Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Love

Our anniversary was on the 29th.  It is also David's birthday and each year I try really hard to separate the two.  This year, I was really unsuccessful.  I have been sick on and off for months now.  It has been quite frustrating.  I had things in mind to make his birthday different from our anniversary and it just didn't happen.
I am truly grateful that I am married to a man who loves me anyways.  He has been extremely patient with me through all these sicknesses.  He took care of me on his birthday just like he would any other day.  We went out to dinner on the 29th (which is a big deal for us.  Seriously, it is.  When we have our date nights on Fridays we always do the same thing.  Get some drive through food some where and eat it in bed while watching a show.  So actually going out somewhere is a big deal) and I felt like crap.  I was so cold and my nose wouldn't stop running and well, I could go on and on but what I remember the most was how comfortable I felt with him.  How grateful I was that I could be as sick as I was and know that he still loved me and wanted to be with me.
I love this man so very much.

Gifts From Oklahoma

I am so grateful that I have family that involves my children, even if it is from a distance. 
 Poppy gave Levi his first taste of pop when he turned one year old and so it was just a given that from then on, he would give the rest of the kids their first taste of pop.  So when Nanny and Poppy sent Ruger his birthday presents, there was this can of Pepsi in there for him.
 We waited until Christmas dinner to give it to him.  I'm not sure he liked that fizzy stuff all that much and it certainly wasn't healthy but it was like having Poppy there with us.  And it was certainly fun to watch the funny faces Ruger was making while trying this new drink.
 For Christmas, Levi got the game "Pie Face" from Nanny and Poppy.
 You put whipped cream on the purple hand...
 spin to see how many clicks you give the hand...
 and find out randomly if you get smacked in the face with whipped cream!
As you can see from the first picture, it didn't matter if the boys got smacked in the face with whipped cream or not.  They were going to eat some even if it meant slurping off the remains on the table.  My boys are gross.  Cute...but gross.

Friday, December 25, 2015

My Favorite Gift

Steve and Barbara sent us this statue of Baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.  This picture does not do justice of just how absolutely beautiful this statue really is. 

I almost immediately thought of this moment in mine and David's life.  My Mom took this picture right after Levi was born.  It was not staged.  This picture has always been so precious to me.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Just as I can remember it being hard to wait all day on Christmas Eve until the unopening of gifts, the boys struggled as well.  But I used there anticipation to my advantage (yes, I'm a mean mom) and kept saying things like, "We aren't opening gifts until the dishes are done."  "We are not opening gifts until your rooms are cleaned."  There were a few grumbles but its not like they are not used to doing all those things every day anyways...but David may have added a few things like cleaning the bathrooms.  Aw, yeah!
But they made it and unwrapping finally began.
 This was my favorite gift that Ruger got.  My Dad has always gotten the boys their first football.  I had totally forgotten about that until Ruger opened this gift.  After all, it has been almost 8 years since we got our last football.  I am so grateful for our family's love for our children and keeping traditions.
 All 3 boys got drones for Christmas from my side of the family.
 I had all of us open one of our presents earlier that day.  It was the pajamas that my mom always sends every year.  I thought we would take showers and put them on before opening presents.
  Hyrum's favorite gift was probably a close tie between a stuffed enderdragon that he got from Poppy and Nanny and a new Minecraft game from Uncle Chuck.
And THIS was the best gift of the night!  My mom has always gotten David Snickers throughout the years but nothing like this!  Snickers are David's favorite candy bar.  Not that "favorite" is like a "favorite" to a Beck though.  We LOVE our chocolate.  Chocolate is ok in David's eyes.  But there is a story behind David and Mom and these Snickers. 

Mom bought David a Snickers once (I think it was when she came up for Levi's birth).  He kept it in his pocket for DAYS!  That is insane to think that a Beck could ever have that kind of self control with having chocolate around for that long without eating it.  He'll probably have all this "Yard Snickers" till next Christmas, knowing him.  Oh wait, he is married to me....

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

We have a TEENAGER!

