Closing this chapter.

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Wow.  It happened.

So let me tell you all about the backstory a little bit.  Shane and I got married in 2010 (in the middle of nursing school) and we wanted to start a family a year after.  So from our first pregnancy with Lamar having full Trisomy 18 ( which is also called Edwards syndrome, is a chromosomal condition associated with abnormalities in many parts of the body. Individuals with trisomy 18 often have slow growth before birth (intrauterine growth retardation) and a low birth weight) and that pregnancy with him was terminated on July 14, 2012 due to us feeling SO pressured by the specialists telling us that he would either die during delivery, or die inside of me before.

Then a few months later we got pregnant with Brielle.  She was born completely healthy without any abnormalities and after all the genetic testing with Lamar, the doctors told us that it would be a 99.9% that it would EVER happen to Shane and I that we would have another child born with a genetic abnormality. Well, Brielle was born as healthy as could be, and when she was 8 months old Shane and I had been praying for a long time to God to just bless us with one more baby.

Then we got pregnant with Rochelle. Rochelle was then diagnosed early on with full Trisomy 13 (which is also called Patau syndrome, is a chromosomal condition associated with severe intellectual disability and physical abnormalities in many parts of the body. … Due to the presence of several life-threatening medical problems, many infants with trisomy 13 die within their first days or weeks of life) and the doctor sent me to the same exact specialist in San Antonio that wanted me to have ANOTHER abortion (they said they had NEVER seen this happen to a biracial couple in their mid-20’s with no genetic background).  Shane and I knew the answer was absolutely not, and we were prepared as much as we could with truly trying to understand why God would give us a baby girl, just to take her away.  But let me tell you, it was the best decision to continue her life and watch her grow in her own personality in those 2 months and 1 day that she lived with us.  She changed SO many peoples lives, and God truly picked the perfect parents for her, and for that, we will be forever blessed and thankful.

It wasn’t until we were truly in the trenches in our foster care journey a little over a year ago, that we knew that we wanted to try one more time to add on to our family biologically.  We had 5 foster children at the time, and 1 biological child( Brielle who was 3) when we decided to pray some hard prayers that asked God to bless us one (final) time.  We found out last May that we were expecting and we decided right away we didn’t want to find out the gender and I decided that I wanted to have one more all natural-no meds-delivery as well! So this past January we welcomed Malachi into this world (happy, healthy, and oh so fun)!

We had researched some methods of permanent birth control procedures (during my pregnancy ) and Shane was SO scared to go the route of having a vasectomy, so we both agreed on the non-invasive method, called the Essure procedure for me (which does not require cutting into the body or the use of electricity to burn the fallopian tubes. Instead, an Essure trained doctor inserts soft, flexible inserts through the body’s natural pathways (vagina, cervix, and uterus) and into your fallopian tubes).  I just went to my confirmation test yesterday (where they inserted dye into my cervix/fallopian tubes to see if it passes through on the x-ray and if it passed through then the Essure was ineffective and it would result in a pregnancy, and if it didn’t that means the method was indeed effective and we don’t have to worry about getting pregnant again).

Ours was indeed effective and worked perfectly, and after two x-rays they can officially say that we should not be getting pregnant again! I had conflicting emotions because I know this is something that Shane and I prayed on and knew was the right choice for our family, but at the same time it’s so permanent you know?  But I am so thankful that we shouldn’t have to worry anymore, and I decided early on in our marriage that I wanted to be done having babies by the time I turn 30 (and I am currently 29).

I feel like in this day and age people are definitely not open to sharing different experiences to completing their family, thinking they may face negative judgement from others! Just know that is not the case with me and if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask and I will definitely share our experience throughout all of this!

Image source: found here

Link to Trisomy 18 information: found here

Link to Trisomy 13 information: found here

Link to Essure procedure information: found here

©2018 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

 

Mother’s Day 2018!!

mothers day 2018

Happy Mother’s Day to those mamas who have left this earth way too early, we must honor and remember them today! To all of you soon to be mothers, the ones who have lost their child(ren), the ones who day in and day out give all that you have have to make sure your children don’t go without.  You are NOTICED and appreciated!

