Monday, March 12, 2018

I am his adoptive mom.

I am his adoptive mom,
and am proud of it! 

I'm also his mom,
because in his life he has experienced 
unbelievable pain.

I'm his adoptive mom by choice.
My choice.
He didn't have a choice.

Two strangers walked into his life one day,
and he was introduced to them as 
"your mom and dad".
I mean, really, what must have gone through his mind.

"Ummmmm, NO!!!!"
"This is not my daddy."
"This is sooo not my mommy."
"And if they are - where have y'all been?"
Do you know what I've been through waiting for you?"

He has tried to allow me in but,
lately, my son has reminded me that I am NOT his mommy.

He has a momma that lives in a very special place of his heart.
A place where no one else can touch.
and no one else should even try to touch! 

To help my son heal sometimes we have to step back.
Step back and not push my desires on him.

My son has decided he'd prefer I introduce myself as his "adoptive mom". 

I am honored to have this title! 
Being his "adoptive mom" does not lessen our relationship,
but shows my son respect for his mommy.
It shows to my son that I am not trying to take his mommies place, 
but because she loved him so much and had to leave him too early -
I respect their relationship and this special part of his heart
that I never want to take from him.

"Adoptive mom" is not less than - 
it's just another relationship for him to slowly allow to 
open a different special place in his heart.
Together we can walk, love, and grow together!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Branson Classic 2018

What a fun weekend Jailyn and I had in Branson! 

(because every gymnast dreams of doing a handstand on the HOLLYWOOD sign! haha!)

Jailyn had a gymnastics met and competed on Sunday morning,
so we drove Saturday morning and enjoyed the rest of the day exploring Branson,
and spending time with her teammates! 

(and every gymnast has to do the splits at the town fountain! haha!)

What a cool town Branson is!!
We'd love to bring the whole family back - 
maybe next year if we compete there again! 

Jailyn bestie did her hair,
this mom is so thankful for friends who can do my child's hair!!!
I'm such a "boy mom"!

Jailyn put on her game face...

and took to the gym!!

Jailyn had a great meet! 
Scoring higher in most of the events than she has ever scored!
She even earned her first GOLD medal EVER!!!! 

Tying for Gold with her buddy and teammate 
makes it even more special!! 

Vault 9.100 - 2nd place
(hard to see her but the vault is in the very back)

Bars 9.535 - 2nd place

Beam 9.25 - 4th place
(Sorry, I'm unable to download the video because the file is too big.)

Floor 9.35 - 2nd place
(Sorry, again - unable to download.)

Jailyn beat her top All Around score by .475 points!!
and blew her goal out of the water!!

All Around score - 37.2

And her team also, took home 1st place

I'm so proud of her focus and desire to work hard
to earn what she desires!!

We are proud of you no matter what your scores or medals say about you,
but it sure is cool when you see where all your hard work can get you!!

you are one special girl!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

My Olympiads!!!

Some days are just too amazing not to share!!
This one is definitely a highlight!!! 

Seeing these two participate in Special Olympic games give me all the feels!!!

(Laynee and her bestie!!!! 
Love these two sooo much!!!) 

I'm so proud of both of them!
and even more importantly...

(this girl can shoot!!!)

(this boy can dribble!!)

(Laynee and her beautiful teacher!)

they are so proud of themselves!!!

Way to go Hagan and Laynee!!!

Monday, February 5, 2018

In my arms since 2007!

February 5th 2007
you changed my life forever!!

Complete strangers brought together!
Together as mother and daughter!

Holding you for the first time after looking at your photo for five months
absolutely took my breath away!

I couldn't believe we were finally holding you!
Promising the easiest promise I've ever promised...
 to love you forever!!

Holding your tiny self, 
you didn't smile,
you didn't cry,
you nestled into my arms.
Just like you had been waiting for me for months too!

You were shy but had a way about you that pulled everyone who met you,
into your little world!

Today, you are still your tiny self, 
but larger than life when it comes to your personality!

You still draw people into your little world!

You love with all your heart.
You stop what you are doing when you see someone in need.

