I am a 30 something year old mom of five precious boys and two sweet girls. Five of our children are here with us and two are in the arms of Jesus. Our sweet baby girl Hope was diagnosed with Dystrophic Epdermolysis Bullosa and our youngest son came to us through adoption, our youngest daughter through foster care, and I've recently been diagnosed with malignant melanoma the Lord has shown us just how Faithful He is. We will continue to Journey and follow Him where ever He leads. We feel very blessed that God chose us to be the parents of each of our kids, and we look forward to what He has in store for us in foster care!
Just wanted to pop in and let you all know we are doing well! Jacob is adjusting and making progress and so are we! We've taken him on trips to the zoo, the beach and many other local venues fir the first time and he is loving being outside. With both boys in baseball, on different teams, and Jacob's appointments with doctors and Early Intervention, we are a busy family and are very much looking forward to summer! We are so grateful for the outpouring of love and sweet emails and cards! We are so grateful. As we look ahead, we need only about another 500 dollars to be raised and we are looking at adoption finalization the first week of August! We are currently working on our monthly visits with a social worker so she can assess and make sure everyone is adjusting well and providing things keep on the way they've been going we should be final by the end of summer! Please continue to pray...this has been a hard but amazing journey and I am very grateful that the Lord has trusted us with so much!
Jacob is almost 14 pounds now and is making great progress. He is beginning to snuggle, is eating well, cooing, making great eye contact, and is becoming less rigid. Early Intervention has been an enormous blessing and though all of his appointments can become overwhelming I am so grateful for such programs as he is making HUGE strides.
The kids are doing so well with him. They just adore him and are very helpful. Hope has been a touch clingy but overall has done SO well relinquishing her baby of the family title. She has stepped right into the role as a big sister beautifully and is so proud to have a baby brother...she does worry when folks come to visit, thinking they might take him. It is sweet and sad, but she really does adore him and wants to mother him.
The boys are just smitten. They are forever wanting to help hold him, bathe him and feed him. They are such a great help when he is fussy and I need to meet the needs of the rest of the family. He smiles for them and coos away as they read him books and teach him all they know.
Summer is fast approaching. We are finished with our curriculum at home for the year and are excited to go to the beach and explore the world around us. Howard has two more weeks, but will be moving to a new school next year so we will be helping him move throughout the summer. We are grateful he still has a job and look forward to what the Lord has in store. We look forward to lots of family time to continue solidifying our newly grown family and showing Jacob what being a Bolte is all about. God has been so faithful and so present. I am just so very grateful. Please continue to pray as the journey is far from over and there are many struggles. Adoption is such a gift, but it is important to remember that it is the result of a very broken world and so heartache and pain are also involved. I know Jacob's birthmom struggles and it breaks my heart. We still have some financial hurdles to jump and we are still working to show Jacob how to accept love. Could you pray for those specifics?
Since losing my mother in 1988, Mother's Day has always been a day I dreaded. It has been a day that I've wanted to just pull the covers over my head and forget. As a child, making Mom's Day crafts, for an alternate family member or inviting an alternate family member to a Mother's Day banquet was almost like twisting a knife in a wound. For me it was always a reminder of what wasn't, of what I desperately missed and yet would never know. I ached, a piece of me missing, a gaping wound in my broken heart that no one else could fill.
That sorrow took on a whole new meaning when in 2005 my second son went from the arms of my husband, his earthly father straight into the arms of his Heavenly Father. Mother's Day was doubly hard as a daughter missing her mom, AND as a mom missing her son. Mother's Day seemed like a day simply to exploit the brokenness in my life. Losing Asher in 2008 only compounded the pain.
For decades now, Mother's Day swoops in in May and steals my joy, bringing to my knees as tears fall and I mourn what has been lost. I have dreaded Mother's Day for so long that I have had no idea how to embrace it. I have been blessed with healthy children and being their mother is an honor like no other. I want to celebrate that, yet I've not known how. The void is too big, too gaping and too raw.
