"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows that we know, and holds us responsible to ACT"...Proverbs 24:12

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Happy First Birthday Little Miss Miriam Hope!

Seriously, I can't believe that this Little Lady is turning One Years Old!

How does that happen- I feel like just yesterday I reluctantly called Mike from the hospital and lied to him telling him that I am ready to come home even though I really wasnt... they just were kind of kicking me out. I was terrified! My 5 muskeeters ages 8-13 kept me busy round the clock...I litteraly was homeschooling them while I was in labor because I was scared that I would never get a solid read-a-loud-chapter in again!

And then...Miriam Hope was born. She certainly proved me wrong.

Yes, she is an angel baby who rarely cries, but she has this magical charm about her that even though she didnt sleep through the night for 9 months and would only fall asleep if you rocked her, and preferred our bed, and pretty much nursed every 3 hours durring daylight for a whole year thus keeping me wrapped around her finger...I miraculosly didnt care.

I just so enjoyed having a baby again that all the little inconviences and annoyances that several years ago drove me crazy...I knew something this time around.

'Time' happend.

My first born is now 12 and taller than me and those 'little girls' we adopted a few years ago are teens. Now when that infamous old man at the grochery store talks to me about how fast this goes by I practically have to hold back my tears and chime in, 'yes! I know! They really do grow up fast! It's true...I dont beleive it's a myth anymore- this heart throb next to me that looks as if he can be my boyfriend was just a baby 2 days ago!'

I also could not be more proud of my 5 big kids. They are seriously amazing and have been a huge blessing. I have 2 who can still sit in the playpen with her and buy me some more time with distractions when she wants to get out, I had amazing bouncers and rockers to get her to sleep, I had stroller pushers, diaperbag carriers, blankie finders, public nursing body sheilds, baby wardrobe designers, and entertainers...at times I felt famous with my array of personal assistants! I kept on waiting for the baby excitement to wear off on them but I realized that is just not gonna happen. Every one of them is goo goo over her- daily they want her hugs and kisses- they want to say goodnight at every naptime- after sleepovers they swoon, "I havent see you baby all day!" I hear them telling her, "your SO CUTE!" 200 times a day. They still call 'dibs' on holding her next and argue over who's turn it is to watch her. No joke- early on I had to implement "alone time" for Miriam- where nobody is allowed to pick her up or talk to her so that she can chill and play alone like babies without 5 siblings do! I have surprised myself at how many times I have called in panic, "where's the babY!" after seeing her empty bouncy seat where I just left her....she gets snatched around here quickly ;)

Happy First Birthday to our little lady, Miriam Hope. You are incedibly cute, sweet, smart, cherished and loved. We thank God everyday for the precious gift that you are to us.

And if you havent noticed yet- your kind of a big deal around here ;)





Sunday, September 29, 2013

1 year ago!

 6 mos. ago....
 how fast they grew up!!!

 1st day Home!

 (what memories come back when I look at this picture!  SO many emotions!  It's so funnny to hear the twins version- Helen says that she had to pee so bad she almost pee'd her pants but she didnt know where the bathroom was and Jerusalem told me that she was scared of Sova because Sova was staring at her with her 'big huge eyes'- LOL!)

 Phew! We made it!  ;) 
There's nothing magical in the 1 year mark but I found myself repeating this phrase over 200 times this past year:  "It hasn't even been 1 year."
 I used this phrase in good times and in bad, such as:  'wow, they are fluent and it hasn't even been a year' or, ' don't worry hunny, it hasn't even been a year yet."

We have conquered all holidays and birthdays, snowy days and heat waves, sick days and hyper days,  sad days and happy days. 
  Looking back, they have seen and experienced more new things in 1 year than probably all of us!
  Here's a few of the firsts:  seeing snow/ sledding, swimming-being in a pool, seeing the ocean, using an elevator, 1st time they tried sports- tennis, basketball, pingpong, bowling, football, 1st time on a team (soccer), trampoline, dentist, riding a bike, piano, rides at an amusement park, having siblings, using the computer, flying a kite, having a dad, trying hundreds of new food items, learning a new language- the list goes on and on....basically the only thing that was NOT new to them this year was the fact that they had eachother!

The girls are very excited that they have been here for a full year because from now on there wont be too many huge surprises and uncertainty- it will be SO nice to finally reference something to something that they have already experienced!  The charade day's for the most part are over- although there is not a day that goes by where they don't understand at least something that we are talking about- or have some type of miscommunication thing going on.

