Thursday, August 15, 2013

One of Those Days

Where do I begin? 

Today was especially hard.  It didn't start out that way.  Oh wait.  Yes it did. 

I woke up to John's alarm clock and got the boys up soon after.   First thing out of my mouth to Little Guy was to be quiet and whisper.  That seems to be a common phrase around our house nowadays.  Otherwise he is very loud... and I mean very.

I was pleased to get Little Guy, Dennis, and Alex downstairs without waking Oliver or Nolan.  So far so good.  Little Guy was the first to be served his breakfast... a bowl of cereal.   Like many meals, he was slow to eat after being even slower to take his first bite.  With him being the first one out the door, I was beginning to worry about the time.

"Hurry up and eat." 

I must have said this a dozen times as I glanced up from the kitchen sink.  Little Guy was fidgeting in his seat, looking out the window, waving his hand in front of his face, laying his head on the table, etc. 

"Come on.  Hurry up.  Please eat.  The bus is going to come."
Just standing over him was not enough, so I actually sat down and began to feed him.

Regression.

Oh well, I thought.  It's early.  He's still tired. 

Fifteen minutes later he was done eating and dressed.  Now he was raring to go.  And I wanted to cry inside.  You know the feeling.  Just watching him made me tired. 

But the bus was coming any minute.  Of course it was.  It came almost ten minutes early yesterday so why wouldn't it be early again today. 

Big sigh.  Today it was ten minutes late.  So I took the 2nd day of school pictures that I should have taken yesterday. 

As soon as the last kid was on the bus, I was able to relax.  Well almost.  I called the doctor, emailed a teacher, chased after Oliver who is no longer a crawler, filled out five of the boys' school forms, took some of the kids swimming, and watched Pretty In Pink with Rachel.  I also got a call from our dental office that one of the kids is maxed out on benefits until the new calendar year starts and we will need to pay $500 in costs that are not covered.  Not what I wanted to hear.

Sadly, 1pm. creeped up rather quickly and it was a mad dash to pick Nolan up from school.  I took him to the audiologist to have his hearing tested.  Yet another test.   He had Otoacoustic emissions (OAE) testing and Auditory brain stem response (ABR) testing.  It took forever and yet Nolan was an angel.  Turns out he still has tons of goop in both ears-- the little sponges that were inserted into his ears for the test absorbed gobs of the goop.   This made the test results invalid and until we can get Nolan's ears cleared up for good, we will not know if he needs hearing aids and what kind.

This is so frustrating as it seems like poor Nolan has been battling this problem since we met him.  It is very obvious that he doesn't hear well and I can see firsthand how that affects his learning, talking, and communication in general.  I just ache for the day when he is able to hear better.  For now he is on an antibiotic powder to try and dry up his ears.  For his sake, I hope it works!

Upon returning home, Rachel met me at the door to tell me that Little Guy's teacher had called twice.  I just missed her last call by five minutes.  She called to tell me that Little Guy rocked and stimmed in class...  probably a lot.  The bus driver also said that he kicked a boy and was moving around like crazy on the bus despite being buckled.  Ugh.

At that moment, I was at a loss.

Plus it was nearing dinner time and I had no idea what to make.

Needless to say, I was not in a good mood. 

Dennis and Alex had homework on this 2nd day of school which I was helping them with when I told Adam and Caleb that they were making dinner.  Thankfully William came up with the idea to have breakfast burritos for dinner so the older boys started making it. 

Though I realized come time to pray at dinner that I am incredibly blessed, it was a little too late.  I had barked at Adam and Caleb for cooking the eggs before the hash browns and for not wearing an apron to avoid grease splatters on their shirts.

Oh yeah, it was not my finest moment.

As I prayed for dinner, God spoke to me. 

Good parenting should not be measured my the world's standards.  If we constantly measure our worth by how other people see us, we will always fail.  Parenting isn't about making the hippest lunches for the kids.  It isn't about who found the best deals on back to school clothes.  It isn't about who bought everything on the school supply list or how well you got your child to eat breakfast.  It isn't about the latest and greatest art project on Pinterest or how many books you read to your child in one week.

Little Guy is wonderfully made.  He is the Lord's creation.  He is worthy to be loved. 

Yes his needs are great. 

His needs are overwhelming even on a good day. 

He may love pudding one day and smear it all over his hands and then gag on it the next.

He may need to be told twenty times a day for the rest of his life not to touch the hot pot on the stove. 

He may never stop picking his scabs.

He may very well be at a three year old level forever.

Take a deep breath.

If I do not have love, I have nothing.

Oh yeah.

