Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A most generous Christmas gift.


Angelina was one of those wacky women that you never know what is going to come out of their mouth, but chances are it will be the truth. Good, bad, or ugly...however the truth looks, that is how it comes out, pure and unadulterated. I never recall her intentionally hurting anyone with her words, she always used them to speak the truth with mercy. If the truth she spoke, caused a sore spot, she helped to bandage the spot before sending you on your way.

When she moved away, I missed her daily presence and ongoing sense of humor.


As Christmas approaches, my heart reflects upon this phenomenal child of God. She was a diabetic and dealt with a weight issue most of her life. She had chosen to have an elective surgery to deal with the the weight and to hopefully get healthier.
She underwent surgery on December 23rd. I am not sure what all went wrong with the surgery, but the hospital was not prepared for the worst case scenario. Angelina became their very worst case scenario. She died on the operating table.


What happened next was such a wonderful Christmas gift given to most of those who knew her and loved her dearly. It is exactly how she operated in life. It was Christmas eve when her body was taken to the morgue. The funeral home had two whole days to prepare her for her friends. Nobody was told of her death until after Christmas. The only ones that knew of course were those at the hospital, the funeral home and her very immediate family.

While my "brother"(I adopted him) Lanny spent his Christmas day with his beloved at the funeral home, We celebrated and had a wonderful holiday. Totally ignorant of what had happened. He waited until the day after Christmas to have her obituary put in the Dallas paper and our local paper. He also waited until then to have the news given to those who loved Angelina.

This generous gift, is one that I hope my family will bestow upon my friends and loved ones if I am to die so close to a holiday. I have personally requested it. I have looked my adult children and husband in the eye and told them of my request. There will not be anything that anyone can do for me, so they may as well have a joyous celebration empty of grief.

I have pondered this decision many times. It is something that I think Angelina would have decided to do herself. It is also the character of Lanny to be so generous. I don't know when this decision was made, but it is one that has affected my life in a way that I have problems putting into words. I say, thank you for your love and for your generosity.

Angelina, I still hear your laughter in my mind and feel your love in my heart.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Just a quick encouragement hug.


Remember, God is as close to you as your very breath. When you
inhale, He is in the midst of you. Do not worry or be concerned
about what seems so big and overwhelming. NONE of it is too big or
too overwhelming for the True God of the Universe. If that God is in
your midst, what have you to worry or fret about? Your worries and
frets should be worrying and fretting.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A prayer answered

When I was in 6th grade, I began to babysit for a lady that lived down the street from me. It was my lst summer job. She had a son that was about 6 months old. The distance was good for me, I didn't have to get a ride over there and the hours were good also. The hours allowed me to be out of the house alot of the time my dad was in the house. Cathy became a protector to to me, she one of the first ones that I realize God had put in my life, as a young person. When I was 16 I ran away from home and left Texarkana completely to not return for 10 years. I eventually landed at my grandparent's home to live with them. I lived in Arkansas for quite a few years, my heart missed Cathy but, she had moved and I had lost all contact with her.
She had gotten a divorce and was about to remarry when I had left. I didn't even know what her fiance's name was. Because Cathy had given me a safe place to hide and be sheltered all those years I loved her dearly for her protection. I didn't see it as the Lord's protection at that time, but truly that is what it was.

As time passed, I would try to search as much as I could to find her if I went to Texarkana for a visit with my aunt and uncle. It was totally fruitless. This was before the Internet or computers were a household staple.

Finally in 1988 I moved back to Texarkana. I was pregnant with Josh. My ex-husband asked me to please move from Shreveport and not to tell anyone that I was pregnant. For some reason, that is exactly what I did. I had met Wesley my husband while I was pregnant. He lived in Texarkana. That sounded like a good landing place to me.

Back to Cathy...It has been 10 years since I had seen or heard from Cathy. My heart loved her so much. I was so grateful that she was willing to protect me to the best of her ability. I wonder now the discussions that she and my dad might have had. I guess it is better that I don't know about them. I continued to search for my beloved Cathy, old neighbors, ex-family, old landlord....nothing ever came of my continued search.

One Sunday after church, I was in the kitchen cleaning up after lunch. I was praying for Cathy and for Little Jim. I had just asked the Lord to please help me find Cathy as, I didn't know what else to do. I was figuring Little Jim's age as I was praying for him. That is when I looked at my bottle of Dawn and thought, I need to run to Kmart and buy some more. I only have 1/4 of a bottle left. So I stopped what I was doing, and told Wes that I would be back in about 10 minutes. I got into K-mart and was still praying for Cathy as I was walking up and down the aisles. I finally spotted the detergent aisle and head in that direction. I picked up the faithful old blue bottle and headed to the end of the aisle.

I stopped in my tracks! There stood my precious most wonderful Cathy! I began sobbing and thanking God in the same breaths! At first she did not recognize me. She had been in a serious car wreck six months before and could not place me. Once we talked for a few minutes, she remembered me! My heart was soooo happy! If my heart could have jumped out of my body and to do a happy dance, it certainly would have! She was with some of her family, as she wasn't able to drive yet, I took her home with me that day and hoarded her up in my bedroom! I introduced her to Wes and then it was just the two of us for 5-6 hours. It was such a wonderful reunion!

She was living across town in the other state. For those who don't know, Texarkana is a twin city. There is Texarkana, TX and Texarkana, AR. There were 3-4 K-Marts between where she lived and I lived. She could have gone to any one of them. God directed them(her family)all the way across a state line into her old neighborhood just for me. He heard my prayer, and he answered it.

