I've been busy sewing. Made matching dresses for the girls, and before you even BEGIN to think the supermom thoughts, let me tell you that my house FALLS APART when I sew. Seriously. I just push through, finish sewing, and get to work cleaning up the various messes. I suppose some Mommas-to-many-little-ones have figured out some secret to sewing productively while keeping a perfect house and happy children, but they sure haven't shared it with me. :) I do try to sew during naps, and I suppose I could sew at night when they're all in bed, but I'm afraid I'm useless at sewing past 9 pm. I spend most of my time ripping out the seams because I make mistakes in my exhaustion!
Anyway, here's the finished product, as seen in some family pictures from last weekend:
I included the picture of Brent and me because I just couldn't leave it out.....I'm pretty sure our wedding was the last picture we had taken of us alone together. (Technically we weren't alone in this picture either, as seven children were running around behind us :) )
Jesus has been working in my heart lately. Reminding me of all that HE has done for me and stirring within me a desire to do all for Him. From changing dirty diapers to ministering to the masses....it is all a gift back to Him who gave His all. Even when I lift my hands in thankfulness to my Saviour, my miniscule offering of love doesn't even begin to touch the debt I owe Him. Oh, how I long to be filled daily and to allow my life to be completely spent in serving my Lord!
I've had so many realizations in my parenting style and skills the past year or so. God pulled me out of my comfort zone when we brought home our first adopted daughter. You see, I had poured my life into what I thought was being a really successful Mommy. My children were sweet, obedient, loving to each other and pretty respectful to their Daddy and Mommy. (obviously, they weren't perfect, just well-behaved! :)) Then we started adopting our girls. One by one, they joined our family and brought along their own set of "baggage".....and each time our family dynamics changed. I've been stretched, molded, overwhelmed, changed, frustrated, inspired, and challenged like never before in my parenting journey.
And I am SO, SO thankful that God brought these precious girls into our lives.
Someday, I'm sure I will feel at liberty to share the changes we've made in our parenting since adopting our girls. But not yet. Certainly not before I finish the Home Tour. And maybe not even then. I struggle with wanting to shout from the rooftops the lessons I'm learning----and yet my story is their story and I must be careful to respect their privacy.
Sometimes teaching Johanna anything can leave me figuratively hitting my head against a brick wall.( Remember, I said figuratively! :)) And yet, just when I think for the last time that she'll NEVER "get it", she finally DOES get it! Or I learn to change my expectations. Or perhaps a mixture of both things occurs?? Goodness, I love that girl. I wish you could see the sparkly way she approaches life and all the new things she's experienced the past 8 months.
Our children go with us everywhere. That means that if I want to go somewhere during the week, they ALL come along. Whether it's the grocery store, the doctor, a fast-food restaurant, the park, the bank, or just running errands, I am learning the art of multi-tasking while taking care of many small children. :) We do draw attention wherever we go, get ALOT of stares and many people are bold enough to ask personal questions of us. Most of the time, I don't mind. :) Seven doesn't feel like alot to me, it just feels like my family, you know? But I guess the novelty is still just that: a novelty. I'm sure the multi-race aspect comes into play as well. What I'm getting at is this picture I took of Brent and the children a couple of Sunday afternoons ago.......now I'm QUITE sure I know why people were staring during THIS particular Target shopping advernture. :)
Brent and I are in the planning stages of something really BIG for our family! We can't wait to share what the Lord has laid on our hearts. In the meantime, will you join us in praying that God will give us clear direction and great wisdom?
Last month, we took an impromtu trip to VA Beach for the weekend. (Impromptu as in, we didn't plan the trip until Brent walked in the door early from work on Friday. We left ONE HOUR later! Normally it takes us TWO hours to get our crew ready to go anywhere, so this was quite the accomplishment!)
The quality "away" time was amazing for our family, especially Johanna. We walked the beach and talked at length about many deep topics. She must've felt more comfortable than usual and shared much of her heart with me. Ethan, Alyssia, and Gabriella had never experienced the "beach" before and absolutely LOVED it! It was cloudy and cooler, so the crowds were minimal and we had a BLAST.
Table for nine. Two menus. Three highchairs, please. :)
If you're still with me after this much longer than normal post, thanks. Stick around, I've got some fun things planned soon---new blog design, wrapping up the Home Tour, continuing our Toddler Training Series, some straight talk about adoption and attachment, and more!