Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Trip Down Memory Lane....

Well...this was going to be a photographic journey down memory lane...
It wasn't until I wrote the title that I realized most of my photos I loaded on my home computer were corrupted after the virus...
All my Ethiopia pics...
Unless I blogged or facebooked them are gone.
The photos of the twins..meeting Gedese etc..
So this trip down "memory lane" will be what I can remember.


If you are a mom to biological children..Do you remember when you first realized when you were pregnant? Your first Dr's appointment? The first time you saw the little shape on the ultrasound? The first time you heard the heartbeat? Your fear that every mom experiences that..what if something is wrong with your baby? What if the birth goes wrong? Do you remember stressing about making it to the hospital in time? Or having your midwife come on time? What about when the baby was coming...were you thinking about bringing new life into this world? Did you make sure the nursery was just right? Was your fridge stocked with food?
If you are like me...You have probably had at least one miscarriage...Do you remember when you first felt like something was wrong? Who was the first person you called, other than your husband or significant other? Who held you when you heard your baby died? Did you have a d&c in a hospital? Were you scared? Did you feel alone?


Maybe you are a dad...
or
an adoptive parent
or
a daughter
or
a woman....
or
a son...

I guarantee your mom...or your child's mom...or a woman in your life has had if not all...most of these thoughts and memories...
NOW
just
IMAGINE....
on top of all of this you knew....
you had a 1 in 11 chance of dying.

Yeah...it's that time again...$10 Friday. If you are just joining us..Including this Friday, there are 2 more Fridays until Mother's Day.
BECAUSE EVERY MOTHER MATTERS has a goal to raise at least $5k by Mother's Day.
100% of your donations will be used to fund a holistic maternity clinic and infant development center in Ethiopia( the country where my twins were born)

This Friday...for every $10 donation AND by leaving a comment on here or the BECAUSE EVERY MOTHER MATTER's fan page on facebook..
You will be entered in a drawing to win your choice of an
IPOD NANO
or
CUSTOM WATER COLOR FAMILY PORTRAIT painted by the same artist who painted our logo.

Spread it...
Share it...
and
GIVE.



Monday, April 26, 2010

Our Life in a Nutshell....or What Have I Done?

I attempted to throw my husband a surprise party for his 40th.
If you know us and our life...well. You can imagine that the mere idea is toying with insanity. Since I had no idea who to invite...I invited all 500 contacts on FB. Within one day the surprise came out of the bag. To give you an idea of our life...
We have 6 kids and are still trying to find our "new normal" after the twins came home.
Own a business with 40+ employees
Are in the process of editing our first major film (not connected to our business-this is on the "side") Most of our friends, family and business associates have invested in the film...I am not talking a low-budget small thing..yeah that is stressful and a blessing.
We just bought about 40 acres that will now be home to the Ren.Faire, a paintball business, a K9 training facility, a boot camp, pirate festival, and shooting gallery....um...Yes...we are starting all of those.
A part time skate park at our house open to youth on Sunday.
Movie projects in the beginning stages.
My Because Every Mother Matter's vision...
Oh..and yes, there is daily life. Even with all of this...we sit down as a family every night and believe it or not we still maintain "balance"...
You might be thinking..."they must have money'..or..."they must have a full time nanny".
Ummm.. No. We have neither. When my husband pulls up somewhere, he is often mistaken for the "plumber"...in his 1987 pickup with a hatchback or his 1991 Landrover we bought for 2k. I do have an amazing girl that comes to my house 3 days a week for 5 hrs to help. Out of everything we have or splurge on...she is the best. My point is...we are all given a certain amount of resources and gifts. To think you have nothing to "offer" frankly pisses me off. Our life is full...
but could we fit more in? Give more? Do more? YES. YES. and YES.
Am I stressed about Adam's b-day? Honestly...yes. Only 17 families have confirmed coming and it is going to rain...Why am I stressed? Because I hope for more. I want my house so crowded with people that we are laughing. I am not stressed about the food I am going to serve, or what we are going to do...I just want tons of people to come, have fun, play music and let my husband know how incredible he is. I can serve saltines for all I care....to me life is not about how much you make, what you eat, where you live...it is about people and the relationships you create.
So yeah...our life is crazy....but nobody will ever say...."The Boster's were a comfortable family that fit in" NO. They will say, " What a bunch of nuts that thought they could make a difference"!
Oh yeah...and tomorrow at o'dark thirty I volunteered to lead a group of 8th graders all day into the the wilderness to get lost and make their way out with a compass.....good times



Friday, April 23, 2010

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. - Martin Luther King Jr





6 hours left until the end of BEMM's first of 3 Friday $10. drives. I am nervous and feel anxious.
I have done what I can do..This has been really difficult. I have been yanked from my comfort zone, and feel very exposed, but it is here that I know I will sleep well tonight and I will hear God whisper"well done, good and faithful servant. " Cause it is not about me...
Thank you for all of you who helped spread the word on your blogs and facebook..

