On the Journey With My Chosen One!

I am sure you might wonder why I call her chosen rather than adopted.... well, adopted is just her physical condition, CHOSEN is what we both are to be a family together! God is so rich in His Blessings, and He has chosen each of us from before the time we were knit in our mother's womb to be a FOREVER family! How BIG is that? How BIG is our God!?! Thank you for following our journey and for praying for us as we wait and continue to grow in the love of God! -- Blessings!

Liliana's Verses

Matthew 17:20 - " ... For truly I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain: "Move from here to there", and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you."

Zephaniah 3:17 - The Lord your God is with you. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

Proverbs 3:5-6 ~ Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.

Jeremiah 29:11 ~ For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

One year. Six Months. Many Blessings!

Where to start.... One year ago TODAY I read my Precious Peruvian's file, and yes, while thinking I was positviely insane, there was a small whisper that said, "She's the one!" Let me share with you a little about how God works.... because it is ALL for HIS glory and honor that I share this blog!

I had always heard that many adoption stories happened on significant dates. Well, I thought, that wouldn't ever be true for my story, it is neat, but does it really happen? TODAY, one year ago, I read her file and shared her story with my Mom. TODAY is my Mom's birthday! Months passed and the Spirit led me to request this little one, and the matching meeting was on December 23rd.... 11 years ago, we got a terrible phone call that my Father was very ill and probably wouldn't make it. He passed away on December 24th. (Christmas has always been a difficult time of year for me.... although I chose to be joyous.) I found out on December 24th that this Precious Peruvian would now be called my daughter! On Christmas Day, I sent my letter of acceptance for her to Peru. Our Blessing Day was on April 5th, my nephew's birthday! You see, God planted our significant dates on these other dates for the special reason of reminding me how BIG He is and because each of the birthdays are special days, and to show how He can make beauty from the ashes! So, ONE YEAR AGO, HE chose this special day to be an extra-special day! I don't know if everyone's journey has such a story, but I thought I would share a bit of God's amazing goodness to add blessings upon blessings and make beautiful what had once been a very difficult time!

SIX MONTHS! Tomorrow will be 6 months since she was officially, no longet an orphan! 6 months ago I signed the adoption papers that forever made her a part of my family! It is so hard to believe that it has already been six months! We had our 6 month follow up home study report last week. When asked what I remember of life before her, I had to honestly say that I almost can't remember life without her! Amazing how your life can change so quickly and so beautifuly!

On October 16th, I participated in the parent/child dedication at my church and vowed to love her, cherish her and raise her in a home and with a church that will point her to Christ! This was such a neat ceremony because we all got to read letters to our children.... except, I almost didn't make it through the first line...."My Precious Peruvian..." I could barely read the letter to her because God had done so much, I was so overwhelmed with His goodness and provision that there were no words, only tears! Happy Tears! But, God was good and Little Bit did great! It was such a blessing to have some of my family here, several friends and a church family, who have agreed to come along side me and support me in my efforts to raise her in a Godly home and to teach her of His love!

Well, another great thing about today.... we had an appointment with an audiologist today b/c she came with a report of being slightly deaf in her right ear. Well, yet another issue in her medical file that has been negated! She isn't deaf in one ear at all, she doesn't hear certain tones in one ear, but these tones are mostly considered insignificant tones (they are like the background noise tones) and she more than makes up for them with her other ear. We are now almost done with her appointments..... and almost nothing in her file has turned out to be as it is written in it! Praise God from whome ALL blessings flow! He is the Master Healer and Protector of EVERYTHING! Incredible! And, what is even more incredible is that she did great for the audiologists! She even though it was kind of fun! I am thanking God for this incredible Blessing!

Because everyone asks.... "How is her English coming along?" Let me tell you! She says "Roll Tide!" and "Move the Chains!" very well thanks to Grammie! She is so funny saying it too! And, she will be glad to say it for you whenever you want to hear it! Nothing could make Grammie's day more than to have her own little Alabama fan! It is TOO cute! She is also saying a host of other things both in English and in Spanish. Her receptive language (what she understands) in both languages is incredible... and her English may be surpassing her Spanish in this area. Her Spanish expressive (what she can say and express) have really come a long way in six months. We still have a lot of work to do though! She really struggles with her exprsessive language and so we are working very hard to develop this more. I believe that she is getting to a point where her receptive language is so good that she gets frustrated becasue she just can not make the words come out of her mouth and be understood! Oh, I have a feeling that we are almost there though! She is getting there and we are putting words to her emotions to help give her words to express herself.

Showing off her Tide Pride!

Celebrating Grammie's Birthday ( a little early( with a very yummy cupcake!

She LOVES "chool".... and in fact she actually called it "Sssschool" the other day! I was so excited! She does new stuff everyday, in fact I try to remember it so that I can put it in the blog, but I just can't keep it all in my head! I see such amazing things from her everyday! One thing I have really noticed about her in the last week or two, she is singing ALL the TIME! Now, we all know she loves to sing anyway, but this is such a sign to me of her adjustment and confidence and happiness at home. Mama's heart is so full! We are learning some tough things like the word "No" and that it means don't do it the FIRST time that Mama says NO! I do think this is harder on Mama than her though, I really do! It is so hard to say "No" but it is something she has to learn, especially so that she will say "No" to whatever might come her way that isn't good for her! But, overall, we are doing GREAT! We have our tough moments, and honestly there are sometimes that she doesn't like Mama because Mama won't allow her to do whatever she wants, and sometimes Mama just doesn't like bad behavior or attitudes. But, the glorious thing is that it is only for a moment and then we move on! Such a beautiful lesson, in life there are millions of times that you just have to let things go!

