Sunday, September 26, 2010

Birthday Thanks

I am 35 years old today and what a glorious day it has been!

Thank you Lord...

486. For choosing to create me. You knew I would fail you and still you chose me and allowed me to be born 35 years ago.

487. For pursuing me in my youth. For making salvation available to me and guiding me by your Holy Spirit.

488. That I was born into a loving family, with parents that are supportive and committed to one another and to their children. That I was given in-laws that have adopted me in as one of their own. So much love and support!!

489. That I was born in the United States. A country with freedom and opportunity and abundance.

490. For kisses on my forehead this morning from my husband as he whispered, "Happy Birthday" while we snuggled in bed.

491. For homemade birthday cards from all the kids. Jake made his tonight and yelled from the other room where he was creating, "Mommy, how do you spell love?"

492. The perfectly perfect weather today. The crisp, fall air.

493. A bike ride with my family.

494. A new bible that fits in my purse. The security of always having God's written Word close at hand.

495. Watching Hallie take Zac around the block on roller blades. She held him, encouraged him, pulled him and cheered him on the whole time.

496. Zac's perseverance. He made it around the block without any complaint and lots of falls. I love his "never give up" attitude.

497. Phone calls, FB posts, texts, letters and cards from friends and family. My heart overflows when I am remembered by so many loving people.

498. Inspiration from the Spirit on ways to draw closer to Him this year.

499. Peace in my home. Lord, you are here. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thankfulness continues...

471. Affirmation and wise words from our date night to PATCH.

472. Date night and friends that will love and watch our kids.

473. Seeing answered prayers. Zac is responding to our parenting efforts.

474. Laughing and remembering our silliness from our first year's of marriage.

475. Christ's strength and power seen in my weakness. (Check out Beth's Blog)

476. People from the past making their way back into your life. Excitement and wonder about what the Lord's doing.

477. A great church. Dynamite preaching. Hearing from the Lord.

478. Convicting book.

479. Manicures and lunch with my girl. She's growing up.

480. Walking to school with Zac to pick up Hallie and Jacob. Hallie and Jacob holding my hands on the way home.

481. My husband's spontaneity...let's go somewhere fun for fall break. He's calling KoKo Keys right now!

482. A message from Olga...she helped facilitate Zac's adoption 2 1/2 years ago.

483. Hugs and Kisses.

484. Talking to Jacy on the phone today. I love old, good friends.

485. Giving my grandma a manicure today. She has beautiful hands.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Last, First Day of Preschool

Today marked the last time I will have a first day of preschool for one of my kids. I have mixed emotions about how I feel about that, but Zac was more than happy to start Purple class at Little Lambs. There were no tears from Zac and his teachers welcomed him with warm smiles. Zac reported that he met a new friend. He didn't know her name but she was nice. And, he said he said that Jack took his Mr. Potato Head and pulled all the pieces off. He was mad but, "I didn't hit him." Well, thank goodness for that! After school we had a fun lunch together at Culver's. Here are some pictures from his wonderful first day.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Parenting the Hurt Child

Our little Zac has been home with us for almost as long as he was in his birth home and in an orphanage in Russia. There has been so much bonding and most days with him are full of typical brother and sister drama, hugs and kisses, bedtime stories, playdates etc... But, there are times that parenting Zac has been a challenge. Some might say it is just his personality, his age or because he is a boy, and although I believe all those things are a part of why he is who he is, there is a part of him that reacts to situations and people as a result of his lack of attachment to a loving family during his first two and a half years of life.

If you are an adoptive parent you may know what I mean. Over the last two and half years the Holy Spirit has opened my eyes to Zac's unique needs, the needs of a hurt child. I don't mean to seem overly dramatic because certainly all parents have unique children with different temperments, emotional needs and personalities, but for those of you out there considering adopting a child over a year of age I think it is important to understand the differences in parenting a hurt child as opposed to a child that has been in your care since birth. I have found so much valuable information in the book, Parenting the hurt Child by Keck and Kupecky . It talks about the importance of nurturing a child and attaching instead of detaching during times of discipline. I have found it so helpful. Some of the strategies they talk about we have incorporated into our daily life and it is making a big difference one day at a time.

It is easy to have compassion for hurting, orphaned children from afar. But, the Lord called Ryan and I to parent an orphan. He called us to struggle and celebrate life day in and day out with our wonderful son, Zac. As a result, I have been stripped of my parenting pride and have found the Lord strong in my weaknesses. I am thankful for...

463. Challenges that make me wiser

464. My children's unique designs by their Creator, all my kids...Hallie, Jacob and Zachary

465. Our assignment to parent a once orphan, now son

466. Resources that help and are so accessible

467. A husband that partners with me in parenting and leads this family with integrity and love

468. Friends that don't judge or criticize...Darcie and Lisa this week...there are so many!

469. Hugs and encouragement from my parents as they watch me parent

470. Tonight...when I asked Zac what was good about his day he said, "Being here with you. I love you mommy!" And, then I got a hug and a kiss.