Monday, November 18, 2013

Oh where or where have I been...

No excuse except so busy being a mom and wife, farmer, housekeeper, encourager and chief cook, that life just happened.
It has been a great four months of busy; new chicken farmer in the house, a summer camp out at our farm, four birthdays, a trip down the Oregon coast, school start up, start of hockey season, a take and pizza home based business and a new baby grandson! And now to make me cringe, it was noted that Christmas is just around the corner....

Miss G turned 8

Grandpa turned 75
Roller blading 

Vacation on the Oregon Coast

Grade three

Jaxx Hunter was born..

Jude turned 1

Miss P became a chicken farmer

Miss G started her first year of minor hockey

Fall is almost gone and winter is upon us....

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Will you come right back....

It has been a busy week of haying and being away from the girls. So many times they would see me for a short time and I was gone again, but haying comes once a year for about ten days or two week period and then it is done. For me I am very focused on the job at hand, and although I am way less task orientated than my loving husband I do work towards the common goal with a slight competitive edge. Get it done!

The girls were thrilled that I had imported different people to hang out with them, but it was the single longest stretch of time that I have worked and been away. (in the back forty..but away)

It broke my heart after day three when Miss P stopped asking *when* I was coming back and starting asking ..*will* you come right back?

Her question had an slice of fear, a portion of wondering, and a little bit of a questioning tone. Of course, I will come right back, I will always come back. Then it dawned on me, perspective is everything.

How long is right back to a four year old?

How long is right back to mommy who has the job in her head, an idea of how long it will take without break downs or interruptions? Less than the four year old I bet.

I could answer how long I would be. So I did what every other mother who can't think of a way to explain time...I related it to a movie. If you watch Kung Fu Panda or Lion King, it is about that long. One movie long.

Seemed logical...until she ran after me, for hug number 33 and said "I will see you when you come right back!"

So I tucked in her tonight and reminded her to come downstairs when she wakes up. She looked back up at me and asked if I would be right back.


I went downstairs grabbed a drink, called the dog and when I went back up, she was asleep.

Asleep and calm, no fear, no questioning mind, she knew I would be back and so she settled into her soft bed and fell asleep.

...And I learned a valuable lesson...she just needs to feel next time when she asks me if I will be right answer will be...yep.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Don't Ever Give Up

This was my gift the other day. "A adoption don't ever give up" and then drawings of our familyMy heart broke as it came at a time when a friend was losing hope about a kiddo that was home and in crisis and other friends were struggling to stay hopeful after months of waiting for the visas for travel. Then I opened a FB message and another friend was dealing with the hardest thing that can happen in adoption; not able to complete.I tried not to show my emotion and if you know me that is tough. I asked what prompted her to draw this picture for me today. She said it took " a year..." for you to come and get us. In reality it was four months and then I was burdened for all the kiddos that have received books with photos and presents and how long it feels like when you are a kid and waiting on the other side of the world.A new perspective.As adoptive parents we all get caught up in "our" stuff. How hard it is to wait, how we want to nest and dream, and can only find solace in networking with others that are going through the same thing and chocolate of course.Do I love Jesus, and do I believe He is in control, sure but there was a whole lot of "why" going on when I should have been have this one. In short I was trying to do it all myself. So fast forward to yesterday and the conversation with Miss G. So what did you think about when you were waiting. "I didn't think about nothing, I just kept waiting, and was getting mad at your for taking so long. I asked when you were coming and nobody could tell the answer"Imagine being an intuitive kid with a bright mind, a kid who thrives on knowledge and structure and being in control and being told, there was no answer.I wish we had known what we know now, we could have tried to make things clearer and we most definitely would never have sent presents. 

So this beautiful little girl told a tale of waiting of her own and the insecurity of wondering.
She described heart breaking stories of other children going home and always looking at the car when it drove in to see if the car would bring "her mommy and daddy".
Four months to a kid is a year...four months was hard for us, four months for her was frustrating and she said many times she gave up. She even told herself that maybe there was a mistake and we were not coming. We talked about wanting to go back to her community and what she knew. She very firmly said no, she didn't want to go back, she wanted to be part of our family. 

So as we watch home video, get pictures together and plan a one year anniversary video, because my girls love watching themselves, we realized that this year has brought us so far, it is a miracle.

If I would say my thought on "never giving up" post adoption it would be; will we ever be normal...nope...normal is a setting on the dryer. We didn't settle for normal, and we got fabulous! We have an amazing life with two littles that has exceeded our wildest dreams and some days we wonder why adoption was put off for ten years.

It was put off because these two little beauties were waiting for us and we were waiting for them. Don't ever give up!

When your big sister has the ball and you want it...a new game is born!

and that my friends is fabulous...normal just isn't how we roll. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Random musings on relationships..and our connections to each other.

