Monday, April 15, 2013

I just don't feel complete....

I have had this discussion with several people over the past couple of weeks. I have asked the question, do you feel like your family is complete, like you are done having children. And most of the women I have talked to have had an emphatic YES!!! They feel they are done having children and expanding their families. I on the other hand do NOT have that feeling of completion. I just feel like God has someone else out there for our family. I am struggling because I don't know, maybe I will always have this feeling. Maybe my heart will always want to have more children. I don't know. I really feel like 6 would be the most I could have.

There are days when I wonder why we have all of these children and I feel like the worst mom ever. But a majority of the time, I feel like we need at least one more. My husband has agreed to pray about it and I pray that God would give us both a CLEAR answer. I just really think I need one more little baby! And I think it would be great for Ade to have a sibling that looks like him.

I am just rambling, but that is what is on my mind lately. God please guide and direct us!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ethiopia Part 2

One of my favorite things we did was we got to do a home visit in Korah. Korah is the trash dump where people go to survive. They dig through the trash to find food or things to sell to buy food. It is a very poor area. We got to visit with a woman who was HIV positive and had travelled there from the countryside to get medication. Basically in Ethiopia if you are HIV positive you are considered not worthy so to speak. Although they say it is getting better. One of the women had never even been to the market because she had never had the money. Heart breaking, she shared with us how her stomach hurt a lot and she had a lot of headaches. Also she said that she has a hard time paying her rent. Do you know how much her rent was? 12 dollars a month. Seriously, it was so sad. We ended the visit by laying hands on her and praying for her. I thought to myself this woman maybe hasn't had a hug in a long time because of her condition so I gave her a huge hug when we left and my friend Tammy kissed her on the cheek. It was too much. I left her house feeling like such a jerk for all that I have. 

We got to visit the Layla House Orphanage on our last day. One of my faves. There were so many babies/toddlers there that were waiting for a family. Some had a family, but most were waiting. Seriously, why does it have to be so hard to adopt? My family could have expanded by at least 3 more if we could've just taken them. It broke my heart to see all of those babies laying in those bed in those pitiful clothes knowing that my son was once there. Laying lost without a mommy and a daddy. Thank you Jesus that you led us to him.

We went to another school Trees of Glory. That is where our families sponsor child is. Mickias. I got to hand deliver our package to him and it was sooooo wonderful. He is the most handsome little guy and he wasn't at school because he was guarding the home while his mom was away and he is 8. Broke my heart. They went to get him so I could see him. He let me love on him, hug him kiss him and carry him. He was precious. And he loved his new shirt and all of his goodies. I can't wait until November when I can send him something again. Our family loves and prays for him.

This year was much more emotional than the previous trip. I feel like I cried a lot this trip. But I was glad because I want the Lord to break my heart for what breaks His and I never want to become numb to the situation in Ethiopia. I have some of my dearest friends and family members there. I was very emotional just looking around being in an orphanage watching tiny kids without proper shoes, clothing and nutrition working so hard knowing that could've been my son. My precious little baby boy whom is so pampered and loved. I am so thankful he is with us and now has a family. And especially a father. I always hear about the "fatherless" and thanks to my husband, Ade Joseph is no longer fatherless.

I am now an Ethiopian driver, my buddy Habti let me drive his car and it was amazefest and so much fun! I am the only American he has ever let drive! I'm feeling pretty special, I still have a lot to learn though!

It has been tough transitioning since I've been home. I miss my friends so much. There are like family, like my little brothers. I adore them and we have so much fun together. I love that I can totally be myself, we can be laughing hysterically one minute and sobbing the next. I am so thankful for all that the Lord has done in my heart and I am so thankful that I have a purpose outside of the home. I can't wait until next year!!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ethiopia 2013 Part 1

So I've been home for a few days and had some time to process and think about our trip. I would definitely say this was the best trip yet.  I don't think I've ever been this emotional in my life. My poor husband was very understanding, but I bet he wondered if I would ever stop crying!

