Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Just for this moment

It was Monday night, a time where Robert goes to play disc golf and I get the kids to myself. Things were going so typical... They were bickering at each other as siblings do and I was getting on to them as parents do... Then time to wrestle them into the bath and get as many chores done as possible. Both kids were exceptionally tired that night and it was all I could do to keep Elva from falling asleep before she took a bath (lest she drown). Waylon was first and I remember hearing him pull the plug to let the water drain... And then silence... Which is never good. So I slowly open the bathroom door to a nice thud and realize he fell asleep on the bathroom mat. Goofball. Luckily he had draped the towel over himself before he did... So I gently woke him, somehow got him to brush his teeth and then helped guide him to bed. I wanted to lay down with him bc it's just something I try to do as often as I can and he was complaining of his head hurting so I figured he would be extra cuddly. I got Elva in the bath (her hyper kicked in so she was awake and ready to play) and then I went into Waylon's room. He snuggled into my arms and I started rubbing his head. I had some serious talk with him just about some upcoming things to which he acknowledged with a simple grunting but he was somewhat still with me consciously. I tried to pull away at one point to get a closer look at his face and he pulled me even closed to him. He muttered an I love you mom somehow in his garbled sleepiness and I just closed my eyes and got even more comfortable. I was stroking his hair (it's my favorite when it's a little fuzzy but still short) and I suddenly was overcome by a flood of tears.

Tears for the missed moments to hold him and for how I might never hold a baby (and that's ok if it's what God has planned). Tears for how I try so hard to focus on teaching them right and wrong instead of just remembering that they are kids and I need to simply love on them. Tears bc of all the moments with the kids, I didn't want this one to end. Tears bc God is so good and has shown us His precious gift of love so much in their lives. Tears for all the laughter we have been having lately that makes me really see us as a family. Tears for the family that had to break apart in order for me to have mine. Tears for a woman somewhere out there who let her children slip through her fingers without even knowing what was happening. Tears for the hurt and the scars my kids will always have, but tears for how God is covering those everyday with fresh skin and new roots. Tears for how desperately I want them both to know just how much I love them and never ever will let them get away from me. Tears for all the times I could be praying harder for each of them. Tears bc of all the other children who I pass everyday or could be working with or sitting with my kids in class that don't have a good home or even a chance to hear about the hope in Christ. Tears for the families breaking apart as we speak and for how grateful I am that God did not let me get pregnant so I could have these two in my life instead. Tears bc God is always good and is always watching over our family. Tears bc I was so happy, and so overwhelmed, and so heartbroken, and so overjoyed that they just couldn't be contained.

He started twitching which meant he was going into sound asleep mode. As much as I didn't want to get up, there was another little being that I needed to get dried, into her pajamas, teeth brushed and into bed so I could share the same moment with before she too fell asleep.

Everyone keeps saying how special we are for taking them into our home and how lucky the kids are to have us and how we must be pretty strong to withstand The hardship that goes along with this... And I say it's all wrong. God knew who would fill the kid shaped holes of my heart long before I even thought about marriage and babies. Also there's a reason he chose Robert and I, bc we were willing to let our faith be pushed to the limit bc he had established a firm foundation through our dating and early marriage relationship.  And we are not strong, trust me at the end of the day we are burdened and weak, but we don't mind being weak bc we both know that if we even try to act strong without Christ using His strength to the full, then we will fail and fail miserably. With God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).  Thank you continually for the prayers. They are being heard.

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12 NIV)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

More and More

I know it has been awhile, but its time for an update... well really its time for me to just bear my heart a little. We have been going strong, feeling strong, and bonding in ways that only God could ordain, but tonight my heart is heavy which I'll explain later. First, I want to capture the highlights and joys of the month.

We took a family mini trip to Abilene at the end of March. The kids are still on medicines that warrant management from a psychiatrist and thanks to the busting economy in Midland/Odessa there is no one who would take them as new patients... so to Abilene we went. The trip went greater than expected... we swam in the mini pool, ate at my favorite restaurant, and when the kids appointment was over we went to the zoo. Its not the grandest zoo, but it was fun to see the animals and walk around a bit before getting in the car to drive home (which was NOT fun! Sorry mom and dad for driving yall crazy when I was little haha). We have found that traveling is not the funnest... but the trip was a nice little break from the norm.

