Either Way – revisited

Almost two years ago, I posted this.


It was a low time. I couldn’t really talk about how low it was, but it was low. And things stayed low for a while, maybe as long as a year. I don’t really know.

Mikey has been tough most of his life. Beautiful, funny, awesome in many ways, but still very tough to parent. He improved leaps and bounds…and then we got the girls. And I don’t mean to make this a negative post about the girls. Not at all. But the truth is that he regressed much more than I could have anticipated when we added the girls to our family. At the time of posting these song lyrics two years ago, I was very depressed. I was afraid we had made a mistake. I was afraid he might not recover. I was afraid of a lot of stuff.

Maybe the sun will shine today
The clouds will blow away
Maybe I won’t feel so afraid
I will try to understand
Either way

Maybe you still love me
Maybe you don’t
Either you will or you won’t
Maybe you just need some time alone
I will try to understand
Everything has its plan
Either way
I’m gonna stay
Right for you

Maybe the sun will shine today
The clouds will roll away
Maybe I won’t be so afraid
I will understand everything has its plan
Either way

Wilco Either Way

But at some point, without me really noticing, the sun began to shine a lot more. The clouds did begin to roll away. They came back off and on and sometimes they came back with a vengeance. But somehow in the last two years, we have all found our place and our rhythm.

Somehow Mikey and Brittany have bonded to a degree I never would have predicted. He despised her with his whole heart for quite a while. He was mean and hateful to her so often. She loved him with her whole heart from the beginning and has never wavered. And I think that’s what Mikey needs. People who will love him with their whole hearts, without wavering. How could Brittany have become exactly what he needed when 2 years ago, I thought she was going to destroy him? And oh my goodness…how I love her for it!

The clouds have been coming back more frequently lately. And I’m starting to feel afraid again. Or maybe my expectations are just too high. But I heard this song again today and I felt hopeful because he and we have come so far in the last two years. Maybe he’s just hit a rough patch where he needs us to love him as hard as he hits back. He needs us to stay right for him.

Mikey turned six yesterday. And I would say that in the six years of his life, there has been infinitely more sun than clouds. But for whatever reason, sometimes the clouds seem more prevalent even though they’re not. And I just needed to take a moment to write this down to remind myself how far we’ve come.

Weekend guest

When I picked up Mikey from school on Friday he had an extra friend with him to spend the weekend. It was Clifford!! Apparently, this is something that the kindergarten classes do. They all pass around Clifford and he has many adventures. Then the kids and their parents write a story about their time with Clifford. Honestly, I was pretty grossed out thinking about how germy Clifford must be, but he smells better than our real dog so I just decided to get over it. Mikey had lots of fun with Clifford for the weekend and took very good care of him. We all had to talk about Clifford as if he was real and Mikey also tried to feed him string cheese. Guess it could have been worse. Could have been spaghetti or something. Anyway, here’s a couple of pictures of our weekend with Clifford, the big red (germy) dog.


Today I sat in the living room holding the little one while the other two little ones played and laughed together. Looking to me to see if I was noticing their silliness. The little one laughing at the other two. Three little kids that do not share my DNA and yet couldn’t be more mine. And in that moment I was just overcome by the feeling of being right in the middle of something grande. How blessed am I that I get to be their mom?

The middle “saints” on Valentine’s Day

What? I’m going to post about Valentine’s Day? But I haven’t even posted about Christmas. I know and I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to it. Anyway, this is a Valentine’s Day post and that’s that. I want to show you the middles’ Valentine’s cards! They are so cute! So, here are the photos that I started with…

And Mikey’s…

So then I did a tiny bit of Photoshop work and ended up with this, which I ordered as 5X7 prints. These are things that they actually say a lot.

And here is the finished product. I planned Mikey’s a little poorly. The sucker covered up the text. Oh well.

Pretty dang cute, huh? And I even got my website in there. Sneaky. Here are a few more pictures of the middles from today. They’re iphone pics.

Making cards for their teachers this morning before school.

Brittany dressed all cute before school.

And here’s Mikey being a weirdo with a sticker on his eye. We don’t know why.

And here’s a video of Mikey explaining what he thinks about Valentine’s Day. I’m sort of embedding it using facebook. I have no idea if it’ll even work or not.

And so while I was taking their pictures for their cards, I had to take more pictures just for the heck of it. Here are some of my favorites.

