Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Noah's Gotcha Day-versary | 09.29.14

  • He's 2.
  • We've known him since his 3rd day of life.
  • He was supposed to be moved to another home shortly after we had him.
  • It took longer than planned.
  • The other family changed their minds when they saw how bonded we were with him.
  • They will always have a special place in our hearts.
  • He is quickly becoming as silly & goofy as his big brother.
  • He has been paci-free for 2 weeks.
  • His favorite snack is bananas.
  • His favorite drink is "mewk".
  • His favorite toys are "beep beeps". (cars)
  • He has beautiful curly hair.
  • He is getting his first hair cut very soon.
  • He lights up our rooms and our hearts.
  • Thank You Jesus for Noah and this beautiful picture of redemption on earth.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Josiah's Gotcha Day | 06.13.13

  • He's 3.5
  • We've known him all but the first 5 weeks of his life.
  • He is the most energetic little guy I have ever met.
  • He has the most contagious laughter I have ever heard.
  • He stole my heart the moment the shelter worker placed him in my arms.
  • He is an answer to about 18 years of prayer. Ever prayed 18 years for something and then have it finally come true?
  • His Adoption Day (aka Gotcha Day) is always going to be one of the happiest, most joyful days in my life.
  • He has FPIES which means his tummy is sensitive to certain foods. It also means we didn't sleep the first 2 years of his life because his tummy hurt the most at night.
  • He has Sensory Processing Disorder which means he doesn't process things the way we do, he is our little beast, seeking high energy, loud noises & extreme sensations...once those things are met, he is able to be a little calmer. Which also means he might get aggressive so we are very careful with who we are around.
  • But these things don't define him. They are simply challenges that have taught me to depend more on my precious Redeemer.
  • Josiah is a joy to our family.
  • Having him in our family has made me the happiest momma in the world!
  • Jesus has GREAT things in store for him.
  • This morning we read 2 adoption books and I realized the questions will probably start coming within the next 12 months. That scares me. I would really like to get a better picture of his biological mom to include in his photo album.
  • Thank You Jesus for Josiah. 
  • Thank You that today we got to celebrate redemption on earth!!!
  • Tuesday, June 9, 2015

    The Moment | Real Life

    My sister-in-law came to visit me today.  I always look forward to her visits.  I think she feels sorry for me always being cooped up at home...or maybe she really loves me? :)  We caught up on life. I got to hear about her awesome vacation and she got to hear about my crazy life. Ha! Josiah hurt my nephew... you know, just regular stuff going on during our coffee date in the living room. :/

    From Day 1, we have always taught our kids that we walk our company out when they are leaving. It is just good southern manners!  Today was no different.  As Kimber left and hollering "bye" was done, Josiah decided to make a run for it in the opposite direction of our front door.  As in, he bolted down the sidewalk as swift as a gazelle. Literally.

    I couldn't catch him. 2 houses down, 3 houses down, oh my gosh, I see a garage door opening, 4 houses down, please God help my legs speed up, yelling at Josiah to stop, 5 houses down, car starts backing out of his driveway, Jesus please make Josiah trip, I yelled a blood curdling scream as Josiah was about 5 feet away from getting run over. And in that instant, in that MOMENT, I believe the Lord had an angel shout at that man through his closed window. Because he hit his breaks hard and I swiftly picked Josiah up with the strength of a crazy woman and turned around shaking & fighting back the sobs that wanted to take me over. I heard the driver close his car door... I couldn't even turn around to thank him. I was in shock.

    My son could have died today. But he didn't. Because God protected him.

    And I am still processing all this... and teary eyed once again as I type this out.

    Life is short friends. What are you doing with yours?

    Ephesians 5:15-17English Standard Version (ESV)

    15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

    Tonight as I nuzzled my sweet boy & gave him goodnight kisses, I let out another "thank You Jesus for protecting Josiah today!" Truthfully tho...He protects Josiah every day, and Noah, and Gabi, Amy, Sara & Emma...and Matt in insane rush hour traffic...and momma, when she's at home tending to her precious flock. Because nothing and I mean NOTHING comes into our lives without first being gently sifted through His loving hands.

    Dear Precious Jesus,
    Thank You for being with us through EVERY MOMENT of our lives. Thank You that You are near whether outcomes appear good or whether they appear bad to our human heart. Thank You that NOTHING will ever come into our lives that isn't going to be used for our good. You are worthy of our praise, glory and honor our precious King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, only God!!!

     (This was taken for our New Years Cards...aren't they breathtaking?)