So, we have a teenager in our mist now.  Weird.  Not weird in the, "I'm not old enough to have a teenager" kind of thing.  Just where has the time gone?  And why doesn't he act like a teenager?  Why doesn't he have more attitude?  Why do David and I deserve such a good teenager?
We sure do love this boy.  He is such a good example to his both his parents and brothers.  He wants to be good.  He is patient.  He is kind.  We couldn't ask for a better child to bring us into the teenage years.
This year, his birthday was on a Sunday so it made it kind of odd for celebrating.  And a few years ago we started doing this "odd" year thing.  On the odd years, they don't have birthday parties with their friends.  On those years, they get to choose something fun to do with their parents.  He chose to watch the new Star Wars movie.  I begged him not to choose me!  If you know me, I really don't like watching movies/shows that can't be real.  If I'm gonna watch TV its needs to be either funny, romantic, or spiritual.  The thought of watching Star Wars makes me want to poke my eyes out.  In fact, lets push that finger farther up my eyes and into my brain and swirl it around.
Yeah, he chose his Daddy to go with him on Saturday.
Then on Sunday he opened presents (the picture above is of him and his favorite gift from all the adults from Oklahoma. 3DS XL) and had homemade cake.  He is old enough now that he doesn't want the store bought themed cakes.  It's all about taste now :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Adoption Day!

Throughout our journey of fostering/adopting Ruger, a lot of neat things have happened along the way.  One of them was meeting the lady who took our pictures the day of Ruger's adoption.  Her name is Sherri and she taught me patience as our family was in limbo as to what would happen with Ruger.  I met Sherri through Hyrum.  Last school year, Hyrum quickly became friends with Sherri's son, Brooklyn.  He soon wanted to set up a play date, which is when I met Sherri.  We met at a park and as Sherri and I got to know one another, I found out that Brooklyn used to be a foster child.  It is a long story, and theirs is a little different than ours because it is kinship (Kinship is a form of Foster Care.  It is through family.  So Brooklyn was related to Sherri's husband, which made them Kinship.  Most of the rules are the same but there is a little more leeway if the fostering is through Kinship) but it was such a blessing to get to know her side of the Foster Care process. 
At this point of fostering Ruger, there was this fear that he would be taken away if someone came forward that would be considered Kinship.  Kinship almost always will get the child in a case like ours; as long as that kinship is in good standing with the law and such.  So we were constantly afraid someone would come forward.  Foster Care is all about keeping families together and I know that.  And I believe in that.  But having that knowledge is still very hard to accept when you have fallen absolutely in love with a child.  A child you know fits in your family as if you had given birth to that child. 
I was so grateful for her insight, however.  It humanized the situation for me.  A possible Kinship situation seemed more of an understanding than a, "you are taking my baby away from me and he doesn't know you" kind of a thing.  It made me realize some things.  What if 10 years down the road someone from DCFS comes to me and tells me that one of my sons had fathered a child that he never knew about and that that child was in Foster Care.  But that child was in someone else's home.  He was in a foster home and that they loved him very much.  Would I fight for that child?  I have no idea where I will be in my life 10 years from now but I know that if it were to happen today, I have no doubt I would fight for that child!  Sherri helped me to see the other side and to have more compassion.  To be more understanding.  It was a realization that I didn't want to have, honestly, but it was something I needed to recognize.  I am truly grateful that we were never faced with a Kinship situation, however, because November 17th came along and "Baby R" is now Baby Joseph David Ruger Adams!

 Sherri met us at the Ogden Utah temple and began taking our pictures there about an hour before the adoption took place.  I wanted to get pictures taken there because the following Saturday we would be sealed there.
 I keep hearing people say over and over how Ruger physically just fits in our family and I think these pictures prove it.

 After the pictures we left for the 2nd District Juvenile Court and were blessed with many friends to support us there.

 This is Dani and Necha outside of the courthouse.  Necha (the one holding Ruger) was Ruger's social worker for the first half of it before she moved.  Just as her smile suggests, she was so sweet through the beginning when I doubted some things.  She comforted me when I literally came crying to her about my fears of him being taken away but she was honest with me enough to let me know that there were no guarantees until the very end.  Dani handled things differently than Necha.  She has been doing this for a lot longer and didn't coddle Ruger's birth mom at all.  At times, I'm sure, it seemed hard but I also think it was a wake up call to her.  I think that with Necha, Ruger's birth mom was given every chance possible with extras.  Then it came time to switch things up with Dani and Ruger's birth mom got to see the hard reality of it all.  Looking back at it all, I think both were necessary.  She truly had every chance possible given to her through DCFS and then she was given the reality of it all in a different way.  A way that would show her that without people doing things for her, well, that this is the way it truly would be.
 After the courthouse, Sherri followed us to our home to document his adoption/1st birthday party!
 A friend from our Ward (church) made this cake.  On the side it said, "Superman was adopted too!"
 And there was a yummy surprise in the middle!

