Things parents of toddlers say…

If you don’t have a toddler, really, you should go borrow one for a little while.  I have a few you can pick from if you need one or three.

I never in my wildest dreams imagined all the things that would come out of my mouth.   Here’s glimpse into what my days sound like…

First of all, if you remember that rap song in the 90’s by DMX “Up in Here”… this is the soundtrack of my life right now:

Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind up in here, up in here
Y’all gon’ make me go all out up in here, up in here
Y’all gon’ make me act a fool up in here, up in here
Y’all gon’ make me lose my cool up in here, up in here

And as that swirls in the back of my mind, these are the things I have actually said in the past week:

  • No, it is not time to wake up… you have at least 5 more hours before the sun even wakes up!
  • You have to wear bottoms, highschool does not mean you don’t wear bottoms. That is a shirt, go put on some shorts, or pants or a skirt.  I will not keep having this fight!
  • PS… you are not in highschool.
  • No, turning 5 does not mean you get your own cell phone
  • There is not enough time to watch a movie between our driveway and the church (across the street)
  • Please do not eat things you found in your car seat
  • People do not drink from dog bowls… that is just for the dog
  • I know you want to be in the olympics, really, I do… but flipping your sister out of her chair is not part of the training.
  • We do not drink water from a puddle… in the street
  • Nana will not come save you from this!  This is called a consequence.
  • Do you see my wooden spoon?!?!
  • I will give you something to cry about.    (So this one, I kind-of expected to come out at some point in this life.)
  • Two people cannot use the same toilet at the same time!
  • Please get your sister’s toothbrush out of your mouth.
  • Is this pie in your hair?
  • Chewing is what you do with your teeth, swallow is when it goes down your throat.  We chew gum. We do not swallow gum.
  • I know you are the mommy, but I’m the real mommy, and when she needs to poop it is not your job to clean her up.  It’s mine… because, this is obviously what I dreamed of.
  • Yes, I realize that is how you count, but one day fiveteen is not going to work for you.
  • Your teddy bear does not need baby-powder for her diaper change.
  • Please do not suck the jelly out of your pb&j sandwich
  • For the Love!
  • It is a good thing you are so cute
  • I am so sorry a crab named Alan pinched you.
  • No, you may not have real coffee… I would not stand a chance if you started that.
  • Sugar cubes are not an acceptable breakfast
  • We do not dance with poles. Ever. Period.
  • Going to jail is not cool… that’s not our goal… haven’t we discussed this before?
  • Please, please, please do not ask someone if they are “an old lady”. Mommy cannot handle that.  We do not say old lady.  You can say, nice lady.

Y’all…..  I don’t even have words left to say…


All that glitters is not gold

It’s kinda hard to follow that last story.  I’ve been wondering for two weeks what to write next.

Remember in the story where Moses came down from Mt. Sinai after experiencing God’s glory?  When he came down his face was so red he had to wear a veil.  I imagine it slipping every now and then and someone has to remind him, “excuse me sir, your glory is showing.”

That’s pretty much how I felt for the next week after God showed off.  I felt like every where I went my glory was showing.  Then as time went on, we went camping, I started sweating and life got hard.  Our normal shifted from being in daycare before vacation to using a nanny after vacation… so I’ve been with kids 24/7/3 weeks straight… that I swear feels like it has been 270 days!

Last week I had a sobering moment when I attended our area Foster and Adoptive Parent meeting.  There was a therapist there teaching on the effects children experience from trauma.  If I’m honest, it wasn’t really new information, but the truth is this was the first time I had paid attention to it on this side of adoption and it was overwhelming!  There are things our girls have experienced that I cannot erase, but with lots of unconditional love, holding and never giving up, there’s much hope that they can experience levels of healing.  But one thing she said, and I know she didn’t mean it to be discouraging, but what I kept hearing was, “they will never live up to what they could have been.”

That is still a lot to swallow, and honestly, I can’t accept it.  I know we have challenges, and there are challenges I don’t even yet know of… but I have to believe there is more hope than that for us.  I think back over the past two years, this Friday is two years since they first walked through my door.  I can’t even count how many times I have seen God’s hand on their lives.  There is purpose in their story, there is purpose in their pain and their is redemption of what the enemy meant to destroy.

I understand the science behind the effects of trauma, really, I do.  She told the story of a child walking in a park, and one day on the same path he had always walked he sees a snake and from that point forward, he will always be looking for a snake.  Every stick will be snake until he sees it isn’t.

My biggest earthly fear is snakes. Hands-down.  Twice this summer as I have stepped out of my office my foot has almost landed on a snake.  There is an ungodly dance and accompanying scream that occurs in these instances.  One time I almost got a 9mm and attempted shooting before I realized I was more likely to kill my dog than the snake.  This is my own small trauma.  And for weeks as I have stepped out of my office I have questioned every stick, every branch, every movement that crosses my path.  And I remember thinking to myself, If your biggest fear is snakes, every stick becomes a snake.

When she shared this example on that evening I felt my heart sink as I realized the depth of what my girls will have to overcome.  We have seen tremendous progress and I am amazed by God’s goodness.  At the same time I could relate to what they call being “hyper-vigilant”… mine isn’t just about snakes though.  There are days where I am exhausted just from trying to prevent melt-downs, protect bedtime routines, manage excitement and maintain emotional stability for me and all those around me.  For the first time in months I took a deep breath….

Despite what science says, despite what trauma they have experienced, I have a good good Father that loves me deeply, loves these girls lavishly and is on this journey with us.  It isn’t all up to me.  I cannot even begin to know what lies ahead, but he does, and I can rest.  He gave me this scripture two weeks ago:

So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”      Matthew 6:34

Even as the facts were swirling around in my mind that night,  I had to remind myself not to be caught in the worry of what will be, but enjoy this moment right now.

I went home that night, snuggled on the couch with Daniel and the girls to watch Peppa Pig.  Gabriella smiled really big and said, “look mom, it’s our whole family! how do we all fit here together?”  Well, that’s just what families do, we squeeze in to make everyone fit.  Then she gently replied, “do you see this mom? this is my happy tear.” 

Y’all. I almost cried. It is not often that I stop and snuggle on the couch, but it is those moments that bring about their healing.  These are the things that show them they matter, they are loved and safe.  This is what brings them happy tears and erases the ones cried in fear.

Please pray for us. Some days are still hard as we get used to new routines and in a week start a new school.  We need lots of grace!  We need teachers that can understand where we are coming from and not give up on the hard days.  This mom needs grace to see what is important and trust the truth of who God is for us.  I’m thankful for the many ways he has shown his glory, it serves as a continual reminder that we are not alone.  Thank you all for the ways you have loved us lavishly, celebrated our adoption and given us more than we could have ever asked for.  We are truly blessed.  And I know without a doubt, these girls know they are loved, not just by us… but by each one of you.  This friends, this brings healing.   #lovedoes