Our week started off at church at Beza and it was awesome worshiping with other believers from half way across the world, serving the same God! And the kiddos around were a bonus!:) The pastor at Beza is great. He gave a wonderful Palm Sunday service. How cool that we were in Ethiopia on Palm Sunday? So cool.

Monday we heading to Trees of Glory. Last year I met a amazing little girl named Tigist whom I fell in love with. It always amazes me how you can meet a person 1 time see them once and year and love them with all your heart. You see we looked into adopting Tigist because the children in the Trees of Glory area are in a tough situation and some of them do not have families. But she had a family who loves her, so that is right where she belongs. But I love her like she is mine.

So we get to the school and I had been talking talking talking about how excited I was to see her and guess what, she wasn't there:(. I was heartbroken. But my awesome friend Fikre called her father and he promised she would be there on Tuesday. So I enjoyed the rest of my day handing out care packets to the kiddos from their American sponsors. One thing that broke my heart during the care packages were that we had so many sponsors that didn't send their children a packet. It made me angry to see the 50+ children without a package. These kids have NOTHING and this one of 2 times they get a bag. It literally takes 30 minutes to go to Target fill a small ziploc, write a note and send it to the representative.  I don't understand. So the looks on the kids faces was unforgettable. Thankfully we had extra things so they all got something.

The thing about the kids there is that the instant they get their bags, they start SHARING it. I always find myself wondering about my own children. No way would they start sharing their Christmas/Birthday presents right when they get him. And that always makes me sad.

So on Tuesday we headed back to Trees of Glory and guess who was there? My baby girl!!! Tigist was there. I took one look at her dropped my stuff and ran and picked her up. Pretty sure I barely let her out of my sight for 8 hours! I held her loved on her, kissed her, prayed over her. So much fun. Also we got to paint her nails! And she was so precious blowing them for 30 minutes. When I sat her down for lunch she patted her bench because she wanted me to sit with her. And if I was away from her I would randomly find her and kiss her so she had no doubt that I loved her. But my heart melted and I will never forget her little voice look up at me and say "I love you Ali!" Talk about emotional.

It came time to leave and I was dreading this part of the day. I hugged her and she buried her little lips into my cheek with the biggest kisses ever for about 5 minutes. We kept hugging each other and kissing each other. I told her I loved her and would always pray for her and sent her with the older child to walk her home. About 2 minutes later I feel a little tug at my shirt and I look down and it is Tigist with her arms up for me to hold her. Again, melting my heart. So I kissed my hand and had her kiss hers and we put them together and I told her I would always love her. I walked her out to the street and prayed for her all the way. And that was my day with Tigist.

But the thing that made me the most sad was that she didn't look as healthy as she did last year. She was so skinny and her teeth had gotten must worse. Her hair was turning red and brittle. That is the first sign that she is malnourished. Please pray for my girl that she would be healthy and well taken care of.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Father/Daughter Dance

Friday was the Father/Daughter dance and so Joe and the girls were all dressed up and headed to the dance! Ella had an emotional meltdown. Nothing fit so we headed to the mall and found a dress in 20 minutes and she looked beautiful. We took pictures and then they were off.

The boys and I went to dinner with some friends and headed to the SJCS basketball games. It was super fun. Max's little friend Lane stayed the night and his birthday was on Saturday so we surprised him with a donut with a candle and a present! It was super fun.

So Joe said the dance came with lots of drama. Having 2 daughters at the F/D dance is never easy, someone always feels like daddy didn't spend enough time with them! Too much drama for this mamma! But Joe said Maya had a blast and danced and sang her little heart away. Ella was all about her friends. All in all I think it was a pretty fun time.

I enjoyed hanging out with my boys. I asked Ade if he had a girlfriend in his school and he said, "no Mom, we all just hang out!" Really my little 3 year old. He kills me!

This weekend has been crazy busy. We rearranged Ella's room and did a thorough cleaning that was brutal. I seriously about had a panic attack. I couldn't believe all the random things she had just stuffed in various places. So many huge rubber maids of clothes that no longer fit. Also cleaned out Maya's closet and it was bad as well.

