Saturday, January 31, 2009

check it

I stumbled upon this blog today, which seems like a cool resource on "mission minded families". There are some free resources for teaching kids bible verses to go along with ABC's, homeschooling, books, all to raise a family with Christ's mission at heart. I liked it. Maybe you will to!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

car conversation with my big boy

Hayden (4) randomly burst out in prayer this afternoon in the car, asking Jesus to give us a safe trip to Auntie's house.

Our conversation drifted to having Jesus in your heart. Then he says, "Ya, but when I'm 4, I don't want Jesus in my heart."

Me: "oh, ya? Why not?"

H: "Because, it would make me go TOO SLOW on my big wheel to have Jesus in my heart."

Me: (laughing OUT LOUD in my minivan)..."Oh, I see" I pathetically tried to help him understand that a big adult Jesus is not going to hop inside his body, but the Holy Spirit is what lives in our hearts.

Try explaining the Holy Spirit to a 4 year old...apparently, I need to brush up on my theology, because, he still didn't get it. Oh well. I guess I just need to pray :)

It reminded me of a simlar conversation this summer between H and my nephew, also 4 in the "way way back" of the van that Matt and I overheard.

Hayden said, randomly: "sterling, do you have Jesus in your heart?"
Sterling: "No."
Hayden: "ME EITHER!" followed by a huge amount of giggling from both parties, like they had some secret from us or something. Matt and I looked at eachother and laughed.

I hope it's not a pattern! :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Not Me Monday

Where to begin with my Not Me's this week?

Well, for starters, I did not spend 6 hours in WALMART (which I don't really like to begin with) in Moses Lake, PURELY for entertainment. It's my mom's hometown. There is NOTHING to do there. They do have starbucks, and as I drove through I thought "these look like a couple of hip chicks...surely they know where a fun craft store is"...seriously, the said "Craft store?...?" with a puzzled look on their faces, like "why would you go there?" So, in 48 hours, 3 trips to Walmart, about 2 hours each....and no, it wasn't really fun. I read magazines. Alot.

I did not stay up til 2 am 3 nights this past week working on adoption stuff. I'm not that obsessive.

I also did not polish off nearly an entire box of milk duds (the big one) in the 5 hour drive home from above mentioned trip. I would never...

I did not negotiate pizza for good behavior at Costco today with my kids. I would not go that low.

Some things I will admit to doing this week:

I DID mail off a huge chunk of paperwork to Gladney! HOORAY!
I have make a HUGE dent in the rest...I'm just waiting on some medical forms to send the rest!
I do have much of the paperwork needed for our dossier complete!
I did submit our CIS I600A to the USCIS/Homeland Security dept, and recieved acknowledgment that they recieved it!

I do feel like my obsessive ness in the adoption stuff is paying off, I feel really good about where I am at in the paperwork.

I did snuggle alot with my boys while in Moses Lake. We did color alot and play together. They were champs on the road trip (10 hours in the car in 48 hours is alot for a 4 and 2 year old!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

How can I resist? And a rant.

Seriously, I am a nester by nature. It is SO HARD to hold back and not nest when it comes to baby girl to be. I want to paint, to sew crib bedding, shop for pink stuff. It's taking all I've got to reign in my self, and focus that nesting energy on paperwork. When I'm officially on the waiting list, I'll let myself go and start on baby preparation. BUT then I go to my favorite local resale shop and Target and find amazing deals on a-dor-a-ble girl stuff, for example: This darling baby gap dress and old navy skirt, HOW do I walk away from these things? I can't. And the sassy sparkly silver coverse shoes 75% off? I don't. Here are my lastest finds!

So, now for my Rant. When I went to my local favorite resale shop, to sell some of my items, the sweet owner said, I gotta be honest, with this new law going into effect, I really can't take much!
HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THIS RIDICULOUS NEW LAW?!!? HR 4040, the Consumer Product Safety "Improvement" Act of 2008. Sometime in February a new law is going to effect that will at this point make it illegal to sell ALL used childrens items (ages 12 and under). Clothing, books,toys, baby gear...anything and everything. They (lawmakers/lobbyists?) are trying to get an amendment to this already passed law, that would make resale shops (goodwill, consignment stores, etc) exempt from this law and allow them to sell used clothing under specific guidelines. I think even then, it will still be "illegal" for everyday folks like you and I to sell our items on craigslist, ebay, newspaper, etc. makes me sick to my stomach. What are we all to do with our used items it is illegal to sell? Apparently, send it to the landfill. Perfectly good strollers, baby carriers, high chairs, toys, clothing, etc....all "illegal to resell". It's disgusting. Another way to force our nation to be consumerists and buy buy buy new things. PLEASE...research this, send a letter to your senators and congressman expressing how appalling this new law is. I think this is rooted in the big lead paint scare of recent years...but seriously. Here are a few links to articles about this (FYI- I don't share all of the same attititudes or views stated in these articles, but they do have good info about what this means)

World Net Daily article- this one has info on how to make your opinions known at the bottom of article
Duane Morris LLP site
LA Times

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Story God is telling...edited

edit: my apoligies, this bad boy just keeps getting longer! I added a video of the song that is my theme for the week.

It is a good one. We have known from Day One, that this adoption journey was not about us.

Nearly eight years ago, when we were in Kathmandu, Nepal, visiting an orphange, seeing streets full of children without families or homes, we clearly felt God place on our hearts the desire to adopt a baby girl from an international country. We didn't know when or how, but it was clearly from the Lord.

This past summer we began to ask ourselves and the Lord, "is NOW the time?". We started to to poke at doors, to see if they would open. And, they did.

