Bring Bennet Home

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Pastorate

When I met and married Chris Gordon I did so with full awareness that he was in the ministry. That I would join him in that. I wanted to work alongside him with teenagers. I wanted to be heavily involved. I also entered into this agreement with NO desire to "promote" from being the Youth Pastor's wife to being the Pastor's wife. No thanks! I do not fit the mold of what that looks like in my own head, little alone in anyone else's.
Before moving to Sayre we got calls from other churches very regularly. I mean like one a month or so. But when we got here the calls stopped, which was WONDERFUL! When you live where your "called" it's harder to know where that's supposed to be sometimes. At least it is for me. Not having that stress for three years was just what we needed. When we started in Sayre we had just weathered two very difficult summers in ministry. I really wanted to be done before we came here. I wanted to join a church and minister as Sunday School teachers or something. No more full time ministry, but God had other plans. When the first church contacted us it after we'd moved to Sayre it was almost a shock. It was the first time I ever contemplated actually leaving our people here. And we have some really good people in Sayre, America. I cried at the thought of saying goodbye to these precious folks who have loved my family so well. We interviewed with this church and even went and visited but as soon as we arrived I knew we wouldn't be moving there. It was big. Big city. Big church. Busy schedule. Little input. I just couldn't see us there. Sure enough the door closed with them, but the thought of leaving had been planted and processed a little. In the coming months Chris got a few more calls, but nothing that was promising. This all began in December 2011.
The following spring Chris began wrestling with another calling he felt on his life. People confirmed him without even knowing where he was. On and on that spring he kept feeling more and more like he was supposed to be a pastor. I thought he'd be a great pastor, but I did NOT want to be a "Pastor's Wife!" But as we talked about it I thought it'd be safe for me to go along and play the role of the supportive wife because of all the "strikes" that we have against us. We have tattoos, plural. More than one. Okay for the youth guy, not so much for the preacher. We have brown kids. Some folks still don't think that's a great idea. I'm opinionated and overly involved and sometimes hateful and 100% not precious. I usually don't see my husband doing church work and being gone from us as "laboring for Kingdom purposes" I mostly feel sorry for myself and resent him for not being at home to help me. I'm selfish folks. It's ugly. For most guys their first place to be the Pastor is small and filled with little old couples who don't like tattoos or the color we would add to their Fold. Like my grandparents before they fell in love with my fellas. We were safe from actually having to BE the Pastor's family, or so I thought.
For over a year Chris sent his resume to churches all over the state. Big ones, small ones. City churches or country congregations. We only interviewed with one and while we thought it was promising it didn't pan out. In July we got a full day together with no babies. The first one in a long while, like maybe since Casen was born in February or Bennett in October. I can't remember. But on our day of uninterrupted conversations my original dream came back up.
I have a huge crush on Jen Hatmaker. I want us to be like her and Brandon, her hubs. I would love to just follow her around and laugh at her sarcastic wit and honest way of living transparently. I fell in love with her the first time I read her blog about her adoptions. I just think like she does. I want to raise my family like she's raising hers. Learning to the BE Jesus instead of just knowing about Jesus. Anyway, on our day away church planting came back up a la Hatmaker. That's always been a down the road dream for us. But after a year of sending resumes with no promise of a church on the horizon we thought maybe that was more of a now thing then we thought. We got really excited about that option and began looking into the how to's and trainings and support methods etc... Then about three weeks later Chris came to me convinced he's supposed to go to seminary before we could plant. Not just online, but he was sure we were supposed to move to Wake Forest, North Carolina. NORTH CAROLINA. Needless to say I was none too thrilled about the thought of moving cross country with our brood for four years. No thank you. I did not want to go. We even went and visited and while it was a beautiful place, I don't like living three hours from my family, little alone 21 hours away.
About a week before we left on our little visit Chris got a call from a guy in Greenfield, Oklahoma. (I owe you a dollar if you know where Greenfield is.) Chris explained to him we were moving to NC for seminary, but the guy continued to ask questions for almost two hours. In the next week Chris received three more calls from different people who were on the Pastor Search Committee at Greenfield Baptist Church. Including one from a guy named Smokey as we landed in Durham, NC. It seemed pretty obvious that we needed to talk to this committee before we committed to moving so far away, especially since I wasn't exactly on board. The more people Chris talked to the clearer it became that this was from God and I was suddenly way more excited to be a preacher's wife. Apparently I needed the threat of moving 20-ish hours away from family to get excited about a role I've stereotyped to death. We went and interviewed with the committee and at the end of our evening with them they invited us to come in view of a call September 15th. Every bar we set for them they jumped over, including Chris attending seminary. Not only can he do it online, he can take hybrid classes and make 2-3 trips to Southeastern a year and finish in a reasonable amount of time. The church is not only supportive of this idea, but are willing to pay for ALL of it. Fees, books, flights, expenses while staying... ALL OF IT! See - they've jumped over our bars. I could go on and on with how God has confirmed this is His will for our family.
We went this weekend and were so loved on. It's a tiny church in a really tiny little community. It's halfway between Geary and Watonga and about 100 people live in Greenfield and the three businesses in town are the church, a co-op and a post office that's only open three days a week. The church runs 50-75 on Sunday morning and the best part is that most of those people are our age! With kids our boys age! That is unheard of in small country churches. Chris was voted in with the church's first ever 100% vote. We are packing up and saying goodbye to five years in Sayre this week and will start in Greenfield September 29th. It's crazy!
I'm packing up a storm and purging five years worth of accumulation. I mean we've added three people to our family in this house. It's unbelievable how much stuff we have. I've never packed kids before and man oh man it adds some boxes. But we are busy packing, purging and garage sale-ing while we say goodbye to a place and people that will always be so precious to our hearts.
Please say a little prayer for our family, our youth group that we're leaving and our new church family as we all transition. Pray specifically that our boys make the move smoothly and the students we're leaving will weather the change well. Lots of change, but lots of good things to come.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Bennett's 10 & 11 Months Letter