Today is the Day

Today is the Day!!!
Friday!
Time to spread the word.
Let the women in your life know how much you love them.
WHY?
BECAUSE EVERY MOTHER MATTERS!

$10 Friday.
Spread it.
Share it.
and
Give it!

"ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND EVERY PERSON SHOULD TRY"
John F. Kennedy

Donate here


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nothing to Sell...Yet, Everything to Give

We have no trinkets to sell. We have nothing that you can purchase to give to your mothers or women of importance in your life on Mother's Day. All we have is a vision. A vision of a holistic maternity and infant development center to be built half way around the world...in a village probably not big enough to be on a map. Because- it is not okay that 1 in 11 women in E.Africa dies due to pregnancy related causes. What do we need? Simply-We need money. What can we offer this Mother's Day? Hope. And the assurance that 100% of your donations go towards building the clinic. There are 3 fridays left until Mother's day. We are asking 3 things. 1. Every friday donate $10 that is a total of $30. 2. On fri. make this your status and provide a link or address to donate. 3.Please let your mom, your friend, your wife, your daughter know that THEY MATTER!

You can donate by clicking on the cool image below. Please memo BEMM.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Life was easier before we adopted the twins..


Yes, even after two years a part of me still yearns for BT (before twins). Our house was more peaceful. We had less fighting. The stress was manageable. We only had one in diapers. Our grocery budget was less. I still shopped with the kids. We had very few doctor visits. We were invited more places by more people. My kids screamed less. They had fewer meltdowns.

BUT....
EASIER DOES NOT MEAN BETTER.

I need to remind myself and my children of this frequently. As humans and I think Americans, we choose or are more inclined to follow the path of least resistance.
We think more about our comfort than we do about what is right. Most of our decisions are based on what feels good. What will cause the least amount of stress. Keeping "balance" in our lives.
We look for fairness
instead of justice.
My kids...ALL of them have been driving me nuts lately. I mean pushing me to my edge. I think my parenting style has changed since the twins came home. I used to not be so worried about my kids temporary happiness and comfort. Example...I am not or will I ever be a short order cook. What I make for dinner is what my kids eat. Bottom line or they don't eat. I do not cater to their desires. I think though after the twins came...I became so hyper-sensitive to the kids happiness and adjustment..that I have started and maintained bad habits that are biting me in my butt now. It has gotten so out of control..that I often cry when I drive. I spend alot of time in the van with the 3 little ones. It is a constant demand, complain, whine and fight fest. One wants this song. One wants the music off. One wants to sing. One wants the other to stop singing. One wants the windows down. One wants the windows up. And it's not only in the car...it is everywhere. Due to my desire for my kids to feel okay about the last few years....I created spoiled children who think their comfort and happiness is more important than anything else.
BAD MOMMY.
Yes...life was easier....
and I was a better mom...
BUT DOGGONIT
It is going to be better.
Starting right now....I am going to mom up.
I am going to make my apron a superwoman cape.
I am going to restore the balance of what is right vs. what is easy.
Yes...
my children will be denied their whims.
and life will not be fair
or
easy.
BUT
It will be better!