I remember being pregnant for the first time with Lamar, and being so amazed that I could carry a life inside of me, and I was just amazed at everything that my body was doing, and just the feeling of being a mother already once we got pregnant. I felt this way with each subsequent pregnancies as well. I loved them so much before they were even born, just as Jesus did with us!

Parenting has been difficult at times and easy at other times.  I feel like with each age range (ages 4 months-7 years) comes different requirements, and I try my best to meet the needs of each one of them day in and day out, but there are definitely times where I fall short and that’s ok!  I look at it with the outlook that I never want to go to bed angry or upset at the kids(shane and I both try so hard to do this as well) and that each day brings a new start with a fresh beginning and I try to make the best of it (after my daily cup of coffee of course).

I have loved this season (past year) with finalizing ALL of the adoptions, and truly finding our new normal after such a big hectic year with fostercare.  I am looking forward to this summer with just being able to have a schedule with the kids, and be able to teach them more and more knowledge and growth over the next few months!

Motherhood is seriously such a major part of my identity (especially with so many of them a such young ages right now)but it is not who I am, my identity is found in Christ Jesus.  Being a mother to my five kids (and 2 in heaven) is such a gift, that I will never take for granted.

I tried to send this sweet little message (picture above) to ALL of the amazing women/mothers that continue to inspire me each and every day!

This year my parents kept the girls for the night and Shane took all of the boys to run errands so that I could actually get a NAP in ( I don’t even remember the last time that happened), and then I woke up with a bouquet of flowers and dinner cooked (and all cleaned up) and then today he brought me coffee and breakfast and then we went to an awesome church service and ended our night with spending it with my parents in Lockhart!

Shane helps me out each and every day in parenthood and it does not go unappreciated but the extra kind gestures on Mother’s Day are always loved and so thoughtful!

I will leave you with some pictures from today! Hope everyone had an awesome day!!

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(These are ALL of the sweet gifts my kids gave to me from school… SO precious)

 

And Mom, thank you for EVERYTHING.  These words are just a bit of how I feel about you!! LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH!!

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©2018 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

Tell the truth Thursday!

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Image credit: here

I am going to begin this by saying that it might not be every Thursday, but I definitely want to start an open space where I can just tell you all that everything I post on social media or even blog post is the whole story or even a fraction of what raising 5 kids (ages 7 and under) is truly like.  So I wanted to just have a little spot on here to basically tell it like it is (lol).

  • I will start it off by actually saying that I am actually writing this with my 4 month old on my lap due to him being very needy lately (thank you, teething) and always wanting to be with me everywhere! lol!
  • I think my family gets viewed of having to be perfect since we are believers in Christ, but let me tell you.. we are far from it.  While of course we strive to teach the children about the Lord, and listen to a lot of gospel music, let me just tell you that some of the most requested songs around here are not gospel music.  Brielle and the boys most requested songs are “sorry, not sorry” and “juju on that beat”! haha Definitely NOT gospel music!
  • Our two year old Gracelynn (a.k.a) Gracie loves to run around at night after she has taken off all her clothes and say “booty bath” before going to get her towel and hopping in the bath! haha while it’s SO cute and innocent at her age… we REALLY hope she doesn’t do it while we are out in public! haha
  • So after Shane and I decided NO.MORE.ANIMALS and was content with just raising our 1 lab that is already getting up in age.. a black lab showed up, and hasn’t left.  While I did try to search on social media, and called around all the shelters to see if someone was missing a black lab, and did the best I could do to try to find it’s owners, I had no such luck and we have now named him max and he has become a part of the Johnson clan. Shane claims that we just ADOPT everyone (animals included) haha!
  • While I try my best to practice patience with my kids, I do fall short and end up yelling at them at times! I try my best to practice grace with all of my kids, but that doesn’t always happen!
  • If I am ever wearing make-up or half awake out in public.. it’s because my kids were being nice and patient with each other for about 15-30 minutes for me to be able to do so.. MOST of the time I am in sweat pants/no make-up, and a t-shirt!
  • My boys (my adopted sons that are ages 4&7) STILL have accidents in their beds at night every now and again and talk about washing SO.MUCH.LAUNDRY on top of my every day tasks gets to be a handful at times but y’all.. TRAUMA is SO real! So we have really begun to sleep-train, practice water intake, and really work on methods for the boys as of this past month and I can already see such a huge difference!
  • You know those kids that you apologize to the teachers in future advance just because you know the true colors or your kids? Ya.. that would be my two year old little girl! We enrolled her in Mother’s Day Out for the fall, and I have already warned her teacher..haha she is definitely NOT the easiest child of the bunch.. by far! She is so so so fun though so I know she will have a blast in school!
  • I am kind of DREADING summer starting and being with all 5 of my kids 24/7 but I am trying to put into a different perspective and going to cherish so much one on one time that I am able to develop with each of them that I don’t necessarily have now with them in school.

