Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Crisis of faith

Today was one of those days.

We got a new short update on Little E and it wasn't great, but did hold some promise.  
Then we were asked... because it's protocol... due to the 'unknowns' and new developments in his health...did we still want to proceed with his adoption?

Well to be honest at that point I had had some very real fears but the thought of disrupting hadn't really occurred to me.  I called D and told him what the update was and then asked him what he thought about proceeding.  We had some pretty serious discussion.  I mean it's a valid question, we already had some unknown's and now there were more.  Several complications from his recent illness could cause long term issues.  

I took a moment of quiet prayer... and felt like I heard God saying to me "Trust ME... you have trusted me this far... TRUST me!"  I asked a few friends for prayer.  But it didn't really take long.

I kind of had this moment of DUH!  although duh isn't really strong enough of an emotion (is Duh even an emotion?).  
I thought to myself, this is my son!  MY son.  What am I thinking?  How do I tell him no now? God brought him through his illness, I believe for a reason... and I do NOT believe it was so that he could wait to possibly die without a family!  I honestly could not even fathom the guilt and pain I would carry the rest of my life if I left him there.  I would be leaving my child.  This little boy whom we pray for by name every night.  We pray that God would encamp angels around him and lift him up and tell him that mommy and daddy are coming.  How do we just say no to him?  We don't.  It's as simple as that.  We don't.  God set this in motion.  He placed this child in our path and He brought him back from deaths door.  

I called D again told him my thoughts ... and he said... ok, it's not an issue, we will trust God and bring him home as planned.  

Now it may not be an easy road.  In fact it could be pretty hard, but we won't be alone.  We will have God with us.  And the support of some pretty amazing friends.

D did say to me that God would give us confirmation.  Well guess what?!  He did!!!  In the form of email.  Well several, but some from friends that lifted us in prayer and support.  But then one from KLove's Pastor Jeff.  He said that they had prayed for us today and sent scripture along to strengthen us.  One of the scripture's was Isaiah 43.  I honestly felt like God had just emailed me with the confirmation we needed.  

Crisis over... we choose to trust God!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New Book

Ok, well I guess it's not technically a new book, but it's a new one that I am reading.

It's called "Dangerous Surrender" by Kay Warren.  I read about it on my friend Tesi's blog and wanted to read it.  

I am through the first chapter and already I can see that this isn't an easy read.  Not because it's bad but it's going to make me think outside the box. I already think so far outside of myself that this may either help guide me... or make me more nuts. ;o)

She has amazing insight and ideas.  I am looking forward to reading the rest even if it does stretch my thinking a bit.

It's funny when I first became a Christian the scariest thing to me was God sending me to Africa and leaving my family.  Now I can't imagine not being involved with Africa some how some way... and taking my family with me.  Africa has become an extension of me although I have only been there once.  I feel a connection like I never thought possible.  I do look forward to seeing where God leads me.

Another Update!!!
Little E is out of the hospital and trying to play with his friends.  He's lost a bit of weight and is feeling tired, but he seems to be out of danger.  For now.  We are blessed!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunny days

WE have had amazing weather here the last couple of days.  Already workin' on my tan. ;o)

Yesterday I cleaned inside while D pressure washed our deck.  Not much fun sounding, but I have this spring cleaning bug so it's feeling good to get it all done.  Since S is out of town I tackled parts of her room.  Took out 2 large bags of trash and lots of clothes for Good Will.  Pretty productive.

Then D, N and I went to the Strawberry Festival.  A local festival that is held annually on Memorial Day weekend.  thousands of people converge on about 3 miles of road that is closed off and they have food, rides, of course strawberries and 4-H competitions.  N had a great time petting the animals but his favorite thing was the rides.  That kid has no fear.  If he could have gone on the "big boy" rides, he would have been on them.  He and daddy went on the ferris wheel.  I don't "do" ferris wheels... too tall!  N would wave at me and grin the whole way around.  He would just belly laugh on the other rides.  He's such a joy... we would just laugh right long with him.  

