Saturday, December 27, 2008

God is speaking...

The Phillips had a very nice Christmas. To say it was hard with Jacob would be an understatement, but I choose joy. I had joy. I have joy. I watched my children as they passed out the gifts they had bought for each other...they did enjoy receiving, but each of them was more anxious to give. Hallelujah, God can speak to and teach them in spite of me.

I am relieved to be finished with Christmas. Next year will be better and I plan on being an active participant! Everything is cleaned up...not a trace of Christmas left at this house! (Well, don't look out in the garage...Patrick still has to put the trees up in the attic!) Ahhhhh...I love to decorate for Christmas, but I also love to have all the extras out of my house!

(Side note...so thankful that this blog auto saves as I just recovered from what my computer guru hubby calls the "blue screen of death"!)

We have some news regarding our possible....wait....probable....wait....unless God changes His mind adoption! "T" tried to call me yesterday! UGH! Again...I had been up half the night praying for her and the baby. I did not know that she had been given our number...that is a good thing...it means she is calling her family in Texas and checking in. I am praying that she call again, and I know in God's timing she will. She is still here in Oklahoma. One problem is money...she doesn't have any, so calling is a problem. I realized yesterday morning that we have a toll free number! (For our adoption website thingy!) "A"...our contact...is going to get this info to her family. That way she will not have to worry about money for a pay phone. I just cannot imagine the hold drugs have on people that they would choose to live this way.

So...that was God's encouragement for me yesterday. Today, as I was reading my Bible, this is what He said:

"Ask the Lord for rain in the spring, and he will give it. It is the Lord who makes storm clouds that drop showers of rain so that every field becomes a lush pasture." Zechariah 10:1

I am asking for rain and believing He will give it.

"He is the one who keeps every promise forever, who gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry." Psalm 146:6-7

"The Lord protects and preserves the strangers and temporary residents, He upholds the fatherless and the widow and sets them upright, but the way of the wicked He makes crooked (turns upside down and brings to ruin)." Psalm 146:9

Because of the way I had been praying, I took this verse very personally and literally. "T" is the temporary resident (of Oklahoma), our baby is the fatherless, and "T" drugs/whatever she is running from is the wicked. God is SO in control of this!

Please continue to pray for "T"s safety and protection and also for the health of our baby. Patrick is off work this next week...would be the "perfect" time to bring a new baby home! (As a reminder, baby is due in 4 weeks!)

Well, I was going to add some of our Christmas pics, but they have somehow disappeared from my camera! UGH! Patrick is trying to do his "techy" magic for me...praying it works...I will be sick if they are all gone! Okay...it will be fine...breathe.

They were really cute...just so you know!




Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Be still and know that I am God...

Well, quite a lot has happened since I posted. I will start where I left off. Two days after bio dad relinquished, we had a meeting with DHS. It took all of 5 minutes and I think it was just a "cover our butts" meeting. (DHS is supposed to have these meetings once every 6 months...this is the first I have EVER been to with ANY of my foster babies.) Anyway, long story short, we should finalize the adoption in JANUARY!!! Seriously! The two workers said we could be done by Christmas, and I kindly asked them if they were smokin crack! BUT...January will work for me! I have already talked to our lawyer and she is working on it!

We were also given the "green light" to change their names. For awhile, we were not going to because of their emotional state...that has all changed now. In January, 2009, we will be adopting Samara Grace and Josiah Nathan. "Samara" means "God has protected" and "Josiah" means "God has healed". Perfect, don't you think?? They are adjusting well to the new names, although there was a little confusion when Josiah thought we were calling him "Messiah"! Not even close, dude! We need the new names...too many bad memories with the old names.

Then, a few days after that, Samara had her speech/developmental testing. Her speech is delayed, but the speech pathologist is not concerned as Samara just received her tubes last March and had definate hearing loss before that. She is catching up nicely. Now...onto the developmental testing. We really believed that there were things in the child's brain that were not connecting...you know...loose wires so to speak. It always got worse after some sort of trauma (bio visits) but there was just something we couldn't put our finger on. She could write her name if I told her the letters, but couldn't tell you the names of the letters. She would know something one day and not the next. She has been 4 since March and still has to "count" it on her fingers....can't just say "I'm four"! And we have WORKED on this for a LONG time.

So...she comes out of the room with the pathologist. She proceeds to tell me that Samara tests at a SIX YEAR OLD level! ARE YOU SERIOUS???? My jaw dropped and I practically told her she was out of her mind. Her response to my "issues"??? Samara has been playing us. Her daddy said, "Yep...she's SO smart she had you and her therapist fooled!" So, on the way out, I told Samara how good she did and how smart she was. She said, "No, I'm not." I said, "Oh yes you are...that lady said so!" From that point on, all I have had to say to her is, "Remember that lady?" Samara sighs really big and proceeds to do whatever it is she is trying not to be able to do! BUSTED SISTER!!!! I am relieved, at least I know that my expectations are NOT beyond her! It is amazing how far she has come in just a couple of weeks!

We are still on track to adopt "January" baby. Thursday night, I did not sleep well. I felt impressed to pray for "T", the bio mom of our baby. I prayed for her protection and that God would place someone in her path that could help her. I prayed all night for "T". At this point, we had not heard from her. She called Friday morning wanting to make sure we were still planning on adopting her baby. Thank you, God. BUT...while she has called several times, she has not been able to talk. We are afraid she is on the run. Please pray for her safety and that of the baby. She is in Oklahoma, we do know that. This will make it MUCH easier on us. (Remember...God said He would "smooth our way"!) "T" knows she needs to sign some paperwork and we have the resources to keep her safe and in hiding (thanks to my fabulous friend) so we are just praying for God's provision.
Christmas is about 28 hours away. The past couple of weeks have been up and down emotionally for me. Just the thought of a holiday without Jacob is almost more than I can bear sometimes. I am having trouble with some of the normal things...pictures, especially. Christmas pics this year will be sparce and that will have to be okay. Christmas gifts are a blur...I have no creativity or thoughtfulness this year. This part of grief ticks me off the most. I am used to being this certain kind of person, and I just cannot be that person right now. I see people doing kind things for others and that used to be me. I just can't. I know that one day that will come back, but right now, I feel so selfish. I was discussing this with our therapist (who happens to be a very dear friend) and she told me to look on my wall.


















I put this verse on my wall the week after we moved into our new house in April. I have preached it to my friends, believed it myself, and here was my therapist throwing it up in my face. I kindly told her to shut up! She explained to me that this is my time to "be still". God does not expect me to be the same person I was before Jacob died...quite the contrary. He is molding me and teaching me to trust Him and only Him. He is making me into a new and (hopefully) improved version of "Tracy". I am hoping He will build on my good qualities and get rid of some of the yucky ones! I know that God has a purpose for my life. I have no doubt that He will use our story for His glory...He was using our story BEFORE Jacob died. All I do know is that whatever His plan is, I am willing. I do not want to step out in front of God, but I am ready to walk right beside Him.

As my therapist (and friend...don't forget this!) and I were discussing my feelings of selfishness and such, I was reminded of what a liar Satan is. It just hit me that the father of lies was really doing a number on me. Every other person in my life has basically "given me a HUGE break". As I would do for them in the same situation...everyone except Satan. I have never been more aware of his delight in hitting you when you are down. And it isn't anything that anyone else would notice...I haven't committed any crimes or been ugly to my kids, but here is what he has been doing. In my ear, I hear things like "You are such a failure as a mom...are you even teaching those kids about God right now?? Nope, you are neglecting their spiritual growth because you are consumed with your own grief." "Seriously?? Those are going to be the dumbest homeschooled kids ever...Ashlee will be in 9th grade next year...how many languages can she speak??" "Couldn't you even read one of the 14 Christmas books you have to your kids this year?? It is the birth of Christ...how many nursing homes have you caroled at??"

