Tuesday, April 30, 2013

~*Testimony Tuesday*~

When asked to share my testimony at Ladies Retreat through my church, I was inspired to write it as a poem, and then go back over it with the ladies highlighting a few key points.  It was well received and I have had several of the attendees tell me they appreciated my testimony and thanked me for sharing.  In the process of researching traditional testimonies I have come to realize several points and the Lord has inspired me to create a new weekly post....but I need your help. 

Here are the points I am going to cover in this post. 

1) Why me? Is my testimony worth sharing?
2) My testimony as a poem.
3) Invitation to share!

 Part 1-
 Why me? Is my story worth sharing?

How *DARE* you think that *YOUR* testimony does not matter, is not powerful, is not important! What Christ did for you and in you will change the world.

Were you hurting, were you addicted, were you discouraged, were you hopeless, were you alone, were you ready for death, were you living an empty life?

Sharing your testimony puts a face to the story...we've all heard of miracles but having *YOU* tell of God's grace in healing you, affirming you, filling you, giving you peace and hope, gives us witness to God's glory! 

We may not have all had a "Road to Damascus" moment in our lives, yet, what the Lord has done in your life is powerful! Where have you come from? At what point in your life did you meet grace?  How did that change the direction in your life?

Part 2-
My Testimony as a poem!
I grew up in the church

a life without much hurt.

A little girl so full of worry
who seemed to be in such a hurry,
to grow up, that is.

But then......I head a whisper.
The voice was drowned out by a loud sound.
The desire was too strong
that need to have a man's arms around.

But then......In the midst of deep pain
I learned I had so much to gain
By running toward the Maker and Author of Life.
He showed me, next, to whom I'd be a wife.

But then....my life was full.
Yet the pain just wouldn't seem to dull.
I struggled inside, fighting against my source of grace.
All the while running through life like it was a race.

But then.....There was that whisper, again.
This time I whispered back.
"My burdens seem so heavy
and I know you called me to this journey
But I just can't do this alone".

But then.....The joy-giver said my name
and took my shame!
He spoke life to my empty soul
He died and arose so I would full!

But then....The story doesn't end here.
He put me on this path to hold many little hurting ones near.
What they will never know
is how much they have helped me to grow!

Part 3-

Invitation to share!
I invite YOU to share your testimony! If you have never written yours a great resource can be found by clicking HERE.  It does not need to be poetic to be powerful! Poetry is my secret passion and how I enjoy writing.
You can post it to your own website or blog and leave a link in the comments, email it to me to share here, leave it in the comments below...however you want to do it!

But I challenge you to pray on this and write your testimony and SHARE it! I want this to be a recurring post every Tuesday where I share those links or testimony's sent to me to be shared here.       

Luke 21:13
And so you will bear testimony to me.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

~*Healing is a Process: Part 3*~

To be fair to myself I have to admit this has been one of the hardest six months of my life.  Learning to parent differently than we've ever had to before, being faced with the reality of our failures but in the most amplified way.

Some of you will think, "Your being too hard on yourself, its not that bad". Others will think, "You asked for this by adopting two at once and having a baby". 

For the first thinker......thank-you, your sweet, but you truly don't know...it gets UGLY 'round here.

For the second thinker.......you are absolutely not helpful and I don't think we can really use your kind of encouragement 'round here! Move on, please, and cheer someone else up!

Yes, we adoptive families do tend to be quiet about our struggles because we are often faced with the worst naysayers that can pop up. We still need your support, though! Actually, if we get QUIET that is code for you, my dear friends, to ask us how we're doing....

Jody, over at One Love, One Family, wrote something that clearly spoke to my heart. I wanted to get real with ya'll.

Go and read it...I'll wait.

Did you read it? 

No, really...go read it, hurry up!  

Welcome back!

Reality is that this is really hard. Every single day we balance, rather precariously, the emotions of our hurt but healing children.  It takes the simplest things to tip that balance over into disaster.  I won't go into all the many examples we live out each day...not enough time in the day. 

I have an update coming on our Sunshine and a 6 months home post...even though its now 7 months home! 

If your still reading, thank you...keep praying for us, as parents, as we learn something new about living this out each day!

2 Corinthians 5:7
For we live by faith, not by sight.  


Friday, April 12, 2013

~*Healing is a Process: Part 2*~

I know, I know, I said this next post would be about how this adoption as affected me.....but I want to finish covering Analina...

