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It’s been awhile since I have blogged…

It might have something to do w/ having 4 kids, 6 years of age and under…

It might have something to do w/ the time of year…

or the fact that water was spilled on my computer and it was being fixed…

A few months back I attempted to start running again.  So my buddy and I met up, started running and of course started solving the worlds problems…ok, maybe not

I was mid vent… “I know we heard God, we are supposed to have Bell and Ollie BUT I don’t understand why it has to be so stinking hard?”

Keep in mind, this run happened BEFORE we moved, only 4 months after getting the girls home, in the process of buying a home that had a ton of work to get done BEFORE we could move in and Jeff is getting ready for surgery.  (come to find out…the 1st of 3 surgeries in less than a year!)

Laura gently says, “Explain why you said ‘but’ as opposed to ‘and’?”  (This is why I keep her around…BOOM!)  “Why couldn’t you say, “I know we heard God, we are supposed to have Bell and Ollie AND I don’t understand why it has to be so stinking hard?”

Great, amazing, insightful conversation to follow…as we huff and puff our way through a run.

Once I got home, I looked up the definition of “but” (yes, I knew what it meant…just double checking)

1. contrary to expectation
2. in contrast
3. (usually used after a negative) other than we can’t do anything but wait

“Usually used after a negative”…so pretty much everything I said before, “but” is disregarded.

Then looked up “and” (again, I knew what this meant…just double checking)

– A logical operator that returns a true value only if both operands are true.
1. along with; in addition to
2. as a consequence
3. afterwards
4. (preceded by good or nice) (intensifier)

Truth; Jeff and I clearly heard God and chose to follow Him on this journey of adoption…NO WAY could we have done this on our own!

Truth; ADOPTION IS STINKING HARD!  We believe in a God who loves, pursues and desires a relationship w/ us, a God who ADOPTED us into His family and NEVER gives up on us, which allows us to continue on this journey with hope.

Is it possible to have opposite feelings at the same time, concerning the same situation?

Is it possible to feel joy like you have never felt before AND sadness that paralyzes the very core of who you are?

Is it possible to hear God’s voice, be obedient, and you find its harder than you ever imagined, you wonder where He could be in all this mess that you are living?

I can honestly answer YES to all 3 of these questions…

AND He is still God

AND He is good

AND He loves me

I am currently on a journey of giving myself permission to feel what I am feeling combined with what I know as TRUTH.

&…(an old symbol w/ new meaning)

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Neuro & Healing…

Our last Friday on the farm Miss Sarah invited the girls and I over for a sleepover.  I could do my neuro treatment while we watched a movie after the girls went down. (The movie was Amazing Grace – about the abolishment of slavery in Britain…AMAZING story!)  Then on Saturday after the girls woke up we would do their Brain Maps so that we could evaluate the improvement over the last 10 days of treatment.

The girls did great, sitting still and being patient while Sarah was moving tabs all over their heads and getting readings…Sarah is so patient and efficient..that girl amazes me!  Everyone needs some Miss Sarah in their life!

After she was done reading and comparing the maps, she looks at me w/ her hands flopped down on her legs…I could not tell if this was good or not.

With glassy eyes she looks at me and says, “They are doing amazing!  Their brains have made TONS of progress!  Its incredible!”  (Keep in mind, Bell and Ollie are the youngest they have done neuro with and even Dr. Thurber prepared Miss Sarah and Pam that it would be more likely than not to see minimal, if any, progress and it was possible they might not even get accurate readings, let alone see major progress!)

Of course, a nice flow of steady tears stream down my face and I can’t even seem to get questions out.  (you know its a lot to process when I can’t even respond…I always have something to say!)  Finally, I start asking questions and this is what it boils down too;

The girls have progressed so much! The areas of the brain that were overwhelmed w/ trauma, anxiety, stress and depression are now showing MINIMAL signs of those same emotions and feelings!!!  Minimal to the point where we don’t even need follow up the treatment at home b/c their brains have responded so well!!!  (if their behavior, sleeping patterns, & ability to calm down shift, then we will re-evaluate)

At this point, BOTH GIRLS are consistently sleeping through the night, able to calm down and self-regulate, (like typical 2 year olds…not going into 1-3 hour meltdowns on a regular basis!) and I was affirmed from both Miss Sarah and Pam that the twins are ATTACHED to me…their MOM!  (Packing paid off!)  They have joy like I have not seen in them before!  Their eyes are softer!  They respond to correction and boundaries w/o melting into a rage of anger or fear.  They laugh lots more!  They interact w/ each other, their siblings, Jeff and me with ease and comfort.  I am MADLY in love with them!!!