Today D, water-proofed the newly cleaned deck while I tackled other cleaning jobs inside.  Then it was off to the pool at a friend's house.  We have wonderful friends that we don't typically get to see unless it's summer time and we all converge on their house.  It was such a great time of fellowship and food and fun.  I look forward to seeing them all frequently this summer. 

It's just been one of those weekends that you know life is good, you are blessed and God is smiling.  I have been thinking alot about Little E.  I can't wait until he is here.  I wonder what he would have thought about the cows... or the pigs and their wet noses.  Or he is also a dare devil like N.  Will he see a pool and immediately throw caution to the wind and dive in?  Or will he hang back and have daddy coax him in?  Will he love carnival rides or sit on the side with mommy and wave and laugh.  Will my boys be the best of friends or will they not?  I can't wait to see!!!  Today N told our friends that he has 2 brothers.  That E is still in "oopia" and that we have to go get him.  

I can't wait until we can go get him!!

Have a blessed Memorial Day.  May we all take a moment to stop and honor those who sacrifice all to insure our freedom.  God Bless you!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Prayers for the Chapman Family

Little 5 year old Maria Sue passed away yesterday 5/22/08
Here is a link to their web site 

Please keep them all in your prayers.  Especially their son.  It's unimaginable, the grief he must be feeling.  May he be surrounded by God's grace, peace, and comfort.

This family planted the seed, 4 yrs ago that sent us on this journey to adoption.  We have much to thank them for... we have been so blessed.  We can only lift them in love and prayer in return.

God has a new little Angel!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Prayer's answered

We have heard this week that Little E has pretty much done a 180.  He is so much better, eating well, sleeping, and talking.  Everyone is so excited at how well he is doing.  No one is more excited than we are though!
We are so ready to go get him.  D came home last night and was like "I am ready to being him home, now!"  We both have these moments when we feel his absence.
I think Little E's illness has actually made us realize how he is truly meant for our family.  The thought of losing him, just drove home our commitment to him.

We cannot wait to get word that he has received his welcome package... the one that announces us as his family.  I can't wait to see his face when he opens it, and realizes that he has a new family to love him and care for him forever!

Praise God for answering prayer and bringing our boy back from the brink.  With life being so fragile we are so very grateful to our Lord for providing his gift!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Daddy's and Daughter's

Yesterday S and D went to Busch Gardens by themselves.  A daddy daughter day.  How fun is that?  They got to ride 2 roller coasters then went to watch the concert playing this week.  It was Pillar, Building 429 and Thousand Foot Crutch.
They had a blast, S got several autographs, 2 T-shirts, a CD and priceless memories.  Sounds like a Master Card commercial huh?

They must have text me 100 times, "Momma, daddy's pickin on me"  "Honey, S's pickin on me"  
Aren't they cute?!

25 year Anniversary

This is incredibly sad... and infuriating at the same time

Saturday, May 17, 2008


What a week.

A week of sorrow and of joy.  Of fear and triumph.  Of pleading and of listening.

Last Friday we were officially on our way to getting Little E.  On Monday things turned incredibly upside down and on Tuesday it was close to bottom.  I am a person that loves roller coasters, but this is a ride I wanted no part of.  Tuesday night had D, S and I circled in our living room crying and praying for our Little E.  Our son.  The one we don't know physically but has become part of us somehow.   Wednesday morning we had news that he was better and Friday even better.  Look at the miracle God performed.  Look what our prayers and petitions did.  So many of you prayed, even when we didn't know it.  And other's of you we may never know prayed.  

I believe that E is meant for something wonderful.  Not just to be part of our family but to make it 'bigger'  I don't mean in numbers but in the spiritual sense.  

Today D and I were talking about N and how our lives are so much different. But not in a bad way.  In such an incredibly good way.  He asked me if I could imagine our lives without him.  I said I didn't even want to try.  I feel like I can't wait to get E here so that we can see the wonderful things he will bring to us.  How much bigger he will make our world, how incredibly small it was before....