The next weekend my friends Tracy and Ashley came to town to meet the kids and get to spend some time with them. Its so cool to see our friends start to have a relationship with our kids and to see how each of them fall in love with their craziness haha... ok, their cuteness and charming demeanor...most of the time... haha, anyways...we had a great time catching up and the kids gained two new "aunts". The kids have had several opportunities to meet some of my close friends and I love how they have latched onto them and have started mentioning them in casual conversation or during prayer time. Yall are loved and are making a difference for these kids. Thank you :)

Easter was a new experience for us all as Waylon was actually grounded for the entire weekend. He told a lie that stretched the entire week and we gave him plenty of opportunities to tell the truth and get out of it but he kept dragging it along... sooo a big grounding is what he got... BUT here is the awesome part.... while he used to hide, scream, shut down, yell mean things, and just plain not care about his punishment for doing something wrong... he now sat upright on the couch and listened and answered questions and said his "yes maams and sirs" and took it like a champ. We still did some fun things, like spend time with each set of grandparents, went to the church egg hunt and picnic, and watched a movie as a family. Easter morning they were quite the ball of out of control energy and bought drove us insane, but we have realized that this will happen more and more on Sundays as the enemy tries to throw off our church day as much as he can... (he will not win though!) Still we chose to give them "Grace Sunday" and although they didnt deserve it, they got some candy, trinket toys (cheap but entertaining), and all their confiscated toys back from our bedroom (we were starting to look like a cheap garage sale with all our kids toys splattered in our closet and by our bed). This was a great opportunity to talk to the kids about God's grace and forgiveness and the cross.

So our first Easter together was just plain awesome... minus the restrictions Waylon had.. and we made the most of it. One of the things I've always imagined with my kids was them learning to fall in love with church and God the way I was brought up. Yes, I was always in church, but I wasn't one of those kids who got burnt out on it... I knew it was good for me and I couldn't imagine myself missing church for anything... so I've always hoped my kids would be the same. . . . well they are not and its something I'm trying to let be in God's hands, but church is still something that is sometimes hard for them since we are up there all the time. They do the best they can I guess and I'm beyond thankful for the teachers and volunteers who work with them, and for our youth group for showing their love to them especially when they are super hyper and crazy. If you are praying for us, please pray that they will be able to feel comfortable in church and that God will show them the excitement in learning about His word.

So its April now and May is almost here, and we are going to be super busy. I'm a little nervous as we have several small and long trips to make in the next few weeks and the kids don't travel well... not like a dog or anything... but they get super bored. I guess thats something every parent has to figure out is how to get their kids to get along and be occupied during a road trip... and we are now in that boat! Hopefully they will become better travelers :) (pray for that too!)

Ok now for some deep thought stuff which is totally random... remember I'm not a good writer!
This past week there were several instances that occurred that were a hard cold hammer to my heart reminding me that the kids aren't "legally" mine yet and that they are not "biologically" mine. I love getting to tell people I meet that these are my kids, or getting to see old friends and introduce them, and I have even let myself get so caught up in the "mommy" role that I forget the technicalities of our situation. One thing is that I forget how much I am fighting for their love and affection as much as they are in need of mine. They didn't just automatically love us and accept us as their parents, we had to essentially win over their hearts and we are still striving to do this each day. I may get mad at my mom at times but she is my mom and I love her. They get mad at me and in their minds they can just replace me with someone else. Of course things are better than when we started and they are trying their hardest to do whats right and to express their love for us, but in the end the scary part of this is that we could be replaced if they say no. God has given me alot of peace about this, but still... if you jump into my shoes... the thought will make your heart rate increase and can make you quite sad.
Both the kids had opportunities with their classes to write books and have them published. I knew what elva's book was about bc lets face it we had to help her write it. Waylon never mentioned he was writing a book so I didn't even know he had one until it came home with him the other day. He was very secretive about showing me the book and this is why... the book (all 3 pages of it... we paid money for that??) was about how "mom is annoing sometimes and tells me no". Its about me telling him no and him getting in trouble. 3 pages of a total of maybe 15 words... maybe only 12. It made me all sorts of emotions... made, angry, sad, and very confused. I had to remind myself that he wrote is several months ago when things weren't as good as they were now. Still its so hard to be trying to make all these fresh memories and here is a reminder of his point of view of me from a few months back. I'm not depressed over the book, but it is going into the trash can I hate to say... its not a proud thing and I think he understood how much it hurt me and wasn't a good showing of his love. Just a reminder that this is harder than it seems.

