Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Truth

I would be lying if I said the last 4 months have been easy.

I would be lying if I said I never for one minute doubted my sanity.

I would be lying if I said I never questioned myself if we made the right decision in bringing another child into this family.

Fake it until you make it.

You see, these last four months have been the hardest times I have had for a while. The tears, the emotions, the adrenaline coupled with the lack of sleep. Fear and doubt creep into the most vulnerable of places and it takes over.

Scratches, pinches, clawing, screaming. Throwing things, breaking things, destroying things.

This little boy, fresh to his new home. New faces, smells, foods. New pillow, clothes, friends, family. A new caretaker, routine, a new language.

Was I thinking that his transition would be a seamless one? Of course I did! I prayed it would be that's for sure. But at the end of the day I would lay in bed and beg God to make tomorrow better. Help me to love him and care for him. Help me to keep my voice down and my head clear. Just one day. Just please let us have one good day. I would pray this every night. Every. Single. Night.

Until one night, I fell into bed... Thank you God, thank you for our good day. Thank you for this day of smiles and hugs and kisses.

Four months and I see that light at the end of the tunnel. There are less and less breakdowns on both of our parts. There is more obedience and less destructive behavior. There are more and more hugs and kisses and less scratches.

I tend to forget where Samuel came from. I tend to forget that the residuals of his abandonment and adoption as a toddler are there. These are not normal toddler behaviors. Most mothers get that bonding time when their babies are small. But I didn't have that with Sam. So we are truly starting as strangers and are growing closer to mother and son.

I am so thankful that this child is my son. I am thankful that God gave me the chance to know him and to spend my life being his momma.

But I also think it is important to show people that adoption isn't always rainbows and butterflies. That there are huge obstacles to overcome and these children have stories that we will never know. There are wounds that we as parents will never be able to heal.

But I see that light and I believe that we are coming out of the weeds and into the fresh air.

Thank you God, for your mercies that are new every morning.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Bored. Bwahahah!!! You thought I was bored??? What IS bored? Yeah. I have no idea, either.

I have tried to write this post so many times. In my head I have completed it, but getting myself to the chair and actually typing is a different story. I will do my best to catch everyone up to date and let you inside my head for a bit. It is a crazy place I tell ya!

Elias finished 3rd grade today. He got an award for A/B honor roll and we are so proud of him. He worked HARD for every grade that he got. Poor guy, he isn't one of those kids that can hear something one time and remember it. It was an everyday thing. Day in and day out. Spelling, multiplication, Bible verses, history, science.... everyday he hit the books and it paid off. He has grown both emotionally and physically. He is past my shoulders at this point and is so stinkin handsome. Seems just like yesterday I was changing his stinky diapers and today he is wearing deodorant. He is so funny and I honestly wish I had had a friend like him growing up. He loves his brother and sister and will (most times) run interference when they are being naughty. I have caught him on more than one occassion breaking up a fight, taking them in his room and they are all three eating Popsicles like nothing ever happened. He is so sweet with them. I love that child. I am so proud that he is mine and there is not a day that goes by that I don't thank God for blessing me with him. How can he be 9!!!!

Samuel is doing great. Some days are better than others, but I feel like that light is on its way. He eats like nobodies business, sleeps like he owns the bed and is quick to pucker up for a good old kiss. He really is a happy kid but when he gets mad watch out! Time outs don't work for him. If I tell him no he will literally laugh in my face. Yes, I am serious. Now I am not "strict" by any means. But standing on chairs, hitting the dog, punching the TV... those are all no good. So, we have to have time-ins. I hold him on my lap and cross his arms (I have been pinched, hit and head butted) and he gets a big old dose of momma love. He doesn't like it and that would be an understatement. He gets so angry having to sit still but ya gotta do whatcha gotta do. By the end of the 3 minutes he is crying and wants to be hugged (most of the time) and says, "A-lubb-eww momma" and we just pray that he doesn't do it again. These time outs are great because it can be done anywhere and it works 95% of the time!
He loves to swim and I have realized that swim lessons are in our near future! He isn't too afraid of the water and loves to jump in. My rule is that I have to count to three for him and if I hold up my finger that means wait. If I turn away from him after I have started counting he says, "Ma! one, two" After I hit three and signal him in he jumps with all that he has in him! He loves going under and is so pleased with himself!
He is doing great with the family and friends. He isn't a shy kid at all. If someone says hello to him he is sure to say hello and wave.

