Tuesday, February 23, 2010

grieving mama guilt

I should warn you... this isn't a real feel good kind of post... but I need to unload a couple of things.... this is my place to do that:)

I live with regrets...

I never thought that I would say that, because I am pretty much a very honest, seize the moment kind of person, but when it comes to my loss, I do have regrets. I don't beat myself up about them because I do truly know that I did the best I could at the time. There are so many things I would do differently regarding Samuel. I will share a few with you...

If I could turn back time, I would have had my Doctor induce me a couple of weeks earlier. I had planned on having Samuel at home, but did have a back up doctor that did end up delivering him in the hospital. I was receiving care from both him and my midwife. A couple of weeks before Samuel's due date, the Doctor said, " You look pretty big, we could always induce you." Of course being a natural child birth teacher I didn't want to. Really there was absolutely no reason to... everything was going along perfectly... but now I do regret that. But Greg has told me that if Samuel's days were what they were, he still wouldn't be here... Sigh...

I would NEVER have left the hospital when I did. I delivered Samuel at 9:40 am and left by 2:40. We went straight to the airport to pick up my mother and went home... Why didn't I send someone to get her and bring her to see her grandson. No other family members besides our other children got to see Samuel. In fact only 1 friend got to see him. I regret that sooooo much. I think if others had seen him and held him, they would have had such a different perspective on our loss and grief.

I would also have spent much more time, like days, at the hospital with him. At the time they told me take all the time you need. Honestly, at the time, I thought maybe 5 hours was a long time. Now I know that many of my baby loss friends were able to spend days with their babies. They may seem odd to some, but wow, 5 hours was way, way too short.

I would have taken more pictures... Praise God for Kaycee our Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photographer and our kids who took pictures... but me the picture taker didn't even pick up the camera... I just wanted to hold him and soak him up...I cherish every photo I have of him, but still wish I had more.

I also would not have left the hospital with out him. I know that might sound crazy, but I wish I would have waited till the funeral home came to get him or that I had taken him there myself. I don't even know if they let you do that. But then I would have KNOWN that his body was cared for properly and with respect. That still bothers me, that we just left him there... ugh...what was I thinking?

I wish I would have taken a picture of his precious little rear end... opened his eyes to see what color they were...I could go on and on.

I know that I was completely in shock, and wasn't at all thinking straight, I just wish someone would have told me some of those things or said something that would have made me think differently at the time. I forgive myself for those things but they do still bother me.

SO THERE ARE JUST A FEW OF MY REGRETS FROM BACK THEN... there are also the regrets I live with now...

Just last week, when I was at MEND, we always at the beginning of the meeting go around the circle and introduce ourselves and share what our loss was. I remember driving out there and thinking so much about Samuel. I had just taken a run before I left for MEND and had some specific thoughts that I will blog about soon. He was on my mind and I was really missing him. Well, when I introduced myself, I said my name, that I had 4 living kids, well really 4 1/2. Then I had to go on to explain Hope as the half. Then I mentioned that I had just had a miscarriage the week before. Then I was done and let the next person share. After the last few gals shared, it totally dawned on me.. "Did I not mention Samuel?" All of these ladies know me, know my story well, have walked this road of grief with me for the past 16 months... they just sort of shook their heads yes, that I hadn't mentioned Samuel. OH MY!!! I just put my head in my hands and cried. What is wrong with me that I would think about him the whole way there and then not mention him. I still think about him all the time and miss him like crazy... How did it slip my mind in that moment?

Then the guilt sets in. It drives me absolutely crazy when others purposely don't mention him because they are uncomfortable with the whole thing... but me fail to mention him at my infant loss support group. These women of course were there for me, they have seen my deep grief and know that just because I didn't mention him in my introduction doesn't mean, "I am over it" or that I miss him any less. I really think all the craziness with Hope and my miscarriage were at the forefront of my mind because these ladies didn't really know about those situations yet... but who knows, another example of how my mind is not what it used to be pre loss.

So that is just one of the crazy things that happen that I regret as I move forward with life... one step at a time, one day at a time. Even though I am in a much better place than I was this time last year... it is such a process, it still affects so much of what I do and think. I know that may be kind of tiring to read about still, for some of you. But this is where I come to unload and experiences like last week need unloading for me.

Ahhhh... that feels much better.

