Saturday, December 31, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
WE ARE GOING TO ETHIOPIA!!! Yep, that's right - we got a court date! After our referral on 10/10, I really thought that we were done with such amazing news for this month. They prepare you that it could take more than 6 weeks to gather all the paperwork, get it to the Ethiopian Courts and then wait for them to issue you a court date. We got a court date in 2.5 weeks. To say that I was shocked...would be an understatement.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Our Agency's transition home in Ethiopia is called Hannah's Hope. Below is a list of running needs that they have there. I will be taking several large totes of donations and will gladly add more if you have something you would like to donate. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! These donations help them care for our kids when we aren't there to care for them, and we are so grateful for that!
- Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo
- Lotions, baby oils and baby wash
- Diaper rash cream—the staff is most familiar with Desitin, however all kids are helpful.
- Baby Wipes
- Bottles- specifically Avent bottles—both 4 oz. and 9 oz. sizes
- Multivitamins for babies—liquid drops
- Organic flax seed oil (not capsules)
- Vegetable or Soy based formula
- Dairy based formula
Things for older children:
- Shampoos and conditioners that are fortified for curly hair
- Dandruff shampoos
- Body soap
- Body lotions—especially for dryer or ashy skin
- Clothing for boys and girls between 4 and 13 years old and especially need pants and pajamas
- Shoes including sneakers (these are especially good for the older boys to play soccer in), for 4 through 13 years old children
- Powdered Milk
- Air freshener (any kind that is safe to use in children/babies rooms and bathrooms)
- Regular size towels (both blue and pink).
- Braun Thermometer Covers
- Deodorant for men and women
- “Boppies” for infants (‘C’ shaped pillow)
6. External hard drive
7. 10-20 black three-ring binders (2 inch)
8. Camera and memory cards, 1-4 GB
9. 36. Rechargeable camping lanterns (for when electricity is out)
3. Cold medications for older children and adults
5. Vitamin C drops
6. Zinc drops
7. Antihistamine syrup
8. Amoxicillin syrup, 125, 250 and 400 mg. doses-antibiotic
10. Gentamicin drops-for thrush
12. Metrendazol syrup-antibiotic used to treat parasites
13. TTC eye ointment
14. Salbutamol Ventol-for asthma, I think
15. Azithromycin (Zithroxmax, Zmax) syrup-used to treat infections caused by bacteria
16. Ceftriaxone, IM and IV for injection, 250 mg, 500 mg and 1000 mg (Rocephin)-antibiotic
17. Gentamicin eye drops
Friday, October 14, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
Just to share a few sweet moments with my kids lately:
My kids do a summer library reading program each year. When they finish and turn in their reading log they get to write their names on a a handprint and put it on the library wall. Kate put her hand on Ethiopia.
A few days ago at the park, I was pushing Micah (just turned 3) on the swing. I started talking to a fellow swing pusher- asking about their kids. They asked me how many kids I had, and if they were girls or boys. As we shared our kid info, Micah chimed in and informed the Dad that he also had a little sister in Ethiopia and that she would be home soon. My heart burst with excitement over bringing our little girl home. He will be such a great big brother!
Saturday, July 9, 2011
So many people ask me why we are doing this? Why add more chaos to your already young family of three kids? If I want to add more chaos, I obviously can carry my own biological children, so why go through this long ordeal of adopting one (or two)? The answer is quiet simple (and complex). The Lord has put it in our hearts to. It isn't just about trying to grow our family (we can do that pretty well - our three precious children are testimony to that). It is about answering a call. A call that the Lord put on my heart ages ago, and Praise God, brought me a husband with that same call.
We sort of always knew that we would, so when it came to a time in the life of our family that we started talking about it, I ask the Lord to show me if that was the right thing to do. He was so pleased to do so, over and over. He still does. On days that I doubt, I ask Him to show me again, and he does, ever faithful.
It has a tough year with waiting. Watching the program change, almost stop, trusting, waiting, hoping, watching. The Lord has stretched and moved me in amazing ways. If this had been about just growing my family, I could have already done that (twice probably!).
So, where are we after a little over a year of waiting (it has actually been well over a year since we started, but only year since we got on the list)? We are getting close! Not close to bringing her/them home...but at least close to getting a referral and getting those first glimpses of who our precious children are. We are around #7 for a girl 0-24 months, and #4 for siblings 0-24 months. Our hope of bringing a child home in the summer has been gone for a while, so I have started praying for a Christmas baby, though that may be a long shot as well.
People ask where we are financially? Waiting...The Lord has told me he will provide this, whether that is through donations, or taking out loans, I do not know...but it will come.
It cost about $30K to adopt 1 child, and about $45 for siblings. We have paid about $15K so far ($6K of that we borrowed - the other we had saved). We have raised through donations, yard sales and t-shirts about $8K, and have been putting money aside into our adoption fund as we can. So, we still have a need here (esp. if we do get siblings).
