Thursday, December 31, 2009

My baby is 6 today!

I can't believe it. My baby girl is already 6 years old! Where did the time go? Seems like just yesterday she wouldn't stop saying "Mom, mama, Mom, mama, mama, mama, MOMMMMMM!" and "UPPY mom, UPPY"! She is such a joy and a lover, silly and funny, I wouldn't trade a thing about her personality. It was very trying for a while, that strong-willed stuff, but she has come a long way. I love how God knew that I would need a challenge in one of my bio kids to prepare me for the challenges to come with our adopted ones. So thank you God for using Alaina to push me to the edge without pushing me over! She is going to be one determined, assertive woman, let me tell you!

Yesterday was our 2nd meeting with Deb, our social worker. She is so awesome, makes us feel so comfortable. She talked with the kids, asking them what they thought about having 2 new brothers. Payton said he was happy to give them love in a family, and a safe place to live and also to have 2 more boys in the house, Ava said she was happy they would have beds to sleep in and that we would try to make them comfortable, and we can't remember what Alaina said (or if she had a chance to answer), but I am guessing she will love to have 2 brothers younger than her to play with! We gave her (Deb) a tour of the house and handed over completed paperwork, talked a bit and that was it! I am so thankful now that I was not nervous or anxious about her coming, it totally would have been for nothing!

Now we work on paperwork, our workbook 'With Eyes Wide Open' and our 10 hours of online courses. We are enjoying the "homework" as it really makes us think things through thoroughly and has us taking notes on our feelings and thoughts. This is good for us as neither of us journals very well. We also have to finish up our autobiographies and make Dr. appts to get in for physicals- ugh- waiting a couple weeks to work off all the holiday goodies!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

A quiet morning and loving it. My kids are doing their own thing, a little TV, giving the dog a bath, making breakfast for each other. I am able to take some time to sit in peace and reflect on my Father's love for me. I am so thankful for his most precious gift to us all, the birth of his son, our Savior. Thank you God!

I know I haven't been very good at keeping this blog updated, but I'm working on it. We had our first social worker visit on 12/10. She was wonderful! We were at her office in Elm Grove for over 2 1/2 hours. She made us feel so comfortable, and gave us lots of useful and purposeful information. She will come visit our house on 12/30, to do an inspection, meet and talk to the kids and have further individual discussions with Jon and I. We then went out for our first Ethiopian meal- injera, doro wat, and several other dishes I can't remember. It was a neat experience and I can see that I will need to do lots of practice cooking during the next 9 months to fix something that Payton, Ava and Alaina will eat that our new kiddos will love as well.

We watched Faith Hill's special last night on adoption and Jon and I were both in tears. It breaks our heart to see kids without moms and dads to love and encourage them and tuck them in at night. We pray that God has given our kids in Ethiopia some peace in their hearts, knowing that sometime soon their mommy and daddy will be coming to get them!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thankful in all things

Well, my last post, which I actually posted today (29th), showed up with a date of Nov. 6th- so I have some figuring out to do. I think I had started a draft on the 6th, but didn't change the date to today. So, as of the 6th, we had not yet sent in applications, that was done within the last 2 weeks.

We had an awesome time in Madison with Jon's family over Thanksgiving, lots of cousins to play with, visiting to do and food to eat. The time went by very quickly, but we enjoyed and loved every minute, especially thankful that we were healthy. 2 years ago in Madison, 3 of us were very, very sick and spent most of our time in the hotel room. Much improved this year for sure!

Lately God has been putting on my heart and in my mind to be thankful in all things. About a month ago, mom, Kara and I attended a women's conference in Brookfield and Lysa Terkeurst was the guest speaker. She is a mentor to me, and author of 2 of my favorite books. She based her talk on 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 'Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus'. This has stuck with me and reminds me that even though it may be difficult at times to praise God for our circumstances, we can and should still praise God for who He is. This doesn't mean that if you are facing health problems, divorce, financial struggles, or any other unpleasant situation, that we have to thank God for that problem, but we can still thank God for all other blessings in our lives and how he might use that problem to strenghthen our faith, encourage someone else or even bring someone else to a relationship with Jesus. Right now, our circumstances find us feeling alone, uncomfortable, and a little scared. We have no idea what God has planned for us with the adoption, but, we will continue to be joyful, pray and give Him thanks. We will continue to ask Jesus to be our portion, to be enough, for each day.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Up to the task

Ok, so I took the plunge today. I discovered blog-world about 2 years ago and have been fascinated ever since. I always thought I would never have enough (that is interesting) to say to make blogging an option but, decided to give it a shot anyway. For a few years I did really well at keeping a journal, not that anyone else would care, but for my own personal thoughts. Now that our family is venturing in to a new and exciting chapter, I figured now is as good a time as ever to get started!

After 3 years of prayer, indecision, apprehension, and lots of emotion, our family has decided to adopt. Sibling boys. From Ethiopia. Some of you will drop jaws, some will think we are crazy, some will think this is awesome and be happy for us. I would pray for more of you to be in the latter category, but realize there will be many unanswered questions. Even if I could answer them all for you, which I probably couldn't, as we don't have them all ourselves, you will still think we are nuts. The purpose of this blog is to try to help you understand why, after being blessed with 3 beautiful, healthy biological kids we would want to adopt.

This wasn't something I came up with on my own. It wasn't because it's the "trend" in Hollywood- I am so not into anything Hollywood (except for the awesome new movie The Blind Side - you must see it!) I gave up the 'People' and 'Us' magazines and all talk shows (yes- even Oprah) a few years ago, as I found them mostly gossipy, malicious and seriously, is there any one individual or relationship in Hollywood I would want to model after? It wasn't because any of my friends are adopting, or that I really wanted to have more children. It is simply a command from the Lord, and in all of our fears, we are being obedient to Him. James 1:27 says: Religion that God our Father finds pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. We do understand that God does not call every family to adopt, but as his children he does call us to action whether it be in prayer, sponsoring a child, fostering a child, giving financially to an orphange, or going on mission trips.

Psalm 37:4 says "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." I am certain that somewhere along the line, I had heard this passage or even memorized it at some point, however it never spoke to me like it did 3 years ago. I finally understood that it meant God will put the desires on my heart that he wants me to have, not that he will give me what I desire. Does this mean God won't give us what we ask for? No, on the contrary, God does give us much of what we ask for; good health, our daily bread, shelter, friends, etc., but He knows what is best for us and what he has planned for us. It is not our job to determine that, but His. So, this desire to adopt came from the Lord. And although the first two years came with much denial in which I tried to bargain with God (doesn't work), the last year has been one of great peace where I have learned patience in waiting like never before. I will explain more on this in a later post.

So, we have mailed our the applications out (to our local and international adoption agencies) and will begin official paperwork this week. We are excited, scared, nervous and completely uncertain of what is to come, except that the Lord will provide- financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually and any other way we need him to. Please check back here from time to time for a timeline and updates. And when you think of our family, please pray for God's provision throughout our journey.