Oh my sweet Bennett,
You are just so busy these days. You wake up, want down and only make exceptions when you're hungry to sleepy. You are fast on all fours and could walk if you really wanted to. You've taken a couple steps here and there, but I think you're waiting to take off till you can run. You're so close! I keep thinking you'll take off any day now. You already keep up with Tucker at all costs and love to play with both your brothers.
You love your brothers, balls and your blanket. You refuse to sleep without it and no others will do. It's pretty cute that you have a lovie. One more way you are total opposite of your big brother. You still love your Daddy most of all and also love to say "Dada" while refusing to say Momma at all. You occasionally say "Bubba." You still love to clap your hands, patty cake, and blow kisses. You also really enjoy singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider or rather watching Momma and Tucker sing it. You are also becoming quite the little dancer. You love to shake your booty when you hear music, pretty cute! You also really like Tucker's trampoline and bounce on your knees until Tucker jumps close enough to bounce you. Sweet brothers.
You do not love to be fed anymore. You are so independent in all you do really. You'd much rather figure things out yourself, but you will still let us help with some things. You hate having to be still enough to get your diaper changed. You are definitely strong willed and make your own mind up about things/people. You are a little mean, especially to Casen. You LOVE to pull his hair or be rough with him and it seems like you're doing it on purpose sometimes, Little Turkey! We have to watch you guys all the time.
You are eating lots of table foods now and we haven't found much you don't like. Your favorites are yogurt, ritz crackers, biscuits, beans, sweet potato, grapes and bananas. You still eat baby food regularly.
You wear size 12-18 month clothes because your so long. Your in size 4 diapers. You weigh somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 pounds. You are waking up once a night again for some reason and while we really loved sleeping through the night once with two under a year old isn't bad. You have 8 teeth and are working on some more. You've been pretty cranky this last couple weeks and running a low grade fever on and off.

We have an appointment scheduled for you see an ENT who will remove the cyst on your eyebrow. It's kinda scary, but also routine for the doctors. Nothing to be concerned about they think.
You flew on your first airplane this month and you did great! It was also our first time to travel with a baby on board, but we had no reason to worry. You were a trooper. We flew to Durham, North Carolina and spent a few days checking out the seminary Daddy is going to start taking classes from.
I cannot believe you are almost a year old! This year has passed so quickly! You have been the absolute best baby on the planet. While your independence is causing a little bit of discipline you have truly been one of our best dreams come true. I cannot imagine life without your sweet toothy smile, your slobbery kisses or you precious giggles. I'm so thankful that God chose me to be your Momma!
I love you more,

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Bennett's Gotcha Day - August 15th, 2013

We FINALLY got to finalize our sweet Bennett Harris's adoption on August 15th. It was a long road with a few bumps in Texas, but it was well worth it! We got to go to court in Sayre which made it extra special because some really special people got to come/be involved. Tucker wasn't sure what to think of the court room and the official business. When the clerk, a friend of ours, asked everyone to rise for the judge Tucker said, "Oh no!" SUPER loud and provided a good laugh for everyone in the court room. I hope we added a little funny to a very serious day for everyone else who was waiting to see the judge that day. We're so thankful for the blessing of adoption in our life and all of the support from our friends and family that have made it possible. 
Our sweet lawyer, Molly Priest and Judge who gave all three boys surprises after the official proceedings were over. She was awesome!

