Friday, September 30, 2016

~We Are Back Home~

Whoop Whoop we are back home.....many days early!!

this little girl was so happy to be in a hotel instead of the hospital..
can I just say that she loves loves loves room service haha...she is living up to the diva name:)

sweet baby sleep both flights home (so did Mommy)

she ventured outside with her sister to visit with the chickens

she got tired so Daddy brought out the golf cart for her to sit in
he is showing Janie one of our new super ugly chickens, look at that head!!!

I have to say Madeline is so in her element with these chickens!
She can tell each of them from the other and does not understand why I can't remember their names!
Can we guess who is not a farm girl???

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

~Successful Surgery :)

I am very thankful to say Janie had a successful surgery yesterday! She was a bit slow coming out of recovery due to pain but her pain was managed well yesterday and going great this morning. The team mentioned possibly going back to the hotel late this afternoon....WHOOP WHOOP:)! 

I'm waiting for xray but if all looks good we will be able to head home late tomorrow afternoon:)

She is a bit weepy after her first flush but that is to be expected....all new and took a bit longer today....tomorrow is a new day:)

waiting for our first flight

crazy girlfriend sending a "smile" for Daddy

she was so excited for her first food of the day after surgery:)

She wanted me to go to the gift shop and take pictures of all the stuffed animals
this is one of the 8 pictures I took haha
she sent me back to buy the pink seal of course:)

finally crashed late in the afternoon

while Madeline caught chickens at home ha!

she had a good night and woke up with smiles to send to Daddy:)

I am very thankful for success so far....praying that Janie's anxiety will lessen and she will love her new freedom soon!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

~All About Madeline~

We had open house at the girls school tonight and toured their rooms
I'll show a bit of Madeline's things first since it has been a sad day for her...

I posted this yesterday when I went outside to see what Madeline was doing...
collecting eggs AND chickens haha
she loves loves loves these chickens and her bunny Snowflake

I went outside to look for Odie (our old deaf heart failure doggie) and see the rabbit hutch turned over
sweet Snowflake was laying about a foot away very sad
I send this pic to Hank trying to figure out what happened while starting to look for the chickens
then I see 2 dogs running down the side of our yard

I send this pic to Hank and of course he knows the doggies
they belong to our neighbor and got out of their fence due to a worker letting them out:(
They killed Madeline's bunny and 3 of our chickens (all named by Madeline)
She is so sad
my sweet neighbor is so sad 
sometimes these things just happen....
Madeline got it together to go to her open house and I am proud of my baby

I love this so much!
Life is awesome when you add to your family in such a unique way as we added Carly
and of course Madeline has been calling her a sister all along, love that!
all of this poem is SO Madeline!

I emailed it to Gardner (her English teaching brother:) and this is his response
he knows his sister well hahaha!!

her class went on a field trip to Reelfoot lake and Madeline was ALL about that!

I'm such a proud Mom that her favorite foods are McDonalds, Chick Fila and Wendy's
what about the homemade spaghetti I make... just for her
the steaks we grill... just for her
hahaha... kids!!!

Oh how I love this child, praying she feels better about her animals as the days go by
Her daddy is taking her to get some more chickens this weekend:)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

~Anxious Thoughts~

I must be on some sort of roll lately in keeping up with this old blog. It seems when life becomes somewhat unbalanced I drift back to this little place of mine to share our life and jot down my thoughts.....or I may go totally awol for a bit ha!

I found myself getting anxious last night over Janie's upcoming surgery....thoughts about something going wrong without Hank with me. After Jeff died I was not much of a worrier anymore.....well it appears to have returned. I really liked being that person who "did not worry until life gives you something real to worry about". I have been known to be an underreactor (not even a word ha), kids can be screaming and I don't even react until I see what is going on.

Fast forward to the present and for some reason I feel tightly wound....waiting for the other shoe to drop so to say. So when the surgery nurse called today to discuss Janie's history I was relieved that I felt calm giving her all the details of Janie's health. I hung the phone up and sat in my car a bit glazed over by all we had talked about. I realized I rarely think about these things. I forget all the internal workings that are "wrong" with Janie. On a day to day basis these "wrongs" don't cross my mind... because see her you would never know the special intricacies she has going on beneath the skin.

