Wednesday, July 22, 2015

2 Years In....

Random thoughts as I ponder....."Gotcha Day" & "Hit our Hometown Day"

2nd anniversary has come and gone....  June 17th 2013 was our official "Gotcha Day"... and June 24th 2013 was the day we stepped off the plane in Presque Isle as a family of four....

Time sure does fly.  We recently celebrated Sheldine's 8th birthday (8 YEARS OLD)...  she is growing too fast for this tender Momma's heart..(8 inches in 2 years!!!  That has got to be some sort of record!!).... Neffy will be 8 in less than 2 months!  ..... they are blossoming and becoming more and more independent and comfortable with their surroundings...  as happy as I am about that...  it is bitter sweet... 

As I look back over these last 2 years and how much has happened and all that the girls have adjusted to and overcome...  I am proud.  Proud that they are good kids... with amazing hearts...  they are learning to love their home and family... they are making friends and learning what real friendship is all about.  They are creating memories and even talk about things we did a year ago..  that makes my heart smile.  They are learning about Jesus and what a church family is ....   they are trying to understand authority and what "normal" authority in their lives means.  They are learning how to love and live in a family home with a Mom & Dad...  and with each other...they are learning how to communicate and interact with people on an every day basis....  Every single aspect of what they knew is different...   and after 2 years... we are still transitioning and teaching and learning ...  Most people assume that after 2 years these kids should have "gotten it" by now... OH HOW UNTRUE and unconceivable...  these children were plucked from their home, friends, family, culture, climate, country, language, education, play ground...  every single thing in their day is now different...not one thing is the same...   I am so proud!!! 

We have made many choices in these last 2 years that are probably hard for most of our close circle and even those not so close to understand...  we still spend a lot of time at home... They call this "cacooning"... Like you would with a newborn baby...  they are still adjusting to what a "normal" home is... what a "normal" family is...  we are still working to instill that into their hearts and minds... we are still working on that fear in them... "will they send me back"... "do they love me"... "will they leave me".....  We are still working on bathroom habits...  naughty behavior that a typical 3-4 year old would struggle with...  we still work on explaining what some very basic words mean...  but I am so proud! 

This year they will enter 1st grade at Fort Fairfield Elementary School....  and I can't wait to see how much they learn and grow this year....  they are about 2 years behind where they should be... but they are so smart... considering all they have witnessed and learned and overcome in their short lives...  I am so proud!  These girls are fighters...  survivors....  deep emotional feelers....  tender and tough....  I am so proud!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Utter Exhaustion

I sit here...  nice hot cup of coffee and my laptop open..  the girls playing in their room being silly and funny...  they are so creative!!!   It is balm to my soul to listen to them play together... laughing...having and warm... full bellies...healthy... enjoying being sisters...... I ponder.....19 months in to our new family and I have never been so tired and emotional...  never been driven to the depths of frustration and anger... hurt and worry... offended and sad....  but with one snuggle from either of my sweet brown baby girls (that are growing WAY too fast)...  it all melts away for just a brief moment.  Thank You Jesus for those brief moments in time.

We are facing some real serious issues 19 months into this new family dynamic.
 RAD-PTSD-ADD-ADHD-DEPRESSION------  labels...  labels.... labels...
 A very wise family doctor told me...  "let's not be so concerned with the labels and just get you guys some help"...  AHHHHH  Fresh air to my weary soul, heart and mind.  We are in fact facing all those above things ...not just for my daughters but for us too...  we are all in the midst of some tough times emotionally, spiritually, behaviorally and physically..there are moments that I don't even recognize who I am......  but God has met us right were we are... with His outstretched hand ...  offering His grace and mercy and wisdom.  It's a long road we are walking...  we don't see the light and fluffy end yet.  Oh, but it will come.

  We have a wonderful counselor for Neffy (and possibly Sheldine)...  a very dedicated and wise family doctor... an amazing family and church... wonderful friends and we serve the most powerful and awesome God.  Oh, it will come..... To those that think 19 months at home is long enough for a child to adapt to their new family and surroundings...  you are so so wrong... I was so so wrong!  19 months in and we are just turning the corner from what could have been transition issues to deep rooted and heartbreaking emotional issues.  This is where the real hard work begins...  but the Lord tells me... "do not be afraid..."   So we will press in and press on...

IF you know a family with adopted children...  pray for them... pray for those kids that suffered deep pain, trauma and loss first before this new beautiful family could be formed...  pray for those adoptive parents trying to "clean up the mess" the best they can and make these kids whole again...

