Monday, March 28, 2011
So how do you deal with that? Not everyone understands adoption, not everyone is supportive of it, lots of people don't think it's a good idea. And that's ok, it's just sort of disappointing when your own family doesn't get it...even after you have already done it twice. I guess the interesting thing is the people who don't support it and why they don't. In some cases they have valid reasons...and in other's they are simply selfish points that they bring up because it makes them feel better.
N's transition when E came home was less than easy. We had terrible tantrums and out bursts. There were many issues in school and at home. N was set upside down and didn't know what to do with himself and we didn't know what to do with him either. We all learned a TON from that transition. Of course E was sick, hospital bound and needed months of extra care and attention which added to the stress of the situation.
It won't be that way this time. There are sure to be other issues, but at least we know that part won't be the issue to over come. Our new boys are both healthy. I would be lying if I said I wasn't concerned about the transitions. There are hard times sure to be had. However we are trusting God and His provision. It was a hard hard couple of months after E came home and I think we are stronger for it. We sometimes forget that we have to be intentional about our together time, however we get reminded pretty quickly.
Summer's are hard for us. When the kids are out of school we do run into issues with finding someone to care for them. Praise God for family that has stepped in and helped. But this is a concern for some family members that have been no help whatsoever when we needed help...so poo on them. :)
We aren't rich and our children may have to pay for their own college... gasp!
We aren't always the most patient, nor the most together family...however we are a family that loves. We are all pretty darn strong personalities and when those get together you can have some sparks... we are pretty sparky.
My kids know they are loved, they know they matter, and they know who loves them the most..God! They are strong and healthy and smart and beautiful.
We are a family that sometimes has to learn the hard way. I happen to believe that learning the hard way insures that you won't make the same mistake again. :)
So, we have extended family that doesn't agree...so what?
We are positive that we are doing what God asked us to, and that's really all that matters. He will take care of the rest.
"The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him he will be found by you, but if you forsake him he will forsake you" 2 Chronicles 2
Friday, March 25, 2011
So see the Badge over there on the right? ---> The one that says Ordinary Hero?
They are doing a matching grant today only... whomever sells enough to get the 100.00 matching grant recveives 200.00 today towards their adoption. How cool is that?! ok 200.00 isn't a huge amount, but it would cover fingerprint costs for USCIS. That's a great step! :)
So... Spring is here, there are some CUTE T's and bags and hats ...and even just a place that you can donate towards a family that you choose, if you aren't interested in any merch.
So click on the badge, choose your new cute wardrobe and when checking out make sure to choose our family as the one to get credit!! :)
Tell your friends...how fun!
Happy Shopping Friday to you!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
First the setback: Money...seriously I wish I could in the lottery (gotta play I guess) ...we found out today that we have to pay our post placement fees to our HS agency before they will release the final...to the tune of 1400.00. Ugh... The blessing is that we have been given a gift of 6000.00 towards adoption fees and this will be able to help offset the 1400.00... a huge PRAISE.
It does pull that money from the other fees we owe...so I guess we step up our fundraising opportunities... (see side bar for OH badge we get 40% of what is sold in our name. CUTE stuff!)
The HS has been done we've just been waiting on the CPS people to send the back ground responses, and then today the news about the fee was presented. I love our agency don't get me wrong...but this is a bit on the annoying side. :(
God has a plan.
Endings: We had a dear friend pass away last Friday after a hard, but short, battle with cancer. He was a young father (age 53 is young in my book!) of 3. We had the chance to visit him days before he passed and he wasn't lucid enough to know it was us. Which is ok... but sad in a way that we weren't able to say good bye for real. His older boys are my Big's ages...and the youngest is a 10 yr old girl. S and she had some time on Sunday to spend time together... that little gal needs some loving and attention. They are an awesome family, well grounded in faith, and she's hurting of course.
This brings me to perspective...
The youngest, J, is 10 yrs old. The age of one of our newest boys... seeing her and thinking of them breaks my heart. Our 2 at home have had to face so much of the same at such a young age that they really don't consciously remember it. These new boys will remember...will know... will have more new experiences when they come across the world to become part of our family.
