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!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What a night...

Wow...where do I start?  Yesterday was hard and yet incredibly easy.  I picked up a good friend on the drive to dropping our little nugget off and we chatted the entire way which kept my emotional state in check:)  The transition went better than I could have ever imagined.  I saw two ladies sitting with an empty carseat and I just walked up and asked if that seat happened to be for a precious baby boy.  I think his aunty jumped up and hugged me before she even said "yes it is".  I...of course...began to cry which prompted what I would call a "hug frenzy".  Both ladies thanked me repeatedly for loving their nephew.  They appeased me by listening to every word I wanted to tell them...about the baby (THEIR nephew;), his schedule, likes and dislikes, sleeping habbits, I even sang them the song I made up for him (with hopes they could memorize quickly;).  True story.  And they loved it.  I asked for her info and she wrote down both her e-mail address and phone number with great zeal:)  I asked her to please call me if she ever needs a sitter and she offered to let me watch her two kiddos as well.  They were ecstatic to see him...passing him back and forth, loving on him, and listening to me ramble on.  They expressed their appreciation to me several times and I could feel their relief that he had been with someone that loved him so much.  I drove away with all of the feelings I had asked God to give me earlier in the day...blessed. 
As soon as I got back in the car, Chandler said "Where baby go?"  Rowan actually used the baby's name (which is kind of difficult) and asked where he was.  And little Miss Jayde who happened to sleep through the entire thing, woke up and immediately asked where her baby was.  On the verge of tears, I looked at my friend Jen and asked her how I was going to fix this.  I was SO sad for them.  Jayde just stared out the window with crocodile tears in her eyes and responded with a "no" when I asked her if she was okay.  They were all aware that he was leaving our family today and they said their goodbyes before we left the house.  But I think the sight of his empty carseat hit them hard.  Jen and I chatted through the drive and I contemplated taking them to McDonalds and letting them play in the playplace...a place they had yet to experience due to their mom's mild case of germaphobia:)  I dropped Jen off and my tears could no longer be avoided by out they came.  I was determined to cheer up my babies so off to McDonalds I drove.  I sat in the parking lot trying to get myself together when Jayde informed me that playing in there would definitely make her feel better and that playing would probably make me feel better too.  I needed that giggle:)  So in we went...I must tell you that playing in those things goes against all my instincts.  Big kids running over the littles, sneezing, slobbering, some not adhering to the "must wear socks" rule.  I was in a mood for sure...a new one...and I threw caution to the wind for the sake of their smiles:)    I must also tell you that in my mind, my kids would whine through dinner begging to go play, the playing would likely give me an anxiety attack, my newly trained middle child would definitely have an accident shutting the entire thing down for complete disinfection, I would have to chase them to get their shoes on and they would leave kicking and screaming with their little mom dragging them through the parking lot.
In real life, they thoroughly enjoyed their nuggets and fries, Jayde and I had a wonderful conversation about how neat it is that God trusted our family to take care of the baby.  And about how He's probably going to send us another baby to love...we talked about whether it would be a boy or girl and Jayde said she can't be sure but she bets that when she smiles, the baby will smile back at her.  I agreed:)  And then...we ventured into the germ infested toddler paradise.  They did great aside from a giant kid knocking Rowan down and making him cry...his sister quickly ran to his rescue and all was good.  When it was time to go, I got their shoes on...there was no "chasing".  We all held hands and peacefully made our way to the mini van...after I accidently left through the emergency exit...oops.  I wouldn't have even known, but a hair eating little girl was taunting me with my mistake through the window.
Then we got home where all of the baby stuff was still sitting around...I immediately told them how proud I was of their behavior and handed them each a pack of gummis to suppliment the nutritious dinner they had earlier inhaled.  And then I asked what movie they'd like to watch...Despicable Me and cuddle time...yes please.  Then they wanted milk...okay.  Then they wanted grapes...okay.  I was on the phone with my sister and she asked if I was going to drizzle the grapes with chocolate syrup, let them eat in the living room, and perhaps suggest a Crazy Crook food fight.  I laughed and told her that if she wants something, now would be a good time to ask;)  JT had a track meet and I think he may have been slightly shocked to come home and find me in such a state...he had prepared himself for something entirely different.  He had said his goodbye that morning and I know the mood in our home helped him be okay too.  I went to bed with comfort and peace...with knowledge that our little nugget was getting some GOOD lovin.  My God is SO good to shouldn't have been that easy...He gave me everything I asked for...everything I needed.  My heart is good and I am so thankful!  My God is always faithful:)

Believing and for His glory,

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thankful through a hard day...