It is easy to forget about that.  I do it a lot. 

There are a hundred reasons for me to be overwhelmed.  Literally.  And usually around 3 or 4pm. I temporarily feel this way.  Honestly, I do.  Do you?

But by the grace of God, He reminds me that all of these concerns are nothing in the grand scheme of things.  And boy do I need this reminder on a regular basis.

Because despite all that I complain and grumble about, I am blessed.

Blessed to have Little Guy.
Blessed to deal with doctors.
Blessed to pay dental bills.
Blessed to clean up pudding.
Blessed to have band aids to put on scabs.
Blessed to have a pot of hot water on the stove.
Blessed to have sons who will cook dinner even when I ask them in a not so nice way.
Blessed to have a bus that my kids ride to school to get an education.
Blessed to sit through a hearing test.

These last few weeks have been so very challenging for me.  I hesitate to write this because of the negative comments that I should have expected this, or my plate is too full, or I am crazy to tackle raising another child.  I will be the first to say yes to all of the above.  My plate is full.  I did expect this and still said yes. I am crazy to think of raising another child. 

But this is not about me.
The Lord is amazing.  He is my energy.  He gets me up in the morning.  He keeps me pressing on.  He alone is the prize that I keep my eye on.  He gets me through each day.

This is so very important for me to live and breath. 
I couldn't do what I do without His love and example to guide me. 
Even with his love, I still fail.  Sometimes miserably.
Today felt like one of those days.
Forgive me. 

118 comments:

  1. Good evening,
    I read your blog and would like to be invited to read your other blog. My e-mail is ccristi4@aol.com

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  2. Christine:

    Even though I do not comment much on blogs I read every post you put up. I have learned so much from you and I thank God for that.

    I would like to have an invite to your other blog if it's OK. My email is slfunk3763@hotmail.com.

    Shari

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  3. I have been following your blog for years now and commend you for what you are doing. It takes a special person to take on the task you are doing. I would love to follow your private blog as well. My6carbs@gmail.com

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  4. I would so love to be able to still read your blog. You don't know me but you can check out my blog. I am safe. I just love what you are doing so much and I love following your story. susankn@ida.net

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  5. I would appreciate an invite to your private blog, if you don't mind sharing. :)

    fallingfan at gmail.com

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  6. lets pray that tomorrow will start a fresh brand new with no mistakes in it

    would love to join in on your private blog.....
    my emails is chelleyau@gmail.com

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  7. Christine, I am always amazed at your honesty and blessed by your posts. I would love an invite to your private blog.

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  8. Oops, lol junebuga@hotmail.com thanks
    June

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  9. Hi Christine!

    I am loving your honesty about your most recent adopted child. I have no doubt that he will be your last! You have definitely inspired me in all walks of my life. I don't have children, but I take in humane society fosters that have behavior issues. A lot of the therapies I use I've noticed you also talk about on your blog and your words always inspire me to continue on. I remember when you traveled to pick up Dennis, and that seems just last week...but I hardly recognized him in his back to school photos. He has grown into such a handsome boy and you can just get a sense of how much he loves life in the pictures, and I look forward to see what his future holds!

    I'd love to follow you on your new blog. My email address is estauffers@gmail.com

    Thanks,
    Sarah

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  10. Thank you for sharing your heart, your family, and your story.
    hugs and prayers

    ang1194@yahoo.com

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  11. Hello Christine,
    my name is Janet and I have been lurking on your blog for years. I live in Sweden and was adopted from Colombia at two months old. I am now in my thirties and hope to be adopting myself soon. I would love to follow along on your family journey. It looks to me that you are raising happy family oriented kids, who could ask for more?
    Blessings,
    Janet (janet.alexandersson@gmail.com)

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  12. Hello, some time ago that I follow your blog and find it very inspiring.
    I would be charmed with being able to read the new blog. My e-mail is aliciacordente@gmail.com and aliciacordente@hotmail.com
    A very strong embrace for you and your beautiful family,

    Alicia

    www.elhilorojodealicia.blogspot.com

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  13. Hi Christine! I would love to be able to follow along on your private blog (I've been a reader since thereed8 days). My email is maryhamiltonfrench at gmail dot com. Thanks!

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  14. Hi Christine. I have been a regular visitor to your blog for a while now but have never commented before. Just wanted you to know what an inspiration you are and i love reading about you and your family! Kind regards, Belinda
    Ps my email is bel24@hotmail.com

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  15. Hey,

    I've been following your blog for a while now..
    May I get an invite please?
    saevpurv@stud.hs-zigr.de

    (In case my address looks weird to you, its my Germans University mail address and the one i'm using atm)

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  16. I would love to follow your private blog. Though I have no where near as many children as you, only 4, they still are a handful and I have many moments that are not my finest that I would like to rewind and redo :/ Anyways, my email is michelle.lovse@gmail.com. Thanks, and will be praying for you and your family!

