July 27, 2018

Confessions of an Adoptive/Foster Care Mama...

When I was little, I never knew that I would struggle to conceive children.  I wanted a lot of children so it hit me like a ton of bricks when we were referred to the "specialist!"  I longed for many years to be a mommy and through many miscarriages and daunting/expensive infertility treatments, God led us to adoption.  I remember not wanting to adopt in the US after two failed domestic adoptions and quite honestly, I wasn’t willing to let my heart break once more.  We were led to Ukraine and an adoption story, like you have never heard, began to unfold.  It was one of the most difficult yet most beautiful journeys.  I was finally a mom.  My empty lap was full.  

Then in 2008, God blessed us with another adoption of a beautiful baby girl.  It wasn't something we were looking for and in fact, we were certain we would head back to Ukraine to adopt.  God literally dropped a baby in our laps.  We would go on to adopt two more but due to circumstances beyond our control, those two are no longer part of our home.  Our lives are certainly different and I’ve been able to minister to so many families since then, but we didn’t escape that time free from pain and trauma.  My kids have been scarred and some wounds may take years to heal.  But, we have learned a lot and how to respond to that pain.  We still talk about the “what ifs” in life but know that God will take what was meant for evil and turn it into good, we trust Him.  

One of the things my husband and I were adamant about was NOT doing foster care.  Many people have asked us over the years but we just never felt led to do so.  We’ve taken the classes, even became certified but then never felt like God was telling us to jump right in.  After our experiences with children in and out of our home, we didn’t feel it was be good for our adopted children that already struggled with abandonment issues.  Why would we do that to them, once again? Then a call came that changed our thinking and our lives.  We knew him.  We loved him.  We knew he needed a home.  We were willing.  

He was just 8 years old when he came to our house last year.  He was scared, afraid, timid and guarded.  This is going to take some work and at times, that work is hard, very hard.  I’ll always be competing with “the other woman” in the lives of my children.  I’ll always be that “second mom” and I have to be okay with that.  If you are going to be an adoptive mama, you have to always remember that they were not yours first.  Sure, God picked them from the beginning of time to be your child but they grew in the belly of someone else.  There will always be some sort of an attachment to a person, that your child may have never met.  And if they have met them, that attachment is much stronger.  Its harder, as an adoptive mama, to fight against that bond.  So, you don’t.  If you continue fighting, you begin to feel like a failure.  You feel rejected.  And at times, you want to give up.  

It can be painful to see breastfeeding mamas come across your screen because you’ll never get to experience that type of bonding.  It can be painful to watch complaining pregnant women because you’ll never get to experience the feeling of a baby kicking or the birth of a child.  All of these, coupled with your child’s lack of attachment, could send you in a spiraling mess.  Trust me, I’ve been there…a LOT!

But, I have come to realize that my story is different from the many women that can bear children.  My children’s stories are different from the stories of their friends.  I get to be a part of something really big.  I get a front row seat into true stories of redemption.  Once these kids were abandoned, rejected, but now have been redeemed and God chose ME to be their mommy, whether I am the first, the second or just temporary.  Though we don’t talk to two of our adopted children, we were in their lives for a season and we can trust in the God who brought them here, that He has a plan for their lives.  We were able to provide a safe place for them during a time when they needed it most, just like foster parents.  We have to trust Him that He has them in the palm of His hand and we have had to let go.  Its hard and trust me, we’ve been condemned for it but its not anyone else’s story but ours.  

For the children I have in my home now, God has them here for a season, too.  They will grow up, they will move on and we can pray that the job that God has given us to do was completed.  That we leaned on Him, gained strength from Him, did our best and did it for His Glory, because He brought us here.  There are going to be days that the affectionate hugs and words are not reciprocated.  There are going to be days that they are guarded and don’t have the trust to tell you what they are really feeling.  There are going to be days when they long for their biological mamas.  There are going to be days when they are going to say “You are not my real mom.”  There are going to be days of rejection, defiance, lies, and lots of tears.  