I will admit that I am a tad bit nervous... will we be able to care for them properly? Will we be able to share in their grief and help them through it properly? The oldest, A, is almost a pre-teen...oiy! God... you sure are a funny guy...
The passing of our friend has helped me also to see some places in life where I had become complacent. Not taking the time to share with people...not appreciating them...not taking the time to get to know people better... Our friend was dear, but I didn't really know his family.
Sunday, S played with the daughter for several hours and I spoke to the oldest son for that same time ...just about mundane life things, and D hung out with the middle boy... they are great people...good kids with amazing faith...why didn't we know them before? Why didn't we get to know them better before?.... Just the way life is I guess???...
So now...we wait for money to come...wait for approvals, mourn our friend, praise his passing to heaven, love on our new friends...and remember that life is short and we must embrace it and live it....
Thursday, March 17, 2011
So ... we have begun the journey. HS is done, waiting on some clearances...why are those always the slowest??!
Then we can officially claim the 2 BOYS ... that God has chosen for us.
Yep 2 BOYS... not any girls.
2 Boys that are B age 10 years and A 12 years ...one being hiv+.
Not what I thought we would be bringing home... I had envisioned a tiny little china beauty for months...then God said nope, not my plan for you. So then I envisioned a beautiful little Ethiopian girl.... then God said nope, not my plan for you. So then I envisioned perhaps a boy girl sibling group... there had to be another girl in there somewhere.... but again God said Nope... still not my plan for you.
We received our waiting child DVD and the children that said "I am yours" were 2 unrelated boys... older boys....
We still have to have Dossier paperwork done...my half is finished!!... so that we can claim them as our own, but we have asked to be considered for them.
We have been blessed to have 6000 towards our fees, but still need the 805 for USCIS, another 8000.00 to finish the agency processing fee and travel expenses.
We know God has a plan, for us...for them and for the finances to come together. We know He will provide...He's taken care of everything thus far.
Will you pray with us?? And for A and B?
And while you are praying for us, will you check our Linny's Blog and the other's there that also need prayer?
He sets the fatherless in homes... :)
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I HATE WAIT...
Seriously if I could remove the word from vocabulary I would do it....lol
But I know that waiting is part of the process.
After we went to get N, we knew that we wouldn't ever be on a list waiting for a child to become available. We saw too many children that needed homes, and after being in Ethiopia in April of last year that was solidified for me. I met too many children that need a home and that wait too long.
There is talk and speculation and in some cases down right ugliness swirling in this whole Ethiopia MOWA deal and I want no part of it. What I do want to be a part of is my children's lives.
There ARE children waiting for families...thousands of them. The thing is, they aren't the type of kids that people are asking for...and I am not here to judge or condemn what other's choose or feel is right for their families...what hurts is that more people are willing to step up into that world of special need or older age.
We will be placed on a list. Waiting for our children. Whom we have already identified. And will wait to bring them home. I don't have any idea what that will look like when it all plays out? I don't know if they will wait even longer to know us...while we wait here knowing who they are.
Praying that the children that need protecting are protected. Praying that the people that have done illegal acts get their judgement, and praying that those kids that are already waiting will not have to wait for much longer...
So... we are waiting....
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
So if you are in the adoption world you know what's happening with Ethiopia... you really just can't get around it if you are online. :)
If you aren't in the adoption world, you may still already know...but if not, here's the skinny...
There is office in the adoption process in ET that must produce the documents that proves that an orphan is legal for adoption (at least that's what I understand them to be) ...anyway you get the gist...it's a huge job and they are a huge part of the adoption of a child from Ethiopia. So, this organization, MOWA, used to produce about 40 cases a day for court review...they have 'threatened' to reduce the numbers of cases to 5 per day.
This is significant. This means that there are literally hundreds of cases that could be stuck in a MOWA limbo for literally years... Kinda scary!!! Ok ALOT scary!
Well this has put us in a bit of a quandary...our HS is simply awaiting approval from our agency to be completed. We are adopting from Ethiopia... the children that we think we would like to adopt that have already waited years could wait a TON longer. And dang... who the heck likes to wait?! Raise your hand... yeah I didn't think so...
