Wednesday, June 18, 2014

We've moved!

Since this blog was originally started to document the journey of my now ex-husband and I, I've decided to end it. However, I've started a new one of just me and Meili:

www.bad-wallpaper.blogspot.com

Come on over and join us!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Coming to an End



2013 is coming to an end....FINALLY!

To say that I'm overly excited would be an understatement. 2012-2013 were the worst years of my life. I literally cannot wait for the ball to drop at midnight and for Ryan Seacrest to say 2014. 2013 has been filled with lots of ups and downs. I hope to do a 'year in review' post that I write at the end of every year - something to highlight the positives as they were a lot of them.

I started casually dating again. Truth be told, I started back in August with an old friend. We dated up til the first/mid part of November. Just wanted different things - I want more kids and he is done. I've gone on several first dates throughout October - December. It's good practice. Very different than when I was in my 20s with no kids. I'm in no hurry for anything. In fact, I don't know if I'll ever get married again. Never say never but... I don't want to ever go through this again.

Meili is doing super well at school. She is advanced in her fine motor skills but still lags behind the other kids in socialization. She just is shy and is an introvert. Nothing wrong with this as I'm the same way. Her teachers noticed her staring off into space back during the summer. I had her evaluated by a pediatric neurologist. This led to a 48 hour video-recorded EEG at Arkansas Children's Hospital. Luckily, the EEG came back with no seizure activity. But there is still the issue of her staring or spacing out. At this point, the neurologist recommended a psychiatric evaluation. I agree with this but am going to wait. This may be something she outgrows as she gets older. Maybe look into it when she's 4. Meili has been through enough in the last year.

Good-bye 2013. Meili and I won't miss you!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A bumpy road

My life since March has been unexpected to say the least. I never thought that I'd get a divorce or leave my beautiful, forever home or say good-bye to my dream job. I never thought that my daughter would grow up being shuffled between homes or that my husband would leave his family in the middle of the night.

But... I've also learned a few things about myself.

I am strong. I am an awesome mom. I am courageous. I am a true believer in Jesus.

Meili and I have had opportunities that we wouldn't have experienced if we continued to stay where we were. She and her cousin Piper have a wonderful friendship. They will be entering kindergarten at the exact same time and in the same school. My parents have developed a strong relationship with Meili. Again, this wouldn't have happened had we continued to live 3 hours away. My sister and I, while we've always been close, have developed a closer, best friend relationship. I've even become friends with my brother and his wife... eating dinner with them 1 night/week. This never would have happened if we didn't move back to my hometown.

I've had to switch jobs since the move in May. My first job was a good opportunity for me but the benefits were lack luster. An opening became available to teach nursing at the local community college and I jumped on it. The benefits are stellar and I have a somewhat flexible schedule to meet the needs of my daughter. I'm still getting used to the ways things are done here but I'm learning a lot and excited to be back in academia.

The move was probably hardest on Meili. For 2 months, she had trouble sleeping, displayed anxious attachment behaviors, and cried at the drop of a hat. She didn't really know my family and was quite apprehensive around them. Meili had to start all over in a new school and it took a while for her to make friends and get to know her teachers. Now, things for her are the new normal. She loves school and has friends there. Meili is comfortable with my parents and extended family. She is able to spend the night at my sister's house without me and feel secure that I will come back to get her.

Is it hard? Absolutely yes.

I'm still trying to process my emotions surrounding the divorce. I was in counseling back in the Spring and have recently started back up here. I still have many unanswered questions. My head and heart are conflicted with one another and I need to get this resolved before moving on with my life.

Someone the other day asked me if I was ready to start dating again. I laughed at the idea. But at the same time, I had a glimmer of hope. That maybe... some day in the future, I'll be ready for that again. But for now, Meili and I are riding this bumpy road of life together. We've gotten tossed and jiggled around but we're staying together until the end.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lifesong [adoption]

13-6 MM Email

"God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure." Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)


Adoption. One of the most beautiful pieces of the Gospel. An all-powerful and loving Father God chose us, in our sinfulness, to be His sons and daughters. Does it get any better than that? The fact that we, as Christians, can replicate this relationship in our own families to tell the Gospel through our lives is an complete honor and joy.


"WE SAID YES TO ADOPTION" // Andy & Laura's Story

Andy and Laura, adoptive parents of Eli from Ethiopia shared how God provided every step of the way, crushing fears and showing that HE is faithful to finish what He starts.

Part of God's provision came from Lifesong and its partner, Legacy 685 Adoption Fund, helping this family financially with a matching grant and funding support.

INDIGENOUS ADOPTION // Ukraine

Meet Volodya and Lyliya, one of the many Ukrainian families blessed by Adoption without Borders, an initiative that intentionally links like-minded families and churches in the USA with Christian families in Ukraine who are seeking to adopt.  

awob pictures MM

"(Adoption is) the deepest evangelism we can provide, to dedicate our lives to bringing children to the Lord. Our biggest dream is that all of our children would commit their lives to God." --Volodya & Lyliya, adoptive parents of five Ukrainian children 

HOW CAN I HELP? 

Because of your support, the families above have been able to give a forever family to a child in need. Are you looking for ways to join the cause? What you could do:

READ MORE ABOUT ADOPTION...