 This picture tells me, "Too much cake....I'm gonna puke!"
 This is one of my favorites because he is clapping.  Every time Ruger claps we say, "Yeah baby!"  He just eats it up every time!
 "Pick Your Superpowers"
 "Kryptonite Krispies"

Our sweet Superman

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Baby Blessing

Yesterday morning we headed down to Spanish Fork to have Ruger's baby blessing as well as see Abbie baptized.  I am truly grateful that Abbie was willing to share her day with her cousin.  We expected to have Ruger's baby blessing after Abbie's baptism program but to our surprise, they added his blessing during the program.  He was given a name and a blessing that spoke of Ruger's patience and good nature.  He was told to focus on his talents as he is growing up.  For these talents are what will get him through the trials in his life.
The speakers did so well speaking to Abbie about the importance of baptism and the Holy Ghost.  I walked away remembering that the Holy Ghost is our friend.  He truly is.  He always wants what is best for us and guides us in that direction.  What a truly wonderful friend he is!
We went to Stephen and Holly's house afterwards to spend time together and eat lunch.  Though we didn't get to spend as much time together as I would have liked (it was important for me not to stay to long to take away from Stephen and Holly's time together.  Stephen is living in South Carolina right now for work and only gets to come home for a few days, once a month), David did receive a wonderful blessing from Heavenly Father through Stephen. 
I love Priesthood blessings.  With how much I love them, it says something that this one was quite special.  Stephen was the perfect vessel to be telling David what Heavenly Father wanted him to learn about change.  How change is a catalyst to us getting back to our Father in Heaven.  With what Stephen is going through right now with him being so far away from his family for such long periods of time as well as dealing with a stressful situation with his job, it couldn't have meant more.  I knew he knew what he was talking about.  He is personally dealing with it right now.  David has dealt with changes in jobs for years.  I have never known someone who has experienced as much change in jobs as David has.  This was never in his plans, yet it was always the Lords'.  Sometimes that is hard to remember.  Hard because who wants to go from job to job all the time?  Who wants job losses?  Who wants to be set back in your career every time you join a new company?  Who wants to look like, to the outside world, he can't keep committed to something as important as a career?  It is hard to remember that the Lord has His plans, that will be put into motion, when your plans are not aligned with His in your perfect world scenario.  Anyways, I'm getting off of the subject at hand; his blessing. 
He was also reminded of how special he is and was.  The importance of his decisions in the preexistence.  How important it was for David and I to adopt Ruger; for his path was now set in a very different direction had he been able to go home with his biological mother from the hospital.  He spoke of how difficult it would have been for Ruger to know the Lord had we not done what we did with Foster Care.  I very hesitantly put this in here.  The sealer in the temple spoke of this as well.  Twice he brought it up.  I didn't want to write it down for fear of bragging.  But after this blessing from Heavenly Father, I knew I had to record it.  All I can say it that David and I are just so grateful the Lord gave us the chance to even do it.  Going back to all of David's job changes and moves, it would have never allowed for it in the past.  Yet, we finally were able to stay somewhere long enough and be stable enough to actually do Foster Care.  These are my thoughts but what are the odds?  It is so rare to hear of people adopting so soon after just starting Foster Care.  Yet our first placement brought us this perfect little boy.
I will just end this entry with saying how grateful I am that this all occurred.  How it occurred.  When it occurred.  We love our son, Ruger. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Eternally Ours

 On November 17, 2015 Joseph David Ruger Adams became legally ours.  But on Saturday, November 21, he became eternally ours.
 It was such a beautiful experience.
 I will start with this picture.  One the left is Shannon Wilson.  He was one of our witnesses in the temple.  Ideally, we would have chosen our family as our witnesses and the endowed member to hold Ruger during the sealing.  However, family was not able to attend.  It was important to me, however, to get it as close to family as possible though.
We met Shannon while living in Oklahoma.  He and his family soon became very important in our lives.  He makes me think of Oklahoma and my family there.  In the middle, holding Ruger, is Peggy Stevenson.  I met her while we were living in Sunset, Utah.  She quickly became my closest friend in the ward (church) we were a part of.  She reminds me of my sisters.  Her way of expressing herself, through her hand gestures, reminds me of Amanda.  Her amazing ability to make me laugh in any situation, reminds me of April.  It was important for me to have her hold Ruger while we were being sealed in the temple.
On the right side is Karl Roberts.  He was the first person David thought of when we found out we needed to have 2 witnesses.  I love Karl and his wife (Sabrina) so I thought it was just fine.  But after a while I started thinking about how perfect Karl really was for this purpose.  With all our moving and being in many different wards, Karl and Sabrina, represent the amazing members of the church who have been our "family away from family" through each move.  The majority of our moves have made us physically far away from our family.  So we have always relied on our ward family.  Which leads to the next picture. 
 Other than Jen Thomson (second on the left), these lady's are/were from our current ward.  I wonder if they know just how much them being there really meant. 
Jen, we met through foster care.  She has been an amazing resource for me personally through this whole experience.  We were blessed with the most dedicated members in DCFS as well as our cluster support groups.  I know people have their "horror" stories of Foster Care but I can honestly say that we were very well taken care of. 

