Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Few Less Accessories

So we are sporting a few less accessories in our house this week....and that's a good thing!

After a year and a half of braces and a huge wad of metal on the roof of his mouth to fix a cross bite.......

Sam has BEAUTIFUL straight teeth! Oh my they look soooooo good! He came straight home and took a huge bite out of an apple! Ha!

And little Miss Lulu.....

This HUGE club of a cast (note cute little thumb peaking out on right side).....

Is now just a souvenir !

And beautiful new fingers have emerged! 
Ok, maybe the fingers aren't as beautiful as the teeth... with the stitches still partially in and the swelling and redness surrounding those little appendages but they work and they wiggle and they look a whole lot better!

Praising God for LESS this week!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

In the Silence

It has been almost a year since we first learned that Will's position at work would be eliminated. It has been 6 months since his last day of work. It has been a very difficult year. Will and I have been through hard before...both individually before we met and together. We felt God's presence at those times and that is what got us through those previous trials. This is different. God seems absent. He is silent. Now, we know through His numerous promises in the Bible that this is not true...He is always with us. But we can't feel him. We can't hear Him. And that makes it really HARD. For me, I have searched the scriptures, I have prayed, pleaded, cried out to Him, confessed, just plain cried. Nothing. Silence. It is deafening. I need Him. I need to hear Him. I want to hear Him. I want this all to be done. But it isn't and I/we have to be ok with that. You see, we have prayed throughout this whole thing to be in HIS will. That is where we want to be. Well, if He isn't guiding us somewhere else, then right here in "nothingness" is where He must want us for now. Oh the uncertainty! The what if's. The fears that creep in. Why can't I just TRUST Him...completely?

But in this silence I am learning things. Much about myself. Not always pretty. I have been taken down low and made to examine my heart and I haven't liked what I have seen at all times. I have reached the point, awhile ago, where I didn't think I could get any lower. But isn't that where He wants us so that we are looking up to Him for our dependency? We are to find sufficiency in Him...Him alone. Not what He can do for us...just Him. Wow, that is HARD. Shouldn't be but it is, at least for me it is. YUK!

I hate money. I wish we were on the barter system. You know, I'll give you some eggs since I have chickens if you give me some milk since you have a cow kind of thing. But....I have discovered through this that I placed a lot of value on money and I was/am very dependent on it. I guess we all are as we live in the world and do need it to survive, but the place it held in my heart was/ is more than it should be. YUK!

I have also struggled with this... "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to His purposes." Romans 8:28 and other similar verses. But the thing that scares me, terrifies me, and that I can't wrap my brain around or don't want to is this....it doesn't all seem to work out all the time....at least not in this life. Eternity, but not here. A family of believers loses their child to an accident or sickness....doesn't work out in this life to get their child back. They have to trust this tragedy is for the greater good. They have to live this life here on earth with deep pain....BUT....knowing in eternity there will be no more tears. WOW! Now, I am not equating our situation to that by any means. But I know very specific incidences where things have NOT worked out here in this life. And so the fear creeps in....what if this doesn't end well? What if there is more to come? So I studied Job. WOW! The trust he had in His God, my God. The faith. Where is my faith? Again, YUK!

Letting God have total and I mean TOTAL control, not the "Well, I will just hold on lightly to this God cause I do know what is best for me/us." kind of control. That is HARD for me. Now, you would think with 3 adoptions I would have learned this lesson as it is hard to control 2 different governments and all the "stuff" that is involved with adopting....ha! Nope. Still learning. Again, He took me down low and the burden became so heavy I could NOT carry it anymore. Just last weekend at an adoption conference I laid it down, gave it to Him....or at least it feels lighter now. Please Lord don't let me grab for it back! I don't want it. I WANT you to have it....but oh wait...that would mean I would have to TRUST you with it. Back to that again!

We have not only been hit with a job loss but also with several other "things" throughout this time of unemployment. Hard things. Deep things. The emotions that sometimes seem too much to feel from not only myself but my husband and my kids make it even harder. We are learning what is really important and what is not. And we have learned who our true friends are and those that really don't want to deal with the hard stuff. That is a loss too we have had to bear. I hope this makes me a better friend. A deeper, stick with ya through the hard stuff kind of friend. I hope this makes me "see" peoples' pain and fears and allows me to empathize more. Isn't that what Christ wants us to do? How many times have I been "too busy" to notice someone's pain? Forgive me Lord. YUK!

So in the silence there has been much learning and growing. I am not at the point yet where I can say "That time was worth all the pain and struggles we went through to get to here." I hope that comes....soon. It has been a long year. LONG. And overwhelming. I want to be finished. But we aren't yet and we don't know when we will be. He knows. And that has to be ok. Remember that old "story"-Footprints- of the person who was walking through trials and he wondered where God was...there was only one set of footprints? God replies something like this "In those trials my dear child, you see only one set of footprints because I was caring you." Oh carry me Lord and don't let me go..........in the silence.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Surgery for our littlest Princess

Lulu had surgery today on her sweet little fingers. I have dreaded this day since we brought her home. Her hands are her hands. They are how God made them and they are beautiful to us. She uses them beautifully and without any problems. So why fix them? For the future. She will one day want them to look as "normal" as possible. And for ultimate growth as well. So after 2 reschedules we finally made it to the big day. And much to my delight....it was WAY easier than I anticipated! You see I was a bit of a freak about it, to put it mildly. But it all went very smoothly. They let me go all the way back to the "o.r." until she was under...she even laughed at my hair thingy I had to put on and told me "funny crown Mama". She puckered her big full lips and leaned up to me so I could kiss her with my mask on just before they gave her the anesthesia. Of course all of this was with the "happy juice" in her. He told us 3 hrs and it was just 1:45. No skin graft needed. And cast, BIG CAST, to remain on only 2 weeks!!!!!! He was able to separate them and release 2 of the bands. I can't believe how much different they look separated and I just know....IT WILL BE BETTER THIS WAY! She was a very angry little spicy Hunan girl at first but after coming home, she settled into the couch for movies, candy and Princess shoes. Not another fit. Even some dancing and twirling. She did NOT nap so went right out tonight. I love this baby and I am so thankful it all went well and was much better than I anticipated! I was mentally planning for a few good days of unhappiness and irritability like with the leg casts.... but not this time!
Thanking God for this child, His mercy today, successful separation, and relatively pain-free!
 See pictures below for results. 

 The "befores"

The "afters"

In all her cuteness with one large honker of a cast!