Our Family

Our Family

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Fog.....

Have you ever felt like you were in a fog? Like walking through the same thing every single day and it almost feels as if you are walking in slow motion? For example, I get up, take the first child to school (since his school starts at the CRACK of dawn) come home, get the next two ready and take them to school and then come back and get the littles ready and take them to their Moms Morning Out program. I have the next 4 hours to run all of the errands, clean, grocery shop, etc etc etc and then in the blink of the eye its time for a mad dash of picking up 5 kids at 4 different places. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE MY LIFE. I LOVE being a MOM more than ANYTHING.... I know that one of these days all of them will be grown and independent and I won't be shuttling them around in a sweet "Swag Wagon" like I do now.  But still, I've been in a fog....

We have been in Charleston for almost a year. WOW. almost a WHOLE YEAR.. There were days I didn't think I would survive... Some days now I don't think I will survive. But I have.  We all have. Making a move across the country is a HUGE experience. Huge. Leaving everything you have known and loved and starting all over. Seeing the kids have to forge through unknown territory and make brand new friends is hard and it can leave a tremendous weight of guilt on this mama. I can still tear up thinking about it. Its still hard to walk in Kelcie's room and see the wall of pictures reminding us of everything we left behind. Its tough stuff, y'all. Moving this far away from home for me has been a journey and I'm still walking it. Who wouldn't want to live here? Seriously, Charleston has to be the most beautiful city I have ever been to. Historic charm, amazing food, temperatures are perfect (I am a little jealous of the fire pit pictures I keep seeing Oklahoma friends), people here are SO FRIENDLY... (with the exception of the people that don't understand the 4 way stop by the church. Seriously people) Kids are for the most part so respectful with the Yes ma'ams and no ma'ams.  But in December, I seriously feel like the high I was on dropped me like a bad habit and I found the Fog. Or rather it found me and it consumed me. I had a really hard time adjusting. I would cry every single day. It wasn't because things here were bad. You seriously could not ask for a better church than Faith. It has everything you could ask for. But when the reality of the move set in and I thought I wasn't going to be home for Christmas (I did make the trip with my 5 kiddos.. yep all by myself. I pretty much rocked that trip...) I broke. My husband, God bless him,  was left looking at the shambles and broken fragments of what was left of his usually strong and outspoken wife.  I found that I was not only dealing with the move but other things in my life that I hadn't dealt with. For instance, the death of our twins. It has been 6 years and I seriously thought I had dealt with those emotions but nope, they came back in rare form with me even feeling guilty for moving away from where they are buried. Lots of self discovery has been going on here.

So whats the point?  I'm realizing more and more that the fog is lifting. I'm learning that each day is a precious gift. Each time I get to lay down at night with Mayah and Carrson because they can't possibly sleep unless I stay in their rooms until they fall asleep, is a gift. God has a plan and a purpose for MY life. I am CHOSEN. I am LOVED. And I can LOVE. I can find my place because my place is in HIM. So sweet mama that might be reading this. Don't let the fog overtake you. Fight back. Start a new journey of self discovery. Take it one day at a time because the Lord knows thats what I'm having to do. One sweet step at a time. The fog does lift and when it does there is a beautiful ray of sunshine that will beam down on your face and in the face of those little ones that you are pretty sure are going to suck the life right out of you.  You are tougher than you realize. Hang in there...


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sweet Summer!!

It is officially Summer in South Carolina..... Ok its been summer for a while now, I'm just now getting around to blogging!! Things have been in FULL SPEED for our circus!!
 LOTS of visits to the BEACH!!!
A visit from Nana and Papa along with Uncle David and Cousin Ben coming to hang out!
Big kids involved in an awesome intern program at the church where they are getting to serve at some really cool places!
Littles enjoying Mom's Morning Out!
Mom enjoying the Littles enjoying Mom's Morning out!
Con-man going to church camp!
Tubing the Cooper River and seeing lots of GATORS!!
Watching Kelly dive off the tube in the Cooper River!
A visit from my very special Owasso friends and Lots of site seeing!!
An upcoming visit to Arkansas and Oklahoma!
An upcoming visit from some of our most favorite Oklahomans!! (the Howell's YAY!!!)

