Who’s Waiting on You?

Monday morning I discovered another young male lost his life to senseless violence. He was only 17. Naturally, I my heart ached for the loss of his life, not to mention his mother and remaining family.  It wasn’t until later on in the evening when I realized that I actually had a connection to this young man. My son Seth attended middle school with him and had a locker right next to his. Unfortunately, this young man was discovered (via the school’s cameras)  stealing Seth’s cell phone out of his locker (he watched Seth open his locker on numerous occasions and memorized his combination…)

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t highly annoyed and irritated about this situation. My first instinct was to be upset w/Seth for allowing it to happen. I very quickly let those feelings dissipate when I saw the hurt all over Seth’s face as he explained what happened. He actually felt like he and the young man were cool w/each other.

The day after the incident, both the principal and vice principal informed me that they made a visit to this young man’s home in an attempt to retrieve the phone. He lived with his grandmother and I don’t believe he had any contact with either parent. Instead of relinquishing the phone, his grandmother and both principals saw the phone in his possession, he stormed out of the house (knocking his grandmother down in the process…)

My husband and I were presented with two options in terms of retribution for the phone.. We could either file a complaint with our local police department (which would have led to greater consequences) or we could do nothing and let the school punish him. Initially, I did want to see him punished for what he had done.  It wasn’t until I received some sound advice from a close girlfriend and spending much needed time praying that my heart softened. Ultimately, we decided to do nothing. My heart began to grow softer and softer towards this child and I went from being angry at him to wanting to try to help him.

I have no idea what his everyday life was like or what he experienced in his younger years and, more importantly, why he wasn’t being raised by his parents.  My heart is broken again for him. I am left to wonder if his life’s trajectory would have changed if another adult would have been available to provide some much needed guidance, mentoring and love.

The Lord has called my family to adopt. I don’t know what He’s called you to do, but I hope you are inspired to open your heart and let the Lord lead you.

Quiet Time

Back in December, I stumbled across an email inviting me to participate in a seven week Bible study. Little did I know how much this study would change my life. I was going through some major changes and challenges in my life and it showed up just in time. Not for one second do I think it was a coincidence; more like a God thing…..

I’m now on my second P31 online Bible study and loving every minute of it. Once again, I am being charged with making time for God a priority and not an afterthought. I particularly enjoy the pace of the study and the applications that accompany each week’s lessons. There’s still time to join this study. I promise it’s worth it!

Finally, I’m loving my role as a basketball mom…

Have a great day!

Five Ways to Include Your Biological Children in the Adoption Process

There’s been so many lessons that I’ve learned so far as we prepare to bring another child into our family. All along, I’ve always wanted Seth and Spencer to never feel as though they are being neglected. My goal is to include them as much as possible, knowing that they have a vested interest in the future of our family.

  1. Communicate– We are definitely striving to keep the lines of communication open and giving them the freedom to express themselves. I’ll admit, my younger son is much more inquisitive than his older brother… Spencer has a very tender heart and questions me almost daily. His questions range from, “What will she look like?” (yes, we’re hoping to add a little girl to the mix) “What if she doesn’t like me?” I’ve let him know that he can ask whatever he wants and I’ll do my best to answer.
  2. Include/Empower Your Children– For our family, one of the changes we’ve made has been securing a larger home to accommodate a third child. With this move, we made the conscious decision to include the boys in choosing our new home. In fact, I took Seth by himself to our new home and let him pick which bedroom he wanted. Just that small gesture gave him a sense of inclusion and made him happy!
  3. Empathize- It’s important to recognize just how much your bio children’s lives are going to change. As the parents, we’ve spent many hours in training preparing for the new child; however, the children are not afforded that opportunity. I’ve found it very helpful to express to my children that I recognize the changes that will come, but also I’ve pointed out the many positive things that will come out of us opening our home. I’ve already seen glimpses of the compassion and protective nature of both of my sons towards their sibling that they haven’t even met yet….
  4. Pray– Make a point to allow your child/children to begin praying for their new sibling(s) and encourage them to pray for themselves as they go through this journey with you.
  5. Establish/Continue One-on-One Time– Last year I began incorporating one-on-one time w/my boys. I began to realize how quickly they grow up and I especially cringed at the amount of time I have left w/my oldest son being at home. Now it seems it’s even more critical for me to carve out time to spend indepently with them.

 

 

 

 

 

I would love to hear from you what ideas/suggestions you may have as well. Please comment and share!

 

Raising A Good Sport

Now that I am deep in the throes of both football and baseball season with my sons, I thought that I would share with you all the MANY lessons I have learned. Let me start by saying this journey has not been an easy one and I have made my fair share of mistakes….