Headed to church this morning and Ade started running a 103 fever:(. Pray for my baby. This is just a rambling post!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy 12th Birthday Ella Rain!!!

Today my oldest child is 12 today! I can't believe Ella Rain is that old! It seems like just yesterday I was trying to get to the hospital in a terrible snow storm. Just yesterday I held that chunky little blacked haired baby in my arms for the first time. I mean the girls hair went down her back! She was absolutely adorable! My life changed forever for the better most of the time.

She was my baby girl that was a major Mom's girl. She and I were the best of friends. She slept with me, ate with me, bathed with me, did everything with me and I loved it! I am so glad I got to have that time alone with her!

Here are some things that I love about Ella Rain......

-She is beautiful
-She is funny
-She knows how to make people feel good
-She has a heart for missions
-She is a people person
-She has a guilty conscience so she generally tells on herself:)
-She is fairly respectful
-She is a great basketball player
-She is so smart
-She is bright
-She likes to read
-She loves children
-Her blue eyes
-Her dark hair
-Her heart for Jesus
-Her desire to do the right thing
-She does not care what people think of her
-She is not out to impress or be cool
-She is my oldest girl!

There are many more things but those are just to name a few. Ella Rain, I am so glad that God gave you to me to mother. You are such a blessing and you definitely keep me on my toes. I love you so much I can feel it in my bones!!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Just Being Honest

I am going to go ahead and say it, sometimes being a parent SUCKS!!! It doesn't stink, it's not just hard it just downright sucks. Today is one of those days. There is no "SuperMom" in this house today.

I am the only one that experiences this, you go to pick up your kids from school and you are excited to see them since you haven't seen them all day and they get in the car and are just totally rude and grouchy. Snapping at you when you ask them anything, crying and melting down because they can't get a snack at the gas station and giving you attitude and my very favorite, SULKING!!! Oh how I loathe the sulking. "Hey, it's great to see you kids too!" Glad I picked you up. Ughhh

And then after you have talked and talked and tried to train and teach them about a certain thing and it totally happens over and over and over again!!! Please people go ahead and talk about something you weren't supposed to and let your mouth get in your way for the thousandth time. Go ahead and get angry and pound the floor at your basketball game. Please, we love to be embarrassed. We love looking like you have never been disciplined a day in your life.

Oh dear Jesus, help me through these days and not lose my temper and patience, but to parent with grace. The most beautiful thing about us is that we are flawed and that Jesus loves us anyway. And that is what I tell my kids, even though you humiliate me and make me angry and frustrate me I don't love you any less.

I'm sorry for this mean post, but man do I feel better after writing it!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Love that my boys each have a brother!

This week was Max's birthday. I have mentioned before that Ade ADORES Max. And Max is so wonderful to him. So today when I opened up Ade's school bag there was a picture with a note attached to it. The picture was Ade holding up a "birthday cake" made out of snow for Max, with candles and all. The note read, "Ade wanted to make a birthday cake for Mackey, but I told him it would melt so we took a picture to send." The look on his face was so precious. It seriously made me want to cry happy tears. To see the love between those two is priceless and worth ALL the hard work.! Love my boys!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Happy 9th Birthday Mackie-Moo!!!

Today is Max Wilen's 9th birthday. I can't believe my boy is 9. I like to say he is the 2nd boy who truly stole my heart! One look into those huge almond shaped hazel eyes and I was taken! He is such a sweet boy.  I wanted a boy so bad and was so happy to finally get my boy. He is such a blessing to us!

Here are some random things about Max:

-He is really good at doing flips!
-He is so handsome!
-He is very smart.
-He is really good at putting things together.
-He is very compassionate.
-He loves Jesus.
-He is so good to his little brother.
-He and Maya are good buddies.
-He is a good student.
-He is a really good basketball player.
-He can be really funny.
-He loves his blankie!
-He looks so cute in his clothes.
-He is super stylish and fly!
-He loves to shop.
-He sings well.
-He adores his daddy.
-He is very snuggly!