She has learned what a pumpkin is and she LOVES them! We currently have 4 real pumpkins in our house, two of which get carried EVERYWHERE! We bought her candy bucket for "trick-or-treating" this weekend and it is a pumpking. I thought she wanted a pink one... she VERY QUICKLY let me know she didn't want a pink one, she wanted the ORANGE one..... I mean, since when are pumpkins pink?!? So, we carry the two smaller pumpkins in our pumpkin bucket EVERYWHERE! I took her to a farm where they have a HUGE pumpkin patch. We did a hay ride and went out to pick out our very own pumpkins...... Oh my! She LOVED it!! I can only imagine it from her perspective, there were acres and acres of pumpkins EVERYWHERE! She thought it was the best thing ever! It was such a fun Mama - Precious Peruvian day! She also got to see and touch cotton in its raw form, learned about hay bales, saw the cows (which she very cordially said "Moo" to every one of them!), she saw horses, goats and a real turkey! It was so much fun!

Well, I have lots of pictures to post, because I know that is what you really want to see.... so I am going to get busy with that! Blessing to you all and please continue to pray that I will be the parent that God would have me to be for my sweet one.... because it is through me FIRST that she will know the love of God! Please pray for wisdom, strength and courage in this journey! Mama has had a few adjustments to make and had to confess to herself that she might need some help with housework, etc.. I know everything will come together and run smoothly one day, but I am so thankful to those who are coming along side me and supporting me in prayer, love and GRACE! Blessings!
Striving to make His Glory known!
PS Just a few more pics!

Playing music in the park with our friend Miss Karen

Giving Miss Karen, her Music therapist, a big Thank you, Hug!

Very sleepy eyes reading her new favorite bedtime story!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Am I Crazy?!?

Shocking, I know! Two blogs in one month! I am sure that there are a MILLION things that need to be done, like the dishes and laundry, but there have been a few things on my mind lately! It might all be for me, but for some reason I just need to write this... maybe it will help someone else along the way.

Ok-- so back to the original question...."Am I Crazy?" YEP! I am afraid so! I am crazy! What is bringing about this sudden discussion of "craziness"? Well, I was recently asked to recall the beginning of my adoption journey and why I chose to do this.... and I actually wrote on this blog "This is the craziest thing I have ever done!" And, well, YES, YES IT IS!I mean honestly, who CHOOSES to be a single parent?!? Ok so, I'll get back to the "crazy" stuff in a few minutes!

My life is a daily journey in craziness and has been for 3 years now, ever since I started this journey! And, as I have come to realize in the last few months I can not expect people to understand why I chose to do what I did! In all reality, God has been all over my journey, from start to this very day! Who am I to question why He asked me to walk this journy with Him? My only desire is that HE be glorified for what HE has done!

Now with that being said, I am so incredibly humbled by HIS work in my life! I almost think that people who think that those who adopt are perfect or at least think that the adoptive parents think they are perfect.... maybe I am wrong here, but this is my experience in the judgementalness of others. The truth is ADOPTIVE PARENTS ARE NO MORE PERFECT THAN THOSE WHO GIVE BIRTH TO THEIR CHILDREN! Oh my! Really?!? In fact the last five months have been a daily lesson in how IMPERFECT I really am! I make mistakes eveyday and not just in parenting! I am learning (very quickly!) that not only am I managing my own life, but that now I have someone else's life to manage as well! And, let me just give a little picture of that:
My Precious Peruvian needs lots of help in areas to get her caught up, I am not ashamed to say that! I am so thankful to God for the people who are helping her to get there! But, this translates to speech therapy 2X's a week, occupational therapy once a week, physical therapy on a monthly basis and music therapy once a week. (And, yep.... while I do have lots of help, I have to oversee and manage all of that!)This summer was spent doing speech and music therapy and battling with the insurance companies of her need of coverage for speech therapy. Here is another picture: Little Bit doesn't know how to tell me yet what hurts or that she doesn't feel good or that she needs a drink of water (we are working on this, and thanks be to God she is learning!) so, when she came down with a fever (all of a sudden) of 103.4... this Mamá got REALLY concerned! In the five months that I have had her this was the first time that she had run a fever, much less one like that! So, being the reasonable person that I am (and with the help of other Mommies!) I waited and took her to the pediatrician the next day. Well, what for most kids is just a throat swab, for mine (because there is VERY LITTLE medical histoy) is a series of about 4 tests and a 2 hour wait at the pediatrician's office. And, it continues... everything is a new expereince for her! So not only was this new to Mamá, it is new to her to have to depend on this new person and all these strangers (Dr's, nurses, etc) to make her feel better!

So now, Mamá is thinking.... ok, what could I do differntly? How can I keep her form getting sick. Feeling guilty for fussing at her for being fussy, (for what I thought was no reason b/c she had been just fine 30 minutes before!). Trying to figure out the whole single Mom thing... like, how do I tell work that I have to be out again this week b/c she has a fever virus. (Yeah, didn't know what those were until I became a Mom!) And, not knowing how long I would have to be out of work this week! Mamá is learning that the most important thing in her life is this Precious and beautiful little one who needs her an aweful lot! But, she feels bad that she can't do everything that she is supposed to do.... even down to washing the dishes!

So, Am I Crazy? Well, YES! and NO! Do I feel crazy somedays? YES! Does life feel crazy everyday? YES! Does life sometimes feel out of control? YES! Am I crazy for having taken this journey and brought this beautiful, amazing little girl into my home to give her what little I have monitarily, yet to give her ALL of the love I have in my heart? NOOOOOOOO!!! I AM NOT CRAZY! Is this crazy hard sometimes? YES! Do I wonder how in the world I will manage everything somedays? YES! Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY YES! Would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY YES!

The journey doesn't end when you come home and cross over into the US! In fact,that is only the beginning of a new journey! I have compared my journey to that of the Israelites to the Promised Land. I have reached the Promised Land, and it is BEAUTIFUL! But, just as there were giants in the Israelite's Promised Land, there are giants in my Promised Land too! I knew they would be there. You don't always know where a giant is lurking, but they are there and just as I knew they would, they have waged battle sometimes! The good news is this: "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13) Do I say all of this for sympathy or for someone to feel sorry for me? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! I chose to be obedient to God and walk this journey with Him, and just because I chose to do that, doesn't necessarily mean that I won't have any hardships or that this journey won't sometimes be really challenging! I am not exepmt just b/c I chose to bring one of God's precious children into a home! It isn't (as a quote used by my SS teacher this morning) "my great faith, but my faith (and it is almost always really small!) in a GREAT God! God is good ALL the time, even when I don't understand or know! Sometimes, well actually A LOT.... I just need grace and a prayer!

