Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter is coming!!

It has been such a long time since I have blogged!  The last several months have been filled with many ups and downs and I am grateful for every second of it.  We are so blessed to have such supportive and loving family and friends.  They can pick me up when I am down and tell me like it is when I need to hear it.

In March, we successfully moved Eric's grandmother here and we are so happy to have her!  We are enjoying her every chance we get and she has brought so much joy to Jeremy.  There were some rocky points in the beginning, but she is doing far more independently and socially than she has in years.  No matter how much time any of us has, we should be building memories and that is our mission with Jody.

First, we were so excited to receive another foster placement.  This time, it was a 14 year old girl and coincidentally, her birthday was May 18th ~ the same as Savannah's.  Her story was heartbreaking, but we thought with some structure, discipline, and unconditional love, she would thrive and get her life headed in the right direction.  Things went well for 10 days and on the 11th day, things got bad ~ really bad.  I can't talk about specifics but a knife and the police were involved.

We threw all of our energy into Jeremy.  He started swimming lessons again and this time, he is big enough to take them with a class without a parent in the water!  This is mostly exciting for me because I don't have to change into a swimsuit twice a week.  In the picture below, Jeremy is learning how to float!

We had such a fun Spring Break!  We went to the Beach, Busch Gardens, and had lots of fun!  I know Eric was very disappointed that he had to work each day while Jeremy and I played hookie!

Also, this past week, I was able to participate in one of my favorite programs yet!  It was the Girls of Excellence Etiquette & Grooming Session.  We had the opportunity to teach 45 of the sweetest, most well-behaved girls how to act, make good first impressions, how to take care of their hair and face, they got manicures, learned table manners and how to host a fabulous tea party!  It was a wonderful day and such a blessing for me to be part of.

For Lent this year, I participated in the "40 Days for Life" prayful peace vigil outside of a Newport News Abortion Clinic. I first heard about this from my Dad, who has participated for several years in California.  I have to say, it was a very spiritual experience for me.  It was challenging to stand outside the clinic and pray the rosary while women walked in and out from having abortions.  It was challenging not to be judgemental, but to realized that if those young ladies had been given the same opportunities I had, they would likely make different decisions.  I met an amazing woman who openly stated that she regretted her abortion.  It was a wonderful testament to my faith.  Additionally, in times when I was most struggling with the challenge of continuing to pray knowing that people were throwing their babies away when my family would do anything to have another child, a very dear friend pointed out to me my purpose:  I was loving each of those babies in their final moments.  Each of those babies knew love and even though it wasn't from their own mother, it was from someone who cared deeply for them as they were escorted up to Heaven.  It made a lot of sense to me and I realized again why I am here and that God has more work for me to do.

As we are preparing for Easter Sunday tomorrow, I remember that yesterday was Good Friday.  It is such a sad day for me when I think about all that Jesus endured for our sins so that we may live and be forgiven.  Someone once said, "We must always have our Good Fridays before we can have our Easters."  If this is true, sometimes I wonder if my Easter will ever come.  But I continue to have faith that God has a bigger plan for me than I have for myself.

Lastly, I have to update you on my Weeping Cherry Tree.  I planted it last Easter Sunday when we moved into the house.  We placed it in a place of honor for Savannah and I was very worried that it wasn't blooming.  I was certain it was dead, but someone advised us to scratch the trunk, and sure enough ~ green!  A few days later, it began to flower.  It brought me so much joy!

We have an exciting day planned for tomorrow and I will try to be better about blogging and keeping the support going to those who depend on me.

Until next time, I wish you many Easter Blessings today, tomorrow, and always!

~ Shannon

Dear Easter Bunny - I just had to write today - to see if you'll stop in heaven - as you hop along your way. You see part of me is up there - that I miss with all my heart. - My baby is up in heaven - and my life is torn apart - So when you take her eggs up there - please whisper in her ear - tell her Mommy loves her - and wishes she were here  
Savannah Grace