Monday, November 30, 2009


This is why I love blog world!

Most of the people that read my blog are from the adoption world, at least those that comment.... ;o) And you get it! ;o)

And if you don't get it at least you will pray for me, or you keep it to yourself... love ya for that too! ;o)

This whole wanting a girl thing can only be from God.

Don't get me wrong, I love little girls, I love my S... but I have a soft spot for little boys. I love my guys. Girls have so much drama and estrogen. Honestly I have enough of that on my own. ;o)

So this whole longing for a little girl has got to be from Him.

Back when we were moving forward with E's adoption we were given the opportunity to possibly adopt an infant set of twins, domestically. I agonized over the decision for several days until God very clearly said to me.... "there is a little boy out there waiting for you". I just knew in my heart that these babies would be taken care of, but that there was a little boy out there that needed me. It was my E.

I feel the same way this time. There is a little girl out there some where.....

We were at a restaurant for my parent's anniversary on Sunday night and a couple came in with 2 little girls. They were of Asian descent. The littlest one was maybe 2 yrs old, and just the most beautiful little girl. She sat across the room observing us the whole time. My heart ached for a little girl just like her.

So... perhaps someday my heart will be filled. D's not ready.

Maybe if E would tell daddy every day (like he tells me) that he wants a baby sister, I might see that day sooner rather than later. ;o)

I do have a mission team to complete. That calling has not changed, and I am more excited than ever to go!

I know God knows my heart just like He knows each of you dreaming and praying for your own little person sized hole's to be filled.

Thank you for your prayers, your assurance of my sanity, and support. ;o) My prayers are with each of you as well.

Can't wait to see where God leads us. I just know it will be better than good!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


So I haven't really kept it a secret. I am ready for another baby... child...another addition period.

So why is it that I am the only one ready?

D and I were at dinner on Friday night with our couples group. D said something about my Big Ben bio And the other 2 couples looked at me like I had 8 eyes.

One couple has 2 teens and are literally counting the days until they move out. The other couple is just happy with the 3 kids they have.

To be honest, the reaction was painful.

Why is it crazy to want to love another child?

Nope we do not have 20 - 30k laying around to adopt another one.

Nope N didn't transition well with E. But we have gotten over that hump and he would LOVE a sister. He needs a girl to play house with. ;o)

Nope we don't have the money to send S to college laying around but that's what they make student loans for isn't it?

None of my children are lacking. For anything. Love, food, shelter, education, goodness knows they have too much 'stuff'.

Why is it crazy to want another child to love? To give another child a home that doesn't have one?

Having more children isn't for every one. Adoption isn't for every one. Having children period isn't for every one.

My arms ache for another child. My heart hurts for the one I feel is missing. me crazy.

I guess I am.

p.s. if anyone has an extra 20k laying around... I could use it... so could a little girl somewhere, I know it! ;o)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just pics from Turkey day

Of course they are backwards again...some day I will remember to upload them the right way.

My boys.
My brother and sweet M

So handsome...

Me and my oldest ;o) ugh... the hair may be 'fixed' but I still am not fond of it!

Prep tome ;o)
My and our friend J trying to look cool while running ;o)
Not sure what D's doing?
Sweet sleepy boy.....

Friday, November 27, 2009


What a day! ;o)

So much to be thankful for!

We started the day with D and I meeting some friends to run in the local Turkey Trot 10k. It was a glorious morning, cool, sunny but just enough clouds that I got to see my favorite "Jesus Lights" streaming through.

D was running his first race. He was pretty excited. He's naturally athletic, pretty much can do anything athletically. SO the opposite of me! I ended up running by myself this time because he was so much faster. But it was really ok. We ran through our neighborhood so it was fun to run with a bunch of other people along the same paths I usually do. I just took in the beauty of the day and time with God. Also got to bask in the knowledge that I was going to be able to eat Thanksgiving dinner guilt free! ;o) D finished way before me, so he came back to 'get me' and run over the finish line with me. That was off! ;o)

I did beat my time from the last 10 k by 5 mins. YAY! D has decided that we are going to train for the Shamrock Half Marathon in March. Oiy!

The kids were with my mom in law and they got to cheer us along on the course.

We then went home and watched the end of the Macy's Day Parade. I was sad to have missed most of it, but we did get to see Santa.

S went to work on her contribution to dinner. She made an apple crisp, from scratch. It was fun to watch her in the kitchen, she's becoming quite the little baker. E helped her with the apples, he would hand them to her to peel then put them in the bowl when she was done. N helped with the crisp part.

Then daddy made his famous sweet potato casserole and I made the mashed potatoes. The boys both helped with that as well.

