Thursday, April 30, 2009


I was reading another mom's blog today about "firsts" and "lasts". "Firsts" are generally celebrated, cheered and looked forward to.....first steps, first birthdays, first day of school, etc... This mom talked about how "lasts" kind of sneak up on you. They may even escape your memory. For example, I don't remember the last time I brushed my teenage daughter's hair, tied my ten-year-old's shoes or picked out clothes for my eleven-year-old. It just happened gradually, no fuss, no fanfare.

For some of my children, there are a lot of "firsts" they don't remember or have not even been told about because no one was there to cheer or celebrate or document these special times for them. They don't know when they said their first word or took their first steps. There are no pictures of their first birthday or their first hair cut. A few of my girls really grieve over this loss. They often ask me questions like "What do you think was my first word?" or "How old do you think I was when I first started eating baby food?" or "Do you think I was bald or had lots of hair?".

For me this is sad for a couple of reasons. I hate to see my children so sad....when they are sad, I am sad. (guess it's a mom thing:) But I am also sad for me. I'm sad that I wasn't able to be there to cheer, celebrate and remember these things for them. Sad, that I missed out on part of their childhood. Sad, that they had to have a lot of "firsts" that they never should have experienced at all. Kids should not have to remember the first time the police came to the door to take them to a foster home or the first time the social worker interviewed them. It makes me sad to think of the life they had before adoption.

When we moved about four years ago, I remeber that one of my little RADlets became very scared, almost confused, at the idea of moving. We talked about it and to be honest I don't remember a lot about the conversation except that she said something about "switching mommies". I couldn't figure out what she meant for the longest time til I realized that the other times she had moved was from either from her birth mom's to a foster home, or from one foster home to another and then to our home. She had never just "switched houses" without "switching mommies". I guess that was a "first". The first time she had moved and not "switched mommies". Not really the kind of "first" you photograph and call the relatives about but a positive one none the less.

I guess the moral of this story is......sometimes you have to look hard for something positive to cheer about and celebrate.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Nobody Knows

I haven't added to this blog in a few days but I know I should be writing. As I've said before it is therapy for me and right now I feel myself slipping back into that pit. The pit of depression and despair. The place where all I can think is "why me" and "if you only knew" and "nobody knows the trouble I've seen".

Tonight we sat in Bible study and talked about relationships and forgiveness. The woman on the DVD talked about forgiving the man who was responsible for her son's death and I began to cry. When it was over we were led in discussion questions. I wanted to share what was going on in my head but who would understand?

I remember sharing with Christians in small groups before. I began to talk about our family and the difficult times we've had with our RADlets. Most of them just sat silently, mouth open with that "deer in the headlight" look in their eyes. They didn't know what to say.

Tonight I decided that it was best not to share at all but ended up crying all the way home. My poor husband.......

Right now we are in a situation that might even lead us to be witnesses in a court case. I am upset with the authorities in this case. I do not believe they are doing the right thing. When I was talking to my best friend about it she said she would pray for them. I said I probably should too but I don't want to! I haven't forgiven them yet nor do I have any desire to.

Yes, I know this is a bad attitude and God is working on me. Someday, I pray that I will be able to forgive.......for their sake and for mine.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Learning Things the Hard Way

This weekend, I watched my son's band play at a place called The Solid Rock Cafe'. As I watched him I began to wonder when he grew so tall and became so talented . I know this will make me sound really old, but it seems like just a yesterday I was teaching him to read.

I tried to teach him music but he was much too stubborn to learn from me....he had to do it on his own. I remember sitting him down at my piano trying to get him to play. He said he didn't want to play piano. He wanted to play drums.

We bought him drumsticks and a drum pad to learn on and told him that if he did well on that, we would buy him a used drum set. It never got to the point where we needed to worry about buying a set.

Then he found an old bass guitar and we bought a "how to" video for him to watch and learn from. I tried to help him but when I got further ahead in the book, he got mad and quit.

