Monthly Archives: October 2011

Squealy Stew

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We made Squeals her own little eat-in kitchen, since she has enjoyed helping Mommy in hers SO much. I’ve learned to stop giving her actual food to work w/ though. I hate it because she really loves to play with it, but Jack and Annie, as you can see in this pic, are very lurky, just waiting for a chance to eat all of whatever she is “working on”.

In this second shot, Squeals is cooking it up in her outdoor kitchen. She is making some of her famous Squealy stew. It is chocked full of protein as it consists solely of acorns, Mmmmmmm. It’s gonna be TAsty! Again, Jackson is always near by, just in case, and there is not even real food in this concoction.

 

And last but not least, she is learning the use of all kitchen utensils and accessorires. Here is showing Jackson how to properly use an oven mitt. This girl might just need a little sibling, what do you think?

 

Adoption…Again, Houses and Happiness in God’s plans

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What a crazy couple of weeks it has been! Last week the 3 of us had lunch with a family who has been led to give of themselves soooooooo generously. They told us that the Lord has blessed them and they want to bless others with their blessings. Sounds too familiar. Not only because God says we are to do this in His Word, but familiar personally in our lives as well. In the Spring of this year, we had a gracious person who is very special in our lives donate all of the remaining funds, nearly $20K, to complete our adoption of Mila. We started the adoption process not having a clue of how we would pay for it, but we knew the Lord would provide in one way or another. And man did He!  Donations of this kind are not the norm, and adoption is so expensive, like take out a second mortgage kind of expensive. So needless to say, we felt enormously blessed to be able to complete our adoption without any debt incurred. Then, while in Congo, we had the added cost of additional flights, etc., due to the whole spider bite thing, and more and more people, even some who are almost strangers stepped in again and donated chunks of money to help get us all home. It was so cool to watch the Lord provide for our family in this way. Thank you is not enough to say to all of you who gave so sacrificially to our family bring this child home.

Fast forward to the past month. My career change to full time mommy, caused us to lose not only my income, but also some great health insurance coverage as well. Our new policy will not cover fertility treatments. Ever. So as our last insurance was lapsing, I had a small surgical procedure to see if my uterus was healthy, and everything seemed to be in working order. It was good to find out that all was well in that area, and it just affirmed in our minds, that this is just God’s timing. He opens and closes wombs, and He has just chosen to close mine, possibly forever, but at least, for now. We had sort of exhausted our options as far as fertility treatments go, except for IVF (in vitro fertilization-for those of you not in infertility world), but this was not really an option for us due to the cost, around $10K.

OK, this timeline is getting a little complicated, but bear with me. This gets really good. Back up to July, just before we left for Congo. I was contacted by a family who offered to pay for IVF for us! This procedure is cost prohibitive for most people, as many folks feel adoption is, but the we were having an offer to expand our family handed to us, again??? In a different way this time, but it almost seemed too good to be true. Dylan and I prayed and talked, and prayed some more. I really thought that this was where God was leading our family, due to the unlikely connection through multilple avenues that we had with this donating couple. It could not be explained any other way except that God was knitting our families together for a great purpose.

It came down to decision day, and Dylan felt like IVF was just not where God was leading our family. As the head of this house and a man of God, I knew what he was saying was the right decision, as much as I really wanted his answer to be different. History: Submission…not my strongpoint. Present: God gave me an overwhelming peace to let this final step in the fertility process go and follow my husband’s lead. I cried a few tears, which is not the norm for me, it’s usually buckets when it comes to all things baby. The next words out of mouth were, “So when are we going to adopt again?”. The hubs was ecstatic because he’s has been ready to go back to Congo since the day we arrived there. We had a great conversation, discussing growing our little family. The next step had to be telling our benefactor how humbled we were by their  gift, but that this was not where we felt God was leading our family.

