May 8, 2011


when did this happen…

February 8, 2011

after a long and challenging day of home school, I made a rather frantic call to brian, expressing that it would probably be in the best interest of all involved if he could get home quickly after work.  (just the kind of call I’m sure he loves to get)  of course he asked and answered all of the obligatory questions and then he decided it would better for him to stay home for the night rather than go to bsf…  he had some ‘principal’ work to attend to.

as the afternoon was wearing on, I started to think that I acted in haste and a certain young man would be paying for that when his dad got home.  I also knew that brian can be very loud and definitely intimidating when he wants to be… especially if you are half his size.  I started to feel bad.  what could I do about it at that point?  brian does not like it when someone is giving me grief, even if that someone is another member of the family… he wasn’t going to just forget about it and move on with his day.  he’s going to want to fix the situation. 

so then, as I stood in the kitchen, watching the silver pony (that’s what we call the truck) back into its parking place, I got a little nervous about what was about to go down.  needless to say, I was more than pleasantly surprised when my sweet lover and protector calmly walked in the door and exchanged all the usual niceties with everyone.  then I began to wonder if there would be any punishment… I mean, I expected something… I didn’t want dawson to get away with the behavior that had been incessant all day.  I didn’t want him to be hollered at necessarily, but I did want him to be accountable.

no sooner had I thought that, then I heard brian call from his desk, “dawson.  come over here and bring your bible.” in a very stern, you-better-be-paying-attention kind of voice.

I stood there by the sink, thinking to myself, ‘hhhhmmm.. this is could be interesting…’

anyway, long story short, brian had dawson write out about 6 different verses from his bible dealing with wisdom, obedience, love and respect.  I was SO impressed and all most moved to tears that this was the consequence that brian had come up with.  he never raised his voice in the slightest and obviously had put some thought into what would happen when he got home.  I got all warm and tingly and started falling in love with this man all over again… one more reason to love him(or maybe four or five reasons)… he wants to raise these children in a godly manner… he’s doing his best… he’s always on my side… he loves them… he loves me…

all that back story just to say:

then my thoughts went to, ‘when did this happen?!’  I mean, at what point in my life did a man with some kind of moral convictions become charming to me?  I don’t remember ever  thinking that I would want to be married to a man who reads his bible or a man who would have a conversation with his children about why it is so important that they love, honor and respect their parents… not that I didn’t want that, I just wasn’t aware of it at the time.  and yet, that’s exactly where I am now.  I wouldn’t want anything less.  I know it has happened in the last few years, because I can remember the first time I became aware of this ‘draw’ towards a man just because of his faith.  we were sitting in church and when the pastor asked if there was anyone who would like to stand and say the verse for the week, a young man proudly stood and recited the whole thing ( and it was long ).  I was greatly impressed and thought to myself that someday that fine young man would make someone a great husband.  he became more attractive of a man, just because of his love for Christ.  that had never been a feature that I had been attracted to before in my life.  now it is.  which leads me to conclude, that brian and I are living proof that God is amazing in His ability to change lives, hearts and minds, for His pleasure and for His glory, through putting a desire for a godly man in my heart and softening brian’s would be anger to a gentle answer … and that was just today!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

~2 Corinthians 5:17~

fall like rain…

December 31, 2010

my day started with someone knocking at the door about 9:00 this morning bearing flowers and words of love from a dear friend.  beautiful, vibrant flowers.  knowing that others are remembering me and mine today is a very sweet balm to my wounded soul.  I have another friend who had dropped off a box of little gifts secretly, 10 days ago, to help ease the week or so building up to luke’s birthday.  (same friend who did that last year too)  it may sound a little silly, but it really does help.  the gifts are simple… a box of tea, a notebook, candy, a book, kleenex… but, and maybe this is because my love language is gifts,  these little things mean a great deal.  each one is wrapped nicely and has a verse that kind of goes with the gift.  I love the gifts, the friend, the thought behind it all.

about 10:00, brian left to go pick up all the balloons.  he brought home balloons and a few long-stemmed roses.  they smell so sweet.  we all wrote little messages on them and then headed outside to let them go.  it is so fun to let balloons go.  something you never really get to do and are often warned against.  they all look so lovely floating away.  next year I think we’ll get more.

after letting them all go, we headed out to champps for lunch, just like we do for everyone else’s birthday.  that was nice too. 




when we got home, there was another delivery.  white roses and evergreens with a snowflake in the middle from my parents.  it has  such a lovely piney scent and is one of the most beautiful arrangements I’ve ever received. 

all these wonderful things, along with… cards in the mail, emails, FB messages, texts, hugs, thoughts, prayers and concerns… really carried me through the day.  I understand that it has been 2 years since the most traumatic experience of my life was coming to a close, but at the same time that just seems impossible.  that seems to have happened just yesterday.  I still hurt, I still want him, I still think of him all the time.

as we were driving off to lunch, a song by jeremy camp started as if by cue.  it was the song, I still believe.  part of the lyrics say,

“but it’s now that I feel Your grace falls like rain
from every fingertip, washing away my pain”

and I closed my eyes and leaned my head back and thought, yes… this is what is happening… all these gifts, all the concern from my friends… this is God, working through them to bring me some sort of peace.  and as His grace falls like rain, it really is washing away my pain.  thank you so much to all of you who were part of the comfort and joy today that was falling like rain all about me and mine.

always watching…

November 14, 2010

I learned a valuable lesson this weekend… one that I know, but easily forget or don’t pay much attention too.  it was good to be reminded and greatly encouraged at the same time.  here’s how it went.