That’s all for today, hope you all know that we are definitely normal over here, and hope I gave y’all a laugh or two if you are having some similarities as us as well! haha!

Have a great Thursday everyone!!

©2018 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

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4 months old!!

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Image credit here

So somehow we have made it to 4 months already!? That is crazy and I love how much growth has happened over these last 4 months! From literally just eating/sleeping/pooping and peeing all day to now being so talkative, belly laughing, rolling over, trying to sit up by himself, and eating from a spoon (and still drinking milk/sleeping/pooping and peeing, haha)!

I am just amazed at laid back he is, how much he still loves to be cuddled up against us when he is napping/ or just sitting wanting to play and sit on your lap to watch everyone and how much joy he brings to the entire family.

It’s so precious that each one of kids are developing such a unique and special bond with him, that they are going to carry with them for the rest of their lives.  Brielle loves to feed him, cuddle him, and make him laugh (around 100 times a day), Joseph loves to play with him on the ground and just talk to him and introduce him to new toys, and activities.  Luke loves to laugh (and in return malachi laughs back) and loves to sing “twinkle, twinkle little star” to him to calm him down, and Gracelynn LOVES to say “kai kai” and show him all of her toys and she has started to sing him to him as well and loves to see him laugh!

So even though his doctor appointment isn’t until next week, I am just going by what we have taken here at home!

Weight: 15 lb 6 oz pounds taken at home scale

Length:25 inches (taken at home)

Likes:

-To be held! It’s so adorable how much he LOVES when we are holding him!
-To be talked to and play “peek-a-boo”
-To eat! He just tried baby food for the first time today and ate the ENTIRE bowl!! He loves food (just like his parents).
-To sleep! He has woken up past two nights 1 time for a feeding but before that we had a good stretch of sleeping ALL.NIGHT.LONG! Hallelujah! I just wish we could pass on the great sleeping to the girls in the house (including me).. but we are getting there!
-He loves to be hot! He loves to be pressed up against someone when he is napping!
-His carrier! He literally falls asleep in it almost instantaneously. We have now introduced the sling carrier as well and he has done amazingly well!

Dislikes:
– Clipping his nails! Though he is finally tolerating it a bit now!
– Changing his clothes.  He absolutely hates it now!

Teeth: None! 🙂 Though, the drooling has caused increase in spit up, so that’s fun! 🙂

Language:
I swear it’s like he is responding correctly to what we are saying at times! His cooing is incredibly adorable and his laugh literally melts my heart every time!

Milestones: Rolling over back to front on both sides now, trying to sit up on his own, and eating his first baby food!

Upcoming:

MD appt:  4 month appt May 14th

Here are some pictures from the last few weeks and today’s monthly picture!

Thank you all for following along his journey and growth! I believe crawling and sitting up on his own is surely going to happen in the next few weeks!

©2018 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.