So, that brings us back to Monday, one week ago. Dylan and I decided through much discussion to ask if they would consider the possibility of donating the IVF money towards an adoption instead. We went to lunch that day with a bit of a nervous feeling. The food was good, and the fellowship was awesome. We got to know each other better, and we got to introduce them to sweet Mila. We gave them the news about our decision and our proposal to donate the funds in a different way. We told them to not feel rushed to give us an answer because it was a lot to think about, and to just let us know whatever they decided. No less than an hour later I received the message that they wanted to donate the money they originally planned, plus $5,000 more towards adopting baby #2!! R U KIDDIN’ ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What a crazy awesome, roundablout, just when you think you know what He’s doing, and then He’s showing you He’s got even better plans kind of God we serve. He’s given opportunities that we could not have dreamed of…especially twice in a row! So, we are starting this long, hard, exciting process all over again. We are thinking baby girl Taylor #2! We think Miss Mila will be a pretty darn good big sis. She’s got a lotta sash to teach another little lady. We’ll have our hands FULL.

So in planning for another little one, decreasing our income quite a bit with me staying at home with Baby #1, and desiring to free up some funds so that we too can give more sacrificially, we are putting our house on the market. We are sad to think about leaving this house…we LOVE everything about it, but God never said it would be easy to follow Him and His plans. So, if anyone knows someone in the market for a killer house in the Pelham area, let them know where to go. We really need to get it sold before we update our homestudy which is kinda the first thing. So, we’ll see how this thing plays out.

*Our house is pretty awesome already, but it has this added bonus feature that I’ve yet to see in any other house. You can “poo-poo on the pa-yee” and enjoy a cool breeze from the beautiful wooded backyard all at the same time. (Da-dee is actually on a call walking around the backyard, and Mila wanted him to share in this pa-yee experience.)

She didn’t get THIS from her Momma.

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I discovered that Mila, like her Mommy, is beginning to show her babies their way around the kitchen. I am not sure about her method though, and frankly, I’m a bit disturbed.  One is in the microwave and the other’s in the oven!! Hmmmmm. The fun never stops around here.

Then Sunday morning, I found her kissing herself in the mirror, and I promise she did NOT learn this one from me.

 

5 Ways Our Child Wears Us Out

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WITH LAUGHTER, of course!!!

1.Wearing clothing on the wrong part of her body. 

Yeah, that’s a skirt. Guess I’ve ruined her with all the headbands.

2. Wearing clothing that is not hers. 

It shocked me that she got it in the right place. Upside-down, but otherwise, I was impressed with her accuracy.

3. Wearing 2 babies and 1 Mun-tee in a “traditional” African baby wrap.

I use the term traditional very loosely here. It was the best I could do. :O)

4. Wearing a Pull-up like a 90 year old woman wears Depends.

No offense to any Depends wearers, but this had me laughing hysterically.

5. Wearing nothing at all…

while riding a bike no less.

Magic Eraser, you are my new best friend.

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Not that I was in need of a new best friend, but I think I’ve made one today. I walked into Mila’s playroom last night to find some interesting art work. Not on paper, not in her coloring book, but on the wall. AWEsome. Much to my dismay a washcloth did nothing, and even though I think this was pencil, a pencil eraser wasn’t doing anything but taking the paint off. Then, I remembered my Magic Eraser. I’ve only used it to remove soap scum, which BTW, it is awesome at doing, but I thought I’d give it a whirl. And it worked!!! My walls, painted in flat paint mind you, are now Mila markings free!! Thank you Magic Eraser, you are my new best friend.

Here’s a little sampling of what I found.

It covered about a 2’x5′ area. Strong work Mila!!

On a totally separate note, I thought I’d give you a few Mila pics for the week. She has decided she is as fond as Mommy is of snuggling up on the couch with our favorite blankie, and our own personal space heater, Stinkerbelle. Good times!

Here she is running from the Mamarazzi. Mila is ready for Fall in her pageboy hat and whimsy scarf, paired with an oversized handbag and boots…with the fur. And it never fails. In a room almost completely filled with comfy bed, where does Mila always end up? In the crack. 

Thinking Back and Looking Forward

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As I thumbed through the pictures of the past week’s birthday festivities, my eyes just filled with tears as I thought back on the time when she was not here. It seems so far away now, but it’s not. It was just 2 1/2 months ago, and years before that, that I would daydream of a child in my backseat playing and singing. One that I could look back on and smile. One that would sing with me and not mind how terrible my voice is because I was her momma. One that I could gently correct as she did something she was not supposed to do. I would look in the rear view and just long for that child. Twice God answered my prayers… the first time He answered, “Not right now,” and the desire for motherhood continued to burn. After much anticipation, on July 17th, 2011, He answered me again, with a “Here is your baby girl!”.  I love looking at her in the rear view. It always makes me smile.

