pride monster

These last 20 days post life with Drew have been interesting. I keep having these little epiphanies and realizations about the cycles of grief I’m going through. Lots of sorting through feelings of anger, gratefulness, hurt, and sadness.

Today, I realized that some of my silence on the issue has a lot to do with pride. Other parts have to do with my desire to respect her birth family and living above the fray. Other parts I’m sure have yet to be dealt with because they haven’t quite surfaced yet.

Have you ever had a war of the wills with someone… maybe yourself? Not wanting to give up any ground in fear of “losing”? Or, being plain stubborn because of all the things that could happen, that person “winning” “won’t” be one of them?

Control and pride. 

I’ve been pulled into that world…. where fear, control, and pride reigned instead of love, peace, and selflessness. And, the freedom that comes with good. The freedom that comes with the truth. The freedom that comes with knowing that change is difficult and accepting that you can’t make another person want to stand in the light that God provides. Freedom of standing in the light that loving others provides.

I’ve have to remind myself that no matter what or how many lies are told about us, no matter who hears or believes the lies, no matter what happens, I know who I am. I know who we are. I know the honest to God truth of what has been told and done to us.
As each day passes, I feel warmth and light more and more. I crave it. I miss it. I’ve had to work really hard to find it some days because I distract myself with so much. I’ve had to force myself to make real efforts to slow, to stop, to engage. To stand in the light.

In this world of adoption, kiddos are reunited with their birth families on a regular basis. Family change their minds constantly. A right they have. A right that I will never protest or balk at. So, I’ll never be angry with the baby’s family for changing their minds.

But, I am floored. I am more than appalled. I am hurt.
I am sad at the how and the results of that.

But, I am moving forward. I am forgiving and gracious; that part of me will never change.
I’m full of peace and joy. I have “things” that can never be taken from me.
It’s been a tough, tough, tough April and May. It has, I’m not going to lie.

But, I’m literally alright. 

 

The words you guys have shared with me over the past couple of weeks, has been life giving. You have poured so much into me that has encouraged me, brought tears to my eyes, made me laugh. Let me know that I’m not alone.

To see and hear what is truly thought of you, the good that is seen in you from the eyes of others is the most humbling and so very beautiful. It’s inspiring. Appreciated. Encouraging.

Thank you one thousand times!!!!!!!
I love you!

Post jam: Gravity ~ John Mayer

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… cancer really sucks

Today, I had the most amazing day but to be honest, my heart is kinda heavy and is breaking in so many ways.

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I have a really wonderful friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 27. TWENTY FREAKIN SEVEN years old. Thankfully, THANKFULLY, thankfully, as of this past year, at 30, she is cancer free.

For that, I will forever thank God for. She is the most incredible woman who has the most positive outlook on life and is so supportive of her friends and family. This gal is  a gem.
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Today, I learned that a woman whom I’m connected to in a couple of exciting ways, is battling breast cancer. My heart completely broke for her. For her young daughter. Her family.

I think about everything that we go through in this life, I consider all of my friends and their struggles and I think about how BIG we make the small stuff. How silly we behave when things don’t go our way. How easily we break away from relationships before we truly attempt to find solutions, and tough out the tough stuff. How we value things and neglect people. How we are such a self absorbed people.
meishagirl

My survivor acquaintance/friend’s shirt says “A selfie (self exam) saved my life!”

Today in Houston, The Sisters Network, Inc. hosted its 5th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness 5k Walk/Run. I truly had a wonderful time and ran into women I hadn’t seen in a while, ran into a survivor acquaintance, and was in awe of the love and support shown for women who have battled this cancer.

As I thought about this post, I literally thought that it would be this sweet, fluffy post about how truly great today was. (and, it was really great.) But, I honestly can’t. My heart is aching and broken for women and families who have to endure such a difficult task before them. Such a life altering task. It changes everything. It changes how families will be expanded, it effects and challenges how women view their bodies and their femininity. It grows you up, strengthens you, and puts life into perspective.
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I’m thinking about how unfair all of these difficulties seem.
 I have friends whose children are stuck in the DRC. I have friends whose babies are waiting for them in orphanages. Women are battling infertility. I have a friend who went on a trip to Uganda with a team who removed jiggers (little mama bugs that furrow in shoeless feet and have baby bugs that just hang out causing immense pain) from the feet of little ones. There are people who are living on the street. Who don’t have clean water. Who are being abused. Who are struggling with life. People are literally fighting day in and day out for their lives.

There seems to be no justice. No consideration of how much a person has experienced and endured. No thought behind a person’s character. No peace. No rest. No relief. No break. (Ever feel that way?)