And then there is the doubt...did God REALLY promise me this baby??? Could He really have given me 1247 confirmations and meant it?? I know I told him that I had to sell that house if this were our baby and He did it...but really???

So, I caught him at his lies...that got better...so then guess what he does??? He starts putting these pictures of Jacob in my head at the most inopportune times! I refuse to be in the pit...and in the midst of it all, God spoke to me through my "Power of a Praying Parent" book.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ." Philippians 4:6-7
(I got this verse about 5 different times in about 2 days!)

"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor." Isaiah 61:1-3

I have also been singing the old "Imperials" song, "Praise the Lord"...

When you're up against a struggle
That shatters all your dreams
And your hope has been cruelly crushed
By Satan's manifesting scheme
And you feel the urge within you
To submit to earthly fears
Don't let the faith you're standing in, seem to disappear
(Chorus)
Praise the Lord
He can work with those who praise Him ,
Praise the Lord
For our God inhabits praise,
Praise the Lord
For the chains that seem to bind you
Serve only to remind you that they drop powerless behind you
When you praise him
Now satan is a liar
And he wants to make us think
That we are paupers
When he knows himself
We're children of the King
So lift up the might shield of faith
For the battle has been won
We know that Jesus Christ has risen
So the work's already done
Been singing this one a lot...and how amazing is it that our Father God comforts us with songs from the 80's??? :) Who would have thought!

Today we spent a lot of time baking. We made little goodie boxes for all of our neighbors. (We live in a small addition...only 11 houses so far!) My kids delivered the boxes while I watched from our warm home! (Daddy drove them.) I can see almost every other house from one of our windows, so I watched them as they blessed others. They were so excited to be able to do this. I wasn't sure if I could pull it off this year, but God gave me the strength today. I want our neighbors to see us as more than the family that lost their child. I want them to see us as the family that God has provided for and healed by His mercy and grace. Anyway, I had hot chocolate ready for them when they got home...they were so funny. I have great kids.



I know this post hasn't been very "smooth" in it's readability, but I wanted to update you the best I could before Christmas. I look forward to 2009 with all God has planned for us. I am ready and willing. Are you?














Monday, December 8, 2008

Unless the Lord builds a house,

"Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is useless. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones. Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like sharp arrows in a warrior's hand. How happy is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates." (Psalm 127:1-5)

This was my Psalm of the day. Perfect, don't you think??? I have struggled and worried for more than TWO years about Stevee and Jessy (notice I used their real names??). Today, their bio dad relinquished his rights, telling the judge that his attorney told him many good things about the family that wants to adopt them. (Us!) It is done. PRAISE THE LORD!!!

God is adding to our quiver. He is building the house. He is protecting our city. He is giving us rest. And, he is giving us a gift of children.

Thank you for all the prayers! Now we pray the adoption proceeds QUICKLY!! All it will take is a little effort on the part of DHS...all the paperwork has been prepared.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Those who trust in the Lord...

As I was taking my nightly bubble bath, God and I were having a discussion. It seemed a little one sided, until I got out of the tub and started reading my Bible.
God and I were talking about court on Monday. I was letting Him know that I really needed our case to go to trial...I am so tired of waiting and having DHS in my home, telling me what to do, having to ask permission to pick my nose, I am just tired. I was thinking that maybe we should just hire our own attorney and get this whole thing overwith. If we hire our own attorney, it would definately make DHS mad, but once we get tpr on bio dad, our adoption would go much faster. (Remember...Jake's took 10 months and that was with NO problems other than the lack of DHS participation in the matter!)
I was also talking to Him about our January baby and all the details regarding that. Here is what God told me:
"Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mount Zion; they will not be defeated but will endure forever. Just as the mountains surround and protect Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds and protects His people, both now and forever." (Psalm 125:1-2)

And about hiring a lawyer: "If a wise person takes a fool to court, there will be ranting and ridicule, but no satisfaction." (Proverbs 29:9) I am considering myself to be the "wise" one here and DHS the "fool"! I am always totally amazed when God answers a prayer so quickly and specifically.

I also want to share a conversation that "S" and I had today. She came to us when she was 2 1/2 years old. We were her first glimpse of stability and normal family life.

S - What are you doing?
Me - Sewing (I explained to her a little bit more about what I was doing.)
S - Can I sew like you?
Me - Well, when you are older you can.
S - When I am older like you, can I spank people??
Me - (spitting my Pepsi) Well, I guess if you have kids that are naughty, you can spank them, but you can't just spank "people" in general!
S - When I am older like you, I'm gonna have four children.
Me - Really? You are going to have four children?
S - Yes, and when we get a baby, the children will hold it all the time.
Me - That sounds like a plan!

She wants what we have and that makes me feel extremely humbled and gratified. Healing babies...it's what I have been called to have a part in. I am also amazed at how a child not of my biology can be so much like us...she has my heart for children.

Here are a few pics we had taken for Christmas cards and such...I thought they turned out pretty well considering this was done only a few hours after we learned about the medical examiner's report on Jacob...


























This is Noah...he was the "baby" of the family for WAY too long! He LOVES attention!











"What are you doing, Noah???"









Wednesday, December 3, 2008

We're Matched!!!

I would like to ask you all for your prayers...okay...MORE prayers! As you know, we have been pursuing adoption. Well, this past week, a situation has presented itself to us and we have accepted. Our baby is due at the end of January, but biomom will be induced, so I am guessing it will be more like the 3rd week sometime. Here are our prayer needs in this situation:

1. Baby will be born addicted to Meth. Please pray for this baby's protection in the womb, and for her/his withdrawals to be mild or better yet, non existent.

2. Bio Mom will be signing a consent to adopt this weekend. Please pray that she actually shows up where she is supposed to and signs the form.

3. We need God to take care of the details...I don't even know what some of them are yet!

4. This baby will be born in Texas. (Does that mean we have to become Longhorn fans??? SURELY NOT!) Please pray for the ICPC to go smoothly and quickly. (ICPC is a process that allows us to take baby from Texas to Oklahoma...it can take 24 hours to 2-3 weeks.) Our prayer is that the ICPC and termination will all be done when the baby is ready to leave the hospital.

Bio mom only has two choices...sign baby over to us, or DHS will take it at birth due to the drugs. She REALLY doesn't want the baby with the state. We understand the risks with adoption. We understand that this baby is not ours until the ink is dry. We understand all the things that can happen between now and the birth. We are praying that God will continue to "smooth our way" as He promised to me back on September 17, when He said, "I am a God of justice, and I will smooth out the road ahead of you..."

We learned of this baby last week. I told God that He was going to have to do some BIG things if this was His plan. (Like I really needed to tell Him!) First of all, the finances of it all. Seriously, I went to work on Sunday and said, "If we are to get this baby, I need to sell this house...TODAY!" Guess what?? I sold that house! It closes on 12/26. I get goosebumps just thinking about it!

"Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." Mark 11:24

Another prayer request...court for S&J is on Monday. I don't have to go unless they decide to hear our case. PLEASE pray they do. My patience with DHS is wearing thin. I want out SO badly. (So much for my foster care recruitment, huh??? Seriously...things have changed SO much in since DHS was sued by the New York law firm!)