But, every day is worth it because there will be good days and there will be great days.  There will be days you get sweet little notes on your car steering wheel from your teenager as you leave on a trip.  There will be days you get little Post-it notes with “I love you” on your night stand.  There will be days when you get heart pictures shoved under your locked bedroom door with hearts and “xoxoxox” because you are hiding in your room with tears streaming down your face. There will be days when you watch your kids on stage or play a sport and ugly cry thinking about where they would be if they weren’t with you.  There will be days when your child with a severe learning disability due to utero drug exposure reads for the first time and you get to experience the sheer joy.  There will be days when you get to take care of them after broken arms, cuts, bruises, and a chronic illness and are thankful that you are their caregiver and that they aren’t in an orphanage or a home being neglected and ignored.  

So, yeah, today is hard.  This week has been hard.  I’m struggling with a child that has very little attachment to me.  It hurts. Its painful and there have been many tears.  But, if I look back over the years and all our adoptions, I know and I am certain that this too shall pass.  There will come a day when he calls me “mom.”  There will come a day when he will know that he can trust us with every ounce of his being, because we wanted him, we chose him.  There will be days when she hugs me back.  There will be a day when she doesn’t long for her birth mom. There will be a day when they all realize that I am their real mommy who loves them with every ounce of my heart. In the meantime, I make sure to notice the baby steps taking place.  I will recognize the beauty in these ashes and that “all things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). This is not a sprint, its a marathon.  Adoption is a marathon, actually more like an Iron Man.  But, its worth it, its very worth it and I’m blessed that God would choose me to walk down this road.  The journey is hard but beautiful. 


August 28, 2014

Messy Beautiful Love - You're gonna want to read this one!

UPDATE:  Darlene has just launched a New Blog!  http://www.marriageprayers.today

Craig and I are coming up on our 15th wedding anniversary!  I can't believe the time has passed so quickly yet, if we are really honest, some of those times seemed like eternity.  You know what I'm talking about, those really messy times, those moments when you just wanted to throw your hands in the air and call it quits.  There have been times when it was so messy that I didn't think I wanted to even begin to clean it up but rather just walk away from the yuck.  Can you relate?

But, then there have been those beautiful times.  The times where you can see the residue of the mess but see the beauty that comes from the ashes.  You can catch of glimpse of redemption, a ray of sunlight around the dark cloud, the glimmer of hope that peeks through the tears.  Its those times that you take a deep breath and know that everything is going to be okay.

No one ever promised that it would be easy, this thing called marriage.  Did you really expect two people that are made up so differently, with so many faults, actually giving 100% of themselves 100% of the time?  We are selfish people, with selfish motives, we are born sinful and we stay that way until eternity.  So, what made you think that marriage was going to be a bed of roses?  If you are like me, I wanted to live in a cartoon.  Actually, I wanted to live at Disney World - no joke.  I imagined my prince charming high on his white horse swooping down to whisk me off my feet. (Mine drove a red Chevrolet Z71 pick-up truck.)  My rags would be made to riches and I would live happily ever after.  But, what happens when Prince Charming falls off his horse?  What happens when your riches turn back into rags or that carriage turns back into the pumpkin?  Its easy to give up.

I remember a couple of years ago, I started following The Time Warp Wife.  I liked her style!  She was real and down-to-earth. She didn't sugar coat anything but always found a way to meet me right where I was in  my marriage.  She encouraged me through her writing to love Craig like I had been called to do.  She has no idea who I am, outside of cyber world, but I feel like we could sit down with a cup of coffee and be instant friends.  She has been such an inspiration to me over these last couple of years when my life seems to be really messy, like kindergarteners and finger paint kind of messy.

I recently saw a post where she was looking for members of a Launch Team.  I jumped at the opportunity, only because I love her and her writings.  I filled out the form and they graciously asked me to join the team.  What a blessing, what an honor!  So, I get to help her promote this awesome book, Messy Beautiful Love!

I am looking forward to reading this book and plan to start right now, actually!  I've heard from other Launch Team members that its hard to put down and one woman read it in one day!  I am also looking forward to seeing how this book changes lives, ultimately redeeming marriages through the powerful work of the Holy Spirit.  I'm so excited for Darlene and I love how much she has poured her heart into this book!

So, please join me in this incredible opportunity to Pre-Order this amazing book!  Look at all the FREEBIES included when you do pre-order Messy Beautiful Love!