So, back to "Am I Crazy?" again. YES! Everyday, I mess something up either at home or work or with my extended family and my friends! I forget to send e-mails, to mail my bills (sometimes!), to return phone calls, to grade a paper, to write a lesson plan, to water my plants, to take the garbage to the road, to do something I have promised.... so YES, I FEEL crazy most of the time. But the truth is that I AM CRAZY for a Precious, Beautiful Gift from God, who requires ALL of my time some days! And, I AM CRAZY for the Loving, Amazing, and GRACEFULL (not a typo) God who brought me here to this point in my journey! So, when I don't do something that needs to be done or say something that needs to be said or live up to the expectations that others have for me.... you can just say.... "Ahh! She's just CRAZY!" because, this CRAZY Mamá is only thinking of two things: her CRAZY love for one of God's own, and her CRAZY love for her Provider of all things, including Sanity!
Striving to Make His Glory Known!

PS My Precious Peruvian is fine! She had a 24 hour virus and that was all! Thanks and Glory be to God! -- Sorry, no pics on this one, will post again soon!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

It's Time for "Cool"

AGAIN, oh my! I have allowed another month and then some to go by before updating the blog! I guess I am going to have to be on the once a month plan! :-)

Here are a few updates on how things are going since the last post! TREMENDOUSLY!! That's how things are going! They eye Dr. visit went badly, AGAIN, so I have just put that off for a while! We will try again later! But, all GLORY and HONOR be to God, we went to see a CP specialist b/c there was a report of a possible CP and her walk and run were really unstable..... he said NO WAY!!! And, then, just to confirm his diagnosis, she went (unprompted, mind you) to the wall and put both hands flat against it, stood on one foot, and put the other foot half way up the wall! At this point the Dr. is thinking I am crazy! I did tell him, just in case he thought I didn't have anything better to do with my time, that she had NEVER done that before! It was incredible! Then two weeks later we had a follow up appointment with the International Adoption Clinic. It was a visit to evaluate speech/langague development, and our bonding, etc. Well, here I mentioned that she was fighting me on EVERYTHING and how to deal with it. The speech pathologist was in the room during this time, and she asked if I gave her a choice about what to wear in the morning. Well, I said "Honestly, I haven't even thought about it b/c she won't make a choice between juice or milk to drink." but I promised I would give it a try. So, the next day, I gave her a choice of 2 shirts to wear.... she looked at me for a second, then grabbed the one that was not closest to her and put it to her chest. She then proceeded to let me dress her with no fights or anything! And, we haven't had any fighting Mama since then! If I had known I had a "fashionista" we could have handled this a LOT sooner! :-) But, the great thing is that since then, she has been making more choices! She will not choose between 2 things most of the time! Yay!!!

So, she started "cool" (as she calls school-- I hope she always thinks school is "cool") on August 1st. She LOVES it there! She has really blossomed and come out of her shell there! She has become more outgoing with the kids there, she loves the teachers and she even takes a nap EVERY DAY! In the last month, she has come such a long way! She is understanding more and more English..... but the amazing thing is that she can pair things in the two languages. Last week, I asked her in ENGLISH if she wanted a Lollipop and she promptly told me in Spanish "Quieres Lollipop", which means exactly the same thing! INCREDIBLE! We still struggle with telling Mommy & teachers that she has to go to the potty and/or if she hurts somewhere. Today, at dinner, she said for the first time EVER, in English "I want juice!" I asked her three times just to be sure that was what she really said! Yay!! She talks to the other children and her teachers, not all of it is comprehendable and a lot of it is in Spanish, but she is initiating conversation with them! She has even begun to call me "Mama"! At first, she always called me "aquí está Mamá" not just "Mamá, but now she is calling me Mama all the time! We are continuing on through the attachment cycle very well, I think! We have moved beyond the fighting Mama on everything, now that she knows she can make choices and has a choice, she doesn't fight everything so much! She has started learning some new things, like whining.... which unfortunately Mama doesn't like.... but this too will pass! She really doesn't do it that much, she is just trying it still and finding it doesn't work so well for her! :-) She can count from 1-10 in English and in Spanish, and loves to count all the time! I don't know if she has a number concept yet or not, but she can recite them in order. Additionally, she can recite the entire Mickey Mouse Clubhouse CD and is starting to get some of the more difficult words! We have fun singing it together, it is funny! When she wants me to sing with her she'll say "Help Please"!

And, Mama started back to school too! The first week was tough! I am starting to get used to our new routine, new bedtime, new wake-up time, etc. Sometimes it is tough, but it seems things are starting to fall into place and we are getting adjusted very well! I am more tired now, but so glad when I get to pick her up in the afternoon!! She is always sooo happy to see me! But, the great thing is she is also happy when I take her to school everyday! That is just good for a Mama's heart! God has answered sooo many prayers this month! I am just thankful that He found me faithful enough for raising this sweet Precious Little One who is just becoming so much her own person! I am so incredibly blessed by His goodness and grace! Thank you for your many thoughts and prayers! It will be 5 months (on Monday) from the first time that I saw her! I still sometimes can not believe that she is here with me! I often times just stand in awe of what God has done in our lives! She is such a blessing from Him! And, I can not believe how much she has grown and blossomed in these 5 months. She is so far from the child she was 5 months ago, it is AMAZING! And by grown.... I mean literally too! She has grown at least and inch and gained about 3-4 pounds! (This is really good considering I can't get her to eat meat, and we have determined that she can't really have a lot of dairy either!) So, thanks be to God for the great things He has done!! I celebrated my 38th birthday this last week (yeah, I am not ashamed of the years) and the only gift that I could have even asked for was already with me! What a joy it was to celebrate my birthday with my Precious Peruvian! I had waited so many years to be able to say that! And, this time last year, was beyond despair that she may never come --- but again, I marvel at God's timing and His goodness!

