Category Archives: fathers

Pushing them to Grow Up

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This is a mixed feelings post. My son has always been delayed in life milestones. We never knew for sure if it was us not pushing him to be more independent because we love the process of parenting or does he just need more time. So when we looked at the first free weekend in forever (due to the shut downs across the state), we gave it a go at bike riding without training wheels. In the back of my head, I thought he would never do it or not yet. Autism, ADHD and little grit often speaks louder than pure determination, but we pressed on and prayed.

It did not happen right away. He lost balance and struggled and found himself ready to give up. We talked. We reasoned. We motivated. Then we gave him a break. The next day he saw the “big kids” riding motorcycles and he got the fire again. We told him bike first…mini motorcycle second. Out of nowhere he got a wild hair and got to work. Older boys around us gave him tips and modeled. He did it at his own pace in his own way…but 24 hours later…we were on our first bike ride….together.

We talked about life, racing each other, stopping to look at cool things. Surreal moment of “he is growing up”! Another milestone never to be repeated. No looking back. We moved on to big boy bikes. It feels good! Sad that it is a sign of maturity and another reminder he is getting older and closer to leaving home. It happens that fast. But exciting that he is learning, trying new things and showing us he can conquer fears. Blows my mind how last week this felt impossible and now look at him go! Of all the ugly memories that came from this time in history, God has given us a beautiful memory made possible with time.

Present vs. Perfect

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Parenting is hard. Let’s face it there is no manual yet we all do the best we can. I found this in our backyard and it made me stop and think about how I can improve as a parent. My husband and I parent differently…not sure if it is a gender thing, but we do make different decisions at different times. Baths are optional for me, food can be eaten anywhere, matching is important…I cringe before teeth brushing time; the tough things in parenting scare me. I tend to avoid the meltdowns while my husband walks right into them boldly. 

But one thing he has mastered is being present. He plays, he colors, he draws, he throws, he catches, he mows only when kid can ride with him. He seizes the opportunities to have togetherness. I tend to work, clean or be busy instead. I am a work in progress and I know it is an area that I need to improve, but I tend to take the lazy way out. It could be my number 9 nature where I like things easy and this is where parenting is hard; doing the things that tire you out as I do not have the energy of a 5 year old. But thankfully my husband is there to step in where I fail as I continually change to be better. I want my son to remember those times of playing just he and I and way more than I want him to remember the house was clean or I finished my last book. So I proclaim that this will be the area I focus on this next school year to follow the motto “Wherever you are-be all there!” I will focus on doing what needs to be done to be present even if it means the things around me are less than perfect. This motto will be part of my classroom as well as I miss great conversations trying to get all my work completed.

Thankful for the fathers out there on this weekend made for you.  Thankful for you for all that you do that makes your kids smile. Thankful you carry the load with us mamas!

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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I am a police officer’s wife

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I am a police officer’s wife.
We prayed together about the application process which included psychological evaluations, physicals, fitness tests, character witnesses, background checks, references and multiple rounds of interviews and assessments.

I am a police officer’s wife. I celebrated when he got the call that he was accepted into the academy even though it meant nine months of training, early morning classes, late nights of studying, weekends preparing equipment, stressful tests that determined your future, constant scrutiny and always being evaluated physically, mentally and emotionally to push you until you break then would dismiss you immediately if you did. You learned to handle the pressure. You learned not to break.

I am a police officer’s wife. I threw a party for his class the night they received their badges. They remembered the times of bonding and learning and growing as they were trained to do this job of criminal justice. They discussed their new locations, hours, trainers and divisions before all going their separate ways knowing they would be connected for life. An experience never to be forgotten.

I am a police officer’s wife. I hug him through a bullet proof vest when he leaves the house, consider his guns as work tools, sleep alone as he works nights, endure black out curtains as normal living, eat meals with him when I can knowing he is not always home for dinner, suffer through weekends and holidays alone and am constantly aware his shift could change at any time including his days off, location and job description. As he gets new promotions, he goes right back to the bottom of the list with the worst days off and odd hours and all that is a reward for being successful. My son and I always hug, kiss and tell him we love him as we know with his job that good bye could always be the last…for real.

