Monday, February 27, 2012

Only a Mother's Love

The past 24 hours have been a little nutty here in our home.  Our youngest son, Nathan, was rushed to the ER from Urgent Care yesterday as he was in respiratory distress from an asthma attack.  It was not a pleasant afternoon and it brought back so many memories of when Nathan was born almost 6 years ago.  The poor little fellow had to be taken at 35 weeks due to lack of amniotic fluid and he had to fight for his life with every difficult breath.  As Nathan laid on the examination table at Urgent Care and was failing to respond to us as we were yelling his name, I did not see a little boy; I saw a tiny, premature baby.  My baby.  Without hesitation he was taken to the ER and thankfully by the time we arrived Nathan began to come out of it and his oxygen levels returned to 100%.  After 6 long hours we were able to return home and try to get Nathan settled in for the night.  In the middle of the night I had to wake Nathan twice to administer breathing treatments and I was beyond exhausted (I had participated in World Vision's 30 Hour Famine Friday and Saturday with the high school youth at our church- enough said!).  As I sat in an uncomfortable chair holding my "baby", I truly felt as though there was nowhere else I would rather be.  Sleep?  A love that a mother has for her child can overcome a lack of sleep.  Besides, that what an obscene amount of coffee is for.  The smell of stale puke wafting from a pile of laundry in the garage?  Well, O.K., let's not go overboard, but I am grateful that I HAVE nasty laundry form Nathan to wash.

And what will today bring?  As I type this entry Eric is at the dentist with Dima.  Poor Dima is having part 3 of some major dental work and will have to be put under and restrained.  That means upon his return he will be out of sorts and will most likely attempt to chew off his own face.  Blood and possibly more puke will be involved.  But you know what?  What an honor.  I GET to take care of that precious little love, too.  And Dima gets to experience, again, the tender love that only a mother can give.  I wonder how many times he was sick before he came home with us and he felt scared and alone with no mother to hold him

The other two boys, Jeremiah and Elijah, well, they are out of sorts today, too.  I've got one in bed laying quietly because his throat hurts and the other screaming and crying because there is nothing he wants to eat for breakfast (i.e. he is WAY overtired).  I am still in my pajamas, sucking down coffee like it is my job, and I still would not want to be anywhere else.  Who else will be sick today?  How much laundry will I have to do?  How many times will I have to tell little boys to "flush and wash"?  As much and as many as I need to.

Now I will take a moment here and confess that I do not always feel "blessed" to do all of the above.  Every week for the past 6 weeks someone has been sick.  Actually, overall, we have had a pretty rough winter in terms of sickness.  I have had my share of pity parties in the recent past, too.  But it was taking it all to my Heavenly Father that helped me to turn my perspective around.  He reminded me that He, too, deals with my sicknesses, "temper tantrums", and ugliness yet He still loves me.  He gave His one and only Son so He could have me with him in all of eternity.  That is the sort of love we are to have for our children and one another.

Unfortunately with Sammy being so sick yesterday I missed church and the opportunity to hear my own husband preach on love.  I am thankful, however, that the Lord used my less than desirable situation to teach me and remind me what unconditional love is.

So here is to what I determine to be a good day.

Friday, February 17, 2012

If Not Us.....

A fellow adoption advocate wrote a very passionate blog entry about the church's call to care for orphans.  Her name is Adeye and I love her heart.  I have never met her, but I share her love and concern for the "least of these" who are wasting away and in need of being rescued.  I share her passion for stirring up fellow Christians to take a stand and DO something for these children rather than turn a blind eye.

So without further ado, I would like to share Adeye's passionate plea:  If Not Us....Then Who? 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Lessons On Love

This has been quite a week for our family with Dima and his extensive dental work with lots of little bumps in the road.  Some of the bumps have been bigger than the others and I am grateful that eventually the bumps will smooth out.  The Lord has also taken this opportunity to work on our family and teach us some very valuable lessons on love.  Real honest to goodness love.