Off to mom's we went at about 4. Of course we ate too much food but it was grand to be with family, I have missed my mom.

I think the highlight of the night for me though was watching E and my niece M race around together. They were having so much fun. This is the niece that in the beginning wasn't going to be able to be around E ...ever...and there they were chasing each other around and being encouraged to play together by her parents. Praise God for healing and misconceptions being cleared!

It was a better than good day!

Friday found D and I both at work... yuck! BUT! I was my last day in the old job. Monday I start the new one!!

oh...and a little funny happened. The boys and I were waiting in the van while daddy went in to get our race stuff on Wednesday night when out of the blue E says "Mommy, I want a baby sister" Then N says "I don't want a baby, I want one that's 4 or 5"

Of course daddy wasn't around to hear it! Still praying that God will tell D clearly when it's time... and that he's listening! ;o)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just stuff...and Happy Thanksgiving

There is just too much happening in life to share to make this post about just one thing…lol

Last night D and I went to see Blind Side. SEE IT! Oh my goodness. What a great movie. I was touched by the relationship with the mom in the movie and Michael the main character. I have a soft spot in my heart for boys. I have an especially soft spot for teen boys without the love of a momma. Teen boys need a momma… they also need a strong father figure…but there’s something about the relationship between a mom and her son. Z’s friend Josh has that spot in my heart. I would take him home and care for him in a heart beat. When I see the teen boys waiting to be adopted my heart hurts. This movie made me think about all those boys waiting for homes and a family.

While we were waiting for the movie to start we were talking about the holiday. My mom had just come home from PA where she has been taking care of my grandparents so we were thinking about holidays passed. D said, “I guess we won’t be having big family holiday’s at Mom and Dad’s (I call my grandparents mom and dad) house any more.” It struck me that he was right. Then it struck me how very sad that made me. I have the best memories of holidays spent at my grandparent’s house. My mom is one of 6 kids so when we all got together there was always lots of fun. As I was growing up my grandparent’s house was always the place I called home. I never lived there for an extended period of time, but it’s the place that felt like home to me. It’s where my best memories are, it’s where I felt the most love, it’s where I found my basis for my faith.

I am bummed that it won’t be the same again. I am blessed with the memories I do have to cherish.

Speaking of holiday’s E cracks me up! He made the “I am thankful for…” Turkey picture at school and brought it home yesterday. Want to know what he was thankful for? He was thankful for House, Pigs, Drinks and Coffee. Yep, Pigs and Coffee. ??????

We questioned him about the pigs trying to figure out what that was about. He said “Me no want dogs, me want pig.” “You take Buddy and Gabriel (our dogs) back to store and buy pig?” Um, nope not gonna happen little man. ;o)

No idea where that came from. Got so caught up in the pigs I forgot to ask him about the coffee. More on that later.

Tomorrow is the Turkey Trot in our neighborhood. I haven’t had time to do much in the way of training so it’s going to be interesting to see how it all works out. ;o) D is running with me, as are a ton of our friends. Should be fun actually ;o)

I was thinking this morning about what I am thankful for today. Oddly enough I am thankful today for Blogs and my Blogger friends. ;o)

I have learned so much from so many of you. I have come to love many of you as well. I have made some amazing friends, a best friend, dear friends that can’t wait to know more. I have been blessed by the emails to get to know each other better. The texts from others letting me know they are praying. I have been challenged, stretched, touched and amused by you my friends. I am also thankful to those of you that read this blog, those that I know and those that don’t I appreciate your time and interest in my ramblings. ;o)

May your Thanksgiving find you blessed abundantly!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Today I am thankful for medicine

I know it seems weird, but today I am reminded that I am thankful for medicine.

I had to take E for his H1N1 booster shot. We went to his PID office to get it. I was struck by what life was like just a year ago. We were just beginning to see the positive effects of the medicine that he takes to keep him alive. He was beginning to grow and all the yucky's on his head and over his body were clearing. The strange rashes and spots were clearing and he was beginning to look and feel like a little kid again.

I was having a conversation about HIV/AIDS the other night. Trying to explain the issue with lack of meds and fear of disclosure in so many places. How mothers and children die every day because they do not have access to medicine or are afraid to find out about their status because of the terrible stigma.

Here in the U.S. if my child is sick I take them to the Dr or the hospital. In so many other countries mothers have to watch their children die because they do not have access to simple medications or basic health care. I was reading a blog today of an adoptive family in another country to pick up their daughter. She's in the hospital in that country. Something she said struck a chord in me.

