Category

school

In which Marie resumes blogging

By addysengrace, america, christian, family, mercyadoniyah, ministry, school No Comments

Yesterday, I was sitting. Reflecting. Thinking.

I haven’t been great at posting anything since getting to the USA. Not that I haven’t had time. Okay yes, I have been busy. But really I could have found time.

But my wandering, dreaming, creative personality has a hard time sitting still. I’ve never been great at “putting down roots.” and I realised something — after spending the last seven years traipsing over Eastern Europe, learning languages, learning to appreciate new cultures, learning to enjoy chicken heart soup — a “home assignment year” seems very much boring. Especially when we have move date “guesstimates” but nothing set in stone. That in itself is quite faith building!

The girls started seeing a wonderful counsellor in October. What a blessing and find she is. Her office is five minutes away, covered by insurance and she works so well with them. We’ve been digging deep, because our kids have some deep sadness and fears. We’ve been uncovering loss, death and fear. We’ve been discussing transitions and traumas. We also did some academic and behavioural testing (through school and the counsellor) and both girls were considered 2E. If you have heard of that, great. If you haven’t, great. I’m not going to go into it a lot, because this is the internet and that is their story. I’m digressing with a point. 😉 In Romania, it was suggested that Addy has ADD and I guess she was diagnosed “officially” although we never received anything. She’s known this and we’ve talked about it and she’s quite okay with the entire thing. We tease that we knew what we were doing when we named her ADD-y. 😀 Did you know it is all called ADHD now? There are three types and she is falls in type 2, possibly type 3 combined ADHD. I’m going to keep digressing because it will all makes sense in the end, ha! While discussing this with the “professionals,” the next statement caught me off guard. “Most likely, you or her dad has ADHD. Have either of you been tested?” I diligently read through some of the paperwork, “NOPE that is in no way her dad. He’s pretty much the polar opposite.” Then the next question, “actually let’s do this. I will ask you quite a few questions. ADHD in adult women looks very different.” Ten minutes later…? “Well, I would say the ADHD genetic link comes from you. I am going to send you home with quite a few resources to read. ADHD in girls and adult women looks very different than the ADHD we are used to hearing about.”

And now I have a great excuse for digressing. :-p

I’m joking. Actually it has been life changing! So many pieces of my brain make sense to me finally. So many of my “character flaws” that I really disliked make sense to me. Actually some pieces of me that I thought were “negative” I’ve realised aren’t really that negative. Different, yes. But also able to be used as my strengths!

The counsellor also gave Christian and I the Enneagram test. (We have also been blessed to be in counselling since December!) At the end she laughed and said, “there should be a category for resistance to categories.” Christian of course fit neatly into the boxes and received logical printouts. In the end we agreed that I am often a seven but when I am struggling or grieving I don’t become a struggling seven — I actually morph into a four. Christian and I read a million descriptions from a faith-based and secular view point. He even agreed, “honey you aren’t the ‘unhealthy 7’ ever. You really become the four instead.” He is this perfect little “2 wing 1.” But I already knew that I married perfection. <3

I was going to post more but if I am truly going to resume blogging while living here temporarily in the USA, I better break it up. I will end with this — we are homeschooling this year. It is an adventure. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my kids. We are also reading “The Girl that Drank the Moon” as one of our read aloud books and each chapter begins with, “In Which…” which is how my children now like to start conversations (hence the title of this blog). 😀 Also, no matter how hard it is to furlough, that USA library set up is pretty fine. 😉

life without dad

By addysengrace, america, christian, family, mercyadoniyah, ministry, school, travel No Comments

Whelp. We are three weeks into this USA homeschooling adventure and so far so good. It is weird not having kids go off every morning and come home every afternoon. There are some parts we really miss: the ease of uniforms, knowing that no matter what we are all ready for the day at 8am, and friends! On the other hand, there are some parts that are really nice: less stressful mornings, getting carried away and doing geography or science all day long and it doesn’t matter! And of course we are making friends. It just takes time and energy especially when you miss your other friends. We started gymnastics (Addy goes 5x a week and is finally…calm. Ha!) Mercy has karate twice a week and loves it, plus her Sensei said she is a nature and has the perfect personality for karate. We go to AWANA on Sunday afternoons at the church literally next door, Sierra Grace. Plus we will be going to field trips and activities through our school, Inspire Charter School.

Christian had his first week of solo traveling for Hope Takes Root (brand new site coming SOON!). He was able to attend a very interesting and helpful conference called BAM in Philidelphia. It was everything and more: inspirational, helpful, challenging, a networking opportunity, the list goes on! He is still traveling so I will have to wait until he gets home to get all the details. More to come. 😉 He was able to start the trip by visiting our friends, Mike and Shannon (and their boys) in Titusville. We spent a year in Moldova with them and they are some of our most awesome+like minded friends. The girls and I tried not to be too jealous! He is now spending the weekend in Harrisburg with other friends, originally from Thousand Oaks. He gets home early Tuesday morning.