I've been spending alot of time reflecting on things I'm thankful I wanted to write a list and share it.  It's not super deep, just a simple list of thankfuls.  Things I don't want to take for granted.  I'm going to thoroughly enjoy writing it out:)  I wrote this list a couple weeks ago and wanted to post today.  It's a hard day, but there is so much to be thankful for...

I'm thankful for an awesome God who is in complete control of this crazy life.
I'm thankful for a Jesus who has saved me and promised me the gift of heaven.
I'm thankful for a husband who is most definitely the only person in the world who could love me so completely, dream my dreams with me, and support every ounce of my craziness.
I'm thankful for 3 healthy children.
I'm thankful for a daughter with a huge heart.
I'm thankful for a son who has been a fighter since the day I met him and has overcome so much.
I'm thankful for our youngest son who although very much the "baby" in this family, has welcomed a new baby into our home without a single act of jealousy.  Almost every interaction he has with the baby involves a sweet voice and a kiss on the forehead. 
I'm thankful for friends like Jess and Tyler Michael who are always there.  When the birthmom of our son went into labor...when we got a call to rush down town at 11:00 pm to pick up our little nugget...and LOTS of times in between, they were here.  When I'm overwhelmed and looking for an extra set of hands...they have the hands I need.
I'm thankful for a family that accepts every bit of craziness I have to offer with open arms.
I'm thankful for our membership to the Childrens Museum.
I'm thankful for Cars 1 and 2, Toy Story 1,2, and 3, Super Why, and every episode of Elmo's World ever created.
I'm thankful for my baby bjourn, that without, I would surely not be around to write this blog.
I'm thankful for White River Christian Church, a family full of imperfect, Jesus lovin people just like me.
I'm thankful for long family walks to McAlisters.
I'm thankful for the massive amount of energy God saw fit to give me.
I'm thankful for a sweet houseguest who is teaching me how to be stretched again.
I'm thankful for a little boy named Cooper (aka my sweet one) that makes my life even more rich.
I'm thankful for friends who bless us BIG...unexpectedly and undeservingly.
I'm thankful for a cozy 3 bedroom home that has taught me "space" is overrated:)
I'm thankful for a college roommate who is still my best friend, and recently joined the journey of adoption in a beautiful, crazy, and perfect way.
I'm thankful for a sister that has been there for me through every trial, tear, and triumph...made the phonecalls when adoptions fell through and threw my baby shower when our Rowan arrived. She is my safe place. 
I'm thankful for frozen pizzas and chicken nuggets during track season.
I'm thankful for my triple stroller and the mini van I once said I'd never drive.
I'm thankful God chose us to love our little nugget...even if just for a month.  The gift of our time with him is priceless.
I'm thankful for the minstry of foster parenting and all who take it on...a love I'm convinced is the easiest, hardest love in the world.
I'm thankful for a tight budget that serves as a constant reminder of how blessed I am to stay home with my children.
I'm thankful that God spared us from the pain we would have endured if we had lost Jayde and Chandler.