That is a brief update on the last year. Hoping to have some really good news to share soon!
Monday, June 13, 2011
There were about 21 families who passed court and will be traveling back for their second trip to bring their sweet ones home (some are actually there right now). Hoping and praying that will mean that there will be some movement soon.
In other family life...We have closed down shop on homeschooling. We finished the year with a bang and have been loving summer break. We have made the very hard, but exciting decision to send our kids to public school next year. They will go to Ball Camp Elementary - Daniel in 2nd grade and Kate in 1st. It will be a big transition time, but we are ready for it. The journey to come to that decision was painful, but we feel a great peace about it. (and I am SOOO ready to not have the big responsibility of being my kids main educator!).
We had a wonderful and exhausting week of VBS last week, Daniel is in Basketball camp this week, and we are looking forward to a week at the beach coming up the end of June. July will hopefully be a bit slower, with Kate going to cheer camp and probably a week at my mom's while Matthew travels to San Diego. Fun stuff...
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
It is exciting to be moving consistently. We have been on the wait list almost 11 months now. We were told to expect a 9-12 month wait until we would get a referral of a child. With all the unknowns in the process right now, we were just today told to expect that time frame to be increased to 18 months. A little discouraging, but we are still very thankful to be in it, though the waiting is painful at times.
We continue to pray and wait.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
We have tried (for the past little over a year now) to not talk about our adoption a ton. Knowing that kids realization of time is different than ours (well, not so much as I want most things NOW, or better, YESTERDAY too). We have tried to not live our life around it, because we have no idea when it will happen. But sweet Kate seems to often be reminded of it. Seeing some cute clothes (our baby would look cute in that), a new toy (I beat out baby would love that), an old toy that we are putting in the attic(are we saving that for our baby?) , a new outfit for her (I will get to give this to our baby someday). I am also thinking all these thoughts, just not expressing them.
We have been telling them, and ourselves, that it would be this year, maybe late summer, maybe fall. In my mind planning my next school year imagining that I will have another little one (or two) to put in the mix.
Lately, with all the possible changes to the adoption process, I have tried to talk about it with them even less. As it occupies more and more of my thoughts and prayers, trying to not live my life like I am waiting. Trying to plan my next months as just a family of 5. Breaks my heart really.
Lately I feel like Kate is talking even more about it. Probably because we have friends who are also adopting and have things like pictures of their kids, or have been to meet their children already and are now just waiting to bring them home. The other day Kate climbed up into my lap and said, "Mom, when will I get to meet my little sister? I am really ready to have her here." Oh me too, me too. Then today she was looking at some pictures of bedrooms or something like that and her little eyes got bright and she said, "Oh mom, when can we start decorating my little sister's room?" I didn't want to tell her that it was too painful to do something like that, not knowing how long it could take, so I just said, Not yet sweetie but hopefully soon.
Monday, April 11, 2011
There are several Classical pieces that we listen to often enough that Micah (who is a few months shy of 3 years old) knows that there is a sudden instrumental boom to them. Two of these pieces are Vivaldi's Four Season's Winter, and Hayden's Surprise Symphony. Whenever these pieces come on, he immediately starts asking, "Mommy, is it coming? Is it coming?" I always say the same thing, "Almost sweetie. Almost, but not yet."
I can sometimes just feel the nervous tension in Micah as he is waiting. Sitting all strapped in his car seat. He is excited and yet nervous. Even as a 2 year old, wanting to have some measure of control. Sometimes he even ask if we can skip this song, because the not knowing when it is coming wears on him. Still not totally sure that it will come this time, or perhaps that it will be different when it does. What if, just what if it doesn't come at all? Sometimes he thinks it is one of those songs with a sudden boom, and it really isn't, so we spend the entire song with him asking every few minutes, "Is it coming yet, Mommy?" (at which point I often just skip it because I am tired of answering).
Doesn't that sound exhausting? (the waiting, not the asking - though that does get exhausting too!)
Waiting turning into worrying...is it ever going to happen? Can I make it happen? What if it doesn't happen?
It struck me this week as we went through this drill for what probably is the hundredth time, that I often live my life in that same spot. Always waiting. Is it coming yet? Never being satisfied to relax and find joy in the measure of life I am in, because I am worrying about what the next one is going to be. Always looking to the next big musical boom in life, thinking this will be the thing that makes this piece worth listening to. The sudden explosion of violins that makes Life worth living.
When I was younger, I loved the Dr. Seuss book Oh, The Places You'll Go. He calls it the Waiting Place:
The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.If you back up a bit in the Dr. Seuss book, he talk about how you get to this Waiting Place.
And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?
You can get so confused that you'll start in to race down long wiggled roads at break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place. The Waiting PlaceI spend so much energy in this place. Worrying. Trying to Control, Manipulate.