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  17. Goodness, what a day. As parents, we have all been there at some point (in one way or another), and I am embarrassed to say that I have not handled some of my darker days as gracefully as you. Saying a prayer for a better day today.. I would love to be added to your private blog as well. :) I will FB message you my e-mail, if that's ok.

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  18. Goodness, what a day. As parents, we have all been there at one point or another. And, unfortunately, I have not handled my darker days nearly as graceful as you. Praying for a better day today..

    I would love to be added to your private blog. I'll FB message you my e-mail, if that's ok?

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  19. You have no idea how encouraging it is to me to read your posts like this. Currently my almost four year old--adopted thru foster care--is doing a lot of regression. I would like an invite to your private blog.
    paureb@ncats.net

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  20. Christine you are an inspiration to many!

    Nvdunn08@gmail.com

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  21. Please add me privately. Kjguille@gmail.com
    God's grace you you. We all have those days.
    Hugs.
    Darcy Guille (aka Kira Ruby's mom)

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  22. Christine, silent lurker here for the past few years. I am a special education teacher turned stay at home-hope to homeschool mom. I have enjoyed reading about your amazing family and all you do, and would be honored to be invited to view your private blog. I promise I will never have disparaging comments to leave on your ( or anyone's!!!) site.
    Brandy.hauser1211@gmail.com

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  23. Christine, Thank you for this. It helps me keep things in perspective as well for the times I am overwhelmed. I would like to follow your private blog. --Julie Streaky@peoplepc.com

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  24. I would love to be added to your private blog. I feel your pain. I have three foster kids in my house now. Yes The Lord moved our hearts to do this, and its hard, but when I say it's hard to certain people all I get is, well you brought it on yourself! But, it's a good hard. A God growing hard. This I have to remember!!

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  25. Your life is so interesting to me! Would love to be part of your private blog!Blessings to you as you face another beautiful day that GOD has given us!
    tkdeaton04@gmail.com

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  26. What a great entry! I have been following your blog for years (but never posted a comment) and I would love to continue to follow along your other blog if you are ok with that. My email is jenniferegrant73@gmail.com. I am always amazed at how patient you are and despair that I'll never be!

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  27. me, me! Pick me!! I want your blog!! Kim
    yeatts7@juno.com

    Hey, Madeline and I are coming at the end of September. Not sure it will work out, but would love to meet up with you with Erika.
    Kim

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  28. Just reading about your day made me tired! I guess God gives us energy as needed... Now I totally understand why you haven't been updating the kids ages as they have their birthdays ;) Hope you get the hang of Little Guy soon. My best wishes for all of you!!

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  29. I'm so thankful for the Lord's grace everyday- especially around 3pm!! :)

    I think your journey is inspiring and I would love to join your private blog community.

    Thanks!!

    Warmly,

    Jenn (jlwalden1 at gmail dot com)

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  30. Hi Christine. I have been following your blog for a couple of years and have been inspired at how feasible you and John take adoption to be--before reading here, I have preconceived notions about how financially impossible it all seemed. I would love to continue reading your private blog: pax10mj at gmail dot com.

    Thank you!

    Molly

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  31. sarah.baron4501@gmail.com

    I will understand if you don't want to invite me; I am a college student dreaming of adoption one day, but I want a realistic picture to make sure I can handle it and you seem to provide that!

    Sarah

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  32. Christine you are doing everything right! I too have a "little guy" with similar needs and would love to follow your private blog. Please email me at jennifergwin at rocketmail dot com.

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  33. Hang in there ! I'll be praying for you and your Little Guy.
    I would like to receive an invite for your private blog : e.willemot@gmail.com

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  34. Did I miss something? Have you added to your family? How exciting!

    Praying that God gives you strength, peace and wisdom during this time.

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  35. longtime blog follower here. i know you don't know me, but i am interested in your new journey with LG. votemom@yahoo.com

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  36. Sorry the day was so rough but glad it ended in a positive perspective. Can you please add me to the other blog- sara.gregory2 at gmail dot com.

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  37. Please, please can I be invited to your private blog. All your posts inspire me, but this one today especially hit home.

    dawn.z.69@gmail.com

    Thank-you!!