And, please share your marriage redemption testimonies with me, I'd love to post them!


December 30, 2013


It was 10:38 pm on December 23rd when I saw the number pop up on my phone.  I had a feeling it was her but I wasn't ready to answer.  I had no idea what she wanted and how the conversation would flow, so I screened the call.  We've all been there, screening our calls, but this was really different.  I just happen to be laying next the biggest gift the caller had ever given me - a child.  She left a message and I did what any normal person would do, I listened to it over and over and over.  It was such a shock that she had chosen to call me.  I had an idea of what she wanted but I wasn't sure.  I wanted to talk to Craig before I called her back and he had been asleep for at least an hour. I sent a text to a friend that I had been texting earlier in the day and told her that I was "freaking out."  She kept encouraging me to call but I couldn't make myself push the keys.  I was nervous, scared, excited, and overwhelmed.  I listened to the message again.  "Hi, Becca, this is Bri.  This is my number xxx-xxxx.  Can you give me a call when you can?  Love you guys. Bye."  It was her.  It was the one girl that I think of everyday when I look into Madeline's eyes.  Its the one that I am forever grateful to for giving me a life to care for, to love, to protect, to teach.  Its the one girl that I miss so much because I felt like a part of me walked out of that hospital room on April 10, 2008.  I couldn't sleep that night and kept replaying the message over in my head.  I prayed for her as I lay with my eyes wide open looking at the moon as it peered through my blinds.  What was she thinking?  Did she want an update?  Was it bad news?  The thoughts played over in my head until morning.

I knew she wouldn't be up as early as me so I sent a text rather than calling.  "Hi Bri, it is so good to hear your voice. Call me when you wake up.  Love you!"  That was at 9:00 am and I waited.  And, I waited.  And, I waited.  I kept checking my  phone throughout the day.  After hours of no phone call, I wondered if I had missed my chance.  I had not spoken to her or heard her voice since December 2010 when she called collect to wish us a "Merry Christmas."  Oh, how I have missed her.  I missed the sweetness in her voice and I missed the relationship that we had prior to Madeline's birth.
Then, at 3:07, I could hear my phone ringing.  My home was filled with friends of my girls as they baked Christmas cookies.  I had a feeling it was her so I ran to my bedroom to take the call.  Oh, the sound of her voice made my heart melt.  I really had missed her voice.  Its almost like a small child's voice with a hint of innocence.  A voice that longs for Truth, a voice that longs for acceptance, a voice that longs for healing, a voice that longs for redemption.  We spoke for 27 minutes and it was some of the best conversation and much more than I had expected from her. 

I started off by asking her if she wanted to know about Madeline.  She agreed to listen.  I was a bit hesitant at first to tell her but I wanted her to know that she was in a good place, where she was loved and taken care of.  I could almost hearing her grinning on the other end of the phone as I told her about Madeline's humor, her beautiful heart and the things that reminded me of her "first" mommy.  I told her that we have always told Madeline from early on that she was brought to us by the miracle of adoption.  I reminded her that she had given us the greatest gift and that we would always be forever grateful for the selfless act of placing her child up for adoption.  She couldn't believe that we spoke so highly of her to Madeline and she was thankful that her daughter would grow up knowing how much she loved her.  I could almost sense tears on the other end of the phone and then she began to talk.  It was hard to hear at first but she wanted to share her heart.  She started with telling me that I had the voice of an angel and that she has longed to talk to me for years.  Now, my tears were falling.  Me?  An angel?  Not likely, not even close!

She went on to tell me that the best decision she had ever made in her life was to place Madeline with us.  She explained why she had not been in touch and it wasn't because she didn't love her, she didn't want to ever come in between what Craig and I have with Madeline.  She reassured me that we were her parents and she would never want to put Madeline in a position of having to choose or to be confused of her identity.  I respect that and I felt like Briana had matured into a responsible young adult. She voiced that she did have a hard heart towards Madeline and that was difficult to hear but understand.  It was those words that I played over and over in my head for the next couple of days.  Having to give up a child is one of the hardest things anyone could ever do.  I've been there in a way and I can understand to some extent.  Its there, when we have hit what we feel is rock bottom and can only look up.  Its there, in the pit, where we long for redemption, for healing, for truth.

