Saturday, November 26, 2011

Baby Boy-9 months

This month he hit 9 months, he also hit 40 weeks. Which is exactly how long I carried him... my pregnancy truly felt like it went on forever, and now in the blink of an eye the same amount of time has passed.

Ash got dressed up for pics this month. no big deal.

I love being the mommy to this crazy little boy. I think this stage we are in right now, just might be my favorite so far. He is so crazy and funny. He is just happy-go-lucky and always laughing.

Ash got to go to his second concert, and this time he met Adam Cappa.

We also went to an adoption walk.

The biggest change this month is that he has started walking! It is only a few steps here and there, but he is getting more confident each day.
He is also more vocal and is finding his words, his favorite thing to say is 'dada'. Which makes sense because even though he is still my little mama's boy he gets so excited to see Nic. He starts dancing, laughing and saying 'dada dad dada' over and over in every crazy voice he can make.

He won’t always be my baby. Someday much too soon he isn’t going to want me to kiss and cuddle and tickle him. He won’t always cry when he thinks I’m leaving him. He’s growing up too fast…

Baby boy I don’t know if you’ll ever fully understand how in love with you I am. I think you are the most wonderful little boy in the world. You are so cheerful and imaginative. You bring sunshine into everyone’s life. I love seeing how you want to learn and explore-I pray you never lose that. You were the perfect baby to be our firstborn, you’ve given me confidence to do this again and I know you are going to be a helpful and loving big brother. Iloveyouiloveyouiloveyou

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Frankie says Relax

Here's my Asher Boy doing what he does best-being irresistibly adorable.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Why do I write about adoption?

I recently got asked this question on formspring

Why do you write about adoption when you aren't part of the adoption triad?

I've decided I won't be able to write a response that is quick and concise, so I'll answer it here where I can fully elaborate. 

I'm trying very hard to not take this question offensively.But since the very first time I blogged about Olivia/adoption I have received quite a bit of hate. I feel like people are trying to push me away, and make me feel as if I don't belong. I've always tried to deal with it privately, & not let a lot of people know how bad it hurts me. But the truth is, it's hurts a lot, the things people have said about myself and my husband, are often times nothing but malicious. I think some of it stems from the bias against birthfathers that I've seen time and time again. So I apologize in advanced if any of this comes off as being defensive.
First of all, if anyone is unaware this is the adoption triad.

So the person who asked the question is right; I am not part of the adoption triad. But that doesn't stop me from being a huge supporter of adoption. I wish more people faced with unexpected pregnancies would at least consider and look into adoption.
When I was in fifth grade my friend Alexis' family adopted a little baby boy. It was the first time adoption became real to me, he wasn't just an orphan left on somebody's porch. His birthmother chose the family she placed with, and his mom was in the room when he was born.... & that is when I started to fall in love with adoption. Seeing how much her family loved this little boy, their mother didn't give birth to him & his skin was a different color but it didn't matter he was just their brother. I had no idea at that time how much all of that would mean to me, and affect the way I saw adoption.

One of the very beautiful things about the open adoption we have with Olivia is that members of her extended birth family, including aunts, uncles & grandparents can all be included in her life. Whether by sending gifts, reading about her on her family's blog, or even spending time with her when she comes to visit.

 I may not be her birth parent but I am a part of her birth family.
Learning about and later meeting Olivia changed my life in ways I can't even begin to explain. That little girl means so much to me & I think unless you know me or are in a similar position it may be hard to see how/why I love her the way I do.

This isn't an adoption blog, nor is it a 'mommy blog', or... anything else really. Its those things and more because this is my blog of my life. I am never trying to offend or hurt anyone with the things I write. I'm just trying to share my experience. And I think I am extremely blessed to be able to say that adoption has played such a big role in that experience and I can't help but want to share that..

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The cutest little Batman(s)

You've already pictures of my super cute Asher Batman..
meh here they are again for good measure ;)

Well lookie here at Little Miss Olivia, and her big brother Bradshaw

The three of them definitely make the cutest Batman(s) I have ever seen.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spotlight: Angela

I met Angela through church, she is on the worship team so I was always kinda knew who she was even though we had never spoken. In the spring of 2009 our church held a women's retreat one Saturday afternoon, and I had the privilege of sitting next to Angela. During one of the breaks we got talking about our testimonies, and she told me that a huge part of hers has to do with the adoption of her daughter. She told me the quick version of her story and I could feel my eyes filling with tears, she was the first person I'd known that had placed their child. & now she was willing to let me share her story with you. It's seriously so awesome to see the work that God has done in her life, I know you'll enjoy it :)

