a passing grade

 
My wise husband reminded me that three of our four children thinking I’m a great Mom means I still get a passing grade. It’s true. I’m at 75% right now. I think I’ll take that “C”. 

Moms (and Dads),

As long as you’re doing your best, you’re doing a GREAT job. Don’t believe anything else. God gave you the kids He gave you because He knew you were the best-equipped person to parent them. Stand on that! God made you for this and the opinions, words, and choices of your offspring do not define you. HE DOES!! 

Keep up the fight! Even if you’re at a 50% approval rating or getting no approval at all, you’re still doing what God made you to do. 

Love & Mama-Solidarity,

The 75%er

Be brave.

John 8:32 “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…”

Truth-telling is hard work. It is scary, gut-wrenching, and sometimes isolating. But freedom… Oh, freedom. You are always worth the gut-wrenching work of telling the truth.

When we began our adoption journey we had no idea where it would take us. On September 17, 2009, I opened an email from a waiting children website that contained information on several children in Eastern Europe. As I scrolled down the list thinking of the people I knew who were pursuing adoption, I mentally tried to match the children with people I know. And then… I saw Ana-Sofia. I cannot explain what happened in that moment, but the second I saw her, she was my child. For the next seven months, bringing her home became my job.

Making my daughter my daughter meant working with a facilitator in Serbia. That facilitator just happened to be a pediatrician at the orphanage where my daughter spent the majority of the first three years of her life. That doctor asked us for money and then asked us for gifts. And then… she told me that I would be responsible for shutting down the Serbian adoption program if I didn’t keep my mouth shut. She warned me not to be a “trouble-maker”. Well, guess what?! I was born with a mouth that just has trouble staying shut.

Exactly five years ago today, on April 14, 2010, I met my daughter. Before meeting her I spent the morning in a Serbian government office being questioned about the facilitator and how much information we had received on Sofija. Our three older children were taken in another room and questioned. The whole ordeal was scary and intimidating and I was fearful that if I told the whole truth I would never meet my daughter.

In the twelve months after our adoption there was a lot of truth-telling that eventually led to me returning to Serbia to make a statement against the facilitator.

The last five years have given me the opportunity to truly fall in love with the nation and the people of Serbia. Serbia is beautiful. Her people are my brothers and sisters. Serbia gave me my daughter and that motherland is woven into the fiber of my being. The pediatrician who sold us our daughter does not represent the heart of the nation who gave us our daughter any more than the Army Generals and SES’s who mingle with government contractors and then destroy my husband’s career because he won’t play along with their corruption, represent the heart of America.

Today, our story was shared in a Serbian newspaper. IMG_3662I’m not going to lie. Sharing our story was scary. But the truth… the truth always leads to freedom.

Serbia is now a member of the Hague Convention. With Dr. Jankovic removed from the international adoption process, more children have been adopted in the last few years than in the decade leading up to our adoption and my “big mouth”. Children are finding families and when a children is placed in a family they are freed from the confines of an orphanage… freedom.

What is your hard truth? Do you have an opportunity to bring about freedom? Today I challenge you to just BE BRAVE.

Joshua 1:9  This is my command—be strong and BRAVE! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

It’s all about the “yes”.

kacinpoint:

I just got a phone call from Kennedy Krieger (The Autism Hospital attached to John’s Hopkins). It has taken two months to get all of Sofija’s records to them, but we did it and she has an appointment in ten days. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Originally posted on Waving a White Flag:

James 5:12 And since you know that he cares, let your language show it. Don’t add words like “I swear to God” to your own words. Don’t show your impatience by concocting oaths to hurry up God. Just say YES or NO. Just say what is true. That way, your language can’t be used against you. Ahem, Brian Williams

December 26th, 1993, Dear Hubby asked me to marry him (for the 5th or 6th time). This time I said, “Yes.”

February 18th, 1994, standing at an altar, a pastor asked us both if we were willing to fight with and for each other for as long as we both shall live. We both said, “Yes.”

Three kids, more than a dozen moves, war, deployments, cancer, family deaths… we just kept saying, “Yes.”

September 17th, 2009, we learned about a five-year-old orphan girl in Serbia that had autism. We asked God…

View original 1,241 more words

a season of grace

kacinpoint:

My favorite season…

Originally posted on Waving a White Flag:

Growing up in south Louisiana is a privilege.  I’ve been around the world and I’ve experienced no culture, food, or people, quite like those of my home.  In south Louisiana Mardi Gras is a season.  Much like Black Friday and tree sales initiating the Christmas season, I grew up with king cakes, parades, and Mardi Gras balls initiating the Lenten season.