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  38. I would love to read your private blog. Freelanceprowriter AT gmail.com

    I have just three kids, one has mild special needs, but nothing like what you deal with on a daily basis. I get overwhelmed most days, too. Quite frankly, I think the fact that your sons cooked dinner and helped you is a very, very good indicator that you are an awesome mom. We ALL have bad days and yet, you still manage to show your kids that you love them and to raise them in a manner that many parents of just one or two or three kids can only dream of!

    You aren't perfect. So what? If you were, why would you need God? ;) Hugs. I hope today goes better for you.

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  39. I would love to follow your private blog. Would you please send me an invite? Thank you so much for your thought-provoking and insightful posts! I appreciate your honesty and fun way of enjoying your wonderful family. ~ Priscilla
    pshimeall@embarqmail.com

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  40. So sorry you have had a tough day. Raising these kids is a challenge everyday. Sometimes i feel we move 3 steps forward and the next day we move 2 steps back. I try to remind myself at least I'm still one step ahead! I react the same as you somedays. And you are right, so right , nothing else matters except you are raising these kids the best as you can. Hope tomorrow will be a better day! I would love to follow your private blog. You are a big encouragement to me. My email is: jennyg1982@msn.com
    Jenny goff

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  41. Hey I would love to follow along in your privatre blog I have been following your blog for some time now and I come from a family of 16 of which 11 of us are adopted. I am grateful that you have shared you expereince and though the ups and downs i have been able to relate to many situations from my own home.

    king.kelly4@hotmail.com

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  42. I honestly don't know how you do it. I am reading your words and nodding the whole time. You described so much of what we are all going thru. Our kids aren't perfect (by a long shot) and neither are we. There are days I am just DONE and do not want to clean up one more mess, listen to one more tattler for one more second and I fantasize about separating every one of them into a different room/corner of the house - just to save my sanity. Then I breathe and pray and know that no matter what I am going thru at the moment, it is nothing compared to the parent who is watching a child slowly die or the parent who doesn't even know where their child is. Perspective. It is perfectly acceptable to vent - we all do it, to not do it doesn't seem healthy to me. We all need someone to let us know we aren't alone and that their child does this too and that this might help, or that will make things worse, etc. Also, if you already know that little guy is who he is and he may stay exactly who he is at this moment - forever - well you are ahead of the game as far as I'm concerned. Acceptance usually comes slowly and with great amounts of grieving attached in my experience.

    I would love to be invited to read your private blog. My email is greenelisam@gmail.com

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  43. So glad you are doing another blog. Please include me. jennifer_penman@hotmail.com

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  44. We've never met, but I would love an invite to your private blog! I think I first found your blog right before you adopted Dennis and have been following ever since! hannahshirley90@aol.com

    ~Hannah

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  45. Christine, would love to read about your challenges in a private blog. We have had our share with one of
    Our kids! My email is ddbjb@icloud.com. Would also love to meet you some day when I'm in SoCal. We are at the airport in fact right now. Ill be there the week of sept 15 waiting for my grandchild to be born.

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  46. What a day! Praying for you for sure! Recently read about how excessive ear wax can be diet related - as in, a sign of egg intolerance. My own first thought was "NO! NOT EGGS!" Who wouldn't love some dietary restrictions, huh? (<---sarcasm )

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  47. Praying! Thank you for the reminder of what can be considered blessings, in tough times.

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  48. Great post Christine! Invite please. :)

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  49. Dear Christine,
    You are much loved and though at times you come up short (like the rest of us), you are never a failure. You are an example of the love of Christ and what it can do in the lives of those around us. He is your strength.

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  50. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  51. I only have three children and I still understand what you are talking about. Thank goodness we get to start over every morning.
    I would love an invite to your blog as I have been following this one since before you brought Dennis home.
    eeyore269@gmail.com

    Melissa

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  52. You amazed me! Thank you for being honest, and yes we all get overwhelmed at times. I appreciate your reminder to take a deep breath and love as our Father in Heaven loves. I tend to get caught up in the moment and forget all the blessings that are mine. Again THANK YOU!!

    I would love an invitation to your other blog. My email is melissaharolds(at)gmail(.)com

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  53. I would feel very honored to be invited to read your private blog!

    You and your family are so incredibly lovely to continue to open your arms and hearts (and pocketbook, and ...) to more children. They are blessed, you are blessed - but anyway it is obviously lots of work. You are doing a great job!

