Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Our Van...

Our Van is my hero. It is a 12 passenger olive green beauty that has serviced our family faithfully for over seven years now. I remember wanting a van like ours as bad as a single man going through mid-life crisis wanting a Porche. It was my dream. At first, my husband was horrified that our family size had actually come to the point of needing this type of vehicle.....a real live clown car. Our Van has witnessed things, heard things and smelled things that no innocent bystander should ever have to endure. It is the moving location of many heartfelt conversations, heated ones too, and comments that were funny enough to make the books. At some point in the next year, due to another huge increase in family size, (a new baby, and two new adopted sons) I will have to hand the keys over to another proud owner. And I will look silly, because I will be crying. It will be like giving away a museum of memories. Surely I can add extra to the price of the van for the value of these? Don't answer, because I already know but don't want to hear it.

It has also been the mobile restaurant of many family meals on the run. And as a result, pieces of the family meal have gotten left behind in crevices, pockets and under seats ( and on rare occasions, the door jams). It is a major undertaking to clean the van well. Many times I have joked that our van could be the perfect eco-system for a small animal which could definitely live well fed for several weeks....yes, I was joking.

And now I'm not.

Yesterday, as we prepared to take the clan swimming, I opened the van to find an array of rodent turds on all the van seats. Looking upon the dashboard of our van, I saw what looked to be dried streams of urine and footprints of the offenders. The paw prints looked alarmingly large and much like a squirrel's. There were so many droppings, I feel quite certain that this was not the work of just one looked like they had eaten a life time's worth of fiber and decided to have a turd laying contest. Here's what I do know. Someone won.

This morning, I woke up to more little torpedoes of poo on the van seats. Not only that, there was what seemed to be a chewed up pencil on the dashboard. But to top it off, there was chewed plastic chards on the floor where some worthless piece of fur attempted (and was maybe even successful) in chewing a hole into the wall of the van. I am envisioning driving our van down the highway with parts just flying off until we just are left with the seats and the chassis of the van....all compliments of our poop obsessed rodents with a teething problem.

I just need to admit it right? Isn't true that once you admit a problem you can then deal with it? "Hi, my name is Thea and my precious van has a rodent problem." Oh my gosh, I can't believe I said this. A rodent problem? IN A CAR??????


What a sad statement. A rodent problem in a car. Our car. Actually, it's kind of hilarious in a very demented way. My husband doesn't think so. And, sadly, this fact makes it even funnier.

We will have to deal with this some how. We may have to put traps in at night and see what we come up with. No more eating in the van and we need to start closing the doors after we come in from a trip. Many times, our doors remain open especially when our smaller doobies come in last and are too weak to shut the sliding door that is 20 times their weight.

I would love to hear if any of you larger families have had this problem. It sure would make me feel better. Even if you haven't, could some of you at least lie so I won't feel as pathetic as we probably really are?

Ok. Onward and upward. I will keep you updated and maybe we will have a couple of extra pets by the end of this fiasco......or a couple of mini pelts. :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A "Little" Detail I Need To Mention.

This is something I never believed I'd hear again. It is something that brings me to my knees in humility, joy and absolute awe.

............the first sounds of my baby's heartbeats.

Yes, I am eight weeks pregnant and I am finding it hard to believe, after I had made peace with letting go of the pursuit of babies, that the Lord has seen fit to use me once again to bring forth precious life. This last week was one where, due to loss of all pregnancy symptoms for days, I was resigned to the fact that once again, I had lost yet another pregnancy. It would be a repeat performance of my loss of twins, symptom-wise. I had even made an appointment to see the OB tomorrow to see what course of action I would need to take in order to end this failed pregnancy safely. My heart was heavy but I knew that there were children and adoption papers to tend to. I was content to know that this was where the Lord had decided he wanted my focus to be. All hope had not been lost...just a change of perspective.

On Friday, my rental doppler arrived in the mail. It saddened me to see it as I knew I would have to send it back without even opening it just sat there unopened and out of sight. Saturday night, I was cleaning up and came across the box again and decided that maybe if I tried to listen, I could at least tell if there were placental sounds and maybe how far gone the pregnancy really was. So I locked my bedroom door and laid down to listen to nothing. I rooted around for about a minute and heard nothing when all of the sudden......I heard a galloping of heart beats that were way too quick to be my own. How could this be? I was supposed to be miscarrying! No morning sickness ? Heartbeats! I began to cry and then I wanted others to listen too...but I had locked my bedroom door and was stuck lying in my bed with the doppler sensor resting precariously on the exact tiniest of spots helplessly calling out "Hey! I hear heartbeats.....someone?? Anyone?? Hello??" My calls went unheard and I ended up suiting up and running down the hall yelling "I heard a heartbeat!! I heard a heartbeat!!!" A majority of my family didn't even know that I was pregnant, so this was how it was my maniacal re-stating of the fact that there was indeed a heartbeat!! Joy, complete and utter joy!