So, I have begun to pray harder than I ever have for Briana.  I pray for complete and total healing.  I pray that one day she can think of her daughter without shame, regret or a hard heart.  I pray that she can find healing in knowing that adoption IS redemption.  I pray that God would turn her heart of stone into a heart of flesh.  I pray that one day she can look into our daughter's eyes and know that she was instrumental in bringing redemption to Madeline.  She had a choice and she chose wisely.  I pray that our reconnection would cause her to think about her life, her choices, her future, and her Creator.  I pray that 2014 will bring new life to her, to her soul.  I beg God to redeem this child and to adopt her into His loving family.

Psalm 107 reminds me of His redemptive power!

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! 
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. 
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 
He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. 
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. 
Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons, for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High. 
So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor; they fell down, with none to help. 
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart.
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron.
Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;
they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. 
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 
And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy! 
Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; they saw the deeds of the LORD, his wondrous works in the deep.
For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight;
they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits' end.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!
Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the evil of its inhabitants. 
He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. 
And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in; they sow fields and plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield. 
By his blessing they multiply greatly, and he does not let their livestock diminish. 
When they are diminished and brought low through oppression, evil, and sorrow, he pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes; but he raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks. The upright see it and are glad, and all wickedness shuts its mouth.
Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.

July 18, 2013

Doctors and Surgeries and Hospitals - OH MY!

Now, if you didn't do that in your best Judy Garland voice - go back and read it again :)

Don't let the title of this scare you because its just part of life - right?  The Hills have been so fortunate to never meet their insurance deductible but this year - we just might do it!  I don't know if I should  celebrate or cry that three of the Hills will be doing their best to get this accomplished! Yay for the overachievers - it must be our newest obsession with CrossFit :)

Back in October 2012, I saw the doctor for my routine "woman" exam.  It was determined on that day, that not only do I have some "suspicious" spots in my breasts BUT I have these monsters growing inside of my uterus that they like to refer to as fibroids.  I was told during that exam that I may need to consider an ablation or partial hysterectomy.  I sort of just forgot about that discussion and went on my merry way.  I mean, who really wants to be put to sleep and have part of your body removed - hmmmm, not me.  Fast forward to now and I found myself back at the doctor with pain I was sick of and wondered if these little monsters had grown in such a short time.  It felt like they were sucking the life out of me!  Yep, looks like I'm feeding them all sorts of nutrients because an ultrasound wasn't even needed to prove their growth! So, they must come out and in fact, my uterus must join these monsters!  On August 8th, I will be having a partial hysterectomy.  I took it really hard at my appointment.  The waiting room was filled with chipper pregnant women (and a teenager) and I sat there with my hopes and dreams completely squashed of ever having a baby within my womb.  Now, you must be thinking, "Wait, I thought you were done with that anyway."  Yes, you are right but there is something about being told "Now that you've exhausted your efforts of having biological children and the fact that you are past the reproductive age, your best option is the partial hysterectomy."  I am done with that part of my life and I've come to terms that God chose to put me right where He wanted me and blessed me with children that came from another. But, its just the finality of it all. For those of you that have yearned for a baby in your womb, you get it!  But, I am not choosing to let this get the best of me - I am confident that "He who began a good work in me will carry it on until completion."  I trust in a Sovereign God that loves me more than I could imagine!

Now to the hard part - Molly.  My precious little Ukrainian came to us almost 9 years ago!  Its so hard to believe that it has been almost a decade and it seems like just yesterday we were walking through those doors at the San Antonio airport.  If you remember Molly when she came home, she was quite the "transparent" baby. She was so pale and I thought "I'll own stock in Coppertone!"  I must have kept 500 SPF on her for much of her early life.  Well, she had a cute little "beauty mark" appear on her jaw line a few years ago.  I've thought nothing of it until it recently became red around it.  During my dermatology exam a couple of weeks ago - I just nonchalantly mentioned it to my doctor.  She asked if I could bring Molly in the following week.  Sure.  Well, it was not what a mama wants to hear... "I'm going to have to refer you to All Children's Hospital in St. Pete. The area has irregular pigmentation and should be removed and biopsied."  My poor little Molly had tears as big as Texas well up in her eyes.  It took all I had to hold back my tears and keep my cool - for her sake!  She was completely silent but had tons of questions once we got into the car.  She asked if we could "go talk about it over a breakfast of pancakes."  Absolutely, baby!  So, on October 8th, we have an appointment with Dr. Michael Gallant.  I've googled him, because that's how I roll.  And, to my GREAT surprise, he appears to be an amazing doctor!  He has traveled all over (including Eastern Europe) to perform cleft palate surgeries on orphans and poverty-stricken children.  Some of the reviews call him "an angel" "a God-send" "a saint."  So, I am confident that God has us going to one of the best!  We wait and look forward to getting this little spot resolved and moving on with our lives.

