Thursday, October 31, 2013

Probably too late to be writing.

What a week it's been once again.  I feel like I spin my wheels getting nothing done that I want to get done, just what screams the loudest gets done.  Battling a myriad of emotions, many of them not based on anything but the lies that scream to be believed.  But, being busy, being emotional, fighting for your family.  It's hard on a person.

I feel peace about Z, even after my dad spent a couple hours talking to him again today & left feeling discouraged.  I felt the peace, but then when I got home with my kids after school, and the dog decided he didn't want to do his business in the rain when he was out, and did it on my bedroom floor, and we are out of paper towel, because I don't have time to go to the store... I blew my top a little off at the unsuspecting teenagers who like to lose themselves in the basement (away from the drama of their younger siblings) and... I wonder, am I really peaceful?  Or is it just manifesting in other ways.  The stress of worrying about your child gets to you, even when you tell yourself you aren't worrying and you are trusting God's plan.

I hit a dog last week on my way to the football game.  It ran out from the side ditch as I was passing.  Totally blew off the front bumper of my van.  I posted a picture on my instagram, that I can't post here, because it's not on my computer.  Follow my instagram at

Anyway, the dog belongs to an amish neighbor of my parents.  Amish don't carry homeowners insurance, which is what the insurance company goes back on to pay for damages on vehicles that hit animals that are owned by people and running free.  Not sure if this will be paid for out of the pocket of the couple who's dog I hit or not.  I feel awful for them.  Our insurance guy is going out to talk to them.  The woman cleans houses, and has come here many times to help me clean, maybe that's the way to get  it paid off?  Since she hasn't been here since May, might be time.

Monday & Tuesday I spent running around with the van, getting it looked at, getting the estimates, going to New Haven to Enterprise (they lied, they don't pick you up),  and now I am driving the loaded 2013 version of the van we own... that' s going to be a disappointing turn of events when we get ours back!  This thing is amazing!

Kiahna had to go in Tuesday and have her cast re-done.  She broke it during one of her tantrums, as I had to hold it down to keep from being hit.  Fun times, let me tell ya.  Now she has a new purple cast for 2 more weeks.

I stopped at the health food store to get something this week, I was looking through the bottles, wondering if there was anything we haven't tried yet for K.  I saw one that said "super calm" on the bottle.  Yes please, make my child super calm.  The lady working at the store recommended an adult dose since she was able to swallow pills.  It's Valerian, I believe (I am not getting up to check the bottle), I think I might see some improvement in our evening tonight, of course I was home with them all evening too, and didn't run off for an hour or so for a photo shoot.  They like that when I am home.  It will be good to start slowing down the evening shoots & be here more.  (good for the kids, not for the wallet)

Decided that since I needed extra money to fix the van I would offer some quick family photo shoots at a discount, doing those Saturday, hoping it doesn't rain & we can get awesome family photos for these people in a short amount of time.  Sometimes kids need more time to warm up if they don't know you & then the longer you spend with them the better the photos come out.  We will see how this goes if I ever do it again.  It's not really been my style.

Just a lot going on.  Football is going in to week 2 of Sectionals.  We play South Adams tomorrow night, Always an emotionally charged game.  I'd have rather traveled an hour and a half to the other school they beat, than be playing them.  It's just not fun.  A group of us mom's fed the team Wednesday night and will feed them again after the game Friday night.  It's a lot of fun, but it's another thing.

I should probably delete this, it's late & I am tired, and I might not even be making sense.  At least I'll re-read before I post.... good idea, huh.

Good night all, thanks for your kinds words, prayers, and support.  I can't do this alone.  Please keep praying for Z, it's really not good.  Now I will go lay down & sleep, knowing the God who never rests will take care.

In His Grip,


Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday update

Back to school & routine this morning!  Fall break was pretty good.  I had quite a few shoots & the kids handled things okay here while I was gone.  They were with Grandma some too.  Great part about my work is that I can schedule as I wish, down part is that most shoots have to be on weekends or evenings when the kids are home.  Kiahna doesn't like it when I leave, but she deals with it pretty well.

I slept a lot this break, much needed.  I was feeling like I was getting sick earlier last week.  Between more sleep & keeping up on my vitamins & chiropractic care, I didn't get sick!  Thankful!!  Things are winding down with the busy October photography season.  I could tell yesterday that the shade much thiner than it was earlier in the week.  I have been so blessed by the customers who love my work & God's gift of this talent that I never dreamed I had.

Z went back to school last night, after spending most of his weekend home with us.  That was very different than his usual weekends "home"... many we don't even see him.  I can see efforts to change, but he didn't communicate much with me, he is with his grandpa though.  Z says he will be staying at college on the weekends now through Thanksgiving (he's been home every weekend since school started).  But, he also said he was going to church yesterday, and he didn't.  He dropped 2 classes he was struggling in, which might help him deal with the immediate stresses but will require extra work to keep his scholarship.  He must completed 30 credits in a year to keep the scholarship.  He is still talking about the military, but he is also talking of some other things that sure sound a lot better.

