Migrating

I’ve changed my blog site to better capture my life. Though working on it, I haven’t yet figured out how to automatically redirect you there.

I do appreciate you journeying with me and would love to have you at the new site: Wonderfully Unusual

Here’s a bit of today’s post….This morning I pulled myself out of bed at 6:45am. Promptly I called 4yr old Athena’s school to leave a message saying she wouldn’t be in today… (continue reading)

Moving over to a New Blog

Thank you to each and every one of you who follow my blog.
When I began, it was on a whim. I didn’t give much thought to a name. Nor did I expect anyone to notice the words I composed. Thank you for taking the time to journey with me.

My life has evolved and changed. So now my blog is as well.

I’d love for you to migrate with me over to my new home, Wonderfully Unusual. With the miracles of modern technology, I’ve managed to transfer all my Miss Eves posts over to the new site.

I look forward to seeing you there!

www.wonderfullyunusual.com

31525_20121030_190541_change_quotes_06

 

The Games We Play

Lately my girls have been playing “I’m a New Foster Kid”. The game goes like this: one of them pretends to be a foster child who has just arrived at our home. The other shows them around and explains our life. This past weekend it was Raine’s turn to be “our special guest” (which is how I refer to the foster children who come to us). She decided to call herself Kara. Most of the game was spent correcting Athena who was forever calling her Kiera. During dinner on Saturday, Raine – pretending to be Kara – said, “When I go to my grandma’s tomorrow, I won’t be coming back. I’m going to live there. That’s what happens with some foster kids.”

“You can play that in the game,” I permitted. “But in real life you’re living here.”

“I know,” she answered. “I’m not a foster child.”

This declaration is a small miracle. It’s taken time for Raine to see herself as adopted and a permanent resident here. There are still times she threatens to leave, but most often she’s happy to stay. Never again will Raine or Athena be a new foster child in someone’s home. That is a really big miracle.

in families

Happy Easter

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Romans 8:11 (NKJV)

The same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in my family. His power may appear, to the natural eye, somewhat less dramatic than Christ’s resurrection. But in the case of my girls, He’s brought them from death to life in a marked way. In truth, every one of us requires His resurrection. Our own hearts are dead with sin until He gains access. Thankfully, I encountered Jesus early on. The same is true of my daughters. Holy Spirit is at work in their hearts.

Raine quickly took hold of her sister when I was snapping pictures and said, WP_001125“Hug!” That is a small miracle. For a long time she’s resented Athena. But Raine’s heart is turning towards her sister as the Lord brings life to the deepest part of her.

Today my parents are taking the girls for their first sleepover. It’s been a slow process for Athena to connect to her adopted grandparents. Two weeks ago, she suddenly announced, “We should go to Grandma & Grandpa’s to sleep!” I contacted my mom and we set up a plan. When Athena realized I wasn’t going, she burst into tears. But when the time came today she couldn’t contain her excitement. With incredible joy she climbed into my dad’s truck. My mom’s promised to bring Athena home if at any point she becomes upset. I don’t think that’ll be necessary. With some time to get used to the idea, Athena is happy to go. It’s a small miracle. Where fear once resided, the Spirit is bringing confidence and courage.

I am grateful to have the Spirit who raised Christ at work in my life. I am grateful for a Saviour who brings me alive to Himself.

It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself?

Romans 8:11 (The Message)

Perseverance

Daily, I choose what values are imparted to my children. Sometimes I’m intentional. When they catch me exercising – which is rare – I’m quick to say, “I want to stay healthy and keep my body strong.” Never do I hint at the fact that I need to lose weight. I want them to be comfortable with their appearance. Most of the time I am as well which is why the exercising doesn’t happen nearly enough.

I'm still committed to spring. Wearing rain boots.

I’m still committed to spring. Wearing rain boots.

There are other values I may not have been so intentional about. This week Raine’s perseverance surprised me. After a warm couple of days, snow hit us once more. We woke up to a winter wonderland again. Tuesdays are always hectic and it’s garbage day as well. Raine’s been a big help in getting the bins out. Without mitts (since I’d packed them all away), she wasn’t happy to do her job.

I opened the garage for her and got back to packing lunches. Raine returned to tell me her hands were too cold. I advised she abandon the mission then carried on getting Athena ready for school.

When we piled into the car, I discovered all the bins were out and carefully lined up along the curb. There was the regular trash, compost, paper recycling, and plastic recycling. Despite the cold, Raine had persevered.

This, by far, may be the most important value I can impart.

Praying for my girls…..