I was at a retreat for moms with kids with disabilities.  after the main speaker, there was a Q & A.  the questions were directed towards us, the audience.  our second question was, ‘how do you keep your faith?’  someone I don’t know, a few rows behind me and to the right, stood and started to give her answer.  she said she had seen something that encouraged her, rather than something that she did herself.  it wasn’t far into her story that I started to cry.  I still can’t say exactly why it made me cry,  but it did.  she told us how she happens to attend bethlehem and on a sunday back aways, maybe Easter, we had a combined service at the lakeville highschool, rather than the 9 and 11 that we would usually have.  so, as she is watching the service proceed, she notices a family up front that has a little boy in a wheelchair.  she said she was drawn to the joy they showed as they were singing.  and then ‘I’ll fly away’ came up and again she felt she was watching something remarkable.  the family was smiling and singing and dancing around… even the boy in the wheelchair had his hands up and was doing his best to sing along.  she was impressed and encouraged to see a family that had obvious burden and yet such great joy.

oh how quickly I knew she was talking about me and mine.  I remember getting to church later than I had wanted and having to walk all the way down to the front row, because there are only a few places to sit with a wheelchair.  I remember the song too.  cole’s favorite!  in my whole time at bethlehem it has only been sung twice.  the week we came back after losing luke and Easter.  I also remember wearing my brave face and doing my best to sing along as I was breaking on the inside, because I really did  want to fly away.  I have a son waiting on the other side of glory and I want to see him.  I remember writing a poem that starts out ‘it still sucks’ after I got home…

so… to hear this story from a strangers perspective was… more than I can put into words.  here she is being greatly encouraged by just watching our little family sing and she doesn’t even know the half of it!  it made me remember that others are watching.  always watching.  and although things can and will be hard at different times, I need to rely on God and trust that He will give me the strength to suffer well.  that His light will show through my tears, through cole’s raised hands, through gabrielle’s twirling, brian’s steadfastness and dear dawson’s tender spirit.  He knows who is watching and what they need to see.

a few good men…

June 20, 2010

I don’t have nearly the time or energy that I’d like to devote to this post, but I’m going to do what I can.  here goes.  I’d like to take this small moment to acknowledge some simply wonderful men in my life.  let me start with my brother.  I wouldn’t have every really expected to be acknowledging how great my brother is in any type of public forum, but I am… because… he is.  he is a great husband and father.  I know he devotes lots of time to maintaining and bettering his family.  he isn’t stopping at the bar every night after work or things like that.  he’s picking up his daughters and heading for home.  he plays with them.  a lot.  and he seems to be enjoying it.  they love him for it too.  the last time I was down there he had cut out some paper dolls and colored them in as all the disney princesses and I was jealous.  they were awesome!  apparently he got the ‘how to cut out paper dolls gene’.  which brings me to another great man.  my dad. 

my dad used to cut out paper dolls for me.  I remember.  he used to crawl around on his hands and knees pretending to be a pony, he would spin use around in our sleeping bags, he took us sledding in the winter and swimming in the summer.  he taught us how to stack wood and how to criss-cross cut the potatoes and carrots for the beef stew.  he also worked very, very hard.  long hours out in the hot sun.  day in and day out.  all across the midwest.  it was a great way for us to spend the summers.  we got to camp all over and go on new adventures almost every day.  and he was working… up to 80 hours a week sometimes.  all that being said, you’ll probably not be able to guess what it was that I was thinking about him this morning in church.  I was thinking how thankful I am for the decision he made to let me be born and to marry my mom and stick with us.  I can’t imagine what it is like to be 17 and have a 14 year-old pregnant girlfriend…  to have someone suggest that maybe you should end the pregnancy… 

he kept me.  he married my mom.  he was and continues to be good to me.  thank you dad.  I love you.

last but not least, the daddy to my own 4.  again while we were at church, I was listening to a video clip about the release of a book on disability.  it made me stop and think about how fortunate that I am that brian even stuck around after cole was born.  many daddy’s don’t.  they don’t have time or desire for a broken child.  not only has he stuck around, he has been absolutely amazing, never faltering.  he remains steadfast in his love for his family and works hard to provide for us.  he works lots of hours, 2 jobs if needed.  he isn’t out with the boys or drinking his sorrows away (and Lord knows he has had plenty).  he comes straight home.  he says he just wants to be here… home.  I am his best friend and he loves these kids.  I know he still would love to have 1 more.  I know it pains him the same as me when little ones come around our house or cross our paths at church.  I know he was broken but remained steadfast in his best attempts to be able to protect and take care of me and the kids as we lost our littlest member.  he was strong all day and into the night until I had cried myself to sleep… and then when he thought everyone was down for the night he would throw up out in the kitchen sink hoping not to wake anyone, being conscious of us even in his own deep loss and sorrow.  it breaks my heart that I am not able to give him that 1 more…  he’s such a good daddy. 