There is nothing easy about this life. It is full of disappointments, heartache, and pain.
And, yes, some people seem to have it easier than others. But, the truth of the matter is, we’re all struggling in some way. We will all struggle. We have all struggled. No one is exempt.

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on Him, for he cares for you.

The beautiful thing about the pain of this life is that not only is it temporary (thank God!), but we don’t endure it alone. We aren’t in it by ourselves. Yes, we are given amazing people to walk these roads with, but better than having our people with us, we have a God who is the creator of all walking with us. Leading us. Guiding us. Comforting us. And, bearing our burdens for us. I know I keep saying that, but it’s truly what keeps me sane. I can’t get past who God is.

Nothing is lost on Him.
He is righteous and always right. He is thoughtful, purposeful, and just.

girls

Today was beautiful. The weather was amazing and totally made liars of the meteorologists and apps that forecasted a rainy, cold day. I celebrated life. The lives of two cancer survivors and the life of a sweet, little girl who turned 4 today. A little girl we prayed pretty hard for. The life of the one we’re waiting to come home. Celebrated the lives of God’s people who are in this thing fighting with everything they have in them. Who are believing Him to be exactly who He said he is.

Today, through the difficulties of life, I was reminded of how faithful God is and how beautiful and inspiring life can be is.
How if we stay focused on God, our hope remains in tact and our perspectives positive.

… here’s to feeling your boobies & getting mammograms. Do it! Do it! Do it!

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… back in (overload) action

I’m happy dancing over here because my computer is finally fixed (yeaaaaaaaa!!!!!!) and I was able to go through a few pictures.

108474959 – computer, Alaina – 1

Even more thrilled that there are firewalls and restrictions in place that will stop all of this madness from happening again! lol…

108474959 – computer, Alaina – 2

So, I can finally post a few of my favorite July 4th photos and oogle over my niece’s photography skills. For an 8 year old, I think she has incredible talent and she doesn’t even seem to work that hard. She’ll get irritated with the lighting and I’ve had to show her how to change the settings on the camera but other than that, she seems to just point and click with ease.

The exciting thing about this Fourth, is that all of my siblings were together for the first time in about a year. My brother was coaching collegiate football in Colorado this past year and my sister and her family live in Fort Benning, Georgia so for us to be all in the same place, at the same time was pretty cool!
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And, that’s my little sister folks… 14 and already taller than I am. I’m the runt of the family! As you can see Aliya will soon pass me up, too!!!
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… so, we had a great time in my mom’s cul-de-sac.

Ww went to a Sky Zone, a trampoline park, and had a great time with family and friends. These are the playdates I look forward to. Hanging out with friends and their kiddos and watching them play together. Become friends. And, build relationships. It’s what my heart hopes for and what I can’t wait for. Everyone has a great time. One of the funniest moments (that my sister will read about on here because I haven’t told her!!!) is when Ariana, 4,
“disappeared” for a few minutes. Thomas and I flipped for a second trying not to cause too much of a panic but found her in the restroom with our other friend. After we found her Thomas talked to her about making sure she tells us where she’s going before she goes. Which CLEARLY resonated because when I told her to throw her KitKat paper away she bounced away, spun around, and came back to tell Thomas she was going to the trashcan. The funniest part is that Thomas was two steps away from me. HILARIOUS. But, glad she got it.
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This is clearly a classic Thomas and Ari picture… they took this pose a few years ago!
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My little photog is such a trooper – for some reason she was intimated by all of the tramps and the kids flying all over them so she hung back for a while….. but, once she felt comfortable, we literally had to drag her off! She was turning all kinds of cartwheels, doing toe touches, and bounces that made me so proud!! I loved how she didn’t let her fear keep her from having a good time!! We also talked about being strong and courageous on the way home so I’m hoping the next time her fear tries to get the best of her, she’ll pray and remember David and the things God gives us the power to do!

And, our God has given this little girl some serious photography skills! I’m so excited about her and so proud of the moments she captures!! They’re really good! And, look how cute she is with my camera around her neck!
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There are a few of the shots Aliya caught:
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I mean, is it just me or is she actually pretty good!?!?! I love the shots! So, sweet………
Then, here are mine.. lol
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Another reason this little girl is a trooper…. She tried so many times to get the hang of the monkey bars and finally went all the way across! She didn’t quit! She can do hard things and I’m glad she’s constantly proving that to herself!

We’re amateurs but we have a ton of fun!!!

Tomorrow, we plan to have another adventure with the girls and we have a pretty exciting birthday brunch celebrating one of my good friends on Saturday!

Needless to say, I’m excited and happy to be back on track!

… here’s to picture overload and getting these 100 ready for our agency chanting “We’re almost done, we’re almost done, we’re almost done!!!”

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