Moms, What You Are Doing Matters

Taken from my segment on Star 105.7 in West Michigan with Tommy and Brook

Last week as I spoke to a MOPS group I looked at the tired eyes of those moms who feel buried in laundry and overcome with planning dinners and driving to practices and doing homework (on the way to school because the night before they said “no, mom I don’t have ny homework”), and I just want so badly for them to grasp how important their roles are in their child’s life.

I have 4 kids, three are grown and we adopted our youngest and she’s 8 yrs old.

I remember with (as I fondly refer to them) ‘my first batch of kids’ how I felt like the house keeper, room service and chauffer. I was a taller, blonder, unshowered Benson that lived in the suburbs in a house with so little heat that we put up a blanket in the stairway to keep ourselves warm all day. I didn’t feel like my role mattered except to keep the kids from killing each other and putting a few groceries in their busy little bodies.

Fast forward a couple decades and my oldest is married and second son is engaged. This past weekend we helped our son and his new wife move. Watching my grown sons interact and seeing how they treat their wife and fiancé ….it made me so thankful and I realized even more how much moms matter. Thankfully, I also thought about how little all the mistakes I made along the way, mattered. We’re real moms, we’re not perfect but being there for our kids, taking care of all the mundane tasks that we must do…it really matters.

I just want to tell moms (and dads)…that what you’re doing…this sometimes exhausting and seemingly thankless job…it matters. You are nurturing and raising the next generation.

No matter the age, whether your kids are picking up everything they see and putting it in their mouths or sassing back with the same lips a few years later, your role in their life matters.

If they are biological, adopted, foster or step children, you matter. You make a difference.

It wasn’t until we adopted Lauren that I came to understand the depth and power of attachment in a child’s life. It was a rocky first year with a little girl that spent her first 26 months in an orphange, and the several years since have been a learning experience. Even though she’s strongly attached, there is still a glimpse of that “survival” tendency in her that keeps me on my toes.

So when I saw this on the wall of her school, my heart melted.

feb 2013Yup, it matters.

Give yourself a break Moms, you’re not expected to be a perfect mom. Be a REAL mom.

If you missed this segment, listen here: Real Moms: What you are doing matters!

You can listen to my ‘Real Moms of West Michigan’ segments on Star 105.7 with Tommy and Brook every Tuesday morning around 7:05 AM. If you are not in the West Michigan area you can listen on iHeart radio

Thank You to Lauren’s Birthmom

I don’t know your name or what you look like. I imagine that you saw the tiny disformed face of your new child and it brought you to tears. You opened her pink lips and saw that the cleft was also inside the roof of her mouth. You may have feared this with every tiny flutter those months you anticipated seeing your precious baby. You knew the immense cost and care that would be needed, and understood that the only hope for a good life would be in the hands of someone else. Perhaps an American would lovingly care for this daughter that your country would punish you for birthing.

I imagine that held her tight as you carried her quietly in the night and gently laid her on the steps of the very busy Buddhist Temple knowing someone would soon open the doors and find her. You kissed her one last time and your heart broke as you slipped away from that tiny piece of yourself.

She was found “red and crying” by the monks. Still very much in need of a mother.

I thank you sweet woman for giving life to the little girl of my dreams. I kiss her everyday for you.

I tell her that you left her where you believed god would help her and God made sure that she found her forever home in our family, learning that she was created by Him, on purpose.

I will probably never see you in this lifetime but please know that you did the right thing, that she is safe and loved and that all her needs are met. She turned 8 years old today.

I can’t hug you, so I hug her.

 

Thank you.

Love You More


They say there is a special connection among families that adopt. I would have to agree. I felt that when reading this book by Jennifer Grant. It especially hit home as she already had 3 children when she adopted and I’ve faced some of the same looks and unsolicited advice from people in the grocery store. However, the gap in our kids age is so great that it is usually just Lauren and I, so I get the “oh you poor infertile woman” smile quite often. Sometimes I wish I had a shirt that says, “My other kid is 23.”

“Love You More: the Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter” is the story of a family that had a strong marriage and three happy healthy children yet still sensed something was missing.
Yes, I can relate to that!

It’s exactly how we felt 7 years ago.

“Expanding my family by adoption pushed me into uncomfortable places, challenged my notions about what family means, and brought abiding happiness. Like all true ones, my story is comprised of joyful moments and times of deep longing and pain,” says Grant.

Love You More is an eye-opening look for readers to peer into the world of adoption. It is not only a beautiful story of God weaving a family together, but it serves a wonderful resource for anyone considering adoption.

Whether or not you have the nudgings of adoption, you will enjoy this book. It will warm your heart and wake the thankfulness we so often grow numb to in the everyday craziness of life.

Check out Jennifer Grant’s:

Webpage

Facebook page for Love You More

Plainwell, MI ~ Praise and Coffee Night

What a great night!

Last October I met Kim deBlecourt at the Breathe Writers Conference in Grand Haven, MI. She highlighted her story in one of the classes and I was immediately drawn to her.

Adoptive parents always feel a sense of kinship with other adoptive parents and I couldn’t wait to get to know Kim better. Kim had experienced a nightmare while trying to bring her son home from the Ukraine to Holland, MI and I was compelled to know more about her and her story.

She graciously wrote about it for the magazine and then came out last night to tell the whole ordeal at our Praise and Coffee Night.