"I was raised in a very strict home where I was not allowed to date much except for school dances and on very rare instances. With that, I felt as though, I wanted to experience autonomy away from my parents. In the summer of 1989, I decided to join the United States Army National Guard. One week after I graduated high school, I left for training for 4 and half long months. When I returned, I had a small scholarship set up at a local university. I immediately started attending school in the fall of 1990. While at school, as well as in the military, I started feeling more confident. I also started experiencing a lot more attention from the opposite sex. While at the university, an attractive male football player befriended me and asked me to come over to his place and “study” with him. Needless to say, this was unwise for me to do, but I agreed to do it. I was very naive and went to his place, liking the attention he gave me, but it soon turned out to be attention I did not ask for. I was raped by this man. After this occurred, I felt my life was over, since I had wanted to remain pure before marriage. After this event, I felt lost in what I was supposed to be and how I was supposed to act or what to expect for myself in relationships with other men. Not long after I had been raped, I met another man who was seven years older than me. He and I started to go out on dates and next thing you know, I would say he was my boyfriend and we were having sex regularly. I had recently moved out from my parent’s home in with a roommate who with I shared an apartment. She and I did not have the rules or boundaries I had grown up with. We had no accountability with each-other. We simply shared an apartment.

This gave me more perceived freedom to live as I chose with this boyfriend. My boyfriend was not faithful to me. I considered marrying him, despite his unfaithfulness, but he was not invested in me. He would just keep me strung along for his convenience. When we would meet, we always hoped that we would not get pregnant. He and I talked about having an abortion if I ever did. This made sense since it was my body. I felt like I could do what I wanted with it. I also thought to myself, that getting pregnant could not happen to me. I was wrong.

December 2, 1991, I went to the doctor and discovered I was pregnant. I was only nineteen and so I was a very fearful and confused about what to do with this unplanned pregnancy. I drank alcohol in the first trimester of my pregnancy. My boyfriend and I had a family history of congenital defects. Since I worked with my boyfriend who was senior in rank to me and the doctor was an Army doctor on post, the leadership soon found out that we were pregnant and asked me what I was planning on doing with the pregnancy. I was shocked about the very fact that I was pregnant, let alone, what was I going to do now. My boyfriend and I were told that since our relationship was inappropriate, we would be asked to leave our jobs. That evening, we drove around in my car sad about the job and pregnancy so we went to a movie. After this movie, my boyfriend wrecked my car. Also, on the same night, my morning sickness started. I could not stop throwing up. My boyfriend left me alone this night. That same week I wrecked my car a second time. I still had not told my parents about the pregnancy. My boyfriend strongly encouraged me to have an abortion especially if the baby was a girl.

It was on this night that I was crying my eyes out and really praying for what I felt was one of the first times in my life. I asked God what He would have me do: Have an abortion or what else? Suddenly, I stopped crying and my ears seemed to tune into a song playing on the radio, while alone, I desperately prayed sincerely to God for an answer of what to do. I felt so much pain at that time. I knew God’s response came right then in the form of a song that was playing on my clock radio. I had turned it down earlier that morning, but all of the sudden, it was as if it became louder and I became quieter, stopped crying and God spoke to me. The song that I heard at that moment was called “Miracle.” The following excerpt of lyrics were to me God’s answer to the predicament I was in. “Nothing should matter- Not when love grows inside you- A voice of love is crying out- Don’t throw love away -There’s a miracle in store.” (Reid, 1990) Indeed, there was a miracle in store for me. I still did not know what I was going to do about being pregnant that day, but I knew that God loved me and my baby. He said no to abortion and so did I. On July 14, 1992, I had a precious baby girl. On July 17, 1992, I placed her with a very loving family who desperately wanted a baby girl. Through the kindness of her family and the blessing of God, I have been involved in her life since she was three months old.

It was not until 1995 that I gave my life to Jesus. He would change my life and my past forever. Jesus showed me the love that only He could give. He showed me that He loved me more than any man ever could. It took several more years and ultimately salvation to change the sinful patterns I had in relationships, but when I became saved, God gave me strength, wisdom and contentment that I did not have before. I prayed for a husband and God answered my prayer in 1998. My husband and I have been married for over 12 years and we have two sons together. God has blessed me by His amazing grace. I consider myself to be very blessed.

My daughter has since graduated high school and is now attending a university. Already she has obtained her certified nursing assistant certificate. She intends to further her education by seeking a degree in pediatric nursing. I am so grateful I chose life. I am so grateful God guided me in placing her in adoption.