Still needs much prayer.  I am sorry that I didn't have more faith when things were blowing up early last week.  But, I have regained my hope & faith that God has this.  Somehow He does.  Z has such an amazing heart, under his crusty scabs of hurt.  I was pulling out laundry last night before he left and none of is was his!  I asked him who's clothes they were?  He said he brought home his room mates clothes too so he didn't have to pay to use the washers at school.  Thoughtful of him.  (or their room is just such a disaster he grabbed all of it because it was easier than sorting it!)

God brought me another care taker for Kiahna this past week.  She graduated from Adams Central a few years ago & responded to my request for help on Facebook.  She stayed with K Friday night during the game (Jets win, but my nephew Koty got injured, hoping he's back this game?)  Caitlin is a single girl who loves kids & wants a large family some day & has some experience with difficult kids and was willing to give it a go with K.  K did great for her this first time, I am trying to prepare Caitlin that it might not always stay that way, and she is trying to understand.  It brings me comfort to know that I found someone else who is willing to help!  Maybe this will end up being someone who could come to James' wedding with us next summer & be K's caretaker... wouldn't that be awesome!

We had family birthday's at my sister's house this weekend.  K had a big melt down tantrum while we were there, not sure how it all came about, but it was ugly.  So hard.  Her cast is broken, I have to hold the cast down when she gets that way or I will be hit with it.  Isn't good on a cast to be treated that way, arm seems fine though.  Two more weeks in the cast, guess I need to take her to get it fixed.

Time to get the kids up for school.  Thanks for reading, praying & supporting us!!

In His Grip,


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fall break

It's fall break here, the trees are beautiful & the weather is cold... photographing outdoors is not as comfortable as it had been, but the colors are worth it!

I took this in my backyard last week while waiting for one my sessions to arrive.

Love Anne of Green Gables also & this quote.  So true.

Yesterday, I wrote about my son Z, struggling so much in his first semester at college.  An update on that, he spent a couple of hours with my dad talking & has decided to finish out the semester & will decide what to do from there.  Finishing out the semester isn't going to be easy with three classes that are close to failure & under the grade needed to count as credit.  Needing to keep his gpa high enough to keep his scholarship.

When the counselor asked me what I thought Z would do, I told him I thought he would make the right decision yesterday & stay, but he will be back to struggling again within a few weeks, unless this time he figures out that he needs God's strength to do this & stops trying to go it alone.

I am confident that God is doing all that He can to guide Z to Himself & bring healing, restoration & life where so much has been robbed.  My doubts fall on men & the damage that has been done to my heart & faith on man's willingness to receive the gift God is handing out to us...

Also, and update on Kiahna and her struggles... no solution has been presented for the issues we are having at church.  Not clear if I am supposed to be the one figuring that out?  I should probably check on that.  She went through last Sunday & church much better than I had feared.  Thankful for that.  And her realization that her behaviors kept her from being able to go with the other kids.

Happy fall break friends, thanks for reading...

In His Grip,


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Even though I cannot see

Things escalated & came to light quickly yesterday with my son Z, after writing yesterday morning.  (no, I didn't write that at 4:05 my blog must be on a different time zone than I am)  Anyway, chalk it up to prayers, I got a letter from the school in the mail, yesterday.  Mid-term grades with concern about 3 of his classes being below the standard.

I guess no surprise, just very disappointed.  I want so bad for him to do what is right.

I ended up calling him.  That never goes well.  Didn't go well this time either.

I was really worked up.  Upset, angry, frustrated, scared, sad... you name it.  It's not that I view the military as an awful choice... It's not my dream for my sons, for sure.  I have lived the military life, I am not dillusional about the realities of it.  It's the fact that he is looking for a way to escape the realities and troubles of his life.  He is looking for a savior in all the wrong places.  It breaks my heart into a million pieces.

I woke up in what felt like panic mode at 4:30 this morning, trying to pray & refocus, being very honest with God about all my fears.  He is okay with my honesty, I like that about Him.

I cannot have Z move back in to my house and get back to the old routines he had going last summer.  It just can't happen.  I have to protect my other children, my sanity & not enable poor life choices.  What are the repercussions to just walking out of college mid-semester?  There goes all his scholarships out the window.

I had a call in to the college after I got the letter yesterday.  Missed their call back last night.  Called them again after 8 this morning.  They were great.  Listened, were helpful, genuinely helpful, cannot beat the heart staff at Christian college's have for their students.  Been impressed over and over again, this was no exception.  They were already aware of some issues with Z.  He has not been going to classes, not engaging in anything, they have already been working towards trying to reach him.  My phone calls just pushed that forward.