The facilities just aren't the same there as here. N was very sick when he was brought into his care center and E got sick while there. It's a miracle they both lived. All those medical things we take for granted aren't even a possibility in so many places.

So, today. I am thankful for medicine. Thankful for the meds that keep our E alive. Those that healed N.

My heart hurts for those that don't have them when they need them.

Sunday, November 22, 2009 full!

It's been another one of those weeks. ;o)

It's been a birthday week for S.

Monday she had dinner with friends.
Tuesday (her actual birthday) we took her to dinner.

Wednesday was just dinner and youth celebration at church.

Thursday I had a mission team meeting (good stuff!) Then I took S to see the midnight opening of New Moon. oh my goodness!!! I am way too old to be out that late on a school night! ;o) It was fun, she was thrilled and we had some great mom and daughter time.

Friday night was her birthday party here at the house. We had the usual 25 + kids here to celebrate. This time we had a fire pit in the back yard and they roasted hot dogs and made s'mores. It was a great night. ;o)

Saturday I had to get up early to drive to Richmond for the United Methodist Mission Team Leader training. It was really good. I rode with friends so it made the ride that much more fun, and the 2 hours went by quickly.

By Saturday night I was done. Stick a fork in me and put me to bed. Done.

Today's church service was great. Pastor spoke about worry and why we shouldn't do it. It's not a new message but one that it never hurts to hear over and over again! We then went to lunch with our Sunday school class. That was fun, all our little kids hanging out and playing. I got to hold our Sunday school teacher's month old baby girl. What a joy that was!!! oh precious tiny thing!

Tonight was the perfect ending to a crazy week. We had a couple over that we love dearly, along with my mother in law. We ate dinner and then proceeded to pray over our house. We started in the master bedroom, then moved on to each and every room in the house. We prayed God in and prayed Satan out. It was powerful and moving and amazing. We had never intentionally prayed over the house and the other day I just felt strongly that it was something we needed to do. There has been some weirdness going on with attitudes and sadness and anger and I wanted it gone from the home. God has intentionally been invited in, and Satan ordered out. Praise the Lord!

This week I will be focusing on all the things I am thankful for... it's something I try to do each year at this time. Although we really should do it all year long huh? ;o)

Tonight I am thankful for my God. He is first and foremost the most important thing in my life. Without Him I would be nothing. I would not have any of the other things I am thankful for. So tonight I give God all the glory and honor for all things.

Blessings to you all!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sweet 16th Birthday!

Dinner at Red Robin

Crazy E!
S getting the Henderson Choir version of Happy Birthday! She waited all day. ;o) Let me tell you a birthday is not complete until you have been serenaded by the Henderson Family. Love you guys!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rejoicing in this day....

Today is a good one! Just had to share some of the joy with my blog family.

To day is sweet S's 16th Birthday! More on that later, but I do have to share how beautiful she was this morning in her meticulously curled hair, "Sweet 16 Birthday Princess" sash, and Tiara. Yes, Tiara... I think she's seen too many MTV Sweet 16 Birthday She will NOT be being surprised with a new Hummer or BMW today! ;o)

The sun is still shining! Yes after 5 days of wind rain and flooding, these last several days have been a gift!

I GOT THE JOB! The job I interviewed for last week was offered and accepted yesterday. I start on 11/30. It's with the same company, but better hours, more creativity, and much better money. It will allow me more freedom to do stuff with the kids as I will be able to work from home much more when need be. YAY!

My pre-ordered Casting Crowns CD comes in today! wooo hooo!!!

My hair has been mostly repaired! lol... I know vanity is a but I am SO glad to have it look a bit more presentable. It's short but workable and cute. ;o)

Tell something good going on in your life today? Or tell me how I can pray for you today.

My prayer for you all is that you have a Better Than Good Tuesday!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Family Fun

After that nasty Nor'Easter and subsequent hair disaster ;o) we had a gorgeous day on Sunday. Here's a glimpse....

The bench above usually has a good 20 feet of land before the water starts. This was after much receding!

Beautiful boys!

The dogs don't leave the yard much. It's a huge yard, so this outing was a real treat!

Some body's little dog found some very willing little boys to play with ;o)

Beautiful S...turns 16 yrs old tomorrow!

Some pics of N performing at church. He was the only one to do all the movements, and he never stops groovin to the music... He's got music in his heart and ants in his pants. ;o)

No idea why the other kids are clear but he's blurry... I love the little bit of a smile you can see here. He LOVES kids choir!