thank you sweet man of mine for not only sticking with us, but loving us and providing for us.  you truly are the best.  truly.  I love you. … …  love. you. 

happy father’s day to a few good men in my life.  may God bless you and keep you~

all four my first…

June 18, 2010

I have always been very proud to say that each child of mine has been my first.  cole being my obvious first-born.  dawson being my first able-bodied child.  gabrielle my first girl.  and last night as I lay awake, it occurred to me that I can still say that.  luke was the first I had to let go of.

this sunday…

June 14, 2010

sunday again.  I do love sundays.  I love that it is a different day for us.  it isn’t the rush, rush, get out the door, check that thing off the list so we can have some time to ourselves.  it doesn’t ‘waste’ our day to be in church for the morning.  it is different from all the others.  it is set aside as something a little more important than your average day.  what would it be that I have to do that is so important anyway…  nothing.

it isn’t my easiest day of the week.  it is tremendously emotional.  JOY.  there is joy.  there is peace.  there is healing.  there is hurt.  there is comfort for the hurt…  there is the shock and awe that someone as vile as myself would be called ‘the apple of my eye’ by God himself.  and there is still… anger, betrayal …  confusion.  I just can’t understand.  I’m accepting that there is a good chance I’m not going to understand this side of heaven.

all that being said, I just wanted to give you a little rundown of what all happens in that hour and a half that we come to gether to worship with our fellow believers in Christ.

*we arrive and sit in the folding chairs against the wall because that’s where you sit when you have a wheelchair.

*as we sing praises cole hits all the important words as loud as he can, like hallelujah.  ( I hope others aren’t thinking that he is just screaming and then remember that God knows his voice and realize that this may be as close as I get to completely unashamed, honest worship from another person.)

*also while we are singing, punkin stands in front of me dancing to the songs, twirling and clapping and raising her hands while she holds mine.  (I hope other people aren’t thinking that I should not be letting my daughter whirl around and such and then I remember that I don’t care what they think.  she’s doing a little dance of joy for Jesus.  wouldn’t church be more fun if we all did some twirls together down the aisles and danced for the One who saved our souls?)

*as we sit I notice that the little boy right in front of us still has his name tag on from nursery.  his name is luke of course.  really.

*looking over to punkin who is 2 over to my left, I notice that she has brought her whole artists workshop along including scissors, glue sticks, pencils and colors which she is presently setting up on the empty chair next to her.

*I see dawson on his ipod sitting on my left and think ‘why did we let him bring that?’ and then notice that he is quickly looking for the bible reference the pastor just read and…. he found it!  he glances at me proudly.

*cole is quietly turning the pages of his dora book.  surprisingly he can sit and be quiet for that long.  I’m always surprised.

*I switch places with dawson so that I can help punkin put away the craft store.

*I notice brian has his head leaned against the wall and appears to be asleep.

*a mom with a little boy wrapped in a soft brown blanket with a silky edge gets up from in front of us to go nurse I would assume.

*dawson is wiggling around trying to itch his back which is really dawson trying to say ‘mom will you rub my back’.

*I rub dawson’s back.

*punkin shows me a picture that she has drawn.  a heart with ‘GOD’ in the middle and to luke… from punkin on the back.

*brian is helping cole straighten out his dora book.

*dawson wants to know what ‘chaffing’ means.  (I think, at least he is listening to the sermon because I just heard the pastor say chaffing.)

*brian appears to be sleeping again.

*during a sermon on how self-centered we are, I think about how I  can’t hear anything because I’m  helping my little brood.

*the words to the songs play on in my heart and mind…

All I once held dear, built my life upon,

all this world reveres and wars to own,

all I once thought gain I have counted loss,

spent and worthless now compared to this.

Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You.

There is no greater thing.

You’re my all, You’re the best, You’re my joy,

my righteousness; and I love You, Lord.


May 30, 2010

although I want this to be a ‘good’ post, I don’t think I have the energy.  a ‘good’ post involves more time and effort than I have at the moment.  (also why I don’t post much lately)  it’s late.  I’m tired.  so many things weigh on my mind…

what do you do when the position you’ve been appointed seems to be wearing you down?  God has put me here, given me these little ones to watch over, guide along the way…  (I would hardly qualify to be given such a position.) but… sometimes… I’m just tired of this job.  it is soo constant.  every minute.  all these moments of character training.  not to mention the basics of feeding, cleaning, clothing, educating.  I want a break.  I want to not  make decisions for a while.  I want someone to take care of me.