You've taught me how to celebrate the little things in life!
You've taught me that I can share my feelings and we can work
through hurts together.
You've taught me to not take myself or life too seriously.
Laughter is always the best medicine. 

You, my treasure, have changed my life more than I have changed yours.
I  am forever grateful I was asked to be your momma.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Griggs: Star Student!

This guy right here...

did you know that as a baby people 
were concerned about his future abilities. 

So concerned that 
people passed his file along.
Thinking he would take so much hands on care.
Care they couldn’t provide. 

Though I’m feel bad that these fears kept him
from getting a family sooner,
I sure am thankful that God placed him in our family! 

This kid is so stinking smart, 
so stinking funny,
so stinking sarcastic, 
and well, so stinking cute!!

I am so thankful to be Griggs’ momma! 

His future is at is fingertips! 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

To my child

To my child,

Having been adopted does not mean that
you are less than anyone else.

Having been adopted does not mean that
 you are not loved.

Being adopted does not mean that 
you don't know where you came from,
where you are,
or where you are headed.

Being adopted means...

You are loved by many people!

You have at least two families who love you so much.

 One family put their pride a side
to give you a life they knew you deserved,
but couldn't provide.

A second family prayed for you,
saw you,
chose you
and worked their tails off to bring you home!

Both families, moms and dads, grandmas, grandpas,
aunts, uncles, cousins...
are proud to call you son or daughter.

You are so much more than others see.
They do not know your story!
They do not know the pain that you carry daily.
They don't know the strength you have to get through
the disappointments you have experienced.

You are amazing!
You are beautiful!
You are a survivor that others can only hope to be!

Your scars on the outside only tell a side of your story.
Unless you decide to share with others,
it is no one else's business. 

Please know that your are beautiful!
You are loved!
You are being fought for! 
You are a treasure!
Cherished deeper than you may ever understand.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Why I share my story...

My daddy always told me, "When you walk through hard times... 
remember those times,
share those times,
because someone else may be struggling too. 
What you go through may not be all about you
but how you can help someone else."

My daddy wasn't the most open person with a crowd of people gathering to listen to him, 
but what we learned at his funeral was eye opening... 
(Daddy died almost 21 years ago - just so y'all know this wasn't recent.)

The funeral home was packed with people loving on my momma 
who stood so strong and welcomed everyone with grace!  
Amazing woman!!
In walked a lonely man, no one knew him.
He really didn't "fit in" with the crowd.
One of dad's friends went to chat with him,
and to maybe help him on his way...

What we learned was this man
struggled with a lot of things that my dad had struggled with.
I can't remember how they actually met,
but my dad met this man once a week for coffee and breakfast.
Possibly the only hot meal this man had each week.
My dad shared his weaknesses and his struggles
and this man didn't feel alone.
Didn't feel ashamed or disgraced,
if even for a short time of breakfast once a week.

Sometimes putting ourselves out there is not about us,
but about showing God's grace and miracles in our own lives to help others.

This is the main reason why I share my health journey with you.
I could keep all of my weaknesses from y'all and make y'all
think that I am just super woman!!
Believe me, my kids will tell you,
I am far from that!!

But when a few little supplements have changed my health
and help me daily to function
on some days that I soooo don't want to function -
but who is that helping?
I refuse to go back to "fake it until you make it!"
Instead, I want to live life to the fullest!!
And enjoy my family and friends as I do that!!

When I have friends tell me,
I'm having a panic attack, life is too hard -
I need my body balanced again,
do you have any supplements on hand?


I didn't realize how good I felt when I was taking your supplements!
I want that again!


I can get out of bed!
My body is regulating and my aches and pains are at a minimum
or even gone most days!!


My doctor took me off meds because my labs came back healthy!!!!

I praise God for the blessing to share
something like plant based supplements...
God's creation working with his creation!
Not working against it!
(and believe me I am not anti-medicine,
there is a time and place!
But if natural products help in bigger ways to
help heal my body - I'm going with that!)

We think we know better in so many ways!
But, that never pans out well, does it?!