    Monday, May 18, 2015

    Mental Illnesses/ Diseases & Paleo Diet

    This entire year has been a pretty exhausting one so far...and that's coming from a positive person like myself. I wonder what my husband would say if he were writing this blog post? LOL!!!
    Some of the teens have mutated into people we don't know. And Josiah has gone looney toons to the 3rd degree.

    The latest struggle had me digging through Josiah's adoption paperwork. It is a HUGE pile that was on a shelf in my room with all our other kids' adoption paperwork.  His counselor wanted me to give her the exact disease that his biological mom has.

    This afternoon, instead of working on a wedding album for a bride, I've been going crazy doing online researching. (Sorry bride!!!)  I found an extremely informative medical paper that has really long words in it that I will need to google on more later, but every website I have gone to agrees 100% on these things: There is no cure. There's a 50% chance he carries the gene.

    Paleo Diet helps keep the effects at bay.

    Paleo Diet has also been known to help with the other crap we're dealing with.

    WHY DID I EVER start giving him wheat once his belly could accept it without having a rash? Why was my brain thinking that the biggest goal the last 2 years was to  heal his belly so that he could "live a normal life" by eating WHEAT. All that painful long process on the GAPS Diet, all that success and it feels like I threw it all away by getting him addicted to wheat.

    I am so frustrated with other things going on and adding this to it has me almost in tears.

    Do you know how hard it's going to be, at the age of 3.5, to now tell him he can no longer eat wheat again, because even though it doesn't hurt his tummy anymore, it is slowly hurting his neurological system. What the heck? He's not gonna understand that...

    And sweet baby Noah has had a rash the last 2 times we have given him wheat bread...

    I would like to bang my head against a wall really hard.

    Tuesday, April 21, 2015

    Closing Our Doors | Things I never thought I would say

    We are closing our doors to Foster Care.
    That's a sentence I never thought I would hear myself say.

    Our home is considered "full". We have 6 children and that's the limit. We have had 6 children since Amy Belle joined our home last February...but the Lord allowed us to continue taking in other children under the label "Emergency Care" on the weekends.

    It has been a complete blessing. Our children are better people because of it. We have seen empathy, compassion & selflessness grow out of them that I'm not sure they would have learned any other way.

    We have learned hands-on, how to care for children with special needs. We have learned how very, very blessed we are and how very little so many others have. We have learned how we can be the hands & feet of Jesus to a very hurting world.

    Our family has grown by THREE as a result of fostering children who then became adoptable. And oh how I love all my Morrow babies more than I can utter with human words!!!

    However, it hasn't always been positive. Our kids have also went without things because we were busy providing for other kids. We serve a mighty God who has NEVER let us go without any necessities. All of our needs have always been provided for. However, there are things our kids have gone without as a result of our finances being shifted to caring for so many others.

    What hurts the most is that they have also had to go without our previous constant love & attention being poured into them that they had before we began caring for other children.  As a result, we have biological children who are now hurting. It has come out in different forms. And due to our hurting children and spending night after night dealing with all those issues, our marriage is starting to feel the pressure of all this stress. It hasn't been ugly, but it hasn't been pretty either.

    So for now, for this season, we are closing our doors to Foster Care. Oh how it hurts to say that. But oh how I am thankful that seasons come & seasons go.  We can reopen again within 5 years with not too many hoops to jump through. Gabi will be 21 then. Crazy!

    And oh how thankful I am for the healing that is taking place in our children. He is a good God friends. And even in the midst of my children's hurting hearts, I have loved watching from this front row seat, how He stirs hearts towards Him. I will remain forever thankful for the way He works ALL things out for our good dear ones. ALL THINGS.

    Thank you to my precious husband, for saying YES to Jesus, even though it went against everything you were most comfortable with 4.5 years ago, when we began this journey. Thank you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable as we journeyed through this new territory. You have been our rock by constantly pointing us to Jesus and reminding us that everything would be ok. I am so humbly sorry the last few months have been so difficult. Thank you for your patience as we navigate through this season with the Lord by our side.

    Thank you New Life Baptist Church of Blanchard, OK for the way you have supported us through our Foster Care Journey this past year & a half. Thank you for being such a blessing to our family. Your prayers, encouraging texts & financial help when we needed it most completely blows our mind. May the Lord continue to bless you beyond what you have blessed our family. Thank you!

    Thank you to our friends & family who have prayed for us, brought us meals when we had newborns, supplied us with baby items and sweet little boy clothes and simply made it possible for us to do this ministry (because that IS what it has been to our family). Your encouragement means more to us than you will ever know. And I am so sorry that I stink at thank you notes. It's no excuse and I'm embarrassed and so very sorry. But you know who you are and we are so eternally thankful for each of you!

