Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Daily Struggle

I have two confessions to make: I feed McDonald’s to my kids and I have a nanny named Beth. Yes, I love those tiny cheeseburgers with two pickles, sliced processed cheese, and that special ketchup-like sauce on top. Throw in a small fry and a sweet tea and I will give it an A+. And yes, I need a lot of help caring for my four very young children. Beth does crafts with us, cooks with us, and comes to swimming lessons. She even cares for all of my kids while I go to BraveLove meetings, on dates with my husband, or into another room to just stare at the wall. Up until a few weeks ago, I would have had a really hard time admitting these things to anyone.

So here is the real confession: the reason I didn’t feed McDonald’s to my kids or hire a nanny had nothing to do with my convictions concerning the nutritional value of fast food or abdicating my responsibility as a mother. Rather, most of my decisions in life seemed to have revolved around what YOU, dear reader, whoever you are, thought of me.

Please listen to my inner monologue: “Will everyone think I am a bad mom if I go through the McDonald’s drive-thru and fill my kids with artificial nutrients rather than craft a whole wheat turkey and cheese masterpiece, with a cut-up apple? Will everyone think that I am abdicating my responsibility as a mother by hiring a nanny? Didn’t I know what I was getting into when I entered into adopting children spaced so closely together? What will the maintenance guy at my house think of me when I have fast food out on the table and a nanny taking care of my children while I am at a meeting?”

Why do I CARE? I am so tired of caring about what other people—maintenance guys, mailmen, friends, family, pastors, or passers-by—think of me!

I recently shared these thoughts always running through my head with a friend. She looked at me, shocked, and said, “Do you really THINK that?” My answer is YES, I do, and it is poisoning my ability to run the race the Lord has set out for me.

Dr. Elizabeth Ritz, my favorite spiritual “optometrist,” did some excellent surgery on the plank in my eye. She revealed to me how the enemy was playing a tune in my head that sucked the joy out of my life, and I was choosing to listen to his poison.

I am my own greatest ally and worst enemy in the daily battle of life when it comes to whom I listen. I don’t know about you, but if I am going to exercise, good music is critical to my stamina and overall enjoyment of the experience. If I am in an exercise class and the instructor plays some sappy Barry Manilow songs, I just might quit and walk out. I need a driving beat to keep in the game—let’s just say “Mandy” doesn’t do it for me. I have found that the same is true for my spiritual life—my stamina to face another day with the joy of the Lord in my heart is directly related to the tune I have running through my head. Am I listening to the lies of Satan—that I should be concerned with what other people think about me—or am I pleasing my audience of One?

Because God allowed Dr. Ritz to show me the plank in my eye, I can more readily do battle with the enemy. His tune in my head has been brought to light, and now I am more able to take those thoughts captive before the Lord and not let them do their damage by dwelling on them. I have come to the place where I can freely admit that I need help rearing my four children and that I love McDonald’s! Let us then, with all humility, through the power of the Holy Spirit, throw off the sin that encumbers us so that we may run the race that the Lord has set before us with endurance… and joy! Because nobody can run a race to Barry Manilow.

"Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

Hebrews 12:1-2

Sunday, January 6, 2013

So many of you have been so sweet to ask how sweet Micah is doing, so I thought I would do a quick post.  Initially, we were seeing a lot of this......

Not real sure about this whole thing...even if my brothers and daddy are

 and this.......

I am trying to fake it when Mom says, "Smile!"

But thankfully, we are now seeing a lot more of this......

Wearing brother's sweatshirt.

and this.......

She loves chocolate chip cookies

I am happy to say Micah is more consistently happy and a lot more comfortable in our home.  She laughs, giggles, screams with delight when she is happy.  She runs to me when I come in the door if I have been gone, and she will look us in the eye when we are speaking to her or playing with her.  She more readily goes to Reid when he comes home from work, and will even let him put her to bed without a fight.  She gives hugs to all her family members and loves to kiss booboos.  She is sharing more readily and not *always* hitting Silas if he takes a toy from her.  She loves to snuggle and read books, and is repentant and receptive when we have to discipline her. Best of all...her HAIR is growing in!  I am kidding...the best thing is that she has quit throwing her food.  Ok...maybe that isn't the best thing either, but I am REALLY thankful for that!

