Category Archives: Adoption

The Storms Make the Best Waves

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Last week, the weather in our vacation spot said sunny all day er’ day…this week weather reports say storms and overcast all week.

Disappointing as sun just gives life to the soul, but a blessing as no one is hurting from a sunburn and we still play all day in the ocean…win-win! Yesterday, we grabbed our boogie boards and went out when the wind was blowing hard. Kinda crazy, kinda exciting, kinda stupid…those waves hurt! But man, such good waves to ride…tall, fast, fun…so many laughs and squeals. Constant sounds of “that was a big one!”  We went back at night and we had fun, but the waves were back to being calm and consistent…we began to miss the waves that were hard, crashing and furious and wild!

Isn’t that life? Storms make the best waves. The waves in a storm knock you out of your comfort zone.

Waves in a storm give you the restlessness and sense of urgency to..

Look for a new job.

Finally move.

Make the budget.

Have the tough conversation.

Go to the doctor.

Dry the tears and begin the next chapter.

Say yes to family.

Mourn the loss.

Stop wishing and start trying. In short, the biggest life changes come from the biggest storms. It was in my storm, we began to both work on our marriage and adopt our son. The storm gave us a new perspective to pack up or camp out. We chose to stay.

Storms make you stop complaining about the rain and start playing in it. And the reward to withering the storm is so beautiful and a direct promise from God that He sees you, loves you, was with you and will never leave you.

Rainbows are best seen after the rain. God’s perfect design for his children.

Today I ask you to pray for this family and their fight to beat Colon Cancer. You can google Staggs family to read more about them. They have used their storm to share about Jesus and the fight is stronger than ever right now. The most ferocious of storms are made easier when we stand together…I am standing with them in prayer.

Vanity over Sanity

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It is officially 2020 and it seems that everywhere you look it is about weight lifting or weight loss…getting thin or getting bigger…going to the gym or going to the grave….everyone has an opinion. Something I have learned from being married to a man that seems to also be married to the gym is that the better they look…the more insecurity there seems to be. I am not saying everybody, but surprisingly more people than I thought struggle with this idea of getting older, getting fat or getting behind. Some go to shortcuts to create an edge through shots or surgery or pills etc. All of that leads to a quick fix for the moment, but if the mind is not right the self doubts will always come back. In short, it seems some choose vanity over sanity and the issue does not seem to be disappearing anytime soon.

My husband and I argue about this a lot because with Lupus, I need to work out, but I always feel so tired. I always feel like if I had an extra hour in my day it would be for anything else than the gym. However, what I am finding is I actually do feel better whenever I get in there. I am not like my husband with the discipline to go at whatever cost, but I have found myself trying to make it more than I ever had previously. Something about the pre-workout, the right music, the right protein shake and being by myself in the gym excites me. There are all kinds of workouts, but I am still a good old fashion gym rat through and through. (Just do not check my attendance please!) Here lately my go to has been nutrition shakes that cost half my salary, but make me feel like I am putting forth effort to have that beach body by July.

If you saw me you would likely roll your eyes that I am even writing about weight loss as I am a small girl, but my issue is to turn fat into muscle and not look like the wind could kick my a@#. It is true…my arms are weak, but my mind makes up for it. I pray at some point that we can all get to a place of appreciation, of self check when we need to get it together rather than others opinions deciding for us, a place where vanity and sanity can coexist and aging will be just as sexy as Carrie Underwood’s legs. But until then my plan of action is to tell myself and others they are beautiful and worthy and enough. To stay healthy for life, to stay emotionally and mentally grounded for the good of your well being and be okay with the person God created whatever phase of life you are in. 2020 will be the best year yet!

New Year Resolutions: Hype or Happiness?

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My Facebook feed is full of Resolutions, Vision Boards, Goal setting and so much more to welcome in the New Year.  I love a good goal setting party and I especially love having a plan, but reading these exhaust me each year and I have been trying to understand why.

Here are some ideas:

I am a quitter so I quit even before I start? (Enneagram 9 problems)

It exhausts me to plan for all that work.

Jealousy for that kind of vision.

I think for me it hypes up the I will, the I want, and the Someday leaving behind the right now. (This is also why I cannot do Pinterest.)  I know we all need vision and goals for many jobs, projects and ideas, but I want to live my life in the present.  I refuse to miss out on the many moments of now.  All of this writing will be frowned upon by many successful people including the great Rachel Hollis that has built her empire on goals, visions and more.  I cannot wrong them as they are sitting in private jets while I am behind this outdated computer, but I want contentment.  I want to be a visionary while appreciating the magic of today.  I choose to celebrate the new year with a new word and a new saying to live by.

Previous words and years:

Do it afraid.  Do not let your fear be greater than your faith.  Change is an opportunity to do something amazing. Wherever you are, be all there.

The words that went with these sayings were balance, faith, fearlessness, presence and selfless.

This year my big word is VULNERABLE with the saying “What you know matters, who you are MATTERS MORE.