This might seem like a sidebar, but stick with me...Today at church, one of our pastors was teaching from the book of Ruth, chapter 2. About Ruth finding work to provide for hers and her mother in law, Naomi's needs. How Ruth and Naomi's story, is one of God's provision. Our pastor spoke about how there are no coincidences. How the book of Ruth is full of God, yet you never hear Him speak. However, His fingerprints are all over the story. Why does the Bible tell of Ruth's story? Because, God cares about these kind of stories. He cares about Ruth's life, and he cares about ours. He wants to work all of our stories together, to tell a greater story...His story.

In Ruth's story, she faced hard circumstances. She worked hard to find a way to meet the need she and her mother in law had (food). She "happened" to find work in Boaz's feild, who "happened" to be a relative...he was her "kinsman redeemer". He had the means to help her in her need. Long story short, I was sitting there, wondering, how does Ruth's story apply to me? Make the point, pastor...Then, he did. It's not just Ruth's story, it's God's story. HE wants to use our individual stories, to tell HIS story of love. He wants to use us, weave our stories into one anothers story. And, ultimately into HIS story of redemption. (which reminds me of a good book...called, "the story we find ourselves in, by Brian McLaren...good one!rabbit trail)

I was instantly overwhelmed by the similarity in me and Ruth.

God is weaving our story into our future daughters story. Right now, as we speak...adoption in and of itself is a picture of God's love for us...He chose us. He redeemed us to His family, his inheritance.

Just like Ruth, had great need, God used Boaz in Ruth's life to redeem her situation. Boaz redeemed her situation. I feel like in many ways, God has used and is using his body, his family, to redeem our daughters circumstances. We don't have it all figured out, but God has weaved many stories together to bring our baby girl home. He has moved hearts of those who have the means to give to help us. Our part was to obey the call God put on us. Others may not have the call to adopt, but have the call to give...I sat there this morning feeling like our friends, family, and church family...God is using them to be our family's "kinsman redeemer". Ultimately, the Lord is our Kinsman Redeemer, and his body is a reflection of His heart. I am so blessed to be a recipient of that love...honored that many of your stories are now woven forever into mine. Whatever life circumtances have brought you to be able to give threads to our story, ultimately God is the weaver of this amazing tapestry of HIS story of love.

I sat there, and cried, for Oh, I don't know the 10th time the last 3 days. I felt the joy of being a part of the story God is telling. I can't wait to pass this story down to my daughter and how she came to be in our family. How she is a part of this story, and all the stories that came together to bring her to us.

Just these past few nights, I've sat down to figure out where we are, financially. What steps we can take to move forward with what we currently have. I felt total peace, that God is MORE than able. I keep hearing that song, "my God is mighty to save" (see below for the youtube video of the song)...I've had peace. Then, friday, I checked my mail. There was a sweet card from some dear friends and a gift of $500. Instantly, I was in tears, knowing God is BIG. He is SO going to keep the ball rolling. I remembered my verse, Psalm 5:3..."I lay my requests before you, and wait in expectation." I knew, I expected that he is about to do something GOOD.

Last night, I crunched some more numbers. I came up with some numbers, thinking we need about $500 to finish "Phase One" and get on the waiting list. Today after church, my parents gave us an envelope from an anonymous friend, with another gift of $2000! Story, after story, after story, being woven together into our daughters story, woven into God's story. God is blowing us away. "more than we could ask or imagine..." I had been silly enough to think this morning, "God can totally handle $500!" He is showing us that He can move mountains, he can do far more that we can imagine and certainly handle our needs.

We have known this would be God's story from the start. We wanted it to be. We knew that if we had it all figured out on our own, he would not get the glory. More than anything, we want HIS story to be known, not ours. Well...I think we can officially say, HE is one good storyteller! I can't wait to hear the ending...

ps...I have been meaning to blog about Christmas, but have been sidetracked.

We gave the boys each an "adopted baby sister" cabbage patch dolls for Christmas, and told them for the first time that we'd be having a baby sister from Africa. We explained what adoption is, that she will look different than us and have brown skin. So, with that, meet Lola Betty (the big sister) and Lotta Gwendolyn(the baby sister) (the sisters names were chosen by the Hayden who love the show on Disney, Charlie and Lola...and Lotta is Lola's best friend on the show, we didn't make it up!)

As of now, Jack loves his baby, Lotta, and carts her everywhere. The car, naps, etc. Hayden LIKES Lola, but not too sure about her brown skin. It's a good thing we have awhile to get them used to that idea! We figured it was time to start warming them up to the idea now, that their baby sister will look much different than they do...Hayden says "My skin is green, right mom?"

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

changes in adoptionland

After alot of thought, prayer, and conversations, we have decided to change placement agencies. I don't want to go into a whole lot of detail about it here, we liked many many things about the agency, but for us the bottom line was how much was needed up front to move forward, and one particular policy we were not to keen on...enough said about that.

The great news is, we have changed/are in the process of changing over to Gladney. We are super excited, and feel overall like it's a better fit for us.Financially speaking, it's broken down better to fit us, although the bottom line is the very very similar. Over the holidays, we were abudantly blessed by several friends/family and with thier financial gifts, we are ready to move to the next phase!Yahoo! It's so wonderful to feel like we are finally MOVING FORWARD. I am starting to feel like this is all real, and I am really getting excited to bring our baby girl home, hopefully before 2009 is over.

Here's a brainy idea...when YOU get ready to adopt internationally, why don't you look into several agencies. Talk to people who've been with those agencies. Do more homework than I did. I naively thought that all agencies function the same way. WELL, they don't. I really only looked at one. That was not so smart of me. Being a rookie adopter, we just didn't much. BUT, I am very very thankful for some people coming into my life (totally the LORD literally crossing my path, introducing me to new friends) who have been oh so helpful.

Read one of my new friends post today on her blog, about doing your pre-adoption homework...Read it here.
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