Mom hurts.

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I have always been compassionate. I have always especially been drawn to helping children. But now, after having my own children, things seem to just affect me more. As a teacher, I feel that this helps me. I think to myself, “How would I feel if this was my child?” (Sometimes, the answer is I would be mortified and they would be getting spanked!) As a person, this has affected me in ways I never imagined. When I hear about other children being hurt, abused, sick, or any situation that could be my child, I just hurt. Like almost a physical, sickening feeling. You always put your child into that situation. It could be my child in the emergency room for RSV today. It could be my child being diagnosed with Leukemia last night. It could have been my child, if not placed with Ken and I, that could have had multiple broken bones from abuse. Things just hurt more as a Mom. So, to all you Moms out there(and Dads too), I ask you to just stop where you are and pray for someone else’s children. If you’re like me, you pray for your children daily. I pray for the Ws’ safety, their character, this health, their life ahead of them, but I hardly ever stop to pray for someone else’s child. As a mom, I can imagine that no matter whose child you choose to pray for, their is something that is hurting them, either the child or the mother. I think it’s time we start praying more for other moms as well! Well, because sometimes, no one knows it, but Mom is hurting.

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Dear Ward,

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Dear Ward,

Today is the day that you turn one. I can’t believe that 365 days ago today, your daddy and I were heading to Cartersville to meet you. I can’t believe that it’s been 8,760 hours since I first heard you cry. I have heard you cry so many more times since then, but thankfully, I have been able to learn how to soothe most of your cries. It has been 525,600 minutes since I held you for the first time. That was the best/most exciting/most terrifying moment of my life. It was wonderful because in that moment, I loved you more than my heart could stand, but it was terrifying because you could have been taken away from me at any minute. You see, your birthmom was the one who held all of the power at that point. At any second if she decided she wanted to keep you and raise you as her own, she could have. I would have admired her in that, but good Golly I am glad she allowed us to have the honor to raise you. I can’t imagine life without you, Pal. I know that one year ago, I had a life without you, but now, I can’t remember it, or if I do remember it, it seems so pointless. Ward, you were not only my child. You have been my saving grace, my bright spot, my way to pass time, my source of constant happiness, and last and not least, you have shown me a physical representation of God’s faithfulness and hope. When you were five days old, I found out that I was having another baby(brother). At first I was worried that having another baby would cause you to not be my “baby” any longer. Since having our brother, I have realized that you and he will always be my babies, no matter what age you are. Today is your celebration day, Pal, but it is a day I will always celebrate. This day is more important to me than my own birthday(which means a lot) because this is the day that you made me a Mom. I love you so much, Dubby!

Love, Mama

 

This is my story. This is my song.

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One year ago today, Ken and I received the phone call that would change our lives forever, the phone call that Ward had been chosen for us. It was a crazy, exciting night. I don’t think I slept at all!

Ironically, November is National Adoption Month. Because of this, WCTV is doing a story on adoption and chose to interview us. We were able to sit down with Alicia and answer some of her questions on the hows and whys of adoption. We were able to tell her our story.

As I sat, telling our story, all I could think was, this isn’t really our story. This is the story of a wonderful, merciful, always faithful God. One year ago on November 4th, I had no inkling of a baby to be. Now, exactly one year later, I have two. This is nothing short of God’s glory being shone through our lives.

So, tonight, exactly one year from the date that we found out about our first baby boy, our story is being aired.(This was just coincidence!) If you choose to watch it though, please just remember. This isn’t about Ken or me or even Ward and Walker. This story is about our ever faithful God. To Him be the glory.

“To tell you my story is to tell of Him.”

Dear Walker

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Walker,

This blog started for your brother. But then, you were added into the mix in a truly crazy, unexpected beautiful way. 7 weeks ago, I went into the hospital to have you. In some ways, it seems like yesterday and in some ways it seems like years and years ago. These past 7 weeks have been the best of my life. I have loved getting to love on you during the day. We have had some beautiful times together that I will always remember and treasure. I have loved the time that you and your brother have been here with me. Your brother is loving on you already. He smiles when he sees you and kisses you in his open mouth kissing kind of way. Sometimes, he gets a little rough and he hurts you, but he doesn’t mean it. He loves you already, little one and I can’t wait until you two are best friends. I have also enjoyed our time as a family, me, you, brother, and Daddy. We have had some precious times, walking in the evenings, going out to dinner, spending time with your grandparents. All of this has been so good, big boy.

