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About That Frame...

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Happy November! The month where many thanks are shared socially and around the table. And if you weren’t aware, November is National Adoption Month.

We love adoption here in the Holleran household, and it is certainly something worth celebrating. I’ve watched as many friends in our circle changed their profile pictures to include a frame that said, “I am touched by adoption.” Now if you were one of those people, please stick with me as I do not seek to criticize, but there was just something about those words I just couldn’t hold on to.

Three times in my life, I have personally been impacted by adoption: the first being when I was adopted as an infant, the second being when I was adopted into God’s family through salvation, and the third being when we adopted 5 kids into our own family.

Make no mistake, I’ve received a family, I’ve been given the gift of eternity, I’ve had a front row seat to watching God work as only He can all through adoption. I’ve been made a new creation, given a…

Our Modified Life

I saw them.

That stream of pictures of your kids in their Halloween attire. Tiny ninjas and Disney Descendants. I smiled at the shark week family and oohed over the creativity some of you have when making homemade costumes.

And yeah, I felt that tiny tickle of guilt as my kids lay across all our couches, munching on popcorn and eating the small handful of snack size candy bars I gave them as they watched "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

Watching a movie and not trick or treating because I just couldn't this year.

October had us spending our first entire calendar month in the US as a family. It was the month my kids visited the eye doctor for the first time, started attending Sunday School for the first time, the month their dad returned to full time work, and yes, the biggest of all, they started school here in America. Which I've come to learn also seems to include the first time they have ever been asked to do homework, or maybe the first time any parent sat do…

Upon Closer Inspection

I can remember sitting in the doctor's office as a little girl with a Highlights magazine in my hand, staring at the seek and find. It was always a bummer when someone had the audacity to use a pen and circle the hidden objects. I mean talk about ruining it for the rest of us! But if it was clean of precircled objects, I'd happily gaze at the picture trying to find every item on the list. There was the butterfly in the bark of the tree or the ice cream cone hidden in a fluffy patch of clouds. But then you'd get something like a needle or a top and try as I may, it wasn't there! So, I'd have to start over with finger to the paper, covering every centimeter, trying to locate the last hidden treasure.

That's pretty much what life is like right now. We've officially had the kids in our custody, 24/7 for two months. If you stop by to drop off a meal or happen upon us out in town and have asked how things are going, I probably told you life is very "tiring.&…

The Answer I Didn't Give

Well, our newly expanded family has officially been home in the US for just over a week now.

We pulled into our drive a little past one in the morning, tackled overly excited dogs that were so very happy to see us, and then tackled overly excited kids that were wound up from the hours spent traveling and all the new they'd spent the day drinking in. I just wanted to collapse in bed, but instead I had kids opening closets asking, " Are these my clothes?" And, "I don't understand, where are my dresser drawers?" when they opened drawers that I tried to explain had clothes that were too large for that child, but we'd fix it...at some other point in time that wasn't 2 in the morning. But such is the brain of kids like ours, even at 2 a.m. they are trying to make sense of their world and put it into perspective that they can have some control over.

The next morning I woke up feeling disoriented and without adequate rest, but our littlest were up, so we co…

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

For those of you who have song lyrics running through your head right now, I'm right there with you.

Should I stay or should I go now?
If I leave there may be trouble
But if I stay it might be double

Well, sitting here 1 month and 4 days after the day when we left the Hogar with our 5 newest family additions in tow, headed to our home here in Costa Rica, those song lyrics are pretty fitting.

Yesterday we sat at the Costa Rican passport office for just under 4 hours taking  care of applying for our kids' passports and we are scheduled to pick them up on Monday. Next comes the appointment at the US Embassy for our visas, and then the Holleran family can pack it up and move it out to "Estados Unidas."

I'm ready to leave. Ready to see my newest grandbaby and ready to drive myself to the store without hailing and waiting for an Uber to arrive. Ready to love on my sons that are back at home, and ready to sit under the roof of my church on Sunday morning, singing and prais…

The Death of Me

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This adoption is going to be the death of me.
Seriously.
Some of you asked me to blog and update while we were in Costa Rica, so here it is: I am dying.
Before you go thinking I'm being overly dramatic, let me explain.
Life two months ago, before we had a travel date, while we were enjoying summer vacation, going out to lunch, taking day trips to the zoo and the movies, it was a good life. I had no complaints. 
Life today consisted of waking up at around 5:30 and the sun was already up. One child in our bed by 6, his two sisters in the same bed by 6:30, and arguing and complaining about someone taking up someone else's space within 10 minutes.
Fast forward to the point where we were trying to get some structured learning accomplished and I had one child who cannot focus on her own work because she's too busy looking after someone else, another who was trying to avoid any work at all, a 4 year old who was upset by his lack of workbook, a 13 year old who just wanted her sibl…

We Do Not Go Unarmed, Nor Do We Walk Alone

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I had a kind friend that stopped me at lunch today and ask if I was planning to update my blog anytime soon. I realized that I have taken to publishing pictures on my Facebook page of all that has been happening, but no, I really have not sat down to share my thoughts. Not to worry, I've had my mornings of journaling all that is circling around my brain, letting my emotions and frantic thoughts bleed onto the paper in hopes of finding some release. And, I've even got a separate journal directed at our newest daughters and son, in hopes that one day I can share what was happening in my little corner of the world while we were waiting for them to become part of our family.

If you have ever thought of picking up a pen and writing down what may be on your mind, I encourage you to give it a try. It's a personal journal, there isn't anyone to impress, no one needs to read your words, they are yours alone. It's a beautiful safe space, and sometimes when I write, my though…