mom (because I still have a couple of little guys who find their way into my bed, onto my pillow, and into my back, I swear if they could crawl back into me they would...) they are up at the butt crack of dawn. I try to be so quiet, I try to sneak downstairs, but I swear the atmosphere must shift and their eyes pop open because mom is awake...don't. miss. one. second. Must. get. to....MOM.
Be near Jesus. It is real.

So here I am at 11:58pm trying to calm my thoughts so that I can actually just maybe get a few hours of sleep before they sense the atmosphere changing again.  And know what, I am utterly and fearfully exhausted.

But here is the thing, I am utterly and fearfully exhausted both emotionally and physically and to be completely honest spiritually. I have to fight daily to find the calm, the peace, the soothing quietness of my soul. I have had so many "older" moms and when I say "older" I don't mean physical age, I mean stage of life. Older as in kids are in high school or graduated or married. Anyway I have heard from these older wiser moms in grocery stores, at sporting events, always at target, and of course FB and Insta. But these wonderfully older moms inform me many times as they watch me twitch and squirm and sometimes loose my cool at my child who is fussing about their sock or shoe or the fact that the sun is somehow chasing them down and tormenting them with brightness..... that the "days are long but the years are short," or "its hard physically now but just wait until they older...then its emotionally hard..." or "don't blink, its gone" or.. "fill in the blank you have heard it here.."  And believe me I DO GET IT. I do, STOP TELLING ME AND ENCOURAGE ME.... I see it going fast and I have written my rant about this...that is not my thing... no my thing is that it is not just physically hard right now...it is crucially emotionally and spiritually hard RIGHT now...and it if it is not hard right now then I think we might be missing something.

My boys ages range from 4 to 8, and in that I am juggling a whole lot...a WHOLE lot...and I can't even tell you how many sleepless nights and enduring days where I think I am failing them or missing it or screwing them up and it makes me paralyzed with fear. It is physically and emotionally and spiritually demanding right now. Throw in that what we moms are faced with daily now is comparison that comes full force with social media and every single flipping person has a BLOG and is writing out their "articles" on how we are screwing up our kids. I combat these fears by pouring my kid a bowl of fluorescent Cheetos and top it off with a big ol' cup of straight up red dye while making sure that EVERY single media outlet is BLARING in their faces and also making sure that every ALARM is set in every single corner of my house ready to alarm me when my kid breaths funny or sneezes snot that might be a color that is not normal....Glory. JESUS for the love would just hurry on  up and come...by the way, Jesus, incase you didn't know my kid loves Mindcraft and the last article I read said that he most likely will be a bomb maker in the future...so yeah...you better sound the trumpets NOW. Bless it to my bones Mamas, how are we even breathing?

And I can't even begin to start to tell you that when you have a child that is not like the other 20 in his class and starts showing some signs of things that might need "early intervention..." and you find yourself at midnight googling side affects of medicine your child has to take and you feel as though the red dye just has to be the reason your kid is like this or maybe its because all they want to eat is fruit snacks and graham crackers or maybe its because they spent 3 or 4 hours on media and not the recommend 1 that clearly this is all YOUR fault and you made your child this way...and because you google all these such things now every time you get on the stupid comparison Facebook page now all the adds are "dangers of red dye..." "10 unknown side affects of this medicine" "Going vegan and using this oil got my kid off his meds..."  and so you stuff all these fears down deep, you take a breath of muggy barely breathable GA "Fall" air and you hop in your car to take your crazy 4 to church and you ram into your husbands truck that has parked in the same spot the last 3.5 years of living here. Yeah that might of happened today. There are not enough bless its.

And you can barely breath. Jesus. Its all so much. And that lovely older mom says "just wait..." and I think, great...now all my fears are even greater, thanks.

BUT JESUS...

Lets take a moment and think of this. BUT JESUS sweet friend. You are not alone. Solace, read my words and take hope, you are not alone.  We will survive, they will survive, and Jesus is our hope. I do know this. And when I handed my child his first dose of medicine and I had to fight demons from ever corner and I breathed shallow every day as I watched for side affects or changes...and my child looks at me one day and says "mom, I just feel happy..." I breath deeper. And Jesus says to my fearful and overwhelmed spirit..