I am so thankful that the Lord knows my heart and my love for Samuel and all my other kids... I am so thankful that there in no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus... He doesn't condemn me for all of those little things that I regret... and I know that through this all He is working a mighty healing journey in my heart. I can feel it, I feel progress. I know I have a long way to go... but each step forward is one more step closer to eternity. Each step is one day closer to meeting my savior face to face and being reunited with my Samuel... each step is another one taken with ,Him, my Jesus, right along side of me, or ahead of me leading the way.... I will leave with one of my all time favorite verses...

Now to Him is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory and power in the church and in Christ Jesus, now and forever! Amen!

I would tell you where it is from, but at the moment I am too lazy to look it up... But no matter where it is from, isn't it an awesome verse? Immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. I don' t know about you but I can imagine some pretty amazing things... but He can do immeasurably more than the best that I can imagine. Now that is awesome.

It is late, I better hit the hay...

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Doesn't this picture just scream... rascal?

This sweet faced, blue mouthed little guy is a joy...

Today he told me that he wanted to be in the Olympics, running... a fast runner... He was so serious. It was precious and hilarious all at the same time.

He also is adamant that when he has his birthday in few weeks that He will be turning 4 again... He informed us that he does not want to grow any older. Ahhh, wouldn't that be nice if you could just keep them young forever?

He is at such a fun stage. I think I have said that about every stage with Jojo. I just look over at him and marvel at God's goodness to us. He brings us such joy.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


It was sweet girls birthday yesterday. I had bible study in the morning and came back to find the cake made by the big boys... They did such a good job. We had a couple presents for her but the funny part was that the kids were all coming out of the woodwork with things of their own that they wanted to give to her. It was really the first time that they were totally into what they could give one of the other kids. It was so fun to see.
Maybe someday I will be able to post pics of her eating her cake... She was so funny, it took about 5 minutes of no handed face diving at her cake before she realized she could pick it up and stuff in in her face. The kids got a total kick out of it. All in all, she didn't eat that much of it, really just played around. She is just precious, and we were so thankful to be able to have her here for her birthday. What a little sweetheart. I can't help but in my mind be thinking... I hope she stays... will she be here for her next birthday... But for now we will be thankful for the time we are given.
Then we headed to church for the chili supper for the school. Since we home school, we always want the school teachers, parents etc to know that we REALLY do support the school. Homeschooling has really not a lot to do with the church having a school. We love the school, we love the teachers, the kids, the activities, all of it. But for now, and who knows how long, we LOVE the lifestyle that homeschooling provides us. We are excited that we can pick up next week and FINALLY get in our Christmas trip to Texas. We love the flexibility and time together that it allows us. And we just plain down right love being with our kids. Before we know it, they will be out of our home, (Louis is turning into a young man before my eyes... YIKES!) and we are treasuring our time with them in our home, and the times that we have to train and teach them all we want them to know about life and their Savior before they go.
Anyways, I didn't at all want people to think that we just were out for a free meal last night, but rather a time of fellowship. The food was great, the company really nice, and by the way... my mouth was ON FIRE! I love spicy food... and the chili was great. They had a mad scientist come and do a program for the kids, which they loved. It was a nice evening. I am so glad we were able to be a part of it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Each week as a part of our spelling curriculum the boys have to write a journal in a letter format to me... then I write them back...I have to preface this with the fact that my boys aren't ever thrilled with writing assignments. Usually, I have to pull teeth to get 6 good sentences out of them... Caleb is our 10 year old, who we nicknamed years ago, the Texas Tornado. He is so full of energy, competitiveness, and hootspa. (I don't really know if hootspa is even a word, but I love it anyways:) By nature, he isn't nearly as sensitive as Louis, but I can see that God is weaving that into his precious little heart. To me this letter is just absolutely precious, sweet, funny at times, and so him. This was Caleb's journal letter for this week... spelling errors and all...
Dear Mom,
I think that the new addition to our family this year is Hope. and i also think that the rabbits are some to. What do you think is our new addition this year? I would say that samuel would be the best addition in the hole world. i would give my legs to have samuel her with us. Would you give your legs to have Samuel her whit us. I really really really miss him. And I know that you miss him so so so so so so so so so much. I wonder what he would be doing by now. If he would be talking or if he would be walking with us. I wish i could have seen him smile. I wish we could at least hold him again. but God will help us through the good times and the bad. i wish so so so badley that he was here with us. And i bet a millon dollars you would wish he was here with us to. I think he would have ben the best brother in the world. and the best son you could ever have. I think that it is all part of Gods plan. I think God will work it out somehow. i love you so so so so so much.
Love, Caleb

