Friday, September 5, 2014

More than a Football Game!

Did he grow up watching American football on TV?  Nope.

Did he grow up playing American football with his family and friends?  Nope.

Has he watched football on TV since coming home?  Yes, some.

Did his lack of experience or understanding of the game hold him back from going out for his seventh grade football team this year?  Heck no!  Not my son!  {insert proud mama grin here}

This amazing boy, I am so privileged to call son, has trained for less than two weeks with his team, and he ROCKED the football field during their game Wednesday!  

First game of the season….and first in his life!







I absolutely LOVE how this sweet boy let's nothing hold him back!  What he doesn't know, he isn't afraid to learn.  What he is interested in doing, he does.  

Courage is not only dreaming but coming out of our comfort zone to become the best version of what we can be.  Courage reminds us to stand up when we are afraid.  The courage our son is showing us today, will carry him FAR in his life ahead!  May he always have this courage to be the best he was created to be!

I'm not sure where he gets the energy to do it all!  {a benefit of being young, I guess!} He leaves the house at 7am for school, has football practice immediately after school, comes home for a snack and a bit of homework and heads to the soccer fields for practice!  Yes, that's right.  TWO practices a night for three days, anyway!  

I stood on the sidelines watching our son, admiring so many of his wonderful traits:  yes, his Energizer bunny endurance and his natural athletic abilities {regardless the sport}; but also his zeal for adventure and learning new things; and most importantly…….his courage.  His courage to step out of his comfort zone to become the best he can be.  His courage to stand strong ~ in football and in life ~ even when afraid.  

Though feeling intimidated, standing on that football field for his first-ever American football game, playing a game he barely understands, he stood strong!  He got after it!  He played roles he didn't even know existed.  He even performed a never-before practiced on-side kick!  He wasn't afraid.  And when he was, he did it anyway.  He did it afraid.  That is the kind of courage I pray he has all the days of his life!

God sure has His hand on our son!  He has incredible plans for him, and we are beyond blessed to live out those plans with him!  Cheering him on from the sidelines.  This sweet boy adds so much love, adventure and excitement to our family and lives!

I LOVE YOU, SON!
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SAMI!!!

Dear Sweet Sami,

It's your birthday today!  What an incredible event to celebrate!  The very day that you were brought into this world!  The very beginning of God's wonderful plans for your life started this very day fourteen years ago!  WOW!

I would be remiss to fail to recognize the courageous and loving woman who gifted the world by giving you life.  The same woman who has blessed us with her selfless love for you.  For, without her, I would be unable to celebrate you and call you son.

Sweet boy, it has been my joy and great honor to be your mom these past 2+ years….3 years, really, if you count the day I met you and knew that I knew your were our son!  {reflective sigh of peace inserted here}

I had no idea what a blessing God had in store for us by bringing you into our lives!  You continue to bless me and amaze me.  Every. Single. Day.

Your smile continues to light up my life.  Your tender heart makes me grateful for every moment spent with you.  Your positive attitude makes me a better person daily.  Your energy fills me with admiration.  Your love for God overflows from your heart to my life ~ and I am daily blessed.   Your responsibility for your age amazes me.  Your love of laughter and fun brings both joy and a smile to my heart.  Your academic and athletic prowess never cease to amaze me.  And your divine humbleness glorifies God.

You are an incredible boy, sweet son, and are becoming an awesome young man.

May you continue down this promising, exciting and divine path of life.  May you always recognize God's blessings with each and every step.  May you forever remember that your true value lies within the very root of who you are.  Who God created you to be.  Your talents, good looks and great skills are prevalent and wonderful, and we are SO very proud of you!  But we love you beyond such things.

May you always know that amidst these blessings, gifts and talents, we love you to your core.  We love the very soul God gave you.  We love the child you are and the young man you are becoming.  Regardless of your successes.

We love you because you are you.  Because you are our son.

May God continue to use me and dad to encourage, teach and guide you along your way.  May you feel our hands holding yours ~ always.  Both physically and figuratively.  May our efforts to intermittently "let go" as you grow, gift you the confidence and independence that accompanies physical, spiritual and emotional growth.  But regardless the stage in life, may you forever feel our presence.  Our love.  Our belief in you.  Our encouragement and prayers.

That, my son, will go on without ceasing.

May you always know our deep and unconditional love for you, sweet Sami.

SO THRILLED to celebrate YOU today!

SO THANKFUL to call you my son!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SWEET BOY!!!!