An amazing God who heals, an incredible team that loves and reaches out to hurting children and families, loads of support and prayers, willingness to leave my (recovering from surgery) husband w/ our 2 oldest children to pursue help and tools for the twins = HEALING!!!

Notice, healing…not healed…  We are on a journey of healing.  Not just Bell and Ollie, not just the Browns…all of us!  There is no way we can be completely healed until we reach heaven!  In the meantime, for the Brown Sound…we have made TONS of progress!!!

I am grateful beyond words for Pam, Lonny, Sarah, our home team, neighbors, church body and family that have gathered around us, held us up, encouraged us, prayed for us, cooked and cleaned for us, given of their time and expertise, opened up their homes, sacrificed for us and walked with us down this road toward healing and becoming a healthy family!

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

#farmlife

Living on a farm has always been a life that appeals to me…

My friend Beth Thomas from K-3rd grade had a horse, lived on a farm and I pretty much wanted to be just like her…including her really long straight hair! (for the record when you are little, curly hair isn’t cool)  I even got my parents to get me horse lessons so that I could learn to ride, so when I went to Beth’s house her dad would let me ride…instead of just watch!  (always safety first!)

We had a goat, a few bunnies, a great dane (close to a pony!) and lived next to a pasture full of cows…kind of a farm…right?

The last week and a half on the farm have been healing for so many reasons…

Walking this road of healing together...so proud of them!

Walking this road of healing together…so proud of my cowgirls!

The scenery is beautiful and breath-taking…

The house at the back of the property where Miss Sarah lives

The house at the back of the property where Miss Sarah lives

The view on our morning walk to Miss Sarah's for Neuro.

The view on our morning walk to Miss Sarah’s for Neuro.

The animals leave an adventure to be experienced everyday…

Ollie lovin' on Henny w/ the help of Miss Josie!  Thanks for sharing your horsey, Jocelyn!

Ollie lovin’ on Henny w/ the help of Miss Josie! Thanks for sharing your horsey, Jocelyn!

Boo telling me all about the chickens...she likes to be on the outside of the fence and just look at them.  (Ollie tries to catch them...lol)

Boo telling me all about the chickens…she likes to be on the outside of the fence and just look at them. (Ollie tries to catch them…lol)

The Clifner Clan is one of the most BEAUTIFULMESS families I have ever done life with!

They have 2 biological kids and 6 adopted kids…each with their own story of redemption that breaks your heart and makes you wonder, “where was God when all this was happening to these innocent, helpless and amazing children?”  (then I remember God gave us free will…dang it…it’s not HIS fault…some people make dumb choices)

A mission’s trip to Guatemala opened Pam’s heart to taking care of the orphans in her local community. She watched the people in Guatemala love and take care of orphans with passion and calling.  She and Lonny started expanding their family… and not just through adoption. There is a constant flow of teens, young adults and grown ups coming here to get loved on and be apart of the family the Clifners have created.

They both feel a responsibility to share with other families what they have learned through their journey of adoption and healing their own children’s brains and hearts!  Their knowledge of the foster care system, adoption (domestic and international) and the way they have absorbed medical knowledge…its just amazing all the things they know.

I walk around w/ my spiral notebook, asking questions, taking notes and trying to sound out words she says that I have never heard of before!  (this is when I really wish Jeff was here…that man is a sponge for knowledge!)

We were welcomed w/ open arms and feel like part of the family.  We have received love and care far beyond what I anticipated we would get during our time here!  You would think with this many people (3 adults and 10 kids, 4 of which are 2 and younger) under one roof it would be chaotic…in all honesty, I was thinking it would be quite overwhelming…it has turned out to be a place of healing, refreshment, restoration, affirmation, encouragement, laughter, tears, solitude, community and it is evident that the presence of God is in this place!

Not today…maybe someday…#farmlife will be my normal…until then, the Clifner Farm is my farm away from home.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in Uncategorized