Analina had her foot placed into a series of casts (3 of them) to attempt a better position to the foot and heel and to stretch the Achilles tendon without having to recut it. 

What did we end up with? 

She has a much better foot position and her Achilles tendon is about as stretched out as we can get it.

If you have seen anyone have a cast removed you may know that the skin is crusty and smelly *blech* I couldn't wait to throw this girl in a tuba hot soapy water!  Her already small nearly atrophied leg is even smaller and weaker.  

She was physically unable to walk (and could barely stand) without her new brace on but she's a little more stable now. With the new foot position she indicates that it causes her pain to walk the old way with foot splayed out to the right.  We are hoping that it just feels strange and doesn't actually hurt. We'll give her a few weeks and reassess then.

Her new brace was a bit crazy to do...I wasn't thrilled with the guy that makes the AFO's, we'll use a different maker next time.  We have the new brace and we need to get her new shoes but I wanted to get the brace first. The AFO-guy looked at me like I had 2 heads! He could not understand why I couldn't just get a pair of shoes first.  Having never fitted a child for shoes to fit an AFO I need that brace first.

I had a BUNCH of pictures but the card on the camera is corrupted and we lost all those new pics! Oh well....

So, here's my silly crew! 

Not bad company for folding laundry!  
Praying for our Ana-banana's leg to strengthen, even a wee bit, so she can have better mobility

John 6:2
and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

~*Healing is a Process: Part 1*~

In the beginning Dalton grieved the hardest, the loudest, the longest; completely rejecting me for weeks.  It hurt to not be able to get close to him those first few weeks.

Its like he's always been here.  
He is firmly attached, his love language is service and he is always helping...to the point of shoving others to get there first! (We're working on that!)  He is easily influenced by the behaviors around him. If the others are acting out their frustrations, fears, anger in a negative way, he will often follow their lead and act out his feelings, too. He can still get overwhelmed in public situations and does NOT like strangers touching him (hugs, handshakes, etc) but he's getting better with his anxieties.

On the flip side if he is surrounded by patient loving kindness, guess what he's going to be modeling? We're working very very hard on keeping that as the consistent theme in our home.  

Each child heals differently and they grieve differently and at different rates.  I now tell you about Analina's experience, thus far, and not to scare anyone but to be truthful...to educate others who come after us.
This was home just a few days...I can't stand this type of silliness, its not HER, its fake.

Analina giggled a lot in China....she would laugh loudly near hysterics, at times...That raised a flag in my brain.  The laughter came too easily and appeared very superficial.  I was right...it was a cover.  

Analina hid her insecurities with laughter, her sweet smile, and cuteness.  Underneath the show was a little girl with very little self-confidence and many insecurities.  
As cute as it might appear its still fakey-fake for the camera...

She spent several days hitting, which was at an all time high, mixed with biting, kicking and saying mean things...One night she started telling me every 2 minutes, (I timed it) for an hour, that she loved me and then told me to tell her I loved her back.  Every two minutes for an hour! The previous two hours she'd been repeatedly hitting...every two minutes for two hours (I KID YOU NOT!).   
Then the floodgates opened and the tears started.
Every time I left the room she cried.  
The next morning she was able to be a little more clear in what she needed...she broke down in tears every time I left the room and every time she would say one word, "Mama".  

Our sweet girl was finally processing her grief.  She gets extremely jealous of the others, having never had a Mother and Father that she needed to share.

To help her we are holding her more, giving her more individual attention, encouraging her to put her feelings to words, encouraging her to COME to us, as opposed to separating herself from the family.  We're ignoring some behaviors entirely...which is hard to do but we give those behaviors less attention then catch her in a sweet moment and praise *that* behavior up.  

Please pray for our sweet girl.  She can get so sad and upset and she needs more time to heal.  We're so blessed to see her blossom and get to know the real Analina...not the superficial one!

I will tell you in the next blog post about how this has affected me. As a mother, as a wife, as a friend and as a daughter.       

Isaiah 63:7

Praise and Prayer

I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord,
    the deeds for which he is to be praised,
    according to all the Lord has done for us—
yes, the many good things
    he has done for Israel,
    according to his compassion and many kindnesses.