My close friends have asked me whether we would still be adopting.


Our boys still need us and we still want them with all our hearts. They are part of our family and a precious baby will not change this. I was afraid that our adoption agency would have issues with my pregnancy and adopting, but when I told them, they were overjoyed and more than willing to work with us. Whew!

Hearing the heartbeat has been like finding out I am pregnant all over again. I am overwhelmed with absolute gratitude and awe. This is all so amazing......this is more than I have ever imagined. I still need to soak all of this in. I am on cloud nine. Amazing...just amazing.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

For Reals..

As my young children would so aptly put it, this adoption is "for reals".

In our adoptive journey, there has been so many stops, starts, maybe's and almosts that our children have understandably taken awhile to trust the current situation. But they have finally taken our immediate intent to adopt the two brothers very seriously. The first sign was that their photo has now become our screen saver courtesy of our eldest son. Conversations between our children many times start with "When our brothers come, we can/ we will.........." My husband has come to me on two occassions to state that he is really excited to have these boys as a part of our family.

I love this. We are all on board...and this is the way is supposed to be.

We are in the process of putting together our dossier. Honestly, I was a little overwhelmed until I found out that one of my very good friends is a notary. This is a God-send! The other thing we are in the beginning stages of planning, is the fund raising that we will be doing to ease the financial pressure of the adoption. I have never done this before....ever. Where was I even going to start??? With a little prayer, I took the first step by researching this very topic. And during this research, people began popping out of the woodwork with ideas that had worked for them, or others they knew, when they had adopted.

I love the fact that we are amidst many families and friends who have adopted or are in the process of adopting. The support and encouragement gained from this is priceless. I can't imagine going through this with out these families and their experiences.

This is do-able. I am going to take a deep breath and keep on going. This is going to work. This is "for reals".

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Conversation

As I was saying good night to my precious daughter last night I felt the sudden urge to start the following conversation with her....

Me: Little one....where is your eyebrow? (Asked with absolutely no expression at all)

Daughter: Ummm......I don't know.

Me: Your eyebrow is missing. Where is it?

Daughter: Oh, that eyebrow. I snipped it off.

Me: You snipped it off. With what?

Daughter: With your fingernail thingees.

Me: My fingernail thingees. You mean you clipped off your eyebrow with my fingernail clippers??

Daughter: No. Your fingernail know, those tiny scissors.

Me: Show me.

She proceeds to prance her one-eyebrowed self down the hall and retrieve my tiny scissors with curved blades at the end. And to imagine my five year old clipping happily away near her right eye ball makes me glad I don't witness all that my children do. Inquiring minds
don't always want to know.

Thank you Lord that eyebrows grow back.

And thank you Lord that the ER was not a place visited as a result of eyebrow snipping gone wrong.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


After waiting and with much prayer, we are pleased to announce that we will be adding two gorgeous sons to our family. Our just seems to unbelievable to say and type. They are brothers ages eight and ten.

Our sons.

They have been waiting for five years to have a family. But because they are older boys and the eldest is missing a hand, these diamonds in the rough have been over looked.

They are devoted to each other and I feel grateful that we will be able to provide a family that will allow them to grow up together and safe. With our agency, they had the resources (a counselor) to go into the compound where they are staying to ask them specific questions that my husband and I had listed. Although I would love to share their background and how they came to have no parents, I feel that it would be a personal violation to them. I want it to be a story they tell when they are comfortable enough. I would hate for them to find out that everybody else knew intimate events of their lives that even they haven't come to terms with yet.

However, all that being said, I wanted to share the very thing that stole our hearts when they answered our questions. The eldest claimed that he could not remember the events that left he and his brother orphans nor could her remember his parents. Thinking this was odd, the counselor prodded further only to find out that he was afraid to mention his parents or his love for them fearing that no one would want to adopt him or his brother. Oh, his desire runs deep to belong to a deep he was willing to camouflage the memory of his own parents to obtain new ones. Ouch. When I read this (along with the other answers to our questions), and if it had been possible and legal, I would have booked a flight to go and immediately retrieve this duo.

Our sons. The words taste so sweet on my tongue.

We are in the beginning of all the paperwork that needs to be done. The estimate given to us is about 8-10 months before they darken our doorway. We would covet any prayers during this process and prayers for the boys too. Pray that even though they do not know we are coming, that they are given a sense of hope and peace that they will have a family soon.