Then, there is my loving hubby, Craig.  Poor guy - he must have been one tough kid growing up!  Apparently, his nose has been broken a few times and its just a mess.  The ENT that he recently saw won't even touch it (surgery-wise) and referred him to a Facial Plastic Surgeon.  I feel so sorry for him and have for many years.  He has chronic sinus infections and can barely breathe.  You can imagine his sleeping habits and I'm sure he doesn't get good sound sleep because of this nose structure.  The ENT and surgeon confirmed that the right side of his nose is completely closed!  Amazing that he hasn't had any other major issues!  God has protected him!  So, as soon as our insurance authorizes his surgery, he will go in for sinus surgery and reconstruction of a broken nose.  I am hoping and praying that this brings immediate relief to him.  He has struggled for so many years and its going to be awesome to see how his quality of life changes for the better!

So, with all that being said....you can imagine the whirlwind of emotions this mama has going through her head.  I am so blessed to have a mom and mom-in-law that will be here for my surgery!  My in-laws were scheduled to come anyway and Mama Hill is staying longer to help out.  My heart is full.  We also belong to an incredible church that has already started praying for us and is willing to help with anything we need.  I belong to a wonderful community of homeschool friends who have offered to take the girls for playdates and events.  I am well taken care of and I am overwhelmed at the love and support of so many.

God has us on this yellow brick road for one reason - to bring Him Glory.  I don't, for one minute, shake my fist at Him for all of this, but embrace it and consider it pure joy.  I pray that He would use this for His kingdom and not mine!  I pray that we would all remain calm and lean on Him during these challenging times.  He is in control and I may not know the future but I know Who holds it.

Please pray for our family.  Pray for the doctors and that God would guide their hands.  Pray for good results for Miss Molly and that He would calm her nerves.  Pray that Craig would get immediate relief and that his time away from work would be minimal.  Pray that my recovery is short and that I can start this school year off to a great start and free from monsters and pain!

Following HIS yellow brick road,


May 29, 2013

Hello, my name is Becca, and I am a Trauma Mama....

(This is a wounded, open heart post)

When I was younger, my mom, little brother and I watched a movie on TV where a mother admitted her daughter into a drug rehab.  During their therapy sessions, the patients would stand up and say "Hi, my name is Anna and I am a drug addict."  The rest of the patients would say, "We love you, Anna."  This went on and on and on and it grated on my last nerve.  So, for years, my brother and mom would just, out of nowhere, say "We love you, Rebecca."   It was usually during a pretty dramatic time of my life where my world was crumbling (not really but it usually had to do with breakups, lost friendships, or not having anything to wear on a Friday night).

So, with the title of my post, I am waiting to hear those words "We love you, Rebecca." Because, I am having one of those days!  Actually, its been years but I am just starting to realize that I am, in fact, the mother of children who were traumatized.  As most of you know, my children did not come to me the good old fashion way and for that, I am thankful and surely blessed!  But, my children did experience trauma in their lives, whether it was in the womb, in an institution or both.  I can't imagine not knowing the feeling of a mom holding and rocking me tight.  I don't know what its like to not eat three meals a day.  I don't know the feeling of watching my mother be abused and nearly killed.  I don't know what its like to cry for hours and no one know you're even in the room.  I don't know what its like to wish every day for a family.  I don't know trauma like my kids know trauma!