This was one of the times in my life that I felt the love of my Father so present!
I knew He had moved on my behalf so that my heart would be happy. He had worked all things for the good of me. He was moved by compassion for His daughter that He loved so much.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Reality

This has been a hard day for me. Facing the reality of what God is showing me. It really isn't a judgement on me...but a clearer picture of where I am at in Him. He is bidding me to draw nearer than ever before. He is wanting me to come out of my place of comfort and operate fully in Him. He is calling me to be more bold than I have ever been, and to speak the truth as I never have before. If I don't do this and I face reality in this way again...then I feel I will be being judged for my apathy. It will be a sad sad sight. I am challenged to rise to the occasion. I am challenged to stop long enough to make a difference in this hurting dying world. Either I am going to make a difference, or I just plain don't care. Ugh!! It is black and white...absolutely positively no grey areas here. Lord, let your love flow through me to make that difference, let your love in me draw people to me. Let me be sensitive and responsive to their needs. Let me be the one that that points them to you. Father, if I don't then it is because I either don't believe in hell or I just don't care. Cause my flesh to submit to Your Spirit in me. Cause me to not cower and bow down to anyone but You. Let Your Spirit rise in me, and lead me in only Your ways. Cause me to operate in your anointing and not my pride and or flesh.Cause me to be accountable for my words and deeds. Cause me to live a life of greater integrity. Cause me to keep my eyes focused on You and what You would have me do. In the precious name of Jesus I pray. amen

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Getting my Fire Insurance

When I was a small child, my mom took us to church. I remember watching the tears run down her face, I knew that I loved her and that she loved Jesus. If my mom loved Jesus, then surely he was wonderful. Alot of things happened after that time in church, in my parent's marriage.
I really don't understand it or remember most of it, but I do remember my dad demanding that my mom have his Sunday meal on the table at 12 o'clock. Period. There was no wiggle room with my dad. His word was the law. We did not want to be outlaws in our own home. So mother quit going to church. She would take us and pick us up, or the church bus would. This went on for several years. Mother's heart became distant from the Lord, I didn't understand it back then, but now as an adult and mom of 5, I see how if a coal is removed from fire, it will grow cold.

Thankfully mother did her best to keep us in church as children. My heart knew that Jesus was special because my mom and my grandparents loved him. I loved Jesus, but I didn' want him telling me what to do. I was young and I was determined that I was going to have fun until I was old, at least 20. I had decided after I had my fun, that I would then give my heart to Jesus. I continued going to church, all of my friends at church were giving their hearts to the Lord. I wasn't going to, I wanted to have fun. Now, exactly what does fun mean to a 14-15 year old The church I attendend was a very strict no movies, no dancing type church so I guess that is what I was so concerned about. I didn't go to my first movie until I was a senior in high school. So back to not wanting to surrender my fun. I was the only child out of 4 that continued to go to church on a regular basis. There was a secret to my reasoning. It was that I got out of the house and didn't have to put up with the issue of life that occurred there. I could even lay down and go to sleep if I needed to. The pews were cushioned and were softer than the floorboard of the car.

Thankfully, all this time I was in church, I was marinating in the Word of God. It was sinking in.
It was reaching my spiritman. The pastor was preaching in Revelations. I was still not ready to surrender my fun. Then..... I had a nightmare one night. I dreamed that the Lord came back, and I was left behind. I knew that I had made this decision in my dream to not get saved. I knew this was my judgement time in my dream. It was horrible. My own selfishness had kept me out of heaven. I was doomed to hell, that is unless, I was willing to be nibbled on by little mice and then have my head cut off, then maybe I could go to heaven. Remember I said that it was a night mare. Night mares don't normally make sense. I remember looking at the date on the calendar in my dream. It was July 7, 1977....all sevens. I woke up in a panic! July 7th was just a few days a way. I had to get to the church so that I could be saved! I don't guess I knew that I could just give my heart to Jesus at home, ofcourse, I know I was sure that Jesus wasn't in our home, there was too much hell in that house for Jesus to show up. I was sure He didn't want anything to do with us. We were trash, as my father called us. Anyway.... I got to church the following Sunday, I could barely wait until the alter call. I think I was at the alter before the official alter call was made. I had to make sure that I had my fire insurance. I did not want to go to hell.

This is a very breif synopsis of when I gave my heart to Jesus. Sorry if it was choppy.
It is here though, Thankfully His grace has carried me through so much healing, and His love has healed my wounds....one by one.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Alum, Pickles and Love


I have a container of alum sitting on my kitchen window as a reminder of how my love tastes to other people. Occasionally I will take a small taste just as an extra reminder.

One day I was before the Lord, crying my heart out over my perceived rejection from the world. I was doing everything I knew to do to love those around me, and of course fully expecting their gratefulness back! Then I had a vision of the hand of God with a small amount of Alum in it. The Lord said, "taste this." I said," oh Lord, I know what that taste like, and it is soooo bitter! Why would I want to have that taste in my mouth?"(as a little girl, I mistakenly took a big wallup of it thinking that the container said almond instead of alum boy was I surprised!) Anyway,back to the Lord wanting me to taste this Alum that He had before me. I obeyed and put a little on my finger and tasted the yukky bitterness of it wondering what this had to do with my hurting heart and the rejection I was feeling. I was sure He had heard me wrong, so He was answering my cry/prayer wrong. I need to re-explain myself to Him I was sure. Once I recovered from the taste, the Lord told me that that is what my love tastes like to others. When I serve it up, that is what those that get a dose of it taste. I was in horror! Was my love that bad I wondered?!?!? Could it (my love)really be used to make pickles? Oh my goodness no wonder I felt so rejected...no one wanted my love! You see, I had not realized that only the perfect love of God is what people truly want.Unadulterated, nonjudgmental, unselfish, no strings attached love. God is our only true source of love, and if the love we are giving out isn't coming from Him, then what we are giving, certainly isn't Him. Only His love has the ability to heal the broken hearted, to bind up the wounds and to bring true joy and peace to those around us, and including us.

So make sure you are going to the true source of love, before you start dishing out portions of love to those around you.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Daddy and Me! :o)


God gave me this vision...it was so awesome! His love is so sweet, and He is so powerful!


