Friday, February 22, 2019

Lives Changed Forever

Five years ago yesterday our world was shattered as my mom fought for her life after a botched surgery.  I will never forget my brother and sister in law meeting me in the parking lot of the hospital in the Woodlands to tell me what my heart already knew, MOM was barely clinging to life.  Somehow the Lord was very gracious to me as I drove the 2 1/2 hours to get to my mom.  I had this terrible intuition that something was very wrong and our lives were about to change forever.

After many hugs and tears with my brother and sister in law, I took the elevator up to my dad, who was alone in the waiting room.  Oh my soul, I will never forget the defeated, almost terrified look I saw on his face.  He slowly rose as I ran to him and embraced him with all my might.  As the tears flowed, for the first time in my life, I felt like I was holding him up instead of him always holding me.  I have never in my life since that day seen my dad like that.  He was broken, I was broken, mom was broken, but our Savior was holding all of us.

So many other emotions and life changes happened in that next week as we waited to see if mom would pull through. She did for a time but was never the same.

I have been reading a new book by Elisabeth Elliot, Suffering is Never for Nothing, and a few quotes from this book have really shouted to me.

"Suffering is an irreplaceable medium through which I learned an indispensable truth."

"...that the greatest gifts of my life have also entailed the greatest suffering."

"And I've come to see that it's through the deepest suffering that God had taught me the deepest lessons."

It is true that suffering is never for nothing.

More to come later....

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Habtamu James: Family of Five

Three weeks after we buried my mom and a week after we found out my dad's cancer had returned, we got our referral that matched us with Habtamu, our son.  It was a bitter sweet day to say the least.  After almost 3 years of paperwork and waiting, we had a picture of our son.  Words cannot express all the emotions that I felt. In the midst of such excruciating grief, the Lord was bringing beauty from ashes.  Honestly, it took me quit a while to even allow myself to feel anything.  A dark cloud of grief was hanging over my head and would stay there for long time to come.  

This is one of the first pictures we received of our son.  The journeys to Ethiopia were long and hard, but oh so worth it.  8 months after our referral, we brought our son home to stay.  His transition has been nothing short of amazing.  He and Noah are the best of friends, and Karis loves her other brother so much.  He brings laughter, silliness, smiles, and such a servant and kind heart into our family.  I truly feel our family is now complete.  There is so much more I could say, but more will come as I get to share all that is going on in his life.  

A more recent picture of Habtamu.  What a difference 3 years makes! I am so blessed to be his mom and that the Lord chose us to be his parents.  The bond of a mother is not merely genetics, Habtamu is my son and I am his mother.  The love of a child really is not based on blood, biology, or actually carrying him/her in your womb.  I love him just the same as my biological  kids and know they are all three a gift from the Lord.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Starting Anew

It has been 5 years since I have posted on my blog.  To even try and sum up these years in one post would be absolutely ridiculous.  My heart has been crushed, overjoyed, bruised, renewed, delighted, sorrowful, and lighthearted.  So many emotions have filled this house that the Lord has blessed us with.  So many changes to our family, our house, our lives, and our church.  The journey so far has cost me my best friend, completed our family with our youngest child, sustained us in our ministry, given us deep and constant roots in our family, church, and community.  I hope to expound on each of these in the next few posts and then hope that a glimpse into our daily lives and all the Lord is teaching us will spur and challenge us all.  Here is to starting anew....

Our most recent family picture

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Christmas, Birthday,and Special Valentine's Dates

So life in the Childers' household has been a little chaotic these last few months. This is my first opportunity to post since our lives have literally been turned upside down. (later post coming on this.)

For the first time ever, we drove to Texas for Christmas!  It was a LONG trip, but a good one.  The kids did amazing, and the dual screen DVD player was a big help.  We had all these great plans of taking a picture at every state sign, but most the signs were not located in safe places to even get out of the car.  The only on we did seem to get was Louisiana.  We spent our first night in Mobile, AL and then made it to Orange the next day right after lunch.  

We spent four days with Justin's family, and I had a traumatic experience involving running and four dog bites. Long story short: I was out running and got attacked by a dog.  It is still a little fuzzy as to what happened, but in the course of a few minutes, I finally kicked the dog hard enough to get away and call for help.  I had to go to the ER for a tetanus shot and get all my wounds cleaned.  Through this whole experience, I was reminded of God's faithfulness and peace and was taken very good care of by my husband and in-laws.  It has been almost 4 months since it happened and my "dog alarm" still goes off every time I hear one bark when I am running.  Thankfully, it has not stopped me from doing something I so enjoy, but I will be honest enough to say that I have found myself quoting Psalm 56:3-4 often, (bold are my changing the words)

"When I am afraid I will trust in You,
In God whose word I praise,
In God I trust, I will not be afraid,
What can mortal man (a dog) do to me?"

