Here you will find the chronicles of the crazy crook crew...enjoy!

Here you will find the chronicles of the crazy crook crew...enjoy!
I want to live in each season fully, celebrate the chapters as they end, and anticipate the next with only joy! God gets all the glory for the story He's written for our family! A family designed and defined by Him through foster care and adoption. If you've got some time, stay a while...and grab a kleenex;) Each chapter is beautiful and heart wrenching and breathtaking and God is ALWAYS good!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

James and ChurchGirl Part II

On the first day of highschool, my freshman year 1996, I met a boy who bears almost no resemblance to the man I know today.  On March 25th 2000, I went on a date with that boy and although he wasn't my type, I was interested.  I mentioned in my last blog that he was working his magic on that date...a sweet talking gentleman who helped me gliterize my Dorothy shoes, and I liked it;)  That spring, he spent quite a bit of time helping me memorize my lines...more points.  Things started getting serious and after a few months, he was my boyfriend:)  He came to church with me and my family every Sunday and he gave his life to Christ and was baptized that July.  Now...all you know about James is what I've told you since I met him in high school.  I'm not going to delve into his pre high school history, but know that our God can transform, renew, and make any story into His love story.  And my husband's is one of my favorites;)  So anyway...I went off to bible college that fall and it was hard for both of us.  We had so much fun that summer and dreaded being a state away from each other.  You know young's soooo dramatic.  I know he was worried I would find some young preacher boy and fall for him and I was worried about a girl in his study group at IUPUI;)  That fall, he worked very hard at school, and he also worked nights at FedEx.  He saved up his money to go on a mission trip to Haiti with me over Christmas break... I had already fallen for him, but this kinda sealed the deal;)  I would go home as much as I could on the weekends and we spent ALOT of time on the phone and e-mailing each other.  We dated for almost 3 years and we did have a few rough patches but that's to be expected...we were James and ChurchGirl after all;)  We got married in 2003, we were still in school and he was still working nights at FedEx...that was SUPER fun.  Actually it was...we didn't know any different and we were just happy to be hubs and wifey.  We didn't have an elaborately planned storybook wedding, "real" jobs, or a starter home.  We were just in love.  The kind of love where you only have a 2 month engagement because you're too excited to wait.  The kind that doesn't care where you buy your wedding dress, how you decorate the sanctuary, where you have the reception, or if you go on a honeymoon.  The kind that lives in an apartment for years with no internet, no cable, and a kitten for entertainment.  We were twenty and twenty-one and literally CrAzY in love.  We used to eat a lot of spaghetti and frozen pizza.  And those used to be the best meals ever.  I  loved telling people our story...I would get all JT's ID's out of his wallet.  I would lay them out in order of the date they were taken.  The 1st one was his college ID, he had angry eyes and a tough guy look on his face. And I would say "This is the old JT."  The next one was his Sam's Club ID, he had a cute little smirky smile on his face and I would say "This is JT after he met Samantha."  The next one was his driver's license where he was cheesin it up and his face spelled joy, and I would say "This is JT after he met Samantha and Jesus."  I just loved doing that, people probably thought I was a weirdo...which wouldn't be entirely inaccurate;)
If you keep up with "Sam and JT Plus Three", then you know the rest of the story from here.  It amazes me how God took two seemingly incompatible kids and created something beautiful.  And where He took us from there is even more beautiful.  Who would have ever thought the mean kid would grow up to be a teacher, mentor, coach and have a HUGE impact on his kids.  Who would have thought he would grow up and instead of insisting on having his "own" kids (as people often put it), he would open his heart to adoption and let God define his family.  No one was there to teach him how to be a father, but he is an AMAZING father to his children.  And really...who would have thought he would grow up and marry that annoying "church girl" in french class?;)  God thought it...He had it all planned out since day one.  My pride in him is endless and although he's only 12 years old in Christ, he leads this family with incredible faith and love.  We just celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary and given our ages on our wedding day, I'm thinking we can make it to 50;)  So thankful.....