I am forced to think about how I am going to move cole around when he gets bigger as I trip and stumble over his feet as I try to carry him to the living room.  just a little bit bigger.  I can still do it now, (I probably shouldn’t).  but how much longer?  he’s over 60 pounds and 5 feet tall.  how long will I be able to carry him to the bathroom?  what will I do when I can’t?  of course, having our helpers out of town for 5 days brings this to the front of my mind too.  at some point we are going to have to have someone here to help all the time.  all the time.  I don’t want someone in my house all the time.  but I can’t do it without someone.

what do I do with this young man (dawson) who is growing right before my very eyes?  the one who now looks  me in the eyes?!?!  how will I be able to teach him all the things he should know?  mentally, emotionally, spiritually…

I’d rather not have to think about memorial day.  not the part about honoring the many brave men and women who have defended this marvelous nation… the other part where we also remember our other loved ones who have gone on before us.

tonight as I put punkin to bed… I’m pretty sure she has chicken pox.  let’s see… exposed 14 days ago, headache, spreading little itchy welts that look kinda like bug bites… yeah… that’s probably pox.

all of these little things (and more) seem to have me in a bit of a funk.  I feel down.  weepy.  tired.  weary.  heavy laden.  the thing is I know it is a funk.  it will pass.  I’ll gain a more stable footing.  right now I just want it over.  if I were a child, I would stomp my feet and cry and be angry and crabby and pout and … … …  oh wait… … … I guess I did do those things today.


March 30, 2010

I’ve been meaning to blog so many times in the last 2 weeks, but I just don’t seem to be able to get enough time to do it… or, I forget the password.

we just spent 5 days touring north-western Iowa.  we stayed in 3 different places, ate at 4 different restaurants, colored eggs, hunted eggs, saw old friends and all of our family.  it was a crazy little vacation!  it was fun, … and exhausting.

of course the kids hardly sleep.  neither do we.  everyone eats a bunch of different stuff.  we get all off schedule with bathroom routines and such.  if you’ve traveled at all with kids, you know what I am talking about.  the kids are all fired up and feeling a little crazy just because they get to go see all of their extended family.  they are a little louder, a little more rowdy, a little less likely to listen.  while it is fun, it takes the life out of you… out of me anyway.   it is very hard to try to keep everyone happy. 

sunday night we came home. … … … home.  it was so exciting, so relieving, so appreciated.  brian and I were so thankful for our very own king size bed and soft, comfy sheets, the smell of our own house.  the kids are glad to be home.  glad to lay on our own carpet, play our games, watch our movies, eat our food.  the kids crash and go to sleep in minutes instead of hours.  brian and I fall completely tired onto the couch and sigh a long sigh of relieve. 

all the time I’m wondering… if it feels this good to come home, this small physical dwelling that I temporarily possess,  I can’t imagine the rejoicing of my soul when it finally gets to go HOME.  home as in Heaven.  my one true home.  what will it be like to smell a sweet aroma that I have missed for so many years?  what will it be like to finally rest… a full, complete, peaceful rest?  what will it be like to eat the sweet fruits of heaven that I haven’t tasted in so long?  what will it be like to put on that robe that is so completely comfortable, perfectly tailored to fit me?

in my head I’m singing… “just a few more weary days and then… I’ll fly away.  to a land where joys will never end… I’ll fly away.”

here I go again…

I love my kids.  you know I do.  but why is it that by the time bedtime rolls around, I really just want them to go to bed.  one more hug, one more story, one more question, on and on and on… one more trip to the kitchen, one more holler across the hall at your brother, one more, ‘I just need to find my socks.’…  ‘just go to bed!’. … … …  it’s so hard to say I love you when I want to choke you…  that’s what I’m thinking in my head.

 it is so hard to be patient at the end of the day.  I really, really want to be all lovey and cuddly and tuck them in sweetly with a blessing hanging in the air as I turn off their lights. … I just seem to have a hard time actually doing it.  it happens some times…  I’d just rather it was the rule and not the exception.

(even now I still have a wanderer who thinks he ‘heard a noise’.)  argh~

how do I do it?  how do I make bedtime go kindly and calmly?  how can I get my mouth to do what I want it to, what God  would want me to say,  instead of what just comes naturally to my sinful self?

I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.   Romans 7:15

In your anger do not sin!  Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.   Eph 4:26-27

I know this.  I want to live by this.  I’m trying, really I am.  I think it is getting better… but still…  I’m so tired at the end of the day!  I’m worn down… weary…  how can it possibly be that when punkin wants me to come back to her room, again,  just to say she loves me, I’d rather she would just go to sleep.  it makes me sad to feel that way… it makes me feel bad, guilty. 

 I want to enjoy the moments… they will soon be gone… just one more thing I’m working on.


birthday wishes…

December 31, 2009

some pics from our balloon release…

it went pretty well and surprisingly even kind of fun.  the kids loved it.  I’ll have to write more later.

I have gotten news of your balloon launches too… some from the beach and some with cards and some with snowflakes tied to the tales.  thanks so much for celebrating with us!

(just so you know… our pictures were taken by a very talented and kindhearted woman who I wish I had never met.  she was the one who took luke’s pictures on his birthday last year.  what a blessing she has been to us.  if you need a great christian photographer with a huge heart, look her up. )


December 26, 2009

here they are.  my monkeys… with one stand in.  luke will be represented by the little white monkey in family pictures.  somehow… that makes it a bit easier.  and, no one really needs to know right?  I don’t have to explain it when someone is looking at a picture.  I can just nod and say, ‘yeah, they are pretty cute.’.

anyway.  this is our tradition.  every year on Christmas eve we get to open one package.  it is always pajamas.  flannel pants from llbean.  they are so soft and cozy and that’s just what we do now.  I have taken a picture on christmas eve with everyone in their new jammies every since gabrielle was born. 

