Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine and injustice when He could do something about it. But I'm afraid God might ask me the same question.

Friday, August 5, 2011


I will probably have a panic attack after hitting publish on this post.  I usually keep my personal life pretty close to my heart.  I know I am laying myself out raw here and opening myself up to so much judgement...not like I don't get it anyway :)  Believe me I get it daily...18 years later I thought it would have ended a long time ago, but it hasn't.  Every time I tell someone I have a teenager their head spins and they end up asking me how old I am and then I can tell they are doing the math and passing judgement....  I wish it didn't hurt, but it does.   I get so ticked when I feel judged because I feel like someone is trying to cheapen the love I have for my firstborn, which is sorely incorrect. I was young when I had Collin. I immediately wrapped my whole life up in this child.  He was my everything. He raised me as much as I raised him.  We went through some really rough times, him and I.  We were alone for several years just getting by but having so much fun together.  I worked my tail off working two jobs and he was the center of my universe.  Because of these times I think we have always had a very special relationship even now.  I am feeling big emotions this week as we just finished packing up his room and loading up the mini-van to take him off to college.  It's a big deal for all parents, but I fell like a huge piece of who I am is moving on. 

I am going to have to be an adult without him in my daily life, something I have never known.    I don't know why I'm sharing this heavy burden with you all.  I usually keep it to myself and try to guard it with all of my heart.  But I just feel like letting it go.. and putting it all out there..   Here is the photo that just wrecks me.  A true full circle moment.

This is Collin and I, the day I graduated high school.  
 And this is Collin and I, the day he graduated High school weeks ago.

I wish I could go back to the scared to death little girl in that first picture and tell her how everything was going to turn out.  That this boy was going to be such a strong compassionate man.  That things are going to be tough, really tough, but don't let it get you down, because when it comes to the things that really matter in this will be richly blessed.  I wish I could go back and save her the pain, but I know for sure that I appreciate the fact that I have a wonderful husband that loves his family with his whole heart.  I think the pain of being alone and scared gave me a heart for the orphan. I am so thankful that I didn't miss out on that lesson.   So maybe the pain was for a bigger and better purpose.  I know for sure that I have never once had regret.  This boy has made every moment worth it!  I am who I am, because of him and  I am so blessed.

Here is a short video I made for him and we watched it together last night.. we both cried

We are off to the beach in the morning and then we will be headed straight for NC State to drop him off at the dorms.  I'm heavy hearted for sure.


Mary said...

What a beautiful video. I hope I remember to do that when my oldest is getting ready for college. We never know where our paths in life our going to take us, but it takes a courageous, faithful, grateful soul to embrace the life we've been given and path we're on. You, and your son!, have so much to be proud of. Have a great time at school -- even if it is State. ;-)

From a Carolina Girl!

Anonymous said...

Oh my, thank you so much for sharing. I shared your story with my husband and we were both amazed - at your story and at your self reflection years later.

Your family is blessed beyond belief. I wish your son good luck at NC state - I am sure your Son is an amazing man because of it.

Cheri said...

There are never mistakes or judgments...only lessons learned. I can only imagine how you must feel right about now. But, like before, you will adjust and learn this new phase of life.

Sharing Life and Love said... made me lose it over here. That picture of you at graduation---it's beautiful.

Brian chuckled at the end of your video and said, "she still looks like a kid." You are both beautiful people and you sharing your incredible beginning is so moving; my heart hurts.

Brace yourself for that drive to college. Two years ago I drove my "surprise" baby to college. Then all the way home, flashes of her little face, throughout the various stages of life, kept popping up. I sobbed the whole way home. There is a lot of depth to these sweet babies.

(Brian never looks at blogs-by the way-and he took control of the laptop, had a huge grin on his face when he looked at the pictures---and just kept saying, "wow, that is awesome")

Paige said...

