welcoming the new year

One year ago today we missed our first placement call. J had been out driving in the country without cell service and didn't check his messages right away. When he finally did get the voicemail, the six month-old little boy the county had been trying to place with us had found another home. I wonder where he is now. I wonder about all eleven of the placement calls that have come and gone, but I'm so thankful for each of them. Every single placement that didn't work out is just further evidence to me that our boys were meant to be here with us right now. So many near misses reminds me just how special it is that I get to call these boys mine for a little while and no matter where they end up in life they will always hold my heart.

2013 has been a year of so much stretch and pull, so much growth and frustration, and always, always so much laughter and joy. I've learned in new ways exactly what I'm made of and exactly where my character still needs to be refined. What a beautiful, excruciating, arduous journey. What a revealing journey. This year taught me that I can do hard things and that hard things are worth doing. This year taught me that God is faithful to redeem even the most desperate situations. That his ability to make good things out of dark and difficult ones is infinite. That His creativity is far beyond my imagination. And ultimately, that he is trustworthy. My God is faithful.

As 2014 gets ready to arrive, I hold tight to that thought. I hold tight to every moment where God has done above and beyond what I would ever ask or dream. I hold tight to the only sure knowledge I have. My God will provide all of my needs. My God will sustain me and my family through the uncertain year ahead. My God is good and he is faithful. The path that we are on is never predictable. It is hard and full of the tension that comes from experiencing simultaneous emotions: joy mixed with pain, peace and security mixed with loss and grief. There are no "just right" answers to the questions that I've asked this year. There is no system, no way to respond, that will undo the mark that generations of poverty, addiction, and abuse have left on so many people. There is only getting in and getting dirty. There is only picking up your sackcloth and ashes and mourning with those who mourn, advocating for those who don't know how, and being a loud voice for those who are not allowed to speak. There is only trusting that even the marks left by dark and terrible things can be redeemed, can be made beautiful. My God is faithful.

2013 has been a year full of gnashing teeth and weeping on the floor. 2013 has been a year full of shrieks of delight and dancing for joy. 2013 has been a year full of faithfulness, full of redemption, and I am believing that he who has begun this work in me and my family will continue to see it unto completion. All glory and honor to my redeemer who makes hard things possible and bring beauty into dark places.

2014, I welcome you.


What p says...

First time out of bed and wandering the halls: "I'm just going potty, Mom."

20 minutes later: "I feel really thirsty, Mom. I need a drink."

15 minutes later, he comes to find me in the kitchen: "Mom, I'm feeling a little bit itchy right here" points to tiny red spot on chest.

15 minutes after that: "Mom, I think my room smells funny. Something weird is in there."

And what I say after he gets out of bed four times: "Grrrrrrr..."


knocked over

P: Mommy, it's knocked over
Me: What's knocked over?
P: It's knocked over right now.
Me: What are you talking about, P?
P: (thinking) Can you sing me the months song?
Me: (confused) ok....January, February, March....September, October...
P: THAT'S IT!!! It's Knocked-over
Me: P, do you mean October?
P: That's what I said, mommy. Knocked over.

Happy Knocked-over to everyone! :)


family of four

Two weeks ago we became a family of four (or ten if you count the cats, dog, and chickens) when a little 16 month-old baby boy came to live with us. Life is hectic and I'm really starting to understand what people mean when they say that being a parent is hard work. I suppose some of that is because it's summer time and between Joe traveling on flights and us traveling to see family/take vacation we are going, going, going all. the. time. I'm almost looking forward to the fall when P is back in school and we have more of an external schedule. Right now life revolves around visits, naptimes, bedtimes, and trying to keep enough food in the house so no one goes hungry (cooking for two hungry boys everyday is keeping me on my toes even though they're just little guys).

We tilled up the rest of our side yard this spring to make way for more garden and right now we have tomatoes, tomatillos, leeks, kale, zucchini, acorn squash, cucumbers, eggplant, cantaloupe, and watermelon growing back there, plus the obligatory herbs like rosemary, basil, thyme, sage, etc. If everything produces like we hope it will then there will be quite a feast for the next six weeks or so. We're also planning to try a fall/winter garden this year with some cold hardy plants. It should be a fun experiment!