There are plenty more things but these are just a few. Happy Birthday Max, we love you more than words can say and we are so thankful God chose us to be your parents!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Happy 7th Birthday Maya!

Maya Jane turned 7 yesterday. She had a fun day. I can't believe my baby girl is 7. She is such a blessing to us and we love her so much! Here are some random things about Maya girl!

-She is hilarious!
-She looks just like her daddy!
-She is a really good basketball player.
-She has one of the softest hearts of anyone I have ever meant.
-She is a perfect mix of sass and sweet!
-She is a good dancer.
-She is a fashionista.
-She is so smart.
-She loves her family.
-She loves Jesus.
-She is easy to discipline.
-She loves her baby dolls.
-She will be a great mommy.
-She is a major Mamma's girl.
-She loves to read.
-She loves babies.
-She is so kind.
-She has the cutest little glasses.
-I love her little baby feet.

Needless to say Maya Jane just all around rocks! We love you MJ!!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Spelling Bee, Awards, and funny things!

Well today was the spelling bee at school. Honestly I dread this day every year. My Max is ultra competitive and I know if he doesn't do well he is going to get in the car and instantly think he is not smart and cry and be mad at himself. Ella every year has the same girls win and so she does it just for fun not expecting to win. And this was Maya's first year. Luckily I had an inside track to the spelling bee and my friend Joey gave me the heads up. Maya went out the 4th round and Max went out quickly, Ella on the other hand got 4th. So she was pretty excited. I guess when Maya got out she just started crying. Thankfully Jojo was there to comfort her and hug her until she calmed down. When Max got in the car he said he did horrible and got last place and was a horrible speller. I felt so bad for him. I hate it when my kiddos feel bad about themselves and especially feel like they are not as smart as everyone else. We are in a private school and have a ton of really smart kids and sometimes it's hard when you are a good student, just not a straight A student. BUT being the super mom I am:) I bought them a little present to help ease the blow and to let them know that Joe and I were so proud of them for even trying. Lot's of kids didn't even attempt the spelling bee. And we were proud.

When I got home I was going through backpacks and found a character award in Max's bag. He got the "compassionate" award for the month at school! I was so proud of him. I told him that though I was so happy for the kids that won the spelling bee I would much rather have him win an award like that! He is showing the heart of Jesus and that makes my Mamma's heart happy! So he was really proud of himself.

Some funny things Ade said today, Joe had opened the garage today as we were leaving and didn't come in the garage because he was on the phone, so Ade looks over at him and says, "what is Daddy up to?" Totally cracked me up! Then he said Daddy is frustrating! That boy makes me laugh so hard. Then I was buckling him in his car seat and he says in a high pitch voice, "don't hurt my balls!" He is such a boy!

Well, that is about all for now. Have a great weekend if there is anyone reading!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Things are looking up!

Well, we are finally fever free over here! Praise the Lord, that was a rough virus and a long virus! We took the kids to The Great Wolf Lodge yesterday and we just got home. It is not my favorite thing to do, being pale white, in a swimsuit right after the holidays! I also don't like being in a swimsuit unless I am getting a tan, shallow I know! But anyway, the kids LOVED it and it was great for them to burn off some energy. They were so well behaved and we really had a great time.

Tonight Joe and I get to have a date night! We haven't had a date in I don't know how long. I think I've been away from my kids a total of 2 hours in the past month and a half and I am EXCITED. We are having dinner with my lifelong friend Katy Lovill. We have been friends since she was 4 and I was 5. Maya Jane is named after her. I am pretty excited to just chill with adults. But I will miss my babies.

The kids go back to school on Monday and I am excited. This hasn't been a bad break it has just been really long. And boring since the kiddos were all sick. But I am ready for a normal routine. In everything, it seems like I eat more when the kids are home and I don't exercise as much. It's time to get back to normal.

OK well we are off. Some funny things the kids said, Joe told Ade to put his coat on and he looks up and Joe and says, "daddy Jesus doesn't want me to wear my coat!" Oh boy we've entered that phase.