One day he saw a group of high schoolers that came to our church to play and sing. He said, "Mom, next year I am going to travel with that group and play bass." I said something like, "Sure, you should try out for the group. The audition will be a good experience for you."

After that he spent a lot of time with that "How to play Bass" video and got pretty good. He passed me up. But still, I encouraged him not to get his hopes up when trying out. Well, he made that group and was in it for three years. Now he is in college playing drums in a band . It just amazes me.

When I think back, he always had to learn things on his matter what it was he was learning. He didn't like listening to others who have gone before him and know more. I'd like to say he picked up this quality from his dad, but that would be a lie.

How much easier would things have been for me if I had just been able to listen?! I have gotten better about learning from others as I have gotten older but I have to wonder if God doesn't look at me in the same way I look at my son, shaking his head saying, "My child, you always did have to learn things the hard way."

Friday, April 24, 2009


Last weekend I was able to go to a Woman's Retreat with my sister at her church. Thanks to my wonderful husband and son for watching the rest of the kids so I could get away. It was a wonderful time of rest and renewal for me and I kind of dreaded going back home.

You see, my little RADlets have a problem when I leave and their routine is changed. When I come back from a trip, even if it's just one night away, they have a way of making me pay for being gone. I remember the first time David and I went away for a weekend and left them with family. They were great while we were gone. We praised them for the good report and the way they acted for their aunt and uncle and grandparents. We didn't expect the RAD behaviors we got for the next week. They were wild for us.

It didn't take us long to learn what to expect when we got home from a trip. And when I returned home this time, I expected some of the normal RAD behaviors. What I got was quite a surprise!! One of my little RADlets had made me a card. This in and of itself wasn't surprising because she is very creative and loves to make things for people. It's what the card said that was a surprise.

The front of the card said "To Mom.....#1" The inside said, "I missed you. I am glad you are home." And there was a picture of me and her with some hearts.

I know that all mothers get gushy about cards their children make for them but this card was so special because is shows healing and attachment. She missed me and she even admitted it to me! Now that is a really something to come home to!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This Little Piggy

"The mundane can become magnificent if we're plugged into each hour and each other."

from "One Month to Live" by Kerry and Chris Shook

This quote made me think of some of the mundane things we parents (especially mothers) go through on a daily basis. They seem so insignificant.....the changing of diapers, the feeding, the kissing of boo-boos, the playing referee, the teaching....all those things that cloud our days and our thinking. These things are hard to get passionate. I mean who gets excited about potty training or washing dirty faces?! I do!! Those are the times that encourage bonding and attachment. Those little things that we do daily because we are good parents. The things that we never get thanked for, the things that we will never get a medal or trophy for....those are the things that really count. But no one notices until they are missing.

Five years ago this June we brought our youngest child into our home. He was three months old, extremely outgoing and totally adorable. After the paperwork had been signed and the social worker was gone, I laid him down on the floor on a blanket to do what I have done with all my babies....count fingers and toes.

He was laughing and cooing so I began to play "this little piggy" with him. I noticed that this attracted an audience of my seven other children. Some just wanted to play with the baby but others looked at me with that "your stupid" look that children have and asked, "What in the world are you doing?"

You see some of my children had never played "this little piggy". They had never heard of it before. When they were babies, no one sang to them, told them nursery rhymes, played "this little piggy" or "peek-a-boo" with them. Those silly little mundane things that we would never think of as important suddenly were hugely important. My kids had missed out on that special kind of attachment that should be a normal part of growing up.

So, right there in my family room my kids, some as old as 10, took off their shoes and we played "this little piggy". I know it sounds strange but it was a very special time of bonding for us. I grabbed those big old smelly feet and looked them in the eye and cooed at them saying, "This little piggy went to market. This little piggy stayed home. This little piggy had roast beef. This little piggy had none. And this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home!" And my elementary aged children laughed just as hard as the baby.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A letter from My God

I went to a women's retreat this past weekend and when we came in on Saturday morning this letter was sitting at our seats.

