Thursday, March 20, 2014

Whoops, I Did It Again...

I keep forgetting that I need to keep going with latest and greatest moments in our household. I think its because I have 4 small children that keep me busy enough that if I don't stay focused, whatever task I had set out to do gets forgotten. Oh well, so with that, I wanted to congratulate and praise my two girls. To their daddy & me, they are Nobel Peace Prize WINNERS. They are completely amazing little girls that give so generously with something they have an abundance of: HAIR!!!
That's correct, their hair! A few years ago, my girls had seen a few of their friends come into school and since I'm friends with these moms, I had asked where their daughter's hair had vanished to. Locks of Love was the word around the halls. So my girls had wanted to cut their hair and asked what Locks of Love was and so we looked it up online. Now, 8 years ago I had donated 17inches to LOL also and it was such a rewarding experience. (Rob had a conniption and heart attack when I walked in with a pixie hair cut...I can laugh now, but I think I may have cried at one point because I'd never cut more than 2 inches off my hair prior to this cut.) I think I'll eventually do it again. So I was very familiar with the organization and felt very good about the girls looking at this organization as a worthy cause. We picked a date and time and the girls chopped their hair for 'little kids with cancer.' (for a quick glance back, click on this link! Goldylocks and a Whole lotta Hair)

It has grown out A LOT since then, and even though people tried to warn us that their hair wouldn't grow back curly or it would somehow grow back tainted (SUCH ridiculousness!!!), it's absolutely as beautiful now as it ever was...if not even curlier than before. But we were again at a point where it was becoming a lot to handle and for some odd reason, they didn't want mom coming in to comb out their ever increasing rat-filled wet locks. And because it was SO long and SO thick for Isannah, it was absolutely unmanageable for her little arms. You can see how long their hair was! Isannah has very thick, heavy hair. Natty's hair is just as long, but much finer and doesn't seem to knot up the way Isannah's does. But still, its a scream fest whenever I have to go in with a comb and untangle the mess.

Isannah was the first to decide that she wanted to donate her hair again. We live in a different town now, and while I LOVED Christy, it would be a significant hike to go up there again. But looking back, we may have to make an appointment because Christy just rocks. It was about 12 hours after Nan's haircut that big sis decided that she also wanted in on the action. Much to her father's dismay, she chose to have a pixie haircut. Its VERY short...but with naturally curly hair like ours, a super short cut could be very BAD. I had to hold my breath because my oldest child is JUST like her mama...when she decides on something, come hell or high water, she's not backing down. Hair is one grows back...I'd rather she experience all that she wants with supervision and learning how to love her hair. It's literally JUST hair. And with locks like ours, its hard to have a bad cut every time. And it grows out relatively daddy gave the final thumbs up and we headed out to the salon for some major snipping.

 And then Natty went for it! I have to admit...this was the most hair I had ever seen my child have cut off...except for that ONE time when she was about 2yrs old, found scissors, and was quietly cutting her hair in a wedge and cutting Isannah's hair in a chunk kind of way...I was at the gym. Their father said that they were playing quietly and I said that was a dead give-away that something was NOT right. It was a bad day for the household. LOL

I'm seriously so proud of my girls. I'm not sure I would have done what they have when I was 8 and 9 years old. I find that when a child wants to give of themselves in such a generous and loving way, why would I stop them?

Oh my gosh, looking back a month or so, it's making me laugh at HOW SHORT Natty's hair was! When we got home, Rob was soon to follow and I was choking back giggles because his face was one of utter shock as well. I had been told, "Please don't let her go too short." But like I stated before, this is what Natty wanted. We looked at several 'pixie' haircuts and because of her curly mass, I had to convince her that she needed more of a Meg Ryan haircut because of the obvious~ Meg can make any haircut look super amazing and she has curly hair! And so this is what we ended up with. I think next time we may go to a salon with a little bit younger taste. However, I think she looks ADORABLE...and both of them look so grown up.

While in the midst of putting together our family book for our adoption process, I noticed the picture I posted up top on this blogpost...I miss her long hair...but I know she enjoys the freedom to take a shower without the drawn out process of doing her hair. Isannah's length is just long enough that its cute, but not as short, but still allows her the freedom to have it up and to enjoy the length without dread locks forming. Our water bills certainly display the water conservation of shorter hair! All in all, I think this will probably become the norm~ grow out hair, donate again. I LOVE this norm. It's one that REEKS of beautiful, GENEROUS hearts.