I recently had a discussion with a friend about relationships. We chatted about how some come and go, some stay for a long time, some wane but pick up exactly at the same spot, and some fall away without fanfare. I was trying to think of why some of us are relationship people and some are just not hard wired to be.

I am blessed with great relationships. I am thankful that at any time I can cry, laugh, hug or call for help to any number of people. Some are near and some are far. I have prayers and I have stayers, I have family close by and family scattered all over, but remaining in contact is important to me.  So this is where is gets do I understand people who relationships do not come easy?

This topic came up with my non relationship seeking husband. He has friends, he likes people, but he does not go out of his way to maintain relationships and most often requires his friends to call him up, more often than he calls them. He is happy and not lonely. I think they too are the same way. He has a few people that he wishes he could spend more time with but because of distance can't, he has people who just like him, pick up where they left off. He has no cyber friends. He couldn't imagine working in the retail sector, social service field, but he has a heart for people, especially the underdog.

So as I was examining differences in our people personality, mostly because I am always job seeking LOL, I saw an ad for a job in Human Resources for a local company. I considered why did I never go that path. I have gone some crazy routes in my job career.  Could that be something I would be good at? The answer was yes and no. Sure I am good at people, I actually don't like conflict, but I can do conflict resolution. I have a knack or a gut when it comes to reading people and their intentions or their spin. I tend to read into the eyes of a person, the unseen hurts, but also the thing that makes their heart sing. I am a part of a union, but I am not a great union person. So that could be a problem. I prefer to delegate and not micro manage, so I may be too independent to monitor people. I have good communication skills, and I can get to know people without ever meeting them face to face. Some of my BFF's I met  on line.  I concluded although I have tried many things that included not working with people, my vocation is best suited not as a  paper pusher, but a people person. So if I had skills to work with people why was I stumped on seeing relationships from another angle.

This is where the thread in my brain gets foggy..Am I trying to teach relationship morals and standards to a little that is completely different from me or way too much alike?

She loves to be around people, she loves having friends, she loves talking about relationships, but she struggles with the intimacy of relationships and the permanence of some and the "for a short time" of others. I cant imagine coming into understanding relationships from a kids view when I had history of being a caregiver for years of my sibling. I cant imagine using survival techniques and manipulation skills at six. I can't imagine why allowing people to love me would not be reciproical. These are the weights of the world on the little shoulders that we pray about constantly, we teach daily, and we work on coming at from a kid view.

Relationship in adoptive families is different. I never knew it but I am seeing it now. There is always another relationship, kind of like a middle man. It is the fact that DNA suggests many of personality traits. I see where my DNA came from at least weekly if not twice a week. Her DNA traits are somewhat a mystery. She has a bright mind and an incredible memory, so that is a gift. We have pictures and can see physical similarities. It is the understanding relationships that is a struggle, we know that underneath the tough exterior that others see is a beautiful kind gentle spirit who would give the shirt off her back to anyone that needed it. Underneath a guarded personality is a little person wanting to be loved and accepted. Underneath the "I am ok at looking different than my parents" is the questioning mind of beauty vs skin color, long hair in ponytails vs embracing heritage hairstyles. Underneath the wary eye of meeting new people and experiencing new things is the little exploration, I want to learn all about new things. Inside the kid with a fantastic set of questions of why and how. This is not just my little but littles that come into families that are already have been established and adopted as older children.

I liken it to  a new work place where you need to come and fit in and find your place. This is like joining a group and especially one that is going to talk about touchy feely stuff and you are supposed to open up, just because. This is like walking into a new classroom of kids when you are a teenager and you feel like everyone is evaluating you. It is tough place and our littles have done amazingly well. Do we ever stop working on relationships...nope. I have bigs and our relationships evole all the time. Some times they need me more, some times they are independent and do not want my input into decisions. Thankfully our bigs often ask for advice so hopefully we have done something right.

Relationships are hard, relationships are ambigious, relationships take work, relationships give and they take away, realtionships change, relationships come easy, relationships with family and friends blur. Some friends capture a place that can't be explained. Some friends have seen me at my worst and love me anyway. I am just one part of the relationships that make us a family.

We have 32 years between our oldest and  our youngest. We have grandchildren older than our littles. We are raising littles while our bigs are raising littles. We all value each other just the way we are. We all try to look for similarities and yet celebrate our differences. We all work trying to create a safe, loving, accepting family for two littles to find their place, while remembering we have family overseas now forever connected to our family. We will never forget how we became a family and that heaven sent us two daughters to love and care for, to teach and to grow. We just learn and live and from each other. What an amazing year we have had.

We are not defined by our circumstances of how we came together but defined by relationship...we are family...not all the same...not all different...just a mosaic of personalities that love each other unconditionally and for that I am one thankful, momma and wife.