Making Many Memories

Everyday we are Making Many Memories that we will treasure forever.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gift for Birth Parents and Grandparents

Tomorrow I will take Nevaeh to see B and M and her Grandma N. I made a book for all of them for Christmas this year. I wanted them to have something that showed both of our families in the same book. All the other books that I have given them only show them with Nevaeh. I am hoping this book goes over okay with them and they will be able to see that she can love both families.

I got a call from Grandma W(lives back East) and she was thrilled with it. She has always been so grateful for any pictures and information that I send about Nevaeh. Nevaeh spoke to all of them on Christmas Day. It is cute to hear her on the phone as she tries to explain to them all the things she is looking at.

There are still times when I wonder if I am doing the right thing by taking her to visit them. There are times that part of me wants her to just be my daughter. To just pretend that the other life doesn't exist. When I read about other open adoptions and they speak of the birth parents it is with such love and excitement to go and visit. The people I am trying to keep in her life are not part of a Norman Rockwell painting. I am not afraid to be around them and they have never given me cause to be but I wouldn't have picked them out as friends in any other situation.

I am dreading tomorrow because we are just hanging out in the motel room with 4 cats, B and M, Grandma N and a lady that has been helping them stay in a motel instead of being homeless.So for 2 hours I will have to try and keep Nevaeh from picking up the cats and playing in the litter box.

I am excited to give them their Lego Land tickets that I got for free because I would much rather hang out with them at an amusement park. Although, Nevaeh is so stinky lately when we go places. She definitely has a temper and can throw some huge fits. So that always makes it hard because I feel as though I am being judged.

But for some reason I still feel it is so important that she sees them. I really do hope I am doing the right thing.

http://www5.snapfish.com/snapfish/projectshareewelcome/l=11427748008/p=682261293433041861/g=38956597/cobrandOid=1000/COBRAND_NAME=snapfish/otsc=SYE/otsi=SPBKlink/

He Was Here and He will Come Again

video

And that is the best Christmas Gift of All
Merry Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

Was Jesus Adopted?


Was Jesus Adopted?

I had never really thought about this until I was asked to write down my feelings about my children and how I felt when they were born.

Sister Wilson asked this:

"Alright my friends, the Bishop has asked me to give the youth fireside this upcoming Sunday on the birth of the Savior and its effect on our lives today. As I have read through the accounts and prophesies what touches me most is Mary, His mother, and her love for her baby. Her willingness, her eye witness, and her feelings are summed up in this verse in Luke 2:19 "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." While I am sure there were spiritual manifestations she was priveleged too, I believe each of us has had a measure of the same feeling as we became mothers whether we gave birth to our child physically or they were born in our hearts.


If you would be willing to share with me a recollection of your thoughts or tender feeling of becoming a mother (whether it was your 1st or 6th I know each is as if it were the 1st time), or of greeting your child for the 1st time, or the hopes in your heart for your baby.

Each of you have touched my life and the Spirit filled my heart as I thought of your children and the privelege they have to have you for their mothers."

Here is my response:

"My take on it is going to be a little different and you don't have to use it if you don't want to. I know you asked about my feelings as a mother but I thought I would write a little about the feelings a father has towards a child - Even an adopted child.


I hadn't really thought much about it until you asked these questions but Jesus was adopted. His earthly father (Joseph) was not his biological father. Yet he raised him and treated him as such. He was chosen to be his earthly father just as much as Mary was chosen to be his earthly mother. Yet he had no biological ties to him and he knew this. As adoptive parents, Steve and I feel Heavenly Father chose us to be Nevaeh's parents just as Joseph and Mary were chosen to be Jesus'.

I imagine the enormous weight Jospeh must have felt knowing that he was raising the son of God and knowing that this was not his biological child. Yet I am sure that his love for Jesus was no different than it was towards his other children who were biologically.