Again, I am sure that there are many things I am leaving out! I don't have very many pictures of her from this month, it has just been too crazy, but I do have a few! So, I will post those below! Blessings to all of you, and thank you for your continued prayers as we travel on this journey, and what a beautiful one it is!

Some additional praises! This month one of her brothers went to live with his forever family in Italy, and some friends of mine here, found out that they are getting their LONG AWAITED for children from Peru! And, one of my sweet college friends and her husband brought home their 6th child this month, he is from Bulgaria! Oh, praises be to God for the goodness that HE has shown!
Striving to make His Glory known!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pressing On

Wow! I can hardly believe I have allowed a month to go by before updating! So sorry! It isn't that I haven't wanted to update, but we have had several super busy weeks around here! Grammie came for two weeks at the beginning of July til' the middle of July, and we tried to get some things done! Poor Grammie got drug from here to there and everywhere! We had Dr's appointments, some that did NOT go well at all, speech and music therapy appointments, our fun times at Gymboree, another AC vent installed in Little Bit's room to cool it off a little more, (those big windows are beautiful, but sure do make a room HOT!), two trips to the Social Security Office to get her SS card (oh my!) and of course we went shopping! Little Bit needed a rocker and table and chairs of her own.... she LOVES them! Thank you Grammie!!! Then this last week we started "school". And, we have had some sibling rivalry going on at our house.... Yes, Mia, the Sassy Chihuahua and my Precious Peruvian all of a sudden became very jealous of each other! Mia was doing everything she could do aggrivate Little Bit, and just when I thought Mia would stop, Little Bit would begin retaliation! She has even learned to tattle on Mia! Oh my! I have been one tired Mama, and that doesn't even include the house cleaning! :-)

She went to visit her new school for a couple of hours every day this past week and by the end of the week was beginning to play with the other children there and she began to participate in the activities! They tell me that she LOVES snack time, including blue JELLO which she ate 3 cups of the other day! She has also eaten a host of other things that Mama can't get her to eat at home! Too Funny! She is coming a long very well, and I think our attachment is still going well! She has really begun challenging me on everything from putting on shoes to going to sleep; as hard as this is, it is good that she challenges me. I do have to remind myself of that though because after about a month of this, Mama is tired and her patience is running out! (PLEASE, don't pray for patience for me! :-) ---- Grace, I need lots of Grace, and still more wisdom! I was reminded at church today, that I might be the only Jesus that my child ever sees.... while I don't think that will be so, I do think that she should be able to see Jesus in me FIRST! I must confess that sometimes it has been really hard to be like Jesus! I am reminded daily, that I need Jesus to help me with parenting! My Precious Peruvian is a beautiful little one, with a sweet heart, a ready smile and laugh.... and the girl LOVES her some Mickey & Minnie Mouse.... but some days we both struggle with this part of the process! So many have said, well, she is a typical 3 year old.... some kids have their "terrible 2's" when they are 3.... and yes this is partly true too. She is passing through some developmental stages (A GREAT thing) and she is beginning to practice her own independence--- that is a GREAT thing.... just sometimes hard! And, she has had even more changes...we moved to her room before my family came in June, then after Grammie left, Mama moved back to her own room... making my heart sad, probably the first time she had EVER slept in a room alone! Then we started school this week...so we keep pressing on! And, while we hit a few bumps in the road from time to time, we are doing REALLY well! Her Spanish language skills have completely exploded! She is using a lot more words and she has even begun asking for things! Yay! She even asks for things sometimes when she doesn't really want it, just to see if she will get it! We are working on TELLING Mama that she has to go to the potty, but beyond that she would be potty trained! If I ask her now, a lot of times she will tell me yes or no, sometimes accurately! She has come a long way with that! Bravo!

This week, we start going to school for a bit longer at a time. Please pray that she will continue to love going to school and that she has a good week. We also have 2 Dr's appointments. We have to re-visit the eye Dr.... this appointment did NOT go well last time (no fault of the Dr at all!), when her eyes were dialated, she just did not understand what was going on and all the machines looked so big.... sad! And, on Tuesday we see another specialist regarding her physical motor skills. We had to book this appointment over 2 months ago, so please pray that all goes well! Please pray for her during this time, she has so many changes going on, in fact every day seems to bring changes for her! Please pray for me, Mama is tired! I LOVE being a Mama, but it is very tiring sometimes! I need prayers specifically for wisdom, strength and grace! I need grace for her and for me! Please pray that God will continue to show me how to be a Godly parent! I want more than anything to be the Mom that HE wants me to be, and sometimes I fail miserably.... so please pray that I will keep my focus on HIM and remember that I can NOT do it all on my own! And, this is in all seriousness... please pray for Mia and my Precious Peruvian to get along and for all to calm down there! Neither one is too happy about the other being here and having the same Mama! I know one day they will get used to each other! The good thing is that Mia isn't agressive towards her.... in fact she even went to check on Little Bit when she fell out of bed the other night! Good girl, Mia.... one day they will be inseperable! :-)

Thank you for your continued prayers! I am sure that there is a ton of stuff I have left out of the last month! I will try to be better about keeping up with the blog! And, all glory be to God for the great things HE has done in our lives in the last 3 months! I am astounded every day at just how far my Little One has come since the first day I met her! That is only God, it certainly hasn't been of my doing! Thank you Lord for your goodness to us! Below are some pics of us over the last few weeks!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Meeting our New Family....Well some of them!