I hope that your Christmas was filled with love and joy and peace and tradition.

up to date…

October 22, 2009

so here’s what is going on with all of the little situations I write about and then don’t ever really tell you what has become of them.

adoption … nothing ever  happened.  I don’t know.  it just came and went and is over I guess.  we contacted out as far as we could.  the agency, the friend of a friend… and for whatever reason it ended as quickly as it came up.  I am perfectly  fine with that.  really.  it seems to have been a bit of a cathartic (meaning- to purge.  which I did.) experience.  my immediate reaction was as overwhelming as when we left the hospital empty-handed.  I just bawled… and then… everything was okay.  maybe I just needed to see that adoption is an option and maybe… maybe…  someday we will adopt.

potty … cole has been accident free for over a week straight!  amazing.  the most amazing thing is that he was clean and dry the whole time we were gone!  he went on the potty with all of his helpers and even at someone elses house!  good job cole.

biting …  this is always ongoing.  it has been for years.  I don’t know why, but getting ready in the morning is very hard for him, which in turn, makes it hard for me.  some days are better and some are worse.  there really is no way to tell which day I’ll get until we are right in the thick of it.  I haven’t choked him yet… or dropped him.

punkin … gabrielle ended up having mono and another viral infection called CMV which is like mono.  so that is probably why she was soo tired and had the fever for soo long.  she is on the mend.  she gets worn out pretty easily and currently has contracted some other bug that is making her cough and be congested.

bsf … I went back.  I am now in a different group with my leader from last year.  this seems to  have made it easier.  the other women in the group are a little older, and no one is pregnant or nursing.  good.  having someone know my history without having to talk about it is somehow nice.  if I cry or ramble or glaze over, I don’t have to explain.  she knows.  she stumbles over saying ‘luke’ around me too (which is hard to avoid in a bible study)and that is somehow comforting as well.

dawson john …  not that there was anything going on, and there still isn’t.  he’s like brian.  my steady.  my little lover.  he’s growing like crazy in so many ways.  he saved up some money to buy a new bible (one like the big boys at church have) and he has taken it upon himself to have a little quiet time everyday!  wow!  I’m impressed… with God.  that he would stir a little heart to long for more.  it brings me great joy.

pictures … the weekend away was great.  I learned a great deal and have been thinking and figuring how I can get this thing started.  why wouldn’t I do something that I am good at, something I love to do and  get paid for it?!?!  it is still in the process though.

tripping … ummm… yeah… I’m going to have to get back to you on that one.  it is still a day-to-day thing.  a year ago today, everything was still fine.  those days are very closely numbered now.  very.

the week in review…

September 13, 2009

wow! … it has been crazy at the matthews this week.  all I can really say about it is … wow.  a little head shaking in there and just amazement at how God just sits you down sometimes.

first day of school '09 006

let me start with the first day of school.  the boys did great.  on the bus for cole and a ride from mom for dawson.  I always take a picture of the kids in the morning as they are getting ready to head off.  a little tradition for us.  I took gabrielle’s too even though she officially starts kindergarten the following day.  of course this is a little bittersweet.  I should be taking a first day of school '09 017picture of luke too.  even though he wouldn’t be going to school, I still like to have a ‘where were you’ kind of picture for everyone.  and of course, my sweet baby girl is headed off for the first time!  it was a little tough, but I did hold it together. 

so, that was the first day of school.  the second day for the boys was tfirst day of school '09 026he first for punkin.  she was so excited and did just great.  brian and I stood at the bus stop for 45 minutes waiting for her bus to come around the corner to drop her off.  here comes the bus around the corner with her beautiful smiling face looking right out the front window just as proud as punch!!  it was a very memorable moment.  some pretty great days.


now let me tell you about the ‘God sitting me right down’ moment….

after I dropped gabrielle off wednesday morning I didn’t rally want to come home.  the house would be empty and it just shouldn’t be.  I was so looking forward to the fall and being able to spend the mornings with luke and luke alone.  I should have a baby boy at home.  I haven’t been alone in this house ever.  I haven’t been alone in my life  ever!  I went straight from my parents to married to brian to cole and then dawson and then gabrielle.  12 years of being a mom.  I sat at the stop light crying, not wanting to make the turn into my neighborhood and go home to the empty, quiet house.

obviously I had to and did.  I came in and went right to the computer and checked email.  the first and only email that was there was from a good friend.  she had forwarded it from a friend of hers.  it was asking if there is anyone who would like to adopt a baby that is due in november. … … … … … … … … I just stared.  could this be real?!?!  I forwarded it to brian and called the friend.  it was true and brian said go ahead and respond. 