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  54. Oh ... my email address: joni.vaat@gmail.com :)

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  55. Hi Christine my name is Ayve,im from México, im a big fan of you and i would love to read your private blog. you and your family are an inspiration to many.
    ayvelu@hotmail.com

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  56. Christine,
    I have been following you since you found my blog and I was waiting for my daughter and you were beginning the process of adopting Dennis. One of the most important things I have learned from you is that we need to take one day at a time and one crisis at a time. I know people have attacked you in the past when you complained about a bad day. Don't worry about the haters. I have a very active FAS child. I made the decision to try medicine a long time ago because he couldn't learn anything when he was running 100 mph. It also was a process to get the school to stop calling me everytime he was running 100 mph - they are trained to deal with it and they need to use their resources for those times - you are not there and cannot do anything about it in that moment. I would love to be on your private blog. I don't comment often but know that I understand what you are going thru

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  57. Christine you are blessed and such a great example to a lot of us reading your blog! Life situations are real and we (with raising our own kids) have each dealt with something like this once in a while. You are right, look up to God and He will guide you! I want to be invited to your private blog. My email is nadezhda_bgatov@yahoo.com
    God Bless you and your family!

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  58. Love how u keeep it real.....better dsys ahead. Rahawkins05@att.net would love to read the privste blog

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  59. Lisa said it perfectly for me. As does the title of your blog. As did this most recent post of yours.

    Good parenting is not measured by what others are doing. We need to find what works best for
    OUR family. And for each of our children.

    Good parenting is a long process. Good parenting is often very difficult.

    Some days it's hard to push past the trials, and the frustrations. I am one who gains some comfort knowing that what I am feeling is "normal." I am certainly one who feels better - and calmer - after venting. We are lucky if we can find a safe person to do that with, one who understands, listens, doesn't judge, and won't hold it against us when we are back to ourselves a few minutes (or a few hours, or even a few days!) later.

    You and John are doing an AMAZING job, creating a family with a large, diverse group of
    young people. I hope that the smiles part of
    your family life comes more and more often, as you work through the adjustments and growing pains!

    Hugs,

    Ann
    PS I would be honored to be able to follow your newest blog, too.

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  60. I do not know how you do it. I'm exhausted just reading your post. I hope things settle down with Little Guy.
    Would love to follow your private blog.
    jwunderly@verizon.net

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  61. I am so sorry you had a hard day, but God is good and through His Grace we make it! I am so glad you reminded me of this. I needed to hear it too! Today is a new day! :)
    Denise (Christie Minich's neice) :)

    ps I would love to read your other blog too!

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  62. I love your heart for Gods will for your life. You inspire me and encourage me to keep pressing in the midst of trial. Thank you! With God all things are possible...not easy. Prayers for you and your family.

    Would love an invite to your private blog. patkel5@comcast.net

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  63. There is a difference between making a decision while knowing the consequences and being in the midst of the consequences. When God has called you to love another human (oh, wait, that's what He's called all of us to do), then you know the right decision, even though the consequences will stretch you. As a body, we're supposed to help bear your burdens as you do what God has called you to do.

    I am the oldest of 10, plus about another dozen or so treatment-level foster children my parents have loved. (I need to make a list so I can continue praying for them.) I have taken over as "mom" occasionally when my parents have needed a break. (Yes, I have a respite license.) In a small way, then, I do understand what you are experiencing and how exhausting it can be! Yet, God loves each of my siblings (foster, adopted, or biological) and wants each of them to know love. So am I sad when God leads a new foster sibling to my parents? No! This is a part of our calling in Christ. That does not mean that it will always be easy, though. In fact, it means that it almost certainly will not be easy all the time.

    Thank you for sharing with us; I know that I pray for you all, especially when I know there are some specific struggles occurring.

    Stephanie

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  64. Being obedient is rarely easy, but it's always worth it. On the days you feel so overwhelmed (I feel overwhelmed just reading about your day!), just remember that there are lots of folks praying you through each day. little guy is just one more reason to lift you up to our Father.

    I also would like to be able to read your private blog - cosmo102@swbell.net

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  65. It's ok to feel overwhelmed. You're human after all. Try not to be so hard on your self. When I beat myself up like that (something I am VERY good at) my husband always reminds me to "Let go and let God." Not always something I want to hear when I'm in the middle of being all ticked off at myself over something silly, but he's right.

    I've only been following your blog for a few weeks, but I'd love to follow your private blog too. And I promise to never leave a negative comment. My mom taught me that if I don't have anything nice to say "Don't say anything at all. There's always a polite way to say whatever you need to."

    My email address is acaetano@centurylink.net

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  66. I would love to read your private blog. I have been reading your blog for so many years! My email address is AJulieBean@gmail.com

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  67. I would love an invite to the private blog. You are a wise mama to realize quickly that love is what is most important... I often am not able to see the big picture until well after the frustration has set in... many times well after my littles are in bed. It's a tough job, and you are inspiring. Hang in there!

