I see that my last post was September right after the girls arrived….oh my!
As I sit now and think over the last 23 months it is a bit overwhelming! There has been so much learned over these last 2 years I will hardly be able to write it all in a post, but I will try to catch all of you up (that are interested:)) )
First let me say….God is faithful! This has been a running theme in our lives! I know if you read this and you are a Christian…you too know this truth first hand! Even when things hurt or don't go as we expect…He is still FAITHFUL!
Another running theme that continues for our family is "To Remember"…Remember all the turns in our lives where He was present, carried us, prepared us (when we had no idea what was ahead), provided for us and simply Remained by our side when we had no answers.
So after experiencing His constant help in time of need….here goes our journey over the last 2 years!
Izzy and Jada…let me just say God plucked these precious souls out of an orphanage with purpose! They are awesome! They have come into an overwhelming situation with so much to learn and have truly handled it beautifully!
Izzy started in the 8th grade at Decatur Heritage…she did great! She has some the greatest friends who have accepted her whole-heartedly. They love her and she loves them. A teacher at her school "Miss Davis" took her under her wing and poured into her over the last 2 years and we see the hand of God in this relationship! She made all the difference for Izzy to grow and mature as a young woman of God. My greatest delight is that she loves Jesus and has loved studying the Word of God. Izzy decided she wanted to repeat the 8th grade her 2nd year to get a good handle on the academic side and did great! She is so disciplined…gets homework without being asked!!! Whoo hoo!! She is still learning words and silly phrases that I tend to blurt out…it's funny when I try to explain some of the things we say such as "errands", "enjoying the scenery" etc…I forget how much there is for their little brains to process.
She is now a high-schooler in the 9th grade. She was moved up to the Varsity Volleyball team for this coming year and is doing great! She is quite the athlete.
God has special plans for this amazing child…we can't wait to see His plan unfold for her!
Jada started in the 4th grade in class with Brayden at Decatur Heritage. She has done exceptionally well considering her fluency in English was probably only at around 25% when she came here. She jumped in with both feet and has embraced all the learning she has received. She loves to learn which is her greatest asset! Jada has had the most to overcome….language, socially, emotionally but every social worker says she and Izzy are far above where most older adoptive children are in adjustments. Jada's biggest obstacle along with the language is reading. She was not able to read in Spanish or English when she got here. Jada has had many special influences in her life, one in particular, is Kim Schuster. Kim has come into her school over the last year 1/2 and tutored Jada 2 days a week , one on one in reading. She is now at a 2nd grade reading level and I would say her language skills are over 50% comprehension. She has made great progress in this area and in her maturity, and Kim Schuster has had much to do with this! It has been amazing to see God provide for our girls' needs through His (Willing) children in ways that Tommy and I could not have! Kim is an angel to our Jada!
Jada now begins the 6th grade and hopes to play basketball & softball this year…Our prayer is to get her to grade level by the 9th grade…so she still has a way to go but we continue to know God will walk with her each step to get her where she needs to be. Jada is a servant at heart, she is a lover of people but has a little bit of a hard time letting her wall down, especially when you first meet her. She doesn't want to show you her "sweet side" when you first meet her, but when you get to see that sweet side there is none sweeter. She has struggled the most in missing the orphanage and fully receiving all the adoption has provided, but when God allows her to do this, she will move mountains!!
My other kiddos have been amazing in this process! They have fully accepted and loved these precious girls more than I could have imagined. The Lord has allowed me to see some spiritual fruit in Jackson, Brayden and Kennedy in the Love they have displayed for Izzy and Jada. There have been many struggles but beneath the struggles there is pure love. I pray they will always have this love for others and mostly Jesus as they continue to grow!
Jackson starts 8th grade this year, Brayden 6th and Kennedy 4th. Jackson is playing Basketball & Baseball this upcoming year. Brayden will be playing baseball and basketball, Kennedy will play basketball & softball. So you can see our schedule will be Full of Sports:)) (I wouldn't have it any other way!)
Then there is our Aubree Mae at 4 1/2 years old. This girl is the glue that holds us all together. All of the kids take care of her and love her beyond measure. She is truly the baby girl:) She is so comical, drama filled and expressive. She loves us all and tells us all the time. She has the most amazing Spirit! She has us and our whole community of friends wrapped around her finger. God has great plans for this girl….I'm sure of it!!
As for Tommy and I we are great! I can honestly say I have never loved my husband more than I do now because of how he has led our family, in particular me, over the last 2 years. I had a very difficult time throughout the first year…the best way I can describe it if you haven't adopted is…the anticipation & excitement of the birth of your child in the 9 months you carry them in your body….it's awesome! Then the miraculous birthing process when you hold them for the first time, see their beauty and feel love like you have never known.
THEN….you come home to something no one can prepare you for…sleepless nights, crying, frustration, feelings of inadequacy, exhaustion, fear & anxiety, etc. You then figure out your way of adjusting, finding your new normal, praying…praying & praying some more!!!!! In this process you realize God is REFINING you! He is showing just how selfish you are, how you respond when things are going how you expected them to go, how you are not trusting His Sovereign plan as you should and so much more. Fear and Anxiety had my number for the first year into this journey. I have learned a lot about ungodly fear ( keeping you from trusting God's plan for the "unknown's" in your life) and anxiety that over takes you to a point where you can't think straight. I have learned through this very difficult season that TRUST is key in your walk with Christ. We don't have to have tomorrow figured out…We simply must live in TODAY…God's grace and strength is sufficient for us for TODAY! It is one step at a time, one day at a time. Through Panic attacks and paralyzing moments of fear and feelings of inadequacy for the path God has me on… I have grown and He has carried me through…giving me a renewed hunger for my relationship with Him and a desire to share transparently with others what He has revealed to me!
I know the Facebook photos and posts look all too good sometimes…and because of the grace of God it is good... but it is not without struggles!!
So… as I wrap up…the title of this post "Continuing to be molded" is where we seem to stay in our family! LOL! We have welcomed in our newest Kyle member…Noah Boler. He came to live with us the first week of May. Noah comes from a difficult family background. His mom lives in Decatur in the projects and has had a difficult time providing for him. Last year he came to our school through a tuition assistance program and was an 8th grader. He was blessed to live with a family from our school for the year and needed to make a transition at the end of the school year. He needed a place to stay until God opened up a permanent living situation for him.
He played AAU ball for Tommy this Spring (where God started to grow our relationship with him) and was able to play with Jackson. He is 6'3 and wears a size 15 shoe!!! He hasn't even hit puberty yet!!! He is a precious boy…. I see that God has great plans for this young man. God provided Noah a mentor (Marjorie Smith) at the age of 8 years old through the boys and girls club in town. Miss Marjorie has blessed him beyond words since then... taken him to church every Sunday, she has taught him to love the Lord, taught him right from wrong, amazing manners and so much more! God hasn't brought forth a permanent situation for him as of now. We continue to pray what God would have us do as we walk this out. He has become part of our family in a very short time. He keeps us laughing and has just jumped right into our crazy without skipping a beat. We covet your prayers for Noah and for us as we are praying God's best for Noah and His will for us! Will keep you updated!
Thank you for reading my book today….God continues to amaze us at the family and friendswe have and just how blessed we are to have you all in our lives! May you all keep walking out God's call on your life and may you continue to experience His abundant blessings!!
"But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our Potter; we are all the work of your hand. "