I was told that we were enlarging our territory as in the prayer of Jabez.  I have read the prayer and the book, but never actually though God would do it.  My goodness has He!!!  There are days when my territory seems so LARGE and then others when it's SO SMALL.    Days like Tuesday when my E was in the hospital, comatose and in critical condition... and here I was half way across the world and not a thing I could do about it.  I couldn't fix it.  

There is so much I want to do, so many things I want to change.  So many things I want to make better.  I want to shout from the roof tops... don't you see?  Don't you see the pain, why aren't we doing more?  Why does it take a music show to share sensational pictures for us to take action.  Why aren't we doing more.  Why are these children still waiting... still going to bed without a mom and a dad, why are they still dying from things that they should not be dying from?!  What do I do?  What can I do?  WHY are pharmaceutical companies not being made to pay for the millions of people they let die?  Why do we let them get away with it?  

Ok, stepping down.  I just get so sad.  I wish I could fix it, I wish I could make it better.  

I want to save the world.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tape and paper

ok I needed to share some more levity.  

Our N has an amazing little imagination.  

For Christmas when asked what he wanted, his response was "Tape and Paper".

We have NO CLUE where this came from.  But it's what he got.  Of course there were other things, but you know what that was his favorite thing.  

He tapes every thing!!! During S's volleyball games I had a roll of masking tape and a piece of paper and he would entertain himself for the better part of the time by my ripping pieces of tape off, handing them to him and him making a pattern on the paper.  I was instructed as to the proper length and it was placed accordingly.   

I have some amazing tape and paper art.

Some of the other tape he got was just regular clear tape. Last night I was given a tape facial.  Here is N's handy work.

Tape is a great pore cleanser!

No new news

Nothing new today.  We are praying that between power outages and the fact that he's doing better there wasn't an urgency to get us news immediately.

Keep on praying please!  I don't believe this is the end...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


So it looks like our great and Glorious God is answering prayers!

Very brief but special word came today that our Little E was awake, alert and speaking!!! This is HUGE!  Well, I am not a medical person and we don't have a medical report... but this is certainly an improvement over yesterday!

All Praise Honor and Glory to God!

ok, on another light note I have to share a great N, funny!

Today I got a call from his Daycare instructor...uh oh... here's how the convo went:
Her: Just have to report something.  Let me first say that N is not is trouble.
Me: (so why are you calling?)  "Ok, what's up?"
Her: We had a little incident today.
Me: (uh oh) What happened?
Her:  Well at snack time N was sitting next to a little girl.  We don't know what happened but she suddenly decided to stand up and bare her bottom to N.
Me:(trying not to LOL) uh huh, so what did N do?
Her: (bursts out laughing) He reached out and tickled it!
Me: Well, we are butt ticklers in this household.

So I may now rename N, the Butt Tickler.  

They had to have a talk about it with the class ... whole not exposing yourself, and not touching inappropriately.  

When I got home he immediately said "MOM!  I was a good boy today!  Oh and G showed me her butt!"  I said "Really?  What did you do?"  He said " I tickled it" giggle giggle  So I said, "We're not supposed to show our bodies to our friends at school right?"  N says with dramatic shaking of head and a face only N can make "NOOOO! You not posed to show your butt, someone might tickle it"

I love this kid!  Now we just have to get E home, and life will be MORE better than good!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Not good news

Ok so instead of getting better he is getting worse.

I just have been at such a loss today about what to do.  How to pray. 
This is my son, what am I doing here?  Shouldn't I be there?  Shouldn't I be at his side praying and holding his hand?  Wiping his brow, kissing his cheeks whispering in his ears that mommy is here and that she loves him?

Instead here I sit at home, at my computer, thousands of miles away.

This sweet little boy that we have never met, but has become our son.  Such a surreal feeling. How do you mourn the hurting of a child you don't know... in the physical sense?

