Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Friday, June 28, 2013

Quarter of a Century

About 25 years ago this was me.

I was about to give birth to my Kipster Queen you know what I Mean.

Only then, she was Tanner Austin.  Or Craig Austin.   We were still undecided.

But then, something very vital fell off during the delivery, and another little punkin seed female was born.

Lacey took the matter of naming her into her capable 4 year old hands, and named our new crown jewel, Kristen Janae.

Good thing she was on top of baby names.

I dressed her in ridiculous clothes.

But she grew into a kid and forgave me for dressing her in sweater sets.

Nothing much has changed.  I pretty sure she still eats watermelon like this.  A fork takes too long.

Next thing I knew, she was all growed up, and almost as pretty as her Grammie.

I get tons of people asking me how she is doing in California, and I'm just going to show you.

As you know her trusty little Solara died the day before she left for her journey, so she has been tooling around in Brandon's truck (YES, It's a standard, a WHOLE 'nother story).  Good thing she accessorizes her outfit to match her vehicle.  

 Speaking of Brandon, here they are in his very cool backyard at his house. 

 Grammie and Lacey went to see her and they enjoyed pizza over at Brandon's.

 Lacey & Kip went and spent the day at WhiskeyTown Lake and Lacey is pretty sure she could live there without any trouble.  (But trust me, there will be TROUBLE if Lacey TRIES to leave the state too)

But first they went to church .  :)
 They spent some fun time with my cousin Alison, and her kids...this is Laramie.

 She scored a great architecture job, something we have all been praying about since she finished school.  It's God's way of telling her she's on the right track.

 She was really happy to have some Shawnee Mills cornbread mix.  And from the look of Brandon's face photobombing in the mirror, he was pretty happy too.

This lake lovin', sun craving girl has found her happy place in California and I couldn't be happier for her.

She meet a bunch of girls in her lifegroup at church and she is roommates with one of them.  They look enough alike to be sisters as far as I am concerned.

I'm so proud of my Kipster Queen... in March she left Oklahoma without a car, without a job, without a place to live, with only a vision in her mind of what she wanted her future to look like.  Within 3 months, she scored a fantastic job, moved into the cutest apartment in the world, and continues to adore her hottie boyfriend.

She's more in love with God than ever, and that's the best part of this superstar's secret.

Happy birthday, love.

25 years old.  Quarter of a century.  I'm pretty sure the best is yet to come for you, youngster.  And I'm so anticipating the next 25 with you.  Love you and can't hardly fit in my shirt for busting my buttons with pride.

Just for your birthday sis........

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tears and Understanding

I guess the whole experience of fostering has been leading to this defining moment today.

Lovely and LB met with bio mom in "Family counseling" and finally had the chance to have their say.

In a safe environment.  With a counselor, a translator and their counselor present.

Without going into any details, I'm just going to say that there were broken hearts today.

Two of them live in my house.

After today, I doubt there will be any more bio visits, phone calls and Elastic Girl will be pushing for termination in August.

As I face this with my lovelies, I am torn and saddened.

I am torn because as a mother, I ache for the mother that will never have her precious kids in her home again.

I am saddened because she is an idiot, and should NEVER be allowed to have those precious kids in her home again.

I am deeply saddened for the broken hearts of children, far too wise for their few years on this earth, that had all their deepest fears validated today.

I likened life to the Candy Crush game that is all the rage these days (at least for me and Hallie), and some levels you just fly through, but the longer you hang with it, the harder and more intriguing it becomes.

As I've had these kids with me going on my 9th month (enough to give birth to them, literally) I feel like I KNOW these little souls.

They have come so far, and realize that life should be far, far more than they had.  They shared with me how fun it is to just come home, eat and watch tv.

I told them I'm boring, and they just looked at me like I grew two heads.  "You not boring, Lolly.  You CHILL."

Sweet.  I'm Chill.

That is code for lazy and sit on my buttish.

But we also have taught them that life is supposed to be a bit boring, with kindness and peace as your major components.  I didn't have this for many years, and I realize how important this element is.  After the chaos slowed in my life, I realized that for several years I was in a chaotic swirl and my life had spun out of control.  I didn't even recognize who I was anymore.

I got a fresh start, got my girls a fresh start and we finally started living.

I'm thinking it's the same thing for these lovelies.  There is nothing better than realizing that life CAN be all you want.

It happened for me and it is happening for them.

Prayers for them as they start the journey for termination, and then the search for adoptive parents.  I'm going to keep them with me as long as I can...hoping that I can keep them until they find adoptive parents to keep consistency and stability flowing, until they find their forever home.

I feel your prayers.   They cover us constantly.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

DEO HO NUMA (day-0h Ho NOOma)

It's been a pretty intense week.

oh...the sickness....

One of my mom's dearest old friends is in her last days.... one of my dear old friends, fighting his life with cancer... two wonderful women that work together, both my friends, finding out within days of each other, one lady's 12 year old grandchild and the other's husband....cancer.

It's just overwhelming.  I find myself praying almost constantly for someone.  Praying and praying for God's grace and healing.

The lovelies are just such wonderful children.  There are just three of them and one of me.  Some days.....overwhelming.

Finding out that the biological parents aren't working their plans, deeper in denial of the abuse than ever, and knowing this isn't a safe environment to send them home.... talking to them about the plan of adoption, and having to tell them it won't be me adopting them.

The tears, and acceptance, and the belief that God will find them the perfect home.  LB asking me to find "His song" on KLOVE because he needed to sing the words to feel the ease in his heart.

He told me, "Lolly, God will take care of us.  He will never leave us and will be by our side always".

That about wraps it up, folks.

Today at church, Craig talked about Making History.

