Growing our Heritage: In Search of a Full Quiver--From A to Z, month 1.5

Stolle party of 6!
It has been a little over the one month mark since we added a new member to our family.  We are now a family of 6. The similarities between Z's story and A's story and behaviors are uncanny.  We learned a lot our first go-around with A about how best to handle discipline and behaviors of children from hard places and it has all come in handy.  I find myself to be far less exhausted and on edge this go around; there really is a huge learning curve when dealing with adding 8 year old boys you barely know to your family.
Z is a joy.  He is a adorable ball of energy; full of love, creativity and butt cheek jokes (yes, I'm serious).  He calls me momma or mommy and loves sitting in my lap and snuggling.  He calls Jason daddy with ease, and has even asked to sit in his lap from time to time. 
My life has become a tornado of beyblades, pokemon cards, xbox discs, sports and fart jokes--and I wouldn't change it for the world!
I just cannot get over the gift th…

Growing our Heritage: In Search of a Full Quiver Month 6--Satan HATES adoption

We are officially in month six of our matched adoption and have our finalization court date set.  Everyone is excited and relieved to be at this point.  "A" is a completely different child and so very ready to be adopted.  As far as dealing with the struggles associated with adopting a child from foster care--those have minimized almost to the point of being non-existent.  Most of our struggles these days are what I would characterize as normal kid stuff.  However we seem to be dealing with a new struggle and our foe has doubled down on the attack.
Satan hates adoption. 
He hates the healing that comes with it.  He hates the broken cycles of abuse and drug addition.  He hates the love and the hope...he hates everything about it.
We have been under what I can call nothing short of a blitz attack.  There have been issues after issues in our personal lives; finances, housing, deaths, sicknesses, relationships... I can go on and on here, but won't because he doesn't des…

Growing Our Heritage: In Search of a Full Quiver Month 5

So I've been MIA for a while.  We are now closing in on our adoption date and things are good.  We still have rough waters but the frequency of them is less and less.  A has now really assimilated into the family and it's like he was always here, and I cannot imagine life without him at this point.  He's a big goofy ball of snuggles, cuddles, leggos, minecraft, xbox and nerf wars.  I was, however, woefully unprepared for the tornado that is boyhood--the ruined clothes alone are shocking!  But so much of what we encounter these days are simply boy issues and not trauma/foster care issues.
I will say that Jason and I are still shocked by the injustices of this child's prior life experiences.  For the sake of his privacy I won't do into detail but there are so many life skills that he just doesn't have because no one took the time to teach him, or later on ask him if he knew how to do them.  We keep stumbling into things and saying, "That never crossed my min…

Growing our Heritage: In Search of a Full Quiver Month 3

Wow!  Here we are, PAST the 3 month mark.  I feel as if we may have found our new rhythm of life.  Behaviors have calmed down, and all the pieces are beginning to blend together seamlessly.  We still have hard days, but their frequency continues to decrease.  If I'm honest, I can already feel the pull to do this all over AGAIN! 
Yes, it is hard.  Yes, it is messy. Yes, it is stressful and conflict is inevitable.  But the benefits are so very great.  I have watched a child simply transform in front of my eyes in a very short 3 months.  I can think of no greater way to impact society, and The Kingdom, than to take a helpless/hopeless child and give them hope, love and a possibility for a future.
We covet your prayers as there is still much to learn and so much ground to cover; but I have faith that all of the tears, time, effort, heart-break, frustration and exhaustion will pay off in the end.
ALOT has changed for all of us this month.  Most of which I don't feel comfortable goi…

Growing our heritage: In Search of a full quiver Month 2

We are flirting with our two month mark--it is a few simple days away.  However, in adoption, no day is truly ever simple.  I recall myself dealing with an extremely petty situation at my child's school last week (one in which would have never been on my radar or high on my priority list FOR ANY of my children--let alone one with a history like, and dealing with issues like W...I'm a fan of simple, natural consequences) and this situation prompting me to say to my husband, "There are only so many things that I can possible say out loud (if you are a teacher think in the world of Think Alouds) every day and this just wasn't one of them".  However, for the other parent  involved, and the school, it was important so we did everything we could to comply.  But I distinctly remember myself thinking, this just isn't high on my priority list.  You see folks, when you are dealing with a child who has come from trauma you deal with the BIG issues first, and sometimes t…

In search of a full quiver: How we got here

So, many people have asked about our adoption journey--from the outside it most likely seemed like a sudden decision.  In reality, it was light years away from that.  God laid adoption on my heart about 4-5 years ago.  My family was blessed to be surrounded by family and friends who blazed this path long before us.  Through witnessing these stories, God softened my heart towards the plight of children awaiting adoption; specifically children who have lived through trauma and have been removed from their biological family for reasons outside their own control. 
I approached Jason about 4-5 years ago and asked what he thought about adoption.  I had always wanted a larger family, but for him this was a bit much to process--you see, Jason is an only child.  We were stopped dead in our tracks after  the birth of our second child because I became seriously ill with an autoimmune disorder and having our own was no longer an option.  My heart immediately leapt at the thought of adoption.  Jas…

Growing our heritage: In Search of a full quiver Month 1

Well, we started this journey after our decision at the end of December 2016 and here we are.  It is September and W has been with us for a full month.  We knew the potential struggles and joys going into this matched adoption--but nothing can really prepare you.  It feels like a Tale of Two Cities, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"....ALL AT THE SAME TIME.
Our hearts are full, our plates are full, our schedules are full and slowly but surely our little arrow is getting more and more comfortable in his new quiver.
I'm not going to lie--some days are just plain hard and others are fantastic. On any given day I can find myself crying from exhaustion one moment (I used to think teacher tired was the worst, but new adoptive parent tired trumps it every time), and laughing with joy the next.  No matter what we are on this roller coaster for the long haul.
I want to thank those of you who have supported us in help with his transition via clothes, supplies e…