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

2 Thessalonians 3:5

 

Raine out for breakfast on her 6th birthday

Raine out for breakfast on her 6th birthday

Social Media Fail

I’ve not ventured into the world of Instagram, despite many suggestions.

I received some lovely flowers. My friends know me well!

I received some lovely flowers. My friends know me well!

The problem is, I’m forever forgetting to take pictures. Even with the ease of having a camera on my phone, the thought doesn’t generally doesn’t stay in my mind.

Today I celebrated my 37th birthday with a few friends. Hosting a party became a grand undertaking, especially with three extra little ones underfoot. The 6, 5, and 2yr old who visited us not long ago (Now That was Fun) returned this weekend. I must say this time, with something else on the agenda, it wasn’t as much fun.

The house was an absolute disaster an hour before the party. There was no time for pictures of the freshly polished silver all put out. I tried to capture my daughters in the dresses I made them for the occasion, but didn’t get a clear shot. They dance, and jump, and prefer to pick their noses whenever the camera comes out.

More lovely flowers - I can't properly capture in a picture.

More lovely flowers – I can’t properly capture in a picture.

Bribing the children with candy got the toys at least out from underfoot before our guests arrived. We enjoyed a chocolate fountain with fruit, nuts, and cookies to dip. I put out my grandmother’s wedding china. There were flavoured syrups – gingerbread, French vanilla, Swiss chocolate, caramel, and hazelnut – to mix with sparkling water for my own take on soda pop.

It was lovely. Not all my friends were able to make it. But there was a nice turn out. I may have neglected some guests in favour of two friends I rarely see. We grew up together but live a bit of distance from each other now.

the aftermath of our table

the aftermath of our table

Each guest is a gift to me. Their kind words, encouragement, and willingness to lend a hand make my life possible. Indeed, I would have given up on the party preparations had it not been for a friend who arrived early.

I believe the party to have been a success. But I’ve not pictures to prove it. The thought crossed my mind before the guests arrived, then didn’t enter again until they were gone. At which point I snapped a few. Entire chapters of my life have passed without a single snapshot. Some of my most precious moments have not been captured. I do apologize. My life doesn’t quite fit into Instagram or other forms of social media.

A sentiment expressed in one of my favourite novels by my favourite author makes this fact marginally less tragic.

We owned a Kodak Brownie camera – everyone in Rochester did – but my mother forbade its use. “They stop things,” she would announce whenever the subject of cameras arose. “They interrupt the normal flow of event. Furthermore, they eliminate things. If I take a photograph of this,” she would say, pointing to a beer factory across the Genesee River, “I obliterate this and this.” Even now I can see the way she gestured as she spoke, her arms sweeping back and forth, conjuring the rest of the world, the world that a photograph might have obliterated……

The Underpainter by Jane Urquhart

Perhaps the fear of obliteration is what keeps me from excelling in photographing my life. Maybe it’s the fact that things are never quite picture perfect. I’d like to think it’s because I’m too busy enjoying myself. Today that was certainly the case.

My place, not yet cleared.

My place, not yet cleared.

Athena helping me to tidy up.

Athena helping me to tidy up.

Raine

Raine happy after an afternoon outdoors with friends. The mud and chocolate may not show up in the photo – but they’re there.

Beauty for Ashes

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.

Isaiah 61:1-3

Adoption is an opportunity for the Lord to bring beauty for ashes. It can be difficult and messy, but there’s a distinct beauty as lives are woven together.

I have a friend who passionately advocates for international adoption. Her heart goes out to special needs children discarded because of their conditions. A great deal of factors go into that decision. It’s not as clear cut as you might think. Some families are unable to meet the financial requirements of medical care. With heavy hearts, they relinquish their child to an orphanage able to cover the costs. Whatever the reason, I don’t expect the decision is an easy one.

This week I became aware of an infant in my own country needing to be adopted. Because of his special needs, his family are unable to care for him. Canada has an exceptional government funded medical system. So it’s not the cost of medical care that’s brought these parents to this point.

Raising a child with special needs costs more than most people realize. For each family and situation the requirements vary to some degree. But without a doubt, it’s not an easy task. Perhaps this family is more realistic than most – recognizing their own limitations and reaching for something better on behalf of their child.

After a bit of investigation into the matter, I realize I’m not the parent for Male hands with babythis baby. I’m praying for the family the Lord has prepared for him. I pray their paths cross quickly and effortlessly. I pray the Lord will bind up the broken hearts of his birth family. I pray he and his adoptive family are knit together – making true, lasting connections. I pray that he is loved and able to accomplish everything the Lord has planned for him. I pray he encounters the joy of the Father who created him. Praying he is clothed in beauty as he journeys through life.