Friday, September 24, 2010

Friendship Blessings

One of the biggest blessings in our adoption journey that we didn't see coming is the friendships we have formed. Those who have experienced the miracle of adoption have an understanding of all that we are facing and are more than ready to support. God places many people in my path on a regular basis these days who are inquiring about adoption. One question I get often is about our support system. One thing we are VERY fortunate to have in our favor is a community who not only accepts adoption, particularly transracial adoption, but they are doing it too! We have so many new friends who we have just met in the last 6 months and they are all there to offer wisdom, a listening ear, an encouraging word and hope on the hard days. Thank you Ally, Tracy, Beth, Kristi, Candi, and Kimberly (yes you in MS who texted me today to say you were lifting me up in prayer :-)!!! You are my provision for this season of life and I am ever so grateful for you!

I don't want to leave out all those who we knew before adoption. We have a wonderful Sunday School class and church, neighbors and family who have also been extremely supportive. Thank you Mom, Wanda, Amanda, Laurie, Jennifer, Anita, Shannon, Kim, Cindy, Heidi, Tiffany, Misty, Natalie, Meredith, Helen and Lauren. Thank you for the meals, the pictures you took, being at the airport, calling, stopping by, bringing over "happys", supporting us even when you thought we were nuts (we are anyway), watching our kids, praying for us (this is a biggie) and loving on our kids--all 5 of them. You are all amazing and I feel so blessed to call you friends. Friendship is truly a gift from God and one that I am so thankful for.

I hope you all have a blessed weekend and know that I love you all :-)

Fun Pics

We went to Crockett Park...the kids first park experience in the US.

My aunt and cousin came up to visit and brought the wig pictured below on my brother's head. The kids had great fun playing with it and we had lots of laughs :-)

Rachel learned to ride her bike over Labor day weekend. It only took her about 10 minutes to figure it out. We had many falls and knee scrapes over the next few days.

I am not sure what Jordan was trying to do in this pic. We were eating at Abay (the Ethiopian restaurant we frequent) and he was in a silly mood. You can see from Brent's face in the background we were a little surprised to see him this way.

All the kids in the car after church.

Rachel and Jordan playing imagination in the backyard. It was the first time we saw them play this way.

All of us sporting our Texas A&M shirts...thanks Aunt Wanda!

Waiting for the bus for the first time. Rachel was so excited I couldn't get her to stand still long enough to take the pic.

Last Friday afternoon we surprised the kids and got the 4 wheeler out after school. To say they were excited would be an understatement :-)

Hopefully, I will have some more pics and posts soon. I think of things all day I want to write about, but right now time is VERY precious. Have a great weekend...

Friday, September 17, 2010


We knew from the first day we had Jordan that he was a very curious child. If it had a button, he HAD to push it; if it had a switch he HAD to flip it--over and over again. If it had a knob, he HAD to turn get the picture. It was exhausting in the early weeks when EVERYTHING was so new to him. This obsession of his had begun to level off somewhat as things became more familiar to him. We were having to say "No, Jordan, don't touch/push/flip that again" much less in recent days. We had started to relax...UNTIL Wednesday night.

We were at our prayer meeting at church Wed. night and Brent heard sirens outside. I had walked in late and had seen some classes of children walking out of the other building, but didn't think too much of it. When we got in the car that night our older kids began to tell us that the fire alarm went off and they all had to evacuate the building. My older son said that some kindergartner had "flipped the fire alarm switch when he went to the bathroom." I was only half listening until I heard the last statement. Wait...what did you say son? A kindergartner??? I knew immediately it was OUR kindergartner! When we got home we asked and sure enough, it was written all over his face...guilty!

So for all of our fellow Clearview friends, yes, it was our child who pulled this switch:

and caused an evacuation of building C and a visit from the fire department :-) There is never a dull moment at the Rutland circus as I have appropriately nicknamed our family.

I hope you all have a great weekend...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Empowered To Connect

As a follow up to my last post...I am so thankful that my Father in heaven is perfect and He can give me the wisdom I need to be the parent to all 5 of my children.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." James 1:5

We had a GREAT day on Friday. Thursday ended not so well and we weren't sure what to expect next. As it turns out, our consistency and tough love paid dividends on Friday and we had a great afternoon and evening.

Yesterday I attended the "Empowered to Connect" conference in Nashville with Dr. Karyn Purvis. She is an amazing woman who truly loves children and has spent years doing the research to find what really works with kids. I left a conference for the first time actually feeling encouraged that I have done some things right and the things I need to change are within my power to do so.

I know we still have a long road ahead of us, but looking back to the last 5 weeks, we have made huge progress. We really appreciate all your prayers as they are what is sustaining us right now. Last night when I got home Jordan was the first to run and greet me and want me to pick him up and hug him. He turned my head and gave me a kiss on the cheek...priceless! This is the same child, who 5 weeks ago, was stiff as a board every time we tried to pick him up and hug him. The same child who greeted me with a big smile today, but hardly smiled the first couple of weeks we had him. Yes, we are moving in the right direction. We will continue to look for the blessings :-)

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Perfect Parent I am NOT

The last few days have been tough around here. We knew to expect hard days, but didn't know what "hard" looked like. We know now. My heart is so full of emotion and many questions. I find myself seeking the Lord's wisdom ALL DAY LONG. There are some days when I don't "feel" like doing this and I don't "feel" like parenting five children. I wonder if they will ever get "it"; will they figure out that action A results with consequence B?" I go through the same discipline sequence day after day; moment after moment. Why, Lord? Why does it have to be so hard?

He gently reminded me that He too has had to discipline me for the same offense day after day, moment after moment. He too has wondered, "Why does this have to be so hard? Doesn't she get that action A will result with consequence B?"

The difference between us is that God is the perfect parent and I am most definitely NOT! I can take comfort in the fact that God's mercies are new EVERY morning.

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." Lamentations 3:22-24

When I am weak, He is strong. He can work miracles with what I pitifully give Him each day. He is always patient and kind. He is NEVER envious, boastful, rude or self-seeking. He keeps no record of wrongs. His love NEVER fails.

May we all be reminded that we serve a MIGHTY God and our life is His and not our own. I pray that I will be a usable tool in my master's hand each and every day.