Tuesday, January 31, 2012

a walk down memory lane

I was looking for a specific date from our old adoption blog, and found this. Not a lot has changed! Can we talk about how cute she is?!!


follow the yellow brick road

There are so many different paths on this journey and each one looks like it has potential for good. We have tried hard not to get our hopes up about a "new" or "special" cure-all for both Eliana and me. There have been numerous times when a doctor would look at us and tell us that "this" should do the trick. Then, I will hesitantly ask if there are any side effects. They list a few very, very rare side effects and immediately I tell them, "oh, well then that will happen to us." I know that is super pessimistic of me, and I am trying to work on it. But, more often than not, it's true. I know a lot of people think they have the answer, but I am learning that truly ONLY God knows. He knows the path. How many times (before 2004) had I read Jeremiah 29:11 and just smiled thinking that God's plans equal prosperity and rainbows. Silly me...I am learning that His plans will prosper me (not in a United States of America mentality...but in a His thoughts are not my thoughts type of prosperity). My hope and future might not look like a white, picket fence, drive a suburban and have game night every Friday night kind of life. And, I am learning that that's okay. There are moments of grief...there are moments of wanting to pull my hair out or run away...but, I have always prayed that my life would be different. I don't want to settle for what the world tells me is a "good" future. I want God's best. And I'm praying that for each of you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

sleep free, gluten free and set free

Maybe this should be my new motto (or my fist tattoo...kidding). So, here's a news flash: I went to the grocery store for the first time in months tonight. I could win an award for the Proverbs 31 woman. Well, my Lyme doctor wants me on a very strict diet (basically just foods from the ground and all organic). So, I made the trip to Whole Foods. I felt more comfortable walking into the Bodegona (grocery store in Guatemala) and they had meat hanging from the ceilings. Eating healthy is something I don't understand but is something being forced on me for good reason. Tonight, I've been in a ton of pain which was a reminder to get back on the inflammation diet. Seriously, I had 4 workers ask me if I was okay and that I looked confused. Um, yes I'm confused! I have to find gluten free, corn free, sugar free, egg free, casein free and red meat free. Just writing that sentence makes me want to cry. So, you know how to pray. I did get bonus points (in my own mind) for using a reusable bag to carry my groceries in. Read the book "7" by Jen Hatmaker and you'll do it too.

P.S. I thought I was going to have a celebration post because E fell asleep in the car tonight at 8:30, but guess what?!! She's woke up at 10:30 ready to go. Lord, have mercy on our souls.

Monday, January 23, 2012

tonight we are losing it

And by it, I mean our minds! She is manic tonight...completely and totally out of her mind. She is running up and down the stairs, doing head stands in the bed, screaming, laughing, crying, and the list goes on and on. This really isn't abnormal, we are just really tired. Tonight is one of those nights where it is hard to be calm and very hard to not want to scream "go to sleep"!!! Obviously, after 3 years of doing this, you would think we have this patience thing down. But, we don't. These are the nights that I envy parents that can just read a book, pray, kiss their child goodnight and leave the room. The no sleep thing really isn't the biggest issue...it's the 4-5 hours of actually putting her to sleep. Please pray for her little brain...for rest for her mind and healing.

Praying for y'all.

Friday, January 20, 2012

how are you?

Why do people (me included) feel the need to keep smiling and pretend like everything is okay when it isn't?? I used to be the best at it. I was one heck of a people pleaser...maybe even a little bit of a doormat. I had a relatively easy childhood on the outside. I had great friends and people (especially the Stowers family) thought I was funny...oh, and I thought I could dance. Then, life started happening and things started spinning out of control in 2004. Actually, I felt like a bomb had gone off in my life and I would never recover from it. What made this a little bit more complicated was that Chris and I got married in February of 2004. Chris thought he was marrying a godly, strong, independent, orphan-loving, people person...I'm pretty sure he didn't expect that 6 months into our marriage, I would be curled up in bed for most of the year. I don't remember a lot of it. I do have a few memories of being really mean, but I wish I didn't remember those things. There is a lot to this story but know that my world was officially turned upside down.

