He Belongs…

So today was one of those days…the days where there is absolutely no reasoning with your toddler who is doing theee most, raising absolute hell with no regard for your sanity or schedule.

So let me give you a little bit of the backstory on our oldest toddler (by ten months). Big boy U is three years old, meets no stranger and if by chance, you even thought of telling him that I wasn’t his mama, you’d definitely have a fight on your hands. We brought Big boy U home with our family when he was just three weeks old. I know his biological mom and you can say throughout the years, I have tried to be a mentor/big sis to her. Unfortunately, she has had some struggles. Growing up in foster care, mental health, teenage pregnancy, drug addiction/abuse, and homelessness are just a few. So when we got the call that she had given child services our contact info due to her newborn needing a home or would be placed in foster care, I knew that we would be loving on this little baby.

But what I didn’t know was all that would come with him; the unexpected world wind that comes with dealing with foster care and the twist and turns that happen to a child who was exposed to illegal drugs and alcohol while in the womb. The first few months I literally had to put him on my chest to put him to sleep. He would cry and shake uncontrollably. After the first few days of this happening, I took Big boy U to the doctor. With a look of sympathy and a voice filled with confidence, the doctor told me that this was normal due to Big boy being exposed to drugs and alcohol throughout the pregnancy. He told me to hold him close to me, tightly, throughout these tremor episodes and eventually they would pass.

Honestly, these three years have been a little rough. Listen, I am so not used to all that goes in to this. Yes, we have a total of six children, but let the record show that I am the mom that can give my children the “look” and hey get their lives together. So for me to have to be in the midst of the extreme tantrums, anger, screaming, disobedience and sometimes hurt that can come from my sweet boy, I have totally been out of my hook-up. I’m not used to this. I’m not used to dealing with so much from such a small package….

So, I’m learning.

I am learning to be patient. I am leaning to be calm and consistent, even when my guy is in full meltdown mode.

I am learning to hold him close and allow him to adjust to my heartbeat when his is racing.

I am learning to speak in an even, kind tone although there is so much screaming happening all around me.

I am learning to redirect negative behaviors.

I am learning to advocate for my child, the ins and outs of IEP’s and to not take the stares and uncomfortable looks of others personally.

But most importantly, I am learning that there were no mistakes made. Without a doubt, I know that Big Boy U being our son is God ordained. He was meant to be with us. So learning to teach, love, discipline, advocate and redirect him with love, and without breaking his spirit, is my mission…not easy, but for sure, it belongs to me.

Silo Living??

Wednesday morning, as I was getting ready, I had a thought…”no more silos”.  At first, I didn’t think too much of it but then I started pondering it.

Have I been living in a silo?? Do I isolate myself?  If I’m being completely honest is that silo living is easy for me.  That’s how I grew up.  There wasn’t too much community, it was just us.  It was always the underlying life lesson that “what happened in this house, stays in this house”.  There was no doing life together.  Even if something wrong or out of the ordinary happened it was never addressed and as if people turned a blind eye to whatever it was going on.

Before November of last year silo living was my thing.  My comfort zone. I am a introvert and being alone is my sweet spot.  Going through things and pushing past the pain and/or hurt to keep up a sense of normalcy is how I grew up, it’s what I seen all my life. All that I was used too.  Then tragedy hit…my older sister, who shared our home with us, died unexpectedly.  It was like my silo could no longer survive…I needed people, I needed community.  Looking back, I don’t know if I would have mentally/emotionally survived without the love and care of others.  People came in and did the things that I just did not have the capacity to do; cooking, cleaning, taking care of my children…just being there to catch my tears and pray healing over my heart.

My silo living has so shifted to communal living…and I’m okay with that because I seen all the good that came through the people in my community.

16 for ’16…

2016 has been a good year…went by seemingly quick but it has been full. Full of good and some not so good…

Here’s 16 things that I’m thankful for in the year 2016…

#1 Community. During this year I have seen ppl support us in great ways. Our church, neighborhood and school have been a steady stream of support and encouragement.

#2 Minivan. The younger me never seen myself as a minivan driver, couldnt even wrap my mind around the possibility. But the 36 year old, mama of a crew- took a dive into the unknown land of minivans and has never returned. My 2013 Honda Odyssey, Heather the Honda, is neva, eva leaving!!!

#3 Hospitality. This year I have cooked more meals than all my years put together. Being a wife of a head high school football coach has blessed me to make many meals. Throughout the season and summer, Sundays were for team dinners and anywhere from 6-10 teenage boys calling me “Mom” and making our home theirs. Not to count the days when I would get random phone calls from my guys asking what was for dinner. I love it and wouldnt trade it for anything!

#4 Self-Care. Cant say that I have completely mastered this but I have made threading my eyebrows and fresh sushi a part of my monthly regimen.

#5 Introversion. I have accepted that I am an introvert who loves people. I used to long for a best friend-that person who I could tell everything too and spend lots of time with. Well, that person is me…and alot of times my husband. Im okay with having a super small circle and for the acquaintances that life has introduced me too. 

#6 Supportive Wife. I absolutely love my hubby and supporting his goals and dreams is non-negotiable. Being his number 1 fan, being at his events, being his listening ear and biggest confidant are all my priviledge. 

#7 Home Ministry. Home= Husband. Children. Household. If home aint right, its impossible for me to serve at 100% anywhere else.

#8  Welcome Baby. A few weeks ago we welcomed a new baby into our through kinship program. This wasnt planned, by us, we got a call, went through the process and a week later brought home a 3 week old baby boy. Dont know how long he will be with us, just committed to loving him, taking great care of him and praying for his parents. 

#9 Saying No isnt Hard. I used to dread saying no bc I thought I would make ppl angry and that scared me. However Ive learned that its okay for me to say no and without explanation.

#10 Everybody Isnt For Me. I used to really get down on myself if I didnt have an instant connection or feel a certain warmness from ppl. Often I’d ask myslef what had I done or what was wrong with me. Now I’ve realized everybody isnt for me and that’s okay. It doesn’t even have to be anything personal. Somethings/ people arent worth me wasisting my time pondering over.

#11 God is my Source. Its been times when I thought certain hhings happened bc of me or what I’ve done, but I come to realize that God is my source. He is my source of eveything good whether its him providing or allowing someone else to see His glory through my family-It’s Him!

#12 No Longer Living in the Comparison Zone. I used to be so horrible at comparing myself to others. Eventually Iearned that comparisons don’t compare. We are all unique and can only live our lives to the best of our abilities.

#14 Being so Blessed in My Marriage. This year I have seen and heard of so many married couples living like roommates. No affection. No friendship. No sex. No fun. No butterflies. To for me to be in a marriage with a man who truly is my best friend; who I can do life with all while loving, appreciating and wanting to be with him is lit!!! I’m blessed.

#15 Evaluation of My Words AND my Actions. Yes, we as people have to speak good things over ourselves. Heck, I have a list of affirmations right now!! However Ive learned that my actions have to line up with my words in order for change to take place.                             So speak it. Do it. Be it.

#16 Cutting of limitations through Limiting Thoughts. Ive caught myself mentally talking myself out of greatness quite a few times. Like Id think of something or see something and instantly think “that’s great…for her, for them. I couldnt do it bc Im just (fill in the blank)”. No more limiting thoughts. No more self-imposed limitations!!!!!

I hope you have learned some great things in 2016 that will carry you to greatness in 2017.                                              HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