I always read other blogs and I am like, man I wish I blogged more…and took more pictures. Or had good quotes to share. Or read good books to get good quotes to share. And took good pictures with my real camera. Darn me. Seriously, I don’t say that ironically, I say that with complete yearning.

Anyway, here’s some of the thangs going on these days:

1. Multiple trips to the doctor’s office by multiple members of the family (see picture below)

doctor office picture

2. Climbing baby

3. Cut open lip

4. Ear infection (See #1)

5. Shingles (See #1)

6. Boston

7. Cold (See #1)

8. Potential pink eye (See #1)

9. No A/C

But here’s to brownies and milk on the couch with a Scrubs marathon after going to soothe my son for the third time and knowing that tomorrow I will go to the doctor for the fourth time this month.

In other news, today is the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream speech” and his march on Washington. I talked to Em about it at bedtime and he was all like “Yea?” (This is how he responds to everything these days – cows, flowers, the dog) but I could tell he was very intrigued by this topic. I was like “Em, there was a man who had a dream and he told people about that dream and we are still trying to make that dream happen and he went all the way to Washington, DC to talk about this dream.” And Emerson said “Yea?” and he pointed to Alan, his fox stuffed animal. And I said “Yea, he wanted people of different races and socio-economic classes to be equal.” And Emerson said “Yea?” And I said, “Yea, and Emerson, I hope our family can keep working on that dream too because that guy was pretty rad. And I hope we can love people who look different than us an people build their family different and people who do different things than us.” And he of course said “Yea.”  So I feel like he got it.

Here is me and Em on our morning hang out before daycare and work. Clearly neither of us understand where the little picture taker is on my phone. This is post ear infection and pre pink eye and mid shingles but pre painful want to die because it feels like someone is continually stabbing me and we just have to sit still in the air conditioned car shingles.

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Here’s to you August!

OK I have officially transitioned into a blog that only talks about my kid…sigh. I have a few drafts of things I have been meaning to publish but then I start thinking that I don’t want to stand on a soap box in the blogger world and I don’t. I like other blogs – I like it when people stand on their soapbox or sandbox or any other type of box. Sigh… So much going on in my brain. The other day G said to me that it must be so hard to be in my head. IT IS G. IT IS! Why can’t I just think about food or grass growing…I think of BOTH of those things PLUS a million other things while analyzing a million other things. UGHHH stupid brain.

Well this is a month late. As my kid is 13 months but whatevs. I’ll do a 13 month one in a few weeks.

This is at the Waffle House birthday celebration. All birthdays should be celebrated with cheese ‘n eggs. Seriously, how do they make those so dang good. We LOVE Waffle House! Is it sad that the people at Waffle House know us by name? Fatties.

waffle house

So here we go.

  1. You no longer walk places. You just run.
  2. You know what you aren’t supposed to do. Climb the stairs, throw food and smack mom. Before you do any of those things you look at me to make sure we are paying attention and if we say no you drop your chin and just cry. Welcome to the world of having a toddler.
  3. We went to the beach and you just ran to it like it was an old friend. I think you would have never stopped if the waves didn’t know you over.
  4. We stayed in the ocean until you would fall asleep in your floaty. Then we tried to take you home to nap and you just wailed. It’s like we were taking you away from a piece of you.
  5. You have become a picky eater. I am not sure how that happened – you would eat anything mashed up but now that it is a piece of broccoli it ends up on the floor.
  6. You just cry when I drop you off at daycare. When I try and let you go you get kung foo grip.
  7. You NEVER sit in one place. Sitting never happens. It is go go go and then sleep.
  8. At dinner when Greg and I are talking about our day you just chat away in your own language.
  9. When dad mows you just run to every window to watch him or catch a glimpse of him. If you hear anyone else mowing their lawn you just start screaming “da da” and have to see that person.
  10. You weren’t too interested in your smash cake. Maybe it was the blue icing.
  11. At your birthday party you were interested in holding the hose than actually playing in the actual water.
  12. You love the pool. You don’t even know you can’t swim. We have spent almost every day at the pool this summer. You are diving into the pool, the baby pool, the lake or just diving down the stair. Sigh.

Happy birthday sweet boy. You are our wild wild sunshine!

Thankful for vacation and our little family. There is never enough time.

The Beaches
Avett Brother’s

Don’t say it’s over
Cause that’s the worst news I
could hear I swear that I will
Do my best to be here
just the way you like it
Even though its hard to hide
Push my feelings all aside
I will rearrange my plans and
change for you

If I could go back
That’s the first thing I would do
I swear that I would
Do my best to follow through
Come up with a master plan
A homerun hit, a winning stand
A gaurantee and not a promise
That I’ll never let your love
slip from my hands

If it’s the beaches
If it’s the beaches’ sands you want
Then you will have them
If it’s the mountains’ bending rivers
Then you will have them
If it’s the wish to run away
Then I will grant it
Take whatever you think of
While I go gas up the truck
Pack the old love letters up
We will read them when
we forget why we left here

I wanted to do this before my man turned one so here are things you have done this month or things that we LOVE about you!