Adoption is ...huge loss and huge gain

We adopted children that were slightly older on purpose. Some of that was because we already had teens and had experienced the 'baby' stage.... and partly because we knew that there were plenty of people hoping to adopt baby's and not as many ready to adopt the time. Now the waiting list for even toddlers seems to be just as long, praise the Lord!

All adoption requires a loss. A significant one. There isn't a way around it. There is a birth family some where that no longer has this child in their lives. So often the birth family, at least in international adoption, has already experienced death or loss of at least one family member.

I was reading a blog earlier that spoke about holding a friend's baby then having to give him back. The warmth the child brought and then the cold aftermath when he was returned to the mother's arms. I had that experience recently. I got to hold my friend's baby boy, he snuggled in, laid his cheek on mine and just held on for a moment. It was almost as if he knew these mother's arms were missing a baby in them.

For just a few minutes I held him close, closed my eyes, and just felt his weight and warmth in my arms. What joy!

What sorrow for the birth family that loses that warmth.

Being in touch recently with N's family has been an emotional roller coaster for me. We've learned so many new things. Gotten to 'hear' the desperation in the emails for info on N. The loss is so hard for me to relive ....and honestly the guilt that I have him to love and they do not.

E has some family but not much. The loss I feel for him and those he's left behind is a whole different set of feelings. Without giving too much of his story, his relinquishment came after much pain already.

Many parents who choose to adopt do so after years of trying to conceive biologically. The truth is that God made women to reproduce. It's how we continue on this earth right? And not being able to conceive is a pain unbearable for some. I will not pretend to know the depth, although knowing that I chose to no longer conceive years ago, is a pain I feel every day. I also don't even try to pretend to know why some women conceive without difficulty and other's cannot. That's a question for God.

I do know several couples and single women that chose to adopt first without first having bio children. They always knew they wanted to adopt and did so. If they have bio kids that's icing on the cake. I love that. ;o)

In so many ways adoption causes a hole in some one's heart.

There is SO much gain in adoption as well.

A mother gets to hold the baby she's been dreaming of, a father fulfills his dream of fatherhood. A child gets to know the love of a parent, a bed in his/her own room, kisses and snuggles from a mommy and daddy. A permanent place to call home.

Watching the changes in N and E have been a joy to see. N has always been full of life. He suffered a loss that I am not sure he understands. I don't know all the details of when he was relinquished, how he reacted, what he felt... what it meant to his little 2 yr old mind. But if you have ever been around a 2 yr old you know they can be so very aware. There is a scene in "There is No Me Without You" where a father has to give up his son. I saw my N in the story and just had to put the book down for several days. Every time I thought about it... I hurt for N. I could put the book down, but he could not escape that pain.

To see his sweet face now is a gift. I thought about the enormity of that gift this past weekend. N is in the children's choir, and they sang at ALL 3 services. While he sat up front he found us in the audience, and waved and blew kisses and gave us the "I love you" sign. He just beamed when he spotted us. After his first song he looked up to me, I gave him the thumbs up, and he just broke into the biggest grin. The love in that boy is amazing... and we get to witness it daily. It's those times that I know He's a gift. A gift from God.

E's transformation over the past year is phenomenal. He too suffered great loss, then spent more than 12 months in the orphanage waiting... became so sick and suffered both emotionally and physically. Oh to see him now. To see the life in him. Watch him run with N, or chase the dogs, or wrestle with Z. Meds have healed him physically, but the love of a family? That has gone a long way to healing him emotionally and spiritually.

In speaking to my new friend M (from Operation Christmas Child)... he said our giving the boys a home is wonderful by itself, but the best gift of all is that we have given them eternal life. They know Christ.

We have gained new family in Ethiopia, we have gained an appreciation for Injera and Wot, we made new friends, new connections and a realization that the world is so much bigger than we are.

The boys can now run and play, they have an education, opportunities to learn and grow in ways we can only imagine. Perhaps some day they will go back to Ethiopia and make a difference in some one else's lives.... or perhaps not? Which ever they choose.

The pain of adoption is very real, on so many levels.

The gain also very real. Not only for the children finding homes, but the homes they fill. It's not always easy for either party. Sometimes transitions are hard, some times it takes longer to bond a grow that expected, some times life throws you curve balls. It's an adventure.

It's a glorious adventure! One I hope to experience again... soon! ;o)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I have recovered...

You after whining in the last post, I felt so badly because honestly we truly had an ugly Nor'Easter here and so many people lost cars, houses, property and are still cleaning up ... and I am whining about bad hair. Please join me in praying for those that lost so much in this storm.

