Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Story of Hattie

Alrighty ladies (and gents if you're out there), I have been asked to share our adoption stories - and I aim to please!! Now, for Sophie's story, all you have to do is go back to the very first blog I did - at the time we were deciding to adopt again - and go forward. It is all here in these bloggy pages! For Hattie's, however, we have to go back a little further. OK, a LOT further!!!! I will try to keep it short, but in order for you to really get how AMAZING God is, I gotta go into some detail. So, pull up a comfy chair, grab a drink - maybe a snack - and get ready... here we go:

I cannot remember a time when I did not want to be a mom - there were times when I thought I would NEVER get married and so DENIED wanting children, but it was a big fat lie! I never wanted anyting in life more than I wanted children.
In high school I took one of those classes (can't remember the name of it) about real life stuff. The one where you get to carry a "baby" around for a few weeks and practice being a parent... I LOVED this class. I took great care in picking a name for my little sack o' flour (I named her Laurea Justin - after my aunt and a charachter in the Thorn Birds ... HEY, don't mock, I was 16!), and at the same time I picked out a name for my REAL daughter someday! I chose the name Hattie Grace - Hattie was my Great Grandma and I think my mom thought about that name for me, but it was an "old lady" name and so she was talked out of it. Grace was my grandma's name and also a Biblical term so the name fit the "one family name and one Bible name rule" and I was set. Now I just needed God to bless me with a daughter...

I realized, however, that I first needed to be Blessed with a husband. Believe you me, that was a loooooooonnnnnnnggggggg wait. So long, in fact, that my baby window closed. When I was about 30 I started having "female" issues. Actually I had had 'em all along, they just peaked around that time. I had my first surgery in April and within the next two years had, all totaled, 2 major surgeries, 2 minor surgeries and one PAINFUL procedure. All this on top of the drug therapies, tests, and doctor visits brought me to a place in my faith I never imagined. Since high school I had been "believing" God for my Hattie Grace. So, now was when the lines were tested. I prayed for Him to give me a sign. I reminded Him how very much I wanted children and asked that if I was not going to get them to PLEASE take the desire away and give me peace. Well, that desire never left - if anything it just got stronger. Finally, I came to a place where I had to just trust in His grace (Grace - ya see where I am going with this?) and do what I felt He had been leading me to the whole time. I had to step out in faith and have the "big" surgery. I had been avoiding it at all costs because I had been thinking that He couldn't give me kids if I had the surgery and then how would He fulfill His promise ... oh, silly me!
I had the surgery, effecively removing any chance of having a child - a BIOLOGICAL child. But, I believed God would bring me a child anyway.
I married my man at the age of 34 and we became foster parents. I had another conversation with God. I reminded Him that children would be passing through our house with some frequency and told Him that I did not just want to give the name away. I asked Him to please tell me when Hattie Grace arrived. And, let me tell you my bloggy buddies, He did just that.
We had heard from a friend of a friend that there was a little girl who needed a home. Her mom was a teenager and they were living with HER parents and it was not going well. They were looking for someone to adopt her. By the time we agreed to meet with them, the mother had runaway from home and left the baby there. Let me tell you, the very second they put that baby in my arms I KNEW - I felt God in my Spirit say "this is Hattie Grace" and I knew that she was promised to me. SHE was the child I had been waiting for.
The adoption plans turned ugly though - with her mother gone, there was no one with parental rights to facilitate the adoption. The grandparents were VERY anxious to get her out of their house and wanted us to "just go ahead and take her". We could not do that without endangering our foster licence though, so - in another moment of extreme faith - we had to walk away. For three long, agonizing and faith building months.
At the time we had two little guys in our home who were, let's just say "high maintenance" to the extreme power!!! We loved these guys, but they were a TON of work. One was literally afraid to sleep and it would take me up to 2 or 3 HOURS to get him to sleep at night and it was almost as hard at nap time. His brother was a reflux baby and getting him to sleep safely was not much easier. So, one Friday we were planning on taking a road trip to see my parents and I had decided that I would not bother with a nap and just let 'em sleep in the car. I had just fed em lunch and was cleaning up when I realized that BOTH boys had fallen asleep on their own! Before I had much time to fall to my knees in thanksgiving, the phone rang. It was the baby's grandmother. She was frantic because the baby had been taken into state custody. I immediately started making phone calls. I had no idea who to call or what to ask - but GOD did! I would ask a question and get an answer like "I can't talk to you, but ..." or "I can't tell you who to call, but here is the number of ...". It was SO amazing!! And let me tell you that at the very moment that I got off of the very last call, both boys woke up. They had given me enough time to track her down though and arrange to have her brought to our home the next week (technicalities mandated that we wait till then).
When she came to us she was 9 months old. The state had taken her from her grandparents because she was being severely neglected and possibly molested (thank you Jesus, THAT was not the case). She was angry, malnourished and very antisocial. There are a few things that we are still dealing with today because of the neglect, but she is soooo worth it.
That was in November of 2004. It was a long, bumpy road (mom came back into the picture and knew how to "work" the system) to get to the point where we could adopt, but it finally came. On March 8, 2006, two years ago today, she became our daughter LEGALLY. This was significant because we were told that the adoption process could take up to six months. Ours happened in less than two. It also happened two days before Hubby was scheduled to be layed off from his job (if it hadn't happened then, we may have lost her because of the no job thing), 3 weeks before we moved to Michigan and the day before her big bro Steven was scheduled to leave for bootcamp. And the really cool God touch ... March 8th was my Great Grandma Hattie's birthday. We did not request that date, God just gave it to us because He likes to be creative like that!!! MAN, He is so good aint He?
I hope the story wasn't too long ... I hope that you found it worth the time. I hope that you recognize the God prints that are all over this story. And, I hope that, someday, I can tell this story to Hattie and she will see that there was never a more wanted child in the world and that, from the very beginning, God had a plan for her! Praise Him!!!!!