This year, I am trying desperately to break the cycle. Mother's Day doesn't steal my joy. Satan does. He swoops in and pulls the rug right out from under me, reminding me of all that's been lost and making me yearn for and even envy those who celebrate without the sorrow and loss. He reminds me of how I fall short and am nothing to be celebrated myself. The thing is...he can only do that if I let him. If I focus my eyes upward, I see a God who is MIGHTY to save. I see a God who has held my quivering grief filled body through each and every loss. I see a God who has shown me comfort that I would never have known otherwise. I see a God who has never left, who has wiped each tear and picked me up and led me onward.
Mother's Day will likely always be bittersweet. Being a mother is one of the greatest honors the Lord has bestowed upon me, but the scars of loss still ache a bit. I am coming to accept the fact that they likely always will. Much like life, we are constantly swaying between grief and joy and it is a journey, and one that will likely never end. All we can do is keep our focus on Him and surrender. We give it to him, all the hurt, grief, anger and bitterness. We lay it at his feet and we walk away. We leave it. He is good. He has a good plan and he will work each and every ugly hurt out for our good. He will. I have seen it. I look back at where I have been and where I stand and I am awestruck, it doesn't negate the pain, but gives it purpose.
I sit here tonight thinking of all of my friends out there dreading tomorrow. Some of you have just lost your own mom, some have lost a precious child, some long to be mothers, some are mothers who have given up their children. I think about the despair and raw heartache. My heart breaks because I know a bit about that ache. I believe God has really been speaking to my heart today. I wish I had magic words to offer, unfortunately there are none.
Friends, if a taste of bitter is what you are feeling as Mother's Day approaches, let me encourage you. It might take twenty four years, but one day it will hurt less. One day you will be able to breathe again. One day you will be able to go outside the safety of your home on Mother's day and not want to punch every daughter taking her own mom for granted or mom taking her children for granted. God is with you today. Our savior, he can move mountains....I have witnessed it. He is mighty to save, and he wants so desperately to save you. He CONQUERED the grave! He did...he did it for you and for me. For me, dreading Mother's Day, I believe became a habit. I am going to break that habit right now, replacing it with looking it as an opportunity to pray specifically for each hurting heart out there...each heart that is dreading Mother's Day.
We serve a God who is so much bigger than we can fathom. We serve a God who has plans we couldn't dream up if we tried. He wants good things for us, and sometimes pain is part of that. It sucks, but I promise there is purpose. He conquered the grave, His power is within us, and weeping may last for the night but I am here to tell you that JOY comes in the morning...sometimes it takes years, but it comes if you accept it. I have felt for so long that I needed to dread Mother's Day because of all of the sorrow it reminds me of and that if I did not weep and grieve on this date that I was doing a disservice to my grief, but I am learning that I can allow the joy to come. I can celebrate because God has conquered all of it. My feet are firmly planted upon the Rock and He has proven Himself to be a faithful and loving God. I can celebrate in SPITE of all of the pain because His grace and His hope are GREATER than all of it.
So, tomorrow is likely to be bittersweet, but I sure am going to relish in the sweet because if you had told me a year ago we'd be the parents to a half dozen children, four on earth and two in Heaven, I'd have though you nuts, but not our God...he is so creative, so merciful and so loving and his plans for us are good. You might be in a pit of despair right now, and it is okay to hurt, to really enter that pain and allow yourself to feel it, walk through the muck and the mire, and place your feet upon that Solid Rock, because He IS mighty to save and he will bring beauty from the ashes. There is purpose in the pain. He promises he will and he keeps his promises. It is okay to be where you are...one day you will breathe again...one day He will make all sad things come untrue. He is the only One who can fill the void, and He will...if you let him. The positive may never outweigh or make up for the negative...but even in the negative...He is there.
All I can say right now is that I am so grateful that we serve such a faithful God. We are finding that when we have a true need He is meeting them one by one. I am finding that when I think things are hard and when Satan whispers doubts and lies in my ear, I can stand firm on the fact that I in fact did not get myself into this...God did and because He did...He will see us through each and every thing...and He is and it is such a great place to be...right in His will.
Managing and shepherding three kids was tough and four is even tougher but there is also something so sweet, so amazing and so rewarding about it. Jacob is a tough little guy. I have been struggling to bond with him. I am a baby wearing mama and he is just not there yet. He has made HUGE progress but still has a long road ahead.