I DO thank you all for your support though. As a woman hair is such a crazy thing isn't it? Tiffany kind of touched on the issue, bad hair effects the mood. When I have a good hair day I carry myself differently... I am no fasionista by any stretch, but do want to look nice...and me in a yellow mullet isn't good It's really not all that bad though. I am partially sad that really the only way to fix it is to have short hair, and while I have nothing against short hair, I like my longer hair.... oh well it grows and this too shall pass ;o)

So... the rest of the weekend was actually really great. Saturday I got to spend time with the Mission Committee of the church discussing the Mission Statement and ideas for moving forward. They are a great group of people, I look forward to working with them. I had to leave early because of a prior commitment though and I found out this morning that I will be in a video they are going to guess I will have to reschedule other commitments next time so I am not volunteered for stuff though huh?

I had to leave because I was slated to help KLove Radio with their local packing party with Operation Christmas Child. What a cool cool thing to be a part of! Z got to deliver several of these boxes when he was in Botswana a couple of years ago. So to see the end result...then to watch how it's done was neat.

One fantastic thing that happened while there though was that I got to meet Me. He works for Operation Christmas Child/Samaritan's Purse. He used to be a street child in Ethiopia. He was amazing, and to hear his story and to see where he is now... man... God is SO good. He's a great guy, and we spent a ton of time talking. He lives in Maryland though, so not local. We have a standing invitation to come up and be taken to one of the many great restaurants in DC though. We spoke alot about our visions in Ethiopia, he's going over in March and we are in April. I wish we were going at the same time, it would be amazing to be able to meet with him there and work with he and the kids.

Sunday was Children's Worship at church. It was almost all run by the kids. N was in the children's choir and did so great. He's got so much music on his heart. So many people told us what a joy it was to watch him sing and do the motions. By the 3rd service he was done though, were all the other kids. They had to sit in the choir loft through all 3 services. He was so great!
The afternoon was sunny and blue skies so we went to the park to play. What a glorious day after the past 5 days of storms!!! Thank you God!

No news on the job yet, but since we were out due to storms and power, I hope to hear something this week.

It's turned out to be a better than good day!

Friday, November 13, 2009

November Nor'Easter

So what would YOU do if you were faced with crazy high winds, flooding and beach erosion?

Well, here's what I did.

I decided...with hubby... that since we were both off work today due to power outages that we would take the boys to the mall. They were a little stir crazy and there's a play place.

The mall was only operating on half power, but was packed. Lots of parents with the same idea. Funny thing was that the play place was closed due to water damage. There was a collective sigh of worn out desperation to be heard through out the mall.

S had decided since we were at the mall that she would get her hair cut. I thought this was a grand idea... needed a trim myself.

So, 30 mins later I have...... a mullet! A freaking mullet! To add insult to injury she cut out the rest of my blond high lights... I know God doesn't make mistakes, but can I just day that he must have been sleeping when he chose the true color of my hair.

So I got home, trying not to cry over my mullet. Have you seen Kristen Stewarts recent do? The kinda weird mullet looking thing? yep... it's me. I like Twilight and all that, but..........

I decided that maybe it would be a good thing to add some blond highlights back in...... can you see where this is going? Should have just let well enough alone. I know have a spotted yellow mullet. And in the morning I am expected to spend the day with the mission committee on a planning retreat ...all day... no ability to get out to a professional to fix the spotted yellow. ;(

Do NOT ask, there will be no pictures.

My lesson for the day.... vanity is not a good thing! Stupid Nor'Easter!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Adoption is...growth

I believe adoption has helped me to grow in ways I never even imagined.

When we started this process we were rather comfortable with our lives. We were in our mid-thirties, had 2 teens, 2 cars, a nice house, good jobs, went to church. We were ....comfortable.

From that first night at the SCC concert when God showed us adoption, we changed.

Who knew we would set out to take on the General Assembly in our state? I have never aspired to be political...ever... and I sure wasn't sure how to 'talk the talk'. I just knew that we were supposed to do it, so we did. The day before I was to go to Richmond to testify we found that I was to go alone, D couldn't come. Can I just tell you I was petrified! I cried like a little girl thinking about driving to Richmond alone and testifying before the general assembly...alone! ALONE???!!! hhhmmmm

Growth point # 1. Nothing we do, is done alone. God showed up big, he put someone in place that I knew in Richmond who worked the 'process'. She got me in doors, introduced me to people, showed me around, sat with me. I was not alone.

We got our referral, got to Ethiopia and met N. He cried. He didn't like us. He didn't want to have anything to do with us. He was spirited and strong willed. He was beautiful, but didn't think we were.

