Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Behind the face of Adoption

I don't feel qualified to write about adoption,
there are Mamas who have walked harder, longer roads than I have.
My journey has been short, and fairly uncomplicated.
We've gained the sweetest 2 year old you ever did meet.
 Maxwell, Days after we were introduced to him. Jan 2014
 
However, I am going to write about a few of the feelings that I, as a mom encounter in the past 10 mo. these feelings completely blindsided me! I was in no way prepared for any of them.
When our son was first placed with us, we embraced having an 18 mo. old, none verbal little boy in the house.
The honey moon period lasted a few short weeks, in those honey moon weeks I felt like I really wanted this child to be mine, And then the hard things hit, Forcing me to face the fact that this baby boy had missed out on so much in his short life, forcing me to recognize that emotionally he was no where near 18 mo.
Anger at his Birth parents,
Why didn't they...
why did they.....
Anger that we were the ones dealing with HARD things all day and all night while they enjoyed a few pleasant hours a week with him.
Anger that they messed up what was meant to be the most secure relationship in this little boy's life.
 
As the weeks went on and our bond with this baby boy grew, as we worked on hard things, our attachment started happening, and I started thinking maybe if we came along side of birth parents and helped them then this little boy could go home and be loved and cared for by his birth parents, That's where he belonged.
At this point we really wanted him to be able to go home, I wanted him to experience the Love of a birthmom, I didn't want him to have any attachment issues, I wanted all to be perfect in his little world.
 
As we headed toward the inevitable parental termination date, we became excited, our biological children became excited.
Yet at the same time something inside of me was hurting! Yes, hurting for birth mom and birth dad, They unselfishly signed those papers that day, Saying that they wanted to give their little man a chance at a  better life then they knew could offer, My heart broke into a thousand pieces as they hugged and kissed him goodby.
But the deepest pain of all was knowing that this little boy, the one that called me 'mom', the little boy that was soon to be officially our son, would grow up with this shadow in his past. I loved this child through hard things, I loved him as much as any mother could, and for that reason I will always grieve the things that were taken away from him that day. I will cry with him, I will mourn with him. He is my son.
I will always be haunted by, Did we do enough to help reunification?
This old sinful world picked my son to walk through these hard things.
Jesus picked my husband and I to help our son walk this journey.
 
Jesus also introduced me to other adoption mamas, Mamas that have come along side of me and smiled through their own tears and simply said 'I know'.
Mamas that have told me, 'It's worth it.'
'Jesus wins'
'We've been there'
And oh so much more!!
Mamas that have texted with me late into the night, encouraging me!
Maxwell and his forever Mom, Oct 2014
 
So if you are beginning this adoption journey,
find your community!! These other adoption mamas will be the ones reminding you why you started this journey,
they will remind you to stay focused on being like Jesus to the least of these.
They will have a wealth of information,
And no fear of telling them about the HARD stuff, Chances are they've all been there before!!!
 
 
And hug those walking the journey extra tight, because behind the face of that adoptive Mom is a world of insecure thoughts, over analyzed behaviors, and hard things.

We are filled with Joy and wouldn't trade our new Son for all the carefree days in the world. Jesus Choose us to be a part of his story and for that we are forever grateful!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I Thought I'd be a Cool Mom

Reality has come crashing in my friends,
Cruel harsh reality!!
 
I always thought I'd be a cool Mom..
Wasn't that one art my of the reason to start our family when we were barely in our twenties??
So that we'd have energy to keep up with them, and have similar interests, and share clothes, and like the same movies, be able to have fun with their friends..
 
But something happens...
When your firstborn stands taller than you, and turns into a teenager (I am not talking 13, I am talking when they become mouthy, and Mom knows nothing anymore,)
You as a parent will suddenly become completely and 100% grown up. No matter how young of a parent you are, you become hopelessly mature,
 you take things seriously,
elections are serious, (you can't deny any longer that you are voting for people that will affect the world your children will be adults in.)
The carefree young parent is history.. You can see the young adults your offspring are becoming, you realize that your time of influencing is drawing to a close.
You no longer worry about if your baby will sleep through the night, you now lay awake praying for your children.
 