Hattie Grace - March 8, 2006

Glory to God! Oh how I love this child!!!!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Time To PARTY!!!!!

For all of you who are visiting me for the first time .... this is who I am:

First and foremost I am a child of the King and my life is dedicated to The One who saves me on a daily basis.

Next in my heart is my WONDERFUL man. He is my very own Prince Charming and my best friend! I love him with all of my heart and Thank God for him daily.

And then, there are my children.

Two handsome men that The Lord gave to me through my marriage. They are strong men with so much of their dad in them they are IMPOSSIBLE not to love!

Two beautiful little ladies that the Lord gifted us through the miracle of adoption. They are my heart and soul and life without them would be no life at all! They are sweet, loving and precious and ... oh, I could go on and on...

And then there is my fRamily ... nope, it's not a typo ... these are the friends that I love like family and the family that I would choose as friends. They are the ones that have seen us through it all! The good, the bad and the ugly. And at the end of the day, they are the ones who will ALWAYS come back for more!

There are also a few things that I am passionate about. I love music - almost every kind, but the songs that rock my world are the ones that glorify my Lord. I love a good movie - old ones (Roman Holiday) as well as not so old (You've Got Mail), all the way to the "new classics" (Passion of The Christ, Facing The Giants, and of course, Finding Nemo!!). Maybe they are only "classics" in my own little mind, but they are STAPLES here in our world!!! I am also passionate about finding a cure for Breast Cancer, which is why I do this every year:

Because EVERYONE deserves a lifetime. My BFF Paula didn't get hers, it is my personal goal to make sure the two sweet angels she left behind get theirs!

So, in a (not so small) nutshell that is me. Pretty much I am just a girl who has been blessed with a wonderful life and started a blog to share pictures of that life with the ones she loves. In the course of it all I have made some pretty cool bloggy buddies - AKA "the Siestas" - and am hoping to make some more!

Feel free to come back any time. I do not promise that it will always be exciting, but I do promise that it will ALWAYS be straight from my heart!!!!!

Let me know ya stopped by and I will be sure to return the favor!!!

Blog at ya later,
Becky Jo

PS - they are giving away a TON of great prizes at blog party headquarters - my personal faves are 17, 24, 45, 58, 67, 101 & 123!!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

They Don't Make Em Like They Used To

Alrighty, here is a little something that'll age ya...

Hattie was watching Sesame Street a few days ago and saw a little something that had her laughin' so hard she was CRYING (like mother, like daughter!!) and I thought I should share. So I have been trying to find it and have finally hit the jackpot on YouTube:

I only wish I had a video of her watching!!! So FUNNY!

Then, because I was(am) the HUGEST Sesame Street fan EVER - and was totally in love with Ernie when I was a kid, I did a little Ernie search. So many wonderful clips to be found that I couldn't choose ... til I saw this one:

Why would I pick THIS one when there are all of the Ernie classics out there (i.e. Rubber Ducky, Imagination, Banana Phone, etc...)? Well, THIS is where the age part comes in....

I had an audio version of this clip on 8 Track AND record!!!!

Yep, I am that old.

And here I just gave myself away on the world wide web.

So, clearly, I am not only old, I also have lost all hope of shielding the world from this sad fact.

The Jig is up!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

More Snow ...

Ok, they said it would happen and I just laughed it off. Last year I could not get enough and they kept saying "just wait", but last year was a light year. This year, not so much. So, again, it has happened...
Me, lover of all things winter and snow ('cept drivin' in it), ME .... I am DONE! I have had enough of the winter thang. I am ready for spring and nice sunny days - not heat mind you, just NICE! The reasons for this latest development in my emotional rollercoaster are two fold:

Firstly, this ...