Let me see.....if i can explain this so you can get the full just of what i saw......I saw me as a little girl, running into the Courtyard of Praise, right to the Holy of Holies, hollering for my daddy(the Lord) I finally get there.....no one is stopping me...I am out of breath...huffing and puffing.....it is so urgent that I see my daddy! I know that I have a big problem and I need my daddy's help to take care of it. As I get to the Throne Room.....I see Him there sitting....and He just let me jump smack dab in the middle of His lap, like a little girl would, and I nuzzled up to Him. Ifelt soooo safe.(Jesus was there too.....I remember seeing Him as I ran in....but I needed my daddy.....) I rememberlooking around and thinking well when are you going to do something? He heard my thought and said,"Angela....I did all I am gong to do a long time ago, your problem is already taken care of". He didn't even move....nor Jesus.....I remember looking out towards where I had run from and there were great big winged beings.....I knew they were my angels...I felt their presence as I was running. My daddy lifted his hand as to give them direction....they went to take care of what ever was needing taken care of...and I stayed in His lap.....they did return...and I knew everything was okay. My daddy, one more time, had it all under control.I don't know how many of you know this, but my earthly father died when I was 19(over half my life ago)and I adopted my Father to be my daddy at that time....so our relationship is just like that of a daddy and daughter. I am the apple of His eye...He lovesme sooooooooo much. I never ever dreamed I could be loved as much as I comprehend Him loving me...His love goes so far beyond my limited mind....and His love covers the multitude of my sins. Hallelujah! Well, that is it...I am such a Happy Little Girl, so comforted from His love! As y'all know daddy and I dance too.....I get on his feet in the spirit...and we go round and round and round......I just love it when we twirl!