A more in love than ever,
Crazy Mama Crook

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

James and ChurchGirl

It all started in my freshman year french class.  Madame Rockabrand seated me right behind the mean kid.  You know...the kid with a grumpy face who doesn't really talk to anyone.  The kid that is too cool to pick a french name so when the teacher asks for his choice he says "I don't want a french name, my name's JT".  She obliged and called him french;)  I worked up the nerve to ask him what JT stood for and he was thereafter "James" in my book.  He couldn't stand that I called him that and so he coined the name "Churchgirl" for me.  My friend Sarah and I used to pass a notebook back and forth between classes. I wish I could get some excerpts for you but it's up in the attic...a place I don't venture.  I know there was a lot of "James thinks he's so cool, but he's so not" in there. Anyway...freshman year came and went and that was basically it for my interaction with James.  I take that back...I ran track my junior year, his senior year.  And he used to yell "TRACK" at me. That's what the fast kids did when I was on the inside lane plotting along and they were coming up behind me (and any other fellow plotters).  Essentially it means "move out of the inside lane, a real runner is coming through".  I would move, he would fly by me, and that was the end of that.
These were the contacts I made with the "mean kid" in high school.  He was prom king, Putnam county athlete of the year, a local track and basketball star...I believe he still holds the mile record at our high school.  And he had an ego the size of Montana.  Anyway, he graduated, I started my senior year and that was the end of that...of that chapter anyway.
The spring of my senior year, I was cheering at what would be the last basketball game of the season.  I was bouncing around in my little uniform, flexing my spirit fingers...and what do you know...Mr James Crook was sitting a few rows up directly in front of me.  Our eyes locked during "Are-You-Proud-To Be A Cougar Fan..." and because I have good manners, I smiled.  He smiled.  And I didn't think much about it.  But Ashley (the girl who dated (and married) his best friend) came up to me during lunch the next week and asked me for my phone number.  She told me who wanted it and reluctantly, I gave it to her.  Little did I know what that choice would bring;)  LOTS of phone calls.  There was always a reason I couldn't come to the phone and I was able to avoid him until...the day I answered.  Caller ID wasn't so much a thing back then:)  He told me I was a hard girl to get a hold of and the whole conversation was just awkward.  Here we were...James and Churchgirl, casually chatting like it was was weird.  And then I started to feel horrible about dodging his calls, he was a lot nicer than I remembered.  He asked me out on a date and my mom said yes to a double.  It was much more fun than I expected.  And so there was a 2nd date...a single...we ate at Joe's Crab Shack, went to Target and got me some patent leather shoes, and then went back to my house and gliterized them in the garage (I was totally Dorothy in our high school musical:).  That was a pivotal date.  I remember catching myself dancing to the music at Joe's and when I stopped and asked if I was embarrassing him, he replied with "Don't worry about it...I could sit and watch you all day."  Um...hello.  He got this 17 year old girl's attention with that one.  He was a smooth talker for sure.  This is getting long...I'll write more later.  I know you're dying to see how the story ends:) 
Today is our 9th anniversary and I still can't believe I married the mean kid sometimes;)  I'll tell you what though...God can take any "mean kid" and create a man after His own heart.  James is living proof:)  We just might have been the last couple in our home town that anyone would have imagined together.  And here we are...livin the dream with a purpose.  God. Is. Good.

Going on a hot, kidless date tonight,
Crazy Mama Crook

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Whispers...

If you read this blog (or know me at all;), then you know our story.  You know about the mountains and valleys and the long road we traveled to get to "Sam and JT Plus Three".  I'm still on a high...I haven't come down from the amazing mountain God placed me upon on December 14th, 2011.  I have however, had some time to reflect and see God's hands on every bit of our journey.  There were many times I couldn't see His hands or His purpose...but He was there.  He heard our cries and restored our joy.  He healed all of our pain in His own way.
Although I rarely think about it anymore, I remember October 16th 2006 vividly.  I remember walking into my Dr's appointment excited, innocent, and oblivious.  I remember the Dr. struggling to find a heartbeat, and after evaluating the size of our baby, telling us we miscarried.  It took a week for my body to react to the loss of our baby and I spent that week praying harder than I'd ever prayed for anything in my life.  My God can heal our baby...the Dr. could be wrong.  My prayers didn't matter, nature played it's course.  At least it seemed my prayers didn't matter.  But while I was grieving and questioning God, there was another baby being knit in the womb of another woman.  This baby girl would be born in 2007, the same year our baby would have been born (I "know" our baby was a girl too).  This baby girl would come into the world and travel a hard road on her way to us...she would wait for us and we would wait for her.  It was July 22nd 2009, the 1st morning Jayde woke up in our home, she woke up with a smile and called me "mama" with a question in her voice.  I was too weak to correct her...I answered with "yes" and mama it was.  I believe that was a whisper.  My God was letting me know that she was mine.
The spring of 2009, we met Julie.  She is the one who 1st opened our hearts to adoption...she devastated us in the process.  She gave us a baby and took him away just as fast.  Her baby boy was born that was Chandler.  He too, would travel a rough road on his way to us.  And God was preparing us to love a beautiful broken baby who would require more than we had ever imagined we could give. 
On February 6th 2009, we met a Elijah.  He was our 1st houseguest and he owned my heart for the months God gave me with him.  He is a handsome biracial boy with a personality that would have any mama at hello:)  It just so happens that on February 6th 2010, exactly one year later, our beautiful biracial baby Rowan came into this world...the 1st addition to the crazy "Crook" crew.  I don't think the exact date is a coincidence.  I believe it was a whisper.  Exactly one year after I met Elijah, the 1st child God entrusted to me... God gave us our 1st forever child, a baby boy that looks so much like him.  I can only hope Rowan will grow up to be as sweet:)   
All throughout our journey, I can now see God's hand, His whispers, His reasons, His plan.  He was designing and defining our family in His perfect way.  For each baby we lost, God was preparing us for babies He found and wanted us to love.  We had children all along...just not the ones we thought were ours.  When I think about all this I get those warm and fuzzy goosebumps.  I love my God and I'm SO glad He loves me the way He does.  He knows what's best for His children...this I know for sure!

Crazy Mama Crook