Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More positively speaking...

  • Well it has been a few more days and as assumed, we are adjusting. Not that it's all easy, but its no longer choking me with feelings of being so overwhelmed.The sick feeling in my stomach has also left me. I thought this was a step in the right direction! I thank you all so much for your prayers, we can definitely feel them! And the dear little one here makes sure that I am able to have ample prayer time-- usually between 1am and 6am. It's very considerate of her.
  • This has definitely been an interesting process so far, and I have to tell you, the most amazing thing about it is watching my kids interact with the girls. I love to listen to Jackson upstairs in his room playing with them and telling them endless stories about the tractor that they are playing with and how his uncle in Minnesota has one just like that and when he was there, they had to use it for this and that and so on. He has no clue that they don't care, but it is so sweet to listen to him. And the youngest one just adores him. He gets to pick her up and carry her where she needs to be and she gives him lots of kisses. Maicy and I, we don't get that privilege so much, but we know she's adjusting. The older girl just loves people in general and it is fun to watch her develop in just the short amount of time she has spent with us. Today, she said some things that made this worthwhile to me. After all, it is for their well being that we decided to go ahead with this. And Maicy, she just loves to dote for the most part. Anyone she can be a mother to, she will. I have noticed a few moments where she just needs mom time, and I try to arrange that, even if its just 5 minutes, or give extra hugs and kisses frequently. But for the most part she is enjoying this thoroughly.
  • Back to what I said earlier, about how hard the first few days were, I don't want to be negative or complaining, I just feel like I need to be honest. If any other person is going through those emotions in this situation, for them to see that they aren't the only ones is worth exposing my own guilty feelings to everyone. It isn't an easy task. No one said it would be. However, that wasn't the response I expected from myself. I couldn't have been more disappointed in my ability to just jump in and have nothing but warm fuzzy feelings of joy at what was going on. I realize how unrealistic I was/am. But once again, God has granted me grace. Ample grace. The kind gestures from friends, the notes, the cards, and just the well wishes, the clothes, the bathtime help, meals, and of course the prayers It is overwhelming and humbling to be on the receiving end of goodness and grace! I can't thank everyone enough!
  • God's grace is sufficient. We are doing well. Do I still cry? Hello?! Do you know me?! I still cry watching Little House on the Prairie, and yes, sometime if you see me and ask a loaded question such as "How are you?" I just might still break down and bawl and tell you how I really am at that moment. Don't be alarmed, its just me. I have leaky eyes, what can I say, I was born that way. It'll be okay, and if I make you uncomfortable, feel free to walk away and pretend you don't know who the crazy lady is in the grocery store crying uncontrollably with 4 crying kids. I'll understand. (no this hasn't actually happened... yet) The crying doesn't mean we aren't okay. We are, its just a lot of adjusting. Which we are doing. We are enjoying this and excited for the upcoming blessings.
  • Sunday morning, as I mentioned already- I was emotional and overwhelmed. And we opened up the service with this song:
  • I come before you today
  • And there's just one thing that I want to say
  • Thank you lordThank you lord
  • For all you've given to me
  • For all the blessings that I cannot see
  • Thank you lordThank you lord**
  • With a grateful heart
  • With a song of praise
  • With an outstretch armI will bless your name
  • Thank you lord I just wanna thank you lord
  • Thank you lordI just wanna thank you lord
  • Thank you lord For all you've done in my life
  • You took my darkness and gave me your light
  • Thank you lord Thank you lord
  • You took my sin and my shame
  • You took my sickness and healed all my painThank you lordThank you lord

And the line "for all the blessings that I cannot see" was what really got to me. I don't know the blessings ahead, for us, or for the girls. (Some day I will come up with great fake names and stop calling them "the girls" in the mean time, just put up with it please) So, with outstretched arms, I say 'Thank You, Lord, for what You have Given to Me!"

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just a quick hello...