This letter just absolutely touched my heart. I love to see his precious child like faith in God and his trust amidst all that he has gone through over the last few years... a move to the seminary away from family, a move away from the seminary and so many great friends, making new friends, losing his brother, losing Faith's baby, getting Hope and the way that is all "up in the air", and the miscarriage. You know after we told the kids about my miscarriage, I was laying on the couch and both Louis and Caleb just came and snuggled up to me. Right away the thought that popped into my head was that someday these little boys will be incredible husbands to some lucky girls. I think that they will have an understanding of women, sorrow, and grief that some husbands now don't have... at least that is part of my prayer through this all.
I love that Caleb seems to be able to just keep walking blindly in faith just trusting that God has a plan and that it will all work out. Maybe I need to just keep taking lessons from my kiddos... they have some great stuff to share. Thanks for listening to my little guy's heart.

Monday, February 15, 2010


This morning my precious daughter told me that she wanted pigtails so she could be like mom...
That just melted my heart. I really don't pull off pigtails very well, but was feeling rather lazy and just wanted to get going with our home school day. But because of those crazy pigtails I was able to see the precious love in my sweet daughters heart. She is such a gift from God.
I remember when I was pregnant with her, Greg was gone for 2 weeks on a youth trip. I was up north with my parents at their lake home and Louis had come down with swimmers itch... he was covered head to toe in hives. The next day he fell down the steps and knocked out a tooth and was bleeding like crazy. Then there was Caleb aka "The Texas Tornado". I remember laying in bed that night praying that the baby would be a girl, I just wasn't sure I could handle another wild boy. Everything always seems worse after midnight for me. The next morning I awoke feeling much more relaxed knowing I would treasure whatever gender God gave me in that child:)
But when she was born a girl, for some reason I felt doubly blessed. I have never cared one way or the other what sex any of our kids were. (In fact that night (mentioned above, up at in the north woods, was the only time I ever made a request for any particular sex... and by morning I didn't care one way or the other) I remember being in the whirl pool tub after she was born just crying thinking that I would have a daughter to raise. I love girly things and having a girl would allow me the chance to share all of that with my daughter... it was just a special bonus to be able to raise a daughter as well as my sons.
I am so glad that God is in charge of those things like determining the gender of our children. He knew just what we would need and when. Tonight I am reveling in the joy my sweet little pig tailed daughter brings to my life. Praying for another sweet little girl to be able to join her sister and I in pigtails in the future...