Tomorrow, I leave you, but I really will never leave you or your brother. I will have a hard time with it, but just know that your Mama will be a better Mama when she is working. My job is part of my passion, but you and your brother are my hearts. I am so thankful I get to do both! I will miss you tomorrow, Walkerman, but I will cherish the time we do get to spend together even more.

Love, Mama

Beauty from the ashes.

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Last night, Ken and I were honored enough to be asked to speak at our adoption agency’s endowment campaign dinner. It was such a wonderful experience, until in true crazy Hayes house fashion, we had to leave because one of our babies had um, unfortunate bathroom issues. (His name rhymes with Schward.) Anyway, here is my testimony that I shared. Enjoy! 🙂

After about a year of trying to have a baby, my husband and I were defeated. We began praying about and discussing our next move. From the beginning, my husband was all about adoption. I wasn’t completely on board yet, even though I have always thought adoption was a beautiful thing. On Sanctity of Life Sunday in January of 2014, our pastor preached a message on the value of human life. That day I just felt it was right that we should adopt, so we began the process that next week. It’s a long, tedious process as some of you know, but all along the way there was hope. We had a few bumps in the road, but on November 5th 2014, a day I will always remember, Jane called us about a birth mother that she thought would be a great match for us. We of course accepted and three days later we were able to meet with her and her caseworker. On December 15th, our sweet Ward was born. We were able to be at the hospital, I was actually in the delivery room and was the first to be able to hold my baby, our baby. We stayed at the hospital with Ward that first night, and were able to form a beautiful relationship with his birthmom. Not all birthmom/ adoptive parents stories are perfect, but ours was as close to perfect as you can get. I am eternally grateful to her. Throughout this whole process, from trying to have a baby to the whole adoption process, a verse kept popping up everywhere from songs on the radio, to my daily devotion. That verse was Isaiah 61. 3, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

I kept repeating “He will make beauty from the ashes” to myself over and over again. And He did. After Ward was born, I saw the beauty He had made and then again, five days later when I found out I was pregnant. Now, I have two beautiful reminders of God’s splendor. Thank you to Open Door and all supporters of this ministry.

Proving myself wrong.

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When I found out I was pregnant, I was so worried about my five day old. “I want him to be my baby forever.” is apparently what I said, while crying hysterically. It was not my finest moment, and my sweet husband will never let me forget it I am sure. 🙂 I was worried though. I just had this wonderful, sweet, beautiful thing happen to me, and here I was about to rock his world in about 8 months. I wanted my baby to stay my baby.

Here I am, 9 months later. I have a two week old in my lap and my sweet almost nine month old is napping in his crib. It’s beautiful, guys. I have learned that not only do I still love my baby. He is still my baby, and I appreciate him even more now I think. I love the time that I have with just him. I love when I get to pick him up from daycare and even when I am bathing him. He’s so great and nothing makes me happier than having TWO sweet baby boys!!

What parenting should look like.

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Yesterday, the unthinkable happened. Ken and I both ended up with the dreaded stomach virus. Sure, the stomach virus is bad enough by itself, but then, you add an 8 month old and a 1 week old in there and it’s pretty much life altering it seems at the time.

Me being me, the first thing I thought was to call my parents. Surely, they would take at least one of the boys. Well, they came and loaded up BOTH of them to take them to their house for the night. After the virus passed, Ken and I got a good night’s sleep.

When I called to check on the boys this morning, I found out that both of my parents had also ended up sick in the night, but still took care of our babies while being sick, something that Ken and I thought we couldn’t do. This just goes to show me what real parenting looks like. Even when your child is 29 and a mother of two, you suck it up and deal with your sickness while taking care of two YOUNG babies. It’s called selflessness. Parenting takes a lot of that and I am here to tell you that Deborah and Stanley FIveash have it in spades. I hope to one day, maybe not today, but one day be the parents that they are.