So glad you shared this, I would be proud to be your friend. There are few that take that leap of faith and raise a child on their own, it is a true act of love and selflessness which I truly believe God blesses. You are blessed! I had such a hard time when my oldest went to college, I would walk by her room and feel like she died, seriously:). As another friend said to me " it is another phase of your life and you gradually get used to it". She was right, I did get used to it and it made the times she came home so sweet! I wish you the best as you kiss your sweet boy goodbye for awhile not forever!

chksngr said...

OH, I'm so glad you shared this! Its just gorgeous. I'm overwhelmed by your strength and beauty...I hope someday I'll be hugged all over by one of my grown up boys...You've done an amazing job, Amy. You have so much to be proud of. This will just be the the new "normal" and then there will be another and another. Your heart is so beautiful...your children are just very very blessed to have a mommy like you!

Love for Lilly Yin said...

That was so sweet I am bawling!

Anonymous said...

I am a child of a young mother as well, she had my brother at 18 and me at 21, I would be lost without her. Your love for your son, really all your children, is evident. From the little I have read on your blog you did an amazing job. Congrats to you, and to him.

- Melissa

Sarabeth Hudson said...

Another beautiful video that brings tears to my eyes! So proud to be your friend and blessed to learn from you by watching you parent. I have no idea the right thing to say to you as you take your baby to college, but big hugs from me - that is all I know to offer. Enjoy your time at the beach! P.S. K looks exactly like you in your younger pictures - it is uncanny! <3

A Cup of Cold Water said...

oh amy, tears in my eyes too. mine being so young, i don't often imagine this stage of life. but to see that little 3 year old on your lap, oh i see my little ones. they DO grow. oh how i wish they didn't have to!

and may i also say, no one, NO one should pass judgement. oh the stories most of us could tell about our own lives if we were honest! to me this verse captures what God has done with me... with all of us!

Psalm 103
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

He not only restores, He blesses!!
Yes, Bless His name!

Mommy said...

Beautiful Beautiful Amy! I'm a hot blubbering mess. Thank you for sharing your story. While it may have been difficult, it is a precious testimony of God bringing beauty from ashes. God doesn't waste ONE thing and He has blessed you and C immensely. I will be praying for you and yours over the next few months of transition. Love you!

Anonymous said...

Sweet Amy, Thank you for sharing your heart and part of your story... what a blessing your testimony is to others and I'm sure to your family. God has obviously used all things for His great purpose. You are an encouragement and your love for your family is an amazing legacy for each of them. Praying for you as you send your son out in to the big world to make a difference... just like his mama!

Nancy said...

You are truly a beautiful mother. Amazing how God has it all planned out.
PS-When my oldest leaves me a year from now, will you please come over with chocolate and commiserate! I'm grieving it already.

withgratefulhearts said...

Oh, Amy, when I looked at your first photo, tears immediately started to spill down my cheeks. You were but a baby yourself. I can't imagine your fear and yet your determination.
You wrote a post a while back about Collin leaving for college. My oldest, 19, told me a few weeks ago that next term he is heading for a college that is 11 hours away. I fell apart. I told the Lord, "God, I can't keep crying like this all the time." Oh, I don't let him see...I do my crying mostly in private. As I have followed your blog, when I see photos of you and Collin, I see in the two of you that insanely close bond that I know so well. It shows.
I will pray for you, I will pray for your heart. I promise.
"You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you"...and you have already done so much.
Thank you so much for sharing. Perhaps the sharing will be healing in some way. It's hard to keep those deep feelings bottled up.
Please don't pay any mind to those who "do the math". God had a purpose and design for your family before the world began.
Share all you like girl. You are in good company here :)

Amy D. said...

Oh my word.....I'm bawling! You are so incredibly blessed to have this special relationship with your beautiful boy! My own brother had a baby his senior year of high school, and I saw first hand how incredibly hard it was to grow up that quickly.
You did it with the grace and love of a girl that was born to be a mama. I have a panic attck thinking of my oldest leaving for college, and she's not quite I am going to be praying for both of your hearts!!

