My sister found a picture of me and the boys from a trip we took to Fort Bragg, CA after Joshua died.  I’m not sure when it was, but it would have to be sometime after March 2003 (he died 2/22/2003).  The boys are I were resting – Beth took this picture of us ‘pretending’ to sleep.  Some of us weren’t very good at pretending! 😉

In early 2003, J1 would  have been 8, J3 was 2 and J2 was 6.  Wow – they look younger than that even!  Oh to have them all be that young again. Sigh. I miss those babies!

I wrote this in 2003 after Joshua died.  At times I still feel this way but, praise the Lord, it’s less common than normal.

Blanket of Grief

Copyright, Amy Osborn

I can feel the blanket covering me…

it affects everything I hear…

everything I say…

everything I see.

The blanket makes it hard

for me to enjoy life…

hard for me to care…

hard to do the simplest things.

There are times I feel that

I will be able to get out

from under the blanket,

but then I realize there

are times I don’t want to.

Somedays it’s too hard

to go on…

to enjoy life…

to care.

Those days I pull

my blanket over my head

and let the tears flow.

This is one of those days.

Our summer ended early as J3 and Hubs are back to school today!  Here is J3’s first day of school picture for his 4th grade year – Daddy is his teacher!! I think they are both looking forward to this!

But last weekend, we went on one last get-away.  We went up to my brother and sister-in-law’s home and hung out with them.  Here are some pics from our time together:

Sissy & K2 cuddling with Grammy

K3 learned how to point – but seems to only be able to point sideways!  (Sorry Momma I can’t figure out how to crop my photos – and you look pretty cute here! 😉

K3 cuddling with Grammy

Fans of the television show Chuck will recognize this!  The boys were totally excited about this big container of cheese balls.  It might look like Sissy is excited but if you click on this to make it bigger you will see she is just trying to get her Paci back from Daddy! lol

Before I left Christy and I made whole wheat cinnamon rolls – SO good!! I love visiting with Christy – she always teaches me something new!  It was a great way to end our vacation!

Part1 :: Part 2 :: Part 3 ::

Sorry that it has taken me 4 mos to get back to this history.  I hope those who were interested in the story before are still reading my blog.  We’ve had some interesting months and activities like blogging has just been let go for the most part.

So, where were we? I think I left off after J2 joined our family.  That was Dec 1996. In 1997, Eric resigned as pastor of the small church in The Dalles.  It was not what we wanted, but we realized that what the church really wanted and what we could give were not the same thing.  I was working part-time at the community college library but it certainly wasn’t enough to support our family.  Eric took on the position of administrator of a small, local Christian high school.  We needed to stay in the area as J2’s adoption was not finalized.  A family friend offered to baby sit the boys for free and that was a big blessing.  Not only did we get free child care, but we grew very close with that family.  We joined the bigger local church and was blessed by many friendships there than encouraged us during this scary transition time.

That Spring (or was it Summer?) our home was burglarized.  I stopped by the house to pick up a library book before going out into the country where our friends lived to get the boys.  When I picked them up they were dirty from head to toe (LOL  Gregg loved to let them get as dirty as possible – I swear he dumped dirt on them just before I got there! LOL) so the library trip was out and we headed straight home to get baths.

I let the boys in the front door and they tore off through the house toward the bath – J1 was 2.5 and J2 was toddling (under 1 yr old).  It wasn’t until I passed the public rooms (with all the big windows facing the street) that I realized our home was not normal.  The guys had kicked in our back door and ransacked the house.  The police even speculated that they might not have left until we arrived home!  A scary thought.

The burglary was scary…but it was a blessing too.  We had a good friend who had a trailer on the west end of town.  She decided to rent us the trailer and move into a smaller apartment in town.  The rent was about 1/4 of our current situation.  And, though we were in a trailer park, we were relatively isolated and butted up to a hillside where we regularly saw wildlife.  Across the road from us was a lake that provided more wildlife!  We loved our time in that trailer!  We lived there for about 1.5 years and loved every minute of it!

