Friday, April 17, 2015

Go Fund Me...a new way of fundraising

Well...I have a confession: I'm stuck. I'm at a point where I honestly hate Facebook & it frustrates me that there's not a lot I can do without getting back on there. Many have said, "Just get back on for a short while & post your gofundme on there & get more donors." Ugh...super discouraging when my spirit & heart rebel at the very notion.

I was rereading our own story of how Josh's adoption process unfolded in this beautiful, amazing story. And the words I wrote to encourage others seem almost alien to me & as though someone else is encouraging me. It's been a rough month of feeling so disconnected & so busy with paperwork, feeling like...God, is this really going to happen? Our DEAR friend encouraged me in such a way that as I read these words, I knew they were scripture, but I heard them as though Jesus sat across from me, hot cup of coffee in hand, & spoke to my bruised heart.

"So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." (‭1 Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭6-7‬ NLT)

Wow. Straight to my heart...

DON'T GIVE UP. Don't be discouraged. BE Strong & courageous. Strong...what does strong look like right now? It looks like me not trying so hard to make something actually take that step back & allow God to do His thing...not mine. What does courageous look like? It looks like strapping on my spiritual armor & overcoming the thoughts that assail my heart, telling me it's too hard, I heard the Lord wrong, & accepting defeat. No, I can be courageous by taking those thoughts captive & determining to follow the Lord when it doesn't make sense what we are trying to accomplish. I'm courageous when I decide to TRUST the Lord's calling.

So can you. Adoption is that one situation that doesn't make sense to anyone. LOL it is a God-given desire that is unbelievably hard & beautiful. It gives one pause to think how intimate each scripture is when God calls us sons & daughters, that we are ADOPTED. It's such a hard hard process, one that means we are willing to sacrifice because we want that child. We ache for that child. We are anxiously looking & waiting for that child. OUR CHILD. The ones not born of my womb, but absolutely planted deep in my heart. There IS NO DIFFERENCE. I look at all my children & I can't imagine life without them. They are all MINE. Their skin color makes no difference to me. And this waiting for our children yet to come home is TOUGH! All we can do is prepare. Dream. Hope. PRAY.

 "If He wants something to happen, He will make it happen. If I may, even though it looks like that's the best way to get the word out, it's a "chariot". "Some trust in chariots...but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. My point is, trust Him. I pray you have peace with His timing and answer. Love that song, "if there's a road I should follow, help me find it. If I should be still, give me peace for the moment." You have great faith! Let it grow." (Thank you, my sweet Sister.)

May we TRUST in the Lord, our God.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A year...Already?

Yikes, so clearly I've been WAY too lax on my blogging. Truth be told, I've been a bit busy, so I do apologize for the last year getting away from me. However, now that my kids are all in bed, hubby is reading, and I've got a few moments, I thought I'd at least update you all.

2015 started out with a bang...and not a hooray kind of bang, but a are down. "And another one bites the dust..." we all got the respiratory influenza. IT.WAS.AWFUL. Rob must've brought it home from work because on December 19th, he was feeling pretty crummy...and to my horror, so was Josh. Both running a high fever. SERIOUSLY. And, like every domino effect, it was like I woke up to another kid coughing and high fever. I was waiting patiently for my turn. Fortunately, I was not lucky enough to just get the flu, but a raging sinus infection more intense than I have ever had in my entire impromptu date night for my hubby and I as we sat in the ER lobby. Anyway, that lovely little sick stint lasted until the end of January when Josh was sick again, but we didn't find out until the beginning of February that we all had RSV. I'm telling you, FIESTA AT THE RIGGINS. Josh narrowly avoided being admitted to the hospital when he barely got his pulse ox up above 90...since we haven't had RSV, I had NO IDEA that it could even happen to children older than 3. Poor Joshy, he got to spend his 3rd birthday sick. But it meant that there wasn't a whole lot of hype around here. He's gotten so big. He's 43lbs of solid muscle and WAY too smart for his own good. I believe that having older siblings contributes to most of his word usage...such as when I asked him what I smelled...referring to the stank following him, he responded,"I don't smell anysing mommy. Das you!" For which I shook my head and said,"No, I'm pretty sure you pooped." That's when he turned to look me in the eye and with an attitude cock of his head,"Mommy, das ridiculous." LOL Wow, Its a good thing he is so dang cute, it could get real ugly real fast in our house with that kind of sass.