I fell to the floor crying and asking the holy spirit to intercede for me because I was at a COMPLETE loss for words.

after gathering myself, I did respond.  I do not have much more info to pass along about it at this point, but the events leading up to the email are so bizarre that it seems as if it would have to be something of God.  let  me tell you a couple of them.

I’ve been dreaming that I have a baby.  not like pregnant have a baby, like in the dream I just have a baby with me.  I’ve been telling brian for the last 6 weeks to be prepared when someone drops a baby off at our door.  I had told my bible study group over the summer that I was hoping that somehow we would just get a baby.  the mother of the baby cried when she got the response from us.  the contact name at the adoption agency is a friend of one of my closest friends.  the list goes on.  really.

I’ve been pretty speechless this week.

now, I don’t know where this will lead.  I know that you can twist things when you really want something.  I’m trying to stay as centered as possible.  I’m trying to pray often.  I have many friends praying too.  maybe this little baby ends up in our home.  maybe this is just something that happens to tell us to get our things in order so that we are able to adopt.  I don’t know.  anyway, I just wanted to update everyone and let you know where I’ve been and why I am short on words at the moment.

thanks for thinking of me.  thanks for your prayers.  thanks for your kindness and caring. 

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,

and in his word I put my hope.

My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning,

more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Psalm 130:5-6

these are the 3…

September 1, 2009


I seem to pick up little things that seem to be appropriate to my life here and there.  today as I was talking with a friend who has also lost a baby, who knows the despair of walking out the hospital trying to hold  yourself together instead of holding  that new beautiful baby boy, she said something that I may start to say myself.

as you know, one of the harder things to deal with is the question, ‘how many kids do you have?’.  her answer, when it fits, is … ‘these are the 2 that we have here.’

yes.  that is a good way to say it.  these are the 3 I have here.  the other 1 is in heaven all ready.  I can’t wait to see him.  I will go to him.

this of course opens the door to speak about the other HIM in my life.  the other HIM that I wait to see.  oh how I love HIM.  I wouldn’t have made it this far without HIM.  I thank God for giving up His Son … … give me the grace and the strength and the courage to be able to speak up and say as much when the opportunity is presented.

day trip, part 2…

August 30, 2009

yesterday was a good day.

first off, cole was doing some ‘volunteer’ work at church.  yes.  really.  he was part of a mock classroom to train in the new teachers.  he did wonderful and was very proud of himself for helping.

now, since cole was going to be gone doing something, I thought we (the other 4 of us) could go and do something.  at least I could go without feeling guilty because cole was doing something on his own.

we decided to go back to taylor falls for the day to do some more hiking and climbing.  it was great.  we stopped and had fresh doughnuts on our way into the park.  we hiked around off the beaten trail for a couple hours and then headed to a little park up the river to have a picnic.  it was so easy.  just in and out of the truck.  parking where ever we wanted.  sitting where ever we wanted.  going into what ever store we wanted.  no worries at all about ‘accessibility’.

after some more hiking, we played mini golf at a place we couldn’t have stopped before.  then we went to the sculpture park to let dawson and punkin run.  and they did.  they ran and climbed and slid and ran and went on the swings… nothing holding them back.  it was fun to watch.

next we went to stillwater and walked around looking in all the different little shops.  you’d think our kids have never got to do anything…. …. oh wait…. …. they haven’t.  everything was exciting.  even the antiques.  really.

we ate at a little burger joint along the main drag and then went looking for what we were told was the best ice cream deal in town.  we found it. and it was.  a child’s size was amazingly huge.  I mean heaping.  of course, what kid isn’t tickled to have an ice cream cone that is practically falling over.  those smiles said it all. 

we started heading home around 8:00.  as brian was in the gas station, dawson said, ‘mom, can we do the exact same thing next weekend?’.  I think they had fun.  I did.

… … … … … … … … … … … … … …

now let me tell you what was going on with cole!

after having a wonderful day of volunteer work at the church, cole came home to play with friends.  he stayed dry all day!!! and, he went on the potty with 2 new people!!!  I am beside myself about this!  I was expecting a couple of accidents, but NO!!  cole did it.  he came through in a big way.  it was just the icing on the cake.  a little pat on the back saying, ‘see it is okay.  cole’s a big boy.  your other kids need to go and do regular kid stuff.  have a little fun.  stop being so worried about everyone.’

thank you God for a good day all around…  more blessings than I could list.

Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!  Philippians 4:4

family day trip…

August 22, 2009

we went on a little family day trip today.  it was wonderful.  the weather was about as nice as it can get.  being together was fun.  and still… cole can’t climb the rocks and the baby is missing.

we went to taylors falls over on the st croix.  there is a state park called pothole park.  it is where the waterfalls used to flow.  dawson and gabrielle were free to climb all over the rocks along the river.  honestly, it is just the right size for little kids to go exploring.  they were thinking they were pretty big stuff this afternoon.  at one point dawson said, ‘don’t you think climbing is just a natural habit?’.  I’m sure we ill go back there and highly recommend that you visit too.