When we first made the decision to adopt from Africa, it was a time of uncertainty in a lot of areas. Of how our families would react to adoption and even more, to having a child of a different ethnicity in the family. But also, the uncertaintly of adoption in general. Would it be like our other experiences with trying to conceive?  Would this long and painful process ever produce a Baby Taylor? Ok, I am totally getting choked up writing this. God always had a plan for Miss Mila’s little life, and for our family, and at just the perfect time, He gave us more than we ever dreamed He would. Not that we didn’t know that God was good, or that He does not know how to give good gifts to His children, but I just don’t think our minds could hold what this would actually be like. Parenthood.

It is good. It is worth it all. Don’t get me wrong, it is no walk in the park, or tiptoe in the tulips, there is much sacrifice, and so much responsibility. LONG days, interrupted sleep, playing in poop (for anyone who has adopted internationally, you know what I’m talking about), barely getting the bills paid, a totally messy house, and many other things that just weren’t issues prior to Squealy Bird. And then there’s the difficult decisions of parenting, like taking stands on things because you know it’s what is best for your child. And last, but certainly not least the sacrifice of time, effort, stress and all the tears that went into getting said child here in the first place. But it is worth it, it is worth it all.

I do not know how it feels to give birth, or to have a baby kickin’ around in my belly, but I can’t imagine that it is any better than how God chose to bring this one into our world. Different, yes, but not better. He closed, and then opened door after door along the way. Many of these closings were painful, but they all led to parenthood just the same, and I think, I KNOW, we are better off for it. I am so thankful for the wait, so in awe of God’s goodness. I am thankful for family that loves us and our daughter so dearly. So thankful for everyone: family, friends and even some strangers who gave so sacrificially to help bring Mila home. God provided for this adoption every step of the way.

God used this verse many times during the last 3 years to get me through some rough patches, even through some serious black holes,  and a speaker at my first “mom conference” last weekend brought it back to mind.  I have heard it many times, and it just soothes my soul. What is so good is, that like the rest of His Word, this will always be true… “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning!”.  If and when God is going to choose to bring us out of our trials is usually the place our mind goes when the hard times hit. But where it should be, is what in the world is God showing me and the world about Himself in this deep valley. It seems ironic that it’s in our darkest places that we see the face of Christ the most clearly. He is there with us through it all and He brings us the joy that we can never find on our own.  I am so thankful for His ways, even when they are just the opposite of my ways. I am so thankful for His love, for His gifts, His strength when I am weak, and most of all for His Son, whom He gave freely so that I may live.  And so thankful for my daughter who never ceases to amaze me.

Here is a little family birthday fun from this past week. She had a blast, but that is pretty much her M.O.

First my dad and LeeAnn came by for birthday celebration #1. She loved the presents and always loves giving “Pounds” (or a fist pump–whatever you wanna call it).

Then it was on to Dylan’s Uncle David’s pizza joint, Fox’s Pizza in Springville, to celebrate with his side of the family. She played “Whac A Mole” (classic) and drove the racecar game. Skeeball, my personal favorite, did not turn out to be one she, or her cousin Brooksy Brooks,  really understood the concept of.  Oh, and I took a picture of her cake to prove we got her more than corndog nuggets :O).

Even though Skeeball kinda stumped her, she did figure out how to imitate the late MJ in his prime. I totally just caught this pose by accident, but what a priceless shot (LOL). Being a paparazzi mom does have it’s advantages.

Then we wrapped up the weekend at my uncle David’s for a “pool party”, that was not. It was waaaaaay too cold for swimming, so we just looked at their beautiful frigid pool from the balcony and stayed inside most of the time. But, we had a lot of fun. Squeals got many new things to keep her busy and fashionable, and we had some more good family time.

And this, was about 2 minutes into the ride home (and this child does not sleep in the car). Pretty much how we all felt after days of “partying”.



And it’s about how I feel right now. It’s late. I’m going to bed.

Good 1st (2nd) Birthday with our “Lil’ Squirrel“.