Well, I am off to eat some more of the fabulous Peppermint bark candy I won at our Mom's Night Out Dirty Santa game last night! (Sorry, Heather...and it's SOOOOOOOO good!) It got a little ugly...all those quiet homeschool moms who sit so nicely in the nursery during PE classes...you should have heard the smack they were talking. There was yelling, there was coniving, there might have been a little blood...I can't really be sure about that one! Thanks, guys, for allowing me to host your nice, Christian, homeschool group Mom's Night Out!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Birthday, "J"








"J" turned "3" yesterday! WOOHOO!!! "J" came to us 2 weeks after his first birthday, which was spent in a shelter. Last year, he had the birthday party from $@!!, thanks to his bio family. Someone at DHS thought it would be a good idea for us to "share" his birthday party with the family. That is another story for another day. So, this year, we were able to celebrate his first "REAL" birthday party! He had so much fun. Here is the conversation he had with Justin the night before his party:


J - I want my bertday party.
Justin - You will have your party tomorrow.
J - Okay. I will have my bertday tomorrow. It's MY bertday, not YOUR bertday.
Justin - Okay.
J - Are you okay, Justin? Don't cry. It's my party.


He is so funny. OH...I forgot to update you all on our court hearing. Nothing happened. The lawyer DID get the info to the jail, but the sheriff's dept. thought the jail was transporting and the jail thought the sheriff's dept. was transporting. What a lame excuse. These people transport EVERY DAY! So, we are back on the docket for a jury trial on December 8th. Bio dad decided not to relinquish, again, he wants his "day in court". Pray that our case gets chosen. The way DHS court does it (remember...they aren't the same as regular courts) is they schedule 8 or 9 cases. They automatically terminate the cases where bios don't show up, then the lawyers argue about which case should be heard. The judge was pushing for ours, since we are a really old case, but the lawyer and asst. DA were whining about another case, where the kids were young. Well, guess what? MY kids were young when this all started! So, please pray that we can end this. One pray answered was that the paternal grandfather did not show up to court. A sister called the worker mid court and thought maybe we could just "hang on" to the kids until her brother could get out of jail and work a plan to get his son back. (Wonder if they remember he has a daughter, too??)

I am not worried, really, about this, BUT, you NEVER know what DHS will do. A fellow foster parent has a two year old, got her at 2 days, whose bio mother has not done one thing to get her kids back, headed for termination, when all of a sudden she asks to go into drug rehab. (Remember...this has been going on for 2 years.) Court thought it was a good idea not only to send her there, but to also send her KIDS with her!!! The 2 year old does NOT know this woman. UGH!
Enough of DHS stuff. Sorry that I have not posted sooner, but we have just been really busy and by the time I get some quiet, I am SO tired. I don't know why. But, you can stop calling and emailing me telling me to post...here I am! (You know who you are and I promise I don't mind a bit! I like knowing you care and are thinking of me!)

We had a good Thanksgiving. I am almost finished with the Christmas shopping...have 3 more items to get. WOOHOO!! Our kids get 3 gifts a piece...just like Jesus did (3 Wise Men). You realize, that is still a BUNCH of presents under our tree!! Anyway, they get something they want, something they need (you know, like socks and undies) and something we (translated "I") make for them.
Missing Jacob a LOT. Knowing how he died puts terrible pictures in my mind on a daily (nightly) basis. As we were putting up our Christmas decor yesterday, I opened up the ornament ball thingys. Last year, we did handprints of all the kids on the ornaments. (Painted their hands white, then placed a red ornament ball in their hand, like they were holding it...very cute!) I will post a picture for those of you who are visual learners! Anyway, we found Jacob's. I am not sure which one of my kids hung it on the tree, but it is right smack dab in the middle! I have good kids!




As we were decorating, "J" said, "Jacob lives with Jesus." I said, "Yes, he does." "J" said, "He is a good boy." And he said it like a 90 year old woman would. (No offense if you happen to be 90 years old and are reading this.)

God is moving in our lives. We may have an exciting announcement for you in the near future. (You can pray about it...God knows what it is.) But, again, there are decisions to be made and I don't want to mess it up. I have been talking to God, reading my Bible, and I have just not been getting much feedback, you know?? My friend wisely told me to sit back and just see what God does. Easy for her to say. She is on the OTHER side of the unknown today! (She just adopted the baby that in July, was a failed adoption! WOOHOO!!!) Anyway, I was off to the bubble bath tonight. And you all know that is where I pray for my family (and myself). As I went in, I asked God to tell me SOMETHING....ANYTHING to let me know He was in control. God is good.
I opened up the first book, turned to chapter 29, ready to pray for the souls of my sinful children. The chapter today was on seeking wisdom and discernment. "Help them to trust You with all their hearts, not depending on their own understanding, but acknowledging You in all their ways so that they may hear Your clear direction as to which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5)" REALLY??? So, I went back and prayed it for myself!
Then, it's time to pray for my husband and guess what his was about?? FAITH! Okay, God, I get it...You are here, and You are in control. "Lord, I pray that You will give Patrick (ME) an added measure of faith today. Enlarge his (my) ability to believe in You, Your Word, Your promises, Your ways, and Your power. Put a longing in His (my) heart to talk with You and hear Your voice. Give him (me) an understanding of what it means to bask in Your presence and not just ask for things. May he (I) seek You, rely totally upon You, be led by You, put You first, and acknowledge You in everything he (I) does. Lord, You've said that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17) Feed his (my) soul with Your word so his (my) faith grows big enough to believe that with You all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Give him (me) unfailing certainty that what You've promised to do, You will do (Romans 4:21). (At this point, I seriously laughed out loud! How much more obvious could He be??) Make his (my) faith a sheild of protection. Put it into action to move the mountains in his (my) life. Your word says, "the just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17); I pray that he (I) will live the kind of faith-filled life You've called us all to experience. May he (I) know with complete certainty "how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You" (Psalm 31:19).
And then, onto MY book..."I know You have begun a good work in me and You will complete it (Phillipians 1:6). I know that whatever state I am in, I can be content because You will no tleave me there forever (Phillipians 4:11). I will praise You in the midst of any need I have for breakthrough, deliverance, or transformation, knowing that You see my need and will meet it in Your way and in Your time."
Have a blessed Sunday. Oh...and by the way...here is what happens when you leave your camera at your dad's house on Thanksgiving...
HAHA!! Gotcha, Dad!



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

When I See Things Go Wrong and I Feel Powerless

(from The Prayer that Changes Everything by Stormie Omartian)

"Lord, I praise Your name. I exalt You above all things. You are my King and Lord. In the midst of everything that is happening in my life and all that I am going through, I know that You are the all-powerful God of the universe. Hide me in Your secret place in my time of struggle. Lift me high upon a rock so that I may rise above the plans of my enemies to surround me with problems. I will sing and offer You the sacrifice of praise (Psalm 2:5-6). You are my help, and I will hide myself in You. I praise You for all that You are. "My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me" (Psalm 63:8).

"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to teh extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy." 1 Peter 4:12-13

LIGHT T-shirts

Today at PE, they were distributing our homeschool t-shirts that we ordered at the first homeschool meeting. I got my 2 bags and went on my way. Toward the end of PE, it dawned on me that I had ordered a t-shirt for Jacob. CRAP! I ordered them on Monday and he died the next Saturday.

I let them buy it back from me so someone else could use it. That was so hard. My baby should be wearing that shirt with the rest of the kids in the group. It would have been a little big on him but it would have lasted him longer.

Crap.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The report is in...

I received a phone call today from the police detective on Jacob's case. The medical examiner's report is in. What an answer to prayer! She said the last one she waited on took 8 months! She got Jacob's in less than 3!

The findings were not what we wanted. Jacob did die from asphyxiation. The dresser was the cause of death and it was ruled an accident. Several people had told us there was no bruising, and led us to believe it was his heart...not this. I really wanted it to be his heart. I had no control over his heart.