Norah is growing like a weed. She had her dance recital last month and did awesome! We were not allowed to see her practice so when it was showtime you can be sure that I was one proud mom! I forgot my camera at home so I am waiting on some pictures that a friend took and will post them then.
Norah loves her brothers but is having the toughest time of the three of them. Norah was the only girl and the youngest. She got TONS of attention all the time and is certainly spoiled by all of her grandparents. Since Sam came home she is having to share that spotlight. I would love to say that things are getting better but it's just plain tough! She was so used to having me all to herself and now there is another little one at home and she is having to share my lap, my arms and my undivided attention. I am really trying to spend some good quality one on one time with her and let her know that she is still my #1 girl. She knows that I love all of my "baby birds" the same but I think that it gets the best of her sometimes. It will be a slow process but one of these days, things will mesh and there will be no seam visible.
She is a very loyal little girl. I have a dear friend that took her out for a girls day. Starr, her daughter Allie and Norah went to Target. Now anyone that knows Norah knows she loves to shop and her favorite store is Target. So Starr told Norah that she could choose something and Norah picked out a Princess place mat. Starr put it in the buggy and Norah asked that she take it out. Starr asked her why and she said, "Bubby and Sam do not have one. They can't get anything." She was so worried about her brothers and their feelings. So we ended up with goodies for all three of the kids because Norah was looking out for them. What a sweet girl...

I love these kiddos. But everyday is chaos. Complete and utter chaos. Now that I have gone back to work we can multiply that by 10. Some days I am doggie paddling, other days I am under. And that's just how it is going to be for a while. Life isn't always rosy around here and most days I fall into bed praying that God would forgive my weak moments of raising my voice, being to strict, being irrational or just plain grumpy. I know there is no family out there that is perfect, no mother that is perfect and no day that is perfect. I don't strive for perfection. I want my kids to look back and say that I did a good job being their mom. I want God to look on my life and say that I used everything He gave me. Thank God, everyday is a new day. And His promises are new every morning.

I have been thinking lately how to simplify my life. I have felt bad for being on the computer so much. For texting too much and face booking too much. I was praying about this a few weeks ago and don't ya know the next week my computer got a virus on it and my phone broke. HELLO!! -LOL- I want to read my Bible more, pray more, really dive into what God has in store for me and my life. I plan to spend more face time with the kids and not so much time on facebook. The beach, the pool, the parks... they are all calling our names. I am looking forward to this summer. I don't want to over plan our weeks so that we are on the go so much. I want to relax and really soak in their faces and their hair and their funny ways.

I really hope to not be gone so long next time! I had no idea that people still read my blog now that Sam is home but got a few requests to make the post more frequent :) THANK YOU!

I will leave you a few pictures of my birds...

Taking a break...

Yep, that's shorts on their heads.

Elias and his friends from school- wild and crazy!!!

I love this sweet boy!

Growing too fast!

I hope that this post has shed a little light into our life. No, it isn't always pretty. Yes, every child adjusts and attaches at different times and under different circumstances. And yes, even when you think you may have that secure attachment you could be wrong. But each of these children hold a very sacred place in this mother's heart. Each of them is an anchor that hold these feet firmly on the ground. They are a mirror of my day. They are the voice of my heart and the apple of my eye. There is not a single thing that I would not do for them. But I have learned that it is okay to have a bad day. It's okay to be hard on myself and to feel guilty. It's okay to have breakfast for dinner and to skip bathes for a day or two. I am learning to lean on the One that has given me the desires of my heart. I cannot do it all. I will never be the "perfect" mother but He can teach me to be the kind of mother I long to be.

