Saturday, April 30, 2016

Best of Facebook: April 2016

4/1/2016: Click here to see post on FB:
In the process of updating our homestudy (we do so every year) and it asks for a "Statement regarding your motivation to adopt." Here is ours:

We believe God cares deeply for the orphan and as Christians we are the hands and feet of God to show love and care for the least of these. We believe that every child deserves a safe family where they know they are loved regardless of their abilities, behavior, race, age, or history. We desire to make the least desirable children know that they are wanted and the hardest to place children know that they are deeply loved by us and their heavenly Father. We have built our family through the beautiful brokenness of adoption and wouldn’t have it any other way!

We are not perfect but one thing we have proven in our family dynamic is we have the commitment to love children from hard places. We have parented difficult trauma-related behaviors, delinquency, disorders such as RAD, PTSD, ODD, ADHD, and Enuresis. We have also navigated parenting many medical needs including Giant Congenital Melanocytic Nevus, atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS), Microcephaly, seizure disorder, Cerebral Palsy, vision impairment, global developmental delays, short gut syndrome, and GJ-tube dependency. We are willing to work with doctors, counselors and therapist to provide the best quality of life for any child God calls on us to welcome into our large family!

:) What is your motivation?



I used to work with Parks and Rec and my favorite time of year was helping put together our bi-annual parade float. Although I don't work there anymore I still have the opportunity to create props and costumes and now the kids get to participate too! We have so much fun being apart of these parades and, oh, the memories we make!!!



We got a frantic call while out on a date tonight. "Mom! Mom! Are you on your way home soon!?!"
"No, we are still at dinner, why? What is going on?"
His voice was shaking, "Mom, Buttercream's in labor! The hooves...the hooves are out!!!"
I smiled and mouthed to Brian that our cow was having her baby, "Anthony that is great!"
His voice becomes more frantic and he is having a hard time catching his breath, "But mom! What do I do? Will you come home? What do I do?"
I want to laugh at his intense concern but instead I used a more serious tone, "Anthony, calm down. You have read every farm book we own, every book on cows from the library, every cow pregnancy article online and watched every cow birthing video on youtube. You are a fully trained cow midwife (midhusband?) so breath and you'll be fine. You can do it!"
I hear very controlled breathing in and out, "Okay, thanks mom. I can do this!"

Not but a few minutes later, as we were heading home, we got a call that it was a boy! Brian and I arrived to all the children in their pajamas huddled around the birthing stall watching as mama licked her baby calf clean, cheering as baby stood on his own and took his wobbly first steps, and cherished in their heart the miracle of a new life on the farm! Welcome baby Cornbread!!!


Port surgery 1/2: Today Brittney is having a new chest port put in and she is in a good mood! :)

Brittney has been doing great since we have been home from the hospital! We have seen vast improvements since switching her to a real food diet, her cognitive abilities and speech have improved and her vocabulary has grown. We have also been able to wean her off ALL five of her daily meds!

She is healthy and infection free so today she is having surgery to have a new chest port placed. Brittney has been a great blessing in our life! God is good and faithful!!!


Port surgery 2/2: Today Brittney is having a new chest port put in and she is in a good mood! :)

2nd video before Britt's port surgery. She is too cute! And so happy!


Post-op: Brittney's Port surgery went well! She is a little "drunk" but is doing good, in great spirits considering, asking for food and to go home. :)


Mirabel has taken over milking Willow while I work on milking our new-in-milk cow, Buttercream. Twelve years old and she loves milking her goats and, now, a cow. You may think, that's cool, milking a cow, must be easy if a 12 year old can do it. But I didn't hand this chore over lightly. That creature weighs almost 1,000lbs and one kick could send you to the ER. It takes and calm, gentle, forgiving and very patient spirit to have a cow stand calmly for you while you squeeze and tug on her nether-regions!

See I had to learn that kind of spirit, I had to beg God to give it to me after being kicked, swatted at with a urine-soaked tail and having the milk bucket knocked over. I had to forgive Willow, speak gently to her, move calmly around her, and show her love even when I felt like wringing her huge cow neck!

But you see, Mirabel may be like her mama in a lot of ways, but in this case she is not. Willow took to her immediately, trusted her, and stood perfectly still right away. Sometimes the best lessons in this life don't come from books or college but from the heart of God's creation, children and from the creatures we least expect it to, like Willow the cow. :)



The kids reminded me that this is Brittney's first RV trip! Texas here we come! Can't wait for a week of camping, family-time, and fellowship!