Do you realize that I came here to meet with you?
Do you have any idea how much I love taken I am with you?
Do you know that I have never forsaken you...nor will I ever reject you?
Do you realize I knew everything about you the day you were conceived?
I anticipated your life and planned for it.
You do have an enemy...but it is not me.
He wants you to think it is.
I am for you!
Do you think you need to prove yourself lovable to me?
Deep down inside, are you trying to earn my love and attention?
As you strive to love Me more, do you realize the key to loving Me more
is to let me love you more?
Do you resist Me? Do you run from Me? Why?
To whom have you compared Me...and with whom have you confused Me?
I'm not like them.
I know what's happened. I know what's on your mind.
I know the plan for how this turns out well.
I alone know how to prosper you through this.
My eyes and My affections are on you right now.
Quit trying to be strong. Let Me be strong for you.
I love you unashamedly. Even now My banner flies over you.
Everyone in the heavenlies knows how I feel about you.
I'd leave you blushing over my love for you....
If you'd let Me.

My RADlets are learning love from me....I need to be learning love from Him!! He is perfect love. And perfect love casts out all fear.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
Matt. 7:7

You do not have because you do not ask God.
James 4: 2b

Ask. It doesn't sound like a hard thing to do. People do it all the time. If you want something, ask. If you need something, just ask. It's not rocket science. So, why is it so hard for my children?

The only answer I can come up with is.....control. When you ask someone for something, you are giving them control. You are giving them the opportunity to say, "No". They are in control of if you get what you want or need and when you get it. You are admitting that the person you are asking has authority over you....that they have the control.

RADlets have issues with control. They want to be in control of everything because they feel they can't trust anyone. For our kids this came about because of neglect. In the first few years of their lives they had needs that weren't met by the adults that were supposed to be caring for them. My children ended up having to meet their own needs. They soon learned that they couldn't trust adults. Even now after almost six years of living in this family and having loving parents that do take care of their needs, there are times when my kids revert back to their RAD when they are scared or nervous.

This has been happening a lot recently with one of our RADlets. She gets sad or upset when things change (like an older brother going to college or mom taking a weekend to go to a woman's retreat) but doesn't know how to voice what she is feeling so she acts out. One of the first things we begin to notice is that she begins to do things without asking. This happens especially when mom is gone and her teenage sisters are in charge. Guess I can understand that to some extent....I hated it when my sister was in charge and I wasn't even a RADlet.

Guess this leads me back to one of my first posts about being God's RADlets. How many times do we try to figure things out on our own without asking God? I know I do it all the time. I intend to ask God. Sometimes I even tell other people that I am going to ask God. But then I end up trying to work it out myself. Asking God seems to be a last resort.

Does that mean that I have control issues? Maybe. But I know, that I know, that I know, that God is ultimately in control of me, my family, this world and the next. He is the creator; I am only the created. So, I must go now and ask God what he wants for me and what I should do for Him tomorrow.

Friday, April 17, 2009


I was sitting in the library with a girlfriend while our children were in story time and we were chatting, gabbing, talking, enjoying adult conversation (whatever you want to call it) when she said something that brought back, what must have been, a bad memory. She shook her head from side to side and said, "Etch-a-Sketch". When I looked at her funny, she explained that she was trying to remove the memory from her brain the same way you remove a drawing from an shaking it. I love it!!

I firmly believe that even though you may not be able to control what thoughts cross your mind there is a way to filter those thoughts and only dwell on the ones that are positive and Godly.

Lately in our house we have had lots of negative thoughts that have translated into negative behaviors. So, I have pulled out the etch-a-sketch theory and tried to use it with my children. The other day one of my girls looked at me and said, "I can't do it. It's too hard" I looked at her and said, "Etch-a-Sketch". She giggled and hid her face behind her hand. I told her I was serious that we were going to wait and not do anything until she shook that thought right out of her head. She went through the motions of shaking her head but I wonder if she really was able to put that thought out of her head....I hope if she didn't do it that day that she will learn how to someday.