Just wanted to drop a quick note to everyone so you didn't think I dropped off the face of the earth. Steve and I picked up the girls on Friday and it has been busy, busy, busy ever since! I think today I finally feel comfortable in a routine of sorts. We even made it to church on time with me alone getting 3 girls and 1 boy ready (okay, so I only had to tell Jackson to get ready and that was done, but still!) Steve had to go back to NE on Saturday morning already, so Saturday, I was more than a little overwhelmed. (read: crying uncontrollably through out the day) Today he was home by 1:30 so it was much better. Not to mention we had lunch at a friends house before that, which was soooo appreciated! Thanks guys! I know we have lots of adjustment periods ahead of us, but honestly, the girls have done very well considering they are now living with perfect strangers and new people are constantly around. This afternoon was pretty low key and I think gave me good hope that we will indeed be able to do this. And yes, I have had my doubts. Just keep praying for us, I really need Steve around and this is where his job right now is very stressful for all of us. He wants to be here also, and to commute too much in one week just exhausts him - understandably so. So, That is us for now, we are still here, just busy trying to get used to everyone! We'll update again soon! Alicia

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This is what I know

  • ........ (que crickets chirping) Yup, that sums it up.
  • Okay, so I do know a little more than nothing, but that has been how I have felt all day long today. I feel like we put our life on hold on Friday and still aren't any clearer. Finally I did talk to someone and we set it up that the girls will come here on Friday the 24th. I really don't know how much I am able to tell you about the whole situation, but this is what I will say: The girls are 2 yrs old (3 in the fall) and 1 1/2 years old. It isn't an emergency situation, which is why they aren't here yet. The placement will start out temporary. We have no idea how long it will be before they decide if it will be permanent.
  • I feel quite drained today. I have been on edge and very short when playing 20 questions with everyone. (So if you have talked to me today- I apologize) I really just don't know much right now. I feel excited most definitely, but I am also extremely guarded right now. I don't want to get hurt or to have my children hurt. This has already been an emotional roller coaster. The preparations are never ending, and yet, you can't do everything until they are here. I have no idea what size clothes we will need, if we need diapers, sippy cups, what size beds, what kind of foods do they like, I feel quite helpless yet. I am sorry if this sounds whiny, its just me being honest here.
  • I also want to savor each minute with Maicy this week while I am able to give her one on one time, but then the next minute, she just goes on and on and on and on and on and I just want my ears and head to have a break! Then the fact that Jackson is still gone, that just always wears on me by mid-week- yup here it is, mid-week! I am anxious to have him back home, but so grateful that he is having a great time with his Uncle Darwin -- if nothing else his uncle is having a blast! ;)
  • So, that's what I know. I am excited, I can see God's hands in this. I have faith that it will be good. And if it isn't how I planned, I know God will get me through that too. I did forget to mention last time that Friday when we got the original call, it was exactly 1 year to the day after my hysterectomy! I think that everything has fallen into place so beautifully that really it only could be God orchestrating this.
  • It's a little jumbled, its not poetic, its just how the day is. I hope this answered some of your questions. ( I guess I have to go to that meeting tomorrow night now!) We are trying to be patient, and in the meantime, praying through this verse: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 4:6-7

Monday, July 20, 2009

This Rainbow


I have waited I think long enough to clue you all in.I still don't know for sure, but I do know enough that I want you all to know.

We got a call on Friday. Two little girls may be needing a home -- soon. So many things rushed through my head! I was at the park with Maicy for the summer rec picnic when I received the call and I called Steve to talk about it some more. We decided- yup, this is it. Go for it. My nerves were all in a bundle! I had to go home to call this woman back, and her extension was at my house. So, thanks to a friend, I left Maicy at the park in capable hands and went home to make the call. We honestly believed that by that night we would have 2 more girls here. However, this woman from Kids Net called back later to say that she was unable to contact the case worker, so it would be Monday before we heard more. Deep breath - okay. Now I had time to at least prepare and gather my wits ( still looking for those!) Maicy and I decided to go to Nebraska on Saturday then (we had planned on going from Sunday-Wednesday) and then come home on Monday.