  Sadly, they rarely speak their language Tigrinya to eachother!  I almost never hear it anymore but I don't know how many more times I can explain to them how special that is and they will regret loosing it- during the school year I implement, 'Tigrinya Fridays' where in order to be finished with school they need to write a few sentences in Tigrinya and read it to me.  It was like pulling teeth!  In a way it's comical because that was one of the biggest concerns from many people-'how will you communicate?!'  Several months later they are being forced NOT to use English on Friday's schoolwork ;)

If you have followed my blog, you may have noticed that I dropped off the planet for the last 1/2 of the year.  Yes, the Turner's summers are B.U.S.Y and that may be part of the reason for lack of updates.  Another reason, one that I have trouble even typing right now- but I was encouraged by a friend that I should be honest sharing not only the ups- but the hard things too and I must agree- because it's not a good thing when people 'romanticize' adoption...all adoptions stem from a severe loss.

So alas,  the 'honeymoon' was over.

 The honeymoon in the adoption world can range in time span but in essence it is the happy, fun, blissful new things that your adopted children and family are experiencing together.  We had about 7 months of this- granted- nothings perfect- but it was a sweet time.   

*cue honeymoon music w/ birds chirping in the background and only sweet giggles:


Then...not sure what happened- that warm May weather brought something else to this household!  Could have had something to do w/ us ending school- no schedules- too much freedom- busy busy go go fun...could have been these new strange things invading their bodies called Hormones (oh my- I had NO idea...and I know that sounds strange coming from a female but...oh mercy...I get it now- I joined the club- I have pre-teen daughters)

After the honeymoon- reality sets in.  Normally that would entail- power struggles, fear, grief, ect. 
We went thru power struggles, fear, grief, and did I mention Hormones... all  X 2. 

Without details- I was straight up exhausted.  The only way I can explain it is that I felt that I was doing 24/7 ministry.  For over a month I would collapse on the couch in tears- going over in detail to my dear husband all the hard and awful things of the day.  I shared my woes about the children and the woes of how I may have ruined them all.

It was not a happy place.
  But whenever I had my little melt down- we always prayed specific prayers over the kids and any situations.  No joke- I really thought the girls were listening to us  because on several occasions- is was- BAM- next day- testimony of an answered prayer...

One night we barely said- 'amen' and a child yelled for us because she wanted to get something off her chest- something that we literally just spoke minutes ago to God. 
I am totally in awe of how much God takes care of the details- he REALLY never leaves or forsakes us!
 He clear as day told us to adopt the twins- so now he is proving to us that he is clear as day going to help us parent them!  

So, are we still in this hard place?  
 I feel like shouting to the roof tops:  "God is SO Faithful!"

In such a short period of time God has done reconstructive surgery on some broken hearts.  He has healed, and restored, he has set free.
 Literally, nightmares, night sweats are gone, the fear and anxiety are fading.

One has looked up at the stars at night and started crying because she felt overwhelmed by God's love for her. 
They tell me that they act different now. 
They both have been in bad fights- gone to the hospital from fighting in Ethiopia....my mama bear brain does not even compute that!
 My highly sensitive girl told me she used to not feel pain or care when people were mean- now she can't handle even the thought of us being upset at something she did!  The way they think changed and one has expressed her desire to go back and tell many people that she is sorry! 
1 went from believing nobody loved her to being the biggest lovey buggy ever.
 It's a strange place to stand in when your daughter- thru sobs of loss and grief- tells you that even though adoption is hard- she is glad that we adopted her- because then she would never have us as her mom and dad.

So yes...these past few months have been hard...umm...the Hardest of our Lives! 

But when I hear these literal words:

"mom, I don't know why I hug you so much!  Whenever I see you I just have to hug you- it's like I have a magnet in me to you!"

"It's so awesome I have a dad- ever since I was little I prayed for a dad- I would see families at church and get sad- now I have the best one!"

"I don't know why, but I always want to tell you everything- I used to not tell anybody anything- but I always want to tell you everything."

sigh...."Brothers are so weird" ;)

"mommy, I used to be so mean in Ethiopia, I didn't care about anyone.  Now...when I do the same thing...I FEEL SO BAD!  When I say something mean now- I go in the bathroom to wipe tears from my eyes because I feel so bad and wish I didn't say that- in Ethiopia I didn't care...I don't understand why I changed- but now I feel so sorry when I do something wrong!" 

My little girl that is what we call 'JESUS.'    

Adoption is not cute and fuzzy
1 year home is nothing magical

Reality is this:

Jesus said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
2 corinthians 12:9

 "I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." 
 romans 8:38-39 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I was never this brave!

Jacob-  ' I will Praise you in the Storm'


Turner Kids
(minus Helen- she sings along at home but was too nervous to preform)



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

No Doubt

I still have to pinch myself sometimes- the story will never get old for me. 

I think of waiting 2 years for a 'little one'- I think of being #4 on the list when God told me to pray- I knew he was up to something that day.