Many of you may know we were recently preparing to adopt a special needs boy from an adoption dissolution (disruption, divorce).

We have always approached adoption the same, that we are are open and willing to walk whatever path God has for us. That means if we are approached to adopt a child we say yes and walk forward regardless of the challenges that may lie ahead. We trust the Lord will give us the grace and strength to endure and the patience to love any of His children. We aren't special or endowed with more patience, grace or strength than any other Christian. We are simply willing to trust God in the area of family planning and adoption. We renew our homestudy year after year not because we think we can handle more but because God is the caretaker of the orphans and we were adopted by Him. Therefore as the hands and feet of Jesus we care for the orphans and we adopt after our Father. We don't pray for God to "open the door to adoption," we feel He already has. We first pray we will trust Him as we walk forward through the open door and then we pray He will clearly close the door if this is not the child He has for our family. We see lots of closed doors. We see even more trust as our faith in our awesome God grows each time.

With that said, although we were willing to adopt again and we were in process of making it happen, we were also praying the entire time that God would clearly shut that door by rising up a family in this child's home state to adopt him before our homestudy was completed. And praise God that is exactly what happened! A family has come forward for this little boy, in his home state and we couldn't be more excited. We are now praying for this child, his new family and whatever God may have in store for us (we are praying about embryo adoption, but that is a different story). :)



We are home! Our trip to Big Sandy, TX was sweet and quite inspiring, maybe I will find some time to write more detailed about it soon. But we are so glad to be back on the farm. I did miss it, even though we all thoroughly enjoyed the break!

We drove home all day Saturday and I spent last night/this morning from 1am-8am in the ER with Brittney. Turns out it wasn't as severe as we originally thought just several small things piled on top of each other so she just was feeling no good. She has a mild cold, an awful yeast diaper rash and added inflammation due to becoming a little lady, a mild bladder infection and constipation (even though we had a bm every day). Rest, fluids, prescription cream, antibiotics and some Miralax and in a few days I am sure she will be up and feeling great again! :)

When my expectations were to be hospitalized again this news is a blessing! Sometimes the difference between blessings and burdens is just in what lenses you choose to look at life through. With all this little girlie's challenges (and now womanhood, oh my!) I still wouldn't trade her for the world! She is God's gift and blessing to us! We are so undeserving!!!



Worry happens when we assume responsibility for things that God never intended us to. The remedy for worry is trust. Worry won't heal my broken toe but trusting in God' goodness gives me a peace while it takes time to mend.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

What are you worried about? Can you trust the Lord with that area of your life?

P.S. Excuse my poorly manicured toes, I even thought maybe I should re-paint them before taking a pic (how vain) but real mommy-hood sometimes looks like dirty toes and chipped nail polish. ;)



I am contemplating locking myself in a closet for 24 hours! LOL :) 
I feel like a comedy of errors! A couple weeks ago I schedule a wellness exam at my doctor as necessary to update our adoption homestudy.
So 2 days ago I take Britt to the ER and pick up a nasty cough, yesterday I break my toe, and today, IN THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE, I take a sip from my water bottle while holding my physical form and the paper perfectly slices my cornea!

Ha! Life is never boring indeed....



Britt-head is feeling so much better today! She is such an easy girl, seriously my easiest kid even with all her medical craziness, because her spirit is so sweet and joyful! She calls me over to show me all the toys she has been looking at sitting quietly on the couch. "Look mommy, toys, YAY!" Can't help but smile around this girl. We are seeing such a HUGE improvement in her mood, language, vocabulary and cognitive abilities since switching to her to an all-natural formula, Liquid Hope. It is amazing to watch!

Lots of good news today, my eye feels so much better, yesterday it felt like someone was rubbing a tree branch across it over and over. Ow! I don't have my vision completely back so I didn't feel comfortable driving, so a friend came by and picked up 3 big kids to go to the abortion clinic where we minister some Wednesday mornings. Then Anthony was picked up to help friends install gutters, lately because he is so smart and hard-working many friends and local farms hire him to help them out with building, yard and farm projects. And my favorite event is that Brian is off work today! It is beautiful out so we are all going to take a drive to an local fruit tree farm to plant the beginning of a fruit orchard on our property. God is good!



Mommy wars are real! Babies and kids don't come with manuals. Let us always season our words with grace, educate in private and encourage in public :)

Our baby Pygmy goat, Boberry, staring in his very first meme! ;)


Posted by Shannon

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