broken.

My daughter has been sick.  Another victim of VBS Stomach Bug 2014.

The other night, I had told her to yell for me if she feels yucky or throws up and I’d come help her.  A couple of hours later, I heard her fussing, and listened.  The saddest voice ever cried, “Mommy!  I fwoed up!  I fwoed up!”  I ran down the hallway and into her room.  She was covered in it – in her hair, on her face, on her hands, on her pajamas, on her sheets, on her pillow.  My husband and I started the tub, took the sheets off her bed, and gave her a bath.  As I was tucking her clean, sweet little self back into a freshly made bed, brushing back her damp hair with my fingers, kissing her face, and telling her Mommy is right across the hall and she can yell for me if she needs me… all of the sudden, I was just heartbroken thinking about another little girl, thinking about hundreds of thousands of little girls and little boys who don’t have a mommy (or daddy, or grandma, or aunt, or someone) to clean them up when they’re sick, put a sippy cup of water next to the bed in case they get thirsty, whisper a prayer over their little bodies, and tuck them back into bed with kisses and reassurance that Mommy is right across the hall.

The world is so broken!  The problem feels so big that it’s paralyzing, and easier to just look away.  Someday, when we get to Heaven, their sweet little tears will be wiped away.

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.  Revelation 21:4

In the meantime, we have to do something.  We can’t solve it – it’s too broken.  But can’t turn away.  We have to do something.

 

Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry
and you gave Me something to eat;
I was thirsty
and you gave Me something to drink;
I was a stranger and you took Me in;
I was naked and you clothed Me;
I was sick and you took care of Me;
I was in prison and you visited Me.’
Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’

And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’
Matthew 25:34-40

Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.  James 1:27

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this kid

this kid

He feels so grown up in his new glasses.
He’s getting more confident about reading.
He’s starting to figure out to do with his BIG emotions.
He’s learning to love even when it’s hard.
He’s internalizing that God made us all good at different things.
He wants to be an engineer when he grows up.
He’s researching what college he should attend to learn about engineering.

a year ago

a year ago

Remember, a year ago when my baby boy busted his sweet, perfect, angelic face, got 9 stitches, and refused to smile, speak, or take the band-aid off* for a week? This is the same kid in the same shirt at the same zoo a year later. Smiling again and looking way too long and lean for this mama’s heart.

I have to admit, though, sometimes when he smiles, all I can see is the scar. It makes me really sad. I know, in the realm of things that can happen to children, this is really nothing. But I still wish I could un-do it.

*Note: I must have bribed him to take off the bandaid for that picture. I remember I said, “Smile, baby!” and he said (without moving his lips in the saddest voice of all time), “I am smiling.”

nesting

nesting

I was telling my husband the other night that it feels like I’ve been pregnant for 16 months. With another 12+ months to go, most likely. When there isn’t paperwork to work on, I still feel like I want to DO SOMETHING (anything) to move toward the adoption, so today I made these. I let my sweet baby girl help me pick out some fabrics for “Mei Mei,” (which means baby sister in Mandarin). Princess Pie loves cats and all things pink, so this is what we ended up with. They’re really imperfect – I’m not a, “measure twice, cut once,” kind of gal. But, I think Mei Mei will like them fine. Several different textures for her to explore. If we get to send a care package at some point, maybe I’ll send one ahead of time, or maybe save them both for when we go get her.

I’m also making a fun dress for the current only-princess. She helped me choose some other fabrics, too. I’m a TOTAL beginner at sewing, so we’ll see how it turns out. Going to the fabric store with her is really fun, though. I love that she’s getting old enough to have girl time. She’ll gasp, “Ohhhh, I love it! This one is my FAVORITE!” I’m loving every minute of it!

whiplash

The intensity of these two conflicting emotions is giving me whiplash:

-I want to go get our daughter from China NOW.

-I want to soak up every second of this time with my 2-year-old and can’t stand the idea of leaving her for 2 weeks.

Seriously.  How can I be feeling those two emotions so deeply at the exact same time?!

Photo118

mother’s day

Mother’s Day can be such a heavy day.  There are so many broken hearts and empty arms.  I thought a lot today about our future daughter’s birth mom.  We don’t know yet who our daughter is, but we do know that she is most likely already born and probably living in an orphanage.  Here in North America, it’s hard to wrap our minds around the desperation that people are living in in other parts of the world.  I can only guess at the circumstances that would lead our daughter to be abandoned, but none of them are short of heartbreaking.

There are lots of beautiful posts on this, and I’m not really to a place where I can fully understand the complexity of all of this yet, since the only children in my home right now grew in my belly.  But, it’s on my mind.  Here are some others for you to read, if you’re interested:

Ellie Stumbo – To My Daughter’s Biological Mother

Difference for One – Open Letter to my Son’s Birth Mom

A Moment Cherished – For Her on Mother’s Day


So thankful for these precious 3 and the blessing of being their mom.
easter2014

(it’s a tie.)

(it's a tie.)

A mentor/friend of mine recommends keeping a special journal to write notes back and forth with your kids. She suggests starting it as soon as they can write, so that by the time there’s sensitive pre-teen and teen type stuff, it will already be established. My oldest and I have done it off and on. Our journal was lost for a while, but he got in major trouble and had to deep clean their room… finding the journal right at a time when he probably needed to be reminded that I really do unconditionally love him.

One of the girls we carpool with worked on a code from a friend the whole way home today, and inspired me to send this note back to my older son tonight.

What do you do to keep communication lines open with your kids? Do you know your kids’ love languages? What creative ways are you trying to speak to those? (This is hard for me!)

Chime in, please!