Praises and Glory and Honor to my Daddy!


~~~~~


I want to include in this blog that anyone who reads this can be a daddy's girl. My Father loves you just as much as He loves me. Everything He has given to me He will give to you. It is as simple as accepting Him in your heart as your saviour and accepting His love just where you are.

There is no need for pretenses. He knows you and He knows me every blemish, every hair, every gift, and every breath. He created this earth just for us and He gave us our name before He even created the earth.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Scents of life and love

I was never a daddy's girl... always a Papa's girl . He has been in heaven for 14 years now.
I went to vist my grandmother for the first time in about 5 years in July for my birthday.
I have seen her in the 5 years, it just hasn't been at her house.

Once we got our initial hugs and kisses over with, I immediately went to my Pa's old bedroom. Granny has now made it her sewing room. The gold velvet curtains were gone, the bed was gone. My heart was saddened. I knew though that the best place to find the scent of my Pa would be in his closet. His scent had always been there! I opened the door to the closet and there sat hundreds of pieces of material and some unfinished quilts. I took a deep breath knowing that I would smell that wonderful musty propane earthy smell of my Pa. I was wrong! My heart skipped a beat! How could this have happened? Where did his scent go? I searched all through the house with my nose trying to find that wonderfully comforting scent.

I never found it. This is the first time that I have really missed my Pa and wanted to cry. I always found comfort in being in his bedroom and just closing my eyes and there he was...still very vivid in my memories.

The memories are still there, but I feel like I lost some part of my Pa. I love him so much.
He and my granny were my source of encouragement and love as a child growing up. It seemed as though they always showed up when things at home were getting to be unbearable. They were there long enough (2days) to fill my heart with the love of Jesus and be on their way back home again. I would sob each and everytime they left or we left them. Only when I was with them did I feel safe. I guess in the scent of my Pa, I found a place of safety.

I don't need that safety anymore, I just wanted one more smell of my Pa. I want my children to know what he smelled like. I wanted to share with them what little I had left of him that isn't in my heart. I want them to love him as much as I do. I want them to know how wonderfully special he was...what a wonderful Christian man he was.

I hope when I am in heaven, my children will remember what I smelled like. I hope it will bring sweet memories to their mind. I hope this for my grandchildren that are to come also. I only smell like one thing, Jessica McClintock. I hope it is around for a long long time.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Personal Notes on Josh

I am committed to being transparent the adoption. Therefore when I came across these notes I decided to share them with those who have followed the reunion blog. Most of them were before I met him. The last 2 are afterwards.





January 8, 2007





The reality of what this year could bring is beginning to set in. My heart is happy, scared, anxious, overwhelmed. Those are just a few of the adjectives I can use to describe what I am feeling. I have always known the day would come for my reuniting with Josh. It seemed so far into the future for so long. I was able to dismiss the thought of seeing him again fora long time. This time I can't. This time I can actually allow my thoughts to go beyond the boundries I sat formy heart all those years ago. I guess I need to verify that he still wants me at his graduation and find out when it is. I will have to start saving for the trip. I don't know what it will cost, but I do trust the Lord to keep that which I have committed toHim. I committed this lifetime of Josh's and his parents to the Lord with promise of a reunion. So I trust the Lord will make provision for me.



February 2, 2007



I really need to get the date of Josh's graduation.I guess I also need to confirm he still wants me there. It could be so overwhelming for him...and of course for me. The last thing I want is for him to be put in an odd position due to me. There is so much that goes on the second semester in a seniors life. I can just imagine what all plans are made for the next few months. I pray they all go well.



August 6, 2007



There has been a little contact with Joann. Seems like Josh has had a very hard time in the spring and up to his graduation. My heart is sad because I hate that he has meltdowns like I do. I guess that he has inherited some of that from me.I know that it is hard for me to understand why I go into a meltdown. I do know that it has to do with my own lack of believing in myself at times. It is as if I finally surrender to the words that come at me. Words that my father spoke over me of failure and being trash. I don't believe that Josh has ever had those words spoken over him by his parents. I wonder though, if it has nothing to do with what they spoke, but what he believes I "spoke"when I gave him up for adoption. If that is what he believes, then my heart is extremely sad. When I surrendered him to his parents, I was speaking love in the only manner I could to him. My life was so messed up. That I wasn't dead was by the grace of God and the decision to not let what others had said about me kill me.My heart is sad right now.



August 14, 2007



I believe this is the week that Josh goes off to college. I have had him on my mind for the past two weeks so heavy. Wondering what he is thinking, wondering what his plans are. Do they include me ever? I figure they do, and I want them too, but I don't truly feel that I deserve to be in his life. Maybe it is a self punishment of sorts.I haven't heard anything from Joann, I hope they are all well. I know when Kara and Haleigh went off to school, it was a hard time for my heart. I missed them both so much, I felt like I was just really beginning to know who they were as adults. I am still learning them as who they are as adults all these years later. Sometimes I feel like I have failed them all miserably, but in the deepest part of my heart, I feel like I honestly did the very best that I knew how to do for them. Still the feelings of inadequacy loom at times. I feel this a lot with Chelsea and the boys. I try do keep my life lined up with the Word of God, and pray that where I have messed up, He and the kids will forgive me and have great mercy on me.



December 3, 2007

Josh,I know you had surgery last month. I hope you are okay. My heart goes out to you.I know you have been sidelined for playing soccer because of this. I am praying that God will restore you completely so that you can play again at full force. Know that I am thinking of you and praying for you. I love you.



December 31, 2007


Josh,
Wow! Where has the time gone? I have seen your pictures and watched you grow through them. I have seen you change from the wonderful full cheeked little boy to the wonderfully handsome young man you have become. I see all of my children in your pics. It is a glad thing for my heart to see you in them also.I wonder if 2008 will be the year we get to meet. It is such an overwhelming thought! I want to with all my heart to see you. Yet, I am scared to death! Scared of rejection, hurt, truth, anger, and so many other things that come to mind on occasion.I hope who I am doesn't disappoint you. I am just a simple woman. I still fight some of the "demons" of my past. In my head I know they are lies but in my heart they echo the insecurities of who I am. I not only feel this way about you, but also of my children. I don't want to disappoint them either.I love you.



March 5, 2008
The twins' b'day



What an emotional roller coaster that has been. I was in class all day with my mind on them most of the day. It also turned to Josh also. Jordy looks so much like the pics I have of Josh. Jordy has also laid claim to a pic. of Josh that reminds him of himself. Both my fellas are really beginning to anticipate meeting Josh and his family. Chelsea is a bit anxious.My granny has been sick. I have been quite concerned about her. We have began planning Haleigh's wedding. That will certainly take up quite a bit of time until November. It is a good thing. Hopefully Josh and his family will get to be here.