Got home this morning only to find out that it will not be until Wednesday for sure. There will be a family team meeting in the morning, and that is when it will be decided if the girls will be placed in foster care --our foster care.

I have gone through so many emotions this past weekend, I don't know where to begin. Friday I was so excited and crying and just ready. Then the weekend I calmed down and then nerves set in -- how will they adjust, how scared will they be, how will we do this with Steve just 2 miles over the state border so I can't go down there to see him, how will he be able to bond with them, so on and so on. Today, I talked with the investigator working this case. He told me so much, and now, I know who the family is. I know the mother. It is no longer about our excitement, I am aching for this family that will be torn apart and yet, still wanting, if these girls come to our home, to remain in our home. And yet, I know that my first role as a foster parent is to encourage reunification with the mom. It is a fine line, and it will be a difficult journey for us, I know that. I covet your prayers right now. For us, they we may adjust with life going from 2 children, to 4 children. For me, as I will be home alone most of the time with these 4 children. For Steve, as he is in Nebraska and unable to come home as often as he would like. For my kids, that they may have patience and understanding, for these girls as they enter a new world and are scared and confused, for the bio mom, that her hurts may be healed and that she may come to know what it really is that she wants in life. This rainbow, has some clouds around it, and that is clear to see. However, we are still so excited for the opportunities that God is granting us. We want the chance to love and nurture these girls as they should be, and if it is God's will that they return with their mother, then we will need so much strength to endure that also- and we know that He will provide that. I hope this isn't information overload. I feel I am suffering from information overload, so that is all that can come out of me right now. I will keep you posted on what is happening.
  • In the mean time- if you want to see a great video- hop on over to *A Life Outside the Box* on my right side bar and view the video she posted Sunday. Very moving.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Rainbow...

The beauty of storms are, the rainbows afterward.
Do you see the bird in this rainbow? I see the Holy Spirit. He is here.
I want to tell you all so much, but I can't tell you much at all right now.
Just wait, and watch, and pray. I do believe God is showing us a rainbow... and I can't wait to share it with you all! I am bursting!
But, I will know more, next week, and I will tell you about it here.
Sorry to be so vague, just want you to know that we definately need prayers, and I can see a rainbow and the Holy Spirit working some mighty things in our family right now.
God is Good, All the time,
"Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking". Ezekiel 1 :28

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Praise you In this Storm

  • My heart aches right now for so many people. I can't begin to understand the depths of their pain. It breaks my heart that our little church family is hurting so much right now. Today, JoEllen went to be with her Lord and Savior, and while we rejoice that she is in Glory, we know her family will miss her so much and will grieve for her endlessly. Another woman in our church, her daughter is preparing to meet her Savior, only He knows the time, but all things point to it being soon. A nephew of another family suffers in the hospital, such a young boy, so scared. And too many are fighting cancer right now, including my aunt - if you are checking in on me today, you are in my prayers- I love you- and my brother-in-laws struggles with the disease that is still ravaging his body. Our church is small. Just over 100 families. This is a lot of hurt for us.
  • And while it breaks my heart to see so many people that I care for hurting, I know and take comfort in the fact that God is the same God that He was last week, He is the same God He was 2000 years ago, and He will continue to be the same great and mighty God that He has always been. I know that He is walking through these storms with all of us. And His Grace is sufficient-- He tells us so: "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2Cor. 12:9 This is the same story which I recalled earlier when Paul begged God to take away his thorn. God's answer was no, but His grace, got Paul through it.
  • Sometimes the storm bears down full force and seems to destroy anything in its path. Sometimes we feel destroyed by the storm. The beauty of faith is that our Heavenly Father is there to build us up again-- even better than before. In the midst of all this heart break in our small church family.... 2 babies born, healthy and well, and so sweet in all of their sweet cuddly babyness. ( I don't know if its a word and I don't care!) God brings new life into this world. While it doesn't take away the pain of loss of a loved one, it does offer hope. Hope in Him. He is with us. His grace will uphold us, and there is eternal life.
  • Still praying for all of these storms to go well, and knowing that we will praise God in the storm!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A New Storm