 You may as well embrace the more mature and uncool you.
 
Because here's what's right around the corner for you. Trust me, It happened to me.
 
Your teenager will ask you to take her and her friends to a movie, and then will request that you not sit with them, And then suggest that maybe you could sit in the very back and pretend not to know her, or maybe you could even go get groceries and come back and pick them up!!
 
Yes, it happened.
 So today I am embracing the new mature me!
I am not 'cool mom'.
and that's ok.
I have plenty of other responsibilities without the responsibility of 'cool mom'.
responsibilities like:
homework checker,
lunch packer,
laundry official,
diaper changer,
doll dresser,
outfit picker outer,
modesty police,
cook,
cleaning lady,
child trainer,
dog trainer,
dietitian, 
 
 
 


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Chocolate Granola

As if the Challenge of living on a budget isn't enough, us Moms we also have the Challenge of making healthy meal choices for our families.
And Unless your grocery budget is 2-3 times the size of mine you are probably discovering how hard it is to buy healthy foods AND stay within budget.
Cereal is expensive, but healthy cereal is even more expensive!!
It's upsetting when I look at the ingredient list of something I have spend our hard earned money on and find ingredients of things that I don't recognize and can't pronounce.

That's why Cereal is one of the items I have decided to eliminate from our grocery list.

 However what to have on hand for a quick breakfast??

Granola to the rescue!!!!

For my Birthday my sister gave me a small Jar of Chocolate Granola, It didn't look like much, but lets say I was pretty much HOOKED after the first bite!

Here you go!!
3 cup rolled oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup rice crispies
Mix together in a bowl.

Melt together:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
Add:
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1TBS vanilla

toss with dry ingredients,

spread into 2 9x13 pans and bake at 250 for 1 hour (or until dry and crisp) stir every 15 min.
remove from oven, add:
1 cup mini semi sweet Choc chips (I use milk choc chips)
1 Cup chopped, dried cranberries
Makes approx. 1 quart

Enjoy!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Stay at home Moms Have Guilt Too

These 5 beautiful faces!
these are the faces that are on my mind when I go to bed and On my mind when I wake up! The smallest, Number 5, has recently been added to our family via adoption.
These are the little people that have me constantly wondering if I am doing enough, If I am enjoying the journey enough, If I have enough attention to go around, If I read them enough stories, if we watch too much TV. But most of all... the greatest IF... the greatest question of all is this,,,
Do I spend enough time with them??????
 
 
All you working Moms are probably laughing at me right now. But it's true!!  I too have to tell my kids,
 'Not now',
 'I don't have time',
 'Wait a minute',
 'Mommy's working',
 
Lets look at a few Character qualities we all want our children to develop:
It doesn't hurt them at all to be told to "wait".
Waiting creates the Character quality of:
 patience,
Waiting quietly because mom has to make an important phone call creates:
Respect.
Playing by themselves because Mom has to 'work' stimulates:
Imagination, and fosters
Self control
 

 
Guilt is a powerful tool that the enemy uses to keep us Moms from fully becoming that parent that God has created us to be!
Guilt is another way for us to live in our past..
Guilt keeps us from focusing our attention on how God trying to shape our Family.
Guilt keeps us in shame, hindering us from asking God the help that we need!
 
Guilt will weigh you down and tell you that you aren't good enough of a mom to adopt,
Guilt will keep you awake at night reliving a bad day,
Guilt is NOT from God!
 

In conclusion:
Do what you have to do, what ever it is that takes you or your time away from your children, do it completely and wholeheartedly as unto the Lord.
And then come 'home' to your children and parent completely and wholeheartedly as unto the Lord!
Be intentional about your time with them.
look into their eyes and know that you are being the best mom you can be!
You are changing the world,
You are raising a world changer,
all from the humble place of your home!