The detective was very kind and told me not to blame myself, complimented our family profusely, asked about Justin, was VERY kind, but unfortunately, her words were of little comfort.

On the bright side (and I say this as I am trying to breathe) we are finished with the wait. The allegation with DHS will be cleared up and closed by the end of the week. I do not have to worry about it intefering with S&J's adoption or anything else, for that matter.

Please pray for us on Thursday. I will be going to court for S&J. Bio dad is scheduled to relinquish his rights, but paternal grandfather is also scheduled to show up to court...we really are not sure what he wants, but he does claim he was not notified of S&J being in DHS custody. Really???? Two years and not one of your family members (not even your son) told you anything???? Prayers, please.

Tracy

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Praise God! It was just a pot-hole!

What I thought was a plunge down into the pit, turned out to be a pot-hole! A small bump in the road. It did not defeat me or keep me down...this time...and for that I am extremely grateful.

I spent most of yesterday in my room. Painting. Now, instead of the stark whitish walls, we have color! It's a cozy love den! Now, I can hardly move my arm...my shoulder is tingly and my almost 3 year old had to open my Pepsi this morning. (Kidding...I did suffer through opening the Pepsi bottle.) I feel like I have accomplished something. I don't know what others will think, but I love it. I did a faux finish on the walls. I will post a pic when I get everything back on the walls. There is still a little touch up to do, but I am pleased overall.

I also painted Jacob's crib. I love that, too. It was a white metal (remember...he was a foster baby so everything we had for him was temporary...) and I painted it an oil rubbed bronze color (which matches everything in our house.) Our bedroom is decorated in Americana...I care not if it is not "in style" because I love it. I have tried other color combos, but have never been satisfied. Oh...the point...I am making a baby quilt for our next baby that coordinates with my room. I figured if we are going to have a baby in our room, I wanted it all to match and look nice. I made our curtains, so the fabric for the quilt has that pattern plus a few other that coordinate. I am excited. This time of year always puts me in the mood to create. Also...I know that most people decorate a "nursery" when planning on a baby...and we did for the first few...but with this many kids, our babies get a decorated "corner". :)

Thank you so much for your prayers. I just wanted you all to know that I am okay. I am so blessed by the family of God.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Here we go again...

I believe I may be sliding down into the bottom of that pit I am starting to despise. I pray it's a short trip as we have come so far this past week!

I knew it was coming. It started Wednesday, but I have done a pretty good job of dealing with it...I thought. Wednesday, we took a field trip to the Cowboy Hall of Fame with our homeschooling neighbors. (Free Wednesdays in November and since we are Okies born and bred, I thought it was about time we made our first trip!) We stopped at Wendy's on the way home. No big deal. Everything had been fine. The kids (her 4 and my 6) were sitting at the tables, quietly, while we were ordering. When we got to the table, a nice man came over and asked if they were all ours. We said of course and he said they had been trying to figure out which kids belonged together. He was very kind and thought that many kids was really cool. My neighbor said, "I have four and six of them are hers." Do you know what my thought was??? My seriously demented thought? I wanted to ask him, "Why didn't you ask about my other baby?? He's the cutest of the bunch. How come that man didn't talk about Jacob?" I know...seriously wrong. Don't worry...I just smiled at him.

And here is what always happens, and always when I am driving, I have a sudden thought that "Oh My GOSH...MY BABY IS GONE! It's real and it's me!" That was yesterday.

Today was pretty good until I opened the mail this evening. There was a bill from the emergency physician that treated Jacob. Evidently, insurance denied the claim. (Because they filed it under Patrick's insurance...not sure where they got the info...Jacob wasn't on our insurance yet. Patrick spent the day before he died trying to get him added, but the computer system was down.) Anyway, the bill was itemized and was the first time I had any idea what had happened to Jacob. Remember, we were not allowed to see him again after they put him on the ambulance. The only thing the doctor said to us was that they were unable to restart his heart. It didn't tell much, but it did bring everything right back to the surface. I just need to know what happened. I NEED to know. There has to be a reason my baby is gone. I need to know that reason. Please pray that the medical examiner will finish the report like yesterday.

Sorry...this afternoon, this post was going to be a LOT more encouraging. I was going to talk about S&J and how happy we all are, blah, blah, blah, but now I am not in the mood.

So, I made it to the bathtub, just in time tonight. (I don't cry in my beer...I cry in my bubble bath!) I have mentioned before that I pray the "Power of a Praying Wife" and "Power of a Praying Parent" each night in the bath. Recently, I found a little book called "The Prayer that Changes Everything", also by Stormie Omartian. Tonight I opened it up and here is the prayer I opened to:

"Because He Is A Good God"
"Lord, help me to trust that You are a good God no matter what is going on in my life. Help me to believe without any doubting that even if bad things are happening, Your goodness will reign int eh midst of them all. Thank you that Your plans for me are for good. Thank You that the future You have for me is good. Thank You that You bring good things into my life. Reveal Your goodness to me more and more so that I may praise You for it. How great is Your goodness to those who trust and fear You (Psalm 31:19). O Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth. (Psalm 8:1)

"The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him." Lamentations 3:25

Just so you know...I do feel a little better since writing this post...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A little thing called "faith"

I was working in my flower bed this afternoon. (Those of you who really know me, don't get too excited...it was really more pulling out the dead stuff...not really working.) Anyway, as I was tugging at the dead plants that had overun my flower bed, I decided it would be a good time to have a little talk with God. Little kids were sleeping, big kids were occupied, no interuptions. So, our conversation went something like this:

"Okay, God. I know you have promised us a baby. I know without a doubt you have led us thus far, because we would not be here without you. Please give me a little encouragement today."

Let me back up a little. God promised us more children. I have no doubts about that. It's all over my Bible and He confirms Himself regularly. BUT...Satan is smooth. He puts these creeping thoughts into your head. "How could someone just give you a baby? That's ridiculous! Besides, you already have all those kids, there are other families who would love to have just ONE baby. Why are you being greedy?" So, then the HUMAN part of me starts to think about it. Hmmm...yeah, maybe I should just be satisfied and thankful with what God has already given me. Why would God give ME another baby? This is never going to work.

So here is my theory...I think God would give me a baby just to SHUT SATAN UP!!!! Seriously.

Actually, I know He has a baby for us because later today, after my little conversation with Him, this is what He said:

"What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see." Hebrews 11:1

I am confident that our hope for Emma is going to happen.

"By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God's command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen." Hebrews 11:3

Emma will not come to us from anything that can be seen. (I am taking this from the standpoint that Emma will be a complete surprise, nothing I can plan or have any part of.)

"He (Abraham) went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith..." Hebrews 11:8b-9a

"It was by FAITH that Sarah together with Abraham was able to have a child, even though they were too old and Sarah was barren. Abraham believed that God would keep His promise." Hebrews 11:11

Patrick and Tracy will have another child, even though they have so many and they really don't deserve any more, and they are just baby greedy!

So, lest you missed the whole point, I asked God for a little encouragement and I got exactly what I asked for!

Thank you, God!

And completely off topic, but I have been thinking this past week as I am on the upside of the pit: Grief is a lot like being bi-polar. Seriously. I am not making fun. S&J's mom is bi-polar (No she's not...yes she is...no she's not.) Okay...so maybe THAT was uncalled for. Anyway. I watched her moods change and there was an obvious cycle with obvious emotions for each part of the cycle. I feel like that! At this point in my "grief cycle" I am planning, accomplishing, thinking complete thoughts, etc. SO far from where I was last week when I couldn't stop crying and couldn't even remember what to call the refrigerator! (Sorry Bryce...the ketchup wasn't in the dryer...it was in the REFRIGERATOR!!!) Sigh.