I want my year, my experiences, my adventures to be full of connectedness, whole-heart and all-in kinda-live-in-the-moment opportunities. Vulnerable is hard for me since it can be seen as weakness, but I see it as courage to put myself out there and really feel.  No holding back. I always say that I do not choose the word-it chooses me.  God plants a seed and then I wait and listen until he speaks up to confirm.  I thought at one time it was journey, but then the V word just kept popping back up until I finally surrendered.

So good for you if you can handle the resolutions and goals of tomorrow.  Not knocking the idea, but just saying it does not work for me.  I do have all the supplies for a vision board that may someday come to life, but for now I am excited about what being vulnerable in my relationships and moments of now might bring.  For my first vulnerable step of 2020, I upgraded this blog to a premium site!  It may not bring me any more traffic, likes or comments, but I feel it validates (another v word) that I want this to be more than just for myself. So I am putting my words out there to see what might happen.

Happy 2020!

Surreal Parenting

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This is my workspace 30 minutes after my son gets out of school

Every once in a while, I will have one of those parenting moments that are hard to put into words. Those moments that you cannot believe you are here. I have had a few lately as we cross the path into medicine for my son.

My son was diagnosed with seizures at 3 1/2 and has been on meds ever since. We have always known we live in a world of EEGs and MRIs, but we thought that was the bulk of it. We knew he had a bit of a wild side, but many boys do and then he started school…we learned his wild is wilder than normal and it is affecting his learning

So now we are on new uncharted territory. Riding the rapids of ADHD medication and testing for learning disabilities for all the time that focus might have kept him from learning. Hard to be sitting here having these conversations of side effects and dosage but here we are. In the middle of the chaos, God spoke to me at a worship night.

“You were made to be his mom. You were created for this.” 

No one will advocate, fight, champion, and dig my heels in the dirt more than me. No one is more stubborn and will do all things possible to ensure he learns. God chose me to parent him…I was born to love this child. This may be new territory, but we will conquer it together.

Adventures with Absence Epilepsy

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We noticed when he was around 3 that he would have these moments of going blank. At first, it was so quick that you would have to be staring at him to see it. Over time, it became more often and more noticeable that it was pretty obvious. At his worst, they would occur 20 times an hour and his eyes would roll back in his head. After much testing, we were finally able to get him diagnosed and on medicines.

Now, he has been on medication for over a year and we notice some academic delays. These are delays that could have always been there or delays caused by the seizures, either way we want to be able to make the best decisions for his schooling.  As part of the process, we were instructed to get another EEG and thankfully we could do it over the summer. He did a great job! This test is stressful for this mama as they flash lights in his face, make him sit still for 30 minutes and strap him up to a machine. We are hopeful the results will give us more answers that the medicine is working. His testing was done at a hospital just for children which feels more like a playground! One of his favorite things is the trains…they are amazing and such a blessing to a nervous mom.

He is smiling so big because we timed that shot perfectly so he was in a pic with a train. God has been so good to us during this process to get him the treatment he needs. We are hopeful that he grows out of the seizures in a few years and continues his path to greatness.

Saying YES to God

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So you may remember, we put our house on the market in February. It was sold a week later and we closed in March. Moved into grandma’s until May then moved into our new home and finally got everything settled and decorated by July. Yes, it finally feels like home. For a girl that resisted and prayed against the move it was God’s will and I can see that now. We save money by not going out as much…I cook way more since it is easier. We have more time as a family and the area is beautiful. I fought the change but am thankful I said yes to God.
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I accepted a position as a Literacy Specialist which took me out of my comfort zone in the classroom. I felt God calling me to this position but I do not like change and I had already moved three times in six months. I know God has me here for a purpose but I still really miss the relationships of a classroom. I still feel lost and love when I get to sub, but on weekends when I am playing with my son I know it was what God called me to do. I can be present with him and I have been called to do a lot for the school to help others. It has been a blessing to have the time and energy to help others rather than drowning in my own mess. Glad I said yes. image
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Finally, amazing how God works when you obey. Our church is planting a new church in Kaufman and needs member to help start it. God knew we would be there so the pieces are starting to fit. Awesome to see the changes make sense when you were blindly going where we felt he was leading. I have a feeling my job may change in the future as well but I am still in prayer for that direction. We are leaving a great community group and people for Jesus but we know new relationships will be built. imageimage

For a girl who hates change she has had her fill of it. But change is inevitable so I must learn to embrace it. I am thankful God has chosen us and I am relieved we said yes. Be in prayer with us for the things yet to come!imageimage

A Day at the Zoo

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This is normally our Fair Day, but instead we went to the Dallas Zoo. It was perfect! I crowded, great weather, no major meltdowns, ice cream, animals, rides, toys and glory to God for safe travels. Now that we live in Kaufman, trips to the zoo require a drive and directions but I got there and back safely and without getting lost…go me!image
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Happy Adoption Day!