Thank you for sharing.....I always liked you through reading your you just went up a couple notches in my book!! :-) xoxo

Amy D.

Nicole said...

That was just beautiful :)
God sent that blessing in your life just when he knew you would need him.His timing is always perfect.
My son is a Senior this year and it is such an exciting time for them . But for the mommas it is so bittersweet.
Thinking of you today,

Myra said...

It's our experiences that make us who we are today...I tell myself that all the time...personally I think anyone who would judge is just ignornant...that was just BEAUTIFUL! thank you for stepping out of your comfort zone to share, not a dry eye over have ALOT to be proud of...they grow up so stinkin fast don't they!!!

Kristi said...

Oh Amy,
I cried when I read this post. So open, transparent and beautiful! I will be praying for you in the days to come without your big boy at home. And know that if he needs a family away from home, even though I've never met him or you in person, we are right down the road...

Megan said...

what great words, pics, and a perfect song. oh my friend! yes, i too know the feeling of watching people do some quick math when it comes to ages. so proud of you for sharing a glimpse of your story. first of all c is and always has been a cutie pie. i don't know if i ever shared with you how much seeing your big boy and your two littles (before the other 3 littles came along) helped me to imagine what my fam would look like if we added some littles. now remember, I'll be nice and close if you need me to check on C.

Alisa Coriell said...

Amy, you have me in tears. I love you even MORE for sharing with us. Your pictures and video are beautiful! What a treasure you two have in each other. I can only imagine how hard this week has been. Praying for you.

Jenny said...

Oh Girl! What a BEAUTIFUL post! You are AMAZING--just AMAZING! Those pictures of the two of you then and now brought tears to my eyes. I will be praying for you over the next few weeks. I CANNOT imagine what it's like to see your first born off to college, but what a awesome young man you have raised! And there's no doubt that the Lord has AWESOME things in store for him! BLESSINGS!

Anonymous said...

I just had to comment on this. You and your oldest son overcame so much, and have come out the other side such caring, compassionate people with so much to give. Please don't let the judgmental people affect your feelings: whose path hasn't taken an unexpected turn that needed some roughing it? I hope that these judgmental people are but a few, as I would think that most people would have nothing but respect and compassion, as do I, for the teenaged you.

And on a totally unrelated note: I don't know how far you live from Raleigh, but at least when you visit your son at NC State, you can get burritos from Cosmic Cantina in Durham :).

Elizabeth said...

thank you very much for making me 'ugly cry' in the middle of panera where i am watching/reading this post. i love you so much, friend, and am praying for your heart this weekend. so proud of that big boy of yours...what a guy! and what a mama! xoxo

Sharon Ankerich said...

Dear Amy,
I don't think I have ever left a comment but just had to tonight. I am completely touched by your precious story~ one that was not easy to live and one not easy to share but such a picture of God's grace and mercy when make hard choices become the right choice. I SO respect everything you are and stand for. The love you have for your son is so evident and I am sure he will blow your socks off making you so proud of him!!! LOVED the photos you shared! Precious!!! Thank you for sharing your heart and allowing us to see God's amazing love because as Christ shared, the greatest of these is love!!! Blessings and love,

Kristen said...

Wow. What a wonderful story. I love how God has these amazing plans we know nothing of and we can see all the little pieces that came together later. You are an amazing person with an amazing family.

Kathleen said...

Love it, love it, and I can't even see the video yet! I cannot get over the two pictures...I am speechless when I think about the guts it took to make the choice for life that you did so many years ago. You and Mark have done such a beautiful job raising your family, and you have every right to be proud of the man C has become. Will be holding you close at heart in the coming days as he steps into this new stage of life. Thanks so much for the reminder that it all goes by so quickly...I needed that dose of reality. Love you - K

Hebnix said...