May 19, 2008



My dear Josh is in my home sleeping. I have got to hold his hand,look into his eyes, and hear him tell me he loves me. Thank you Lord. Thursday came fast in preparing for his visit. I still didn't get everything done that I wanted to. The kids have wholeheartedly absorbed him into the
family. He has always been a part of our family. It seems like the kids just grabbed up the puzzle piece of Josh and the placed him smack dab in the center of our family. He fits very very well. It will once again hurt to let him go. I will probably go to class with swollen eyes after crying all the way to Paris. My heart though is very happy. Very happy. His parents are absolutely positively the ones I am so thankful for. They have kept their word. They have loved him and taken care of him better than I think I ever could have. Thank you Lord!



May 21, 2007



I have called Josh and emailed him.I still haven't heard from him. I am trying to not think negatively, but that is where I am right now...emotionally.This has been a wonderful time for me and my family. What if he wants the kids and not me in his life? That will be wonderful for them, but I will be very sad inside for myself. I wonder if he and Joann are having emotional thoughts like this. Probably not, I say that so easily, it isn't meant to be flippant. I guess it is just my own anxiety being magnified right now. Hopefully I will hear from him soon.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Meeting Josh Part 6




Monday morning came early, the sun was shining so bright. There was a gentle breeze moving through the air. It was truly a wonderful morning. ALL of my children were in my house sleeping. I took the time to look at each sweet face in their moment of perfection. I was just so overwhelmed at the wonderful gifts I had been given in each of them.

Josh got up early to spend a little alone time with Jordan since he had to be at school at 8:15. When we first shared pics of Jordan as a 15 y.o. with Josh and his family they were just as shocked as I was at the resemblance of the two. It was one of those eerie feelings you get that almost doesn't have words to describe it. Jordan and my other son Micah are fraternal twins. I have always said that once God created them, he laughed, and has kept laughing since. They are so opposite. Right now Micah is 5'7" and Jordan 5'11". Their personalities are on opposites side of the spectrum. Hopefully you are getting the picture I am trying to paint. Well back to Jordy and Josh. They look like they could be twins! Body build, height, curls in the hair, eyes, nose. Just one thing after another I would see each of them in the other. I think that this really caused Jordan to have a connection with Josh that he wasn't expecting to have. I also think this has helped Josh to feel like he is part of us. Josh also looks like Kara my oldest daughter. He is undeniably part of us!


Once Jordy was off to school, everyone else begin to gather themselves together. It seems to be the shortest time that we had spent together. Josh had to go back to the hotel to shower and load the car. Joann and I got to visit again. When Josh got back, Kara had pulled out some photo albums and a box of pics. I am not sure where they had come from as I hadn't seen them since we moved into this house a couple of years ago. Needless to say, we all sat around Josh as he flipped through the pages and sifted through the photos in the box. Though time was short, he wanted to look at each picture to make sure he wasn't missing anything. There are so many more for him to go through when he comes back to visit. He chose several that he wanted to keep. There was even one that his mom had sent me when he was small of him and his dad. I thought it was sweet that he wanted that one.

We headed outside as the time drew near for them to leave. The Joshua tree was swaying in the breeze, looking happy to be planted in my front yard. I was hoping Joshua was feeling the same way about being re-planted in our family.

I felt a bit odd, I hadn't bought him a present or a memento of this wonderful time together. My time had been so short, that to buy something so important seemed to need more time than I had. That is one of the few regrets of the meeting that I have had. I am working on something special for his birthday though. I know he likes part of it, as he commented on the part when he initially saw it. He had no idea that I had began it for him in particular.

Okay okay.....back to the front yard.

We in the Hampton family have what we call a family initiation. We normally use it when we travel. Since the family is too large to fit into one hotel room we usually get two rooms next to each other. Who ever lands in the rooms together has to get a wet willy unannounced from the other "chamber mates" sometime during the stay. It just happens. It is one of those urges that comes upon a Hampton and you just may as well surrender and get it over with! Well, needless to say, Josh was unaware of this. Kara, Haleigh and I discussed this important rite of passage. We voted, it was a done deal. Josh was going to have to get a wet willy before he left Texas. The time had come! We were taking photos........Haleigh had Josh and Kara on the sidewalk taking pics. The timing was perfect! We got a perfect shot of Josh's initiation! The big sisters were quite proud of their ability to carry this off without any flaw. You must remember though, that they have been doing this for many many years. They could be pros at it. This also help to bring great laughter and break the sadness of the moment. Pictures were continued for the next 10 minutes or so. I am not sure if it was planned by Josh and Kara or not, but Josh got Haleigh with a wet willy! It was wonderful, see I told you he was fitting into the family so snugly! We did get a picture of that too!

They finally loaded up, after giving hugs to everyone at least two or three times.
My heart was crying, my tears were beginning to pour. I had to let him go once again...this time, it wasn't a small baby I held til the end. It was a man with a wonderful spirit and a generous dose of love that was holding me back. I can still feel his arms around me and the gentle kisses he placed on my head.

I hope to see him again soon. I hope that he will always come back to Texas as often as he can, he has a family here that loves him so dearly.

Thanks for taking the time to read these blogs. I hope that they gave insight into the wonderfulness of choosing life. The joys of the reunion have helped to erase the pain of the separation that was so deep and indescribable.

Be blessed,
Angela

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Meeting Josh Part 5



The sun had started setting while we were taking family photos at the lake. The kids were still out on the pier posing and fishing with Isaiah's newly bought spongebob fishing pole. Some nice gentleman shared a worm or two with him since his plastic bait had broken offand floated into the lake. I am not sure who caught the fish, but all of a sudden I heard a blood curdling scream. I looked to see what was going on! It was Chelsea screaming and Jordan laughing as he was chasing her with this wet animal still on the line! Now our family hasn't fished much, needless to say a 15 y.o. brother chasing his 16y.o. sister really was a sight! There was great laughter and giggles all around.

I was so thankful for this distraction, as I had began to dread the evening and the next morning. I was beginning to feel very jealous of my children. They had pretty much had him all day, I didn't feel like I had truly had any time with Josh at all. Anxiety had hit my heart.All I could think of was that He would be leaving in about 12 hours and I hadn't got to visit with him like I had really wanted to. I had isolated myself from the group because I didn't want any attention on me. I didn't want the kids to know I was crying while they were healing and having a wonderful time being what they always longed for. A family with Josh in the picture.I really struggled to not ruin their time of gladness.