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Here is my precious Anna and Greg just before they headed off to the daddy/daughter dance tonight in town. She was just beaming and so excited. It was just precious. I am so glad they get to have a little alone time. I can't wait to hear all about it after they return. My little girl is getting so big. It freaks me out sometimes, and then I will look over and see her sucking her thumb and I just smile... I just love that little girl.
Here is my disclaimer.... I know that I have terrible grammatical usage. (Heck, that is probably not even the proper way to say what I just said:) I know that I home school.. heehee. I know how to write and talk correctly when I need to. I often wonder what people think as they read my blog. I just want to say, that I write like I am talking to you. I write like you are sitting across the couch from me sipping tea together. That is me... my blog is me... I just wanted to get that out there.
Praise God, the stress level has really come down in this house over the past couple of days. I am so thankful, yet I know a month from now we will be anxious again as we wait and see again. So for now I relish the peace, the calm, before the next storm.
Can I just tell you how blessed I am. I am sooooo very thankful for the friends the Lord has brought into my life in the last 9 or so months. Life was incredibly lonely and isolating when I first moved here and especially after Samuel died. I had just moved here from the seminary community where I had amazing close friends right upstairs, right next door, right at my disposal. I really feel like God had to strip me of every other person in my life that might be able to support me. I know that I had wonderful people all over the country that prayed over me, called me and loved me from afar. In fact many of these people made a point to make special trips to come visit us. I was sooooo incredible grateful for that. But at the time just having people all over the country on a daily basis praying for me didn't seem like enough. I needed the physical presence of people, here with me, to carry the burnden I was carrying. I can see now how really feeling like all I had was Him, forced me to only rely on Him. I know that may sound silly, that He stripped me of all else, but it is how I feel, to know that He is all I need. In the deepest, darkest moments He is enough... He is enough.
I was talking to my counselor about all of this when I saw her this past week. I know I grieved especially hard and deeply for the first year. I still grieve that hard and deeply many days, but it doesn't last as long and thank God it has gotten better. But I clearly want everyone to know that this grief journey over losing Samuel is an ongoing thing. I will always miss him... I still think about him everyday... a lot of the time of every day. He is as close in my heart as any one of my other kids. I still love to talk about him, look at pictures of him, relive my few short hours with him. It will be an ongoing process for many years I am sure.
I know that many thought my grief was over the top... worrisome to them. I had some tell me literally that I needed to fake it till I make it... I had some talk to me and tell me that the way we dealt with Samuel's loss with our children was wrong. I had some say I should just think positively and I would feel better. Now being 15 months down the road... I know with EVERYTHING in me that this is how I HAD to grieve. This is how my journey had to be. I had to feel it with every ounce of my being, talk about it all, live out all the aspects of the loss that I was dealing with... I wanted to grieve fully and well so that it wouldn't come back to bite me. For me, I finally felt I turned a corner a little after Samuel's first birthday in Heaven... but having walked the road myself, I would NEVER judge how long someone else's deep intense grief should last. That might take some one else 6 mos, or 3 years... each persons journey is their own... I will NEVER judge someone else but rather come along side of them and offer them what ever support they need for the journey they are on... I know there can be loving offerings of advice, but if I haven't walked in their shoes, I know I will always tread lightly knowing if I haven't experienced their situation... maybe advice is not mine to give... just support. I say all of that knowing full well that God knew the number of days my Samuel would live on this earth and knew the journey I would take and who would take it with me and how they would take it with me. I didn't like a lot of it one bit, but now looking back, I can see Him working through all of it. The lonely times, the isolating times, the times He seemed silent, the times He flooded my soul with peace, the times he pushed me along, and the times that He carried me.
OK, off my soapbox...
Back to my feeling blessed. I am just amazed at how He has worked. He has blessed with me an amazing group of women from church to meet with on Friday mornings. These women ( I will post a picture of them sometime:) are so wonderful... they have prayed for me, let me cry and have cried with me. I am so thankful to have women who support me, women I feel close fellowship with, women I can learn and grow with, women here who I can confide in... It is such a blessing.
He also brought us a wonderful small group. We have a lot of good laughs but we also enjoy growing together too. I love to see my husband being free to cut loose... I don't mean that in a bad way, but I have seen clearly this week the stress that He is feeling over the whole Hope situation. Woooh! He needs some cuttin' loose time. I was so touched last night to find out that one of the men from our small group was at work Thursday with a group of his co-workers praying in the office for our situation with Hope. I know both our small group and my women from my bible study were anxiously awaiting the news of how that all turned out.
Then just 2 weeks ago I finally met a friend...Lisa... We have many mutual friends, but came to find out that she literally lives a mile from me out here in the country... What are the chances of that? Her Grandma, has been friends with my parents for the last 40 years. It has been a blessing. She put her kids down, I get mine ready for bed and have been able to head over to her house... just over the hill and through some woods, to visit for a bit a couple of different nights. Truly, I am amazed that God blessed me with someone that lives so close that I have a lot in common with. I am just a little sad that it took us both a year to discover we lived so close.
I know all of these things are new, unexpected gifts from God. I am so thankful. I love having people that make my church body feel like a church family. I love how God can just knock your socks off with His sweet surprises... I love how He does that... amidst stress and sorrow, he gives great treasures along the road. I have learned by going through the fire that He is enough... I know with all of my heart that He is enough... enough to carry me through all we will go through in this life... I know and feel so incredibly blessed to have those amazing friends across the country,that will stick by you in the muddy of life. But let me tell you, it is a treasure to have friends physically present too... What an amazing gift that I thank God for today!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Ahhh... I am completely wiped out, but want to give a few more details... as much as I can share here. I wish I could be completely forthright on this all, but given the smallness of blog world... I will share what I think is safe to share.