I remember the day I placed Nevaeh in Steve’s arms for the first time. The look on his face was just as precious as the first time he held one of our boys. The more I watch them together the more I see the bond between them is very strong. No one would ever guess that she is not flesh of his flesh or blood of his blood. And Jesus example shows that it doesn’t matter. We all have the same Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father. The biological aspect is just how we get to this earth. There are many other factors that determine who we consider our earthly parents"
 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Vote For Nevaeh and Help Bring Anya Home


Just follow the link below until December 26, 2010 - 8:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time . That is the last day to vote. And then you can feel really good knowing that you gave an orphan and her family the best Christmas gift ever.

http://photos.parents.com/category/vote/photo/645014/17

I have been following the blog of the Fillmore family since Thanksgiving time and my heart has been touched by the love that they have for a little down syndrome girl that they just recently met for the first time.


http://fillmoresjourneytoanna.blogspot.com/p/how-it-all-began.html

There are so many different roads to adoption and although I hope that people will always look to the United States and county adoption first, I know that God leads adoptive parents to their children and a lot of times he leads them overseas. I know for a fact that He does lead them and they end up with the child that they are suppose to have be part of their family.

All adoptions have their challenges. Our challenge was taking in a baby and watching her grow into a beautiful active toddler all while not knowing where she was going to end up. This family's challenge is in dealing with a foreign country and trying to raise the incredible amount of money it takes to bring one of these children home. On top of that, they are getting a child that they will have to provide for the rest of her life. They will get no government assistance and yet they are still willing to more forward with the adoption.

We had no financial challenges with our adoption. You, the tax payer, paid for it all. You, the tax payer, continue to provide financial assistance for her. And you will continue to do so until she turns 18 years old. I thank you immensely for that.

For some reason, my heart cannot stop thinking about this family and the overwhelming financial responsibility they have to come.

So I came up with a small solution. I entered my very adorable Nevaeh in one of those cheesy photo contest where they pay $250.00 if she wins. I have been wanting to do so since the day we got her (which happens to be 3 years ago - December 13th). My plan is to donate the money to the Fillmores and if I do so through Reece's Rainbow my husbands company will match it. That's $500.00 towards their $13,000.00 goal.

Here is where all of you come in. I know that money is tight and that there are so many good causes out there to give money to. But you don't have to give money. All you have to do is admit that my daughter is the cutest kid this week. Next week your kids can go back to being the cutest. You just have to go everyday and vote for her. You do not have to sign up for anything or enter a cell phone number either. You do have to put in the password they supply which is usually some sort of ad slogan. It would also be helpful if you were to post this on your blogs, your facebook pages and anywhere else you can think of please. Otherwise we won't get enough votes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sometimes in Life you Need a Do Over

Sometimes I wonder if being blonde really does have something to do with my lack of intelligence. I always seem to have the best of intentions but just don't think things through very well or don't research them well enough before I start.

So, my great plan of having everyone vote for Nevaeh on the photo contest to help raise money for Anya turned out to not work so well. Apparently, the numbers that are assigned to them in the address window only apply when they are in that place. So when Nevaeh was in 13th place I posted that address. But when she moved to 8th place people were voting for the 13th place child. That child is now in 6th place and Nevaeh is in 11th.

Heather and I talked about it and decided we would just ask people again next week to help with our cause. I have now figured out the problem, I hope and we should be able to do better next week. Because it will end on Christmas, I have decided to change the picture I had originally sent in.

I would like you to help me decide which one to submit for Sunday. "Some moms will do anything to get their children to eat their vegetables" or "If you squeeze him too tight he will melt" Also, if you have better captions I will take those too. I have kept the original post about the contest down below and will be changing it on Sunday and reposting. Thanks everyone.



Saturday, December 4, 2010

Angels Foster Care Christmas Party

Wow, I can't believe that we attended our 4th Angels Foster Care Christmas Party today. Nevaeh was only 2 1/2 months old the first time we went and we had just picked her up from the orphanage 2 days before. Look how little she is.

I am so grateful to Angels for putting this party on every year. It is nice to see other families who have either adopted or our fostering and it is so nice of the church in San Diego who donates the toys every year.

I am sure the founder of Angels gets goose bumps as she watches all of these beautiful children go up and sit on Santa's lap. Some of the families bring children who they have fostered before and have been reunited with their birth families. The have such good relationships with the birth families that they allow the former foster family to take them to this party and spend time with them.

Then there are families there who have fostered and adopted many children. I think Angel Families have fostered over 400 babies over the last 10 years and many of them were adopted by their foster families. I remember a little baby that was there last year that had a cast on each of his little legs. I think he was maybe 5 or 6 months old. He is walking this year and will be adopted sometime next year.