We visited the doctor again today because I was worried that he was dealing with reflux, but our doctor has been so great and just assured me that all he is going through is normal for where he's come from and that Jacob is going to be just fine. He reminded me that I am a good mom and that I need to trust myself. I am so grateful.
Today we took the kids to the zoo after the doctor appointment and had the best time with them! I am SO looking forward to a summer full of fun and family! Thank you all for continuing to check in. I am so in awe of what God is doing in our family and I cannot wait to see what He's got for us next!
And someone help me think of a caption for the photo below...there's GOT to be a good one out there!
I just wanted to pop in and let you know that we are doing well. I will try to get on and do a few blogs about our journey in the last two weeks, trying to juggle all the needs of four sweet kids is pretty much taking up every minute of my days. Jacob has been home for a week now and he is doing great. He's been to the doctor and is gaining weight and doing great. We've scheduled an intake appointment with Early Intervention for next week to talk about some of his sensory issues and his muscle tone, and he has an appointment for a repeat hearing test as he failed in one ear at the hospital. We'd love your prayers in each of those areas.
The kids are just LOVING him and have been so amazing. They are so understanding and patient (most of the time) and I just stand in awe of them. Luke has been especially helpful. He just loves his baby brother and is willing to do anything he can to help out. They just love holding him, feeding him, and playing with him. He is learning to love them back. :) They are a little to "in your face" for his liking, but we are working on a balance that will work for everyone.
Jacob is making quite a bit of progress...he had been struggling to gain weight in the hospital and he has gained 10 ounces since we've had him so that is great. He eats well and loves to be held facing out. It has been a struggle to get him to snuggle and bond with us as he is quite rigid most of the time and has a really hard time relaxing. We are seeing great progress in those areas though and are so amazed by him each day.
God continues to provide for our every need and lead us along this unfamiliar path and we are so keenly aware of his presence, grace, and goodness.
I am beginning to see that adoption really is war, and many times during the day I feel Satan try to whisper his lies to me and cause me to doubt that I can do this...and honestly...I can't. But with God I can do anything and I know He has brought us here and he will continue to guide us each step of the way...He loves our Jacob and has such great plans for him.
We ate out for the first time as a family of six and it went really well! We also tackled grocery shopping for the first time with four kids and aside from Jacob HATING the car ride, it went great. He seems to be coming down with a cold and sleep is rare commodity in this house right now, so I better go catch a few winks while I can. I just wanted to let you all know that we are doing well, we are growing, adjusting and loving.
We stand in awe of our God who made every step of this journey possible and continues to amaze us. We covet your prayers and will be back soon to share some pictures of our family!
After a crazy, emotional, awesome, difficult and God filled week...this is what I can share for now...I promise to get back on and give you all the low down as soon as we settle in...for now...enjoy Jacob's Homecoming! God has been SO faithful. Thank you Ginger for meeting us at the airport at that insane hour...and capturing such an amazing family moment.
As for the rest of you...as you watch keep in mind that it was midnight, Jacob and I had been traveling ALL day after a missed flight and crazy airport antics, and I had been crying most of the day as well. We look rough, but you get the gist. ;)
Go ahead and mention my child, The one that died, you know. Don't worry about hurting me further. The depth of my pain doesn't show. Don't worry about making me cry. I'm already crying inside. Help me to heal by releasing The tears that I try to hide. I'm hurt when you just keep silent, Pretending she didn't exist. I'd rather you mention my child, Knowing that she has been missed. You asked me how I was doing. I say "pretty good" or "fine". But healing is something ongoing I feel it will take a lifetime. ~ Elizabeth Dent ~
"When I Lay My Isaac Down" - Carol Kent "The One Year Book of Hope" - Nancy Guthrie "Holding on to Hope" - Nancy Guthrie "Empty Cradle Broken Heart" - Deborah Davis "Waiting With Gabriel" - Amy Kuebelbeck "Streams in the Desert" - LB Cowman "It Takes a Parent" - Betsy Hart "I'll Hold You in Heaven" - Jack Hayford "Crazy Love" Francis Chan "Radical" David Platt