Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On Saying "Good Bye" and Grief...(from my perspective)

Kathy, Owen and Kiannah left for VA Monday afternoon.  I know they were excited to be heading home and all that is familiar.  I don't blame them....

....But...we are all very sad to see them leave and it has made me downright grumpy!  Getting back into our normal routine has been difficult.  I am unmotivated to do anything.  In the previous 12 days we had already said goodbye to Andrew, Ben & Alison, and Mark.  Saying "goodbye" to Kathy and her kids was the last straw.  I cried!  I miss these guys incredibly, and REALLY wish we all lived a little closer!  Knowing we will likely not see them for at least 2 years only makes matters worse!  I know this may sound a little extreme or even weird.  I will try to express what has been going on...

I am not a super emotional gal and the way I feel is not new to me, and I recognize it for what it is...grief.  Grief is an ugly monster that raises it's despicable head at the most unexpected times and sends me flying onto my backside.  Losing my parents hurt and every time I say another "goodbye", even though it is only temporary, I hurt all over again.    I know these people understand how we feel and it is easy to talk about our loses with them.  Perhaps that is what makes it so difficult...not everyone "gets it".  Being surrounded by people that "get it" makes life that much easier.  Perhaps that is why I grieve. 
For me, grief shows it self in many ways...being unmotivated, sad, crying, tired, and even anger.  I have never been angry at God, but rather at his children.  So many people pray...which is great...but prayer without action is sometimes meaningless.  It is like praying a prayer of blessing over a hungry child, but then walking away with the huge loaf of bread in your hand.  It is at times like these that I need more than prayer.  I need someone to call me up and say "come on over" or "let's get together for lunch". 
As you all know, I have a heart for orphans and even though I am technically an orphan, I have never considered myself to be one.  Afterall, I have all that life could offer...a personal relationship with Jesus, a loving, supportive husband, wonderful kids, food, shelter, clothing...and the list goes on.  This past week I have come to realize...yes it is difficult for independant me to admit...that I. am. an. orphan!  And as such I need, at least on occassion, to have someone "look after" me. (James 1:27)
I have also realized once again that Jesus will not leave me as an oprhan (James 14:18)...that HE IS the one I can count on to listen to me, to comfort me, to love me!  And for that I AM GRATEFUL!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Two Years With Malia

Two years ago we finally met the little child I had been dreaming about for many, many years.  About 13 years ago I began to feel we should adopt.  We pursued domestic adoption for a time, with a specific child in mind and when that fell through we were disappointed to say the least.  Martin was crushed and vowed his life would never be invaded in such a way again. 
Alex and then Morgun arrived and we couldn't have been happier.  Life was perfect! However, I still felt God calling us to adopt.  Finally in 2006, shortly after Dad passed away, Martin agreed to adopt.  Martin was fairly close to my Dad and his passing at an age where we thought he was still healthy and way too young, gave us a new perspective on the meaning of life.  This new perspective is what gave Martin the courage to pursue adoption once again.
We prepared, as best as we could, to meet our newest addition.  We were prepared for the worst, but for some reason we got the best.  Malia adjusted amazingly well, with only minor issues.  She was insecure and stayed close to me for the first few months.  She ate huge amounts of  any food placed in front of her, but soon learned there was a limit.  She played well alone and loved all the new toys.  Malia spent many hours sitting on the couch listening to music and singing.  Martin and I often looked at each other and wondered when the "honeymoon phase" would end.
As the months turned into a year, we realized Malia was simply one sweet child, with some issues, but not the issues we had thought she would have.  We also knew there was a reason we were blessed with Malia.  It allowed us to be ready to adopt again within a year.

July 19, 2009....I will never forget how excited we all were...and how VERY sad Malia was.  It still breaks my heart!

Today, Malia has more issues than 2 years ago.  These issues came to the forefront after we brought Raina home.  Malia continues to be insecure in certain areas.  She easily feels pressured when it comes to much so, that we simply allow her to learn numbers, letters, etc in everyday life.  I do not spend time teaching her through workbooks in the same way I taught the boys.  She is easily confused with opposites...bigger/smaller, etc, and still does not understand all words and phrases.  She tends to lie, just to give us the answer she knows we want and so that she will not be in trouble.  She is manipulative and loves to get on the boys' nerves.  She will bug them, watch them get angry, and then smirk. 
Malia LOVES school and can hardly wait to begin Kindergarten.  She loves to play with her dolls and dress up.  She is a girly girl and loves anything pink!  She loves to be the center of attention and be silly and giggle.  She still sings ALL the time. (especially when she is nervous/stressed).  Malia loves to help and is insulted if there is nothing for her to do.  She loves to pick raspberries from the garden and play in the sandbox.  She is an AMAZING girl and makes my heart sing!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Raina is WALKING!!!