A couple of years ago, I joined a group of women on Facebook that were all parenting children with major behavioral and emotional issues.  We are known as TRAUMA MAMAS!  We had our own nightmare going on and I just needed to surround myself with other mothers that knew my day in and day out battles.  Unfortunately, we chose to remove the child from our home that was wrecking everyone's life.  It was and still is the hardest decision of our parenting lives.  But, it was the best decision for her and for our family.  I just assumed that she was the only child that had experienced such a traumatic past and that my other children were just fine.  I was wrong - you know what they say about assuming!

Today started out with just a simple task.  Actually, it started several weeks ago but the deadline has come and gone and I wanted to make sure a particular child finished her assignment.  Well, that simple task has taken over 5 hours and lots of sighs, grunts, rolling of the eyes, tears and a nervous breakdown and that was just ME!  The child in question is beyond frustrated and what should have taken her just a matter of minutes has become a day long activity.  By noon, I was done.  I was up to my ears in parenting.  I wanted to just grab everything from her and do it myself.  But, instead, I took a seat on the back porch and called my husband.  He is so wonderful and encouraging.  He reminds me all the time that I am doing my best as a mom.  He reminded me about GRACE!  He offered solutions and practical advice.  Sometimes, you just need the basics!

I still feel at a loss but I do see a path.  I do see there is a way out of the woods.  I do see and hear of people wanting to help me, to help her.  I need to swallow my pride and say "You know, I don't care what people think or say, my children have been traumatized and they need help." I need to start by telling myself this and believing it!  Its hard to think that your kids need something more than your love.  I remember when we disrupted our adoption, I actually had people tell me or have others tell me, "All she really needs is to be loved more."  I had others bash me (indirectly) on their blogs of how "adoption is hard" but to never give up - don't dare abandon a child that had already been abandoned, etc.  Oh, because they have it all together, I began to feel guilty for not loving our daughter enough and doing enough for her while she was in our care.

So, my mind went back there today with our three here at home, especially one child in particular. I started questioning my parenting skills or lack there of.  I began to wonder if I was the right family for this child that struggles so much in our family.  I began to question if I've done everything humanly possible to make sure she succeeds.  I began to feel guilty.  I feel ashamed for not reaching out to professionals sooner and now we are at a huge crossroads.  "This is all my fault" I began to say over and over in my brain.  I started resenting her a long time ago but this was all  my doing.  But, my earthly knight in shining armor reassured me, its not my fault.  He assures me that there is hope!  He reminds me of my ultimate Knight In Shining Armor - my Heavenly Father - who has this all figured out.  He has already shown His Grace and Mercy over the last few days.  He has already shown me that He holds the future of my child (not me!).  He's got this!  He is Sovereign and He doesn't need me to accomplish His will.  I am here to protect her, to nurture her, love her, guide her, and most importantly - teach her about the Love and Grace of her Savior, Jesus Christ!  I plant the seeds, the Lord makes it grow.  I need to let go!  But, its so much easier said than done!

I need to first admit that I am STILL a TRAUMA MAMA!  My kids struggle.  They aren't where they need to be academically.  Actually, they are behind in many areas of life.  They aren't receiving full scholarships to universities.  They aren't the top of the class, the Valedictorian, the Prom Queen.  They don't thrive in areas of their peers and you know what - IT IS OKAY!!!!!!!!!!  I'm preaching to myself more than anyone!  I need to hear this every minute of every day!  I need to know that I am going to have to repeat myself over and over to these children that just don't get it the first time and most often, the tenth time.  I'm going to have to come to terms with the fact that I have a child with major special needs.  I need to understand that this is the life that God has so graciously given to me and I need to be thankful for it. I need to realize that I don't have it all together and neither do my children and throw out the expectations.  I need to stop comparing my children to those that were adopted from the same orphanage at the same time (this is a big one!).  My children are blessings, gifts from my Father and He will equip me to do the work He has called me to do. 

Most importantly, I should be seeking Christ and His will for the lives of my children.  I should trust Him to heal them of the trauma they experienced at such an early age in life.  I need to do a lot less complaining when things aren't going as planned and know He isn't surprised by any of it.  I need the Lord now more than ever before!  I need to not worry about what man thinks of my situation but lean on my Heavenly Father and curl up into His arms and hear him say "I love you, Rebecca."