This year it was harder for us to get there because Jacob had a robotic competition on the same day at the same time. Joshua also had a guitar recital. So Steve and I had to split up. Nevaeh and I watched Jacob at Lego Land while Steve and Jared watched Joshua. At lunch time Nevaeh and I took off and headed a few miles down the road to the Angels party. Nevaeh only got a 10 minute nap so she was quite the handful at the party. Plus, she loves Santa and tried many times to run up and sit on his lap before it was her turn. Because there were so many families there she didn't get her turn until over an hour later.


She was more excited to see Santa than she was to get a gift. And she really wanted that candy cane. Then we took off to get back and watch the awards part of Jacob's competition. By this time Nevaeh was good and cranky and even though she was dressed in her Sunday best I allowed her to run up and down the grass hill and even crawl at times. I was done fighting with her.



Once again this reminded me that I can dress up my princess all I want but she still lives with 3 brothers and takes after them.

Every Child Has A Story

Angels emailed towards the end of November to ask me if they could use Nevaeh's story and picture on their holiday cards this year. Of course, I was more than happy to oblige. I love showing off all her cute pictures and I love even more sharing her story.

http://www.angelsfoster.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/angels-web-final-Copy.pdf


I share her story everywhere and almost every chance I get. I just shared it again with everyone standing in line waiting to see Santa at Disneyland on Wednesday. A lady in the line was saying how she was going to ask Santa for world peace. I told her this Santa would be a good one to ask because I had asked him 3 years ago for a little girl and later on that day I got a call from our foster agency saying they had one for us. Not a dry eye in line.

Of course, when we got up to Santa I had to retell the story to him and the fact that Nevaeh ran straight up to him and planted a kiss on his cheek is probably why he proclaimed she was the cutest little girl he'd ever seen. Then when she climbed down from his lap he would say "come back here and give Santa a hug". He did that about 5 times as people looked on and took pictures.


Now, I realize that there isn't anything strikingly adorable about Nevaeh's looks. I have seen children with absolutely amazing eyes, children with beautiful hair and children who are very unique looking. So maybe for me it is the fact that I know her story. I know how her life started out and how empty her eyes looked when we first got her. I also know that she has this incredibly outgoing personality that lights up a room when she walks in but can turn on her in an instance when she is having one of her meltdowns. She loves everyone, hugs everyone and thinks that everyone is around to play with and entertain her.
So imagine my surprise when I shared her story at Chick-fil-a on Friday only to find out that it caused the person I was sharing it with great pain. Nevaeh was being her charming charismatic self and a young woman about 20 years old was asking her questions. Nevaeh was telling her all about our recent trip to Disneyland and how she got a candy from Santa. (actually, she got way too much candy from Santa)


This brought me to the topic of telling the young woman about our visit with Santa and our Disneyland story of getting the call for Nevaeh. This young women then look at me and said "you do foster care?" I told her that we use to and that Nevaeh was our 3rd foster baby and how we were able to adopt her. Then she looked down and said "I was a foster child".  " I went in the system at age 3 until I turned 18. No one every adopted me."  All I could say was Oh. Here I had been sharing our story like usual with all my warm and fuzzy thoughts not thinking about how it might affect someone else.

Here's all I know about this young women. Every time we go to Chick-fil-a in the morning she is there. I drop Josh off for school 3 days a week for an hour and sometimes Nevaeh and I go and eat breakfast there when it is too cold to go to the park or I didn't have time to dress her before we leave the house. This young women has been there every time. This is only the second time we have spoke to her and I'm not sure she remembers us from the last time. But I am a people watcher and I have watched her carry on conversations with all sorts of different people there. None of them are ever sitting with her and none of them are ever the same.

She is a beautiful young women. She has a wonderful smile and she is usually reading something when she is not talking to someone. So on this day I asked her if she was reading stuff for college. She said no. She could not afford to go to college but that she was working at the theater and that they had good benefits for helping her get into college. I asked her what kind of career she wanted and she said something to do with working with children because she is really good with them. I don't know if she will ever get to realize her dream because her life consist of no one to help her. How lonely I felt for her that day.

This left we once again thinking about all the children out there who don't get a happily every after story like Nevaeh. The ones who get bounced from house to house and never find anyone to call mom and dad. The ones who get kicked out of the program at age 18 with no one or no where to turn. No parent to live with while getting started with college. No parent to borrow a car from until they can afford their own and not many other options for getting to work. No one to spend holidays with. The theater employees her only family.