  That's the day I opened up my email to find their photos on a waiting child page- I was defiantly drawn to them-

I thought they were beautiful and I thought how fun- 'twins.'  Then I clicked off.

 Never in a million years would I have believed you if you told me that those girls would be giggling upstairs as I type- when it's way past bed-time and I just told you to stop talking for the 4th time...

The story of our kids- with tears in their eyes- telling us that they were their sisters- Jacob sleeping w/ their photo and Sova writing them notes....
                                               Here's a page from jacob's Journal
                                              "May 15, 2012     Pray for H and J"

There is another page in there that I completely forgot about until recently- He wrote a letter to God asking for Mike to say 'yes' to adopting the twins...

I can still feel the chills going down my spine when recall a friend telling me that God told her that  Jacob will not be going to Ethiopia with us because we will need his plane ticket to bring home a 2nd child.
That was the day after we found out abour the twins and asked God to speak loud and clear to us!

We were hugging them within 2 months after we saw their picture in that email that day.


They are now speaking English, reading to us cuddled up on our laps, building forts w/ the kids, wrestling Mike, teaching me how to make Ethiopian food the right way, begging for 1 more hug and kiss at bedtime, and 2,002 more things that I am daily amazed at. 


                                   Helen-Talia and Jerusalem-Faith- you two are truly amazing. 
We are blown away at your strength and courage. 
Sometimes I hear you take a deep breathe and exhale when you are talking about your past in Ethiopia or trying to take in something new here and are a bit overwhelmed. 
 Like I tell you often- this is hard...this is really hard. 


You girls are our heroes- I don't know anyone stronger.

  You are beautiful, you are bright, you are talented.

You are so trusting and loving.

Your hugs and kisses mean the world to us.

 Thank you for allowing us into your hearts.

Thank you for receiving our family with open arms.

Thank you for telling us about Ethiopia- we love your stories- we will never get tired of hearing about them!
 From funny tales of running through the legs of the camal caravans walking down your street - to really hard things- like telling us about the day you had to go to the orphanage and ran away.
 You make us laugh and you make us cry.

Thank you for your sense of humor and your laughter-

One of the most vivid memories that I have last fall is when I felt a bit  overwhelmed (to put it nicely) at the task before me and I wanted to cry (or scream...whatever was gonna come out 1st)
- but God helped me to just laugh instead-
Id laugh at this crazy situation that God put me in...and then you both walked in the room and saw me laughing alone on the floor-
you stared for a second wondering if you should run but instead you sat down next to me and started laughing w/ me (or at me, whatever, it helped!)
 I was laughing so hard that I was crying and could not stop...You thought I was crazy but kept laughing w/ me...thank you!


Let's keep doing that girls.  Life is hard....you know that for sure.

God put us together because He knows we can not only handle this together- we can do great things together.

I am so excited for the future- but we will never forget your past!

  God has a plan, a purpose and a mighty calling on your lives. 

We are blessed to call you our daughters and walk hand in hand with you on this journey here on earth. 
We got 1/2 a year down...we got this girls!

                                     I love this picture of day 1 in the USA-  beacause it captures the
                                 stunned look of the twins so scared they just might pee-
                                along with Mike and my fake smiles of, 'God, you got this right?!"

                                   No doubt.





Sunday, March 24, 2013

living w/ grandma, candy & beds

I have learned so much from these girls- sometimes I feel like Im living w/ my grandmother who grew up in the great depression. 

They are very concerned about us not wasting our food.  The first time Jerusalem caught me scrapping the left over food  off of the dinner plates into the garbage- she shrieked, "What are you doing mommy!??!"

  Every once in a while I forget they are near and do that and I get scolded.  Recently I have had to throw out moldy bread- the girls have some type of sensors on them about food in the trash- the bread has been removed from the trash and mama has been brought into questioning!

 Of course I save our leftovers but  I know that left over pieces of burnt chicken and soggy green beans will never get re- heated for another meal but I have started to throw them into Tupperware for the girls peace if mind. 


The 1st time we went through a McDonalds drive thru and got ice-cream sundaes- the twins brought in their empty plastic containers into the house- rinsed them and put them away with our dishes.


The first few visits at a restaurant- the twins collected all the plastic straws in our cups to bring them home.


A few times I felt the need to give them medicine for some issue they were having- whether headaches or upset stomachs- they protest and avoid meds at all cost.  A couple times 2 of the other kids needed prescriptions and eveynight when the kids would take their medicine- they would say- "America Dr.'s crazy- too much medicine."


One thing I am very excited that they know alot about is naturalpathic type of home remedies! 