I went from being a counselor to quite a few people to needing intense counseling. I used to smile and say "I'm great" when someone said "How are you"...and then started answering with the bold, in your face, honest truth to the point that people didn't know how to react to me. I told it just like it was, to the point of making the other person feel uncomfortable. I know that there is some kind of in between...I am still trying to find that place. This season with Eliana is intense on a lot of levels. I won't sugarcoat it. It is hard. To top it off, I am sick (with Lyme disease). There are nights Chris and I cry our eyes out or times that it's so bad, we laugh our heads off. The truth is that God made Eliana in His image and He chose her TO BE A WHEELER. She is ours...and He chose us to be her parents. I will never be embarrassed by where we are at in this process. I have stopped getting upset when people don't get it. I just move forward. There are people that will never get it or don't want to hear about it. I long to be real. Thanks for being real with me...it turns out, ya'll aren't just in my "midnight prayers"...you are on my heart all day long.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

multitasking at midnight

A week or so ago, I asked God to give me some kind of purpose in this hard season. I am really stuck in our house about 98% of the time. I felt clearly that I was to use the hours from midnight (really we start putting her down at 9ish) until E falls asleep to pray for anyone and everyone. I have a lot of time on my hands. So, I sent out a quick facebook message letting people know that I want to pray for them at midnight, not sure if anyone would respond. Well, they did and I feel very honored that they have trusted me with their requests.

I spent a lot of last night compiling the list and trying to come up with some kind of order to this new mission. Overwhelmed just doesn't cut it...my heart is all in. I am praying...and not just at midnight. Specific people will come to mind all throughout the day. I love getting to see their faces and pictures on facebook because a lot of people I don't even know too well. So, let me just be really honest. Last night felt like an EPIC failure. Eliana had one of her biggest meltdowns and rages that we have seen yet. It was hours of her literally out of her mind. So, the prayer list was prayed for in between me getting hit or punched...or me holding and rocking her begging God for answers about her pain and anxiety. It was some of the craziest multitasking. This road hasn't been easy, but I was never promised that it would be. Know that I am hurting with you and praying for healing for all of us. Thank you for letting me in on your stories. I am so thankful for each of you.

Sidenote: I will NEVER talk about any prayer request or name on this blog unless you ask me to share your story with others.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

what does madrugada mean?

Maybe it's because I love Spanish or maybe it's because I have a Guatemalan daughter that does not sleep...but madrugada had a nice ring to it. It means wee hours or the period of time between midnight and before the sun rise. For those of you that know our story, you know that Chris and I have spent many hours awake from midnight until the early morning. Our sweet girl has struggled with sleep since we brought her home from Guatemala at 16 months old (but I'm pretty sure she's always struggled). I remember her jumping up and down in bed before she could really even walk. We called her the party baby. That sweet party baby has transitioned into a new season of extreme fear and anxiety. The older she gets, the more we have come to realize how sick her little brain is (more on that later). For about 3 years, Chris and I have tried every single thing possible to get her to sleep. We have taken turns doing the night time rituals. We have literally spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on gas trying to drive her to sleep. We have rocked her, sung songs to her, turned the lights on, turned the lights off, read books, let her watch movies (don't judge), slathered her with lavendar oil, given her "calming" oils in her bath, taken her for sleep studies, tried melatonin, tried ambien and other big drugs, taken her to neuro-training, and are having her neurotransmitters tested. And the results are still the same, she is AWAKE past midnight most every single night.

After 3 years of consistently not getting enough sleep, I have decided it's time to use these hours for good and not evil (evil=my bitterness at not being able to have "me" time). So, I want to pray. Not just a nightly prayer...but a crying out for others that are hurting kind of prayer. It is so easy to get focused on me and my problems when God has it. He knows why Eliana isn't going to sleep. He knows when we will get to have good sleep again. But, in the meantime, I don't want to grumble and wish for something when I could be loving others. I can't wait to see God work.

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