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1. You want to be just like dad. You are obsessed with him. If he isn’t home you get in your stroller and look at me like we should go see him. We went to the lake the other day while he was fishing and came home early and you immediately grabbed your toy fishing rod and started to cast. It was the cutest. You just stood in your corner and tried to fish. Then you took your fishing rod and sat in the stroller and waited for me to take you back out there. When we pick you up at daycare and you see dad, you started screaming da da and just bypass me and get to dad.

2. I am not certain about this but I think you are the wildest kid at your daycare…and there are a lot of kids in daycare. As we were leaving the daycare teacher looked at me and said “Everyone here knows Emerson. He is so adventurous.” Me: “You mean wild right?” Daycare teacher: “We’ll just say adventurous.” Call it what you want to lady – I get the point. Apparently yesterday you went head first down the slide. I may sound like I am complaining but I love it. I love your energy. I love that I could eventually have a running partner. About a year ago I was so sad that our house was so quiet…our house is no longer quiet hommie.

3. This month you stood up on your own and started running. on the concrete and falling on your face. You had your first bloody nose this month.

4. You get so giggly before bedtime. You just lean your headback and laugh and laugh. It is my favorite time of the day.

5. We no longer need toys. Just pots and pans and anything else that makes noise. You take your tiny little piano thing everywhere with you.

6. Your wavy curly hair is the bomb.  Tha’s right, I just said the bomb. I want your hair on my head. We are struggling to figure out how to make sure it doesn’t dry but I just want to run my hands through it all the time. Seriously. The best.

7. You love being around people. Our house seems to be a never ending line of people dropping by, spending the night or just hanging out and you think they are all here to see you. You sit in the middle of the room and soak up the attention or you run to our guests for them to cuddle you.

8. When you walk your little booty shakes and you stick out your belly. Sigh…I could watch that all day.

9. You will finally fall asleep in your carseat again. HOORAY!

10. You are fearless. You will jump in the pool to mom. You run up the street. You want to walk down the stairs. While these are all dangerous things,  I hope that adventure carries with you as you grow up. I hope that fear never holds you back.

11. Your dad and I are always your home base. You will go play with your toys and walk away for a few minutes and you’ll look at me and then walk over to me and rest your head on my chest like you just needed a hug. Sometimes you will even roll around on us for a while. It’s the best.

I love ya little man. After putting you to bed the other day I walked down the stairs and looked at our living room and there were colorful toys everywhere. Kiddo, you have put color (and noise) in our world. You so crazy.

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When Greg and I began the adoption process we met with many different people who had adopted and been adopted. I remember one woman we met with talked about her open adoption and my mouth literally dropped. Gosh, she had a lot of grace because I asked all the wrong questions with all the wrong words. Now with what I know, I am sure unknowingly I spoke that entire conversation with my foot in my mouth.

Needless to say, Greg and I left that conversation and decided that open adoption was not for us.  It didn’t seem natural. In fact, I think every meeting we had about adoption we left saying it wasn’t for us. It didn’t feel natural…luckily God doesn’t care about what this world thinks is natural or what I think feels natural. And now most of the time I don’t give a damn what this world thinks is natural.

As we began the adoption process and we learned about these  women who were carrying these kiddos we realized that maybe we could do open adoption. We knew that not only did we want to build a family, but that adoption is so much bigger than bringing home our kiddo – it was an avenue to love on more people. I love that God is a God of relationships and that Jesus came and built relationships because it just seemed “natural” to build a relationship with these women. Some liked us – some didn’t.  But we met an amazing women who was carrying our amazing kid. We still pray for her daily and know that open adoption in this case, is the way for us.

We love this lady and are honored she wants to be apart of our life.  From the moment we met her we just all made sense – the three of us were supposed to love this little guy that Greg and I were lucky enough to raise. I know adoption starts with loss and that adoption isn’t God’s original plan but when I think of Greg, “M” (Emerson’s birthmom) and myself I just think this is a story of redemption and the three of us are supposed to be a team, ya know? Like she was just supposed to be apart of our life – and she is our family. I know this probably sounds complicated but it isn’t. I am Em’s mom and I am confident in that but I also know that Em’s birthmom needs to play a part in his story as well for him, for her and for us.