Were Jack and Katie neglected today? Pretty much. 😉


Five years ago today, and I don’t even know the time without getting out his file, our son was born. Phillip didn’t rush me to the hospital. Our family didn’t pace the halls. I didn’t feel the pain of his birth. We didn’t hear his first cry. On January 9th, 2007 we were probably just minding our own business as a family of three. We spent the previous year trying to pick ourselves up after 4 failed pregnancies in a row. I was desperate for another baby. Absolutely desperate.

And I didn’t know when my son was born 5 years ago. I can’t help but mourn a little over those two days that he was in this world without me, but I’m beyond grateful that it was only two days. And that in that two days, he was in the care of capable hands. His sisters unfortunately weren’t so lucky.

I mean for this to be a happy post. I really do. But on this day 5 years ago, my heart was still very broken. On this day 5 years ago, our son’s future was undecided. At least in the eyes of men.

But today, my heart is full. It is no longer broken. And Mikey’s future is right here. Right where he was always meant to be. He’s amazing. He’s thriving. He’s pure joy. He’s loved by so many. And today he’s FIVE!

Dear Mikey,

If I could put how much I love you in a piece of candy, it would be the yummiest candy ever. If I could put how much I love you into one big hug, I just might squeeze your guts out. If I could put how much I love you in a box and mail it to you, the box would be too big to fit in the UPS truck. You completely stole my heart when I met you. But you already know that, don’t you?

Hard questions.

This is the conversation Mikey and I had this morning on the way to my mom’s. Or at least, it’s my best recollection of the conversation Mikey and I had this morning on the way to drop him off with my mom. Mikey has been told that he’s adopted, but we’ve never really gone any deeper than that. I wasn’t expecting some of these questions for a while. He totally caught me off guard.

Mikey: Where was I before I was born? Was I in Heaven?
Jenny: No, you weren’t in Heaven. You just weren’t in this world yet. You weren’t anywhere.
M: How did I get to you? Did somebody bring me to you?
J: awkward pause…(The stork, Santa Clause, God…??) Yes, a man named Brandon brought you to our house.
M: He just brings lots of babies to their homes?
J: Yeah, kind of. He brings babies who don’t have a safe home to a safe home.
M: Did he get me out of a cage?
J: What? No!
M: Does he have babies in cages at his home and he takes them to another home?
J: No! You were not in a cage…. (Crap!! How do I deal with this??) You were born in a hospital just like every baby and then he brought you to our house.
M: How was I born?
J: (Dear Lord…) Do you remember when Brady was growing in Aunt Ashley’s tummy and her tummy got big?
M: Yes
J: Well, you grew big in another mommy’s tummy. You didn’t grow in my tummy. You were born and then Brandon brought you to our house.
M: Why did he bring me to you?
J: Well, that mommy didn’t know how to take care of babies so she let you go to a new mommy and daddy so you could be safe. You came to us and we adopted you.
M: Her tummy was scary?
J: (Well, yes but…) No, her tummy wasn’t scary. She just didn’t know how to take care of you and she knew that we did. She wanted you to be safe.
M: And you saw me and you loved me?
J: Yes.
M: Forever?
J: Absolutely. Forever.
M: Did Brandon bring Jackson to your house?
J: No, Jackson grew in my tummy. My tummy got big big big and he was born at the hospital and we brought him home.
(Here we went through SEVERAL members of our family and talked about how all of them were born in the hospital and their mommy’s brought them home.)
J: Did Brittany and Katie grow in my tummy?
M: No. Did they grow in Mimi and Poppa’s tummy? (The previous foster parents)
J: (trying not to laugh) No, they grew in the same mommy’s tummy that you grew in! That’s why they came to live with us. Because they’re your sisters!
M: Oh, they’re my sisters. I want some juice. Can I get some juice, please?

Columbus Day

So Monday was Columbus Day. And I don’t know if that’s why Britt didn’t have school or what, but anyway she didn’t. And since I can’t keep up with everything, I missed the memo that there was no school for her. So I got her ready and took her to school. I honestly had to fight back tears when I realized she didn’t have school that day. That meant all four kids at home with me all morning. And they had already been awake for like 2 hours. But I sucked it up and we went home and we survived. And we even managed to listen to some kid music, make some junk out of construction paper, and take some pictures that I love.

So I guess you could say that we made the best of our Columbus Day. The “topless” pictures were before I didn’t take her to school.

Here Mikey is “just teaching Brittany how to snap” but it pretty much looks like he’s trying to cast a spell on her. She obviously doesn’t trust him. I just can’t imagine why.

Beautiful girl.