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

And I'm Back!

I know, you all were probably worried to pieces that these kids of mine tied me up and locked me in a room! But no... although that doesn't sound like a bad idea... To say that we have been busy is an understatement! Having a 3 and 4 year old is w-o-r-k! They are busy and don't take a nap so that = one busy gal! I love it though. We all fall into bed without much todo and sleep like champs. All of us. Sam is doing good. He has picked up on a few English words. We sign a few things and he understands alot of what we tell him. He LOVES baths and if we speak of such a thing we spell it. If we don't he will be naked in .5 seconds! He loves to eat. Anything. That's the truth y'all! I was slicing a tomato for a dip and he swiped a whole half! Of course I let him... he was just precious sitting at my feet with juice running all down his chin! There isn't much that he turns down and he is a dipper. Ranch, ketchup, salsa, cheese dip. Doesn't matter, just dip it! We have had a few set-backs with his attachment, although after locking ourselves in the house for a majority of the weekend and this week it seems to be helping and he didn't want to go home with the check-out lady at Target!! Whoot whoot! As a matter of fact, he got out of the buggy as we were checking out and he and Norah were paying right there in the isle. There was a lady that was a little taller than me with her hair in a pony (like I had) and jeans and a black shirt on (like me) and he went to grab her leg and she looked at him and smiled and he came running to me, "momma!!" and I picked him up and he burried his head on my shoulder :) It was a good time :) He LOVES Elias and usually falls down running to him when he gets home from school. They have a really cool relationship and it is super cool to see them on their tummies as Elias tried to teach him about Legos. Norah and Sam are doing alright together. You have to remember she was the baby and the girl in the family. She has had a few set-backs and every little thing that gets done to Sam (hug, kiss, a look, a wink, a high-five) we just double it. There have been many times that I have been holding them both and they think it's soooo funny. My poor arms don't find it so funny! But for the love of the kids... I let them work out their worries over toys for the most part. I will intervene when there are tears, but on 2 occassions now they have sorted it out without too much drama :) So here are a few pictures. Some are from the airport that my friend Tara took and 3 are from a babyshower that I had for my dear friend Rene this past weekend.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


So many people have asked me how Sam is doing. The only way I can answer that is... great! He has single handedly wrapped the rest of us Sharps around his chubby little fingers and really, it's his world. If he is thirsty, there is a big brother that has already gotten him some juice. If he is hungry, daddy is on the pretzels. If he needs some toys or crayons, sissy has that under control. If he needs a hug, kiss, or some momma love as I call it... he is taken care of :)

Sam came to Shannon with no tears, just smiles. Now whether that was because he was well prepared for his arrival, I don't know. But he has had a few meltdowns over the word NO (gasp) and other than that I am telling you I feel like this kid has been here forever. He is understanding more and more of what we say to him. I am amazed to be quite honest with all of you. I certainly prepared myself for the worst, I really did. I know that the honeymoon could be over anyday now. But I am certainly rejoycing in the here and now.

Here is a little bit about Sam that we know...

-He is super ticklish!
-He loves to do things himself like put his socks and shoes on, and his shirts and pants for that matter!
-He likes to be neat and tidy
-He LOVES bubbles
-He is a deep sleeper and not an early riser! WHOOT WHOOT!
-He loves to be praised for a job well done and the party isn't over until EVERYONE in the house gets a hug, a kiss and a high 5~
-He isn't too fond of Lucy. Bless her sweet old heart. Sam is coming around, but no time soon
-He goes into the "zone" as I call it where he will stare off, very stoic like and bit his right bottom lip
-He is non-stop talking.... in Chinese. I would give my left arm to know what he is saying

I don't know what to say about this little boy. I have loved him since the very first time I saw him 10 months ago. I wonder what he thinks about us. About leaving behind all he ever knew in this world. I wonder if they miss him. I wonder if he misses them. I hope that he is happy and I hope that one day he will trust us fully, to come to know the love of a family and the love of a God that so beautifully orchestrated this life and this family.

