Sunday, August 08, 2010

Happy Birthday Caden!

Dear Caden,

Today you are three years old! I just can't believe how quickly time has passed since we brought you home from the hospital! Those first few days with you were so hard! I had no idea how to be a mommy and you had no idea what was expected of you! It was exhausting!

We survived though... barely! I now feel like I can read you like a book... most of the time! But occasionally you totally catch us off guard. And you have kept us laughing for almost three straight years! You are such a little comedian... but really... we laugh at the little things that aren't even meant to be funny most of the time!

Your little chubby body has grown long and lean. You hardly have any reminders of babyhood in your appearance! Occasionally I will catch a glimpse of the little guy I remember, but more often than not I catch a glimpse of the boy you are quickly becoming! I am so excited to watch you continue to grow and change over the next year, but I am astonished at how fast the time is ticking away!
You and dad are the best of buds! I hope it always stays that way! Every day that dad is at work you ask at least once and hour when he will be home. As soon as he gets home you disappear with him into the game room not to be seen again for hours! Very often I have to go remind the two of you to go to bed. You mostly only need me to get your food and help you in the bathroom... but that's okay... at least you need me for something!
You have begun to make friends and your imagination has exploded in the last few months. Your preschool teacher tells me stories everyday of how helpful you are and what a good friend you have been. You amaze us with your compassion and gentleness mixed with 100% pure boy! It is a great combination!
I love to watch you love on your sister (and fight with her too). I dearly hope that you guys will be great friends. Currently, you want her around all the time... as long as she doesn't touch ANY of your stuff. Sharing has been hard for you!
You are handsome and smart too! Your dad and I laugh a lot lately at your negotiation skills. You work every possible angle to try to get what you want. Very often you throw some curve balls in the mix as though we are not smart enough to catch on to your game. We also often wonder where you learned to debate so early in life. I have a feeling you will keep us on our toes. I also have a feeling there will be many times when I will have to settle for saying "BECAUSE I SAID SO!" because I won't be able to win the argument.
We love you so much! I can't imagine life without you in it! You are such a joy! We look so forward to whatever the future holds for life with you! It will be an adventure for sure!
Have a wonderfully happy birthday sweet boy!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

My Heart... and Glorious things...

I like to write. I am not the world's greatest writer by any means, just mediocre at best. However, I often times find that I am much better at expressing myself through written word. It takes my mind too long to process what I want to say if I am just speaking off the cuff, writing allows me time to think things through, and to say it more accurately. In all honesty I should probably write more often and speak less.

Back in January when we lost our baby would have been a good time to have started writing, for example. I find myself now, six months later, realizing that my heart was impacted much more than I let myself think it would be. I realized a few weeks ago that we were rapidly approaching the due date of our lost child. At that time it hit me like a ton of bricks how much I had gradually shut down parts of myself as I secretly mourned the loss of my baby. For some reason I tried to convince myself that it shouldn't be such a big deal, I was only 12 weeks pregnant, it was just a miscarriage. And for some, those may be their honest feelings... but it wasn't for me... I was lying to myself.

I know that through this time God has been working on my heart... in many, many ways. Too many to mention here. But I have come to truly realize how precious life is... how beautifully and wonderfully we have been created by our Maker. Because of my miscarriage, my eyes have been opened to a whole new world... though I wish, at times, they hadn't. Through a long and drawn out process of "coincidences" my eyes have been opened to the suffering of children all around me. The suffering of orphans. And in particular, orphans in Eastern Europe.

I would give anything to be sitting here holding my newborn baby as I type this... I would almost rather be wrapped up in nursing schedules and the chaos of three children than to have a burden on my heart for children around the world that are thrown away by their families. My baby, you see, was "broken", incompatible with life. His little body could not survive or thrive no matter how much I would have done to make it so. But right at this very moment somewhere in the world someone is making the decision to terminate a pregnancy, or give their child away to an orphanage because their baby, too, is "broken."

In fact, in most Eastern European countries "broken" children are a burden... not to be kept or raised. Broken, to them, can mean diseased (Down Syndrome, HIV, HEP C, etc), disabled (cerebral palsy, dwarfism, arthrogryposis), deformed (cleft palate). They are to be given away to an orphanage where they will typically get by for their first 4-5 years... malnourished, unloved and lagging behind developmentally. But by their 5th birthday they will be sent to a mental institution... with the mentally insane. There they will live in a crib... with no toys... no school... little to no medical care... no mother or father to love them... with nobody to answer their cries... all alone... until they die. And the real kicker is that the majority of them will die within the first year due to abuse and neglect. And by majority, I mean over 90%.

More than 90% will die within the first year from abuse and neglect. Did you catch that?

I weep for these children. I look at their pictures and see their precious faces and feel sick that they are suffering away, day after day, with nobody to love them. I look at my own children and imagine how tragically different their lives would be if they were orphans. I want to bring all of them home.

What strikes me the most is that GOD made them this way. He had a purpose for their lives and He knew exactly what He was doing. He makes all of us in His image. Who are we to say they are less worthy, than we are, to be loved? To be held and comforted? To have a family? What makes any of us believe that we are better than these precious children just because we are "normal"?

Normal... what does that even mean?

The David Crowder Band has a song Everything Glorious which says:

You make everything glorious
And I am Yours
What does that make me?

My eyes are small but they have seen
the beauty of enormous things

Which leads me to believe
there's light enough to see that

You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
And I am Yours

These children are glorious. All of God's creations are glorious. And He created these children with love. They are, in fact, beautifully and wonderfully made despite the stigma placed on them by society.

Not everyone is in a place where adoption is an option for them. Then again, there are so many families out there that want so badly to adopt, but don't have the funds. There are so many kids out there that just need a family to love them.

So here is my point... what can you do to help them? Could you spare a little money to help one of these children find a home? Could you answer the call to bring one into your own home? Please start with a visit to this site, Reece's Rainbow, and pray about a way that you could help some of these children. Helping one of them would in fact be saving a life... literally.

They are glorious.

We are all glorious to God.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

On the 4th... of July...

For the first time in quite a few years, we were in Colorado for the 4th. There is nothing like a small town parade! It was so much fun!

We had to get there a little early to get a good standin' spot! The parade is a big deal and there were lots of people there!
Thankfully we were next to an adorable little motel with an excellent yard for the kids to run in! Carinna likes to run!
Finally it started...
And don't be fooled that the parade was short because it is such a small town... OH NO...
It was the world's longest parade... the longest parade I have ever been to... sigh. Probably longer than the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade... well, maybe not... but close!
But we did have a great time! Hopefully we can be there for the parade again next year!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Where to begin...

Hmmm... what to say. I have really been in such a funk about blogging. I can't really say why, but I have not been interested in spending the time on it. Honestly, I haven't even been taking many pictures of the kids. It has been a tough summer for me for several reasons... but let's just fast forward to the fun stuff that comes with summer! I will be catching up on several of the things I have neglected to post... so here goes...

First up... fishin'!!

We were lucky enough to spend some time in Colorado again this summer! And of course, with a trip to Colorado... comes fishing... lots of fishing!

Caden also got in on the fishing this year... and he caught one right away... which was great since he has the attention span of a flea!

Here he is bringing it in with his daddy.

Daddy had to take over! And bring it the rest of the way in. It was a good size one... for a 3 year old!
He was pretty excited... even wanted to touch it! After that, all he wanted to do was throw rocks in the water.
I spent the next hour trying to keep him from disturbing the other fishermen... and women. Randy finally caught his limit and we were able to leave! But it was a fun memory!!