All I wanted then was to have Josh all to myself. That was so selfish, but as ugly as it seems, that is what I wanted. I had to give myself a pep talk and remind myself, that I was an adult and that I needed to act like an adult and not a child. I needed to be thankful for the gift of having Josh in my life and the joy of my children's hearts.

The sun set, and everything grew dark. This included the picnic area we were sitting at. Wes, Joann and I packed up everything we took to the lake and everyone headed for the house. We were sooooooooo tired,but our hearts were still sailing!

The table was almost set, I walked into the kitchen and there stood this wonderful young man that my heart loves so much sobbing. His mom was just a foot or two from him. Joann and I both grabbed Josh and just cried with him for a while. I wasn't sure why we were crying I just knew tears were flowing and it felt so good! I sent Josh a questionnaire last week. It is one that I had received from one of my daughters. Here is a question on it and his response.-When and why did you last cry?In the kitchen before dinner on the Sunday before I left.I realized that I had been thinking of you guys every night I had sat down to dinner my entire life and I was about to finally sit down at the same table with y'all. I cried because I felt something bigger than life pulling me into that seat and all I could do was cry. I now better understand what he was going through. I never thought that it would have been that monumental. Sitting down with my family for a meal is something that I had somehow lost the true value of. Josh reminded me.

After the meal, all the kids took turns sharing, and being with Josh. Joann and I did the dishes. We both felt the anxiety and the need to keep ourselves busy. She is such a jewel. Truly a treasure from heaven. One that the Lord has put smack dab in the middle of my life.I am so grateful for the goodness of God in her.

The kids had pretty much decided that if Josh were part of the family then he had to stay with us on Sunday night too. I am still just floored at the way my children all just opened their hearts and put this wonderful sibling in the right place in the family. When I think of this, I think of those bags that you can vacuum seal. I see all of my children with Josh in the bag, sucked in so tight, there is no room or means to get out!

Joann left shortly after dinner. I was watching her. My heart wondered what she was thinking and feeling. I don't think I could have asked her. That was a private time all her own. Most of all,what I thought was what a wonderful job God did picking out a mom for Josh. I am so glad He picked her!!

Around 11p.m. I finally claimed Josh all for my own. We went back out to the front porch and those rocking chairs. I wanted to hear him talk. I wanted to hear what he was saying. I wanted to just marinate in the awesomeness of his being. I know that sounds abit out there,but I wanted to just be in his presence. We both cried and spoke of some hard issues. We both didn't want to go to bed because we knew what the morning was going to bring. We both felt our bodies beginning to rebel and sleep take over so we surrendered and went to bed. My sleep was sweet that night even though my heart knew that his departure was near...and yes, I was up early Monday morning to watch him sleep as I drank my coffee and read my newspaper.

I will finish up this story in the next day or two with one more blog titled Meeting Josh. If you have any questions you would like to ask me concerning this please leave a comment. If I feel I can answer them with respect for Josh's privacy, I will.

Once again, thanks so much for sharing in my great joy!

Night,
Angela

Meeting Josh Part 4





Josh had asked to spend the night on Saturday night. I of course,said,"yes!" almost before he was finished asking. I couldn't believe that he wanted to spend the night in my home. I knew that it was going to be a lonnnng night. Joann went back to the hotel around eleven.

Sunday morning came early. Too early!I awoke around 6. Seems like I had kids wall to wall in my living room. There was Kara, Isaiah,Chelsea, and Josh. I couldn't take a step in my living room with out taking a chance of stepping on anyone. It was wonderful.I made a pot of coffee, sat at my dining room table and gazed upon my sleeping family. I watched Josh sleep. It dawned on me that that was something that I don't ever remember doing.

When he was born, I gave his parents all rights to do as they wanted with him while we were in the hospital. I wanted the bonding to take place immediately with him. They were in the labor room with me and then then delivery room with me. I remember the doctor asking if I wanted the baby. I said no, to give him to his mamma. That is the last thing I remember before going out after delivery. She holding Josh, Rick holding her. It was just a wonderful healing moment for me.

Back to watching that beautiful blond hair man sleeping on a mattress on my living room floor. I wanted to get near enough to watch the covers lift and fall. I scooted a chair closer to him when I got my cup of coffee and newspaper. He awoke for just a minute, smiled and went back to sleep. I knew he was so tired. His eyes looked tired. He had spent so much of himself on my family. I wondered if he would have anything to give on Sunday. We were all truly so tired,but our hearts were so excited. I am sure excitement is what drove us to continue this wonderful time. Eventually everyone got to stirring.

Joann and Josh went to church with us. It was wonderful having two so important people with me in a place that is so important to me. A place that has helped to bring alot of healing in my emotions and life. It is a place that I feel safe and at home. Lunch was sandwiches, chips, and watermelon. I don't think I have ever had watermelon that sweet in my life. I don't know if it was the circumstances that made it so sweet or if it truly was. (I normally don't like watermelon).

The day before Josh came down, he had a tattoo put on. I don't think that is the correct terminology, but it is permanent and it's not going anywhere. It is a tree, with a side branch growing off of it. I wondered what the significance of the side branch was. I didn't ask,I figured one day if there is anything special about it I will find out. Josh said the tree represented his family, and where he had come from up to that point. I believe he meant Rick, Joann and him. He wanted a reminder of that constantly he said.In remembrance of that the tattoo, Joann, Josh and I went out Sunday afternoon in search of a tree to plant in our yard in remembrance of this wonderful reunion. We all took turns digging the hole to plant the tree. I have dubbed it the "Joshua" tree. It is a wonderful addition to my front yard and a sweet reminder each time I see it. Not just for me, but for our whole family.

Just as we were almost finished, Haleigh pulled up. She had been in Florida up to this part of his visit. She had had prior commitments and wasn't able to leave before Saturday evening to head home. That was a 23(?) hour drive home! It was so wonderful seeing the two of them together. Josh was abit overwhelmed and shy, but Kara and Haleigh kidnapped him and disappeared for a little while. I am not sure where they went or what they did. I think they pinky promised him to secrecy! Pinky Promise! Argh! Who came up with that?? Moms need to know these things! They came back full of laughter and life! It was such a heart hugging feeling to see these three adults being kids. I was speechless there for a little while. I wondered what each one was thinking about the other. They seemed to move together so well. Just like they had always been together with a living relationship. The years of separation seemed to have disappeared so quickly.We loaded up in three different vehicles and headed to the lake to grill chicken for dinner.I wanted to let my children spend what time they could. I was seeing a joy in them that I don't recall seeing in a long time.