So what can I do to help her? What can I do to help change her story? I've thought about leaving a donation for her at Chick-fi-la, but I don't know that money is the answer. I wish I knew what the answer was. I wish that sharing Nevaeh's story with her didn't have to leave her feeling abandoned once again.

I'm not sure if hurting others will stop me from sharing Nevaeh's story. Not that I would intentionally do that. I am hoping that it will inspire someone else to open their hearts to these beautiful children but I need to realize that I may be telling it to someone who is an orphan or someone who may have had there child taken from them. I need to realized that not everyone will like her story. That not everyone will feel the joy I feel when I tell it. And that someday Nevaeh may not want it told. Someday she will not want to be Angel's Foster Care Poster Child.

Competition

I am so proud of my son, Jacob. For three weeks he worked very hard helping his team compete at Lego Land with their robot. Pretty cool looking, huh? They designed it to work like a forklift and they were able to do well enough that they took the Overall Robot Award at Lego Land.

But the thing that impresses me most about Jacob is his character. Jacob is kind of a back seat type of child. He is easy going and likes to have fun but he is very aware of other's feelings and wants to make sure that everyone feels important.

He was not able to participate as much as he would have liked on the programming part of this competition but he was very grateful to the other two team members who spent numerous hours working on it.

One of the questions the team was asked was what does Gracious Professionalism mean to you? Gracious Professionalism is a term that is used in FLL (First Lego League) all the time. I love the way the competition works and wish that every child had an opportunity to be involved in it.

When Jacob got in the car he told me all about the questions they were asked and here is his answer to what Gracious Professionalism means to him.

"Well, you know how when someone says you are a good sport that means you need to act nice whether you win or lose. But when you are a good sport you really want your team to win. With Gracious Professionalism you want others to win and are even willing to help them achieve that goal. And as long as you did your best and learned along the way it doesn't matter if you win."

I love that kid. I wish everyone could have a Jacob. He is the most kind hearted person I know.

video

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Visit with Birth Parents




I decided to take Nevaeh to see B and M the Monday after Thanksgiving. I figured since I had to take Jacob for his robotics team practice and it was only 15 minutes from them I should really make the effort. Nevaeh had a great time running around the playground with B(birth dad) and he always seem to have so much fun with him. M(birth mom) on the other hand was really more interested in telling me how they were acquiring another cat. This will bring their total up to 3 cats that live with them in the motel room.

On our way back to the car we met a lady and her dog. I guess they knew the dog and use to have a dog that would play with it. They didn't know the lady. Nevaeh was very excited about petting the dog and M introduced Nevaeh as our daughter. I'm not sure who the "our" was that she was referring to. She may have just meant her and B or she could very well have meant all of us. Either way it was the first time I felt comfortable with her calling Nevaeh OUR daughter. The last time we were together someone at McDonald's asked us who's child she was. I responded very quickly "mine".

It's weird that for the first 2 years of Nevaeh's life she was THEIR daughter. And then for a while I considered her Steve and my daughter and they would be like an aunt and uncle. But really, they won't even be that to her. But they will always be her birth mom and birth dad and it felt right for them to say OUR daughter.

After our 30 minute trip to the park I took them to get Taco Bell for dinner. We needed to get back to the motel so the lady could drop off the new cat. This is when things get hard for me. Nevaeh is not a clingy or passive little girl. She is extremely active and outgoing. They thought it would be great fun for her to play with the cats. The cats on the other hand did not agree. Nevaeh kept picking them up and squeezing them too hard. I was tired and didn't feel like having to deal with it. I don't mind when we are at the park or an eating place with a play area because she can run around and be herself. But in their room she kept picking up things she wasn't suppose to. She was even trying to clean the poop out of the kitty box. I could tell she was making M really nervous.

Next we made calls to grandmas. I think this was the highlight for B and M. Each of them called their mothers and had Nevaeh talk to them on the phone. Of course Nevaeh was her cute outgoing self and said things like "love you grandma" and "miss you" and blew kisses. This made both grandmas cry and in return B and M got all teary eyed.  Nevaeh thinks that anyone who looks over 60 is a grandma and grandpa and will run up to them and hug them but I didn't tell any of them that. She really is too young to understand who these people really are. Hopefully hearing her voice while she was visiting B and M was a comfort to the grandmas. I sure their hearts are aching that they will never get to be real grandparents to her.