Cryin again AMY! You have such a beautiful way of expression! A few of my best friends had a child in their early years just like you. I must be about a year or two older... as we went through this just a year ago with them. It's a very surreal moment when you realize that that little guy is an adult... where did the time go... Don't think of it as being judged as much as it is SURPRISED! There are alot of teen mom's that are not capable of handling everything quite as well.
By the way, there is no reason not to share that experience... You should be so proud to see him going off in the world on his own... I know you are!

Jmbadders said...

I have never left anyone a comment on Blogger, but had to say how touching that was. My husband and I are starting our adoption from Korea and don't remember now, when and how I came to your blog. We got married when we were in high school and a year later had our first child. I too have pictures of our first born at my high school graduation. Looks like they were about the same age at that picture!We now have three kids and hopefully soon to be four. Thank you so much for sharing. Great to see someone with the same type of start doing so well. I agree, when I am asked my age, it is never fun. I try to play it off and smile. I thank God everyday how he has blessed us through it all!

fullertribe said...

Make sure not to sell yourself short. He is who he is today because of you too! Nothing is unseen in God's eyes and he really uses every part of our lives for a greater purpose.

fullertribe said...

Oh Yeah and I forgot to say that you are AMAZING!

Truly Blessed said...

You are so much stronger than you know - this post simply proves it. And when you have to leave Colin at NC State you'll cry and then you'll cry some more and then you'll stop crying and realize that THIS is what you raised him to be. A man. An independent person who is using all of the lessons and instruction that his sweet Mom taught him and putting it into practice in real life.

It hurts to see our boys grow up and move on, but we really wouldn't want it any other way. Besides, he'll come back and you'll have lots of opportunities to spoil him rotten when he's home from school.

Trust me on this, I've sent a couple of my boys away to college and they always come home and I simply love it when they do!

Anonymous said...

You are an absolutely beautiful and amazing woman. Your family is truly blessed to have you and your husband as parents. A wonderful, loving story. I can't stop shedding tears for all of you. ....from a grandmother

Sarah said...

Love Love Love! You made everyone cry right along with you. Best wishes and lots of prayers for you both during the college transitions!

Jen said...

Just beautiful!

Pam said...

Oh my. Tears. Amy, what a beautiful story. You are a very strong and courageous woman. And I thought that BEFORE I knew this part of your story.

We just took Emily to college this past weekend, too, so I am right there with you, girl. More tears. Sigh....

groovy mama said...

WONDERFUL POST, truely great!

Thanks for sharing your heart and soul!

big hugs to you, i think you ROCK!

Anonymous said...

Amy, that is a beautiful video of you and your boy. You must be so proud of him! Take a moment and digest the fact that you are and have always been an amazing mother every step of the way for him. I always enjoy your stories, especially the one where you took everything in his room and parked it on the front lawn. That story always stuck to me and it is funny what we do as moms to teach a lesson! Thinking of you in your new transition. Wendy

Niknok said...

That video needs to come with a kleenex warning! What an amazing video! Thank you for sharing your story. It's beautiful. You should be so proud of the man your son is becoming.

Gretchen said...

Sweet friend, you are one of the best Mommas I know. Even just through your blog I can see how much you adore your kids. Being a young Mom was the story that was written for you and I am sure that your boy is just as proud of you.

Stephanie said... are amazing, truly amazing. I finally got the time tonight to catch up on your entire last month of posts as I love to read what you have to write. I got to be your friend while we both had recently moved to Charlotte and then I moved away. During that time I was always so impressed and inspired by you. The reason for that is that yes, you were obviously a young mother (because you look great that is the obvious reason) but with that being did such an amazing job with your life. I admired and do admire you for that. I often tell my friends here in Columbus about you as you just inspire me for the wonderful, caring, loving, giving person that you are. I love ya and miss you a ton because even though we dont' talk or see each other like I would were there for me during a unique transition time of my life and we always had fun together! Thanks for sharing stories as you are truly an eliquent writer and an overall wonderful mom, friend and person! Take care!!!