 Natty donated 17inches and Isannah donated 10inches

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

When You Least Expect It

I didn't think that I'd have much time to update my blog, but since I have a few minutes, I thought I'd encourage that one reader that is searching for something to read regarding the craziness that happens when you decide to engage in an adoption journey. Yes, its a wild roller coster ride of twists and turns, ups and downs, and you feel like you're going to throw up sometimes. But see, the cool thing is that you're completely safe, belted in with God's plan. Its when you come unbelted, mid twist, from God's plan and things get real UGLY, REAL FAST.

This time around Rob and I have been very specific in our prayers about being in the middle of God's will. When it comes down to it, the best way I can say this is: I'd much rather be on a roller coster ride IN God's will than outside of God's will. In fact, I can't think of anything more frightening. And quite frankly, the reality is is that it's not just my heart or my husband's heart that will be effected by this monumental effects EVERY single one of my four more little hearts that are waiting for instruction and discipleship from Rob and I. Timing is crucial and because we are within the three year mark, our fees are considerably less than they were with Josh. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration...the fees for Colorado are less than they were, but unfortunately, still more than we have and require enormous faith. Its strange though, this time around, we know we are in God's will, but the rate that He answers is somewhat overwhelming! What a silly thing to say? Uhm, I beg to differ. Aren't there times that you think, alright, I'm going to pray for this particular thing and hope that God answers you within a month...preferably within a week...but then it happens in hours and it sends you reeling like...HOLY CRAP!? This is exactly what happened with us this time around.

I have felt for a few months that time was coming up to the leaping off point. But for me, I need my husband to lead in this I began to pray. I prayed for timing, I prayed for direction, I prayed for the Lord to direct my husband's decisions and give him Godly wisdom. I did this specifically in a hardcore chunk on a Sunday. God answered that evening! I play the 'well, maybe that was more me than God' card and began to think...nahhh...that couldn't have possibly been an answer so soon. On Monday, our friends giving us money to cover our application fees. HUGE. And again, I play my card again and doubt God's goodness. (Don't ask me why!? I don't know...I just doubt sometimes okay!? I don't take the obvious and accept it obvious!?) We decided that we'd wait for our tax refund and see what happens to cover the biggest fees due now...huh...weird...we had more than enough. But we had to pay for a few other things and would be about $1000 short. Okay Lord, if this is the way, and we are to walk in it...I guess I better start looking for dropped money on the ground...envelop of money in the door...right?

One of our best friends had called and said, "We feel lead to back you guys 100% with where God is leading you on this adoption journey. Be watching the mail." Oh...okay, wow...thank you! All I could think was...these are very good friends and I'm so blessed that they'd feel so strongly. Its been my experience in the past that whenever anyone says, 'hey yeah! This is awesome, we support you!' its more like, crap now we feel guilty and out of obligation to the slip of the tongue, we'll send you $15 in the mail. Please hear my heart on this...any gift is wonderful and we are so very grateful, because it is a blessing... but its hard to accept when it seems more like a sympathy gift or one given out of obligation, rather than wanting to give because you really want to. These friends have NEVER made us feel this way EVER, and we actually consider them to be our family, but because I'm also not friends with Brad and Angelina Jolie, I consider a support gift to be in the range of $25-$50. Yeah...God humbled me as I sifted through the mail and found their sweet card. I opened it up and out fell a $1000 check. I almost fell to the ground weeping. Just that morning I had asked God to give me the faith to walk in His will and to rest in the Hope that He gives me because He loves me. This was almost too much to bear. Man, when God pours out blessing, He does it so lavishly...and always when you least expect it.

Which is also irritating. Why do we even entertain the idea that God would do something and we'd 'least expect it'??  I've been a christian for a long time. I've only really matured in my faith in the last 3 years. If I'm praying in faith, and I have an intimate relationship with the Lord, why would I even NOT expect the Lord not follow through? I have read that verse in Philippians 4:13 where is says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." about a million times...but it wasn't until recently that it hit me while listening to a sermon through Bethel Church. The speaker said that if this verse says that I can do ALL things through Christ and it's Christ who strengthens me...well, that means I have to be weak. I have to be weak so that Christ can strengthen me...Christ will be my strength...I have to trust him if I'm going to be weak and know that He's my strength...and I have to be weak...awe crap...I don't want to be weak!? Being weak is such a struggle for me because that means I have to build my faith and intimacy with Christ. I'll be willingly and INTENTIONALLY putting myself into  situations where I have no other option BUT to trust. That's a lot. And God put that into practice the moment we chose to follow Him down the adoption path again.

Maybe that's one reason that our adoption journey is such a faith builder...we have to be willing to be weak so that Christ can make us strong...He can be our strength. So if you are just beginning the journey or you are in the middle of one and wondering if God has, He hasn't. He IS your STRENGTH. And He's not about to let you forget this when you least expect Him to show you? Awesome! Prepare to get your socks rocked!