china

Monday, June 5, 2017

My Heart Found a home... And it had to move

It has been a while since our last post. The rug got pulled out from under us in December when we accepted a job offer in Texas, and then two weeks later, Michael landed in the hospital. From there, we spent the next 8 days praying for the future encompassing his survival.  

Three weeks later he left for Texas. My Uncle made a space available in his house for him to stay, and I was left in GA with H along with getting our house ready to sell. I was numb to the idea of moving. After all, I had this little gal to take care of along with finish all the projects in our house that needed to be done prior to that sign going on the market. It consumed me, and I had to disappear from life for a season. Michael came home on his days off, which were crazy hours but we found a new normal.

We tried to keep things as normal as possible, we celebrated our 3rd family day with our sweet gift from Jesus. It has been an honor to watch her grow and change. It has also been an honor to answer the questions she is asking about where she came from. We have been charged with a great gift.

In early April the house went on the market, within 24 hours we had 22 showings and four offers. Closing was set for May 22nd.  It was a confirmation that we were on the right path.

Through that next month, the house was packed up, our stuff was sold (we purged a ton) and tried to explain to our girl what was going on. Hosanna had a ton of “final” acts. She graduated pre-school, had a dance recital.

It was during that last crazy weeks, as our lasts in GA happened, that I realized just how deep my heart found a home.

It was the first time in a very long time that I could say that. I had developed incredibly deep relationships in GA. I moved there fresh from China. I got married in GA, grieved the loss of my grandma, I spent 30 months with countless people cheering us to and brought home my baby, found a job and I deeply love, walked through the muck and mire with my husband. Only to come out better on the other side. Found some incredible mentors that allowed me a free space to be. My heart had found a home in all this, and I did not want to leave the comfort of that.

Now I sit in an 853 sq foot apartment. I have my girl and my guy. We have my uncle around the corner and two other people not to far from here that we know. It’s us, them and Jesus.

As people told me just how much they love me and my family. Their texts, cards, their hugs, tears, the well wishes, celebrations, prayers, I knew that I had found a place where I could be me. Despite my flaws, I was loved beyond measure by folks on this earth. That forgiveness existed, and people were willing to give it.

Two days on the road, 1 hotel room, a van filled with the dog, cat, and a dear friend who came for the drive, we made it to Texas. And now I sit here, longing for the place where my heart found a home. Longing to make connections with people and sit in a place of comfort. I long not to be searching for my new church home, for a area that I know how to get to. I long for coffee with my friends, our subdivision pool, my daughter to have play dates at Burger king. In fact, Hosanna even ask when we were going back to GA.

Moving is not easy. I know that we are where we are supposed to be. For now, we get to know our new normal is this little apartment that we have been given. A house will be coming, its already in the works. Hopefully that will help the need to connect with the locals.


Jennifer






Pit stop along the way

My Heart Found a home. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Big News




I have been wanting to write this post for several weeks but circumstances and other reasons have prevented it. The holidays happened, which were great for the Bowden’s. We traveled to FL right before to see family and then back home for a very quiet Christmas at our house. We relished the news that we had received shortly before that, grateful for what we were being given, humbled by the way the path was being laid out before us and overwhelmed with all the details to come.

Then right after Christmas, Michael was hospitalized. He earned himself an 8 day vacationJ at Piedmont Atlanta. I make light of it now, but it was an incredibly scary and tense time of wondering if I would be burying my husband. But grace abound and it was not the time.

We have spent the past weeks getting used to the new normal, getting back into a routine in our house. Itching to share this news and yet there were still people that we needed to tell face to face or at least through the phone. I am glad we held back, during this time we have seen even more of the path being laid out for us, and have watched in complete awe of how we have been once again taken care of. Grace abound……..

Back to our news, the Bowden Family will be going west, specially making our new homestead in Dallas Texas this spring. Yes you read that right, the Georgia born, never leave the state, Michael Bowden will be moving to TX with the adventurous family in tow.

Michael was offered an incredible position at American Airlines and he has accepted. “It is more of what you want and less of what you don’t” to quote him exactly.

Last January, I told Michael I thought that we should start working on the house for a possible sale. He looked at me for a second bewildered. Something in my heart said we would be moving. H will be in Kindergarten next year, we were not happy with the schools where we were at and needed to figure out what that would look like. But there was more, I just knew we would move. We slowly have been working on our fixer upper. Through the year, he had heard several No’s to things that he looked at. But I knew. Texas kept coming up for us over and over. Through people on the street that I would meet, people through adoption groups, articles I would read. So when he got the call for an interview in December I knew. And as we waited, I knew.