These pictures were taken by Tricia Wilson (Shannon's wife).  I am going to quote what she said about these pictures on Facebook:
“The Joy of a mother comes in quiet moments. It comes with heartache, selflessness, and hardship. But in the end... It's moments like this when it is all worth it. Today is a day to honor this friend. She has loved and nurtured this baby boy not knowing what the end might be. I can't imagine the emotional roller coaster that may have been. This boy is so happy and clapping his hands for his eternal family!!!”
That meant so much to me.  I won't go into detail about that but just know that I love her for saying that.  I truly do love Ruger so very much.  There were times it was an emotional roller coaster, not knowing the future.  It was scary not knowing.  But he was so very worth it.
 Peggy posted this picture on Facebook with the caption:
“Our amazing friends David Alisa Adams brought home a sweet baby boy last year and loved and cared for him while his mommy tried to pull herself together to give him the life he deserved. Sadly--but happily--she wasn't able to do it and they got to adopt him last week, making sure he will have a happy life and will never want for anything. Today I got to hold him in the House of the Lord where he became a part of their beautiful family for all eternity. To be such a cool part of this day with them was a blessing I will cherish forever. Love you guys!!”
There was so much truth spoke here.  It was happy, yet sad, at times during this whole process.  Sad, knowing that his biological mom couldn't get it together yet clearly still loving him.  Happy, because we got to add a precious boy into our family.  And Peggy being a part of this special occasion in the temple was such a blessing for both her and my other children.  For Peggy (as well as David and I and all those attending with children of their own) was a reminder of all the blessings that children born under the covenant receive.
This was a picture from Tricia.  I love how the white in our clothes just stand out so well in this picture.
I want to end this journal entry with 2 things that was said about the beautiful, wonderful things that were witnessed in the temple:
Tricia said,
"It was so neat watching your boys walk into the room.  They looked a little nervous.  When they saw me and I waved to them, they were all smiles and waved back.  They all hopped onto the couch and Brigs sat Indian style with his feet up on the couch as if he was at home.  I don't know why that tickled me so much?!  I guess because he looked so happy and content.  It was special to watch Ruger during the sealing as he would just look at David and then at you and then back up at David.  I wondered what he was seeing.  Then after the sealing as he was placed in the arms of his brothers and seeing the love they had for him was priceless.  They all three reached out to grab him but Levi won.  Levi was emotional and you could see that he knew what this meant.  When we hugged you, you gave me that little boy to hold, he kept grabbing for my earrings and then all of a sudden he stopped for quite some time and was looking up at the lights.  The chandelier over the alter.  I knew he was seeing others from the other side.  He seriously was too focused and still.  The sealer mentioned that his was the shortest sealing but the most important because it binds families together for eternity.  He said to your boys what a privilege it was for them to be a part of this because not all children get the opportunity before being sealed.  He encouraged them to remember this day."
Peggy said,
So the very first thing I noticed was that Brigham just made himself at home in the temple. He pulled his feet up and sat cross-legged on the couch. I thought, "Only Brigham!" It didn't seem at all inappropriate--just that he felt comfortable. So as the sealer spoke, I was watching the boys. I expected emotion either from Levi--because I know how much he loves Ruger, or from Hyrum because he's such a tender little love. But while both of them looked so happy, it was Brigham who you could tell was really touched. I can't pretend to know what he was thinking but it was clear he was feeling emotional. I almost think either it surprised him or maybe he didn't know exactly what it was that he was feeling? It was just very, very clear that he was moved and I'm tearing up just thinking about it.”

I appreciate both of these witnesses of the feeling inside the temple so much.  I guess because we all experienced our own things but yet there were similarities also.  And sometimes you can miss certain things because you are focused on others.  It is so important to me to get this journaled so that when time fades our memories of this glorious event, we can look back on this and be reminded.