This week was a great one! So great that I was too tired to get everything uploaded for a Sunday blog! There are quite a few pics at the bottom of this blog --- what a big week! My Precious Peruvian got to meet her Aunt Steph & Uncle Bubba and cousins J and A... and Aunt Mary & Uncle Jack (probably Mamaw & Papaw) and cousins Janice, Johnathon & K! We ate (Thanks Aunt Mary & Uncle Jack for making all of my faves.... Tomato gravy & Biscuits and Gumbo!) and played together and had a great visit! Little Bit did really well, she was off of her schedule with a house full of folks... and she just went right along with it all! She didn't seem bothered by any of it! She had a blast playing with J & A and went to bed worn out every night! Her cousins showed her how to make the Cozy Coupe go REALLY fast, and just what she needed to cook in her little kitchen! Too funny! And, she has all of them wrapped all around her little finger!
She learned all kinds of English words this week, and has learned that she can immitate what everyone says.... sooo "Be careful little mouth what you speak!" has now become the motto at my house! This is great news for her language development! I am so proud of her! And, I am so thankful for God's work in her life! She is making huge strides and doing really well! Everyday is a surprise to me! I think she finally understands that this is home, and this is where we will be. We moved to HER room this week, Mom still sleeps in there with her, but she is in her room..... the first night she didn't sleep as well as she had been, but after that, she has done well! That is a big adjustment too!
This coming weekend Grammie comes, YAY!! We are so excited and can't wait to see her again! We will be showing Grammie what all we can do, and it will be a great time of bonding with Grammie, Mama is so excited!
Well, our week was full and exciting and I will just let the pictures tell the story... sorry if they are kind of random, it was hard to get them all on here in order! Thank you for your continued prayers and love and support, I am so encouraged and blessed!

Cousin Johnathon brought his guitar and played it for my Precious Peruvian... we almost had to take him home with us! She LOVED it, and he even let her play --- good thing the strings are still ok!

What? You want all three of us to smile at the same time?!?

Uncle Jack is my new buddy.... got that big guy wrapped around my little finger! Look, I even got to wear his hat!

Well, a girl can never learn too early.... make the boys take care of the car!

"Sub-One in the Navy Loves Me" -- a sweet gift from Uncle Bubba!

My Precious Peruvian with A & K at Cracker Barrel -- we almost had to take that chair home!

A picture for Grammie... your kids and awesome grandkids!

The Suarez crew...... ya just never know!

God's promise showed bright and beautiful above my house on Friday this week, it was too pretty not to share!

Friday, June 17, 2011


FINALLY! I am sitting down to write this blog that has been on my heart for the better part of a month now.... but let me just tell you, God said to me just now, "Sit down and write that blog....NOW!" I don't know why NOW, right this minute, but I have learned to listen to that Voice! The prompting from God actually came from a package I received in the mail today..... I have received so many beautiful gifts, of which I am so incredibly thankful and blessed, but today, I received my child's BLESSING! Let me go back a little bit....
About a month ago, I was craving some time with God and something to dig my teeth into and chew on for a bit. (Do you ever do that? Sometimes, you just need something to prompt that growth in your heart that is just dying to spring forth!" So, I went to the Christian bookstore one day and was looking around for something, I didn't even know what I was looking for really... but I thought a book on Christian parenting might be a good place to start. Well, I perused a couple and then saw this one on the end of a row, just as we were about to leave. (My Precious Peruvian doesn't enjoy books quite as much as Mama, YET!) It is called "The Blessing" and it caught my eye b/c of my very own BLESSING, that I had just received. So, I picked it up and perused it a bit, and quickly decided that this must be the book I was supposed to buy that day! Well, as I spent time reading this book, I realized that indeed, God had picked it out for me that day! There are two things that God uses to Bless me primarily.... MUSIC is #1 and books, especially His Word. Well, this book, written by John Trent & Gary Smalley, about 25 years ago, spoke volumes to me! It is all about BLESSING our children just as Isaac did for Jacob. It is this BLESSING that we crave in our lives. We need to hear a blessing from those we love in our daily lives.... it is what makes us who we are, it is what guides us and helps to direct our paths in life. There is a lot more to the book, but this is the basic premise. An example from my own life is this: My Mom alwasy told me that I was going to go to college because she never got to.... well, I didn't really understand all of that when I was young, but as I got old enough to go to college and then graduated with 2 degrees, what exactly that meant for my life..... and what it meant to my Mom to see me fulfill that Blessing she placed on me came to life. She went to work at 3:00 in the morning for a lot of years so that she could somewhat afford to send me to college..... and then she rejoiced with me as I graduated and determined my life's work. (She did hope I would be filthy, stinking rich so that I could buy her a little red Mercedes sports coupe.... but well, that didn't work out! --Sorry Mom!) But, this is an example of a blessing you might give your child.... but as I learned in the book, the BLESSING is much deeper too. There is a blessing for everyone, but sadly some NEVER reeive any blessing at all from their parents, friends, no one! Oh, it is sooo sad to me! But, God is there, ready to give us the blessing that we all need and crave!
I was blessed to have blessings on me.... they were not necessarily given like the steps this book provides, but they were there! The book gives 5 elements to the BLESSING: 1. Meaningful touch, 2. A Spoken (and or written) Message, 3. Attaching High Value, 4. Picturing a Special Future and 5. An Active Committment to make the Special Future happen. These are as the book describes the BLESSING we receive from others.... great book, GO READ IT!! But, God also gives us a BLESSING and speaks a BLESSING over us... it is there in His Word, every time we open it up! And, He uses others in our lives to bring about the other 5 elements of the BLESSING, which is why it is so important for us to surround ourselves with outher believers.
So, as I was reading this book, I realized something spectacular... well spectacular to me anyway! I had titled this Blog "Becca's Blessing" a long time ago, about a year into my adoption journey b/c I knew that this adoption was a BLESSING from God. I had NO idea how God was going to use it, but I intended it to bring Him all honor and glory! What I realized is that God has spoken His BLESSING over me and my little one through this whole journey! All the while, as I waited and waited, and prayed that my little one would come soon, God spoke Blessings to my soul through prayer, His word and the encouragement of others! So many would say, "that is so incredible, I can't believe you are doing that"... "you are so brave, generous, etc...." (I don't really deserve any of that, but God used it for encouragement!) Then, while I was in Peru, so many Peruvians spoke words of BLESSING over me and my child... with things like "She (My Precious Peruvian) is so lucky!" "You have such a good heart, she is going to do great with you!", etc. Wow! The words were like "streams in the desert" to my ears. They washed over me and renewed my spirit! Then, when I arrived home, there have been SOOOOOO MANY words of encouragement and blessing for both of us! So many kind and generous deeds that have BLESSED us and so many who have committed to pray for us and to support us in so many different ways! ALL of this is God's BLESSING that He has given me! WOW!!! I am speechless (well, apparently not according to this blog's length!) but seriously, speechless that God has chosen to BLESS me! In the Old Testament times, the BLESSING was reserved for only ONE son.... thank the good LORD that because of Christ's blood, the BLESSING is for everyone!
Well, as I began processing all of this realization of God's BLESSING being poured out over me, I began to realize that I needed to make sure that I was blessing others. I pray daily that I can do that! And, being a teacher, I believe I have had tons of opportunites to BLESS young people, sometimes I did and sometimes, I have failed..... oh may God remind me of that every day that I walk into the classroom that I have exactly ONE class period with each student to gvie them the BLESSING that some will NEVER receive! I might be the only person even attempting to BLESS them! May I NEVER forget that! BUT NOW, I have the life that I am to pour every ounce of BLESSING God gives me the strength to give, into. My Precious Peruvian. God has given me a life to BLESS and to commit to fulfilling her BLESSING! With this responsiblity heavy on my heart, I began praying that God will give me the BLESSING that I am to pour and pray over her.... and as always HE provides! That leads me to TODAY!
In the mail today, I received the most wonderul present for my Precious Peruvian from a man and woman who poured BLESSINGS into my family. Uncle Jimmy worked with my Dad and for a time was like a Father to my Dad who lost his own Father way too young. Then, as we went to Sunday school and church with Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Lurleen, they spoke BLESSINGS over my brother and I and my sweet Mom too! Well, several years ago, my Grandfather passed away and we asked Uncle Jimmy to do his funeral service. And, God had laid it on my heart to sing... now I LOVE to sing, sing in the choir no problem, but have always been a nervous WRECK about singing solos. But, God laid it on my heart that He had given me this voice to sing with, and that my family needed to know He had given me this gift.... and it was, for me, a gift for my Grandfather. Well, I was a nervous WRECK that day, but Incle Jimmy prayed over me, and spoke words of BLESSING over me that day! It was also during these few days in my hometown that I got to share with Uncle Jimmy that I was adopting a little girl from Peru. I didn't know who she was yet, but that God had it all worked out already. Uncle Jimmy again prayed for me, and spoke a BLESSING over me and told me that he would continue to pray..... OK--- so today's gift was another BLESSING from Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Lurleen! It is a song (again, the thing that speaks MOST to me and my child --- tell me God didn't have that planned!!!) and it is called "I BLESS YOU!" (Now, it is important to note here.... Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Lurleen have NO idea about any of the "Blessing" messages I have been receiving from God! --- Oh my!!! How cool is that!!! In fact, I am going to have to print this blog post and mail it to them, so that they can know, just how they have BLESSED us!) But, this song, as I read it's words, I realized is the BLESSING that I want to pray over and our into my child! I don't know the writer of this song or anything like that, but I will tell you, it is NO accident that however many years ago (and I think it was a lot!) God knew I would be looking for these very words to ecpress the BLESSING that awaited in my heart for my child! I am so overwhelmed with emotion, I don't even know how to put it on paper!! WOW! WOW! WOW! is all I can keep coming up with!! Here are the words to the song --- and now my child's BLESSING --- "I Bless You!"