That's all I have to say about that. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Better Week....

I have started to see similarities in the "grief" cycle. (Stupid name.) I know what to expect as I am climbing up out of the pit, and I also know what to expect as I slide back down. Fortunately, the times in between are farther apart and sometimes not as painful.

At the top of my pit, I am able to be most things to most people. I can plan a menu, shop for groceries, and this time around I can actually fix the food. I can plan my children's school lessons, and this time actually make sure they are doing them. I can make all of the appointments I have put off in the past 2 months and actually get my kids to them. (Although I cannot seem to get Ashlee to voice lessons on time.) I am not sure what mindset I was in when I arranged for all of these appointments, but for the next 2 weeks, we are booked solid! What was I thinking??? UGH!

At the bottom of my pit, I am completely worthless. But, I have an extremely forgiving family who pitches in to take care of the needs of the home when I cannot. At the bottom of the pit, I know about faith. I know what it is, I know all the scripture that comforts, I know it all....I just can't REACH it. And that I cannot figure out. For some reason, just knowing it all and believing it all doesn't get you out of the pit when you want out. But, on the way up out of the pit, the Word starts to feed you again.

Jacob has been on the minds of my kids lately. Isn't that typical??? On my good days, they are having bad days. Their grief doesn't seem to last as long. S&J have both mentioned him several times. "J" will just say "Jacob Levi Phillips" and then go about his business, almost like if he says his name, he will remember. "S" and I had this conversation before church yesterday:

"S" - I wish Jacob were like us.
Me - What do you mean? (I really thought she meant, you know, alive.)
"S" - I wish Jacob was vanilla like us.
Me - Well, God made Jacob just the way He wanted him.
"S" - Yeah, God made Jacob chocolate and made us vanilla.

She is still trying to grasp the whole "Jacob is with Jesus" concept. So hard for a 4 year old. Right after Jacob's death, she asked where he was...here is the conversation:

"S" - Where's Jacob?
Me - Jacob is with Jesus.
"S" - We like Jesus, don't we? (She was very serious, just making sure Jesus was okay for us to leave our baby with!)

She is so funny sometimes. We used to go to the mall and she would blurt out "MOMMY! There's a chocolate baby just like OUR chocolate baby!"

Enough of that. God has shown me several things this past week. First of all, I have to stop worrying about my kids. I am concerned that their mom is useless and their teacher is worse! How can I biblically train them if I can't even do the laundry??? They are going to miss out on so much during these pits that they will never recover. (Okay, that was a little dramatic...I wasn't that good a mom before!) Anyway, God just said to me as I was driving home one day, "You trust me for you, don't you trust me for your children? I will take care of them. They will not be scarred by this." What was I thinking??? AND...what a relief! I don't have to do it all by myself.

Secondly, sometimes...okay, A LOT of times, Satan throws these thoughts into your head that simply are not true. I was thinking about all I have learned and how much my family has grown in Christ since Jacob died. It came to me that maybe if we had worked harder before, Jacob would have been saved. Now, you see, I don't truly believe this way when I am "normal". My not working my part of the "plan" had nothing to do with Jacob's death. Jacob's death was going to happen on August 23, 2008, no matter what I did. I could have been smoking crack like his bios or I could have been Mother Theresa. It didn't matter. His days were numbered before his birth. BUT...God used Jacob's death to teach and grow us through the circumstances. Not because we didn't learn in time, but because He was still teaching and growing us. Jacob's death was not a punishment for us.

As Nancy Leigh DeMoss says, "God will never lead you anyplace where His grace will not sustain you. He'll never place more on you than He'll give you grace to bear. When the path in front of you seems endless, remember, the day is coming when all suffering will be over. When you stand before Him, the tears and sorrows of a lifetime will seem as nothing compared with His glory. That’s when you’ll say, “His amazing grace has brought me safely home.”

I am changed. My husband is changed. My family is changed. I have been a Christian since I was 5 years old, never questioning my God. I knew about Heaven and wanted to go there eventually, but I have come to a different conclusion in the past few weeks. I want to be in Heaven....NOW! But, although I miss Jacob desperately, he is not my reason for wanting to get there. I WANT WHAT JACOB HAS!!!! That's why I want to go. Jacob has no pain, no sorrow, no hurts, he is sitting at the feet of Jesus and I WANT TO BE THERE, TOO!

As my faith wavered in my pit last week, God spoke these words to me:

"The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn't believe His promise to care for them." Psalm 106:24

"Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep His promise." Hebrews 10:23

Amen.

Friday, November 7, 2008

"Daddy loves you, Mommy"

Yesterday, "S", who is four, came to me and this was our conversation:

"S" - Daddy loves you, Mommy.
Me - You are correct...he does love me. How do you know?
"S" - Because he smiles at you.
Me - Hmmm...you are right...he does smile at me.
"S" - uh-huh and you are a princess.
(Now I am wondering where in the world she found my tiara I had been searching for, but I digress.)
Me - "S", where are you getting this stuff?
She took me by the hand and led me to a picture of our wedding day that Ashlee has in her room. She was exactly right. He loves me, he was smiling, and I looked like a princess.

As sweet as this little conversation was, let me enlighten you on how significant it also was. I have mentioned "J" with his RAD, but "S" came to us with her own set of issues. When she came to us at 2 1/2 years, she had absolutely no boundaries. Because I did not birth her, I am not being prejudice here, but this child is a beautiful child. She has dark eyes, dark hair, dimples, just beautiful. People are attracted to beauty and she was used to attracting people. So imagine my surprise at Walmart when I turn around and she is sitting in some strange man's lap, rubbing her hands on his face! Yeah...this child had been "charming" her way through her short little life, manipulating people with her sweet little face, (a survival mechanism no doubt) most likely behavior learned from her bio mom. (Although, "S" is MUCH cuter than bio mom!) The behavior was a huge concern of mine because while it may seem innocent enough at age 2, it will look a LOT different when she is 12!

All of that to say that "S" has had a very misguided perception of "love". I have prayed and worried about this child...that she would know real love and real relationships without manipulation. I believe God is in the process of answering that prayer. She knew that her Daddy loves her Mommy just because he was smiling at her. WOW!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Maybe this will help you understand...

I have had many people comment that they don't understand why DHS can't just terminate bio dad since he didn't show up. Yes, normally, if a bio doesn't show up for pre-trial, they are terminated by default. This is what happened with Jacob's bio mom and also S&J's bio mom.

Bio dad is in prison. Therefore, he cannot physically get himself to court. Because of this, we rely on HIS court appointed lawyer to do the paperwork to get dad to court when needed. Lawyer has failed to do this for the past 10 months. Courts hands are basically tied until lawyer decides to do his job.

Common sense would tell you that the guy is in prison...what rights should he have?? My opinion?? Absolutely NONE! That's what you get when you break the law. Sorry. It is extremely black and white to me. Nevertheless, this is not what our liberal government has chosen.

So we wait. I would also like you to understand the Juvenile Justice Court system...it is not like other courts. All attorneys, bios and children, are court appointed. Well, I take that back...you can hire your own attorney if you can afford it, but 99% of the bios cannot. Realize that these people fighting for "the best interest of the children" are having lunch together after court, hanging out with each other, etc. When they get into court, it's just a job...they play their part and that's that. These lawyers are your best friend in one case and in the next case you are dirt. Seriously...it's all about the money.

I hope that explains the situation a little better.