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  68. Thank you for posting how it really is and not being afriad to show the trials along with the smiles1 I would love to follow your private blog.

    sarahbarr30@gmail.com

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  69. Christine, Thanks for sharing the trials along with the smiles. I would love to follow your private blog.
    sarahbarr30@gmail.com

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  70. The hours from 3-6 are not called the 'witching hours' in my family for nothing! I have had most of my worst parenting moments at that time. You're doing great! You still let God speak to you! :)

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  71. Praying for you!!! Not the same , but we are dealing with tough times with DS1. We are on the phone with his Dr/s at least 4 times a week...changing meds etc...a neighbor has him now for 2 hrs...you think I could breathe? no..i miss him..LOL..I am happy his sister is not being screamed at or hit or verbaly accosted for these 2 hrs....It's sooooo hard....what was ADHD turned into ADHD/ODD..now mood disorder deregulation ....maybe....it is so hard to have a 7 year old yell things at you that others would think you should have him locked up for...but like you said I cant worry about ANYONE but Him and our family.
    He is Fearfully and wonderfully mad
    e!!!!!!(although i feel alot of the fear is on my end...:(
    Liz

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  72. Sorry it was such a tough time. The loudness would be hard for me to deal with, it is wonderful you have such a heart for your children. I really enjoy that you are honest about how there are trials in life. painting just a rosey picture is not realistic. However, you also seem genuinely happy with the path God is leading you down and that is awesome. I would love to be able to read your private blog. I do not comment much but read and pray for you. My email address is bugtheteachernow@yahoo.com

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  74. I love your blog. I love how honest and open you are about everything. You teach a great deal about parenting and never ending love and I’m glad you are open about the harder times of parenting also that way we can pray with you too. You are an inspiration to many. Keep up the great work you do with your children. You are amazing even when you don’t feel at your best, your children will one day realize, if they haven’t already what an amazing mother they have always had. I’d love to follow your other blog also, my email is olgapukhalsky@gmail.com

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  75. We call the hour before supper "Death hour.
    When the kids were little, I would set up stations for them to do during that time. They might walk on our home made balance beam and pick up cookies from the milk jug cookie toy, read books on a pile of pillows, play with playdough, listen to books on tape or whatever. I'd set the timer and they'd change stations every 20 minutes.

    Now that they are older, they have specific things to accomplish before supper.

    Maybe the kids could help make up a weekly menu and certain groups of kids could each have a day to either cook or assist. Or do you already do that?

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  76. I have been reading your blog for a few years now and would love to read the new one too.

    chicks3@pacbell.net

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  77. Christine, what a day! Thank you for your honesty, and for keeping it real. I am still learning to share, and it's so hard sometimes to share more personal things. I do understand :) I would love to get an invite to your other blog. We have similar issues with our kids around here. Blessings to you

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  78. Thank you so much for sharing. I would like to be added to follow along at the private blog. My life is extremely different from yours, but I am constantly motivated and inspired by the stories you share. My email address is amymccollum@gmail.com.

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  79. Christine,
    We are an adoptive/foster family. I have been following your family for a very long time and find encouragement from seeing that we are all in the same place - trying every day to do the very best for our kids. Thanks for your openness and honesty!
    jbbyer1@msn.com

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  80. Hi Christine, I know you can only have 100 readers on your private blog, but if there is room left, I'd like to be invited. Otherwise I could sign up to have it sent to me somehow. My email is timandemilyminich @ gmail dot com.

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  81. Christine....God is good. When you are able to see yourself and admit the truth about how you are, how you fall short, then you are humble, and God gives grace to the humble. Your life is full of trials and challenges, but those who seek Him will never be disappointed. I LOVE reading your blog because you are real and true, and if anyone has anything negative to say about your wonderfully unselfish choices, then that is their problem. If you send me an invite, I would really be thankful!

    dellamom16@yahoo.com

    Thank you,

    Della

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  82. I have read your blog for a long time. As a recently retired special education, I have loved hearing about your family and how you have handled the challenges of a large family with diverse needs. I would love to follow your private blog.

    drjanerogers@gmail.com

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  83. Christine - you are just amazing. So talented, so loving. It is a boost to me (weird, isn't it?) to know that someone I so admire also is less than loving, even a little crabby sometimes.