They just don't understand how damaging thoughts like that can be. I want them to try, even if it is hard and to realize that they can do hard things. I want them to be realistic in their thinking and know their strengths and weaknesses. But I don't want them beating themselves up over their weakness.....after all when we are weak; He is strong!!

I love the "whatever" verse in Philippians....whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, what ever is pure, what ever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things!

So, thank you to my "Dear" friend who taught me the Etch-a Sketch theory....we are trying to put it into practice. Shake out the negative thoughts and dwell on the "whatever" things!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Psalm 136:1-5

Give thanks to the Lord, for his is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
to Him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by His understanding made the heavens
His love endures forever.

I love this Psalm. In college we sang it....the worship leader or soloist would sing a line then we would respond with "His love endures forever". At verse 10 the psalm begins to list specific things that God did for Israel....delivering them from Egypt, giving them their promised land and freeing them from their enemies. And every other line throughout this psalm is..."His love endures forever!" God has been so good to us throughout this RADical journey of ours.....I could make my own list.

To the One who gave to me my spouse
His love endures forever
To the one who saved our 1st born son
His love endures forever
O give thanks for provision
His love endures forever
To the one who gives (birth) and takes away (miscarriage)
His love endures forever
To Him alone who gives new life (another birth)
His love endures forever
O Give thanks for how he worked things out
His love endures forever
By His understanding placed this family here
His love endures forever
To Him alone who created adoption
His love endures forever
that would show us a picture of His family
His love endures forever
To the God who shows us how to love
His love endures forever
To Him who made us ONE family
His love endures forever

Hallelujah, Hallelu
The Lord Jehovah reigns
He is the same from age to age
His love will never change!!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

One Month to Live

Our church is starting a study called "One Month to Live". It is based on a book by the same name written by Kerry and Chris Shook. Tonight we met with our small group to discuss the introduction and watch the corresponding DVD. This is going to be a great I wish I had done years ago. How would this have affected my parenting skills? Would it have made more of a difference in my little RADlets?

"Looking at old tombstones, I can't help but recognize that entire lives are now reduced before me to two dates and one little dash. Some monuments include facts or sayings, Bible verses or poignant memorials, but each person's life really comes down to what transpired between those two dates. it comes down to what's in the dash." (pg 5 "One Month to Live" by Shook)

Psalm 90:12 "Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are, help us to spend them as we should" (TLB)

We were challenged to live for the next thirty days as if the doctor had just told us that we only have one month left to live. We were asked to think of five things that we would do different. Three of them had to do with parenting my children.

I am happy to announce that one of those things I was able to do with the children when I got home tonight. When the children were little we would tuck them in and pray with them every night. Even when we first adopted and had seven children we would go to each room and pray with the children that slept in that room before they went to sleep. As the children grew and began going to bed at different times we got lazy about it and just sent them to bed. But if I had only one month to live I would hug them, tell them I love them and pray with them every night....and possibly more than once during the day as well.

I think if I had only one month to live I would yell less at the children and try to play with them more. I wouldn't care how the house looked (OK so that wouldn't be any different than it is now:) I would spend more time with them and listen to them more. I wouldn't want their last memory of me to be one of me having a temper tantrum.

And the reality is that we don't know how much time we have left. I may only have twenty days left to live or two or maybe another sixty years.....only God knows. I just need to live each day as if it is my last.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Be Careful What You Pray For

In 2002 I had three children but wanted more. I felt God leading my husband and I to adopt again. (At this time, my husband did not necessarily feel the same leading but for some reason, God seems to speak to me about adding children to this family before He speaks to my husband:) As I began to pray about this, I found a web site that had pictures of children in my state that were waiting to be adopted. I would look through these photos and pray about the children while my oldest child would stand looking over my shoulder and ask questions. He too was convinced that we should adopt, so he began praying as well.

At the time I was not looking at older children. We thought the best thing for our family was to adopt children that were younger than our children. Our son, however, had different ideas. He told me that he wanted a brother that was his age. I tried to explain the baggage that such a child would have and that we weren't prepared to handle those kind of problems. But our oldest child, whom we taught to pray, began to talk to God and ask for a brother his age. I would hear him praying and just smile because I thought I knew God's answer to that prayer. How wrong I was!!!