I share these thoughts because by all intents and purposes I appear to have it all together, but I'm a hot mess these days. I'd love to say I'm that one who handles life's changes well .....but I can't claim that either. So.....trusting that I continue to rely on this verse

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life” (Matt 6:25-27)?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

~5 Years Ago Today~

I love how Facebook will share memories with you

I posted this 5 years ago...

With great joy we announce the newest addition to our family: Lily Jane "Janie" Wright, born in Hunan China on May 9, 2008. We will travel to bring her home in February or March:) You can now pick yourselves off the floor at this time!!!!

I remember receiving this picture and crying because she looked happy, the rest of her pictures always showed a sad looking child. Now we know she is anything but sad haha

I added this to our post today:)

5 years ago today we shared that we were adopting again. Our journey to Janie QingQing was a spiritual journey for sure, many questions and fears. To say that I am incredibly grateful we said yes to God is an understatement. His hand is ALL over this precious feisty girl and our hearts. I am laughing that we announced her as Lily Jane and obviously changed her name to Sarah Jane while in China.....yeah that is how we roll apparently. 
I will forever be thankful that God woke me up at 4:30 every morning for a week worrying about this child and finally got my attention that He wanted us to fight for her and fight we did and will forever do. She is a rare jewel....we are privileged to be her Mommy and Daddy. 

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Monday, September 19, 2016


that one little word you don't want to hear or think about
but it is upon us again
this time of our own choosing....

this feisty little angel and I will travel to Columbus a week from today
her surgery is scheduled for Tuesday the 27th

we have decided to go ahead and have the Malone procedure done for our girl
~earlier as opposed to later~
primarily for her privacy as 1st graders are less likely to ask questions as to why she is missing school for a week:)
but the biggest reason..... it will be easier for her in the long run
and she will have the freedom to be self sufficient any time she is ready

We are praying for a speedy recovery......the less pain the better!!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

~Our Little Cheerleader~

Goodness, Janie is so very cute... sassy.... but cute:)
she is alllllll about cheerleading!!

the sweet coaches explaining to the girls how half time shows work:)

oh Janie!!
 Girlfriend makes me laugh all the time, not paying attention as usual:)

watching the other teams cheerleaders "perform"

she is discussing the game with Daddy:)

 I love this little girl!

Monday, September 12, 2016

~San Francisco....Alcatraz Swim # 3~

Hank and I left Memphis bright and early Friday morning for San Francisco
we were both feeling the need for some down time with each other
thanks to all the big kiddos at home they held the fort down with the little's!
yes, we will owe them big some day!

For this trip I found an Airbnb a few blocks from the wharf and it was awesome..
we like to stay close to Aquatic Park so we can walk to the race start

view of Alcatraz from our balcony...amazing

night view

each year we go to an informational meeting to get our race packet and info on currents
this is a pic of the plan...
this year the ferry dropped us at the west side of Alcatraz as opposed to East so the swim was a bit shorter.....guess they heard we are older:)

the swim course

checking in bright and early the next morning

waiting for the sun to rise
right before we were about to walk to the pier Hank realized he left his goggles at the apartment
glad it was him and not me, I would have cried
He ran flip flops!
so he did a biathalon that morning

it was colder and rougher this year or maybe we forgot how cold and rough it can be:)
as I swam across that bay I thanked God that I get to do this
life could be very different for any of us...I am thankful for our health for sure!!

after the race we stood in line for an hour and a half for Mama's breakfast
worth the wait!!!

that evening we met a veterinarian friend of Hanks and had a nice dinner at Pier 39

the man we rented the apartment from is a former hippie and awesome host
our view from the bottom, we were staying at the top.

the next morning we went for jog by the bay
a half marathon was taking place

this is the only way I'll ever participate in a half ha
kind of fun having people cheer you along on you 4 mile run lol

our last stop was to Cliff House restaurant last night
I went there over 20 years ago and it has been totally rebuilt
lots and lots of history!!

