Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 14, 2012

Matthew 19:14 NIV
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

December 14 has always been a time of celebration in our family - it is my birthday. This year was my 35th birthday. I was not dreading turning 35 nor did we have big plans since this weekend is filled with Christmas parties and the Nutcracker.

A few years ago, it marked the Chanukkah Storm here in Western Washington. Now it marks a day of heartbreak in our country, the day twenty families learned their precious children were killed due to violence. Having a child die tends to destroy a parent, but having a child murdered will tear several of these families apart. Many of these people will not be able to face the joy of Christmas ever again, because December will remind them of the tragic loss.

A friend stated we cannot help these children who have been welcomed by Christ. We can help children locally, nationally and globally who still suffer from abuse, hunger, poverty, homelessness, and disease through a number of organizations as a way to honor the twenty Newtown, Connecticut children. There are four distinct ways I currently help children - volunteer with the children at church, foster parenting, sponsor a child through Children International and support orphans through Embracing Orphans.

For now, I revel in Junior's laughter which has been quieted due to illness the last few days, but on December 14, he was laughing again making my heart overflow. He whistles and hums which can get annoying, but they are his sounds so I will be forever grateful he makes them. I enjoy the silliness of my 3 year niece who pranced around saying "Ho, ho, ho, Junior is not good" in a deep voice when Junior was sick. This was her answer when asked how he was feeling. Or that she has not been afraid to share her opinion since she could talk. These children are precious and only the Lord knows how long we will have them in our lives.

May we wrap our prayers around the grieving families in Newtown, Connecticut and hug our own children some more.

Helpful Links:
Children's International:

Embracing Orphans:

For information about fostering and adoption from foster care visit Adopt US Kids:

The United Methodist Church:

Shelton United Methodist Church:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Yo Mom

It is difficult oftentimes to get a 13 year old boy to express his feelings or reveal the inner workings of his mind. This past week has been particularly busy plus I have not been feeling well. With multiple meetings at work, Junior's weekly schedule and the start of the holiday season, this weekend was Junior's 13th birthday party - a 2-day event. It began Friday with his school's social which I volunteered at then his first marimba performance downtown for Holiday Magic then a sleepover for his birthday. Saturday morning began early with another marimba performance, baking of his birthday cake and wrapping of presents, enjoying the local Christmas Parade, family dinner and celebration of Junior's birthday. Today was church and I attended a baby shower. 

Amongst all this busyness, Junior began introducing me as "Mom", not "Jocelyne, my mom" or "Jocelyne". Sometimes it has been, "Jocelyne, the lady I live with". Friday he introduced me to his friends as "Mom". Then today he caught me my heartstrings by surprise. We had leftover letter candies that I had used for decorating his birthday cake. In blue and green letters, Junior spelled out "YO MOM" against the brown tile of the kitchen counter. Two simple words that expressed so much love and trust and attachment. 

My greatest Christmas present that I dreamed of for so many years has come to, being Mom. I will treasure this always as every mother treasures the moment of when their child first says "mama". 

While this case is not determined yet and it will break my heart to lose Junior should the Judge grant custody to his birth mother, I will have the memory of the first time of being called "Mom".

Habakkuk 2:3 RSV
"For still the vision awaits its time; it hastens to the end -- it will not lie. If it seem slow, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay."

Psalm 39:7 NRS
"And now, O Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in you."

Daniel 2:21b-23a NIV
"...he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors; You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you..."

"YO MOM", forever imprinted on my heart!