Thursday, September 27, 2012


As we draw nearer to Carter's one year anniversary of being HOME...I am constantly reminded of the amazing strides that this boy has made.  It's easy to get bogged down with 'he can't do this yet...' or 'when will he do this...'.  The other day, I was reminded just how far he's come.

This is just one of his amazing changes - and it's a very small one.  But cute.  Darn cute.

So I'll remind you that this is how Carter used to enjoy his apples.....

And this is how he enjoys them now....

Small achievement, but so very big at the same time.

This is just a tiny, itty bitty goal that Carter has been working on since he's been home.  Not 'to eat an apple whole' - but to see mama eating her apple whole, and translate that picture in his brain to eating HIS apple whole.  And then taking the apple in his hand, realizing that in order to eat it like mama he has to put it to his mouth and take a bite.  And another.  And another.

Doesn't seem like such a small achievement anymore, does it?

Little boy growing & changing in so many ways.  We are so, so blessed.

One Thing I Know For Sure: An apple a day.....  ;)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Learning - Growing - Changing

It's inevitable.  Every new thing we try is bound to have some kinks.  Just because we chose to step out doesn't mean the path will be smooth.  Just because we said 'yes' doesn't mean the journey will be easy.  Sometimes it's hard.  Parenthood.  Special needs.  Adoption.  All of it.  

We chose it, yes.  We chose all of it.  Adoption.  Special needs.  Parenthood.  Our boy is a chosen boy, for sure.  And we would do it all over again a million times.  Wouldn't change a thing.  

But that doesn't mean that sometimes we don't stop and say 'whoa - this is harder than I thought'.  It doesn't mean we were ill prepared.  It doesn't mean we were ignorant.  It just means that sometimes, life surprises us.  

But life is good.  God is good.  We are blessed, immeasurably.  Although it's been rough around here the past few weeks, it's getting better.  
We're learning, along with Carter.  
We're growing, right alongside our boy.  
And as God shapes him and his little heart, He is working on us, too.  

Tonight, I laid my boy down in his crib feeling like I've never loved him as much as I do now.  His complexities, his quirks, and all of the mystery that is wrapped up in this little boy.  I love all of him so very much.

Sometimes its good to go through rough patches.  It's good to walk through the valley.  Because then, how much more beautiful are the fields of blessing? 

In fact, maybe the valleys are blessings, too.  

Maybe how we respond in the valley is important.
And maybe I haven't responded so graciously in this most recent valley.  
Maybe I let myself get in a slump.  Maybe I started to check out.  Maybe I let anger - frustration - sadness - and worry overtake me.  

Maybe, more than anything, I just needed an attitude check.  

Parenting is so much more about learning than teaching.  It's about learning.  It's about loving.  It's about giving grace.  And those are things I'm learning.

And parenting a child with special needs?  Talk about learning.  In the past two weeks, I've learned more about my child than I did while working with preschoolers for 7 years.  There is MUCH to learn.

But I can take delight in learning about my boy.  I should take delight in learning how to best love and care for him.  I've got a lifetime ahead of me - and I can choose whether I'll enjoy this journey, or loathe it.

I choose to enjoy.

Today as we were having fun at our table, painting our little pumpkins, I remembered from when I was teaching that we would call this 'process art'.  In other words, the art and learning is found in the process of the activity - not on what the finished product looks like.

There is some comfort in that, no?  This journey of parenthood has no requirements on what the end product should look like.  The learning takes place in the process.  The art - the beauty - is in the journey itself.

Here's what is important today:
Carter knows he's loved beyond measure, by a Holy, Faithful God.  Period.
Carter knows his mama & dada love him a whole lot, too.
That's about it.  

The rest is just part of the journey.  The process.  And it's being used to form us - shape us - mold us.  So it's good.

It's all good.  

One Thing I Know For Sure: "But he said to me "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

First Day.

We did it.  We dropped Carter off in his new classroom, and walked out.  

I knew it would be rough when I started crying before we even pulled up to the school.  Remember: I'm not a cryer.  Ha.

When we pulled up to his new school, he started cheering and saying 'celebrate'.  This boy is ready for the next chapter.

I pulled it together as we waited for the big suburban to pull up with Carter's other classmates.  Right now he's in a class with 4 other boys.  God bless Mrs. K.


As we were waiting to bring him inside, I felt so blessed.  I can't believe we're here.  I can't believe we did it.  I can't believe Carter is about to walk into the next chapter of his little life.

Day 1 of 4,675 (approximately...).

Is it just me - or do those photos remind you of this photo:

Taken almost 11 months ago.  We had known this boy for one week, and we were head-over-heels in love with him.  We were saying goodbye to him, as we had to come back to the states for a while before court.

My, my - how things change.

We walked into his new school and Carter knew just where to go.  We hung his little backpack on his hook, and kissed his chubby little cheeks.  He didn't look back for a second.

Such a big, brave boy.

I couldn't leave without getting a photo of these three boys.  Do you recognize Elijah and Caleb? Yes - they're in the same class.  I'll say it again: God bless Mrs. K.


I can't wait to pull out this photo when these boys are seniors and say "Look!  Friends for life!".  So, Jill & Juli, that means you guys can't move away.  Got it?

I'm so grateful for this opportunity for Carter.  I know he'll learn so many new things - and I can't wait to look back on this first school year in amazement.

I'm sure in a few weeks I'll look forward to this little two hour break each morning - but today, I was counting the minutes until 10:45.


One Thing I Know For Sure: So very grateful.

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