I bless you with joy and peace and love that won't let go
I bless you with grace and faith and fire in your soul.
I bless you with dreams and visions, most men don't know of.
I bless you with deeper knowledge of our Father's love!

I bless you with joy and laughter.
I bless you with a steadfast faith.
I bless you with the hopes and the dreams that your heart goes after,
I bless you with Amazing Grace.

I bless you with stregth and power, grace through any trial.
I bless you with wisdom and with comfort in your smile.
I bless you with great adventures, journeys yet unknown.
I bless you with a heart gone wild beacuse you are His own!

I bless you with joy and laughter
I bless you with a steadfast faith.
I bless you with the hopes and the dreams that your heart goes after.
I bless you with Amazing Grace.

I bless you with the heart of a warrior, grace to stand and fight.
I bless you with brother (and sisters) who will stand right by your side.
I bless you with courage till the battles have been won.
I bless you with the Faith to hear your Father say... "Well Done!"

Wow! Every word in my heart, already put to music a very LONG time ago... just for me to hear TODAY, and for me to share with my Little One all through life's way! God just spoke words of BLESSING over my sweet one and me too! I don't know if Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Lurleen have read this book I spoke of or not, but this BLESSING they have given me today tells me they learned this lesson a VERY, VERY long time ago! They told me in their card that they used to sing it to their girls..... oh the beauty of the BLESSING! Who are you going to BLESS today?!?! God has someone for each of us to BLESS, and if we listen closely, we just might hear God singing His BLESSING for each one of us too! Who knew the word BLESSING would come to mean so much to me when I picked it for a title for this blog? Thank you, each one for BLESSING me and I pray that I will take each opportunity God gives me to BLESS others! Will you do the same?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Few Tough Days!

It has been a tough week! There I said it! Mama is tired! Oh, but how My God supplies ALL of my needs! And, this too shall pass! This week was tough because Little Bit wasn't feeling well! The hard part was that Little Bit couldn't tell me she wasn't feeling well! We made an unexpected trip to the pediatrician's office on Thursday and are thankfully on the road to feeling better really soon! And, oh how I hope so! It is so hard to see your child in obvious discomfort and pain! I didn't know how hard it could be, but I have seen it this week! We have cried together! But, she is doing better now and will hopefully be improving a lot more really soon! On top of that, Mama had to have round 2 of steroids for the allergic reaction to sunscreen and now the dog is having allergy problems because she likes to eat EVERYTHING my Precious Peruvian allows to fall on the floor! So, tomorrow, the doggie gets to go to the doctor too! And, thankfully, it looks like round 2 of the steroids worked for Mama this time!

