Sunday, May 30, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Question for you fellow bloggers... a technical question... why is it that some of the time my posts will come out with line spaces between paragraphs and then other times... not matter how many lines I put between the paragraphs, they all run together? Can anyone help me out with that??? Now onto the regular post...
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN SUCH A HUGE TADPOLE... THIS ONE MUST BE ON HIS WAY TO BEING A BIG BULLFROG:)
ANNA AND SOPHIE WITH TOBY AND EZRA
JOJO AND TITUS
A BUNCH OF THE COUSINS AT LE DUCS EATING CUSTARD... THIS IS MINUS THE OTHER 8 COUSINS ON MY SIDE OF THE FAMILY.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Mostly, we have been hanging out with the family. My parents have done great with all the extra noise and commotion. My two brothers live on the same plot of land as my parents, so there has been a lot of cousin time:) I also was able to spend a day with my little brother, his wife, and their four boys. It was the first time we had met their youngest, Luther, who is just 5 mos younger than what Samuel would have been. I hadn't seen them since Samuel's memorial service. It was hard in some respects, but a really good thing. (Thanks Josh and Lynds for making the effort to come down... it was soooo nice to see you again... the kids had a ball with the boys.) I also had the chance to see a couple sweet friends that I have had forever. Reb and Sam I had such a nice time visiting with both of you.
Last Sunday my sweet friend from High School, Amy, and I went to visit the mother of a good friend of ours. She was rediagnosed with cancer last fall. Honestly, this woman is one of the most joyful, full of life people I have known. She always made you feel so special and that you were loved when you would see her. The minute I had heard that she was rediagnosed... I don't know what it was, but I immediately thought of her scooping up my little Samuel in Heaven. I pictured her loving on him, like a grandma would. (I know Samuel isn't missing out on anything in Heaven, it is perfect there, but for some reason, that thought brought me joy and comfort)
Well, just a week before we saw sweet Nancy, she was still living on her own in her house. Now she is in hospice at her daughter's house and sleeping most of the day. It has gone very quickly. We were able to sit and visit with her daughters while she slept on the other side of the room. What sweet ladies. I was struck by the thought of what a precious gift they are giving their mom, to surround her with love these days. And what a precious gift they are giving their kids. I know it has to be incredibly difficult, but at the same time so precious to walk this part of the journey with their mom and grandma. Nancy has a very strong faith, that is such a blessing to know. Before we left, her daughter woke her up and Amy and I knelt on both sides of her and talked to her. She could only whisper back. When her daughter told her we were there she just whispered, "I love it!" Even what she whispered was SO HER, such an enthusiastic comment. I was able to pray with and for her. She kept saying, over and over again to us, that she wished she could talk. We really just wanted to be able to tell her what a dear, precious woman she was, that we were praying for her, and that she was loved.
If you think of it, would you please pray for this sweet woman, Nancy, and her family. Pray that she would feel the Lord's presence with her, and that she wouldn't be in pain. She has run the race well, and is so close to receiving the prize, eternal life with her savior. Because of her faith and belief in our Jesus, and all that he did for her on the cross, she will soon be in His presence forever.
In the last entry of her caring Bridge page, she wrote that she fore sees her children holding her hand and handing her hand right to the hand of her Savior. Precious! I am so glad she is surrounded by the love of her children and grandchildren right now. Thanks for praying for this precious lady!!
Friday, May 14, 2010
Many of you may know Molly Piper... she lost her baby Felicity who was stillborn 2 1/2 years ago. She is married to Abraham Piper, who is the son of John Piper. I am so bad with the computer and am not good at linking back to particular posts on people's blogs. A couple of weeks ago she wrote a post that just hit my heart. I emailed her and asked if I could share it here. I am so thankful that she allowed me to do that. Her post says it all so well... I could not have articulated it any better myself... and seeing how the last 2 days have held more tears than I have shed in a while... it seems fitting that I post it today. Molly's blog is http://www.mollypiper.com/
Feel free to go by and congratulate her on her pregnancy with twins...I am so thrilled for her.
Here is her post....
Brokenhearted Love: Give It, Live It.
I’ve gotten a lot of emails from people about grief in the last two and a half years. Some I’ve been able to answer personally, some I haven’t. There’s really no formula for how I decide which ones to answer and which ones not to. It’s more of an in-the-moment thing, where I have 15 minutes and can pour my soul into a response to a complete stranger.