... is what the front of the house looked like AFTER the snow plow had gone through and Hbby had run the snowblower. Looks nice (sorta) but ever so hard to drive in - which I had to do!!!

Secondly, and this is where the selfishness that is me comes in, I am ever so tired of sorting SOCKS - can I please put the girls in sandals soon?!?!?!

On the plus side, it is always fun watching the neighbor clear HIS driveway like this:

Then there is a pile in the middle of the cul-de-sac and the neighborhood kids bring out the sleds and play ... OK, I will miss that.

But not the sock thing ... that I won't miss.

At all.



Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy ...

Hello my Bloggy Buddies!!! Can I tell ya that I am a busy bee as of late... I am on a couple of committees at church that have had me hoppin the last couple of days. Not to mention that I am in a ladies Bible Study - Jesus, The One and Only by Beth Moore - which requires a LOT of homework. I am not complaining about any of it mind you, just sayin' I am busy... Top it all of with the craziness that is my normal life and .... well, I am B*U*S*Y!!!! It is only Tuesday and I feel like I am ready for the weekend! Here is what has gone down so far this week:

Sunday - Sophie woke up stuffy and green yucky nose again, so Hubby & I made the decision to keep her home from church. Well, I was singing this week, so he was elected to keep the girls. I left for church and was there rehearsing for the morning when it hit me .... WE HAVE COFFEE TABLE THIS MORNING!!!!!! This is soooooo NOT a one man job! So, I call him and tell him to PLEASE get here quick! Being the amazing man he is, he did! So, I sang both services and we did the coffee & cookie stuff and I got a migraine! fuuuuuunnnnn!! Home and to bed for me :(.

Monday - Still with the headache, but not nearly as bad, it was doctor day for the girls. Now, what was I thinking scheduling BOTH appointments at a time of day that was IMPOSSIBLE for a daddy to be there to help me? Hattie is absolutely horrified of the doctor, due to some frightening stuff she had to endure early on in her time with us and after a pretty serious ear infection. So, she began to lose it as we pulled into the parking lot! It got worse from there and that led Sophie into her own little meltdown. It took me and two nurses to get them both weighed and measured! Hattie screamed the entire time the doctor was checking her and proceeded to redress herself - right down to the shoes, socks and jacket - while the Dr. checked her out. Once dressed she plopped herself into the stroller, turned it to the door and thereafter completely ignored the rest of the people in the room. However, she stopped crying so we were able to get to Sophie's check up - 6 MONTHS!!! Can ya even stand it? We talked about the fact that she is most assuredly NOT malnourished in any way whatsoever (20 lbs!) and is growing and developing beautifully. However, she is ALWAYS stuffy and intermittently has the green junk. The doc decided to - finally - put her on an antibiotic. Thank you JESUS, she is finally seeming to feel better and also to be getting some comfort. I had a meeting at church on Monday night, which was the calmest part of my day ... till we left the building to find that it was snowing! Oh boy!
Tuesday - Iceskated down the driveway to the bus and got Hattie off to school and Sophie and I jumped into the car and headed to get Kathy and Evy to meet Jennifer, Mel and Little Jersey at the store to shop for the Easter Carnival at church... and we ran out of time! So I came home, got Hattie, had lunch and we left for more shopping! Came home, got everyone dinner, Hubby came home and I left for another meeting at church. Another calm time, but my mind is reeling from all that I have to do for these committees!!! At one point in the meeting we decided to venture outside to check something and , yeah, snowing ... HARD! So after the meeting I drove home again in the snow - a BLIZZARD I might add!!! I do not like driving in the snow - scares the pajamas off of me! But, I did it!!!!
Tomorrow - Yep, it's a busy one. More Easter Carnival preparations to be taken care of, plus I have to get people together to work on a skit for the carnival, plus I need to get people together to work on the paint scheme and such for the sanctuary, PLUS I need to get my homework done, PLUS I need to show my girls how much I love em AND, I gotta show my man a little love too!
I LOVE my life, but I will be glad for any opportunity to sit still in the next few weeks!
I am sure I just bored ya to tears, but such is my life! Excitement galore! You're wishing you were me right about now, aren't ya!
Blog at ya later!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Picture Perfect Monday - 1st Edition

As if you really needed to see more pictures of my kids.... oh, who am I kidding, ya KNOW ya do ... I hereby present a new little thing that I will be calling Picture Perfect Mondays. In this weekly adventure I will be presenting new photos of one of the girls summed up in (with the exception of this introductory post) one sentence.
This one we will call, Hattie doin' what Hattie does best ... being beautiful! (BTW, that is the title and not the sentence!!)
So, here ya go:

This what you get when, rather than taking pictures from the warmth of the house, you send the camera out with the daddy and let him take the shots!