So for those who think I share my health journey to make a few bucks
off of you...
you don't really know me.
My job of sharing and helping others means the world to me!
And I don't take it lightly!!
God's brought me through too much to keep quiet about this!!

Love y'all!!
Reach out to someone today!
Share a smile,
Share a little about yourself,
you may just make someones day a little brighter!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

I didn't sign up for this... neither did he.

A week ago we received devastating news for Elijah
and for his mental health.
To sum it up,
medically speaking we learned what and why
Elijah has been suffering from
all of his life, 
We received the diagnosis and were told
he will never heal, this side of heaven.

Unless God gives us a miracle 
his mental health is incurable.

Psychologically speaking, 
we have been told that we are doing everything we can do to help him.

Neurologically speaking, 
we have been told that he will never 
be able to process socially in a healthy way.

Life in a family will be a constant struggle.
Residential and Institutional care will be part of 
Elijah's life journey.

I can't believe I'm typing this!
I didn't sign up for this!
I pray/beg to be his mommy to send him off to strangers!
I didn't fight for his well-being for 
the past 6.5 years to put him in the care of someone else!

I signed up to parent my son in my house!
To love him, to help him heal, to hold him when he is scared.
I guess God is teaching me that parenting a child
comes in many different ways -
always doing what is best for him
and all of my kids,
is what I am called to.

When discussing the test results with our neurologist 
we were told that Elijah's disabilities manifest itself 
in labels like -
Autism, Schizophrenia, and RAD (reactive attachment disorder).
Along with his PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury),
this is not a good combination.

What I have said since I've been his mommy 
and at every evaluation for every therapist, doctor, teacher, 
really anyone who would listen...
is that,

 he tries soooo hard to make good choices, but he just can't!!
And now we know - Momma knows her boy!! 

Tomorrow morning we will drive Elijah to begin this visit to residential care.
(looking at a few months stay for him).
Leaving him there is going to be so so hard,
but presently life is not safe for him,
and we have no other choice.

We appreciate prayers for our miracle boy!! 
and for our entire family!  
We miss our boy and brother who can be so fun,
and so loving!
But struggles so deeply! 

We pray he can come home safely,
we pray for a long term plan
and for doctors and therapists who
will love our boy and
help us every step of this journey!

We cling to hope in miracles in our Lord Jesus Christ!
We will walk this journey with our son
and marvel in Wonder and Awe of HIS plan.

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018’s word of the year!!!

I like to choose a word of the year,
some years are easier to find a word then others. 

This year was quite different.

2016 was hard!
4 major surgeries for Hagan!
1 surgery for Elijah!
1 major surgery for Miles
2 hospital stays for Elijah!

2017 was hard!
we had a lot of things thrown at us that we were not ready for...

3 major surgeries for Hagan,
1 for Donovan,
Major panic attack meltdown for me,
4 hospital stays for Elijah
to list a few,
and more that we are still trying to wrap our heads around.

Though the past years have been hard,
there have been some amazing sweetness!!
God is always faithful to keep us encouraged and
to see baby steps in where HE is directing us!

A few weeks ago,
I was in the middle of a major temper tantrum!
Ready to cancel Christmas!
and definitely threatening to cancel acknowledging New Years!
I was sooooo NOT ready to do all of this all over again!!

Have you ever felt like staying in your disfunction is
better than moving into more disfunction?
Comfort in the disfunction!
Well, that was where I was!

But, God spoke to me and gave me the promise of WONDER!

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart 
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and HE will make your paths straight.

Going into 2018 I am ready to see all the hard that we have walked through in 2016 and 2017
and cling to the WONDER of God's plan as HE will show us what all of our work has been for.

Allowing God to unfold HIS path for me is where HE wants me.

I've also been reminded, through quiet times,
that my work isn't finished.
The path I am on is rocky!
It has it's major ups and downs!
But, as I walk, sometimes hike,
places I'd rather not go -
I will cling to the promise that God is in control
and I will sit and gaze in WONDER and AWE
of all that HE is!!

Happy New Year,
and I pray you also,
will see the Wonder in all that God is
and how HE loves you!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

End on Empty!