I am not doing anything good or great here but I just wanted to share our story in case anyone else is going through the adoption process and felt like we did a few years ago. And maybe a lot of people’s mouths will drop and that’s OK – ours did a few years ago. We were scared of open adoption and to be honest when we adopt again it will scare me all over again. It’s just the unknown. Just like when you are pregnant and you are scared you will birth a horny toad baby with nine fingers – during my pregnancies I may have been scared of that. But I am learning over and over that there is so much more than this world and that bigger plan is just better. But we were scared of open adoption and we just do it now. It is just part of our life – I don’t know life any other way. Also, sharing about open adoption is scary for me…it is just so personal. I have received many hurtful questions about open adoption that it makes me kind of clam up – but I think it is important to talk about. So while I am open about the status of our adoption I will not share much more about her.

Also, know that open adoption is not the way for everyone. I know it’s hard and sometimes it just can’t happen. So I get that and I should never be a spokesperson for anything because I live with my foot in my mouth.

*This picture has absolutely nothing to do with open adoption just ya know an evening of putting our pants on our heads. 

I am not sure if this is an appropriate post or not…if not then I give you permission to judge. I see a lot of blogs and a lot of people really have their ducks in a row.  My ducks are not even in the same room or country for that manner. I hope I don’t sound like Debbie Downer here. I don’t mean to.

Picture 360

I don’t know how to be a mom. I love my kid like crazy but I still struggle with the day to day of being a mom. He is about to be done with a bottle and baby food and on to finger foods. I eat like crap. The books say to feed him what I eat…I drink the Coke with fake sugar and cookies with frosting if I actually eat during the day.

I don’t know how to be an adoptive mom – I don’t know that many adoptive moms so I am kind of reading blogs and books and figuring it out and I still love my kid like crazy and know that I LOVE that he is adopted – he is my miracle. I grieve for his birthmom and I love her like crazy. And that is OK.  Nightly I look at him and I can’t believe I get to be his mom. I know in a few years he could be grieving her as well or maybe not and could see adoption as wonderful as I do. I pray nightly that Jesus will fill the gaps that I can’t fill – but maybe all moms pray that as well.

I don’t know how to be a mom to a boy. I grew up with two sisters and pink and giggling – many weeks there could have been six girls if each of us Harrison girls had a friend over which means 12 conversations going on. That was our house. But I love my wild, crazy boy and just go with it and follow the mess and scream and move fast when he does and when I have nothing else I lie on the floor and allow him to crawl over me and stick his finger my mouth (which for some reason makes him giggle really loud these days).

And here’s a weird one…I don’t know how to be a mom to a multi-racial kid. I am not sure what to do with his wonderful curly hair or his little dry knees…although that may be a characteristic of any kid. You Tube is my best friend these days. I get looks in the grocery store where people wonder about my past or my mate. Someone has looked at my husband and asked if he was the dad…seriously – It’s nonya business peeps. Well it is everyone’s business that he is E’s dad but that you are curious if maybe I had another mate and had Emerson may have been the case…Like Salt ‘n Pepper said – It’s none of yo business (I am obviously speaking to onlooker. You guys know he was adopted and I had no past mate but if you were wondering…It’s none of your business…sorry now I have that song in my head and I keep thinking of the movie with Will Ferrell where he continues to quote TLC songs). Anyway, that comment a few sentences ago was at a Big Lots so you can’t expect much but I don’t know how to cheerfully move a comment along or respond gracefully or witty…I am just not that girl.  I do know how to turn bright red and make everyone uncomfortable. Ya know…I am still figuring out this road. Those darn ducks are just all out of wack.

All that to say, I am just trying to figure out how to be a mom. How to be an adoptive mom to a wild, crazy and wonderful boy whose skin is different than mine. I am giddy to be able to do it but I can’t be the only one who googles “bi-racial baby boy hair.” Or googles “finger foods for baby who hates eggs and broccoli and only likes ham and cheese.” Honestly, I am just trying to figure out how to do what I do. Does that make sense? I sometimes feel like I have no clue how to be a wife or do my job or a woman or a follower of Jesus or a owner of a dog or get the damn ants out of our bathroom. Geez. If you stuck with to the end of this than props – this is a long post with no pictures. I really like pictures in my blog.

 

The last three years Mother’s Day has been very sad. For those of you who are yearning to be a mother please know that you aren’t alone. While this year has answered prayers for our family there is still a loss that while on earth will not be filled – there should be more munchkins running around…one of which should be turning 3 in a few weeks. Yes, I still count the years.  But instead of counting months I am counting years – which I am thankful for. Time really does heal. Over the past few years as I watched mothers celebrate their day and I was very sad because I knew I was a mother just maybe not to kiddos here on earth or to kids who shared my name.

While I wouldn’t change a thing – this road brought me to the wildest craziest little man that I could have never created myself. It brought me to a woman I view as a sister who loves my boy as much as I do. It united families outside of bloodlines.

