Friday, September 18, 2015

Turning 50!

Today is a banner day in our home!  Shad turns 12 and I turn 50!

I can't believe Shad is 12 (nor can I believe I am 50!!!!)

Shad the day he came to the orphanage

And today by the front door!


 At school when I delivered his cake and cookies for his class. 
Next year he will be a teenager!!!!!!!!
Ok his birthday is all fun and games but MINE???   50?????  How the heck did that happen?????
Here's me at about 9 months old. 
At my old year old bday party
My 4 year old bday party with my Uncle Mack.  He moved in with us and I adored him.  He died when I was 12 years old and it devastated me. 
Kindergarten picture 1969
1st grade
 At my 8th bday party with a friend

High school Graduation 1983
College 1986

With my roommate and some close friends at a Sadie Hawkins 1987
I rocked the 80's!


Christmas in college 

Ok IN MY MIND, I feel like the girl in the last few pictures.....LOL  however I KNOW that's not true!
Turning 50- that's huge!  When there's a TV ad on and the business says "we've been in business for 50 years" it makes you think that that business is stable.  It's been there a long time.  Well that's what I'm feeling today. HAHAHAHA!
Honestly I feel in shock, to me 50 seems old.  I apologize to anyone who is reading this who is 50 or older my mind 50 is not young.  I even got an AARP card in the mail last week!  ME!  Who do those people think they are sending ME a card like that????
I look back over my life, over the stories I was told of hard times that I was too little to know about, and of all the memories I have and I know God is faithful.  There are many things I don't understand, how or why God protected me like He did but I'm so grateful that as a baby and small child, that I found a sanctuary with my great aunt and she chose (at 66 years old) to raise me.   As a mother, I am so grateful to my great aunt Bertha ( Boot Mama- ok we give Southern names)  She saved my life in many ways.  Also as a mother I don't know how she had the energy to do it!
I'm so grateful for the life experiences I've had, both good and bad.  The good ones are precious, the bad ones make me thankful for the good ones!
Who would have thought I'd go to college, graduate and work a career job for years?  I'm not sure I even had those kinds of dreams as a kid. 
I'm amazed that I've been married now for almost 26 years to a wonderful man.  I can hardly believe I have five kids, each with such unique stories.  Me, who never really thought she'd be a mom!  As a child, I remember when Nixon opened the doors of travel to China, never ever thinking for a moment that one day I would go there and adopt a son!  I remember when the Wall fell, watching it on TV with Jon, never knowing what that meant for me- that one day I'd go and stay in Ukraine for weeks while adopting two little girls. 
As a little girl, I'd watch shows based in NYC and I never dreamed that one day I'd live there  and have a son born in Manhattan! Having the experience of giving birth was just amazing. It was awful but at the same time, there was this wonderful boy born to me!  I was privileged to be able to birth a child!  And it's been a privilege to watch him grow into a young adult and go from being his mom, to being a friend also.   
  I got to experience living in NYC, the largest city in our country. Me, just a poor girl from a little tiny pulp wood town in North Florida.  I rode the subways and buses like a native.  I got to explore areas all over the city and out on the island.  What fun!
Of course, I also never would have dreamed that I'd lose twins while living there and almost lose my life in the process.  The whole experience of their death just reminds me of NYC.  I remember walking in the rain to the Upper West Side to meet with an undertaker to do all the paperwork to have them cremated.  That was a hard time.  There's nothing like NYC in the evening, in lightly falling rain.  That will always be a memory to me that I'll hold sacred. 
Growing up only knowing a very few handicapped persons. I never imagined that I'd be the mom of a handicapped child....and then two more.....   I never knew of the privilege I would have to be able to be their mommy.  What a blessing it has been in so many ways.  Although as an avid diaper changer avoider it is very ironic that I have three little ones in diapers at age 50! 
As basically an adopted child myself, I never dreamed when I was younger that I'd have the honor to walk out of two awful orphanages with my children in my arms!   There are no words for it......
Over the years, I've got to travel and see a lot of the USA and aboard.  Things I never even had the dream of doing as a young girl. 
Even the hard times, losing the twins, Sam's birth and early years, Selah's accident.....all of those times helped me to know God better and to cling more tightly to Him.  While I would not chose on my own to go through any of those events, I can look back on them assured of God's grace, provision and sufficiency.   I've learned through it all that God is very faithful!
God's given me some life long friends that I'm so glad that they are in my life.  People I can be real with and who "get me".  Even if we all have busy lives, they are there.
I've got to do some incredible things over the years.  I've seen miracles of provision, I've had the help of an angel while in China (yes really I think so) 
I've managed to still be a pastor's/minister's wife without killing anyone....that's just should be a life time achievement award for me! 
I saw that today and thought it was very fitting for me!
This one too!
I've got some regrets for some stupid things I've done in the past.  Three specific things....and I have a few regrets for some things I did NOT do....  Although some of those things may have caused me to have other regrets LOL!   But all in all I'm pretty happy with my life, and where I am at.  I feel extremely blessed with my husband and children.  They are the stabilizers of my life.  When something goes wrong I remember that NOTHING really matters but what happens in our home.   If somebody gets mad at me or upset with something at church, or in a friendship, other family or whatever.....if it's not between me and one of the other six people that share my house, then it's not worthy of my worry or pain!   I really live by that!  100%!  That causes me to put everything else in perspective!  And it helps me to live calmly. 
It's been an interesting life so far.  I don't know what lies ahead, good or bad.  Of course, I hope ONLY good but I know that is not realistic.  I hope that I'm here on my 100th birthday, writing a blog talking about how young & silly I was when I turned 50!  Ha!  I hope I have a long healthy life ahead so I can take care of my younger children and watch my older ones hit milestones in their lives. 
I'm thankful for every day that God has given me....all  18,263 according to one of my friends!!!


  1. Happy Birthday Shad and Happy Birthday, (as we say in the South)-- 'Miss' Yvonne!
    Glad that you both had a nice day.
    50 isn't so bad once you get used to it, I promise. :) (I'm 54, which still sounds so strange to say, because on the inside I feel 20!) I always tell myself it's a "frame of mind" thing...if I start acting 'old', I'll become 'old'.
    Beautiful dimples, lucky you!, and Shad is so handsome. Birthday blessing to you both.

  2. I lost the comment I wrote to you both....
    Oh well, I pray that you both have fantastic birthdays.
    You, Shad are a fantastic young man and I am blessed to read about all y'all
    when Mom writes posts and posts pictures.
    Hey Miss Yvonne.....Blessed to have been able to start reading your blog and praying for your family starting with that day back when the accident happened in NY.
    God Bless and have a fantastic birthday...Wish that more Christians would be as honest and open as you are in your posts.....That is a great gift....
    Love from NC

  3. Happy birthday to both of you!! Life is a roller-coaster isn't it? But worth the ride! :)