We did have some fun this week though! On Tuesday we went to our frist music class with our friend M. at Gymboree! And, on Wednesday we went to art class there! My Precious Peruvian loves some music and art and is quickly learning how to do new things! On Monday we had lunch with Tia Gia, then our speech therapy evaluation and Little Bit did very well, and turns out she is exactly where we thought she was. Thank you for those prayers. We will set an action plan this week. We have learned to ask for some things this week! What an answer to prayer! We have learned to ask "Again" when we want to hear something again.... we have listened to Mickey's Countdown at least a million times this week.... but when asked for it, she gets it! This week, if she asks for it, she gets it! We'll work on reversing that later on! :-) But for now, it is good that she is beginning to ask for things! She asked me for help for the first time this week and asked for more water and several other things too! We are also working on saying when we don't want something... this has been a little bit harder battle! We will continue working on though little bit by little bit! I am just so excited for the strides she has made this week in spite of not feeling well!

Please continue to pray for us! This week has been a tough one! Mama is tired, please pray for God to give me more stength and wisdom and a limitless supply of grace! Please also continue to pray for our attachment and bonding! Little bit is becoming more and more secure in her surroundings and this is a great sign that she is attaching! Thank you for those continued prayers for that and resiliency! While in Peru, when she was not feeling good, she was very shut down.... this week in spite of not feeling well, she was still very open to me and sought out comfort from me! She didn't even give the pediatrician a frowny face this time! She didn't like it one bit and fought still, but when all was said and done, she said Bye, Bye and we went on with our day! So, thank you for those prayers of resiliency, AGAIN!

Here are a few pics from our week at home(apparently, I talk on the phone a LOT!) and Gymboree, thanks Tia Alison for taking pics! And, thanks to Miss Ena & our friend E. for the awesome Minnie Mouse sun glasses.... we LOVE them!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Wow! Today is the 2nd Month Anniversary of our sweet Blessing Day! Oh my goodness, I can hardly believe it myself! Additionally, this past week, we celebrated the 1 month home mark.... and whew! What a busy week it has been! But, this week, I have stepped back to remember where my Precious Peruvian was two months ago today, she is definitely NOT the same child!! Oh My goodness, if I could only put into words all of the changes and strides she has made, in spite of insurmounting changes and moving to a new country, leaving the only 6 people she had ever known, moving to a place where everyone (it seems) speaks English to her, and then all of the newness of what is around her.... Oh my! I am overshelmed!! Seriously, My Precious Peruvian is doing incredibly well! I can hardly believe it myself! I won't say we haven't been working hard on some things, because we have, however, she just is not the same child scared of anyone new to her, she isn't the same child that lived in a shell, she is AMAZING! I need to find some way to put into words how well she is doing so that I can remember it, but it is almost impossible to do so! If I have ever seen a complete 180 degree turn, she is it!
We met with the International Adoption Clinic again this week, and again, thank you for those prayers! It was a much better visit! Thank you God! But, no one had to examine her! She did see a developmental specialist, who put her developmental progress into a good clear picture for me. The other HUGE praise is that she does Diagnostic testing for one of the things that was said might be an issue for my Precious Peruvian, and this Developmental Specialist said... "No Way!" She wouldn't give my child that diagnosis for nothing..... she said, there is "No way she could have any part of it!" What an amazing answer to prayer! I know, you are wondering what in the world I am talking about, but for my Precious One's privacy, I am going to not put that on the blog... you can ask me and I will be glad to tell you just how BIG our God is!! But, all praises be to Him for this great answer to prayer! My Little One is still a good bit behind where she "should be", but with some more hard work and love and dedication, I am sure she will continue making strides!
We have also had a great week with some new friends! We went to the zoo with our friend E. last weekend, and on Monday we went to play in M's pool! The awesome Parker family had us over for dinner, and boy was it yummy!! Then M. and my Precious Peruvian played this week at Gymboree! Gymboree has an awesome Mom & Me program during the summer months and we are LOVING it! We get to go play, and this week we will start a music and art class! The best part is, Little Bit gets to try out lots of new things in a safe and fun environment where she won't get hurt! She is learning to climb a ladder, jump, etc. I was reminded this week as she was crawling through a tunnel, which they did have at her orphanage, that it was how we met each other for the first time! Oh what joy it was to see her coming through with a smile on her face as if it were the easiest thing she had ever done! She was really afraid to do it, and had to be coaxed through the tunnel on the day that I met her... not this day! So amazing!
So, yes, this is our busy but amazing week! She is doing great! The attachment is coming along very well, and then there are some days, like today, that we just stay close to home! However, we did go to church today! Again, she did well in her SS class, but Mama drug her to big church to hear our prospective pastor preach... and she did great then too! She was even trying to sing "Mighty to Save" with Mama, and a couple of other songs too! So cute! So amazing how she just new "God was in this place!" Church is one of the places I don't have to talk her into getting out of her carseat, she jumps right out and is ready to go! Oh, thank you Lord!! I am sure not every Sunday will work out so well, but God has been so good and so gracious!
Thank you for your continued prayers! This week, we start with Speech Therapy evaluation, as this is her biggest and most challenging delay! She is "talking" a lot, a whole lot more than she did when I first met her, but we aren't there yet with words! She struggles with expressing her needs, and this is partly because when an orphan has a need and expresses it, said need, may or may not get answered.... so a lot of orphans just stop saying what they need. So Sad! This is the hardest part for me as a Mama, I don't know what to do for her sometimes! I worry she gets enough to drink or eat or whatever b/c she doesn't know how to ask for it! So, as you continue to pray for our attachment and bonding, and resiliency for Little Bit, would you please add this to your prayers, prayers for her to learn to express her needs! (This is dangerous too though! In a few months, I might be asking for you to pray she stops talking! :-)) But, in all truthfulness, this is an area of great struggle for her... she wants to, she just can't quite make the words come yet... so thank you for your prayers here!
And, as always, I am so incredibly GRATEFUL for your thoughts and prayers! I feel so incredibly BLESSED to be able to share our journey with others! I was also reminded this week of how short this life is! A colleage at work lost his battle with cancer last weekend, please pray for his family during this diffiuclt time, and pray that we will all celebrate life because God is the Giver and He is so full of LOVE and compassion for each one of us! Below are some pics from our week!

