Tuesday, July 26, 2011

50 Yard Line

I know that having a big family means that things happen in a super-size fashion.  I mean, that simply makes sense.  Until you are the manager of such a family and the one that has a seat on the 50-yd line...in the middle of the field...when you don't play football...and they just snapped the ball.

Last Monday started out normal.  Up at 5:50.  Kids up at 6.  (It's important to get up before the kids when you have a big family.)  Breakfast at 7.

Lizzie started not feeling so great.  She asked to lay down for a while.  Fine.  Sweet thing.  Go rest.  Mommy has got everything under control.  At 11:00 I'm not feeling so great.  Morning sickness.  By this point Lizzie has started throwing up and running a fever.

I feed everyone lunch.  Proud of myself for doing so with as much morning sickness as I was feeling.  By 1:00 I'm laying on the couch with Lizzie begging the Lord to take me home.  Fever and other terrible things going on in my body.  When your stomach hurts it is just simply unfair to have a baby doing trampoline tricks on it all day.  Just sayin'.

So, my sweet Mary is taking care of Lizzie and I.  The youngest 2 were napping and I'm not sure where the middle 2 were.  I didn't care as long as they weren't bothering me.

By 3:00 Mary was sick.  So, the 3 care givers of the family are sick and taking turns laying on the couch.

Tuesday, the 3 of us are better but just achy from being so achy.  Erin took the 3 youngest to grandma's for the morning so we could rest and Charlotte, the 9 year old, took care of us.  I was down for the entire day.  I think being pregnant made it hit me the hardest.  Or I'm a big baby.  I'm ok with either.

Wednesday, I had  fooled myself into thinking that was a fluke thing and we were going to have a great week.  Attending the finalization of a domestic adoption, 50th birthday party, Grandpa and Grandma's birthday party were all on the schedule for the weekend.

Thursday, Charlotte comes downstairs and says, "Mama, look at all these spots."  Now, I know that many of the mothers reading this are either laughing or their stomachs have dropped.

Chicken pox.

They didn't look like normal chicken pox (we've had it here before so I know what they look like.)  So, I called a friend to come look. She did and said she didn't know what they were, but they didn't look like chicken pox.  I then made an appt with the doctor.  Remember all the things I had on the schedule?  I didn't want to cancel them if I didn't have to.

Spent 3 hours at the doctor's office waiting room.  When I went to the front desk and reminded them that we were there to have the chicken pox looked at and that the longer we sat in the waiting room the more children were being exposed, we were seen within 30 minutes.  She said they didn't look like chicken pox, but she didn't know what else they could be.  Lay low and see if she gets worse.  Great.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday skipped all the events on the schedule.  It made us all sad, but being home with everyone was sweet.  Henry and Alice still haven't gotten any spots...yet.

Monday, yesterday, I'm thinking we are back on track.  Weird week last week, but this week is new and improved.

After lunch Henry started throwing up.  On the carpet.  Everything in his stomach that he's ever eaten.  In his entire life.

So, Mary cleans him up and I stare at the carpet.  Shop vac!  After I finish vacuuming up the ... stuff... I realize that the shop vac has a vent that blows air as it's sucking up.  And the vent is pointed at the fireplace.  And that the fireplace should have been cleaned out months ago.  And now there is ash ALL over the living room.

I simply stood there for a minute or two.

Then, I put the shop vac away and scrubbed the carpet.  Then I dusted the living room.

That evening Henry threw up as he was playing with the Legos.  Gross.

Today he was running a fever.

This morning Lizzie woke up with hives all over her arms and neck.  Emotional stress?  Nope.  An allergic reaction to the heat.  Nice try, Sweetie, you still have to go outside and clean up after the dog.

Again there are those mothers that are dying laughing right now and those that simply feel sorry for me.  You know who you are.

I laughed.  I have told and retold these stories so that I can hear others laugh too.  Did it make the situation different?  Nope.  Did it make how I looked at the situation different?  Yep.

So, don't feel sorry for me...laugh!  And share some mothering stories that either make people laugh or feel sorry for you.  It'll make me feel like I'm not the only one on the 50-yd line.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I've been thinking a lot about Ali's freedom.  It's been 6 months since we took her out of the orphanage for the first and last time.  She's not the same little, blank baby we took out of there.

She's free from care takers that took care of her, but didn't love her...we love her so much.

She's free from a diet that barely kept her alive...we work very hard every day to feed her good food.  AND she's starting to eat something more solid than baby food.  To God be the glory!

She's free from SO many layers of clothing...this summer she's often wearing a diaper only.

She's free to crawl into the kitchen where all the action is...not just around a large play pen all day.

She's free to be loved on by 2 brothers and 3 sisters....with them often fighting over whose turn it is to kiss her.

She's free to laugh...and she does, a beautiful belly laugh.  Usually at Thomas.  When she hits him.

She's free to smile so hard her eyes have developed crow's feet.

She's free to have an opinion.  And don't think that just because she is little and has Down Syndrome that she doesn't have an opinion.  Cause she does.  And she's loud about it.  very loud.

She's free to play and chew on things besides the crib bars.

She's free to hear the gospel taught in her home most every night.

She's free to hear Who made her and what He did for her.

And I have freedoms too...

I'm free to call her my daughter...I no longer think of her as adopted.

I'm free to help others with fundraising...not having to worry about our own.

I'm free to delight in her gaining weight and not worry about how little she is.

I'm free to get all warm and fuzzy when I think of her as a big sister.

I'm free to forget that she has Down Syndrome...which I often do...she's just Alice.  

But, all my true freedoms were bought for me...

I'm free from guilt...I've been washed white by the blood of my savior.

I'm free from the threat of hell...I've been given a one-way ticket out of here and it was through no works of my own.

I'm free from the bondage of sin...my redeemer paid my debts in full.

Just like Alice was taken from the orphanage never to look back, Jesus carried me in his arms out of the only life I had ever known.  I was blank.  I was and still am a sinner.  He brought me into his world of love, compassion and grace.  I didn't ask for it.  I didn't deserve it.  I didn't work for it.  And believe me, there is not a more special-needs Christian than I am.  Yet, God adopted me into his family to share in the inheritance of Christ.  Just saying that gives me goose-bumps.

If the Lord hasn't saved you yet, call out to him.  Repent of your sins and beg for mercy.  I pray that the Lord will give you freedom, too.