Monday, April 19, 2010

I LOVE TRIALS

I love trials.
Maybe that is why I crave chaos...the more chaos around me
the more trials I will have.
I am the type that doesn't learn from others wisdom
or common sense.
No.
Unfortunately I learn from the messes I create.
I learn from my mistakes.
...and
YES
I make a lot.
One day...I will hopefully hate chaos.
Crave peace
and absorb wisdom from others.
Until then...
I love trials.
Through my trials...
I am reminded
and
I remember
Oct 1996.
The day I surrendered.
The day I had no more answers.
The day I realized how desperate I was.
The day I knew what love really meant.
I was loved.
I was accepted.
I was bought.
I was forgiven.
Even though I was
undeserving
ugly
and
undesirable.
In my trials...
I realize how weak I am.
I am forced to grow
to change.
I am refined
and
humbled.....
and
HE IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mothers and Others Helping Mothers

I went to Ohio on friday to meet with DOMA. Daniel and Julie Clark were gracious to host me with less than a week's notice. As Because Every Mother Matters moves forward in the fundraising part of establishing a maternity and child development center in Ethiopia...it was time to break some bread and get to personally connect with DOMA. I went there not knowing what to expect but praying that the vision BEMM has meshes with the direction DOMA is going. I am happy to say...We jived beautifully. Julie Clark is a powerhouse! She is intelligent, funny, passionate, down to earth, works her butt off, and still manages to be an incredible mom to 3 kids under 4. Dan Clark...wow, steadfast, loving, empowering, wise, and so relate-able. They are a brilliant team. They know each others weakness and strengths. I am now more than ever excited about Because Every Mother Matter's decision to work with them.

I know I keep saying...more coming soon. This is my first time tackling something of this magnitude. To say I feel inadequate is a gross understatement. To be honest...after meeting the Clark's I feel so under qualified. Atlas...I know...I believe...that God will equip me. He will somehow direct this high-school dropout, momma to 6 kids, who has a hard time finishing things....He will connect me to people smarter than me. Women bolder than me. And a team of ordinary moms like me with a passion to do something. To get out of our comfort zones. To embrace an adventure. An adventure in serving!

Mothers Day is coming up. I know what I am giving the women in my life...A donation in their name to help a mother on the other side of the world! Seed money. Money to be used for a maternity clinic where moms and their children will be served.

1 in 11 women in east Africa dies to childbirth related causes.

which means more orphans. 143 million....already. Every mother matters....because every child deserves a mother.

To Donate...
Click on the DOMA button....PLEASE REMEMBER TO PUT BEMM IN THE MEMO LINE.


And yes. More to come. The Because Every Mother Matters site will be launched next week!
I am also looking for creative crafters who could make everything from jewelry, aprons, art, anything that could be sold for BEMM.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Well Then...

The appointment was rather uneventful. No tests were done. We were in and out in less than 2 hrs.
A severe form of OCD is what they said. They recommended intensive cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) along with medication. Which would require him going 5 days a week for 3-5 hours a day. At this point...driving 5 days a week 5 hrs roundtrip everyday and being away from the rest of the kids 10 hrs a day and pulling him out of school doesn't seem like the wisest choice. We opted for one weekly visit and then re-evaluate at the start of summer and if we feel he would benefit from the intensive program then, the kids and I will probably spend 5 days a week living in st. louis for the summer. In the meantime though, we did put him on medicine last week. This was a huge decision for us and those of you who know us...know this was the HARDEST decision we have ever made. He had gotten to a place last week where he was clearly suffering. He was unable to walk, talk or eat. The medicine has helped tremendously with certain symptoms. I believe God can work miracles. I believe just having the knowledge of what is going on is half the battle. I believe through prayer and patience much can be accomplished. Adam, Jace and I laughed the whole way home. We left feeling refreshed. We left not putting our hope in the "specialists" but in our Lord. So, we count this day JOY.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New Path

Tomorrow morning we travel to St. Louis for our first appointment with Jace. We have had a really good few days with him. He actually went to school on Mon and we seem to be falling into a new rhythm around here. Adam and I had a few days of intense stress in our relationship, but we haven't cried for two days! This is progress:) God has been so faithful to us...duh:) We hope to know more after our appointment.

Thank you all for your prayers and sweet comments!

Blazing this new trail with God directing our path.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mashed Potatoes

I really wish mashed potatoes were a healthy non-fat food choice. Think about it....they are fluffy, happy and taste amazing. The more cream cheese, sour cream and milk they have....the better. I could eat them for every meal.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Please Tell Me...

I can do this.
Please tell me I can watch my son suffer.
Please tell me I can remain strong.
Please help remind me.....

"It is not my circumstances that vexes me as much as the depth of my faith.
For, if I truly believed God works everything out for His perfect glory then no amount of strife or turmoil should trouble me."
Steffany

Please...

