Thursday, September 15, 2011

Double Digits For My Girl

Today is my daughter's 10th birthday. I spent the evening making some very special s'mores cupcakes for her to bring to school. Ever since we started watching Cupcake Wars our family has taken cupcakes much more seriously. I found this fabulous recipe at Teacher by Day, Chef by Night. I must confess that I did use a boxed chocolate cake mix for the cupcakes. I did make the graham cracker bottom layer and the marshmallow butter cream frosting. It feels so good to have your children beam with delight at something you did for them or made for them. It felt particularly good to see her face when she saw the cupcakes this morning. Then we gave her one of the new outfits for her birthday so she could wear it to school today. There are two things my girl loves are treats to eat and a new outfit. All I want to be is a MOM to her. It is so difficult having her so desperately need to keep distance between us so she can feel safe. It breaks my heart. But today I am thinking of someone else's broken heart. The woman who gave birth to her. The woman who carried her under her heart for 9 months and then circumstances beyond her control lead her to give her sweet baby girl up. We'll probably never know what happened or why it happened. All I do know is that those circumstances lead to this sweet girl to come into our lives. How incredibly amazing is it that a child born half way around the world in a place that we had never been to would one day be matched to us in some business office. It was actually someone's "job" to match a baby girl to her forever family. That is mind boggling to me. Before that even happened though, there was one day, one moment that someone had to set her down and with every once of willpower they could muster, turn around and walk away. My chest hurt just typing this so I can't even begin to imagine what it must have been like. I am swallowing back the cry that I feel that is caught in my throat, blinking back the tears, and take a moment to say a prayer for them. I share a lot on here about the challenges that come with this disorder that our daughter carries with her. That one moment left her with such a profound loss. A loss that was the beginning to her RAD. A day that was the beginning of her journey to us, her forever family. Today we celebrate her birthday. She is now 10 years old. We get to celebrate her life with her. Today is a very special day. My little girl is 10, DOUBLE DIGITS!!!! So exciting. Such a happy day to celebrate. A day to remember, a day to make a wish and look forward to another wonderful day as her mom, and she is my daughter. 


Monday, September 5, 2011

New Beginnings

It's been an exciting month. Hurricane Irene visited the East coast. Fortunately for us we only lost power from Sunday morning until Tuesday night. We had shower access at the town pool that we had passes to. So I took the kids to the pool to spend some energy and then we showered. We also had a generator for the fridge, tv, phone chargers and a lamp. Greene and Schoharie County got hit very hard. We moved here from Greene county so it was very sad to see so many places that we knew be wiped out. 

Now September is here and with it comes new beginnings.  New clothes to wear and new school supplies mark a new school year for our kids. It's also time for a new season for sports. This is our first season with Bethlehem Soccer. Our 3 younger kids are all on recreation teams. Rob and I are coaching again. The kids are very happy to be playing soccer again. We are settling into our new town. Rob is coaching Meg's modified soccer team and Justin is playing on the  Varsity soccer team. Today my new co coach called us a "soccer family" and we certainly are. 

The other big new beginning is that our church is going to start The Sleeping Bag Project. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am that the Youth that attended the Mission Trip in Harrisburg, PA are also excited to make sleeping bags for the homeless here in Albany. I've been ready to start working for the Lord for quite some time... probably for my entire 30's. I've tried different things such as working with young kids in church, thought of trying some great ideas that that I THOUGHT were good things to do but just never got it together... I believe God's perfect timing is now. Personally these sleeping bags bring together so many previous aspects of my life and culminate to this project. In college I volunteered at the Adult Learning Center and met some great people from various walks of life who wanted to learn to read, when my 2 oldest children were babies, I learned how to quilt, I have known people who have mental illnesses and who have used drugs who by the grace of God were not homeless but came close to it, Rob also has an ancestor who lived on the streets for a period of time. I have given a McDonald's meal to one gentleman with all of his belongings in a shopping cart. I have a heart for homeless children. I had a difficult childhood and had often thought of running away from home. I spent a lot of time wondering what life was like on the streets vs my own life. Now I have the opportunity to work with the youth of our church and make sleeping bags for the people whose very lives may depend on something warm to sleep in to keep them alive on a bitter cold night. It's such a simple thing but could actually make a difference in someone's life. This is truly the work of Jesus. We will be His hands and feet and reach out to some people who need to be shown His love the most. To allow the Lord to work through you is a true blessing. 

So September comes, Irene has come and gone and the clean up continues for so many, the kids are getting ready for a new school year, a new season of sports begins, and our church's youth are preparing to make sleeping bags for the homeless. I am looking forward to these new beginnings. I have been waiting for God to call me to do His work. I have second guessed what he wanted me to do and I have been wrong... or maybe they were just things that he wanted to see if I was willing. A willing heart may be the most important thing He wants from us. Are you willing to do what He asks of you, no matter if it doesn't feel "right" or "important enough"? Have you pushed what you thought fit, like I did with working with younger kids because "hey I have kids so God must want me to work with kids at church" when actually He's been wanting me to go where He has sent me and gather from each 
experience. Now is time to start this new project and reach out to the homeless. It is an honor to do the Lord's work. 

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