19 months in...  we are doing life in survival mode...  living and parenting the best we can... loving the best we can...  reaching out for support, guidance, help and love where we can... and believing God always had this as part of His plan... I am learning more and more about myself everyday.  I will be flat out honest... some of those things I'm learning I do not like!  I am NOT patient...I in fact have very little patience... I am NOT as mild mannered as I thought I would be...  I am NOT strong ...  I am flawed, weak, prideful and selfish...  Thank You Lord that you won't leave me here and you forgive me ...  My husband on the other hand is more than I thought he would spite of his flaws and weaknesses... (let's face it, we all have them)...  He loves these girls deeply and the way he laughs and plays with them blesses my heart..  He takes good care of us and I know this man is just as exhausted as I am...  He is hardworking and dedicated..  He is involved and caring...  He is wise even though he does not believe that he is... he guides us and prays for us... cooks for us... does the dishes and all the heavy lifting... he cleans my cat box!!!!!!   He is  good good man and I am a lucky and blessed woman to be called his wife.  I wonder if he knows this is how I feel?...  I should tell him huh?..  or maybe he'll read this blog post and know .... 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mommy Blogger Fail

OK... How can it be that I have not blogged since MAY!

 Could it be we are just barely getting by... by the skin of our teeth?  (never did understand that saying)...  Could it be we are STILL in survival mode?...  Could it be that by the time the girls go to bed each night at 7:25 ... that we too drop into bed fully exhausted ?? Maybe it's because we are running on empty most day's.... SURE!   Could it be that we are in our 40's ... parenting two very active 7 year old girls ....YUP... we are TIRED...  my blog suffers!  Our day's are full of discipline... sassy talk... tears... barbies... stuffed animals... Nick Jr...... discipline... discipline... and more discipline...  the structure and boundaries we still need to enforce are exhausting!

 To my very minimal circle of followers (of which I am eternally grateful for your following)... I am sorry!

Our girls have been home for almost a year and 5 months!  Geesh!  I vividly remember our first trip to Haiti to meet the girls... and now they are home... crazy!

There are times that we are all sitting down to dinner together, and I look at them and tears fill my sleepy eyes because I am still in awe over the fact they are here with us.  Still... it amazes me still.... God is good!

Sheldine and Neffy are  thriving and growing and learning so much.  Neffy is so smart it astounds us... and sometimes not "smart" in a good way..   (internally laughing... externally crying)...  she is smart... sassy... fierce... creative... imaginative.... high high HIGH energy... and just over all a joy to be around... but boy oh boy... is she a smarty pants... Now... Sheldine... she is a bundle of sweetness...(most day's)...  she continues to keep us in stitches... she is funny without even trying... she is creative and smart... funny and loving... she is my snuggle bug... Neffy likes the concept of snuggling...but does not like to sit still long enough to snuggle.. how different they are... what a gift and miracle they are.

We are excited to share our 2nd Christmas Season together as a family and continue to secure our foundation of family with the girls... continue to grow and deepen our bonds and our family traditions...  oh how I love the holidays!

God is good!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Bonne Fete Maman

Today is Haitian Mothers Day (Bonne Fete Maman)...  celebrated the last sunday of May in Haiti.  Part of the celebration is prayer and song!

 Two years ago, I had the honor and privilege and huge blessing of celebrating this holiday in Haiti with my two daughters, my mother, my sister and my dear friend Liz.  What a special time.  I was given presents (one was an ice cold bottle of coke!!!)  and cards and we created some special memories ...  but today... I ache for the birth mothers of my daughters.  I wonder if they are thinking of and praying for the daughters they no longer have.  If they pray for and long for the daughters they gave up or walked away from? 

 Adoption is amazing and such a gift... but adoption is hard and heartbreaking too.

  I ache for one birth mother I never met... I have no idea what she looks like... I simply have her name on some court documents and a Haitian birth certificate.  I wonder if she misses her girl?  I wonder why she walked away?   I have no idea where she is and if she's even alive... I pray she is... I pray she is well taken care of and happy... I pray she knows Jesus.

  The other mother I young and meek.  Her face showing little emotion but full of beauty and poise.  Her only request was to give her birth daughter an education and to never let her forget she has family in Haiti.....I wonder how she celebrates today?  If at all.  Is it hard for her knowing one of her young is thousands of miles away with a new family?  I wonder if she regrets?  I wonder if she thinks of my girl when she looks at her other child? 

I wonder....the questions swirl around and around... almost on a daily basis...  I wonder, but I do not judge.

  I don't have any idea what it would take to push someone... a mother...  to drop her baby off at an orphanage... sign that child away...  and walk away...forever...  What kind of situations were these two birth mothers in to do something so desperate life changing... so final.   I have seen the total destruction in Haiti since the earth quake... what total desperation these birth parents must feel. 

We do not talk much about birth parents with the girls... we let them take the lead, and if they ask... we will share what we know.  We are still in transition with them and I fear if we push them.... we'll encounter huge set-back.  We walk on thin ice emotionally as we journey forward.  In a perfect world.... we would have a celebration for the girls birth mothers today... we are not there yet... maybe someday... but again, in a perfect world.... they would not be mine....  Today, I am grateful for in imperfect world....  I have two beautiful amazing daughters from Haiti... I have the huge responsibility of raising them... but the incredible blessing of loving them. 