I am a police officer’s wife. I refuse to watch the news as it is safer for me not to know, recognize he probably leaves out the bad parts of every story, can never sneak up on him unannounced, get jolted in my sleep when he yells out during a nightmare, strategically plan where I sit in a restaurant so he can face the door, a good day at work includes a chase or robbery or arresting a felon, being terrified when he does not answer the phone when I call or comes home late. I question his pride but realize that pride and quick decision making is what brings him home in the morning.

I am a police officer’s wife and I honor that he is doing what he loves and trust God’s protection over him at all times knowing he is safer in God’s will doing a dangerous job than he could ever be out of it doing a safe job. I treat him like the hero that he is in our four walls knowing outside of them he is cursed out, spit on, disrespected, and threatened by people that called him for help.

I am a police officer’s wife and know not every officer is good, but my husband is or tries to be along with all the other amazing people that are willing to die with him or for him in his field. It is a family that sticks together even under attack and for that I am a proud woman. I am a police officer’s wife and I would not have it any other way.

Two Thumbs Up for Dad!

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When Nathan and I met 12 years ago, I tossed up the idea of one day adopting and he immediately shot it down.  I never thought I would ever be in the position to need to adopt; I just always thought it was a beautiful thing.  I grew up in a home where we took in foster kids, I always enjoyed helping in church ministry with youth in the Dallas area and I have always had a weak spot for adorable African American boys…I have never shied away from the idea of adoption.  However, my husband had a different view and I understood and just prayed his heart would change if the time ever called for it. 

Advance ten years later and HE is the one pursuing adoption vigorously despite my many concerns.  He was the one who felt led in his heart to abandon fertility treatments and adopt.  To him, it was God’s plan for our family and he went forward full force.  Throughout the process, he was the rock.  Despite a rocky beginning, God changed his heart and Nathan is the best father.  Nathan will play with him like a best buddy-they play ball, chase, run, build with blocks, wrestle, cook in the kitchen etc.  He teaches him high five, fist bump, “achoo”, slam dunks, show me your muscles etc.  They sing songs, read books, take walks, go for swims, and even play with a baby doll or animal now and then.  He is very hands on, he is the fun one and he is the one that seems to teach him the new things.  Callen adores him and looks up to him and can’t get enough of him.

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Nathan stays home with him up three days a week and is his sole care taker while I am at work.  Nathan works nights and will wake up early to be there for his swim class.  We go to all of his appointments together.  He never misses anything Callen is involved in even if it means Nathan gets no sleep.  Nathan works extra jobs so that he can have nice clothes, shoes or go on vacation or fun outings.  Nathan is the man of all men and an amazing dad.  We never consider Callen to be adopted; in fact we forget about it most of the time…he is our son.  But when I stop to consider, Nathan’s complete devotion and our complete surrender to this boy that we work hard so that he will inherit ALL that we have…it is our goal that every need is secure and that college and other opportunities are covered.  We work to give it all to him someday-and he does not have our genes or blood-God chose him to be our son.  Adoption is a beautiful thing and it mirrors Christ’s love for us as his adopted children. 

I fall in love with Nathan more watching him as a father.  Devoted, loyal, responsible and sacrificial.  It makes me cringe for those stories of dads not wanting to be involved because Nathan would not have it any other way.  I never knew about his fatherly skills when I married him, but I now I see God did well to bring us together.  He has never regretted not having a biological child because he was destined to be the dad to this one. 

The good news is: Callen hit the daddy jackpot.  He is learning so much from him including character, godliness, how to pray, how to lead, how to be physically fit and how to serve others.  He is learning how to care for ladies and love his mother.  Callen is learning how to be a good husband and firm father.  I am so proud of the man my husband is to me, but most importantly to him.  He is willing to take on more than half of the role and step up whenever I need him without fail.  Two thumbs up for dad!

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Sibling Day

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A few weeks ago, Facebook celebrated Sibling Day.  I am raising an only child, so I was a little perplexed about his future as a possible non sibling.  We are a couple that cannot get pregnant naturally, but adoption is challenging and I cannot imagine going through that process again.  I will not say never…but I will say that God would have to put it on our heart for us to consider it.  Now, we do believe that God has great things in store for us if he is an only child, but we both came from families with siblings and we both experience the bliss of being an aunt and uncle so we want those things for him.