"But me, Child...I am the start of every morning, the middle of every darkened afternoon, and the greatest finisher of each and everyday."

And I breath.

Every single day raising children is hard and exciting and scary and rewarding...each season might bring on new and different challenges I am sure, but my journey with my 8,7,5,4 year old boys is just as much demanding spiritually and emotionally as it will be when I have 17,16,14,13 year olds. Parenting requires you to sit constantly at the feet of Jesus as you open and close those hands every single second of each and every day for your children.

We are raising children in a very big and scary and failing world. We are raising children where we have to teach them how to be different, see different, love different. That doesn't change from 8 to 16- that prayer, that screaming to Jesus that they would have hearts that love Him so they can love others well doesn't change.  I think my sleepless nights are going to become more and more as my boys grow, and I am sure my prayers will change, but the core of them does not. Jesus.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Medication - Thing 3.

When I go to write it is as easy as filling up a glass of water. It flows. It pours out of my heart and onto the screen in a matter of moments. It is how I know its His timing and His words...Its like He releases the words to me. This "Thing" I have been in communication with Him for sometime. There are several topics..."Things..." I so long to discuss but I don't always know how, so I wait until I feel Him prompting me to lay my fingers across the key board. Like this morning. 

I was hoping to sleep in, I mean it is Saturday, but remember the oh so cute but oh so annoying puppy- yeah - he had me up at 5:15am. Its ok. If you have followed me at all the last 12 years of having this blog you know I went into a season where I was trying to be a morning person. I failed. Like big fat fall on my face fell. It was because it was what I wanted with all the greatest intentions but I forgot to see if it was what He wanted. My intentions were pure, but my heart was a bit muddy. This year moving into homeschool I prayed that the Lord would help me get up in the mornings before the kids get up so I could settle my heart and breath His name. I say this in complete honesty. I have yet to use an alarm clock. I loath (and if there were a deeper word for hate I would use it) alarm clocks. We are 30 some days into this school and I have gotten up just about every single one of them early. Its less about me and my wants of what I think a good Christian looks like, its because I am desperate for His presence- He beckons me each morning. And  for the record and just so you don't think I am spiritually perfect- I don't read the Bible every morning. Sometimes I stare at the wall while I drink my coffee, scroll through Insta, or look at Timehop....but I sit, I calm my heart and I breath His name.  (I say that discloser because we live in a world of comparison, and it can eat you up and make you feel less then who HE says you are. That is not the point of my writings, my writings are to encourage you to be exactly who you are right where you are...)

So this morning it is starting to flow, to be honest I am not sure which direction the Lord will take me on with this post. So buckle up and enjoy....  

This past week I sat in my doctors office for an hour and poured my heart out as to where I am right now. I was not there because my throat was hurting, or I had an ongoing headache, I was there because I was feeling as though I was barely keeping my head above the water, or I am in a storm and I just need a moment to gather my thoughts and I can't find cover...or I am a beach ball with holes and I can't figure out a way to plug them all before the air leaks out... pick the analogy you like best...I am once again reminded of how different I am to everyone else (which I know is true for all of us...) but I am an extroverted introvert, I enjoy people but I LOVE to be home. If I go days without leaving the house or seeing people I am the most content and happy.  I am a bouncer in most things in life, things happen I bounce. I can tend to see the positive in most things, I have a very child like faith when it comes to Jesus and His abundant love and grace for us.  I can fall a thousand times and keep getting back up....but I am overcome with fear most days, I have about 1,000 really crazy and obnoxious anxiety filled thoughts that if I am not careful can consume me and freeze me.  Most of the time I can contain and control them, Kevin as you all know I refer to on most days as my Calm talks me off the ledge of complete and utter dismay about a 100 times a week.

Growing up if you were to ask my siblings or parents to describe me they would be tempted to use the words "a bit dramatic about somethings..." I am sure they would have much more to say...but this would probably be one of their first thoughts, and I say tempted because I fought those words growing up to the point that I am pretty certain they would be a bit scared to say them now to describe me (sorry Y'all...). But I am, I am a bit dramatic but in my world and in my view it doesn't feel dramatic, it feels very real, very big, very scary....and so I fight and I fight and I fight to maintain a level of "this is not big..."

