With my life as busy as it is at the moment, it is impossible for me to answer every e-mail I get. I feel so bad about it and wish I had more hours to respond to every person personally. But my family comes first and I try to keep it that way. I do keep a list of questions you ask me though. Today I thought I would answer some of them for you.
How are Hasya and Kael adjusting to their new life in a family?
Very, very well. Kael’s adjustment has been nothing short of a miracle. As you all know, the children in the asylum where he lived are subjected to conditions which no child should ever be forced to live in. They are dark places, these institutions for older children and adults who have special needs. Human contact is scarce, food is rationed, and the living conditions are completely miserable. As a result, the precious children quickly learn how to fend for themselves. They become tough and in order to survive the unthinkable, a survival-of-the-fittest mentality is required. We had no idea how Kael would adjust–but we trusted that God would somehow work it out.
And He sure did!
Hasya is also doing well even though the road has been filled with many ups and downs. I will save my thoughts on her adjustment for a post of its own. Coming soon.
How are the rest of your children adjusting to new members in your family?
I have to say that our children honestly amaze me. I don’t know if it’s because we have adopted several times and they are used to the life God has called us to, but their unconditional acceptance touches me so deeply. In many ways they are my biggest teachers. They love. They embrace. They accept. And they welcome with open arms. Our lives are different to many–there are some things that we simply cannot do as a family.
Having a few children with disabilities means that life can look somewhat different. And these blessings of ours never complain!
They get it. They really do.
Anthony and I are constantly aware of our “typical” kiddos and their needs. We never, ever want them to grow up feeling like they missed out on the things other children get to do. For that reason we make every effort to ensure that they get to do the things they love–even if it means only one of us can take them. It’s not always easy, but somehow we always seem to make it work by God’s grace.
People write and tell me all the time, “We long to adopt a child with special needs but are so concerned how it will affect our other children at home.” I understand that! We were exactly the same way. The fears and concerns are so normal. But having been down this road a few times, I can tell you something about my own children and family. Our children who have special needs have been some of the greatest blessings ever in our children’s lives. Not just because they are all so sweet, cuddly and irresistable, but because they have taught our children a few deeper truths…
That every child is valuable and precious in His sight!
That sometimes we love passionately knowing that they can never repay us or give any anything in return.
That sacrifices are sometimes hard and uncomfortable–but they are worth it!
They have seen God’s faithfulness through every adoption and every transformation–precious seed to last a lifetime.
GOD takes care of our children’s hearts when we are obedient.
How do you find time for yourself?
This is one area that I probably do need to work on a bit more. Finding time for myself is not the easiest thing. We don’t have a large support system where we live, and Anthony works full time. That means my time out has to either happen in the evenings or on a weekend. It’s a slight challenge. But in saying that I will also tell you that God is so faithful to meet me where I am. When I am feeling so utterly exhausted (like I am right now because Hasya has not been sleeping at night), He is so good to fill me up and give me everything I need to run my race with perseverance.
Is it always easy? Not at all. But one thing I know for sure is that when God calls us, He also equips us to do the job well–whether I have “me” time or not. Alone time is really not something I focus on simply because I love being with my family. Truth is when an opportunity does arise to get out of the house, I usually end up take one to five kids with me. Time out of the house, making memories with Mom is always a special treat.
I am also so very blessed to have a husband who is always looking out for my needs. If Anthony senses that I need some time out he will do everything he can to make that happen–sometimes that will include a relaxing facial or a massage which he arranges for me. I count my blessings every day for a man who loves me so sacrificially, so purposefully.
And these little angels too.
Where did you and Anthony meet?
We met in South Africa in 1996. Anthony came to my home town as a missionary. We lived in S.A. for five years after getting married and then moved to Australia for three years. We moved to the U.S. in 2004. It’s been an adventurous ride.
Can you please tell me which adoption agencies you used?
Absolutely. For Hannah-Claire’s adoption we used America World Adoption. For Haven’s adoption we used All God’s Children. Hailee and Harper’s adoption was independent and there was no agency. And for the most recent adoptions we used About A Child.
What kind of dog is Ellie?
She’s a short-legged Jack Russell with a smooth coat. When we got married, our baby before the babies came was a sweet little femaile Jack Russell named Jessie. We have wanted to get another one for a very long time. The timing was never right until now. Ellie is the cutest little pup. We love her so much, and she has already brought our kids such a huge amount of joy. We believe in giving our children many opportunities to love and be loved–and that includes treasured pets.
Who picks the paint colors in your house?
That would be me. I love color. I could never have white (or anything light) walls. The more colorful, the better, in my opinion. As many of you who have read here for a while know, the colors never really stay the same around here for very long. I love to change things around and try new colors I love. Fortunately, I’m not this way with husbands! (And it’s the husband who wrote that line!) However, I have promised my family that the walls will remain the same for the next two years. What I just don’t get is why they don’t believe me. Ha! Yes, my husband gave up a very long time ago.
What is Anthony’s job?
He is a hospice chaplain. Absolutely loves, loves, loves what he does.
Are Hailee, Harper and Kael the same size? It looks like it in your pictures?
They are not exactly the same size, but very similar. Harpy weighs 36 pounds. Kael weighs 32.8 pounds. And Hailee weighs 32.2 pounds. The tremendous triplets.
Do you live in the city or in the country?
God blessed us so much with a foreclosure in the country a few months ago. The bank was desperate to get rid of the property that had been on the market for a very long time and we got it for a steal. It’s a 1955 fixer-upper with carpets and 1960’s wallpaper in the bathrooms (quite lovely! Not). We have tons and tons of work to do on the house, but thankfully we love renovating and making a place our own. We love the location and are so enjoying having a country home that was a dream for a very long time. I love how the Father delights in blessing us with the desires of our hearts. He’s just so good like that.
How do you cope with the nasty comments people leave on your blog?
When I first started blogging several years ago, the nasty comments hurt me so much. These days not so much. I have seen so many hurtful things happen to bloggers over the years. It seems that when you put your life out there for the world to see, you’re going to get opinions. The Internet has given so many people a way to be mean from behind a computer screen. It’s sad, really. I quickly learned that comment moderation was a necessity and will only publish comments that are decent. I don’t get mean people. These days I mostly delete the horrible comments. A long time ago I heard someone say that those people who are hurting, hurt other people. I think there is a lot of truth in that statement.
Do you think you will adopt again?
Goodness, I have no idea. If there is one thing that Anthony and I have learned in our sixteen years of marriage, it is to trust God completely with our family. When we got married he said he wanted four children. I told him he was completely insane and that two was definitely my limit. Just as well God doesn’t reveal too much at one time. I probably would have run in the opposite direction had I known what was to come. If anyone had told me on my wedding day that we would have many children, I would have told them they were absolutely crazy because I was just not wired for that. God really does tell us not to worry about tomorrow for a reason. As we have journeyed this road, I can tell you with all of my heart that my Father in heaven chose well for me.
And if He ever called us again our answer would always be yes. No matter what!
That’s all I have for now. If I missed a question, or if there is something you would love to know, just leave it as a comment on this post and I will try to answer it soon.
Thank you for journeying with me. I am so blessed that you choose to read here. Thank you!