May 7, 2013


There are times in your life when God just wakes you up in the middle of the night and wants to show you something!  If you ever find yourself wide awake, tossing and turning - remember, it might not be that Coke you drank at 3:00 that afternoon - it might be God!

I was in the bed with Madeline because she had a bad dream and needed her mommy close by.  I couldn't sleep and decided to go through my phone and clean up old texts.  As I went through my phone, I ran across a text I had received in January (its April at this point).  An old friend of mine had invited me to her blog and to be honest, I never went to it.  I'm not sure why but maybe I was just a little confused at a situation that had gone down about 5 years ago.  I lost touch with this friend after a pretty nasty divorce with her hubby.  I introduced them many moons ago and to be honest, I might have been a little bitter towards both of them.  I've been known to make things about ME!

Well, God woke me up and He caused me to go through my text and for good reason - His Glory!  I went to my friend's blog and found myself in tears an hour later.  My heart just broke for her, for her husband, for her kids - for all of those involved.  I knew I needed to reach out to her but I wasn't sure if she would be receptive - I had pretty much dropped her like a hot cake.  I never gave her the benefit of the doubt or asked her side of the story.  I did a lot of assuming and never knew that my friend's heart was breaking!  You can read her blog to understand the journey she has been on and where God is taking her in this thing called life!

The next morning after reading her blog, I feel inclined to text her.  Texting her would be pretty safe and I would know whether or not she was receptive if she responded.  My text was "Just wanted  you to know that I've kept up with your blog.  Beautiful writings.  I do love you!"  She immediately replied that she loved me and missed me and to top it off - she was only 102 miles from me with her family at Disney (we live 1220 miles away)!  I knew right then to load up the girls and head up to see her!  It was such a God moment and one that I am forever grateful for!  Our time was sweet and not even rushed - Disney and all!  It was a time of redemption, of hearing her story and of seeing God's work in her life!  I am forever blessed by that day and I am thankful that God woke me up that night!

I want to share her blog with you so that you can get a glimpse of the magnificent power of CHRIST and His majestic healing!  For it was not by her strength, but by His strength that she has been RECLAIMED!

RECLAIMED - click here!

Love you, Nan!!!

Be blessed,

February 6, 2013

A Solution to our Spelling Struggles

I have been searching online for quite a few weeks on solutions for our spelling challenges.  Both of my older girls struggle with spelling and the spelling nazi inside of me is really trying to be sympathetic and realize, as my friend Shelly once said, "Lack of spelling skills does not mean a lack of intelligence." I need those friends in my life :)

I received an email from Time4Learning (our current curriculum choice for Molly) last week about a new website www.spellingcity.com and also a free app they offer for the iPhone, iPod and iPad.  I was so excited and immediately downloaded the app for the girls to use.  Molly instantly fell in love with it and continues to show me all the bells and whistles of the app.  I love when my girls get excited about learning!  I am very interested and anxious to start using the website for our spelling and vocabulary needs.  I honestly believe this may be the perfect solution for all three of my girls in the world of Spelling!

Just a few of the GREAT features of this website!
  • Over 42,000 spelling words with customizable sentences and definitions
  • A REAL person who says each word and sentence
  • Free home pages for teachers and parents to save lists
  • Teacher training videos
  • Free printable handwriting worksheets
  • Free teaching resources with lists and lesson plans
  • Twenty-five games to play online or to print such as:
    Alphabetical Order, Unscramble, Parts of Speech, HangMouse, Crossword Puzzle, WordSearch, and Vocabulary Test.
  • A free forum and newsletters
I am really looking forward to this being a part of our school day and I highly approve of the girls using this app on the iPad and iPod!  It offers a lot of fun games while learning - what more could you ask for in an app?


I've been given a Premium Membership to VocabularySpellingCity.com for a candid, personal, online review.
VocabularySpellingCity helps students study word lists using 25 different learning activities such as Unscramble, Hangman, WordFind, and Crossword Puzzle. Parents can create their own spelling lists, find published lists already available on the site, or use any of dozens of free teaching resources on topics such as Multiple Meaning Words and Possessive Nouns . Be sure to come back in three weeks to read about my experience.
There might be more free memberships available for bloggers. If you're interested, find out how you can review VocabularySpellingCity.com.