But as a reminder of those who yearn to be a mother know that bloodlines or documents or adoption does not make you a mother. I was a mother long before Emerson. I was a mother and sister and friend to high school kids who spent the night at our house for years. Who would stop by our house randomly for dinner. I was a mother to kiddos who cried on my shoulder. So know that you are meant to be a mother – whether it be through bloodlines, adoption, or just loving on someone who needs to be loved on. So Happy Mother’s Day to you – you deserve to cry at the damn Publix commercials. You deserve to know that families don’t have to exist within bloodlines or last names. You are appreciated. Let’s celebrate all the women in our life who make us cookies, dinner or listen to us when we need to cry or take us to coffee. Let’s celebrate the women in our life.

So here are a few blogs that I hope will help you realize you aren’t alone.

My Definition of Motherhood – One year later

The Grinch Who Stole Mother’s Day

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Holy 10 months batman. How did this happen to me? It happens to be Mother’s Day this month and Publix is trying to prove to the world that my heart is actually there and I weep like a baby every time I see every stupid commercial. Don’t you people realize I am dead inside and crying is not a pretty thing for me. There is also a phone commercial with a little boy that grows up and eventually gets his own place. Emerson, stop growing up. JUST.STOP.IT. I am not ashamed to be that mother who makes you live with me forever.

So here are 10 things I am thankful for in this crazy month.

1. You are a crazy yet cautious little thing. When in the house there is no stopping your ambition and climbing and crawling and hammering and screaming but when you are in a new location you are very cautious – you analyze everything around you. We are exhausted by the time you go to bed.

2. You just love mom. Apparently I fix everything to you. I’ll take it because one day you’ll realize I can’t fix a darn thing.

3. You are adopted. I know this isn’t new in month ten but your adoption changed me. Bringing you home helped your father and I write this adventurous story for our family. Every month I realize that being an adoptive mom has made me a different person.

4. Sometimes you just can’t snuggle enough. You get in my arms and just snuggle to get closer.

5. The first thing you have said in context besides mom and dad is looking at the dog and saying “no.” Poor Poopeye.

6. You sleep like a champ.

7. You put your mouth on the glass window and blow really hard. We just sit and watch you and laugh really hard.

8. You scream out of happiness. Your daycare teachers have asked us to “control this.” I am not sure how to make this stop…maybe I could stop screaming with you at home but who’s pointing fingers.

9. At daycare there is a walker you and your buddy Charlie push the mailtruck walker together. As soon as I walk in the door you almost jump out of my arms, make eye contact with your partner in crime and make your way to the mail truck. I mean the cuteness is out of control when y’all push this together.

10. You were in a play last month and sat and just smiled at everyone (by in a play you sat in a stroller for 5 minutes while a 10 year old read a book aloud to all the daycare parents).

OK now I fear I have become an annoying mom. So while I remember the good I also can’t forget the hard times of today when your little top teeth came in and you just cried. All day. When you cry and are hurt you shake your whole body as if you just can’t control the pain. You just couldn’t be put down. My unusually mobile boy just sat and cried all day. Or having to drop you off at daycare tomorrow – which I just hate sometimes.

I just finished reading a book called “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller which is all about our story. I am trying to recall our crazy adoption story and write the entire crazy story. I know I could never communicate the story as well as God wrote it but might be good to remember.

OK that is kind of a vague statement but I am going to make another support adoption post in the midst of the news recently. I may become like the teacher on Charlie Brown. I apologize.

In the midst of the awful things I am hearing about the Gosnell trial (if you don’t know what that is you can Google it…this case and this man is just awful so beware) BUT Gosnell is one of the reasons why you adopt and why you support adoption.

During our adoption process we received many critical statements about raising money for adoption. And in the midst of this case that the news media won’t talk about, I want to scream this is why you raise money or support adoptions or adopt. This is why communities get involved with adoption. We have to tell women that we love them and they don’t have to go to awful places and do inhuman things. I am all about some women power and the emergence of this case shows me how far we have to go as women. They have to have the choice to have people love them and their unborn babies. This HAS to be part of the choice – why is this choice not talked about more? Not only is it to break the glass ceiling on wall street or main street or whatever street it is people work on, but it is to fight for women who have no where else to go but Gosnell’s disgusting clinic.

Not because you are infertile. Not because you want a better world. Not because you are some wonderful person trying to save the world but to put evil people like Gosnell out of work. You put him out of a job. That his profession is not needed. You tell the women who go to a shoddy clinic that you love them and will support them and their unborn babies. You stand up and love the kids in foster care because that is what God does. What would that do for the abortion world? What would that do for our choices?

“The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. I have come to bring life and life the fullest.” John 10:10

Let’s fight for life to the fullest for those that have no voice. Whether it is unborn babies. Whether it is kids who are already born. Whether it is kids placed in our governments care. Whether it is women who are pregnant and are scared and their doctor is giving them abortion as their first option.

I just can’t stop thinking about this case and it has rattled me to the core. I just don’t understand.

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He is officially climbing baby gates and stairs. We are in trouble.

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