We have had such an outpouring of love and prayer from our friends and family that I feel truly blessed.  I know God has His hands all over Little E, and loves him in a special way.  I also know He loves us and feels our pain.  So I pray that whatever His will... that we will be at peace with it.  That we will know that He is sovereign.  Now my real prayer is that we see the amazing awesome and glorious power of answered prayer in a full recovery.  And see him home here with us playing with N, arguing with Z and defending S.  

Oh my little boy, mommy loves you, daddy, S and Z love you.  We are praying for you, we want you to come home.  

We won't know more before tomorrow so for now, we entrust him to God's hands for care. And ask for strength at what lies ahead.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Sick Little E ...

We were given news today that Little E is sick.  

It seems to be serious but we aren't sure the extent of it, as we aren't sure of the kinds of tests they have run.  Our agency and one person in particular is working very hard to get us information about what is going on.  They have been SO great!  Thank you so much for all that you are doing.

It stinks to be so far away from him. Knowing he is in a hospital somewhere without a mommy there to care for him.  There is a nanny that stays with him, he has a familiar face.  That is certainly a comfort to me.  

It's just so scary thinking of the sweet little girl that passed away so recently and to think of our little E in questionable health.

We are trusting in God's sovereign hand being all over this situation.  He knows the hairs on Little E's head, so we know He wants what best for him!

Please pray for our little guy!

Mother's Day

Boy what a day!

S had to be at church at 730 am because it was also youth Sunday.  Not exactly sure who thought that was a good idea... well actually it really was cause as a mom I was SO proud of my S and her part.  Well, she didn't speak, but her part was pretty moving all the same.  Two of the youth sang Casting Crowns "Voice of Truth" (which ALWAYS gets me) and S and her friend came in holding a banner like a wave with a huge, "REGRET", written on it.  They then waved it around a 'boat' another young lady was standing in and who was signing the words to the song. Not sure if I described it well enough but it sure was powerful.  And S was beautiful of course. But I might be a biased mom.

I then was taken out to buy my very own yellow rose plant.  Yellow are my favorite...I don't much care what the whole color means.... just love the yellow. ;o)  And now I can make my own bouquets!

We got to have lunch at my mom's house.  That was fun.  We even got to talk about the adoption briefly without any issue.  That's progress I think. 

Then dinner with my mother in law here at the house.  D made meatballs and rice... yum!  He's such a good husband.

Then came the kicker....
I was putting N to bed and he looked up at the pictures that we we were given of his birth family on his wall.  He pointed at his birth dad and said "That's my Oopia dad"  To which I said "yes".  He then pointed to a picture of him with his nanny and said "That's my oopia mom"  I said "Nope, that was your nanny, but she sure did love you too."  He then said, "I want a picture of my oopia mom"  *gulp* I said "Yes I would like a picture of her too" He said "Can we go buy one?"  *ouch!!*  I said, "No buddy we can't but I am sure she is thinking of you!"  Then the big ouch "Do you think she's looking for me in Oopia?"  I gulped again, gave him a huge hug, stalling for time, to think of the best answer for his little 3 yr old mind, I mean this could make or break his little psyche!!... then said "I'll bet she's thinking about how much she loves you and knows we are here loving you very very much." 

He hugged me back and then jumped off my lap looking for a book.  Discussion done.

My prayer last night was for his mom, where ever she may be, and his other birth family that may be missing him.  And for my little E without a mommy there to care for him.  

And not to forget my Z... he went out and bought me a card with his own money and even wrote something other than his signature in it.  He's such an amazing kid.

Again too blessed for words!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Brotherly Love

Can I just tell you how much I love my kids?!

Last night we were all on the kitchen just talking and Z says (think arrogance) "Guess who will be graduating with an advanced diploma with honors???!!!"
N, without missing a beat .. "Not YoooUUU!"  (think little arrogance)  

Priceless... dissed by a 3 yr old.

What a week!

I will say it again!  It has been a better than good week! 

Monday N was finalized, Wednesday we mailed our referral acceptance for Little E and Friday we found out that our Dossier went to Addis!  YAY!