On another note, I am just a little sick to my stomach. I read on a foster parent board that a mom was in her backyard, with her 2 year old, looking at their pond. There was a goose on the pond. Well, goose decides to attack 2 year old. Mom has to strangle the goose to get it to let go of her baby. Baby has bruises on his neck and clumps of hair pulled out of his head. She heard the goose neck crack and he let go. Mom, probably not knowing exactly what to do, calls Animal Control. When she tells them there is an injured goose and what happened, they were furious...AT HER FOR HURTING THE GOOSE!! Then the forestry people are called in, tell her she fractured the gooses skull, and if the goose dies, she will be fined a hefty fine. ARE YOU FREAKIN KIDDING ME????? If that had been a PERSON attacking her child, she would have been within her rights to kill that person, but heaven forbid she hurt a bird that was attacking her child!

I am sick that we have more regard for animals (even those that attack our babies) than we do for babies. I am sick that a mom who HAS her baby has to get 27 signatures and approvals to place her baby into the caring hands of an adoptive family. A mom who wants to abort her baby can do this with NOBODY'S signature or approval.


I do believe we are in the end times. I was surprised last night as I was reading in my Bible, Ezekiel 7, it was about God's judgement on our nation. The night before one of the most important elections ever. I keep hearing that we need to pray about our decision. Really?? One man thinks it's okay to kill babies...one doesn't. No prayer needed for me on that decision! (Please...I am not trying to start anything here...it's my blog.)

So...that's all I have to say. I am going to lay down for awhile.

Monday, November 3, 2008

"Search for the Lord and for HIS strength..."

Today has been an okay day. Lots of tears, but lots of smiles, too. Just as I get way down into the pit of my own pain, God points me in the direction of hope. As I mentioned yesterday, I have met a couple of "bloggers" who have opened my eyes to this grief thing. I am a pretty obedient person...love rules...so if the rule is that grief has crappy parts, then so be it. I am willing to be smack down in the middle of grief crap. BECAUSE, the promise is that once I am past the crap, only then will I see the beauty from ashes. Okay...maybe that isn't completely scriptural, but it's something like that.

I think that I am only just now coming out of the numbness of what has happened to us. I am quite sure that is the only reason I have been able to cope thus far. I really needed the permission to feel the way that I do. And now I have it and it is what it is. I am not very good at being transparent. But I will try because I desperately want healing. I found this poem on another blogger's site and felt it was totally appropriate.

Go ahead and mention my child,
The one that died, you know.
Don't worry about hurting me further.
The depth of my pain doesn't show.
Don't worry about making me cry.
I'm already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing
The tears that I try to hide.
I'm hurt when you just keep silent,
Pretending he didn't exist.
I'd rather you mention my child,
Knowing that he has been missed.
You asked me how I was doing.
I say "pretty good" or "fine".
But healing is something ongoing
I feel it will take a lifetime.~ Elizabeth Dent

S&J's court date was today. Nothing happened. I knew it wouldn't. So now we go back on November 20. I will be attending this court date as bio dad is "REALLY" going to relinquish on this date. The story today was the reason his lawyer didn't get him to court was because he had decided to relinquish. (which means no jury trial...yet) When they finally got in touch with him (still trying to figure out why it took 6 hours...the guy is in prison) he said that yes, he was going through with it, but HIS father wants to come to court with him before he relinquishes. REALLY???? I didn't even know there was another grandfather. And I thought I knew everybody in this psycho family! (And please don't judge me...I tried to continue a relationship with these people...went above and beyond what was expected of me...when I say psycho, I am saying this from a medical standpoint. HEE HEE) He is claiming that the paternal side of the family had no idea. Again, REALLY??? Then why did I have to change my phone number last year because bio mom thought it was a good idea to give it to you all???

There are 2 ways this could go. One, gramps doesn't show, or he shows, demands a home study, and fails it...as did the ENTIRE rest of the family. Second, he shows, passes a home study, demands his grandkids and DHS allows these children to be ripped out of the only security they have ever known. I could fight the 2nd option. We could retain a lawyer, spend a ton of money, and maybe win. But I just don't have any fight left in me. I am so weary.

I told this to the worker...he and the rest of the court are not worried, but I have been in DHS long enough to know that ANYTHING can happen, whether it's right or wrong. So, I go to my bubble bath. When I am in my bubble bath, this is where I pray for my husband and children. As I was praying for my kids, these are the verses that I received...coincidence? I think not!

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust." Psalm 91:1-2

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you." Isaiah 43:2

"No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord." Isaiah 54:17

"Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling." Psalm 91:9-10

"I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8

Even after reading these verses, I am still weary. I was telling God that I just don't have the strength to fight and to deal with this mess. I want to focus on the loss of Jacob, the prospect of adopting a new baby, and my family who I have neglected lately. Not 10 minutes after my cries to God, He gave me this:

"Search for the Lord and for His strength, and keep on searching." Psalm 105:4

So, I will give it to Him...it was His to begin with. He knows where S&J will prosper...I don't. I just have to trust Him.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

As hard as I try....

I just cannot get past this. I am thankful for the good days and understanding of the bad ones. God is the same either way. Those of you who know me know that I am a planner...always have been. As I have mentioned before, grief has no "planned" timeline, no "normal" gauge and this in and of itself REALLY ticks me off. I would much rather it go something like this: "Tracy, on Saturday, 11/1, you will lose it over baked beans, in front of a bunch of people who only know you as Justin and Bryce's mom who never comes to the soccer games." "Tracy, Sunday, 11/2, during the children's time, Pastor Doug will have the kids sing Jacob's favorite song, Jesus Loves Me, and you will not recover during the service." You know...a little warning would be nice.

I guess I have been hiding behind the pain. Trying to be strong for everyone involved. But in reality, I lost my baby. And I don't much care what the hospital, DHS, or the police officers thought because Jacob wasn't the same color as me...he was MY baby. He called ME "mommy". I have gone back and forth today, reading scripture that I know is true, crying out to God, and being angry all at the same time.

I have also come to the conclusion that I need to do some forgiving. I need to forgive DHS for treating us like baby killers. I need to forgive the hospital for not allowing me see Jacob one last time. After reading the blog of Angie Smith (Todd Smith's wife from "Selah") I realized that NONE of this was a surprise to God. I have claimed this for Jacob's death, but maybe not in the circumstances surrounding the death. I have felt so violated by not being allowed to see him at the hospital. I felt violated by the questioning that we received. (Why are you asking about Jacob's birth parents...WE ARE HIS PARENTS!) I felt COMPLETELY violated by the line of questioning done by DHS during their "investigation" and that my children had to be submitted to that. But God knew...and He allowed...and He protected us. Now...it's one thing to know you need to forgive...it's a whole other thing to actually do it!

Todd and Angie Smith lost a baby at birth in April this year. Seven weeks later, Todd's sister, Nicol, (previously from "Selah"), lost her 10 week old baby to SIDS. I had no idea. They are my favorite group. As I read over Angie's blog today, I see how much growth still needs to occur in my life. I want that kind of faith. I want more than anything for God to be glorified in Jacob's death and in my heart break. But how? I also know that I know that I know that God plan is to prosper us, not to harm us. How in the world will I prosper after the loss of my baby?? So many questions.

I was directed to another blog today...it's addicting. I am also angry that my only connection with these people is death. Why can't it be chocolate or pepsi?? Anyway, this sweet woman has lost two babies at birth. I related so well to her words and she speaks them much more eloquently than I could. She said, "I choose to trust God more than I understand him right now." And that is where I am/want to be. The Bible also promises to "redeem our losses".