How Could We Not? -  Erik & Erin's adoption story is unique, but beautiful as they stepped in to help a family member in need by providing Austin with a stable and secure family. Read Full Story

Worth the Wait - Guest blog post from Jeff & Rachel,  adoptive parents of Kate from Ethiopia. Read Full Story

God Creates Family from Strangers - Sharon, adoptive mom, shares her heart of on an ordinary day four months after bringing Asrate into their forever family.  Read Full Story

US Churches impacting Ukrainian families! - Three US churches wrap around a Ukrainian family to ensure home repairs where finished soadoption could be complete. Read Full Story

"I know you guys!" - Read as Robert & Alexis share about meeting their son Jacob for the very first time. Read Full Story

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hiatus

I'm taking a hiatus from the blog. My desire is to be back around the middle of July. We've been super busy with life.

  • Sold home
  • Moved in with my parents ~ 3 hours away
  • Left job that I truly loved
  • Start new job tomorrow
  • Filed for divorce
  • Starting a new life as a family of 2
So, yes....
Super busy is the new normal. But I'll be back once we've moved into our new rental home. Which is next door to my parents' house (since they own it).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book Review: Too Hurt to Stay


I had the opportunity to review "Too Hurt to Stay" by Casey Watson. Casey is a foster parent in the UK foster system who specializes in children with difficult emotional and/or behavioral problems.

In this book, Casey and her husband welcome in 8-year-old Spencer. Spencer is an emotionally disturbed young child with extreme behavioral problems. He steals, lies, runs away, and physically injures animals and other children. They start to wonder if they can really make a difference for this young child. However, Casey and her husband meet Spencer's parents and start to discover the truth behind Spencer's behaviors. And, it's definitely an unexpected twist.


"Too Hurt to Stay" is a realistic portrayal of foster care, whether it's in the UK or North America. Casey struggles with the system, social workers, neighbors, and her own emotions as she tries to help Spencer with his behavior. As a foster parent, I can relate to Casey's emotional response to many of Spencer's behaviors. Even though there are times that she is ready to give up, she never does. And this is what foster care is all about - never giving up on the child, even when it initially appears hopeless.

Special thanks to TLC Book Tours and Harper Collins for inviting me to read this book.
Disclosure:  The book "Too Hurt To Stay" was sent to me by the publisher. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Intentional Eavesdropping

Yup, I am guilty of eavesdropping on my daughter's conversations. The other night, it was a conversation between her and our cat, Speedracer. I came in at the end of the conversation. It went something like this....

Cat is eating food. Trying to ignore Meili.
Meili: You are not listening to me. You are not being a good cat.
Cat continues to eat food.
Meili: You need to answer me.
Cat continues to eat food and ignore Meili.
Meili: Choice 1 (holds up 1 finger) - you can go to the garage. Choice 2 (holds up 2 fingers) - you can get a time-out and I'll hold you. What is your choice?
Cat stops eating and looks up at her.
Meili: You are not answering me. Make a choice.
Cat goes back to eating.
Meili: Good choice kitty. I will hold you.

She then proceeded to pick up Speedracer. I intervened so that Speed could finish eating his dinner.

I think Dr. Purvis would be quite proud that the next generation is already trying to follow her advice!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Adoption Conversation

Adoption is a journey.

Those words have been spoken to me on more than one occasion. Currently, I'm laying the foundation for Meili's future understanding of birthparents. In our house, we call her birthparents "China Momma" and "China Dada". She has no understanding of these words but we use them to reference the ones who gave her life.

Onto today's conversation....

Lately, Meili has been into switching roles with me - i.e., she is Momma and I'm Meili. I took the opportunity to have one of many adoption conversations with her. They always seem to take place in the car.

Meili: I Momma. You Meili.
Me: Ok.
Meili: Honey, are you my China baby? (She always refers to me as "honey" when she assumes the Momma role. I guess I use it quite frequently.)
Me: Yes.
Meili: Say waaa-waaa.
Me: Waaa-aaaa. I want my China Momma and China Dada.
Meili: It's ok China baby. Don't cry. Your real Momma is here. (Yes, we use the term "real". Between foster parents, birth parents, China parents, etc it gets quite confusing even for me.)
Me: Waaa-aaa.
Meili: It's ok. I'm here. Your China Momma and China Dada are working.
Me: Waaa-aaa. Where are my China Momma and China Dada? Are they in China?
Meili: Yeah, they're in China. They're busy working and picking their noses. You'll see them later.

At this point, I started laughing and our conversation was over. I guess my point is that I try to weave adoption and Meili's story into our everyday conversation. I don't want her beginnings to be a surprise. It should naturally be a part of her life story. And I'm doing my best to make this happen.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Walk for the Waiting

Our American orphans are in distress.



An average of 12 children enter Arkansas' foster care system every day, joining the other 4,000 children already waiting in the system.

Today, nearly 500 children in Arkansas are waiting for a family to adopt them.

What if there was one simple thing each person in your church could do to care for these waiting children? What if it was as simple as walking?

On May 18, 2013, three leading orphan care ministries, The CALL, Project Zero, and Immerse Arkansas are uniting forces to invite nearly 70+ area churches to Walk for the Waiting. Will you consider walking with us?

We are working toward a solution where the Church leads the way to caring for these orphans that live hidden in our midst and we are inviting your church to join us in this endeavor!

For more information, check out the Walk for the Waiting website.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Puppets!

It's no secret that I take Meili to the library every Saturday morning for their children's program. This week, the theme was puppets. There was a puppet show and a rivoting story about puppets. The kids even got to make puppets at the end of the program.

 She picked out the hair, eyes, and nose. I helped her glue it together.


Meili and I both agree that it's a one-of-a-kind masterpiece!

Linking up with Sunday Snapshot