God made it very clear to us that we were to adopt not one older child but a sibling group of four older children. The oldest was 10 at the time, his siblings were 9, 5 and 3 (the same age as our youngest at the time). All of them had been in and out of foster care since the oldest was in diapers. They came to us with issues that we hadn't even heard of and sets of luggage not just a bag or two.

This might be a good time to point out that God did a number of small miracles to get these children into our home. The first was providing us with a larger house that had enough bedrooms to house seven children. This particular house sat empty for over a year and six other people that tried to buy it during that time but all the deals fell through for one reason or another. By the time we put an offer in they were so excited to sell it that they accepted our offer even though it was ridiculously low.

The next miraculous things God did was work in my husbands heart for him to be open to adopting four more children. He wasn't keen on having such a large family at first. Then once I saw the kids on that adoption web site we noticed that they were from the same county we were and their social worker was the same worker we had. When I called our social worker, before I had a chance to ask her about the possibility of adopting the four children she asked me, "You wouldn't be interested in adopting a sibling group of four would you? I've got these kids and I think they would fit into your family perfectly."

And in a system that is so slow it took us two years to finalize our first adoption, these four children were having weekend visits at our house within three weeks of this phone call to our social worker and after four weeks of weekend visits they were living with us. Six months later they were officially adopted.

After the adoption was final and the "honeymoon" period wore off we began to see RAD behaviors pop up. As we struggled with these issues and behaviors our oldest came to me complaining about his RADlet siblings. I felt it was my motherly duty to remind him that he had prayed for a brother his age. It made him stop and think.

I have always heard that saying...Be careful what you pray for, 'cause you just might get it. But it has never been illustrated to me so well as when my son prayed for a brother and got one with issues. I think my oldest is at the place now where he understands that God is using this experience to help him grow and be better able to minister to others but it took a long time for him to get there.

So, what are you praying for?!

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Abundance of the Heart

"...the Lord does not see as man sees;
for a man looks at the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks at the heart." 1Sam. 16:7b

"...out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Matt. 12:34b

No one but God can see into our hearts and know if it is filed with love or hate; wisdom or foolishness; pride or humility. But other people can get a glimpse into our heart by seeing what comes out of our mouth and by watching our attitudes and actions.

Think of it as a pitcher. If the pitcher is full or milk, what will pour out of the spout? If it is full of water, what will pour out? If it is full of gasoline, what would you expect to come out of the spout? If it is full of poison, would you expect water to pour out? That makes perfect sense to us....right? Well, if our heart is full of love, what will come out of our mouth? If our heart is full of hate, what will come out? Or if our heart is full of foolishness, what then?

To change what comes out of our mouths what has to change first? Our HEART! How does that happen? God! We pray to a God that hears and answers our prayers. We also need to get into God's word and let the living, active word of God that is able to judge thoughts and intentions of the heart change us.

I originally wrote this to one of our RADlets to get him to think about how he could change. Tonight when I re-read it, I realized that I'm the one that needs to change my heart. Too many times as I am raising these special children, I look at what comes out of their mouths and try to change them myself. I tent to focus on their attitudes and their problems and their mistakes. But recently I have been reminded of my own bad attitudes and short comings. I need a change of heart, maybe more than the children right now.

Father God,
Please, help me to change my heart.
I want it to be full of love for You and for my family.
Thank you for giving me these children to take care of.
They are each so special to me and to You.
Help me to love them and not let their special needs get in the way.
Help me to get into Your Word hide it in my heart...
where is will overflow out of my mouth!
I love You Father!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Surreal Day

Today was one of those days that seemed like it belonged in a movie and not in my life. We've had a number of those days in the past few years. I'm sure others have had those days.....maybe it's the day when the doctor says, "It's cancer".....or the day when your car was hit by the truck.....or the day your house caught fire.....or the day your teenage son ran away.....ours almost always have to do with our RADlets and their issues.