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The best part about being adopted is you get TWO days to celebrate YOU!  Obviously we celebrate Callen’s birthday, but every year in June (exactly six months from his birth) we get to celebrate the day he became officially ours forever.  Since his birthday falls around Christmas, I think we really enjoy Adoption Day a little more…the only setback is his cousin’s birthday is on the same date so we have to share that day…but that just means more cake and more parties!  We never want to forget that feeling when we had official access to his records and he no longer belonged to an adoption agency…he was ours!  No more home visits, no more paperwork, no more proving we were fit to be his parents…no more hurdles to jump through.  It is crazy how having a child biologically is SO MUCH EASIER than adoption.  We had to really prove that we could handle this versus just showing that our DNA matches…but he was worth it!

Here are a couple of pics of Callen at six months in the court room:

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Then here is one on the first anniversary of his Adoption Day at a year and a half…

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Finally this year as he waits for cake…hard to believe it has been TWO years!!

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The Good news is:  On June 14th, 2013 Callen became an heir to the Tyndall throne.  We give God the glory for leading us to our child and making our family of three.  I know that every moment of my life led me to parent him and for that I am thankful.

Brother Bio Visit

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Through our open adoption, we are so blessed that we get to stay in touch with Callen’s biological family.  We connect with his birthparents through Facebook, letters, text messages etc. which is great for us both.  They love getting immediate updates and are so supportive to us…we are able to ask them any questions that we need to ask and I love that openness.  We can thank them daily for this gift and share God’s love with each other.

But, we also get to stay in contact with his biological brother as well.  He is adopted by a family near Houston and at least twice a year we get together to let them play and interact.  This June, we connected at the AIM picnic where both boys were adopted.  Our son is two and his older brother is six, so they have great connection in their age difference.  Callen loves being the little brother, getting help from him, doing big boy stuff with his help etc and M gets to be a big brother, be in charge and set the example.  It is a perfect mix.  By the end, they were hugging, high fiving, rough housing and talking up a storm.  It is a strong relationship that right now is simple and I pray it always will be.  I know there will be questions down the road, but I pray that they will understand this is their normal and all families are different.  They are fortunate to have each other and God’s hand is over this situation.  We know Callen will likely be an only child which bums us out at times, but thankful due to adoption, we have contact with his bio brother.  We plan to keep them close so they will have each other in the future and can navigate this life together.  Open adoption provides that gift!

The good news is:  Here are some pics from their meetings in the past

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Romans 12:15

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The Bible says to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn, but what if both emotions occur at the same time? Which side do you join?

Mother’s Day presents this challenge. For the first 29 years of my life I lived in Mother’s Day ignorance. This day was about celebrating my mom and the world was great. It was a happy day no questions asked. Cue six years later and I have learned for some this is the hardest day of the year. Now that I have seen and experienced this pain, I can never go back to ignorance.

I struggle with this because many are celebrating: a first time mom, a mom that has come home, an older mom still here, grandmothers that are like moms, foster moms, women that are like moms, a mom of many children, an adoptive mom that never thought she would be called mom (me).

But I also know the extreme sadness: an infertile woman that should have been pregnant by now, a mom that just miscarried, a mom to an angel baby gone too soon, a woman that is old enough to be a mom but is still single and fears she may never get the chance, a birth mom that experienced the life for nine months then chose a better future for the child, a woman that is content choosing not to have kids but then is judged on this day as others assume she wanted to, a mom that just passed away or a mom that is far from home, a mom that does not remember she is a mom.

For the first time ever I did not make a big deal of Mother’s Day at school because I have two students that lost their moms…one four months ago…this is the hardest day for him-ever!

With all this sadness, it seems rude to celebrate except there are those that have earned this celebration and they deserve to get it. Moms everywhere need their ONE day to feel important, to be appreciated, to honor the sacrifice and generosity, to be treated like a queen and decide lunch or get a hug or get time off. We deserve our day…we do a lot that goes unpaid and unnoticed and this day solves that problem!

Both sides win and both sides are right and both sides matter. So do we rejoice or mourn?

I say both! God gives and He takes away and there is a time for everything. I think it is only important that you understand there is both happening simultaneously. I was that girl that almost lost it at the restaurant when the hostess handed me a flower after I had just started my cycle after the 24th month of trying (seriously I almost threw the flower in her face but that would have been awkward). I am also the girl that realizes my son was carried by someone else only to choose me to get to receive his card on this day. Her sadness today is my joy. Celebrating my first Mother’s Day was surreal; felt like a huge victory where I could say or do anything I wanted(I left the diaper bag at home on the way to church and was not fussed at…score!) I would not have wanted anyone to tell me I should not celebrate in honor of another’s pain…I think as sisters we can do both. Hug and dance in celebration and cry and console in pain. We as women need to lift each other up in whatever stage and just appreciate that as women we have that bond of understanding. Having ovaries ain’t easy!!

The good news: sorrow endures for a night but joy comes in the morning. Death has been conquered by Christ and your loved one is home where we all belong! If this is your season of mourning then believe sister that seasons change! Your smile is coming!image

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