Saturday, April 30, 2011

HB to PJ!!

Happy Birthday Piper Jane!!! Wow! THREE years old!? Hard to believe. Seriously Piper has been a breath of fresh air since she arrived:) She is the sweetest thing. Mommy is her best friend... well and Joleigh now. Piper's favorite thing to say is ... "Dad, he's not my best friend.. no! Mommy is! He can't jump!" haha! We always laugh. She always says he can't jump but sometimes she'll add something else random in there like.. "he doesn't have a nose" or "he can't do a backflip". I hope she doesn't think I can:/ hmmmm

We celebrated Piper yesterday all day long. She's been sick this week with a fever virus which has made things extra sticky for me with Joleigh adjusting and all. Joleigh has always been sick with the crud:( She is congested. She sounds pitiful! Joleigh is doing superb and adjusting more and more everyday!! Very few tears and lots and lots of laughs. Her favorite thing right now is Piper's shopping cart:) She likes to push it around and gather things. SO sweet!!

Here's a pic I took of the sweet sisters yesterday with my phone. They're doing very well together!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wow! It's been a wild ride!!

We are HOME! I've been home with Joleigh Bereket since last Thursday... One week ago TOMORROW! Crazy! It's been good, it's been hard, it's been rewarding, it's been so difficult, I've witnessed miracles, I've witnessed tragedies, I've witnessed a sweet baby, I've witnessed a lot of anger. We are all adjusting to her and she is adjusting to us. She is doing well. Today has been hard. Piper is under the weather and Joleigh is still really clingy so I have two clingy girls on my hands.
Joleigh is a sweet, fun soul but she can also have quite the little attitude. I've tried to nip that quickly, especially when she's ugly with the kids. The first couple of days she was ugly to them at times, almost like a kitty cat would hiss at someone, she's been snarly but I quickly tell her, "no, be nice!" and she's getting it ... quickly. She has done SOOO well the last few days! She really only wants ME. She did good with Cam last weekend b/c he was always here but hasn't done as well about letting him be with her this week while he's been at work. He's going to take a couple of days off soon. That will help.
I'm good.. right NOW. Not always, but right NOW. He's providing strength and rest to me and I am so thankful. The children have been AMAZING! We asked them to just live and allow her to join in as she wants and that is EXACTLY what they've done. I am so impressed with them.
I have friends who have literally been used by Him to carry me through. Whether it's by bringing a meal or by loving me unconditionally through this time. I have some who have adopted and know EXACTLY what this momma's heart is going through and to that I am forever grateful!
Thank you all for riding with us on this journey. Now we need prayers. We need prayers for bonding for sweet Joleigh, prayers for God to heal her heart, prayers for patience for her forever family!! Hopefully we will settle into our new normal soon:) Thank you for letting me be real in our journey and not try to flower it up... adoption is awesome.... God is so evident in this process... but stretching hurts.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bittersweet and His hands

I leave tomorrow morning to bring my daughter home! I thought I might never type that sentence. It's been a loooong 18 months and we're finally HERE! Oh goodness the emotions! We are thrilled and so excited but we are also realistic. We know the heart ache this little girl has faced. We know it's going to be a tough road but we are SO thankful He has chosen us to walk through this road with Joleigh Bereket.

Today is my LAST day of teaching for a while. Cameron and I know God is calling me home for a while to be with our children. We are SO excited about this but oh my goodness it's tough. We are definitely choosing to sacrifice money in this situation. Not only do I make good money b/c of my Master's degree but I'm also National Board certified which means I am loosing a yearly bonus check of $7500/year. But you know what... none of that matters to us. That's not at all why this is so hard on me. It would be so easy to be happy about today being my last day if I were just a teacher of a subject. It would be so easy to call it quits if I did not have a passion about what I do but oh that is so far from the case at hand. I absolutely LOVE my job and by job I mean my family (faculty), my children (students). It's not from me but from Him, and He has given me an ability to connect with those kids on a level to truly touch their lives. They need me... and I need them. We have been so blessed to have a nanny come to our home for the past 6 years to take care of our children but God is giving me the gift to be able to be here now and POUR into them love and truth. I know years from now I will NEVER regret this time we followed Him and I stayed home but today is going to be hard.

Here's an amazing way He chose to bless me through my faculty yesterday... only He could be so cool!! I was told Monday I had 11.5 sick days (7 of those were donated to me by co-workers) and that I would not be paid for 23.5 days. So I was trying to plan out how to spread those days out. Well, one of my co-workers asked the faculty if anyone would like to donate days for my maternity leave... I had no idea and cried and cried at how good these folks are to me. A couple hours later, this teacher came to me with a total of days donated... TWENTY-THREE! I was a mess yesterday. He cares so much about every detail. Then last night another teacher wanted to donate and rounded me up to 23.5. I will be on leave for the rest of the school year but will not miss any pay. This journey has been so tough in many ways but so, so very rewarding and His hands have been all over it!