A few instances have occurred lately with Elva where she has said how much she likes someone (mostly her school teacher, who is an amazing woman and works so well with Elva), but she has compared me to this person and puts us on the same level of her likeness. "I like her and you the same!" she says. I don't know if this is normal thinking, but it kinda makes you feel worthless when you put all this effort into being super mommy and your child lowers your ranking by putting at the same level of likeness to someone else. The fight for their love and acceptance is never ending and often unnoticed or unappreciated... at least for now and I'm sure it will change... but it didn't help me feel any more loved after reading Waylon's book.

I think the hardest thing right now is forgetting that while I'm comfortable with the kids and have seen them change and gain more control (for the most part) and grow in our relationship... that is not seen by other people yet. I forget how I have to be careful with my choice of words with people bc there are some who just aren't that comfortable around my kids... which is understandable... especially knowing their behaviors beforehand. Its hard for me to not stick up for my kids bc I really can't fault the other party involved... no matter if I feel they are reasonable or not in giving my kids a shot... this situation is just awkward. Its new and no some people just won't embrace it right away. My heart breaks for my kids to have the bonds they could have with other family members and my friends if they would have been biologically mine. How much more would they be accepted and comfortable with their surroundings if I could have given birth to them. I find myself thinking and pondering what they were like as infants and how would they have looked so little. I want those missing pieces, but they won't be there and I have to just accept that and be ok. They are 4 months into being a part of the Fowler family and in the grand scheme of things thats not very long at all and I'm trying to be understanding. I want my kids to develop a strong relationship with those close to us, but its hard for me to accept that it will take time. Its even harder to accept that some people may never get comfortable with them... and that has to be ok too. Adoption may have given me a family, but it also disrupted the stability of every relationship Robert and I had with others. Yes, many have been open and loving, but some need more time. Its just hard to change my attitude when you dream about your kids interaction with people and circumstances, but they turn out less than what you imagined. I'm not saying I'm upset with anyone, I'm just trying to understand, and I want to shed light for others who are or are about to go through this same process that this could happen to you. God has great timing for forming and renewing relationships and I know He is working to strengthen those as we speak. Please know that it makes it hard for this momma.

I can say without a doubt that I'm in love with Waylon and Elva. They are my kids and more and more I am falling in love with their special quirks. Robert and I are having serious talks about parenting issues we never dreamed would come up, but God is truly faithful to our marriage and helping us get stronger through our nearness to Him. Theres no way the enemy will take these kids away in 2 more months. And 6 months seems to be taking forever! I thought we were almost there but 2 more months!!! Oh time please move fast... wait... no, time don't move fast... these are the only moments I'll with them right now and I don't want it to flash before my eyes.
We continue to covet your prayers. Thursdays are no longer our bad days, its just kind of depends now on their entertainment level, sleep deprivation level, hunger level, and overall mood level. I request prayer for Waylon's schooling... he is a smart kid, but just needs to hang on to the end of the semester. The horrendous STAAR test is over, but we pray he passed. Elva is continuing to make great grades (all A's!) and I pray she will be able to be weaned of her ADHD medicine over the next few months/years. She has a hard time being still and contained without it. I pray they both will be medicine free in the near future and (this most of all) that they will continue to have their hearts opened to the fullness of Christ's love for them. Yes I want them to have the fullness of our love, but our love will never be as fulfilling as Christs. Christ first and then us second. I pray spiritual protection over them as the enemy is showing his face again and I don't want him to even get a toe in our house. I also pray God will show us what to do with them during the summer... bc we have a few options but no clear direction and its like a month away- ahh!

Thank you to our prayer warriors and to those who have gone out of their way to love on the kids and help them feel special. It means more than we ever could express :)

Lamentations 3:24-26
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him; 
 it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.