My kids are GROWING LIKE CRAZY!!!!
Oh my gosh. We are in the throes of puberty. Yeah, seems like that couldn't be true, but according to studies, kids are hitting puberty faster and EARLIER. Wanna see my husband have a meltdown? Relating why I'm going shopping and what I'm shopping for has been hilarious watching his reactions. Apparently he wasn't ready for all this growing up stuff either!!! My oldest, Natty, has been a complete FISH this year. She has been apart of a local swim team and has completely knocked it out of the water...pun intended! She's been exploding in awesomeness with her form. She is built like her mama, poor thing. Short, but FAST. Her breast stroke and butterfly are her strongest strokes and she's amazed her coaches as well. I don't know anything about swimming, except not to do it with sharks or dangerous animals...but watching her improve has been so amazing. I'm always shocked at how smart she is. Not because I think any of my children are dumb or unintelligent, but her ability academically is incredible for a 10yr old. The sass has been taken to a whole new level and I'm fairly certain that if I ever died or was incapable of being mom, that she could take of. She's basically sure she could too, and often likes to practice her skills on her need to mention how much they HATE it...LOL

My precious Isannah is almost as tall as me. Seriously, shes only 4in shorter than me and her shoes are almost my size. I can't wait to have the ability of not knowing which clothes are mine and which ones are hers...well, not really, but kind of. She is also grown into such an amazing girl. People often think that she's the older sister because she is so much taller than Natty. Its a bit rough on big sis to be mistaken all the time, but Isannah is so gracious that she will usually grab Natty and they giggle. Good grief, I remember when they were so little and I'd long for the day that they could get their own breakfasts and they could do their own laundry. Thank God I have arrived because my girls are there. In fact, they'll be getting their CPR and babysitting certifications soon and honestly, I look at them and think they are more reliable than most 16yr olds. Isannah is so talented with art. She can take chalk and draw that most amazing pictures. She's learning Spanish and is picking it up like nothing doing. She also has a guinea pig that is definitely HER animal. As soon as Cozy hears Isannah talking, Cozy starts calling out. Cozy is like a living toupee...and for whatever reason, Isannah LOVES that thing. My girls still play with their little Calico Critters and baby dolls...and the infamous American Girl Dolls. I watch them and hear them playing and my heart just aches...not much longer and they will have grown out of these items. And I just pray, Dear Lord, please, let them remain little girls awhile longer...when I watch them I see the precious innocence of life.

And then there's Duncan. I say this in a completely loving I laugh...and I'm sure you do to. This boy...MAN, he is ALL BOY. Last week we had to bring him in for hand surgery because he tired to be less of himself by severing his extender tendon in his left index finger. He was called 'The Karate Chop heard round the world' by a few of the nurses who informed us that many of the surgical staff came in to see the damage this kid had done on his hand. He not only severed his tendon, he sliced off the top of his knuckle and the knife went into his finger was a bad day for mom, who was finally having a lunch date with my oldest brother for my birthday in Cherry Creek (NOT close to Grandmas). It was a rough day for grandma too since she had specifically told him that he was not allowed to karate chop any tree branches, that his job was using the clippers to safely cut off the smaller branches...the ninja master snuck back into the kitchen while Grandma was tending to the smallest Riggins and proceeded to whack with all his might. He was sure he had cut off his mom didn't believe he had done such a good whack until she caught sight of the gash and called me in a sing songy voice so Duncan didn't continue to freak out. It was quite the ordeal. Needless to say, we got to go to Children's and visit awhile. Then back last week for surgery. He is all put back together, but will be in a cast. Its amazing to me how people make it their business to parent for me as my child has a cast on...  At any rate, Dunc has had his fair share of learning what it means to LISTEN AND OBEY...and I'm not sure it's sinking in since he felt that he was perfectly capable of climbing our tree in the back yard. WOW. Thank God I've got plenty of hair dye because I've definitely gotten a few more grays.