This reunion was just as important to them as it was to Joshua. I was watching this take place before my very eyes. It was such a very very humbling experience. I couldn't speak. All I could do was cry. All I wanted at that moment was to be left alone to feel all the emotions that were running through me without reserve. That was done. All six of the kids were so wrapped up in each other. The laughter, the quirkiness of each one shining through, each of these my children, each of these their own self.

I am crying again, so I will close for now.

G'Night.
Angela

Meeting Josh Part 3



Saturday morning came early for me. I needed to try and get some school work done, as I had missed Thursday and had an assignment due Monday. I sat down at the dining room table listening to my quiet home. All that I could hear was the morning greeting of the birds chirping outside the window. It brought a smile to my heart as that seemed to be the only thing that was still the same in my life since Josh had entered it the day before.

Wes got the twins off to a basketball tournament about 6 am so that left just Kara, IZ, Chelsea, Wes, and I to spend the day with Josh and Joann. We had planned on going to the boy's last game in Tyler later that day.

I went to the square to do what little I could in the excited state I was in to help out with the lst annual flea market. I guess the only thing they trusted me to do was to take pics. I wanted to announce to everyone what an especially wonderful day that it was! I pretty much managed to just announce it to those who knew me. I didn't figure all the stranger really needed to know the intimates of my heart that morning.In all honesty, I was trying to keep my self busy awaiting Josh and Joann's arrival. I felt that it would be later in the morning since it was such a late nite. How many words can one look up but not define, as their mind is on one of the most beautiful men she has ever seen and has loved all his life?

Donuts! That would do it! That would fill a little more time as I am waiting semi-patiently. So off I go to the donut store. How many dozen donuts can one family eat? At that point I wanted to make sure no one was going to go hungry so I believe I bought 4 dozen. Yes, 48for six people! Isaiah was VERY happy! Chelsea, Kara, Isaiah, and Wes were now all back in bed snoozing.What were they thinking? " Wake Up! Wake up!" is what my heart wanted to shout! The pent up excitement had me bouncing off walls as quietly as I could.

Finally 10 oclock rolled around! Chels and Josh had an appointment to get their hair cut. Chels went first. Josh got in the seat, and it took me back to the time the boys first got their hair cut. What a wonderful memory. His light blond hair the color of my dad's fell to the ground one lock at a time. I wanted to save a piece just as I had for Micah and Jordan. I didn't though, I didn't want anyone thinking that I was obsessing over him. Hindsight now says, they were thinking that anyway! Oh well, maybe next time.

Once we got home from the hair dresser's, we loaded up and headed to the zoo at Tyler. It was a fun trip. Josh with his long legs crawled into the very back of the expedition(for those who don't know, there is only about 1.5 ft of leg room)with his sisters. They all seemed quite content to be together like sardines in a can. I was sooo excited to get to take him to the zoo. That was until we go there. He and the girls abandoned us!! They disappeared, that left Wes, Joann, Isaiah and me. Wes took a hold of Isaiah most of the time. Joann and I enjoyed it together. Walking and talking with her just reaffirmed my decision almost 19 years before. My heart has always loved her. She is a very loving and gently soul. A wonderful mother and friend to Josh. That is one thing Josh did tell me about her, that she has always been his best friend. What a wonderful compliment!

An hour and a half later the kids call us on the cell phone to find out where we were at. There was laughter and joy in their voices.They had had a wonderful time being the big sister, little brother and baby sister. Small little momentos were bought and exchanged among the three. What a wonderful moment of healing for me to see this interaction.

We loaded up and headed to the basketball tournament. The score I will not post as I want my fellas to continue talking to me. It was fun hearing Josh, Kara, Isaiah and Chelsea cheering for them. They were all offering words of encouragement as often as they could. Once the game was over, we loaded up, yes, all nine of us in the expedition and headed home. There was lots of excitement,disappointment in the game, and stinky bodies in that cramped area!We did manage to make it home safe. It is after midnight, I don't know why I am still up, my alarm will be going off in less than six hours. So I will add on hopefully tomorrow.

Night.
Sleep Tight!
Angela

Meeting Josh Part 2








We settled down onto the porch Friday evening after everyone got out of school. Josh brought his guitar. He has just learned to play in the last year. He is phenomenal! My children and I enjoyed the music.It was in perfect harmony with the excitement of the family.

All the boys exchanged T shirts. That was something that I didn't see coming.I know my fellas hold dear to the ones Josh gave them.

I guess it was around ll or l2 when everyone settled into the house. Everyone but Josh and I. We sat on the porch. Each of us setting pace in the rockers we were sitting in. Occasionally the rockers would come to a stop so that we could better hear one another. Josh sang tome a beautiful song. The words were wonderful, but the most wonderful thing about it was that I was hearing his voice singing, and listening to the music that being created at by his hand.


He was so generous in spirit to me. I could have never dreamed that he would be so caring. Okay, I could have dream it, but to actually have that dream come true in front of me, was far beyond my greatest expectations. I wonder what his thoughts were when he realized that we were actually going to meet. What did he think would happen? I hope he never feared rejection. I know I have always feared rejection from him. I hope I never get it, but if I do, I will have to surrender him once more to the hands of the Lord.

I tried my best to explain to him what was going on in my life during the time that I found out that I was pregnant. I wanted him to understand that me placing him up for adoption had nothing to do with me rejecting him, and everything to do with where I was emotionally.That I had to give him an opportunity to live without the issues of life that I was just beginning to face in my life at that time. In fact , that pregnancy is what caused me to begin to realize how twisted my thoughts and lifestyle was.

I believed that God called Josh into being before He ever laid down the foundations of the earth. God saw opportunity with me that weekend, and said so be it. Josh's parent's lost a child through the adoption process that same weekend. They called out the the Lord in prayer asking for a child once more. We all believe that Josh was the answer to that prayer. I guess I have never had a second thought on that ever.

Back to the front porch and rocking chairs. The night was so wonderful, the starts were bright. There was a slight chill in the air, but the love that was there enveloped us both. I wanted to hold him like I would my own children during hard times. I didn't know where that boundary was, and I definitely didn't want to cross any line that would cause him discomfort. I still haven't gotten to do that outside of holding his hand and hugging him on occasion. I know that is his mother's place to do that. This issue is still very blurry to me. (Okay, I am beginning to cry again.) I really hate the feeling I get when I don't know the right thing to say or to do for those that I love the most. I feel so very inadequate. I wanted to respect Joann's position as his mother. I really don't know what my position as birth mother means to him, her, or even me in a deeper sense of the word. Argh! I guess we are still defining each of our postitions in this new relationship. We are doing this as we go. It is very scarey for me. This is one time in my life that I do not want to fail in any way. The scary part is, is that I know that I will and I don't want to cause Josh one more bit of pain than what I already have.Okay, this is getting more into the now than the then so I will end this for now.I didn't mean for it to be a continuous blog. Hopefully I will be able to finish it in the next day or two.Happy 25th Birthday to my dear Kara!

