Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Try. Try. Oh, so trying.

"A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, must empty ourselves. The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace."-Mother Teresa

I hurt. Each day seems to be a lesson in frustration, failure, exhaustion and tedium. There is no silence. No peace. No time. No sleep. I dread mornings. I dread endless nights. I dread.

There is Literally. No. Quiet.

I know this blog sometimes serves as a journal of sorts and this will certainly be true today. I am not espousing life changes for anyone but me. This is where I am. ME.

I am currently taking a class based on The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis. I have read the book several times but this class is actually making it resonate with me. The resonance is both enlightening and painful but I am hopeful that it will bear great fruit. 

In class tonight I got personal when I piped up with the eloquent "I have read the book. I have read MANY books. I know what I should do. What I should say. How I should connect. I know. But I am SO tired. I literally do not get a break and with my husband traveling, exhausted doesn't come close to describing my current state. So, I know and yet often times, I just cannot seem to get it together. To do what I KNOW I should be doing. I am just so tired."

Really, what I said was "WAAAAAHHHHHH!"

Oy. I am hanging my head. Nothing makes me prouder than a good old "woe is me" statement. ..especially said to a room of strangers. Awesome.

The responses of my classmates were awesomely supportive and informative but when I got into the car after class I kicked my own butt. 

Of course I am exhausted. I am a mother. No one becomes a mother to get more rest. To have quiet time. For breaks or relaxation. To look and feel put together. To have their needs met. Oh, wait. .. some people might have kids to meet their own needs but that is a different blog post....

So why do I spend my time lamenting the lack of all of the above? 

Daily life has been difficult recently. I find myself disillusioned. Jealous. Blech. Tired. Short. Irritable. . .and all around wonderful person to be around. My poor kids. 

I keep telling myself that I could be a much better mother if I could just get some sleep. If I had a break every now and then. If I could just hear myself think. If it just stopped raining. If I had a fenced yard. All of it...utter crap. Sure. . .EVERYONE could be a better ANYTHING under the perfect conditions. Sadly, life does not offer optimal circumstances. Pull up your big girl panties, Becki....You Are A MOTHER. You CHOSE this; your kids did not. 

Your job is not to make yourself more comfortable. Your job is to raise your kids. WHATEVER it takes. . .even if it takes EVERYTHING you have. . .THAT is what you do! I know you want to sit and play Candy Crush for a few minutes, but your kids need you again....so put down the game and get on with it!

“Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” ― Mother Teresa

I want to give my children what they need. To be the mother they deserve. To sacrifice and to love unconditionally. To lift them up. Repeatedly and without fail. And yet. . .I fall short. Time and again. 

Sadly, I am human. My frailty and selfishness get in the way on an hourly basis. I have needs. Surely they should be met! What about me? I spend all day meeting needs that are not my own. I often don't get breakfast before lunch. . . I want to scream. . .WHAT ABOUT ME!?! Our society supports selfishness as the norm. I feel justified. I ask myself "Why" far too often. I feel put out. This is normal, I think.... but I also think it is wrong. It is so counterproductive.

My children are children. It is their nature to be need machines. They make childish decisions. They break everything. There is always SO much noise. They make epic messes. They do not know why. Asking why is a lesson in frustration. There is no why. Why even ask? 
Yes. . .boots, socks AND jeans covered in mud. I looked away to put Pookie in the stroller. Just for a second! I was rewarded with mud. Squeals of delight and lots of mud.  

“God doesn't require us to succeed, he only requires that you try.” ― Mother Teresa
I am hereby removing "why" from my vocabulary. This is my first step to truly becoming the Mother that I want to be. The mother they deserve me to be.

Parenthood is hard. But is it also the most rewarding adventure. I resolve to shut down the voice in my head that demands selfishly. I devote myself once again to meeting the needs of my children with love and patience. I will try to enjoy myself more in the process. And I will pray for rest. I will also try not to pout when I don't get any.

Above all, I will try. 

I will breathe a little slower. 

Stress a little less. 

I will look my kids in the eye more often.

I will.


Nothing else is more important.

