Monday, May 27, 2013

Poor little blog...

My poor, poor little blog is so neglected in the wake of Jones' arrival! I can't tell you how many times I log in to write a post or add some pictures, and get pulled away by one of the three little rugrats! We'll see if I ever get this post up! ;)

Life is good in the Harrison House! We are settling into a groove, and Jones is doing his part by remaining adorable and consistently sleeping through the night! He definitely keeps us busy, but is seriously just so fun to have around. Josh and I were talking last night about how life with a newborn is a lot more enjoyable when you cherish every single little moment. The twins' newborn stage was...what's the word I'm looking for...oh yes, hell. It was hell. Sometimes when Jones cries I get flashbacks of the twins being babies as if I'm a soldier with PTSD. Just to put it into perspective, I was practically still a teenager, Josh was gone 18 hours a day, and there were two of them. Two! Sometimes I wonder how I did it, because Jones is quite a handful himself! But somehow we muddled through, and it is mostly a blur today.

We just didn't get to enjoy this stage with the twins, so we are enjoying Jones' baby stage twice as much to make up for it! Jake and Eisley love him to pieces, and I can't even count the number of times a day I hear, "Can I hold him?" from both of them! They have been huge helpers, so much so that sometimes I have to say, "No guys, it's mommy's turn!"

We are over the moon and in love with this little guy so much. Of course there are challenges adjusting to being a family of five, and Jones and I are still struggling a bit to get the hang of nursing, and I could definitely use a few more hours of sleep and possibly a pedicure and massage, but overall we simply cannot complain. So we won't. :)

Josh and I are celebrating nine years of marriage on Wednesday, and we got to go out for a nice dinner, sans kiddos, last night. Believe it or not, I have been able to tear myself away from the baby for a couple hours at a time at least three times now! ;) It has given the grandparents and aunts and uncles the chance to babysit and love on them, which they thoroughly enjoy and we very much appreciate. Josh and I went out to eat at Black Angus, and we talked about how we ate at that same restaurant on our first Valentine's Day as a married couple. Back then, eight years ago, I had taken Josh there to try and lessen the blow of what I was about to tell him...I was pregnant! I will never forget that dinner, or how we barely tasted our very expensive meal that night! Last night we talked about how much had happened since then, and I thought about how much God has chosen to bless me with in these nine years. He is just way too good to me.

Speaking of which...I got to have the most wonderful Mother's Day ever this year! We were so blessed to get to dedicate Jones at church on Mother's Day, and wow that was so special. Our children's ministry leader talked a little bit about our family's long road and how we have babies in heaven and how Jones is such a huge answer to prayer. Then our pastor held Jones and prayed and we promised to raise him up to love the Lord and come alongside him in prayer. It just meant so much to me, and I cried as I stood up there and thought about how God has entrusted so many of His children to me, asked me to be their mother, trusted me to care for them and love them and raise them up to know Him. Some of those children I had for just moments, others I hope to have for a lifetime, but all of them are just such unbelievable gifts. I do not take for granted what a lucky mama I am!

I am going to be heading back to work in a couple of weeks, and while I miss my co-workers and most aspects of my job, I am terrified to go back and leave Jones for so long! I am not looking forward to that part one bit, and am asking that God somehow make that easier on both of us. One nice thing is that Josh will be on summer break starting next week, so that will make the transition a little bit easier, but Josh is a little nervous to swing it solo against three kids three looooong days a week!

Lots of people have begun asking us what will happen with our adoption plans now that Jones is here. I will tell you what I tell all of them...I have no idea. Josh and I go back and forth. And by that I mean, Josh goes back and I go forth. ;) With Jones so young, there is just no room for thoughts of another child right now. We have no idea what God has in store for us, we never do. Right now we feel we are just supposed to be enjoying this new little blessing and focus on our family. We are totally open to whatever God wants to bring our way, but we are also content with our family just the way it is! So that's the long answer. The short answer is, who knows. :)

Since Jones is due to feed in about five seconds, I will end this entry with some pictures! Yay! ;) Thanks for reading!

Bathtime buddy! 

Jonesy started smiling this month! Can't get enough of it!

At the cabin with the girls! Jones sure got spoiled on that trip!

Jones turned one month old this month!

He's trying to hold up a "one" like Jake and Eisley!

I love that face!
Pouty face

Me and my babies

Going for a walk at sunset

My loves!!!

At church on Mother's Day

Getting ready to dedicate Jones!

Pastor Bull holding Jones

The three most beautiful kids on the planet!!!

Saturday, May 11, 2013


I have people ask me occasionally if I have any updates on Ember. If I know how she is, what happened to her, if she is still in Arizona, if she has passed away. And up until a couple weeks ago, I never had anything to tell them. I had never gotten the updates or pictures from foster mom like I hoped we would when we said goodbye to her, but I trusted that the Lord had His reasons and that He was taking great care of her, whether it be here on earth or in Heaven with him.