I have mostly been just watching this unfold with a small amount of concern. Yesterday however I began to really think about the issues... What could this mean? Should we think about changing countries? Are we doing the right thing? What's the deal?! If we change countries now we wouldn't have to pay anything since the HS isn't officially complete. I started asking questions...I inquired about one of the other programs our agency offers... I spoke to my friends about it.
Then on the way home I called D and told him the deal. We talked about it a bit, then we decided that we would talk about it later when we could pray about it.
I hung up the phone and began to pray. I was listening to KLove at the time and a song came on that I haven't ever heard by Matthew West called When Love Comes Home.
These are the words:
Too many miles, too many days
Too many moonlights have danced across your face
Without me holding you, oh how I wish I could
But when love comes it will be for good
Too many front lines too many wars
Pictures of you remind me what I'm fighting for
For our freedom I must see this through
But when love comes home
It will be to you
I'm coming home
So let the light inside you burn
With hope of love's return
I'm coming home
For tear stained letters and the hard goodbyes
For every Christmas that I wasn't by your side
For all the lost time along the way (hear me say)
(that) When love comes home it will be to stay
I'm coming home
So let the light inside you burn
With hope of love's return
I'm coming home
And so this void inside my heart
Will not be filled until I'm standing where you are
And in that moment I walk through the door
When you're in my arms
It will hurt no more
Love is courageous
Love is strong
Love is the legacy we leave when we are gone
And when it's over ours will say
When love came home
It was worth the wait
Love came home and it was worth the wait
The song is said to be written for military families, but the last lines struck me so much! I had asked God to confirm what we were to do...and this song came on!
I walked in to the house and shared this with D. Who said, "ok we are waiting." He is firm in his belief that our kids are in ET, and he's willing to wait.
So we wait... and we call on the Lord. We pray for the children we believe are to join our family. We pray for the Ethiopian Government as they work on the decisions about adoption and what to do about MOWA. The US Embassy, ET Gov't and many other organizations have reached out to MOWA offering help, offering solutions, offering the backing of families that have adopted from ET and are in the process now.
Will you pray with us? Will you join us in asking that God guide the decision making of those involved, that the concerns that brought this about be addressed and that we be able to move forward as planned with all the other families that are effected by this decision?
Stand Strong and Courageous with us?!
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
This past Friday there was an exercise that we were to do at home. We were to find a picture of our spouses' childhood and see how it might pertain to who they are now.
As we were discussing this in the class, D and I were trying to think of pics that we could remember from each other's childhood...he looks at me and says..."You and the fence"
Now I don't have a picture of this...thank goodness! But it's a story my brother likes to tell about our childhood. Not one of my prouder moments, but it actually gave me an ah ha moment. :)
You see, I am the oldest of 2, my brother is 4 yrs younger than me. When we were about 10 and 6 I guess, he had some friends that weren't always very nice to him. Well, I am the only person allowed to mess with my brother...right?! So on on particularly nasty occasion these boys were being mean to him, I witnessed it and had had enough... I chased them down and caught one near a fence, I picked him up by the neck, held him against the fence and told him in no uncertain terms to leave my brother alone. wooooo the violence! yikes... but these kids did leave my brother alone from then on out.
I am no longer a hold you against the fence kinda gal... I do know how to hold my temper much better than I did when I was 10yrs old. But my fire to help those that cannot hasn't diminished. In fact I think it burns brighter now than it did then. I just channel those feelings in a different manner.
I cannot look at the kids left behind and leave it alone. I cannot see the devastation and stay quiet. I cannot hear the stories about children that sold into slavery and sex trafficking and not try to stop it. I cannot see the pain of those that are left behind and turn my cheek.
There ARE times when I would like very much to put some people up to the fence...however that's not my call. It's God's. He will set them straight either here... or there...
So what about your childhood can you look back on and see in yourself today? Or are glad that you don't?