It started well but included a little bug. Whoops.

Thank goodness it was short lived so while big sister had a middle school activity (what the goodness?), this little person and I went on a date.

Yesterday we tackled the shopping. We went to a USA mall which confused the girls (“where’s the grocery store, mama?”) to get my phone fixed. Then we did Sprouts and WalMart. My children think the Sprout’s cart is hysterical. Then we found Ursuletul Tedi which made their day but they wanted to know why tedi was spelled “so weird.: :-p

And let’s be honest. Everything is new or interesting. Why did Sprouts need to tell me my corn syrup came from corn? Does corn syrup every come from beets or wheat? And what in the world are boiled peanuts? Did I just miss this growing up or has the South, USA come to California?

first day of school!

By addysengrace, america, family, mercyadoniyah, school No Comments

Today we started our 2018/2019 school year “officially.” I say officially because we tend to “do school” every day all day and all year long. We are blessed with slightly exhausting lifelong learners. (They might get that from their mama…or maybe dad too!)

You might notice they aren’t in an official grade. Technically they are enrolled in year 3 and year 5 in their UK program and grade 2 and grade 4 in their California charter school. Homeschooling is really going to fit our needs this year as we conquer 3rd to 6th grade math and 1st to 3rd grade English language arts. 😀 Transitioning from a completely different education system is interesting and unique!

A few quick photos for you to enjoy:

where did we go?

By addysengrace, bucuresti, family, mercyadoniyah, ministry, noelantruth, romania, school One Comment

IMG_1705

 

Eesh. Wherever did I go? This might be one of the longer(est) breaks I accidentally took from blogging. So I decided to review the past (gulp!) six+ months and tell you what we did and what I’ve learned.

 

IMG_1704

 

2017 brought a grand life lesson: under no circumstances should you move right in the middle of the school year. But if you do, you should not commute your kids to their old school.

 

IMG_1710

 

Unfortunately I would do it all over again. (Aha! I must have been one of THOSE kids!) We moved in March…let me tell you, it was fast. In mid-February we talked a little about the idea of moving, still leaning towards the idea of moving over the summer. We were also attempting to find a better school. We were pursuing something called a “viza de flotant” which is basically when you know someone in the zone you want to be and they loan you their address. Come to find out it is harder than it looks. We connected with one of the directors of a great school right in the center, hoping she could help us understand this confusion. We didn’t know anyone living this this area and for some random reason we looked online at the apartments in this area and we found ours. Our apartment is really a gift from God. It is in the center, five minutes from a metro hub AND an affordable price. Our owner lives in Israel and wanted to get our apartment rented fast. Which is how we went from “talking” about moving during the summer to having the keys to our new place on March 1st.

 

IMG_1709

 

But this enabled us to enroll Mercy in one of the better schools during Class 0 registration (2 weeks during March). The good schools are hard to get into, and ours is either second or third best school in our sector. Enrolling Mercy during registration allowed up is transfer Addy as a sibling at the end of summer. Basically a lot of beautiful provision, reminding us that our Savior cares about even the little things, when we feel overwhelmed. The hard part is that we finished the school year at their old schools (Mercy needed to finish kindergarten anyway, so Addy finished also). Our spring pretty much went like this – wake up, rush around, leave at 7:10a, drop kids off by 7:50/8:30, go to language class, pick kids up by 12/12:30, get home by 2p, eat lunch, get homework done, prepare for the next day, make and eat dinner, bedtime, repeat, repeat, repeat. I don’t know which one of us was rejoicing the most when school ended on June 16th.

 

IMG_1708

 

I also learned that stress can wreck havoc on your body. We are holistic beings, there is no doubt. Me physically is connected to me emotionally and me spiritually. And a year and a half ago, my son was taken away from me and it crushed me. Last summer was a dark and long road, and during that summer, I doubted God’s goodness and love for me many, many times. The Lord actually just last week brought me to a scripture verse I hadn’t noticed before. In 1 Kings 17, Elijah proclaims a drought and later in this chapter he visits a widow and asks her to make him some bread. She replies that she is making her last loaf so that she and her son might eat before dying. In verses 13 and 14, Elijah tells her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’” And she does it, every day. We don’t know for how long but then it says that her son becomes ill and dies. She goes to Elijah and tells him and he goes to the son and he prays for him and he comes back to life. But this is the kicker verse for me. After her son is raised from the dead, she tells Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord from your mouth is the truth.”