The very thought of him being "homesick" makes me so sad. And I know that he thinks about all that has happened to him. He has been through so much in his 3 years of life, yet he can still smile.

My heart is so tender towards him now and I cannot help but just scoop him up several times a day and tell him "Wo Ai Ni Sam" over and over again. I want him to get that in the blood that flows through his little veins and his heart. I want him to know it when he is awake and when he sleeps. I want him to be so secure in our family and in our love that he is able to do whatever in this world he wants to do. I hope that if his heart is healing that it is healing quickly.

So thankful everyday that I am his mother. I hope that I do right by him each and every day and that I radiate love for being his mother. For being THEIR mother. I am blessed beyond anything that I EVER deserve. They are all so special to me in their own way.

Elias is my first born and the joy in my heart. Norah is my only girl and she is so tender and kind. She is loyal through and through and she loves her momma. Sam is my baby and my sweet spot. These kids of mine.... They make me one happy momma :)

Monday, March 14, 2011


It has taken me 2 days to finally sit down and post this! Life with 3 kids is tiring but well worth the lost sleep! Where do I begin???

My sister in law Liz and her hubby Dallas were down with their 3 kiddos (Zoey, Delaney and Cooper) and my MIL Nancy was here as well. They stayed a few days with me and the kids to get ready for the homecoming. A few hours before we left for the airport Liz and Dallas took all 5 kids out and about and then would later meet us at the airport. I am so incredibly thankful to them for doing that because I am not sure I could tell you which end was up at that point much less be coherent enough to help with the kids!

Nancy and I got dressed and headed out a little early and headed to Starbucks. We sat there for a few minutes and both agreed that we were just torturing ourselves and headed to the airport. We got there about an hour before the plane was to land and after 15 minutes of tapping my foot, thumping my cup and twirling my hair I looked at the monitor and the flight had been delayed 25 mintues. Torture. So I called everyone I knew was coming to meet us and most had already left so we had a little party before their arrival. It was so nice to see everyone and made the time go by soooo much faster!! We had about 15 people at the airport and I cannot tell you how much that meant to me!

We were all counting down until the plane would land and it was time! But no one was coming around the bend. Hmmm...

Just as I thought I may just go crazy, my friend Heather said, "Wouldn't it be funny is they came in from over there?" and pointed to the other end of the airport. Just as I turned around I heard her say in sloooow motion, "There they are Penny! They are coming towards you! That's them!!"

I couldn't believe it. My husband, my son and my FIL were walking towards us.

I ran to them and was practically dragging poor Norah who was so giddy with excitement that she could barely breathe.

I hugged my husband tighther than I think I ever have. And then I looked into Samuel's eyes. I could not believe he was right in front of me. He was beautiful and in shock with everyone around him. He did great! Not a tear and he let me hold him with no tears involved. Except by me of course :)

I put him down so he could meet his new sister and brother. And then his counsins and the rest of the family and our friends. He did amazing.

We all went back to our house and had a big dinner. Shannon has so sweetly asked for a ham and homemade mac and cheese upon his return and I was more than happy to oblige!
Sam is doing great. He has a little trouble with going to sleep but other than that he is a trooper! I honestly feel like he has been here forever. I am so blessed to be him momma :) My heart is so full :)

I will go into all of the mushy detailed stuff later, but it is after midnight and I am pooped. I know why you really came though... I hope you enjoy...

Delaney, Elias, Zoey (holding Norah) and Cooper walking towards the airport...

Elias and Delaney waiting patiently...

Proud to be an American

Uncle Dallas, Cooper and Sam

Sweet boy

Norah and Sam