Don't get me wrong, we still back track to the spider monkey stage and last night she went up to a table of complete strangers at a pizza restaurant and started handing out kisses to the people at the table.  Don't worry, I stopped her after the first one, but it is still a little disconcerting that my little girl will go up to a complete stranger, grab his or her leg and reach up with her lips puckered.  None of my other children would have dreamed of doing that with strangers, but such is the life of an institutionalized child learning boundaries and appropriate attachment. 

She is a pumpkin!  I love her smell and the way she feels in my arms.  I love the way she giggles when I tickle her on the neck.  I love watching her talk to Silas in her own toddler language, and I love watching her eat strawberries with delight. She reaches into the drawer with the little bows we have and asks for me to put them in her hair, and she loves for me to put lipstick on her. She LOVES the bathtub and is going to be a maniac in the pool next summer. She says please and thank you, and loves to pretend that someone is on the phone with her.  She is a joy, and we are SO thankful for our Micah!  Thank you for caring about her and sharing in our journey.  Micah Lucy is doing great!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Now THIS is Brave LOVE

 OK....This is one of the most powerful stories about adoption that I have ever seen.  Amber is a picture of brave loving strength as she chooses an adoptive family to love Lily.  Amber shared this with BraveLove, and I want to share it with you!  Click on the link below and enjoy! 

Friday, September 28, 2012

BraveLove has launched!

Join the BraveLove Movement! Watch the video and go to the   BraveLove     website and find out how to get involved.  Help us share this hopeful message. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I could have missed this!!

When I was teaching 3rd grade, my students would SAVE their loose teeth for me to pull.  I would put on a rubber glove, and they would sit on a stool in front of the class, and I would pull their little bitty loose teeth.  If I had missed the FIRST Porter loose tooth while in China???...well....I just might have really lost it for good!(OK...So that might be a little tear coming out of his left eye. I didn't prepare him that it would bleed.  Rookie mistake! 3rd graders know there is blood involved. Oops!)

How cute are these pumpkin pies in the cabinets?

Saturday, September 15, 2012


I cannot tell you what this picture does to me.  (THANK YOU to my sweet friend, Erica, who came to photograph us at the airport!  ) To finally be home with the rest of the kids, all in one piece, was truly a dream come true.  Just thinking about the airport moment of seeing them once again brought tears to my eyes for days after. Yes, those are homemade "Welcome Home, Micah!' t-shirts the kids are wearing - thanks to some AWESOME babysitters!

Micah is adjusting beautifully!  She is sleeping by herself in her crib through the night without a peep.  Let me tell you, if I can have a full night sleep, I feel like I can conquer the world (or 4 young toddlers).  She is loving playing with her brothers more and more, and we are seeing more of her true personality come out.  She is really pretty darling.  It is sort of like an onion where we are peeling back the layers as she begins to feel more at home.  And her hair is already getting longer!  I know that really doesn't matter, but I just CAN'T WAIT to get some Asian pigtails going!

Sure enough, Micah is beginning to feel more and more "like ours." If I am not around, she LOVES being with her daddy, but she can still give him a run for his money if I am in the room, too.  Thankfully, I married a patient man, and he treasures the time with her when they are alone.

We are a family of 6 now, and I certainly feel the weight of that.  However, the Lord has been gracious to give us joy in the journey and energy when we are exhausted.  Thank you for caring about us and joining us on our journey to Micah! 



Friday, September 7, 2012

We made it home!

All I can say is that you all MUST have been praying!  The flight from Hong Kong to Tokyo was a little rough, but the big flight from Tokyo to DFW was GREAT!  We had an extra seat on our row so she had her own spot and she slept probably 8 hours! Now, I paid for it last night when she was up most of the night wanting to get out of bed, but I would rather duke it out at home than on an airplane ANY DAY!

The airport moment with our boys was so wonderful! It was like a dream when I finally laid eyes on them.  I was so excited to see them I could not even contain myself.  They are so sweet an patient with Micah.  She loves having playmates already!

We are home.  All the P's are in the pod, and we are praying for God's gracious gifts of patience and peace every day.  I will post more pictures when I have them.  For now, I just can't thank you all enough for caring and praying for our journey to Micah.  She is finally HOME!