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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WE FIRST LAID EYES ON BABY SIS LAST WEEK!

BLESSED.
HARD.
EMOTIONAL.
AMAZING!!!!!!

All at the same time!

We made our family trip to Florida last week, to meet birth mom and dad on Saturday, August 16th.  The importance of this date is not irony, we believe, but divine orchestration.  You see……..our last miscarriage was on this very date a few years back!

Yes!  You heard me right!  We met with birth mom (birth dad ended up not making it)!  A day of huge progress toward becoming a family of five!  On the exact date that we lost our last baby.  Not that one child can ever replace another.  Oh MY no!  No way!  But such a sweetness in how God brought things full circle, if you will……….

Back to the precious gathering.

Boy, was I nervous!  This beautiful opportunity to meet, talk with and share with birth mom seemed different than our previous birth mom meetings, in the sense that care of our boys had already been relinquished.  This time…..birth mom was still CARRYING baby sis, say nothing of relinquishment yet!  This spun a little different sense of nervousness for me at first conception of the meeting.

God gently changed that nervous perspective for me.  Before the gathering even happened.

You see, days leading up to this meeting, God made it repeatedly clear that this sweet gathering wasn't meant to be filled with worry, stress or angst.  Nor was it about what we could get out of the meeting (i.e., answers for baby sis as she ages and inquires).

This blessed meeting was about making it all about God.  Making it about HIS story.  Not baby sis' story, and especially not my story.  This meeting wasn't about me at all.  It was all about allowing GOD's story to unfold.  In His manner and timing.

Our dear adoption consultant, Susan, confirmed what I felt I had been 'hearing.'  She shared with me another adoptive mama's heart after experiencing a failed adoption (birth mom chose to parent after delivery) and months later being matched and finally bringing home their God-ordained child.  This woman shared that she would never regret LOVING BIG.  Both times.

This soooo resonated with what I felt God had been planting in my heart, that I was moved to tears in my conversation with Susan.  It was from this point forward that I kept my eyes focused on God and my heart open.  Unreserved.  Open to allow the flow of this love I was already feeling for baby sis as she grows in another woman's tummy.  Open to love both birth parents.  Open to trust God.  And LOVE BIG, all that comes with this amazing journey!!!

As we spent an afternoon with this incredibly precious, strong, courageous and loving woman, "LOVING BIG" came naturally.  Or should I say SUPERnaturally!  God covered every moment we shared together!

Knowing God's handprints were already ALL OVER this adoption journey, I never should have let the nerves and worry sneak in.  He had us in the very palm of His hand!  ALL of us!!!

As my sweet friend, Allison, said….."God orchestrated this all because He loves each one of you so much!!"

BAM!  She nailed it!

Though bittersweet, adoption is about God loving each and every one involved in the beautiful journey and gifting His blessings upon all.  Baby/child.  Birth parent(s).  Adoptive parents.  Families.

Birth mom received peace in gaining answers to her many heart-felt questions about us, our family, parenting style, etc, and we gained a peace that this woman is real.  She is loving and kind.  And she is genuinely trying her best to choose the right path for her baby.  Even if the choice of a different path for her child does not come easy to her.  

I know no greater selfless love.

And we have been blessed by such a love three times now.  We are so undeserving.

To add to the blessings of this day, we were able to "meet" baby sister via ultrasound!  It was such a miracle to experience a positive and exciting ultrasound that revealed to us the little life we are to be gifted!

I silently cried as I first laid eyes on our baby girl.  This crazy amazing beyond~comprehension gift of adoption.  Straight from God.  Again.  Shaking my head in awe of it all.

We watched baby sister move!  Incredible!  Birth mom is taking such great care of her!  No medications ~ not even for her heart-burn, bless her heart!  Baby Sis was described by the ultrasonographer as having big eyes, big cheeks and lots of hair!  {insert huge mama grin here!}  At 29 weeks she was a healthy 3 pounds ~ right within norms for this timeframe.  The cord had good flow and was in great position (no where near her neck).

This miraculous life is thriving wonderfully well!  And we got to SEE her!  Birth mom is feeling good, with the exception of heart burn and the start of swelling feet.  And me……I was filled to overflowing with love.  For God, for this sweet baby girl, birth mom and dad, the family I already have, and the dream abut a baby girl that continued to simmer even when I felt so completely filled by my boys!

GOD IS INCREDIBLY GOOD!!!!!!!