Our first meeting 2 months ago.... Now just look at her! All thanks be to God!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Movin' Along!

Movin' Along! That is what we are doing! It has been a good week! A little more testing a little more grieving, but significantly better than last week! I think she is finally getting a sense of this is home! And, Mamá is getting a little better at this "Mommy thing"! I have discovered that being a Mom requires a lot of planning and there is no room for procrastination! Uh-Oh! Mamá WAS the Queen of procrastination! Notice, I said WAS! I am learning.... although I am also learning that if the dishes don't get washed, it is ok, life does move on! Thankfully, I have been able to keep up with that and most of the laundry! :-) Honestly, things are going really well! Mom got to go to the Chiopractor and get her hair cut! And, Little Bit even let Miss Melissa cut her bangs! Yay!! Now I can see those beautiful brown eyes!! There are moments, but that is all they are, moments! And, because of the "Mommy Grace" that God gives all Moms, I don't even remember some of them! But, my Precious Peruvian is learning all kinds of knew things! She is learning more and more English words, and even saying a few spontaneously here and there, which she had just started doing in Spanish 3 months ago..... AMAZING! She has learned Stand-Up, Sit Down, Come on, and she is using more signs like "help" and "more please", etc.. Above all, she has learned how to make Mickey Mouse's Clubhouse appear by saying "Miska Mouska, Mickey Mouse!" She just stated saying this spontaneously today and I wasn't all together sure what she said at first, and then I realized what it was! YES, WE LOVE MICKKEY & MINNIE at our house! (Below is a picture of her with her "Ra-Ra" (AKA Minnie Mouse) while she watches Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) She has also learned to make the Princess Cozy Coupe go forward and backwards! I think backwards is her favorite still though! Then yesterday we went to the Zoo! This wasn't her first trip to a zoo, but with Mamá it was! We went with our neighbors and she and my neighbor's little girl had a great time! Unfortunately, the sun drains Mamá and my Precious Peruvian too, so we'll have to limit our trips to early morning hours and be ok with not seeing everything at one time! Next time we go, we are going to see the llama at the petting zoo.... I think she'll like that! :-) We are also getting ready to start some fun summer classes, Play and learn, Music and Art.... and the best part is Mamá gets to play too! I am really excited about these classes because they are a great opportunity for more bonding and for her to play with and see other little ones! It is going to be fun!

Another big moment for my Precious Peruvian this week was Sunday School! We have been going to her room for three weeks now. The first was just a visit, but last week we went and stayed the whole time and again today we went and stayed the whole time! But, the best part was, I told her we were going to her class room and when we rounded the corner and went inside and she realized where she was, she did a little happy dance and started "talking".... it was soooo cute! She was so excited! And, this week she played a lot more independently (without Mamá). She still came to check in every once in a while, but I was able to just sit in a chair and watch her play, and she did great with the other kids in the room! Oh! What a happy day! We are still a few weeks away from leaving her completely, but she is progressing greatly there! And, I am so thankful to all the wonderful people in the children's department at my church for making her feel at home!
Well, I wouldn't be being honest if I didn't say there were some difficult days... there have been! But, this week, the difficult days have turned into difficult moments! It is such a good things that she tests Mamá, but we are learning a little bit about the word WAIT and obedience. It is difficult for any 3 year old to understand the word WAIT, so no big surprise here. Obedience, this is more part of the testing..... and she is a VERY obedient child 95% of the time, so NO complaints here! But, we have had a few instances where we are learning that we don't always get what we want, when we want it, OUCH! A HUGE lesson for Mamá too! Funny, how God teaches us the same thing at the same time! Anyhow, we have both learned this week, and I was able to tell her and teach her that when she is obedient she can get "MOST" of what she wants. She will always get ALL that she needs though, even if she doesn't WANT it (just as we always get what we need from God!) And, as I was telling her this I was reminded of God's promise to us "If you will obey ME, I will BLESS you and if your disobey ME I will punish you." Now mind you, I am soooo glad that God is God and that I am NOT! This world would be a messed up place, but the lesson was the same for both of us again -- and neat how God uses spiritual principles in everyday life! And, it was a reminder of the blog that I haven't written yet... "The Blessing!" In an effort to keep this blog from being an epistle, I am going to save that for another time... still coming, I promise --- but there is only so much a person can read at one time!
I will say this, I am BLESSED beyond measure... EVEN when I don't deserve it! I have felt satan testing me this week, and I am so thankful that God is full of grace and forgiveness and that each morning is fresh and anew and loaded with opportunites to bring Him honor and glory! I hope that my life does that! But, I know that there are times when I don't bring Him honor and glory and I pray that He will continue to give me the strength I need for these times! The best part is... I KNOW He WILL!

Thank you for your continued prayers for strength, wisdom and grace for me and continued attachment and resiliency for my Precious Peruvian! She is doing very well in both these areas and I know that it is ONLY because of God and the prayers you all have so generously offered up that she has done so well! PLEASE keep them coming! PLEASE also pray as we go back to the Doctor this week for another 3 hour appointment, thankfully this time we won't have to take any blood, but there might be more needles and she will see the pediatrician for a little bit, so we need lots of prayers! And, many blessings to all of you for this week, Memorial Day, a chance for us to celebrate our troops, veterans and those who gave so much to protect our freedoms, and the first week of SUMMER!! Oh! I want this calendar to slow down for a few more months, so that I can savor EVERY day as a "Stay-at-home Mom"! These days will pass by soon enough, but I LOVE being home with her and having this time with her! So, Yay for summer, but please don't pass by too fast!

Also a few pics from the zoo, and showing off her sweet Sunday dress.... this weeks Sunday dress that is! :-) She has so many beautiful ones thanks to the generosity of so many! Again, thank you!