of course, cole was saying, ‘me too.’, which is always hard to hear.  brian and I tried to keep him entertained with other things.  it worked for the most part.  when we were hiking up the main trail on the way out, gabrielle said, ‘ I wish cole didn’t have a disability because then we could climb alot more things.’.  this cuts through my heart for a couple reasons.  I’m sure cole wishes he was not disabled too.  I want for him to be able to run around with his little brother and sister.  and then, I hate to have dawson and gabrielle not be able to go and do all the things that just can’t be done in a wheelchair.  they should be able to run and climb freely too.  plus, I hate for them to see cole as the thing that is holding them back.

and finally, even though I smiled much of the day.  I mean we laughed and chased and picniced and climbed and had ice cream and went on trials… … … all without luke.  all without our little smiling baby that everyone grins at.  no first tastes of ice cream,  no holding sticks as we push the stroller along, no hiking back pack with a baby inside and a nuk hanging off the side.  sometimes I wonder if brian notices these things like I do.  he does.  he told me tonight.  he saw all the dads with the babies in their little carriers too.

one of the hardest scenes that I am having a hard time getting out of my head tonight (hence the late night blogging) is the kids walking in a row down the different paths and trials.  you know… when the kids are walking by themselves up ahead of us.  dawson pushing cole and punkin skipping out in front… … … and brian and I bringing up the rear … …. … without luke.  there should be one more in our line up of children.

now, I’m going to sit with brian a while longer on the couch, until I am just soo tired I can’t keep my eyes open.  the alternative being go lay in bed and cry until I fall asleep.


July 14, 2009

Dawson concert 07 018

look at that smile.  and it is genuine!  one thing with cole, he is genuine.  I don’t know that he could fake an emotion, whether it be joy, frustration, fear or praise, he tells it like it is.

cole is about to be 12.  this is hard to believe.  where do the years go … even when the years are hard?

a little more about him…

born at 37 weeks, by emergency cesarean, on july 16, 1997.  weighing in at 5lbs 2 oz.   we spent 2 weeks in the NICU with oxygen, unstable blood sugar, jaundice.  infantile spasms at 6 months.  we were at the hospital or doctor’s office 56 times in his first 52 weeks of life.  we’ve had seizures and surgeries, blood draws and IVs, pneumonia and dehydration.  we’ve bought wheelchairs and bathseats, been to therapy and therapy and therapy.  through it all, cole has been a trooper.  he is always smiling, loves to sing, hugs his doctors and nurses, a friend to all.  seriously.  when we go to target or the mall or any other place, someone knows cole.

his birthday is always bittersweet for me.  of course it is exciting and fun like typical birthdays, but there is also pain.  I relive the day he was born … just like I’m sure many moms do.  except there is alot of wondering, alot of guilt.  … I should have gone into the hospital sooner … why did I wait at home … I should have woke brian up earlier … is this my fault … did I do this … on and on it goes.

and yet, where would we be without cole???  my guess is that we would be an average family, going about our days.  we wouldn’t notice the little things that we do now … like how each word is a big accomplishment, …  ’mama’ wouldn’t sound so sweet.  or how each step is amazing when you think about how many small muscle groups and large muscle groups are involved.  or how the sound of true, uninhibited worship might not sound like everyone else in the choir.  hallelujah.

I’m not even sure if we would have made the jump from knowing in our heads to believeing in our hearts.  which is  the difference between life and death … the difference of heaven or hell.

so, at the end of the wondering and guilt I come back to … ‘this must be the plan for us.’  maybe God knows the best path to bring us home.  maybe that path is through the difficulties and blessings of having a disabled child.

you know the question.  have you ever really kept track?  you’d need a notebook really, but here’s my best try just off of memory.

5 am… try to find brian’s alarm clock, because he is to delirious to shut it off.  ( a pet peeve of mine)

6 am… uncover and push brian out of bed

8am… wake up and wonder what the heck time it is.  it looks light out, but I’m still so tired.  (apparently from the new muscle relaxer the doctor prescribed for my tension headaches)

8:10am… answer phone thinking ‘who would call me so early’.  my good friend who gets up at 5, that’s who.  talk for a few minutes about upcoming family camp.

8:20am… go to get cole out of bed.  get him untwisted and back into a comfortable position.  he wants to know, ‘who’s that?’.  meaning, who was on the phone.  I tell him.  he goes on to say he loves her, he wants to kiss her and when can we go to her house.  I tell him later.  he isn’t dropping it.  knowing this will last until we call her, I call back so cole can say hi.  she talks to him for a minute and then we talk about little difficulties with children for a minute and then we gotta go.

8:30am… I lay with cole for awhile talking about when we will go play and what we are going to do today.  i pull him over to the side to help him stretch.

8:45am… carry cole out to his ‘thinking chair’.  turn on elmo.

8:50am… get dressed in my exercise clothes.  (this is my new plan for getting my exercise in.  I wear the clothes until I get it done, which is hopefully before I have to leave the house.)

8:55am… get the kids some cereal.  (we have those little boxes that come in a group pack.  I think the first time I ever bought them.)  surprisingly, no arguments.  we’ll see about tomorrow.

9:00am… start feeding cole.  say hi to our helper, talk about what we have to get done today.

9:15am… try to figure out if cole has enough medications for the next week or if I need to get refills today.

