Monday, February 28, 2011

Multitude Monday

175. clean, crisp, fresh, sheets to climb inbetween
176. fun times with Grandma and Grandpa just a few blocks away this weekend
177. Ellie girl deciding to go public with her faith decision and wanting her Daddy to baptize her
178. celebrating a new baby 'J' Friesema coming soon
179. date night with my Daddy
180. cough medicine
181. news of a nice tax return coming soon
182. sunshine and cute little girls (it was in the low 40's but the sun was shining!)
183. shows put on by cute 4 year old boys
184. sweet little babies, who had been separated for 2 months from her, snuggling their mama in my living room and praying thanks to God for letting them see their Mommy
185. new monkey slippers from my Mama
186. a healthy week for Isaac that didn't look like this:
187. breakfast made by my girls when I was sick and sleeping in
188. and this...

Check back next week for another installment of Multitude Monday. God IS Good...and gratitude precedes the miracle.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sophie Louise

Back in my post about Mutual Care I mentioned a time that I mourned a baby named Sophie. I'm not sure I can put this into words but I'll try. Sophie never really existed. Really. But I mourned the loss of her as if she had. On a smaller scale so did Josh and Ellie and possibly a few friends and family members. How is that possible? To truely mourn someone that never existed?
Me 7 months pregnant
My sister Pamela 8 months pregnant
In my mind and in my heart and in my soul Sophie existed for 9 months. At 20 weeks gestation the sonographer told Josh, Ellie, and I that we were having a girl. I was elated. Two daughters = perfection! Matching outfits, matching jammies, Big Sister/Little Sister shirts, Quiet shy girl/Fiesty tough girl kid sister, Ellie and Sophie. That's the way it was to be. My family threw a small shower that included very small, very tiny, very adorable little dresses and...matching jammies for Ellie and Sophie. My mom knit Sophie a beautiful lavender blanket with a matching sweater and bonnet. Many times Ellie would lie on my belly and talk to Sophie, her little sister. One time she tried to put toys in through my belly button for Sophie to play with. That girl, little Sophie Louise, was loved. Her middle name was to be after her Grammie, Jean Louise and my Grandma, Moyne Louise. I loved that she would carry on the middle name of two women that I love and that would cherish her.

Ellie and Sophie's matching jammies
Her bag was packed with 2 cute little girlie outfits and her lavender blankie. We left the house around 2:00 in the morning on June 21st and met my precious friend and doula, Carol, at Penrose Hospital, in Colorado Springs. At 10:48 in the morning I pushed a beautiful healthy baby into this world. The first words I heard from my husband were, "Uhhhhh...It's a boy.?." and I think I said something like, "Shut up!" And then I looked at Carol who had tears in her eyes and a look of mixed emotion and disbelief on her face and all she could do was nod and look at me to see what my face was going to do next. I immediately was filled with disbelief, sadness, happiness, guilt (for the sadness), and the thought - what exactly am I supposed to feel at this very moment? I knew at that moment that I was supposed to feel happy and be grateful that my son was healthy and beautiful, but really I felt sad, and I felt guilty for feeling sad. I knew that Carol knew exactly what I was feeling. I knew that Josh knew I was disappointed. At the same time I felt like I had to supress those feelings of disappointment and sadness and only show how elated I was for this 8 pound 2 ounce beautiful, healthy, bald, baby boy I held in my arms.
It wasn't until I was home and Josh had gone to work and Brittney was at school and Ellie was at preschool that I sat nursing my sweet precious baby boy that I cried and cried and cried. Where was Sophie? She was here and then she wasn't? She was in me and then she wasn't. Why do I feel this way? She was never ever in me. I also felt guilty for not having a strong bond with this baby we had named Isaac. I did not feel that I had bonded with him while I carried him in my womb for 9 months. Everyone thought it was great that we had named him Isaac which means 'laughter'. I didn't think it was funny. I couldn't talk to anyone. How ridiculous was I to grieve over someone that never existed?