I guess what makes today different is that it involved a friend of the family and not just our family. This person was affected by our family's issues and I feel partially responsible.

I am so thankful that this person is a Christian and in God's hands. This friend is OK with what ever God has in store. I thank God for a peace like that!!

James says to consider it joy when you face trials of many kinds. That's a tough one. I don't feel very joyful at the moment..........I am working on peace but joy is not there right now. God, may You help me find that joy.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11-12

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fear of Failure

Anyone else out there have a fear of failure? I have always had this problem.....I remember in elementary school having to do our class spelling bee. I was (and still am) a terrible speller (thankfully, now I have a spell check on my computer). I just knew that eventually I would embarrass myself by spelling something so ridiculously wrong that everyone would laugh at me. So, I came up with a plan. I decided to avoid the embarrassment by missing the first word on purpose. I told everyone in line that spelling bees were dumb and I didn't want to do it so I was going to miss the first word so that I could sit down and not have to participate.

I could give you a list of things that I have quit or not even started because I was afraid to try........because what if I did try my best and FAILED?! Would others laugh? Would they look at me different? Will they still love me?

There have been many times as a mother that I have felt like a failure. When parenting my RADlets I feel like I fail more than I succeed. The fact that one of my RADlets is living in a treatment facility and not at home with us, could be looked at as a FEELS like failure.

I have to keep reminding myself that God has a different view of success than we do. Our failure and our weakness allow others to see His strength and success. If I knew I could handle parenting these special children on my own I wouldn't need Him. The fact that these children are healing and making progress is a credit to God not me! I am just the instument He is using.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I heard my son's voice today for the first time since he moved to a new treatment facility. He sounded so sad. I guess since this move was to a less restrictive, more home-like environment I thought that he would be happy. But he informed me today that his new freedoms are boring and he misses the staff from the old facility.

Mark Twain hit the nail on the head when he said "The only one that enjoys change is a wet baby". It doesn't matter if the change is good or is different and different is uncomfortable.....and uncomfortable doesn't feel safe.

Mark Lowrey says his favorite scripture is....."this too shall pass". If things aren't looking good for you right now..........this too shall pass. If things are going great for you right now..........this too shall pass. We may not like change, but that is the one thing in this life that we can count on.

I haven't heard my son sound that sad in a long time. It reminded me of the first time he had to be hospitalized. I was not prepared for how I would feel as a mother. It was heart-wrenching to see my 11 year old in the hospital gown, no glasses and tears running down his cheeks. I snapped a mental image of him in that moment just as the door between us was closed and locked.

So, today I have no long stories or words of wisdom I'm just a mom who's sad because her son is sad. Before I hung up the phone I told him to hang in there that it would get better. I know from my 42 years of experience with life that things will eventually get better, but this is a tuff life lesson for any 16 year old, especially one with attachment disorder.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Living With Commentators

It happened again today. I was asked "the question". No, it has nothing to do with my age (I'll be 43 this month) or even my weight (all I'll say about that is I'm 20lbs less than I was at Christmas!). This question has to do with my children and seems to be a favorite of those just getting to know our blended family.

An acquaintance looked at my daughter this evening and said, "Isn't she 'yours'?" What she meant was, "Isn't she one of your biological children?" "Did you give birth to her?" "She looks like you." But she didn't know how to express it without using that possessive language. You see I have worked very, very hard to let my kids (ALL my kids) know that they are mine. We are one family and I don't like them to hear people talk about my biological kids as "mine" and the others as "adopted".

Adoption creates unique challenges and stresses, so does having a large family. Many people we don't know very well, or even at all feel like they can ask questions and make comments on our family. We get things like...."Are they all yours?" "Are any of them related?" "How do you do it?" "What about their "real" mom?" "Are you crazy?"

I guess no matter where you are in life there are commentators. It seems that the more different you are, the more you deviate from the norm; the more comments and questions you get from total strangers. And my family is definitely different. We are a large, adoptive, racially diverse, Christian, home school family. So, I suppose that those looking in from the outside are just curious.