9:30am… call my love.  (I always call in the morning)  he’s busy.  we’ll talk later.

okay, let’s forget the timeline or this will take forever.

straighten my bed and punkin’s.  put a load in the dryer.  unload and reload the dishwasher.  carry misc. items to their respective belongers rooms.  walk around eating my yogurt and granola, check email, tell everyone to round up their library books, try to get a timeline of our afternoon together in my head.

load up for the library, get some new books, wonder if dawson actually read for 7 hours this week to get his reading prize, forget the movie we checked out, (I’ll return that later), go home and get lunch packed for cole and cooking for dawson and punkin.  read to punkin, feed everyone, eat some heated up rice while standing in the kitchen, run through mental checklist of what we need before we head out the door again… swimsuit, lunch for cole, camera, that library movie.

load up again, drop off helper, drop off cole at therapy, pick up friend, drop off friend, get to last day of swimming lessons for gabrielle, watch and clap for her as she jumps in and swims back to the side.  YEAH, punkin passes guppies!! back to the house for a bit, eat a cookie, get the kids a snack, check facebook, gather up stuff to go swimming with friends after our next outing.  ohh, throw the ham in the crockpot!june '09 052

load up again, (this about 2:30 now) go to eye appointment and have glasses remade for the third and hopefully last time, exchange curtains (I got the wrong length the first time), back to the house to get the life jackets we forgot, pick up cole, go to friends to go swimming.

whew~  now, let me tell you that most of this day is going smoothly.  while we are busy, I am aware that luke is not with me, but I am doing okay.  I’m having a good day. 

now it is about 4:15.  we get to the pool and I hear a baby cry as we get out of the van … my heart sinks … sure enough, there is a baby.  it is the grandson of this friend who happens to have been born close to luke’s due date.  I just can’t look at him.  I want to get back in the van and go home.  we get in and play for awhile, I manage to keep my back to them … I don’t want to be rude, I don’t want them to think I don’t like them … I just… I don’t even know what to do!  there are other little kids playing too, so it is easy to be distracted … right up until they call for one of the little boys whose name is luke!  they all head out, I feel relieved … and bad … I wish I had more control over these emotions.  we swim some more and then, about 6, it is time to head home.  I wrestle cole into his pajamas, since he doesn’t especially like to get changed, and kind of flusteredly round up the kids to get home.

load up again, pull up to a garage full of neighbors looking at the pool table, say hi to everyone, unload kids, life jackets, towels, lunch bags, snack wrappers and the library movie that didn’t get returned.  ahhhhh!!

talk to neighbor about some serious hurts over the fence, head off to the library so we don’t get a late fee, come home and park the van for the LAST time today.  the kids are eating cheese pizza with brian, i make some fresh salsa (which is sooo awesome, if I do say so myself) and sit down for the first time to eat with brian and cole.  this is about 7:30 now.  dawson and punkin have gone outside to play monster with the neighborhood kids.

pick up kitchen, get dishwasher started, start blogging, stop blogging, read to punkin, get everyone tucked in, straighten living room, back to blog….  it’s therapeutic.

it is now a little after 10 and I am going to sit with brian and watch tv for awhile. 

praise and blessings to all you moms out there … I know you are just as busy or more so.

the hurt for others…

June 16, 2009

here’s what seems to really hurt deeply …

when brian holds other peoples babies.  it hurts because i know how much he loves little babies.  i know how good he is with babies.  i know he wants a baby of his own.  i know that he would be an awesome daddy, he has all ready proven himself time and time again.  i know that there is a pretty good chance that i can’t give him what it is that he wants.  i remember how he would rest his head against my side and say, ‘hang on big guy … we’re almost there’….

the way dawson glances at me when there is a baby around.  it hurts because i know how much he wanted to be a big brother.  i know how devastated he was and still is to not have a baby brother when ‘everyone else has a baby’.  i know he would have been a great helper to me and a wonderful big brother.  i know he wanted a brother that he could chase and throw a ball to and other physical things that typical  brothers do.  i remember how he would rub my tummy and talk to luke every night before bed…..

the way cole gets so excited to see and hold babies.  i know how much he loves to hold babies.  he always has.  i know he wants to kiss them on the head and sing little ‘la la la’ songs to them.  i know he wanted a baby brother too, but doesn’t have the ability to put his hurt into words.  i remember him kissing luke so happily on the head at the hospital…

the way gabrielle cries ‘ i just miss luke’ when it is time for bed.  i know she was so excited to be a big sister, to be able to be the little mama to a baby.  i know she thinks about luke all the time because she talks about him everyday.  i know she would have been so proud to show off her little brother as we walked around the block or went to church or out for lunch.  i remember how she would have conversations with him, through my flesh, when we would take showers … how she would pretend growl to scare him …

it sometimes seems that the hurt for them is worse than the hurt for myself.  i don’t want them to be sad.  i don’t want them to want.  i don’t want them to have to wonder what could have been.

again, i take comfort from His word …

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

my we comfort each other as we have been comforted…  we all need kindness, compassion, a shoulder to cry on, an understanding friend…