Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Little Adoption Update


I had hoped by now to have made rounds and introduced all our faithful prayer partners to this little cutie.  I pray will be able to do that soon!  In the meantime, here is a quick update on what this little champion has accomplished in the past 6 months.

Christian came home barely fitting into size 2T clothes.  He's gained almost ten pounds and grown almost 2 inches...he's squarely into size 3T now.

Christian came home understanding zero english.  He now understands almost everything we say.  He speaks in sentences.  He is still mastering the language and makes mistakes with words, similar to the way we do when learning language and I find it kind of cute.  He often switches the words "color" and "water" and he confuses the words"green" and "nine".  He has always communicated very well with motions and emotions;), but now words are getting his point across very clearly.

He is definitely a kid brother.  He loves to bug his older siblings purposefully and giggle when they get annoyed.  He loves to blame EVERYTHING on Phin.  When mom finds evidence of mischief, almost every time we can count on a quick, "PHIN, DID IT!" from Christian.

When ever we ask, "Who wants..." he proudly proclaims, "ME!"  We have great fun with this, of course.  We love to stick in yucky things and watch him say, "ME!" followed in two seconds (when his brain catches up with his mouth) by a "NO, not me!"

We have begun typical toddler food battles.  He seems to have decided there are so many food options here that he will now be picky.  He loves to refuse meals and then ask for snacks the moment he gets out of his booster chair....his meal plates are on the table most of the day as we direct him back to his breakfast/lunch, etc. to finish before he can have any snacks.  Like many toddlers, he would live off juice if we let him.

He is VERY smart and will try to use whining or tantrums to get his way.  It works very well with new people and he's quick to use his crocodile tears.  He also seems to know if he pretends not to understand most adults will believe he doesn't and let him have his way.  Unfortunately for him, he's number 4....and we live with him and know perfectly well he understands exactly what is going on;)

He is strong and physically right on track or even a bit ahead.  This is good, but also probably is rooted in him being forced to figure out how to do things for himself if they needed done.  It leads to independence beyond what is normal for a three year old, so we often "force" him to let us take care of him...reminding him he doesn't have to do that himself.  This is a delicate balance for us and one we aren't always great at.  Independence is important but so is learning that we are here to be mommy and daddy.

His emotional state is maturing every day.  Our psychologist estimates he had emotional needs on par with a 6 month old when he came home.  I'd say we are probably well over a year emotionally at this point;)  We DO however have period of regression whenever anything in our schedule changes.  This is by far the hardest aspect because it is one people unfamiliar with adoption do not understand.  It is deeply connected to his need for attachment.  He does not have reactive attachment disorder.  He is attached to Marc and I and clearly understand we are mommy and daddy but he does have attachment issues.  He is quick to want peoples love and attention.  He will quickly cling to someone other than us who doesn't have rules or boundaries.  People think it's friendly.  Underlying this is the fact that he's actually TESTING us.   Will we still be there if he pushes us away.  Managing OTHERS in this is harder than managing him.    We had Marc's parents here last week and of course grandparents bring gifts and much leniency.  For him, this meant a lot of insecurity all week.  He was picking battles with me ALL day...testing to see what limits were still there.   Anything I asked of him, he'd refuse to do unless he did it slightly different.  To Marc's parents, it looked like he just didn't understand what I said, but I knew he was just trying to figure out anew who was in charge. He didn't eat or sleep normally all week.  He was whiny and such.  The kind of carefree joyful boy we have become accustomed to was smiling, but clearly not carefree and lacked his usual spunk. He liked them visiting but even now that they left we've had three CLINGY days and poor sleep.  He has asked every night where they are, etc.  These kinds of things we still are figuring out how to navigate.  I think time is the only answer and he is getting back on track with extra hugs and with mommy and papa reverting to some extra reassurances like staying with him until he falls asleep.  His abandonment complex is easily triggered (their visit was only 5 days).  We want him to love them and love being with him, but to somehow reassure him they visit and leave and visit again and WE STAY FOREVER.  Routing and normalcy are still so vital for him.  We are constantly learning what the boundaries are on this.  He has a great sense of adventure and loves trying new things and being in new places, but simultaneously it triggers insecurity because of his history.  Please continue to pray that God heals his precious heart.

Overall, we settle into life more and more every day.  It's been a long winter and we are so happy for spring and out door play!  God is so good.  We are blessed beyond measure by this little guy and it's already impossible to thing of life without him!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Today is cause for great celebration.  Jesus Christ was crucified and buried, but in an act of victory, he triumphed over death.  HE IS ALIVE.  He is risen.  He conquered the grave and was payment for our sins.  We celebrate his victory, his all encompassing glory and power today.  Hallelujah!

I love Easter weekend.  I love celebrating it with our kids.  If there was ever a time to party, this is it!

Our traditions remain the same, but here are some updated pictures;)

On Good Friday, the table and cross are cloaked in black.   We read through the story of the crucifixion in the Jesus Storybook Bible.

Our Noelle Piper inspired calvary is the centerpiece.

Then we bury Jesus.  Since it is Christian's first Easter with us, he got to be the hands on kid this year.

Then we put Jesus in the tomb 

And roll the stone over the door way.

Next we each take the cross we decorate with our name on it and say "Jesus died for Kim (chloe, phin, etc.)" as we place it at the foot of the cross.