Most of you know that we moved to a smaller area north of Denver. I LOVE OUR COMMUNITY. It sounds really strange to admit that since it's basically a po-dunk little farming town, but I do. I love it. I love our neighbors...yep, even the CRAZY woman that waltzed into my house uninvited 3 times. I still lock our front door for good measure since she has nothing better to do than watch our house like a hawk. I suppose the good thing there is that we are REALLY interesting (cough cough) and I'll never have to worry about an actual burglar because she will have seen it all! Back to loving my neighbors, they've all taken on this kind of extended family feeling. We are involved to some degree with empty nesters, new grandbabies, problem teenagers, new boyfriends, and of course, meeting the neighbors that happen to be from the same area my husband's family is from. That was a hilarious conversation. I never had that in Greeley, so coming here has been a very refreshing experience. I love that my kids can ride their bikes to their friends house 2 blocks away and I know almost every family they could come in contact with.

Oh, I even had the honor of being asked to accept the position as the jump coach for the local middle school. It may not seem like a real 'honor,' but it was for me. I LOVED TRACK. I LIVED for it. And the interesting thing was I didn't really know how much I missed track until I walked out into the jump pits and began teaching my middle schoolers how to facilitate long and high jumps. Obviously, there was no coach given example for the long took me about 2 weeks to really walk INto the actual sand. What most of you may not know is that I have had 5 surgeries on my right knee. When I was a freshman in high school, I was getting ready for a regional track meet. I was a good long jumper. I had a very good personal mark...but I was cocky and wanted to prove to my coach that I could place in the top 10. The sand wasn't raked, my body was fatigued from a long practice, and I jumped off the wrong foot. So when I landed in the sand, my right foot went into the sand lip, my ankle wentto the right, but my knee went to the left and somehow my body kept going. Apparently, you can make an 'S' shape with your leg. I tore my MCL, ACL, and did a lot of damage in there. Sadly, the hospital wasn't really up to snuff in little Park Rapids and they told my parents nothing was wrong...after a few falls down the stairs, a trampoline accident, and major pain, my parents took me to Fargo, ND to see a specialist and I promptly had surgery in Jan of 1997. That graft lasted me until Duncan was 18mos or so and he was running around our island in our kitchen. I jumped off a kitchen chair and felt it snap. Like an old weather worn rubber band on a Sunday newspaper...NOT happy. I had had  a scope done a year prior to that because I had major swelling and my surgeon had warned me that I had a year left...he nailed it...almost to the day. But when he got in there, there was a cyst that had formed and he had to attach my new ACL in a different way using a 4in titanium screw through my femur. Yay, lots of fun. Since the long jump pit is where it all began, I find immense humor that I'm coaching kids in it. But where my true passion lay is in the high jump pit. I know, I'm 5'4"...high jump? Yep. I can jump my height...LOL It was SHEER DELIGHT as my jumpers taunted me like I wasn't for real. These kids are actually as tall as I am and VERY intent on showing up the coach. So when I actually jumped the boys entry height for meets without a problem, their jaws dropping made my day. The greatest part of this job has been pouring life into these kids. Watching their faces light up with the smallest word of praise and being their biggest fan. I've seen one girl who would cry if you looked at her wrong blossom into a girl who has self esteem. They have made my day by telling me,"Coach, I just want you to watch me do this, I do better when you are watching." Some of the boys are too much and its given me a VERY good idea of what I have to look forward to with my own sons. Holy dramatic. I swear, I think boys are the dramatic ones. Girls may be sass-tastic, but the boys are VERY dramatic. But the girls have been a joy because they too, are giving me amazing glimpses of what I need to be aware of.

Well, I think I've hit the more interesting things that have happened in the last while. I've got several more posts since I wanted to show off Dunc's pinewood derby stuff. This was his second year competing. Last year he was the pack Champ, unfortunately this year his truck kind of tanked. It was a hard lesson since he was at the top last year, but a good lesson nonetheless!!

As you can see, I have added a gofundme link. We are still not where we need to be financially with our adoption fees. Man, and it has been a STRUGGLE hitting that year mark. Updates are NOT cheap and its almost like salt in an open wound...waiting is such a difficult thing. Especially when there are no absolutes. I have so much respect and admiration for people who wait for 3-5YEARS for international adoptions...Lord have mercy, your poor hearts. Its hard because we know that it's worth the wait...just doesn't make the wait any easier. I am praying for God's peace to be heavily guarding your hearts and minds as you wait...for I am in the very same boat...I'm so happy to have someone like you to sit by! Maybe we can encourage each other.