And this is Mother's Day weekend... how does it get better... except for having E home with us.

I am also beginning the preparations for Z's graduation party.  My Z is graduating from High School!  Can you believe it?  Ok, can I believe it?!  Nope.   I was feeling a bit overwhelmed at the fact that he turned 18 in Dec, and now he's graduating.  He's graduating with honors with an advanced degree!  He didn't get his brain from me! ;o)

A friend asked me the other day "Can you believe your life?!"  And I had to pause for a minute and think... nope can't believe it but because it's so much more than I ever thought or dreamed, not because it's bad.

God is good!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


So with Ethiopian adoption  (and possibly other international but I only know Ethiopian) when you adopt a child they are legally yours as far as Ethiopia is concerned, and really the US as well. But it's also necessary to have your child's adoption finalized in the state where you reside.  This is where the ranting came from in a previous post regarding the home study agency and an over paid lawyer.

Anywho, I called the lawyers office today to make sure that he knew my displeasure at his office's mishandling and as it turns out they had filed our paperwork last week with an expedite and it was finalized on Monday the 5th!  

So N is officially, as far as the state is concerned... OURS!  We should be receiving the decree in the mail soon and his new birth certificate within 8 weeks.  

I was telling D that is was sort of anticlimactic.   Similar to our embassy appointment in Addis where they asked us a couple of questions to which we said yes, and then they said "well congrats, he's yours...NEXT".  

I don't know what I was thinking it would be like... trumpets and cheering?... nah I guess not.  In reality he's been ours since the moment we were told about him, so it's all pretty anticlimactic.

So this week we have our N Finalization and our acceptance of E's referral.  It's been a better than good week!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Amazing day!

We had a blast at Busch Garden's Sunday!
The weather was perfect and there were hardly any people at the park so the wait in line was 5 - 10 minutes as opposed to an hour.  In some cases we walked right on, or waited in the longer 10 minute lines to get in the front row.  So much fun.  I LOVE roller coasters.  I believe I must have some kind of masochism those since I am SO afraid of heights... it such a love hate relationship.  I will admit though the screaming at the top of my lungs is such a stress reliever! I highly recommend it.

So as I said in an earlier post, we went because Third Day was playing.  D's absolute favorite Christian band, and one of my top.  So we were in one of those short roller coaster ride's when what do i see?  Mac Powell (the lead singer) getting out of the coaster car in front of us.  I nudge D strongly,  "Hey that's Mac Powell!!!"  He thinks quickly, and runs out of line after him and jumps the fence to reach him.  There I am standing in line, thinking... shucks, wish I could jump fences in a single bound.

He reaches the band as they are exiting, and asks for an autograph.  They were all very nice, waited for him to find a pen, and signed what happened to be the back of a pic of N. Now it's like the best ever picture of all time, his son and his favorite band!  AND he made it back in line to ride with me. ;o)

Then we get to the concert and it's already pretty packed so we have to sit pretty far back. What a bummer!  But they are really not bad seats, and we enjoy the first band, a new one, but not bad at all.  They were called Revival.  Then Matthew West played, also a great singer.  He was alot of fun.    There was then an hour wait until Third Day was to play. So we did what any good fan base would and went to find better seats.  And we hit the jackpot.  We ended up in the very front, on the floor, FRONT ROW!  WOOHOO!  Praising God, singing songs, watching them sing... it was pretty darned amazing.  

At the end we were able to get close to the stage and shake hands and Don got a drum stick from the drummer.  How cool is that??!!  

We very rarely get to enjoy such fun things all in one day.  And this was just amazing.  So much fun! 

The guys in Third Day were so gracious to Don and to the audience in general.  Mac Powell took a girl's camera at one point and took pictures of the band on stage, and the crowd, and then one with him and her in it before giving it back.  You know she was thrilled!  And they recognized a guy in the audience that helped them play to troops overseas.  The band as a whole are all gifted musicians so that's always great to watch, AND they look like they are having fun.