So things have been super busy and fun lately but we are enjoying every minute together! Counting down the time until our two Haiti babies can join our family and just loving our life! Please continue to pray for our adoption! Although things are moving a little slower right now than we want we know things are moving and our kids are coming home! Please pray that God will prepare their hearts to join our family. They are leaving everything they have ever known and I know that will be hard and take some adjustment. We always look forward to our monthly Skype dates and listening to them sing "Head Shoulders Knees and toes" to us!

Hope you are having a great summer and enjoying each day with your family!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The rest of the story…..

I have heard that the gestation of a mama elephant is over two years. I am the elephant. (no fat jokes please!!!!) Adoption took root in my heart when I was a little girl. Maybe because my mom was adopted, I'm not for sure, but it really started to grow after my second child was born. It consumed me. I KNEW I had heard from the Lord and that our family should adopt so when I so excitedly called my precious husband to tell him of this plan and got a resounding "NO", I was stunned. But not enough to give up! :)

I'm very persistent y'all!!

YEARS later after begging, posting pictures of orphans, scriptures, and PRAYING, he felt the time was right. We went down several paths and some of them ended in brick walls. We were actually matched with a birth mom and she ended up doing something different. Then, we went to Haiti….Oh Haiti, how you rocked my world. Our world.  We met two precious babies. A brother and sister in a creche in Montrouis, Haiti. We.fell.inlove.  We went into this with MUCH prayer. Our hearts had been broken and we wanted to be sure we were doing what GOD wanted us to do. We received that confirmation. We KNOW that God spoke to us and that these were our children.

We had done LOTS of research on the particular agency and creche that we planned on using for this adoption. We had followed up on references, met them in person, all the stuff you should do. We both felt at peace. We started the process. We received donations from many of you! (Words can't express our thanks!!!) We were told in the beginning it would be 12 months or less to bring these two home. We waited and waited and waited. Supposedly STUCK on the "Presidents Desk" awaiting something called dispensation. We had biological children so we had to get a special waiver from the President of Haiti to adopt these kids. We became friends with the director and founder of the agency and creche. We loved her. We supported her. But somewhere along the way (about August of last year) RED flags were going up all over the place. I was embarrassed to say anything because we had already heard things from people like "Well maybe its not God's will for you to adopt… what about all the money you already spent…" So quietly we started asking questions and finding out things that we NEVER wanted to find out. Things like misappropriation of funding, starving children, birth parents being told that their children were in "boarding school" and that the children were never intended to be adopted. It led us to hiring a private investigator to  determine the orphan status of our beloved children. He had to search the mountains of Haiti to find their biological parents. God granted us a miracle and he found them in two days. This led to the biological parents removing the kids from the creche and staying with them for over a week. We then were able to get the kids into a new creche and hire a new agency to try to salvage our adoption. We were told we may have to start all over or even worse may not get our kids. Thats a lot for this mama to handle considering these kids KNOW us as mama and papa. They KNOW their siblings names. They WANT to come to America. After waiting and waiting and waiting, we were given permission from the government of Haiti to proceed with our adoption without starting all over. (Thank you GOD)

I am so happy to say that we are back on track with our adoption!!! Like we are really going to bring them home!!! Quite possibly they will be spending their first Christmas in America this year (Hopefully their first Halloween!)

Because of the switch in agencies and corruption of the other agency (lots of investigations  going on here) we have to come up with $8500 to complete this adoption, not counting the $600 a month in support for the kids. I have started selling makeup to help with this (www.youniqueproducts.com/tracieward) and our kids school is doing a walkathon to help with the costs. The walkathon is on April 4. If you would like to sponsor  Greyson or Conner you can send a check made out to Faith Christian School. You can message me for the address. We have a payment of $6100 due on April 15. We need a miracle. Please pray about it and feel free to share this blog on social media. God moves through his people and He has confirmed it over and over that we are doing right by these children. HIS children. If you just want to make a donation but can't in time for the walkathon you can make a tax deductible donation to Village to Village International on our behalf using this link!

Our family is fulfilling a call that God has placed on our life. Thank you for being a part of bringing us all together!!!!
 And for some serious cuteness here….