Of course the hospital stay was completely unexpected and traumatic to say the least. We wondered the whole time if this Texas thing would still happen. All the Dr’s said yes, you can go. In fact we even know Dr’s out there for you.

The pieces have slowly come together for us. Provision has been made in so many ways that I think we are both speechless. And so in a week, Michael will pack his car and head out. My uncle lives out there (the one person we actually know) and he will be housing Michael for a while. H and I will spend our time finishing out the school year and packing the house with the ultimate goal of it selling quickly. We are excited, overwhelmed, open handed and ready for the next chapter in our lives. Lots will be happening in the next months and will more than likely bring a range of emotions but for now I sit in thankfulness. My husband is alive, he has had an amazing 21 year career at his summer jobJ and will put on his boots and head west for the next chapter of his career.

Prayers would be appreciated. There is so much to do in a short period of time here in GA, and that does not include figuring out where we will live after. But that will come.


Jennifer




Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Year I was made to be her Mama

One year ago today, I was in tears as I was being rolled into the OR. I thought I knew what to expect, I thought I knew how the recovery was going to go. But of course with anything, my expectations were thrown out the window and things have not gone as planned by any means.

One of the things that rocked me was the idea I was not a real mom without birthing my child. Or at least I did not think I was. I have grieved the loss, deeply grieved the loss. I know that in the long run this was the right decision, but it doesn’t mean that it does not come at a price.

The grief this past year has been intense, and only if you have been through this experience you will know what I am talking about. Coupled with the lack or a hormonal balance, I have felt a tremendous loss.

One of the lies that I came into believe was that I was not made to be H’s mama. She has been home for 28 months and I didn’t believe I was made to be her mama. Of course the unbalance of hormones along with my body stopping the production of all chemicals. And during this time, 13 people announced their pregnancies to us. My thought process pretty much went into shock and into a dark place. I believed and bought into the fact that my girl was not supposed to be mine. I believed I was not equipped to be her mama. And if we are going to be honest, I really didn’t want to spend time with her. I remember saying, I don’t know if we will make it through the summer.

By the grace of God the light is coming. Of course I am on hormone therapy, which has brought help, still working on it but a step in the right direction. There is finding those who make me feel safe to process with and then those moments of reflection and hearing the light spoke into my heart. I have learned to set boundaries in regards to protecting my heart during pregnancies and such. Serving people, loving people, celebrating people but on my own terms.

Since Hosanna came home, I have repeatedly had a dream that there was a dark cloud of Asians waiting at my front door to take her. It comes and goes, but it is intense, fear driven and rooted in something so much more than someone coming to take my kid. It is rooted in the depth of the past of not being worthy. That wound has been hit time and time again through people their actions, life circumstances and through my journey to motherhood.

One of the things that I have been walking through is my story and learning the similarities between my story and my girls’ story. Through, this along with prayer and just focus, I have seen that I was made to be her mama. And able to shut the door on that dream. I am good enough to be her mama, equipped with the right tools to be her mama.

·      My girl has labels already on her head, adopted, disabled, abandoned, orphan, etc.
   
   I have worn labels, not necessarily the same as hers. Labels that I should have never taken past the cross. And, so I can teach her not to do the same.
            I was made to be her mama!

·      My girl has experience trauma, abandonment, and hurts that cut deep into her heart.

I have experience with abandonment (the same as hers but the feelings of knowing) and various forms of trauma.
       I was made to understand and made to be her mama!

·      Her arm is sometimes a disappointment to her. Especially in the times that she is around other kids and gets frustrated.

My body has completely disappointment me. Let me down and frustrated me to all ends. I get what it means to be frustrated with your body.
I was made to be her mama!

There are other pieces of her story in relation to trauma, that I can understand because of some of my own trauma that I went through. Those however, will be saved for just us.

Grief is the other lesson that I learned this year, and the fact that it is ok. It is ok to grieve. It is ok to say I am not at my best today. It is ok to not have to put on a face for everyone. It is ok to cry out to Jesus and say why, or what is next. And as time goes on, little by little you heal and yet there will still be days where there is pain, that the heart twinges a little and you feel overcome with emotion. And that too is ok. I not quite sure why, but grief is one of those things that people shy away from, they run at the sight of people grieving, they lose words to say, or just get plain uncomfortable. And so those of us who are, feel as though they are on an island waiting for the boat to come and get us.

This year has been exhausting to say the least. I am still in a place of regret in regards to the surgery mainly because I can’t say that I have not felt normal yet. My body has changed in ways I can’t stand. My emotions flow like the great waves of the ocean. One that is still continuing because of on-going issues (rather exhausting if you ask me) And yet, this has been a year where I have dug deep in those oceans loosing myself in a different kind of healing process. I am better for it; I just wish It would have come a different way.


Jennifer