We are thanking and praising God that we got to bring that sweet little girl home with us tonight. Basically, that is absolutely wonderful news, but this is farrrrr from over. I long for the day when I can look at her with complete peace in my heart and say, "You my precious dear, are my daughter." There should be 2 more situations like today in the next couple of months... yep, you heard me right, we won't know for sure the final outcome for at least that long... At this point we are pretty sure that she will be here with us for approximately the next month... that really is the best case scenario for now... If there are any appeals, which seem likely, who knows.... right now, I don't even want to go there... I am just happy for where we are at tonight.... happy to know that she will be here tomorrow morning when I wake up.

Honestly, I didn't really didn't let myself completely go to the point of thinking about what it would have been like had it not gone our way. There were a few moments when I thought about it and completely lost it, but I would just gather myself together and not go there fully thinking it through. I knew it could very easily go either way, but didn't emotionally think through all that would have meant, truly how different tonight could have been. Praise God we were able to tuck the kids in bed and everyone was happy and thankful for how things went... Lots of praising God in this house tonight.

So now knowing that this WILL be drug out for a while longer, I feel worn out with it already. I really just want to have a final answer. But in the waiting that I know is inevitable, I just want to have peace in my heart. It is a struggle. She is here, we feel greatly blessed to have this opportunity to have her in our home... to love her just like we love our others, just like she will be ours forever. She is a part of our family already. That is what you get if you enter this house... you become family. When sweet Faith was here last summer she was a part of this family too. That is what she gets from us:) and what she deserves... yet how do you continue to guard your heart when you want it so badly? Truly, I want to just be thankful to have the opportunity to love her for as long as we have it... to know that God placed her with us for such a time as this, for as long as He sees fit. That God is blessing her and us with each other for a time when this family was in need of great healing and she really is helping to bring some... But to just be content with the next month or two is so much more easily said than done. Thinking of the other possible outcome, breaks my heart in two. I want more than just 1 more month... I want forever...

So I leave you with a thankful heart for where we are tonight... trying not to worry about what tomorrow holds, or what the next month holds... clinging tightly to the one who I KNOW holds tomorrow... and the many tomorrows after...

I am so thankful too for your prayers, love and encouragement... hoping one day I can post a picture of that sweet little thing sleeping soundly closeby:)... she really is precious...


Sweet little pumpkin girl did come home with us today... I need to go put everyone down, fold some laundry with the bigger boys, and then I will update more later... but just wanted you all to know:)

Thank you so much for your prayers today... it was a long day... but we are so thankful for how it ended:)

Monday, February 8, 2010


Thanks for all of your prayers...

God answered in allowing it to happen quickly, I started to miscarry on Saturday afternoon. I wasn't surprised, but that is not saying that I am not still incredibly sad about it.

God was faithful in allowing me to feel peace that afternoon. Yesterday, not quite so much... am I just weak or what?

My humanness makes me question and wonder with all that happened over the last 15 months if this week will not go our way with sweet little girl... Yesterday I was standing with 3 elders at church after the service, telling them in a joking way that I don't think Oklahoma likes me very much. Then I completely lost it when Anna walked up. It just hit me again, what will my kids think, feel, do, if this doesn't go well this week. I was expressing that, and completely lost it, one of the ugly, ununderstandable ( I know that is probably not even a word), talking, crying moments... I don't think they could understand what I was even saying... poor men. They were gracious and started to pray for me. I know God is capable of all things... but like I said I balance that with the reality of how things may go, that we may have to say goodbye to her this week... that breaks my heart in two.

I will be praying and fasting on Wednesday and I think the elders of our church will be praying for us after the Wednesday nights activities.

I am praying for His will to be done... and for the very best for her to be done. (Selfishly and in my mind it seems so clear that should be her with us) The crummy part is this week is just step one, there will be step two down the road a week or two, and we should really know within a month the end result... too much waiting in my mind right now... but really, we have no choice but to wait and rest in His promise of eternity... ahhhh, there I go again... eternity... I can't wait for that!