We are on our way home now rested and relaxed
loved the time with my hubby:)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

~The Cross~

I just read an Ann Voskamp devotional...
her words
 "The cross you carry - is carrying you toward who you are meant to be"

goodness that speaks light into my soul
I believe that statement with all I am.
I live that life with many crosses as we all do...
I have carried many crosses

I grew up in a dysfunctional family due to divorce
those waves reach far
leaving etches in my heart
my first husband died from brain cancer
those waves reach far as well
leaving my heart tenderly sore
raising special needs kids
those waves too rock me to the core

yet I know God is in every single minute detail
He never once promised us perfect
it is in the many imperfections of this world that He makes me who I am

I spoke these words to as precious trusted friend yesterday
"I wish I was better at this, that I could do it well"
referring to my ability to raise Madeline well
I mess up every single day
I want to do and fix and be
~well I can't~
it is that simple
I can only look to my heavenly father to hold and shape me as I carry 

these pictures hang on my bulletin board in my office
lately every time I look at this pic of Madeline I get teary
holding on to great hope for my girl

Hebrews 6:19
This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

So The Mourning is Real....

I write this only because I know there are a few adoptive mama's out there that real my little blog..
I don't share much about our experience with Madeline
mostly for her protection and privacy
and it is a big BUT
I know there are many families out there that have the same experience we have

trauma sometimes equals mental illness

it is ugly
the rages
the aftermath
the rollercoaster of emotions after a rage and then immediately going to normal behavior
the uncertainty of any plans that are made
the violence
many of them
doctors visits
more doctors 

these are all ugly words in the adoption community
I do believe with all my heart that they are ugly words since most of our kids don't experience this
I did not clue in to this thought until we brought Janie home and she was so very different in her ability to acclimate even though she experienced much more trauma than Madeline
She loves and loves big
our love changed and healed her

that bit of information opened my eyes to Madeline's reality
Love does not help the mentally ill
sure our love gives her way more than she could have experienced
(and us too)
yet the illness is still there
it is a confusing mess of emotions for her and our family
constantly changing and unsteady
waves ebbing and flowing
good and bad on a daily basis

I expressed to my sister today that I lose sight of the mission God has called me to with Madeline
the emotions and realities become too big to me at times and I forget that Jesus is right there with me
I want to fix her
heal her
make her feel better
make me feel better
and in all that nonsense going on in my head I forget that Jesus has it in His hands

it is just hard
mental illness stinks and is something that can't be grasped and treated like a disease
I've experienced cancer in my family and that stinks too....the unknown of it coming back
mental illness is quite the same....unknown
therefore I mourn
for her and her future

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I've Been "MawMaw'd"

As an older Mom to my children I have dreaded the
"are they your grandchildren?" question

I have been lucky enough to pull it off so far 
until Sunday...

the girls and I are in the grocery
they are bouncing around asking me 500 questions
(okay an exaggeration...100 for sure)
I am checking out and the worker asks "ohhhh are they your grandchildren?"

In the span of 2 seconds I thought
feeling sorry for her
feeling relief that it was over, IT had happened
so I laughed and said "no they are all mine"

Now in my defense I'd like to blame it on two things

1. I was being really patient with the girls like a Grandma does
 (I rarely have to take them to the grocery since I go on weekends or when they are in school so it is easy to be patient when you  don't have to experience that crazy all the time)

2. the worker was like all of 17, don't we all look old to kids that age?????

Bottom line....
I've been MawMaw'd!
haha just calling it that makes me laugh!!!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

~Delta Fair~

I would love to say that I am still that mom that loves to take her kids to the fair
but I'm not anymore
in reality I dread it and would not even tell the kids it was here
....but we are lucky, they are given free entrance tickets at school...sigh
they talk about it and plan about it for days on end
so what are a mom and dad to do but give in and take them haha
John David did not want to go at all this year (smart boy:)
and Carly said she was "not feelin it" this year haha

had to document that we were there:)

these girls love the petting zoo

Janie rode this as many times as we would let her...

her smile cracks me up!

Madeline does not even like to ride any rides but loves to go watch

after we were home I got a few texts asking if we were ok????
some people were "thrown" from a ride when the operator accidentally released
the restraints when the ride was slowing down...
nobody was seriously injured but what in the world?????

pretty sure Madeline will never get on a ride now after hearing us talk about it....
maybe I don't have to go next can hope!!

In all honesty it was an awesome day:)!