Thank God he has it.

He has biological siblings that were also blessed through adoption.  In fact, in March we got to meet one of his biological brothers.  Amazing how you can love a stranger because he has the blood/genes of your son; I love him because he is part of Callen.  I pray for his well being because I know that his life directly affects my son. 

We got to see them play, hug, laugh, scream, eat, share and learn together.  Callen loved being a little brother and accepted all the help that his older brother could give.  This relationship gives me peace.  Knowing that we can create a relationship where he can experience brotherhood if he wants to is a blessing.  I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for not just them, but for us as well. 

Resolve to know that infertility can be a blessing…

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Is infertility a good thing?….Heck no, it sucks!  I despised waiting month after month to see if I was pregnant….hoping for two weeks then crying for the next two only to start the cycle again.  It got to the point where discovering my cycle had started became a sweet relief because at least I could stop hoping and resume normal living.  The worst feeling in the world is to be so out of control of something that is so normal and easy for others.  I had plans, a calendar, a kit, a timeline and month after month I had to rearrange and restart the future.  Sitting in a doctor office with a title I can’t even spell, so I willl abbreviate RE, was embarrassing.  You felt sympathy for every couple in there knowing you all shared a horrific common bond: you can’t get pregnant on your own.  It was a miserable time in my life so I am not saying I enjoyed it, but looking back being infertile is one of the things I consider a blessing…

Why is it a blessing?  Glad you asked:

#1 It is the exact reason I began to blog.  Before Lupus and infertility, I did not have much of a story to tell.  Nothing about me set me a part or made my story important.  Enter disease and a non working reproductive system and now I am interesting!  I never knew there was such a large world of writers that had experienced or were experiencing the same heartache and same struggle that I was going through.  I began to lean on their stories and cling to their comments.  Their likes inspired me to write more and my anonomity helped me to be real and open and it felt good.  Infertility gave me the chance to be a writer again and reconnect to a passion that I had lost.

#2 Infertility gave me empathy.  I was like most women clinging to birth control until the exact month I wanted to get pregnant then getting off it and expecting to see positive lines.  Month after month after month then year after year it all showed blank.  I now empathize with couples that it is not easy.  I feel for couples like us that just don’t decide one day we want one more or to go for a girl this time.  I don’t assume anything anymore and I learned to celebrate big with those that are successful and cry genuine tears for those that are not.  I understand women that struggle with conceiving children in a very unique way.

#3 Infertility brought me closer to God.  I learned patience, I learned timing, I learned I was never in control and the delicate system of our bodies is too much even for science to explain it all.  I clung to his promises and faithfully believed that I was not alone and my prayers were being heard even if the answer was not the same thing as mine.

#4 Finally, it led me to adoption.  I never considered adoption my last resort…I just never paid attention to it before.  When the door was finally closed to conceiving naturally then I opened my heart to another option.  An option that I did not consider because I did not think it was my calling.  Time after time, God dropped hints and signs, but I am so stubborn in my own plans that I kept telling him, “Shhhh…”  Finally, I stopped praying to get pregnant and began praying to create our family.  The timing was perfect for God to lead us to our son.  The boy I was meant to parent all along  and the reason I was born.  Our son is amazing and a promise fulfilled in every picture we take that I am living the dream. The affirmation of every decision I ever made that led us to him…our child…the perfect one for us.  Infertility made me listen to that calling and to stop trying to figure it out.  It shut the doors that I kept open with my foot because I wanted to do what I wanted to do. 

If I had another life to live…I would do it again if it led me to the adoption of our son.  Infertility did not destroy me.

Now this post does not mean that I will congratulate barren women everywhere or speak on behalf of increasing infertility for all the joys it will bring.  Never.  But, I hope to encourage women that infertility can be an opportunity to turn something tragic into a triumph.  Don’t let infertility define you and when you get the chance, be a rock for others to empower us to continue looking for healing.  Infertility takes a lot, but it does not take everything.

•http://www.resolve.org/infertility101 (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.)
•http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html (About