Growth point #2. Things don't always go as we imagine. In retrospect we realized that he was/IS one smart cookie. He knew we were there to change his life again. He had only been there for 2 months. He had settled in, knew his way around, had friends, was a favorite...he had seen his friends leave. Of course he didn't like us. It's not as we imagined, but showed us so much of the personality that we would come to both love and be challenged by, daily.

Ethiopia is a place that gets into your heart. Gets into your soul. We had travelled before. Been to Europe. Thought we were well travelled. Nothing prepared us for Ethiopia.

Growth point #3. Life is so much bigger than we are. We have been shown how spoiled we are. The thing about this point is that when you get back here to the states, this point becomes less clear. We are surrounded by "stuff". So much stuff. We forget about those 5 yr old children we saw herding cattle and carrying water. Those children with no shoes...and tiny ones with no pants. Why IS that?! He's been showing me this concept right here in my back yard recently.

Choosing to adopt E has been growth in ways we are still learning.

These 3 points have lead me to the most important growth point...

Growth point # 4. We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us. There is almost nothing I can't do any more when I involve God in it. I can co-lead a mission trip, I can run a 10k race, I can change g-tubes, I can give IV's, I can live through humiliation when I am told my child has to leave a daycare, I can love with the heart of Christ, I can stand before the general assembly... I can take on this new job if I am given the opportunity...because I am not alone, things don't always go like I plan them, and life is so much more than ever thought it was.

The funny thing is that "I" can't do any of it without Him.

Adoption is His plan, it's His heart... whatever He saw in me that gave him the idea to let me join Him in this plan, I will never know, I am however eternally grateful!

Life is better than good!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


What an emotional roller coaster day. I am ready to get off!

I had a job interview this morning. It's technically for a job that I already do, but it will be a step up and with the same company. I think it's going to be great if I get to do it... but I haven't had to interview for a job in years... it's tough. The whole selling yourself thing. I knew God had it in hand, and I had some great prayer warriors praying for me. I am good with whatever the out come is, I am not losing my old job, but I would love to have the I need more on my plate. ;o)

I then had the privilege of going to a viewing to offer condolences to a family that has been a big part of our lives for years. The father of the family died after a long battle with illness. I have said it before, and will say it again if you know me when I am dead and are invited to a viewing please please bop whoever planned it in the Viewings are the worst. I understand the place, and what they mean to the family. But they are so so hard. For me that person in the casket isn't that person any more. Sorry not trying to go all morbid, it just hit me so hard tonight. It's almost the 2 yr anniversary of my father in laws death and I didn't realize the impact the viewing would have on me. I had to sit in the driveway for a good 10 minutes when I got home to compose myself.

I am sure it was a release from the day, but man... who opened the flood gates?!

I have been able to end the day on a good note however... I bought S and me tickets for the opening of New Moon next week! It's part of her week long 16 yr birthday party. ;o) She was dancing and hopping all over the place when we bought them. I needed a bit of that joy.

I am reminded that in all things God works for the good of those that love him. In my job, in the death of a servant, in the joy of a birth reminder... He is in ALL things.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Quick update

This past weekend was a God filled weekend.

Friday night S and I went to see Casting Crowns and Matt Redman. They were amazing!!!! Oh my goodness, I LOVE Casting Crowns, and even with Mark Hall having voice issues they were still awesome. So great to have a night out with my gal. ;o)

Saturday night was the spaghetti dinner fundraiser for our Ethiopia Mission team. It too was awesome. We really have a great team. We had a great set up, Ethiopian colors, pictures, mums (cause they were on sale and beautiful) and music by the African Children's Choir.

Not sure how many we actually served but we were able to bring in 1400.00! How great is that? Not bad for Spaghetti huh?

We had the opportunity to serve and then receive incredible blessing from the homeless community in our church neighborhood. Our church sits on the oceanfront so there is a large community of homeless persons that use our grounds to sleep on at night. We served them dinner and in return they stayed to help us clean up. It was hard to drive away in my warm van, to my warm home while they prepared their 'beds' in the overhang of the fellowship hall in the cold. What a humbling reminder of the 'good life' that we lead.

I had a conversation with one of the ladies about a Tupperware container. I was giving it to her to hold some left over brownies we had. She was going to wash it and bring it back to me. I started to tell her that we had just cleaned out our kitchen and had more of those than we needed.... I stopped myself. I was getting ready to admit my extreme gluttony to a woman who carried all that she owned on her back.


God showed us His glory....and then His mercy all in one evening.