B and M are still living in a motel room thanks to the generosity of a lady who met them while they were homeless. It amazes me that there are still very generous people out there. I was thinking that it cost them about $800.00 a month to live there but apparently it cost $1,600.00. I do really feel bad that I can't co-sign on an apartment for them. It's just not a chance I am willing to take. I am hopeful they get the mobile home they are looking at. Especially since they are suppose to be getting a dog too and their rent will go down dramatically.


We are schedule to go back the Monday after Christmas. This time we will be going to B's mom's trailer. I'm really not looking forward to it but this grandma isn't very mobile so it is hard for her to get around town. They asked me about what kind of things she likes so they can get her gifts. This is really a hard one for me. I want her to get gifts from them so she knows they care about her but she needs nothing and they are so poor. I hate to see them spend money on a toy that will just get thrown in the closet and be broke within a week. Then there is a part of me that thinks "If they can spend money on cigarettes than they can afford to buy their daughter a gift for Christmas."

At the end of the visit they asked me to search for siblings for them. It was sad to be reminded once again of the hard lives they lead as children. I don't know if their siblings want them to get a hold of them but I am trying to locate them. Maybe being in contact with them will help heal some wounds.

It feels good to be home and not have to deal with their drama for another month. I really do wish them the best of luck on getting their lives in order. And everyday I thank them in my heart for the most beautiful gift that anyone on earth has every given me. I guess they are growing on me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Guest Blogger for Foster 2 Forever - Open Foster/Adoption

Today was my first experience as a guest blogger. I hope that by sharing our story it will help others in the same position or enlighten others.

http://foster2forever.blogspot.com/2010/11/zoo-and-open-adoption.html

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What a Party

Nevaeh has been very excited about having a birthday party. She has been invited to a few and knows that you sing the "Happy To You" song and you open presents and blow out the candles. So she has been looking forward to her party for a few months now. Things have been really busy since her real birthday back in September and I was hoping to get the yard finished before having people over. But I finally gave up and decided I better have her 3 year old party before she turned 4.




I worked hard all week on the decorations and thought it would be cute to make a Wendy costume to go along with her Tinkerbell one. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and didn't finish it. The morning of the party, Nevaeh did not want to wear the Tinkerbell costume. She cried that it didn't fit and wanted nothing to do with it unless it was worn around her waist exposing her top half. I was finally able to fix it with some safety pins about 10 minutes before the guest arrived. By then she was so excited about the guest coming that she forgot she didn't want to wear the costume.

I had lots of activities planned and was hoping to do a lot of outdoor games. But out of all days in sunny California, today it decided to rain. The girls still all had a great time. We started out by playing with balloons in the family room. Next I got out the flannel board and we did some nursery rhymes together.


Then I had them go to the kitchen table to make their very own fairy wands. The girls loved doing this. While we were busy making wands, Josh went outside and placed the prices for the fairy treasure hunt around the neighborhood. It had stopped raining so we were able to venture outside.


While we were outside on our treasure hunt, Steve was inside frantically making star sandwiches. We also had wand sticks (pretzels) and fairy berries (grapes). All of the grown ups could not believe how quite the girls were while eating lunch. It was so much different than having a boy's party.



 After lunch it was outside to Tinkerbell's Flying Arena for flight school. We got a kick out of watching the flying fairies. The girls had a blast.





Next we headed upstairs to Tinkerbell's lair. We played pass the wand and flying fairies. I let the girls take turns turning the music on and off when the wand landed in their lap. For the flying fairies game I took the sleeping bunnies song that we sing in nursery ever Sunday and changed it to fairies.




"Look at all the fairies sleeping till it's almost noon. Shall I wake them with a merry tune. Oh so still. Are they ill. No. Wake up soon. Fly little fairies, fly, fly, fly. Fly little fairies, fly, fly, fly."



Most of the party guest came in cute little fairy costumes. I love the cheesy grins they give when you tell them to smile.



Now it was time to open presents. I love how little children get so excited about presents even if they aren't the ones opening them. Nevaeh enjoyed looking at the cards just as much as opening the presents.


Finally, we concluded with singing "Happy to You" and blowing out the candles. One of the other little girls blew them out before Nevaeh could so we had to relight them.