When this happens I have chosen to correct the one asking instead of ignore it. I try to do this in love, without making the one questioning feel embarrassed. I do however want to educate them about more positive adoption language. Using terms like 'birth mom' instead of 'real mom' or 'birth child' instead of 'my own child' are just more pleasant for the adoptive families.

Now, allow me to clear things up for you......I have eight children. Yes, they are all mine even though I only birthed two of them. Yes, some of them are biologically related as well. Two of my girls are half Mexican and one girl is part Cherokee and then there is my little African American/Caucasian boy. The rest of us are European in decent (as far as I know). We adopted so many children because it was what God wanted us to do, and No, we are not crazy! On the other hand we are not saints either...........just Christians who were given a ministry and are doing their best to fulfill it. If you have any other questions that I didn't cover you'll have to e-mail me. I promise to answer honestly, but in love!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Our Blended Family

When you hear someone talk about a blended family you usually think about a widow or someone who has experienced a divorce, then gets married again and with that, brings to this second marriage maybe children, or an ex.

In our case our blended family is from adoptions. Our family is comprised of three sets of biological siblings all tied together through us, the "real" parents. This has been a challenge for us from the very beginning to unite them into one family, instead of it becoming an "us verses them" kind of thing.

At first this was a daily problem. We heard things like, "You can do that to MY brother" or "Don't you say that about MY sister!" This just broke my heart, because as the Mom I truly loved each one of them and couldn't stand seeing this separation.

After five years of all 10 of us living under one roof, I am happy to say that this is not a daily issue for us anymore. We, most of the time, function as one big family. But then there are times, like birthdays and holidays, when we see or hear from the birth families and it starts again.

This past weekend we celebrated the birthday of our youngest child and invited his birth mom and two older birth siblings to the party. They are so grateful to be able to be a part of his life and to share times like this with him. I am glad that he knows his birth family and is able to get a sense of his heritage, yet it is hard. Hard on both of his moms; hard on all of his sibs (bio and adopted) and hard on the extended family.

About a week before the party we start with snide remarks about the birth family from the other kids. Questions about why this birth family does this and why doesn't his birth family do that. By the time the party was here there were a few hurt feelings. I wish there was a way to avoid this but I haven't figured it out yet.

Today my son asked me a question about his birth mom but he called her "my mom." I immediately corrected him and told him "I am his Mom." Maybe it shouldn't have been such a big deal but it hurt just a little. He said, "You know what I birthday mom."

I wish there were an easier way to blend this family but the fact that there has to be a blending is a sign that we are on plan B. Plan A is how God intended families to man with one wife raising their children. But God is such an awesome God. He knew there would be death and divorce, so he came up with a way to have a family even when things weren't perfect...plan B. As wonderful as adoption is you can't have it without having a loss. For the adoptive child, loss of the birth parent. For the adoptive parents, loss of the birth experience and prenatal bonding. For us the loss of many years of childhood with some of our children.

As hard as plan B is; I praise God that he created it! You see, that's how I got into His family. God had only one "birth child"..........Jesus. The rest of us all enter the family through adoption. So, we could look at the church as a type of blended family as well. And sometimes it's just as hard to get the church to work together as one family as it is for our special blended family.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Blogging for Me

I have written one of those Christmas update letters every year for eighteen or more years now. Every year I print it out and put it in a file to save it with all the previous years. Almost every year as I sit down to begin the writing process, I pull out this file and reminisce about my life with my husband and kids. Each letter is just a small snipit of what happened that year but each one brings back so many memories.

This past year I was in my room reading these letters when my two teenage girls walked in and asked me to read aloud. We had so much fun reading and reliving all the good times and the hard times we've had together as a family.

This is probably a little more important in an adoptive family such as ours because we haven't always been together as a family. There are years we read about what happened with my husband and I and our biological children knowing that our adopted children were not in a good place that particular year. So, the best years are the ones in which we all share the memories. Like the first Christmas after we adopted four of our children.....or our youngest child's first Christmas.