To God be the glory,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Enemies of the Christian Life

2 or so weeks ago, I was feeling so on top of the world. I felt God was going to use me in a lot of amazing ways. I had mended bridges with someone who I've had some rough patches with. Oh I was so full of love, full of light, & I just wanted to share it with the whole world. I had just told Nic that as far as my self-esteem went, I had finally reached the point where I was happy with how I look the majority of the time, for the first time since Asher was born. I was vibrant and beaming with joy.
Then it feels like overnight, bam! everything changed. Suddenly I was so down on myself, I felt fat, ugly, stupid, unoriginal, annoying... the works. I was being overly-emotional towards Nic, I was finding myself feeling jealous over very silly things.
So one night I cuddled up to Nic, and just flat out told him I needed him. I just cried and told him what was going on. He just sort of laughed at me, and then guided me through things I already knew, but I was too twisted up with lies to see it.

God does want to use me for His will, He knows I am a beautiful, and worth so much more than rubies. & most importantly He died for me, to him I am worth it all-His life.

We had actually just talked about this at Bible study, 'Enemies of the Christian Life'. So I'll just share a few of my notes here, in case anyone is going through a similar situation.
It was a two part sermon, and if you want to listen to it yourself here are the links.
Part one
Part two

According to James 4:1-7 there are 3 enemies of the Christian life.

-Our Flesh
-The World
-The Devil

Our Flesh: Attacked through ourselves. We cause many of our own problems. Our lust, pride, selfishness, self-condemnation, etc.. We have to go back to the cross again and again and again to put the flesh to death daily.
Different sins have different consequences, the only sin that is directly against our soul is sexual immorality. Every time you give in, you lose a part of your soul, part of who you are. You become less than what God has intended us to be. But, the good news is we have a Lord and Savior who died to forgive us so that we might have full restoration through Him.

The World: Society, culture, the world system. The world is contrary to God's way. The world wants to change the way we see things. The world lies under the sway of the devil. When it comes to any issue we should look at what God's word has to say about it, not seek the counsel of men.

Devil: He is a master deceiver using bits and pieces of truth and twisting them, he uses fear, doubt confusion, false appearance (what he makes you see/feel), division, temptation-it all comes back to taking everything and nailing us with condemnation.
Satan is the one who condemns and holds it all against us. God forgives, He is big enough to forgive anything.
Satan wants people to believe that God either can't or won't forgive us, as if He isn't big enough or good enough. (Part of being a Christian is forgiving others, because we have been forgiven of much..)
Anything that we believe that we can do to add to or take away from the cross comes from Satan. Satan wants us to settle for what is 'good', while God wants to give us the best.
God can (and will) forgive us of any sin, even when we are our own biggest condemer and we feel we dotn't deserve forgiveness.

How to have victory over our enemies-  "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." James 4:7 We fear NO enemy because we trust God.

When we become disconnected from God, the enemy will try and feed us lies. We will be led to believe that have very far to go to get back to the Lord. But the beauty of it is, we have a Lord who stays right there waiting for us to turn around- & turn to him. And immediately we are back with Him, and that bond will grow strong once again.

These are just the main points that really stuck out to me. I'm probably gonna post some notes from a few other sermons, just because the Lord is answering my prayers so loud and clear right now.

God bless.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Spotlight: Whittnee

Whitnee is one of my little sister's friends. I'd known that she was adopted but I didn't really know any details, until she agreed to answer some questions for my blog.
Thank You Whittnee!

Could you tell me a little about your birthparents? "My birth mothers name is Teresa Barney and my Birth fathers name is Aaron Witcher. I don't remember much about my dad because my mom left him while pregnant with me. The main thing i remember about My Mom is that she was very much addicted to drugs, her boyfriend beat her a lot, and shes never been married....

& your adoptive parents? "My adoptive mom was divorced a year prior to my adoption. So has had a boyfriend for 7 years now."

How many siblings do you have? were any of them adopted as well? "I have 3 brothers and 7 sisters. My sister 16 yr old sister lives with another family that she was adopted to. 1 of my brothers and 2 of my sisters live with my Birth dad. My 9 yr. Old sister is currently living with my Birth Mother. I have an older brother whom i have never met.. he was adopted by a different family also. my Two oldest sisters and Brother are my adoptive siblings."

Were you adopted at birth?When did you learn you were adopted? Or did you just always know? "I wasn't adopted at birth. I was adopted when I was 10. So of course I knew."

Was the adoption open or closed?Do you have any contact with your birthparents? "The adoption was closed. & Yes I have contact with BOTH of my biological parents."

Are there any questions you hate getting asked?I'm okay with you asking any questions. So No not really...

Do you have any advice for other adopted children? "
Just let 'em know that there is always someone out there who loves you... you just have to be patient."

How about for parents looking to adopt? "To couples or parents looking to adopt... Dont be picky about the kids you want to adopt. Every child needs a family... and if you can't be happy with the one child you find, then you really arent cut out to be a parent. No matter how perfect the child, there will be a point of rebellion. Its just nature."