Psalm 30:6-12

6 When I was prosperous, I said, “Nothing can stop me now!” 7 Your favor, O Lord, made me as secure as a mountain. Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered. 8 I cried out to you, O Lord. I begged the Lord for mercy, saying, 9 “What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the rave? Can my dust praise you? Can it tell of your faithfulness? 10 Hear me, Lord, and have mercy on me. Help me, O Lord.” 11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, 12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!

Lamentations 3:19-26
19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.[a] 20 I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. 21 Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: 22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends![b] ]His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. 24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” 25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. 26 So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.


My blog tonight is somewhat rattled...there doesn't seem to be any order. Sorry about that. Even in my deepest sorrow, I have seen the hand of God.

Some of you know that my little "J", who will be 3 the day after Thanksgiving, was diagnosed with full blown Reactive Attachment Disorder. Short version, if not treated, this disorder turns into several other disorders ultimately landing the person in prison for violent crimes. He has come such a long way. But, in the past 8 weeks, I truly believe that God has healed "J". He had started to shadow Jacob. When Jacob would ask for a hug or kiss, "J" would copy him. (Another symptom is complete lack of affection to the caregiver, ie. mommy) "J"'s therapist thought this was huge...he was learning to be affectionate. Since Jacob's death, "J" has started to initiate affection. HUGE!! He has not had rage in 8 weeks. HUGE! His behavior is normal 2-3 year old behavior...not that I enjoy that, but it's WAY better than the rages! And, best of all, last week he was sick. (Okay...I reread that and it doesn't sound right...not "best" because he was sick...read on...) Patrick started a movie for him and I sat next to him on the couch...not right next to him, but close. He immediately started scooting over closer and closer to me. Eventually, he crawled up into my lap and cuddled! HUGE!!!!!! His therapist said she thinks the RAD demon has left his body. I fully believe this. Before Jacob's death, we had started praying for his release from past (bio family) strongholds. I prayed that the connection between him and his bio family would be severed and that he would be saved from that legacy. I truly believe God answered our prayers when bio mom's rights were terminated and it will be complete when bio dad's rights are terminated. (This week we are praying!)

If you knew "J" and his entire past you would understand what a miracle this really is. So, in the midst of our pain, God is healing! We were led to an adoption ministry that we never would have found on our own. God is answering prayers! "My God he was, my God he is, my God he's always gonna be!"

Friday, October 31, 2008

Just a few things....

First of all, thank you for all of your prayers and emails after my last post. Not sure where I would be without you. My little meltdown was just that...little. I am grateful for that. It is true that the sadness comes and goes and each "episode" is a little better than the last. This week has proven to be harder than last, but it isn't a constant. There have been many reminders this week that Jacob is gone. I can't even remember them all. Today at Walmart, there were several things. First of all, before Jacob died, I absolutely loved taking all 7 of my kids to the grocery store with me. We did it so much, if one kid was gone, the trip just didn't go as well. Now, I prefer to go alone. (I know...it's the whole "if I can't take them all, I don't want to take any...real mature.) But, today I went with all but Ashlee. I ran into my friend, Jennifer, who lost her husband 6 weeks ago. I really hate that the main thing we have in common now is death. I HATE that. I lose it every time we speak. Then in the checkout, the kind lady comments on "all those kids" and how she has 4 boys and 2 girls. She was not being ugly in the least, don't get me wrong, but she mentioned something about how her youngest is 12 and her oldest is almost a mom. It hit me...that was our plan. Jacob would be about 12 when Ashlee would most likely start her family. It's stupid...I know.

And my very sweet friends have no idea, but several of them have babies Jacob's age. I watch them and see so many reminders of my two year old. Tonight, Lola said something (I can't remember) and hugged her mommy just the way Jacob would. (Please, friends, I love you and I love your babies...please don't try to ease my pain by keeping your babies or yourself away from me...that is not what I want.) Kenlie was going to marry Jacob. We had it all planned. They were such sweet friends. I watch her grow and wonder what new words Jacob would be using. I hate this. I am exhausted and do NOT want to dwell here.

We went to court yesterday. Waste of time. S&J's bio dad had NOT been writed to court. (Something his lawyer has to do.) The lawyer was 2 hours late to court only to whine that he hadn't had time to sign a form and fax it to the jail. Yep...in 8 weeks he has been too busy. The judge told him that he had better have dad here Monday morning or on the phone to relinquish. I don't have to be at court on Monday. My prayer is that dad truly will relinquish and we will be finished. If not, we will go to court sometime this week for the trial. I really doubt that the lawyer even spoke with dad...last time he was adamant that dad wanted his "day in court". We will see.

Would you like to hear some good news??? Patrick and I are officially online with Christian Adoption. Our profile and contact information were posted yesterday. This is exciting. Patrick said, "You are going to wait for a girl, right? I said, "Well, that is my plan, but if we are offered a sweet black baby boy, how could I say no?"
He said, "If you don't wait, Ashlee will be upset." I told him "No worries, Ashlee has been praying for twins!" LOL!!! Seriously, whatever God has for us is fine with me. Now we just sit and wait and pray for the biological parents of our baby. (Or "babies" as both Ashlee and "S" have decided!) My dad asked "S" if we were going to "buy" a baby (silly little family joke) and she looked at him, dead serious (with her mouth full of burrito) and held up TWO fingers! It was hilarious.


And I will leave you with this little nugget from "S". Tonight, we had some of the families from our homeschool group over for a cookout. It was for the "Seekers" group. (Our homeschooled teens) "S" was looking up at the sky and saw the moon...it was just a sliver. She said, "Mommy, what is that up there?" I said, "It's the moon." She said, "Who broked it?" HILARIOUS!! We always say "Ooohhh...look at the moon" when it's full...we never say "Ooohhh...look at the moon sliver"!

Oh...one more thing. The medical examiner has decided that the report may NOT be almost complete. 3-6 months is what I have been told now. One DHS county tells me this will definately slow the adoption process, the other county says absolutely not, we are moving forward. Since they are the county with authority, I think I will go with them. I have received information this week that confirms my suspicion that my DHS county isn't telling me everything. (What was that verse I posted? That "plans conceived behind closed doors would not ruin me"?)

Have a blessed weekend!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Not so good day...

It's nobody's fault. Just how it goes. I try to be encouraging on my blog. I don't want it to always be a downer...that isn't my life. But, as hard as I try to do it a different way, it is just as I have been told. Grief sucks. I said it. It is completely unpredictable. It has no regard to what else might be going on in your life, just rears it's ugly head at any moment it feels like. I have had enough. I am done. I just want my baby back. I don't mean to scare you off. I will probably be fine tomorrow, but today, I need him back. I guess I shouldn't complain. I have had a week and a half of really good days.

Patrick and I went to see "Fireproof" last night. It was amazing. I encourage you to go see it if you have not already.

I did go to the doctor today (because Patrick told me I couldn't come home unless I went) so hopefully I will be back to normal soon! I really want to clean out a few closets, the garage, and the list goes on!

For now, I will just settle for a bubble bath, flannel pjs, and a few sugar cookies in bed. (Patrick doesn't mind crumbs...I will eat them on his side!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Unless the Lord had helped me....

