Tuesday, April 19, 2011

15 Months Together!

So, I've been "getting in trouble" with many of you lately for going too long in between blog updates!  Things have simply been crazy around the Root Casa, and I do apologize!  As if life as a family of seven is every not crazy, nonetheless, the last few months have been a ginormous roller coaster of ridiculous life moments one after the other.
Let's just get right to it.  March was a fantastic month.  We celebrated Corban's 8th birthday while on a family vacation to Sea World in San Antonio, Texas.  It was a total surprise.  We told the kids we were going geocaching at a spot, and about an hour or more into the drive, they finally began whining, "Seriously?  Where is this cache at?  How much further?"  To which I casually responded, "According to the map, 5 hours or so, depending on traffic."  "5 hours!!!  WHY?  (In the most whiny of all voices they collectively cried.)  "Well, it takes awhile to get to Sea World guys."  It took a second or two for the idea to sink in and then the whoops and hollering began!  Bekeh and Caleb loved the dolphins and whales.  The shows were amazing and we had such a wonderful time. 

We were also blessed to run right smack in to the Patteson Family while waiting to get into Sea World our first morning.  I didn't recognize Danielle behind her glamorous sunglasses, but I recognized her chocolate cutie immediately!  That prompted us being able to get together with them and the Boddies for dinner and we had such a wonderful time chatting adoption and life talk with them!  Leanne Boddie suggested we meet up the next day at The Witte Museum, and the kids had an absolute blast.  The Boddie girls are adorable and Bekeh and Caleb were giddy with excitement to get to play with them all afternoon.  
This vacation was the first without any major bonding issues to deal with, so we were thankful to be at the point where we simply enjoyed the time as a complete family.
Jason began a new job the week we returned home and so we are excited about all God has in store for our family with this blessing.  The only two drawbacks are Jason now has a longer commute and is traveling a bit more.  God has redeemed even those things as He always does.  Jason actually gets home earlier in the evenings than he used to, and we're hoping to have a lot of great family trips in the future with all the frequent flyer miles he's beginning to rack up.  I'm learning how to navigate the weekdays with the kids schedules and just me, but all the kids are so awesome, helpful, and fun, it's been easier than I expected.
Jason and I celebrated our 14th Wedding Anniversary in April.  Unbelievable.  We talked a lot about the goals we set for our family over dinner on our 10th Anniversary.  We laughed at how completely naive we were at the time for the plans God had in store for us.  We never imagined just a short time ago how radically different our dreams for the future, our family, and our marriage would look!  So, as we looked at the year ahead, with 12 months until our 15 year goal setting dinner will arrive, we decided our only goal was to let God be in control, and to wait with anticipation for the blessings He has planned for us! 
Jason recently shared with me that God has it on his heart to adopt again. A baby girl. I can't even imagine. Seriously, when he told me this, I believe the words, "Get behind me satan" escaped my lips. And while God has not placed the desire and call in my heart at this time, He has been actively ministering to me and reminding me of so many things. I have opened my heart to defend the fatherless, and whether that's through mission work or being a mom to more, I'm abandoned and willing. In God's time. I have submitted my family, the way it looks, operates, functions, forms, grows, and lives to Him, and He is free to do with it whatever He knows is best. He'll prepare me and call me when it's time. If it's His plan for our family, which, when I look in Jason's heart, I see the reality that it already is. Someday.

Bekeh, you are crazy child.  If I didn't know how perfectly personal our God is, and how perfectly He places personalities and types of kids into families, you would prove it to me.  You are a CRAZY root, CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY.  Most of the time you make me laugh hysterically, some times you just make me hysterical.  You never stop.  You never stop talking, you never stop turning cartwheels, you never stop drumming, asking, eating, drinking, poking, banging, begging, whining, pouting, laughing.  You never stop. 

You've transitioned lately from the delayed toddler stages into the full blown little girl appropriate for your age. And with that, has come a lot of growing pains for mommy. It was easier to keep you in a box of, "You're too little to do. . ." and now you're not too little, and you understand everything and you want it all. When I say no to you running in the street like your older brothers, or to your crazy choices in clothing, which you are very particular about, I get this look from you that slices me to the core. You look at me as if I've killed your puppy, destroyed your self-esteem, squashed your personality, and abandoned your happiness all in one word. Had I raised you from my womb and bonded with you for 6 years, I would tell you where to take your look, but I can't. All the worry and frustration of what condition our bond is in, how you perceive your life in our family, how much you feel comfortable expressing your needs and desires and yet maintaining boundaries of obedience and respect of others all comes crashing down on me in a wave of insecurity and I feel lost!! Thank Goodness the Friend, the Author of Truth, the Comforter is there with us feeding me wisdom and helping me see the things unseen. Thank God He's there in those moments with us helping us limp along and figure this all out together. Thank God He redeemed you into our family. Thank You Jesus that you're my daughter. I love you completely. In a way I once wondered if it were possible. You are a delight of our day. You are a tender minister. You spread joy and warmth to everyone everywhere we go. You are hilarious, and your giggle changes everything.

Caleb, My little dude.  Who would have ever guessed you had such a bubble and adorable personality waiting in there to explode on us.  Geez.  You are a wild man.  Since our encounter with God in your hospital room last February, you've opened up and let yourself free.  We've had a two, maybe three, days in the past months where the old RAD issues have returned, but I have to get on my knees, confess my wrong thoughts, cast down the lies, and reclaim the ground we've conquered.  The dynamic change between you and I has infiltrated the whole family.  Everything is calmer, happier, and more normal.  You're enjoying learning how to be a four year old at preschool.  You're talking up a storm, questioning everything, playing hard.  While Bekeh's cartwheeling all over town, you're doing handstands (donkey kicks more accurately) all over the place.  You've gotten pretty good and you think it's hilarious when you fall on your head.  You still whine to the point of hysterics, every single time we ask you to go get your shoes.  It's insanity.  We've worked and worked on it, but if we say, "Go bring me your shoes," you lose it.  And we lose it, and it's a lost moment of ridiculousness on all our parts.  And it happens 2-3 times a day.  But, alas, our whole day used to be filled with RAD drama, so we'll keep working through your shoe drama in the same fashion, and soon we'll be on the other side of it too.   Your scar is healing beautifully after your surgery.  You hate when we rub on it to break up the scar tissue, but you love that your lips aren't cracking and bleeding constantly!  Thank you Jesus for all the healing you've brought to us.

We celebrate your 4th Birthday on Friday.  You're 4 but who would know it.  You couldn't guess by the 18 month tag in your loose pants, or the 2T label on your shirts.  You couldn't guess it by the way you form your words, or the tone of your giggle.  Even the tiny size 8 shoes on your feet mask your years.  And although you've been slow to grow this past year, I look back at pictures and I see you becoming a little boy.  The round baby face is fading away.  I love you precious.  You are perfect just the adorable size you are!
And no Spring update in Texas is complete without Bluebonnet pictures.

Nathan (our 9yr old) and I will be heading to Ethiopia next May 19th.  I'm anxious and excited about returning to visit Bekeh and Caleb's birthfamily in their village.  It will be a great opportunity to introduce Nathan to the culture and people that we have fallen in love with, as well as check in on Bekeh and Caleb's 3 bio sisters still living there.  We are preparing pictures of B&C from this past year of growing to present to their father and we know it's going to be a great time of fellowship with them.  We are traveling with the Rowell's and I can't wait to meet and hug and kiss and love all over their new son.  Please keep us in your prayers this next month!