As a little girl I wanted so badly to be Catholic.  I was just about the only kid in elementary school who didn’t ‘get to’ go to catechism.  We were (still are) non-denominational Christians and listening to the other kids plan out and talk about their catechism carpools and the mean nuns left me feeling like a red-headed step-child  (no offense to my ginger friends).  I wanted my own rosary and I wanted to see my friends get hit on the back of their hands with a ruler by…

View original 1,113 more words

8 years ago…

kacinpoint:

On Friday we will celebrate Sofija’s 10th birthday. Today I shed a few tears as I read this post I wrote on her 8th…

Originally posted on Waving a White Flag:

Eight years ago today, a woman who had four older children that were all being raised by other mothers, showed up at a hospital in Belgrade, Serbia, in labor.  I do not know her pregnancy story or her delivery story or what led to her being transferred to a psychiatric hospital for two weeks following delivery, or why she never came back to see the baby she delivered.  What I do know, is that in a nation where the abortion rate is nearly triple the birthrate, she chose life for a baby girl who would eventually find her way into my heart.  She gave my daughter life.

My own eighth birthday was one of my favorite.  My Mom bought me the 2-piece bathing suit I’d been eying at the local department store (Godchaux) and my grandmother bought me the biggest frilliest blue dress I’d ever seen and put my hair…

View original 367 more words

Enough is ENOUGH!

Okay, Winter.

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 10.43.23 AM

Enough is enough. When we said our goodbyes nine days ago, I really meant all the things I said. I enjoyed our time together. It was fun while it lasted. But it’s time to move on. I sincerely do appreciate that you blew away the things in my life that blocked my view. You helped me see clear and far. You forced me to slow down and breathe deep. You challenged me and showed me strength I’d forgotten I possessed. For all of these things, I ‘m grateful.

That being said, our time is up. I’ve met someone new and I really need for you to give me space to work on my new relationship.

His name? Spring. He’s warm and kind and my gut says that he’s going to draw me out in ways that you just aren’t capable of. We have common interests that you and I just never shared. Remember how you quieted me and grew cold at the mention of new life? Yeah, well. I want new life!! I don’t just want new life. I want colorful, new life. Spring has promised to give it to me. Not that the opinions of others matter much to me, but all of my friends and family have made comments about the condition you’ve left me in. They’re genuinely concerned. Quite honestly, I am too.

68484_10151105623962687_1797019498_n

You weren’t all bad, but you sucked the color out of me. I’m feeling like the pale girl in this ^^^ picture and that’s just not who I am.

So please, I ask that you spare yourself a little dignity and move on. Please allow me to do the same.

Sincerely,

Winter Weary

We have a ratified contract!!

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 10.13.49 PM

That pretty house up there is located in Columbus, Georgia. It has been ours since the summer of 2002. Only we haven’t lived in Columbus since the summer of 2008.Seven years ago, in March of 2008, we found out we were moving to the Washington, DC area. We immediately began asking our friends and family to pray that the house we had filled with life and love would sell before we moved. It quickly went under contract to one of our favorite elementary school teachers and her family. We were happy. And then, the day we were packing all of our things onto a moving truck in preparation to close and hand over the keys the following morning, we got a dreadful phone call. The buyers had to back out of the sale because the buyers of the home they were living in had backed out of buying that house. Two families were sitting in houses, surrounded by boxes, unable to sell their homes.

Seven months, a move to Alexandria, VA, and an empty savings account later, we rented the house to a wonderful military family who had children the same ages as our own. They were the most amazing tenants and when they called two years later to say they had orders to move to North Carolina, I cried. We put the house back on the market and with little savings, we also listed it for rent. Two months later, we rented it to three young, single Army officers. BIG, HUGE, INSURMOUNTABLE mistake. In May of 2014 they moved out and left the house in horrible condition. After six weeks of cleaning and repairs we once again listed it for sale. Last night we got an offer. Tonight we have a ratified contract.

Countless people have prayed and believed with us that the house would sell over the last seven years. I can’t say just how grateful we are for those prayers. This journey has been so much more than God bringing the right family to buy the house for a price that’s more than we actually owe on it. It’s been all about provision and blind faith. Many, many people have sat around our table, or in our living room, or held our hands in church hallways, claiming one thing… “God, please provide.” He has delivered on those prayers over and over and over again. On paper, our budget has not made sense. The numbers just didn’t add up. But God’s math is soooo much better than our math.

Philippians 4:19 And this same God who takes care of me WILL supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

Tonight, just before we ratified the contract, we started a new class of Financial Peace University. As I looked in the faces of the people just beginning their journey towards financial peace, I wanted to jump up and scream “There IS hope!!” Philippians 4:19 doesn’t say that God “might” supply all your needs. It says that He WILL. Period.

The cherry on top of this house-sale sundae? The buyers want to close on Good Friday. Yes, Good Friday is the day we honor the fact that Jesus took on every form of pain and abuse and illness and sin to the point of death, so that we don’t have to carry all that junk. But… it also happens to be the name of a book I hope to someday publish. Because God’s just that flippin’ awesome.

Excuse me while I go pinch myself and have a drink with my husband. If you want to celebrate with us, feel free to pour a glass of wine. Cheers!

WOOHOOO!!!