Our Family

Our Family
Our Family: Pops, Me, The Teenager, The Boy, The Freckle Faced Ninja, Miss Priss, Miss Sassy Pants, Madi-Lou-Who, & Dora the Explorer

About Me

Madi & Me
First off, I'm a storyteller.  I love to tell stories that make people laugh.  I hate to talk about myself.  I will entertain you all night with funny stories about past students and my own children.  I don't mind listing the basic facts about me.  But to truly reveal myself.  Um, no thanks.  Not my favorite past-time.  But God has a funny way of knowing what we need to do that we don't want to do.  And this is truly His blog.  I am only writing at his prompt.  And no matter what funny story I come up with, He turns it into a lesson for me.  I hope you get something out of reading what He is doing in my life.  So here are some basic facts and some nitty gritty reveal about me:

This is me and our youngest Madi (2 at the time).  She is adorable in all pictures where as I chose this picture due to the fact that you cannot see my double chin and I cropped out my flabby arms,  BUT I am realizing why my husband says red is not such a good color on me.  A little washed out I'm looking!  Make up?  What make up?
I have been married to my wonderful man, Tony, since June of 2005.  His lovely parents love me like I'm their own, which is a constant blessing in my life.  We have 7 children in our home (and one in our hearts), 1 teen, and 6 ages 5-9, all adopted from foster care.  We do a lot of laundry and dishes!  

I taught elementary school for 14 years and loved it.  Hated the paperwork but absolutely thrived on being with children all day, everyday.  Came home exhausted and satisfied most days that I had accomplished something.  Then in 2011 God prompted us that I needed to quit my job to stay home and homeschool our children for a variety of reasons (Homeschooling post). 

Our adoption journey began in 1998 with a almost adoption of a precious baby that we were able to care for some months.  You can read more about her story in the post Alyssa.  Later in 1999 we were able to brought home our now, teenager, Gabby at the age of 15 months.  You can read her story here: Gabby.

Then in April of 2010 we brought home 3 children, then aged 1, 3, and 5.  Quite a shock to all of us!  We had prepared, cried, prayed for them for almost a year.  After a week I wasn't sure we'd survive them.  And learn to love them.  Loving a picture and a description is very different from loving and parenting a child.  But we were in it to win it and have spent much time on our knees asking for God's guidance and reading every book we can find to help us.  There are many posts about our life post going from 1 to 4 kids as well as homeschooling and adoption in general.  Most of the posts are just our journey through life!

Fast forward to today, 2013.  In August we were settled.  Life with 4 kids was the norm and homeschooling just is us.  Then we got a call.  Would we consider another sibling set of 3?  We know you aren't in the process and don't have a homestudy...no worries.  You can read about how we went from 4 to 7 here: The Brady Bunch.

I worry about being not beautiful because I'm too fat, too short, too _____ (fill in the blank)  yet God blessed me with a man who daily tells me I'm beautiful.  I worry about revealing too much of my heart's desires and thoughts for fear of rejection, yet God tells me He has given me my heart as well as the desires inside it; And will help me take my thoughts captive.  And He puts people in my path who want to hear about my thoughts and my heart's desires.  I'm nerdy, not the least fashionable (can't match clothes), and quick to judge.  I frequently tell my children no, often without hearing their question.  I'm organizationally challenged and usually have mounds of laundry to either wash our fold.  I'm married to a man who believes everything has a place and remembers to put them there.  I can't usually find my cell phone or car keys.  I say I never cry but it's a lie.  I just don't cry in public if I can help it!  I think God likes it when I cry.

I love my children beyond anything I ever thought possible.  I began desiring to adopt children around the age of 6 (God's plan).  Yet I find myself still yearning to carry a child in my body.  I give that desire up to God knowing that it isn't part of His plan for me (I'm over 40 now and having hot flashes) and still it creeps back up to nudge me with, "if only."  I tell myself it isn't possible (drs have no explanation why I've never gotten pregnant and I have had 1 miscarriage), give up hope.  But the seed of hope won't go away.  I want more children and feel that God is leading us to adopt from Ethiopia down the road. 

I don't know what your challenge is, dear one, but I can promise that God can make it good.   When our Lydia Grace was 5 and having a challenging day.  As in challenging me.  After a moment of discipline that made her cry, and I'm sure curse me, I held her in my arms and talked about how God disciplines me sometimes.  I told her how special she is and how God made her strong and determined.  He put challenges in her path.  Her question was "why".  Don't we all ask that?  Why does God put challenges in my path?  Why can't I get pregnant?  Why did Tony get laid off?  Again?  Why can't I seem to get it together?  Why am I perpetually late?  Why didn't I get that promotion?  Why didn't that relationship work?  Why did my mommy and daddy make those bad choices and hurt me?  We all ask.  My answer to her was to make her strong.  God is developing a strength and determination in that child for a purpose.  It frustrates me because she challenges me.  But I know that He will use it for His will one day. 

Until then, I'm having faith.  It may be a small faith.  The size of a mustard seed even.  But God can do amazing things with just a seed of faith!