I think the party was a hit and I loved that I was able to get so many cute pictures.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nevaeh's Blessing and Jared's Ordination

Have you ever wanted something so much that you think about it and anticipate it happening and then when it finally does it doesn't turn out the way you had thought? Well, I have to say that is how my day started out. As long as I can remember I have wanted to have a little girl and dress her up in her white dress for her blessing day. I also wanted all my friends and family to be there to help celebrate with me. So after having all my boys and finally figuring out that a little girl was not in the near future I let that dream die.

Then when we got Nevaeh, I started to dream the dream again. But I knew that it would have to be different since we were not going to be able to bless her as an infant. I knew that she could possibly be 2 or even 3 when it occurred since she would have to be legally adopted to be blessed. And then there were times that I wasn't sure it would be able to happen at all since it looked like she was going back. But as soon as I found out the adoption was going to happen I started dreaming again. What the dress would look like, who would there, how we would celebrate afterwards and so on.

We decided to bless her on her birthday since it was on a Sunday and since she shared her birthday with her brother, Jared, and he would be ordained a Teacher on that day too. This way any family who had to travel would be able to attend both events. Unfortunately, I guess their birthdays didn't fall on a good day for most of our family and so our guest list was pretty small. Now you need to understand that I have a very large family and have probably been to just about every event that any of my family members have had. So instead of the 30 or so people I was expecting to be there, there ended up only being my mom (my dad ended up having to go to urgent care that morning), my sister Tami and her two girls, my sister Mary and her husband Jeff and their 5 children.


The next problem I had was trying to find a blessing dress for a 3-year-old. It was not an easy task and I finally found one on-line that I liked and was willing to pay for. I just couldn't see spending over $50.00 for a dress she would only wear once. But when the dress arrived and I tried it on her it was a little short. I wanted a tea-length dress not a knee-length dress. I still thought she looked really sweet in it so I figured I would be okay with her wearing it. The morning of the blessing though Nevaeh had her own ideas. She refused to put it on. She kept telling me "It no fit" "It too big" "I no like". Steve had already left for church and I was left trying to convince the 3-year-old she wanted to look like a pretty princess for church. I finally won that battle but the battle with her hair was just beginning. I finally decided it was not worth the fight and hoped that she would leave the headband in her hair once we got to church.
For those of you not of our faith, it is custom for the men to gather in circle and hold the baby while the father gives the blessing. Now, Nevaeh is not a huge 3-year-old but she is still too big to have everyone try to hold her. Plus, she normally talks all through our prayers so I wasn't sure how reverent she was going to be. I had told the Bishop that maybe we should just bless her in his office with just family attending. He asked me to please reconsider since the people of our ward (church congregation) had been on this hard journey with us and he felt like it would be wonderful for them to witness. I agreed and said that if I gave her a sucker she would hopefully just suck on it and not talk and try to grab at the microphone.

The morning of the blessing my plan was to go up in front with her and have her sit on my lap while Steve gave her the blessing. But when they called us to come up front I learned that I was not suppose to be in the circle and that Steve could just hold her. This turned out to work out perfectly except for the fact that I was now up front so everyone could see as tears poured down my face during the blessing.

Nevaeh could not have been more of an Angel and I don't think anyone will ever forget her sweet blessing. Along with a blessing the father says what the child's name will be on the records of the church. As Steve started to say her name he got chocked up and started to cry. The next thing you hear is Nevaeh saying "It's okay daddy. It's okay" As the blessing continued, Steve would start to chock up again and Nevaeh patted him on the back, kissed him on the cheek and said "It's okay daddy. It's okay". I did not witness this because I was sitting behind them but I had several people recount what happened to me and I could hear her sweet small voice consoling her daddy. As I sat up on the stand crying, trying hard to keep my eyes closed for the prayer, I looked out into the congregation to see almost everyone else crying too. I realized at that point that although my immediate family was not all there with me, my ward family was. And these were the people who every Sunday checked on me to make sure I was okay. Who had watched us go through so much pain and anguish and then to see such a wonderful miracle happen. I felt so blessed at that moment. Knowing how many people really cared about her outcome and my family's well being. Knowing that God had blessed me with so much that the length of the dress, the hair all a mess and the missing family members were not an important part of the day. But the fact that we had so many people around us who loved us and that God was aware of us was all that really mattered.