My baby girl is FINALLY walking!!!  In the past several weeks Raina had begun standing on her own and this past week began taking a step or two.  I had thought she would be walking by Father's Day, but Raina was too afraid, even though she would stand on her own until she realized what she was doing and then she would grab for something or s.l.o.w.l.y. sit down.  Thanks to Auntie Kathy for being instrumental in motivating Raina to walk! 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer So Far...

We are having an amazing summer.  There is nothing better than finally being able to visit with family members again and we are enjoying every minute of it.  I grew up with the saying "Guests are like fish...they begin to stink after 3 days."  Granted sometimes that expression may be true, it is not the case when Kathy & Mark come to visit.  We treasure every moment!  The kids know that if they need some personal space they need to find it, as do the adults and all works well!
Here is the promised picture of Mark...

 Kathy and Mark were in Nipawin for 5 nights and during that time we spent 3 nights at Waskesiu with Wayne and Ruth and their kids.  It was a wonderful, relaxing time even though the wind was miserable.  The kids played in the sand, rode their bikes, and explored.

 Enjoying breakfast on the beach.
 We spent a few VERY busy days at home....

 Kathy & Mark...I had to take a picture of seemed they spent a lot of time cleaning strawberries and helping with meals...thanks guys!
 Martins' niece got married in the most spectacular church.  The pictures are not very clear...I do need a better flash!
 Jen & Lane and the wedding party.
 Later that afternoon my nephew also got married...Josh & Rachel.  We attended both ceremonies, but were only able to make it to one reception.  :(
 We spent time entertaining, and enjoying the beautiful weather out on our deck.  Ben & Alison and Andrew (my brothers), came up from BC and we spent as much time with them as possible.
 My family headed to Smoothstone lake for 4 days.  Everyone, except Dan & Darlene & family, and most of the older nieces and nephews, came to the lake, making for a crowd of about 40.  Smoothstone Lake Lodge is the perfect place for our family...cabins, lodge, beach, fishing, quading trails and even a play fort for the kids. 
I HAD to post this picture...Raina is STANDING!!!!  I can hardly wait till she walks!!  My back is killing me!
 We play soccer and prisoner's base every time we are at Smoothstone, which results in some serious  competition, many sore muscles, and many great memories!

 Our girls received lots of attention and loving...Ben trying to get Raina to sit with him...not likely to happen...he has facial hair and Raina does not like facial hair!
 Rubbing sand in already tired eyes.
 This became a regular site...first came the quading, then the washing of the quad in the lake, and then getting stuck and everyone helping...
 Martin took  Alex  fishing.  He caught a 4 1/2 pound jack!  He was very proud of his catch!!
 Yummy food...and I only had to make one meal!!!
 More fishing...they all caught a fish and had a blast!

 Back home...our kids had to settle for water fights.  We still do not have our pool up...:(  BUT it is coming...bigger and better than before!

 And of coarse...playing Settlers of Catan!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

They Have ARRIVED!!

This post is long overdue, but I make no apologies.  We are having a blast and and everyday is filled with activity. 
Kathy & Mark, Owen and Kiannah arrived on Thursday, June 30th...I know, I know, that is over 2 weeks time flies when we are having fun!  They arrived very late on Thursday and left the following afternoon to visit Mark's family in Nipawin for a few days.  They arrived back at our house on Wednesday, the same day we arrived home from Waskesiu.  I was planning on a LOOOONG post, but my computer is acting up, so I'll try a few shorter posts instead.

Owen being greeted by his cousins...Owen is on the right.

Brook and Kiannah.

Raina warmed up to Kathy quite quickly and seemed a little though she wasn't sure who was who.  I never thought we looked that much alike, but  Raina sure seemed confused...perhaps it is our similar mannerisms, voice, etc.
I didn't get a picture of Mark, but will be sure to post one at a later date.