Meeting Josh


I spoke with Josh late Thursday night. He invited me to breakfast. He called me early Friday morning to schedule a time. I had an eye doctor appointment I had had scheduled for some time before.Considering my appointment, Josh said, we can do this after your appointment. My heart dropped! I immediately said I was open to doing it before the appointment if he chose to. Thankfully he was as eager as I was! So they came to the house. I believe that was the longest 10 minutes of my life!I opened the door, (why wasn't I sitting on the front porch?!?!?)There was this beautiful man standing in front of me. He looked just like me. Oh my! I grabbed him tightly and hugged him truly big. All I could feel was his body shaking like a leaf. My heart immediately went out to him. The fear he had made me forget any that I had. I had to try to bring him some type of comfort immediately. I told him, "Welcome Home". I wasn't sure how his mom would react to that, but that is what my heart was thinking.

We immediately went to eat. We sat beside each other just looking at one another and crying on and off silently and sharing small talk, wonderful small talk. The reality was so overwhelming. This man I was looking at was my flesh and blood. The last time I had talked to him he was three days old.It was just the two of us way back then and the emotions I was feeling at the breakfast table,were the exact same ones I had felt that last time I saw him. The best way to describe it is over whelming love. There really is not one single word to describe the emotions of my heart during this time. Josh was so full of love for me. Unconditional love. That is not what I was expecting. I was almost speechless. I kept waiting for anger or hurt to come out. It never did.

There was no way that I could let this time be usurped by a doctor that I don't even know.I felt like I just continuously kept touching him. I was so thankful he didn't take my hands off of him. I hope I didn't make him feel too uncomfortable.After breakfast, we came back to the house. Kara, my oldest daughter was here by then. She is the only child I have that is old enough to remember when I was pregnant with Josh. She had just turned 6 y.o.when he was born. They just grabbed a hold of each other and stayed that way for a little while. It was a wonderful time of healing for me in that moment. For her too I believe. She and Josh look sooooo much alike! My genes must be very strong! It is amazing how he found time for each of his siblings, making each one feel so special. I don't believe any of them felt short changed time wise. I watched as each of my children attached their heart to his.

I was so overwhelmed with the reality of what love is by my children. He has always been the missing piece of puzzle in our family. My children help to place him in the proper place. He fit perfectly and very snuggly! Joann and I cried together so often as we experienced the healing that was happening in our children. She and her husband have always always gone out of their way to be generously loving to my family.This time was no exception. My heart went out to her. I was wondering what she was thinking and experiencing. We shared quite a few "mammamoments". I wanted her to know how grateful I was for this moment. I don't think I could ever find the words to say thank you to her or Rick. I am going to have to stop writing for now. I need to go cry. I will post again real soon, I promise.

Thank you for sharing my joy. It is allowing the happiness in my life to be multiplied.
Angela

Mother's Day 2008/Josh is Coming!

It was a quiet, noneventful day. Only one well, maybe two of my five children had mentioned Mother's Day to me. The others I guess just aren't mature enough to understand the role of a mother or maybe I am just not a good mother. The good Lord knows I try hard, but oftentimes I just sit and question myself. I try to do what I know is right, and what I am not sure of, I try to run it by the Lord before I toss it at my children.

Anyway, back to my nice quiet Mother's Day.I am not sure where I had been, but I came into my bedroom and Micah said that Joann had called. I was to call her back asap. Joann is the wonderful life mom of Joshua. Joshua is the child I gave up for adoption in 1989. Josh's parents and I had always agreed that we would meet when Josh was ready. That meant, not when I was ready or when his parents were ready. We had discussed them coming in July this year. That is where my heart was set. I called Joann back, she said that Josh was ready NOW and would it be okay if they came on Thursday. I think I said something like, "Thursday, four days from now?" She said yes.Yes!?!?!?!?Oh my gosh! The fear set in! What if he didn't like me? What if he met me and walked out to never see me again?All I really knew to do was to gather this heaping pile of fear together and lay it at the feet of Jesus. It was toooo big of an issue for me to have dealt with.

Once I got the fear in the proper place the excitement set in. I laughed, and then I cried, and then I laughed and then I cried. Four days of laughing and crying and not much sleeping. Did I mention cleaning in there too?? I had class everyday from 7:30 to 5. With an hour drive time both ways. Not much time to do anything, but laugh, cry and clean on occasion.

Thursday finally arrived. It was late when they got to town. This child I had waited a life time to see was in the same town as me, and I wasn't able to get my hands on him! I know they were tired from the travel. I had to wait til Friday morning to see him! Now, the thought did cross my mind to go sit in the hotel parking lot and await their arrival. I couldn't violate his mom's trust, so I didn't. I never want her to feel threatened by me at all. Well, since I had to wait, y'all will too.I will post again tomorrow what happened the Friday morning!
Sleep tight!
Angela

Monday, August 25, 2008

I am so very rich!



The family I was birthed into all live away from me. There is minimal contact. This is sad for me, but it is also healthy for me. It has given me the freedom to go beyond the family expected lifestyle and become a truer me. The manipulations, the angst, the gross misunderstandings of family are not part of my daily existence. I have matured enough to not need my parent's approval for my decisions in life. I have given this freedom to my two adult daughters. In doing so, they are still close to their birth family. It is a choice that they have made. Having my children in my life is very important to me, therefore, I refuse to shut them out because of a difference in lifestyles and opinions. These are my children. These are phenominal people that I want to have the freedom to become who they truly are. I want to be one of their cheerleaders in life. I never want to be a stumbling block. I prefer to be a stepping stone for them. Isn't that what parents are suppose to do? We speak the truth with mercy one to another. We respect the differences whether we agree with them or not. We as a family have chosen to work through the rough patches in our relationships instead of tossing a family member out of the family.
I am very very rich in the family that I now have. There is an abundance of love, unexpected life lessons, committed hearts, substantial life support, and a whole future a head for all of us. I am looking forward to having all my children as adults, chasing their dreams, with their daddy and I helping along the way. This is my truest, most precious gift God has ever given me. The love of my family with no manipulation strings attached. They love because, they find value one in another...they love because their hearts are big and generous. They are not self seeking individuals who are only looking out for themselves. They are also looking out for those that God deemed to be their siblings and parents.
What more could I want as a parent?
I love you my darlings...Kara, Haleigh, Chelsea, Micah, Jordan and especially my sweetcheeks.
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