One night Mike was very sick- I was cooking diner and happened to be chopping garlic- they saw the garlic- grabbed some and ran to Michael telling him to eat it and that it would make him better :)


My friend was over making Indian food and she had tons of spices w/ her- the girls recognized most of them and 1 particular spice they told us that mommy's take to help make more milk for their babies (which is true.)


They told me that they would churn their own butter and use it for hair product too.


They happen to be candy phenes and I think they are literally going through sugar withdrawals sometimes!  They ask me for candy everyday- which I don't usually even have in the house.  They think Im crazy when I say that it's bad for you and no good.  They laugh and say, "yes good!"  I say- "yes- good on your tongue- but no good in your body"

They truly think Im nuts and they have no idea about candy and sugar being bad for you...they told me they had candy everyday walking to and from school...no joke when I think they went through sugar withdrawals...
                                            I hear, "I NEED candy" ringing in my ears somedays...
they are addicts in withdrawl I tell you!


They never had a toothbrush until they came to the orphanage...but amazingly they have no cavities and the most beautiful teeth.  They told me that they would clean their teeth everyday with leaves from a particular tree- those are some good leaves!


Since the girls came home we made a bit of a tradition of having a family camp out on the living room floor on Saturday nights.  I usually get the couch to myself while all the kids fight to sleep next to Mike on the large blowup mattress.  We put on a family movie and they really do all go to sleep after the movie...we've probably only skipped 5 weeks out of the 20 weeks they've been home (I know because they keep track!)


The kids also got into another strange sleeping habit that I still cant decide is good or bad.  They all don't like to sleep in their beds alone!  It started w/ the twins of course- they are not used to sleeping in their own beds- so Helen especially would always end up in either Jerusalem or Sova's bed.  Many nights when I go in to peek on them before I go to bed I find all 3 girls piled in 1 bed! 
 Strangely this flowed over into the boys room- and most nights I find the boys in the same bed too.
  Everymoring I ask, "wasn't it too squishy?" and they always reply- "no it's good!"

Thursday, March 21, 2013

money & modesty

They twins have a great concept of money...they think everything is too expensive :)

  All of our kids help around the house and have jobs that earn them a small allowance- the twins have saved up quite a bit- they don't spent a penny even when they see something they love at the store.  Jerusalem was holding doll shoes in her hand for $6...she had plenty to purchase them but she put them down saying, "Wow, $6 is too much!"  (good girls!)

While checking out of the grocery store for the 1st time Helen watched the lady ring up our food- her eyes were glued on the screen watching the numbers going up and up.  As I paid for the ridiculous amount of our weekly groceries she said, " OH NO mommy-  Oh my gosh!!!   NO more food!!"

They find it to be a strange custom that we give money to children who loose their teeth!  "What money?!  For teeth?!  WHY?!" and laughing.... 

Now I was trying to avoid them knowing this because- when the girls first came home- Helen was loosing teeth right and left!  She didn't know English and we were in survival mode- so when she lost a tooth- we made a big deal about it and I told her to save it in her box.  The toothfairy never came because that would just be...confusing-I was not up for toothfairy charades.

Well- when the younger kids teeth started falling out and some coins were being found under pillows- Helen ran to her special box and pulled out her 3 teeth that came out last fall- she soaked them in mouthwash and put them under her pillow :)

The twins told me that when they lost teeth in Ethiopia they would sing a song and throw the tooth up on top of their roof- Jerusalem said, "mommy, LOT's of teeth on top of my house!"  The kids thought that was awesome and said nextime they loose a tooth they want to do that :)


 I avoid the grocery store with them honestly because of the magazines at the check out isle.  Having the girls now makes us see how desensitized we are to inappropriate pictures.  I have always been annoyed at my boys having to stand in line facing girls plastered 1/2 nude on the magazines- all younger 3 kids act like they don't even see them.  Well...that's not the case for the twins!  It was quite a scene in BJ's! 

Helen thought it was a mistake or something- she picked up the magazine and ran to me laughing shoving it in my face- she was almost on the floor laughing!

 Once one of them picked a magazine to browse while I wasn't looking and dropped it in disgust.  It was a fitness magazine and there was a very inappropriate picture. 

 One day when we were in line they asked me why the girls where no clothes.


Somehow the girls found out that Michael was in the room when I delivered the boys- they were shocked and horrified, "What?! oh my goodness mommy!  In Ethiopia the daddy's are OUTSIDE!" 

They asked about the Dr.- when they found out it was a man- they almost fell to the floor...I don't know if I can ever redeem myself from that one in their eyes!


They also think it's weird that we have babies in hospitals.  "Home is good to have a baby mom!"  They have paced outside many of their friends homes (along side the fathers!) while women were inside having babies.  They even re-enacted the screams to me and 1 of the girls says she is only going to adopt!