    Thank you to my closest, bestest friends who threw us Gotcha Parties with each of our Adoptions. You girls know how to throw parties! And you know how to help a girl feel loved even when her own family lives 13 hours away! I am forever & ever grateful for each of you and so thankful to my Jesus for placing you in my life. I love ya'll from the bottom of my heart!

    Onto the next season...

    Monday, April 20, 2015

    Article on helping older Adopted Children heal

    One of our case workers, who has also become my friend, sent this to me this morning. She thought it might be helpful to some of my readers. It's very informative.


    Thursday, March 19, 2015

    Thoughts of my Noah's Birth Mom

    It's Thursday and I just finished shoveling in Butternut Squash Macaroni down the hatchet for a quick lunch because the boys are busy and wild and oh so normal for this age...so my lunch is usually late and fast & furious and usually left overs or whatever I can find that's quick to slap together.  And I don't have time for blogging, so this is going to be quick.

    Anyways, Noah was having a fit while I was trying to change his diaper so I grabbed the closest toy to us, which just so happened to be the toy his mom gave him for his first Christmas. "His mom", when I say that, I don't detract from the fact that I'm his mom too. Three of my children have 2 moms, the mom that carried them in her womb for 9 months and then me, the mom that gets to raise them and be blessed with their irresistible cuteness 24/7.

    So this toy that his mom gave him wasn't age appropriate at the time. But right now, Noah LOVES it! It is totally age appropriate 1 1/2 years later.  And I prayed for her, his mom. Because without her, we wouldn't have him, our precious, almost-18-month-old baby boy. She's made poor choices in life that have greatly affected her biological children. But who am I to judge?  Only God knows the full story.

    She signed over her rights when he was 6 months old and said she wanted us to have him and that she trusted us. We didn't exchange contact info, cause at the time, it terrified me.  Awhile ago, I actually asked the Lord to give me a way to get an updated picture of him to her. Could you pray for this too?


    (chocolate cake face)

    Friday, January 2, 2015

    "Year in Review"

    I printed out this neat little "Year in Review" for our family to fill out several weeks ago. I just went to link it here and the link has been removed. Well darn it!
    So I will post a few of the questions and my family's answers here for ya. It was a great way to end 2014 for The Morrows. Some of the girls really got into it and took almost an hour to fill out.

    Things I loved about this year: Getting to see my family in Indiana. Adding Amy & Noah to our family. Being promoted at work.
    Things I am thankful for: Forgiveness in Christ, my family, my church, God's Word
    Hardest thing of the year: Raising three teenage daughters at the same time

    Things I loved about this year: Watching God grow our family & provide for all the necessities
    Favorite memory: seeing my girls be more selfless than anyone I know
    Greatest lesson learned: God always provides

    Anonymous Kid #1:
    Things I loved about this year: Adopting 2 new siblings
    Favorite memory: Going to the fair and Adopting Amy & Noah
    Goal #4: Learn to play Chess

    Anonymous Kid #2:
    Favorite memory: Getting to live with my forever family, forever!
    Greatest lesson learned: Learning how Jesus works.
    Goal #1: Knowing God better

    Anonymous Kid #3:
    Favorite Memory: Riding the Scat
    Greatest lesson learned: God is in control, even when everything seems out of control
    Things I want to do this year: Go to beach

    Anonymous Kid #4: 
    Things I am thankful for: A dad that is teaching me more and more about Jesus
    Greatest lesson learned: It is better to give than to receive
    Things I want to do this year: Go ice skating

    The boys obviously didn't fill out forms, but I think they will agree 2014 was an AWESOME year!
    Josiah & Noah are best buds and they clearly couldn't imagine life without each other.

    Here are the questions in detail, if you'd like to sit down w/ your family to ask them the questions. It certainly provided about an hour of conversation time for us and it was great to reminisce and to think of things we're looking forward to in 2015!

    1. Things I loved about this year
    2. Things I am thankful for
    3. Favorite memory
    4. Greatest lesson learned
    5. Hardest thing of the year
    6. Best thing of the year
    7. Things I want to get better at
    8. Things I'm looking forward to
    9. Goal #1.  Action Plan
    10. Goal #2. Action Plan
    11. Goal #3. Action Plan
    12. Goal #4. Action Plan

                  And those who know Your name put their trust in You,
             for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.
                                                   - Psalm 9:10