My sweet Jared was ordained a Teacher that day too. Of course, with all the excitement of the blessing, the bishop forgot to sustain him and I had to send Steve up during church to ask about it. But everything worked out in the end on that too. I guess I spend way to much time stressing out about unimportant things. I am truly grateful for all that God has blessed me with and will try harder to remember that the next time things aren't working out the way I think they should.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Time does soften the ache of some wounds but it can never fully ease them

Because I am still trying to move things over from the other blog, last night I was rereading some of the things I had written and all of a sudden realized it was Labor Day Weekend. I knew it was Labor Day Weekend but I had forgotten until reading older post that Labor Day Weekend had significant meaning in my life and really the whole reason why we ended up adopting Nevaeh.

It still amazes me to this day how Heavenly Father works and how sometimes you get to see why things happened that at the time seemed so painful and unnecessary. Seven years ago I really didn't understand why we felt like we were suppose to have another child only to lose that child 6 months into the pregnancy. I didn't understand why I had to have morning sickness for 5 months and then lose a baby.

Most failed pregnancies happen within the first trimester. I had had 3 healthy boys without ever having a miscarriage so it was hard to understand having to carry a baby so long only to lose him. So looking back now it amazes me that because of that lose and that hard pregnancy I decided I just couldn't go through it again. Yet I still felt as if Heavenly Father had little girls waiting to come be a part of our family. So that is how the thought of adoption was first planted in my mind.

We looked into adopting through Riverside County but that was a huge turn-off for us. The next thing I knew we were moving and it didn't really make since because we ended up moving further from Steve's job instead of closer.

Looking back now it is all so clear. The only reason we were allowed to be a part of Angels Foster Care was because we moved. They only worked out in this area for 1 year and then decided to pull out because they weren't getting any calls from Riverside County. So we had a very narrow margin of time to be with them. We told them the furthest we would drive was to Fallbrook and that is were Nevaeh came from but then her birth parents moved to Escondido for rehab the week after she was placed with us. The two foster children that came and went quickly from our lives were here to keep us from accepting other placements while Nevaeh was being born. The time that it took for her parent's rights to be terminated was so I could grow to have compassion for her birth parents and so they could feel comfortable with our family and letting her go.

Although my heart sometimes aches for the little guy I lost, I now know that God had a much bigger plan for our family and am so grateful that He always gives us what we need even if we don't think it is what we want at the time.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hurricane UT

Yay, we finally made it to Hurricane, UT. I don't normally drive for this long and there were times I thought I was going to fall asleep. We ended up leaving only about an hour behind schedule. That's not too bad for us. Steve, Josh and Gabe (Josh's friend) rode in the truck and pulled the wave runners. Jared, Jacob, Nevaeh and I rode in the car. Jared and Jacob were good sports trying to keep Nevaeh happy on our long 7 hour drive. Our hotel room is not much to speak of. I guess that's what I get for wanting the cheapest price. I guess as long as we keep the bathroom door shut we should be okay. So it's off to bed now since we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow. Here's hoping Nevaeh wants to go to sleep.

Lake Powell at Last

We woke up this morning, had breakfast (I guess you can call it that) and were on our way. We were suppose to be at the dock to check in by 10:30 a.m. but were running just a little late. That seems to be normal for our vacations. I stood in line at the check-in counter for about 20 minutes but at least it was cool inside. I felt bad about leaving everyone else outside waiting with the cars because it was so hot.

We started loading up the boat around 11:30 a.m. Luckily they had a motorized cart to help get stuff from our cars. It's funny to see how different families pack for vacation. I told my family they could each bring 2 swimsuits, 2 rash guards, 2 pair of PJs, 4 pairs of underwear, one outfit to wear there and one to wear on the way home. Our only shoes were flip flops and I purchased an extra pair for everyone in case one pair was misplaced on vacation. So all of that fit in two suitcases. We also brought 2 beach towels per person and that took up most of our luggage space.

Steve drove the houseboat to our first spot. It was only about 45 minutes from the dock. It is a nice sandy beach and we were all ready to get off and get in the water. The boys really enjoyed the slide that is connected to the houseboat. It's a little cloudy out right now and I'm hoping it doesn't rain tonight because a lot of our group is sleeping upstairs. I'm going to bed now because the heat has really worn me out.



Looks like a storms a brewin.

I don't think she's too sure about this whole water thing yet.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Great Vacation - Lake Powell

When Jared was around 7 years old he would ask when we were going on "the Great Vacation". That vacation was usually to Lake Mohave and cost all of about $500.00 for the entire week. That included food, lodging in the "beautiful" casinos and gas. So that is probably why we continued for years to go there. An added plus was that is was only 4 to 5 hours away depending on potty breaks and food stops.