Because I know that these letters will be saved and re-read every year, there are things I include in them that may not be as interesting to those who recieve them in their Christmas card but I am writing them for me and my family first and foremost. I do pray that others who know and love our family will enjoy them as well.

I have begun to look at my blog as the same. As I write down my thoughts, feelings and lessons learned it is like therapy for me. I certainly hope that other mother's of RADlets will be blessed by what they read and I pray that I will be an encouragement to them. I even have dreams of one day writing a book that will minister to those raising RADlets....but for now I am writing for my own healing.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

My Hero

My dictionary says that a hero is.... a person admired for bravery, great deeds or noble qualities....a person admired for contribution to a particular field....a person of superhuman strength, courage , or ability.

Last year my favorite radio station KLOVE had a contest in which you were to write about your personal hero and email the station. I don't usually enter those contests but for some reason this time I was compelled to. I wish I could tell you that my entry won but.....maybe next time.

My hero is my mentor and very best friend.....Teresa! I am so excited to be able to see her this weekend (we live in separate states) that I think I will just share my Hero entry........

My hero does not wear a cape or a mask
and is not know to the public as a
crime fighter. in fact if you talked to her
she would say that she's no hero.
She'd say she's just a Christian....
I would add that she lives her live by faith,
always "stepping out of the boat" like Peter,
trusting God every step of the way.
She would say she's just a wife...
I would add that she has been a faithful,
loving companion to her husband
of over 25 years.
She'd say she's just a mom....
I would add that she is an awesome mom to ten
kids (some biological, some adopted from foster care).
She would say she's just a home school teacher....
I would add that she finds the time not only to school her kids
but also to teach many co-ops as well.
She would say she's just a friend...
I would add that she understands me,
makes time for me and gives me advice and
insight on raising my eight kids.
So, although you may not have ever heard of my friend, Teresa,
she is a hero to me, her husband and her kids
but also a servant of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Teresa, if you're reading this know that I love you and can't wait to see you again. Thanks for all the advice and support over the are truly a hero, admired for your bravery, noble qualities and superhuman strength and courage. May God bless you richly through His love!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:48

I have a RADlet that takes this verse very seriously. Well, I don't know if it actually has anything to do with this verse or not but she is extremely perfectionistic.

She was five when we adopted her and I can remember this sweet, talented, little girl coloring beautiful pictures then ripping them up and throwing them away. When I would stop her to ask why, she would yell at me something about how ugly they were and how she can't draw. Her Sunday School teacher even came to me to let me know that she would throw her papers away at church too.....every time she colored outside the lines.

She is very athletic as well but when we signed her up for soccer she cried if someone other than her scored a goal......even if that person was from her team! She felt like somehow she had failed if she was not the one to score.

Piano lessons were much the same way. She has a wonderful ear for music. But she is not very receptive to others telling her what she is doing wrong or how to improve. Somehow it is like an insult to her.

What a sad state to live in....feeling like it's your duty to be perfect and becoming angry every time you realize that you aren't anywhere near perfect.

She has come a long way but when she is nervous she reverts back to those tendencies. Control is her security blanket. She feels like if she can take control of the situation whatever it is she will be alright.

Right now she is nervous and today we had words. I stood toe to toe with my little RADlet and told her that she wasn't perfect, that she wasn't going to be perfect and that is why she needed Jesus. I told her that she was just like me.........a sinner and the only way to not feel like a miserable failure inside is to admit that you need a savior.........Jesus.

Other than our four year old, this RADlet is the only one of our children that hasn't made a decision for Christ. She understands all to well what it means for Jesus to be Lord or Boss of her life. She told me that she won't become a Christian because she doesn't want anyone to be the boss of her. When the Holy Spirit finally gets a hold of her she will be one kid on fire for Jesus.....until then we just pray for her.

Personally, I prefer these verses on perfection.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ's power may rest on me.
2 Cor. 12:9

[Pressing on Toward the Goal] Not that I have already obtained all this,
or have already been made perfect,
but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Phil. 3:12