“God doesn't require us to succeed, he only requires that you try.” ― Mother Teresa

Friday, April 11, 2014

Slugs and Snails

About a month ago, my lovely sister in law sent me tights. For my son. I giggled at first remembering how novel it was to see Evan in tights when we would visit him at the orphanage. Granted, Evan would often sport tights in really boyish colors like pink and pastel purple. Despite this, when I got home, I had regrets that I had not purchased some tights while in Ukraine. 
Making quite the fashion statement!

The tights that my sister in law sent were adorable. Made by an Irish Company called Slugs and Snails, these tights are incredibly soft and cozy. Thick but not excessively so. The first time I put them on Pookie I knew they would be a staple in this wardrobe. He wore that pair two days in a row and I knew I needed to purchase more. 

These are much more practical than socks right now. Socks last an average of 23 minutes on Opie. He takes them off and chews on them, they land on the floor where ever we happen to be. Quite a hassle, to be honest. Now that I have these tights, it is less of a hassle. Anything that makes life even the slightest bit easier is a WIN! 
This first pair has seen loads of wear and washing. They are as cozy as ever and are standing up to all the crawling that Pookie is doing in them. with minor pilling.  If you are not opposed to boys in tights, I highly recommend these. They can be found at: http://www.parentsandco.co.uk/shop/slugs-snails-sky-blue.html

We're boys! We're boys in tights! 

Monday, April 7, 2014


I am a ball of emotion today. For the past three days I have been living in the past. Reliving the harrowing manner in which my baby came into this world. Reliving the lonely and awkward ambulance ride, being transferred to hospital that I did not know with doctors I had never met. The medications that blurred my vision and slurred my speech. The pressuring of doctors to do things their way without listening to me. Oh. .. I need to let go of that experience and focus on the result.

Today my tiny miracle is ONE YEAR OLD. I am celebrating but part of me wants to shut out the world, my husband and kids included. I want to crawl back into bed and spend my day with Opie. I want to rock him and snuggle him. I want to sob. One year ago today it was me and Opie against the world. Oh, how I prayed. Opie and I were fighting for his life like I had never fought before.

My husband was there. People were praying, I know. God was clearly there, though at the time I was beginning to despair and fear the outcome of my labors. There were doctors and nurses, however those medical professionals were not listening to me. It was up to me and Opie. (And God, of course.) Opie and I were in a scary, scary fight and we were alone.

This past year has been exhausting. Once one battle was won, another began. So many nights spent fervently praying for his safety and strength. So much life has been crammed into this year that I honestly do not think that I have had the chance to really process the trauma that preceded Opie's glorious arrival.

This is likely partially why I want to clutch him so close to me and just sob the day away.

I want to celebrate him and his warrior spirit. To shout to everyone that I know. . .this is NOT a normal birthday. This is a MIRACLE! To sob with gratitude for his presence in my life. Even when he wakes me up 4 times a night. I am so thankful. And here I sit. And sob.

One year ago today. I was too scared to cry. Too focused on the battle at hand. Too angry with the medical team that was not fighting with me....today, I am processing so many emotions and LOVE trumps them all. Let my tears cleanse the heart and fear from my heart.

So fitting this Lenten Season.

Out of my trauma came life.

Out of my fear, joy.

Out of my illness, a strong little baby.

Love really does conquer.

I am so incredibly blessed. It humbles me to my core.

Oh, baby boy, it is not enough to say Happy Birthday.

Happy Miracle Day to my amazing little guy. As terrifying as our battle was, I would do it again everyday...just for the pleasure of knowing you.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Oh Boy(s)!

Today my heart is both heavy and joyful. An update on the boys is overdue. I neglected to post Evan's Birthday photos. It could be that we were all too busy partying down with Goofy and gang. . It could be that life with 3 boys takes all that I have. It could be that I am tired of posting blogs only to discover that it is riddled with typos and grammatical errors. 

Enough excuses. Here is a quick update. 

Eli is getting far too old for my liking. He is obsessed with dinosaurs and airplanes. He know so much about the solar system and wildlife. He is a leader at school and is really a strong willed, intelligent boy.  He loves his brothers and is still learning to share and be a big brother. I am starting to believe this is a life long lesson....and Mama needs patience.