Early on, It was pretty evident which sports my boys gravitated towards. For example, one afternoon when I was picking up my oldest son from daycare, his teacher politely took me to the side and said, “Mrs. Watson, does your husband play tackle football with Seth at home?” I had a confused look on my face (keep in mind that my child was only 11 months old!). She went on to explain that Seth had been imitating football stances during their carpet time and attempting to tackle anybody who happened to be in his eyesight! His physicality grew over the years and his passion for football has remained. Spencer, on the other hand, is the polar opposite. He gravitated more towards baseball and began playing at the age of four.

That being said, here’s a list of lessons that I’d like to share with you…

  1. Try to expose your child to as many sports as possible- between my boys, they’ve played everything from soccer, lacrosse, and basketball. It just so happens that football and baseball were the sports that they gravitated towards. We gave up on trying to force them to keep playing the sports they weren’t interested in.
  2. Don’t badmouth the coach- I will admit that I haven’t always practiced this. However, I have learned that doing so has many negative repercussions. Your athlete will feed off that negative energy and take it with him onto the field.
  3. Try to avoid critiquing/criticizing your child during and after a game. Again, something I learned the hard way. Your child does not need another coach, especially after a loss. Instead, if you feel the need to say something, try to wait until the next day. I have also learned to feed off of my sons. If they ask my opinion about their game/performance, I give them honest feedback but I make sure I am positive and loving with my comments.
  4. Don’t take these sports so seriously- This is a hard one. The competition is stiff these days and, the older my boys get, the more competitive it is. I am like most parents that would love for both of my sons to be able to get college scholarships playing a sport that they love; however, I don’t want to create a monster in the process. Try to find a balance. Get your athletes involved in other things besides sports.

Finally, I want to share this book that I found at my local library. It was buried in a pile during an annual giveaway. I saw Cal Ripken on the cover and grabbed it thinking it would be a baseball for dummies type of book. Turns out, it has some amazing advice in it, some of which I shared and more. I’m not even sure how old it is, but you can probably find it on Amazon. It is very well written and worth your time if you’re interested.

Until next time, thank you for stopping by…..

 

Training Day- Part 2

Training Day- Part 2

This weekend Andre & I completed our first of two weekend training days in preparation for our upcoming adoption. The days were long…. Saturday’s agenda was 9am-7pm and Sunday 1pm-6pm. As with life, the unexpected happened. Andre started coughing early Saturday morning and it went downhill from there.

He suffered through the day wrapped up in his jacket (and mine!). He went from freezing to sweating throughout the day. One of my best friends from high school came to the rescue and called in some Tamiflu. He’s getting better but now I’m sitting here freezing, head pounding and feeling terrible. This is absolutely the worst time of our lives to be sick!!

We will wrap up our mandatory training on the weekend of January 19th. I can’t wait to share photos of our experience. I’ve loved getting to know the other couples in the training and can’t wait to meet the newest member of our family.

Now, I’m headed to the doctor to ward off this sickness! Thanks for reading!

Why We Chose to Adopt

When I set out to relaunch my blog, I found myself all over the place again, struggling to find my niche. My main problem is narrowing down all the experiences that I want to share. That being said, the one topic that I tended to stray from was the decision my husband and I made recently to fully committing to adopting a third child.

Andre & I had talked about adoption off and on for at least the last five years. Having given birth to two boys, I would often joke that I needed a girl to balance out our home. I was never really serious, though. The thought of bringing another child into our home while I already felt like I was drowning with my boys was overwhelming. The timing just never seemed right. Not to mention, Andre has been deployed three times during our marriage, leaving me in the position of a single mother.

Fast forward to 2018 and a lot has changed. The most important thing is that we both came together and realized this decision was one that the Lord placed in our hearts and it’s not going away. There have been times when I’ve said in frustration that I didn’t think I could handle another child and pulled the plug. Fortunately, those emotions subsided.

I’d be lying if I said I still wasn’t afraid; however, I’m confident that we are making the right decision. I look forward to documenting this journey with you and hope to connect with other readers who are following the same path.

Looking forward to this family of four becoming a party of five!

Training Day

Today was the first of our 4 part series training to prepare for the adoption of our future child. It’s been a long day…. The training began @ 9am and lasted until 6:30 pm. To top if off, Andre woke up this morning w/flu like symptoms and was miserable throughout the day.