I woke up sick Sunday morning and spent the day lounging on my couch watching a Hallmark marathon of Love movies. I thought alot about those that we had served the night before. wondering what else I could do to be the hands and feet to these people that sleep outside of our church, as we prepare a mission team to take care of children a world away.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Adoption is... a leap of faith

I totally realize that a ton of people adopt who do not believe in God, or Christ. This is in no way a slight to anyone!

The road for our family is paved with faith in God. I know that without our faith we never would have gone on this journey. Man am I glad we did... for so very many reasons!
It began for us November of 2004 at a Steven Curtis Chapman concert. His story about adoption and the questions he asked the audience caused a God moment between my husband and myself that led us to hear Him leading us to adopt.

The road hasn't been straight, nor has it been easy. We ran into many obstacles. There was even a time in the beginning that we had a resounding NO from the legal stand point. God led us to get a law changed in our state so that we and other would be able to adopt.

Had we not been listening to another couple in church after we received the news that we could not adopt legally we never would have moved forward.

I will never forget the day we were sitting in the front row at church listening to the story of the couple who was adopting. I just began to was almost as if God had sat down beside me and said... You will do this too.

We began the process of changing the law. Anyone in politics knows that it's not an easy task. Have you ever listened to School House Rock? How a Bill becomes a bill. It's crazy! Only through God could that have happened. Even the guy representing us in the gov't wasn't all that optimistic. We showed him!

With that behind us we got to start the mounds of paperwork. Have you ever bought a house? Yep it's like that...only WAY more invasive. It's funny the only questions they asked me when I birthed my other 2 kids were whether or not I wanted an epidural.

When you adopt you get to answer things like what kind of childhood did you have, and how will you raise your children, and why you want to adopt. It's thought provoking really. I got to think about alot of areas that I needed to ask God to heal me well as places I realized I had already put behind me.

My personal biggest test of faith came in the form of a terrible 4-letter word.... can you guess it?

It's W-A-I-T.

ugh! Honestly it's the hardest part.. waiting. Wondering. Stressing. And honestly we waited like a week to get N's referral and we chose E-Man so it's not like we had to wait all that long. (Those of you that have been waiting FOREVER, please forgive my brief whine. I SO feel for you.)

We did have to wait for some delays in E's court cases, there were papers missing and people to be found, and medical stuff to wade through. Nothing that is out of the ordinary truly. And the agency was great... I just spent ALOT of time whining to God about why we were still waiting...and pressing the refresh button on my email to see if I had gotten any news.

Choosing to adopt E-man as an HIV+ child was actually one of the easiest things for me to do. It took my hubby longer to come around...because he was scared. He still had the vision in his head of it being a death sentence. There ARE stigma's still out there...and still fear...but we clearly felt like because we wanted another child, we wanted one that needed us... as much as we wanted them. So this was a perfect fit.

Faith moved us through the decision to choose him. It moved us through those first few days when we were told he was probably not going to live, to those days in ET when we were overwhelmed, through 12 days in the hospital, to the stares from people wondering what was wrong with him because of all the molluscum and tubes.... and now into a place that we know we can handle whatever life throws at us.

The majority of adoptions are relatively easy. Some paperwork, some waiting, a referral, travel to meet your child and life moves on. NOT to minimize any one's journey, it's ALL worth it... but to let anyone who's thinking about adopting know that's good stuff! It's totally do-able... totally worth it.

Not everyone is called to adopt. I do get that too! But we can all just takes a leap of faith.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Adoption is...the unknown

I can't tell you how many times people have said to me in one form or another that they could never adopt because "You don't know what you are getting".

Can I just say... oh good grief!.

Do you EVER know what you are 'going to get' with children? Even with bio kids there are no guarantees. You may be able to control what went in to your body while pregnant, but you still never know what they may look like, what the gene pool you belong to may bring... or even what kind of personality each child may have. I have known many a bio parent to look at their kids and go... man! Where did that come from?!

N was well loved before he came to us, he had been relinquished in August and then we picked him up in December. He was 2 yrs old. We weren't there to see him born, or take care of him those first 2 yrs. We weren't part of his birthing process or those formidable yrs of growth. There are still unknowns in his past and in his life. We have had to take a different approach to getting to know him and learning about the person that he is. Is it hard? Sometimes... but good grief, isn't all parenting hard in some aspect? We have to learn about all of our children, as they grow and form their own little personalities.

Health can be another unknown. We knew of E-man's HIV status when we chose him, but his subsequent hospitalization and health challenges were "bonus" material. Many times the medical situations in other countries are not the same as here in the US. Heck! We spent 12 days in our local 'specialized' children's hospital when we came home and even they were stumped most of the time with what to do with him.