    In a way I feel like you are always pushing yourself to LOVE MORE...in the way some athlete might push himself to climb a higher mountain, make a faster time, jump further - with each new member of your family you seem to be pushing yourself to love past the challenges. But, you can't expect perfection. The athletes fall, fail, stumble, and probably swear a bit....rub their aching limbs, wonder what the heck were they thinking....and then get up the next day for more training, more pushing. (Well, St. Paul used athletic imagery, so it isn't that stupid!) You can't expect perfection. Little Guy needs someone like you, who sees that he is a little boy needing a mama...and he is blessed to have such a practiced mama, such a patient mama, and the enormous blessing of a big family of brothers and sisters to give him love and good example.

    I'd love to come to your private blog.

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  84. Id love to have an invite to your private blog - talleyimages@yahoo.com

    I have been there - we adopted a little boy with Down Syndrome three years and heard some of the most awful stuff - even from family....

    I love reading about your family and hope yall are ok!

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  85. Hi Christine,
    I have loved reading your blog since before you got Dennis. I've been away in Taiwan for 18 months and just came back. Your blog was one of the first I began reading again! I would love to read your private blog too =] You are a huge inspiration for us all.

    -Andrea
    andrea . busath @ gmail . com

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  86. I enjoy your blog tremendously!! Please add me to your private blog.
    Thanks,
    Amy Eubanks
    amyeubanks@farmtel.net

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  87. Your blogs are always great, and I'd love to read your private one as well. My email is debbiespurlock@bresnan.net.

    I can't even say how long I've been reading your blog, but long enough that I'm always SHOCKED when I discover how old the kids are these days. How do they all get older and yet you and I remain so young? :)

    Hang in there!

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  88. I have followed your amazing family story for some years now and would appreciate being invited to read your private blog.I am an English writer and (often struggling) mother of two young people. My email is:hilary@hilarymckay.co.uk
    Thank you

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  89. I've read (and loved) your blog for years. You inspire me, a lot. Thx, I loved an invite to read your new blog.

    PattiLynn
    plemms9@gmail.com

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  90. I read often, but comment not as much as I should. I admire your parenting and have learned a lot. I had terrible role models for parents, and so I just sort of glean "how to" from moms like you. fraujoolie@gmail.com

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  91. PS: Christie Minich and Annie would probably vouch that I'm not a weirdo-- even tho I am not personally acquainted, I comment on their blogs every now n then, mostly about school stuff (I'm a teacher).

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  92. Dear Christine-
    I have followed your journey as a fellow adoptive mom (of two kiddos from Haiti) for a few years now, and I would love to be included on the list for the private blog. Thanks!
    casey.houseworth@yahoo.com

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  93. Long time blog reader, and FB friend. Would love to get an invite to the new blog. ;-)

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  94. I have been reading your blog for several years now and I find you to be a truly inspirational mother. I only have 4 children but even that many can be overwhelming at times. All moms feel in over their heads some days. Sometimes all you can do is take a deep breath and pray for strength to get through the day. My youngest child was diagnosed with SPD when he was 2 and we now think he also may have Aspergers. Some days are not easy and can be quite frustrating. There are times that I take my frustrations out on my husband and my older children. That is human nature. I am constantly praying for patience and energy. HAHA! Whether you have 2 kids or 20 I think that can be said of all moms. I think that it is wonderful that you and John have opened your door to so many children and created a family for them. Others have no right to criticize your choices. This is your blog and the whole point of a personal blog is so that you can keep track of your daily life(feelings and all) for YOUR remembrance. If you can help people along the way then that is just a bonus. Don't let others stand in your way of doing that. I know that you have helped me with strategies on more than one occasion and you have helped me to know that I am not alone in my short-comings as a mom. It always helps to know you aren't alone. I am sorry that you have to make your blog private to keep the "haters" at bay. I would love to be able to keep reading your blog if you are willing to allow me. My e-mail address is melissamoss79@live.com. If not I hope that occasionally you will still update this blog so we can keep up with you and your beautiful family!
    ~Melissa Moss

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  95. Christine.....I would love to follow your new blog:) My husband and I adopted our two gorgeous daughters thru foster care and I was also adopted:) And my sister, my brother and even my Mother!! My husband tells me all the time that I should write a book. I love reading about your incredible family. I have been following you since you adopted Dennis:) I am a teacher for children with hearing loss and am excited to hear that your insurance will cover the cost of Nolan's hearing aid!!

    Thank you for sharing your family with all of us........