Without going into too much detail, we had a little episode yesterday that was frustrating to say the least.  Our sweet Dima got himself worked up into such a state that it had me scratching my head wondering who this kid was in my house.  Once I got him settled I sat with him in my rocking chair and rocked him like he was a little baby.  This rocking chair had been my Grandma Allerton's and many little ones have been rocked in that chair.  It is a place of love and refuge.  As I sat there with this 7 year old who had just about turned the house upside down, I mourned for him.  I highly doubt that he ever had a place of true refuge when he was a baby.  I doubt that his birthmother lovingly held that precious little baby and assured him that everything was going to be O.K.  No.  Dima endured a living hell with that woman and her family.  His only refuge was his older half-brother who often took the abuse so Dima would not have to.  The half brother was only a little boy himself.  Then once Dima was removed from that home he was put into an orphanage where he had to compete for attention, food, and love.  How should I expect Dima to behave when he is scared or confused?

And then it hit me.

I am no different than Dima.  I, too, was once lost but am now found.  Adopted into the family of God.  Before I truly knew the Lord I was just as scared and confused about life as Dima is now.  I would resist my Heavenly Father's love, correction, and guidance.  I had lived "on my own" for so long I didn't know how to accept Him or His family.  How many times did the Lord have to "rock me" and reassure me?  How many times, no matter what I did or how hard I fell did the Lord pick me back up and love me?  Unconditional love.  Real love.  Over and over and over.  New mercies and forgiveness.  All new concepts to Dima, something I tend to take for granted.

Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  It does not demand its own way.  It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never looses faith, it is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.  1 Corinthians 13:4-7

That is the love I have for my children and my husband.  That is the love that the Lord has for you and me.  It is so easy to forget, however, that we were once lost and in dire need of a Savior.  As a mother it is easy to feel as though you are beginning to loose patience and get exasperated with your children.  But we need to continually remember that while our children do indeed need discipline they also need love and mercy.  We must exhibit Christ's love to them.  In turn that is how they learn to love and trust Jesus.

Love never gives up.

Love never looses faith.

Love is always hopeful.

Love, true love, endures through every circumstance.

Love.  Real honest to goodness love.

This song by Sara Groves just speaks so well to what I am trying to share.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dental Visits 1 & 2 Plus Fun

Yesterday Dima had his initial visit at the pediatric dentist.  It went better than I had expected, though it was really rough sitting in the waiting room hearing him scream at the top of his lungs- the WHOLE TIME!  The other parents were all looking around as if to say, "Who's kid is that making such a fuss?".  I just sat there and pretended I didn't know it was Dima (ha ha!).  Unfortunately since Dima was so ornery they were unable to do anything other than x-ray and clean his teeth which meant we had to return bright and early this morning for them to begin the work.

On the bright side Dima had zero cavities in his permanent teeth, but his baby teeth are in rough shape.  He needed some fillings and two crowns.  They also put a protective seal on his permanent teeth.  I am grateful no teeth had to be extracted!  For this second visit Dima had to be sedated and swaddled for his own safety and he handled that pretty well.  The funny thing is that the demerol did not keep Dima sleepy very long.  By the time he got home he was wanting to bounce off the walls and chew the inside of his cheeks until they bled (ouch!).  There will be another dental appointment at the end of the month when hopefully the dentist will be able to finish up the work in Dima's mouth.  Then, from then on out it will be maintenance visits for cleanings and such.

Now for the fun stuff!

After yesterday's initial dental visit we stopped at Easy Street Family Fun Center so Dima could meet the amazing Jennie Pinard.  Jennie and her team helped us with our adoption by allowing us to have a fundraiser last March- Dima Day!  From that point on Jennie was one of our biggest supporters and she, too, has a heart for orphans.  We showed up a few hours before it opened so Dima had full reign of the place.  The three of us had so much fun playing on the mini golf course, chasing each other through the tunnels on the giant indoor playground, and Dima got to have some Hi-C.  It was a really great time with Jennie and I think it even further convicted her heart that there is a little boy somewhere out there meant to be a part of her family.  Here are a few pictures that she took with her phone:

Dima is now the "General Manager" of Easy Street!

Jennie and her new best friend.  We love you Jennie!!

And another shot of Dima hard at work.

As you can see Dima is quite the busy boy!  We will be having his 8th birthday party there for sure.  He deserves such a celebration!

In the meantime I have also enjoyed having the opportunity to share with people I have met at the various medical appointments Dima's story as well as letting people know that there are many more little ones just like Dima in dire need of a family.  It is always touching to see others compassion for these little ones and maybe, just maybe Dima's life will help another little love be found by their forever family.