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.

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!