I'm trying to focus on that today.  They were part of our family for 2 1/2 years before their adoptions were finalized.  I can't even begin to imagine our lives without them. 
My heart is aching...saying goodbye to this sweet baby is hard.  He fit right into our crazy crew and we all bonded so quickly.  I know it's not about us.  It's about providing a loving and safe home for the time we're givin.  I just hate thinking about what THEY go through...hurting babies...what is it like to bond with a family, trust them, know that your needs will be met, wake up every day to the same face greeting you with kisses and a smile...and then all of the sudden, this love you've known, is gone.  It's not helpful for me to think about this...but I can't help it.  In the past, I've been blessed with having relationships with birthmoms...but not this time.  And that's hard.  I think I need that.  Our little nugget is going to live with a relative, I'm taking him to meet her this evening.  I've written her a two page letter and began packing up his things.  I hope she hugs me back, I hope I get a good vibe, I hope I can drive away feeling like he'll be loved even better.  A friend reminded me that he is God's son and I need to entrust him to Him.  I find comfort knowing that His strength will get me through this day...not mine.  And that I will pray for this sweet angel every time I think about him.  His picture will join Elijah's on our wall and we'll never forget him, that's for sure. 

~A sad little Crazy Mama Crook~

Monday, April 2, 2012

I thought about feeling bad, but...

So it's been a while since I've written and I've realized something.  I'm an emotional writer.  I need inspiration.  And he has arrived:)
Welcome to crazyland:)  It's filled with crazy baby love and this mama is crazy emotional.  We have a new little houseguest and we're all falling for him fast.  Life in our home has been a little more chaotic...if that's possible.  Adjusting to a baby that you don't know anything about while also attempting to care for our 2,3, and 4 year old as USUAL is a near impossible feat.  Scratch that, it is an impossible feat.  I'm so grateful for a daddy on spring break so he can be home to help with the adjustment.  Watching him love on a baby he doesn't know the same way he loves on his own melts my heart.  In fact, it sends me straight into the ugly cry.  Watching my little girl love on the baby and model so much of what I do melts my heart too.  She is such a lover...such a helper.  The boys are mostly uninterested, but she is on top of things.  She jumps to his rescue every time he makes a sound, with many suggestions about what he could possibly need.  She also has LOTS of questions...questions I wasn't prepared for.  The best answer I could give her for his sudden arrival while she was sound asleep, was that his home isn't safe right now so he's going to stay in ours for a while and God really wants us to love on him.  She accepted God's request with a smile and has overwhelmed me with her 4 year old heart.  On Sunday morning, she rocked a fussy baby in his carseat so I could chase her brothers around trying to get them ready for church.  She put him to sleep and as I watched her...the ugly cry again made an appearance.  As I got myself ready for church, memories and thoughts of my own children, their past, what "could have been", flooded my mind.  And the make-up that I desperately wanted to wear was all but the ugly cry.  The inevitable pain that comes with loving and losing has been on my mind too...but focusing on that isn't an option.  This is hard.  Nothing about it is easy...aside from the instant and unconditional ability to love a baby...THAT is easy.  In all the disorganization and chaos, I was reminded why most foster parents wait until their kiddos are grown to take on this ministry.  It definitely makes sense in so many ways.  Making sense isn't really a Crook specialty.  I actually did think, for a moment, about feeling bad for my children...feeling bad that they had to share their mom and dad in such a big way.  But I was quickly reminded.  This life isn't about us.  It's not about our sweet, safe, little family.  It's not about saving all of our love, time, and attention for our children.  It's about being Jesus in the most real way we can and chasing after what's on His heart.  Our children may not get all the attention they feel they're "entitled" (I'm pretty sure they're too young to feel entitled... you know what I mean), but what they do get is much greater.  Being the hands and feet, sharing their home, their everything, with a child in need, seeing mom and dad do their best to love like Jesus...THAT is a gift no amount of "attention" can match.  In my recent days of emotional mommyhood, I've also been reminded that the very existence of our family is a direct result of answering God's call to love hurting children.  How on earth could we let the very blessing God has given us for our ministry, keep us from our ministry?  That is a powerful motivator.  We are tired, and honestly a bit overwhelmed, but one look at that baby whose smile is larger than life...and it's more than obvious... he's worth it.  We're not sure how long he'll be with us, but we're squeezing in as many hugs and kisses as we can while he's here.  And those cheeks...they're SO yummy:)

A crazy emotional and crazy in love,
~Crazy Mama Crook

P.S.  Happy Birthday to the love of my life...the man of my dreams...the calm to my crazy...I. Love. That. Boy.