Isaac will be 5 years old in June. He brings me so much laughter. Isaac's love language is touch. He is my snuggler and loves to be held and cuddled and kissed-on and tickeled. He is very strong-willed and knows what he wants. He is bright and catches on to things so quickly. He loves to build things and figure out how things work. He is sensitive and kind and cares for others. I would not trade him for the world. He is perfect in every way and perfect for me and perfect for our family and is going to grow up to be something great I know it.
But I still wonder about Sophie and I still miss her and honestly sometimes I even cry when I think about her. And yes I still think it's ridiculous that I mourn over someone that never really existed. But to me she did.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Webster defines Joy as:  "the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: delight".

This is a true world view of Joy - "the prospect of possessing what one desires". Do you desire a perfect marriage, a killer body, enough money to go to Europe, power, well-behaved children or do you desire true Joy?

Desire Christ living in you. Desire the true joy that that brings.
"The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
   may the name of the LORD be praised.” Job 1:21

This is joy.

My new definition of joy is: "No Matter".

No matter what happens on this earth.
No matter what the Lord takes away.
No matter what others do to me.
No matter what happens.
I will praise Him.
I will thank Him.
I will have Joy.

Joy is knowing that He is God.
He is in control.
He loves me.
No matter.
No matter what I do, or say or think.
No matter.
I have Joy.

No matter.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Multitude Monday

163. This book that is changing my life...
One Thousand Gifts - Ann Voskamp
164. spiritual growth...
165. a new group of amazing Bible Study gals
166. the realization that I am not fully human and that I can no longer use the excuse that I the Lord lives in me..
167. successful transitioning for a cute 13 year old girl into our family
168. 58 degrees
169. Girl Scout cookies...mmmmmmmm
170. steady income
171. the right amount of income, never "enough", to teach me to be content in everything
172. 1:1 time with Kenny
173. 1:1 time with Isaac
174. the desires of my heart
Check back next week for another installment of Multitude Monday. God IS Good. Gratitude precedes the miracle...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mutual Care

Over the last 8 years or so I have developed opinions. Opinions about adoption. About girls, young girls, who have babies at a very young age. I have swung from one side of the pendulum to the other and am currently in the middle. I do not believe that all teen girls under the age of 18 should give their children up for adoption. Don't get me wrong, when that does happen, miracles are in the making. I also do not believe that every girl under the age of 18 should be given every opportunity possible to keep her child especially when she doesn't have any interest, desire, or drive to do so!
I have a heart for kids that need loving, permanant families. That fact has shown up in numerous ways in my life in the last 9 years. I've adopted one. I've fostered 25. I've been the babysitter for children of some of the 25. I've opened my home to some of the 25 seven years later. But I do not have it all figured out. My heart wants to adopt them all. Them and their kid and their next kid and their next. I also want them to grow up and figure it out and be able to keep that kid. I don't want to take kids away from people who want desperately to keep them.

However, I have been pondering adoption. I want to adopt a baby girl. From the system. Josh doesn't. He loves having foster kids and helping them in such an amazing tangible way but in no way does he want to have a baby at this point in our life that is his (and my) responsibility. So I have been mourning the idea of a baby girl. Maybe it goes back to almost 5 years ago when I mourned the loss of baby Sophie for many months. (We'll save that for another post!)

It's 11:30 one night and God throws this idea my way. It's called Mutual Care. We've done it before. Not terribly successfully mind you. It is hard and it is a big commitment and there are a lot of factors that make it that way. But I see it now. It's the answer I have been searching for. To help mother's keep their babies is such a huge gift. An amazing, hard, practical gift. The easier answer might be to adopt them. The harder answer is to help their mamas keep them. Please know that I am not inferring in any way that adoption is easy, ever. If you feel called to adopt by all means help the 150 millon children already orphaned have a loving family. But here is another piece to the orphan crisis. There are many.