Emotions.  OH!  The emotions!  I tried to keep it together throughout the day.  Even when both of us mama's hugged an unforgettable heart-felt hug.  A hug that was filled with mutual gratitude, trust, joy, sorrow, bitterness and sweetness……...all wrapped up in LOVE.  A hug I will not forget.

I held it together for my boys.  But let me tell you.  Once they were asleep, the tears flowed from a place deep within.  Too many emotions to even calculate.  Too many tears to even fathom.  Coming from a place I had only recognized two other times before.  Sami and Kaleab's adoption.

God promised me I don't need to worry over Baby Sis.  Nor do I need to worry for birth mom.  He assured me I needn't worry about the outcome of this baby's delivery ~ and who she will go home with.  God loves her.  And He will make certain she goes to the family He created her to be with.  He reminded me that reserving this love I feel for this baby will do no good for her.  This love I feel is good.  It is safe.  It is for our baby girl.  And it is more than okay to let the feelings flow.  It only blesses baby sis.

God knew.  He knew the struggles of these birth parents.  He knew the desires of our hearts to add a baby girl to our precious family.  He knows how this will all go.

And all we are called to do right now is LOVE.

LOVE BIG.

Without Fear. (1 John 4:18)

Love with an unreserved , genuine LOVE for this precious princess growing and getting ready to greet the world.  For this precious life we feel is called to be our daughter.  For the birth parents burdened with decisions so profoundly impacting her life.  Her destiny.  And for the Heavenly Father that orchestrated it all because He loves each one of us so much!!!!

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

IT'S A DATE!!!

There is an added flair of EXCITEMENT running through our home tonight!!!

We will be meeting Birth Mom and Birth Dad in a couple of weeks!!!!

You heard me right!  We will soon be flying to FLORIDA for a face-to-face meeting over lunch…...and wherever else God leads us…..

Our time together will include witnessing an ultrasound of Baby Sis!!!  Jeff and I are THRILLED to have an exciting and positive ultrasound experience!!  Hard for us to imagine actually being able to "see" our sweet Princess!!  We cannot wait to "meet" her!!

GOD IS AMAZING!!!!!

The excitement of this upcoming adventure is intensified for the boys, as we just shared with them the newsflash that we will also be visiting……..DISNEY WORLD!!!!!!



Both boys are pretty giddy with the discussions of Disney, and I don't think either one of them can really grasp all that awaits them!!!  I so LOVE how God is in the details!

Exciting adventure awaits us!  And its just around the corner!  Our excitement is bubbling over!

Please join us in covering our meeting with birth mom (BM) and birth dad (BD):
May each one of us feel God's presence in our time together and thereafter.  May God cover all of us with His peace, strength, love and joy.  May He fill us with His words.  Words that can bring answers, assurance, a peace and calm to the hearts of the birth parents, as well as ours.  May both BM and BD be able to walk away assured that, amidst the bittersweetness of adoption, they can carry divine peace in their hearts, knowing that we will love, cherish and treasure their daughter always and forever.

May this meeting bring us all closer together as we walk further down this incredible journey called adoption.  May God fill these two amazing birth parents...who lovingly and bravely chose life and adoption for this precious baby girl...with an understanding of how Amazed we are by them….how much we Respect them….and how Grateful we are to them for choosing us!

And as always, hoping you will continue to cover Baby Sis in prayer for safe and healthy development as well as a knowledge of how LOVED she is ~ by her Heavenly Father, her birth parents, as well as us, her Forever Family!

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Friday, July 25, 2014

THREE YEARS AGO…...

Three years ago this week……We held our precious baby boy in our arms for the very first time!

He continues to bring amazing and unfathomable love and light into our lives!

Sharing a few snippets of our first day with peanut…..a magical day, indeed!  (July 17, 2011)

 Those last minutes of waiting to meet our son 
were a bit overwhelming in a good way!

 Sweet Nanny bringing him to us.
First time our eyes laid upon him in person!

 It was as if he immediately knew we were His Mommy and Daddy!


 Oh how he LOVED our kisses!
Still does!

 He loved holding my finger and gazing into my eyes
while getting his baba.  Melt.my.mama.heart.

Hi Da-da!
  
Hi Mommy!

 Our cuddle bug!

Thankful every day for God's faithfulness, goodness and steadfast love.  He brought us to peanut and peanut to us.  A match made in heaven!

I had never dreamed life could be so rich.  So full.  So blessed.

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