To all the birth mothers out there that have had to make a decision to put aside your own wants and desires... and think of your child's needs first...  bless you!  I pray your heart will be comforted! 

Friday, May 23, 2014


6 Months from my last post... just about...  I wanted to be an avid blogging Mom... to share the story of my family... my daughters... my life...stories about adoption and about Haiti... to whomever wishes to read it....  and it's been 6 months since my last post...  SURVIVAL!  We are in survival mode!

The girls are doing wonderfully...  I would say better than I am most day's.  We are starring down the barrel of our final couple of weeks of school.  We rejoice because WE MADE IT!  We are hanging on by a tiny- tiny thread and holding on to the promise of the celebration of the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!  We will sing... we will dance... we will eat ice cream!  SUMMER IS HERE!  (well, if only in theory--- what is up Mother Nature!).

Neffy has really overcome a lot of issues this first 11 months in America. We are not where we hope to be.. but we are not where we used to be.  So we rejoice! Neffy is so smart and creative and has the cutest little singing voice... Americal Idol here we come!!!!  She is such a good helper around the house.  She loves to help!!  She will do any chore around the house I ask her to (9 times out of 10 without one single complaint)... she has helped Daddy start planting our family garden's... YUP.. I said "garden's"... He is planting 2 this year!  I guess I will give him the benefit of the doubt, since our family has doubled in size.  Neffy loves big and hurts deep.  This is painful for this Momma to go through with her.... but I am committed and in love with this little Haitian beauty... and by the amazing grace of God we will overcome!  Neffy is talking more and more about the orphanage...some good... some sweet... some just general stuff and some very - incredibly hard to hear.

 Sheldine is one amazingly goofy and silly child.  She keeps us in stitches!!!  One day when I was suffering with a migraine - she came up to me very tenderly...  much concern and sympathy on her face and in her beautiful brown eyes and said... "Momma, you no smell good?"...  now... before you go thinking I hadn't showered because I was down and out with a migraine... translation for that is "Momma, you no feel good?"...  she is such a tenderhearted little girl.  If she get's in trouble (YUP, she get's in trouble)... he will hang her head and her lip and say in her little haitian accent... "you no make me happy"...  I love that kid!  She loves to play with her barbie car... she will push around any toy that will fit in the front seat.  We have witnessed her pushing around jewlery... her wallet...  a big stuffed rabbit that barely fits... anything at all...  such a hoot!  She does not talk about the orphanage and does not like to talk about it.  She will get very emotional saying she does not want to go back and we must reassure her... she is NOT!

My heart hurts for my daughters... but my heart rejoices that God brought us together and He is faithful to complete the good work... and we are a work in progress!

Darren is finally done plowing!  Thank you Jesus!  Basically with the horrible winter we had, I was a single Mom all winter.  Rough?  SURVIVAL!  Not that this is anyway Darren's fault.  He is a snow plow truck driver and it was a whooper of a winter.  I have tried to do our busy family schedule with grace and a good attitude.  Nope... failed that miserably!  I've cried... yelled... cried... locked myself in my bedroom for a 'time out' (which upsets Neffy)...  I have drank way too much diet Pepsi an coffee..Ate way too much junk food... now I need a new summer wardrobe! Thanks Double Stuff Oreos!!!!!!!  I have visited my PCP which turned into being diagnosed and now being treated for Post-Adoption Depression... I have met with a sweet friend for counsel - who listens without judgement and points me to truth and to freedom..(if you are reading this.. you know who you are).... I am working... I am a work in progress... I have cried on my sisters shoulder... called her in a fit of motherly emotions -- someone had to talk me off the ledge... (thanks Tan).... I have sat with Band of Sisters group and vented...(thanks ladies)...  I have had my nails done to pep me up and vented and cried with my sweet friend Brenda... ( I love you girl!)...  I have a family that has come around me/us in the most amazing circle of support that anyone could even dream of... (you guys are the best!)...I have a circle of ladies that take time out of their busy lives to do lunch on Fridays... it's always EXACTLY what I need!  (thanks Brenda, Jules, Mom & Tania)...   I have the most amazing Mother in the entire world and do not know how this last 11 months would have been possible without her...and God love my co-workers for loving me inspite of myself!!!  My in-laws are simply amazing and drop everything to do whatever we need.....  (seriously... I am blessed)......

I am just trying to survive.....  so where does this funk and depression come from?..  personally, the way I've been feeling... I know where it comes from... the pit of Hell!    overwhelmed... emotional... battered and bruised... exhausted beyond belief... disconnected and out of touch...  but ever so blessed...  There are so many wonderful people that love us and pray for us and support us...  my church... PIWC.. we love you all so much...  CCA... a huge blessing to our family.... our inner circle and our family...  SURVIVAL... that is where we have been for the last 11 months... and probably will be there for sometime to come...  BUT... we have a survival kit... armed with the Lord... and our circle...