It’s been awhile. I am still trying to fight off this coughing/hacking whatever it is that has invaded my body. Should I have gone to the dr? Probably. Will I? Probably not. I am much too tired and sick to go. There…that is my logic. You cannot change my logic. Just shake your head and try to go on. (heehee)

This week, I found out that when my name is pulled up by anyone in DHS, it shows an open investigation/allegation into the death of a child. Basically, I am a child killer in the eyes of DHS. Doesn’t really matter what they have said to “comfort” me. “It’s just paperwork…we know it was an accident.” Whatever. No wonder I can’t get a return phone call or email from anyone. That explains A LOT! So, I called the medical examiner. I will be getting this cleared up myself. They said they are working on closing Jacob’s file, will probably be done next week, so call back then. It’s on my calendar. I did ask if it showed a cause of death, and she said not yet, but that from what she was reading, there was absolutely nothing negative on the report. WHEW! Not that I didn’t already know that, but the confirmation is nice. So, hopefully we will have this wrapped up in a few weeks. I will be hand carrying DHS their copies. LOTS of people will be getting a copy! Just pray I can play nice until S&J are final. I am praying for a miracle in their case, also. Jacob’s adoption took 10 months…I don’t think I have enough left in me to deal with DHS for that much longer. “S” will be five in March. I am praying we are finished by her birthday.

So, regardless of how that last paragraph turned out, I felt better having talked to the ME and now I can keep on top of that on a weekly basis. I know it isn’t their fault…they have LOTS of these cases to do. What I still do not understand is why if the police, who have been trained in these sorts of things, did their investigation and found nothing wrong, then why does DHS deem they are all powerful and MUST do their own investigation 3 days later?? I feel a letter coming on! BUT…it will have to wait until I am out from under their little finger.

My therapist was at my house yesterday. (She is actually S&J’s, but I have taken her over.) I am not really into the therapy thing, but looking back, Jenny and I both know that God brought us together for so much more than therapy! Anyway, I told her that I had been having a really good couple of weeks. I haven’t been sad, weepy, nothing. I can talk about Jacob, still don’t really like looking at his pictures, but other than that, I have been so happy. So, I asked Jenny what was wrong with me??? Why am I okay? I don’t feel that I am on the verge of a break down. Jenny said but for the grace of God and all those people lifting our family up in prayer. So, today, in my Bible, God basically backed Jenny up and gave me this:

“Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have died. I cried out “I’m slipping!” and your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” Psalm 94:17-19

And there you go. I do occasionally have this panic feeling that rises from my stomach and as soon as I feel it, I immediately pray “God, if I need to be sad about Jacob, okay, but if this is not of you, remove it from me.” And every single time, the feeling is gone immediately. Stupid devil.
It’s been awhile. I am still trying to fight off this coughing/hacking whatever it is that has invaded my body. Should I have gone to the dr? Probably. Will I? Probably not. I am much too tired and sick to go. There…that is my logic. You cannot change my logic. Just shake your head and try to go on. (heehee)


This week, I found out that when my name is pulled up by anyone in DHS, it shows an open investigation/allegation into the death of a child. Basically, I am a child killer in the eyes of DHS. Doesn’t really matter what they have said to “comfort” me. “It’s just paperwork…we know it was an accident.” Whatever. No wonder I can’t get a return phone call or email from anyone. That explains A LOT! So, I called the medical examiner. I will be getting this cleared up myself. They said they are working on closing Jacob’s file, will probably be done next week, so call back then. It’s on my calendar. I did ask if it showed a cause of death, and she said not yet, but that from what she was reading, there was absolutely nothing negative on the report. WHEW! Not that I didn’t already know that, but the confirmation is nice. So, hopefully we will have this wrapped up in a few weeks. I will be hand carrying DHS their copies. LOTS of people will be getting a copy! Just pray I can play nice until S&J are final. I am praying for a miracle in their case, also. Jacob’s adoption took 10 months…I don’t think I have enough left in me to deal with DHS for that much longer. “S” will be five in March. I am praying we are finished by her birthday.


So, regardless of how that last paragraph turned out, I felt better having talked to the ME and now I can keep on top of that on a weekly basis. I know it isn’t their fault…they have LOTS of these cases to do. What I still do not understand is why if the police, who have been trained in these sorts of things, did their investigation and found nothing wrong, then why does DHS deem they are all powerful and MUST do their own investigation 3 days later?? I feel a letter coming on! BUT…it will have to wait until I am out from under their little finger.


My therapist was at my house yesterday. (She is actually S&J’s, but I have taken her over.) I am not really into the therapy thing, but looking back, Jenny and I both know that God brought us together for so much more than therapy! Anyway, I told her that I had been having a really good couple of weeks. I haven’t been sad, weepy, nothing. I can talk about Jacob, still don’t really like looking at his pictures, but other than that, I have been so happy. So, I asked Jenny what was wrong with me??? Why am I okay? I don’t feel that I am on the verge of a break down. Jenny said but for the grace of God and all those people lifting our family up in prayer. So, today, in my Bible, God basically backed Jenny up and gave me this:


“Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have died. I cried out “I’m slipping!” and your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” Psalm 94:17-19


And there you go. I do occasionally have this panic feeling that rises from my stomach and as soon as I feel it, I immediately pray “God, if I need to be sad about Jacob, okay, but if this is not of you, remove it from me.” And every single time, the feeling is gone immediately. Stupid devil.

Friday, October 17, 2008

8 weeks ago...

Tomorrow marks 8 weeks since Jacob's death. Some of the events play so fresh in my mind and somethings seem like they happened to someone else a very long time ago.

I enjoy Fridays...not for the reasons some might think, but for some reason, each Friday lets me know we made it through one more week without Jacob. The more weeks we go, the better it gets. The more weeks we go, the better mommy I am able to be. (Well, except for this week...all I have done is cough and hack and I don't even have the voice to yell at my kids!)

I am thankful to God for the timing of Jacob's death. Let me explain. Jacob died in August. An excrutiatingly hot month for those of us in Oklahoma. I do not enjoy August. Although our anniversary, Patrick's birthday, and now Jacob's adoption day are all in August (first 12 days), the month has always left me longing for Fall. I LOVE Fall! God took my baby, but He left me Fall! And Winter! And Spring! And even the part of Summer that I enjoy...you know...before it gets too hot! I believe God was very gracious in His timing.

Yesterday morning, I was talking to God and in passing asked for some encouragement in my mailbox. The outpouring of cards and letters has pretty much stopped, as you would expect, but occasionally there will be the stray card out there that brings me joy for the day. I wasn't necessarily feeling down, just wanted something besides a bill in my mail! And God answered. I received a poem and a note from a very dear friend's mother who has been praying for us. The poem could not have come at a better time. I will post it for you now.

"TO ALL PARENTS"
"I'll lend you a little child, a child of mine," He said, "For you to love the while he lives and mourn for when he's dead. It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or three. But will you, til I call him back, take care of him for me? He'll bring his charms to gladden you, and should his stay be brief, You'll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief. I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return, but there are lessons taught down there I want my child to learn. I've looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true, and from the throngs that crowd life's lanes, I have selected you. Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labor vain, nor hate me when I come to call to take him back again?"
"I fancied that I heard them say, 'Dear Lord, Thy will be done!" "For all the joy the child shall bring, the risk of grief we'll run. We'll shelter him with tenderness, we'll love him while we may, and for the happiness we've known forever grateful stay; But should the angels call for him much sooner than we've planned, we'll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand."
(Edgar A. Guest, from the scrapbook of Lee D. Rowe, 1944)

And so our perspectives change. God chose US to be the parents of the children He has given us. What a blessing and responsibility.

Today's verse is a familiar one (well, actually it's from yesterday) but it means as much today as it did the first time you/we heard it.

"The truth is that you will be in Babylon for seventy years. BUT, then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days, when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. I will be found by you, says the Lord. I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and bring you home again to your own land." Jeremiah 29:10-14

By the way...as I near the end of Jeremiah, things are looking up! Today, God told me this:
"For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing. At this, I woke up and looked around. My sleep had been very sweet." Jeremiah 31:25-26

Thank you, Jesus!