Evan's language is growing by leaps and bounds. He loves to talk and talk and talk. And sing. And most recently, beat box. He has no clue what beat boxing is but that does not stop him from busting it out all day long. He is one tiny bundle of joyful noise.
He is such a happy and affectionate boy. I think he tells me that he loves me at least 30 times a day. I revel in the fact that he has someone to say it to and someone that will answer back emphatically "Oh, and I love YOU!"
He shares so well and is so affectionate and gentle with Opie. He warms my heart! Our adjustment and bonding has had its ups and downs but I think we are making progress. Wonderful, hard earned progress.
 Eli and Evan were clearly meant to be brothers. Their bond is incredible.

Opie is a miracle that just keeps amazing me. He is growing and crawling, babbling nonstop. He is such a happy boy. He is starting to fit into the clothing that I had purchased for Pasha. Each outfit brings a pang of sadness for the boy I thought was to be mine. I am sure there is healing in that pain but I worry about him still. Is he happy? Did he find a loving home? Sweet Pasha, changed my life and my family and I am grateful for that, but still a little sad as well. 

Boys love and need their Mamas. All boys are Mamas boys. They thrive with the love and care that a Mama gives. It is not anything grandiose. They blossom under the loving gaze of a parent, the open and attentive ear encourages them to think and speak. The simple, constant presence of someone that loves them is immeasurable in the life of a child. They will want to emulate their Papa eventually...but their Mama....in those early years is so important!

I never thought I would be a Mother, but I am blown away by the transformation that my children have brought about in me. Their accomplishments are victories. Their pain is my pain. I honestly want so much for them to learn and grow in faith, confidence, maturity. The goal sometimes seems all consuming. They are my boys and I want so much for them. I see so much promise!

This is not a parenting blog. Sheesh. Everyday I feel like I make major mistakes. I am still learning but I apply myself daily and resolve myself to keep trying, even when I feel like a failure and want to give up. Giving up is not an option. My boys need their Mama, as imperfect as she is.

Which brings me to Brett. Brett breaks my heart. We pray for him every night and I beg God that a Mama sees the promise in him and rushes to his side. This boy; a world away is still waiting for his Mama. For Six long years he has waited. The wait does not appear to have dimmed his light. He is friendly and approachable. His formative years without a family have impacted his coping mechanisms. He needs a Mama to soothe his aching heart and allow his joy to grow. 
Brett is a stunning little boy with CP. An adoptive parent has seen him recently and reports His mind is keen and his spirit is evident in the pictures.
 "We saw Brett again today. He seems like such a neat kid. His groupa was out for a walk, they are all mobile but her was in a big stroller. He smiled and waved, the most outgoing of the bunch and probably the oldest."
This amazing little warrior is in a race against time. Most children his age are no longer in orphanages. They are transferred to adult mental institutions around age 6. If he is not mobile before that, he may be destined for a life in bed. Every moment of every day in a beg. Look at this boy. He is meant for SO MUCH MORE!

I pray daily that God sustains  him and that his Forever Mama rushes to his side. To demonstrate his importance. Boys NEED their Mamas! THIS boy needs a Mama!


Guardian AngelBrett 2013 (1)Boy, born September 2007
Brett is a handsome young man who was born with CP.  He is very smart, he gets around on his own by crawling, but he is not able to walk.  Therapy will do wonders for him!   He deserves to have a family!
From a volunteer who knows him:   He plays with other children. He speaks with separate words. He understands the addressed speech. The boy is curious, likes classes. He loves when his nurse reads for him, he likes making pyramids.
Brett 2013
Update December 2012:Brett is very smart and curious. He has some learning and language delays associated with institutional life, but he does speak in complete phrases around people he trusts. He enjoys cars, coloring, and games. He got very excited when we showed him pictures of dogs and other animals, so he might do well with pets.
A family considering adopting him should be prepared to deal with some institutional behaviors and traumas. This is the area where Brett might need the most assistance in understanding rules, family, and nurturing relationships.His physical disability limits his lower body, specifically his legs and feet, but he is very strong in the upper body and crawls very quickly.  He is a very active kid who needs some physical therapy, appropriate equipment, and perhaps braces to get where he needs to for walking. He is able to pull himself to standing. The orphanage has worked with him on potty training and he seems to be doing well with it.

More photos available, married couples only.

$7612.80 is available towards the cost of my adoption!