rebuttal submitted…

Jimmy says you're a poopyhead. Do you have a rebuttal?

Jimmy says you’re a poopyhead. Do you have a rebuttal?

The rebuttal has been submitted. From our hands to God’s. We continue to learn that it has really been in His hands all along. Now we pray.

Philippians 4:6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. – Easier said than done….

winds of change…

change

 

In Tales of a Traveler, Washington Irving said, “There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in traveling in a stagecoach, that it often a comfort to shift one’s position and be bruised in a new place.” For the last three and half years, every change in our lives has come in the form of a new bruise. But bruises fade. Healing comes. The crap becomes holy.

Two weeks ago we were still reeling over my husband’s broken finger, GOMAR (General Letter of Reprimand), and the short time we were given to gather evidence for his rebuttal. In the days since; our attorney has filed for two extensions (the due date for the rebuttal is now July 3rd), Hubby’s hand is healing (no surgery – Yay!), and…. we received an email from our property manager to let us know that the owners of our house are selling it and that we have to be out by September 11th. Winds of change…

The rebuttal has been written and the evidence has been gathered. Our attorney is reviewing it and preparing it to be submitted before the 3rd. Hopefully within a week of it being submitted we will know if the General has decided to dismiss the GOMAR. The cute dinosaur cast comes off July 9th. Before September 11th, we will move.

We have no idea what life will look like three months from now. But we know it will look markedly different than it does today.

revolution – noun

1. an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.

2. Sociology. a radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure, especially one made suddenly and often accompanied by violence.

3. a sudden, complete or marked change in something.
4. a procedure or course, as if in a circuit, back to a starting point.

 

By every definition of the word…

Our family, our nation, our world… are all in the midst of a revolution.

Isaiah 43:19 NLT

For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

what cancer taught me

Originally posted on Waving a White Flag:

The weight of life at this moment has given me two choices. 1) I can curl up in bed and quit functioning in an attempt to wait it out. or 2) I can read 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 over and over again and try really hard to live it out…

See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.Rejoice always;pray without ceasing; IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

In my attempts to live out the “in everything give thanks” part, I have spent my days searching. We have a great home to live in. We have working vehicles. We are physically healthy. We have a great community of friends and family who stand with us. We have health insurance that pays for all of…

View original 648 more words

Holy Crap

One year ago I wrote a post titled Fire is Hot. Fire is indeed hot. You know what else is hot? Just about any place south of the Mason-Dixon line in the middle of June. You know what makes those places even hotter? No air-conditioning and a cast on your arm.

Sofija was accepted into an outpatient treatment program at Kennedy Krieger Institute. For the next several months we will spend two days a week driving to Columbia, MD for two hours of attempting to turn her into the best version of herself and then climbing back in the car for a two-hour drive home with an unhappy-to-be-in-the-car (not so) little girl. We prayed for this. We asked you and everyone you/we know to pray for this. We are masochists.

Before we dive into the actual treatment part, the doctors need to know more about what motivates her aggression, self-injury, and other destructive behaviors. These things are learned through a process called a functional analysis. It’s a painful process that involves trying to trigger behaviors. This week’s functional analysis was all about discovering why she constantly aggresses towards her Daddy.

In the first ten-minute assessment she was given blank paper and a box of crayons and told that her Dad had work to do on his phone and that she didn’t have to draw or color, but she could not talk to him. As I sat in an observation booth with three doctors watching my baby girl and my hubby, I noticed he was scowling. I sent him a text message asking why. He simply responded, “Check your email.” So I did. I wanted to vomit. After forty-two months of waiting for the Army to tell us exactly what it is he was accused of in December of 2011, we had our answer. He had just received a GOMAR (General Letter of Reprimand) and he was given one week to file a rebuttal.

What that means is that after a three and a half-year witch hunt, the Justice Department and the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division haven’t found any evidence to substantiate pressing charges against him or taking any type of judicial action. But because they have never asked for nor received any evidence to rebut the accusations, they have recommended that his commanding General just write a letter saying that he did those things and place that letter in his permanent military record, destroying not only his career, but his chances of getting any job connected to the military when he retires. A GOMAR is referred to as the “Career Killer”. Without ever having a voice in the matter, a letter was written to destroy my husband’s career.

The letter stated that he was accused of giving contracts to family members, participating in a conspiracy, and accepting bribes. There was a second email with a link to the 149 pages of investigation notes that we would not be able to open until we were home. Like I’ve already said, I wanted to vomit. I sat in that observation booth, with my mind spinning a million miles an hour, bursting with anticipation knowing that as soon as we opened those investigation notes we would know EXACTLY who started this hellish season of our lives.

With my brain and stomach churning, Sofija and my hubby began the next assessment. This one involved placing a demand on her. She was given a tub of towels and shirts and asked to fold them. When he unfolded a shirt and asked her to fold it correctly she jumped out of her chair and began swinging at him. As he put his forearm up to block her, her fist caught his pinky finger and left it hanging at about a 70 degree angle to the side of his hand. It was ugly.

We made the two-hour drive home before he went to the emergency room and discovered he has a comminuted fracture (the bone is broken into several pieces just below the knuckle). Did I mention it’s his left hand? And that he just happens to be left-handed?

The ER doctor put in an emergency referral for him to see an orthopedic surgeon and sent him home. By the time we were done with attempting to get him comfortable, we decided to try to sleep and save the investigation notes for the next morning. A man’s capacity for pain in a day has its limits.

We awoke the next morning to a phone call from the orthopedic surgeon who had already scheduled an appointment before the end of the week. With little sleep, lots of pain-induced vomiting, and a not-so-little girl trying her best to get to her Dad’s splinted and wrapped hand, we dug into the investigation notes. With the exception of a couple of people who made false statements, it wasn’t all that surprising. The two people who made the accusations and the two people who lied to back up those accusations, have all made A LOT of money in the three-and-a-half years that my husband has sat at home watching his twenty-four year, stellar military career, disappear. All of them needed him and his big mouth out of the way in order to make all that money. We were given one week to prove it. EVERY SINGLE PART OF ME wants to blast their names all over the internet, write letters to their wives, and start looking for a lawyer who will sue them for slander and libel. God’s going to have to do some serious work in me. Yea, yea, I know. “Forgive so that you can be forgiven…” I also know that the Bible says Christians shouldn’t sue their brothers in Christ, but I’m pretty sure none of these guys are in the family.

With his one hand and my two, we have spent the last few days searching, writing, praying, and fending off Sofija. Two days ago we saw the orthopedic surgeon. They x-rayed his hand again and put him in a cast. They will x-ray it again next week and if the bones have shifted, he will have to have pins placed. We’re believing that they will be properly aligned, healing, and he will not have to have surgery.

Doesn't he look hot in his dinosaur cast? RAWR!

Doesn’t he look hot in his dinosaur cast? RAWR!

When we returned from the ortho appointment it was REALLY hot in our house. By the next morning we realized our A/C was dead. Just lovely. Three hands, a deadline, a broken baby girl, and a really hot house are not things I would wish on anyone. Not even the guys who destroyed my husband’s career. Maybe God is working on my heart already. ;)

This week has been crap. Hot, stinky, yucky… CRAP. So many of you have messaged and called to ask what we need. Here it is…. We need God to make this crap holy.

 

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