But we had been saying for years we would love to go to Lake Powell on a houseboat. Every time I looked at how much it was going to cost I just couldn't bring myself to do it. So this year when I got a postcard in the mail from American Express that said they had a half off deal I just couldn't resist. We called up Steve's family to see if they wanted to come with us. His parents and brother and his family decided they would come join the fun. So we are packing for our "Really Great Vacation" and will be heading off tomorrow. To bad the van broke down leaving us to drive two cars to Page, AZ instead of one. Oh well, I should just be grateful we have the means to get there and will worry about fixing the van when we get home.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Baby Boy Turns 11

I can't believe how fast they grow up. Sometimes I really wish I could pause time and keep it from happening. I know I don't want to get any older. In fact, if I could, I would like to be 35 again. I don't want things in my life to change back to when I was 35. I just would like to not get any older than that.

But, alas, time marches on and people get older. And my last son is no longer really a child any more. He is a preteen. So my house now consist of 2 teenage sons, a preteen son and a toddler (who won't be considered that for much longer).

We finally had Jacob's birthday party today. I had told him we should wait until we got our new pool up but we ran into some snags along the way with that and I was afraid he would turn 12 before I managed to throw him a birthday party in that pool. So instead we headed down to the community pool with a few of his friends and some pizza. It was one of the most relaxing birthday parties I ever threw. I didn't have to clean my house or organize any games. And Jacob was thrilled because everyone brought him money for presents.
Hanging out at the pool
Pushing Bobby around in his tube.

Turning the kiddie pool into a whirlpool
Having fun using his sister's pink floaty to bump into people.
Big brother Josh taking care of Nevaeh so I could keep on eye on all the boys.
Happy Birthday Dear Jacob, Happy Birthday to you

Sunday, July 18, 2010

One year of relief

Today marks the one year anniversary of "The Phone Call". This month has been really weird for me, as I for some reason have been reliving the stress of last year's July. I have been really unmotivated and depressed lately and I think it has to do with thinking about everything that happened last year. How grateful I feel today to realize that B and M made the most painful decision of their lives and yet it was one of the happiest days for us. We will forever be grateful to them for allowing us to raise Nevaeh. She brings us such joy and happiness. Yet I still feel so sorry for them. They are homeless now and whenever I take her to see them I see such pain in their eyes. I really wish that our joy didn't have to bring them so much pain. So of course I can't help but think of Nevaeh's favorite song from Wicked.
That's why I couldn't be happier - No, I couldn't be happier - Though it is, I admit - The tiniest bit unlike I anticipated - But I couldn't be happier - Simply couldn't be happier - Well - not "simply -'Cause getting your dreams it's strange, but it seems a little - well - complicated. There's a kind of a sort of - cost. There's a couple of things get - lost. There are bridges you crossed you didn't know you crossed until you've crossed. And if that joy, that thrill - Doesn't thrill you like you think it will - Still - With this perfect finale the cheers and ballyhoo. Who wouldn't be happier? So I couldn't be happier. Because happy is what happens
When all your dreams come true. Well, isn't it? Happy is what happens when your dreams come true!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Another New Addition

I know I said I would never do it again and I'm still not quite sure why I did, but we got a new dog last Wednesday. He is 6 months old and is a Rat Terrier. He was doing really well with not doing his business in the house until today when he peed all over my bed comforter. We will have to be more careful about not letting him just run around the house.

Nevaeh thinks he is her new best friend. She chases him around and then he chases her around. They seem to wear each other out which is a good thing. We are still working on him not jumping up on her. He likes to give her kisses but sometimes gives her puppy bites instead.He is really cute and just the right size for our family. Meet Ringo.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

End of the Year School Party at Castle Park

I can't believe another year has flown by and school is already over. Where does the time go? The boys' school paid for an end-of-the-year party at Castle Park. We had not been there in a while. We use to go all the time when they were little. I was proud of myself for finding some coupons on-line that allowed them to have $30.00 in spending money for free at the arcade. I think that is where they sent most of there time. I think everyone had a good time except for when we had to wait in line for one hour for our pizza.





Having a great time on the logride


Nevaeh was so excited that she got to ride by herself
Nevaeh was wiped out after her fun day.
Josh, Jared and Jacob at the end of the day with their friend Tim