Until, well, it is big. And right now in our life, it is big. It would be big for anyone. Anyone sitting in my house dealing with some of the things we are dealing with would say...yeah...that's big.   My doctor was amazing, she was so compassionate and caring and understanding and validate all my fears about what I needed. You would look at me and think, why in the world would she need medication...but I do. I need it to be able to fully function and fully live and fully enjoy the sweetness that is my life even with circumstances  that are scary and out of my control. I am also being asked by Jesus to regulate myself a lot more for the sake of one of my children. I have to regulate emotions for the both of us because he is showing signs of not being able to regulate and control emotions.  And so each morning I am choosing to embrace the season we are in, not fight it, not try to make anything other then what it is and I swallow a little white pill and move past it. I need help, and that is not a sign of weakness that is a sign of strength.

I am not sure why medication is a taboo subject, maybe I am naïve I will fully take on that reality. Maybe it is because medication is so overwhelmingly used in todays society...maybe its because of people like me, who you look at and think "Why in the world would she need it?" I am also not sure why it is a sign of weakness, this one I don't really understand- because let me tell you, it took a whole of strength to admit I needed it and a whole lot of strength to take it and not beat myself up about it.

I am believing that as we continue therapy and as we continue figuring out puzzle pieces and as we continue to learn how to cope with some of the realities Jesus has given us that I will not need this forever. But right now, I am admitting that I don't have it all together and to be the mom I need to be for these amazing children God has given to me I needed an umbrella to weather through the endless storm.

As Jesus continues to release me to write more about this I will, because I want to talk about medication and children, however, Jesus has not asked me yet to share about this thing just yet.

I hope this encourages you, I hope and pray that if you are having to take medication and you struggle with guilt that this releases that guilt for you, Jesus is not disappointed in you nor does this have any reflection on our dependency on Christ. I am still so dependent on Him each and every day in every moment. I am thankful for a doctor who cared, for a supportive calm husband and for the little white pill.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Since, Sense, Through, Threw, To, Too.... Thing 2.

For the love people. I had a complete and utter panic moment...well to put this in perspective I have one every 3 hours on average. Never the less, I had one...I had one and I have yet to come to the top just yet.  First let me say I am excited about my series I'll write over the course of time about "Things..." Its amazing how many times I think during my day "oh there is a thing..." it is brilliant Jesus. Also, these "things" just so you know don't apply only in the adoptive world, I am speaking on bio kids as well. And yes people, these are real terms in the adoptive world that we use...because well that's a "Thing..." Your kids are different. However, I am not talking on that "thing" just yet.

Today my thoughts are on the sheer and utter panic I have about school right now. Since/Sense I started school almost 30 days ago (holy moly that is amazing and I survived- if you were here we would celebrate over a margarita..) it has been a roller coaster of emotions. The ride is fun but scary and dark sometimes and other times when we crest a hill and I can see a view I had not seen, glory its the best...We have highs and lows about a 100 times a day, not joking.  Most days I know without a shadow of the doubt I am doing the absolute BEST thing for my kids. BEST. I have seen a transformation in my ADHD high driven anxiety kid and a full in fall to my knees in thankfulness he is home for my other son. It is good, it is right, and I really do (most days) love having them home.

Here is todays "Thing..."

I have learning disabilities. Adult learning disabilities is a "thing." You don't out grow your learning disabilities-  you just learn over the course of your life how to navigate them.  I know I have them, and 20 (ok or more but do we have to go there?) years ago the testing is not nearly where it is now. I actually think I have ADHD, anxiety, and learning disabilities. Self diagnosing at its finest people. As I have been thrown into the world of diagnosing with the boys so many times I listen and I think... whoa that's me. I think if I were in school today with the aids they have I would have had an IEP or 504 plan and I think....maybe I would of gone to college. My dream was to be a counselor (I had to spell check my dream...just saying.) but school was so so so so so so hard so so so so hard. Like for real guys, I would study and study and study and we would celebrate if I could stay out of the 60's on a test.  It kind of makes me anxious talking about it, not because I am embarrassed but because I remember how sick I would feel before every test and how much I hated being called on and how awkward it was when a fellow student would ask me a question and I NEVER knew the answer no matter how simple it might of been.