Mutual Care is when a teen girl who is pregnant or has a new baby is placed with you so that you can help her in every way - to keep her child. She is at risk for neglecting, abusing and losing her child. It involves caring for a vulnerable young girl and caring for a tiny vulnerable baby. But most of all it involves teaching which involves compassion and caring and structure and a lot of prayer. Teaching a young immature, vulnerable, scared girl to bond, attach, schedule, diaper, and care for her helpless precious flesh and blood 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Part of the challenge is doing what is right by the mama and the baby and it doesn't always turn out how you or I think it should. That is what is so hard about doing foster care I think.

It's hard. And it's rewarding. I think it's what God might have in store for us instead of adoption. It's good. There is such a need. My answer to adoption? ~ Mutual Care

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

Questions about adoption? Fostercare? Mutual care? Leave a comment!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Multitude Monday

153. a new old-fashioned pencil
154. "18...19...20...READY OR NOT HERE I COME!"
155. peach roses (my favorite) from my husband (my favorite)
156. Ellie coming into my bed after she is supposed to be asleep to say, "Wait! I have to come get something!" and then running over to kiss my face.
157. new sisters
158. quiet time for Mommy
159. great new perspective and ideas from the special ed conference in Denver
160. Valentine's Day
161. sunshine
162. Ellie: "The favorite part of my day was giving Daddy his Valentine present." She is such a giver and so thoughtful about what the perfect gift is for each person.
Check back next week for another installment of Multitude Monday. God IS Good! And gratitude precedes the miracle...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Multitude Monday

136. how my daughter giggles with delight
137. chocolate chip cookie dough
138. snow days
139. tents built in the family room on snow day
140. homemade salsa (that I don't have to make)
141. friends that drop in unannounced to chat and are totally fine chatting while I clean the kitchen
142. my wood stove
143. electric blankets
144. Josh taking Ellie to school on Fridays
145. getting to hold my sick baby while he sleeps
146. swimming in 98 degree hot spring pool with my cute family

147. doctor Grandpa
148. enough snow to build a snow fort
149. the sound of the dishwasher
150. the anticipation of a new temporary family member coming in a few days
151. the perspective that that knowledge brings so we can appreciate our family time together for 2 more days that includes swimming, playing in the snow, and watching the super bowl with family
152. sweet conversation with G and A's new forever Mommy
Check back next Monday for another installment of Multitude Monday. God IS Good...and gratitude precedes the miracle.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Flashback Friday

Todd, Scott, and Steve
February 2007
For several years I served on the "Creative Team" at our church. It was a blessing to serve in such an amazing way. I was part of an incredible group of talent that worked each week to put together Sunday services as well as special events at our church. As life got busy and God called me to spend more time at home with my kids and foster kids I had to stop. I miss it. I really do. Four years ago this month six of us rode in an old RV from Woodland Park to Kansas City for a conference over a long weekend. It was one of the coolest things I've ever gotten to do. So fun to be a part of that. This is our worship pastor and two other great musicians and talents worshipping while we were on the road. We have an incredible amount of talent in our relatively small mountain church. Such a blessing and a gift.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thank you my husband...

  • putting extra insulation around the house
  • putting the boys to bed most every night
  • reading Little House books to Ellie
  • humoring the children daily
  • cutting, splitting, and stacking wood so our home can be warm
  • going to work most every day doing something that you only moderately love so we can have an abundant life
  • teaching me...about things that I refuse to read in a newspaper
  • being patient with me daily in the little things and the big
  • fixing my car
  • fixing my bike
  • the blessing of grace
  • being an amazing example of unconditional love to me and to many others
  • taking me on dates to do things that I want to do more than you want to
  • leading our family in devotions nightly
  • expecting our boys to be respectful and kind and desiring them to be like you...and like Jesus
  • appreciating me
  • kissing me right before you walk out the door and right after you walk in
  • always saying yes when I ask you for a time out for me
  • desiring to be the husband and daddy God created you to be
  • having a heart for others
  • turning my electric blanket on before I go to bed
  • encouraging me
  • making me laugh
  • loving me...just the way I am be continued...

My sweet hubby and I
 You are a gift to me daily. I thank God every day for you. And...I STILL like you!