We had been told by the agency months ago that they had identified an adoptive family out of state, but that's all we ever heard. When we did hear that, we were so thrilled for Ember! God had found a family for her! We knew she was being well loved with foster mom, but to have a forever family...what a miracle for her.

I wondered to myself what name Ember had now. I wondered where she was, how she was. I wondered if she still had any of the things I sent with her when I left...her giraffes, her binky, her dozens of beautiful headbands Josh's mom had made. I prayed that she was being snuggled, and kissed, and spoiled rotten.

I wondered to myself, to the Lord, if we had made the right decision in letting her go. I cannot begin to tell you, though I have tried, how my heart was ripped to shreds when we left Ember for the last time in her NICU bed. I will never forget the last time we spent time with her, held her, kissed her goodbye. Even though I knew God was closing that door and we were not to be her parents...I still felt torn in half when we left. Even though I could see how incredibly loved she would be by her foster mom, even though I trusted that God would take care of her, that He was telling us our time with her was done, it couldn't erase all of my doubts, all of my fears. What if they didn't love her the way we loved her? What if no one ever would?

When we heard Ember was going to be adopted, my heart leapt. I was just so happy for her. So relieved that she would have a real family of her own. I thought to myself what an amazing family it must be, to not only be called to adopt a baby like Ember, but to be obedient to that calling. What were they like? I wondered about them a lot. I knew they had to be believers, I just knew it, but I didn't know anything, really. So I just wondered...

A couple of weeks after Jones was born, I finally got around to updating our adoption case worker that he had been born healthy and perfect. I sent some pictures, thanked her for her prayers and support with everything we'd been through with them, and then I asked about Ember. I was sure I wouldn't get any new information, but lately I had just been so consumed with wondering if she was still alive, or had passed away. So I asked, and was hopeful they'd release at least that much information to me.

Not long after, I got a response saying that Ember had passed away last month ( I later learned she died just two weeks after Jones was born), after being adopted into a wonderful family out of state.

And I cried.

I cried because she had been loved, in a family, until the day she died. I cried because she was gone. I cried because she was whole. I cried because I knew, on some level, the pain Ember's family must be feeling, having to bury their baby girl.

But I was finally at peace, knowing she was safely in the arms of her Father, knowing she had been loved all her life, knowing she had never been alone. I didn't know any details, and I didn't expect I ever would. And that was okay.

But God is way too awesome for okay...

Last week the adoption agency sent me a quick email, letting me know they had asked if they could share the blog of the family who adopted Ember with me, and they said yes. The email also said to have some tissues handy. :)

My heart absolutely bounced out of my chest! I immediately clicked on the link to the blog, wondering what I would find, hoping and praying there would be pictures, ready to pour over every single detail. My very first thought when I opened the blog...


They had named her Clara! That was her name! I was so, so happy to finally know her name. We had wondered for months and months what her new name was, and now we knew, and it just felt so good to know that! Like this huge mystery was solved, a giant piece to a puzzle put into place. Clara. What a pretty name.

I clicked through the blog at warp speed. There were so many pictures of her! She was so beautiful! I studied her family, they were amazing! Her mommy so obviously loved her so very much. She had brothers and sisters! She had a daddy to love her the way only daddies can love little girls. She was part of a family. She was part of a huge community of believers that loved and doted on her! She was fiercely loved while she was here, and she was so obviously fiercely missed now that she was gone.

I knew I had to try and get in touch with Clara's mom, just to let her know that I existed, that Clara had been loved from the moment she was born, that we had watched over her and protected her and held her every minute we could. That we made absolutely sure she was going to be well cared for before we said goodbye. I wanted to let her know that I loved her too...but I didn't know how to write that without sounding like a crazy! But I tried anyway, and I left a comment on the blog. And then I waited...

Clara's mommy is named Tami, and she is such an amazing woman of the Lord. You can tell that by the words she writes on her blog, by the way she loves her family, by the way she obeyed the calling to bring Clara home and spoil her the way every baby girl deserves to be spoiled. Tami got in touch with me after my comment, and I have been so blessed to be able to share with her our small part in Clara's life, as well as learn all about her life with her forever family.

If you would like to visit the blog and learn more about Clara and the HUGE impact she had on this world while she was here, please click here. It will take you to Tami's blog. Like I was told before, have some tissues ready! You will need them!!! Tami also put a link to some pictures of our time with Ember, I never put many on this blog because I wasn't sure how her new family might feel about that, but now that I have her permission, you can view those pictures by clicking here. If you want, leave Tami a comment on how Clara (Ember) touched your life in some way. I'm sure it would mean the world to her.

God is so good. He loves that baby girl so much, and used her short life to impact so many. I am so incredibly blessed to be one of the lives Clara touched while she was here. I'm so thankful He allowed me to find out what happened to her.

If you think of it, this family could definitely use your prayers right now as they grieve the loss of their daughter. Clara might be in a better place, but that doesn't mean she isn't sharply missed by many here on earth.

I hope you enjoy pouring over Tami's blog as much as I have! What a miracle that baby was. We knew from the moment we laid eyes on her that she was destined for big, big things.

We were right.