Friday, January 10, 2014

6 1/2 Months....

WOW...  have we already been home for 1/2 year?..  How did that happen?  I blinked and now my daughters have been home for 6 1/2 month!!!

 This blog started our telling the story of our adoption and now is the story of our lives...  God is faithful!   He is our ever-present help in time of need.  Weather we choose to see it or not, God is present!  From the moment we prayerfully made the decision to enter the adoption journey ... to working for 6 months on the mounds and mounds of required documents needed for our waiting for the email referral photos of our daughters to open on the computer... to sending back the acceptance email for our daughters,  to our 1st trip to Haiti in Feb 2012, to meet our beautiful, spirited, fantastic, amazing, fun-loving, smart, full of life daughters...  to our 2nd trip in May 2012 with my Mom, Sister and friend Liz to spend a week with our daughters.. to the long, tiring, heartbreaking wait ... from the fund-raisers, prayers, hugs, tears and wait.....and wait...and wait...... to the call with our adoption agency almost 3 years after we submitted our initial application to adopt from Haiti... telling us our girls were READY to come HOME!... booking those flights to Haiti- 2 round trip and 2 one way!!!!!

 God is ever-present!

And now...  "after the wait"...  or as Jen Hatmaker calls it... "after the airport"...  we are in the midst of the hard work!   After such a LONG and EXHAUSTING journey to bring my family together... my kids are home... right where I know they were meant to be...  we are the Condon Clan... God formed this family together and He is ever-present!! 

We are home... it is rough... after all the build up and the wait... this side of it is HARD...  we are in survival transition mode ... it's not pretty most day's and I don't think either Darren or myself has ever been this utterly exhausted...both physically and mentally.  Tears, tantrums, hoarding, bed wetting, anger, frustration, grief, Post-Adoption Depression, sleepless nights, constant and unyielding discipline, time-outs, doctors apts & surgery, post-placement social worker visits, setting firm boundaries, cacooning, structure, teaching table manners-proper bathroom habits/hygiene, tears, tears and more tears...  and the list could go on and on.....This is exactly what we prayed for... what our hearts longed for... what God had for us... so we will walk it out, knowing He is ever-present!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

4 months and counting.....

It has been four months and 2 day's since we arrived at Presque Isle Airport as a family of four!  WOW... time flies! 

The girls are doing so well, and we are still in awe that they are here and our family is complete.  God is so good!  He set this into motion long long ago...  and He was faithful to complete the good good work.  I could never look at one of my daughters faces and have one tiny speck of doubt in my heart that God is real, or that He cares about me....    What a gift ! 

Neffy is such a wild and crazy girl... full of life and such a free-spirit!   She is bound for Drama Team I am sure of it!  She loves to color and draw and is very, very smart!  She is parasite free and over-all a very healthy little girl!  She love to help out with anything you will let her do and LOVES to work in the garden with Popa.  She has a beautiful little singing voice and when I hear her singing songs to Jesus- it's all I can do to keep from weeping....   I think that somewhere in Haiti - there is a birth family that is missing this...  that grieves me- but by God's amazing design, Darren and I get to witness her growing-learning-blossoming....  I'm blessed!

Sheldine is such a sweet and gentle little girl... OH, don't get me wrong, she can get cray cray too.... but she is just softer and quieter in her spirit.  She is cookey and funny!  OH MY GOSH is she funny!  She loves to sing and dance too...   She just loves to push her barbies around the house in their little Barbie Convertible...  it doesn't even have to be Barbie herself in the car... sometimes she'll put a big baby doll in the car... all hanging out the sides... and vroom vroom... around the house they go!  The other day she had Grandma laughing so hard because she had her mittens talking to each other!!!  Funny kid!  She is parasite free and had to have only minor surgery upon arriving home and is healed very well! I am so thankful that the girls are healthy!!!

We have had our challenges, and expect we will for the rest of their lives...  raising kids is the BEST and the HARDEST job right?  We take it one day at a time...  tap into our resources and reach out to our support circle when we need to...  pray God's hand on our family and seek His face for guidance in this whole new chapter...  We are tried.... overwhelmed... exhausted... but so blessed... and filled with complete and pure joy with all God has given us...   He wants to give us the desires of our hearts...  and for all of my adult life... being a Mother was one of the deepest desires of my heart... it's amazing!

All to the glory of my King!

I am missing Haiti & Maison (the orphanage).  We spent three different weeks over there in the course of our adoption process and even though the time there was brief... you can't go and not leave a piece of yourself there... and a part of my heart remains in Haiti.   Pray for Haiti...