Friday, March 4, 2011
I love our SW! It's great just to do a renewal, so much easier since there's really not all that much she needs to redo, just update a bit. :)
So we are approved for 2 kiddos ages 1 - 12. Yeah I know, it's a little crazy, but we decided that we wanted to be open to what ever we could be... I was willing to go older, but D wasn't quite ready to go that much older. We are now continuing our prayer that our hearts be open and prepared, as well as the children that we will be adopting. I am so excited to see where He leads us!! YAY!
Now we just wait to get the final copy, get the paperwork from AAI to get the Dossier together and get the USCIS app submitted. So much great stuff happening!
Please pray with us for provision and patience...if you have ever been in this process you know that WAIT becomes the ugliest 4 letter word. :)
Enjoy your weekend!!
Thursday, March 3, 2011
We have become affiliates and would love to share the fun with you, plus you get really great stuff! :)
There's a great opportunity as well that they are offering to kick things off. The first family to raise 300.00 in funds gets a matching grant of 300.00 for a total of 600.00. Which in the scheme of things isn't huge...it's a great help towards fees!!
There is the link for our affiliate page check out the merchandise...it's really great stuff! Cute hoodies and tees!
Thanks for checking it out! :)
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I got home a bit early, as I knew S was picking up the boys so that our SW could talk to them in private about our plans to adopt again. Apparently we have to have approval from our kids.
As soon as I walked in the door I could smell it... stink... dog stink. Oh man! Really?? So I casually look around for the culprit, as the SW asks to see the boys room. As we walk up the stairs and into the room...there it is...seriously?!!! The Dog had to choose that day to mess on the carpet, in the boys room. And we have BIG dogs so you know what that means... gggrrrrr
So I calmly apologize, she's totally cool about it, I open a window in their room and close the door. I mean at this point what do ya do...with doo...LOL
We had a nice visit. She's really sweet. And she was gone pretty quickly. And since there was some confusion about our fingerprints for local clearance we hadn't done them. We rushed out after she left to get to the police station.
We knew they closed at 430pm and it was about 350pm. There are about 15 stop lights between us and the courthouse... guess how many of them were RED on the way there... yep ALL of them. Every dern one! We got there at about 418pm and there was a sign that said they were done at 415. !!!???!!!
So I begged and pleaded...if I knew how to cry on demand I might have...lol The lady behind the counter didn't want to help, but I kept saying the website said 430pm. She called a police woman from behind the door. She came out. I pleaded again. She took pity on us!!!!
The boys were with us cause S was working...they were SO good, and the officer was so impressed. She was very sweet. She even let us go without having to pay! :) So we hugged her... lol I'll bet it's the first time anyone asked to hug her because of fingerprints. :) She even hugged on our boys. :)
Every time we hit a red light on the way in, I prayed...and said ok God please show us favor....and every light turned red! He did show us favor in that officer...and then He let us show her grace. He's an amazing God!
So we have all the paperwork done on our end for the HS. All that needs to happen is getting the reports back, and we can move forward. YIPPEE
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
She knows us already and knows our kids...this is just a renewal...so why am I so nervous?
Does anyone else think it's completely nuts that we have to lay our lives on the line and be the 'perfect' parent in order to... well parent? What if they find out that I am not always the most patient. Or that sometimes I yell.
That sometimes I just say "Because I said so!" Because I just don't feel like coming up with an answer...lol
Sometimes I feed my kids peanut butter and jelly crackers for lunch because we ran out of bread.
I don't always give them everything they want and I don't always treat them exactly the same.
I have to tell them I am sorry frequently and regret that I don't always handle situations as an adult.
I do love them. I do pray for them every day. I do cheer for them at every function and I am their biggest fans. I am also their biggest champion.
I do kiss their booboo's and hold them when they blap, I clean up their messes and hold the tissue when they blow their noses. I sit up with them when they are too sick to want to sleep.
I do read them stories and share my ice cream. I hug them when they are sad and laugh with them when they are happy. I tuck them in and say night night prayers with them every night and the last thing I say to them is "Who is special?" WE ARE! "Why?" Because God made us that way! "Who loves you?" God and mommy and daddy!
So I guess I am not perfect...but the one who made us is... guess I will just have to rely on Him... :)