Really, that is what brings me peace these days, thoughts of eternity... my sweet, precious, Samuel there, this new little life there...When I think of how long off that may be, I really try to focus on the fact that in the Big Picture... this life here on earth is just a little dot, the first dot on an unending line... The rest of the line is eternity... Ahhhh, resting in that thought right now.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I struggled with what to share here not really knowing exactly who reads my blog. For me, my blog has been a place for me to share my heart and I need to do that today. I have made dear and precious friends through my blog, women who truly understand where I have been and where I am today because of all that I have experienced, women who I know would want to pray. I have appreciated the prayers of ALL of you over the past 15 months. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

One thing that has always bothered me about church in general (most churches) or Christians is that it seems that many have the Sunday mask that they wear... DO YOU KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT? Please know I am not at all trying to sound critical, and I want to repeat that am not talking about any church specifically, but in general. I know that happens everywhere... but why is it that I seem to be the only one who has a tear stained face on Sundays? I know others must be suffering and must not have it all together like it appears. I know that I do wear my heart on my sleeve, and quite honestly I have gotten much more careful about who I share what with... I don't like feeling burned... I guess I don't even mean burned, just more hurt by the reactions I will get. Does that make sense? But for the most part I am completely honest, vulnerable, and real with who I am and where I am at. So here goes for honest sharing...

The reason I share is to ask for your prayers... I have learned through all that I have been through in the last 15+ months that I am weak... I need the encouragement of the body of Christ.

So most of you know that I don't have an easy time conceiving, we have always struggled with getting pregnant... have had the diagnosis of SUB FERTILITY not infertility, but SUB... It doesn't sound good either way. Well, by the grace of God, I had a positive pregnancy test last week. Greg and I were so thrilled and totally surprised. After 2 blood tests, the doctor confirmed that this pregnancy will result in a miscarriage. It hasn't happened yet, but will apparently.

I don't share this to add more drama to my life. Please, please, please, know that. I don't share this to try to get any attention. I share this knowing many people have things FAR, FAR ,worse or more difficult than my current circumstances that they are dealing with... I realize that. But I share, knowing how weak and weary I have become over the past 15 months. I share knowing how powerful and faithful our God is... even in the moments when He seems silent. I share knowing all that He is capable of doing in our lives. I share also knowing I don't know what His plan is. I praise Him that it appears that I can still get pregnant. I praise Him for that life that He created no matter how long or short it is in my womb. I also share that knowing full well that things don't always go anywhere near the way that we would like them to. UGH! I can't tell you how excited we were, how quickly, even knowing full well the risks, that we/I embraced the whole idea of all that another child would mean for us.

It is hard... I know people's reactions to miscarriage vary greatly... but I know for me this will be hard.

This may sound nuts... but I am praying for a miracle... I know that may not be God's plan and I will accept that. I guess I am also praying that if it isn't His will for this little one to miraculously "make it:)" that things would progress smoothly and quickly if possible. The doctor said it could take up to 4 weeks... that feels like a long time to me. Please pray that I would take every thought captive... my mind is weak and weary and easily can get all mixed up. Please pray that God's presence would be very real to me. I feel a strong need to feel Him near me, walking through this with me, I just want His presence and peace to be undeniable. Please pray for Satan to have no way here in our lives and in this house. Please also pray for the kids, as usual, Louis took the news the hardest... but all in all I admire their child like faith and trust in God. I am praying that all of these difficult things will draw them closer to their creator and draw them into trusting Him even more.

Last night the boys and I were able to go to the Casting Crowns and Kutless concert. Truly we went to see the Chapman boys, Caleb and Will Franklin... We talked with both of them... amazing young men... truly amazing. Will Franklin and I compared our photo necklaces, his of Maria, mine of Samuel. I had seen them a couple of months ago at a concert here and knew I had to take my boys if they ever came back. We had a great picture of the 4 of them... that accidentally got deleted on the way home from the concert... big bummer. They were an absolute delight and watching them, for some crazy reason made me so proud for their mother... knowing all they have gone through with losing their sister and yet seeing them proclaim God's faithfulness was just an encouragement to me.

Their mom, Mary Beth Chapman, recently said on her blog how hard it still is for them 21 months after maria's death. She said to her girls, "We can do hard." You know I agree with her, we can do hard... it will be hard till all things are as they should be when the Lord returns or we meet Him in the clouds... we can do hard this side of heaven... that doesn't mean it will be easy, but with God's help and the love of His people surrounding us, we can do hard.

The end of this week will be big as far as the sweet little pumpkin girl we hope to make our forever daughter... I will keep you posted on that as well.

Obviously, I started by saying that I was at a loss for words, but I found a way to try to articulate it all...

Thank you again again and again for your prayers... Sad for all we are experiencing right now, but, Hopeful because I know how this will all one day end... Praise God!