How many parents have given birth to children to later find out they have a special need of some sort... they just do what needs to be done for that child.

For us, it was just as if we had given birth to him. We did have moments of great doubt and fear, but he was always ours and we were always focused on getting him well. Doing whatever it took. It did add a bit of a wrinkle that we spoke different languages and didn't know each other at all.

If you could see them now... my boys. My N who woke up this morning with a big old smile on his face and the first words coming out of his mouth as he rushed to hug me were "I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!"

Or my E-man that has to kiss both of my cheeks, forehead, chin and nose before saying good bye in the morning at daycare.

I have known parents who have adopted 'healthy' infants only to find out they had special needs and children that were to have significant special needs only to find out that they were perfectly healthy.

It's ...unknown.

Where in life were we given guarantees on ANYthing? We weren't.

I wouldn't change the life we have been given for anything. It's been hard, it's been's also been joyful and FULL of love. I have met amazing people and learned what it's like to live outside of my box.

I used to dislike the unknown...'s not so's Better than Good!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Adoption is ...a process

In as much as adoption is a miracle...adoption can be a hard process.

We have had some challenging behaviors. Still sometimes do. But nothing that can't be handled with the help of prayer and a little understanding.

To be honest not all the challenging behaviors were from the kids. Some of those were ours. Our reactions to things that probably could have been handled better. It's all about parenting, and in some ways parenting differently that one would normally do.

Adoption is bringing a child into your home, heart, soul that did not grow in your body. As a mother I wonder if it's the feeling a father gets not having the opportunity to carry the life in his own body. I was reading a blog today that spoke about the 'weirdness' of meeting this child you had been trying to attach yourself to through pictures and stories from others.

I do not love my adoptive children any less than my bio kids. It's just the way I love my bio kids differently from each other. It's amazing, the capacity to love that God gives us. My children are mine. Period. Mine... well God's first...then mine. There was just a different process in the falling in love with each child. All of them growth processes.

When N came home I was struck by the lack of love I felt in the beginning. I didn't dislike him by any stretch... just felt mostly guilt in not loving him immediately. I spent many a night rocking him and crying and asking God to give me the heart to love him as God loved him. As I prayed God did give me that heart. My beautiful, sweet, crazy, smart, fearless, talkative, rebellious, loving, spiritual, boy is my heart. Just this weekend he said to me "Mommy, do your hands I am going to pray for you". He then proceeded to pray out loud... about the environment and keeping it clean. Not sure how that pertained to me, but I LOVE that he has the heart for prayer and for the Lord. He's recently begun to tell us "I will love you forever, no matter what!" To which we respond exactly the same. Sweet boy.

Parenting N has pushed, pulled, prodded, and molded us into new and better people. I am forever thankful for him. I love being his mom!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Adoption is a miracle...

Just this weekend I was reminded just how amazing adoption is, and how very grateful I am that God allowed us to be part of His plan.

His miracle.

Last year on Halloween we were at church. E had been home just at 2 months. He had no idea what was happening. He was Elmo, but only because he liked the costume, not because he knew who Elmo was.

He had had surgery a week or so before and was just generally out of sorts. He wanted nothing to do with the pony rides, literally screamed and clung to me when we went anywhere near them. Couldn't climb the air slides, and didn't like candy.

This year I was struck with the child he has become. He is confident. He's strong. He excited and animated. He LOVED the pony's. He climbed the air slide all by himself several times and slid down all by himself.

I had spoken to a teacher of his that day at his preschool and she said how much everyone loves him. In Ethiopia he wasn't the favorite child. He wasn't ignored, but he didn't get special treatment. He so sick and a mess physically when he came home, he had been the butt of jokes and teasing from the other children. He was so weak and unstable.

LOOK what God can do! LOOK what we can do if we step out.... look at the life that has been changed! His AND ours!

The latest number of children considered orphans is an astounding 147 million. Can you wrap your head around that?! 147 million. 147 million. Say it out loud....

It's an amazing number isn't it?

My 2 little boys are faces that can be attached to that number no more. They are home and loved and cherished. They know what it's like to be the special one, they know what it's like to know full belly's and a big boy bed.

This is National Adoption Awareness Month.

Do something. Do SOMEthing.

Find an adoption fund and donate so that other's can fulfill the call to adopt.

Pray about adopting yourself. Yes you can do it! Yes you CAN!

I would adopt again in a heartbeat if we had the funds to do so. I know there are other's out there that would do the same. If God's not calling you to adopt... help someone who is.

Together we can make a change. Together we can give homes to baby's that need one.

Together we can make a change in one child at a time.

Be part of the miracle of adoption.