Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Nonni

On August 11th my dear Nonni passed away.  As much as this was "expected" (can it ever really be?), it was still extremely difficult for our family.  My Nonni was such a special part of us.  She was loved by everyone she met.  She loved to laugh, loved to make others laugh.  Most importantly, she wasn't afraid to laugh at herself.  She was fighter, she was so tenacious.  My grandfather passed away 22 years ago and she learned to be strong and independent.  She opened up her own bridal shop, The Wedding Belle, which she owned and operated for many years.  When she retired from that she started doing guided lighthouse tours all over the state of Maine.  She also was a talented jewelery maker.  And, as if that all isn't enough, she is an author!  She wrote a children's book called "Ida's New Home" and was in the process of writing a second book.   Did I mention that she was a wonderful singer?  I know that she is singing with the angels right now.  Knowing Nonni, she's probably the angel choir director!

As my family gathered over the past few days, it was so great to be able to remember Nonni and reminisce about all of our wonderful memories with her.  She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, sister, and friend.  My brother, cousins, and I all spent a lot time at Nonni's house when we were little and have the same favorite memory.  Our evening tradition was to eat Breyers coffee ice cream and white cheddar Smartfood popcorn while we watched "I Love Lucy" or the Red Sox games.  So, on Friday night, after the funeral, what else did we eat but Breyers coffee ice cream and white cheddar Smartfood popcorn.  It was only fitting.  I know Nonni was smiling down on that :)

We will all miss Nonni so very much.  There will be a void in our family forever.  She taught us all many things, especially to be strong.  She loved the Lord first and she loved her family fiercely.  She was never afraid to speak her mind even when it may not have been the popular opinion.  Nonni brought so much joy into a room.  One of my fondest recent memories of Nonni, before her health started to decline, is her dancing at my wedding.  She looked like the belle of the ball in her blue sparkly gown.  That is how I will forever remember her.  I love you Nonni.  Enjoy your mansion in Heaven, I'll meet you there someday.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

one year ago today...

One year ago today, on my lunch break, I received a phone call that turned my little 2 person family's whole life upset down.  There were twin little boys who needed a home.  And they needed a home right then.  Not the next day, not a week from then...that day.  So, after a quick call to my husband and a small panic attack we were on our way to DSS to become foster parents for the first time.   I remember thinking the whole way there, "what are we doing??" and "I'm so not ready for this..."

We were led into a small room where I'll never forget the moment I saw these two little boys, sound asleep with their heads on the table and clearly exhausted.  One was in clothes far too small and the other was clothed only in a bathing suit and flip flops that DSS had given to him.  One of them had obviously wet his pants.  Poor things.  We led them to our car and buckled them in and didn't hear a single word of protest, not a single cry, not a single question of "where are we going?" As much as my life was about to change, so was theirs.

The ride home was sort of surreal.  They boys were quite...obviously confused.  My mind was racing in 100 different directions.  The boys came with nothing and we had nothing for kids at home.  Obviously, a trip to Walmart was in order.  But, since we had no idea how long they would be with us, do we buy them just a few items?  Or, do we plan for an extended stay?  What size do they wear?  Are they going to be picky about clothes?  Are they potty trained?  What do they like to eat? This instant parenthood was no joke.  There is no learning curve.  We were thrown headfirst into it with no experience whatsoever. 

I remember that they didn't talk much at first.  Not that we could understand them anyways, their speech was so incredibly delayed.  However, the words we could understand from them made me sick to my stomach.  These kids didn't know their colors, animals, animal sounds...but they sure did know their 4 letter words.  I remember in those first few months gently reminding people that these are not actually my kids...honestly I was embarrassed by their language and behavior.  But, I quickly learned that there are always going to be people who judge you, not matter what the situation and honestly that's ok.  I have much better things to think about than who is going to think what of me.  And I'm very happy to report that the boys are different kids now.  Their behavior (while by no means perfect) is so much better and they are learning new things every single day.

But anyways, like I have said before in my blog, the first months were tough.  They were exhausting, heartbreaking, and honestly overwhelming for me.  I cannot even begin to describe the challenges we have faced but I can tell you that God is so faithful.  He has seen us through every hard time and all the tears that have been shed- by both us and the boys.

One year later I can assure you that we have fallen in love with two little boys.  No matter how long they are with us, we will be thankful for the time we have had with them.  They have come such a long way behaviorally, socially, academically, and in other ways I can't even begin to articulate.  And at night, when they say their prayers, I am reminded that no matter where or with who they grow up, they have been introduced to Jesus.  And I pray that's a relationship that never ends!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sex, Marriage, & Fairytales || Spoken Word

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook.  I couldn't help but sharing.  It's so true!