You can read about it in our magazine here: Spring 2011

Or wait for the book “Until We All Come Home”…which is coming…AND they are in talks about a movie.
It will be an incredible movie!!

Kim, thank you so much for sharing your story with us!!


Connect with Kim on Facebook: Kim deBlecourt


Stacey Davis, Sue Cramer and Char DeMoore


Deborah Brine, thank you for sharing your Stella & Dot with us before heading back to Australia!


Denise Dykstra and Kim deBlecourt


Andrea Creech and her sweet Mom!


Anne Kirby and her best friend!

Check out our website if you would like to start Praise and Coffee Nights in your area! http://www.praiseandcoffee.com/

Sometimes the Past Haunts Us

I originally posted this 3 years ago but this message has been going over and over in my heart lately, hope it touches you too.

As many of you know, we adopted Lauren from China a little over a year ago. She was 2 years old when we brought her home and she had lived in an orphange for all of her 2 years.

We struggled for several months and still do at times, with her attachment to us. I would say she is strongly attached now, but it has been a struggle.

We have come leaps and bounds and I believe she is very securely attached to me, but there are so many little “quirks” that she has that reveal the past fears and insecurities. Sometimes I really wish she could tell me about the things she has seen and experienced. We get glimpses, but never the whole picture.

That brings me to what happened the other day. I was unpacking all my Christmas stuff and she was sitting with a basket of last years Christmas cards looking at each one of the pictures. She was there for a good 10 minutes just studying them while I was busy decorating. Suddenly she yelled “MOMMY!” and ran over to me with a card in her hand. With a very sad and upset face and tears in her eyes, she kept yelling-

Mommy! No Mommy! No Mommy! and shaking her head.

I looked at the picture and this is what is was…

She was very upset and said, NO MOMMY!….MOMMY GO BYE-BYE…!!!

She kept repeating it over and over and I realized that she was saying that the little girl in the picture was sad because her Mommy had left her. That’s when I saw that the little girl was Chinese.

My heart just broke and I held her and assured her that this little girl’s Mommy had not left her, she was just praying to Jesus.

I wish I could get inside that little mind and know all that she thinks and how she processes things, but it is clear that she has glimpses of the past that haunt her.

Our job is to love Lauren and protect her and pray that she will be healed from her past and that it won’t affect her future. I believe God has big plans for my little darlin’ and He will use her past to bring healing to others.

So………………………………. what about you?

Do you ever have glimpses of the past that remind you of past pain? Does a picture or memory send you reeling in grief?

If so, the Holy Spirit is there to bring the love of God into your heart and show you the protection and security that only God can bring.

Eph 4:22-24
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24 and to put on the new self,
created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
NIV

I pray you are able to trust that Your God loves you and will never leave you, and that you can put your past behind you and be made new in Him!

Abandoned But Not Forgotten

Lauren loves other little Asian girls. She is drawn to them as if some imaginery cord ties the daughters of China. She immediately points them out in public and tries to find a way, clumsy at times, to connect with them.

I wish I knew how much of her first 2 years living in an orphange she remembers. She loves to read her books about adoption and drinks it in when I tell her how we flew on a big airplane to bring her home. Her books tell of little girls living together with their nannies waiting for their Mommies to come for them. She beams when we turn the page to Mommy holding her new little girl.

She is often upset to see a child on tv standing alone or crying for any reason. She asks, ‘where is their Mommy?’ and won’t let up until I explain exactly where Mommy is and that she will be there to take care of her baby.

I felt so bad recently when I walked out of the room while she was watching the movie “Homeward Bound.” I completely forgot about the part where the little girl is lost and alone in the woods. I came back into the room to check on her and she was about to burst. Her little face was beat red and she was crying so deeply that her body was quaking but the sound had not made it out of her mouth. I grabbed her in my arms and she started to wail, she was inconsolable. I felt awful and of course I burst into tears right along with her.

It’s times like that I wonder what fears still haunt that little mind. Did she know while she cried in her crib those 2 years, that the ache in her heart was for the comfort of a mother? Did she see others leave as their Mommies and Daddies came and wish she could leave also? I’ll never know.

However I do know that God intended for this little girl to be redeemed from the steps of a Buddhist Temple that she was abandoned on. He planned from the foundations of the earth that she would be brought into our family and loved as one of our own. She may have been abandoned, but she was never forgotten.

Neither are you.

Are You Losing Control?

But first…it’s giveaway time!

Photobucket

I’ll be giving away:

PRAISE CD

AND

COFFEE! (1 bag)

To enter drawing:

* Leave a comment on this post (one per person)

* Come back this Friday to see if you’ve won!

BONUS: I do monthly drawings for Praise and Coffee starting on the 1st of every month, I draw a winner on the 10th of every month.
So this Friday, you can enter again for my normal monthly drawing!!!

*****************************************************************************

Stop over to Internet Cafe’ for my post today:

“Are You Losing Control?”

Check out my new article.

Comments will close Friday morning 7:00 AM EST, Feb. 1st, drawing will follow soon after with random number generator.
Comments Closed.
Sign up HERE for new giveaway! that just started Feb 1st!!

One Year Anniversary of our Gotcha Day!

Lord, You saw her “red and screaming” on the steps of a Buddhist Temple in China and chose to coordinate her life so that she would end up in our arms…thank you so much!

We’ll never be the same.

One year ago today…

It was the eve of our “Gotcha Day” for Lauren.
Here are some pictures of her before she came to her forever home.

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