I can tell you so many reasons why I should of failed, I can tell you stories of beloved teachers seeing me barely make it, coming to their class rooms after class in tears because I knew I was failing and literally CHANGING my grade in front me.

Coach C "Come here Beth, look at that grade..." I stared at the computer screen and in the excel program laid a 67- fail. Tears streaming down my face...Coach C "Beth why are you crying, look at that grade.." Delete, Delete,  and watched as his big fingers change that grade to a 76. I just stared at him, "Beth, you got this- I see you. You will be just fine."

I can tell you of sleepless nights, sweats and anxious fears on projects due, homework unfinished and test scores I knew were coming my way. It was like I was frozen inside a box I didn't fit in and I didn't choose. I was capable of more, wanted more, dreamed of more, but I was frozen feeling like I didn't have what it took to get to the next step to see my dreams become a reality.  I don't hang my hat on that...BUT JESUS.

And thank Jesus I had parents who understood, embraced, and encouraged me right where I was at. They saw the difficulties and my dad would so often remember his own struggles with school.

My struggles followed me to a small Bible school in Colorado where I barely made it by but grades were not that important (yay for me...). I have stories of writing papers on the wrong people...y'all, this one has to be shared with you with a cup of coffee in hand. And then after three years of living in Colorado I moved back home (broken hearted after a failed relationship.... PRAISE JESUS) and signed up for community college. I thought, its time- I am  going to chase my dreams. I took the assessment test to see what classes I could skip and what classes I needed. I didn't even place. They started me in classes that kids who had failed high school were taking. You want to talk about humbling...glory Jesus. I did it though, I walked into the vocab class with pride. I was going to do it.
Its is how I knew I loved Kevin. (This story is not about how I met Kevin ((Although a glorious one))....But I did know I loved him when we were just beginning our dating and I was getting supplies for school and my brilliant, so very smart engineering soon to be husband asked me "so what classes are you taking..." Hmm lets see "Vocab 1, Beginners Math 101 (the actual name)..." Oh yes, so very proud of these classes. He didn't even miss a beat...he still chose me and to this day I'll love him even more.

Last night I told him about my blog I wrote and I said "I still can't in my head get so many words right..."(Since/Sense) I had every intention to google it and change it...but life.  It is like a blank in my mind, no matter how many times I concentrate on certain words to memorize my brain draws a blank...but on so so so many things. I wonder if I actually know it and its literally a disconnect in my brain where its buried there but I can't bring it forward or if it is that something in my brain can't retain certain information...I don't know. So I had every intention to go back and fix "since to sense" in my last blog post. Which led Kevin and I to this conversation and my total freak out moment...

I told Kevin " I don't get it, if I loved teaching and it came easy to me I would do it in a heart beat. I love having them home, I love the schedule, but I am not a teacher... Its like God placed me in a surgical room and asked me to perform surgery and I am screaming 'uh...I'm not a SURGEON'..." And I know "BUT JESUS" but y'all this really is a Moses moment of inadequateness...I just don't know, my brain is just struggling and in all honesty right now I am learning right along side of my 2nd graders, but I am not sure what I will do when they pass me by and please Jesus in your grace and mercy let them have their daddies brain and soar pass this mom.

I have dreams, and as ironic as it is writing is a huge one and one of my greatest disabilities is in writing (Oh glory I just heard all of y'all sigh and say..."now that makes sense/since").  Bless it, but Jesus. I am not sure what our future is, I do know in all of history and every story I read Jesus always provides, always shows the way, so I am believing that with my whole heart today as I show up once again in my surgical room and look at my sweet children and think "I am not surgeon please help me not damage them.." I know this seems dramatic, but glory it is a good picture of reality.

God always call us to the impossible. Always. I am not sure what our future will be, how God will provide in the next seasons of our life and days of school. I know whatever it will be it will be good, but there are days when it seems extremely scary. Jesus is asking me to be in a scary place right now, on so many different levels. We have some scary testing and diagnosing going on ( in His timing don't worry sharing will happen...) and most mornings I walk into our makeshift classroom (surgical room) and the only words I can utter beneath my deep breathing and pounding heart beat is "Jesus, show up..."  And I pick up the scalpel and begin to cut....