After J2’s adoption was finalized we started to feel the call to full-time ministry again.  The years in The Dalles and at Calvary Baptist Church were good for our souls and we felt encouraged to try again. We started praying that the Lord would provide the right situation for us.  We were starting to wonder if we were right for pastoral ministry, but decided to leave it in His hands.  I knew it would be hard to be a pastor’s wife again.  I looked online for other PWs to connect with, but I didnt’ find any.  So in June, 1988 I started an email group called PastorsWives – Thriving in the Fishbowl.  I remember starting it late that night and thinking no one would find it.  But by the time I went back online the next day – there was already a membership request!  Those gals were my lifeline and I’m priviledged to still be friends with many of them even though I no longer am involved in the group nor ever think I’ll be a PW again.

But back to then.  After we’d been praying for awhile about what we should do, we got a call from another ministry couple.  Their ministry was interim pastors.  They would go to a church for a short-term to help them transition between pastors.  They had served at the church we had previously been involved in and were helping one currently that they thought Eric would be a good match for.  And, they had a Christian school similar to where Eric was currently serving.

Long story short in July 1999, we moved to Reedsport, OR and Eric was the pastor at Harbor Baptist in Winchester Bay.  We enrolled J1 in Kindergarten at the Christian school but almost immediately realized that it was not a good match for our child.  J1 has always been very active and hard to handle.  Lord I love that boy, but he’s been hard to parent.  A few things stood out but the clincher that this was not a good thing for our child or our family happened the Spring of 2000.  Another mom of a Kindergartner told me that on the way home from school she asks the kids what silly thing did J1 do today at school?  She thought I’d get a laugh out of it.  But I was hurt.  Hurt that he was struggling so much and didn’t need this type of attention!  But at the time I felt that the pastor/administrator’s son had no choice but stay enrolled – even though many years before in The Dalles, I had decided he’d be better served by home schooling him.  But soon after that his teacher became very sick and a sub was going to take over for the rest of the year.  His teacher called me and suggested I take him out of school.  And I took that as approval!  At the same time there were other moms in our small church deciding for various reasons to homeschool as well.

Homeschooling him was a good thing.  His curriculum was easy to teach and he did well.  It did mean he no longer saw the other kids his age daily, but with his brother he really didn’t need anyone else.  He and J2 were very close and enjoyed one another immensely.

We continued to homeschool and enjoy our church, friends and community with no more significant changes until J1’s 6th birthday in Jan 2001 (J2 was 4).

But that will have to wait for later!  Darn…I think this history is going to be more posts than I planned!  There is just too much to tell.  Don’t forget to read parts 1-3!

eta – Finally you can read more…

I journal for many reasons but a big one is to help me remember!

On Tuesday, September 5, 2007 we received a phone call from OR DHS letting us know that the boys had a baby sister.  What I remember about that call was that I was sitting at my desk talking to the caseworker and I turned around to give Eric one of those “do-you-have-any-idea-what-type-of-phone-call-I’m-on” looks.  When I turned to him, he was on his knees and his face was in the couch cushions.  I’m not sure if he was crying or praying … but it was an overwhelming moment.

If I’m completely honest with myself, Eric and I thought our family was done after J2 joined it.  Then we received the call about J3 in 2002 and how can you say no to a sibling?  Then Joshua was born.  We did our best to adjust to a larger family than we thought we’d have.

After Joshua died, I definitely felt our family was ‘off’ at 3 kids but I knew no one could replace him, so why try?  Plus the grief  journey is so hard I really had not energy, time, interest in changing things.

Then that phone call.  I never hesitated to tell the DHS worker that, should reunification not be possible, that we would want to be considered for adoption.  But at the same time I worried if we could handle it.

Even with my concerns, I really wanted her home with us at Christmas time.  In October I was blessed by photos from her foster mom:


But it was going to still be 6 more months before we got to meet her at 8 mos old.  I remember how she laid on the floor and kicked and kicked.  She could not roll over and could not sit up.  She was still dealing with lots of reflux and other issues from her birth.

On March 30, 2008 we brought her home from Oregon.

Then the real waiting began.

Now, just over two years from that initial phone call…..she is truly ours!  Praise the Lord!!