Our dining room remains cloaked in black and Jesus remains in the tomb all weekend.  Those days Jesus was dead had to have felt SO DARK for his friends and disciples!


 Saturday we read "The Legend of the Easter Egg"

and dyed eggs

Christian was a quick learner...


 After the kids go to bed Saturday night, we make a few changes;)  The black is gone just like our sin, and made white as snow.  Jesus is NO LONGER In the tomb, he is risen!

We make resurrection rolls first thing

We dip a marshmallow in butter and cinnamon and are reminded that oil and spices were used at Jesus burial.

We bury our marshmallow in dough just like a tomb and place our tombs in the oven...

The tomb is empty and the people are overjoyed.

So are we:)

And the tomb?  It's NOW EMPTY!  We celebrate and read the story of the resurrection as we eat.

After breakfast, we play the egg game.  It is a Lebanese tradition and in many other places with french influence.  The goal is to crack the other persons egg without cracking yours....

It gets quite competitive and has no significance whatsoever except it is fun and we laugh and we believe God loves joy and laughter- he created them after all!

 Happy Easter, friends.  He is Risen!

He is risen and because he is risen, he has conquered sin.  Death did not win.  Because of Jesus sacrifice, we are able to spend eternity with God.  We celebrate with all our hearts and souls!  If you aren't able to celebrate because you don't quite understand what that means...won't you give us a call?  We'd love to have you join us in celebrating today and in spending eternity together in heaven.

Monday, April 14, 2014


I haven't been very good about blogging, or about posting my musings, rather.  I have quite a few unpublished posts sitting waiting to be clarified.  I've just been struggling through a lot- having really hard and really good moments.  On one hand it's been hard to articulate, on another I think I've been frustrated with myself because I've been asking some of the same questions I've asked before.  Who am I?  What makes a good mom?

On top of that, we're awaiting news that would change our lives and I've struggled with what it means to follow God anywhere and be obedient with anything.  (I am not pregnant- let's just get that clear.  Marc's company may want to move us...which is uncertain and just hard to comprehend having just moved HERE!)

We've lived here 8 months and it's been a vulnerable time of transition.  It's been amazing for our marriage and we've seen God provide and lead.  For me personally, it's been a lot of ups and downs.  The long winter and my Seasonal Affective Disorder haven't helped!

I was really struggling trying to push through.  I felt defeated as a mom.  I haven't been mothering from a place of joy.  I haven't felt like I've really found "me" in this new role as an adoptive mama.

I was just telling a friend I felt empty and void of joy.  But he promises if we seek him he will be found and God just met me hugely...through alone time with him, a great women's conference, and great friends from church.

It was one of those gentle chastising weeks and yet so refreshing.  Who am I? Who am I, I ask? I know who I am.  Life has changed, sure.  Yes, I am now an adoptive mother too, but to ask "who I am"?  Who I am has not actually changed.  I am a child of the King.  I am deeply loved by my creator and I love Jesus.  I LOVE Jesus.  Kim LOVES her kids and her husband...the mad, head over heels kind of love.  I feel like in the exhaustion, I have started to believe the lie that I hate my role.  I've given into selfishness and lost focus.  God just reminded me- I actually LOVE my role as a mom.  I have been wrongly viewing it as a burden.  I've been saying and feeling like motherhood is taking too much of me.  I felt like God just said, "You're empty?  I know, dear daughter.  But Kim, isn't that the BEST place to be so that I can fill you with my Spirit?!"

I feel like Satan has been bombarding me with my insignificance and my short comings.  BOMBARDING.  I have plenty for sure, but you know what the bible says?  In Psalm 127, he says "Unless the LORD builds the house, it's builders labor in vain."  I have heard this verse so many times, but this weekend the Lord hit me with it right between the eyes.  HE is going to BUILD THIS HOUSE.  HE IS.  I do not have to labor.  I have been laboring and it's been vain.  I feel such peace.  He knows these kids.  How have I lost sight of that truth?  He is all, ALL I need.

We've lived here 8 months and on paper we shouldn't have much community or fellowship yet, but you know what?  We are beyond blessed.  Today our friends were here ALL day and we spent hours praying for one another and encouraging one another and it was just awesome.  They love Jesus and that bond is deep and the love between us is deep no matter the limited time we've had.  I am so so blessed.  The just spoke life into me today and affirmed all that God was already saying to my heart.  They affirmed my gifts and passions and they just loved on me and let me love on them.

I was struggling last week with who i am.  God reminded me- You KNOW who you are.  I was struggling with what makes a good mom and I even have a blog post half done discussing it and he gave me my answer.  HE makes a good mom- not pinterest or facebook or the myriad of good books available...and certainly not my labor.  HE makes a good mom.  HE does.  I said I wanted to parent with joy and I am filled to overflowing with joy tonight because I am loved and known.  I am saved and restored.  I am provided ways I couldn't even have anticipated needing provision.

God is so good.  I am Kim Aneed and I am adopted by God.  The perfect adoptive parent, can handle leading me through the newest aspect of my role.  I am loved beyond reasoning.  He SINGS over me.  He provides for EVERY need.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I am passionate about my kids and my husband.  Most of you who know me are going, "duh!", but I'd lost sight of all that was important and this week, I just needed to be pulled back into his arms and gently, but firmly reminded, "Knock it off, you KNOW this."  He is good and joy overflows.