Jesus addresses this place of worry in all of the Gospels:
"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?" (Like 12:25-26)
Why do we? I don't know what it is for you, but I think for me, it is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear that I won't be able to handle whatever it is that comes up next. That is will be too much for me. I react to life from a place of fear, which leads to worry, which leads to never being happy with where I am in life, because I am always waiting for the next thing. That is not from the Lord.
Psalms 27:1-3 The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh, My enemies and foes, They stumbled and fell. 3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war should rise against me, In this I will be confident.
John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.The LORD, Praise God, has given me a spirit of POWER, not of fear. He has given me the power to not just react to life, but to LIVE it. He has given me the power to rest, knowing that while whatever is coming may FEEL like too much, it never will be - because He is in control of it.
What is really comes down to, almost always, is what I will choose to believe. Will I choose to believe the lie that I have to worry, obsess, toil, not trust? Or do i choose TRUTH - that the Lord is my light and my salvation, what should I ever fear?
Joshua 24:25 "then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
Friday, March 11, 2011
We are now #19 for a girl, and #13 for siblings.
We have also made the decision to change our age parameters to 0-24 months. another blog post on that one...
Thursday, March 10, 2011
There have been big changes that have come up in the Ethiopian Adoption process and we have no idea how this is going to change things for us, not to mention the impact it could possibly have on the waiting orphans in that country. You can read more about that here: http://adoption.state.gov/news/ethiopia_alert.html.
Suffice to say, it could drastically increase our wait times. I am talking years, not months. So I wake up in the mornings knowing that this is going on and my heart is so very heavy. Then I look on our list serve of other families in our agency and see baby and after baby (4 to be exact) being referred out to what will become their forever family and my heart burst with joy, with excitement, with amazement, with thanksgiving. I am reminded of the David Crowder Song, "You Are My Joy!!" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAhdmfcVK9s)
With his breath in my lungs I am coming undone.
And I cannot hold it in
Love's taken over me
So I propose the letting myself go.
I am letting myself go.
You are my joy.
You are my joy.
You are my joy.
You are my joy.
Someone once told me at the beginning of this that adoption is a journey, and maybe, just maybe there will be a child for you in the end. I have given lip service to that - saying that it has been an amazing journey - and it has. But the significance of - there just might be a child in the end - has never really sank in - until now. Until I am faced with the possibility that there might not be, and if there is it could be years. That the little faces I have pictured and the sweet moments and the hard ones I have been preparing myself for seem a little less real. There is much grief in that.
And I am faced with loving a people who will be suffering even more. More children in institutions for years instead of months, decreasing their chances of ever being adopted as they get older. More children on the streets, dying, hungry, because there are no open beds for them in the institutions.
I understand. I do. I am thankful that we have people who want to ensure that adoptions are ethical and protect the children and their families. My heart is for the children.
My prayers have slowly changed from asking the Lord to please stop this, to praying that his Will be done. If this is His way of protecting them then so be it, I trust Him. I will continue to pray.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Once there were two women,Who barely knew each other.
One is in your heart forever,The other you'll call mother.
Two different lives, Shaped to make yours one.
One became your guiding star,The other became your sun.
The first gave you life,And the second taught you how to live it.
The first gave you a need for love,And the second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality, The other gave you a name.
One gave you the seed of talent,The other gave you an aim.
One gave you emotions,The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile,The other dried your tears.
One gave you a family,It was what God intended for her to do.
The other prayed for a child,And God led her straight to you.
And now you ask me, Through your tears, The age old question through the years.
Heredity or environment - Which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling , neither,
Just two different kinds of love.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
However, being a feeler is hard. It can wear you out as much, if not more, than being "emotionally constipated". I really FEEL things - good and bad, and I often get overwhelmed with those emotions. Like my last post of being overwhelmed with emotions for the birth mother of my child. When my friends suffer, I FEEL it (though my husband might say I am not always as in tuned to his emotions :-)) I think it hits more when it is cold outside - I start thinking about all the homeless in my city and it hurts, I think about the woman and child who approached my car in the target parking lot yesterday asking for money and it hurts. I am bombarded with knowledge of child prostitution, women being exploited and sex traffic, radicals shooting and injuring the people who serve our country and killing children in the process and I really think I am going to vomit. IT HURTS. This world hurts.
As I was reading this morning, I was really struck by a sweet word from the Lord - I really felt it. Felt His promise to me, to us. It says this:
17 You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals
will never again strike terror.
Hear those beautiful words - do you FEEL them? Ask the Lord to let you feel them: He hears our desires (spoken, not spoken, even those we don't even know we have), He encourages us (He has the perfect words to meet us right where we are), He listens (not just listens, but loves to commune with us, loves to hear our voices), He defends (thank you Jesus!)!
I long for this time, this time when terror will not strike again. When all darkness, oppression, death will cease and the Earth will be made perfect.