Because right now.
at this moment
I feel like I can't do it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sadly Motivated

When our heart is heavy and burdened we can seek wisdom
or
choose to wallow in our circumstances.
When we are happy and content we can sing praises
or
chose to ignore where our blessings have come from.
In every situation we chose our response.
To say this has been a hard week is an understatement. I have cried more tears than I know what to do with.
As my tears fall my resolve builds.
In my sadness
I chose to learn.
I chose to grow.
I chose to seek wisdom.
I chose motivation.
Motivated
to become better
to do more
to humble myself
to admit I know nothing
to do something
to ask for help
to fall on my knees.
Sadness and Grief can be powerful
and positive
if you chose.

This week my son has gone from a little "off" to downright "disabled".
We as parents went from slightly concerned to the deepest fear I have ever known.
Our family has gone from a little chaotic in a good way to full blown survival mode.
Our life is being turned upside down.
I will most likely spend the next few months of my life in the car driving 5 hrs round trip a few times a week to help my son, our family.
I am scared.
I am hopeful.
I am excited.
I am sadly motivated.

and in other news this week....
Workinesh died.
Who is Workinesh?
You may remember this graphic post.
Workinesh was a mom. A mom to three kids. A wife to an amazing husband.
She suffered in East Africa for years with a prolapsed uterus until Because Every Mother Matters partner Doma discovered her. I put a plea for help on my blog and within days....
YOU
MY FRIENDS
raised the funds to help her.

Here is the email from Doma explaining what happened


It is with great sadness that I write you today with news of Workinesh’s death. We first encountered her in November when Doma’s first medical team in Ethiopia visited her remote mountain village. It was immediately determined that she needed surgery to correct a prolapsed uterus. She had neither the money to pay for this surgery nor access to a health care facility that could provide this procedure. Her family is poor; and Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, is a 3 hour walk and 11 hour drive away. But we raised the money – and quickly – because of the courage and generosity and compassion of people like you. Workinesh made the journey to Addis. During her stay there, she stayed at Israel’s parents’ house. (Israel hosts Doma’s teams and worked with us to coordinate Workinesh’s medical care.) Workinesh’s family spoke a different dialect than Amharic, the main language of Ethiopia. Israel and his family speak her dialect so they were able to communicate with her and translate for her. The surgery to repair the prolapsed uterus was successful. However, during testing it was discovered that Workinesh had cancer of the vulva in an advanced stage. Israel and the hospital staff were hoping and fighting to find a cure. Israel’s brother even donated blood three times. In the end, however, her disease was too severe, and she died late last week. In her final days, Workinesh expressed her gratitude for the work of Doma. And at her funeral, her husband expressed how thankful he was that her life was prolonged even these few months.

Amber is leaving for Ethiopia in two weeks. She will spend time with Workinesh’s husband and children, caring for them and expressing our grief for their loss. We will also assess their needs and do what we can to provide for them in this difficult time. Amber is also focused on identifying the location for Doma’s first Prenatal and Early Childhood Care Clinic in Ethiopia. Before the situation with Workinesh fully materialized, doma had identified her village as a key location, a remote and poor mountain village. The primary school in this village is only offered through the 3rd grade, and they have only had this school for a couple years. But in this beautiful nation where so many mothers and young children suffer, much can be done to intervene in the lives of women like Workinesh, and prevent further, unnecessary loss of life. Early intervention in Ethiopia keeps mothers and infants alive, which means fewer children orphaned and stronger, healthier families raising children who thrive.

Please join us in this life-saving venture. Please pray for the husband and children Workinesh left behind. Please pray for others like her, mothers and children barely hanging on to life. Please pray for our medical team when they are in Ethiopia in April that they would be strong and serve well. And please consider giving so that a clinic can be established as soon as possible, and women like Workinesh can be cared for.

Thank you,
Julie, Dan, and Amber

Julie Clark, Co-Founder, Executive Director
Dan Clark, Co-Founder, Marketing & Development Director
Amber Kaufman, Medical Coordinator


This my friends is not unlike the story of Gedese....only her ending was different.
I am heart broken for Workinesh's family.
I am heartbroken to the realities that women face in 3rd world countries.
I am heartbroken that 1 in 11 WOMEN IN EAST AFRICA DIES TO A PREGNANCY RELATED CAUSE.

at the same time
I am sadly motivated.
Motivated
to do more
to learn more
to reach outside of my box
to admit I know nothing
I need help.
I am motivated by my tears.
I am motivated by my sadness.