    Susan
    susan@karalias.com

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  96. I would be honored and overjoyed to have the privilege to read your private blog. I won't post anything negative. I've been reading your blog since you adopted Dennis when I stumbled upon it without even knowing what a BLOG was LOL during the process of my own adoption. You are so inspiring and your family seems so fun, too. I am glad you are doing a private blog so you won't get any trolls. Please sign me up:
    hdoug67@yahoo.com

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  97. I would be honored and overjoyed to have the privilege to read your private blog. I won't post anything negative. I've been reading your blog since you adopted Dennis when I stumbled upon it without even knowing what a BLOG was LOL during the process of my own adoption. You are so inspiring and your family seems so fun, too. I am glad you are doing a private blog so you won't get any trolls. Please sign me up:
    hdoug67@yahoo.com

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  98. Hello I would love to folloe your new blog. I have been following since before Dennis. I want to either help with respite or adopt from disruption in the near future. Beth.morrison@live.com

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  99. Thank you for the reminder. I am thankful.

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  100. I have been following you for years! Inwould love to have access to your private site and offer any advice if needed. Always, always support: Suzannewithane@gmail.com

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  101. I have been following you for years! Inwould love to have access to your private site and offer any advice if needed. Always, always support: Suzannewithane@gmail.com

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  102. I'm up to 10 and would to read your other blog. I also have an FAE kiddo. Missi
    Missidave@msn.com

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  103. I'm up to 10 and would to read your other blog. I also have an FAE kiddo. Missi
    Missidave@msn.com

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  104. Hi, Christine -- I've been reading your blog since you adopted Dennis. I'm quite sure I've never missed a post! I'm a fellow adoptive mom. I have two awesome daughters from Colombia. Many years ago I was touched that you took the time to you leave a comment on my blog, but I haven't kept it up in a very long time. To be honest, you and I have very different views on a lot of things, but I think that's one of the reasons I enjoy your blog so much. I've learned a lot and enjoy hearing another perspective. I'd love to follow your new blog. My email is rebecca.mertz@gmail.com

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  105. I have been reading your blog for two years now, I found your blog when you were adopting through reeses rainbow. My husband and I are finally on the road to adopting a sibling group through our ministry in B.C. Most likely these future children will have some sort of fetal alcohol effect and disruption from their bio families, so following your blog and reading past posts on how you have been raising your kids has been so encouraging. I hope you will also add me to your private blog as well. My email is pauloski@ymail.com

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  106. ajcook@gmail.com Hi Christine, I've ready for a really long time, like, before Dennis time :-) I hope I can continue to follow you here and privately. Due to health issues, I will only be a mom if I get to adopt. I read your blog for inspiration and hope.

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  107. Hi Christine! I haven't commented before, but I'd love to read your new blog. My husband and I are a young couple starting the path to international adoption, and your blog was one of the first that we found, and has been a great inspiration to us both about what to expect.

    My email is jennryan013@gmail.com

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  108. I have been reading your blog since just before you adopted Dennis. I would love an invite to your private blog.
    I have a grandson with Autism and I work in Special Ed.. I have both bio and adopted children and love how God works in our lives to provide what we need for each day.
    My email is vstlathon@aol.com

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  109. I've been reading your blog for about 2 years, and I'd love an invite to your private blog. I'm Mom
    to 2 Russian-born kids, both 10 years old. We live in Southern California.

    suebrunkow@yahoo.com

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  110. Not sure if my last comment we t through or not

    Christine, your post brought tears to my eyes. I have been following you for the last 6 years and would love to follow along with your private blog. cghouston610@yahoo.com

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  111. Christine, your post brought years to my eyes. Thank you for sharing all your smiles AND trials with us. I would love to follow your private blog. cghouston610@yahoo.com

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  112. Thanks for sharing your life . . . the good days and the tough ones.

    Keep up the good work. You are an awesome Mama.

    Please add me to your private blog list. :)

    Hoping we get to see you all when our road trip brings us to Southern Ca. in a couple of weeks.

    Hugs!

    Laurel :)

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  113. Christine,
    I would be honored if you would allow me to be a blessed by your new blog. I have been following this blog for several years. As a single Mom of two children, I am in awe of your strength and dedication! I find your blog to be a daily inspiration!
    God Bless,
    Lisa :)

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  114. I only have four children; the fourth has FASD and is worth ten of the others. I live the hard every day with this child who I love more every day.

    I'd love to have an invite to your other blog.

    Martita

    P.S. A timer and a small treat (piece of peach, bite of ice cream, handful of sunflower seeds, etc.) have done wonders for us for breakfast eating. If he gets done before the timer dings, he gets the treat. If not, he gets a hug and help eating. The auditory tick tock of the timer, and the visual cue of the dial going around are the reminder to eat instead of me picking at him.

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  115. for years I have started out my day by reading your blog, please include me, I learn so much from you! SA 3 at aol.com

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I find your comments so inspiring! Thanks for visiting our family blog, and sharing your thoughts.