Gymnastics competition season has begun 
and we are super excited about this season! 
New beautiful leo and everything!! 

Jailyn told me in September that she was going to 
take her coaches challenge and 
set her goal every practice to 
"End on Empty"!! 
To have nothing left in her tank,
to come home completely exhausted 
because she left all she had on the mat!

Jailyn has always worked hard, 
but ADHD gets in the way sometimes!

Her first meet was an Intrasquad meet,
real judges, real scores, 
no medals 
instead encouraging one an other 
to do their best!!! 

(blurry photo but THAT leap!!! 
She's never had such a good leap!)

Jailyn had a great meet! 
Room to grow but 
the first meet of the season can be nerve wracking - 
so this was nice to get through the nerves!

At the end of the meet our coach surprised 
the girls with a special award! 

The "End on Empty" Award!
Coaches hubby loved the challenge his wife set out for the girls
so much that he went to the mall and had 
shirts made to allow the coaches to award 
some exceptionally hard workers.

So proud of Jailyn and her growth as a gymnast, 
but even more we are proud of her growing 
work ethic!!

We are all soooooo excited for this fun competition season!! 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Eve Eve!

With kids getting older and building their own holiday traditions 
we are so thankful for this time 
on Christmas Eve Eve!!

Brady, Terrinika, Hakia and King came over to 
celebrate Brady's 24th birthday and Christmas!!

Jailyn is getting good at running family games!!!

Brothers in serious conversation that 
didn't end in an argument! 
Christmas miracle!!! 

(my Christmas lights didn't make it through the season! 
Mantel lights out and strips of lights out on the tree! 

I love my grands!!!

I can't believe I didn't get a photo of Terrinika! 
Stole this one - 
cause Girl, you are beautiful! 
Inside and out!! 

or  my beautiful Kenzie!!! 
(stole this photo too!!
Hey, it's my blog I can do what I want!! Haha!!)

Friday, December 22, 2017


Have you ever sat in traffic and have your GPS begin beeping at you,
trying to tell you to go a different way?

A better way?

A shorter way?

A quicker way?

Mine did the other day. 
This was the mess I was caught up in the other day...

My GPS was warning me,
I have a better way for you!! 

You see, I hate driving to the city! 
I hate driving somewhere I'm not familiar with,
and in traffic - makes it even worse!
I can be patient but there are so crazy drivers out there!! 
This has been the traffic I have been in 
for 2 weeks and the reason I'm there is not because of my choices.
So, yes, there is a bit of resistance there too! 

As my GPS beeped at me,
I was given the choice - 
get over to the right hand lane and get off the highway,
or stay here in this mess.

If I stay where I am - I'll be late for the appointment.
If I get off this route - I'll make the appointment with time to spare.

I know where I am going on this route!
I know what exit I need to get off! 
I know what to expect! 

What do I do? 

As I weighted the pros and cons, 
God said to me, 
"I'm giving you detours. 
Detours that will get you to the same destination,
only with less pain. 
With less anguish.
With less frustration."

HE wasn't talking about the traffic, 
HE was talking about my every day life! 
Am I listening to God beeping at me? 
Do I even have my GPS on, 
in other words am I reading his word, 
am I in constant communication with HIM?

Am I willing to take this detour that is before me?
Am I willing to let HIM guide me?
Even when I have no clue of where I'm going?
Is sitting in the drivers seat, 
doing the same thing that I have always done,
not allowing God to lead me through the unknown,
is it worth missing out on the detour God has for me?

God reminded me of these verses,
Luke 12:22-32

Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat; or about your body, what will you wear.
For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.
Consider the ravens:  The do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; 
yet God feeds them!
And how much more valuable you are than birds!!! 
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?
Since you cannot do this very little thing, she do you worry about the rest?

Consider how the wide flowers grow.
They do not labor or spin.  
Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today,
and tomorrow is thrown into the fire,
how much more will he clothes you - you of little faith! 
And do not set your hear on what you will eat or drink;
do not worry about it. 
For the pagan world runs after all such things,
and your Father knows that you need them.  
But seek HIS kingdom, 
and these things will be given to you!


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