While I was recuperating, the kids, Justin, and the in-laws had a lot of Christmas fun.  We also celebrated Noah's birthday again.

We went to my parents for a few days, and Karis played basketball for hours.  We had some competitive games against adults and enjoyed it all so much.

Noah, Brooklynn, and Karis

We decided to drive all the way home without staying somewhere.  It was a hard drive through the night, but we made it!  We celebrated at our house on Christmas eve and morning.  There were some interesting gifts and some very unexpected ones too!

Karis also had birthday!  She turned 8!  Again, I am always floored to realize another year has gone by.  She  is growing so much in her love of  helping me around the house, cooking with me, her diligence in doing school, and her ability to talk to others.  She makes me smile, laugh, and I realize how much she acts more and more like me, Ahh!  She brightens my day with her hugs, love, and hopping everywhere!

Upon her request, we stayed home most of the day.  We ate her favorite meal and then dinner at Moe's.  

She wanted a Chronicle of Narnia cake, so this was the best I could do.  We had some friends over for cake, and the kids got to play together.  

Last, but certainly not least, we decided to take the kids out of special dates for Valentine's.  Justin had planned on taking Karis to a special meal at Chick-fil-A, but we were out of town.  We both took our dates out to their favorite restaurants.  Noah was so funny as he held the door for me and tried to pull out my chair. A great memory for sure.

All dressed up for their date!  I love this picture.  It reminds me so much of my dad and me.  I am so thankful that Karis is able to have a relationship with Justin like I do with my Dad.  God is good!

My little man taking me out on the town!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

My Little Man is FIVE, (a month late)!

December brings two important events in our family: Noah's birthday and celebrating Christmas.  We decided to drive to Texas this year for the first time, so Noah had a very small birthday celebration the Saturday before we left with some of his friends.  We left for our long journey on Monday, his actual birthday, which he was not too excited about!
Saturday we opened his presents, ate his favorite foods, and spent the day doing what Noah likes to do best: playing with his toys!  I was not surprised when he asked me to make him a Lightening McQueen cake, even though I informed him that I made him a Cars cake last year.  His reply, "You just set some cars on top of a cake Mom, you didn't decorate it!"

Oh the mind of a child!  It is always fun for me to make them whatever cake they want, at least within reason of course because I am not a professional by any means!

It is hard to believe that Noah is five!  He is such a delightful, inquisitive, fun-loving, compassionate, caring, and loud child.  His enthusiasm is contagious, and he cracks us up daily with his witty banter.  He asks hard questions and loves playing with his sister.  He brings joy and laughter to our family and I love him more than words can say.

Happy birthday late to my little man, may you continue to grow and may God save you for His glory!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Since we will be driving to Texas for the first time this year, we decided to put up our Christmas decorations a week before Thanksgiving.  Yes, I know some of you are sighing, but hey, we didn't have Thanksgiving at our house anyway!  Decorating for Christmas is one of my favorite things to do and my whole family enjoys immensely, especially Karis!  She and Noah remember where everything goes, and if I want to put something in a different spot, they will have none of it!  

Karis and Noah get to decorate their own tree every year that sits in the living room. 

Proud tree decorators!

Noah posing by his favorite Cars ornament!

The kids also like to help with the BIG tree, and thankfully, they do a good job listening to where Mommy wants the ornaments placed.

I love that Karis is making sure Noah doesn't fall. They are both standing on the arm of the couch.

Karis got to put the star on top this year. I love Noah's expression, is that a laugh or what?

Yes, the Little People nativity set still gets played with at our house every Christmas!  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Zoo Field Trip 2012

A few weeks ago, we took a family field trip to the North Carolina Zoo!  It was our third time to go, and we were not disappointed.  This time Noah really enjoyed himself and kept saying it was the best day ever!  We had just finished our study of the human body for science, so we decided to go see some of the animals we would be studying for the rest of our science year.  The kids were very disappointed that the polar bear exhibit was closed due to repairs, but I think the baby gorillas made up for it.

The first picture on the bridge again!

Letting sleeping bears lie!

Daddy and  his munchkins!

How many frogs do you see in this picture?

Family pic

Reenactment of Noah in the ostrich egg

Giraffes always fascinate me.

The kids are making their own lion face!

Two baby gorillas with their mommies and daddy.  Watching them interact was so exciting and fascinating.  We spent a good hour just sitting and laughing at them.

Last of all, the lone chimpanzee.  He looks so much like I act like when I don't get what I want.  Oh how embarrassing is that. If I could only think about how I would look if I did this in public. Oh Lord, please convict my heart when it looks like this!

We had a fun filled day with many new memories.  Seeing God's creation is one of my favorite things. It always reminds me of His vastness and that He is too lofty for us to comprehend.