Recently added to my Etsy shop:  Christmas leggings


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Friendships and Motherhood

There comes a time in motherhood where your world becomes pretty small. It revolves around these things:
Naps
Mealtimes
School
Sports/lessons/activities
Bedtimes
 
And somewhere in there you need to make sure there is food in the house, clean clothes in the drawers/closets and that the home is fit for humans to live in.
 
And then at the end of the day you fall asleep on the couch out of exhaustion, you never get to watch your favorite shows to the end, so your always left wondering what's REALLY going on.
After weeks and weeks of this I start missing my friendships, I start craving long UNINTERRUPTED conversations with kindred spirits that will lift me up and encourage me,
Other moms who will tell me that my teens are normal and that theirs are acting the same way.
 
Other Moms that 'Get' Foster Care and the things I am struggling with in that area.
Other Moms that will smile and let me go on and on about our foster son and how smart he is and all the new words he has learned!
 
Other moms that will giggle in sympathy with me over the things that happen when your 6 yr old son has been cooped up in the house for months and months of winter.
 
Other moms that will listen to me talk about the pros and cons of sending my 4 year old to preschool and how undecided I am about this..
 
Those are the things I crave, understanding, acceptance and encouragement!!
 
Those are the things that one just doesn't get through socializing in social media.
 
I get these things in bits and pieces before and after church services, in between chasing babies and minding rambunctious children.
 
And Every once in a while we reach out to each other across this wilderness of motherhood and we say. I am here. I care. I am praying for you.
And then we say, 'I have to run',.... or, 'I can't stay, the kids are in the car'... or 'I have to go get groceries'... or 'headed to piano lessons.'
 
And we remind each other that this is just for a season.......
 
And we all understand that friendship is stronger than busy seasons and time spent apart!!!
 
 
So be encouraged mothers,  Isaiah 40:11:
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young.
  
 
I believe that One of the ways Jesus has blessed me while I am raising my young is with friendships that are eternal, that will stand the test of time and the test of busy seasons!!
 
 
Much Love,
RuthAnn
 

 

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Secret to Perfect Monster Cookies

The Monster Cookie,
 
The Favored of all cookies,
and it's not just because of the miniature m&m's that these cookies are so loved by all.
Their flavor is superior. End of story.
Now these cookies aren't exactly fool proof.
Maybe you have tried these cookies and they just haven't turned out right.
The secret is in the Peanut butter.... Jiff Peanut butter, some other brands are too dry and your cookies will be dry lumps.
 
 
 
So here we go:
1.5 cups Jiff peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
Whip until light and creamy, add:
1tsp. vanilla extract
2tsp.baking soda
3.5 cups quick cooking oats (not rolled oats)
1 cup chocolate chips (milk or semi sweet)
1 cup mini m&m's
 
Dip 2 cookies and bake them, if they are too flat add 1/2 cup more oats and try again.
You can never take oats out of a recipe that's why I always error on the side of 'not enough oats'

When I would make these at home with my mom I asked her why the cookies are called Monster cookies.. She told me that because she always had to make a monster size batch of these cookies, therefore they were called Monster cookies.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Screen Free Spring Break

 

 

 

Am I brave enough to decide to a screen free spring break week?? (this week is half days of school, next week is actual spring break for us)
 
That would mean no movies, no Netflix, no Ipad, no Ipod.
 
To be honest, I feel like my kiddos are getting way to much screen time lately.. the winter has been cruel, no friendly play outside snow days, it's been nasty blizzards with more snow than even I can walk in. That's my excuse for why my family has been getting so much screen time..
 
 
Last summer we enforced a no screen time rule and we loved it so much that when school started we modified it only a tad to no screen time on school nights... well that lasted until recently... recently even some school nights have been movie nights.
 
Here are the pros and cons for a screen free spring break:
Pros:
More 'together' time.
More constructive play.
More reading.
They will sleep better.
 
Cons:
Messier house (from constructive play),
Less peace and quiet,
2-3 days of agony as they go through withdrawals,
More of my energy needed for creative entertainment during withdrawal stage.
 
 
And I am thinking that if we are brave enough to go screen free it sure will help us glide right into our screen free summer of 2014..
 
So what do you think??? go for it??? or No???