It was also such a blessing to watch my S and her 3 friends all there praising the Lord, lifting their hands and just worshiping with out fear.  

Another Better Than Good day!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

On a happier note...

This morning, N and Z were watching cartoons.   N began talking about his "friends".  N likes to talk about the friends he has the places they go and the things they do... all of which are fictional, but they are a pretty active and close nit group. ;o)

Anyway... I say to N "You have alot of friends"  N says "Yep!  Just like Z"  Z says "Yeah because I am special" N says "Yep! and I am cute!"

My boys do not lack in self confidence!  I better make sure they don't let pride cometh before the fall. ;o)

Tomorrow we get to go to Busch Gardens'!  We are SO excited , partly because we love to ride roller coasters and partly because our favorite band is playing!  Third Day

Good stuff!

So sad...

Just found out this morning that a sweet 7 yr old girl passed away at AHOPE due to complications from measles.
I didn't know this precious soul, never met her, not even sure I have ever seen her face, in pictures... but some how that doesn't matter.  She died not having the love of a family to call her own.  
I know millions of children die a day, and especially in Africa, but some how this seems personal. 
Someone who has met her spoke about her, and told of her love of singing.  She didn't have a momma to sing with, a daddy to tell her she sang like a bird.

I think about my children and the blessing that they are and just think that some how we have to find a way to make this better.  Maybe not for her... but for those children that are still waiting. 

The love of the Father is always with them.  My prayer is that this amazing soul is now at the foot of the throne, singing praises in heaven.

Friday, May 2, 2008


We FINALLY got our paperwork!!  YAY!
We get to finally commit on paper that we want to have Little E as our son.    How exciting is that?!
We are working to get our bag of goodies for him to send over.  They get a small bag, with a t-shirt that announces they have a family, a picture album, a camera and anything else little that we can fit into a gallon sized plastic bag.  It's SO exciting to know in a very short time he will know that he has a new family that will love him and take care of him and tuck him in at night.
It's so funny how this adoption makes me love N in such a different light.  I feel a deeper connection with him as we await the arrival of his brother.  I also feel a deeper connection with E, than I think I did with N.  In the very beginning.  There was such a feeling of unknown with N.  We had no idea what he was like, or what to expect.  And this time we have so much information and insight into little E.  And we have such an appreciation for what it's like to bond, and attach, and grow and blend.  
I look at my Z and S and feel the same way.  I have always told them that we were so blessed by the 2 of them that when God said adopt, we knew we would be blessed again.   And we have been!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Weird week

The weekend was so awesome... i think because God knew what this week was going to be like.

I do have to say though that each day I have prayed for a good day... I realized quickly that I should have prayed for the grace to get me through the days.

We have had some pretty crazy set backs.  But they have all been able to be resolved pretty quickly, and God has shown us favor in getting crucial paperwork.    Those forms we needed for USCIS were relatively easy to get.  And honestly the office has really been working quickly to get this done. We started the process on April 2 and they have already asked for the paperwork they needed and gotten our fingerprints done.  So I guess kudos to them. They do have to be thorough in their jobs right?

We have also been working on the re-adopt for N and found out today that both the lawyer's office AND our first HS agency completely dropped the ball and didn't get the proper paperwork in to the courts.  Until I called and asked about it.  ARGH!!!  This is partially why we aren't using that agency again.  I loved the people as people, but not so good at their jobs.  The bummer about the lawyer is that he's in practice by himself, so who do you complain to?  Oh well, just won't use him again either, nor would we recommend his office.

On a much brighter note, N has been having such great days at daycare.  Daddy has him call me on the way home to tell me about the sticker he has gotten for the day.  And today he even told daddy that he wants to have an earring just like daddy.  He only wants one though because girls wear 2.  I really wish you could see his face as he says these things.  He's SO animated.
He's SO great.  He saw me coming down the road tonight after work and he began jumping up and down and waving his hands in greeting.  Is that the best hello ever??!!

i am blessed... if not a bit annoyed with people that don't do what they promise to do... but God is good and He is in control... not me!!