Monday, July 30, 2012

Gotcha'

Can you believe, three years ago today three little angels walked into our life.   When I was praying for God to bless Nate and I with children, I had not envisioned the craziness he had in store for us.  But while it has been seriously insane, it has been the BEST three years of my life.  It seems like just yesterday when I was sitting in the car not being able to contain my nervousness and excitement driving up to the city to see these three.  Nate kept telling me to not get my hopes up and to calm down, but he was as nervous as I was.  We drove up to meet some potential kids and from the moment we walked into the adoption agency, we knew.  Our family had just grown.  It was such a different experience from when Lil Miss was born and I heard her first cries.   The first glimpse we got of the three was Gigi.  I fell head over heels in love.  They sat her on my lap and I was smiling from ear to ear.  Nate tried to get her to play with a ball and to play with a stuffed animal.  He was so natural and I had never loved him more than that moment when he became a Dad. 

Three years ago we pulled up to the house where our kids were staying to take them "home".  It was our home but they didn't know it as home.  For all they knew these strange people were driving them away from the only people and place they had ever known.  We told them to call us "Lynn" and "Nate",  not mom and dad.  They had no clue what a mom and dad were.  We had to learn together how to become this family.   Moms and Dads who have done the parenting thing the easy way have no clue how hard the adoption process is.  After you wait and wait which seems like forever you then meet your children who might not want to come home with you, their new parents.  It is heart wrenching and traumatizing.  Bubba was really quiet and reserved the day we came to bring them home.  I remember coaxing him to swing with me and trying to talk to him about what we were going to do that day. 
"Nate and I would like to take you to our house today.   We have two puppies, Dodger and Archie, and they can't wait to play with a little boy like you.  We have a room all for you with teddy bears and John Deere tractors and lots of toys.  I know it is scary.  Do you know I get scared too?  But you know what?  I will hold your hand the whole time and we can be scared together."

We embarked on a journey that day.  The five of us on an adventure.  There were some tears, not all from the kids, some laughter, and some joyous moments.  And there were many many firsts.  We had our first supper -- which was a disaster.  I had bought everything at the grocery store that little kids would like.  Mac and Cheese, hot dogs, peanut butter and jelly, chicken nuggets, pizza, you name it I bought it.  Nate and I didn't eat one bite.  We were going back and forth cutting things up, making another thing Gigi wouldn't eat, blowing on the mac and cheese that was too hot.  It was the most exhausting meal I have ever sat through.  Luckily meals have gotten much easier over the years.

We had our first night together that night.  We started a routine for saying good night, prayers, tucking each other in and giving kisses good night.  Kisses at that time would probley have been frowned upon, but I remember telling the kids that when I was little my mommy gave me a kiss goodnight so I would sleep good. Would it be okay if I gave you a good night kiss on the forehead?  I didn't take anything for granted.  I cherished every moment.  We had prayed for years for God to bless us with our own children and he had answered our prayers.  I cried so many tears everytime my friends or or sister or sister in laws would have their own children.  Why was God not granting us with the one thing we want more than anything in the world?  What had we done wrong?  The answer is that these three angels were destined for us.  God knew we were supposed to be together and if that meant waiting for 5 years, going through 3 miscarriages, and getting down on our knees and praying then it was so worth it.

Three years ago, we layed in bed listening to our children talk through the baby monitor and it was surreal.  It wasn't how I pictured it in my head, but Nate and I both thought we were living in a dream.  It wasn't perfect.  Bubba did not want to sleep in his own room that we had gotten all ready for him, so we lugged the mattress off his bed and brought it into the girls room.  Gigi banged her head in the crib all night which sounded so awful and Rosie woke up about 2 in the morning and threw up everywhere.  Somewhere about 4 in the morning I asked Nate if this will get easier.  If we screwed up and we were cut out for this parenting stuff because it is sooooo hard.  He hugged me tightly and told me it would get easier and that as nervous and scared we felt.  The kids felt even worse. 

It's been pretty amazing.  I have learned alot about parenting.  What to do and what NOT to do.  What works and what doesn't.  I have made lots of mistakes and will probley continue to make them until the day I die.  I know you are amazed that I am not perfect, right? 
 My how much these three have grown!  Gigi (2 years)  Rosie (4 years) and Bubba (3 years)
 Last week the kids and I watched a few of our old family videos we took.  We laughed and giggled until I had tears in my eyes.  We watched and rewatched the video of Bubba running around with his bathing suit almost down past his knees.  We watched Rosie reading The Snowy Day to her brother and sister and we sang with Gigi as she sang Twinkle Twinkle in her little 2 year old voice which makes my heart melt.   We came across a video of the kids answering some questions I asked like "what is your favorite color?"  It gave me an idea of asking the kids some questions now....
Here is Rosie's answers to a few questions as her 7 year old self now.

When you grow up what do you want to be?  a designer

What is your favorite color?  pink and black

What is your favorite thing to do?  crafts and activities

What does your mommy say to you?  "you're the best"

What does your mommy like to do? 

What is the yuckiest thing you've ever eaten?  vegetable lasagna (my butternut squash and brussel sprout lasagna that Nate hated and won't let me forget)

What does your daddy do for work? he goes to work and bosses people around who do designs (to clarify -- Nate had just a discussion the night before of who is the boss in the house and when they go to school the teacher is the boss.... Nate doesn't actually boss people around except me!!)

What is your daddy's favorite food?  ice cream

How do you know your mommy and daddy love you?  they give me hugs and kisses

Bubba's answers:
When you grow up what do you want to be?   a basketball player

What is your favorite color?  pink (yes this is actually his favorite color lately might have to do with being surrounded by pink everyday)

What is your favorite thing to do?  practice basketball

What does your mommy say to you?  No Hitting!

What does your mommy like to do?  be alone -- um, occasionally yes I do like my peace and quiet

What is the yuckiest thing you've ever eaten?  ketchup

What does your daddy do for work?  he goes to work in the morning and makes Humongous tractors

What is your daddy's favorite food?  rice  (that is totally random and nate doesn't know why he said that?)

How do you know your mommy and daddy love you?  they tuck me in bed at night
{seriously look at our chunky monkey}
Gigi's answers
When you grow up what do you want to be? a fireman

What is your favorite color?  pink and purple

What is your favorite thing to do?  puzzles

What does your mommy say to you?  "I love you"

What does your mommy like to do?  sewing

What is the yuckiest thing you've ever eaten?  peanut butter

What does your daddy do for work?  he works on green tractors

What is your daddy's favorite food?  ice cream

How do you know your mommy and daddy love you?  you tell me


I can now look back at these answers 3, 6, 15 years from now and remeber them at this moment.  My babies -- because they will always be my babies. 

 I prayed for this child, and the
LORD has granted me what I

asked of him.---1 Samuel 1:27


For those of you out there who are struggling with infertility and are distraught and giving up hope.  Hope is not lost.  Look at us.  Our family may have not been created the way others have been but it is our family and I wouldn't change it for the world.  Fear not that your prayers may be answered it just may be that you wait a little longer or that those children come in a different way.  It doesn't matter that my children weren't born out of my womb they were born in my heart and I think that makes it mean even more.  So today we celebrate our Gotcha Day.  The day three years ago that our three oldest children walked into our lives.... we got triple blessed!

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