One of the great things about this journey has been the other parents we’ve been able to meet. Another couple seated at our table offered Andre some ibuprofen and it helped subside his symptoms… The day was filled with lots of valuable information. I admit there were a handful of moments where I was fighting back tears. The many heart-breaking scenarios that cause children to be in the position to be fostered or adopted pulls at my emotions every time.  We saw a couple of videos (some cases with real children & families) that were hard to watch.

As we learn more and get more invested in this process, I’m realizing just how important this commitment is. The control freak in me wants all of the answers up front. Andre & I have been upfront about our desire to adopt a little girl. Andre specifically wants a newborn. Initially I was against bringing home a new baby simply because it’s been so long since I’ve had an infant. To be honest, I’m not sure I would remember what to do. Is motherhood truly like riding a bike? I also didn’t want a newborn for selfish reasons.

Both of my boys are fully independent and it’s nice to not have to buckle up car seats, change diapers and probably most important, not have my sleep habits interrupted! On the other hand, I like the idea of a new baby that we can all nurture and expose to all the positives our family will bring to this precious child.

I’m anxiously awaiting this new addition to our family. Stay tuned for part two of our training.

My two babies….

Making Room for Baby

The word change has been a staple in my household lately. We are embarking upon our 3rd move in three years… All of the moves have been strategic and purposeful.

Move one came as a result of my husband’s overseas deployment and a need for my two sons to change school districts.

Move two had two purposes; my husband’s arrival home from his deployment (happy dance!) and a need for more space and another change of school districts…

This third move will take place in a couple of weeks. We’re finally settled in with new schools and now we need more room for our upcoming third child.

All of these changes have weighed on me heavily as a mother. In my heart, I know I am following the plans the Lord has for our life, however it doesn’t make it any easier. My two boys had been accustomed to living in our four bedroom, comfortable house. Being honest, so had I. Living in an apartment has not been easy for them. I’ve tried to take the angle of “be grateful that you have a roof over your head” and as you can imagine, that statement is met with rolled eyes and heavy sighs.

We moved from a two & three bedroom apartment to now a four bedroom townhouse. We plan to adopt a girl and needed to make space for her. I have so much anxiety and excitement at the same time. I want my boys to know that I love them and they are not being replaced. At the same time, I want this new child to know how loved she is and want her to feel a part of our family.

To all my readers that have adopted, how did/do you navigate making sure your biological children get the attention they need and the adopted child?

I look forward to hearing from you!

Why I Chose Adoption

When I set out to relaunch my blog, I found myself all over the place again, struggling to find my niche. My main problem is narrowing down all the experiences that I want to share. That being said, the one topic that I tended to stray from was the decision my husband and I made recently to fully committing to adopting a third child.

Andre & I had talked about adoption off and on for at least the last five years. Having given birth to two boys, I would often joke that I needed a girl to balance out our home. I was never really serious, though. The thought of bringing another child into our home while I already felt like I was drowning with my boys was overwhelming. The timing just never seemed right. Not to mention, Andre has been deployed three times during our marriage, leaving me in the position of a single mother.

Fast forward to 2018 and a lot has changed. The most important thing is that we both came together and realized this decision was one that the Lord placed in our hearts and it’s not going away. There have been times when I’ve said in frustration that I didn’t think I could handle another child and pulled the plug. Fortunately, those emotions subsided.

I’d be lying if I said I still wasn’t afraid; however, I’m confident that we are making the right decision. I look forward to documenting this journey with you and hope to connect with other readers who are following the same path.

Looking forward to this family of four becoming a party of five!

My Story

Writing has always been therapeutic for me. In fact, I started writing my thoughts down when I was in elementary school and I’ve been writing ever since. I stumbled across a couple of lifestyle blogs a couple of years ago (written by moms) and the light bulb came on. I realized that I could start my own blog.

My main purpose initially was to journal my life, particularly my sons’ childhoods, especially their sporting events, my journey as a military wife and highlight my skills as a writer, editor and working mom.

Exhibit A- I love looking at how much my boys have grown…..

Exhibit B….

My life (like everyone else’s) has been filled with many highs and lows. I know that there are other readers out there that will connect with me.

My husband just recently returned from a 13 month deployment overseas. There were plenty of lessons, challenges and experiences to write about.

 

Being the only girl in a house full of deer hunters & fishermen has given me plenty of writing material. Finally, our family is embarking on a new chapter with the pending adoption of another child to our family. We are expecting that process to be near completion towards the end of February. I certainly plan to blog about the whole adoption process and all the experiences along the way. My goal is still to focus on my niche’ and create a space where readers will feel connected to me and where I can develop my blog into my passion.