So many people (I MEAN SO MANY) say to me,  "I don't know how you do it, and WHY do you do it"??  I don't have an answer.   Now I do.  I will tell them  "DEO HO NUMA"

Hebrew for "Spirit Prompting".  I can't explain it.  Somedays I don't want to do it another second.  I want to throw in the towel and scream to the skies.... GIVE ME MY LIFE BACK.....and then the spirit prompting whispers in my ear.... "Your LIFE is MINE".

When God whispers in your ear, and you refuse to hear him, he quits asking you.

Craig nailed it on the head, and I could understand every point he made today in church....when the SPIRIT is prompting you, and you decide to take that LEAP of faith, and believe in His will for your life, it's a scary uncertain time.  The only thing Certain will be your UNCERTAINTY.  I question my sanity at least 12 times in a day.  And every time I question, I reinforce my actions by living in FAITH.  I believe, in total FAITH, that God will provide for us, and meet every need.  And He delivers BIG and with certainty.  It just takes me asking and believing.

Secondly Craig said if you are doing God's will, you will immediately have predictable resistance.  The biggest and worst for me, is MYSELF.  I can second and third guess myself into a panic state in about ten seconds flat.   Then I have to REEL myself back in.  Steady girl.  God's got it....and give Him back the wheel.

During all the terrible health crisis going on around me, and I have friends with marriages in trouble, and friends with children either moving, or making terrible choices, and we have to hold on to the fact that in the rough times, God is doing something inside of us.  Something big and powerful.  He is spurring me to write this and hopefully stir something inside each of you.

Because last but not least, when the spirit is prompting you, and you are overcome by certain uncertainty and predictable resistance, you will emerge with uncommon clarity.  You'll hear everyone babble about how crazy you are to have 3 vietnamese children in your home and changing the dynamic of life as you lived it, but with God's love and patience, He also gives you Clarity to see it.  Craig says if you aren't being criticized or ridiculed by someone, your not being effective.  So, while, yes, I am getting it from all sides about how "Crazy" I am to be pulled so thin, you can see through me, with four children in my home..... I have uncanny clarity for the WHY I am doing it.

This life isn't about me.  For the first 50 years of it, it has been.  All about me.  And my needs and my wishes and my desires and my pursuits.  The last few years, it's been about Him.  About what God sees happening for me, and I have had the most incredible peace, and clarity, and well being, of my life.

Yep, don't have the nicest house, drive the nicest car, wear the nicest clothes, but I do have a peace that passeth all understanding and a clarity of what God wants for me.  And my kids.  And I am at peace with it.

So we will eat rice for the millionth time this month, and wear the same clothes from last year, and keep on keeping on, because it's about keeping your eye on the prize, and that prize is found in Heaven, and I know without a shadow of a doubt I will be there one day.  And I have no fear.

Can you say that?  Are you following the prompting in your heart? Are you walking by faith??  Think about it.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

10858 days since day 1

Tomorrow is Lacey's 29th birthday.  She has walked the planet for 29 years.  According to my ever ready calculator, she is now 348 months old.

This is 336 months ago.

Ok, the whole "Month" thing was cute when she was 15 months old

even cute when she was 36 months old.

But 348?? months old.   Better stick to years.

Boy howdy, I love this girl.  Her favorite thing to do with me?  make me laugh until I pee my pants.

 Which sadly doesn't take much these days.

This has been a banner year for my first born.

She got her master's degree, which she paid in full.  all by herself.  every step of the way.

That's amazing. 

Of course, so is she.

Did I mention she graduated, "Summa cum smarty?"  or is it Magna cum Smarty?  Either is magnificent and she got a gold tassel thingy to twirl at me in her front yard when it was all over.   She told me it meant she was a purty smart feller, in them there classes.  I didn't need a yellow tassel thingy to tell me that.  But it was sure fun to twirl.

She's been patient with me her whole life.

When I tried washing her hair in Aunt Angie's sink and got more in her eyes than her head.

I think she instinctively knew (even at age 1 1/2) that she would someday be in charge of feeding me, and started practicing early.

From the time she was born (first born grandchild on both sides, WHEEEE)she's had 3 women in her corner that would do absolutely anything for her.  We've all loved her and praised her, and been simply in awe of her goodness from this time until now.

She doesn't take herself too seriously and that's what makes her the best thing out there.


Of course, I have no idea where she gets it.  

Happy day of birth Lacey DeeAnn.  You have grown into a beautiful, wonderful, funny, woman and you are my best friend, my accountability guru, my go-to girl, my precious gift and the biggest love of my life.  The plans that God has for you are too big to understand, but I stand here breathless with you, knowing that they will be more incredible than either of us dreamed possible.

You are my light, and you never cease to amaze me with your brilliant resiliency.  

I love you forever and a day......   Your mama.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


It's been awhile since I blogged.  I have had some tooth issues and kid issues and A WHOLE bunch of driving back and forth to take Hallie to her beach volleyball summer bliss. 

It's been super slow at work, with the tornado attention and everyone so NOT interested in thinking about funeral preplanning, so it could be a really a scary time, but my company took this into consideration and have taken care of me for the time being.  Talk about a God deal.

Mainly, it's been about Vietnamese kids, and running them to daycare, and making sure they are cared for, and needs met, and then running Hallie to her stuff, making sure she is cared for and her needs met, and I'm tapped.

Emotionally.  Financially.  Spiritually. 

Just.tapped. out.

Good thing I found Candy Crush this week.  I have been a ridiculous little kid with a new video game.  I did good the first 13 levels and then it got hard, and now I'm over it.

I'm just ridiculous.

So just pray for me.

Pray and pray for me. 

I miss me.