The one man I talked to even called back two more times to tell me more information & ask more questions.  I am very blessed by this.

My prayer for God to be the Father to the fatherless.

My dad is headed there today to talk to with Z.  My oldest son talked to Z on the phone yesterday and felt like Z listened at least.

So, thank you for the prayers... I am feeling peace & prayer coverage.  Feeling like I can breath again for the moment.  Knowing the burden is not mine alone to carry, knowing the Father of the fatherless has this.

Even though I cannot see.

In His Grip,


Monday, October 21, 2013

Another burden

I have and do hesitate a bit to share some things that we struggle with here.  One because it's not really easy to admit & talk about.  Another because as my children grow older, into adulthood, there needs to be a sense of privacy that belongs to them... may I find a way to tactfully & sensitively share this burden for the purpose of intense prayer coverage that we need.

Last week when my daughter, Leah was inducted into the National Honor Society, I was very pleased & proud of her.  She works so hard in school, makes great grades, has amazing character & desires to honor God in all that she does.  She works hard at home, she is my right hand & she deals with Kiahna with much ease.

I had to ponder as I considered my pride in this girl, that if I was going to take any credit for all the positive that she is, I would also need to take credit for all the negative another of my children has been choosing... neither burden is one I want to carry.  God can carry that.  He promised to be the Father to the fatherless... His kids, His burden, His Glory.

Another of my children has a great heart also.  Probably the most sensitive heart out of the six.  Probably the most broken heart out of the six.  He takes things very deeply, hurts very deeply, reacts very deeply & there is no denying the emotion of his day.  He wears all of his frustration on his sleeve.  Takes it out on the nearest adult in authority.  Struggled with teachers & coaches in high school & it was such a relief to move him on to new, better, exciting future & fresh start.

He hasn't embraced the future like I had imagined.  God brought him to a college situation that I never dreamed possible.  God took him to a place that I couldn't have in a million years thought he would end up.  And if God is going to keep him there, God has His work cut out for him.

The choices this son has made, the anger he possesses, the bitterness towards the cards he has been dealt... they all are very real & very much trying to destroy his life.

In the time leading up to the college decision making deadline, no decision had been made.  Tests had been blown off as unimportant, "friends" weren't making college choices, so the need for him to seemed to be unimportant also.  As we worked through this season, I found a need to share with my older children more of the details of the divorce & marriage situation, that I couldn't share with them when they were so much younger.  The verse that came to me was "The truth will set them free".  My kids needed more of the truth from me.

I gave it to them one day last spring.  I didn't see the freedom I hoped to see in this son.  Just a feeding of angry monster that I was hoping to dispose of.  When we finally got on a college visit, one of the pillars in the collage had on it the exact same verse.  My dad pointed it out as we walked in.  It brought me peace as we walked around campus with this less that interested child.  Thinking there is no way he will ever choose this school.

When the financial aid package came back, the school we had visited gave us a great package.  I felt like there were neon signs over us saying "go here".  He saw them & he made the choice to attend the school he is at right now. (at least I hope he went back last night).  I was beyond thrilled.  Waiting for the other shoe to drop and something to come in the way of him attending.

I didn't.  We moved him in, after a very long summer of him not working enough & not being home hardly at all.

He hasn't embraced the new beginning like I had hoped.  He has went through a time where he wanted to drop out & wanted to transfer.  He talked it through & seemed to let it go.  Now he is back on to the leaving again.  Now he says he wants to join the military.

Run, run, run from his problems... Run, run, run from God.... Run, run, run from all the people who want to help him...

I woke up this morning, surprised I had slept as well as I had.  With me the biggest tool the enemy uses is dangling all the "unanswered" prayers for my ex-husband in front of my face & telling me that the prayers for my son are useless.  It's a very difficult thing to overcome.  Those of you who walked that with me know how much time, months, years of prayer went into the season of my divorce...

I really appreciate the prayers.  I appreciate the privacy of this blog.  I am okay with sharing, just not on social media where my children are put in awkward places...

In His Grip,


Thursday, October 17, 2013


Third try to write something.

Everything just comes out negative.

I don't want to be negative.

Thankful for sunshine this morning, hot coffee, quiet house, worship music, a warm place to live.

Must turn my thoughts around.

In His Grip,


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

More on Kiahna

The pressure to continue to blog might get to me, but we will see how I do... :)  thanks for being interested, praying & following along.

Yesterday was better with Kiahna.  Of course the amount of hours I was responsible for her behavior was also much much less.  That's a blessing to me.  Her school situation isn't ideal, but at least at the moment she is staying out of trouble for the most part & is being taught in a one on one environment, which is nice for her in many ways, but might be hurting her in others.