*UDATE AGAIN* Kevin was able to come home on Friday. Praise God for minimal effects of that strange disease! **UPDATE** Hopefully we will know more tomorrow, but today's testing showed that Kevin has a mild case of the disease and that it shouldn't progress more, which means not paralyzing his lungs, which in turn, means that he may be able to go home tomorrow! Praise God, He truly is the Almighty Physician! Thanks for all of your prayers!
I really had no idea when I wrote yesterday's post about the storm brewing in my brother-in-laws life. And well, now we know. Steve's brother Kevin, was brought to a nearby hospital yesterday and after some testing, diagnosed with Guillian-Barre Syndrome -aka French Polio. Basically his body will become paralyzed and then heal itself again. He will be in the hospital for the duration of this because of the risk or his lungs becoming paralyzed also. It is a rare and serious disorder and I just ask that you all keep his family in your prayers.
Kevin just became Grandpa a few weeks ago, and owns a small cafe. There a lot of unanswered questions yet at this time and I don't want to speculate anything and would rather wait for facts. If they start a caring bridge site, I will share it with you. Right now we pray for peace, understanding, patience, and specifically that the disease will have minimal permanent damage and that he receives the best possible outcome of each symptom. Pray for the Lourens family that their storm may go well.
Thanks so much,

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Prayer Request

Hi everyone, I have an urgent prayer request for a member of our church. She was experiencing brain hemorrhaging and underwent surgery on Sunday to repair an anyeursm. You can read more on her caring bridge site - www.caringbridge.org/visit/joellenkauk Please storm Heaven's gates in prayers for JoEllen. In Christ, Alicia

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July Fun!

We had a good July 4th and I hope all of you did as well. Nothing to exciting really, mostly cleaned out the garage- definately necessary and since Steve was around, I wasn't passing up the chance! It feels so much better. And since it rained all day we really didn't have anything better to do. However by evening it cleared off and we were able to have a little bit of fun... here are some pics of that...
Steve was kind enough to demonstrate a "what not to do when lighting fireworks" pose for us.
(Reminds me a lot of Grandpa Otto though with that hanging out of his mouth.) And if you notice the wetness on Steve's shirt- that is what happens when I don't remember to check the sprinkler schedule and they go on in the middle of our fireworks fun! Everyone appreciated that!
This is a picture of what happens to sparklers that got wet due to aforementioned sprinklers - They smoke. A lot.
Jackson doing his sparklers also.... Pre sprinklers obviously!
I had taken more pictures of our fireworks display/contest, however, a point and shoot camera just really doesn't capture the awe of the fireworks. Its mostly just blury squiggles. It could be operator error too. It usually is.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma Pearl!

Today is my grandmother's 92 birthday.
I love this woman.
I think these pictures are from Thanksgiving last year. Do you know, this is just the way she has always looked?! I don't know why I find that comforting that this is the only way I know my grandma.
Let me tell you a little bit about her.
  • She is a Christian first and foremost. She will never let you wonder or doubt that.
  • She loves her family more than anything-except God- you will never doubt that either
  • She has had a hard life, but her faith remained pure
  • She grew up during the Depression
  • She lost her husband on their 25th wedding anniversary
  • She has 5 children - all with in an hour's drive of her-- she loves to tell you that!
  • My Daddy is her baby- and her only boy- he was spoiled- everyone else will tell you that!
  • I was spoiled by her too!
  • She babysat me more than I can ever remember and we had great times. We played Aggravation for hours and hours. Then I taught her Go Fish. I won a lot, but that's only because I was better, right?!
  • Whenever I see cookies and cream ice cream from Schwann's I think of her.
  • Every year on her birthday we go to a local park to celebrate- I don't remember ever being rained out- tonight looks great too!
  • I could tell you so much more about her, but I won't. I want to save some of it for her 93rd Birthday! ;)
  • Happy Birthday Grandma Pearl! Thank you for being a faithful servant of the Lord and for loving all of us and praying for us. We love you!
  • Proverbs 31:28 Her children rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also and he praises her. "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all."