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," Says the Lord.  "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher then your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 54:17




Monday, September 18, 2017

Things 1. Don't hang my hat there.

I am an 8 year old mom- I have been doing this for 8 years and I still know about as much as I did the day Jaden was born... okay maybe that's a bit of an over dramatic statement...maybe.
The truth is I am still learning on how to be a mom, each situation my boys bring me into is new and I am learning how to handle it and not screw it- or at the very least not screw it up majorly. An actual goal I have is that the boys don't grow up band together to write a book on all the ways their mom screwed up. Actual goal people.  So lets be real....Add in adoption and it throws you a bit.

See, I am learning some things. No one told me some  of these things- and I am learning these things  were very important things, that no one thought it would be important for me to know..the thingsThe things like DNA - yeah that's a real real thing. I am not even joking friends- you don't think about those things, until you have to think about that thing! DNA plays a HUGE role in parenting. So much of what makes up our children are details deep within the makeup of their creation. And to be completely honest I need a crash course on DNA to even understand it....but I do know it is a thing!  Bio kids throw you for loops, do things "I never did as a kid.." and make your head spin some days the only thing you can do is sit and stare at a wall until the next day finds you. Can I get an AMEN?  Throw in your adoption DNA pool house and you don't know what the heck might come out. The door opens and you think "whoa what is this..." No one told me that was a Thing.

There are more things...and I am going to start slowly sharing those things as Jesus teaches me how. I believe it is important, because maybe someone will read this who is walking into the world of adoption and they need to hear some of these beautifully messy things... But Jesus first needs to teach me how to tell a story that affects me without telling my boys story for him. Maybe that makes since, honestly does my writing ever make since? (And I am here sitting thinking is it since or sense? and I homeschool- bless it to my bones Jesus.). What I do know is that I have a story to share, I have things happening in my life that some of it just needs to be shared with fellow mama's adoptive or bio. It is a reality we are facing and parts of it I believe do have a place and a small platform.

Someone asked me if I have always blogged. My response was that I am a seasonal blogger. The real time in my life where Jesus opened the flood gates to my writing was when I experienced my loss and infertility. So many (again I think 13) followed me on that journey. And Jesus in His infinite goodness used that and still uses those post when I was raw and real about my grief and pain.  Then its been a come and go blog. I played with the idea of starting a completely new blog but honestly "Walking the Journey" it is just so my life, but if I could name it again I would call it "Bless it, to my bones JESUS." Ha!  But I feel it in my heart and soul and in the tips of my fingers- writing is coming back to me. To share the journey we are on. The difference is the characters to my journey no longer only include me and Kevin, I have a whole cast to think about, that's a game changer.

This Weekend I sat in a room along side my soul sister and fellow adoptive mom and 70 other moms in a conference geared towards adoptive and foster moms. The name was REST. And it came at a point in my life, day, week, second, that I desperately needed rest.  It was a sweet weekend, a weekend that has memories and a weekend where Suzie and I laughed (which honestly would happen anywhere...) and cried and processed somethings. But to be honest it was a really, really, really hard weekend that was very emotional and took a lot A LOT of processing. 

The reality is:  I am learning right now. I am learning about adoption and one of the greatest lessons I have learned is this...Adoption is birthed out of tragedy. No one told me that "thing." I was naïve to the tragedy that was happening all around me. The loss was great and in the midst of it was a grieving boy. No one told me that thing. And here I sit 8 years and 2 months later and I am baffled by all that went on in my little boys life far beyond what I could see. Jaden experienced a tragedy that as his mom I was unaware of, that breaks my heart on a level I cannot express with words on a blank screen. It wasn't that I had my head in the sand or that I didn't acknowledge something- I was not taught, I did not know, I was unaware and I desperately wish someone, anyone had told me. Jaden from day one of his existence (inside the womb and beyond) experienced tragedy and trauma. This is real, this is truth and my boy has been dealing with this pain for a long time, and as his mom I didn't know. I don't hang my hat there...that is not then end of his story.
And this is part of the "things series" Jesus is revealing to me and asking me to share...in HIS timing, with HIS words.