Kiahna entered the Emotionally Handicap classroom at a school district next to ours about a year ago.  Last year there were multiple other boys in her class.  Which was a bit of a bummer that there were no girls, but there was plenty of chances to get along with the boys.  Which in reality, with her brother Jadon only 11 months older here at him, is a skill she needed to work on.

This year in the EH classroom, there is a lower number of students.  She is the ONLY full time student all morning, with another little girl coming in in the afternoon.  Kiahna gets her work done in the morning, because "she likes to color in the afternoon" (sigh)  She is attending special class, lunch, math meeting & one recess with her peers.  Other than that she is isolated in her room with 2 teachers at her beck and call, or she is working with one of the other special service people who see her on a weekly basis.

In many ways I should be pleased, but as time has gone by, I see her skills in dealing with peers going backwards.  We need more peer interaction.  Whether that means she has to stand in lines for the bathroom, drinking fountain, walk in the halls with the class... whatever that means... to my knowledge at this point, she is not doing those things.  She is getting special treatment.  SO, when we are asking her to do those things, if it be in our family, Sunday school, or whereever else she is that isn't school... she's growing worse, because these skills aren't being honed like she needs them to be.

I have a call in to a new parent/school advocate.

They did more testing on her & we are in process of renewing her IEP.

I am praying for those people who are supposed to be helping us to rise up.  I am thankful for the amount of people that God has already called to help us in so many ways.  I am prayerful for help in all the areas that Kiahna needs that are still lacking... I have no idea what those even are.

Sometimes Kiahna will say to me, "I wish you never even got me"... I struggle with the thought sometimes too, because how much easier my life would be if I hadn't.  I wonder if I pushed & made something happen that God didn't intend.  Then I think back on her adoption story & I know God placed her with us...

Thanks for prayers.

Thanks for comments.

Thanks for listening.

Thanks for this venue of sharing, may I find the time to keep it up if it's God's plan.

In His Grip,


Monday, October 14, 2013

I need a new blog

I need to process in a safer venue than on Facebook... My old blog isn't really relevant anymore... Starting fresh.

It wasn't supposed to be this hard.  I wasn't supposed to be doing this as a single parent.  I wasn't supposed to feel this frustrated, incapable, alone, discouraged or any of the other myriad of emotions & realities I find myself dealing with.

Adoption, parenting, marriage... so easy to buy into the lie that they will be easy with a tad of frustration, but for the most part they will be fun, happy, good... but they aren't.

Top of my list today is adoption.  I didn't plan to adopt & be single.  I didn't plan to adopt a special needs child.  I didn't expect to adopt a special needs child & raise them without a spouse.  So, don't pat me on the back & tell me how great I am.

Today I posted a new photo of myself, my son took it for me this weekend when we took family photos.  

Under it I wanted to post these words.

Divorced.  Single.  Scared.  Alone.  Frustrated.  Angry.  In over her head.  Poor.  Needy.  Bitter.  Failure.  Entitled.  Too busy.  Dirty house.  Unorganized.  Doesn't have graduation stuff put away and it's October.  Cried a lot today.  TIRED. Works too much.  Plays too little.  

Do you see that when you look at this photo?  Because that's what I am seeing.

I am blessed beyond measure by the God I serve.  But, I struggle every day with these thoughts.  Some days worse than others.  But they are there.

My daughter's needs have grown to a degree I don't have answers for.  I have no idea why God thought I could do this.  And do this without a spouse at that.  I don't know what her purpose is for her life, or for her future.  I don't know way more than I do know.

I don't know how to keep her from being so angry... all I can do is dry both our tears as she weeps afterwards in shame & frustration... just wanting to have a friend, but being so incapable of being one.

I spend my time with her trying to keep her safe & calm.  Trying to keep other people around her safe.  Helping her think.  Helping her process the world she lives in.  The hard, unpredictable, scary world.

I don't have an answer.  I don't have a solution.  I don't know what to do.  I am angry about the spot we are both in together.  I didn't ask to be here, she didn't ask to be here.

I cry.  She crys.  We pray.  I hope God has a plan, but I confess to Him, I feel He is slow to produce the fix I really desire.  

I want her to be as normal on the inside as she looks on the outside.

Can I be that honest?  I am struggling to accept that this is really how bad it all is.

I pray for the grace to keep trusting God's Hand... To keep believing He has a purpose.  A reason.  A hope.  A way.  That he brought her to our family, our community, our church, our schools... because He saw for some reason she would do better here.

I can't do this on my own.  I MUST have the support of my GOD and HIS strength.  I am weak, needy, helpless, broken, hurting, scarred, scared, and fighting.  I need people around me to hold up my arms.  I need help, physical, emotional, financial, educational, medical, Spiritual... to survive.  Doing this "alone" couldn't have been God's plan.

In His Grip,