 

IMG_1707

 

I read that verse and it kept playing over and over in my head. I don’t think she believed when she was making that bread day after day and yet she obeyed. She obeyed day after day and then at the end she believed. And in my heart I realized that was me last year. I obeyed. I chose to “believe” that my God is good but I didn’t believe. I chose to read my Bible, I chose to pray but I didn’t believe. I don’t know when my moment was but somewhere, at some point, I believed. But my body was very bruised and worn out and I didn’t realize it. I just thought I was dragging. I got a cold in December and I never really stopped being sick from December to March. I had a foggy headache every day, sometimes all day long. My body had weird aches and pains. Long story short, I finally had blood work done and was diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue. I realize now that the past two years, losing Eisley and then losing Noelan were so much harder on my physically and spiritually and emotionally than I realized.

 

IMG_1706

 

I should mention that Adrenal Fatigue has been really humbling for me. Somewhere along the way, I guess I put my identity in my abilities. The ability to go to bed at 11p and wake up without an alarm, ready to go at 5am. The ability to go and go and go and never stop. I don’t wait well and I don’t rest well. Well, I didn’t because let me tell you, I have been learning! Just last month, we were blessed with the sweetest short term missionary, Cathy. We didn’t get a lot of “chat time” but we had a few moments and in one of those moments she told me, “I believe God wants us to be rested.” I am still thinking about that. I am not 100% better but I am getting better and I am feeling better. And I am learning what it means to rest and what it means to say no when I can’t do something.

 

IMG_1702

 

I also learned that we can love and laugh and be a family again. Not surprising, I don’t remember last summer. As in truly there are blank parts. I know we took our yearly road trip and I know we were in crisis mode most of the time. I know Mercy spent 10 days in the hospital and then 6 weeks quarantined. That right there sums up my memories. I look at pictures of last summer and I am stunned. Our faces hurt. You can see loss in our eyes. You can see doubt and pain and confusion. This summer was opposite. We drove to Hungary and saw my cousin and her family. We enjoyed ministry camps (actually we enjoyed and survived ministry camps). We took a road trip and it was a blast and it was without crisis. I found myself comparing pictures, shocked. The joy on the girls face this year versus the pain on their faces last year is drastically different. I found myself daily standing back and realizing that we were laughing and smiling and enjoying each other once again. I found myself realizing that in the midst of crisis I was actually clinging even tighter to Jesus, beating my fists against his chest, asking him, “WHY?!” Yet is keeps going, this story. Because this summer, when the pain began to lift, I found myself left with even bigger areas in my life ready to be filled with joy and peace and happiness. Don’t get me wrong. I miss my son so much. Adoption loss sucks. Yet I also know that I was chosen for a reason to be his mama last year, to hold him and rock him and wipe away his tears, to choose medical procedures that would protect him and to show him true unconditional love. And somewhere along the way, during this summer, still clinging to Jesus, I found myself no longer asking why but instead whispering “thank you” for the opportunity to be Noelan Truth’s mama.

 

IMG_1701

 

And that is almost the current version of where we are. 😉 The girls started school at a new school. They mostly like it, hahah. My kids are wandering free souls so sometimes the traditional institution of education drives them batty. They take after their mama and wish all things could be learned through art and mess. Yet things really are going ok. Ministry is going well as we prep for Summit 2017, the largest all things included adoption conference in Romania. Please be praying for Christian and I as we are helping with the entire conference plus we will be sharing about adoption loss. Also, praise! My parents are here! My mom arrived Monday and technically my Dad arrives tomorrow (thanks to a certain little event called the World Series and the Dodgers, ha!). We are so blessed to have them here and already we have taken advantage of being able to be run to meetings or appointments child free! They are staying through December and we are so excited!

 

IMG_4164

 

IMG_6348

 

IMG_6185

 

IMG_6451

toamna

By addysengrace, bucuresti, christian, family, holidays, mercyadoniyah, ministry, romania, school No Comments

***
disclaimer: way.too.many.photos. {sorry not sorry!}
***

this is where we live: Processed with MOLDIV

homework which we might actually enjoy around here, oh my: Processed with MOLDIVimg_4357Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIV

alex started at mercy’s school! Processed with MOLDIV

chocolate eyes and a tear on her cheek…Processed with MOLDIV

goofball three: Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIV

and then we got new colleagues! Processed with MOLDIV

gaming at the mall: Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIV

daddy love: Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIV

that time we bought a bag of mixed veggies boasting broccoli and found one entire piece of broccoli, haha! Processed with MOLDIV

there is something magical about sleeping babies: Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIV

international day of world peace: Processed with MOLDIV

oh this child keeps me young: Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIV

blowing me a kiss: Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIV

oh.my. Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIV

best friends: Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIV

freshly washed and braided hair: Processed with MOLDIV

she makes me food…Processed with MOLDIV

summer comes to an end whether or not you want it to…Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIV

these two are so much fun: Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIV

birthday celebrations (part one):Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIV

grandma ducky came to visit: Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIV

and auntie deedee! img_6509Processed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIVProcessed with MOLDIV