Don't get me wrong, adoption may be grief BUT JESUS the story does not end there. Adoption is birthed out of tragedy and covered in redemption. BUT JESUS! For these beautiful children. I hang my droopy, exhausted, out of style, worn to the brim hat on that EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. BUT JESUS.

As I walk this journey with my beautiful son, his story will be far more beautiful then anything I could ever write, or tell, or imagine all because of, But Jesus....

Bless IT!



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

We are in the midst of waiting for Irma to hit. It literally has been the talk of our town for two weeks now, and now we are waiting to see just how bad this thing will actually be once it comes to us. I am a skeptic, I have always felt like the more you talk and build something up the less likely it will be to even touch that expectation. However, we did take the precautionary efforts in securing a few things around the house, filling up a couple of water jugs and prepping the kids for what could be scary winds, but beyond that we are calm and ready...even if all it will be is rain.

The boys were a bit disappointed when they realized there would be no reason for school to be cancelled in the homeschool world- schools are cancelled in our community... Jaden did say "mom, if the house blows away do we have to do school?" "No son, if our house blows away school is the last of my concerns."

Prepping for this impending storm has come at a time where I feel like I have been in the midst of my own storm in life. It is interesting because even though you know a storm is in the midst of your horizon, you see, hear, feel the winds picking up...really nothing can prepare you for the actual storm itself. If I could have all (13, I think that's how many of you read my last post) you over for coffee and share the details of this storm we are in I would, oh I so would. I would share in tears, fear, confidence, sorrow, thankfulness, grace, and honesty just what we are facing with one of our sons.  However, I can't post the details of my sons life as if they are my own. Yes, they  affect me- but I wouldn't want my struggles out there for everyone to read if I hadn't been the one to tell it...it will be his story to tell one day.

I can say this, parenting is hard. So hard, and hard for so many different reasons. It is the greatest journey, the most amazing ride, the most exciting path I have ever walked...but it is covered in grief and  fear and a constant battle of tug-a-war as you let go and then pull in with Jesus. Trusting your children to the Maker sounds so wonderfully spiritual but the actual letting go-  it is a daily moment by moment decision. And throw in social media, where every article contradicts the last and we hear from every single parent of grown children how fast it is going and that they wish the could go back, and you see all the "perfectness" on insta and facebook it makes you feel like an utter failer the 30 minutes you took scrolling through it all....its just to much. Time is going faster because we don't know how to be present, we are to concerned with posting our everyday moments we are not really in the moments at all (talking to myself people..). We see posts and think "they must never watch TV, they are always outside, her house is so calm, how does she get that calm peaceful glow in her home, her house is so clean, her husband is always there to help, their marriage is amazing, she eats so healthy, she runs so incredible, she has no wrinkles, her kids are never fighting..." Listen, we all say we know its not perfect but we get swept away with it anyway. And then there is the paradigm flip, the one where you take on the "I can't be perfect so I'll be the exact opposite and be proud of that..." Which, that is not any better.

The reality is we can't escape the storms, we can't escape social media- its our impending future and our everyday reality. We can take breaks but we normally get swept back in someway somehow....

My dream is that I would live a life that is honest and real, what you see y'all is not always the greater picture. We are in a storm, I just can't share the details of the raging storm with the world. I can be honest and say- we are struggling, it is real, it is hard and it is scary....And I don't know the outcome, I don't know what our future will look like, I don't know all the damage yet, I don't know how or when we will recover- I do know it doesn't' change who God is in my life, it doesn't change my belief that no matter what HE is good, it doesn't change the reality that He is in it, in control, and hasn't left us alone in a raging storm in the middle of the ocean. I may feel tossed about, but I am anchored far beyond what I can see or feel...I trust that.

So be encouraged sweet friends, my life is far beyond perfect, the failure goes deep but the hope and grace goes far deeper. Take a deep breath, scroll faster through that FB or Insta- or better yet skip it all together a couple more times today, take a deep breath and let the wind from that storm fill your lungs with fresh Oxygen!

Bless IT!