Many of the emails come from people who know someone who just lost a baby–someone from church, a family member, a close friend. That’s probably because the people who just lost the baby are not even sure what’s happening and are completely and utterly in shock. The people on the outside have their heads on straight enough, relatively speaking, to put an email together and ask for help, or even just commiseration.
The one thing I’ve found myself writing to these people over and over again is this: Give brokenhearted love. Ask God to give you a broken heart. That will go further with your friend than any meal or house-cleaning ever could. Granted, I think meals and house-cleaning are immensely important to offer, and some people will be particularly gifted in giving those things. But if you want to go deeper into the loss with your friend, you’re going to have to be heartbroken.
For one thing, grief is really isolating. Especially when it’s a baby who is stillborn, people can sometimes think things like, “Oh, well the baby never lived outside the womb. It’s not like they knew that baby or anything.” And when you come home without a baby, there’s very little evidence that that child ever existed. So when you’re going through the hell of grief, it can feel like you were the only one who lost that baby, and that everyone else’s life has just moved on.
And in some sense, that’s true. Most people are not marking the days and weeks the same way as you are. But there will be a few who will.
And I suppose that’s who I’m writing for, the people who remember.
In our culture, people don’t like to talk about death. And dead babies??? Forget it. That’s because it’s horrifying. I’ll never forget how terrified I was to look at Felicity for the first time. And she was my child.
But brokenhearted love will choose to take on the horror and bear it with you.
In the first few weeks after we lost Felicity, a stranger who I didn’t know (but who went to our church) was signed up to bring me a meal. I kind of had my brave face on to answer the door, get through the interaction, get the food, exchange a few pleasantries back and forth, and get back to my existence.
But there was something very different about this person. As she handed me the food, she was sobbing. I’m not exaggerating here–tears flowing down her face. I was completely disarmed. I remember eventually she asked me if she could see Felicity’s room, if we had it set up. And before I knew it, I was climbing the stairs with this complete stranger, taking her into one of the most sacred spaces in my home.
It felt kind of crazy, but it felt safe. Because she was heartbroken. Just like me, heartbroken.
And even just last week, I had someone tell me that she stopped at Felicity’s grave. And she told me, through her tears, what she was thinking and feeling about that. It’s been two and a half years. She’s never told me anything like that before. And so we stood in her back yard and cried real tears together.
This is the bravery of brokenhearted love.
People who are grieving need to know that they’re not alone. They need to know that their loss is somehow your loss too. Tell them that you visited the cemetery–not for brownie points, but because you want to remember with them. Tell them that you cried in the bathtub the other day. Tell them that when you hear a certain song it takes the breath out of your lungs.
I’ll warn you: you might cry when you tell them these things. HALLELUJAH! You have NO idea what that will mean to someone who’s grieving. Let it FLOW! What are we holding it together for anyway? So our mascara doesn’t run? So we won’t feel embarrassed or uncomfortable? There’s a reason that lump forms in your throat. It’s because you’re holding something in that wants to come out!
So if you’re wondering what you can give your grieving friend, I know it sounds totally cliche, but…give them your heart. Lay it bare. Entering into their pain and sharing your experience of the loss will be profoundly comforting.
I’ve made it through the last two years and seven months because of brokenhearted love. It’s been a gift to me, from those who were willing to give it.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
CALEB AT 5 YEARS OLD
GREG AND I ALWAYS LAUGH AT THIS PICTURE... IT LOOKS LIKE CALEB HAS A LITTLE MUSTACHE.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
I AM NOT SURE WHY BUT BLOGGER WON'T LET ME UPLOAD ALL THE PICTURES ONTO ONE POST... SO I HAD TO DO PART OF IT ON THIS POST AND THEN CONTINUE WITH ANOTHER.
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL OF YOU MOTHERS OUT THERE. YOUR JOB IS AN AMAZING AND HUGELY CHALLENGING ONE. KEEP PERSEVERING... KEEP RUNNING THE RACE...
HERE ARE 6 REASONS I AM THANKING GOD FOR MOTHER'S DAY!
I AM SO THANKFUL THAT GOD OPENED MY WOMB 13 YEARS AGO AND SAW FIT TO BLESS US WITH THIS SPECIAL YOUNG MAN.