The whole crowd. We're blessed to be loved so much by so many.

Bennett and Granna we're both super excited for him to officially be a Gordon!

August 15th made it hard for every one from my family to come because one of our favorite girls started kindergarten that same day. 

Man oh man, do I love this boy! He is definitely in my top four favorites of all time! 

Di-Di and her Gordon Boys.

Chris's Dad and Grandma Chloe came over from Elk City to be apart of Bennett's Gotcha Day!

These boys LOVE their Granna girl! We wouldn't have all survived this long without her endless help, advice, patience and support. I have the best Momma!

Two down, one to go!!!

Casen's 6 & 7 Months Letter

Casen Cole,
Man alive I don't way these letters are so difficult for me to keep up with. I think all the warm and mushy thoughts I did with Tucker, but writing them down seems much more difficult with #2 and #3. I really do love you and apologize for being behind.
You have done some really great things since I last blogged about you. You sit up with ease, you're pushing up on all fours in preparation for crawling (bless it!), you eat 2-3 jars of baby food a day and the biggest, greatest most fab accomplishment is you've almost stopped throwing up all the time!!! This is a HUGE deal! We accidentally changed your formula about a month ago and it has made the biggest difference in you. Not only do you not spit up as much, but you are in a much better mood. You will sit alone without direct interaction and let Momma do something else. You still prefer to be around all the action and your brothers, but the fact that you will sit alone is amazing. I feel so bad for keeping you on the other formula for so long because I really think that was the problem. I wish I'd tried earlier, but your doctor didn't think it would help so I didn't.
You are so smiley and lovey these days. You love to kiss and nuzzle into my neck. You climb up whoever is holding you with your super strong monkey-like toes making you hard to hold. You're super strong and just too cute for words. Now that you feel better your sweet personality shines a whole lot more often.
You are wearing size 6-12 months clothes and size three diapers. The only foods you don't really like are green beans and some of the veggie mixtures. But you really like to eat from a spoon and eat puffs. Your coordination is getting better every day as you put things in your mouth. You've also started drinking a little from a sippy cup everyday and you love that cup, but hate to hold it! You get super excited when you see me bringing it to you, but you would much rather someone hold it to your mouth for you to drink. You drink watered down juice much better then Bennett but he holds his cup.
July and August were busy months as usual. In July we went swimming, to the lake, Granna's and to Falls Creek. In August things have slowed down a little. We spent some time in Purcell and playing with friends, but have been closer to home for sure. We had your final post placement visit and are waiting to hear from our lawyer about your finalization date. We're so ready to have all the red tape over with for your adoption. Soon my baby boy!
You LOVE your big brothers and much prefer them to around for you to watch or play with. Your favorite toys are a bendable rabbit, a cement mixing truck that makes lots of noises and the wire and block maze toy. You also love the water... you liked swimming and love your baths. You flap your little arms to splash the entire time you're in the water. You also like to watch TV, particularly a Praise Baby-like DVD that makes noises and sings. We keep that one on in the van so you will ride in your new convertible car seat without screaming. Another fun development! You are also becoming quite the little chatter box. I love to hear you "talk" to your toys and to us. One of my favorite times you do this is when you're going to sleep and we're rocking I sing to you and you sing your sleepy songs with me for a while. You get really still and close your eyes and just sing away for a little while. Pretty sweet songs Case.
You are seven months old! I don't really know how we got here. Time has gone by in a blur this last year, but we are so thankful that you are the finishing piece to our trifecta of fellas. We love you so much and are over joyed to watch you grow and change. You are tough, strong willed and know what you want. But you are also so sweet and your face lights up with pure joy and excitement when you see me or your dad or when we kiss your neck. I can't imagine life without you and I'm so thankful for you. I knew you were meant to be ours long before it became official. Next week will mark one year since K asked us if we would add you to our tribe and I never had an easier time saying yes to someone. There wasn't even a question in my mind. We're so thankful for you and who you are in our family.

Love you more,