THIS PICTURE SAYS IT ALL ABOUT CALEB.... CONSTANT COMMOTION AND ALWAYS FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH ENERGY. HE IS OUR TEXAS TORNADO. HE STILL WANTS TO BE A CANDY MAKER WHEN HE GROWS UP, IS INCREDIBLY GOOD WITH NUMBERS, VERY SELF MOTIVATED AND HARD WORKING. I THINK I WOULD HAVE TO SAY THAT HE IS THE BEST CAR PACKER IN THE FAMILY:) CALEB IS THE ONLY CHILD THAT CAME EASILY TO US... AND WE ALWAYS LAUGH BECAUSE HE WOULD HAVE MADE IT HERE ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, IT IS JUST IN HIS PERSONALITY... I AM SO THANKFUL TODAY FOR THIS BUNDLE OF LOVE AND ENERGY.
SHE IS SILLY, SUCH A GREAT BIG SISTER, A HUGE HELP TO HER MAMA, VERY COMPASSIONATE, LOVES TO HELP CLEAN THE BATHROOM, GENEROUS, AND HAS SUCH A LITTLE MAMA HEART. SHE BRINGS ME GREAT JOY. I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THE YOUNG LADY GOD IS GOING TO FASHION HER INTO.
OH MY JOJO, HE IS MY DELIGHT... TRULY ONE OF THE HAPPIEST KIDS I KNOW, SILLY AS ALL GET OUT, LOVING, LOVING, LOVING, LOVES TO UNLOAD THE DISHWASHER, AND HE IS AT THE STAGE WHERE ALMOST EVERYTHING OUT OF HIS MOUTH MAKES YOU LAUGH OR SMILE.
HE MAKES MY HEART GLAD:)
MY PRECIOUS SAMUEL, SAFE IN OUR SAVIOR'S ARMS TODAY. THIS LITTLE BOY IN AN INSTANT FOREVER CHANGED ME AND MY HEART AS A MOTHER! TODAY, AS I SAT IN SAMUEL'S GARDEN THAT WE PLANTED FOR HIM IN OUR YARD , I JUST SOAKED IN THE FEELING THIS MOTHER'S DAY OF HOW MUCH I MISS MY SON, HOW MUCH MY ARMS STILL ACHE FOR HIM, HOW THE LONGING FOR HIM IN MY HEART HASN'T CHANGED ONE BIT IN THE LAST 18 MOS.
I AM SO THANKFUL TODAY THAT THIS LIFE ON EARTH IS SO SO SO VERY SHORT COMPARED TO THE ETERNITY WE WILL SPEND TOGETHER IN OUR SAVIOR'S PRESENCE.
SWEET BABY GIRL... HERE SHE IS WAVING TO HER PAPA... SEE SHE IS REAL:) THIS LITTLE GIRL ADDS SO MUCH JOY TO A HOME THAT NEEDED HER SO MUCH. WE ALL SAY SHE IS A LITTLE SPICY... FULL OF THE HOOTSPA:) SHE IS SUCH A LOVER, CONTINUALLY COMES UP FOR HUGS AND KISSES.
(I REMEMBER THE DAY WE GOT HER AND SHE REALLY WANTED NOTHING TO DO WITH ME. THE KIDS WERE CRYING ABOUT IT AND KEPT ASKING GREG IF SHE WOULD EVER LIKE MAMA?) THAT DAY AND THOSE FEELINGS ARE A DISTANT MEMORY... WE LOVE THIS LITTLE GIRL WITH ALL OF US... ALL THAT WE ARE ... IN OUR HEARTS SHE IS OURS... WE JUST WANT TO MAKE IT OFFICIAL:)
WE HAD A GREAT MOTHER'S DAY. I AM SO THANKFUL FOR ALL MY KIDS... IN MY HEART I KNOW THAT THERE ARE ANOTHER COUPLE LITTLE SOULS UP THERE IN HEAVEN, THAT WE WISH COULD HAVE STAYED LONGER HERE WITH US... JOEL, THE BABY WE WERE TO ADOPT LAST SUMMER THAT DIED, AND THE BABY I MISCARRIED BACK IN FEBRUARY... I WOULD HAVE BEEN ABOUT 18 WEEKS ALONG HAD THAT BABY STAYED. I KNOW SOME MAY FIND THAT FUNNY THAT I STILL THINK ABOUT THEM OR MENTION THEM, BUT FOR ME LIFE IS LIFE AND I VALUE IT NO MATTER HOW MANY DAYS GOD CHOSE FOR THAT LIFE TO STAY HERE ON EARTH.
WHEN I WAS A CHILD... I KNEW THE THING I WANTED MOST IN LIFE WAS TO BE A MOM. WHEN WE STRUGGLED WITH INFERTILITY FOR A FEW YEARS BEFORE LOUIS ARRIVED AND EVEN NOW AS WE LONG AND WAIT FOR ANOTHER CHILD FROM MY WOMB... I AM REMINDED OF ALL THE WOMEN WHO ARE LONGING TO BE MOMS BUT AREN'T YET, OR THOSE WOMEN WHO ARE MOMS, YET THEIR CHILDREN ARE ALREADY IN HEAVEN... MY HEART HURTS FOR THEM AND GOES OUT TO THEM TODAY. I REMEMBER HOW IT FEELS TO WONDER IF YOU WILL EVER MOTHER CHILDREN HERE ON EARTH.
I AM SO THANKFUL THAT THE LORD CHOSE TO OPEN MY WOMB BACK IN 1996. I AM TRULY IN AWE OF THE LORD'S WORK IN BLESSING ME IN THE WAY HE HAS... AND NOW TO HAVE SWEET BABY GIRL HERE HAS OPENING MY EYES IN A NEW WAY AS TO WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MOM. I DIDN'T HAVE TO CARRY HER INSIDE OF ME TO HAVE THAT FIERCE DEEP LOVE FOR HER. ALL MY CHILDREN HAVE TAUGHT ME SO MUCH AND I AM SO THANKFUL TO GOD FOR THE INCREDIBLY GIFT THAT EACH ONE IS TO ME.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY ALL!
Saturday, May 8, 2010
WE HAD A DELICIOUS STEAK DINNER... YUMMY!
BUT THE MOST AMAZING THING WAS THE SIGHT IN THE KITCHEN AFTER DINNER. I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE SEEN SUCH A THING. THE MINUTE THEY WERE DONE EATING, ALL THE MEN, AND YES I MEAN ALL THE MEN JUMPED UP AND WERE IN THE KITCHEN CLEANING UP. I KNOW I LOOKED A LITTLE GOOFY CATCHING A PICTURE OF THAT, BUT I SERIOUSLY COULDN'T BELIEVE IT. THEY HAD AN ASSEMBLY LINE GOING AND IN MINUTES HAD ALL THE DISHES WASHED AND DRIED BY HAND. IT WAS AWESOME. I TOLD GREG, WE ARE STARTING SOMETHING NEW AT OUR HOUSE... AFTER DINNER EVERYONE HELPS ALL AT ONCE TILL THE JOB IS DONE... :) I CAN'T WAIT.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Yesterday we were blessed with good news from the Supreme court referee in our state... They ruled with the agency and denied having the appeal from the others heard by the Supreme Court. This was really good for us. Basically it could still be a long road, but this potentially shortened it by another 3-4 mos which is what it would have been just for this appeal to be heard. So we are really thankful for that... It is a small victory that is for sure.
After I heard, I went to put her down for a nap and had a tearful moment of relief. Each little step of the way is another little hurdle to overcome. And this ruling just gave my heart of moment of taking pure joy that she may really be ours someday. It really made me wonder how I will react if we do get to keep her at the end of all of this... Oh my... let the floodgates open:)
So I thank you for all of your prayers. There will be a couple more hearings this month regarding her. Nothing we need to participate in, but that will affect her situation. With that being said we put in our petition for adopting her. It is hard to believe that if this were a normal situation that we would be able to finalize our adoption in about a little over a month. I know that won't happen, but I am not holding out hope that God won't move some mountains to allow this to come to a close sooner rather than later... That would be a welcome miracle:) We will see...
Thanks for continuing to pray for this precious little girl we are loving having with us in our home... praying that she will be ours forever!
Saturday, May 1, 2010
JOJO WAS THRILLED TO BE PULLING THE BOOK BAG...
TRACY, MY SWEET BLOG FRIEND AND HER PRECIOUS DAUGHTER TO BE:)